The Impact of the Internet on Hotel Operations
By Connie Rheams Global Business Development, Altiuspar | January 27, 2012
The Internet has caused massive change in the hotel industry-new technologies, new competitors and newly-empowered customers have fundamentally altered the face of our business. But massive change can also bring opportunity.
Much has been written about how the Internet-and the rise of online travel sites-has been a boon to the consumer, but what about the impact to the hotelier?
It really boils down to two things: complexity and control.
There is no question that the Internet has brought about incredible changes in the way we live our lives. Today we can buy a car, pay bills, listen to music-even find a spouse!-all using the Internet. This newfound power has dramatically changed the way we interact, both professionally and personally. And it's had a tremendous impact on the hotel industry.
Fifteen years ago it would have been unthinkable for a hotelier to ask the question "who is my customer?" or to consider that there was any question at all as to who "owns" that customer. But that is entirely different today. The rise of online travel sites, the sheer availability of information and the ubiquity of technology have given customers options they never had before, and, with those options, a whole new world of pressures for the hotelier. There are new players, new tools, new issues and, most importantly, new risks and opportunities.