When an Unthinkable Duo Becomes the Unsinkable Duo

By Sanjay Nagalia Chief Operating Officer & Co-Founder, IDeaS - A SAS Company | October 22, 2017

Hotels have been feeling the heat from OTA competition for several years, causing many organizations to double down on their efforts to drive more direct bookings. Revamped loyalty programs, refined marketing campaigns and improvements to brand websites have all become primary focuses for hotel brands looking to turn the tables on their online competition.

However, decreasing levels of consumer engagement – compounded with pressures to market strategically to a generation of up-and-comers with faltering loyalty rates – have been pushing hoteliers to concentrate on taking more holistic and innovative approaches to improving their profit performance.

With a reported 92 million millennials on the brink of entering into their prime spending years, there are both opportunities and challenges on the horizon for today’s hotel brands. A Gallup study reports that just one in four millennials demonstrates brand allegiance, with that figure dropping down further to 20 percent for the hospitality industry alone.

A more fickle generation of consumers calls for hotel organizations to employ more innovative, data-driven approaches in both their revenue strategy and their marketing campaigns. This is, in fact, one of the contributing factors as to why hotel businesses are finally adopting the long-talked about organizational collaboration between their revenue management and marketing departments.

A close partnership between these two departments provides one another with mutual benefits that not only bolster individual department performance, but total profit performance for the hotel organization. By leveraging new data sources to better understand potential future demand – and incorporating these new insights into pricing and marketing strategies – hotels are able to compete more effectively, capture more market demand and optimize better profits for their business.

There are many elements that make this collaboration a financial success for hotels, with one of the most profitable being that improved communication gives hoteliers the ability to take intelligent actions within their business strategies.

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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.