E-commerce and hotels
The challenge for hoteliers is to market its beds efficiently. Technological giants have become a real threat to large OTAs such as Booking and Expedia. At the same time, they are an opportunity for hoteliers. To prevent companies like Amazon or Alibaba from using their vast knowledge in electronic commerce to enter the business, experts ask hoteliers to act “sooner rather than later.” It is about not repeating the mistake they made by being unable to anticipate and avoiding the great influence that OTAs currently have in the marketing of hotel rooms.
New internet intermediaries
Nick Price, CEO of NetSys Technology, recalls how the hotel industry doubted the ability of the “new internet intermediaries” when selling rooms. Unfortunately for hoteliers, the sale of room spaces through OTAs is essential for the survival of many tourist establishments.
“I remember the conversations at that time: they will never be able to do it, they will never be able to compete with our wonderful loyalty programs, people come to our hotels because they want to talk to us, they feel part of our brand… How many of those statements are still valid today? Any of them? No, not really, ”said Price.
Technology for tourists
The success of Booking and Expedia, said Price, was to use technology that could meet the needs of travelers, which meant a revolution in the sale of hotel rooms. “How many industries can say that we have essentially given away our product so that another person sells it over the course of 20 years? It’s very embarrassing to recognize,” Price explained. (See Technology for travellers)
“Alibaba and Amazon are the type of places I would look for. This is a retail problem that needs to be solved since they have a much better sales technology,” Price said.
The alternative is to digitally analyze all the products of a hotel, from restaurants to golf courses and meeting rooms. “Our industry has maybe 15 or 20 products to sell. But they cannot be sold digitally in one place without each of them having their own sales mechanism. And that is just a lousy architecture,” said Price.