The Week, That Was – August 2019 Week 2

In five minutes or less, keep track of the most important news of the week, curated just for you. We present to you hand – picked news on latest industry perspectives and some general updates. Read on!!

Estonia based luxury hotel recommends RateTiger as the best OTA channel manager

The prestigious Villa Ammende in Estonia has recommended RateTiger hotel channel manager by eRevMax for managing its online sales channels effectively. The property has been using RateTiger’s cloud-based channel manager to streamline its online distribution and has seen significant improvement in efficiency resulting in minimizing overbookings and reducing workload.

https://bit.ly/2M6LMhl

Are you ready to lead the hotel pricing game? Download our Rate Shopping ebook today

Our recent discussions with hoteliers and revenue managers revealed their struggle with getting the pricing strategy correct and how constant undercutting by competitors are eating into their profits. We came up with an ebook on why hotel rate shopping and price intelligence is important along with some real-world example of hotels using relevant tools to stay ahead of the competition.

Presenting our ebook – Shopping Matters: The Power of Real-time Hotel Rate Intelligence. Get your free copy today – https://bit.ly/339DJ8I

Google My Business changes hotel categories

Google had been restricting newly verified listings the ability to add old categories for the past month, yesterday they removed them all for currently verified listings.

https://onlineownership.com/changes-to-hotel-categories-in-google-my-business/

Four online travel agency myths to stop believing now

Online travel agencies developed in the early to mid-1990s, gradually becoming one of the first great internet success stories of the tech era. Turns out OTAs are just as powerful for hotels as they are for travelers. But, unfortunately, OTAs suffer from some image problems amongst many hoteliers, often due to misconceptions or misinformation about how they work. Let’s explore four popular myths about OTAs that our industry keeps falling for over and over again

https://www.phocuswire.com/Four-online-travel-agency-myths

Europe: RevPAR jump can’t prevent GOPPAR slip

In a clear example that revenue and profit aren’t always aligned, RevPAR at mainland European hotels attained a high for the year in June, but GOPPAR fell.

https://www.hotstats.com/hotel-industry-trends/revpar-jump-cant-prevent-goppar-slip-across-europe

Ten hacks to instantly maximize your direct booking revenue

Joe Pettigrew, Director of Revenue Maximization at Starwood Capital Group, shares ten helpful hacks that your hotel can apply today to enhance revenue through direct bookings.

https://triptease.com/en/watch-ten-genius-hacks-to-instantly-maximize-your-direct-booking-revenue/

Expedia TravelAds: How power users maximize their results

Expedia’s TravelAds solution is unique in that your ads don’t show unless you have supply for the travel window that the shopper is looking to book. And, if your ads do show but the travel shopper doesn’t click on them, you don’t pay. So, these ads are a low risk way to reach a targeted audience ready to book. Additionally, TravelAds help hotel revenue and marketing managers book rooms without sacrificing their average daily rate (ADR).

https://blog.advertising.expedia.com/travelads-with-expedia-group-always-on

Connect with us for your connectivity needs to make the most of online revenue-https://goo.gl/3gKUJZ

Thanks and have a good day!

Checklist for your next hotel channel manager

A hotel channel manager is a must have for hoteliers today. If you are planning to add or change your existing channel manager, here is a quick checklist of things you need for assessment.

  • That the solution has seamless XML connectivity with multiple online channels to publish live rates and inventory and deliver reservations seamlessly back into the PMS.
  • It has integration with your hotel PMS, RMS, Booking Engine and other technology tools for real-time data transfer between your system and OTAs. If they do not have it, are they flexible enough to develop it for you?
  • It can sync OTA data with hotel system all the time to minimize overbooking and identify mismatches.
  • It can update rates and availability of different room categories for future dates as well.
  • It can automatically inform the user and update the availability to all connected channels for any modification or cancellation happened on any channel.
  • It can allocate different inventory to different online channels or switch off a channel for a certain period if required.
  • It allows users to set restrictions like Minimum length of stay (MLOS), Blackout dates, Closed to Arrival (CTA) and Closed to Departure (CTD), among others, to optimize revenue.
  • It is PCI and GDPR compliant to safeguard digital data of your guests.

