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!

Hotel Beacon NYC recommends RateTiger as the most effective channel manager

 Hotel Beacon, a landmark in New York City has highly recommended RateTiger for managing online channel connectivity. 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.

Located in  Upper Westside, right next to Beacon Theater, the hotel with 284 rooms, caters to tourists and business travelers. Given the intense dynamic nature of New York’s hotel market, it has become imperative for the hotel to maintain rate parity and online availability across all major sales channels and metasearch sites. The revenue management team is leveraging RTConnect to update rates and inventory in real-time and receive reservations directly into the PMS thereby giving a clear picture of actual availability at all times. They are also using the advanced analytics available on the LiveOS dashboard to fine-tune their pricing strategy, monitor their booking pace and performance in real-time.

“We highly recommend RateTiger by eRevMax to anyone looking for an effective, online channel manager. We are very pleased with the personalized support and excellent response time, due to which they seem like an extension of our own team,” stated Milja Perkovic, Director of Revenue Management, Hotel Beacon NYC.

“As a technology partner, we are committed to empowering our customers for all their connectivity needs. Being trusted by a prestigious property like Hotel Beacon NYC for streamlining their online distribution shows how well we deliver when it comes to best-in-class technology and premium customer service,” said Alex Moura, Regional Sales Director for North America at eRevMax.

eRevMax announces 2-way integration with Nitesoft

Award-winning hotel connectivity expert eRevMax has completed 2-way integration with Swedish cloud-based PMS Nitesoft. The strategic partnership between the two companies will automate the distribution of availability, rates and reservations for hotel clients.


Nitesoft is a leading cloud-based hotel management platform in Scandinavia that incorporates a wide range of features for hotels, chains and serviced apartments, independent of size or operation type.  Following the integration, hotels using RateTiger channel manager and connectivity solutions can now receive all OTA generated reservations directly into their PMS, thereby eliminating manual handling of reservation notifications.

“The connectivity between RateTiger and Nitesoft PMS has proven to be highly reliable and easy-to-use. It means more sales and higher margins for our hotel customers. They can now exploit the full potential of a vast selection of OTAs, GDSs, Metasearch and Wholesalers available via the eRevMax Channel Ecosystem to expand visibility and revenue potential,” said Jan Linders, CEO, Nitesoft.

“Scandinavia is one of our key growth regions, and this interface with Nitesoft PMS will be beneficial for our mutual hotel customers. The secure XML connection ensures live rate and inventory as well as booking data flow, thereby keeping their Nitesoft PMS updated automatically, allowing the hotel manager to focus on other key aspects like guest engagement,” said Ashis Saha, SVP – Project Management, eRevMax. 

 

Hotel Okura recommends RateTiger as the best Channel Manager

One of the most luxurious 5-star properties in Macau, Hotel Okura has endorsed RateTiger Channel Manager as the best-in-class online distribution solution. The hotel has been using the award-winning solution from eRevMax since 2011, for management of rates and availability across all connected online sales channels with great results.

Located next to Galaxy Macau, Okura Macau is a top-rated five-star accommodation with 488 rooms spreading over 25 floors.  A popular choice for luxury travellers from China and South Asia, the hotel has been leveraging RateTiger’s two-way XML connectivity with all leading regional and global channels thereby helping them expand their online reach – in sync with the hotel’s motto of “World Class, Asian Heart”.

“RateTiger provides us with all the major channels including regional channels and wholesalers to efficiently distribute rates and inventory, which has resulted in improved occupancy and revenue.  The ‘real-time update’ of rates and availability happens in the true sense helping us stay ahead in an extremely competitive market like Macau,” said Phillip Lou, E Business Manager, Hotel Okura Macau.

“It’s a powerful tool for the ease of connectivity and making quick updates across all channels seamlessly. The detailed demand information ensures our selling strategies work more effectively. On top of that, the excellent support and training gives us the opportunity to comfortably use new product features and make the most of their innovative offerings. We consider RateTiger a reliable partner for all our connectivity needs,” concluded Phillip.

