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Things to Add to Your Marketing Strategy for the Hotel and Hospitality Industry

Hotel and Hospitality Overview

There has been record-breaking growth in the travel and hospitality industry in recent years. In 2015, business travel grossed $1.2 trillion, five percent more than in 2014. In the US, the growth rate of leisure bookings was significantly better than that of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This was due to renewed consumer confidence and a shift in household spending from goods to services. Deloitte projects travel and hotel industry growth to continue through 2017.

Factors that are helping to reshape the travel landscape include global economic shifts, innovation, geopolitical turmoil, pandemics, and rising consumer demands. In 2016, major hotel groups, including Marriott, Hilton and InterContinental, reported steady earnings. However, online purveyors, such as Airbnb, will present significant challenges to sectors of the industry sustaining growth in 2017.

Cyber attacks and data breaches are expected to increase. Food safety incidents in hotel restaurants, will also be more common due to the demand for locally sourced, organic foods. Hotel personnel should expect consumers to have increased expectations in the coming year. Non-travel brands like Amazon, Starbucks and Seamless feature innovation and speedy services to consumers, and they will be expecting the same from their travel hosts.

Hotels need to harness the power of mobile for their guests to remove pain points and improve their travel experience. Streamlining business processes will help in that regard and result in reduced operating costs. In addition, hotels should shift to enabling technologies to benefit from the Internet of Things (IoT), which is the internetworking of connected and mobile devices, smart devices, sensors, electronics, computers, machines, etc.

Stay Connected to Your Markets

Stay connected to your markets using virtual phone numbers. Virtual phone numbers are local phone numbers and toll free numbers. Your customers call these numbers, and international call forwarding services connect those calls to your virtual call center or virtual phone number.

Global Call Forwarding provides its core service to various luxury hotel brands. One particular subscriber has two toll free numbers in North America and six local phone numbers servicing the following areas around the world.

  • Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America
  • Europe, Middle East and Africa
  • Asia Pacific
  • China
  • India
  • Japan

When club members call local phone numbers or toll free numbers, they feel they are dealing locally. However, they may be connecting to virtual call centers or virtual phone systems halfway around the globe, through the “magic” of international call forwarding.

Global Hotel Rankings by Rooms

In 2016, Marriott acquired Starwood Hotels giving Marriott the largest number of rooms in the world. The following table shows the top 10 hotel groups worldwide at the end of 2016 and their respective number of rooms.

Hotel Group Number of Rooms
Marriott + Starwood 1,108,852
Hilton Worldwide 751,350
IHG 744,368
Wyndham Hotel Group 678,042
Jin Jiang + Plateno + Vienna Hotel Group 572,340
Accor Hotels + & FRHI 554,517
Choice 507,483
Home Inns 321,802
Best Western 311,870
Huazhu 278,843

Tourism Outlook for Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and the United States

Here are the latest projections for these hot tourism areas.


Business Mirror projects an upward trend of the hospitality industry in the Philippines until 2018. A vibrant influx of foreign investment is partially fueling this trend. According to the Department of Tourism, foreign tourist arrivals have been rising since 2015. Much of the increase is due to Korean and American travelers.

Business and domestic market travel are also increasing. The business portion is due to meetings, conventions and exhibitions. The gaming industry is also generating growth. For example, Entertainment City in Parañaque City by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation is helping to make the Philippines a top tourist destination in the world.

Foreign hotel brands are moving into the country to capitalize on this business increase. The aggregate supply of rooms may reach 18,000 in 2017 and 20,000 by 2018.


Indonesia has 12 major hotel markets: Bali, Bandung, Bintan, Bogor, Jakarta, Lombok, Makassar, Medan, Palembang, Semarang, Surabaya, and Yogyakarta. Market performance varies from market to market. However, from 2015 to 2016, Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) had been declining because room supply was outpacing demand.

However, HVS Indonesia Hotel Watch 2016 predicts that demand will surpass incoming room supply in the leisure and upscale market segments. For Jakarta and Bali market segments, the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in RevPAR was 5.1% and 5.8%, respectively. Secondary markets (Bogor, Makassar and Surabaya) will suffer a RevPAR performance dip due to the addition of branded midscale and budget rooms. Bandung, Lombok and Palembang will become hot markets due to their short-term demand outlook. Considering all Indonesian markets, room supply in 2015 was 71,970 rooms. In 2018, there will be 93,930 available rooms. That is a 14.2% increase in CAGR.


According to the US News and World Report, Thailand ranks high in the following categories: Business Opportunities, Heritage, Best Country for Investment, Adventure, and Rising Economy. Thailand is Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy because of tourist spending mainly from China. The six major airports in Thailand are handling a record number of travelers. Furthermore, for newcomers to Bangkok, Ritz Carlton Residence Bangkok, Waldorf Astoria, and Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 will be adding 5,500 additional rooms to the city.

