November 09, 2012

Fast pace of change in online travel calls for a solid hotel strategy

Today's most critical aspect in hotel marketing is for a hotel to have a solid distribution and online strategy that everyone within the organisation understands and supports. And the focus should be more on customers and how the channels chosen best fit their needs.

Several new concepts have emerged in the last 12 months. Start-ups today are trying to bring more transparency into the planning and booking process, by promising to improve on the whole search and discovery process. The aim is to deliver better content or information, and let consumers get closer to knowing what they are booking. Others are purely relying on mobile growth and then there are those serving up the best deals by analysing the pricing behaviour of hotels.

For Audrey Murante, senior director, eBusiness Development, Carlson Hotels, Americas, the most disruptive element is simply the pace of change. But instead of being swayed by this, she says the focus should be on customers and how the channels chosen best fit their needs. In fact customers are increasingly driving the face of hotel distribution based on their needs and changes in technology. “Look at our efforts to respond to consumer reviews via social media,” she says. “As in any organisation we need to listen to our customers more and provide the services they want; not what is easy for us to provide.”

Of course, you cannot be everything to every customer but Murante is clear of the need to support channels of distribution based on the customers they serve.

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