Embracing new technology will help hoteliers win business back from online travel agents (OTAs), according to a new report.
In his paper, ‘The hotel in the clouds – Paths to innovation in hospitality’, Martin Jordan, head of innovation at creative agency Equator, outlined how he thinks the industry can enhance margins and bring a more personalised customer experience.
Jordan believes by harnessing the power of good data and connecting systems intelligently, the hotel industry can decrease OTA’s market share to levels found in the airline industry, where he says direct brand purchases still generate nearly 60 per cent of sales.
Outlining how hoteliers can build consumer brand loyalty, the report focuses on the efficiency and intelligence of cloud-based property management systems and owning the customer relationship on mobile.
Jordan also explores how AI-driven chatbot technology and smart UX can bring a more meaningful service for customers.
Equator is a creative agency that connects brand, marketing and technology in a bid to deliver more effective experiences. The company believes only innovative ideas built on meaningful connections can make the most of these opportunities, resulting in big numbers that truly transform brands.
The agency – which has offices in Glasgow, London and New York – has worked with Village Hotels, Hotel du Vin & Bistro, Gleneagles, Malmaison, Rocco Forte Hotels, Dalata Hotels and Crowne Plaza.
It helped Village Hotels roll-out Amazon Alexa as a virtual concierge service.
Johnson added: “The UK hotel industry has long been an early adopter of new technology, unafraid of venturing into the unknown to secure a better experience for customers.
“Now is definitely the time for hotels to show that attitude and act – there has never been this level of technological capability available at such a low cost with so much potential.
“By leading the way in building a better experience for customers, brands can stand head and shoulders above the competition, countering increasing commercial pressure from OTAs and boosting profit margins.”