Brought to you by iDeaS Revenue Solutions
The Asian hotel sector is rapidly evolving. As the regional business and leisure travel market grows, so does the level of competition from global hotel chains expanding their presence into new markets, as well as emerging local brands and boutique accommodation offerings. A hotelier‚Äôs ability to attract the right guest, at the right time, for the right price, has never been more challenging, and the need for advanced operating systems has never been greater. But what are the technologies that will actually add value to a hotelier‚Äôs business today? What are the market trends supporting travel industry growth, and what systems exist to help target these opportunities in the future?
To further hoteliers own understanding of industry and technology trends, IDeaS Revenue Solutions, the leading provider of revenue management software and advisory services, together with hospitality innovation leader Hotel ICON, staged a pivotal hotel technology summit. The sold-out event, called HOTECH 2020, attracted over 300 hotel executives from Hong Kong and across Asia to discuss the outlook for the regional hotel sector and the role of technology in sales, marketing and revenue disciplines.
‚ÄúMany hotels across the APAC region are incorporating new technologies into their business. From chatbot concierge services to property specific apps, hoteliers are constantly looking at ways to enhance guest experiences,‚ÄĚ said Richard Hatter, general manager Hotel ICON & adjunct associate professor at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management Hotel ICON & The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. ‚ÄúHOTECH 2020 was a vitally important summit that promoted a message of hotel executives not only needing a working knowledge of common operational technology platforms, but also an understanding of how new solutions like AI and machine learning will disrupt the industry into the future. The hotel sector is still a ‚Äėpeople and service business‚Äô. Technology needs to be employed correctly to furnish us with the right data to make the right decisions as well as delight our guests and win their return business.‚ÄĚ
HOTECH 2020 featured top industry keynote speakers, such as Ephraim Lam from Facebook and hospitality digital marketing expert Anthony Yiu, along with multiple industry panel discussions, which featured market leaders from organisations such as Oracle, Expedia Group, YMCA, The Ascott and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Discussions at the event covered topics such as consumer trends in the online travel market, operational technology advancements, disruptions in travel distribution, revenue management and AI in the hotel sector.
Ting Huang, research analyst for Euromonitor International, spoke at HOTEH 2020 about exploring the future of online travel. She discussed the state of the regional travel market and how the future of travel would be increasingly shaped online and via mobile channels.
‚ÄúThe opportunities for the Asian hotel sector are significant. Today, the regional travel market is worth USD $843 billion and makes up 35 per cent of the total global travel sector. However, what is key for Asian hoteliers is that a growing portion of their guests will come from within Asia Pacific, and China will account for half of this market. Therefore, it is vital that hoteliers understand what motivates and attracts in-region travellers to choose one hotel property over another, particularly in relation to online influences and mobile booking preferences,‚ÄĚ said Huang.
‚ÄúAuthentic interaction with future guests must be relevant and linked to the demographic‚Äôs expectations as shaped by their consumer behaviours on platforms such as Facebook and Wechat. For instance, hoteliers looking to target millennial travellers could learn from AirAsia‚Äôs recent partnership with the mobile dating app Tinder for their ‚ÄėMeet Malaysia‚Äô campaign. This campaign leveraged the popularity of the dating platform with younger travellers to show off the best aspects of Malaysia, encouraging individuals to swipe right and ‚Äėmatch‚Äô with the destination.‚ÄĚ
What people say about a hotel online today not only impacts consumer perceptions of a property but can also directly influence its future financial performance. Rachel Grier, area managing director Asia Pacific for IDeaS, presented on this topic at HOTECH 2020.
‚ÄúOnline review sites and social media platforms were once relegated to the periphery of a revenue management strategy and handled exclusively by the public or guest relations department,‚ÄĚ said Grier. ‚ÄúRecent Cornell research found a correlation between reputation scores and average rates. In the study, a one per cent uplift in reputation score led to an increase of 0.89 per cent in ADR and 0.5 per cent in occupancy. These numbers are significant.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúIn today‚Äôs digital ecosystem, hotel guests have more buying power than ever before. To not only survive but thrive in such a challenging environment going forward, it is vital that hoteliers ensure they deliver on the ‚Äėseven Ps of marketing and revenue‚Äô.¬† This means not only ensuring your product (property) is as strong as it can be, but also generating the right promotions, in the right place, for the right price, targeting the right people, using the right proof points and following the correct processes,‚ÄĚ continued Grier. ‚ÄúIt is the revenue department that has access to the data that will enable marketing and sales to make better, more profitable and strategic decisions. Collaboration across these departments is essential as we move toward 2020.‚ÄĚ
A key theme of discussion at HOTECH 2020 centred on the role AI would have on the industry. Dennis Leung from the SAS Institute directly addressed this topic in his presentation.
