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KEVIN TATEM : " HOTELIER NEED TO BE BRAVE AND FEARLESS IN TRYING NEW THINGS "

Updated: Mar 11, 2023

ID HOTELIER - Having one simple platform packed with great tools can really make a difference; I know what’s on the market and I feel confident STAAH can really give a hotel a fighting chance to be successful.

Kevin Tatem  - Regional Head APAC at STAAH
Kevin Tatem - Regional Head APAC at STAAH
Tell us a little bit about yourself ?

I am Managing Director for STAAH South East Asia – we provide high value well priced solutions to thousands of hotel across the APAC region that help them with online distribution, bookings, revenue and review management as well as voucher technology. I have nearly 15 years’ experience in the industry and I have seen a lot of change during this time.


As a technology company please let us know if you have any issue to be highlighted to convince the hoteliers?

Frustratingly hoteliers currently seem only interested in low prices and don’t seem to want to understand the true value of certain features and functionality within our software solutions. Drip feeding OTAs , smart mobile pricing clever yielding tools and review management can add so much extra revenue and value to customers. Hoteliers seem to expect all of this value at low low prices, or they don’t care or they just don’t understand the value. In English we have a phrase “pennywise pound foolish? “ This has probably come about primarily due to competitors devaluing their own inferior solutions for quick sales out of desperation during Covid times. Ultimately a hotelier using the cheapest solution will lose out to their competitors especially if they are not investing in or using more intelligent features to drive higher revenue.. Education, learning and preparation as well as being brave are also crucial to success – cheap thinking creates a cheap mentality that permeates an organization.


Why hotelier really need to pay attention on the technology to enhance their business. And how the technology could contribute to the business ?

Manual operation and OTA pricing management is time consuming, risky and detracts from the most important function which is being in control of a revenue management strategy. Cost per length of stay, F and B and upsell revenue can be missed and that can mean large losses in additional revenue down the track.


Efficiency and automation drive increased revenues whilst offering massive cost benefits. Time and hotel nights are finite, technology creates more time for humans to be more productive. Data from systems allows hoteliers to make informed decisions and not rely on “gut” feel. Data and automation drive efficiencies and lift revenues.

If you could change two things how hotel should do the business, what would they be?

I would recommend they use STAAH. Seriously, I see so many hotels succeed when they move to us, Having one simple platform packed with great tools can really make a difference; I know what’s on the market and I feel confident we can really give a hotel a fighting chance to be successful. Most importantly I believe we are very reasonably priced.


But value is perceived and price is always the driving force in the minds of less educated hoteliers – a few IDR more can be the difference In millions in IDR revenue, this leads to my second point which is that hoteliers must keep educating themselves, evolve and hire educated people. I’m surprised how little hotels evolved or prepared during the pandemic.

Describe major changes you have seen on the hospitality industry and what is your suggestion to the hotelier?

I’ve answered this already in some ways, hotels need to brave and fearless in trying new things, they must also understand the power of data and use it wisely to make informed decisions! Simply relying on a few OTAs and local travel agency and expecting everything to be” cool” isn’t enough – direct bookings, commission free Get Google, GDS, vouchers and broadened distribution should all be on the table. Automation reduces cost, reduces risk of error and grows business opportunity, and hotel need not be scared of these.

Describe major challenges in the hospitality industry which need to be addressed?

Education for one, and at STAAH we are committed to this and publish informative e-books and regular articles on our free blog. Hoteliers need help and can’t expect to change results if they are doing the same thing over and over – Einstein called this insanity.


Another challenge is often the lack of respect for vendors that assist hotels. Hoteliers seem happy paying huge commission cheques to their OTA partners, but always feel the need to screw technology vendors into the ground on price. It’s disrespectful and short-sighted, resulting in less revenue so it’s kind of counterproductive as well.


Other things that you need to say to the hotelier?

I think I’ve said it all – Be brave. Be creative and be prepared to change behaviour, in a post covid world - don’t be tight over a few extra dollars – vendors need to make a buck as well and have also suffered from Covid too, whilst in many cases being supportive and generous to their customers.


STAAH has modified and added so many features to its solutions over the years – in 3 years prior to Covid we added 75 new features are always evolving – why? Because we listen to our customers and want to help them achieve. If you haven’t done so already, why not chat to one of team and see how we can assist.


 


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