The Week, That Was – June 2018 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!!

Hotel Beacon NYC recommends RateTiger as the most effective Channel Manager
The upscale hotel has been using RTConnect for 2-way XML connectivity between its property management system and online sales channels for the last three years to effectively manage all its demand partners seamlessly.

https://goo.gl/tJt9yX

How TripAdvisor ranks hotels
Online guest reviews have become worth their weight in gold to hotels. Today, a huge 95% of people read a travel review before they book a trip, which means building a strong online reputation plays a fundamental part in attracting guests and driving bookings.

http://www.traveltripper.com/blog/how-does-tripadvisor-rank-hotels/

Securing last-minute bookings during peak season
Peak season in travel presents its own unique challenges. The article explores why deep discounting may not always be the winning recipe to secure late bookings and how thinking outside the box is necessary to maximise revenue. Every hotelier and property has to deal with peaks and troughs in demand, but if rooms need to be filled at the last-minute, being able to think beyond dropping prices and taking a more strategic approach could give you that crucial competitive edge.

https://click.booking.com/features/2018/06/04/securing-last-minute-bookings-peak-season/

Are hoteliers too skeptical of artificial intelligence?
AI disruption has already begun in the business world, and the hospitality industry should pay close attention. Hotel companies must already be strategizing about how they can take advantage of this inevitable new wave of automation and guest-experience evolution.

https://www.phocuswire.com/Hoteliers-skeptical-of-AI

How and why you have to deal with the watershed that is GDPR
The GDPR is a watershed event that will impact every business that collects personal information, wherever located, and no industry will be more impacted that the hospitality industry. Other companies can choose not to do business with EU citizens; some companies have determined that it is impossible to comply and have actually closed. That is not an option for hotels. Hotel companies need to understand the goals and requirements of the GDPR. The nature of hotels and the various data holding sources such as OTA bookings and PMS systems escalate the regulation for travel and hospitality industries.

https://ehotelier.com/global/2018/06/08/deal-watershed-gdpr/

In land of the giants, smaller OTAs find ways to grab customers
According to Phocuswright’s U.S. Online Travel Overview 17th Edition Report published in February, OTAs’ market share rose to 19% in 2017 from 17% in 2015. Booking Holdings brands Priceline and Booking.com accounted for 23% of the U.S. OTA market share last year, while Expedia brands (excluding Egencia and HomeAway) accounted for 69%.

http://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News/Travel-Technology/Smaller-OTAs-find-ways-to-grab-customers

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

Thanks and have a good day!

eRevMax lists out Top 5 Channels in 5 Key European Markets


Hotel connectivity leader eRevMax has released an infographic on online channel penetration and performance in 5 key markets in Europe. Based on reservations processed by the company over the past one year, the infographic lists out top 5 online distribution channels in UK, France, Germany, Spain and Russia.
Data from eRevMax clearly shows the dominance of Booking.com in all key markets, including Russia. When it comes to technology adaption, UK leads with over 93% hoteliers having a property management system. Mobile has emerged as one of the fastest growing channels with as many as 29% of online travel bookings in Spain coming from it.
To see the full infographic, please click herehttps://goo.gl/lVazNQ

Are you making the most of the Opportunities available?

Opportunities are meant to be taken!

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Booking.com fires away strict rate parity: What it means for hoteliers

Just when we have been thinking that the rate parity issue have been sorted out, comes the news of Booking.com amending their parity agreement in Europe. In an announcement last week, the OTA giant has said that they are abandoning its price, availability and booking parity provisions with respect to other online travel agencies. Putting it simply, this means, as an hotelier, you can now sell the same room in another OTA at a lower price. As Booking.com CEO says: “We welcome and encourage fair competition in the marketplace because competition drives innovation, efficiencies, and most importantly, greater value for consumers.”



