What does WTM Latin America hold for the independent hotels?

WTM Latin America, 2015

Trade shows provide a platform for hoteliers to participate in face-to-face marketing events, generate leads, sales, create business opportunities and advertise their product and services. And, what best than WTM Latin America that is taking place next week?

There will be multiple sessions held during the three day event but as a company that caters to the independent hotels, Hotelogix picks these exclusive sessions that will benefit you:

1. Hotel industry trends and best practices for 2015: It becomes important for independent hotels to attend this session for keeping up with the changing industry trends and learning the best practices that will help in boosting their business.

WTTC’s annual economic impact assessment predicts that travel and tourism will grow by 3.7 percent worldwide this year against a global economic growth forecast of 2.9 percent. (Source: Travel Weekly).  We expect this session to cover the elements leading to this growth and suggestions for hoteliers to keep up.

The seminar will also highlight the latest trends like mobile technology in hospitality. We have earlier written about mobile marketing for independent hotels and how Millennials are the primary consumers of this medium. Millennials are also more likely to stay at your independent hotel rather than a 5-star, which makes it crucial for you to be a part of this session.

We recommend that you do not miss this session as Mariano Porcel de Saint Georges from TravelClick who comes with rich experience in the hotel industry will address it. Especially, since he is known for offering advice on optimizing online distribution channels.

2. Maximize presence on TripAdvisor: Forbes predicts that TripAdvisor’s travel community revenue growth will mount up to 1.3 billion until 2016. As the playing field levels between the brands and the small independent hotels, it becomes important than ever for your hotel to be present on the world’s largest travel portal that attracts 315 million unique monthly users.

With TripConnect’s cost-per-click as well as Instant Booking models being hugely accepted by hotels of all sizes in the last years, it will be interesting to know what’s in store in the future. As an independent hotelier, this session might just give you a direction to budget for direct bookings in the coming times.

The session is conducted by none other than Marco Jorge, TripAdvisor’s territory manager for Latin America who will elaborate on how hotels can make the most of their offerings.

3. Online reputation management: As per a recent report by Medallia, hotel properties that actively engage with social media reviews grow occupancy at double the rate of properties that don’t.

There is no doubt about the impact of reviews in influencing a traveler’s decision making. As an independent hotelier, you have a better opportunity to personalize the guest experience and earn repeat guests. You can compete with the biggies using online reputation management skills effectively.

Jonathan Burling who is associated with Revinate, a company that develops technology to improve guest experience will address this session and you could look forward to taking back some fresh ideas.

(Also watch: Role of web marketing & reputation management for hospitality)

4. 10 creative ways social media is being used in the travel industry: The new wave of internet marketing is social media. For independent hoteliers, social media is a powerful platform as it is free and doesn’t require many resources to maintain the accounts. Since eighty percent of Generation Y logs on to social media every single day, it becomes important for your small independent hotel to catch them where they are present… and grab their attention in a creative manner. This session conducted by Nikolaj Astrup Madsen will highlight 10 different creative ways social media is being used by different companies in the travel industry. You can expect actionable ideas at this session, making it a must-attend.

(Also read our latest e-book: 9 social media best practices for independent hotels)

The three day event commences on April 22 and goes on till 24 at the Expo Center Norte in Sao Paulo. We would love to know your experience of attending these recommended sessions.

Happy networking!