The new ecosystem in hotel distribution is the first trend to be pulled out of the e-book study done by Innwise, which reveals the 10 trends in hotel distribution.
The democratization of information
The rapid expansion of the Internet and broadbrand, the emergence of the Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and growing acceptance of the Internet as a source of information and inspiration has increased the diffusion of information about tourist destinations and products beyond the traditional catalogs usually found in travel agencies.
Information about product and tourist destination, however far away it may be, is no longer the “property” of professional travel agents, wholesalers, hotel room consolidators and is now available for the end consumer.
For the first time the consumer enjoys the means for planning a trip independently, using up-to-date and free information, to compare prices and providers, and, mostly, to contact and purchase directly from providers at the desired destination.
Thanks to the continuous technological development and growing acceptance of the Internet as a commercial platform, the barriers between provider and consumer have come down. The traditional mediation, as had been the case in previous years, no longer adds value to the final product.
Low-cost airlines enter
The rise of the so-called low-cost airlines has assumed a crucial role in changing the tourism ecosystem. Their business model is based in large part on the elimination of the go-between, thereby reducing significantly their dependence on the traditional global distribution systems (GDS) and the travel agencies. Their point of sales has become the Internet, and the low-cost airlines, led by Ryanair and Easyjet, have turned into the leaders of change and references for other businesses and subsectors related to tourism.
The fundamental role of the low-cost businesses is not limited however to their pioneering role in direct distribution. Their dizzying growth threatens to break the business model of wholesalers: the splitting up vacation packages and freeing up tourist arrivals to Spain was due to the low-cost companies.
The application of a multichannel strategy to simultaneously manage distinct sales channels and extranets is a problem for 42% of hotel operators, given that they require additional resources and systems are not always reliable.
Consequently, the national hotel sector gives a greater priority to technological solutions that make it possible to manage, monitor and maximize the business in different distribution channels.
One can conclude that the current hotel distribution ecosystem remains basically in the hands of third parties.