Unveiled yesterday at the Asia Hotel and Investment Conference (AHIC), in Macau, Woods Bagot has launched HOTBED – the hotel industry’s first B2B matchmaking service. “Spearheaded by our Research & Design (R & D) team, six months of preliminary observations and investigative research told us that hotel professionals need an industry-focused tool, to find businesses with similar vested interests,” said Rob Steul, Global Hotel Leader, Woods Bagot.
The practice argues that a forecasted increase in global hotel activity and pervasive market volatility has made finding an appropriate business partner increasingly difficult and confusing. HOTBED has been launched with a particular focus on the Asia Pacific region, where leisure travel is expected to dramatically increase with the eruption of a burgeoning middle class and where business travel will increase with the influx of low-coast airline carries and broader access to online bookings.
“HOTBED is the creation of an online facility that harnesses the power of an online social network with the accurate matchmaking capability of a personal dating site. It connects hotel chains with regional operators, introduces savvy investors to risk-averse financiers, pairs international developers with local construction firms, and puts owners in the same room as boutique management agencies,” explained Steul.
Having registered their details with Woods Bagot, industry players can search for their perfect match on the HOTBED site by filtering contacts into appropriate groupings, depending on key characteristics. HOTBED users can openly view profile information and can communicate with other industry players.
In addition to creating a B2B network, HOTBED delivers key findings that reflect future aspirations within the hotel industry, for example: 87% of respondents chose ‘value added’ over ‘cost savings’ in the context of hotels; and 32% of respondents will target business travellers, whilst 30% will target leisure travellers.