A senior analyst at PricewaterhouseCoopers has urged hotels to meet the needs of increasingly technology-savvy consumers or experience problems with growth.
The issue is more acute in Europe’s so-called lifestyle hotel sector – featuring the likes of Malmaison, Sorat, Artotels, and Radisson – where customers are often driving the frenetic pace of change in overall consumer behaviour.
PWC said the challenge for hoteliers is to develop new business models that can be “flexibile enough” to attract and cope with web-savvy consumers, but also provide new revenue streams.
Sharon Stotts, director performance improvement consulting at PWC, said: “What we are seeing is a revolution where the consumers will soon overtake businesses in demanding what they want, when they want it, in a way they want it.”
“Virtual walls and barriers inside and outside a business need to be brought down. Strategically this model will encourage integration across geographical borders and will appear accessible to business partners,” she told Travolution.
One of the groups singled out by Stotts is the Radisson chain, which has recently won praise elsewhere and managed to “differentiate itself” with its use of rich media.
Stotts told Travolution that the use of pre-trip experience models like TripAdvisor could also benefit hoteliers.
“Just as we are seeing in the media sector, delivering the content that customers are looking for is increasingly the key to success,” Stotts added.
Hoteliers that ignore technology would find their success impeded, Stotts continued, characterised by continuing to operate in silos and fiefdoms, with slow decision making and outdated performance measurements.