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Paula Carreirão

July 15, 2020

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Hotel Cast #4: The Future of Hospitality and Must-Have Technologies



If there is a year where all predictions crashed and burned, the year is 2020. No one could anticipate that hospitality would be this way. But Michael McCartan can tell you what to expect in the future!

Michael McCartan is a Travel Tech Business Leader who has combined his technical background with his passion to provide enhanced customer experiences over the past 20 years. That qualifies him to give some really good predictions!

From hotel distribution to the must-have technologies, McCartan shares his insights of the new hospitality industry that is being shaped as we speak in this new episode of Hotel Cast:

McCartan’s professional path started in Engineering, but being a people person, he switched to travel. In his role as Travel Tech Business Leader, he integrates the two things that drive him: technology and customer experience.

In his 20-year career, he has held roles in software product management, business development, solution engineering, professional services, and project management. The hospitality world is definitely not stuck in second gear.

In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic crisis is speeding up changes that would probably take years otherwise. Now it’s undoubtedly the time for hoteliers to invest in their processes to improve the guest experience, provide the safety they need and reassure that operations will keep working smoothly, even with fewer resources. In this episode, we talk about:

  • The new field of hotel distribution
  • Hotel strategies to gain market share
  • Does hotel loyalty really exist?
  • The opportunity for direct booking
  • Adapt to your public
  • Must-Have hotel technologies
  • McCartan’s favorite hotel techs

Hotel distribution strategies post COVID-19

In the article Crisis Management: What Hotels Can Learn From “Friends”, McCartan analyses hotel distribution channels and makes an analogy with Netflix and my all-time favorite sitcom series Friends. Using the analogy, he wonders what the future will bring in terms of hotels’ dependency on OTAs.

In our podcast, we asked McCartan: Will hotels still dependent more and more on OTAs? Will the pandemic disrupt the balance between hotels and OTAs? According to him, it might still be early to know for sure, but so far OTAs still have the advantage as they tend to be braver than hotels during adversity.

McCartan shares with us his thoughts on what hotels could do to change the game. The expert also points out that the price isn’t going to drive demand anymore. Lodgings should focus on reassuring the guests that they have taken the appropriate measures to keep them safe.

Must-have hotel technologies

With all the changes happening in the hotel operations and guest demands, we couldn’t miss the opportunity of asking the Travel Tech Leader about the must-have technologies in the hotel industry. Here are some examples he mentioned:

We even managed to get him to tell us his favorite hotel techs. Spoiler alert: he likes the mix of human and digital interactions and chatbots were mentioned.

Positive outcomes for the hospitality industry

In every crisis, there are opportunities. And the fact that people are going straight to hotels’ websites looking for reassurance in terms of safety procedures, it might be an opportunity to drive bookings. Also, McCartan believes that is also a big opportunity for the hotel industry to embrace technology. We are experiencing 5 years of development in one since the pandemic forced us to rely on technologies even more on a daily basis.

More episodes of Hotel Cast

Hotel Cast #3: The tough challenges of leadership in a time of crisis

In the third episode of Hotel Cast, we chat with David Arraya, a global hospitality leader, about the challenges of leadership in times of crisis and what leaders can do to take care of their teams and of themselves:

Hotel Cast #2: The power of online reputation and reviews for hotels

In our second episode of Hotel Cast, we chat with Sarah Came, GuestRevu’s Marketing Manager, about the power of reviews and how a hotel’s online reputation can attract travelers again:

Hotel Cast #1: mastering Revenue Management with Christoph Hütter

In our first episode of Hotel Cast, we chat with Christoph Hütter, a revenue strategy consultant and a “non-traditional revenue manager”, about good practices in revenue management and the importance of the context to understand data

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