A report by the global hotel industry’s leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, has found that the ability to grow direct bookings and online presence is the top business focus for hotels this year. The finding, documented in SiteMinder’s Global Hotel Business Index 2017 released this week, is based on more than 2,100 survey responses from hoteliers at both independent properties and hotel groups around the world.
According to the report, the ability to increase direct bookings and grow online presence is a higher business priority for hoteliers than mobile bookings or personalization to enhance the guest experience. The paradox, SiteMinder says, is that in spite of 95 per cent of respondents ranking Ôdriving guests to book direct’ as a challenge, only 37 per cent nominated Ôexploring new hotel technology and systems’ as a high priority for their hotel business.
ÒThe results of SiteMinder’s inaugural Global Hotel Business Index is, again, evidence of the desire among hotels to maximize online channels and grow their business, but also the contradictory hesitation among them to try new technology that can support that effort,” says Mike Ford, Managing Director at SiteMinder.Ê”What hoteliers struggle to realize is that you can’t prioritize one without the other.
ÒOutdated technology and systems Ð and the high costs that typically come with those Ð are rampant in our industry. As the consumers, hoteliers are in a unique position to change that. However, it is on us, as an industry, to understand the reasons for these sentiments and to make our technology more affordable, more accessible and ultimately more beneficial for the hoteliers we design the technology for.Ó
Over the 12 months ending June 2016, hotel customers of SiteMinder generated US$16 billion in revenue using the company’s cloud-based booking and distribution technology Ð a 116 per cent rise from the same period two years prior. Of the US$16 billion, US$1.05 billion was made through SiteMinder’s direct booking engine, TheBookingButton, to represent a 43 per cent year-on-year increase.
ÒWe are clearly witnessing an unprecedented rise in online bookings Ð both direct and via third party channels,” saysÊMr Ford.Ê”With the ability to be set up within days and pay a flat monthly fee as little as US$37 ongoing, SiteMinder’s solutions are examples of how simple it can be for hoteliers to achieve their desire of increasing direct bookings and growing their presence online, and forego the perception that driving guests to book direct is a challenge.Ó
SiteMinder’s Global Hotel Business Index also examines what keeps hoteliers passionate everyday, how closely they watch their competition, and the industry trends they believe will accelerate in the next 10 years. Download the report free at siteminder.com/resources.