otel industry is a ever blooming business. Travel and tourism keeps on growing every year. Travellers always look for the perfect accommodation. Due to very high demand in accommodation, the competition is also high in this business. In the crowded travel spots, you can see hotels at each and every locality. High competition is a major challenge in this sector. To reap the high profits, new or existing competitors could significantly reduce rates or provide greater conveniences, services or amenities, or significantly expand, improve or introduce new facilities in the markets.
The increase in mobile traffic and the importance of metasearch engines, the emergence of voice searches and the need to respond to an always-connected user are the main hotel industry challenges for 2019. These are some of the conclusions drawn from the event organized by Roiback, specialist and leader in the management of the direct channel of hotel sales, together with Google and Palladium Hotel Group, during FITUR (the International Tourism Fair held in Madrid, Spain).
The event has brought together 150 participants among hoteliers, decision-makers, and media. Paola Amoruso, Head of Channel Sales in Spain and Portugal of Google, has analyzed the current consumer, defining him as “super curious, very demanding and impatient”. In a context where, every day, the active buyer does 1.5 searches about its next trip, Amoruso highlighted the importance of understanding that digital buyers are always active and connected and that do not depend on seasons: “they search all the time, so hotels should always be there to not lose sales.”
Amoruso also defined mobile as the “device on the go” and highlighted that only 1 of each 4 users continue their reservation with a company or a brand that has a slow mobile site or app, moreover, over 50% of travelers have a negative perception of a brand if they have a slow mobile site or app. On this matter, Rebeca González, Managing Director of Roiback, explained that the mobile channel is one of the biggest challenge hotels face: “Mobile traffic has grown exponentially in recent years, reaching over 50% of the total traffic on hotels websites. 30% of Roiback’s total bookings are made through the mobile channel with an impressive annual growth year after year and the trend is to keep rising over the next few years. Those hotels that do not have an optimal mobile solution will see their sales and profitability negatively affected this year.”
González also underlined that 2019 is foreseen to be “an uncertain year, with a possible weakening of the demand”. Another of the main keys of hotel distribution and which allows competing with the OTAs to optimize the direct channel are loyalty programs: “Hotels have a huge challenge to catch the direct customer. Currently, there is a fierce fight on the part of big hotel chains and OTAs to ‘take over’ the clients. This means that for the other chains and independent hotels is key and a strategic factor to have a loyalty program.”
In the hospitality industry, delivering a seamless, personal and innovative guest experience is crucial. Each hotel has many opportunities to engage its customers and provide a delightful experience, and innovative hoteliers are creating multiple guest service improvements by leveraging their payment solutions in new and effective ways.
Hospitality businesses around the world have implemented innovative payment technologies at every point of interaction. From cashless payment options in vending machines, to being able to pay for drinks on a wireless or mobile point of sale (mPOS) device while poolside, hotels are seamlessly integrating payment technologies throughout their business to create a more seamless customer experience.
The right partner for your hotel merchant account can help you save time on operational tasks and money as well. Your payment processing should be as smooth and fresh as clean linens. For example, with a POS solution built expressly for hotels you can:
- Quickly access your complete reservation log, as well as view individual guest’s reservation history at your hotel—without having to fumble through paper records
- Track and manage inventory for your hotel, including the supplies for your office, restaurant, snack bar, housekeeping, and more
- Pull reporting that details peak reservation times at your hotel, as well as data on which associates are booking the most reservations
When you choose iPayTotal for your hotel merchant account, you’ll also enjoy:
- Reliable, protected debit and credit card processing
- Streamlined payments that your staff can accept from multiple locations
- Gift cards and other stored value cards to drive sales
- Live 24/7 phone and email support—even on major holidays
- Helpful troubleshooting and timely alerts to help you quickly resolve payment issues