Andrew Smith, Senior Vice President Supply at Agoda, discusses key trends that hotels often overlook. These include understanding consumer intent, prioritizing pricing control, and ensuring accurate inventory availability.
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So, the key trends that hotels are ignoring? I’m not sure I would say that this is being ignored, but perhaps it needs to take more of a front seat or more of a priority in their thoughts. So, yes, I like I mentioned, it’s one of them is really understanding consumer intent and their need for flexibility and confidence in their booking decisions. So I think being able to understand that and not just understand it for perhaps what used to be your core market or your core origins, but actually understand that various origins are going to have different needs, and being able to adapt and understand each of those, and I think that’s something where we definitely see a bias of conversion for those hotels or those groups that can really embrace that and understand the content required in there and to help hotels have that confidence and the customer have the confidence in making the booking, that’s one thing that should be prioritized.
I think the other one, which is just a given, is that in a world where there are so many different platforms and so many different ways of making bookings and purchases for hotels, of course, pricing is always going to be a huge priority for customers. I think more than ever, there are so many different ways that customers can compare pricing and even now perhaps compare things like benefits within the package and cancellation policies within the booking. So when you have access to all that rich data on comparing across different online travel sites, different offline travel sites in very, very real-time, then making sure that you have very good control over your pricing is always going to be a really important thing, and it’s always something the customers tell us is important when they’re making their booking decision.
Lastly, this sounds like an obvious one, but I think just pure inventory or availability, again, it’s where it all starts from. You can’t sell a room that you don’t have available. So what we’ve found is that during COVID, there are often times where hotels have had to temporarily close or reduce their occupancy for various reasons, and in that time, they sometimes have not gone back to check, “Have I increased my inventory or increased my availability on all the different sites and platforms?” Now that the demand is back up, so I think that’s a pretty good health check. It sounds very obvious, but we’re still spotting gaps where various hotels in various cities forget to update their inventory when there is an inventory available, and of course, they’re missing out on some of that demand that’s coming into the market
Meet the Speaker
Senior Vice President, Supply