Unlike other sectors in the travel industry, the hotel industry has grown and evolved without any industry-recognised content standards. As a result, there are currently 22 different codes used by different channels to denote wifi connectivity for one type of hotel room!
With the need for accurate, consistent content becoming increasingly critical as distribution channels increase and diversify, this year’s HEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) conference in Berlin was a particularly busy one for me.
The fact that all the delegates who wanted to come to the HEDNA content working group didn’t fit into the room shows the interest in content standards. Amadeus was one of two organisations that flagged the need for content standards to HEDNA and now Amadeus, together with fellow hospitality distribution players DHISCO and h2c, are seeking agreement from across the industry on content standards. Key objectives of this industry content workgroup include:
- Improve the customer shopping experience by providing the essential hotel shopping information required to complete a booking. Not all distribution channels allow for the essential information to be displayed correctly and in a way that is easily consumed by the customer
- Assist hoteliers to enhance the hotel guest experience by creating ways to better market and merchandise their product, create easier industry processes and quality. Hoteliers needn’t use the exact same information in all the distribution channels they use. There should be a content management system that allows hoteliers to differentiate standard content for certain channels (and certain audiences e.g. leisure or business) while allowing “unique” content for the hotel chain direct channel
- Simplify connectivity and compatibility between hotels and distributors to benefit from more standardised data for search, shopping and content-related transactions. Multiple identification codes need to be eliminated to ensure clarity and compatibility across channels. (Remember those 22 different codes to identify wifi).
It is not the first time that the issue of hospitality content standards has been addressed but now with the rise of new market entrants and the ongoing evolution of distribution technologies the issue has become more complex. This is why we are constantly looking for new ways of improving our platform and taking a very active role in helping the industry move forward.
Over the last 2-3 years, Amadeus has invested significantly in providing quality content and standardized content to provide information in an ‘easy-to-use’ format to make the selling process easier and more comprehensive for subscribers and to enable hotel providers to have greater control over how their rooms and facilities are being sold.