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Grant Thornton aims to provide the hospitality industry with insights in the digital world

In an increasingly digitised world where guests rely on online travel agents and aggregators to find the best deals, a number of hotels are struggling to stay competitive.

Some in the industry see this disruption as a threat, while others see it as an opportunity. This was also reflected in a global hospitality report published by Grant Thornton International that aims to provide practical guidance for hoteliers as they face this new market.

John Farrugia, Partner and Head of Advisory at Grant Thornton Malta believes that innovation is good for any industry and hospitality is no different. “With the customer shift from using traditional travel agents to the digital world, and the success of business models like AirBnB and similar online booking portals, it is vital for hotel operators to up their game and ensure their competitiveness.”

Gillian Saunders, Global leader of travel, tourism and leisure Grant Thornton supports this argument. “Short-term agility and medium-term strategic innovation are viable responses to today’s hospitality challenges. If hotels embrace the digital revolution – technologies that blur the lines between the physical, digital and human spheres – they can turn disruption to their advantage. One thing is certain: in what has become a fast-changing and unpredictable sector, hoteliers must think in bold new ways, even if this means challenging the tried-and-tested business model.”

Whilst many local hotels are adjusting to the new scenario, others have yet to land on the right approach to business innovation, with some feeling anxious about investing given the highly dynamic environment. Others have yet to get to grips with the promise of digital technology. A key question they face is whether they should focus on honing and updating their traditional offering or opt for radical innovation. Grant Thornton International’s hospitality report, titled Business model innovation: Hotels' roadmap to 2020, outlines some of the changes hoteliers could make to strengthen their business models and prepare for the future.

With the key role that tourism and hospitality plays for the Maltese economy, Grant Thornton Malta’s advisory services hold valid know-how in the field. The team has a broad range of hands-on experience in the hotel and broader hospitality sector, bringing insight and in-depth knowledge of sector trends. Complemented by specialist teams in more than 130 countries, Grant Thornton Malta can help local business develop and implement strategies that will assure long term growth - and keep their guests coming back for more.

One may request a free copy of the Hotels’ roadmap to 2020 report by email