Connect with us

Business News

agoda’s 2018 Predictions: The Future of Travel Is Simple

Published

on

Image Source: www.prnasia.com

agoda, one of the world’s fastest-growing online travel booking platforms, has predicted that 2018 will see consumers looking for a simpler way to book their travel accommodation. While many major travel industry players continue to deliver complex products and loyalty programs, independent travellers will instead choose companies that deliver streamlined travel experiences.

Omri Morgenshtern, Chief Product Officer at agoda, comments: “Consumers today expect to get clear, straight-forward and useful information quickly. They don’t have the time or patience to do things a service can do for them. They will look to offerings that add value by simplifying the way they travel — from researching destinations to ordering room service. At agoda we are committed to drilling down to the basics so that our customers can experience the properties and services they want without weeding through unnecessary complexity.”

Here are agoda’s predictions for the travel industry in 2018:

Simplification wins over “buzzword” technology

The last few years has seen plenty of hype around developments in AR and VR, with some working to apply these interactive experiences to the travel space. While the benefits of these new opportunities should be explored, there has been little consumer demand for such experiences, and the hardware isn’t advanced enough to provide real value.

In 2018, agoda will focus on leveraging technology that can save consumers time, rather than concentrating efforts on hyped up technology. Expect to see continued efforts to develop solutions that use AI to increase personalisation of travel experiences.

“At agoda we’ve already been leveraging AI to deliver the best customer experience, from using it to deliver personalised accommodation recommendations to AI-enabled chat bots. Expect to see more of this in 2018”, said Morgenshtern.

The emergence of ‘anti-rewards’ programs

Given the amount of choice and competitive pricing in the travel industry, added benefits and rewards are more important than ever. However, according to a CapGemini Study, 90 per cent of social media sentiment around rewards programs is negative. 33 per cent of this sentiment cites the lack of a seamless multi-channel customer experience, whilst 44 per cent highlights the lack of reward relevance, flexibility and value. Most consumers rarely understand what benefits they will be getting with many of today’s rewards programs, or how to get them.

In an effort to replace these nebulous rewards programs with more straight-forward incentives, agoda launched Gift Cards, a simple way for customers to earn immediately usable agoda cashback credit for future bookings. Under this new rewards program customers know how much cashback credit they will receive before they make any booking. This gets credited to their agoda account after a completed booking. Unlike other loyalty programs — where you need to accumulate a minimum number of points before you redeem — you can use your agoda Gift Cards credit as soon as you receive it, without any minimum spend or other restrictive conditions.

In the first year of launching Gift Cards, agoda has awarded millions of dollars (USD) of cashback credit. As the market becomes increasingly saturated, and people travel more, consumers will look to rewards programs more than ever to decide where their loyalty lies.

Travel as an integrated experience

Year-on-year, agoda has seen a 60 per cent overall increase in the use of its mobile app, for both researching and booking travel, suggesting consumers increasingly prefer an easy, on-the-go experience. In 2016, about 40 per cent of agoda’s bookings globally were done through mobile. Fast-forward one year later, and that has increased to 50 per cent.

With the rising success of multi-functional apps such as WeChat in China, in 2018 this trend is set to catch-on throughout the rest of the world to feed the increasing need for a more integrated travel experience.

This year, agoda launched an integrated tool called ‘agoda Reception’ to further support customers after they have made their booking. The new feature will enable agoda customers to access reception and room services, arrange transport to and from the property, as well as to discover nearby attractions — all without leaving the agoda app.

Millennial as a mindset, not an age bracket

With the term ‘millennial’ beginning to take on meaning beyond just one’s age, in 2018 there will be a shift towards millennial as a mindset. agoda’s global Travel & Tech Study showed that regardless of whether a traveller is a millennial or not, what interests them is the same. For example, the top two preferred travel activities are seeking out nature or scenery (67 per cent for millennials vs. 72 per cent for non-millennials), and food and dining (67 per cent for millennials vs. 70 per cent for non-millennials).