Improve your hotel revenue with better room rate and yield management – all from a smart single interface. Take complete control of your revenue and channel management strategy to control distribution costs and drive more direct bookings.

Grow your revenue with the best hotel channel manager!

Connect with us for your connectivity needs to make the most of online revenue- https://goo.gl/3gKUJZ

 

Deep dive into APAC online travel agencies – Part 2

With increasing disposable income and expanding tourism, Asia Pacific has become the fastest-growing regional travel market. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, five of the world’s ten fastest growing tourism cities are in Asia, making it the hot spot for the travel marketers. Propelled by high penetration of mobile, the region has been witnessing double digit growth in online booking, making it a priority region for global OTAs. However, the market is still dominated by local and regional players, even as global OTAs make strategic investments to make inroads.

In our series on Online Travel Channels in APAC, we have looked into major players shaping the digital travel space. In the first article of the series, we have discussed the giants in the region – Agoda, Ctrip and Make My Trip and their secret sauce to success. In this second part, we will be focussing on local players who are dominating the online travel space in their respective regions.

Fliggy

Fliggy (formerly known as AliTrip) – the travel booking site from Alibaba, is an important player in the China focusing on the upmarket segment – particularly the travel aspiring millennials and international travellers. Of the 10 million daily active users on Fliggy, 80 percent are millennials with college degree living on tier-1 and tier-2 cities – giving the platform a unique exposure and reach. Alibaba has also positioned it as a “premium” travel booking site focusing on outbound travel. The site is designed as youthful, refined, geared toward long-haul, leisure, experiential, as well as luxury trips, rather than the usual to short-term or domestic business travel. From its partnership with Marriot group to getting Booking.com to launch a flagship store on its platform, Fliggy has been making a series of strategic partnerships to create a global brand. Leveraging Alibaba’s ecosystem, which is used by 699 million mobile monthly active users, the platform is positioning itself as a travel marketplace covering the 360 degree of travel to provide consumers with better travel products and service experience. This means a traveller with high purchasing power can plan and book their travel on Fliggy, buy additional items necessary for travel from Alibaba owned e-commerce site Taobao while using Alipay for transactions, ensuring a seamless user experience throughout.

Rakuten Travel

Japan’s online leisure/unmanaged business travel market is the second largest in Asia Pacific region. Founded in 2002, Rakuten Travel is one of Japan’s largest online hotel reservation website with over 3.7 million room nights booked per month. The channel receives 5.34 million unique visitors every month. The firm has access to more than 20,000 domestic and 15,000 international hotels and has a presence in South Korea and China. Rakuten Travel, which is the most popular OTA in Japan, is owned by Rakuten Group, which provides more than 70 e-commerce services beyond travel. The group, often compared with Amazon connects services within its ecosystem enabling users to access all services within the system by using a single login ID, and the same loyalty program for a seamless experience. The company has invested heavily into artificial intelligence and big data for understanding changing consumer behavior and effective personalization.

Traveloka

Traveloka, one of late entrants in the market and founded by three friends in Indonesia, is one of the biggest success stories in the online travel space in South Asia.  The channel which offers flights, hotels, trains, tours & activities, transfers and packages is present in Southeast Asia’s six primary markets — Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines. With the introduction of PayLater, an online credit system without the need for a credit card, Traveloka is poised to make further inroads into the region where relatively low penetration of credit / debit card has remained a hindrance to online payment. The channel is also actively pushing into the lifestyle category and has recently rolled out a discovery platform featuring restaurant and wellness activities. The Traveloka mobile app has been downloaded more than 30 million times, making it the most popular travel booking app in the region. With Expedia’s investment into the channel making it the first billion-dollar start-up in Indonesia, the company has been adding more products and services including bundles to mobile applications to make it a one-stop-shop for customers to book and redeem travel themselves.

