HospitalityBiz India
Hotels FoodService Operations Ministry Associations Equipment Editorial HR Technology Technology Advisory Board Community
Follow us on Facebook
    Home > Feature
FEATURE

Mobile to take centre stage in hotel distribution in 2017

Friday, January 27, 2017, 15:03 Hrs  [IST]

Untitled Document

Avijit_arya.jpg




India is expected to cross the 500 million internet user mark in 2016 with majority surfing on smart phones, embracing the switch from point-and-click to touchand- swipe. Racing with this rapid growth, hotel providers have been slow in catching on the digital bandwagon. Nevertheless, as we step into 2017, it is time for the hotel industry to foresee technology trends dominating the hotel distribution and handpick their technology and distribution partners wisely, best fitted for their target audience.

As we speak to technology players in the hospitality industry, they assert (in unison) on hotels to strengthen and innovate with mobile-friendly booking engine, guest loyalty programmes that provide instant gratification and building direct relationships with guests, more than ever before. The hotel industry is going through a period of unprecedented, irreversible change and will look very different by 2020 than it does today, they say.

As OTAs consolidate and become even more powerful, another consideration for hotels is to balance the cost of distributing through OTAs with the value, gained from customer acquisition. Digital technologies are shifting

the balance of power towards the consumer and here, hoteliers will have to acquire the ability to distribute their inventory through mobiles, anytime and anywhere at competitive rates.

Also, travel could see a downturn with less demand, atleast in the first few months of 2017 due to demonetisation. In such a case, hotels need to look beyond the discounting strategy and think hard about what they’re going to do to make themselves tempting and inspiring enough for the end traveller. The best way to emerge out of this temporary recession phase is to go inspirational and not more informational. Also, as mobile-first trend continues to accelerate, hotels need to adopt book on the move facility along with tying up with secure digital payment solution providers. Realising the shift towards mobile bookings, technology providers and distribution channels suggest hospitality brands to go for partners providing seamless integration from looking to booking on smart phones and establish direct connect with guests. Hospitality Biz spoke to leading technology companies to understand their sentiments.



Avijit_arya.jpg

Avijit Arya, Founder, Internet Moguls

With newer options available onboard, brands are using Facebook Live to showcase their hotel or property to over 100 agents at one point of time. This medium is surely a game-changer and is helpful in building a brand. It generates queries and revenue for those who are using it effectively. In this digital age, such technology trends will continue to dominate the digital marketing strategies of the hotels.

In today’s world where it is all about increasing revenue through newer mediums of social media, Internet Moguls has come up with modules for hoteliers from junior to senior level management. It teaches the techniques of how revenues can be generated using the likes of Facebook Live to TripAdvisor for offline marketing and revenue management through social media.



Amlan_Ghose

Amlan Ghose, MD, Prologic First

017 will see the much anticipated emergence of the internet biggies, such as Google and Amazon as additional distribution channels. This is in addition to further consolidation of OTAs and further strengthening of the sharing economy. In short, hotels will feel additional pressure to cope with on-line distribution intermediaries and the corresponding cost of distribution. In such a scenario, hotels should make renewed effort to regain guest loyalty which has moved to the OTAs in the recent years. Else, the hotels dependence on expensive third party channels will grow further, more so, as OTAs launch their own loyalty programs.

Next year onwards, we plan to deliver software solutions to our customer hotels so that they earn tangible return on their IT investment. We will add new analytics solutions to help hoteliers understand their business and individual guests’ better and book on the move. This, along with our social media listening application and mobile guest-messaging platform, will assist hotels regain guest relationship through better personalisation, communication and reputation management. We expect our customer hotels to leverage the relationship to improve brand loyalty, drive more bookings and reduce distribution costs.



Tarun_joukani

Tarun Joukani, Director, STAAH

Over the last few months, we have noticed an increasing trend in direct bookings through hotel’s own website. This can be attributed to the fact that guests have realised that hotels have become more tech-savvy in the way they market themselves over the internet and manage lower rates on their own booking engine. However, having said that the online travel agents will still continue to make a contribution to the online booking space.

Budgets towards digital marketing are on the increase as hotels gear up to get more direct bookings to save on commissions. Technology providers that can offer a combined solution such as covert direct booking engines, real time channel managers with built in revenue management solutions and reputation management will be the essential requirement for all hoteliers to increase occupancy and revenue in the times to come.

We encourage hotels to focus on obtaining good reviews as that plays a significant role in guest decision making for his stay. More positive reviews are equal to more bookings and enhanced revenue.



Tarun_Gulati

Tarun Gulati, Co-Founder, Djubo

Higher margins being charged and few promo codes by OTAs post consolidation is being witnessed globally. Thus, in the coming time hotels will need to adopt tech products to empower themselves with tools like a direct website cum booking engine which is TripAdvisor and Google-friendly so that they can route bookings directly without having to pay heft commissions to OTAs.

With demonetisation, going cashless is the need of the hour but the hotel industry needs much more than a dumb payment gateway. Greater move towards cloud based technology systems which will keep the distribution strategy real time with minimal manual involvement will also see more demand. Big data and intelligence products will find greater adoption because hotels have limited inventory as adding rooms is expensive. As hotels mature, there will be a big move towards revenue intelligence across the board even in the sub four-star segment.



