"The combined research explored anticipated hotel guests of 2020, as well as the technology needed to cater to their needs," says Peter O'Connor, professor at ESSEC Business School. "We wanted to hear directly from hoteliers about how the future traveller would look, and the measures needed to prepare for them."
According to Dr O'Connor, participants anticipate highly-sophisticated guests that seek unique experiences, have higher expectations and also expect recognition. As 'digital natives', these guests will rely primarily on mobile devices to engage with hotels before, during and after their hotel stay. Key differentiators such as flexibility, value and control are predicted to play a larger role in the guests' buying decisions than human interaction.
Fabian Specht, managing director EMEA at IDeaS, says, "The collected data reveals predictions of a more demanding customer, with greater choices and access to information."
When asked which technology hotels could not be without in 2020, respondents named those already implemented in many hotels, including revenue management systems, customer relationship management systems, property management systems, channel managers and e-marketing solutions.
Thomas Landen, EMEA marketing manager at Revinate, adds, "These results reflect the high degree of conservatism within the hotel industry, particularly when it comes to technology. It is as if the industry is still preoccupied with the same issues as ten years ago."
By contrast, expert panelists – largely operational managers and consultants from UK and European hotel properties and technology arenas – nominated middleware, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning systems, predictive analysis tools and management dashboards to have more integrated views of the guest, along with messaging solutions and Bluetooth beacons to drive deeper engagement.
The panelists suggested a key roadblock to implementing these systems industry-wide was highly-siloed customer data, which prevents a single 360-degree guest view. Other roadblocks included data protection and privacy issues, as many countries limit guest information storage; and industry conservatism with few hotels pushing boundaries and most tending to stick with well-established systems in the marketplace.
Dai Williams, managing director EMEA at SiteMinder, says, "It is clear we operate in an industry that continues to look to outdated and often-costly legacy systems for technological support. The resistance among hotels to change and innovation hurts the advancement of our industry, which, in itself, recognises the need to keep up with current and future consumers."
To break the cycle, panelists advocate for the rise of a new breed of hotel management, one that includes applying a different set of skills and mindset capable of pushing technology forward – a process already successful within industries such as retail and banking.
Revinate helps hotels turn guest data into revenue. With Revinate's reputation management, satisfaction surveys, and CRM/marketing automation, hotels can make smarter investment decisions, resulting in increased revenue and guest satisfaction. The company is backed by leading investors Sozo Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Tenaya Capital, and more. Headquartered in San Francisco with offices in New York, Amsterdam and Singapore, Revinate counts over 30,000 of the world's leading hotels as customers.
To learn more, please visit www.revinate.com.
As the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.
SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major global distribution systems. With more than 23,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.
For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.
With more than one million rooms priced daily on its advanced systems, IDeaS Revenue Solutions leads the industry with the latest revenue management software solutions and advisory services. Powered by SAS® and more than 25 years of experience, IDeaS proudly supports more than 7,500 clients in 94 countries and is relentless about providing hoteliers more insightful ways to manage the data behind hotel pricing.
IDeaS empowers its clients to build and maintain revenue management cultures – from single entities to world-renowned estates – by focusing on a simple promise: Driving Better Revenue.
IDeaS has the knowledge, expertise and maturity to build upon proven revenue management principles with next-generation analytics for more user-friendly, insightful and profitable revenue opportunities—not just for rooms, but across the entire hotel enterprise.
For more information, visit www.ideas.com.