FEATURES AND ADVICE

Klarna acquires Inspirock, bringing smooth travel planning to its 90M global consumers

Klarna & Inspirock | October 25, 2021

Klarna, a leading global retail bank, payments and shopping service, is bringing its signature smoooth experience to the travel sector with the acquisition of Inspirock, an online trip planner that enables consumers to quickly and easily explore a destination's offerings and create personalized itineraries utilizing local expertise and artificial intelligence.

Over 25 million travelers a year use Inspirock to plan trips tailored to their interests or find inspiration on where to go and what to see. Klarna will integrate Inspirock's capabilities to allow Klarna's 90M users to plan and shop for a trip and pay for it in installments - all through the Klarna app. In addition, Klarna aims to save its customers hours of planning for the typical vacation by using Inspirock's technology.

By bringing Inspirock to Klarna, we are bringing the best of Klarna's smoooth customer experience to the travel sector. For customers, this makes the whole journey from inspiration to planning and preparing for a trip simpler, less stressful and more fun, while enabling our retail partners to better reach and engage with their audiences by offering more personalized content. It's a natural extension of the benefits Klarna brings to payments and shopping.

-Klarna CEO and Co-Founder, Sebastian Siemiatkowski

Inspirock's technology also enables Klarna to offer additional advertising and marketing opportunities to its growing network of over 250,000+ retail partners, helping them to reach high-intent shoppers with more curated and personalized content catered to their travel plans and preferences.

 "We are excited to bring simpler, easier trip planning to Klarna's 90m global consumers. Our goal at Inspirock has been to make planning a trip fast, fun and easy. Together we can deliver on Klarna's ambitions of providing a smooth shopping experience to the travel space in an innovative way. Klarna and Inspirock together can bring great inspiration, tools and shopping experiences, making planning the trip as fun as the actual trip itself."

-Anoop Goyal, CEO and Co-Founder of Inspirock

Klarna's marketing solutions include Comparison Shopping, an AI-driven styling engine, a virtual shopping platform, and an influencer marketing and measurement platform. Together, these services will help consumers make informed decisions about purchasing the products they want from the retailers they love at the best price. 

Travel is a huge global e-commerce market with strong predicted growth. 66% of global travel bookings are made online and this is expected to grow to 72% by 2025, creating a market worth a projected $833bn1. As Covid restrictions ease in many regions and travel plans are back in the calendar, Klarna research has shown that 21% of people put travel at the top of their list of categories they are going to splurge on in 20212.

About Klarna
We make shopping smooth. With Klarna consumers can buy now and pay later, so they can get what they love today. Klarna's offering to consumers and retailers include payments, social shopping, and personal finances. Over 250,000 retail partners, including H&M, IKEA, Expedia Group, Samsung, ASOS, Peloton, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike and AliExpress have enabled Klarna's innovative shopping experience online and in-store. Klarna is one of the most highly valued private fintechs globally with a valuation of $45.6 billion. Klarna was founded in 2005, has over 4,000 employees and is active in 17 countries. For more information, visit klarna.com.

Spotlight

Global inbound arrivals are expected to grow by 5% to 1.4 billion trips in 2018. On the back of an upgraded economic outlook for major economies such as the US, Japan and the Eurozone, inbound receipts are expected to see an even stronger rise of 11%. Domestic trips are booming in Asia Pacific, where trips are expected to grow by 10% in 2018. Average spend per trip is increasing, again driven by Asia Pacific. Global expenditure is expected to rise by 9%

Spotlight

Global inbound arrivals are expected to grow by 5% to 1.4 billion trips in 2018. On the back of an upgraded economic outlook for major economies such as the US, Japan and the Eurozone, inbound receipts are expected to see an even stronger rise of 11%. Domestic trips are booming in Asia Pacific, where trips are expected to grow by 10% in 2018. Average spend per trip is increasing, again driven by Asia Pacific. Global expenditure is expected to rise by 9%

