By Niels Verspui, SA Country Manager at RoomRaccoon
Covid-19 has not only had a significant impact on public health, but it has also severely affected one of the linchpins of the global economy – the tourism industry. Here’s how technology and innovation can improve accommodation pressure points to help prepare for the next normal.
Cape Town, South Africa – 19 October 2020: Suffering a loss of over R68bn, the hospitality industry was annihilated by the inability to trade in the early stages of the lockdown, and while the easing of restrictions has shown an improvement of trade in the accommodation sectors, those who have survived remain cautious about the status quo.
An area where hospitality businesses have already adjusted well is using technology to address changing environments to remain competitive. Hospitality brands that are positively responding to the crisis have deployed more advanced technologies, digital products, and tech talent to speed up innovation — and they expect most of these changes to outlast the pandemic. For the hospitality space, technology can be easily integrated to streamline the booking process, eradicate paper trails and the administration process, manage occupancy and revenue in real-time, and provide instant access to customer data for future sales and marketing.
Covid19, the Great Tourism Reset
When the borders open, last-minute travel is going to be critical for hotels. That is when the right technology is going to be crucial for businesses. Most establishments may still be using systems that — because they are manual and work on static rates — aren’t as effective as they could be in uncovering revenue in a very competitive market.
Technology that transforms and simplifies the labour-intensive management function to make establishments immediately responsive to changes in lockdown restrictions, will allow them to adjust availability and rates in real-time, maximising the revenue available per room.
When it comes to partnerships with online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia, Booking.com, Airbnb, Google Hotel Ads and others, property managers should also seek tech that gives them high visibility with these platforms, and that ultimately translates into direct bookings.
More and more small and medium-sized accommodation establishments are finding ways for people to work in concert with new technologies. They are also using technology to enhance the hospitality experience for their guests – creating a contactless space to make bookings, manage payments, and handle check-ins – with the aim of keeping them at ease while on holiday.
As South African tourism starts its journey to recovery, we will most likely also see an increase in local competitive pricing. By considering solutions that will help with on-the-go changes to reflect more relevant (and competitive) rates, establishments can also set themselves up to fill last-minute cancellations and vacancies more effectively. Technology certainly offers great advancements in dealing with this ongoing hospitality industry headache.
RoomRaccoonhelps improve the management of occupancy and revenue, and can provide a number of advantages, especially in times of uncertainty. What is important is to provide 360o functionality in the hands of property managers, so that they can make the most of new opportunities in a quick and speedy manner and deliver a safe and memorable experience for guests to remember — even in today’s extraordinary times.
To find out why hoteliers and industry experts voted RoomRaccoon the best all-in-one Hotel Management Software in the world at the HotelTechAwards, visit www.roomraccoon.co.za or follow them on Facebook at @RoomRaccoon.