Technology in the hotel sector is constantly changing, offering a host of new systems and services to enable hoteliers to better manage their bookings, finance and more.
Among the most important of these is reputation management. Every day, thousands of travellers write reviews and post their experiences of various hotels online and on social media forums. These reviews play a larger and larger role in influencing how and where visitors will book with your establishment.
“Flip.to has been making strides to tap into the market of potential travellers’ family and friends, considering 70% of customers take recommendations from their family or friends when choosing a product, brand or business.” explains Robert Rauch, writing on www.hospitalitynet.org
“TrustYou had made it their mission to influence travel decisions in a positive way, developing a technology and software making it simple to monitor, manage and market a businesses’ reputation.”
Kendall College School of Hospitality Management agrees: ‘There are 3.3 billion brand mentions in 2.4 billion brand-related conversations within the U.S. every day, and the typical American mentions brand names 60 times per week in online and offline conversations.’
‘The 21st Century is the age of digital referrals, and the power of what’s posted on the web via user-generated review sites – digital word of mouth – can drastically impact a business’ revenue.’ says www.hotelnewsresource.com quoting the School’s data.
Any green tech will be vital too. ‘2013 marks the “tipping point” for sustainable hospitality, with eco-friendly practices becoming the norm, rather than the exception, so expect 2014 to see standard “green” practices, products, programs and packages.’ continues the School’s report into hospitality futures.
And while it may sound obvious, Rauch also advises hotels look closely at their own websites. This may not seem like the ‘latest’ technology, but it’s actually more important than setting up the newest, most innovative systems in many cases.
“After American hotels spent an estimated $2.7 billion on OTA commissions, the rates rose and restrictions tightened.” says Rauch.
“Hotels are looking at any and all ways to increase direct bookings in 2014. This means that hotel websites will need to create incentives through booking with them directly rather than via the OTAs.”
Any content that references smartphones and tablets will be key, as www.hospitalitynet.org says Ericsson estimates there will be over 50 billion connected devices in circulation by 2020, including laptops, tablets and smartphones. Taking advantage of this increasing ratio will be vital through 2014 also.
The Hotel Technology Forum 2014 will address Cloud Computing, Virtualization & Hosted Technology, plus In-Room Technology, Innovations & Investment Returns. These will also be key areas for hoteliers to consider as the year passes.
eRevMax predicts 2014 to be the year of hyper meta-search expansion as companies spread their reach way beyond their home-market comfort zones.
For hoteliers to sell through these channels effectively, eRevMax has added meta-search as a new channel option within its distribution network. Hotels can subscribe to push their rates and availability on multiple meta-search sites directly from their RateTiger and Connect platform to boost direct bookings.
Rachel Cook is associated with eRevMax, the company behind the innovative hotel management software, RateTiger. Rachel is a digital enthusiast whose interests lie in all things technology and management.”