The Golden Age of Hotel technology - webinar Roomdex
On May 18th, 7 leading hotel software companies virtually put their heads together to exchange ideas on the latest technologies in the hospitality sector. The webinar was organized by software developer Roomdex and also Vincent Goemaere, CEO and founder of Stardekk attended.
Vincent Goemaere joined the virtual round table, together with the following software experts:
- David Purcell, Director of Software Development at Infor
- Kevin King, COO at Shiji Group
- Bob Graham, CEO at Eventtemple
- Laurent Cardot, CEO and Co-Founder of Ariane Systems
- Jos Schaap CEO and Co-Founder at ROOMDEX
Together they talked extensively about "the golden age of hotel technology" and which challenges and opportunities this brings for the hotelier.
Connectivity is key
During the webinar, Vincent Goemaere (Stardekk) first emphasized the importance of connectivity. Through Stardekk's Connectivity Marketplace, hoteliers can choose from an extensive range of apps and tools to boost their business.
In the past, let us say 15 years ago, all the different channels and parties communicated separately. Today, all solutions (PAY, PMS, OTA, ...) have to be connected and the guest's experience always comes first. The guest wants to feel that he is treated in the same way everywhere, regardless of the touchpoint. The hotelier is becoming increasingly aware of this.
Covid has also given digitalization a strong boost. Previously, some hoteliers were rather hesitant about new technologies. The worldwide pandemic changed their mindset forever, causing the hotelier himself to look for new apps and technologies to make it as pleasant as possible for the guests, but also to simplify the daily operational tasks. Online check-in and check-out options, online payment, keyless technology, ... are just a few of the things that have seen a surge due to the covid pandemic.
"Hoteliers now often approach us themselves to ask whether we can offer a suitable software solution for specific problems they have or whether we can put them in touch with the right partners," Vincent Goemaere said.
"We need to focus and prepare for the future".Vincent Goemaere
Own hotel website remains important
Thanks to connectivity, a hotel is promoted on numerous OTAs, but Vincent Goemaere once again underlined the importance of a well-converting own hotel website. Online travel agencies are indeed an indispensable distribution channel, but research among Stardekk customers shows that no less than 50% of hotel guests still visit their personal hotel website after discovering a suitable hotel on an OTA. It is therefore very important that these visitors convert there and that is only possible if they can easily find their way to a reservation. In addition, these reservations are commission-free, which can only benefit the profitability of the accommodation.
"Every hotel must offer a frictionless booking process on its own website, because the new generation, the so-called Generation Z, have grown up with smartphones, tablets, and all kinds of applications. They, therefore, consider safe online payment and a smooth booking process an obvious thing to do and they will drop out more quickly if this is not OK.
"Use your own website as a sales tool and as a means of communication with your guests".Vincent Goemaere
We must act now
"Standing still is going backward! This is true in all sectors," concluded Stardekk's CEO. “A hotelier should not ask himself whether or not he will go along with the new technologies, but when he will do so. The generation that is coming up now, the so-called Generation Z, has grown up with smartphones, tablets, and all kinds of app applications. They also expect this during their stay. Hoteliers who embrace new technologies will meet guests' expectations and make a clear leap forward against their competitors."
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