Skift Take

Mr & Mrs Smith has carved out a unique space in the market, and its evolution over the last decade speaks to the radical changes in the ways we discover, book, and return to hotels.

The guidebook business isn’t much of a standalone one these days, as any publisher will tell you. It takes multiple revenue streams beyond the bookshelf: from licensing to coffee table books to direct bookings.

Mr & Mrs Smith co-founders Tamara Heber-Percy and James Lohan know this last part well. They turned their best-selling hotel guide into a booking site before the publishing side became unsustainable on its own. “Publishing was even tougher and harder than the travel agency business because the books were on a downward trajectory,” Lohan told the audience at Skift Forum Europe earlier this month.

The spark of the idea came not from a smart publisher, but from a hotelier who casually mentioned to Heber-Percy that “you’re 40% of my booking business.”

In their discussion with Skift Europe Editor Patrick Whyte they discuss the competitive marketplace, hotel loyalty, and what couples really want when they get away for the weekend.

You can watch the full discussion below.

Note: Initial planning is in full-swing for our flagship event Skift Global Forum, which will be held September 26-27 in New York City. We wanted to make sure our most loyal Skift readers were able to purchase their tickets early and were rewarded for doing so. That’s why we’ve re-opened up our previously sold out early bird discount for an additional 35 tickets. Attendees can now save $800 per ticket on the largest creative business conference in travel.

Read more coverage of Skift Forum Europe 2017.

At this year’s inaugural Skift Forum Europe in London, travel leaders from around the world gathered for a days of inspiration, information, and conversation on the future of travel.

Visit our Skift Global Forum site for more details about 2017 events, including our New York City event September 26-27.


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Tags: loyalty, mr. and mrs. smith, publishing, Skift Forum Europe - 2017

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