Successful hotel distribution strategies today require a holistic approach that encompasses each facet of the booking journey. In the coming months, hoteliers will be laser focused on optimizing their channel mix for profitability, personalizing the booking experience to increase conversion, and leaning on Artificial Intelligence to drive efficiencies.
To operate a successful hotel, there are a lot of things that have to go right. Owners need the right building in the right market tailored for the right demand generators, and operators need to build a top-notch management team equipped to offer great service.
Perhaps most importantly, though, is a well-thought out strategy to attract guests. Even the perfect hotel will not stay open long with no guests.
Gone are the days when hotels could simply open their doors next to a tourist destination and expect to fill up. As more and more hotels pop up in a market, hotels are constantly pressed to find ways to differentiate. Simultaneously, the ways travelers are searching and booking accommodations has evolved drastically, and hotels are constantly updating their strategies to ensure their offerings are in front of as many potential guests as possible.
Hotel distribution today involves a holistic approach to inventory management, digital marketing and pricing, with all teams across the commercial department acting in synchrony to ensure room availability and rates are appearing in the right places. To stay ahead of an increasingly complex landscape, hoteliers are turning to modern and innovative technology as an essential component of their distribution strategies.
- First, hotels must remain focused on optimizing their channel mix, which means analyzing which channels are the most profitable for them and driving as much business through these channels as possible. Ancillary channels can and should be used to fill in need periods or to reach travelers the hotel otherwise might not reach through its own channels.
- Next, it’s increasingly imperative for hoteliers to personalize a traveler’s booking experience, which can mean anything from using a first name in an email to presenting only offers that are relevant to that guest, based on previously identified preferences.
- To enable these and other modern distribution strategies at scale, hoteliers are increasingly relying on Artificial Intelligence. While the industry has long relied on machines for their ability to aggregate and normalize large sets
of guest and transactional data, we are at the beginning stages of AI actually putting this data into action. Today, AI is helping reduce manual work across hotel distribution, from generating rate packages and descriptions to knowledgable chatbots equipped to handle any guest inquiry.
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