For independent hoteliers, and smaller OTAs, this development can be ‘THE BEST THING’ that has happened to them for a long time. And they are thanking regulatory bodies in Sweden, France and Italy, who have forced Europe’s biggest online channel to bend its rule. Investigation on Booking.com’s alleged ‘anti-competitive clauses’ are going on in Germany, Austria and UK. So does that mean that the rosy days are in the corner for the hotel industry?
A quick recap of rate parity controversy
For long smaller OTAs have been alleging against unfair arm-twisting by big OTAs to maintain rate parity. Based on claims made by Skoosh, a pan-European hotel booking site, UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has investigated allegations that hotels are colluding with Booking.com to keep room rates at an artificially high level. Following a three-year investigation by the OFT in 2013 ruled that InterContinental Hotels Group, Expedia and Priceline Group could no longer enforce rate parity agreements for certain types of bookings.
Since then, hoteliers in the U.K. have been able to offer discounts to “closed groups,” such as members of their loyalty program. And third-party distributors will be allowed to reduce their commissions and margins in order to discount hotel rooms to certain “closed groups,” such as website members or travellers who download their mobile app.
Europe now, world awaits
The latest move by Booking.com is somewhat similar to their stand in UK after the OFT verdict, but has broader scopes. Effective from July 1, the amendment will allow an accommodation provider the freedom for properties to offer different pricing and booking policies (e.g. free cancellation, WIFI, breakfast) through different online travel agencies. For independent and smaller hotels, who cannot afford to stay away from the mighty channel, but are burdened with  paying high commission (up to 20% in some cases), price parity has always been a bone of contention.

With the recent changes, does it mean hotels now have regained control over their pricing?

In my next edition I’ll talk about how hoteliers can utilize maximum opportunity from the rate parity amendment by Booking.com

Cristina Blaj is Sales Director at eRevMax.  She can be reached at cristinab@erevmax.com

Newshound: Trends and Reports – Hotel Online Distribution


GHOTEL hotel & living selects RateTiger for smart online room distribution

German hospitality group GHOTEL hotel & living has selected RateTiger’s industry leading Channel Manager to maximise its distribution reach for its unique accommodation offerings by updating distribution channels efficiently in real-time.
http://www.eglobaltravelmedia.com.au/z-more/technology-more/ghotel-hotel-living-selects-ratetiger-for-smart-online-room-distribution.html

The Future of Hotel Marketing: Social Media Synopsis
Hotel chains that are open to 24/7 online social communications with their fan base can sense the power of a free flowing exchange of ideas, and capitalize on a low-cost marketing channel solution. Communication with customer base via social media channels is now expected as standard, whether these platforms are utilized to shape brand image, facilitate user-generated content or compliment a targeted pay-per-click campaign, social media is vital to the success of a hotel property.
http://hotelexecutive.com/business_review/3441/the-future-of-hotel-marketing-social-media-synopsis

Data transformation key for revenue managers

As more data becomes available, revenue managers must be able to filter and make sense of only the best information in order to achieve their goals, sources said during a Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) webinar. “Some people may say that we’re drowning in data, but I think it’s more accurate to say that we’re drowning in information,” said Kevin Coleman, partner and COO at Intelligent Hospitality, a hotel business intelligence company that provides reporting and analytics for hotel sales, marketing and revenue management.
http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles.aspx/10263/Data-transformation-key-for-revenue-managers

A Call to Arms: How to Shift Market Share from the OTAs to the Hotel Website

 
This year, the hospitality industry is in for a lot of pain. OTA dependency continues to plague the hospitality industry, despite gains in the past three years and positive trends in all three industry indicators. This isn’t new. What’s new is the pain to the bottom line inflicted by the fat commission checks hoteliers are now paying Expedia and other OTAs, due to the widespread adoption of Expedia”s and Booking.com”s agency model in the U.S.
http://www.hospitalitynet.org/column/global/154000392/4060290.html  

RateTiger @ Ecole


The Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne is an extraordinary place, being the second time to visit this is a world of its own. Students are taught all areas of hospitality service, operations and management. As you step on campus the students are warm and welcoming and immediately make you feel at home – it’s part of the service.

My second visit was an invitation from Professor Horatiu Tudori, who we are working with on a market research project to better understand the challenges hoteliers are facing on local and global levels, to deliver a presentation to his students. Along with Casey Davy, VP EMEA we addressed an eager audience of over 150 students – I suddenly felt I had been catapulted back to my University days as I stared headlong into an audience towering above me in the auditorium.



Here we delivered the Evolution of Channel Managementthe history of sales and the future challenges we have ahead of us. In particular exploring those that this generation of revenue managers will face when they enter the full-time workplace. We had a discussion on Booking.com, social media and voucher websites – it was abundantly clear these students were well read.

I certainly feel our partnership is growing and I look forward to this year ahead with Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and the launch of our Research Paper.

Thank you Professor Horatiu Tudori.

Ryan Haynes is the VP – Marketing Communications at eRevMax and is responsible for driving all PR and Marketing activities of RateTiger and eRevMax brands globally. Ryan is based out of London and can be reached at ryanh@ratetiger.com