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Hotel Technology

Skift Global Travel Forum 2015 Highlights: All the chatter from #SkiftForum

Skift Global Travel Forum 2015 Highlights: All the chatter from #SkiftForum

Skift Global Travel Forum 2015 Highlights: All the chatter from #SkiftForum October 20, 2015

Hotel Technology

On October 14th and 15th, Skift held their annual celebration of the travel industry - the Skift Global Forum - now in its second year. For two days, speakers from across all sectors and from all across the globe convened in Brooklyn to talk about their plans and hopes for the future of travel.

Head to Skift for complete coverage of the event. Summaries of the panels are below:


The Science and Art of Online Reviews

“The best management responses to negative reviews come from companies that view them not as merely solving a problem but view the written management response as a way to reinforce the brand.”

Startup Growth Hacks From Fuzzy Compass and Hitlist CEOs

"Startups can take more risks than established, global brands and push out experiments much faster. In these tests, the products don’t have to be perfect. The downside is low and the upside potential can be tremendous."

Gogo CEO Michael Small on Digital Habits of Air Travelers

"When the day comes that air travelers don’t have to pay $37 for Wi-Fi on a long-haul flight, then that will be a good thing for both airlines and passengers."

Delta’s Kevin Shinkle and Nancy Friedman on Changes in Travel Public Relations

Public relations’ fundamentals have changed, but the basics such as public relations representatives needing to forge relationships with reporters for effective coverage, remain consistent.

CEO of Travel Leaders Group On Emerging Worlds of Corporate and Leisure Travel

"For corporate travelers, there needs to be more transparency and better established roles of responsibility for open bookings. On the leisure side, travel agencies need to be easier to find based on their areas of expertise."

Museum Hack CEO Nick Gray on the New Future of Travel

"Millennials want spontaneity, community and an authentic experience. They’re going to travel however they want to, regardless of how legacy travel brands want them to."

Founder of Travel Noire On the Growing Community of Black Travelers

"People of color are 38% more likely to make a purchase if advertisements are reflective of them, so that should be a wake-up call to travel companies worldwide."

Reserve’s Greg Hong on Why Dining Is the Next Frontier of Travel Disruption

"Dining will be the last form of live entertainment. As we start to digitize experiences, we are going to yearn for authentic experiences where we can break bread together."

Zero Point Zero’s Chris Collins on the Evolution of the Travelogue

The people in a place make it what it is. “We succeed and fail based on that. It is a testament to the location and people we work with that are so integral in telling a story of a place.”

Wyndham Hotel Group’s Josh Lesnick on the America That Travel Brands Ignore at Skift Global Forum

“All economy hotels are not created equal. Customers believe there are multiple categories within the economy space, a notion that helps create great growth potential for hotels looking to explore the economy space.”

InterContinental Hotels’ CIO on Demographics and the Guest Journey

"Travel brands need to engage guests throughout the entire guest journey, while focusing on three core brand principles related to guest communication: Make it meaningful, respectful and relevant."

Crystal Cruises CEO Edie Rodriguez on Reinventing Luxury

"Luxury is all about personalization. Every member of a luxury company needs to understand the brand’s ethos and deliver that experience."

Brazil Tourism’s President on Building a Tourism Brand Around Big Events

"Brazil has an opportunity to present itself as a mature tourism brand during the 2016 Summer Olympics and it’s already taken measures to ensure it becomes an even larger hub for Latin American travel."

Virgin Atlantic’s Craig Kreeger on Building an Airline Brand

Customer service "magic" is about empowering employees and being willing to back them up.

Priceline.com’s Paul Hennessy on Why Conversion Is the Most Important Metric

"Simplicity and personalization are the answers to unlocking the future of conversion on the mobile web experience."

Airbnb’s Jonathan Mildenhall on Building a Culturally Relevant Brand

Mildenhall explored how Airbnb plans to take its brand beyond the homes of hosts around the world and into community spaces where travel actually happens.

Beautiful Destinations’ Jeremy Jauncey on Visuals as the New Language of Engagement

The travel industry has been the second slowest industry after financial services to adopt Instagram - confusing, because Instagram is social and inspires travel. "Every brand should be active on Instagram."

Denver International Airport CEO Kim Day on Building an Airport for the Future

"Technology will soon revolutionize the flyer experience while in airport terminals. Smart notifications, pre-purchasing and personalized flight notifications will make the travel experience less stressful for tech-savvy travelers."

Dubai Tourism CEO on the Future of City Branding

"Visit Dubai is laser focused on mobile as the primary engagement platform to connect with travel consumers."

21c Museum Hotels’ Craig Greenberg and Alice Gray Stites on Art, Culture and the Experience Economy

The foundations of the thriving hotel business for tomorrow may be built on ideas that go beyond art, beyond design and beyond new technology, to products, services, themes, or approaches to hospitality that have not yet been tried.

Intrepid Group’s Darrell Wade on Reinventing Business Tours for Experiential Travel

“Hotels spend an awful lot of time and money to make sure the experience is the same as the last time they were there and that it’ll be the same the next time they’re there. We’re almost the exact opposite, we have a formula for our values but we’re thinking how can we make things different each time.”

Virtuoso’s Matthew Upchurch on Why the Right Kind of Travel Agent Survived

"Rumors of the demise of the travel agent have been greatly exaggerated."

Bluesmart’s Diego Saez-Gil on Building a Travel Company Using Crowd Funding

“Be transparent. Now people want to be part of the process. Young people prefer brands that take themselves less seriously, and when you open yourself you make people part of the process, and they not only become your customers, they become your allies.”

Abercrombie & Kent’s Geoffrey Kent on the Socio-Cultural Impact of Travel

Sustainability is vital to the future of travel: “We’re losing one elephant every four hours; we’re losing a rhino every eight hours. The market for rare animal parts, specifically ivory, needs to be disrupted to protect endangered animals.”

NYC & Company CEO On the Future of Tourism Marketing For Iconic Tourism Brands

“Destination marketers need to let go of their brand image and their brand voice. In today’s connected world, you can’t control your brand messaging anymore, and trying to do so is a disservice to the community.”

Hyatt Hotels’ Mark Hoplamazian on a New Perspective on the Hospitality Industry

“What if hotels treated guests like hosts? What if hotels checked into guests’ lives instead of guests checking into hotels?”

Lippincott’s Rick Wise on Applying Behavioral Science to Experience Design

“Who doesn’t want a surprise? Brands who go the extra step to put that smile on a traveler’s face are the ones getting ahead.”

The most retweeted tweets from the event:

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We also took all the tweets tagged with #skiftforum from the 2-day event and parsed them for a sense of what was talked about most. Feel free to share!

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