You can’t avoid technology, so why not use it to make your business grow? During the HostelSkills Conference in Belgrade Valentin Dombrovsky of Travelabs shared some insights on how to achieve more by following trends&technologies in the online travel industry. He sums it up in three simple words: build, measure, learn!
Personalization and making the guests feel valued and appreciated is the key to success.
From your standpoint what are the current trends in the online travel industry and how can hostel owners/managers best use them in order to improve their businesses?
There are several trends to be mentioned – the extensive use of mobile channels is one of them, then analytics and big data as well are very important trends and this also goes for the personalization based on this trend. When we know more about the travelers we can provide some additional services especially for them, personalized offers that will make them feel appreciated. Of course, sharing economy is on the rise. We cannot say it is a trend, as it’s something that is already here. Hostels are always platforms of sharing connections between people so that’s why it might be very important for them to follow this trend as well.
Any tips on how to monitor the trends and how to implement them in real day-to-day hostel management and get ahead of the competition?
There are several opportunities for hostels to follow travel technology trends, on professional media like Tnooz or Skift to name just some. It is, however, true that sometimes it might seem that there is too much content that’s just too hard to follow. Nonetheless, it’s important to understand trends, not only in hospitality and hotel accommodations but also trends in other industries, for example in destination marketing. This will make you think about how your hostel can fit into these trends, become a part of destination marketing activities, and ultimately benefit from them.
What is the correlation between using new technologies and raising customer satisfaction? Any examples?
As I’ve already mentioned, mobile channels are very important nowadays. There are several companies which offer technologies of keyless entry for hotels and hostels. Imagine a customer having an app and being able to check in without actually checking in, being able to enter his room without getting a key. Then, there are companies offering personalized guides which a guest can get after booking a room, that’s something that’ll show the guest that the hostel really cares about his experience in the city, not just accommodating him and taking his money. This is a very important aspect if you want to make your guests feel truly appreciated.