Booking.com wants more AI and 3 more stories
BOOKING WANTS TO BE SEEN AS A TECH PLAYER?
Booking's CEO wasn't at WTM nor Phocuswright last week. Despite these being some of the industry's big events. She was at the Websummit alluring the tech community to come work on big AI projects with them. The talk she gave is quite interesting and shows where Booking sees the future of travel tech and where they see themselves in that future. Booking is definitely moving beyond hotels in the near future. And building the right AI is the biggest challenge they're facing. Hoteliers, should band together and figure out how they can build a bigger and better data infrastructure, because all AI will work on huge data sets. The full 20m video is interesting to watch, or a 1m recap in this LinkedIn post.
THE HOTEL TECH CHANGE IS HAPPENING
Finding and buying hotel technology hasn't been the easiest thing to do. In a market that is incredibly fragmented and where data connections aren't easy to get to plus a multitude of other issues. It has been difficult for hotels to access the levels of innovation they need and it has been almost impossible for startups that need hotel data to survive unless they're massively funded or ready to grow slow and stay local. But change is happening. That a small revenue management startup called Climber managed to take their product to market without needing to build an integration and reach a group of hotels on a marketplace without RFPs and month of integration pain is truly a milestone for our industry. It doesn't mean everything has changed yet, there is still plenty to do - but it is a big moment for everyone.
INNOVATION IN HOTEL TECH STARTS HERE
A few weeks ago at HICAP I participated in a panel with several other tech companies and hoteliers and we discussed issues and solutions for the hotel industry and what needs to happen to improve, the discussion was great and at some moments even got a little tense. Some takeaways from my end. Hotels need to start taking the lead on tech innovation. Currently innovation is vendor driven rather than hotelier driven. How to fix it? 1) C level needs to start looking at data for real. Not just balance sheets, and P&L. Operations, Revenue, Marketing - there's a ton of data. It needs to be looked at an analyzed. Speaking to some C level execs I notice there's just too many numbers that are being used that are someone else's (partially correct) analysis. 2) Hotels need to demand that their vendors open the connectivity - there's just way too many coming out saying "but my vendor won't integrate..." if the customers would demand it enough, vendors would deliver. As an industry we're at a critical moment where the future is more tech, much much more tech.
AN AMAZING TAKE ON REVENUE MANAGEMENT
Hopper recently added hotels to their price prediction app. Their app is already one of the best travel apps on the market. With hotels it's just going to get better. But what's amazing about this video is how hotel pricing and airline pricing happens once it has been analysed through the numbers and data scientists of Hopper. A very visual way to see how hotels are doing revenue management, which hopefully soon will become much much more scientific.