Keeping up with the latest developments and issues in hotel distribution is essential as it changes. In December, HSMAI hosted a virtual distribution executive roundtable. Industry leaders gathered for a discussion that offered valuable perspectives on the state of distribution. Read on for the key takeaways from the discussion.
- Fintech – Friend or Foe?
The conversation started with a deep dive into fintech’s role in the hospitality sector. There was a consensus that fintech is often misunderstood or mislabeled. It’s not just about payments or financial services; it’s about the integration of finance and technology to streamline and secure financial transactions. Discussions highlighted the diverse interpretations of fintech, from processing payments to big banks as platforms, and the need to adapt to consumer preferences in payment methods.
The roundtable participants saw fintech as both a challenge and an opportunity. The need to support various payment methods is vital for catering to customer preferences, but it also presents internal operational challenges. There is a pull between embracing technologies and ensuring they align with existing processes.
- Rate Parity and Distribution Dynamics
A significant portion of the discussion revolved around rate parity and its implications in different global regions. The complexity of pricing and its impact on distribution strategies was a concern, especially in the context of metasearch engines and online travel agencies (OTAs). The dialogue underscored the need for more strategic control over distribution and pricing, as well as the potential benefits and risks of a parity-free environment.
- Collaboration and Problem-Solving:
The roundtable participants emphasized the importance of industry collaboration in addressing shared challenges. There was a call for vendors to collaborate more closely with hoteliers, as well as hoteliers to work together to tackle issues like fraudulent behavior and the complexities of rate parity. The discussion highlighted the need for collective action and shared solutions.
- Accor Hotels
- Aimbridge Hospitality
- Cote Family Companies
- Marriott International
- MGM Resorts International
- Montage International
- Omni Hotels & Resorts
- Rosewood Hotels & Resorts
HSMAI hosts this unique by-invitation only forum annually for distribution executives. If you are interested in being invited next year, please email Bob Gilbert.