HOTELS’ GREAT DIVIDE Owning The Customer Or The Product?
There is a great debate within the Covid-19 hotel space on where things are headed once the vaccine kicks in. Some say consolidation, others point to fragmentation, while the doomsday cults say the hotel industry will never be the same.
To that point, minute by minute, nothing is really the same anyway so cut that nonsense, as it’s a moveable space and life baby, just keeps on flying by.
Making notable news recently is the ACCOR merging of a quarter of their businesses into a billion-dollar move with the Hoxton Group.
What the move signifies is the impact of lifestyle on hotel spaces, and less focus on rooms only. Get the hell out of the box never made more sense, unless you are in lockdown. In that case, thank God or whatever apparition you worship for Netflix.
What the ACCOR move is understanding the legacy of full-service hotels isn’t working like it used to. First, you had the Smartphone that opened up an entire cookie jar beyond the hotel welcome mat and then a pandemic that sealed the deal.
Looking at a lifestyle customer base ACCOR wants to sell products, services, and spaces across a broader platform and understands the breakfast buffet just won’t cut it in 2021 and beyond.
I remain keenly interested in Asia’s hotel management space after seeing resources shredded and closures, as to how the ultimate value paradigm goes for a branded offering once you get past a sign and connect up to distribution.
As for loyalty, keep those cards in the back pocket, as travelers dive for cheap deals. You want loyalty, get a Golden Retriever.
Covid-19 is a once in a lifetime event (said hopefully), but the impact it will have on the hotel industry is a mass evolution whether you like it or not. It’s coming hard, fast and all the rules are about to change.