The emergence of new technologies in a big, complex and dynamic market like the hospitality sector, is about to change it all.
As every big industry, once it reaches maturity and there are not many new players disrupting the game, investment in research and development diminishes. Hotels were leading the sector without major technological investments until they were overpassed by the enormous efficiency and supply that OTAs brought with them.
In the last years, we have witnessed radical game-changing companies emerge and automatically become active players of the global economy like Tesla using artificial intelligence in their cars, Huawei with 5G networks and independent cryptocurrencies powered with blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Online Travel Agencies have been dominating the scene, redirecting an important amount of bookings to their websites from the hotels’ sites. Hotels have been struggling to get their direct bookings back since OTAs centralization and automation makes them, in general, more efficient and able to offer interesting and valuable services to clients like non-stop customer care, flexible refunds, etc., services that independent hotels and Hotel Chains, in general, find hard to offer and afford.
However, the game is not lost for Hotels since during the last five years we have been seeing new and brave companies betting on new technologies to team up with the hotels and help them get back all of those valuable direct bookings.
There are emerging new technologies that are currently disrupting some of the biggest industries such as Automobiles, Telecommunications, Finance, etc. The most popular ones would be Big Data, 5G, Blockchain and in particular, Artificial Intelligence.
Artificial intelligence is a relatively new concept that may sound complex sometimes. In reality, it is not, what we know as AI are computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, like deep learning and natural language generation among other tasks.
Find below some successful cases of hotels implementing artificial intelligence to increase revenue and conversion rates.
Up-sell & Cross-sell
Oaky, drives incremental revenue and enhances the guest experience through targeted pre-arrival up-selling. Users can connect Oaky to their PMS and automatically sends personalized offers to your arriving guests. This amazing tool allows all kinds of integrations, PMS, booking engines, etc. Their fully data-driven tool enables hoteliers to supply their clients with a tailored service, specific to each client’s needs.
The Hotels Network, applies machine learning techniques to better understand user behavior and personalize the hotel website experience for each visitor with the strongest messaging and offer. The Hotels Network is able to raise direct bookings by 32% by using a variety of tools like real time price comparison, reviews summary and saved search among others.
Climber, developed a polished hotel analytics and smart pricing software that empowers revenue managers with the information they need to make confident decisions, easily keep hotel management up to date and outpace the competition.
Companies like HiJiffy are skyrocketing the market since their product is able to make any independent hotel or any hotel chain compete face to face with the biggest OTAs of the market. Implementing a chatbot, powered with artificial intelligence that, on average, is capable of handling and automating around 70% of all the client inquiries, through a big variety of channels (including social media like Facebook or WhatsApp, e-mail, website, etc.), 24/7 every day of the year, all centralized in one platform.
Despite these companies previously mentioned being new, we can start seeing their impact since not only independent hotels are becoming their partners but, big chains from all over the globe like Marriott, Pestana & Accor are investing in this new technology.
We can’t predict the future, but for sure we can assume that the emergence of these new companies will fuel competition among the hospitality industry and therefore we will have more innovation and research coming.