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

Two New Pebblebrook Hotels Onboard with Optii Solutions

Optii Solutions | June 13, 2022

On June 8, Optii Solutions, a market leader in hotel operations software, announced the onboarding of two hotels in the Pebblebrook Hotel Trust; Hotel Chamberlain West Hollywood and Hotel Ziggy, in their hotel operations solution. Optii will help them maximize their housekeeping efficiencies and comply with the new West Hollywood Ordinance that governs workers’ rights. Optii has a contract with another Pebblebrook group hotel- Montrose West Hollywood. It has successfully helped Montrose streamline its operations with limited staff and adapt to the Ordinance. Springboard Hospitality manages all the three hotels that are members of the Curator Hotels & Resorts Collection. The West Hollywood Ordinance came into force on January 1 and imposed limits on square footage cleaned and the number of checkouts completed by each room attendant during an eight-hour workday. If these limits exceed, the hoteliers must pay their staff twice their pay for every hour worked. This doubles housekeeping costs for hotels that do not comply with these restrictions. Optii’s housekeeping platform uses AI to allocate rooms to room attendants based on square footage efficiently. It also set limits for each attendant so that no team member exceeds the Ordinance guidelines. Optii’s platform also offers reporting on both the square footage and number of rooms that an attendant cleans to ensure compliance. A breakdown of departure cleans for each workday, as well as archived boards and data for customer life, is also provided. “Housekeeping departments represent the largest cost for hoteliers and failure to comply with the West Hollywood Ordinance can mean that these costs skyrocket. We are pleased to be expanding our relationship with Pebblebrook Hotel Trust and helping this group of hotels comply simply and easily.” -Katherine Grass, CEO, Optii Solutions Andrew Maffei, Area General Manager, Chamberlain or Hotel Ziggy, said: Our staff are our most important asset and making best use of their time is one of our top priorities. We are excited to be implementing Optii’s technology to ensure our housekeeping team is working efficiently and that we are always fully compliant with the new Ordinance requirements.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Bodhi Hotel Room Configurations Dramatically Improve the Guest Experience While Saving Energy and Preventing Loss

Bodhi | July 21, 2022

Software Development LLC has announced three new configurations for the Bodhi intelligent building management platform: a Smart, Premium, and Luxury Hotel Room. “Bodhi is all about the guest experience, Guests can use their phones to unlock the room door, turn on the lights, control the TV and request linens or their car, all of which they love, because it saves them time and headaches,” -Greg Michelier, partner at Software Development. Bodhi saves management time and money as well, including at least 35% of guestroom energy costs and the prevention or mitigation of leak, flood, and mold damage, which are the largest source of insurance claims for commercial property. Now management can offer the guest better facilities and better service for a lower cost. It’s a win-win-win. The Bodhi Smart Hotel Room is a perfect, low-cost solution with climate and lighting control, energy savings, keyless room entry, leak and mold protection, and advanced control and amenities via the browser-based Bodhi Guest App. The Bodhi Premium Hotel Room combines the power of Crestron and Bodhi technology to add Amazon Alexa control and Crestron lighting, shading and climate systems to the Bodhi Guest App and Bodhi protection and savings. The Bodhi Luxury Hotel Room adds a Crestron touch panel and Alexa for super-simple control of lighting, shading, climate and entertainment systems, together with Bodhi protection, savings and the Bodhi Guest App. With Bodhi, the entire property will work better, more safely and efficiently, giving guests, management and staff a better experience. About Bodhi Bodhi is a cloud-based platform that controls, schedules and manages virtually all of the technology installed in hotels, resorts, offices, homes, and multi dwelling unit residential developments (MDUs). It simplifies and enhances Crestron, Lutron and other control systems, or may be used on its own.Contact Bodhi today at info@bodhi.software.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL,HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Hilton Introduces First Global Brand Platform “Hilton. For the Stay” Putting the Hotels Back into Hotel Marketing

