World Panel
Viewpoint18 July 2019

Is our industry lagging behind due to a lack of proper education?

Digital Marketing in Hospitality

— 17 experts shared their view

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This viewpoint was created by
Max Starkov, Adjunct Professor NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality and Hospitality & Online Travel Tech Consultant
Giulia Eremita
Marketing professional, speaker, lecturer and journalist in the field of Digital Tourism

The hospitality is, by definition, a “brick and mortar” business and it is still strongly identified as such. Today the shift to a “clicks and mortar” business is more than needed, from management, processes, marketing and sales, to survive in a market where competitors are more and more cross-cutting, most of them were raised and born online, therefore they have a natural advantage. The OTA distribution approach to the digital ecosystem, on one hand, was the entry level to almost 20 years ago, but most of the hoteliers did not explore any further for many reasons: lack of knowledge, higher costs, lazyness, attitude, hostility... It still very often happens to hear hotel managers blaming the online as the source of their own ills.

This made the hospitality not a dream place to be for a digital marketer or an IT expert.

To answer here the main question, I think that the problem here is more due to a long lasting situation of unawareness of this industry than lack of proper education. I have the feeling that the hospitality should first of all explore new management model with more hybrid profiles. For instance, Hotel of any size should start building an in-house digital agency at its core, building and sharing knowledge internally, tracking activities... They should basically start thinking and acting as an ecommerce business (as it already is). 

Successful and innovative management models will contaminate others and the best talents in digital will start looking at the hospitality as an attractive place to spend their career and invest their time. 

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