As hoteliers, are you ready to tap into the Asia Pacific market? Are you managing these channels well and keeping them automatically updated with rates and availability on a regular basis?

Reach out to us for your connectivity needs to make the most of your online revenue- https://goo.gl/3gKUJZ

 

 

7 Steps to Increase Repeat Business for Your Hotels by 200%

Having loyal customers is one of the most essential steps to ensure the success of hotels. Today, travelers can choose from many options in the hotel industry – leading to intense competition between hotel owners. Thus, as a hotel property owner, you have to try various strategies to transform new visitors into repeat customers and keep your present guest list intact as well.

Strive to make the best ‘first impressions’

With a great first impression, you can make a wonderful lasting impression. When you have a new customer coming into your property, you have to try various ways to transform them into loyalty card members. Offer a valuable loyalty program, which can be useful to guests who come in. Track the requirements and preferences of guests, have a smooth check-in process and strive to communicate well online and offer impeccable services.

Exploit Technology

Use mobile apps, keyless entries, online confirmation, self check-in and other technologies to make the booking process smoother. Avoid keeping customers waiting.

Lend a personal touch

The modern age is all about personalization, and you should try to store guest record in your hotel management software in order to provide present and new guests with a personalized service. You can find unique ways to encourage customers to book your property for the following visits.

Offer Hotel Loyalty Programs of value

In customer loyalty programs, hotel loyalty cards play a vital role. When you manage to be successful in registering new customers into your loyalty programs, it should act as a strong foundation for your business in making guests your long-term customers.

Get immediate feedback

Negative reviews arise due to the fact that guests do not always find ways to express their dissatisfaction with your services. You can avoid negative reviews for your business by seeking constant feedback from customers. Hand out a small questionnaire or send SMS etc to know whether the guests are satisfied with the room service, if they want a custom menu etc. When you ask the right questions, you can get the right answers and improve your services to enjoy repeat business.

Give Incentives

Move over complimentary breakfast, and offer complimentary trip to attractions nearby. Have the option for flexible timings for check-in, and provide new visitors with direct bookings.

Make guests your first priority

Start even before they check in, and connect with them through every stage of their association with your hotel. Address all their needs personally, and find out whether they need any special assistance.

Connect with us for your connectivity needs to make the most of online revenue- https://goo.gl/3gKUJZ

 

Why Guest Reviews Matter? Even the negative ones

From the very beginning, a hotel’s success has a direct correlation with its reputation. if guide books and peer recommendations were the earlier source of motivation, in the age of digital, the new normal is to surf the web for hotel reputation – which alarmingly can be your biggest asset or liability.

There are several things that contribute to a hotel’s reputation – starting from pre-booking experience to service during stay – guests take note of many small and big details and form an opinion. The rating is just the reflection of the opinion. If your property provides impeccable service, create great experiences, then the positive reviews you have earned will improve your appeal and influence potential guests. The more satisfied guests you have, the more likely they are to return and spend more money, as well as recommend you to others.

According to a study by Deloitte, 59% consumers say that review sites have the most influence on their booking decisions. Another one, conducted by Cornel Hotel School in association with STR and Review Pro suggest that guest satisfaction has a direct impact on the business performances of the hotel. The study, in fact, predict, an increase of 0.89% increase in ADR due to 1 point increase in the hotel’s review score across all online and offline channels.

With Google, OTAs and review sites like TripAdvisor giving more weightage to review score, managing online reputation has become a focal point of hotel operations. With revenue being directly linked with demand, revenue management has now expanded from simple rate management and is now encompassing customer relations and social media into its strategy.

Truth to be told, reputation management is not an easy task, especially when it comes to negative reviews. Guests often over-expect and over-react which get reflected in the reviews. Interestingly, in 2017, the top 4 sites accounting for 74% of review volume are Booking.com, Google, TripAdvisor and Facebook.  Clearly, guests aren’t restricting their opinions to travel sites, but also to search engine and social media. Hotel cannot prevent reviewers from expressing their opinion. However, there is only thing they can surely do – respond, more do for negative reviews.

