Bridging The Digital Gap For Small Hotels
Globally, there are about 4 million hotels. Of these, only 2.1 million hotels are listed on Booking.com, 1 million on Tripadvisor and 0.8 million on Expedia. Within this, the budget hotel segment is the fastest growing (9 per cent CAGR globally) and is the first choice of millennials.
In the GCC, 45 per cent of rooms are in the budget and mid-sized segment with online penetration at 46 per cent. In huge neighbouring markets like India, mid-tier (3-star and 4-star hotels) represents a $4 billion opportunity. Only 30 per cent of these are connected online for search, discovery and booking. There is significant opportunity to move hotels online by providing them efficient technology and remote services.
However, the budget and mid-sized hotels and chains are ill-equipped to ride this wave because of technology and talent constraints. Hitherto, technology available for such hotels was either too complicated or too expensive to maintain, resulting in suboptimal digitisation.
Targeting this opportunity is Hotel Launcher, a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology for budget and mid-sized hotels and chains. The platform's objective is to help this segment of properties increase revenues by bringing them online via an efficient SaaS discovery and booking system. They also have an engine for revenue management.
Rajiv Malhotra, founder and CEO, said: "Simply put, Hotel Launcher is Shopify for small and mid-sized hotels and chains. Our technology is a highly advanced PMS [industry parlance for property management system]. It is integrated with a channel manager and a website builder. We call this solution Integrated Distribution Management System or IDMS for short."