What it takes to fight back OTA’s: guest loyalty, service and hospitality
On an exclusive interview, Fredrik Jonsson, Managing Partner at Mereha, explained that technology is a driving challenge for the future of hospitality but that it is still promising for the business operation and shared a possible solution to overcome OTA’s
At a recent TOPHOTELPROJECTS World Tour event in Dubai, we met Fredrik Jonsson, managing partner, Mereha, a boutique advisory firm based out of Dubai. In his role, Jonsson guides the company as it focuses on providing strategic advice in investment management, development management, asset management, and general strategic hospitality management.
As a career highlight, Jonsson points to his leading acquisition team for the acquisition of the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, which he described as “one of the most iconic assets in the world.” When it comes to challenges in the hospitality space, Jonsson says the ongoing emergence of online travel agents that charge high commissions have really impacted the profitability of many hotels. About 20 years ago, hoteliers were able to control the customer base directly. He did, however, say there are solutions, ones that will likely come down to fundamentals such as guest loyalty fostered by service and hospitality.
When it comes to predicting the industry outlook for the next decade or so, Jonsson predicts that technology will be a driving factor, specifically the way operators reach clients. He described it as a “driving challenge,” but noted that with the use of developing tech, independent hotels will be able to reach and interact with guests much easier than larger brands, a reality that has the potential to cause a paradigm shift in the way the business of hotels is operated.
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