HITEC Amsterdam kicks off today, and I’m thrilled to be attending the event as a guest blogger this year and to meet with hotel experts and hoteliers.

Amsterdam is going to be teeming with hospitality professionals from all over the world. But for a popular destination like “Mokum” (the locals’ nickname for their city), dealing with so many out-of-towners is a piece of cake. And with the increasing number of hotel guests visiting the Dutch capital every year, running a hotel here should be all smooth sailing from now on, right?

Not quite. There’s something brewing that’s about to shake up the hotel landscape across all of Europe.

Change is on the horizon

Hotels are preparing to take on the booking sites, to reclaim their part of the conversion funnel and win back their direct bookings. And standing side by side with the hoteliers, to help them tackle this challenge, are metasearch marketing platforms and an enormous number of start-ups emerging with solutions for upselling, email marketing, and online reputation management.

So the future looks bright—albeit challenging—for hotel owners. But the question remains: Where should they start when gearing up for this future? I think I’m not alone when I say it can be hard to keep up with and adapt to the rapid changes and technological developments that impact the travel and hospitality sectors.

Because one thing is for certain (and to quote Bob Dylan): “The times they are a-changin’.” And the hospitality industry is changing right along with the times.

Which is exactly why these three days at HITEC Amsterdam will be so illuminating. The conference offers a chance to learn about the latest developments and opportunities for hotel businesses.

I myself will be on the lookout for more insights into these three topics:

Hotel technology made simple.

Hotel chains might have the resources to study hotel tech products in depth, but the average independent hotelier is far too busy with daily operations to do so. Besides, when demand falls short, the hotelier needs to change course immediately. Ad-hoc tactics to increase direct or indirect bookings are becoming imperative, so I want to discover and report on the simple hotel technology that can help.

Entrepreneurs to keep an eye on

This year HFTP is bringing Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) to HITEC Amsterdam—and to Europe for the first time ever. Hotel tech entrepreneurs, here’s a tip: fast, accessible, intuitive, and—last but not least—affordable tools will definitely win me over. I’m excited to see what innovations these ambitious hotel-tech visionaries will debut, and have already gone through the list of competitors. My favorites so far: Cheerfy, Flowtify and Hotelflex.

What will the hotel of the future look like?

That hotels should broaden their horizons and not depend on revenue coming from overnight stays alone is becoming increasingly apparent. But what else can we expect? Woody Wade wrote a book about it: The Hotel Yearbook 2036. I’m really impressed that someone is able to predict what hotels will look like two decades from now! So I will definitely be attending Wade’s closing keynote, “Scenario Generation: Thinking Differently About the Future,” on Thursday afternoon.

I’ll be keeping you updated about my findings in upcoming posts. And most of all, I’m looking forward to meeting other hoteliers and hotel techies. So reach out to me on Twitter if you want to learn more about the opportunities of metasearch marketing for your hotel. See you there!

This article was originally posted on HFTP connect

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Fee Naaijkens

Fee strongly believes that hoteliers can determine their own success online, no matter how big or small their business is. With several years of international experience as a content specialist and PR professional, Fee has trained and helped many entrepreneurs in the past, profiling their businesses on various online marketing channels successfully. As the Industry Manager for the Netherlands and Belgium, Fee is now dedicated to provide marketing insights to independent hoteliers located in these markets.

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