A recent study by Harvard Business Review suggests, replying to guest reviews results in better ratings. Interestingly, the study, which has studied TripAdvisor ratings over thousands of hotels, have found that there is a sharp drop in the rate of short negative reviews when the management starts responding to negative feedback.

Sure, it is not easy to please every guest. However, your willingness to accept constructive criticism shows your commitment to address the issues raised by the guest, which in turn assures your potential guests. Be polite and courteous, try to understand your guests’ concern and respond in a professional way.

However, guests share feedback on various review, travel and social media sites – which often lay scattered and unstructured. Online reputation management tools consolidate these guest reviews from various review websites including TripAdvisor, Bookign.com, Expedia, Agoda, Qype, Holidaycheck, Yelp, Expedia, Facebook, Twitter etc. and provide them to hotels in structured reports. Data is then compiled together into review reports which include guest details (as it appears on the site) along with their feedback and the rating they provide to the hotel. Most advanced review management sites nowadays use sentiment analysis to understand the guest’s emotion towards various aspects of the property. Keywords relevant to the properties are then identified, and ranked based on their popularity, frequency of mentions, and guests’ sentiments towards that category.

A strong visible position on guest review websites indicate that your Price Quality Index is working well, that will enable you to make the right pricing decisions based on RevPAR performance.  This will allow the hotel to flex their rates based on several pricing strategies depending on booking levels. However, there are no short cuts. It is an evolving process that must start today! As we move towards the age of consumer controlled brand conversations, hotels need to integrate customer feedback into their business approach and strategy planning.

By staying actively engaged with guests, hotels can ensure a more consistent and loyal base. Are you listening?

Spanish upscale hotel endorses RateTiger for distribution connectivity

Hotel Guadalmedina, an upscale hotel in Spain has recommended RateTiger for stable and seamless connectivity with world’s leading OTAs. The hotel, which has been using RateTiger Channel Manager for online distribution, has improved its visibility across OTAs resulting in positive revenue and occupancy growth.

Located in picturesque Malaga, Hotel Guadalmedina is a four- star property largely catering to leisure travelers. A popular choice for international tourists, especially from Western Europe and North America, it’s important for the hotel to maintain visibility across global and regional OTAs and metasearch sites. They have been leveraging RateTiger’s XML interface with leading channels to maintain real-time rate and availability for maximum exposure. RateTiger provides fully integrated, two-way XML connections to over 350 global and regional online booking sites.

“It is a very useful tool for rate and inventory management. RateTiger is fast and accurate, and any change in price and availability is immediately reflected across channels. The quick-close option has made it really easy for us to minimize overbookings,” said Gloria Noblejas, Director, Hotel Guadalmedina.

Prior to using RateTiger, Hotel Guadalmedina was finding it difficult to manage online sales channels. They signed up for RateTiger Channel Manager in 2010 and for the last eight years, they never had to rethink. Since partnering with eRevMax, the property has improved their online exposure considerably by expanding their distribution mix.

“Having tested other solutions available in the market, we can say RateTiger is far ahead of others when it comes to usability and support,” commented Gloria Noblejas, Director, Hotel Guadalmedina.

Meet the connectivity experts from RateTiger at FITUR Stand 10B08 in Madrid from 23 – 27 January 2019 – book a meeting now – https://bit.ly/2F6knJ0

 

 

eRevMax wins STPI Export Awards for promoting gender diversity

eRevMax wins STPI Export Awards for promoting gender diversity
Recognized for ‘Highest Percentage of Women Employees -IT’

 Global travel technology innovator – eRevMax, has been awarded an STPI Export Award under the category ‘Highest Percentage of Women Employees -IT’ (Exports upto Rs 25 crore). This award was presented at ‘STPI Export Awards’ held during INFOCOM 2018 in Kolkata last week.

eRevMax has been proactively working towards breaking down barriers in a male-dominated industry and achieve greater gender representation through a diversity agenda. An equal opportunity company, women represent about 35% of its workforce, with the ratio even higher in the leadership positions. The company’s progressive HR policies have ensured that the overall attrition of female members is substantially lower than the average industry standard.

