Jakarta hotel owners remain wary of investing in Internet technology

EVEN if Jakarta hoteliers are picking up on using online inventory distribution channels to supplement traditional methods, many still find it challenging to persuade owners to invest in the technology.

Hotel managers attending the Indonesia E-Tourism Summit in Jakarta last week told TTG Asia e-Daily that the perception of technology being expensive and the fact that majority of the domestic market – the hotels’ main business – still relied on direct bookings or travel agents, made it difficult to convince owners of the merits of web-based systems.

Grans Flora Hotel Jakarta’s resident manager, Jamal Muhamad, said: “We know the opportunity to grab inbound business through online channels is there and the returns are better. However, with strong domestic corporate business already filling our hotel, it is not easy to convince the owner to invest in the technology.”

Marbella Hotels’ director of sales and marketing, Paula Purba, said: “We have just started to develop our own system, but the owner is already asking how much money we are putting in and what kind of return on investment we are talking about.”

Digital agency Water & Stone’s founding partner, Ric Shreves, said: “There is an essential amount of money to invest in the beginning, but with more companies now doing the business we do, prices have actually gone down. When the system is up and the right strategies are in place, you will then start seeing the returns.”

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