The Amazon / ClearTrip partnership is far from a revolution, but it's another tiny step Bezos' company took into the travel space. I think the time has come to address the elephant in the room: acquisitions.
In the first viewpoint of this panel, several experts weighed in that the Hospitality Industry does not properly invest in technology innovation. Apple spent about $15 billion in research last year alone… or 5.
Launched earlier in May, Google Trips puts merges flights, hotels, packages, home-rentals, car rentals, ridesharing, cruises, and experiences search in one single, übermensch ecosystem, combining the Google Trips app, Google Flights, and Google Hotels under one landing page.
Artificial intelligence is rapidly moving from the laboratory and into business and consumer applications. The result is a fundamental shift in how software is built, and what it's capable of doing. And while we're still a way off from the artificial general intelligence portrayed in the movies, artificial narrow intelligence is a reality that's already powering some of the most successful technology businesses today, including Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple.
The PMS' role as the center of a hotel's technology ecosystem is coming to an end. Crucial guest data sits locked up in today's disconnected data silos, making it very difficult for hotels/brands to optimize and bank in on the 'digital guest journey'.
For over a decade I have heard industry pundits, consultants, other experts, and myself say that the hospitality industry lags behind other industries in innovation, investment, and adoption of new technologies.
Wholesalers who have negotiated discounted rates with the hotel under the pretext of needing wholesale rates to bundle with air or local activities, etc. into packages, and then leak the discounted rates "naked" online-primarily via the OTAs or their initiatives like Booking.
Traditionally hotel brands largest added value has been distribution. A hotel got branded and was quite rapidly connected to a massive flow of reservations, on all the channels that existed. It helped guests search, travel agents book and hotels get filled.
After the recent acquisition of HotelTonight, If there were any doubt as to Airbnb's true intentions of entering the OTA space and start aggressively competing with online travel agency giants such as Booking Holdings and Expedia, they need to be laid to rest immediately.
Hospitality Net's World Panel is a thought-leadership platform where hospitality-industry opinion leaders share insights, views, ideas and reactions on important issues and events currently affecting the hospitality business. Each panel is made up of a select group of experts, and industry leaders who, by invitation, contribute succinct commentary on viewpoints which are suggested by panel-champs.