How to Eyeball the Competition

Hotels Understanding the Traveler's Point of View

By Bhanu Chopra CEO, RateGain | July 02, 2017

The hospitality industry worldwide has witnessed disruptive growth over the last few years. With an explosive influx of all kinds of hotels, both big and small, competition is at an all-time high. However, this is great news for travelers as they are spoiled for choice, with a variety of options to choose from. Combine this leverage for travelers with the internet emerging as a strong search and transaction channel, and with the role of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) getting stronger each day, hoteliers are now under immense pressure to ensure high visibility across all leading online platforms with an aim to drive a maximum number of bookings.

A recent research indicates that almost 60% travelers make their bookings through OTAs as compared to 27% of bookings are made through the hotel’s own websites. There is no doubt that OTAs play an important role in the hospitality ecosystem and how your hotel is priced, ranked and rated on all these platforms, definitely needs to be tracked and monitored closely as part of your hotel’s pricing strategy.

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Having said that, a key challenge that most hotels face in this cut-throat competitive era is the ability to define their key competitive set correctly, which they need to monitor closely and factor it in their pricing and distribution strategy to ensure increased bookings and revenue.

“If a traveler is considering booking my hotel, which other hotels apart from mine is he most likely considering?” If you get an answer to this one, you have probably hit the nail right.

Competition monitoring should be a primary element of your hotel’s pricing & distribution strategy as the need to react to market changes at a lightning speed is the key to your hotel’s success. That being said, the first and foremost step in this direction is to be able to define your hotel’s most relevant comp-set. Most hotels today define their comp-set based on traditional factors such as geographic proximity & star rating. This clearly shows that hotels have failed to improvise on this method for long now and are clearly ignoring other important factors such as eyeball competition. So what exactly is eyeball competition? Let us find out in the next section as we discuss the challenges in the current method and introduce you to the concept of eyeball competition:

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.