B&B hotels offer new experiences to tourists through digitalization

(People's Daily Online) 09:12, October 23, 2023

Riding the digitalization wave, B&B hotels can offer higher-quality and more convenient and comfortable services to tourists and improve management efficiency by deploying modern technologies.

During the eight-day Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday that ended on Oct. 6, a woman surnamed Yang from Shanghai checked in at a B&B hotel in Luoyang city, central China's Henan Province

"I watched videos of the B&B hotel online and liked the style of the hotel. So I booked a room at the hotel for the holiday," Yang said.

A staff member of a B&B hotel in Datan village, Liuba county, northwest China's Shaanxi Province advertises the hotel at a livestream. (Xinhua/Liu Xiao)

Like Yang, many guests booked rooms at the hotel after they watched livestream sessions or videos about it.

Zhao Dan, general manager of the B&B hotel, often shares videos about the hotel, including its interior and activities, and beautiful scenery near it, on social media platforms such as Xiaohongshu and Douyin.

"We also hold livestream sessions on an irregular basis, during which we introduce our rooms, answer questions from guests, recommend surrounding scenic spots, and offer a travel plan for them," Zhao said.

In addition to travel platforms, social media and sharing platforms are becoming important channels for B&B hotels to enhance brand recognition. Today, B&B managers rely more on online travel agency (OTA) platforms and sharing platforms to attract guests. Digital marketing methods including short videos and livestream sessions offer more direct experiences to tourists and generate greater economic gains for the B&B industry.

According to a report on tourism during the eight-day holiday issued by Chinese online travel agency Ctrip, orders for B&B hotels received by the agency increased by more than twice year on year.

Smart devices, including smart toilets, curtains, lighting controls and voice assistants, have been used in rooms of many B&B hotels, providing guests with a more comfortable living experience.

Li Shengtao, owner of a B&B hotel in the Xidi scenic spot in Huangshan city, east China's Anhui Province, said that the application of wireless communication, holographic sensing, intelligent control, and other technologies at his hotel ensures the intelligent control of home facilities. Curtains in a hotel room are raised automatically, and the TV and air conditioner there are automatically turned on using voice control.

Digital transformation upgrades traditional B&B hotels, and the comprehensive application of digital technologies in the whole industrial chain of the B&B hotel industry can further promote the sector's development by leveraging external resources.

Ctrip-backed LvYue Group developed a smart site selection system to help B&B owners predict future operating revenue through data collection.

Site selection is just the first step in digitally empowering B&B operations. "We empower the entire chain of B&B operations with big data," said Zhu Yujia, vice president of LvYue Group.

The key to the digitalization of B&B hotels in the future is to further improve consumer experiences in every link of the operations, Zhu added.

Industry insiders believe that retaining guests is key to B&B hotels. They need to meet the tourists' requirements through systematic, standard and digital services and experiences.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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