Here at RDO Digital we can’t stress to you enough the importance of investing in a digital transformation strategy to maximise the success of your resort. Digital technology is not something of the future but of the here and now, but too many resorts still fail to grasp this important concept. The internet turned 25 in 2016 and has completely revolutionised people’s lives throughout much of the world. When it was first started though, there were many that doubted that it would ever take off. This was also the case with computers, mobile phones and other digital technology.
Of course the doubters of these technologies have been proved completely wrong, but despite this, the idea of digital transformation is still not viewed as being important enough to warrant investing time and resources into for many companies across Europe. This is very much the case with the travel and tourism sector and the timeshare industry. Despite social media being over a decade old and evolving rapidly with so many different options available including 4K Video, Live video streaming and 360 degree photos and videos, many resorts still consider having a Facebook page as being the primary part of their digital transformation strategy.
This is not only shortsighted but also a case of burying your head in the sand and wishing all of this would go away. Just like the internet, computers and mobile phones, it won’t. More and more people are using social media such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and LinkedIn, and they are taking photos, videos and live streaming from your resort. So the big question is why aren’t you? Not only that but new digital technology is being released all the time such as AI virtual assistants, Virtual and Augmented Reality and even hotels staffed by robots (in Japan). Now we’re not saying you need all of these types of technology, but denying you need a digital transformation strategy is incredibly naive. You only have to look at what brands such as Uber and Airbnb are doing to shake up different industries. If you don’t adapt you may face future failure.
One timeshare resort that has made a very successful digital transformation is Pearly Grey Ocean Club Resort located in Costa Adeje, Tenerife. Under the guidance and energy of John Beckley, a social media advocate and founder of Hotel Community Manager the resort has been incorporating modern technology and digital solutions for a number of years. This has included having their own mail server, significant use of Cloud services such as Google Drive for sharing documents rapidly and efficiently between different members of staff and significant use of social media.
John has been working with the resort sales team and other teams within the resort such as reception and restaurant managers to highlight to them the huge benefits for using social media. By having profiles on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Plus as well as Facebook, it has allowed them to better connect with the resort guests and with each other. Rather than just one or two people in the marketing department broadcasting advertising via Facebook, now a large number of the resort staff are sharing valuable content such as Tweets, photos, videos and blog posts related to both the resort and the local area. This is helping to attract positive attention to Pearly Grey from guests and potential guests. It also creates trust between owners, the sales staff and other members of the Pearly Grey team.
These are all changes that have already been initiated at Pearly Grey resort under their digital transformation strategy. They are not resting on their successes though and are embracing future innovations including working on Augmented and Virtual Reality which will be used to help promote the resort to new owners. Pearly Grey has also been hard at work on a completely new website design with updated text and a big focus on high quality photos and videos, and full integration of social media. Web traffic is now increasingly coming from mobile rather than desktop searches, so the correspondingly the website has been designed with mobile in mind first.
— John Dale Beckley (@JohnBeckley) 3 November 2016
In recognition of the successful digital transformation that has been brought about at Pearly Grey, the resort was recently presented at an event in Brussels to an audience of EU Regional Officials as an excellent example of Digital Transformation both by a business and a brand within the travel and tourism sector. The presentation was made by Francis Ortiz Ocaña, a resident of Tenerife who is originally from mainland Spain. Francis is a strong advocate for the use of digital technologies to help businesses survive and thrive in the new age of digital transformation. He owns Francis Ortiz Creative Art & Design Studios and is passionate about innovation and technology.
— Antonio Collado (@AntonioCollado) 7 December 2016
According to statistics, only one in five European companies are investing in digitization, with many still very much with the “head in the sand” mentality. Pearly Grey resort stands as a shining example both as a company and timeshare resort that is ahead of much of the curve in terms of investing in digital technology, especially with the work they are doing with social networks, The Cloud and Virtual Reality. The event was organised by Watify, which is the European Union initiative inspiring and helping traditional businesses in their technological transformation. Antonio Collado works for Watify and helps to organise funding for businesses to make this transition towards the use of digital technologies. He is also a strong advocate for the work that Pearly Grey Resort has been doing.
— Antonio Collado (@AntonioCollado) 7 December 2016
Pearly Grey Ocean Club Resort is a perfect example for the timeshare industry of how to successfully embrace digital technology in order to connect with guests, promote the resort and improve efficiency. The resort has perfectly placed itself to remain competitive in the future and continue to attract new owners in new and innovative ways. We hope that other resorts will follow the example that has been made at Pearly Grey and start to make their own digital transformation.
Let us know in the comment section below or via our social media using #RDOdigital what you believe are the most useful steps to make for a successful digital transformation.