The Blue Swan Daily brings you a round up of the latest key hotel news from across the South Pacific.
American Express GBT: AI, online booking and better revenue management among key hotel trends
American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) released (Jul-2019) its ‘Hotel Monitor 2020’ report, outlining the following key technology trends in the sector:
- Artificial intelligence (AI): Hotels are investing in AI to help drive value and differentiation for corporate travellers. AI based technology is being deployed throughout the guest journey. AI allows hoteliers to meet the modern business traveller’s need for personalised service. The growing scalability of data processing, machine learning, computer vision, object recognition and unsupervised learning will offer hotels speed and cost reductions to offer differentiated products in the medium to long term;
- Online booking tools (OBT) supporting duty of care: OBTs are playing a key role in driving travel policy compliance and supporting an organisational culture of traveller safety and security. Benefits of booking approved hotels via the designated OBT include:
- Any hotel included in the programme is vetted during the selection process via mandatory safety and security questions;
- Booking via the OBT can trigger pre-trip approval requests for trips to high risk destinations and travellers can be mandated to book only security approved hotels in these destinations;
- Travellers need to understand why their safety relies on using the approved channels to book travel. OBT bookings can trigger notifications about what information and advice on these destinations are available;
- Cancellation policies: In an effort to counter elevated cancellation rates often associated with the use of online travel agents and re-shopping tools, many hotels have implemented tighter cancellation policies, such as 72-hour advance notice requirements;
- Revenue management: As room rates flatten and traditional revenue growth comes under pressure, hotels are becoming more creative in how they drive yields. In recent years, hotels have been heavily focused on driving direct bookings, which can offer higher profits. This trend will continue, with hotels offering improved mobile apps or booking platforms and extended loyalty member perks, including tech enabled personalisation;
- Guiding traveller decision making: Today’s travellers are tech savvy and accustomed to managing travel on their own. Driving policy adherence may require a shift from compulsion to reward and education.
88% of business travellers want to choose accommodation type: BridgeStreet
BridgeStreet conducted an online guest survey of 129 clients and customers, which revealed 88% of travellers look forward to a business trip if they can choose their own accommodation type (Business Travel News, 18-Jul-2019). 84% of respondents stated they are more inclined to travel within corporate policy if more accommodation options are available.