Top five hotel technology trends

1. Google to expand in the travel space

Imagine a potential guest searches for a hotel’s name along with the city on Google, but local competitors’ real-time room prices pop up, with a choice to book on the OTA or their website, while the aforementioned organic search results are pushed down. This is just a glimpse of what Google Price Ads can do to hotelier’s businesses.

Google is slated to launch other advertising products for hotels in 2015 that will ensure the online travel booker never leaves the Google experience. Data indicates the rising popularity of Google’s travel and hotel offerings. As per Skift, 22bn hotel searches are performed on Google per month. Google Hotel Ads get the best conversion rate according to WIHP and approximately 10-20% of all online-booked occupancy is driven by Google properties, including Search and Hotel PriceAds, as per Koddi.

What can hotels do?

  • Start by creating a presence on all tertiary Google channels like Google+, Google Places, Google Maps and Google Wallet, as this will impact search results.
  • Put aside a budget in the annual plan to set up an account on Google Hotel Finder and participate in Hotel Price Ads to increase direct bookings.

2. The anticipated launch of Amazon Travel

With the news that Amazon is expanding the capabilities of Amazon Local – the deal oriented site into an OTA model, it will open up a lot of opportunities for small and boutique hotels. To begin with, there is a lot of buzz around the launch of Amazon Travel in 2015 and how it will use TripAdvisor ratings to select hotels around NY, LA and Seattle. Their next target market could well be the UK.

If the retail giant gets aggressive in starting a commission war by offering low initial rates, it could give hotels another strong channel for distribution. There is also a possibility of Amazon tapping into its huge database and cross-selling, to offer new ways of advertising to hotels.

What can hotels do?

  • Build a presence on Amazon Local by offering discounted rates during low occupancy months, as it might be the starting point to get mileage on Amazon Travel.
  • If hotels do not have a TripAdvisor listing yet, get one today and set an aggressive plan to invite guest reviews.

3. Review media sites to play a larger role

While TripConnect cost-per-click dominated the industry in 2014, TripConnect Instant Booking with its pay-per-booking model will be the focus in 2015. It will allow travelers to book on TripAdvisor itself without leaving the experience. What works in hoteliers’ favour is that unlike TripConnect CPC, where they would pay for every click, regardless of travellers booking their hotel or not; in Instant Booking, they will pay only when travelers complete the booking.

What can hotels do?

  • Independent hotels should definitely participate in Instant Booking to save on costs, as they will pay only when they get a confirmed booking. They may wish to want to run both the campaigns (cost-per-click and pay-per-booking) simultaneously and see which works better, before deciding to go for one.
  • Keep an open eye for any new offerings from other review media sites, which could follow suit.

4. Mobile will reshape hotel marketing

It will become difficult for hotels to ignore the mobile medium, if they want to be a part of the larger customer mindshare. Data from 2014 indicated a rising preference for mobile and it will continue to grow in 2015, with many hotels indicating investment in mobile POS software, as per a study by Hospitality Technology. The factors leading to the rise of mobile include:

  • Millenials – 90% of millennials own a smartphone and 66% percent of them use mobile search, to shop and buy travel on mobile, excluding OTAs. (Source: PhoCusWright)
  • Last Minute Bookings – More than 60% of mobile hotel bookings happen within 24 hours of a stay. (Soure: Orbitz & Travelocity)
  • Emails Viewed on Mobile – 66% of emails were opened on a smartphone or tablet. (Source:Movable Ink)
  • Social Media on Mobile – 40% of cell phone owners use a social networking site on their phone. (Source: Pew Internet Spring Tracking Survey) What can hotels do?
  • It is important that in 2015, more than ever, hotels integrate mobile strategy into everything they do.
  • Adopt a SoLoMo strategy. Have a responsive website and integrate a mobile compatible booking engine on their site, to allow check-ins via smart devices.
  • Evaluate software that offers services, such as point of sale and payment processing via mobile devices.

5. Cloud technology will continue to grow

Last year saw many mergers and acquisitions in the hospitality cloud technology space. It also witnessed many legacy players venturing into cloud. With cloud-based solutions integrating better with other cloud solutions, 2015 will be the year where many smaller hotels will find it necessary to move to cloud technology – be it for revenue management, property management or guest feedback.

As per Hospitality Technology’s 2015 Lodging Technology Study, 15% hoteliers are considering investing in cloud-based property management and point-of-sale systems in the coming 18 months.

What can hotels do?

  • Factor in requirements, marketing strategy and budgets to make cloud technology a part of the wider 2015 plan.
  • Calculate the ROI involved with cloud technology and choose a solution that offers business breadth and depth. This 2015 will belong to the hotels that are agile to accept technological changes.


NB: This article was produced by Aditya Sanghi (co-founder and CEO of

Original article source: Hotel Owner