“At STPI, we believe that diversity strengthens the innovative capacity of a company. eRevMax is one such company that is leading by example, and we are proud to recognise them for having the Highest % of Women Employees in IT at the recent STPI Export Awards 2017-18. The responsibility of increasing gender diversity at workplace doesn’t end at just hiring a woman. It must be conducive enough for them to sustain. We congratulate eRevMax for taking a sustainable approach towards creating an inclusive workplace.” said Sh. Manjit Nayak, Additional Director, STPI Kolkata.

“This award is a validation of eRevMax’s efforts in bringing a holistic transformation by promoting gender equality and diversity. As part of our company culture, we are committed to providing our women employees with an ecosystem that is supportive of personal and career aspirations. With this award, we have restated our position as the preferred ‘Employer of choice’ in West Bengal,” said Reuel Ghosh, CEO, eRevMax.

eRevMax is a global travel technology software company with development centres in Kolkata and Bengaluru and sales offices around the world. The company, with its three core product brands – RateTiger, LiveOS and AgentX101, provides channel management, price intelligence, analytics, connectivity and business management solutions to hotels and travel agents worldwide.

The Week, That Was – December 2018 Week 1

In five minutes or less, keep track of the most important news of the week, curated just for you. We present to you hand – picked news on latest industry perspectives and some general updates. Read on!!

Carton House Resort, Ireland recommends eRevMax for online connectivity

Carton House, a historic luxury hotel in Ireland has recommended eRevMax solutions for online distribution. The property has been using RateTiger Channel Manager to maintain real-time rate and inventory updates across online sales channels including booking engine.

https://bit.ly/2SuD7UX

Expedia to Hoteliers: Alternative accommodations won’t steal your business

Expedia wants to create value for hotels by providing them with tools to make them more efficient rather than hurting them with the increased presence of vacation rentals, the company said at its Explore partner conference in Las Vegas this week.

https://skift.com/2018/12/06/expedia-to-hoteliers-vacation-rentals-wont-steal-your-business/

 How Real-Time, Transparent Bidding Can Fix a Broken Travel Search Ecosystem

Today, even before most travelers ever step foot on a plane, they’ve already gone on an epic journey while planning their trip. According to Skift’s The State of Online Travel Media 2018 report, 73 percent of global travel searches begin with no brand or destination listed.

https://skift.com/2018/11/30/how-real-time-transparent-bidding-can-fix-a-broken-travel-search-ecosystem/

Why European Biz Travelers Go Outside Their Companies to Use Online Travel Agencies

Business travelers tend to book their trips through whatever channels they prefer, regardless of whether there is an online booking tool or agency that their company wants them to use. The research found that while travelers consistently use a company’s online booking tool to book air and hotel, they are increasingly turning to online travel agencies and direct channels as well. In fact, online travel agency use has pulled into near parity with a company’s travel agency department in many countries.

https://skift.com/2018/12/03/why-european-biz-travelers-go-outside-their-companies-to-use-online-travel-agencies/

Data pinpoints hotel mismanagement of inventory allocation and availability

The management of room inventory on both a hotel’s brand site and through contracted online travel agency partners is at the core of an effective distribution system. The findings are based on data gathered from brand websites and contracted OTAs for 7,600 properties around the world during a two-month period beginning in September. In its report, Fornova says it calculated demand as a function of room rate – when rates were below the median, it considered it to be a low-demand period and when rates were higher than median it considered it high demand.

https://www.phocuswire.com/Fornova-allocation-availability-report

Connect with us for your connectivity needs to make the most of online revenue- https://goo.gl/3gKUJZ

Thanks and have a good day!

