A Year in Hospitality - Rezcontrol’s Review of 2023 - Rezcontrol

A Year in Hospitality – Rezcontrol’s Review of 2023

The highs, the lows and the seeds of hope for 2024 

2023 has been quite a year for the industry, as hospitality providers have recovered from Covid, battled with rising costs, and wondered how to make the best of the new technologies on offer. There was been a strong focus on streamlining operations to make efficiency savings as well as driving revenue and sales. 

Some destinations have inevitably succumbed to the pressures, while others have come back stronger, taking advantage of customers’ desire to travel and holiday again – although PriceWaterhouseCoopers predicts that with rising prices and inflation, the boost seen in 2023 may well fade in 2024.

Business rate freeze extended for a further year

The news that the 75% business rate discount for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, introduced in the wake of the pandemic, will be extended for a further 12 months provided perhaps the best reassurance to many hospitality businesses, giving more breathing space to get back on track and invest in their futures.

The discount allows businesses to claim relief up to £110,000, saving the average pub, for example, £12,800 a year.

Increasing applications of AI

AI has been a particular conversation, which we previously covered in some depth here, with both benefits in terms of intelligence and automation, and anxieties over job security in an industry which, in the end, relies on human contact.

While the challenges in hospitality remain the same year on year – external situations such as the weather (especially here in the UK!), intense competition, seasonal demand, high staff costs and environmental pressures – these challenges are also the source of many of our seeds of hope for 2024.

Forging relationships with integration partners to drive our customers’ revenue

Back in the control room at Avondata, we have been beavering away on forging relationships with integration partners which will make our customers’ lives easier, more streamlined and more profitable, helping them to overcome some of these challenges.

Rezcontrol has integrated with RoomPriceGenie and Toggle, giving our customers up to the minute automated pricing updates with RPG, and the potential to integrate physical and digital gift cards and merchandising with Toggle into a hotel’s existing gift voucher platform.

RoomPriceGenie finds that as well as saving hours of admin manually updating prices, their average customer increases their revenue by around 20% simply by letting the algorithm sort out the best pricing strategy and updating it automatically.

Toggle’s research, meanwhile, finds that for every £1 a hotel spends on their gift cards, they get a £41 return. It doesn’t take a maths genius to work out that these integrations can be fantastic drivers of room revenue, upsells and extras.

Rezcontrol updates for payments, events and group bookings – making your life easier

Internally, we have also made great strides with our platform development, all designed to make the hotelier’s life easier, more streamlined and more profitable.

RezPay offers new cost-saving functions such as 3D secure payments using multi-factor authentication which eliminate chargebacks, as well as Chip and PIN pre-authorisation and PDQ integration, all of which make transactions more secure and convenient and help avoid fraud.

With our group bookings functionality, our customers can now instantly change the pricing and stay dates of selected rooms within a group booking, as well as cancelling selected rooms and creating a group within a group all within the group update screen.

Meanwhile, our event management software has been enhanced in many areas, and provides one simple booking process for events and bedroom bookings; you can view event and bedroom reservations on the same planner, and you can create templates, invoices and packages specifically for events.

Add to this very useful additions such as remote check-in and check-out; twin bed booking options, split deposits and one-off meal plan updates and amendments (ie a bottle of wine including with dinner on the first night only), it should come as no surprise that so many of our customers rate us so highly for ease of use and useful integration choices as well as our famed customer service!

What next for 2024? 

Environment and AI at the forefront of developments

The environment, and the impact of climate change both on and caused by the travel and hospitality industries, remains a huge talking point. Hospitality is taking many steps to mitigate its impact on the environment, from energy efficiency measures to biomass boilers, green roofs and kitchen gardens, and meanwhile we are doing our bit through our partnership with Hotels For Trees, which offers hotel guests the option to ‘skip a clean and plant a tree’. And for every new customer we win, we are also planting five trees.

We predict that hotels will both want and need to take further steps to both be sustainable themselves and to encourage sustainable travel, with more ‘green’ destinations opening up and more hotels marketing themselves on their sustainability and environmental credentials.

We also believe that AI will become more and more commonly integrated into hotel functions, and that this will in the main be a positive force, enabling hotels to understand their guests at a truly granular level, allowing them to make far more personalised offers and even to predict their needs. It will also, realistically, reduce staff costs due to automation efficiencies – while never removing the need for human contact, and while also enabling staff to spend more time with guests, rather than on admin and process.

At our end, we will continue to develop both our own platform and our integration partnerships to provide the very smoothest PMS journey we can, anticipating and enabling our hoteliers’ needs and drivers, to help them offer the best and most profitable experience possible to their guests.

Not a customer? Call us on +44 (0)330 223 1456 or email sales@rezcontrol.com – or contact us for a demo.