Taking a closer look at a new AAHOA-myDigitalOffice venture designed to help hoteliers navigate a tricky downturn
by ALI MOLOO
In the first half of 2020, our industry was forced to quickly shut down like we’ve never done before. It was almost as if we were frozen in time. In some ways, we still are, and the question seemingly on everyone’s mind was “What’s next?” The effects of the pandemic aptly disrupted any predictions or forecasts that hoteliers were tracking toward and the entire industry was left in a precarious position. As travelers around the world abided by the various shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders, the travel industry came to a collective standstill. Now, as we enter 2021 with a glimmer of hope for the future, the same question remains: What’s next?
For most of 2020, hotels and airports were uncharacteristically quiet, and so was the data available to hoteliers. Year-over-year stats and forecasts were rendered useless, because how do you compare or predict something that is completely uncharted? Today, although things are beginning to look up, hoteliers are wondering many of the same questions, but by using the MAPP (Market Analytics, Pace, and Performance) report, it’s hoped they can find a few answers. If there is one thing we know about the hospitality industry, it’s that we are a resilient bunch, and we will get through this together.
THE ORIGIN STORY
So, how did we get here? How did the MAPP report come to be?
During those early weeks of the downturn, none of us had any idea how all of this was going to turn out. No one knew what was coming down the road and when it would arrive. For most hotels around the world, there wasn’t a way to see into the future and keep a finger on the pulse of how to best plan for the road ahead. Yet, that was exactly what our customers told us that they needed most, especially throughout this pandemic. So, our team at myDigitalOffice decided that we needed to help our industry in any way we could. The team decided the best thing to do during these challenging times was to simply help, not profit. We turned our sights to developing a product that would give hoteliers a glimpse into the future as future demand was picking up in real time, the missing piece of the puzzle for many hotel portfolios. Our integrations and data already feeding into our solutions allowed us access to this future-business-on-the-books data, and ultimately, we turned this data into a dashboard for hoteliers to use as needed to look at pickup for their hotels and respective markets.
PLAN, MEET ACTION
The idea behind the tool was to provide daily insights into forward-looking business-on-the-books data in various markets. It’s a simple and powerful idea but not an easy task, right? I mean, surely there’s a reason why the majority of hotels don’t have something like this already, right? We’d have to be crazy to try and take this on, right?
These are questions we repeatedly asked ourselves. And, given the total decimation of capital and people resources that hotels were experiencing, we knew this would not only have to work, but it must be easy to implement, and even easier to use or it would fail from the start. And again, the idea wasn’t to profit from this but rather to help our customers and our industry get through this storm together. So, we committed to developing a product that would be offered to the industry totally free of charge.
With that, the MAPP tool was born. Obviously a play on words (in hindsight, a rather cheesy one), the MAPP tool is intended to be a guide that helps you navigate uncharted territory by, again, enabling you to visualize actual demand in real time as it’s picking up in your market. It’s like driving while looking through the windshield instead of the rearview mirror. Again, it’s a simple but very powerful concept that supports our mission to empower hoteliers to make stronger, forward-looking business decisions using real-time, forward-looking data.
As we turn our sights to the future, we hope myDigitalOffice can continue to provide trusted, innovative, and important insights to our industry.
Ali Moloo is the founder & CEO of myDigitalOffice, an end-to-end information management platform for sourcing, processing, and storing hospitality data in the cloud. MDO’s SaaS solutions help hotel owners, operators, franchisees, and hospitality REITs automate the hotel back office and manage property portfolio performance to a tee. The visibility, connectivity, and control delivered by our award-winning cloud-based dashboards, document management software, and integrated data feeds allow teams to reach greater levels of productivity, ensure regulatory compliance, and reduce environmental impact while optimizing profitability. Learn more at mydigitaloffice.com.
To learn more about AAHOA’s partnership with myDigitalOffice, visit bit.ly/MAPPBrochure.
AAHOA Members Helping AAHOA Members
AAHOA, in partnership with myDigitalOffice, launches a new, free data analytics tool.
We know hoteliers need critical data now. This Market Analytics, Pace & Performance (MAPP) tool, developed by myDigitalOffice, helps users make strategic, data-backed business decisions for economic recovery. It’s based on the crowdsourcing of anonymized hotel data, so the greater the number of users, the more robust and useful the data becomes. This resource provides real-time insight into revenues, forward-looking indicators, and market potential for recovery. Learn more at AAHOA.com/mapp.