5 Questions to Ask About Channel Management for Hotels

A Hotel Channel Management Software can be assistive for you, whether you are in search of revenue management or hotel distribution. The primary functionality of this type of application is to make sure that every hotel sales channel keeps abreast of restrictions, rate modifications and any changes that take effect. These types of systems make sure that OTAs can remain in touch with a hotel. Thus, only actual information about hotels is passed on to possible guests. There are many types of hotel channel managers, and all of them are quite useful to use. Here are 5 questions that you have to ask about channel management software systems for hotels.

5 Questions to Ask About Channel Management for Hotels

What kind of support will it come with?

When there is a breakdown, powerful distribution systems have fast support infrastructure and related troubleshooting protocols. This type of support that is offered tends to differ across systems. Although some of these come with an automated backup that can ensure booting as soon as there is a failure of the main system, others come with customer care centers that operate 24X7.

What are the access rights?

Better access rights for this type of software is the tool for proper marketing of products. At times, sound strategies for revenue management are able to protect as well as get data together. These can pave the way for different access rights across various kinds of user levels. Typically, multi-level access rights are offered through 4 main roles:

  • Front Desk
  • Reservations Manager
  • Property Owner
  • System Admin

Every one of these has rights and limitations of its own.

Is it easy to use?

You have to ensure that the system is easy to use. A few channel management systems are also available with a full user acceptance test, which is followed by strict testing for the team of the hotel. This makes sure that the product can be used smoothly. It is important that you consider that the tool can be implemented and adopted with ease.

Can automatically sync inventories?

You have to check whether your chosen channel management software automatically inform the user and update the availability to all connected channels for any modification or cancellation happened on any channel. Lots of software programs can manage more than one channel, although that does not mean that they can sync inventories based on reservation modification, which is possible only when the channel manager has 2-way XML connectivity with channels for seamless data transfer. Thus, it is important that you check this thing beforehand. It is also essential that you check whether the channel manager is available connectivity with the right PMS and Channels.

Does it ensure data security?

Finally, you should also choose a hotel channel manager that gives you data security. Data security has become the biggest challenge for the hospitality industry. For hotels, protecting guest data like address and credit card details has become crucial in post-GDPR age. While finding out the right vendor for your distribution management, do check whether the provider is PCI and GDPR compliant.

The Week, That Was – October 2019 Week 4

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!!

Argentina based Europlaza Hotel & Suites recommends eRevMax for channel connectivity

Europlaza Hotel & Suites, a midscale hotel in the heart of Buenos Aires has recommended eRevMax solutions for managing online distribution. The property has been using RateTiger Channel Manager since 2014 to maintain real-time rate and availability across multiple online sales channels and receive reservations.

https://bit.ly/2BFN2ki

How to Promote Your Hotel to Business Travelers?

Business travelers form one of the major groups of travelers, and this group is increasing with time. Expenses on global business travel are expected to rise by 7% by the year 2020, which means hoteliers have to go that extra mile to attract business travelers to their properties.

https://www.erevmax.com/blog/index.php/2019/10/how-to-promote-your-hotel-to-business-travelers/

TripAdvisor jumps on the hotel direct booking bandwagon

TripAdvisor is introducing a direct-booking feature to its Sponsored Placements product for accommodation providers designed to help them boost revenue. With the new feature, sponsored listings will now include a prominent link directly to a hotel’s website to facilitate a booking. Previously, listings linked through to an OTA.

https://www.phocuswire.com/tripadvisor-sponsored-placements-direct-bookings

Google vacation rentals: Booking Holdings is gone, Airbnb is in

Airbnb listings have begun appearing for the first time in Google’s vacation rentals feature in several European cities, including Paris, Amsterdam, and Madrid. Airbnb’s appearance in Google vacation rentals could be a cameo — a small test to see if participation is worthwhile.

https://skift.com/2019/10/22/airbnb-makes-debut-in-google-vacation-rentals-for-now/

Independent hotels disappearing as chains grow

More independent hotels are either joining the big chains or shutting their doors. One of the biggest reasons independent hotels are disappearing is that they’re getting acquired by the large hotel companies or joining them as affiliates to tap into their marketing power.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/21/business/independent-hotels-airbnb-boutique-chains.html

Phocuswright: Capturing the Chinese travel consumer

1.4 billion people strong, the Chinese make up a large percentage of APAC travelers. Capturing Chinese travelers is like netting a big fish. They travel in throngs and have money to spend. This is proven by the travel bookings from the region amounting to USD 420 billion in 2018 and is expected to increase to USD 480bn in 2020.

https://www.traveldailymedia.com/capturing-the-chinese-consumer/

Agoda on moving beyond accommodation

In the past, Agoda was all about hotels. That has changed. Today the company sells flights, tours as well as alternative accommodation which has become a strong pillar of the business. Thailand-based travel platform Agoda says it is focusing on finding the “best inventory” for its customers, operating with the “best tech” and fending off the intense competition in Asia armed with the “best weapons.”

https://www.phocuswire.com/Agoda-John-Broughton-Brown-interview

Meet Team eRevMax at WTM London, Stand TT211 from 4 – 6 November 2019 – contact marketing@erevmax.com to set up a meeting.

Thanks and have a good day!

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!