As the travel industry re-finds its feet, early indications are that those seizing opportunities to reshape their businesses stand the best chance of succeeding in a dramatically changed landscape.
What happens next is anyone's guess - we're in uncharted territory that's for sure - but by re-tooling now, organizations large and small can stay one step ahead of the competition.
Being agile is the place to be
As a travel business - whether you're a hotel, tour operator, agency or corporate travel platform - you'll always be looking at ways to make your business more nimble. By that I mean looking at all areas of your business - from sales to accounts to marketing - and asking how quickly you can react to events, tighten up processes and, if necessary, chart a new course.
In the ultra-competitive hotel contracting industry, it's all about gaining an edge on your rivals. By improving agility, flexibility and reducing complexity of working, you can spend more time on what you do best: creating new guest experiences and selling hotel rooms.
A new era of travel. A new way of doing things
The old ways aren't always the best. Room sellers looking to increase their hotel supply often come up against a challenging set of obstacles.
Whether it’s layers of super-complicated bureaucracy or antiquated technology systems, businesses are crying out for new and innovative ways of working.
Teams want to move fast. And retain control
While direct contracting with hotels and tapping wholesalers have always been part of the mix, both ways expose major flaws. By going through wholesalers, such as bed banks, what room sellers supposedly gain in speed they often lose in flexibility and control.
Invariably, the anonymous nature of bed banking can lead to a loss of control of the customer experience. For example, if a guest has an issue with a room, it can be very difficult to locate the origins of the booking because that room may have been sold several times over to get to that guest.
Traditional direct contracting, on the other hand, can be slow. Very slow. The sheer number of software programs and applications needed to succeed can be bewildering. That includes software for sales and contracting as well as for account, content and channel management - dragging negotiations on for months. Hardly what any nimble travel business needs in the current environment.
Here's where innovative technology such as Impala's Connectivity or Contracting API software can work wonders. Invented to be superfast, easy and simple to use, it empowers room sellers to supercharge their business.
The future may be uncertain, but you can still drive your business forward
By instantly connecting hotels to room sellers that want to create new guest experiences, the benefits are obvious. For those looking for a streamlined way of checking room availability and managing bookings, Connectivity by Impala is one of the fastest and easiest ways currently available.
And what previously took months, from approaching a hotel, negotiating special rates, to closing a deal, is now a thousand times simpler with Contracting by Impala.
At a stroke, a travel platform can reach thousands of hotels showcased through the Impala platform, ending once and for all the costly integrations and endless negotiation cycles. Months of emails and calls can be consigned to the bin.
Champion your relationships with partners
As the uptake in new technology such as Impala grows, there's every reason to believe stronger relationships with partners - and potential partners - will follow.
Like it or not, hotels often treat guests in correlation to how directly they booked. Those who book directly with a hotel are most likely to get preferential treatment over guests who ultimately got their room through a wholesaler.
By working directly with hotels via the latest technology, travel businesses can see precisely where the bookings are coming from. Additionally, they can create private deals that offer bespoke and unique offerings to guests, which adds value to your business, greater transparency and stronger relationships in the long run.
Travel may look a bit different these days, but there's every likelihood that businesses in this sector can fight not just for survival but for sustained growth - with a little help from technology.