Since partnering with eRevMax, the property has improved their online exposure considerably by expanding their distribution mix.

eRevMax expands meta-search distribution platform with MyHotelShop


Hotel distribution expert eRevMaxhas established 2-way connectivity with leading meta-search management solutions provider MyHotelShop. Mutual hotel customers can now update rate and availability to TripAdvisor, Trivago and Kayak to get more direct booking traffic through RateTiger and LIVE OS interface. 
MyHotelShopis a leading meta-search bid management solution provider in Europe currently serving around 1400 properties. This integration is another addition to eRevMax’s expanding partner ecosystem which provides hotels 360-degree solutions for distribution and revenue management. eRevMax provides seamless connectivity to all categories of third party booking sites (OTAs, Wholesalers, GDS, Tour Operators, Social Media, Metasearch sites) from a single platform. 
“Meta-search engines have become an important marketing channel for hotels. Following this integration, hotel customers can leverage the real-time rate and availability distribution across multiple meta-search sites. Due to the complexities of Bid Management process, a managed service for meta-search channels makes it easier for hotels from a digital marketing perspective based upon a monthly advertising budget,” said Ullrich Kastner, Managing Director & Founder, MyHotelShop. 
“This integration give our hotel clients a bid management solution for better positioning in meta-search channels and drive potential guests to brand website for more direct bookings. It is a highly effective tool that will allow our customers to reach out to a much larger audience and offer an extended scope for improving direct bookings through an eco-system of meta-search sites,” said Ashis Saha, SVP – Project Management, eRevMax.

5 Online Distribution hacks for hotels to get more business

Many hotels today are not happy with their sales as they are facing a lot of competition and are struggling to manage a variety of online channels and technology solutions. In this article, I will talk about some tips to overcome these inconveniences and increase profits for your property.

The fundamental thing is to connect to the right channels based on the markets that book your hotel, and of course apply revenue management strategies to offer the right prices to the right customer segment.


In a highly fluctuating market, online visibility has become essential, and having a booking engine on the hotel brand website is a key to drive direct business.

This needs to be complemented with a Channel Manager so that you can manage all your connected sales channels easily and efficiently. Further, to know what rates you should charge for different room types for different time periods, you need to know your competitors rates as a benchmark. Hence having a rate shopping tool has become a must to get real-time rate reports.

To ensure you have a clear picture of your availability and occupancy status, it is important to have everything linked to your property management system to make updates and reporting seamless.

Here are some distribution hacks you can implement to get more online bookings –


Tip #1: Research and select some high-performing OTAs and travel sites to promote your property. The commission you pay will be partially offset by additional business on your website. 
Suggestion – Google Local Business: it’s free. Studies have shown that clients look for hotels in different OTAs but also decide to investigate the hotel’s own page. In this case, the booking engine is of fundamental importance. Having a brand website with all the information is key. Fortunately, Google AdWords allows your hotel to be localized with keywords. And do not forget the location and Google maps since the apps on the smartphones are the order of the day. In case you are looking for a booking engine or connecting with Google, let us know and we can help.


Tip #2: Do not forget to watch your competitors. It is important to have a defined set of competitors, not just who you presume is your competitor by star category, but also keep in mind factors like proximity to your location. An interesting strategy is to create a rate equal to or slightly lower than the competitor and another with a slightly higher value – this way you can attract guests looking for economic options while at the same time target the next segment. Get real-time competitor rate reports through RateTiger Shopper.

Tip #3: With online travel booking growing every year, it is important to have correct rates and inventory displayed on the online channels – it can become very difficult to handle if done manually leading to costly mistakes due to errors in rate updates. Hence is it important to have the channel manager to ensure updates are smooth. Further, 2-way connectivity provides reservation delivery flow into the PMS thereby providing correct inventory status at all time. RateTiger channel manager offers the maximum number of channel connections with maximum uptime ensuring all your updates are immediate, thus helping maximize online revenue.

Tip #4: Know and penetrate the market that books your property – find out the key source markets for your city and region. Create special promotions and offers to target these source markets to attract guests to your property. These promotions can be based on different parameters – long stay, lead time, early booking, etc.  In this way, you can apply the correct promotion for each destination. You can leverage Demand Central on LIVE OS to get all this valuable information and create specific campaigns accordingly.


Tip #5: Be visible on TripAdvisor and other travel review sites – encourage your guests to leave comments and reviews to gain more visibility. Sign up for metasearch engines and drive direct traffic to your hotel website. Beyond the searches for room rates, the opinion of guests who have stayed at your hotel hugely influences booking decisions of prospective guests. Track your reviews on multiple sites to know your strengths and also areas for improvement as it presents a unique opportunity to improve and grow. Use platforms like LIVE OSthat aggregate these reviews in a single platform for you to track, monitor and respond to guests.

