Hotels are doing more and more to influence their customers with a variety of digital solutions. Gone are the days when hospitality was just about putting a roof over a traveler's head.
“If we received a penny for every time a travel industry executive talked about how consumers are looking for ‘experiences’, we’d be billionaires by now.” Writes Deanna Ting in her article “Travel brands want to become experience platforms” in Skift report Megatrends defining travel in 2018.
There is a serious effort by hotel and other travel brands to align their strategies towards having a bigger role in travelers’ experience.
Ting says: “It’s another reason why global hotel companies like Marriott International, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, and Accor Hotels are trying to expand beyond what they’ve always been known for — and no doubt trying to develop more direct relationships with their customers by encouraging them to book direct and bypass the Expedias and Pricelines of the world.”
Remember those backpackers, who used to travel the world with a hard copy of Lonely Planet? What about the once who used a disposable camera? They’ve grown into a rare breed; travelers of this decade rely on their electronic devices to store their memories, adjust their schedules and travel routes, and find out more about the culture and ways of the countries they have traveled.
Booking is only one part of the travelers’ digital experience, which the hotel can influence. Other relevant parts include hotel’s website, mail communication, and other material the traveler is offered by the hotel.
It goes without saying that all material should be in electronic format and easily accessible by the customer. Nobody carries brochures around anymore. Since most travelers use a range of end-user devices, it is important that the material is able to deliver the same experience, regardless of the device. This can be a major pain point for hotels.
Luckily, there are powerful and cost-effective solutions available to enhance the digital experience of the hotel guests.
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