‘The global hotel industry is increasingly recognising the importance of technology’
With digital transformation emerging as a key catalyst for the revival of the hospitality and travel industry in the aftermath of Covid-19, Sabre Hospitality has been helping hoteliers to reduce costs with their industry leading platforms. Hospitality Biz spoke with Scott Wilson, President of Hospitality Solutions, Sabre to understand how technology can be a path to recovery for hotels in the aftermath of Covid.
What products from Sabre Hospitality will aid the growth of the hotel industry in India amid changing booking patterns?
At Sabre, we’re committed to building a new marketplace for personalised travel by enabling our partners to expand their offering, grow their business and deliver the highly personalised experience, that travellers want and expect. We do this through a host of powerful products and solutions.
Sabre’s SynXis platform enables hoteliers to deliver millions of personalised experiences that maximise revenue and enhance the guest experience. Providing a singular view of inventory, pricing and guest data, SynXis technology helps hotels capitalise on the retail evolution that began prior to COVID-19 and has now accelerated through the pandemic. This one intuitive, customisable platform is a powerful tool for hotels who want to streamline their processes while boosting revenue streams and improving the guest experience.
Our industry-leading SynXis Central Reservation platform provides an extensive suite of capabilities that enable hoteliers to retail, distribute and fulfill offers, all the while increasing engagement with their guests.
SynXis Booking Engine offers intelligent and data driven services that enable hotels to maintain a laser focus on customer segments in order to increase engagement and conversion. SynXis Intelligent Retailing is being developed to allow hoteliers to rapidly create new products, services, merchandise, and experiences and effectively retail them using artificial intelligence.
Channel Connect further simplifies and automates distribution, maximising exposure to local, regional and global markets.
SynXis Voice Agent offers advanced tools to deliver a personalised experience through guest recognition, facilitating the creation of tailored packages and providing further opportunities for increased revenue per transaction.
In terms of lowering operational costs, how are your solutions designed to bring benefits to owners and operators?
Our solutions allow hoteliers to eliminate the fixed costs associated with in-house technology and utilise a transactional pricing model that adjusts based upon demand. By leaving the technology work to us, clients can spend more time focusing on guests and less time worrying about the backend systems.
Do you think that technology can be a path to recovery for hotels in the aftermath of Covid? If yes, how?
Very much so, yes. At Sabre, we haven’t hit the pause button during the pandemic – in fact, quite the opposite. Just as we are accelerating our own technology transformation during this time, the same holds true for our forward-thinking hotel partners who seek solutions that allow them to emerge from the pandemic with a competitive advantage.
As challenging as the pandemic has been, any crisis is a catalyst for change. Hoteliers are rethinking who their guests could be and the kinds of experiences they want to deliver, and this is where leveraging end-to-end technology can help fulfill customer expectations of today… and tomorrow.
Bottom line, the right technology enables hotels to find new revenue streams, distribute offers to new geographic markets and customer segments, and drive higher levels of guest satisfaction.
What are the recovery trends you are seeing in the hospitality marketplace globally? Do you think hoteliers can take advantage of these trends to gear up for recovery?
We’re seeing that hospitality is continuing to recover faster than other segments of the travel industry, and that’s understandable considering that most international air travel is still restricted globally.
Last summer in the U.S., for example, hotel bookings were the first to recover. We believe this demonstrates that although some travellers may not be ready yet to board a flight, they are willing to stay local or drive to their destinations. Now, with COVID-19 vaccinations rolling out worldwide, we expect further increases in traveller confidence.
Right now, hoteliers must use data and technology to truly understand what their guests want. The world has become more local as a result of travel restrictions, and hoteliers need to concentrate on what guests desire now: a hotel that may be just down the street, yet provides a total escape from reality. By utilising technology to better understand these emerging guest needs, hotels can boost revenue streams by attracting new guest segments and making the most of every booking.
According to you, what are the ancillary revenue streams that hoteliers should explore to tide over the crisis?
Truth be told, hoteliers were already exploring ancillary revenue streams beyond the room pre-COVID-19 – the pandemic merely accelerated the adoption of this practice.
An intelligent retailing approach uses data and analysis to understand a guest’s previous wants and needs, or those of a similar type of guest, and then to return an offer tailored to their requirements, that is not necessarily tied to a room booking. This enables the hotel to move to a more holistic eCommerce model of inventory that can sell living spaces, workspaces, services and experiences, as well as the typical amenities that hotels typically offer.
Do you think that the Indian hotel industry has matured after the pandemic to adopt emerging technologies?
The global hotel industry is increasingly recognising the importance of technology to drive change and innovation for recovery and future growth. In India, for example, we are working with OYO Hotels & Homes, who are now connected to hundreds of thousands of travel agents worldwide through the GDS powered by SynXis, enabling them to exponentially grow their geographic reach.