Companies that can deliver a personalized experience, from search to booking to check-out, are the leaders of the lodging industry.
Technology has taken over the hospitality sector and it is for the better. While digital technology has sparked a competition between the hotels and home-sharing companies, travellers are given a wider range of options. Aside from hotel’s identical rooms, tourists are offered a wider range of accommodations that they can fine tune based on their desired size, location, and budget.
One of the factors of the recent upswing has been the immense growth of outbound travellers, especially from Asia. In a global perspective, arrivals grew by 7% in 2017. It is expected to balloon by 40% in 2030 to an industry worth around US$12 trillion.
The growth in demand of alternative accommodation is putting pressure to hotel owners. Companies that can deliver a personalized experience to tourists determine the champions of the industry.
Global head of Airbnb for Work, David Holyoke attributes the company’s success at truly understanding the goals and expectations of millennial-generation customers, “our growth is down to a clear understanding of a generation and what they value. Generation X, for example, pioneered self-service and self-booking in travel; with Millennials it’s about the experience and the blurring of work and downtime.”
This is why hotels and companies are pouring tons of money investing in technology to improve the current process in place.
This is echoed by Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel saying that the company is investing in technology by hiring the best talents in data science and programming to sift through the company’s “data ocean” to unify all of the company products that will be accessible in one platform that will provide “easy, efficient, and frictionless” end-to-end experience to travellers.
With technology, possibilities are endless. Integrated reservation management of adjoined restaurants and easier payment system are only a few examples.
We need to think like Elon Musk who applies truly radical thinking and approaches to help what seem like intractable challenges.
“As an industry, we have to be bolder and brave in embracing the spirit of this new age – we need to think like Elon Musk who applies truly radical thinking and approaches to help what seem like intractable challenges,” Alex Mifsud, chief executive of travel payments technology provider Ixaris, said.
With competition for accommodation increasing, the customer journey, from deciding which channel to book from, through to payment and checkout, are part of natural path businesses should take.