People of the millennial mindset often live a fast-paced and demanding lifestyle, and as such, expect everything at their fingertips. Mix this with the desire to have unique, shareable experiences and we will see a rise in demand for new types of travel, delivered seamlessly.

Continue Reading
Comments

Business News

8990 Holdings Launches P2-B Cebu Mid-rise Condo Dev’t

Published

on

By

Image Source: 8990housing.com

Listed mass housing developer 8990 Holdings Inc. expects to generate Php2 billion in sales from its second mid-rise condominium development in Barangay Tisa, Cebu City, as it expands its footprint in high growth areas across Visayas and Mindanao.

8990 Holdings President and Chief Executive Officer Willie J. Uy said continued strong demand prompted the company to launch Urban Deca Homes Tisa 2, which it would spend around Php800 million for its development until 2021.

Urban Deca Homes Tisa 2 will have 21 four-storey buildings served by elevators. Each building will have an average of 70 units or a total of 1,392 units for the entire project.

Its first project in Tisa has already been sold out..

“Urban Deca Homes Tisa 1 was well-received by the market due to its affordability combined with a great view of the mountains on one side while overlooking Cebu City and the sea on the other side,” said 8990 Holdings President and Chief Executive Officer Willie J. Uy.

The company is allotting Php3 billion for capital expenditures this year for the development of more mass housing projects, both vertical and horizontal, as it aims to help the government reduce the huge housing backlog of 5.9 million units.

Uy said revenue growth now depends on how fast they can secure permits to sell because they have already bought the land that they need and demand continues to be strong.

8990 Holdings still has a land bank of about 554 hectares, although it will continue to purchase land but less aggressively as it just needs to replace those that it will use for development.

Continue Reading

Business News

Cebu Landmasters Eyes P7-B Reservation Sales This Year

Published

on

By

Image Source: www.cebulandmasters.com

Listed property developer Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI) targets to hit Php7 billion in reservation sales this year, up 52 percent from Php4.58 billion posted last year.

CLI attributed its exceptional performance last year mainly to newly-launched residential projects, which are now almost fully sold.

“In 2018, we will continue to expand our footprint in the Visayas and Mindanao, and develop projects that respond to the growing market in these areas,” CLI chief executive officer Jose Soberano III told the local bourse.

The company will launch this year 20 new developments, among them two residential subdivisions, three residential condominiums, three offices, one hotel and one industrial park in Cebu; two residential condominiums and a hotel in Bacolod; and a residential condo in Iloilo.

It also plans to fortify its foothold in Mindanao where it will launch two residential subdivisions and one residential condominium in Cagayan de Oro, while a central business district and two residential condominiums will be unveiled in Davao.

The upcoming projects boost CLI’s total number of projects to 66 from 46 last year, as it continues to strengthen its brand in its niche markets.

Soberano is confident of meeting performance targets set for the year and beyond.

The company targeted to book Php1.7 billion in profit and Php5.3 billion in revenue in 2018.

It expects that hikes in household income resulting from the newly approved package 1 of the Duterte government’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law will be channeled to housing.

CLI said government spending in infrastructure was also expected to unlock land values outside Metro Manila and stimulate business in the countryside.

Continue Reading

Business News

IKEA to Announce Opening Date This Year

Published

on

By

Image Source: curbed.com

Swedish furniture company IKEA was planning to announce targeted opening date in the Philippines within the year, IKEA Sustainability and Communication Director Lars Svensson said Wednesday.

In an interview on the sidelines of Responsible Business conference in Makati, Swedish Ambassador Harald Fries said IKEA was planning to open its first Philippine store early 2020.

Asked about this, Svensson neither denied nor confirmed saying “until (they) have everything firmed up, that’s when (they’ll) announce the date of opening.

“I can say that within this year, we’ll announce it,” he said, explaining they were concealing it for the meantime so as to avoid influencing property prices.

