The relationship between hotels and online travel agents (OTAs), as well as sustainability, accommodation sharing and personalisation are predicted to be driving forces in the lodging industry next year, a report by GlobalData revealed.
With the rise of OTAs and the commanding commission rates they demand, experts at GlobalData suggested hotels in the next decade will have a stern focus on increasing direct bookings.
On way of pulling in direct bookings is the implementation of loyalty schemes. Programmes such as Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy are ways to draw users away from OTAs. GlobalData also highlighted how hotels and OTAs are now fighting over commission rates.
GlobalData's Nick Wyatt said: “Smaller, independent operators have little bargaining power, but the likes of Marriott have started to negotiate hard in a bid to reduce these rates.”
Wyatt concluded: “Hotel chains will intensify efforts to encourage direct bookings as a way to maximise profits.”
From the growing efforts against single-use plastic, to green energy, to lowering carbon footprints, sustainability continues to grow in importance for travellers.
As GlobalData experts put it: “Sustainability is a watchword in the tourism industry as a whole at the moment.”
Not only is it assumed hotels themselves will work to become more sustainable, GlobalData touched on hotels making their customers more sustainable also. Incentivising less water usage could be managed if hotels offered additional loyalty points to customers said GlobalData.
As accommodation sharing continues to grow in popularity, Wyatt urged that the idea is no longer just a fad and in 2020 it will only increase.
Airbnb in particular according to Wyatt will grow next year with its recent entry into the experiences market. The convenience, value and flexibility of accommodation sharing cannot go ignored explained Wyatt.
He also said: “Hotel chains have cottoned on and after establishing Homes & Villas this year, Marriott will see next year as the year to really push its accommodation sharing offering as it looks to mitigate the impact of Airbnb.”
Finally personalisation demands are thought to become an even greater force in the lodging industry during 2020.
To satisfy these demands, hotels, according to GlobalData, must invest in new technology.
Wyatt pointed out: “Greater personalisation is increasingly demanded by guests and hotels will continue to invest in technologies that help them better understand a guest’s needs.”