Technology

“Hotels need to view themselves as technology companies”, says D-EDGE’s Christine Tan

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

Travel Weekly recently went one-on-one with D-EDGE’s Asia-Pacific managing director, Christine Tan, to talk all about technology in the hotel industry.

TW: What’s the biggest challenge facing hoteliers (particularly those in Australia) right now when it comes to online distribution? How can it be overcome?

CT: The hospitality business today has transformed rapidly into a digitally-enabled industry.  It used to be that travellers relied on bricks-and-mortar travel agents who booked through the GDS for their business trips or family vacations.

Today, online distribution has become increasingly sophisticated, complex and competitive.  When we talk about online distribution technology, we look at how we can target the travellers who can’t do without their mobile, and we look at leveraging AI, chatbots and using data to present personalised offers to the right customer at the right time.

I feel that hotels are having a hard time keeping up or knowing what to do, and this is a global challenge, not just in Australia. In order to overcome this, hotels need to view themselves as technology companies and have long-term plans that focus on technology transformation, to adapt to their customers’ changing demands.

The other daily challenge that hotels tell me they are having headaches with is multi-sourcing from OTAs and the difficulty they face in controlling rate parity. Hotels need to monitor and control the net rates given to third parties and move to a dynamic, commissionable rate structure.

TW: What are some of the misconceptions hoteliers have about technology and its impact on the industry?

CT: I feel that many independent hoteliers tend to over-negotiate and under-invest in technology for their hotels. That is putting themselves at risk, by depending on distributors to do the work and paying high distribution costs. Hoteliers need to look at technology as a long-term investment instead of a short-term expense.

TW: In a general sense, how do you rate the relationship between hoteliers and OTAs? How can they work better together?

CT: Hoteliers already have a good relationship with OTAs – I would rate it a four out of five.  However, hoteliers need to become less dependent on them and restore the balance of their direct booking revenues, versus third-party providers. By doing so, they will have better engagement with their customers and data that will lead to better profits for the hotels.

TW: What’s your one piece of advice for Aussie hoteliers looking to grow their online distribution?

CT: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Invest in technology and look at ways to diversify your sources of revenue. The landscape is changing – watch this space for Google, and monitor and control your rate parity. Invest in a proper CRM in order to collect information about your guests, clean the data from automatic extract from the PMS, segment your clientele, and animate your client base with relevant and targeted marketing activity.

TW: What will the hotel distribution model look like 10 years from now?

CT: No one knows for sure. One thing that is for certain, however, is that technology in the hotel system will be the heart of distribution, and the providers chosen by the hotels will need to be agile and flexible to adapt to market changes.


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Cruise

Tourism

Travel Agents

Digital travel ad impressions up 40 per cent says Nielsen Ad Intel

Looks like your marketing team’s efforts are paying off, with ads views climbing dramatically in Australia following the most recent lockdown.

Share

CommentComments

News

Tourism

OMICRON: WHO urges those over 60 to cancel travel plans as SA tightens restrictions

The UN health authority warned countries that blanket bans don’t work, while an Aussie epidemiologist says the government’s current restrictions won’t make much difference.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Planeterra launches holiday fundraising for community tourism

Not sure what to get your colleague for Secret Santa? They’ll be hard-pressed to complain about a donation in their name to support community tourism projects.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

WATCH: Rebel Wilson stars as glam castaway in new Tourism Fiji ad

The Aussie actress channels Tom Hanks’ Castaway in this latest campaign for Tourism Fiji, However, we’re not convinced Hanks could pull off the metallic dress as well as Wilson does.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Club Med opens first Canada property, reveals plans for new Utah ski resort

Those who enjoy the ease of an all-inclusive resort stay will be stoked to learn about Club Med’s latest spate of winter wonderland offerings.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Norwegian Cruise Line unveils its largest deployment in history

Batten down the hatches because NCL has released its 2024/25 line up including brand-new homeports in Haifa, Israel and La Romana, Dominican Republic.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

US flight attendants rush back to self-defence in face of rising passenger unruliness

In order to avoid a drunken sky-high fight club breaking out, crewmembers are taking to the studio to keep the peace.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Accor introduce global portfolio of boutique hotels and luxurious resorts, Emblems Collection

A new line of luxury hotels and resorts are what we need to bring the world out of the global pandemic and into an opulent fantasy that only a Disney princess could think up.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Bali had 6.3 million tourists in 2019, in the first 9 months of 2021 it had 43

With tourism rates in Bali so low, we imagine that even Schapelle Corby would be gladly welcomed back.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism

Destination NSW Launches Vibrant “Feel New Sydney” Campaign

Destination NSW unveils “Feel New Sydney” work. Just don’t expect the locals to be pleasant or let you in when driving.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Destinations

News

Tourism

Fiji welcomes first flight of international visitors in 20 months as borders open

Sydneysiders touched down yesterday to a big bula welcome almost two years in the making!

Share

CommentComments

Events

Tourism

I Love New York launches new training course for travel agents. Enter for your chance to win!

Calling all Aussie travel agents! Complete the training by the end of January 2022 and you could win a New York-style “za” for you and your team!

Share

CommentComments