Episode 24: How Technology Powers The Hotel Industry Back To Health

The hotel and lodging industry suffered enormously last year as a result of the pandemic. For the first time ever, over a billion room nights went unsold. Revenue per available room was just 48% and the industry barely turned a profit. For all intents and purposes, hotels were just as badly off as the financially crushed cruise lines. But whereas cruise ships spent all of 2020 in port, where many are still stuck, the hotel industry in the US began to recover in the summer of 2020 as Covid-19 restrictions eased off – prematurely, as it turned out – in state after state and people jumped at the chance to get away.

In this episode, Ketta Riley, Gerent’s  Travel and Hospitality Practice Lead, joins us to provide her take on the hotel industry and what the future might look like. We’ll also talk with Michael Blake, Chief Technology Officer for the American Hotel and Lodging Association on the value of and the role that technology plays in the hotel industry today.

The hotel and lodging industry suffered enormously last year as a result of the pandemic. For the first time ever, over a billion room nights went unsold. Revenue per available room was just 48% and the industry barely turned a profit. For all intents and purposes, hotels were just as badly off as the financially crushed cruise lines. But whereas cruise ships spent all of 2020 in port, where many are still stuck, the hotel industry in the US began to recover in the summer of 2020 as Covid-19 restrictions eased off – prematurely, as it turned out – in state after state and people jumped at the chance to get away.

In this episode, Ketta Riley, Gerent’s Travel and Hospitality Practice Lead, joins us to provide her take on the hotel industry and what the future might look like. We’ll also talk with Michael Blake, Chief Technology Officer for the American Hotel and Lodging Association on the value of and the role that technology plays in the hotel industry today.


Conversation Highlights Include: 


04:52 – How the vaccination program has aided the hotel industry

08:24 – Can small hotels afford to take advantage of available technology or is it too expensive?

09:51 – How Salesforce solutions can play a role in restoring health to the hotel industry

11:38 – The biggest challenge for hotels right now? Bringing back the business traveler

18:17 – DeepQuest: Gerent-designed expressly for small hotels to compete with global chains


Episode Guests:

Ketta Riley

Travel & Hospitality Practice Lead, Gerent

Ketta Riley has over 35 years of travel and hospitality leadership experience, ten of which have been spent working on Salesforce implementations. At Gerent, she leverages her CRM expertise and extensive knowledge of industry market trends to facilitate digital transformations within the travel sector.


Michael Blake

CTO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association

Michael Blake has 20 years in the hotel industry in the United States in various senior roles that include a number of global hotel chains.