In the never-ending endeavor to stay competitive in an industry that’s drastically and constantly evolving, hoteliers are now faced with an ultimatum – either embrace technology, or continue to miss out on a growing number of bookings.
NB: This is a viewpoint by Aly Thompson, industry manager for UK and Ireland, trivago.
And the urgency for hoteliers to get on board with the digital revolution is only increasing as more travelers abandon offline booking methods for online channels.
trivago Business Intelligence data reveals that online bookings are going to overtake offline bookings in less than a decade.
And that’s not all that hoteliers should find troubling – as other major industry players start vying for bookings as well, the battle for the guest is going to intensify. Since this battle is waged at every stage of the customer journey – a journey that now primarily takes place online – hoteliers who do not adapt to evolving traveler behaviors will only lose more ground to competitors.
And traveler behaviors are indeed evolving – rapidly. A study conducted by Phocuswright indicates that an average of one out of every two online hotel bookers (travelers) is already using metasearch as the first step in finding their hotel .
This number is growing, proving that metasearch isn’t a trend; it’s a testament to a fundamental—and lasting—shift in the way travelers search for and select hotels. And this, for hoteliers not already online, is cause for alarm.
Equally alarming is the precarious state of direct bookings. As third-party booking sites continue to quickly adapt to the online booking journey while hoteliers fail to do so, the latter face losing control of their distribution mix. And that loss of control comes at a heavy price: greater dependency on distributors, more revenue sacrificed to commission costs.
So the hotelier’s choice is obvious: embrace technology. Get online and go digital. But the challenge of embracing technology couldn’t be more daunting.
Hoteliers face huge obstacles in adopting technology—here’s why
Parallel to the digitalization of the hotel industry is the development of technology solutions meant to equip hoteliers for it. But many of these so-called technology “solutions” are anything but. In fact, many only serve to make the hotelier’s fight to stay competitive in the digital age all the more difficult.
The hotel technology available on the market is largely inaccessible. It’s not affordable, and it’s not user-friendly. It’s too time-consuming to be efficient and too complex to be used effectively. Rather than empowering hoteliers, technology is for the most part failing them: direct marketing channels aren’t intuitive enough to enable hoteliers to attract travelers; booking engines aren’t competitive enough to convert lookers into bookers; property management systems aren’t tailored enough to work for small and medium-sized hotels.
In short, hoteliers have very few options when it comes to technology that is both viable and competitive. And identifying the right technology presents a whole other challenge.
For hoteliers, the future may appear bleak, but it doesn’t have to be.
trivago and Tnooz are teaming up to examine the technology obstacles hoteliers are up against and identify how they can be overcome.
Aly Thompson of trivago will present its findings in a free TLearn webinar on Thursday June 8: “Hoteliers Are Missing Out on Bookings by Not Embracing Technology — Here’s How”
The TLearn webinar will alert hoteliers to the threat that not adopting technology poses and support them in embracing the digitalization of the industry while capitalizing on the traveler’s shift to an online customer journey.
Because technology is transforming the world faster than ever. The hoteliers who are not able to transform with it will be forced to get left behind.