OTAs have once again pushed innovation faster than the hotel industry itself, and they’re prepared to disrupt the stagnant back-of-house tech stack.
The question hoteliers must ask themselves before partnering with these distribution conglomerates again - the question they forgot to ask the first time - is whether Expedia, Booking, etc. have hoteliers’ best interests at heart.
Are the tools Expedia and Priceline are building and buying driving the most cost-effective demand to your hotels? Or are they offering them free to hoteliers in order to drive more bookings through their own sites and giving themselves more control over your inventory?
Clearly the hotel ecommerce space is up for disruption. Cloud functionality and data analysis are revolutionizing the way hotels can connect with their guests, and it’s all happening very quickly. A more seamless and personalized hotel experience - from search to booking, through the on-property experience and post-stay follow-up - is here, and if done right has the potential to multiply guest satisfaction and hotel revenue.
But does that mean that outsourcing more of your operations to online distribution companies is the right move? Or should hotels look elsewhere for innovation?
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