Skift Take

Planners are figuring out ways to lessen the impact of commission cuts, while many hoteliers in competitive markets have explored other ways to incentivize planners to book at their property. Creativity is necessary for planners to avoid a major financial hit with the industry now stacked against them.

The drama between meeting planners and North American hotel chains continues.

This week Skift contributor Robin Amster asked meeting planners about their challenges so far this year, and the threat of the commission cuts came out on top. The cuts have been exacerbated by tight supply for meeting spaces, heightening the leverage of hotels even more.

We also have the latest on a hotel chain experimenting with wearable technology and notable tweaks to Hyatt’s loyalty program.

Check out these stories, and more on the future of events, below.

If you have any feedback about the newsletter or news tips, feel free to reach out to me via email at [email protected] or tweet me @sheivach.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Business Travel Editor

The Future of Events and Meetings

Meeting Planners Face Challenges Amid Commission Cuts in Sellers’ Market: The third-party commission cuts by a growing number of hotel companies are planners’ biggest challenge in 2018. That’s followed by the current sellers’ market but, somehow, the cuts feel personal.

Meliá Tests Oracle’s Wearable Tech at Its Resorts and Nearby Merchants: Meliá has followed the path of Disney and Carnival to introduce wearable tech. But it has taken the concept further, enabling nearby merchants like Starbucks to also accept payments made by guests via its new smart wristbands.

How Luxury Operators Dial Into Top-Producing Agents: It’s an old business axiom that 20 percent of customers are responsible for 80 percent of one’s business. Top travel companies are recognizing this is certainly the case in the world of luxury travel agents. That’s why more and more of them are starting to create novel programs for their best sellers.

Around the Industry

Hyatt Expands Loyalty Program to New Luxury Hotel Partners: Hyatt just extended its loyalty program to reach a whole new market of luxury properties around the world. Boutique enthusiasts will be thrilled with both Hyatt and its reach.

New Orleans Still Seeing Boost to Women’s Group Travel From Girls Trip Film: Many women who saw Girls Trip were inspired by seeing representation of the black travel movement on the big screen. Combine that with the buzz of the longstanding Essence Festival and women’s group travel to New Orleans is up.

Airbnb Is Quietly Borrowing Ideas From the Hotel Industry to Build Up Its Inventory: A classic case of the innovator’s dilemma.


Skift Business Travel Editor Andrew Sheivachman [[email protected]] curates the Skift Meetings Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Wednesday.

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Tags: meetings, meetingsiq

Photo credit: A meeting during a Switzerland Tourism industry event in Gstaadt. Switzerland Tourism / Flickr

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