Technologies that transform the hotel business: Don’t let them pass you by

By David Giner | 10:30

Making a projection on new technologies evolution in hospitality industry is something hard to pin point but we can state that hotels have been one of the pioneer tourism subsections, along intermediation, in new technologies adoption since their appearance in the 60’s.

Hotels have been the best performers -whether operationally or strategically- to optimize media technologies and every day online communication in their day-to-day to improve their competitiveness.

They’re the perfect example of a good ceaseless adaptation (Spanish): new management systems, new supply channels, new approaches to clients, etc. All in all, new chances, new challenges to face in a battleground able to shift at light speed, as you all know.

Hotels face adaptation to this continuous evolution of TICs and the Internet at different rates, obviously linked straightly to sector structure: chains on one side and independent hotels on the other one. However, some of the latter have been going for a better competitiveness of their product, investing in new technologies innovation and becoming true examples to follow.

If we focus on incoming future scenarios for hotels in relation with marketing strategies and communications, some of the ones that stand out are:

1. Mobile devices as selling channels: Nobody argues anymore that mobile devices are going to out perform PC’s as the information tools used for destinations and offers during the different steps of the journey, especially meanwhile. Next step is for tablets and smartphones to become real supply channels for hotels. In this sense, hotels should take into account that their online presence goes farther than a bare website –better or worse designed- and should keep the following in mind:

  • Compulsory adaptation of their websites to mobile devices.
  • Creation of their own apps, offering room booking and complementary services as well as any offer and piece of information about the destination.
  • Price adaptation to those channels, regardless their use as last minute bookings.

2. Solomo Paradigm. Social, local and mobile: Perhaps it’s the best way to sum up the challenges hotels must meet. Everything goes around these three elements (Spanish) in communication, marketing and supply of hotel product. To give a complete answer means a high integration level and adaptation to new technologies and the Internet, for both present and future final consumer.

Very few hotels have gone beyond an initial landing on social media but the great majority has just settled down in this initial step.

The first ones, chains as well as independent hotels, see crystal clear that future can only go through adaptation to new consuming, information and purchasing patterns –tourism industry but general sector too- and that an active online strategy is needed, aligned and integrated with offline strategies. Social networks can be a direct sales channel. Therefore, once again, social networks (s-commerce), localization (geo e-commerce) and mobile devices (m-commerce) encounter each other.

3. Business Intelligence + Social CRM + Long tail: the multichannel reality depicted by current hotel distribution and the different online spheres in which hotels –and their reputation- are present, whether directly or indirectly, offer a unique chance for customers’ expectations and satisfaction to match. Also, for clients –or potential ones- to be evaluated and kept in mind in marketing strategies (Business Intelligence application), for their behavior during their stay (CRM strategy) as well as for their impressions and comments on social networks (another side of CRM). Only following this way, the most specialized market segments (long tail) can be guaranteed, and hotels can improve their competitiveness throughout specialization at the same time they struggle for more standard clients.

Bearing all this in mind, self analyze is the pending task: check out which point our hotel is in and cope with demand. Otherwise, it will be hard to keep competitive in tourism market.

 

David Giner Sánchez is a Technician at Invat.tur

Twitter: @davidginer

Blog: http://davidginer.blogspot.com.es/ 

Photo Credit: Brian Wilkins

 

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