Transforming Hotel Industry Growth Strategy

It is not often that one is able to corner three hospitality industry leaders and ask them about the challenges facing the industry – specifically how marketing, information technology and distribution can be better aligned to satisfy hotel brand growth objectives.

Caution: Bridge Out

Video of industry expert panel discussing how to bridge the gap between hotel marketing technology and operations
Photo Credit: swanksalot | Flickr

Recently, at the Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals annual HITEC conference in Austin Texas, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel comprised of Flo Lugli, Executive Vice President Marketing, Wyndham Worldwide, Mike Blake, Chief Information Officer, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, and Caryl Helsel, Director Central Reservations & Revenue Management, ARAMARK Parks & Destinations.

The three panelists were refreshingly forthcoming and candid in their remarks concerning some of the most daunting challenges facing today’s hotel industry leadership.

As they recover from a dramatic economic downturn, hoteliers are launching initiatives that rely on information technology to accomplish marketing objectives and profitability goals. However, as staffing and financial resource availability remains highly constrained, executive management must employ strategies that most efficiently utilize technology to help drive business growth.

A key conclusion of the white paper was that over the next three years, organizations within the hotel industry require an IT Pathfinder to help align hotel business and technology priorities. Each of the panelists did an outstanding job of providing examples of how their organizations are managing the challenge of advancing technology initiatives with fewer resources than in years past.

Most enlightening were the panel’s comments regarding critical nature of these initiatives and how they would serve as the foundation for brand and operational success over the years to come.

The following is a twenty-seven minute video summarizing the highlights of the white paper and the panel discussion:

A Discussion Between Industry Experts from Amadeus IT Group.

To read the white paper’s executive summary, please see my blog post from earlier this year, White Paper: Bridging Hotel Business and Technology Priorities.

The full white paper is available, free of charge, for download here: Transform Your Growth Strategy Now [Registration required]

My sincere thanks go to Flo, Mike and Caryl for doing a terrific job on the panel and validating the conclusions of the white paper, as well as Amadeus for its industry insights and sponsorship of the white paper.

NOTE: Please don’t hesitate to watch the video – I am not nearly as stern or grouchy as the placeholder graphic might imply… and, despite the severity of the economic challenges facing the hotel industry, that fire alarm to my immediate right was not a prop… 😉

About Robert Cole

Robert Cole is the founder of RockCheetah, a hotel marketing strategy and travel technology consulting practice. He also authors the Views from a Corner Suite Blog and publishes the Travel Quote of the Day. Robert speaks regularly at major travel industry conferences, authors articles for leading travel industry publications, advises travel-related startups and the equity investment community. He is an evangelist for the global travel industry.