The study highlights that 100 percent of the 50 surveyed hotels already have an online presence, 84 percent have their own page (most in three languages), and 98 percent allow online bookings, representing 40 percent of sales, with uncertainty as to means of payment and process reliability being the main difficulties encountered.
The study’s director, João Soeiro, pointed out that entrepreneurs knew how to look at the “changing market and customers” with some attention and had realised “the importance of the technology area that will be decisive in the coming years”.
The results of the work also highlighted the need to “be close to the hoteliers, to guide them, giving the best tactical and strategic support”, so that everyone can migrate consistently to “keep up with the future”, he said.
The study indicates that companies are “just getting started” and, therefore, no major differences were found in the use of these technologies between, for example, units of various types, and it is important to continue to “monitor the use” of these technologies.
The association’s president, João do Adro, told Lusa that it was possible to understand the reality of the application of these technologies in the sector, so that “we can improve what we already do”, but stressed that it is necessary to learn to work together.
“One of Portugal’s problems is thinking that we can work alone. Any midsize hotel works alone. It is important to know and compare with what you are doing,” he said.
The intention now is to disclose the results, “not particularising what each one does”, but contributing to each “can apply and improve your business,” he said.
Technologies are seen as added value, especially in the form of sales, product promotion to other market segments and attracting direct customers. However, most respondents invest less than 5 percent of revenues in ICT and decision making is concentrated in administrations or management (90 percent).
Almost half (42 percent) of the implementation processes are still in their early stages and only 24 percent are considered mature, with a successful implementation, with almost 20 percent doing nothing because they consider it unnecessary for the business.
João Soeiro considers that “there is a lack of ICT-specialised human resources”, since “it is not possible to manage hotels without data analysis”, and that you need to have an integrated vision to be able to “keep up with the consumer, what he expects and how” you can surprise him, “in order to make him come back”.