There is no easy way to success – it is important to understand your guests and their preferences. Being available at relevant touch points will help improve your hotel’s visibility and booking conversion. It is important to encourage change, and seek strategic partners to do so, and remember the right partner will not be a cost center, infact they can be a valuable investment.

Offering a unique product or creating a differentiated service is not impossible, using value additions and experiential marketing techniques to rise above your competition can show improved results.

Julian Lindt is the Connectivity Advisor for LATAM at eRevMax. He can be reached on julianl@erevmax.com for any queries with regards this article.

Hotelaria Brasil recommends RateTiger ahead of WTM Latin America 2017

Hotel connectivity expert eRevMax has consistently been recommended by its hotel clients globally. Hotelaria Brasil has been using RateTigersolutions across all its 14 properties for the past few years. The team has immensely benefited in their overall implementation of pricing and revenue strategies. 

Raffaela Gambarini, Revenue Management Coordinator at Hotelaria Brasil said “RateTiger comes to meet our Revenue Management strategy facilitating the daily tasks of a hotel Ecommerce department. We are very satisfied with all the features of RateTiger platform that allow us to save time and increase revenue results.” 
Alex Moura, Regional Sales Director at eRevMax commented, “We believe in long term partnership with our clients and treat them as business advisors. Over time, we have developed various new features within our Shopper and Channel Manager products providing more options and a wider network. We are glad to see how Hotelaria Brasil has leveraged RateTiger in achieving their revenue goals through effective pricing decisions.”
“We are excited to be presenting LIVE OS at WTM Latin America in Sao Paulo next week. LIVE OS is the first hospitality operating system that offers hoteliers with relevant business intelligence components along with access to various service providers from a single sign-on platform. We will be showcasing this fantastic platform to hoteliers and partners during the event,” concluded Alex. 
eRevMax is known for its stable solutions with 99% product uptime. The company has invested in building a robust infrastructure to provide hoteliers with uninterrupted service offering 2-way XML connectivity with over 300 online channels and provides 24×7 customer support. It is the connectivity partner of choice for large hotel groups, mid-scale chains as well as small properties in both luxury and budget segment worldwide. 
Alex Moura and Julian Lindt from eRevMax will be present at WTM Latin America in Sao Paulo from 4 – 6 April 2017. Book a meeting with them today on marketing@erevmax.com

Are you visiting Tianguis Turistico in Mexico? Meet us there

Mexico, with over 32 million international tourist arrivals, is the 9th most visited country in the world, and growing at over 9% per year. 

Tianguis Turistico – one of the biggest travel and tourism shows in Central America takes place annually in Mexico. The 42nd edition of the show is scheduled from March 27th to 30th at Expo Mundo Imperial in Acapulco, Guerrero. The event is expected to draw nearly 1,000 companies from 80 different countries.

I am very excited to attend the show like every year as it gives me an opportunity to meet with peers and partners. The show is meant for serious buyers and sellers who are looking to conduct business. It provides a perfect platform for technology company like ours to showcase our innovative solutions to a wide audience. 

We already have some key meetings lined up for the show and we are excited to present LIVE OS to potential partners. We also have a range of attractive bundle offers for hotels. 

eRevMax is widely known for its channel manager and rate shopping brand RateTiger. The company offers stable products with over 99% uptime. While other companies struggle to offer continuous connectivity, eRevMax has invested in building a robust infrastructure to provide hoteliers with uninterrupted service over the last 15 years. 

To book a meeting at Tianguis Turistico, contact marketing@erevmax.com today.


Julian Lindt is the Regional Sales Director for Latin America at eRevMax and will represent eRevMax at Tianguis Turistico.

Scandinavian hotel group Your Hotels Worldwide endorses eRevMax as the Preferred Channel Manager Partner

Your Hotels™ Worldwide, a leading hotel chain of independently-managed properties in Scandinavia, has strengthened relationship with eRevMax by implementing its 2-way XML connectivity solution for seamless data transfer between its property management system and online sales channels.  All 65 properties under the group are using RateTiger Channel Manager to update rates and availabilities across their distribution mix in real-time. RateTiger is a fully integrated e-distribution platform with 2-way XML channel connectivity, market intelligence and revenue management capabilities.
Your Hotel™ Worldwide is an established hotel chain consisting of around 65 privately owned hotels across Sweden, Norway, UK, Germany and Austria. Head Quartered in Stockholm, the group offers 2500 rooms across the portfolio. All hotels under the group are getting benefits of real-time rates and inventory update and receive reservations directly into their PMSs ensuring online sales optimization and eliminating chance of overbookings.  They can monitor booking trends across all channels on a single reporting dashboard to react instantly with a more effective distribution strategy.


