Technological progress in today's society has reached unprecedented levels; the World Wide Web did not even exist thirty years ago, while smartphones as we know them today have barely been around for a decade.
The hospitality industry has been abuzz with the growing need to redefine the notion of luxury to cater to an increasingly diverse clientele. Gone are the days when enjoying a luxurious experience meant indulgent in-room candlelight dinners and a rose petal-filled jacuzzi; today's travelers seek authenticity and experiential travel.
OTAs and hotel companies are often said to be in a zero-sum game - hotels invest heavily into their direct channels and loyalty programs to reduce OTA commissions, but ineffective strategies mean that they sometimes end up spending more than what they would have paid to OTAs.
According to the 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey by PwC, the Hospitality and Leisure industry's success continues to rest on its ability to cater to individual consumers' preferences and desires. As the 3,200 global CEOs interviewed for the survey put it: "People eat, sleep, play games, cement friendships and seek cures in hospitality facilities.
In an increasingly globalized world where travel has become faster, cheaper, and more convenient, the hospitality industry has been thriving with travelers from all around the world. With a record 1.4 billion travelers in 2018 alone according to UNWTO, hotel brands have been expanding rapidly to keep up with the demand.