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Hotel tech stack and hospitality tech mindset you need in 2020 with Scott Dahl
In today’s video, we talk to Scott Dahl, the program director of the master's in hospitality strategy and digital transformation at the La Roche School of Global Hospitality.

We will discuss the hotel tech stack and hospitality tech mindset you need in 2020 with Scott. It will give you a better idea of how you can use technology to improve your operations and distribution. Having a fitting and well-developed hotel tech stack is necessary and key to your success, especially in today’s digital era.

Think of it this way. You might have a wonderful customer service or an amazing suite that offers a beautiful view of a landscape or the Eiffel Tower. But unless you have the right technology that allows your guests to make reservations, helps you communicate with them and deliver your amazing product or service, you will not be able to navigate in today’s fierce competition.
A hotel tech stack is the bridge that connects your hotel to the marketplace, your potential hotel guests, and everything in between. It will help you increase your direct bookings, connect with multiple OTAs and booking engines, and optimize your revenue management system.

A hotel tech stack consists of many different elements. A PMS (property management system) is one of the most key solutions every hotelier should have.

Consider asking these questions if you’re just getting started-

- What do you need in your hotel tech stack?
- What are the features you are looking for in your PMS?
- What system can solve a problem for you?

Using a cloud-based software enables you to connect your PMS to different distribution channels like OTAs and booking engines. Moreover, it enables you to connect your accounting and operational tools.

It’s critical to choose the right tools as they can be a game changer for your hotel and increase your revenue significantly.
In this video, we will share 11 pro tips about channel management with you. We will highlight the 

challenges of using a channel manager and more importantly, how you can optimize your existing setup.  
Now, when it comes to online distribution for hotels there is a range of complexities that come with it. You need to ensure that you have an effective and optimal setup in place to automate as much as possible to benefit most from technology-driven solutions.
When starting with an integration project, you need to identify the stakeholders and understand their responsibilities. 
Consider asking questions like –
What is your role?
What does your channel management provider deliver?
What does the PMS do?
Who is responsible in your team for maintaining the collaboration with your channel management provider?

Ideally, you should consider working with a channel management partner that helps you run your channel manager seamlessly and without any hassle.  
In addition, it is important to identify the right platform for your property. For instance, there are various platforms where you can distribute your inventory including international OTAs, a global distribution system, national or regional platforms as well as niche platforms. The best way to choose the right platform is to focus on a specific type of traveler. Access and control are critical in any Software business, especially in transactional platforms like a channel manager. The more control you have on your channel manager, the less dependent you are on your provider.  
On top of this, you need to understand how your channel manager handles booking rules and conditions but also auto-replenish when a booking gets cancelled.  
Finally, it’s important to pay close attention to your data security policies and ensure you comply with PCI and GDPR to avoid any risk to you company and to do the right thing for your guests.  
Make sure that you discuss these things with your channel management provider and optimize your channel manager for more convenience and seamless online sales.
An interview with Sebastian Küchler, a Swiss Hospitality Solutions consultant who shares his know-know and expertise on implementing a smart direct booking strategy at hotels.
In this new AYHT video, Sebastian Küchler talks about the most important aspects, key steps and tools involved when implementing, optimizing and maximizing a direct hotel booking strategy. He explains the best tips and how to avoid the most common mistakes when improving a direct booking strategy.

He mentions the main systems and booking tools needed: a website and a booking engine integrated with PMS using a channel manager. He also details the meaning of online key search terms and meta-search integration as well as the best way to attract the right visitors to your website in order to convert them into direct guests. He further explains the key concept of best price available for your website, the role of OTAs in the online booking game and why both room and price level aspects should be considered in any smart direct booking strategy implementation.

He also explores the creativity challenge when designing the most suitable direct booker incentives for your guests in accordance with your own hotel model.  

What is a direct booking strategy?
Why should a hotel have a direct booking strategy?
Why is it not a good idea for hotels to just give all sales and marketing responsibilities over to OTAs?
What tools are needed to enable direct booking?
How does META search work?
What is your focus when implementing a direct booking strategy with a hotel?
What incentives can I offer to guests without lowering the price?
What is your experience with Pay-Per-Click advertisement?
What can we learn from OTAs?
USHG CEO Danny Meyer and Cindy McLoughlin, Managing Partner, Consumer, Hospitality and Manufacturing Practice, discuss the challenges of bringing restaurant brands into MLB ballparks and meeting the needs of today’s convenience-seeking consumer.