According to a new survey of more than 1,200 hoteliers by Expedia Group chain hotels1 are nearly twice as likely as small independent properties2 to prioritize technology investment. Alternatively, small independent properties are 1.5 times as likely as chain hotels to prioritize room renovations – indicating a gap in technology investment strategies among different hotelier segments.
Reliance on technology is becoming increasingly important in the lodging industry as hotels begin to recognize how they can gain key competitive advantage with strategic technology investments. According to the latest report by Hospitality Technology3, 54% of hotels plan to increase their technology budgets for 2019, while only 8% plan to decrease.
However, cost continues to be the key barrier with technology adoption for many hoteliers, with nearly half of the small independent hotels surveyed indicating that technology investment decisions are based on affordability and value. In contrast, more than half of the chain hotels prioritize technology that seamlessly integrates with their existing systems.
"We're witnessing chain hotels place significant investments in technology, which opens the potential for a greater divide between properties that are not able to match those investments," said Ait Voncke, senior vice president, Expedia Group. "Technology has the power to level the playing field for hoteliers of all sizes. We continue to listen to our partners' needs and invest in how best to serve all our partners so even the smallest of properties can compete effectively and find opportunities to succeed."
Among the small independent hotels surveyed, 1 in 4 cited complexity as their biggest challenge when adopting technology, with 1 in 3 saying ease of use is a priority when evaluating solutions. To remove these barriers, Expedia Group is making enhancements to its platform so partners not only have the right resources whenever and wherever they need it, these solutions are delivered through intuitive and easy to use tools.
Recently, the company released new user-friendly features on Expedia Group Partner Central platform to further streamline everyday tasks and provide suppliers instant access to relevant information so they can make real-time, informed decisions. New, enhanced features include:
- Partner Central Mobile App improvements – a series of upcoming enhancements will make managing rooms and rates easier with modified calendar navigation, the ability to view inventory and availability and make real time updates to reduce errors. Suppliers can also receive mobile notifications for bookings, cancellations, guest messages and prioritize with easy to use filters.
- New "Rooms and Rates" overview page – the simplified view streamlines information and tasks related to rooms, rates and inventory. The new page reduces the number of links and helps suppliers determine where to take action with business alerts and high-level insights.
- New "Marketing" overview page – suppliers currently using marketing tools will see reporting on their results, while suppliers that are not will be educated on the various tools available to influence their availability and increase conversion. The page brings the top five countries with the greatest booking opportunity and raises awareness of their property within the marketplace.
- New adaptive home page – designed to provide customized recommendations for partners based on their current familiarity with Partner Central. This personalised experience that enable suppliers to identify certain time-sensitive tasks they should take to accelerate booking potential on Expedia Group's marketplace. This will be made available to majority of properties at the end of the year.
- Multi property portfolio dashboard – provides a portfolio snapshot for suppliers managing two or more properties. The dashboard indicates the list of accommodations associated to the user, provides insights for each property and signals when and where action is needed.
The study polled 1,215 global hotelier participants in July 2019 for a choice based study to determine how hotel properties are prioritizing their technology investment spend. The study leveraged Expedia Group's global hotelier panel in order to compare technology spending between chain hotels and small independent properties. Chain hotels are classified as properties self-selected as part of a chain affiliation or group of properties with more than 100 rooms, while small independent properties are classified as properties with no chain affiliation and 100 rooms or less.
1 Chain properties: properties self-selected as part of a chain affiliation or group of properties with more than 100 rooms.
2 Small independent properties: independent properties with no chain affiliation and 100 rooms or less.
3 2019 Lodging Technology Study, Hospitality Technology
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