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Hotels, it’s time to get fighting fit

Robin Clifford
Impala’s VP of Supply, Robin Clifford, draws on his experience in the travel industry to reveal how hotels can regain control of their destiny.

Twists and turns in the hotel industry are nothing new - there have been plenty since I started my travel career 20 years ago. From the time Booking.com became a dominant player at the start of the new century to when Airbnb was a buccaneering start-up, I’ve had a close-up view of how room booking has changed beyond all recognition. 

Change is so second-nature in parts of this industry (especially now) that it amazes me that hotel distribution still feels like stepping into a parallel universe where everything just seems so… analogue.

If the success of OTAs, Airbnb and disruptors in other sectors such as Tesla and Stripe can show us one thing, it’s that meaningful change is best - and fast - delivered by creating new business models rather than trying to refine existing ones.

Unintellectual property

It’s 2021. Robots are cleaning our homes. Electric planes are taking to the sky. Crypto is reinventing finance. But when it comes to hotel distribution, we’re firmly stuck in the past. A simple example: when you have a hunch that there are new markets that could grow your hotel’s business, you have to wait months and often spend a small fortune for third-party (and sometimes third-rate) tech providers to do their connectivity thing - just so you can hook up to a potential new partner.

In short, tech that is holding distribution back. No one blames hotels for not being able to keep pace - it’s more a case of ‘I want this to be better, but there’s never been another option and it’s never felt so urgent.’

Today, as the pandemic has highlighted, you as a hotelier acutely feel the need to react fast to changing customer behaviour and industry trends. It’s just that the means and infrastructure to do so effectively haven’t existed.

Change is not going anywhere

I’ve learnt that the only predictable thing about today’s travel is its unpredictability. With that in mind, I believe you shouldn’t be asking if you should change your setup, but when. Sticking to the status quo in the face of ongoing change runs the risk of you losing control of your own destiny. 

We know that for decades now you’ve been frustrated by the old tech, and how it prevents you from innovating and from reaching new markets without costly integrations. 

Be the visionary 

That is where we come in. Impala is unapologetically dragging hotel distribution kicking and screaming into today and tomorrow’s world. Our technology offers a radically simple way for hotels to sell their rooms. It’s something thousands of hotels globally are learning. Join them now to drive your 2022 occupancy: Impala allows you to take advantage of new distribution channels and start reducing your reliance on the giant OTAs.

Our platform is risk-free, requires no upfront cost and no tech integration, and we do the onboarding for you at record speed. Did we also mention, there are no middlemen or channel managers to deal with? This one-stop shop approach replaces the bureaucracy that came before, so you can focus your time on building your business.