The hotel industry is sleep walking towards a dead-end
Hoteliers face a lot of challenges these days. In a changing economic climate, they have to adapt and reflect changes not only in technology but also in guest expectations.
With a flood of distribution channels and with the rise of vacation rentals and the sharing economy, it is rather difficult for almost any hotel to find its niche.
Even though all these issues are quite obvious, hotel industry has been slow to respond…collectively! And that right there, I think it’s perhaps the most overlooked fact, in the recent history of the industry.
Interestingly, while the current mix of distribution channels and the issues mentioned here, affect the hotel industry as a whole, there hasn’t been a collective reaction to any of these issues.
Independent hotels use proportionally different marketing strategies, while chain hotels use loyalty perks to attract guests and increase direct bookings.
Now, consider for a moment, that each Online Travel Agency and Meta-Search site and Vacation rental site, represents a formidable marketplace with a large amount of inventory, offering a wide range of accommodation options to potential guests.
So, when an Online Travel Agency grows in power, it’s power and influence grows over the whole hotel industry and not just over a single hotel.
With such a wide reach, perhaps it’s easier for any hotel to go with the flow and rely solely on these distribution channels, but that’s just easier in short-term. In the long run, it will become obsolete for any hotel to have a distinguished online marketing presence, such as its own website.
OTAs know that and their future strategy depends on that. Take for instance Booking, that introduced it’s Booking Suite to hotels, offering free website creation with a commission cut.
It’s about time hotels set the agenda and realise how inherently dangerous the status quo is to their future.