The introduction of new technology is forever changing the extended stay sector. It is an understatement to state that it has introduced Extended Stay to the era of modern travel. In many ways, Extended Stay and the 7+ Night industry has been a secondary player in the world of business travel due to access and awareness. That’s all changing. Technology is now powering the industry and delivering unprecedented supply to the broader travel market.
The global supply community is quickly getting wise to the use of new technology. The first big technology mover was directly connecting that supply community to the GDS where it could be easily accessed, curated and guaranteed. This improved transparency and trust amongst business and corporate travel managers, which exponentially improved confidence for business travel.
The second is revenue management software. Having access to a global pool of clients is an excellent start. Optimizing that revenue performance and having the ability to forecast is putting a massive supply community on par with large hotel chains. What does this mean? Knowing how to identify appropriate pricing, accurately forecast demand, welcome new business and account for lost revenue through cancellations is now facilitated through software.
Agile rates means more profitability. From large chains to single extended stay properties, revenue management software is delivering some of the most meaningful improvements to profitability. Akin to the impact of CRM on business, this type of software is simply making hospitality leaner and more productive. No more crystal balls.
On the horizon? AI.
Yes, artificial intelligence is emerging in a number of hospitality uses. Chatbots are quickly interpreting customer requests and dispatching abstract solutions. These are solutions that free up humans for more important work and are frequently more cost-effective and quicker. It optimizes revenue and increases marketing base. Already using sophisticated chatbots are companies like Skype and Kayak.
We can all relate to the frustration that comes with the evolution of technology as we learn to live together in a more symbiotic way. Who will admit they’ve yelled “agent” into a blank phone line or even cursed at Siri a few times? This, however, forecasts a much kinder, more efficient world I think we’ll all be thankful for.
Thanks, technology! (But please don’t become self-aware.)