“We have been using RateTiger solutions since 2010, and know from experience that they have a great product portfolio in a stable technology platform. By upgrading to 2-way XML connection, our member hotels would be able to use their PMS to process updates, which will streamline their distribution, save time and improve revenue opportunities. Their transition from a traditional channel manager to web based business intelligence and connectivity solution provider has helped our hotels greatly. For us eRevMax is the ideal technology partner which meets demands of our hotels,” said Percy Henriksson, Managing Director, Your Hotel™ Worldwide.


Our long-term relation with Your Hotel™ Worldwide reinforces the value eRevMax’s innovative technologies and services bring to the hotel industry to improve distribution processes. eRevMax solutions help the revenue management team of these properties to increase online revenue by ensuring real-time room availability across all distribution points through automatic adjustment from a pooled inventory,” said Cristina Blaj, Sales Director – Europe at eRevMax.

eRevMax’s flexible, multi-platform solution to manage online sales and exposure, has  been used by over 20,000 hotels globally. eRevMax’s Channel Ecosystem (CES) offers two-way XML connections with leading global and regional sales channels for seamless connectivity.

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

In the first part of my article (see here) I’ve focused on Booking.com’s new rate parity agreement and how hotels now have regained control over their pricing. Here is the next part of the article.

Loosening rate parity with a caveat
The commitment comes with a caveat: the hotels had to maintain same rates and booking conditions on Booking.com as they do through their own direct website. Term this as a narrow ‘Most Favored Nation’ agreement, the OTAs require a minimum allocation, or some availability, from hotels. Predictably, hotels are not happy.


They fear that the big OTAs, with their marketing budget would be able to manipulate the search results, which they claim would continue to affect their business adversely. In a strongly worded statement, the British Bed and Breakfast Association calls Booking.com a “bully” and says, “that this new settlement, thrashed out behind closed doors in Europe, is wrong and anti competitive, and against the interests of consumers.” The powerful British Hospitality Association has shown similar disappointment, and terms the commitment as falling short of progress and not benefit customers or hospitality businesses in a meaningful way.

Paris based Accor, Europe’s biggest hotel chain has taken a cautious approach and expressed satisfaction. However, InterContinental Hotel is not impressed. In a market, where close to 70% reservations come through OTA with Booking.com alone contributing over 43%, no one can afford to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
For now, they have the option of promoting discounted rates to their closed groups for more direct bookings. But then again, Booking.com with its excellent loyalty program, which accounts for close to 50% of their overall reservation will give then a tough run. In fact, industry watchers believe that the next war will be fought over loyalty programs between the OTAs and major hotel brands. Elimination of rate parity might trigger ‘price cannibalism’ between OTAs and brand sites that could (at least potentially) lead to a worse-case scenario for the industry as a whole.
Make the most of the opportunity
As travellers spend more time on research, hotels need to be present at every touch point to their target audience. This is why, hotels need to evaluate each channels for the opportunities they present, and create tailor-made pricing strategies – all while staying within rate parity constraints – for optimizing rate and revenue.
To start with, hotels need to look at analyzing margins from each channel and allocate rate and inventories with margin as base-line. Select channels that bring key value to their properties – ones that support not just when the circus is in town but on a rainy day. With access to reservation reports to identify the customer demographics, hotel can develop intuitive packages to help customers actually find what they are looking for. The basic of every pricing strategy is to know the value of the product and the elasticity up to which consumers would be ready to pay.


Which leads to the importance of evaluating different distribution platforms. Without a foundation of platform based pricing it will be extremely difficult to manage pricing to the players sitting on the various levels of distribution, such as  traditional OTAs, Same-day booking sites, GDS, Tour Operators, Own Website, social media, mobile applications, fenced groups, loyalty programs, specific credit cards, and so on. By introducing a platform based pricing methodology, hotels can optimize their rate matrix while staying within their contractual obligations.

Mature distribution markets are moving from daily rate changes to real-time changes from a revenue management perspective which has a positive impact on profit optimization.  Remember, price is only one of the four P´s of marketing. Give equal importance to other 3, namely product, place and promotion. Parity is not so evil after all, only misunderstood.



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