It's been over a year since we published the original Hotel Distribution Technology Chart, and a lot has changed in the hotel tech industry since then. Many have written to us asking to be included in "V2" or offered suggestions on how we could improve upon the chart. So we made a few big updates to it: We added a new ring to the chart called "Optimizing," which is what happens after you've reached hotel guests. This Optimizing section includes analytics, guest relations, and other software that hotels can and should use to optimize the distribution after the guest has stayed at the hotel.
As we mentioned in our earlier article about hotel software stacks, there are lots of different tools available to hotels, especially when it comes to distribution tech, which is how the inventory and data travels to reach the guests and how it travels back to the hotel to improve for future guests.
This chart is a way to visualize the relationship between various technology providers. We tried to include as many as possible, but there are only so many pixels! That being said, a great, more detailed companion to this chart is the open-sourced Hotel Technology Index where hotel technology providers can get listed, and hotels can use to get a better understanding of the various partners that are on the market in the different categories.
We're very excited to present the new Hotel Distribution Technology Chart
How to read the chart
The Hotel Distribution Technology Chart starts from the hotel at the center and expands outwards towards the guest. The chart is organized following the data flow from the hotel towards the guest via the three distribution groups: online, travel agents, meetings and events. Each ring moving outwards is a level of technology that builds on the last to reach the guest.
Below are descriptions of each section of the industry, from the inside moving outwards. Each section can be further understood using their Hotel Tech Index pages.
Property Management Systems
Property Management Systems store information and are your main hub for your hotel's data. Everything from your available rooms, to client data, and much more.
This section is the software used to get the rates, availability, inventory, images, texts, and more channeled out to the various marketplaces (OTAs, GDS, etc.) which help you sell across all channels.
Aggregation platforms include common software like Revenue Mangement Systems and Channel Managers or Central Reservation Systems. They pick up information and put it together for others to use for sales. For example the GDS aggregates rates and hotels so Travel Agents can take the information and use it to sell.
Selling/ Booking Platforms
These are marketplaces or self-service platforms such as OTAs where guests and end-buyers have direct contact and can use to purchase they are one of your most important sales channels but before the data arrives to them it needs to be structured, have the right rates and more. Your hotel's website is one of these, of course.
Marketing platforms are used to generate demand towards the selling/booking platforms. This is where you can advertise and communicate to non-clients and bring them in as clients.
These are the tools you need to analyze your revenue, your market, your hotel and guests' experience which will help you optimize what you are doing at the start of the workflow in order to make the future reservations better and improve guest experience.
There's a lot more to cover in this chart but the overview above should help you get started. If you're interested in learning more we highly recommend visiting The Hotel Technology Index.
We hope you enjoy this new updated Hotel Distribution Technology Chart for 2017.
If you have any ideas for how we could add to it or improve it for V3, let us know!
Click below to get the hi-res infographic now.