The hotel industry is on the brink of a pivotal development in its evolution.
In the very near future, the majority of people booking hotel rooms will do so online.
It’s this game-changing transformation in traveler booking behavior that provided the context for the latest joint webinar venture by trivago and Tnooz: “Hoteliers Are Missing Out on Bookings by Not Embracing Technology — Here’s How”
Key takeaways, as well as the full video of the event, can be found below.
Online bookings are overtaking offline bookings
trivago Business Intelligence data points to online bookings overtaking offline bookings within the next few years. Of all those online bookers, half are already using metasearch as the starting point for finding their ideal hotel. And that number is growing, proving that metasearch isn’t a trend; it’s a testament to a fundamental and lasting change in the way travelers search for and select hotels.
This shift in the traveler’s booking journey will have significant repercussions for everyone in the industry. For the hoteliers not able to adapt quickly enough by embracing technology, it will deal a heavy blow to the success of their hotel business.
Because the longer hoteliers remain offline, the more direct bookings they’ll lose. The slower they are to adopt technology, the greater their distribution costs will be, and the lower their competitiveness, profitability, and sustainability.
What’s keeping hoteliers from adopting technology?
There’s no single answer to why hoteliers aren’t embracing the digital world quickly enough. In fact, there are three.
- Technology is difficult to access. It’s too expensive for most hoteliers, and those who are able to afford it find it too complicated and too time-consuming to use.
- Booking engines are not competitive. They’re not user friendly, and they aren’t set up to support the quality content and up-to-date rates that compel travelers to complete their bookings.
- Direct marketing platforms are too complex. To be effective, most of these channels require marketing expertise, years of experience, and a staff dedicated entirely to managing marketing activities. None of these can be found in an independent hotelier’s available resources.
Separately, each of these technology obstacles makes the hotelier’s battle for the guest all the more difficult. Combined, they pose a very real threat to the hotelier’s ability to stay competitive in the digital age.
Capitalizing on the traveler’s online journey
The situation for the hoteliers who have not yet embraced the digital world (and most have not), dire though it may appear, is not impossible to change. Difficult? Yes. Challenging? Absolutely. But not impossible.
It is very possible for hoteliers to overcome the technology obstacles separating them from the growing number of travelers booking online.
In fact, the traveler’s shift to an online booking journey presents hoteliers with powerful new opportunities to leverage technology to streamline the guest experience and encourage direct bookings at each stage of it: search, book, stay.
Hoteliers who capitalize on this digitized journey and make their hotels findable, bookable, and manageable will be set up to create a seamless guest experience and drive more direct bookings than ever before, more easily, more efficiently, and without compromising the service they offer their guests.