RoomKeyPMS is celebrating a milestone anniversary this year, marking 20 years of leadership in hotel property management software. The last two decades have seen a significant amount of change within the hospitality industry, as hoteliers have had to adapt to new technology and the evolution of guest behaviours and expectations.
In honour of RoomKeyPMS’ 20-year anniversary, here’s a recap of some of the biggest changes the hospitality industry has seen over the same period.
As reported by STR, approximately 10,000 new hotel properties have been added to the American market over the last twenty years, “resulting in an inventory increase in excess of 1.1 million rooms” or a 26.7% growth.
As business travel increased in the late 1990’s and along with the tech boom of the 2000’s, it became very important for hotels to begin offering business-class rooms and more services and amenities geared towards business travellers, such as reliable and affordable wifi, 24/7 business centres, fitness facilities, and flexible spaces to host meetings, and eventually, videoconferences.
Marketing & Distribution
The hotel booking business model has also significantly changed over the past few decades, with the launch of third party intermediaries like OTAs replacing bookings traditionally made through travel agents or directly through the hotel.
The rise of digital marketing and search engine marketing has also affected hoteliers: traditional marketing through television, radio, newspaper, magazines, etc. have been replaced by digital ad formats on Google or social media platforms. Concurrently, OTAs harnessed this digital advertising power and used their marketing budgets to boost bookings through their sites, versus direct bookings through the actual hotel. This has been a big shift in the overall marketing and distribution aspect of the hospitality industry, and has had a big impact on hotel’s revenues and bottom line.
Also due to the rise of technology and internet connectivity, guest expectations have evolved just as much as the small device they hold in their hands. With the touch of a button, consumers can compare hotel rates, read reviews, access photos, and thoroughly research all of their options before selecting which hotel they wish to stay at. At that point they also choose how to actually make the booking: directly through the hotel website, through an OTA’s website, or via their loyalty rewards program, etc.
On top of this, consumers also have enhanced expectations about the services and amenities they want access to, and at a lower cost. This is why more and more big brand and even boutique properties are now offering expanded amenities as ‘basic’ offerings, such as: high-speed wifi, bathrobes, fitness facilities, in-room entertainment options, complimentary hot breakfast or happy hour, pet-friendly options, and in-room technology such as tablets, Smart TVs or thermostat control.
With advances in technology contributing to greater economies of scale, hotel operations and managing the bottom line have significantly improved over the past few decades. Process automation between a hotel’s PMS and its third-party integrations can make even the most tedious tasks, like the night audit, run much more efficiently.
These upgrades have allowed for front desk and other hotel employees to focus more on guests and less on computing back-end data; with the increased expectations of today’s travellers, this is key to improving the guest experience and increasing hotel loyalty.
Looking back at the last twenty years, it’s clear that the industry is only continuing to grow and evolve alongside its increasingly sophisticated consumers. For hoteliers to remain competitive, it’s crucial to stay on top of the trends and invest in technology and providing an exceptional guest experience. Here’s to the next twenty years!
If you’re looking to improve your hotel’s tech stack for the next 20 years, book a demo to learn more about the cloud-based RoomKeyPMS platform and its interfaces.
To read more about RoomKeyPMS’ milestone 20-year anniversary, check out the press release.
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