Today’s tech-savvy independent hotels have cause for celebration.
In fact, according to data from Expedia Group, independents have two reasons to feel good about their standing in the hospitality industry. For the second year in a row, independent hotels are seeing greater growth in their overall revenue and average daily rates (ADR) than their branded counterparts.
In a recent piece published by PhocusWire, Vice President of Owner Relations at Expedia Group Sue Spinney revealed that when comparing their data from Q1 2018 to Q1 2017, it showed independent hotels growing twice as fast as chains.
Independent hotels use technology to capitalize on their popularity
These numbers demonstrate the soaring popularity of independent hotels among travelers — but not only that.
The rising success of today’s independent accommodation and lodging providers also tells us that the hoteliers behind these properties are adapting to changes in traveler behavior and hotel-marketing channels. They’re getting online, and they’re embracing technology.
And that is how these tech-savvy independents capitalize on travelers’ continued enthusiasm and demand for the unique hotel experiences they offer.
“Technology has leveled the playing field by allowing smaller hotels to play big through access to world-class marketing, revenue management, e-commerce and competitive insights tools and technologies,” explained Spinney.
Critical ways today’s independent hoteliers are growing their businesses
In the same article, Spinney provided hoteliers with insights into how successful independents are capitalizing on their popularity to increasingly attract travelers today. We’ve included them below, along with a few of our own.
1. Focus on the quality and uniqueness of the guest experience
Independent hotels have the flexibility to create unique hotel stays for their guests that are imbued with a sense of the local culture. It’s in large part why today’s travelers are seeking out these properties, which is why delivering this experience is so important.
A property management system can help by freeing up the hotelier’s time and energy, so they can focus on their guests.
2. Utilize visitor profiling tools to identify target audiences
Even for independents, a hotel marketing strategy is only as strong as the data behind it.
With data on their online audience, independent hotels can first identify and then home in on the travelers currently interested in their offerings. And by accessing data on their competitors, hoteliers can determine which new guest segments to target as well.
3. Localize the online presence to resonate with international travelers
Travelers prefer to book accommodation in their own language and currency; technology empowers today’s independent hotel to localize their online marketing communication and booking process to cater to this preference.
4. Track changes in the market to be able to react quickly
As Spinney points out, “Knowing the nuances of your market helps you be smarter about your positioning.”
We wholeheartedly agree. We’d also add that a rate shopper tool is the most useful instrument an independent hotel has when it comes to tracking competitor pricing changes and fluctuations in local market demand.
5. Facilitate direct bookings on the same channels as OTAs and chains.
While the bigger players initially dominated in the online distribution landscape, technology is now empowering independent hotels to compete online as well.
trivago is an example of a powerful channel that today’s independent hoteliers can use to drive direct bookings. You can find out more about that in “A Step-by-Step Look at How Hotels Drive Direct Bookings on trivago.”
This article was adapted from an opinion piece published on Phocuswire.
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