Make 2020 the year of disruption for your hotel – Hotel-Online
Larry Mogelonski | January 29, 2020
By Larry Mogelonsky, MBA, ing. (www.hotelmogel.com)
We no longer work in the hospitality industry but rather in the larger accommodation industry. The real impact of the sharing economy and alternative accommodation providers, as led by Airbnb, is such that they have completely changed the way the average traveler views their options when booking accommodation.
While the plebs in the traditional hotel sector have had a fairly good year in the past in terms of RevPAR and occupancy growth, rest assured that these numbers have been supported by a healthy economy and that we may suffer if another slowdown was occurring, especially if those juicy group contracts start to succumb to any form of rate arbitrage.
Rather than being a steadfast harbinger for our industry, I always try to take a proactive approach to any newcomer or competitor. Now that these alternative hosting providers are entering other market segments, it’s time to emulate these disruptors in order to create modern products that can compete on more than price.
One of the reasons the sharing economy has grown in leaps and bounds is that the operators of these digital platforms are able to offer guests experiences that hotels have not yet properly facilitated. . Travelers want to be part of the community and live like locals. They want interesting spaces. They want to have access to good food. They want to visit places and interact with their surroundings in bold and interesting ways. They want memories.
Where traditional hotels have an insurmountable advantage over any bed and breakfast is in our ability to raise capital for new projects and improvements that help meet guest desires. While single unit operators may be more agile as far as room upgrades or other tactical executions are concerned, they will never be able to implement new features or amenities outside of their immediate cash flow. .
Taking this principle to heart, hotels can turn the travel landscape upside down by providing truly unique experiences for their guests. Offer consumers something they won’t find anywhere else and make it easier to buy.
A good start for this is to bundle overnight stays with onsite F&B, spa, giveaways, tours, or whatever activity you already have. It is this last point that needs a bit more explanation as customers all over the world are looking for fun and memorable activities. In addition, the daily life of your customers is already busy enough that they reward the hotel which is able to make it easier for them, that is, to let the establishment take care of all the arrangements. After all, you are the local expert, not them.
When designing what to offer your guests as activities or experiences, it is always best to start small and focus on one or two basic experiences that have genuine precedent with your property and surroundings. Each property is different, which makes this exercise both very comprehensive and rewarding.
Once you have an enticing list of packages with unique experiences, the next step is to present them to your potential customers. Ideally, you want your website to handle the bulk of your bookings as it reduces the workload on your booking agents while preventing any reduction in your margins due to external commissions. For this, a simple, direct and above all mobile presentation will suffice.
Beyond that, you now get into how you manage all of your channel partners, which is the subject of these voluminous marketing plans written every fall. But if you think about how you can learn from these new age disruptors in terms of the experiences you provide to your guests, your hotel will have a very healthy future. My conclusion is that disruption doesn’t mean the end but a chance for new income generators, but only if you know how to make them work for you!