Big Data in the Hotel Industry Misses the Mark

There are few industries that have much as an opportunity to gather information about their guests than the hotel industry. Each guest creates a multitude of transactions in the hotel’s computer system that can be analyzed to better understand guest needs, behavior and willingness to pay. The analysis is the basis for effective marketing to get visitors to come and to acquire new guests with similar needs, behavior and willingness to pay. The hotels’ guest information becomes after a few years of collecting an invaluable source of information. This is the beginning of what the technology language trend is “Big Data.” By analyzing large volumes of data, companies can now discover new patterns that they previously could not see, and thus opens a new world of knowledge on how best to allocate their marketing and sales budget to maximize revenues.

Lack of Systems Create Missed Opportunity

hotel_bristol_w_warszawieMost hotels have no order at all in their systems. I spoke with a large well-known hotel that books fiji resorts vacations that wanted to create a campaign by sending an e-newsletter to all its former guests. It turned out that only 15% of the visitors’ email addresses were registered in the hotel system. It might be worth doing a mailing, but there should have been e-mail addresses for at least 80% of the guests.

If the hotel has a high quality of their data in their systems, i.e. that all the data is entered, the data is correct, they are available for  a mailing, and they are current, the hotel has a high value on their data. This value may even be higher than any other individual part in the hotel.

Let’s do a comparison over time. Once upon a time were the major booking systems (GDS), which was started by the airlines worth more on the stock market than the airlines. Today they are worth more on the stock market than the big mega hotel chains. What’s in the GDS, and what are the systems? The answer is that the only available info in systems have no value, the information is mostly on reservations, which in turn is data on travelers or guests. All this information is used to acquire more customers and bookings. That is how to develop their business and their income regardless of the industry.

For me, it is completely incomprehensible that hotels do not think it is important to gather the right information about their guests and to ensure that everything is stored in the hotels’ system correctly.