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HFTP Hangouts - Hotelhero German Hotel Technology Landscape Report Key Findings

Feb 10, 2021 - Thibault Gence

In this video, Hotelhero is invited to one of HFTP's Hangout sessions to present the key findings from its recently published German Hotel Technology Landscape Report. Florian, our CEO, evokes tech trends and challenges highlighted by more than 15 hotel chain executives as well as best practices from 4 digitally-driven hotel brands: MEININGER HOTELS, Koncept Hotels, Ruby Hotels & H-Hotels.com.




Presentation outline:

3 key challenges

  • Mindset
  • Available Technology
  • Budgets


The hotel mindset

  • Hotels don’t consider themselves tech companies
  • Process automation is rising throughout hotel segments
  • Hotels need to develop an overall digital strategy
  • What is missing?
    • Time & resources
    • Budgets
    • Education


The platform economy

  • Most see the future of hotel tech with an open-platform philosophy with REST API’s
    • To allow more agility
    • To reduce time-to-market & time-to-implement
  • Data standardisation & integration is still the biggest hurdle today
    • The opinions differ if they would prefer an All-in-one or best-of-breed tech-stack
    • Middleware/data warehouse could be the solution
  • Breaking the status-quo is a key challenge especially for existing hotel chains
    • Many of them work with legacy solutions, which have vast functionality, but which are not set-out for a plug & play method
    • Different database structures and data standardisation is the key problem for most!
  • New built have it much easier than already existing hotels


Did COVID-19 change anything?

  • Many hoped that a massive and fast-paced digital transformation across the industry.
  • Reasons why this did not happen in 2020:
    • Most employee’s were furloughed
    • No projectable revenues
    • Money from the state was delayed
  • There will be an expected digitalisation push in 2021
    • New generation of hoteliers/investors will be more tech focused
    • Government funding will be paid out
    • Less revenue uncertainty


The digital check-in/-out journey

  • Digitalising the customer journey is the most talked about trend in 2020
    • With a wide acceptance across segments
    • Important that the hotel infrastructure can actually handle this journey
  • New hotel concepts like COSI Group, Koncept Hotels, or Big Mama hotels are benefiting from this crisis
    • Tech infrastructure and automation of most processes (near staff-less hotels) - 20/40% overhead costs
    • The long-stay segment played a role
  • The details & processes are key to fully automate the digital guest journey
    • All key systems need to be fully integrated (Online payments, digital key, PMS (invoicing, check-in/out, etc.))
    • The tech/integrations are in most cases still the hindering force (A lot of these processes are still handled manually in the back-of-house)
    • For a higher adoption, you also need to adapt the processes


Tech adoption in hotel groups

  • All interviewed groups had a standardised PMS per brand (excl. franchises)
    • 90% still on-premise
  • 68% of brands working with an RMS
    • Many with both an RMS and market intelligence tool
  • Digital check-in has not yet been adopted by most chains
  • 60% of brands work with a CRM


Tech procurement

  • How are you searching for new systems?
    • Research & network
    • Pilot hotels (except PMS, CRM, etc. —> RFP process)
  • Developing in-house or off-the-shelf?
    • 25% of interviewed groups develop in-house (especially for workflow automation and when high customisation is required)
  • Is cloud a prerequisite?
    • More than 20% prefer not having all their systems in the cloud.
  • Do you work with early stage startups?
    • Yes, if they have the necessary infrastructure and interfaces (aka. Not really)
  • What is you typical contract length?
    • 12-24 months maximum


Download the full report


Executives interviewed:

  • Martin Stegner, CIO at Novum Hospitality
  • Christian Meissner, Senior Director Distribution Products & Digital Payments at Deutsche Hospitality
  • Gunnar von Hagen, Corporate Director of Operations & Central Project Management at Lindner Hotels
  • Marc-Michael Hanemann, Director of Commercial Development at 25hours Hotels
  • René Halla, Director Global Distribution & Systems at Maritim Hotels
  • Tobias Köhler, Group Director Systems & Commerce at Ruby GmbH
  • Angelika Viebahn, Group Director Distribution & Revenue at Althoff Hotels
  • David-Friedemann Henning, CEO at Big Mama Hotels
  • Martin Stockburger, founder at Koncept Hotels
  • Constantin Rehberg, digital expert/consultant (ex-CDO Prizeotel)
  • Michael Stüring, Head of Central Services at Atlantic hotels
  • Sebastian Lindner, Senior Revenue & Distribution Manager at Meininger Hotels
  • Klaas‑Jan Meijer​, Head of eBusiness at B&B Hotels GmbH
  • Gerd-Martin Linke, Director of Revenue & Sales at Centro Hotels
  • Andreas Von Reitzenstein, Chief Commercial Officer at H-Hotels.com