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09/16/2021

Hotels Must Learn Lessons from Airlines to Bounce Back Stronger After Pandemic

Using interconnected technology platforms to drive the digital transformation of the industry and provide guests with increased choices and control over their stay will be the key to success.
Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor (Hotels)
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Hotels must learn lessons from the airline industry and embrace technology if they are to bounce back stronger from the Covid19 pandemic. That’s the message the chief executive of hospitality software solutions provider P3 Hotel Software delivered at this week’s Oracle Hospitality Virtual Connect conference, which took place from September 13- 15.

Phelim Pekaar told attendees that using interconnected technology platforms to drive the digital transformation of the industry and provide guests with increased choices and control over their stay will be the key to success as coronavirus restrictions continue to ease globally.

Mr. Pekaar added: “Much of the growth and success of airlines over the past 20 years was down to the way they embraced technology. They focused on revenue per passenger mile (RPM), rather than simply the cost of a ticket. They increased flexibility over services such as tickets, seat selection, luggage requirements and meals, which put the passenger in control of their trip. Airlines benefitted from these services becoming chargeable extras, and from partnerships with car hire companies, hotels, and other service providers which drove ancillary revenues.

“Hotels are not airlines but the key to their success applies: give the guest more control and provide them with the choices to tailor their visit to their needs. Post-pandemic, hotel guests want the same thing they always did – comfort, customer service and value for money. In an age when all they need to communicate, bank, book, order, and date is a cell phone, then they also want choices and to be in control of those choices.”

A recent survey of hotel operators[1] found that 25% of respondents believe the main goal of using technology was to improve the guest experience, compared to 11% who said it was to grow topline revenue. For Mr. Pekaar, whose company P3 is a sponsor of the Oracle Hospitality Virtual Connect event, they are the same thing.

“The needs of the guest must always be the priority – but technology which increases digitization and online integration of hotel operations embraces this principle and it also holds the key to driving revenue as the industry recovers.

“Hospitality management platform APIs enable the integration of software which facilitates a focus on TRevPAR (total revenue per available room) – on revenue streams from all hotel departments and not just rooms. With just a cell phone, a guest can go online to check-in and checkout; to book a restaurant table, a massage, or a parking space; to pay their bill, manage a room share, a split bill, or a group booking. They can also get the best room rates thanks to booking engine software which provides real-time information about when prices are likely to increase.

“It also allows for the automation of administrative tasks typically associated with guests arriving and departing from a hotel, thereby freeing up staff to focus on quality interaction with guests and ensuring that they receive greater levels of service. The benefits are for hotel operators just as much as they are for guests.”

 

[1] The Current State of Technology in Hotels and the way forward