Technology – Time to play catch up
To be successful in 2015, the industry needs to address these problems. The key areas of technological development are likely to be online booking and mobile technology, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), smart card technology, online social networking, data security, Artificial Intelligence (AI), self-healing technology and in-room product innovation. As online usage has soared over the last decade the internet has become a vital outlet for all retailers. Online Travel Agents
The relationship between the OTAs and hotel operators has been the subject of wide debate in the industry since IHG’s fraught negotiations with Expedia in 2004. The issue resurfaced at the end of 2009 after stalled negotiations between Expedia and Choice Hotels over renewal of a distribution agreement came publicly to light. Hotel operators are concerned about losing control over inventory and pricing to OTAs. Hoteliers can also feel there is pressure to enter into long term contracts without exit clauses at rates that they believe are not always commercial. OTAs, on the other hand, seek rate and inventory parity for their own customers who, they believe, trust them to provide the best price available. Hotel companies have invested in developing and marketing their own websites. Given the current market conditions, both travel companies and hotel operators are increasingly advertising both online and offline to attract consumers directly.Social Media: The social media frenzy has taken the world by storm the last few years. By 2015 this will become truly integrated in the travel and hospitality decision-making process, representing both threats and opportunities for the industry. The transparency of social media can highlight any inconsistencies between the brand pledge and its execution across geographic boundaries. Embrace rather than resist the influence of social media.
Engage consumers in a dialogue that builds awareness and community,...
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