Attendees of Oracle Hospitality Connect in Singapore got a precious glimpse at what many would crane their necks to see: The future.
In this case, the key trends that will define travel in the years ahead. Among them: Subscription travel – think Netflix model – is the next frontier of loyalty. Smart design is not just for luxury travel anymore. Gen Z will assert itself as travel’s next big opportunity. Wellness travel makes aging aspirational.
The sneak peek came courtesy of Skift, a leading industry research firm, which provided an exclusive preview of its much-anticipated 2020 Megatrends in Travel report at OH Connect, Oracle’s premier industry event.
Held at Fairmont Singapore, 10-12th December, the conference assembled Asia-Pacific’s top hoteliers, industry experts and Oracle leadership. OH Connect is designed to share technology best practices and address hospitality’s most-pressing topics – and the critical role Oracle cloud-based solutions can play in tackling them.
Skift’s presentation led off the final day’s agenda and provided hoteliers with defining trends to put on their radar. Key takeaways:
Subscription travel is the next frontier of loyalty: Is there a better way to reward customers? It’s an issue foremost for many industries, and some airlines are looking at models popularized by Netflix. For example, Delta offers a $59-per-year offer allowing subscribers to board their flights early. The highly-coveted benefit: Eliminate passenger anxiety of losing valuable, overhead cabin space. The bottom line: Find ways to build lasting relationships with customers.
Tourism’s new competitive advantage is protecting, not just promoting, destinations: It’s all about sustainability. If you’re not a sustainable destination you may not be able to attract the type of tourist that you want. Travelers don’t want to go someplace that is suffering from overtourism. How can your business work with local policy leaders to create the right balance between promotion and preservation?
Smart design is not just for luxury travel anymore: There is considerable momentum behind the redesign of the budget space. Creating efficient and economic designs that produce hassle-free, comfortable, affordable stays will be top of mind for hoteliers and travelers alike.
Wellness travel makes aging aspirational: Typical spa trips likely won’t go away, but middle-aged and older travelers are looking for something more: They’re seeking new ways to address the mind and the spirit; in other words, transforming themselves and learning to age gracefully. Though more popular among older demographics, prioritizing personal discovery is for everyone.
Gen Z asserts itself as travel’s next big opportunity: Those born between 1996 and 2010 are reaching adulthood and demonstrating spending power. Though it’s dangerous to make generalizations about any group, Gen Z shares some common traits: They’re mobile first; they have a love/hate relationship with connectivity; some are frugal because they came of age in the Great Depression; and they value purpose over profit. It’s essential to keep these characteristics in mind when targeting them.
For hoteliers, capitalizing on these trends undoubtedly will require innovations in operations and guest services, which underscored one of the conference’s major themes: innovating through integration. During the past year, Oracle Hospitality has embraced that concept with the adoption of an open API platform.
“We want to make integration a self-service experience,” said Michael Plumpton, Oracle’s senior director, software development. “We want to get out of your way and let you come and discover what APIs we have available, browse through our online interactive documentation and, ultimately, subscribe to those APIs that you want to use. And we want to build out this partner marketplace so we have a central location where we can showcase all of the partner innovations that you can leverage to add additional capabilities.”
Oracle Hospitality partners also echoed the importance of integration to deliver essential services for hoteliers. For IDeaS, a revenue management solutions company, integration means automation.
“The data we get from OPERA is our absolute lifeblood,” said Rachel Grier, area vice president for IDeaS. “We take the data multiple times a day. It’s run through our proprietary algorithms, machine learning and AI, and from that we then develop pricing and control. What you would have in a manual environment is rates that you don’t want in the marketplace. You would have lost opportunity.”
OH Connect attendees also gained a better understanding of the Oracle ecosystem of solutions that could help them better run their businesses. Some examples:
- Oracle CX technology breaks down barriers among a hotel’s marketing, sales, service and commerce operations to more efficiently acquire customers, enhance their stay and retain them as brand advocates.
- Oracle NetSuite enables hoteliers to move their back-office operations to the cloud. By integrating with OPERA Cloud, NetSuite’s finance management, budget and planning tools generate insights to grow revenues and optimize operations.
With such offerings – and Oracle Hospitality Consulting providing expert guidance to hoteliers embarking on a cloud journey – OH Connect showcased how Oracle’s customers will be more than ready for tomorrow’s opportunities.