When it comes to hotel attachment, ‘to attach or not to attach”, is NOT the question!
It’s not often that I get Shakespearian, but this issue is one that continues to present challenges for many in business travel, so maybe a little reference to The Bard of Avon is in order, because the rest of that passage from Hamlet talks about ‘whether it is nobler to suffer outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of trouble’, and when it comes to hotel attachment, I say we do both because who doesn’t want outrageous fortune or to avoid a sea of trouble.
Before I get started in earnest, perhaps I should take a step back and define hotel attachment rate.
Hotel attachment is the rate (or percentage) at which an eligible air trip includes a hotel booking.
It’s a pretty simple concept and one that everyone is seeking; whether it’s the corporate buyer/travel manager looking to leverage preferred hotel partners and the discounted rates they provide; to the travel management companies who want to service their clients and maximize hotel commissions; to the hotelier, who wants to maximize bookings from its best yielding clients. But, despite everyone’s best intentions, hotel attachment rates continue to lag. Phocuswright recently conducted a business travel study that reported on the issue, as you’ll see in the chart below:
While some companies do okay, most have hotel attachment rates well below 50%. It’s clear this is a problem for almost everyone, and even though it garners a healthy dose of focus, it’s still an area of great disappointment. For years, the industry has struggled, and today it’s getting worse, not better. The pessimists out there have suggested we throw in the towel and let travelers book where ever they like, even if it’s out of policy. But if you ask me, that’s as good as giving up.
Now for those of you who recognize the issue and feel it’s pain, I have good news. Deem is doing something about it. A few months ago, we made a small but strategic acquisition of a company called OLSET – a platform that combines leading edge artificial intelligence, machine learning and 200 million sentiments from 60 million hotel reviews. This brings a new level of personalization to Deem’s hotel search. Imagine a booking tool that presents the right hotel, at the right time and nudges the traveler to book without having to think about it. Magic! That’s all I’m going say for now, but as we continue to innovate, the hotel attachment solution will be a foregone conclusion.
‘To attach or not to attach’, that is the question. Of course, the answer is to attach… and if you want to suffer outrageous fortune then do it with Deem!