In a recent article The Emerging Digital Elite, author Glen Haussman shares the new class of traveler, the “digital elite,” which has jumped from 5% of all active travelers in 2011 to 33% today (source: US-based MMGY Global/Harrison Group). That is over 600% growth we’re looking at.
This new class of dedicated travelers is changing the way hoteliers do business. Digital travelers book their hotels online – 53% turn to OTAs to find the best prices for hotel services – and are pushing the market for better web-based hotel services (think downloadable discount coupons for hotel rooms, virtual tours of the area, easy-to-use booking features, and the ability to preview room locations). What this means for the hotel industry is to gear up for the digital future by investing in technologies that provide bigger opportunities for their business rather than simply acting as an add-on cost.
Hotel technology is as much about empowering the property as it is about enhancing your customer’s productivity when they are on your property. The way I see it, the shift in media habits of travelers is making way for innovative technology that helps hotels save big bucks. First and foremost is the cloud. Think about it, you no longer have to invest in heavy technology and pay an IT person to maintain and upgrade it continuously. It’s a great relief considering your property management system, point of sale terminals, spa systems, or even in-room entertainment is running smoothly without you even having to worry about their complex integrations or multiple-site control and connectivity. Cloud, rather than being a cost, is a cost-saving technology for hotels. It gives you the opportunity to work with a modern system design that is more employee friendly and translates into less training time for them, which means quicker turnover. No more excuses to be made to the guests waiting for check-in because your hotel’s front desk is “typing in” all that information.
With Hotelogix still on the drawing board, the thought that brought forth its existence was this belief that Cloud technology is finally at a point where it is going to make a great difference to hoteliers who want to manage their properties in a manner that opens up new business opportunities for the incoming rush of digital elite travelers.