Friday, April 21, 2017

With Love from Sao Paulo - Technology Hits and Misses from WTM LATAM

Time is Money!
This statement has never been as valid perhaps as it is today.
I was at WTM Latin America few days back and realized the truth and depth of this statement while talking to some friends from the industry. Constant news from solution providers and revolutionary technological innovation continues to prove how valuable time is!


For those like me who had their first contact with a computer in the early 90's and learnt the complicated codes of the GDS used by Varig Airlines (my first job in the industry) – we get amazed by the developments that has happened since then.

Year after year, hotels have had several innovative tools at their disposal to simplify their daily work and facilitate the management of business, but the main concern for them is how to choose the best from among so many options available in the market.

Now let’s talk about Latin American hoteliers in specific. I have been working with hotels in this region for quite some time now and I see that many of them are able to see a new world of opportunities with excellent perspective on improving their room occupancy, RevPAR and overall profits.

However, there are various others that are yet to understand and visualize all the benefits that these new distribution and connectivity tools can provide to their business. We can’t blame them because this technological evolution has been very fast and ran over all the pre-existing models. 

Hoteliers need to adapt to non-fictional reality and try to understand the origin and consequences (both positive and negative) of this evolution.

The new generation of hotel employees is able to adapt more easily to trends and new technologies. For many, the thought of being "stuck" in an office can be the worst nightmare and hence mobility, agility, thinking outside the box and the possibility of managing your work through virtual access to hotel systems is very appealing. This is the era of connected individuals who are constantly sharing with the world what they are doing. They are open to new technologies and apps and are not scared to try anything new.

Think about a Ferrari! Everyone agrees that it is a wonderful car but it just doesn’t make any sense for you to buy it, if you only know how to ride a bicycle. This is one of the most famous analogies that many ‘old school’ hoteliers still make when approached with innovative technologies. They continue to ignore potential growth opportunities that could come their way with the right distribution tools and by selling on the right channels.
They also ignore market changes and think they can continue working like they used to in the 90’s. They think will be able to survive in the market riding their bicycles while their competitors are using Ferraris.

As a result of the advancement of technology, work-flow processes of the past will not survive the current day pressure of hoteliers and is getting altered quickly. Cloud technology and innovative platforms will only help hotels in this increasingly competitive market. In addition to bringing several improvements to the professionalization of the hotel market in Latin America, the greater reflection of this technology adoption will be seen in how hotels effectively meet and exceed guest expectations. 

Karl Marx once said "The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people."
 
I wish I could show Karl Marx all the technological innovations of our market today and he would, for sure, change his mind. 

Because TIME IS MONEY after all!

This post is by Alex Moura who is the Regional Sales Director for North America, Caribbean & Brazil at eRevMax. He can be reached at alexm@erevmax.com


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