It’s been a good year for the UK hospitality industry and the way the numbers indicate, the good run plans to continue well into 2015. According to PWC’s UK hotel’s forecast, Occupancy, RevPar and ADR have all increased this year and shall do so next year too.
Though the worst of the recession has been overcome, the UK hospitality sector should not take things for granted. There are many potholes that they do need to look out for to ensure that they can take full advantage of the growth momentum. Some of the main pain points that they should be aware of are
1) Cost of business is still high, and hotels, especially the small and mid-sized hotels need to find cost-effective solutions to manage their properties.
2) Prospering market means that the competition is also doing well, in the first six months of 2014 alone, more than 14,000 rooms have been added to the available room inventory in UK. Hotels need to ensure that they are capable of competing in a global marketplace.
3) Retention of old clients and attracting new ones with innovative offerings and personalized services.
One of the simplest ways in which the UK based hotels can overcome all these pain points is by using a cloud based property management system and distribution system. This shall ensure that hotels have cost effective solutions to manage their properties, have a single dashboard distribution system integrated with their website as well as systems in which they can track their customer’s preferences, tastes and track repeat guests.
Managing the costs of the hotel in the recovering UK market is something all hotels should be well aware off. They need to ensure that they can compete healthily in a market that has recovered to their pre-recession days and use their available resources to the full potential. That’s why a cloud based system would be the smartest move. A cloud based system doesn’t require any investment in IT infrastructure; it makes full use of the manpower resources available by taking over their workload. An effective cloud based distribution system ensures that rooms can be sold through various channels directly through their website eradicating the use as well as costs of the OTA’s. There are numerous manners in which a cloud based PMS and distribution system minimizes the cost of business for hotels and thereby increasing their RevPar. It’s a win-win situation without any catch involved.
One of the other advantages of having a cloud based distribution system is that it enables small and mid-sized hotels to be exposed to a much wider reach. Through the system’s channel managers and distribution channels, hotels can have their room inventory available in multiple websites and that too in real time. In this technological era, it is crucial that hotels are visible in the global marketplace, it would be professional suicide if the internet visibility of the hotel is not to the optimal level.
Systems and technology are imperative but hotels should not forget the absolute core important factor that ensures that they have a profitable business, and that is their guest. A happy customer ensures that they shall be loyal to the hotel and shall rate it favourably to their friends, colleagues as well as on travel websites. Nowadays everything is documented and people conduct a lot of research before finalizing their choice of stay. Hotels should ensure that their guests have an exceptional experience at their hotel and pay attention to the smaller things. Here too technology can help. A PMS helps hotels to track preferred tastes, room options, added services etc. of repeat guests. Hotels should use this to their benefit and ensure that repeat guests feel warmly welcomed as well as acknowledged.
PWC foresees that the hospitality industry in the UK and especially London shall have record trading in 2014 and 2015. Small and mid-sized hotels should ensure that they take the correct measures and profit well from the growing industry. It won’t take many changes but the benefits shall definitely be extremely fruitful.