By Daniel E. Craig
We can certainly say that 2017 is poised to be a year of disruption in American politics. Does the same apply to the global hotel industry?
Disruption can be defined as a radical change in an industry, especially involving the introduction of a new product or service that creates a new market. It often brings disorder and confusion, and companies that don’t adapt risk becoming obsolete.
In my next webinar with ReviewPro, we explore three major disruptive forces in the hotel industry:
1. Rise of Megabrands
In recent years we have witnessed massive consolidation among hotel companies and online travel agencies, and in 2017 we’ll start to see the full impact of these changes.
According to Lodging Econometrics’ Q4 2015 report, the three biggest hotel conglomerates, Hilton, Marriott and IHG, accounted for 37 percent of worldwide hotel construction, with 11,130 development projects in the pipeline. Snapping at their heels is AccorHotels Group, with more than 4,000 hotels in its portfolio and ambitious plans to grow and diversify.
On the OTA front, Priceline Group and Expedia Inc. continue to grow at a much faster pace than hotel companies, commanding a virtual duopoly on an international scale. Yet Ctrip.com is proving to be a veritable force as it extends its reach beyond China.
“To stay competitive in a mega brand and OTA-driven world, it’s really a matter of personalized vs. one-size-fits-all,” says Simone Puorto, director of global accounts and quality manager at WIHP. “Hoteliers have a number of tools at their disposal, from opaque rates to metasearch advertising, and from tailor-made services to AI travel assistants.”
Puorto will be one of my co-presenters on the webinar, along with Fiona Gillen, vice president of marketing at ReviewPro.
2. Growth of Private Rentals Sector
As much as some hotel executives may be in denial, the rapidly-expanding private rentals sector represents another disruptive force in the hotel industry today. You can read more on this topic in my article, The Incredible Shrinking Hotel Industry.
3. Digital Customer Service
A third disruptive force that’s still in its infancy is the rise of digital customer service. Increasingly, travelers are turning to digital platforms to plan trips, make inquiries with businesses and share experiences.
Whether it’s online check-in, messaging apps, chatbots, voice-activated technology or even humanoid robots, an increasing number of tasks in the hospitality business that were previously performed by humans now have the potential to be performed by computers.
Join us on Tuesday, January 31 for this free one-hour webinar, when we’ll discuss what these trends mean and how hoteliers can adapt and stay competitive in 2017 and beyond.
If you miss the webinar, you can download it and all previous webinars and guides in ReviewPro’s Resource Hub.