The Internet in the hotel industry has been a revolution. No doubt about that. It has completely changed the way we find, discover and book hotels within 10 years. I would personally put the big turning point in 2002.
However, how much the Internet has actually improved the bottom line in the hotel industry? Have we seen an increase of occupancies? Average room rates? REV PAR? Gross Operating Profits? While the Internet and social media have revolutionized the way we promote hotels and sell rooms, are we spending less on sales road shows? Have we seen a decrease in sales departments payroll? Or have the savings simply been re-allocated to the newly created large e-commerce departments (and related search engine marketing expenses)?
In other word, if the technology has increased the efficiency and rationalize expenses, has it been simply balanced by a dramatic increase of all sorts of new expenses?
Or have the buyers (guests) been the only big winners in a revolution that was initiated by the sellers (hotels)? Have the hotels lost out at their own game?
I have started writing a white paper about the above and I would love to hear your opinion and experiences. Please feel free to share here or email me at fabrice_burtin (at) yahoo.com.
Fabrice Burtin – July 2010