A forecast for the hotel industry in the coming year

Posted on: 06/03/24

A forecast for the hotel industry in the coming year

In addition to significant revenue loss, valuable customer data and loyalty from hotels are also lost abroad. It’s high time for the industry to focus on increasing direct bookings instead of relying on OTA services.

OTAs, or online travel agencies, are third-party entities that facilitate hotel bookings through their platforms. These platforms have become increasingly necessary for the hotel industry over the past decade. While they contribute to increased traffic, they also take a significant portion of hotel revenue, averaging between 15 and 25 percent in commission. The loss of important customer data is also concerning as it can be crucial for building loyalty to the hotels in the future.

Automation and digitalization are some of the most important tools hotels have. A good example is how several establishments have successfully automated digital guest journeys. This year, it becomes even more crucial to balance this effort with human interaction. Automation can only become a competitive advantage when combined with good old-fashioned hospitality.

To provide an alternative to OTAs, we established an integrated platform in 2022, combining the PMS system VisBook and the loyalty platform Loyall. This platform enables hotels to collect data and build guest loyalty during the booking phase in a way that goes beyond previous solutions. Automation allows staff to minimize time spent on administrative tasks and instead focus on creating unforgettable hotel experiences.

We see that hotels succeeding in placing loyalty at the top of the list of automation and operations are strengthening their competitiveness. It’s when guests return to the hotel, and the receptionist gains insight into their preferences, that hotels can truly tailor the hotel experience. This builds loyalty.

Recent figures from last year show that our solution has great potential. On average, hotels using the solution manage to convert 20 percent of OTA bookings into direct bookings. These are revenues that directly strengthen the top line and create value.

Another welcome effect is how the solution makes it easier for hotels to cultivate and reward loyalty among their guests. Through automated invitations to loyalty programs, hotels can further build loyalty. We see that our solution contributes to converting 1 out of 3 bookings on average into loyalty members, leading to an additional value creation of 12 £ among our customers since 2023 – revenue that would otherwise have been lost.

However, it’s clear that the industry has a way to go. Consumer habits are deeply ingrained, and it’s unrealistic to imagine a hotel industry in the coming years where OTAs don’t matter. Yet, there are good examples of how hotels can challenge foreign OTAs.

One of the most challenging aspects of the industry is attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. It’s only when hotels start combining automation and operations with guest loyalty that we can ultimately reduce costs.

About VisBook:

Since the 90s, VisBook has been helping companies in the travel industry. The company offers an all-in-one platform that integrates all parts of hotel operations. With VisBook, all parts of the hotel are linked – such as booking, cleaning, spa, restaurant, and finance – into a user-friendly and scalable system. Today, VisBook helps over 1000 customers in the Nordic region and Europe and holds a leading position in PMS systems.

https://visbook.com

About Loyall:

Founded in 2015 in Norway, Loyall offers an integrated platform for customer loyalty. As a leading player in the Nordic region, the company focuses on automated loyalty programs that promote good guest experiences, direct bookings, and increased profitability for businesses. Loyall’s solutions are designed to be user-friendly and aim to strengthen the bonds between companies and their customers.

https://www.loyall.no

Check out how Loyall and VisBook are integrated by clicking here.

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