The ever-evolving industry
The structure of the hotel industry in Europe continues to evolve, and remains fragmented, despite chain hotels increasing their percentage share of overall room stock. Many countries, including some very large destination markets like Italy and Greece, have a large percentage of hotels which are unbranded, independent and family owned, many with 50 rooms or less.
The world of hotel technology software, or “hotel tech stack” is similar in structure, and equally fragmented, where you have a large number of small tech companies, each operating in their local market, providing tech and support services on a regional basis. These companies, such as hotel booking engine providers, revenue management, reviews and guest engagement platforms, compete with each other for market share, either on price, product features or service as a differentiator. This makes for a lot of duplication of product and effort which isn’t economically efficient, making it much harder for some travel tech companies to reach scale, which doesn’t benefit the hotel industry in the long run.
All this duplication has helped create a jumbled world full of seemingly endless amounts of systems which have been built over the years using differing technologies, meaning half of them don’t even integrate properly with each other. This can make the lives of hoteliers a bit more complex than they need to be! Not to worry though – we can see this is starting to change. Year on year, there are continual signs of growth and consolidation within the hotel tech stack, as big players inside and out look to increase their own market share, or even gain entry into a market where they haven’t existed or gained sufficient scale in yet.
How do you make the lives of hotel execs easier?
Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest challenges facing hotel executives today is navigating the minefield of software solutions and tech stack, figuring out what combination is going to be right for their business.
Enter Open API’s!
Open API platforms are what we see as the solution to this complex issue faced by hotels. Open APIs allow a range of diverse systems across the hotel tech stack to connect and communicate more seamlessly with each other. They also help to remove any legacy issues around ‘old tech’ competing on whether their systems can work well together and ‘talk’ to each other or not. This means a hotel can pick a tech stack to assist with virtually any task, from on-site property management to reservations to channel management for their hotel, and rest easy that it’s fully integrated with other systems and allows for more of a ‘plug and play’ scenario.
Solutions through innovative products
We’ve found that another very familiar challenge is limited IT budget. By no means limited to our industry, it’s an obstacle that has aided a surge of SaaS products to thrive over recent times. We recently launched a Website Builder product that addresses this obstacle in an environment where consumer behaviour is always changing, and guest expectations in technology are naturally rising. SaaS products like our website builder ensure that technology and user experience is as current as possible, at a price that isn’t anxiety-inducing!
The ever-growing access to this sophisticated variety of technology also gives hotels an unprecedented amount of data on their guests. Knowing who their guests are and how they behave allows hotels to target and assist them much more specifically, which is crucial in this ‘age of personalisation’. Over the next 3-5 years, we’ll see a growth spurt of start up tech companies and products focusing more & more on this wealth available data, and what kind of unique & added value that it can bring to a guest’s journey. For companies like us, this means looking at every aspect of the booking journey, and how to bring all the various data sources together to deliver a highly personalised booking experience.
At Net Affinity, we’ve invested heavily in our systems, upgrading the UI, improved functionality, and additional third party integrations, as well as making significant investment in our core booking technology designed to future proof our business. It’s all designed to simplify the lives of hoteliers by providing the absolute best breed of technology built on an Open API philosophy, along with excellent client service, all of which is packaged up for easy access. We want our clients to enjoy working with us.
What’s been your experience in finding the right tech stack for your hotel? Is it something we can help you with?