Having an online presence is essential for any hotel in the modern era, with 148.3 million travel bookings made on the internet each year – that’s 57 per cent of all travel reservations, according to Statistic Brain.However, how is it possible to know how to effectively distribute that online presence? With online travel agents, individual websites, hotel social media and so many more channels vying for our attention, how can hotels achieve a presence everywhere they need to be?According to Hotelogix, the best platform for any hotel’s needs is the cloud. It argues that while once it was simply a form of on-demand computing, it has now evolved to become a “major transformational tool” for businesses of all kinds, as well as a method of managing large IT infrastructures.
In the past, before the advent of the cloud, hotels often found that their own in-premise solutions weren’t able to cope with the plethora of online channels that were developing in the hospitality industry. This resulted in them struggling to manage a presence on too many and having to choose which ones they put themselves forward on. For example, they might have to abandon OTAs if they couldn’t ensure their rates and room availability would be up-to-date enough to accommodate bookings, thereby losing out on that revenue stream.
However, it also resulted in a more serious issue, which was that multiple online channels couldn’t be updated quickly enough to reflect inventory – and certainly not at the same time. This caused problems with overbooked rooms, which might have cost hoteliers future business. It appeared unprofessional and that wouldn’t be conducive to guests coming back for more. With cloud-based property management systems (PMS), things changed and hotel management was made easier. It is now possible for hotel marketers to connect to multiple distribution networks via one tool, meaning they can reap the rewards in terms of revenue from OTAs, search engines, direct bookings and many other sources.
Those double-bookings should now be a thing of the past with the cloud there to act on their behalf – and it also means that even the smallest properties can compete with big-name brands when it comes to getting their name out there to as many would-be guests as possible.Irving Wladawsky-Berger, who worked at IBM for 37 years, calls the cloud a “reliable enterprise workhorse” and points out that organisations across all sectors are now using it to create new customer experiences and find fresh growth opportunities.”Cloud technology is truly empowering hospitality, and hoteliers not on the platform should consider adoption as soon as possible in order to truly appreciate the benefits of 21st century hoteliering,” the Hotelogix article concludes.
If your hotel hasn’t yet embraced the cloud, perhaps it is now time to take a closer look at the benefits it might offer your property in terms of better distribution. It should be easy to employ an IT expert to help if you’re not confident in rolling it out yourself, but you surely don’t want to miss out on this potentially game-changing tool.