Changes in tech­nol­ogy

The Insider - - NEWS -

Smart mo­bile tech­nol­ogy hasn’t been around all that long, but it’s al­ready be­come as com­mon as a tooth­brush in our ev­ery­day lives.

So it’s no won­der that a qual­ity mo­bile ex­pe­ri­ence is im­per­a­tive when guests com­mu­ni­cate with ho­tels, and of­ten a fac­tor in their book­ing de­ci­sions. From mo­bile keys and room con­trols, to apps, lo­ca­tion-based deals and con­tent, mo­bile plays a crit­i­cal role in the creation of a per­son­al­ized guest ex­pe­ri­ence.

Con­sumer-cen­tric tech­nol­ogy ag­gre­ga­tors such as Airbnb, HomeAway and other OTAs learned this les­son quickly, be­com­ing early adopters of mo­bile. Which is one rea­son they con­tinue to take mar­ket share away from in­cum­bent brands, redefin­ing what con­sumers ex­pect from lodg­ing providers.

Pri­vate ac­com­mo­da­tions now ac­count for close to one fifth of the en­tire Ho­tel, Lodg­ing and Pri­vate Ac­com­mo­da­tion (HLPA) mar­ket, with book­ings grow­ing at a faster rate than ho­tels.

But pri­vate ac­com­mo­da­tion ser­vices don’t stop there. Users of Airbnb can now book ac­tiv­i­ties at the des­ti­na­tion through Airbnb’s Trips fea­ture. Not only does this open up new rev­enue op­por­tu­ni­ties for the 3rd largest pri­vate ac­com­mo­da­tion com­pany, it pro­vides vis­i­bil­ity into the guests’ travel jour­ney, pref­er­ences and be­hav­iors — data that is the holy grail of de­liv­er­ing a per­son­al­ized cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence. So it’s no won­der that in a re­cent sur­vey by Hos­pi­tal­ity Tech­nol­ogy, 52% of ho­tel op­er­a­tors said that im­prov­ing their dig­i­tal cus­tomer en­gage­ment is a strate­gic pri­or­ity for them in 2017.

For the ma­jor­ity of the US pop­u­la­tion, a smart­phone is no longer a con­ve­nient lux­ury item, it’s an in­te­gral part of their daily lives — some­thing they can’t seem to keep their hands off.

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