Technology is making an impact on lots of areas — and travel is no exception. So, how can the latest trends and tools help boost your property business?
At our first-ever partner conference, Click 2017, the director of BookingSuite, Rob Ransom took to the stage to talk to travel industry leaders about the market’s biggest challenges. He discussed change and how to embrace it, looking specifically at how technology is impacting online booking, hotel marketing and the travel experience as a whole. In this video, Rob talks about the opportunities an ever-changing travel market brings and how technology can help you take them on.
Travel is developing at lightning speed and as a result, travellers’ needs are constantly evolving. Over half of all accommodation bookings are now made online, and 65% of same-day hotel reservations are made on a mobile device. What may be surprising, though, is that 50% of all independent hotels still don’t have a mobile-friendly website. That’s a huge amount of lost business.
A large chunk of travellers (over half, according to TripAdvisor) are more than accustomed to the online booking process. Bookers also have a lot more information at their fingertips: comparison websites, user-generated content and a wealth of hotel reviews. In fact, offering a glimpse into other customers’ experiences is one of the most influential factors in attracting even more bookers – more than three quarters of potential guests say they usually consult reviews before they book, while over half say they won’t book a hotel without any insight into the opinion of previous guests.
Content plays a key role in this, so the more optimised your site – especially with high-quality photos – the more likely you are to stand out to bookers. Display the right content and you’ll manage expectations, making for happier guests who know what they’re booking.
It’s Not Just About Getting Booked
Once they’ve booked, guests expect immediate responses, at any time and from any place. Technology is essential in delivering the quick, seamless communication that creates a great experience from the very beginning. Messaging services can deliver pre-arrival check-in information to guests — and even translate it into their language. Long queue at reception? There’s now the technology to let the guest self check-in and select their own room.
Bookers are also looking to build a whole experience from the minute they start searching online, so this is an opportunity for you to help guide this. You can add something special to someone’s trip by providing your very own local tips, or giving a list of the best places to eat. It’s also a chance to create helpful follow-ups, such as post-stay surveys.
Hotel technology is the ideal way to tap into this, letting you personalise a guest’s experience from booking to check-out — and beyond.
It’s no longer a question of opting into technology or not, but rather embracing its benefits and catching the business it can bring your way. What’s more, technology just makes things slicker and easier to manage.
“The question is not whether or not to do it, but how to do it, and how to do it in a way that works for you. Technology must be embraced, it is not an ‘if’.” – Rob Ransom
So, adapting to technology is key, but it’s also important to choose what works best for you. Our tip? We know that there’s always investment, money and risk involved, but our approach has always been to take small steps and fully understand the problem you’re trying to solve. What’s the guest’s need, what’s your need, and where’s the technology that can deliver that?
In hospitality, it’s key that all your technology and systems complement and connect to one another, so depending on your set-up, there will be different providers and options that work for you.
We’ve scoured the field of hospitality to find technology solutions that can support our fellow accommodation professionals. Click below to take a look.
More about Rob
Rob Ransom joined Booking.com in June 2014 as the Director of BookingSuite, a business unit within the company devoted to empowering accommodation providers to successfully grow their businesses and brands through smart software solutions. Rob is responsible for the global BookingSuite team of developers, designers, and marketers, as well as sales and support staff located in several offices around the world. Together, the BookingSuite team creates and maintains a full-stack technology solution for hotels and other property owners, featuring mobile-responsive, conversion-optimised property websites and easy-to-use, industry-leading revenue management tooling.