Changes in technology
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.