3 Ways Technology Has Affected the Luxury Hospitality Segment in India Consumers rely heavily on peer reviews while making their travel decisions, so having a positive online image is the key in hospitality

By Aastha Singal

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For years, the luxury hospitality businesses around the globe have witnessed a succession story. Passed by many generations, the majority of such brands are built on years of trust and experience as the credit lies in their years of market presence. While there is always a risk associated with new brands, older ones have had their share of runs and miss before learning to be the customers' choice over other platforms.

Being in the line of business for years, the transition from traditional to digital media was slated to be difficult but the accepting and embracing the paradigm shift was crucial. Going forward, luxury hotels, premium lifestyle brands and homestay service providers need to focus on empowering their brand digitally by carefully setting up their demographics, audience, content and imagery on digital platforms.

The acceptance of technology by the world of travellers has drastically changed the way guests book and review their stay. All services are now available on our fingertips. In today's time, hospitality segment cannot flourish without aggressively incorporating an excellent digital and distribution strategy in the overall vision.

Here are 3 ways the technology has disrupted the luxury hospitality segment:

Online Booking

Unlike the old times, people hardly call and book now, the game has completely turned digital. As for offline travel agencies, they are not as prevalent now, leaving the willing travellers to scout through various options on the internet, compare the pricing and benefits before choosing one of their likings. Online bookings have become a gateway to selected hotel or homestay with convenience.

"As the power of digital marketing grows by the day, it has made deep inroads into many facets of our own lives. Competition exists in the virtual space rather than a physical one. Buying decisions are being taken based on comparisons conducted way in advance as the marketplace has largely moved online," opined Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer, South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group.

Real-time Responses

The way guests book and review their hotel stays have changed drastically in the past years, so has the customer expectations. Technology has placed us many years ahead from where we were a few years back. Unlike the traditional media, digital is real time and hence the guests also expect a timely response to all their queries routed using the channels.

"Hard work, consistency and timeliness are the keys in this area. Know that your guest reviews are extremely important and can lead you to newer business opportunities or deprive you of the existing ones as well, given how seriously you are taking their feedback and how timely you revert to them with a solution or thank them for their generic feedback," said Nitesh Gandhi, General Manager, JW Marriott New Delhi Aerocity.

Digital Feedback

Online reviews and feedback by customers play an important role in influencing a brand's image. The most important aspect of improving reviews is engaging with the guest during their stay and taking feedback or corrective measures before they leave. This goes a long way in ensuring guest satisfaction.

"Consumers rely heavily on peer reviews while making their travel decisions, so having a positive online image is the key. Business owners must set up their properties in a way that guests enjoy their experience, they should make sure that the guests are offered something unique, special and out of the ordinary and feel personally cared for," Isprava Vice-president Rohit Taparia said.

Aastha Singal

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Features Writer

A business journalist looking to find happiness in the world of startups, investments, MSMEs and more. Officially started her career as a news reporter for News World India, Aastha had short stints with NDTV and NewsX. A true optimist seeking to make a difference, she is a comic junkie who'd rather watch a typical Bollywood masala than a Hollywood blockbuster. 

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