While the pandemic has been tough on Australia’s hotels, paradoxically it has increased the speed of tech adoption. But how will embracing technology help hotels in Sydney, Melbourne or Byron Bay capture global demand as the world re-opens? Agoda’s Director Oceania ZSUZSANNA JANOS answers.
Fortunately, we’re now in an era where technology is better enabling hotels to immediately respond while at the same time helping travellers feel more confident to recommit to travel.
The key for hotels is having technology at their fingertips that provides rich data insights on what’s going on around the world, that reaches domestic and international travellers, while concurrently profiling their hotel on the most prominent platforms, including bidding on Google, which is beyond the capacity of most hotels in Australia to do themselves.
Hotels should be confident that their technology driven marketing partner is doing all the homework behind the scenes to target not just the right markets to increase room occupancy, but doing it at the right time by responding quickly to volatile travel trends. And it should also mean having the capability to cross-sell and manage your inventory, with the capacity to adapt rates and availability with laser-like efficiency.
For example, for a small to mid-sized independently owned hotel in Australia to target the Chinese, Singaporean, Thai or Japanese traveller alone is almost impossible. However, partnering with a technology provider that uses legitimate online or offline affiliates such as airlines, banks or corporate travel partners in each market makes it possible.
But there are two sides to the technology story to improve demand - what hotels are doing behind the scenes and improving the traveller experience through a seamless process throughout their journey from searching and booking, to check-out. In fact, the result from What Matters survey (2021) from Agoda.com shows travellers increasingly expect more efficiency when travelling. Beyond an easily navigable online booking process, it is fast becoming the norm for travellers to benefit from a range of contactless processes that increase efficiency and are COVID safe including check in and check out, ordering room service, payments and such.
So as the world reopens, more than ever, hotels need technology that adapts to changing conditions. This might include incorporating assurances in hotel hygiene, having flexible cancellation policies, but also making it as clear and easy for travellers to know where to travel again, and what restrictions or certifications they might require to do so. To illustrate the point Agoda now has an interactive, real-time widget leveraging Sherpa to pull entry restrictions and COVID-19 documentation, quarantine protocols and more from across the world, into one easy to use interface for travellers. It’s all about winning back travellers by using technology that instills confidence throughout the travel ecosystem.
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