Ethiopia’s inbound tourism industry has grown exponentially and so is hotel construction to accommodate the growing number of travelers competing through a period of extraordinary digital world.
With more sophisticated technologies being introduced, hotels in Ethiopia are grooming towards online hotel bookings and improving their online presence. Hotels understand long queues at reception, checking in/out and negotiating rates are some of the issues that make guests lose their patience. Gone are the days where hotels relied on traditional booking systems, waiting for guests to show up at the reception and request for a room. Online hotel booking companies such as Jovago created mobile apps that allow guests to find rooms streaming on several options at pre negotiated rates. The system collaborated with accommodation service providers to craft travel plans personalized by preference. Mobile apps of such companies became crucial for hotels to better serve the increasing numbers of guests flowing from around the globe. This also allowed guests to check in/out using a mobile device giving better reviews in return. The value does not end there as better reviews produce better revenues, increasing volume of bookings and competitiveness of the hotel.
Hotels have no choice but to cope with this digital trend. The industry is increasingly becoming consumer-led and guests empowered to pick the great server. Similar to other sectors, digital technologies are transforming the equilibrium of power towards the consumer. Leisure and business travelers heavily rely on online booking companies and their meta-search engines. These days hotel brands are less visible during the booking process than they used to be. The continuing competition and threat of rate parity pushed hotels to constantly introduce new rates to persuade travelers who are able to control their choice, by just clicking on their smartphone device.
Utilizing digital marketing resources staying focused on most lucrative market segments became the priority of every hotel. This has created a success to accommodation service providers taking advantage of apps that has reformed travel behaviors, with an experience that offers the smartest use of technology. Such kind of convenience and opportunities changed the global travel industry implying consumers have different expectations, greater freedom of choice and a high degree of awareness on digital technology. Similarly, mobile and tablet hotel bookings popularity began to overtake web-based bookings motivating companies to build more suitable app technologies.
Tech age travelers want mobility, flexibility and quick access to information and to pay safely and easily on the go, travel industry experts pinpoint. They say all-in-one connectivity allows guests to access the information they want making accommodation service providers on top of competition. Hence, connectivity in terms of Wi-Fi-access has become a vital part of the hotel offering on a par with electricity and water.
Hotels in Addis Ababa and regional states started to instill a culture of improvement within a business model that can rapidly adapt to the opportunities that the digital age can bring. They appear on online hotel booking digital platforms to have the swift outlook aspiring to host more visitors delivering reliable and memorable experiences.
By Eden Sahle