Vendor Updates


2021 Spring
New York, NY

As challenging as the past year has been and continues to be in the first quarter of 2021, consumers have learned new ways to consume travel and hospitality products and services. Industry leaders have acknowledged and planned for this. People have seen how easy it is to consume services online, which means that digital transformation across the board is here to stay. Consumers are seeking products and services via online and contactless sources, the good news being that industry leaders have spent a year building those very things. Over 2020, Mastercard indicated that they saw an uptick in online transactions of 40%. This is all the more reason for hospitality organizations and their partners to continue to enhance their capacity to sell via online channels, enabling consumers to book reservations remotely and to enjoy services via contactless self-service solutions while on property. 

When the time comes, consumers will be looking to do more and more via their mobile devices to buy products and services both remotely and while they are on property such as online check-in, room upgrades, dining reservations, amenities and entertainment facilities and others. They will carry their new expectations into what a great experience should be. The good news is that there is existing technology to support that. Amazon is testing Amazon Explore to add virtual experiences as part of the purchase experience for Prime members. This kind of support to meet emerging guest expectations is becoming a part of the mainstream, and just in time for a boom from 2022 onward. People haven't travelled for 12 to 18 months, so it’s important to acknowledge the powerful potential of that pent-up demand.

Also thanks to emerging technology, an emphasis on direct sales is more viable now than ever. The company website is the face of the business, with all the right products and services reflected there to drive as much as business as possible with fewer associated costs. Marketing campaigns – direct booking ads embedded in marketing promotions on Facebook and other social media channels – are streamlined for that online experience to promote direct business. Once on site, automated web bots, video and click-to-chat functions are there to support consumers and enhance their booking experience. This is becoming more accessible to organizations, opening up a lot of potential for success.

We need to remind ourselves that hospitality is still all about the experience. With all of the new lessons we’ve learned over a very challenging year, and with all of the emerging technologies that hospitality leaders have invested in to meet this new era, as long as we keep the guest experience as our horizon line, we have every reason to be optimistic.

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