Tarun_Gulati

Tim Unwin, Executive Vice President- Products, RateGain

Going forward, hotels will have to overcome the additional costs involved in merely being visible on a site and make serious trade-off decisions about which sites are the best fit for their target audience. They can no longer afford to be on every shelf and must selectively limit their presence to the sites attracting potential consumers who are most likely to convert, and will also yield the highest net revenue. Looking beyond automation, hotels will be increasingly looking to build direct relationships with their guests before, during and after the stay.

For RateGain, the objective is to help our customers to be proactive and diligent in their distribution rather than reactive. In 2017 we will introduce many enhancements to the integrations, making them faster and more productive for hotels. The world is moving towards vacation rentals, thus RezGain is also bringing facility to distribute to vacation rentals. We are bringing in a feature which will allow us to distribute to Airbnb through availability distribution.



Udai_singh

Udai Singh Solanki, Chief Technology Officer & MD, eRevMax

With the Government’s push towards digital payments, coupled with the convenience of onthe- go consumption, the growth engine behind this mobile-first trend will only accelerate. Analytics driven sales and marketing will gain forefront and hotels will need big data analytics to define and shape consumer behaviour and maximise their efforts to reach, engage and compel target audiences to action. Digital payment is going to be a major travel trend for the Indian hospitality industry in 2017 and mobile wallets will play a bigger role.



Jaal_shah

Jaal Shah, Group MD, Travel Designer Group & Founder, Rezlive.com

Every hotelier will try to connect with OTA/ reservations system in order to better sell their inventory to the end customer. Extranet systems of OTA’s and channel managers will play a key role going forward, to increase and expand the distribution network between hoteliers and OTAs. In a longer run OTAs or reservation systems will dominate the hotel distribution and hotels will get the maximum conversion from them.

We have an extranet functionality wherein the hoteliers can sell their inventory through RezLive.com by inputting the details under one system. The complete process of entering the details and making inventory live is very smooth and no extra cost is involved in the same unlike other systems which are complicated to manage and have overhead charges. So, this way the hotel can promote their inventory and get the maximum returns. We even promote the newly contracted hotel through RezLive.com and social media at no extra cost and try to give them the maximum exposure and help them in selling the property in the best possible manner.



Aditya_Sanghi

Aditya Sanghi, Co-founder & CEO, Hotelogix

The rising popularity of online transactions has seen more hotels list themselves online, facilitated by increased accessibility to powerful distribution systems. Equally important is managing online reputation and reviews. These go a long way towards garnering guest trust and in turn, getting more bookings.

Hotels are also investing more into their website design and back-end optimisation. The direct booking engine is set to witness increased adoption as more properties compete with the online agencies for bookings. As a result, revenue management systems such as rate shopping and pricing tools are also gaining prominence as they enable hoteliers to optimise their prices for higher profits.

Hoteliers are quickly realising that in order to optimise profitability, they need to implement a unified distribution strategy, defining the right marketing mix of all different portals – OTAs, GDS, hotel website, travel agents and so on. In this regard, Hotelogix helps properties make the most of modern technology to generate more revenue and more importantly, establish their brand. With a highly competitive pricing model that enables customers to generate above their cost of investment, our PMS provides hotels with unparalleled returns on their investments.



Aditya_Sanghi

Santosh Kumar, Director-Corporate Solutions (India), HRS Global Hotel Solutions

With the mergers and acquisitions of hotel chains, there is a possibility that more direct booking initiatives may be launched. However, the majority of hotels are still independent properties. They are likely to cooperate and further integrate with technology partners. Online adoption will continue to grow as it has proven to be easy to use for the bookers and for the hotels the distribution cost is much lower. With much wider use of mobile devices, the next trend will very much be a shift from desktop to mobile.







Ronnie_sarkar

Ronnie Sarkar, COO, IDS Next Business Solutions Pvt Ltd

The most important technology shift is and will continue towards mobile technology. Hoteliers will have to acquire the ability to distribute their inventory through mobiles, anytime and anywhere at competitive rates.

Foreseeing the next year, IDS Next is making major investments in the mobile technology space in line with emerging global trends. One of the solutions launched by IDS Next is Pulze247 mobile app which is an analytical tool empowering hoteliers on the go. This solution enables senior hotel executives to monitor the operation of the hotel on a real time basis and allows the user to configure the dashboard according to their own preferences with preset indicators and keep monitoring constantly. The dashboard refreshes itself with current data. This allows hoteliers to make quick and informed decisions based on the various key performance indicators resulting in increase in competitiveness.

 
Print News Email News Back
Bookmark to Add to NewsvineNewsvine Bookmark with del.icio.usdel.icio.us Digg ItDigg
Add RSS to Add to Google Add to My Yahoo! Subscribe with Bloglines Subscribe
 POST A COMMENT
* Name :    
* Email :    
* Message :  
   
 
CoverStory
Analysis
 
  AHEAD ASIA Awards for Hospitality Experience & Design announced
  Swiss Sanitary technology company, Geberit, announces its India consumer market foray
 
weekly
Receive the best of Hospitality content in your mailbox.
Weekly e-Newsletter
Events Calendar




Incredible India Heritage Festival & Mart by IHHA
April 8 to 22, 2017
(Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Baroda, Kochi)


AAHAR
March 7-11, 2017


Hotelier Summit India
Mumbai
June 5-7, 2017


IDE Expo Summit
October, 2017
Hyderabad
Events
 
 
people
interview
newappoint
expert
© Copyright 2016 Saffron Synergies Pvt Ltd
HOME   |   ABOUT US   |   CONTACT US   |   FEEDBACK   |   DISCLAIMER   |   SITE MAP   |   ARCHIVES