Smart Software Solutions for Myanmar's Growing Hotel Industry. By Manoj Kumar Mohanty Thursday, 28th August 2014
Exclusive Feature: Since international sanctions were lifted and socio-economic reforms introduced in 2011, Myanmar has been witnessing a boost in its hospitality industry;
Tourism is growing at an impressive pace and as the number of tourist visiting the country increase, so do the number of hotels coming up across this South East Asian nation.
With unexplored and untapped historic, natural and cultural heritage, the country welcomed over 2 million tourists in 2013 which was a growth of 93% over 2012.1 Looking at this trend, Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism expects that the country will receive 3 million guests in 2014 and 5 million in 2015.
As the number of tourist entering Myanmar increases, so must the number of hotels, to serve guests across market segments and categories. According to the Tourism Master Plan 2013 – 2020, by June 2013, Myanmar had 787 hotels and other accommodations across 48 locations, with 28,291 rooms. In the pipeline were 56 new properties due to open by the end of 20132.
Statistics put out by Jones Lang LaSalle’s Hotels and Hospitality Group note,4 Yangon, the economic hub of Myanmar will add 4,518 rooms to its hotel market from 2019 to 2020 and 95% of them will be in upscale and luxury segment.
This apart, the country will also see a rise in the number of mid-scale hotel properties.3 In an attempt to promote the hotel industry by attracting more investment, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism is planning to set up exclusive Hotel Zones across the nation.
Is the Myanmar Hotel Industry Ready for their Guest?
While the number of hotels in Myanmar is set to increase, the big question is, are they ready to serve the needs of their demanding guests. Today’s guests are predominantly the millennial generation, below 35 years of age, they have a high spending capacity, but demand rapid and personalized services.
Technology is key for the millennial guest and if they can’t find a hotel website, view pictures of the hospitality property on social media, will not receive internet connectivity when they are at the hotel, or in any other way find the property ‘uncool’ they are very likely to pass the hotel off for another location.
To stay tuned to the millennials, it is important for a hotel to be powered by robust software that automates a maximum number of hotel processes, responds to the ever changing needs of guests, stores guest related data down to the pillow they like, allows for the extraction of an extensive number of reports and enables a hotel staff to serve guests with a smile.
Locating the Right Hotel Software
A hotel software is the backbone of a hotel, and good hotel software is not only robust at the back end, but user-friendly at the front end, enable hotel staff to work fast, is PA DSS certified to ensure safe storage of guest related data and provide management a constant view of hotel operations.
Ensure Your Hotel is Digital Savvy
To attract tech-savvy travelers, a hotel must be active on social media, connecting with potential guests, responding to queries, and willing to personalize the experience. This is not only a requirement for large, star hotels, but for hospitality properties across star categories.
Hotels around the world are not only connecting with guests but also reworking their loyalty programs and tuning them into digital channels. They are rewarding guest for their online review and feedback and launching offers exclusively for social media. If you have a large hotel or chain, an online reputation management solution is just the solution for your hotel.
Most millennial guests prefer booking on a hotels website. This is also the most cost effective way of getting bookings. A smart hotel usually has a web booking engine on its website and leverages social media to direct traffic and queries to it.
With distribution channels springing up at top speed, most hotels need to be on a few OTAs and GDS channels too. Is Your Hotel Mobile?
Today’s millennial guests are price sensitive and last-minute room booking apps have become the rave. This squeezes margins for hotels, but while the ARR drops, the occupancy increases.
Smart, competitive hotels are turning mobile-friendly to connect with their guest on more than one platform and ensure engagement. A last-minute room booking app also allows hotels to book up until the last room rather than leave a room unoccupied.
Customize Your Marketing with Revenue Management
With hotel offers galore and your potential guest bombarded by the media, a single marketing plan no longer fits all. Developing a dynamic marketing plan that is highly segmented requires a strong revenue management solution.
This solution must be able to pull data real-time and converts that into actionable points. To take it a step further, a business intelligence solution could also help a hotel identify potential revenue channels and push these to the forefront through strategic marketing.
Technology is all pervasive in the hospitality industry, and when your technology savvy guest breeze in through the lobby, your hotel has no option but to be in sync with their requirements. Most customer relationship management gurus would argue that loyalty is dead and technology, be it hotel software and smart apps and solutions are the way to your guests heart.
About the Author: Manoj Kumar Mohanty is the Vice President, Sales – South Asia at IDs Next Business Solutions Pvt Ltd. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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