Asia has one of the fastest growing hotel markets in the world, but as the industry moves into the mobile space, the region’s immense potential remains largely untapped.
“Half of all online travel is booked on mobile devices in China. But beyond China mobile penetration falls, with 80 per cent of travel still booked on laptops or desktops in India and 70 per cent in Japan,” said Drew Rosser, SHR’s vice president of sales.
Referencing a Phocuswright hospitality trend report, Rosser noted that Asia had one of the fastest-growing hotel markets in 2016, with a projected growth rate of seven to nine per cent over the next four years.
In South-east Asia, mobile bookings make up 62 per cent of hotel reservations by Indonesian travellers – the highest in the region. Trailing behind are Thailand at 42 per cent and Malaysia at 23 per cent.
Spotting this trend, Rosser said SHR is making moves on Asia to open players in the region up to its mobile solutions. This includes Windsurfer, which will be the first CRS to interface with Protel HotelSoftware and include Protel’s new Whisper Screen technology.
The newly forged alliance gives SHR access to Protel’s 14,000 global hotel clients’ transaction and preference data, enabling them to offer their hotel clients data insights pertaining to guest experience.
SHR is banking on Protel’s network to roll out outreach and marketing efforts in Asia, including “joint webinars, roadshows, speaking engagements and press releases”, shared Rosser.
More than 2,500 hotels in 81 countries currently use Windsurfer, and SHR hopes to grow this number by tailoring its products to Asian markets.
One example is through social media and messaging functions. Rosser added: “As we look at our product growth, we believe that it is the guest who should be at the centre, driving decisions for technology.
“One way of doing this is having a cross-context booking experience… Now with the adoption of messaging apps, hotels must once again meet the guest communication in the format in which they want to hear from them.”
He described flexible communication between hoteliers and their guests through different booking stages; such as emails during the planning phase and SMS during the in-stay phase.
“With this in mind our portfolio growth will reflect this direction in the upcoming months and years,” said Rosser.
- reporting live from PATA Travel Mart 2017, Macau