The travel industry is an ever-evolving sector, constantly shaped by technological advancements and changing consumer preferences. For big hotel chains, with their global presence and abundant resources, staying ahead in this dynamic landscape requires adaptation and embracing new strategies.
So, how can big hotel chains optimize their businesses to ensure future success?
Well, the solution lies in a clear focus on key areas such as distribution strategies, sustainability initiatives, connectivity incentives and technology partnerships.
Here are my top 10 recommendations for hotel chains to stay ahead of their peers.
Idea 1: Embrace Technological Innovations
To remain competitive, big hotel chains should wholeheartedly embrace technological innovations that not only enhance the guest experience but also streamline operations.
Imagine a world where guests can bypass long check-in queues and access their rooms with ease using mobile check-ins and keyless room access via smartphone apps. It’s not just convenient for guests, but it also improves efficiency for hotel staff.
And what if the guests could have control over the room’s lighting, temperature, and entertainment through voice commands or mobile apps – it creates a personalized and seamless experience for guests.
Leveraging AI and IoT technologies can provide valuable insights into guest preferences, enabling hotels to offer personalized recommendations, improve service delivery, and optimize resource management.
Idea 2: Strengthen your Distribution Capability
Distribution continues to be pivotal in your hotel revenue management Idea. Here’s what big hotel chains need to do to strengthen their capability.
- Big hotel chains must strike a balance between utilizing online travel agencies (OTAs) and leveraging their own distribution reach. While OTAs play a significant role in attracting bookings, direct bookings through hotel websites and loyalty programs offer several advantages.
- Hotel chains should invest in robust customer relationship management (CRM) systems that enable them to capture and analyze guest data, allowing for targeted marketing campaigns and personalized offers.
Learn How Hoteliers can Balance Online & Direct Bookings
Idea 3: Leverage Tech Partnerships for Enhanced Distribution
Big hotel chains can expand their distribution reach by forming strategic technology partnerships with travel platforms, online travel agencies, and metasearch engines.
- These partnerships can provide access to a broader audience, increase brand visibility, and attract new customers.
- By integrating their inventory and pricing systems with these platforms, hotel chains can ensure accurate and up-to-date availability of information, optimize pricing strategies, and maintain control over their distribution channels.
- Such partnerships also enable seamless booking experiences, where guests can book directly through the hotel’s website or app while enjoying the benefits and rewards of loyalty programs.
Idea 4: Optimize Content and Visual Appeal
In the digital age, visual content plays a crucial role in attracting and engaging travelers. Therefore, big hotel chains should prioritize content optimization, ensuring that their website and online platforms feature high-quality images and videos that showcase their properties and amenities in the best light.
Furthermore, investing in professional photography, or engaging user-generated content can create an authentic and visually appealing representation of the hotel experience.
Idea 5: Power your Social Media with User-Generated Content
Encouraging guests to share their experiences can be a powerful marketing tool. Big hotel chains can leverage social media platforms to showcase user-generated content, engage with their audience, and build an online community.
By sharing guest reviews, testimonials, and visually appealing content generated by satisfied customers, hotels can enhance their online presence and attract new guests.
Idea 6: Engage the Guests with AR & VR Technologies
These emerging technologies can revolutionize the way guests explore and interact with hotel properties. Here’s how:
- Potential guests can take virtual tours through Virtual Reality (VR) headsets or 360-degree videos, allowing them to immerse themselves in the hotel’s ambiance and envision their stay.
- Augmented Reality (AR) applications can enhance the on-site experience by providing interactive information and features, such as virtual concierge services or digital guides to local attractions. These technologies truly offer a new level of engagement and excitement for guests.
Read More: Extended Reality is the New Dimension to Hospitality’s Social Presence
Idea 7: Adopt Sustainable Initiatives
Sustainability has become a critical aspect of the travel industry, and big hotel chains can lead the way by adopting eco-friendly practices and implementing sustainable initiatives. Here are some of the sustainable initiatives that big hotel chains can adopt:
- Investing in energy-efficient technologies like LED lighting and smart thermostats can significantly reduce energy consumption.
- Implementing water-saving measures, such as low-flow faucets and toilets, can minimize water usage.
- Recycling programs, waste reduction strategies, and partnerships with local organizations for responsible waste management contribute to a circular economy.
- Additionally, supporting local communities, sourcing locally produced goods, and promoting cultural preservation can enhance a hotel’s sustainability profile.
Read More: Technology as a Driver for Sustainable Travel
Idea 8: Prioritize Accessibility and Multilingual Content
Big hotel chains should prioritize accessibility and provide multilingual content to cater to a diverse global audience. Here’s why it is important:
- Translating their website, mobile apps, and key information into multiple languages can help overcome language barriers and make the booking process more inclusive.
- Moreover, ensuring that digital platforms are accessible to individuals with disabilities, such as through screen reader compatibility and text alternatives for images, demonstrating a commitment to inclusivity.
Idea 9: Utilize Data Analytics and Personalization
Utilizing data analytics can provide valuable insights into guest preferences and behaviors. By analyzing data collected from online interactions, bookings, and guest feedback, hotel chains can create targeted marketing campaigns and personalized offers. Tailoring content based on guest profiles and past behavior can enhance engagement, drive conversions, and foster customer loyalty.
Idea 10: Connectivity Incentives
In this modern age, seamless connectivity and high-speed internet access are essential expectations for travelers. Here’s what big hotels can do to meet these demands:
- Hotel chains should invest in robust Wi-Fi infrastructure to provide uninterrupted internet access throughout their properties.
- Furthermore, offering charging stations in public areas and guest rooms caters to the increasing reliability on personal electronic devices.
- Integrating smart room features like voice-controlled assistants, personalized entertainment systems, and IoT-enabled devices can enhance guest comfort and convenience.
The future of travel for big hotel chains is full of opportunities, and by staying ahead of the curve, these companies can continue to thrive in the ever-evolving travel industry.
About the Author
VP, Commercial (Europe)