In an age when hotels are beginning to make headway in the fight to get more direct bookings and better control distribution, message fits perfectly into direct strategies. It is a way that hotels can win back over the OATS because when push comes to shove no one knows a hotel better that their own staff. For that matter no one knows the destination better that the people who live there. Now that travellers are starting to like the idea of messaging, who do you think they will want to speak to – A clerk at an OTA or the hotel manager themselves?
My guess is this is a technology and a trend that is in favor of suppliers and not so much for OTAs. It is time for hotel to seize the opportunity.
Here are the latest facts reported by Phocusright.
“The growth of mobile messaging has been remarkable, and shows no sign of letting up anytime soon. In addition to the widespread use of traditional SMS or text messaging, Internet-based mobile chat apps have become the default means of communication for billions around the world. It’s advancing at lightning pace and penetrating many aspects of our daily lives, including travel.”
The report also points out that “”In addition, mobile messaging represents an obvious opportunity for travel brands to offer on-demand traveler support. In the hospitality segment, a slew of startups have stepped in to facilitate guest relations via instant messaging.”
It is a new world of messaging spurred on by the new dominance of mobile which is in widespread use and bookings by mobile apps have now overtaken the mobile web for bookings. Other research has shown that the new travelers (the Millennials) prefer to text rather that use the phone. Its is something they are more comfortable with- In fact its a great way to communicate about a holiday for several reasons.
Advantages of Text Messaging
1. Its cost effective (no long distance charges)
2. Its efficient. no dialing waiting on hold or talking about the weather. Well maybe the weather is OK, it is an important holiday concern, but i mean it in the pejorative sense of the typical greeting like “Hi how are you”. That sort of social meandering is usually dispensed with in a text where one is looking for answers about specific issues, like do you have an ocean view 2 bedroom villa available.
3. Its very convenient and a technology that is in nearly everyone pocket.
4. Its a perfect way to confirm, cancel and change bookings and to share holiday experiences.
5.Unlike a phone call – you get a transcript and a written document for future reference.
Texting is the new norm and clearly Messaging is the future of Travel. A recent Harvard business review confirms that it is the modern and preferred form of communications. “Harvard Business Review essay urging companies to dump voicemail, author Michael Schlage doesn’t mince words: A communications medium that was once essential has become as clunky and irrelevant as Microsoft MSFT -0.46% DOS and carbon paper.”
Also see Why Meillennials are Talking Less
See details of Phocuswright’s Chat, Shop, Buy at http://www.phocuswright.com/Travel-Research/Research-Updates/2016/Is-Messaging-the-Future-of-Travel