United States

STR Hospitality Net sees slower growth for the US hotel industry through 2017. Projections suggest a drop in occupancy but increases in demand, supply, RevPAR, and Average Daily Rate (ADR) for rooms.

Have you had good experiences traveling to these countries? Any travel plans for 2017? We would love to hear your thoughts.

8 Customer Service Tips for Companies in the Travel Industry

Great customer service tips can be the difference between retaining clients and losing them. It means understanding clients’ needs and fulfilling them in a timely manner, even when you are in different time zones and countries apart.

Travel agencies, tourism businesses, airline and railway companies, and especially hotel chains need a customer service routine. Excellent customer service, especially on an international level, is imperative to your success. Global Call Forwarding personally engages with firms in the tourism and travel industry. This means more than just providing toll free numbers for your company. We want to help you provide personalized and intuitive service to your clients with ease.

We reach into countries as far as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Whether you are based in the United States and want local phone numbers in these areas, or you are an independent travel agent who needs a way to filter phone calls while they are on the road, Global Call Forwarding can assist you in creating memorable customer service.

It is time to foster loyalty and stand out from your competitors through engaging with clients in a convenient manner. For this reason we have provided 8 customer service tips for the tourism industry:

1. Communication. Always.

This seems like a given, but you would be surprised how many companies forget this simple concept. Inconveniences will happen and delays are inevitable. However, it just makes sense to tell your clients what is happening with their travel plans. Do not leave them in the dark during a delay. Tell them in person, on the phone, through speakers, with an email, over social media – whichever medium makes the most sense so that you are always communicating with them.

2. Don’t Allow For Unnecessary Disruptions or Waiting Time

Scheduling and reservation issues, lost baggage, gate changes, and ticket purchases can already make a customer feel on edge. Imagine these types of conversations in an unknown or unfamiliar country, such as Thailand or Singapore, and how time zone differences can make matters even more complex.

When an individual calls your customer service representatives, try as much as possible not to place them on hold. Instead, international call forwarding and the integration of local phone numbers into your systems gives you the ability to lessen their wait time so they can get back on the road.

3. Keep Your Internal Teams Informed and Organized

Consider that you run an airline based in the United States that books clients with flights into the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Your customer service agents and hospitality connections are based in Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand. With all of these countries working together inside of one company, internal communications can easily go off the rails. You do not want to accidentally give conflicting information about a client’s travel itineraries.

Internal teams must stay up to date on the latest travel news and notices. Bosses and managers must stay connected as well, even in the busiest airports. Make sure that everyone is able to stay connected with each other.

4. Set up Different Lines for Different Needs

How does your current customer service team navigate hospitality services, purchasing airline tickets, making reservations, confirming itineraries, and contacting tour and cruise packages with new destinations? These are just a few but common essentials tourism faces on an hourly basis. However, if one client calls in asking about their travel reservations and is met with a confusing phone system, they are less likely to return to you for their future needs.

Instead, international call forwarding and other helpful phone features allows you to direct people to different lines. If possible, set up different lines for sales, lead generation, telemarketing, welcoming phone calls, inquiries and billing issues, as well as customer service. This is better for customer retention and loyalty.

5. Make Certain Calls a Priority

Every company receives spam numbers, including companies based in the UAE, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. However, you should not let this get in the way of excellent customer service. Utilizing black and white lists means that you can filter out unwelcome calls and give preference to callers who are considered top priority. This is especially useful in the hospitality industry, where it is imperative to reach the right people at the right time.

6. It’s Okay to be Automated

Many will suggest that automated systems are impersonal, and depending on how you use this type of system, they can be. However, having a reliable automated system can also be a functional customer service tool for your company.

Imagine calling a company over and over only to have a call dropped, or only to find that you keep dialing in the wrong line. Having an international call forwarding system done the right way will prevent this issue in the future. An automated system may even help them address the right information much faster than with a person.

When you address their needs right away, your team can move on with their day – and so can your caller. This simplifies the transition between calls as well.

7. Stay Friendly

Unfortunately, hospitality representatives can bring out the worst in people. Frustrated clients usually result in tension on both sides. However, even if a client has a terrible travel experience, they should remember your excellent customer service. So, be sure to alleviate the key frustrations of your clients and stay friendly with them.

8. Be Local

Finally, customers appreciate seeing companies as local. Customers are more likely to call your company if they do not have to pay a fee to do so. This immediately makes you more accessible than your competitors. So, using local phone numbers and tll free numbers based in their city is a great way for them to feel like they are staying with a business that cares.

Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality

Get ready for takeoff! Whether you are an individual agent who needs help filtering incoming calls or you are an executive at an internationally recognized airline, Global Call Forwarding makes the running of your business much smoother.

Global Call Forwarding can be extremely beneficial to the customer service of your company, whether you have roots in Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, or the UAE.