The original disruptors, online travel agents such as Expedia, Booking.com and Wotif, were now themselves facing disruption from the likes of Tripadvisor, Google and Facebook, which were offering, or about to offer, cheaper direct booking capability
This article, by Simon Johanson, is published by Fairfax:
Online booking and travel advisory businesses were having a less disruptive impact on the hotel sector than claimed, a leading hotel manager says.
TFE Hotels chief executive Rachel Argaman said the group’s expansion plans – it will add 16 new venues globally in the next five years with another 10 in negotiation – and revenue growth in Sydney and Melbourne (5.3 and 4.2 per cent respectively) defied talk of disruption.
TFE controls Adina, Medina, Rendezvous, Vibe, Travelodge and TFE Hotels Collection brands focused in central city locations.
Ms Argaman said hotels were changing in response to digital disruption, but demand was undiminished. Travel and tourism were still a “No. 1” aspiration in both developed and developing countries.
“Airbnb operate in parallel to us with a very different product. We see them as a valuable distribution partner. We distribute all our hotels on Airbnb,” she said.
“The challenge is about retaining customers. We’re happy to pay 3 per cent commission on Airbnb to acquire a new customer.”
Across its portfolio of 70 hotels in six countries, TFE was achieving 85 per cent occupancy, Ms Argaman said.
The group was more aware of social media strategies and had shifted to create a “home away from home”, a sense of place in its venues.
“Our lobbies are transforming. They are living lobbies. Reception is tucked away in the corner. They are like a social lounge: a place to be, to eat, to drink, to dine and to socialise,” she said.
TFE will open the doors of two new Adina Apartment Hotels in Frankfurt and Nuremburg this October and November, and others in Leipzig and Hamburg in 2017, and later in Munich.
It will also add five new properties in Australia including a new Travelodge at Sydney Airport next year, an Adina Apartment Hotel in Fremantle near the port and cruise ship terminal and one in Macquarie Park at North Ryde.
Another is set to open in Melbourne’s former Pentridge Prison in 2020 with a function centre in the old prison chapel.
Travellers expectations were also changing, Ms Argaman said.
“Bleisure” travellers who blend business and leisure, taking their partner or child on a trip, were an emerging sector. As were “3G” travellers – family holidays with three generations, grandparents, their children and grandchildren.
Medical tourism, “journeying well and wellness”, was also growing, she said.
The original disruptors, online travel agents such as Expedia, Booking.com and Wotif, were now themselves facing disruption from the likes of Tripadvisor, Google and Facebook, which were offering, or about to offer, cheaper direct booking capability, Ms Argaman said.
Read the Fairfax article here: http://www.smh.com.au/business/property/digital-not-so-disruptive-for-hotel-sector-says-adina-manager-20160916-grhyyb.html