This year’s edition of Supranational Hotels Conference took place at County Hall Park Plaza, London last week. The event meant exclusively for Supranational members offers them the opportunity to network with peers and leading industry figures, participate in seminars on key industry topics and conduct one-to-one meetings with invited consortia and corporate clients.
Chaired by its Managing Director, Cho Wong, the conference witnessed interesting discussions on various topics including Total Revenue Management, Outlook on Corporate Travel, Reputation Management and Corporate RFP.
Michael McCartan, CEO, eRevMax, one of the speakers at the conference, took the opportunity to announce RateTiger’s selection as the preferred supplier and Channel Manager of Choice by Supranational Hotels.
He presented on The Distribution Landscape in 2013 – outlining the impact online travel has on total hotel bookings. Today, one in six travelers prefer to book online. They visit between 17 – 20 websites and check reviews before finalizing accommodation. Hotels need to ensure they are visible at every important touch point to get customer’s attention. However given the wide variety of channels it is difficult for them to identify the best demand generators from among the ever expanding channel universe.
Further, more channels mean more updates. The only way out is leveraging technology to automate distribution and avoid getting tangled in the channel-web. By utilizing a smart channel manager, hotels can collect and access the multitude of data in their systems to analyze rates, market pricing trends, competitor selling activities, historical and trend information to achieve the best possible room rates from the most desired guests.
Michael shared suggestions and examples on how to drive direct online bookings and how hotels can optimize product value through innovative room packages, new promotions and better positioning across different online distribution channels. The idea was to help hotels deal with the distribution challenge efficiently!
The conference was followed by interactive sessions where I got a chance to speak to member hotels about managing distribution and optimizing revenue strategy through RateTiger solutions.
Cristina Blaj is Sales Manager – UK, Ireland and Scandinavia at eRevMax and has gained extensive experience in the hospitality industry. She is based out of London and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
eRevMax Restructures Customer Service To Deliver Product Consultancy
eRevMax International has restructured its customer service to deliver 24/7 technical support and full service product consultancy for revenue managers. Customers of the RateTiger Suite portfolio and RTConnect will benefit from immediate attention on all technical issues relating to product performance and channel connectivity with a ‘Follow the Sun’ approach adopted by the hotel technology specialist.
Individuality is key for proper channel mix
An overall strategy for managing a hotel’s distribution channel mix should include individual plans for each of the channels, according to several industry experts on the topic. Experts said that while revenue management and channel management practices have become more technical over the years, neither of them should be considered rocket science.
Victory for value: good deals drive bookings for corporate travel
Corporates are getting savvier about the way they choose and procure accommodation, and a key influencer today is value for money. Firms are trying to extract more for their hotel stays by cashing in on value-added incentives. Recent data released by hotel distribution technology provider Hotelzon has highlighted the growing popularity of five-star hotels with business travelers.
Distribution challenge: how OTAs are making appropriate use of online technology
To ensure the best possible yield for hotel partners, online travel agencies (OTAs) must ensure that they are compatible with most of the key channel management solutions. At the same time they must aim to increase accommodation choices for travellers. The ultimate aim of the OTA is to expand their global coverage to offer a range of properties from ordinary global chains to elite hotel groups and unique, independent hotels around the world.
Infographic:Turning social media reaction into booking action for travel brands
We know the basics – social media allows travel companies to engage with existing and potential customers and can act as an unofficial watchdog of products. But with 61% of travellers apparently referring to some kind of user review and almost a third posting reviews of placed they’ve visited, for example, what can companies do to increase booking conversions as a result of activity on social networks.
Online travelers in Europe visit fewer websites
When it comes to online travel shopping, European consumers are keeping it simple. According to PhoCusWright’s European Consumer Travel Report Third Edition, a Global and European Edition report, online travel shoppers in France, Germany and the U.K. trimmed down the number of websites they visited when shopping for travel in 2012. The percentage of online travel shoppers who used only 1-2 websites to shop for travel products increased within the past year – to 41% in France, 30% in Germany and 37% in the U.K. http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/online_travelers_in_europe_visit_fewer_websites
These markets have experienced significant growth in tourism and corporate travel over the past decade as the media looks in detail and the countries develop their economies. There is substantial online sales growth for Asia and it is essential hotels act now to build exposure across the internet sales market, especially for Chinese, European and North American traveler markets. Hotels in the region are beginning to experience greater competition that will only grow as the Asia market matures. Therefore channel management tools to handle multiple sales channels will be essential.
The event attracts more than 650 exhibitors from 55 countries and regions and offers a great platform to buyers and sellers to meet under the same roof in a professional setting. The Travel Expo covers both leisure and MICE/Corporate travel, and highlights trendy themes such as Cruise, Wellness & Medical Tourism, and Honeymooning etc. Apart from the exhibition, the event also features seminars and panel discussions targeting different sections where various travel related companies are invited to present.
I am eagerly looking forward to the 14 -15 June when I will be in Hong Kong for this event. I personally feel that ITE truly justifies its slogan ‘We bring World Travel to Asia and Asians to the World’.
Post event updates to follow in June.
Michael Atienza is Sales Manager for APAC at eRevMax and is responsible for sale of RateTiger products in the region. He can be reached at Michaela@ratetiger.com
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – the voice of the global business travel industry had a record breaking 2011 GBTA Convention in Denver, Colorado last month. Over 6,000 people attended the event, amongst which were 1,200 travel buyers, making this one of the largest GBTA Conventions in its history.
The RateTiger stand at the convention experienced a good show with a large number of pre-confirmed visits gaining a lot of interest among travel buyers. The main topics of discussion revolved around identifying how real-time hotel rate benchmarking can best benefit the corporate travel market and the individual corporate travel manager.
Travel managers mostly use historical rate data for price-comparison; but they know that real-time benchmarking will take the industry to a new level, which led to their added interest in RTCorp. This product fulfills two main areas of demand for the corporate travel managers – (a) To show supervisors how their negotiated hotel rate compares against publicly available rates on the internet to support their negotiations; (b) To provide corporate travel managers with email alerts that identify future instances where the publicly available rates may be cheaper than their negotiated rates and therefore provide them with the opportunity to renegotiate with those hotels in advance of their travelers booking their travel. In addition corporate travel managers are looking for a tool that audits their negotiated rates and availability across their chosen GDS.
Another point of interest for us was RateTiger’s nomination for the GBTA Travel Innovation Award 2011 under the Travel Management category. This was very encouraging for us given that RTCorp was launched to the corporate travel segment only recently. We look forward to coming back to the GBTA convention next year for many more productive discussions and yet another meaningful show.
Mark Neter is the Sales Manager for RTCorp. He is based out of Orlando, Florida and can be reached at email@example.com
The latest STR Global statistics for the six months to June 2011 reveal that Sydney remains flat, Perth is the hot market and Cairns is in trouble as a strong Australian Dollar continues to significantly affect the hotel industry.
RTCorp helps monitor hotel rates in the public market in both real-time and via scheduled reports. The technology sends automated alerts that filters hotel-pricing data into exception information and delivers it to the appropriate manager to action.
This helps corporate buyers, travel websites and hotel companies monitor violations or discrepancies in room rates while providing intelligent rate shopping data to better understand the market.