Wonder what its like on the other side?
Do you care? The number of hits to this article will probably be indicative!
But over the past few weeks we’ve attended trade shows, performed hotel inspections and met with hoteliers in formal meetings and boozy functions. In amongst those chats, negotiations, disagreements and light-hearted moments some common themes emerged from hotels around the world on some of the bigger topics.
This is the biggest love hate relationship there is. Hotels work on a strategy to get all the way up a listing only to have a competitor post a false review which within minutes rips you down to page 3. Retracting that review takes two weeks. There has been a lot of dissatisfaction with the paid advertising functions as they deliver little, cost a lot and are very hard to cancel. A number of hoteliers had issues regarding credit card transactions but in general, trip advisor seems to hold the upper hand in the relationship. Not many had much to say about booking direct through trip advisor .
Dealing with OTA’s or B2C
Another love hate relationship, but one that savvy hotels are extracting themselves from. A lot of hotels reported high volumes of business from some channels but low margins. Some of the larger chains were feeling out of control and are starting to push back with their own schemes. The smaller hotels don’t love the relationship at all but don’t feel they have many other options.
Collaboration and Partnerships
Put simply, “a lot of talk and no pork”. Hotels talk about collaboration but on the ground, are either limited by their parent companies (nearly every hotel in the US is part of a chain) or lack the infrastructure to make meaningful relationships. But, those who have persisted and focused on some targeted relationships have done exceptionally well. There are some amazing creative collaborations out there
“New age travellers with a different language”
No one is finding this easy. The changing mix of travellers with fat wallets, tight arses and high expectations of service are stressing out the smaller hotels whilst the medium-size investigate opportunities to go bilingual.
Social media is lifting the standard of the industry. Hotels can be held at ransom by complaining guests and therefore are having to work harder to keep them happy. It does tie into trip advisor and international guests in a big way, but there is seemingly more of a focus on attention to detail and desire to generate positive word-of-mouth experience. All good things