OTAs remain the top research source for US vacation package buyers, says Expedia
Online travel agencies continue to be American consumers’ favorite source of information prior to booking vacation packages, despite all the buzz about review sites such as TripAdvisor and metasearch sites such as Kayak.
Revenue management today is beginning to deliver strategic benefits across the business. With a bigger and broader mandate, RM specialists have an important role to play in communicating with other departments to make the most of emerging opportunities.
Revenue managers adapt distribution strategies
While new distribution channels are emerging seemingly every day, more accurate forecasting and improved technical automation are helping hotel revenue managers stay sane. Few hotels, unless they’re large full-service properties with a significant amount of meeting space, have a dedicated manager assigned to only that property, sources said. Many hotels share a revenue manager with a small group of properties and, in most cases, a general manager also acts as the revenue manager.
The Traveller’s Path to purchase
When it comes to leisure travel shopping, consumers spend a significant amount of time online researching options. Up to 45 days leading up to a booking, a consumer will conduct as many as 38 visits to travel sites. Knowing how and when to influence their decision-making process is crucial to generating mindshare and ultimately driving bookings. In this report by Expedia Media Solutions, get a snapshot of how the overall purchase path looks like from initial exploration through the booking stage.
Leonardo Hotels extends contract with RateTiger for future-proof eDistribution and company expansion
Leonardo Hotels is extending its contract with RateTiger by eRevMax to support the development of the company’s sales and distribution processes. This follows Leonardo Hotels‘ acquisition of 20 properties from the QMH Hotel Germany Group, in one of the biggest deals the European hotel industry has seen in recent years.
Are hoteliers keeping pace with the changing online booking space?
With a handful of powerful OTAs dominating the market, hoteliers are identifying ways to sidestep the high-commission they command. OTAs can be useful to engage a new guest, but many hoteliers are now aiming to drive repeat bookings to their own direct booking engines.
Ryan Haynes discusses Channel Management and OTAs on Hotel-Industry.co.uk – http://www.hotel-industry.co.uk/2012/12/erevmax-ratetiger-on-channel-management-and-otas/
While many are trying to sell direct, it beggars the question – how much inventory is allocated to the direct channel and how much to third party, when in fact all channels should have access to the same availability. In many cases there can be as much as 24% profit difference selling direct than across OTAs.
Interestingly, hotels struggled to manage their budgets effectively as some of the revenue management or OTA costs derived from the Marketing budget and others from the Reservations. Why should the direct selling channel come from Marketing, while OTAs are paid by Reservations? Marketing will always achieve a higher profit margin and is therefore unrepresentative of the financials of e-sales.
Many consumers have a hard time booking across hotel websites, unfortunately the journey can be clunky without a clear and easy-to-use booking engines. Hotels need to invest in booking engine applications they can easily install in their website that is similar to the OTAs, this will optimize the booking journey for conversions and mobile bookings.
It was also noted the value of Voice bookings, training the reservations, call center and front of house team to offer packages based on internet rates, and upgrade if necessary to avoid losing the booking to a third party website, which will cost them dearly in commission fees.
Northern Ireland has experienced a very strong year, with most guests being domestic tourism. The national tourism office will be launching a new website at the end of the year that will incorporate direct booking initiatives from the main OTA providers, giving hotels in the region an additional option for exposure and visibility.