GAT Gestión de Activos Turísticos is a company with more than ten years of experience as an independent hotel operator, investment expert and consultant specialized in creating value for the sector.
On this occasion, we spoke with GAT about their view on the hotel sector. Also, we learned about some of the solutions they have implemented at their hotels.
Digitization in the hotel sector
Do you believe that digitization of processes is a key issue for the hotel sector?
No doubt, but another key issue when facing these new challenges is making sure you have management software available to help manage talent and automate processes in order to save time and resources, which can be invested in a more intelligent and sustainable management over time.
Any experience at this level has an immediate effect by customers enjoying these services when they share it on social networks. This provides a dual benefit, since customers are the best sales agents and consumer motivators for hotels.
From GAT we see that among the biggest challenges that hotels currently face is the selection of digitization processes that will allow them to become more efficient in terms of costs and facilitate more interactions with their customers through digital services, either during check-in and check-out or through a continuous communication with customers, before and after their stay.
Simplifying the digital transformation process and adopting digitization models is a process that entails reviewing the way companies interact with their environments: their customers, employees and suppliers.
Do you think the sector is sufficiently digitized?
First and foremost, we must be aware that technology is just one aspect of the digital transformation of a business. The biggest change that must be assimilated by companies has to do with culture within the organization and not only with the use of new technologies.
An extremely important factor is the attitude of leaders at the company with respect to digital transformation. They must firmly believe in the process and should portray this belief to the rest of employees. Personnel in charge of a team, area or department must lead by example and support the strategy from top to bottom.
To conclude, I would say there is still much to do in this respect, the digital transformation process must be gradual but constant at the same time. Companies cannot postpone their digital transformation any longer if they want to continue competing in an ever changing and demanding market.
Solutions implemented by GAT
Of the different hotels managed by GAT and which are part of the Bavel transactions platform, Hotel Antequera Hills, Hotel Aragon Hills, Hotel Ziryab and The Residences Islantilla Apartments among others, have a special interest in being able to issue B2B, B2G and also B2C invoices.
Why have you decided to implement 100% electronic invoices?
Fundamentally because of the number of benefits this solution provides:
- Reduced payment delivery and collection times.
- Improved employee satisfaction.
- IT costs savings.
- Increased productivity.
- New business opportunities.
- Reduced environmental impact.
- Agile, secure and legal storage.
- Elimination of the risk of loss.
- Increased security.
- Recruiting talent.
Also worth mentioning is that Spain has decided to make the use of electronic invoices mandatory for companies (B2B). The measure has been published by the General Directorate of Economic Policies in a draft Bill on the Start-up and Growth of Companies.
How have end-customers accepted digitized invoices? What are its advantages?
In general, digitized invoices have been very well accepted, mainly because they improve customer experience. Digitizing some processes at the company increases customer retention levels. Also, digital channels allow interacting with customers in an easier and more dynamic way.
With digital transformation at its peak, we must make sure that all customers remain by our side and embrace the changes entailed by this technological revolution.
Ultimately, bridging this digital divide is vitally important in terms of accessing and using digital technologies by certain persons or groups. Naturally, in the first place, we must understand that not everyone can access the network or use it on equal terms and even though for some people this may be a simple every day task, for others it may be very difficult or even impossible.
In this process of issuing and sending invoices to end-customers, you have taken marketing actions offering promotions on future reservations. Do you feel this has provided the desired effect?
Certainly, we have implemented an e-marketing action consisting of adding an advertisement banner in the body of the email with the invoice as an attachment. The message by us, and to prevent the customer from identifying the message as intrusive Spam, is sent to let the customer know about special offers early as they are considered a loyal customer. We feel this method of communicating is well accepted because we try to make sure the design is appropriate, the message is natural, the offer is attractive and this effort, beyond achieving direct sales, has an impact in terms of the perceived image; a brand that takes care of its most loyal customers by offering them exclusive benefits.
We would like to thank GAT for this interview. Without a doubt, the hotel sector must embrace digital transformation. Companies that do this now will have a greater advantage.