When you think about the travel and hospitality industry, what often comes to mind are personalized experiences and breathtaking locations. It takes a lot of planning and research to make these experiences happen. Wouldn’t it be easier to have intelligently interpreted data help? Because the hotel and hospitality industry interacts with millions of customers each day and keeps track of these transactions, this data is readily available. Using this information to meet guest expectations makes the difference between a returning customer and a lost opportunity.
What are Predictive Analytics?
Booking more guests and making them happy is the bread and butter of the travel industry. That’s exactly why leveraging Predictive Analytics for travel is so powerful!
Predictive analytics collects data from multiple sources, including traditional data and new sources like social media and online reviews. It can also use related data like weather, local events, flight rates and more, to provide comprehensive, consolidated information presented in visual models.
Once this information is ready, travel businesses can look into the past and future in order to make better business decisions that positively influence their bottom line.
Getting this data is easy through the numerous predictive analytical tools available that will help you understand behavior and patterns. Combining big data with these analytical tools result in these three important value-adds:
1. Hotel Pricing to Satisfy Real-Time Demands
As anyone who has stayed at a hotel knows, prices change quickly thanks to peak and off-peak seasons, events and even weather. While most hotels and resorts use a seasonal pricing model, those using predictive analysis utilize open pricing. With open pricing, room rates are calculated independently based on different customer segments and for each booking date. This is possible by analyzing disparate information like shopping data, airline bookings and weather to produce forward-looking data.
Predictive Analytics also lead to cost savings. No one in hotel management wants their staff sitting around when occupancy is low. Predictive analysis can actually tell you how many housekeeping, service and front desk employees are needed from day to day.
Today might just be the day you need to call in temporary staffing for your soon to be buzzing kitchen thanks to the conference happening down the street.
2. Personalized Guest Experiences
Predictive analytic platforms combine their booking channel with learning models to provide a level of detail that can precisely determine what type of service each guest prefers.
Business travelers are a good example of repeat demand generators for hotels and getting them to enroll in a loyalty program can help you personalize their experience even further. Greeting them with their favorite bottle of white wine and leaving a clothing steamer in their room could really produce that ‘wow’ effect.
On the other hand, leisure travelers may be looking for a truly unique experience, such as a welcome sign with their name on it and a weekly menu of nearby attractions. Getting this customer insight can personalize their experience and inflate your brand through positive reviews.
Location-specific experiences could be anything from a behind the scenes tour of the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC to a wine tasting tour if you are located in wine country. If it is a family checking in, a kid activity package to give parents some quiet time could be the perk they didn’t even realize they needed.
3. New Business Opportunities
Whether we like it or not, we all are leaving a digital footprint. Gathering this data is fairly easy and can reveal some unexpected business opportunities.
Red Roof Inn is a case study worth highlighting. This chain had a media marketing spend that is a fraction of what other chains use to convert mobile searches to definite leads. In the winter of 2014 when flight cancellations were high, it used a readily available flight tracking tool and weather forecasting to monitor the volume of cancellations. Then, they sent customized mobile messages directly to stranded travelers letting them know how close they were to a Red Roof Inn. Their bookings soared and the rest is history.
Innovative thinking coupled with precise data can open up new and powerful revenue streams. Where is there an unmet demand or demand for better hotels, there is an opportunity for your business to combine data with your competitive advantage to solve guest pain points and provide guests with the best possible experience.
Reach out to our team today!