SA hotels urged to embrace technology
by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH African hotels must strive to be at par with their global peers and expedite the adoption of technology to meet customer-led demand.
This is according to a new report by Grant Thornton, one of the world’s
leading advisory firms.
The report follows a snap survey conducted by Grant Thornton South Africa establishing that unlike the foreign hotel chains, South African hotel
groups are not addressing the advances in mobile technology.
“Domestic hotel groups do not have the R&D (research and development)
muscle of the big international chains, but they certainly need to have a
strategy in place if they want to continue to appeal to the markets of the
future; international and domestic.
“These markets are increasingly tech savvy and will have high expectations of personalised delivery. After all they will be getting it elsewhere in the world and will expect nothing less locally,” Martin Jansen van Vuuren, Director and Hotel Consulting Leader, Grant Thornton South Africa, said.
Meanwhile, the firm has launched the report, “Hotels 2020: Welcoming
Tomorrow’s Guests”, highlights the changing nature of hotels and their
guests, which is in part due to the increasing spending power of
millennials, digital natives looking for local, authentic experiences when
The report has been launched in Johannesburg.
Gillian Saunders, Head of Advisory Services at Grant Thornton Johannesburg and Global Leader for Hospitality and Tourism at Grant Thornton International, said hotels needed to work to understand their guests’ requirements, making the most of big data to analyse and establish where personalisation through better use of mobile could add value.
“It’s all about striking the right balance between apps and technology, as
well as human interaction, which is still hugely valued.
“Get it wrong and you risk alienating your customers. Get it right and you can reap the rewards,” he said.
He said the battle for technology talent with other industries was fierce,
and the sector would need to think creatively and work with external
strategic partners to get it right.
“This could include technology providers, app developers and existing
services such as Uber, as well as local hosts adopting the home-from-home aspect of the sharing economy.”
– CAJ News
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