By Christian Lukey,head of hotel distribution, Amadeus Asia-Pacific
If you have not heard about the Kardashians, you might not be ‘keeping up’ on social media. These days, everyone seems to be emulating the Kardashian pop culture phenomenon of sharing everything – where they’ve been, what they’re doing, and what they think – accompanied with multiple selfies.
This is the same group of people who feel at home with Couchsurfing, Airbnb, BlaBlaCar, and Uber.
This group of people is known as the ‘spontaneous generation’. They are revolutionising industries, embracing disruption and forcing industry veterans to sit up and reinvent themselves. They also belong to the group that is driving the trend of instantaneous, last minute travel bookings.
Mobile savvy, – they have no qualms about booking trips on their mobile phones and often within a week, or just a few days ahead of travel. They fuel the sharing economy (the ‘sharing economy’ is loosely defined as sharing underused assets or services, for free or for a fee, directly from individuals), and thrive on technology.
One such industry that is looking to stay ‘current’ is the hotel industry.
In fact, the hotel industry has seen its fair share of disruptors. However, it’s not sitting back – many have taken steps to stay relevant by providing travellers with experiences that are just as personalised and memorable to address their unique taste and needs.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has rolled out an app that enables guests to use their mobile phone to unlock their room. The Kimpton Hotels has rebranded its hotel lobbies as ‘living rooms’ with cosy sofas, fireplaces and hosted wine hours for guests to interact. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is working with Amadeus to develop a next-generation guest reservation system, enabling IHG to personalise the guest experience through innovative technology.
Different strokes for different folks
Just like we may have a favourite photo filter and app for our selfies, the hotel industry has evolved to cater to every traveller’s whims and fancies.
Today, we have a plethora of accommodation options to suit our needs – whether it is a fancy hotel room with the choice between 10 types of pillows, or a nice homely bungalow in the countryside. After all, not everyone wants to stay in a stranger’s house, and the travel industry has certainly grown to give hoteliers and Airbnb-ers alike a piece of the pie.
By leveraging technologies hotels may have that single view of a guest’s lifecycle, and are able to enhance and personalise the guest’s buying experience even before their stay.
Sounds complicated? A great way to manage these complexities is to look at hotel management solutions that can combine central reservation, property management and global distribution systems into one fully integrated platform.
These management solutions allow hotels that single view to tailor offers to their guests, based on preferences, profile and behaviour, using an advanced rule-based engine to filter hotel content and return the most relevant offers. Such levels of personalisation (knowing who the end-user is and what he/she likes) and contextualisation (knowing what they are doing) can transform online conversion rates and dramatically improve the overall guest shopping experience.
With the right technology powering your brand, it frees your staff to focus on what’s truly important: the guest.