Recently Martin Soler and Sebastien Felix published the 10th edition of the Hotel Marketing Benchmark appearing what the future of hotel marketing views. This is excellent timing for us to dive a bit deeper into the trends with Martin and learn more penetrations. Martin has a long history working in inns and hotel sell strategies.

Going back 5 years in time and looking at the recently propelled mark report, which tendencies were expected which were completely new development that you did not see coming?

The evolution that had started then and is finally coming to fruition is the drive towards direct reserves. This has been a lot slower than expected as I genuinely reputed hotels would realize that a big deal sooner. It appears to have make the longest time for the series to be addressed world approaches for direct income without upsetting their partnerships with the OTAs. Independent inns have been working on direct income programmes for a lot longer.

The advent of meta-search locates was a great evolution as it sacrificed hotels a direct push channel to a super targeted audience. What I didn’t see coming was the alteration these areas made to commission-based modelings, effectively putting them in the same group as OTAs even if they prefer not to be associated that way.

I was also surprised by how hotel orders are evolving from being firebrands and distribution channels to becoming technology and know-how fellowships for the hospitality industry. This is a great move for chains as they have huge amounts of data, know-how and technology so putting that to use with other hotels can only help. It is likely to assists them sharpens greater attention on their technology load which in many cases is ageing and not holding up( think of CRS organizations like Holidex and TARS which need middlemen such as Derbysoft to handle the server loads of canal handling ).

As for completely new developments, one that has yet to become a reality is Artificial Intelligence( AI) powered enunciate and chat bookings. While this is slowly happening it is more than likely that it will take over as the main territory channel in the near future.

What technology energizes you “the worlds largest” from all that is happening and why?

Undoubtedly AI powered voice and chat booking is the most exciting upcoming technology for the hospitality industry. The booking know today is quite painful: between research, likening, booking etc this is a field that is a time and event killer. I speculate the thwarting on the research and booking heights too hurts inns as patrons arrive with vast anticipations( considering the pain they had to go through to book) and the smallest mistake at hotel side is “unacceptable.” Business travelers for example have less of that because they often don’t book their adaptations themselves and if it wasn’t good they’ll ask someone to book elsewhere. They aren’t as emotionally involved in finding and booking the hotel.

With the rise of cheap and more efficient engineering for inns do you think the marketing challenge has become easier or more challenging?

On the one pas appropriate tools are leveling the playing field but otherwise hoteliers have to learn a completely new skillset to compete with the large orders and OTAs.

There are two challenges here one from each side: on the one mitt because it is easier to build technology solutions for inns, there are more tech makes being made. This poses the question, does this new technology truly solve a problem? Does the industry need yet another PMS or yet another channel manager? What is the real benefit to hoteliers?

On the other hand at hotel stage, because of the increasing number of solutions hoteliers have a harder time finding a solution that fits for them. Add to that the fact that integrations are not easy, the choice becomes increasingly difficult( since the risk is increasingly high ). So even small inexpensive solutions become immense overheads formerly you factor in the time and money is participating in integrations. In epitome, yes, the advent of new technology is a challenging issue for inns. But I conceive the market will find a way to fix that soon.

On the skillsets hoteliers must have to leverage this technology, I don’t think this will affect the fundamentals of the hotel business. OTA brand relationships with shoppers can’t replace the actual experience of the inn. At the end of the working day, hotels are still about the guest event, and it corresponds to inns to obligate that know-how astonishing, and then make sure others can easily find out about it. It’s the same with series- while they can create standards, those events still have to be delivered at the dimension degree. Merely general managers and huge staff can deliver that.

When talking to hotels what common challenges do you picture and how do hoteliers resolving these?

Technology solutions for inns are still a hard sell in service industries. We have an improbably closed industry that doesn’t allow for easy data movement between programmes either due to aged engineering or hoarding for fiscal grounds. This is choking the tech vistum in hotels and to some degree travel.

I recently read an article about all the AI and Machine Learning toolsets that exists on the market per horizontal and stunningly there were none for passage at all. Yet travel is approximately 10% of the US GDP. We need to open our technology haphazardly to whoever wants to connect. I’m not saying free, but open and automate so anyone who wants to build a better implement can come in and do it.

Hotels aren’t technology companionships, they are service companies who take care of people, so when technology becomes difficult they stay away from it. There are wonderful mixtures out there that inns don’t use because of the intricacies and troubles involved with integrations. It’s a huge waste.

On a really simple level, look at hotel websites. These are income engendering websites, that generate more receipt than many e-commerce websites. Yet still, inns have a “brochure website” which link to a “e-commerce website”( the booking engine ). No other manufacture succeeds that course, at least not when dealing with that various kinds of money.

But that’s because the issues with integrating the booking engine into the hotel website are so high-pitched , nobody certainly hassles integrating it except a few cases terribly forward-thinking hotels.

From your expertise how do can hotels be smarter on data available and taken any steps on the data they already have?

I think what inns need to do smarter is that instead of searching for “the main providers” on the market they need to search for the most open providers on the market. They need a PMS or Booking Engine, or what have you, “thats open” and ready to integrate rapidly at acceptable overheads. This is hard to find these days- did you know that some PMS companies invite inns to pay upward of 5000 USD precisely to open an account for desegregations? That is a distribute murderer right there.

If they have a provider who is willing to open their API, a hotel can easily find someone to build the features they need( if individual works don’t has existed ). But if they crave the perfectly featured organisation that has sluggish or few joinings, they’ll probably miss something features one day and coming them built will be unviable.

So instead of conjecture with “the safest and most expensive solution” consideration with “the most flexible solution” and construct information and communication technologies stack bit by bit.

Any prophecies on what we will see in future copies of the Hotel Marketing Benchmark?

It’s hard to say. I think we’re going to see hotels looking forward to implements that dramatically improve the guest know-how at the human level. Things that will oblige the staff appear magically great at what the fuck is do.

Not too long ago, I marched into a hotel for the second time in about 10 months. It was about 22:00 and I was there for business. I had worked the working day and walked in the night and just wanted to rest before confronts next day. As I came to the front desk a pair was standing there before me doing their check-in and I dreaded the waiting, crowding out shapes, reproduction of ID etc( when you have properly waited at the airport ). The dame at the front table( whom I had never met) examined up at me and announced me by list, passed me my keycard and off I was. That was a brilliant hotel experience. Not because there was a bunch of technology but because the people managed to make it awesome.

So I think we’ll be seeing much more tools that improve “magically” stimulate hotel events astounding. Inns should be mystical, that’s what sees them who they are.

About Martin Soler

Martin Soler is a former hotelier, a hotel marketing advisor and works with hotel technology companies and startups on optimizing makes and sell strategies to best fit the needs of hoteliers in the most efficient ways.

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