Wednesday 28 September 2011

Amazon announces new tablet - Kindle Fire

I've just been following the latest updates from Mashable live from the Amazon Tablet event.  Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos just announced the launch of the Amazon Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire. The Kindle Touch is an e-reader with touch capabilities available for just $99 or $149 with 3G.  The Kindle Fire tablet seeks to be a rival to the iPad and is available for $199 (in the US only) .

This new affordable tablet is set to be popular especially given the huge distribution power of Amazon.  The tablet will run a modified version of the Google android operating system.

EyeforTravel have been following the rise of the tablet of recent months.  No longer a passing fad, tablets are revolutionising the way consumer engage with brands online.  The tablet platform allows for a far more inspiring, fun and engaging platform - which provides a fantastic opportunity for travel brands.

Adam Goldstein, CEO, Hipmunk will be sharing key insights into their tablet (iPad) app design at EyeforTravel's upcoming Online Marketing & Social Media in Travel Summit, Amsterdam, 10-11 October.

I'm also very excited about the coverage regarding tablets that we have lined up for EyeforTravel's new Mobile Strategies for Travel show in San Francisco, February 27-28!

Stay tuned for more updates.

By Gina Baillie

Friday 23 September 2011

Congratulations to Hotel Tonight - winner of EFT's Innovation Awards

I've just returned from a fun filled trip to Vegas for EyeforTravel's Travel Distribution Summit, N. America.  With nearly 600 attendees, all keen to meet, network and discuss the latest trends in online travel it was a great 2 days!

As part of the event, we hosted the EyeforTravel Innovation Awards during which 6 companies battled it out to win the award for the most innovative travel product.

The nominees were -

Roger Wong, Director of Product & Marketing, Room 77
Brian Harniman, President, and former VP Marketing, Kayak
Chris Patridge, Chief Backbid Hotelier,
Travis Katz, CEO,
Adam Goldstein, CEO, Hipmunk
Sam Shank, CEO,

The nominees all shared the same passion that is common among travel entrepreneurs - the willingness to make the travel research and booking experience less complex and more fun.

There were some fascinating presentations by all those involved.  Hipmunk's innovative approach to turning travel search completely on its head to include practical, neat features certainly turned some heads but it Hotel Tonight who outshone the competition to take the award.

HotelTonight was founded in December 2010 to provide easy mobile booking of same-day distressed hotel inventory.  The app offers customers the chance to save up to 70% on the cost of a hotel room through booking last minute via the Hotel Tonight app.  For hotels, the platform offers a great way to fill hotel rooms that wouldn't normally have been sold.

Their CEO & Co-Founder, Sam Shank, previously CEO of and prior to that CEO,, was at the show to collect the award (photos to follow shortly).

EyeforTravel will be sharing more information about the award winners Hotel Tonight and their latest projects shortly.  In the meantime, congratulations to the Hotel Tonight team!

Thursday 15 September 2011

Infographic: How are travel brands using Social Media to achieve ROI?

As Social Media becomes a higher priority for travel brands, and as more and more evidence to support it’s effectiveness and influence comes to light, questions about the elusive ROI on social media efforts is often bought up.

Earlier this year, we set out to ask these questions and collect hard data from the leading travel brands who had launched social media efforts as part of the research for our Social Media and Mobile research report. The result was a very interesting compilation of case studies and first-hand account of how marketers were looking to creatively leverage social media in their overall, integrated marketing effort.

Perhaps not surprisingly then, in a recent survey carried out, 61% of the respondents said that they were looking to increase their social media spend in the near future.

Using this data, and along with recent research by Simpliflying, we’ve put together an interesting infographic that underlines the trends in the travel industry, specifically in the airline industry.

In case you missed it, we also released an interestingr infographic about the key trends in Mobile in Travel in August.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Are Travel Players Investing Enough in Mobile?

Research shows the smaller travel companies are not experimenting enough with mobile and video content.   I am not quite sure how (having read the business news) but there seems to a real sense of bravado and hope in the travel industry right now.  Maybe it’s just that the team in EyeforTravel is so stretched with all our Autumn shows in Amsterdam, London, Las Vegas Mumbai and Prague. They are booking far better than in 2010 and it suggests the industry is investing in new products, new trends and fighting to grow.

Along with all our Conferences we are surveying the industry right now to update our Travel Distribution and marketing Barometer report. This Spring we identified that it was only the biggest travel companies (those with a marketing budget of over US$10 million) that were really investing in the mobile and video content. 

The trend showed that those investing in social media and mobile increases in line with larger marketing budgets.  Yet it was not an entirely neat trend.  30% of the largest companies, don’t have a mobile website yet these larger companies also registered the highest growth from mobile web traffic.

It will be fascinating to see if this trend continues. With mobile browsing growing so fast,  it will be a very important medium through which to engage customers.  The question is - can the smaller travel players afford it?

By Tim Gunstone

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Don’t miss your chance to vote for your favourite social media airline, airport and hotel campaign!

EyeforTravel has partnered with SimpliFlying to host this year’s awards in Social Media excellence at EyeforTravel’s Online Marketing & Social Media in Travel Summit, 10th October, Amsterdam.

I for one am very excited about this as it’s the first step on a long road to acknowledging the excellent job many individuals are doing when it comes to innovating in the travel social media space. 

Social media is most certainly a space fraught with difficulties.  From internal issues such as gaining management buy-in to the fact that social media opens up a whole host of issues to overcome such as managing consumer backlashes, fake reviews, and a potential lack of control over what is said about your brand. 

Social media does however also offers very exciting opportunities for travel brands to excel in areas brand awareness, customer service and customer engagement and we think those who have achieved this deserve to be recognised!

We do however acknowledge that there are many brands in the travel industry which are demonstrating excellence in social media who may not have been fortunate to be nominated by our poll this year.  Don’t panic - there’s always next year!   Feel free to email me your suggestions –

For details on the nominees and to vote, please visit this link.

The final 3 nominees in each category will present their case studies at EyeforTravel’s Online Marketing & Social Media in Travel Summit in Amsterdam.  The awards will be presented 10th October.