It was inevitable in the end that ITB Berlin would be cancelled. The risk to public health posed by the coronavirus COVID-19 was too great to allow the event to proceed.
Yet no matter how appropriate, the decision to cancel the world’s largest tourism trade fair is a considerable blow for the travel industry. More than 10,000 exhibitors and 160,000 visitors from 180 countries around the world were booked in for the event, which would have run from 4th to 8th March in the German capital. That’s a lot of cancelled flights and hotel rooms.
Beyond the headline figures, though, ITB Berlin is about people. It is about meeting people, building relationships, learning from each other, and doing business. P3 was at ITB Berlin last year and the sheer size of the show presents opportunities which take far longer to replicate outside of that environment.
New Strategies for the Travel Industry
There is, however, opportunity in every difficulty. The cancellation of ITB Berlin and the travels restrictions imposed in the wake of the coronavirus have crystallised the challenges our industry faces. The need to understand our customers and to have a strategy which matches our offering with their needs has never been more important.
Understanding the customer’s online journey is at the heart of P3’s offering, and it was to be our focus in Berlin. We were to showcase our custom booking engine and online check-in products in the Enterprise Ireland pavilion, and launch our time-saving registration app and pre-arrival solutions on the German, Austrian and Swiss markets.
Hotels and hotel groups are facing increasing competition from non-traditional accommodation vendors who are providing hands-on hosting and rich, immersive experiences for guests. Hoteliers must ask what are the attributes of their properties and the towns and cities where they are located, and how can they be developed into distinctive and memorable property-centric experiences guest experiences.
P3’s suite of software solutions cover all stages of the customer journey when booking a hotel, and enable pre and post-stay customer engagement on a level that just isn’t possible with the functionality of many traditional hotel systems. Last year, we generated €176m in direct booking revenue for our clients. For new customers who recently joined P3, we have seen an average conversion rate increase of 41%, and a 36% average uplift in direct business year on year.
Crucially, our solutions integrate seamlessly with Oracle’s market-leading Opera hotel reservations and management system. They facilitate a smooth booking process and help to remove friction points in hotels so that customers can enjoy an enhanced guest experience.
ITB Berlin has shown that there are important factors to consider during what is shaping up to be a challenging period for the travel and tourism sector.
Contact P3 to learn more about how our hotel software solutions facilitate the online guest journey.