“It’s just that it is an aspect of not fuelling speculation because the size of the company and the size of the brand equates to the interest, that’s a positive thing for us but we do not want to drive speculation where we’re going to be influencing property prices etc.,” he said.

“Absolutely, it is no secret we’re eyeing the Philippines to open next IKEA,” he added.

Svensson said they were highly optimistic about “the maturity and the development” of the Philippine economy. “We really believe it’s a place that is ready in terms of capacity and industry that could support.” 

Continue Reading

Business News

Cebu Landmasters Ends 2017 With Record P4.58-B Reservation Sales, Plans 20 New Developments in 2018

Published

on

Homegrown property developer Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI) finished the year 2017 with P4.58 billion in total reservation sales, exceeding its target by 13.75 percent and beating the 2016 result by 55.6 percent.

CLI attributed its exceptional performance mainly to newly launched residential projects: 38 Park Avenue (Cebu IT Park) with 745 units, Casa Mira South (Cebu) with 3,200 units, Mivesa Garden Residences (Cebu) with 1,514 units, Mesaverte (Cagayan de Oro) with 798 units, and the 694-unit MesaTierra (Davao City). These projects are now almost fully sold.

The listed company said its sales performance is resounding affirmation that its products respond to the needs of the market and are distributed strategically to the areas where demand is strongest.

“All the projects we launched were well-received by their respective markets making 2017 another banner year,” said CLI chief executive officer Jose Soberano III referring to the firm’s efforts to penetrate new markets such as Davao and Dumaguete and to diversify its products.

The past year saw CLI aggressively venturing into the hospitality industry to increase its inventory to a total of 610 rooms in four years. All CLI hotel projects are located within company-developed mixed-use communities. The 180-room “lyf Cebu City” by Ascott targeting millennial travelers and the 250-room Citadines Riverside Davao were launched in late 2017. They will complement Citadines Cebu City set for completion in 2018. More hotel projects are expected to break ground in 2018.

Cebu Landmasters is confident it will gain even greater momentum this year. The company has targeted reservations sales to hit P7 billion this2018, a massive 52-percent hike from the previous year, as it starts more projects and expands to more territories in Visayas-Mindanao growth centers.

The array of new developments planned for the year include 10 in Cebu (two residential subdivisions, three residential condominiums, three offices, one hotel and one industrial park). Details of these projects will be revealed in the coming months.

CLI has also set its sights on two new territories in the Visayas. Bacolod will play host to two residential condominiums and a hotel, while a residential condo is planned for neighboring Iloilo. Reports from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) show that the Visayas region will zoom ahead of other regions in the next five years and is expected to outpace the projected 7 to 8 percent growth for the Philippines.

The listed property developer also plans to fortify its foothold in Mindanao where it will launch two residential subdivisions and one residential condominium in Cagayan de Oro while a central business district and two residential condominiums will be unveiled in Davao. NEDA reports that in terms of economic growth, Davao ranks third among 18 regions in the country.

The upcoming projects boost CLI’s total number of projects to 66 from 46 last year, as it continues to strengthen its brand in its niche markets. The company’s residential condominiums are mostly designed for the mid-market segment, although it also offers condos for the high-end market.

“In 2018, we will continue to expand our footprint in the Visayas and Mindanao, and develop projects that respond to the growing market in these areas,” said Soberano who is confident CLI will meet its performance targets set for the year and beyond.

It expects that hikes in household income resulting from the newly approved package 1 of the Duterte government’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) will be channeled to housing.

Studies (TUCP, 2010) have also shown that around 2 to 2.1 percent of OFW remittances are channeled to housing. Total remittances in 2017 were seen to hit US$33 billion (World Bank, 2017). This means that at least US$693 million or about P35 billion would be used for shelter requirements.

CLI also expects that government spending in infrastructure will unlock land values outside Metro Manila and stimulate business in the countryside as the Duterte administration pushes for investments outside of the country’s capital.

Continue Reading

Trending