How digitalization is shaping hotel distribution strategies

The travel and tourism industry has been greatly impacted by the rise of digital technology, particularly in the realm of global presence. In order to attract a diverse clientele, hotels must have a strong online presence and utilize various digital marketing and distribution channels, including OTAs. The growth of digitalization has also helped create a feedback loop through authentic online reviews, which are trusted by 90% of consumers, and facilitated incremental bookings, with online platforms generating 11% of the 2.2 billion nights booked in Europe in 2019. 

Since the dawn of the digital age, the travel and tourism industry has been at the forefront. Given the web’s ability to obliterate distance and showcase far flung lands, it is a natural home for hoteliers who are looking to attract a global clientele.

The rapid uptick in internet use coincided and, perhaps spurred, another global megatrend: the rise in international travel. International arrivals have more than tripled in just three decades, from roughly 440 million per year in the nineties to over 1.4 billion before the pandemic.

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The Hotel Yearbook 2023 - Annual Edition

As we have embarked on 2023, it is evident that the hotel industry has made a robust recovery from the pandemic. Occupancy and pricing have returned to their pre-pandemic levels. However, the future of our industry is contingent on how nimble the hospitality sector can be in adapting to ongoing innovation, changing market conditions, evolving consumer preferences, new staffing challenges, and sustainability realities. These uncertainties are the new normal in an unpredictable world.