The DACH region has seen unprecedented growth in its tourism markets in recent years
Continued tourism growth in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) makes this area ripe for innovation, presenting opportunities for hotels to personalise their offer in order to drive more business and revenue.
Yet far too many operators continue to rely on online travel agents (OTAs) to fill their hotel beds. This is a missed opportunity to capture not only additional revenue but also cultivate guest loyalty and repeat business.
The DACH region has seen unprecedented growth in its tourism markets in recent years.
2017 saw Germany record an eighth consecutive record year, with international visitors up 4% to 83.9 million and overnight stays up 3% to 459.6 million, according to figures from the Federal Statistical Office.
Austria reported a record start to 2018 with a 4.3% increase in room nights from January to June 2018, achieving 75.68 million nights.
Meanwhile, Switzerland saw a 3.8% increase in overnight stays for the first half of 2018, with 18.4 million overnight stays.
All three markets are enjoying growth, but now is not the time for hotel managers to get complacent.
Channel direct business
If you are seeing recurring business entering your hotels from an OTA or other third-party intermediary then you are letting revenue run through your fingers.
If a guest has stayed with you previously then they should not be booking their return visit via Expedia or Booking.com. OTAs should be used as a door opener, but after that, hotels should be taking action to win back their business and get the guest booking direct.
According to Think with Google, consumers want more personalised experiences and offers tailored to their interests. The OTAs have become very good at this, using data analytics to build out consumer profiles and backing this up with creative outreach programmes. Hotels need to take this a step further. After all, they have one huge advantage over the OTAs: They actually meet the guest.
We need to find new ways and technologies to enable us to communicate with the guest or potential guest in ways most comfortable for them.
Tailored, personalised offers will drive more bookings and higher revenue. A recent study conducted by Google and Phocuswright found that 57% of travellers feel that brands should tailor their information based on personal preferences or past behaviours. But here’s the really interesting bit: 36% would pay more for a tailored trip experience.
Delight and drive revenue
Successful hotels delight the guest. The reason why DACH hotels continue to see increased overnight stays is that DACH hotels are doing a great job at wowing their guests.
However, as the world becomes more digital, we have to translate that 1-2-1 interaction for the e-commerce world. By personalising your online offer, your means of communicating with your guest, even the language you use, you can increase conversion rate, guest satisfaction and total spend from the client. The Google survey is accurate in that regard – people will pay more for a bespoke service.
However, in order to collate, interpret and use all this customer data you need to have the IT landscape to facilitate this. Hotels need to be operating on open and agnostic platforms, where all systems can talk to each other, and everything feeds into one database that owns the customer information. This is the precondition for successful e-commerce.
Hotels in the DACH region are becoming more open to the technological changes taking place in their industry. What’s more, Open Pricing and Revenue Strategy are starting to come to the fore, as hotels understand the true value of a personalised offer, and the value of being able to yield each segment, channel and room type independently in real time.
These innovations will continue to drive industry growth, as conversion rates rise and profit margins grow.
Michael Schäffner will be presenting at this year’s Swiss Innovation Day on 29 August 2018. Meet him at the event to discover how Duetto’s Revenue Strategy Platform can help you drive significant gains in RevPAR Index.