‚ÄúWhat hotels throughout Asia need to embrace is that AI is not a distant opportunity for their industry. It is already here,‚ÄĚ said Leung. ‚ÄúAfter all, hotels first began introducing automated decisions to the world of hotel revenue management nearly 30 years ago. Today an AI driven customer journey can help maximise ‚Äėpre-trip‚Äô conversion through customer journey targeting, omni-channel engagement and lead nurturing. The technology can assist hoteliers ‚Äėon-trip‚Äô through maximising basket value and guest satisfaction through real-time offers such as location or activity-based discounts. Finally, hoteliers can use AI to help drive customer loyalty ‚Äėpost-trip‚Äô through generating guest feedback for future targeting and developing personalised loyalty offers.‚ÄĚ
Panel discussions at HOTECH 2020 also looked at more practical issues around integrating new technologies into legacy hotel operating systems and how hotel executives themselves can upgrade their own capabilities to operate in an age of advanced automation.
‚ÄúIt is more important than ever for hoteliers to stay updated on the fast-moving trends across various demographics, trip types and booking behaviours,‚ÄĚ said Boon Sian Chai, senior director of market management, Expedia Group. ‚ÄúEqually so, having a working knowledge of the tools and technologies we will all need to fulfil our roles successfully in the future is of critical importance.‚ÄĚ
With more than 1.6 million rooms priced daily on its advanced systems, IDeaS Revenue Solutions leads the industry with the latest revenue management software and advisory services. Powered by SAS¬ģ and with nearly three decades of experience, IDeaS proudly supports more than 10,000 clients in 124 countries and is relentless about providing hoteliers with insightful ways to manage the data behind hotel pricing.
IDeaS empowers clients to build and maintain revenue management cultures‚ÄĒfrom single entities to world-renowned estates‚ÄĒby focusing on a simple promise: Driving Better Revenue.
IDeaS has the knowledge, expertise and maturity to build upon proven revenue management principles with next-generation analytics for more user-friendly, insightful and profitable revenue opportunities‚ÄĒnot just for rooms, but across the entire hotel enterprise. For more information, visit www.ideas.com.
About Hotel ICON
Unlike any other, Hotel ICON is an upscale Hong Kong hotel in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui East. Standing as a testament to Hong Kong‚Äôs creative energy and vibrant arts scene, Hotel ICON showcases work from the city‚Äôs celebrated designers and the world‚Äôs most acclaimed architects. Offering the ultimate in comfort and committed to service excellence, Hotel ICON‚Äôs 262 stylish guestrooms comprise seductive extras, including complimentary wired and Wi-Fi internet connections, smartphone with unlimited mobile data and an ultra-slim 40‚ÄĚ Ultra High Definition LED TV. Located on level 9, Hotel ICON‚Äôs Angsana Spa is a tranquil oasis while the harbour-facing outdoor swimming pool and fitness centre allow guests to exercise while enjoying views of Hong Kong Island‚Äôs spectacular skyline.
With a maximum capacity of 580 persons, Hotel ICON‚Äôs grand Silverbox ballroom is the ideal venue for a celebration or theatre-style conference. Hotel ICON houses three restaurants: Above & Beyond, The Market and GREEN, providing guests with exceptional quality of the food and impeccable service. wallpaper* magazine included Hotel ICON in its 2011 list of the world‚Äôs Best Business Hotels and DestinAsian included the hotel in its Luxe List 2011. The premier hotel has also won in 2 categories including the Top 25 Hotels in Asia in the 2017 TripAdvisor Traveler‚Äôs Choice Awards. Join us by following our official social media accounts at @hoteliconhk and share your memorable moments with us by using the hashtag #hoteliconhk.