The Week, That Was – September 2018 Week 1

In five minutes or less, keep track of the most important news of the week, curated just for you. We present to you hand – picked news on latest industry perspectives and some general updates. Read on!!

eRevMax completes integration with IDS Next PMS

Hotel connectivity expert eRevMax has completed integration with leading hospitality technology solution provider IDS Next.Mutual hotel customers can now get the benefit of automatic distribution of availability and rate to third party online booking sites whenever they are updated in the property management system and receive reservations from OTAs.

http://bit.do/ewp76

How hoteliers are setting their tech budgets for 2019

Hotel companies are preparing their annual budgets for 2019, and technology is an important investment as guests expect more and more out of their stays.

http://bit.do/ewp8h

How travel agents are working differently with technology

In an article on Phocuswire in March 2018, Trisept Solutions’ president and CEO John Ische positions the relationship between agents and technology as the ability to create what he termed “genuine intelligence” about a traveler.

https://www.phocuswire.com/Travel-advisors-technology-changes

Airbnb for Work expands beyond travel

Team-building, relocations and off-site meetings are part of the new strategic direction for Airbnb For Work as it looks to capitalise on its “exponential growth” in providing accommodation to business travellers. A few weeks ago it announced that some 700,000 companies have had employees sign up and book with Airbnb for Work, with more than 275,000 enterprises directly engaged with Airbnb to help manage their travel.

https://www.tnooz.com/article/airbnb-for-work-expands-beyond-travel/

Why Middle East travel deserves a closer look!

Travel spend by travellers from just some of the countries, the six who make up the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – is likely, says Statista, to grow from $64 billion three years ago, to $94 billion by 2020. In 2025 the sum could reach $140 billion, it adds. The GCC is assessed by the World Tourism Organisation as accounting for well over 60% of the region’s outbound market.

http://bit.do/ewp8K

China’s Big 5 hotel platforms have 96% of the market

Analysis of China’s online hotel booking market in the second quarter of the year shows that almost the entire market is controlled by five businesses. Trustdata, a mobile internet big data monitoring company in China, found that Ctrip, Meituan, Qunar, Tongcheng-eLong and Fliggy accounted for 96.4% of online hotel bookings in the second quarter. The big five were also the fast-growing platforms for the quarter, suggesting that their dominance is getting stronger.

https://www.tnooz.com/article/chinas-big-5-hotel-platforms-have-96-of-the-market/

Connect with us for your connectivity needs to make the most of online revenue. https://goo.gl/3gKUJZ

Thanks and have a good day!

Luxury Ukrainian Hotel Leopolis Improves Revenue with RateTiger

Leopolis Hotel, a landmark Ukrainian hotel has successfully optimized online distribution connectivity to improve their hotel occupancy and revenue, by leveraging RateTiger. The property, which has been using RTConnect for channel management, ARI updates and Reservation Delivery has seen a substantial improvement in efficiency resulting in minimizing overbookings and reducing workloads.

Leopolis is the only luxury hotel in Lviv located right in the heart of the historical part. Located in the restored building that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Leopolis is a popular choice for both business and leisure travellers. Given that the hotel attracts guests from across the continent along with domestic travellers, it is important for the hotel to be present in all leading online sales channels and metasearch sites in Europe.

RTConnect, the SaaS based distribution solution providing fully integrated, two-way XML connections to over 350 global and regional online booking sites, is helping the property to establish seamless connectivity between the OTAs and its PMS.

“By using channel manager by RateTiger we are saving a lot of time and get a lot of extra revenue. Everything works very efficiently and during our cooperation we did not have any overbookings at all,” said Ostap Shpachuk, Director of Sales and Marketing, Leopolis Hotel.

“My favourite tool is rate weight, as it allows to manage rates for separate channels, room types and rate plans – we use it a lot indeed. I also like the velocity of the support team,” said Ostap Shpachuk, Director of Sales and Marketing, Leopolis Hotel.

Leopolis has been accessing Reservation Reports, a key module in RateTiger to monitor channel performance and map demographics of their customers. Through the booking analysis, the hotel is identifying the top-performing channels to offer customized packages to their key markets. They are also utilising RateTiger’s on-demand intelligence toolRateTiger Shopper, to monitor the competitor rate movements and improve pricing decisions for better profits.