Hotels are gradually moving into the digital space, using technology to make operations smooth in order to ensure customer satisfaction. Although Best Western as a hotel chain is not the most glamorous in the world, the hotel group stresses the need for high quality service combined with smart data strategies to ensure their success. Best Western is therefore a great example for a hotel group that is using big data in an innovative way in order to ensure its success and ensure that consumers coming to the hotel are happy and satisfied. Big data is therefore used in order to overcome any branding bumps the hotel group has (Skift 2013).
VALUE OF BIG DATA
Throughout the tourism industry, data is being collected every day and with technology, the costs of analysing the big amounts of data is also becoming cheaper. However, many tourism businesses and hotels are still struggling to make use of this data. Big data should be used by hotels or tourism businesses to improve a company’s strategy. Best Western as a hotel group is using that data in many ways and sees the importance and value of big data for their daily operations and overall strategy.
The hotel group is using data from their website bestwestern.com relating to web traffic, upstream, downstream and page views. This data is then used in order to find out what travellers are searching for online and how search results can be improved, along with the content on the websites. This will lead to optimising revenue which is a very positive result for any hotel. Also in daily operations, data on reservations and occupancy are used in order to find out the demand in the near future which helps the hotel group to plan and ultimately optimise yield optimisation tactics to maximise overall revenue. For Best Western these relatively simple steps can actually have a great impact on the hotel group’s overall performance.
BEING CAREFUL IS KEY
When using big data, Best Western is advising other hotel groups and tourism businesses to be careful and use data carefully in order to make it work as intended. Looking at a hotel group’s rewards programme is also very interesting to look at with regards to data that can be gathered and analysed. Based on consumers’ stays in their hotels, the hotel group puts in marketing communications triggers. Sending members of the rewards programme an offer did work, as travellers in the rewards programme use an additional stay to achieve Elite status. The benefits of the programme and using big data to help and encourage consumers to get on the next best membership level. Members who have not stayed in one of Best Western hotels in a while can also be re-activated to stay in one of their hotels again through offers or reminders that collected points might expire.
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