A combination of factors – the turnaround in the global economy, decline in oil prices and growing demand from emerging markets, particularly Asia, is fuelling growth in the global travel industry. Not surprisingly, hospitality chains are looking to capitalize on this opportunity with aggressive expansion plans.
But even as they pursue growth, hotels are realizing that the best strategy is to stay asset-light – expand the presence of their brand across global markets, without investing in brickand- mortar themselves.
Increasingly, some of the largest hotel chains are choosing to grow through the franchisee and managed hotel route. It lowers their capital risk and gets them faster to market.
Despite its myriad advantages, challenges remain on this route:
To address these challenges, leading hotel chains are investing in integrating and consolidating their back-office functions, particularly sales and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Back-office consolidation allows hotels to provide standardized services across the world, manage the customer experience throughout the relationship lifecycle and improve revenue integrity.
An integrated sales and CRM set-up delivers several advantages to hotel chains:
In addition to these customer experience and marketing benefits, consolidation also gives hotels immense pricing flexibility.
Many hotel chains are going one step ahead in their assetlight strategy, by outsourcing their integrated sales and CRM function to Business Process Management (BPM) players. And finding a great deal of success in it! BPM players, who have a sound understanding and experience of working with large, complex clients in the travel and leisure industry can bring the following tangible benefits to hotel chains:
As business, leisure and domestic travel expands, hotels have a big opportunity to drive global growth by entering new markets through the franchise or managed hotel route. With a consolidated and integrated global back-office, asset-light may well turn out to be the asset-right strategy.
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