The past 20 years have seen profound changes in the economic sector. With the rise of new technologies, the old world based on a physical model has given way to new fully dematerialized models. Particularly exposed, the hotel sector has to face a set of societal, economic and technological evolutions.
Nowadays, booking through online travel agencies via their apps or websites has become a standard, Especially in the last minute segment and also because of the frequent usage of the smartphones, letting the hospitality brands opened up to a larger market and increasing tremendously the e-commerce sales. Users can make online reservations, compare prices more easily and ask for personal requests within three mouse clicks. However, this also results in a greater competition among the industry.
- The Priceline Group (Booking.com, Priceline.com, agoda.com, KAYAK, rentalcars.com, OpenTable)
- Expedia, Inc. (Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Egencia, Hotwire, Trivago, Venere.com, CarRentals.com, Classic Vacations, Expedia CruiseShipCenters, Expedia Local Expert (LX), Wotif Group, Travelocity)
- TripAdvisor Inc (tripadvisor.com)
WHAT IS THE LATEST RANKING OF CHINESE OTAS?
With Ctrip’s dominance now threatened by Alibaba’s Fliggy and Meituan-Dianping’s Meituan Travel, the Chinese OTA market is once again starting to look much more dynamic—to the benefit of both consumers and the tourism companies that wish to serve them.
It became imperative for brand wishing to stay ahead of the curve to optimize user experience on both mobile and desktop.
Since 2008, social media has invaded the tourist web. These 2.0 tools can take many different forms: collaborative blog, wiki, social networks, microblogging, virtual worlds, photo and video sharing sites, and more.
Social networks of e-tourism
Social media has upset the behavior of consumers in terms of the preparation and purchase of their trip, we went through a logic of sharing experiences with other consumer-travelers, through sites assessments, reviews, comments on social networks or most recently by sharing information through microblogging.
TripAdvisor is the go-to platform for online reviews for holidays, restaurants and leisure facilities, with 630million reviews and opinions, and counting.(TripAdvisor)
The online reviews can build or destroy brands, especially those in the customer service industry like hospitality. they are the most trusted source of information for consumers after word-of-mouth recommendation, Hotels brand must be careful and manage their online reputation or risk losing out to the competition.
Personal data has become the number one resource for businesses. A lot of information is hidden in this data, and it can help hoteliers bring a “personal touch” to each guest’s stay.
Imagine that a hotel knows that their client is fond of exercise, or has food intolerance (or preference). He will be able to offer his host for example, free access to the gym, or to welcome him with a personalized basket for his consumption.
And if the host could control the temperature and lighting of his room via his own phone? Can you program your songs?
Technology can play a huge role in the level of comfort and ease of staying in hotels in the near future … and many hotels are already leading the charge.
Whilst technology continues to develop, retaining customer focus will always make good business sense for brands in the hospitality and leisure industry.
Technology is helping to optimize online experiences for consumers, pushing the frontiers of speed, convenience and ease, and ultimately helping brands to deliver a quality service.
The role of technology is no longer in doubt when it comes to the future of the hospitality sector, but there is something that technology can never really replace: the human relationship.
Today, human interactions are less and less common, but when they do, they are of much greater value. Hoteliers can not afford to forget this human interaction.
And maybe this human interaction will no longer be in 40 or 50 years.