In today’s highly competitive hotel industry, hotel irrespective of size, category, offerings and locations need to do everything that would help them attain ‘sustainability’ to remain competitive in the long run. In other words, they must understand the changes in hospitality technology, guests’ hotel booking pattern, their expectations, etc. to make required changes in their hotel business process at the right time to stay relevant.
Here’s an example that will better explain the scenario –
You run a 15-year-old hotel with 100 rooms in Lower Manhattan. Your property has been attracting a stable flow of guests since day one and let’s assume that you have been doing good business. But, in the last couple of years, you have noticed a sharp drop in your occupancy rate adversely impacting your revenue. You are neither able to attract more guests via OTAs, nor can you get more direct bookings through your website. Your staff are still wasting their time on mundane and unproductive work. However, despite all odds, given your hotel’s past record, you somehow have been able to keep your head above the water.
But, is it a ‘sustainable’ way of running a hotel in today’s hyper competitive environment?
The answer is NO.
Now let’s look at Hotel B, a relatively newer property in your locality with the same room count and more or less the same type of services. The management at this property has no worries when it comes to getting bookings from OTAs and other sales channels. They easily achieve a 90% to 95% occupancy. The management saves a significant number of man-hours daily to attend to their guests’ needs.
Now the question is – why can’t you achieve the same success as Hotel B? In fact, being the owner of an old and renowned property, you should have outsmarted the newer competition, right? So, what exactly has gone wrong in your case?
It looks like you have got your strategies all wrong. Perhaps, you couldn’t foresee the speed at which guests are booking their accommodations via online channels. Perhaps, you couldn’t sense the importance of newer hospitality technology platforms that have a huge impact on your hotel operations and business processes and are still using outdated solutions. Whatever it is, you have definitely failed to hold your position and have lost your relevance.
So, how could you get back your lost glory? You surely have to adopt new strategies to achieve the much needed ‘sustainability’ to compete with today’s smart hoteliers.
Let’s see how…
Adopt a Cloud Hotel Property Management System (PMS) and you are sure to overcome a solid chunk of issues relating to sustainability.
With a cloud-based Hotel PMS in place, you can boost your online room sales. This is very important in this era of digital travel as by 2022, nearly one-half of hotel booking revenues are projected to be from online sources. And when we talk about online hotel booking, we need to look at the importance of indirect bookings coming through OTAs, cost-effective direct bookings coming through hotel metasearch engines and direct bookings by your hotel’s website.
Only a cloud-based Hotel PMS System can efficiently help you generate enough bookings from the above-mentioned three online avenues.
More indirect bookings via OTAs
The 2-way integration between the Hotel PMS and a channel manager allows you to update rooms and rates on OTAs, in real-time. Your hotel’s up-to-the-minute inventory shows up on all the channels and thus reduces overbooking/double booking hassle.
This apart, it allows to list your property on an increased number of OTAs. This helps in enhancing your online visibility when you try to reach out to travelers in other geographies. Ultimately, you get to see more bookings coming in via your OTA partners. Here, even though you are bound to pay commission amount to your OTA partners, you are still in a position to get a steady and sustained flow of bookings to keep your rooms filled.
Additional cost-effective direct bookings via hotel metasearch engines
Hotel metasearch engines are growing in importance. Consider this stat – about 63% of hotels in the US have received direct bookings through one or more of the metasearch engines.
You would also need a cloud-based hotel property management software to get more out of metasearch engines. This would help you connect with leading hotel metasearch brands so that you can get more out of your metasearch investment. With the right approach and strategy, you can use metasearch sites to generate more booking either via your website or via any OTAs.
Increased direct bookings from your hotel website
In the United States alone, in 2017 to 2018, around 67% of travelers had booked their accommodations directly via hotel websites. Direct bookings help you earn more booking revenue while you get to save a lot on OTA commission. Here too, a cloud hotel management software comes to your aid.
The Hotel PMS and booking engine integration turns your hotel website into a potential source of generating more direct bookings. Moreover, it also helps you to get more direct bookings from your hotel’s Facebook page.
A cloud-based hotel management system’s capability to help you with a long-term sustainability does not just end here. You can leverage the power of this new-age application to do more –
Enhanced online reputation
With the right set of integrations capabilities, a cloud Hotel PMS can help you automate the process of collecting feedback and reviews from your guests. Integration of online reputation management solution makes it easier for you to keep track of what is being said about you on multiple review sites from a single dashboard. You can collect and analyze guest feedback to understand their sentiment so that you can make necessary changes in your offerings to project yourself as a brand that listens to its patrons.
One cannot miss out on scalability while discussing sustainability. A cloud Hotel PMS offers substantial support in this. It will efficiently empower you to scale up by allowing you to add more rooms to your property. You can also add new point of sale outlets like F&B, restaurant, giftshop, gym, spa, etc. Moreover, you can add numerous users with no extra cost.
Moreover, a cloud Hotel PMS System is quite easy-to-use and thus reduces your staff learning curve. And you know when your staff don’t have to struggle to work on a hotel software, it saves their time and increases their productivity. We are sure that with a cloud Hotel PMS, you will be able to revive your hotel business and will achieve sustainability to beat the competition on all fronts to stay relevant and attractive to today’s guests.
This article was originally published on: insights.ehotelier.com
Sources: apnews.com, skift.com