The Malaysia Budget Hotel and Business Association (MyBHA) has urged state governments to follow in the footsteps of the federal government in providing assistance to the tourism and hospitality industry to help its players get back on their feet.
KUANTAN: The Malaysia Budget Hotel and Business Association (MyBHA) has urged state governments to follow in the footsteps of the federal government in providing assistance to the tourism and hospitality industry to help its players get back on their feet.
Its deputy president Dr Sri Ganesh Michiel said state governments along with government agencies should emulate efforts taken by the federal government to offer initiatives to help those in the already hard hit industry.
"Contributing and providing initiatives to the tourism and hospitality industry players will certainly have greater impact in efforts to revitalise the sector. We need support from all quarters and agencies.
"The government should realise the move to close the country's and state borders has contributed to zero domestic tourism and a significant drop in hotel guest numbers. We hope the government can consider lifting the interstate travel ban to help revive domestic tourism," he said in a statement today.
Sri Ganesh said while the MyBHA praised the special assistance under the the Strategic Programme to Empower the People and Economy (Pemerkasa) package, which was announced yesterday, they hoped more measures will be introduced.
"We are grateful towards the government's efforts to help hoteliers and tourism industry players who have been affected by the Movement Control Order and the Covid-19 pandemic.
"However, MyBHA realised the initiatives and aid announced by the government is still at a minimum level and could not offer much to help the industry, which is in a desperate situation to sustain the challenges.
"We request the government to introduce a special stimulus package solely for the industry (tourism and hospitality industry)," he said, adding while efforts were underway to bring the pandemic under control, the tourism sector would need a long time to recover.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, in a special televised address, announced special discounts of electricity bills of 10 per cent for another three months, until June 30 this year to help reduce operating costs for hotel operators, theme parks, convention centres, shopping malls, local airline offices as well as travel and tourism agencies.
He said the exemption of tourism tax and service tax will be extended for accommodations provided by hotel operators until Dec 31 this year.
MyBHA is the umbrella body for all budget hotels, categorised as three-star and below in the country. It has about 2,500 members consisting of hotel owners or their representatives.
Mar 19, 2021
The balance between OTAs and direct bookings is different by city and sometimes by hotel. The important thing is figuring out how to use the OTAs and make it a win-win for both direct and commissioned sales.
Focused on the hotel and tourism industry, we are constantly looking for ways to improve your sales and grow your business. We've found a great article that can do just this and we've taken some key points and laid them out below.
76% of online bookings happen via OTAs
OTAs became powerful and efficient due to good work (and a little brand-jacking). Before, hotels sold to wholesalers, who sold to tour operators, who sold to travel agents and finally to guests. Transparency in this markup system was non-existent. Neither the hotel nor the guest knew how much was being paid. When OTAs entered this space, they gave control back to the hotels and guests received a clear picture of how much they were going to pay.
OTAs were able to become big and powerful because there was nothing else there. They filled a void, that could have been filled over by GDS, Tour Operators or Wholesalers. OTAs just happened to be faster.
Most hotels would love to have 100% of their bookings be direct without having to pay commission to anyone. We have achieved this with some clients but it’s not necessarily the best solution and certainly isn’t the fastest.
We find the best balance comes from direct bookings being on par with OTA bookings. However, exact percentages can vary from city to city. For example, the best balance for a hotel in Paris is around 30% direct and 30% OTA. The remaining 40% come from corporate and phone bookings, return guests and some tour operators. Those figures are different in Rome where it’s closer to 40% direct and 40% OTA.
These are not absolutes, but they are a good benchmark for a healthy split.
20% of your direct bookings come from people who discovered your hotel on an OTA.
Per a recent Google survey, 52% of travelers will visit your hotel’s website after seeing you on an OTA. WIHP also conducted a three-year survey on the billboard effect. We found that over 20% of direct bookings occurred after the guest found the hotel on an OTA. Which shows us, being on an OTA can also increase your direct bookings.
In most cases, the problem hotels have isn’t how to increase OTA bookings, but rather how to increase direct bookings.
The classic booking path for a guest starts with a search on an OTA. Then they make a shortlist of interesting hotels and check each hotel website for more information. The user gets frustrated if they don’t find the same room types, names, pictures and cancellation policies. This frustration causes the user to leave your site and head back to the OTA.
Users on OTA sites, will visit an average of 5.6 pages per visit and remain on the site for an average of 6 minutes. We hear of hotels being happy that the time on site increased and the page views doubled. This is not something to be happy about. Guests need their questions answered as fast a possible with as little friction as possible.
The balance between OTAs and direct bookings is different by city and sometimes by hotel. The important thing is figuring out how to use the OTAs and make it a win-win for both direct and commissioned sales. We often see that we double or triple direct bookings for a hotel without reducing OTAs, because the OTA sales remain or increase. Is that a bad thing? Not really. It means that we have managed to increase the occupancy or the ADR and everyone wins when that’s the case.
Jan 26, 2021
Consultancy firm Linesight says new technologies can bring in more guests, improve operational efficiency and streamline the workforce
Hospitality firms and establishments stand to gain a lot from the implementation of the latest technologies. Making the shift towards becoming a ‘smart hotel’ will help properties recovery from the pandemic and make operations more efficient.
