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Nick Slavin The Power of Data in the Travel Industry

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Nick Slavin, President and Co-Founder of Curacity, on the Power of Data in the Travel Industry

Data is a powerful asset for companies looking to identify which content and marketing strategies are truly paying off. Today, we are speaking with Nick Slavin, President and Co-Founder of Curacity, a travel data analytics company, about how the right data and influence can transform a hotel’s business. Read on to learn more about current trends and trouble spots in the travel industry, and an impressive case study on Malibu Beach Inn.

Today, we are speaking with Nick Slavin, the President and Co-Founder of Curacity. He was born and raised in New York and has always been fascinated with hotels, leading to his career within the travel industry. 

Nick Slavin, President and Co-Founder of Curacity, on the Power of Data in the Travel Industry

What is Curacity?

Curacity is a data analytics company focusing on the travel sector, specifically helping hotels transform the point of inspiration into a scalable revenue strategy. 

Nick explains, “We help hotels harness the power of creators to drive revenue. We’re the best platform out there right now for hotels to manage and monetize content from great creators. In the process, we get creators the best hotel rooms for a fraction of the price that they would pay on the open market.”

Nick Slavin and Mike Keriakos, the CEO and Co-Founder of Curacity, noticed a gap in the market back in 2015. 

“We originally launched out the back in 2015 to bridge the gap between hotels and the content created by publishers writing about those hotels. This is a real content-to-commerce play for the hotel industry. A lot of companies have tried and had trouble doing it because it’s really challenging to connect the dots between amazing content and the financial transactions that can result from the content.”

They saw a huge opportunity to help hotels scale their business through excellent publishers, especially with data analysis. 

At the time, the technology needed to analyze financial transactions resulting from content didn’t exist. So, Curacity’s team built the technology.

Nick explains, “Traditional monetization and attribution tools like cookies or affiliate marketing really don’t work well for luxury hotels, so we had to design something a little bit different.” 

Curacity’s technology measures the point of influence in the customer decision-making process, allowing hotels to pinpoint what is truly driving hotel bookings. 

Nick Slavin, President and Co-Founder of Curacity, on the Power of Data in the Travel Industry

Working with Influencers

Curacity works directly with hotels, influencers, and publishers. When working with influencers, the Curacity team starts by authenticating influencers who apply to their program. Approved influencers are then offered bookings in four and five-star hotels. 

After the influencer posts about the hotel stay, Curacity’s exclusive technology measures bookings made by the influencer’s followers for months after to demonstrate how effective the influencers’ impact and ROI are for the hotel. 

“We do all of this by powering our system with the unsold room nights from our hotel partners. The creators trade content for a hotel room that was going to go to waste, and the hotel gets all of the great content created by that creator and, importantly, all the booking that results from a creator doing what they do best.”

Nick adds that when he uses the term ‘creator,’ he is referring to TV, magazine, social media creators, and much more. 

During the application process, creators must pass a multi-step vetting process to apply to Curacity’s program. 

“We look at things that go far beneath the surface more than just engagement rates, more than just number of followers, but really we use our analytics to determine whether we believe a content creator has built an audience that is predisposed to book rooms at our hotel partners.”

Nick Slavin, President and Co-Founder of Curacity, on the Power of Data in the Travel Industry

Malibu Beach Inn Case Study

Curacity has many success stories. Today, we’re sharing an example of the value Malibu Beach Inn reaped from working with Curacity. 

In 2018, Malibu Beach Inn began working with Curacity. This relationship has led to 186 creator campaigns through Curacity, creating more than $2.1 million in incremental revenue. In addition, Curacity has captured 1.1 million impressions and 1,668 incremental bookings due to Curacity influencers posting about Malibu Beach Inn. 

Curacity’s data also found that these guests spent 37% more on hotel rooms and 16% more on food and beverages on-site than guests who booked through other travel platforms. 

Trends in the Travel Industry

A recurring problem hotels have when paying for content creation is being unable to collect enough data to identify what content is paying off. 

Nick shares, “We are finally enabling hotels to work with content in a way that makes them comfortable, in a way that provides them clear ROI. That’s comfort for the hotelier – the money that I’m investing in getting content created actually leading to revenue for my property.”

He notes that many hotels and high-end verticals in the marketing world feel like they’re throwing spaghetti against a wall to see what sticks. However, Curacity provides a solution to this with their exclusive technology and analytics. 

“One of the big trends that I see in the hotel world is particularly as it relates to content and marketing, is fewer and fewer investments are being made in these channels unless there is very clear ROI ascribed to every single dollar that’s being utilized. This kind of “spray and pray” approach is going extinct.”

Another problem within the hotel business that Nick has seen for decades is unsold inventory. 

“Most hotels, particularly at the luxury end of the spectrum, operate around 75% occupancy, which means that 25% of their rooms are going unsold on average annually. That’s massive.”

He adds that finding a way to utilize and monetize those unsold rooms by driving content creation and revenue is a great solution to this. 

“Very few hotels [currently] work with creators in a scaled fashion, working with 20, 30, 40, 50 influencers on a monthly basis. That’s what we are looking to help them do… And we’re looking to put those creators under one unified data architecture to make it really easy for hotels to work with them.”

Nick Slavin, President and Co-Founder of Curacity, on the Power of Data in the Travel Industry

The Creator Marketplace

In the next few years, Nick shares that he wants to see great creators with real influence be highlighted in the creator marketplace. 

“We’re helping to separate signal from noise in this industry which only seems to get noisier by the day. We want great influencers to get credit for their amazing content and their receptive audiences, so what I hope to see with the creator economy is more companies popping up that really help great creators become even greater.”

Another thing he wants to see in the future is creators not having to worry about pitching or pleading with hotels to get stays. 

“We want to make it simpler for influencers and hoteliers to work together. I think a lot of the tech we have built over the last five years is only going to further enable that.”

Future Plans

Curacity has many upcoming plans, including making significant investments in their sales team and technology. 
In closing, Nick shares, “We want to get more hotels onto this platform [and] we want to provide more hotel inventory for our creators to utilize. We are making significant investments in our product and engineering teams, who have worked tirelessly to continuously make this product as good as it can be.”

Amy DeYoung is a freelance blog post writer covering influencer marketing and business topics. As the daughter of two business owners, she's been fascinated by all things business from a young age, which led her to graduate from college with a bachelor's degree in business. When she's not typing away, she spends her time reading nonfiction books and mystery novels, baking scrumptious desserts, and playing with her dog.

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