Hilton | July 27, 2022

Hilton is shaking up hotel marketing and advertising with the announcement of its first global brand platform that identifies what has been missing from hotel marketing – the hotel stay.“Hilton. For the Stay” places the hotel front and center, elevating the role and importance of the stay at a time when lodging advertising is a sea of sameness, featuring overused destinations, cliché walks on the beach and generic descriptions of travel. Hilton is debuting “It Matters Where You Stay,” a new advertising campaign to introduce the platform, using humor to push against some of the common but unspoken pitfalls of travel, boldly poking fun at what can go wrong when booking or on a trip. The campaign also features the multi-faceted businesswoman and philanthropist Paris Hilton, who grew up living in and staying in numerous Hilton hotels across the world, which gave her a unique exposure to the hotel business early on. Her role in the campaign is inspired in part by the legacy of her family, whose belief in the power of travel and the hotel stay to connect people and cultures continues to motivate Hilton Team Members around the world today. In addition to Paris, renowned actor Catherine O’Hara lends her voice to the campaign, with TV commercials first airing in the U.S. on July 25 and audio rolling out shortly thereafter. “Today, as we make company history with Hilton’s first brand platform, we’re reminding guests that at the heart of a great trip is a great stay and that it’s just different when that stay is with Hilton, As we enter this next era of travel, it has never been more important to consider where you stay – and Hilton is uniquely committed to making sure your stay is everything you need it to be.” -Mark Weinstein, Chief Marketing Officer, Hilton. Hilton and TBWA\Chiat\Day New York, Hilton’s agency since 2017, used TBWA’s Disruption methodology to architect the bold new vision, born from the insight the hospitality industry has become almost entirely focused on the destination, not the stay itself. Consumer research uncovered “the Stay,” and being cared for, are the crucial elements that can make or break any trip. So, Hilton is doubling down on its new brand platform to prove to its guests that truly, “it matters where you stay.” The platform will permeate nearly every consumer touchpoint, from broad-reaching consumer advertising through the travel planning process and the guests’ stay with Hilton, as well as post-stay. With ‘Hilton. For the Stay,’ we are more fully connecting our external customer marketing to our purpose – staking our rightful claim that Hilton owns the Stay,” said Weinstein. “The idea of the Stay was incredibly natural to Hilton, and yet no one else was talking about it. As others tout the generic virtues of travel, minimize the role of the hotel and the hotel team members, and romanticize the destination, through our platform and the campaign it inspires, we’re reminding travelers that ‘It Matters Where You Stay’ and boldly affirming ‘Hilton. For the Stay.’ “IT MATTERS WHERE YOU STAY” CAMPAIGN The advertising creative has a fun, relatable tone in which Hilton breaks from the formulaic approach seen across the industry, highlighting the benefits Hilton offers to make guests feel cared for – from amazing service and pet-friendly travel to the choices available in the Hilton Honors app to skip the front desk and personalize your stay, to Confirmed Connecting Rooms by Hilton and more. In one of the featured TV spots, “Haunted,” the brand pokes fun at what can go wrong when booking a vacation rental – depicting a family showing up to a hilariously creepy property that wasn’t exactly as advertised. “Confirmed Together” zeroes in on a unique Hilton feature that addresses a very real pain point of family travel, the importance of securing connected rooms at the time of booking. And in “Extra Storage,” Paris Hilton has an innovative solution for her extra luggage. The campaign includes television, audio, social media, print, out of home, spanning 13 commercials and bespoke social executions. It will launch first in the U.S. followed closely by the U.K. and select Asia-Pacific and Middle East markets. Hilton tapped a world-class creative team to bring this global campaign to life, including A-list commercial director Matt Aselton of Arts & Sciences. To extend the brand platform, Hilton will lean into social media, experiential and influencers. Across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, Hilton will engage in an already robust conversation around travel and trip disasters by helping travelers have a better stay – whether planning for a future trip or helping rescue a trip that has gone off the rails. Hilton has also partnered with familiar voices on social media to bring “Hilton. For the Stay” to life. “In developing the campaign, we were inspired by showing the realness of travel; the tensions, the hardships, the too-high expectations. It goes against convention in the hospitality category and it’s an exciting space for the brand to own,” -Amy Ferguson, Chief Creative Officer, TBWA\Chiat\Day New York. For more than 100 years, Hilton has been a pioneer in the hospitality industry, and that has never been more evident than the past two years. “Hilton. For the Stay” encompasses the brand’s world-class hospitality; from innovations such as Digital Key Share, Confirmed Connecting Rooms, early confirmation of upgraded rooms for Hilton Honors members and through thoughtful service, proving out that it matters where you stay. More information on “Hilton. For the Stay” and “It Matters Where You Stay” is available at Stories.Hilton.com/ForTheStay. To start planning for future stays and earn exclusive perks, visit Hilton.com and sign up for Hilton Honors – it’s free and easy to join. About Hilton Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 18 world-class brands comprising nearly 6,900 properties and nearly 1.1 million rooms, in 122 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, earned a top spot on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For list and been recognized as a global leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for five consecutive years. Hilton has introduced several industry-leading technology enhancements to improve the guest experience, including Digital Key Share, automated complimentary room upgrades and the ability to book confirmed connecting rooms. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the nearly 133 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can't buy. With the free Hilton Honors app, guests can book their stay, select their room, check in, unlock their door with a Digital Key and check out, all from their smartphone. Visit stories.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

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