Needing a vacation after getting back from vacation is actually pretty common. Feeling travel fatigue is so common, in fact, that a study published by Wyndham Vacation Rentals found it impacts roughly 45 percent of travelers. 

Many folks are opting to make their vacations truly restful — which has led to a surge in wellness tourism. In 2020, travelers who were seeking an international wellness-focused trip spent an average of $1,601, which was 35 percent higher than the average international tourist. 

Noting a rise in wellness tourism is exactly the kind of thing that might be important to a marketer who works in the travel industry — maybe for a hotel, an airline or a travel group — and it’s the kind of trend that Sojern knows is important for its clients. 

Sojern is a travel marketing platform that gives insights into global travel trends. Sojern, in the case of wellness tourism, would offer data-driven insights to a marketer hoping to identify preferences for travelers seeking wellness activities and accommodations. The more data that someone in the hospitality industry can have allows them to create the right experience for their guests. 

The Sojern travel marketing platform is about to become even more expansive with the recent acquisition of  VenueLytics, a guest experience and analytics platform. 

“The acquisition of VenueLytics Guest Experience Solutions expands our capabilities to engage across the entire journey, from traveler to guest to loyal advocate,” said Director of Product Marketing Julia Hugg. “Now we can help marketing, revenue management, operations and front-desk teams beyond the booking.”

 

Three phone screens showing Sojern’s multichannel offerings.
Sojern

 

The Power of Data

One of the ongoing challenges in the travel industry is massive amounts of data is often siloed off from one another. 

“Hotels sit on massive amounts of first-party data, but the majority of them are not effectively leveraging it today because either it lives in disconnected systems, it’s difficult to integrate into business operations or it’s not always privacy compliant,” said Hugg. “We recognized there was a big opportunity to help hotels activate their first-party data in the same way we’ve activated second- and third-party data.”

 

“Hotels sit on massive amounts of first-party data, but the majority of them are not effectively leveraging it today.” 

 

Through the Sojern platform, Hugg and other teammates have helped travel marketers make their advertising more efficient and effective by providing insight into real-time travel intent. With the acquisition of VenueLytics, the platform insights now include transactional and behavioral data across the traveler journey. 

“Now traveler and guest data seamlessly flows across and is connected through a unified customer profile, and the system learns through each interaction how to optimize for guest preference and engagement,” added Hugg. 
 

Inside view of Sojern’s Omaha, Nebraska, office kitchen and eating area.
Sojern

 

The Power of AI 

Combining the massive amount of data that hotels have access to with a system that learns and optimizes based on each traveler's interaction — it all bodes well for how AI can help improve the platform down the road. 

Sojern hopes to lead the industry in using AI in a way that meets the needs of people without overlooking those who work in the hospitality industry. 

“AI is driving the next big wave of technological innovation and business model upheaval, but there are still so many unknowns and therefore anxieties around how humans and this technology will interact and intersect,” noted Hugg. “Hospitality, more so than other industries, is service-driven and labor dependent, where on-site staff are critical to providing engaging experiences that meet customer expectations and drive business growth and profitability.” 

 

“AI is driving the next big wave of innovation, but there are still so many unknowns and anxieties around how humans and this technology will interact and intersect.”

 

“Professionally, I’m excited about the opportunity to be one of our leaders thinking about how we innovate and experiment with combining digital transformation and AI with a focus on people and technology working in harmony,” said Hugg. “I’m passionate about creating better digital and data-driven experiences that are engaging, delightful and useful for consumers, employees and businesses alike.” 

“By leveraging the power of AI and data, hotels can enhance guest satisfaction, streamline their operations and more effectively navigate the staffing challenges in the hospitality industry,” said Senior Manager of Client Success Namrata Gupta

 

Inside view of Sojern’s Omaha, Nebraska, office kitchen and eating area.
Sojern

 

Better Together 

The addition of VenueLytics will allow Sojern to optimize the entire guest experience, even before someone arrives. The two tools together will integrate data, marketing tools and guest insights to build lasting guest relationships.  

“The acquisition of VenueLytics will provide a comprehensive guest experience and marketing platform that connects with travelers at every stage of their journey, from planning to post-trip,” Gupta said. “This will ensure our customers see continuous engagement, elevated guest experiences and experience better satisfaction — which, in return, will significantly boost hotel profitability.” 
 

“The acquisition of VenueLytics will provide a comprehensive guest experience and marketing platform that connects with travelers at every stage of their journey, from planning to post-trip.”

 

Gupta noted that the acquisition gives the Sojern platform a 360-degree guest view, driven by data and analytics, allowing customers to provide hyper-personalized and guest-focused experiences.

“Through our combined product offerings, we aim to reach a wider customer base,” said Gupta. “Utilizing client relationship management marketing enables us to tackle customer pain points, like low occupancy rates, and facilitates the drive for direct bookings by streamlining expenses.”

“Expanding into guest experience solutions opens up the opportunity for internal employees to expand their knowledge and scope beyond the ad platform space,” said Director of Product Management Taylor Riesselman

Sojern has carved out a space for itself in the travel industry as the direct demand driver for hotels, providing comprehensive digital marketing solutions that help travel marketers find new travelers, reactivate prior guests to drive loyalty and increase their share of direct bookings. 

Hugg noted that prior to the acquisition, Sojern’s solutions mostly centered around driving travelers to the hotel’s website to convert. 

“Our new solutions help hoteliers to improve the guest experience and their bottom lines,” concluded Hugg. “We help them maximize profit by freeing up precious staff bandwidth to focus on higher-value tasks — driving incremental revenue through ancillary services, up-sell opportunities and protecting their brand reputation.”
 

Read More‘Be Genuine’: Sojern’s Authentic Approach to Its People-First Culture

 

 

Great Companies Need Great People. That's Where We Come In.

Recruit With Us