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This report provides an analysis of Grant Thornton in Thailand’s annual hotel industry survey. The survey looks specifically at 4 and 5 star hotels in Thailand and was conducted in April and May 2016. A total of 66 properties took part in this research and the questions asked related to guest demographics and occupancy rates throughout the previous year, in this case 2015, as well as each properties approach to technology and digital strategy.
The research draws attention to the fact that within the hotel industry, technology is having a major influence on business plans. Most hotels surveyed agree that technology and digital strategy are important issues (89%) and 65% have a digital strategy linked to their overall business plan. Given the rapid growth rate of technology, it’s encouraging to see that 73% are investing more in 2016 than they did in 2015 and 91% have confidence in their IT policy, security and governance. Of those that use technology and have an active digital strategy, 56% have their own resource to manage their policy, while 35% use both an in-house/HQ resource as well as outsourced vendors.
However, there were several concerns shared by those in the industry, the greatest being achieving a fair ROI on technology investments (67%) possibly because investments in technology and digital strategy are difficult to quantify. Other concerns also identified included whether staff are capable of using the technology (51%), and the privacy and security of guest information (48%).
When it comes to technology and digital strategies, it is worthwhile for hotels to consider which technologies can reduce costs, make savings and increase efficiency, and then find those that will help improve sales and finally those that will enhance guest experience.
Really understanding and segmenting different guests will allow hotels to balance the different digital strategy and technology needs and in turn add value. While training will be needed for staff, outsourcing can reduce overheads and improve efficiencies.
Social media should also be regarded as not only a means to raise awareness but also a tool to help generate income and help customer retention.