That is according to global consultancy firm Linesight, which has released a report on the benefits of becoming a smart hotel.
“One of the most fundamental drivers behind the trend for smarter hotels comes in the form of the rise of experience consumption, which is a key catalyst in a sector wherein consumer needs are front and centre,” said the report.
“86 percent of consumers say personalisation plays a role in their purchase decisions, according to a recent Kahuna survey, and brands that incorporate personalisation by integrating data and advanced technologies report revenue increases of 6-10 percent (Qubit).
Among all industries, personalisation can increase revenues by up to 15 percent, so focusing on the customisation of a guest’s stay isn’t just an objective that meets market demands—it also improves the bottom line.”
For hotels, technology presents an excellent way to offer personalisation. Linesight says luxuries such as autonomous control of room temperature, shower temperature, curtains, entertainment systems and even the checking-in process, have become a natural expectation of the modern traveller.
Smart hotel measures can also help operational efficiency, added the report.
“The second key driver lies in operational efficiency. Integrating smart technologies, from the simple occupancy detection systems to the more complex smartphones operating the lights and electricity within a room, keyless access and mobile check-in – these measures are proving to offer tangible benefits to the running costs of a hotel.
Not only has new technology changed the hotel experience for guests and improved operational efficiency for staff, but it has also transformed the planning of construction projects. Better tools and more data sources have contributed to the information that project managers can draw from to offer clients current and predictive data-driven knowledge.”
It is estimated spending in the overall experience economy will reach US$8 trillion in the next eight years, largely driven by innovations in automation and ease-of-use through technology.
Nov 25, 2020
Japan’s Henn na Hotel, which first opened in 2015 with a staff of robots, has cut its robotic workforce after the experience failed to reduce costs or workload for its employees.
The hotel, which is located in Nagasaki, will reduce its 243-robotic workforce by more than half and return to more traditional human-provided services for guests, though it will maintain a number of robots in areas where it found them to be effective and efficient. Its change of direction can offer lessons for companies that are pursuing robotic solutions for customer-service roles, reports the Business Insider.
The “firing” comes after complaints from both staff and customers. Apparently, a large percentage of the robots were more adept at creating work for their human counterparts than they were at reducing it.
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The Henn na Hotel in Japan, translated as Strange Hotel, found that robots annoyed the guests and would often break down. Guests complained their robot room assistants thought snoring sounds were commands and would wake them up repeatedly during the night. Meanwhile, the robot at the front desk could not answer basic questions. Human staff ended up working overtime to repair robots that stopped working. One staff member said it is easier now that they are not being frequently called by guests to help with problems with the robots, reports the Mirror.
At the hotel, at least until recently, each room came equipped with a robot assistant, dubbed Churi, which was one of the first nonhumans to get the pink slip after guests complained that could not answer even the most basic questions. The robot problem extended to the luggage-carrying bots, whose only job turned out to be more than they could handle.
Henn na Hotel first opened its doors in 2015 at Nagasaki’s Huis Ten Bosch theme park and a second property opened in Tokyo’s high-end Ginza shopping district last year. The hotel’s parent company, H.I.S., announced plans to construct eight more humanoid robot-staffed Henn na Hotels. According to the company, the plan was to build four robot-staffed hotels in the Tokyo area and four others in Osaka, Fukuoka and Kyoto.
According to H.I.S., the company created the hotel in part to respond to societal issues in Japan. Recent reports indicate that there may be a shortage of as many as 3,000 hotel rooms in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics. It was thought that robot-staffed hotels may be part of the solution to this problem.
Nov 25, 2020
Hotel price aggregator Trivago is facing potentially a multi-million dollar fine after it was found that it breached Australian Consumer Law by misleading consumers with its ads.
The Federal Court in Melbourne passed down a 91-page judgement finding Trivago guilty of using a digital algorithm on its online hotel listings and favoured hotel partners that pay a higher commission to Trivago.
The Court also found out that the discounted prices displayed on the platform were actual room prices and the original prices were of upper-tiered room categories instead of like-for-like. Trivago’s “strike-through” price comparisons were misleading, as the strike-through price was often for a more expensive luxury room compared with a standard room.
According to consumer watchdog Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which brought Trivago to court, Trivago was giving consumers a false impression of savings and not “comparing apples with apples when it came to room type”. This activity was found to have been taking place from “at least December 2016” until at least 2 July 2018”.
On December 2018, TD reported that Trivago came clean of its misconduct and said, “By displaying the strike-through price next to the top position offer in the form it was displayed either on its own or in conjunction with the percentage savings box.” The company has since updated its website to tell customers that hotels are ranked by “compensation paid by the booking site.”
The decision sent a strong message to aggregators and metasearch websites should be upfront with customers whether the ranking is based on results or is influenced on advertising.
The hearing for penalties for Trivago will be set at a later date. The ACCC seeks ACCC has sought penalties for declarations, injunctions and costs.
Nov 25, 2020
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Jul 13, 2020
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