With the New Year upon us, we can't help but peer into the murky future to make a few educated guesses at the way the world will turn over the next 12 months. We've taken a stab at the top travel and technology trends we see moving into the limelight in 2017, so now it's the turn of hotels.
Technological innovations affect travel businesses across the board, but the growing influence of these technologies are dramatically transforming the way hotels do business. As well as ensuring they offer digital users alluring websites, hotels need to pay careful attention to how they might utilise the top trends set to take centre-stage in the coming months or risk trailing behind the competition. Here are the ones to watch:
Enhanced mobile offerings
The shifting landscape of mobile has become more relevant over the years but it was in 2016, when Google announced that how mobile-friendly a page was would be factored into their all-important ranking, that any business taking their sweet time with their optimisation efforts sat up to take note. Elements such as page loading speed and the rich images that can lead to a booking must be optimised for mobile, not only for those hotels that want to appeal to the steadily rising group who prefer to book through a mobile device but to those that recognise the importance of good SEO.
Cloud-based technology integration
Hotels should integrate cloud-based technologies with other digital solutions to enable them to collect and share data between all systems in 2017, thus improving operational efficiency and further personalising the guest experience. By storing data in the cloud, it makes it accessible across different departments, allowing it to be used to identify guest behaviours and cater to demand.
Data-based loyalty programs
Happy customers are loyal customers, so it's important a hotel offers a loyalty program that shows how important those customers are. Whilst loyalty programs are starting to become par for the course, the big trend for 2017 is to use customer data to personalise these programs according to customer behaviour. In other words, each guest is different so shouldn't be rewarded in an identical fashion. This is particularly relevant to the younger millennial generation who are characterised by their push towards instant gratification - they don't want to have to stay in a hotel on ten different occasions in order to gain a reward.
If you're gearing up for 2017 and considering using travel technology to give your business a boost, why not talk to the experts. We offer a range of sophisticated solutions which can help you enhance your online presence, analyse data to gain key insights into your customers and offer a truly seamless booking experience via every screen and device, all through a CMS accessible on any browser.