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Think about the moment when you first enter your hotel room. Look around: Does the room tell you anything unique about the hotel where you are staying? Or is it all beige walls and double beds with white covers, and you have to walk back outside and look at the sign on the hotel’s facade to even remember where you are?

Hotel guests commonly bring multiple devices with them during their stay. However, many hotel environments don’t provide easy access to charging outlets. This situation can lead to a guest feeling more than inconvenienced. A recent survey found almost 90 percent of people "felt panic" when their phone battery dropped to 20 percent or below.

Spam is one of the major problems that most hotel website owners face on regular basis. It is a bad practice used by spammers to persuade the page rank of a site.

GBTA recently partnered with AccorHotels to conduct a study investigating the role of loyalty in managed travel programs in Europe with the goal of understanding how loyalty programs currently fit within company travel policy and what opportunities may exist in the future.

People today expect to be connected always and everywhere; sometimes it’s hard to believe that there was a world before smartphones and Wi-Fi. In the time since Wi-Fi became ubiquitous in hotels, apartments, and public spaces, it has fueled the evolution of connectivity in a lot of ways. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the most basic needs start at the bottom, and you can’t get to the next level without a strong foundation. 



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The Distribution Landscape in 2015

01/22/2015

The recent shifts and changes in the landscape of distribution continue to take form in 2015. With fragmented distribution, fierce competition and better-informed consumers, guest loyalty is elusive and costly. Transactions via mobile are increasing exponentially and bookings shift from what we used to know as walk-ins, to mobile app bookings with a lead time of zero.

But even as distribution fragmentation continues, and even expands, also expect tighter integration of the entire landscape. It is now common to expect brand websites listing reviews from third parties, and those same third parties directing traffic back to brand sites, or even processing the booking. These integrations level the playing field for independent hotels, giving them the ability to engage and profile their guest from search to retouch if abandonment occurs, to booking, and even pre check-in.

The key to this new era will be significant content; integrations will mature from room and rate availability to descriptive content, images and other items that foster engagement. Traditional channels such as GDS will continue to remain steady as they work to bring additional qualifiers and indicators to agents. Alternative lodging sources, such as bedroom rentals, are here to stay and new distribution channels such as Alibaba and Amazon will need to be considered. 

Metasearch sites are very popular with guests so it is important for the hotelier to have an understanding of cross-context search in order to compete with OTAs. The consumer now uses multiple devices to complete a booking, so it will be important for hotels to ensure their own booking engines are responsive. This will also be a factor for the now popular mobile only rates, which will most likely disappear as technological advances make the more important cross-context booking easier for the multi-screen user.

The landscape of distribution is ever changing and understanding these opportunities with a mindset that our consumer is constantly connected allows us to use innovative technologies to reach them. Having associates or partners who understand this landscape and can help navigate the various channels and tools available will be crucial to a hotel’s success in 2015 and beyond.

About The Author
Estella Hale
VP of Products
Sceptre Hospitality Resources


Estella Hale is the vice president of products for Sceptre Hospitality Resouces.

 
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