Here we are in Spring 2021! COVID is slowly fading as more and more of us get vaccinated, and occupancies are ever so slowly creeping back up to levels that are at least vaguely reminiscent of what we used to call “normal”.
Make no mistakes about it though, the bombshell that was COVID forever changed the landscape of revenue management. As we start to rebuild our teams and reassess our old ways of doing business, we are realizing that to succeed in a post-COVID 2021 we will need to re-align our priorities and stay on top of the latest trends to remain viable in this new, lower rated, over-saturated, and hyper-competitive hotel world.
In a recent panel hosted by Siteminder, founder Bill Daviau gave his predictions for the top 3 biggest tech innovations that he thought would make or break the industry in 2021.
- Automation, system interconnectivity, and API integrations– As our teams were trimmed down in size during the worst part of COVID we are now having to do more with fewer people, and something has to give. More and more hotel management companies need to create efficiencies. While many RM systems have helped to alleviate some of the button pushing when it comes to rate changes, and yielding decisions, hotel teams are still looking for ways to further streamline other aspects of revenue management, such as reporting and distribution.
- Forward looking benchmarks – In our world of real-time reporting for almost anything you could imagine and on-demand services for everything from your next dinner to hiring a handyman to fix your faucet, old-school historical reports such as the STR report are becoming less and less relevant to future decision making. There is now a greater need for forward looking benchmarking, and many hotelier are looking for possible future trends in all sorts of creative sources such as flight data, rate shop API data, and search + impression data from digital strategy platforms. Smith Travel has seen the demand and over the past year has been piloting a new program, and will soon be releasing their Forward STAR report in response. Expect this become increasingly important on future revenue strategy calls as the technology is perfected.
- Growing Importance of Digital Presence and E-Commerce – It’s one thing to play with rates, but if your online presence is weak or non-existent, your hotel won’t be booked by guests. Expect more independents and brand hotels to get into meta search, travel ads + sponsored listings. Everyone is participating in pay-to-play strategies to help boost their visibility, and digital strategy spend is poised to explode over the coming years as hotels vie for the same travellers who hold the key to bringing back occupancy and ADR in a post-COVID travel world.
Do you agree or disagree with Bill’s 3 predicted tech trends? Either way we’d love to hear from you!