How did digitisation help the hospitality industry transform in 2023
Authored article by Aditya Sanghi, Co-Founder & CEO, Hotelogix The Indian hotel industry did well in 2023. In the third quarter, the sector performed significantly well compared to the same period in 2022. With about
The Indian hotel industry did well in 2023. In the third quarter, the sector performed significantly well compared to the same period in 2022. With about a 16% surge in ADR year-on-year, the industry witnessed around a 15%-16% surge in RevPAR. During the last quarter of the year, in November to be precise, it saw a sharp rise in demand owing to many big-ticket events, including the ICC World Cup and the G20 summit. If you take a closer look at it, you will see that apart from many conducive elements, technology, too, played a critical role in the industry’s impressive performance in 2023.
The role of digitisation
Technology adoption and digitisation have helped hotels automate processes, improve operational capabilities, sell more rooms, serve guests better, drive growth, and improve revenue – all while gaining a competitive edge.
Here are a few noteworthy hospitality technology solutions that have significantly transformed the industry in 2023.
Cloud Hotel PMS for improved operations
In 2023, we saw a sizable percentage of hotels adopting cloud-based hotel property management systems (Hotel PMS). Both independent brands and hotel groups moved their operations to the cloud to save on software ownership costs, increase efficiency, improve data security, and to serve guests better.
Hotel groups, mainly home-grown brands, were quick to embrace the cloud as it helped them scale their business. For example, with a cloud Hotel PMS that comes with multi-property management capabilities, they could add and go live quickly with new properties. In addition, with the help of cloud technology, hotels can quickly expand their PMS infrastructure during busy seasons to accommodate the high demand. This means they can swiftly add new users, workstations, mobile devices, and other resources to manage their operations efficiently during peak hours.
Channel Manager for more online sales
With more and more guests relying on OTAs to book their accommodation, hotels must do their best to get more bookings from those online platforms/sales channels. That’s why we saw an increase in the adoption of Channel Manager by hotels in 2023. Seamlessly integrated with the Hotel PMS, it helps hotels push rates and inventories onto multiple OTAs in real time, leading to rate and inventory parity. This automated process saves 90% of the time and eliminates overbookings. Most importantly, the Channel Manager assists in increasing a hotel’s visibility on OTAs to reach a broader market and audience, ultimately leading to more sales.
Artificial Intelligence for increased efficiency
The Indian hotel industry is yet to adopt artificial Intelligence (AI) widely, but the technology has already made an impact. Some brands are leveraging AI-powered chatbots to offer guests instant and personalised responses on room availability, rates, amenities, nearby attractions, etc. Moreover, we see hotels using AI to enhance their marketing efforts to reach the right guest segment at the right time with the right offer to drive more direct bookings, occupancy and revenue.
Contactless services for enhanced guest experience
Many hotels promptly implemented a range of contactless guest services in 2023. It was critical as post-Covid, most guests were keen on availing of such services. They just wanted to do everything using their smartphones – from completing pre-check-in formalities to check-out. From the guests’ perspective, contactless services offer complete control over their stay. From the standpoint of hotels, they improve efficiency and enhance the guest experience to foster loyalty.
As we approach the end of 2023, the Indian hotel industry is gearing up to finish it on a high note, thanks to digitisation powered by several technology applications. In recent years, this industry has embraced digital transformation, and it’s finally paying off. From online bookings to contactless check-ins, digitisation has made it easier and more convenient for guests to enjoy their hotel stay. Moreover, the industry’s digital transformation efforts are expected to set them up for an even more successful 2024.