The 2020 Hotel Technology Trends That You Should Care About
By Stuart Butler Chief Operating Officer, Fuel Travel | April 05, 2020
When thinking about what to include within this article, I decided to take a slightly different approach from the standard "Trends" posts that are all too common these days. You know the ones I mean. They talk about perennial fixtures such as "Mobile" and "Personalization" without getting too specific. Or, they get into the latest buzz-worthy technology such as "blockchain" and "5G" but fail to make a coherent case for how such things are actually going to impact your day-to-day life over the next year or so.
What I came up with is more of a handful of observations and predictions of things that are happening in the hospitality industry and that will likely affect you and your property to some degree during 2020. While many of these may not be earth-shattering in their impact, the effects will most certainly be felt by most properties and you should therefore be prepared to adjust your strategies accordingly.
1. Google Will Begin To Dominate Travel
Over the past several years, Google has grown in importance to hotel marketers and this growth is not slowing down anytime soon. We will continue to see organic search results sliding down the screen at the same time that Google figures out new ways to get involved in more elements of the hotel booking value chain.
2020 will see the culmination of what Google has been planning for some time. They've been quietly laying the groundwork for years and they are now poised to really disrupt the ecosystem by becoming the primary distribution channel for many properties.
Google has gone from being a major source of free traffic to a pay-to-play advertising channel, to a META search, and is now becoming an OTA. With the merger of Google Flights and Google Hotels into the soon-to-dominate Google.com/travel, I am expecting to see a significant shift in how consumers plan and book their trips. The new Google Travel tool offers a convenience and efficiency that will finally allow Google to take market share away from the likes of Expedia and Booking.com. The tools and features simply make it easier for travelers to discover new places, learn about specific locations, and determine when to travel and where to stay. OTAs will have to up their game quickly if they wish to compete.