Seven trending hotel news stories that will impact your hotel Revenue Strategy.
1. Leaders Call For More Tech, Data Advancement
How can hoteliers avoid being disrupted by using the available guest data and technology for good — to drive traveler satisfaction and also increase hotel profitability? That question was at the heart of a conversation among hotel technology experts on a panel at the NYU Investment Conference called “Technology, Data and Travel Disruptors.”
“I think the sooner broadly hotels can really start to accept the data, we’re going to see much more efficient bookings, which hopefully, they can redistribute that money into new technologies,” said TJ Person, CEO of OpenKey.
Larry Kutscher, CEO of TravelClick, said he wishes PMS vendors had universal connectivity, “to make it easy for data flow and bookings to flow between everybody.”“The sooner #hotels can really start to accept the #data more broadly, we’re going to see much more efficient bookings” - TJ Person, OpenKey Click To Tweet
2. NYU: Sorenson Says Hotels Are ‘At War’ With Online Disruptors
According to an article in Hotel Business, leaders at NYU said they don’t expect the cost impact of disruption in the online distribution space to go away anytime soon.
Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson said the hospitality industry is in a “long-term war” over who owns the customer. Hospitality companies are no longer just competing against each other; they’re now in battle with technology companies like Google and Amazon that are taking customers away from hotels by capturing and owning user profiles, he said.
3. NYU: Leaders Attempt to Sort Tech Friends and Foes
Knowing guests in the most basic form—interacting with them on a day-to-day basis—is something that third-party “disruptors” can’t come close to understanding the way a hotelier can, according to a report in HNN.
Best Western CEO David Kong said he recently read a list of the top 50 disruptors of 2017 and was embarrassed he didn’t recognize a handful of the companies named. That reinforced his realization, he said, that welcoming change must be a top priority for the industry.
“We can’t be status quo; we have to welcome change and adopt a new way of thinking of things,” Kong said. “I say to my team, ‘How can we think like disruptors?’ We have to act on it and give ourselves motivation. When you’re in a startup company, you have so much enthusiasm and excitement because the sky’s the limit, but you also know it’s do or die, so there’s a sense of urgency. That’s important.”
4. Hotels are Rethinking Their Tech Stacks
There’s a growing desire to evolve away from costly legacy hotel technology systems to new solutions, according to a recent Skift report, because older systems are often expensive to maintain, difficult to upgrade, and put hotels at an information disadvantage, keeping insights locked inside siloed databases unavailable to different groups.
The result of this overhaul will be broader access to data across all departments, greater control over revenue management, and greater ability to drive direct bookings and control their own destiny through an integrated hotel Revenue Strategy.
5. Starkov: Hoteliers Have Better Things to Worry About Than Blockchain
While many hoteliers are getting overly excited by blockchain and its perceived “magic wand” ability to solve industry deficiencies, there are more important things to worry about, says HeBS Founder Max Starkov.
Starkov writes on the HeBS bog that “before we all jump on the blockchain bandwagon,” the industry needs to deal first with the fundamentals in distribution, including optimizing the direct channel, fixing an outdated property website, improving SEO, launching multichannel campaigns, and better engaging and retaining customers.
6. Will Expedia, Booking Open Their Own Collection of Hotels?
Hotel Management brings up the annual question: Will Expedia or Booking open their own collection or brand of hotels?
The OTAs are getting less commissions these days and hoteliers are getting very savvy with their own digital marketing, so if you’re wondering how Expedia and Booking are going to continue on their growth trajectory, it’s a relevant question.
In addition, there are already so many hotel brands out there that one doesn’t matter much more than the other — and the name Expedia holds a lot more weight than many of them.
7. Live Rates Make Multi-Channel Distribution Strategies Work
Exciting new ad technology from Facebook and TripAdvisor are going to be huge elements of the new customer journey in hotel bookings. However, if your tech stack can’t serve live rates to these new platforms and change them in real time, it can’t drive direct business.
For example, if consumers click a retargeting ad or a promoted Facebook post advertising a low rate and then get redirected to a hotel’s booking engine and see a different rate, they’ll abandon the booking process nearly every time. It’s an easy way for a hotel to lose trust with its potential guests. That property might not ever win those guests back to its direct channels.
Stay up on hotel Revenue Strategy news and discuss industry tech trends in the Hotel Revenue Strategy Leaders Group on LinkedIn.
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