Hotel Guest Expectations in the time of COVID-19

For a traveler, a hotel room is like a home away from home. The one main exception however is that hundreds of strangers would have used that hotel room in the past. Hence maintaining cleanliness is very important in the hospitality industry, but with the spread of COVID-19, in which it is said that the virus can live on surfaces for a few hours to days, proper sanitization of guest rooms has become paramount.

In today’s times, it is important that hotels align with changes in guest expectations and take appropriate measures to make the guests feel safe and comfortable. eRevMax shares some tips that hotels can implement now to be future ready for when travel rebounds and guests start to pour-in.

To connect to new source markets or other tips and tricks on improving your hotel revenue flow,  reach out to us on marketing@erevmax.com.

Fighting Coronavirus: 5 short-term revenue generation tips for hotels

As the situation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve, it’s time to join forces and participate in virtual discussions to learn new revenue sources for your hotel business.

5 short-term revenue generation tips –

Self- isolation packages – Offer rooms for self-isolation stays in well sanitized rooms.

Quarantine facility – Contact your local government health bodies to offer lodging and fooding to affected people in a 14-day quarantine package rate.

WorkFromHotel space – Create a weekly package offering stay, all meals and hi-speed internet and promote to professionals who want to stay comfortably without worrying about daily chores.

Extended Stay – Focus on offering extended stay packages at affordable rates with well sanitized rooms, meals and wi-fi included, to expats that might be staying in costly rented places and looking for alternative stay options.

Brand visibility – Maintain your presence through social media and have regular contact with loyalty guests – as soon as people are ready to book, they will remember and reach out to you.

We are here for you! Together we are stronger.

Contact us on marketing@erevmax.com to set up a discussion with one of our revenue management and connectivity advisers.

Top Tips to Choose the Best Hotel Channel Manager Software

In today’s multi-channel distribution landscape, the Hotel Channel Manager Software has been one of the most crucial solutions hoteliers have at their disposal. A Channel Manager typically update the rates and availabilities across connected channels at one go. The advanced ones having XML integration with OTAs also deliver reservations made on the sites and syncs inventory thereby minimizing chances of accidental overbookings. Find out what  to look for when selecting your next channel manager.

Top Tips to Choose the Best Hotel Channel Manager Software

Third Party Integration

Unless you plan to overhaul your entire technology solutions including your Property Management System (PMS), Revenue Management System (RMS) or Central Reservation System (CRS), check whether the Channel Manager you are planning to invest on has an integration with your hotel systems. A 2-way XML interface between your PMS and Channel Manager would ensure capturing and delivering reservations generated at OTAs to the property management system in real-time, thereby eliminating manual handling of reservation notifications. Similarly, if the Channel Manager is integrated with your RMS, then the rate recommendations suggested by the Revenue Management System could automatically extrapolate in your channel manager, making your pricing strategy error free.

Seamless Connectivity with Online Sales Channels

There are hundreds of Channel Managers available in the market. Only a few offer XML interface with OTAs. Having seamless integration with online sales channels require technology expertise. However, seamless connectivity between OTAs and your Channel Manager would facilitate real-time data transfer thereby ensuring inventories are always in sync.

For an optimal- distribution mix, you would need connectivity with a wide range of online distribution channels including global and regional OTAs, metasearch, niche channels, GDS, wholesaler and tour operators. The longer the list of channels provided by your Channel Manager, the wider could be your potential reach. Hence which checking on Channel Manager solutions, take a note of the number of off-the-shelf channels that the system if offering. Here’s a quick tip. Most advanced Channel Managers would have connectivity with hundreds of online channels. By looking at their channel eco-system, you can geta fair idea of the solution you are considering.

Automatic Pooled Inventory

Very few channel managers offer pooled inventory model which allows hotels to allocate your inventories across all your channels including Brand website at the same time. This essentially allows hotels to work with any number of channels thereby broadening their distribution network and exposure to new market.

Data and Analytics

A good Channel Manager would provide not only sales statistics, but also other important KPIs like booking pace, channel performance, price-point analysis for hotel revenue managers to stay on top of their business. Evaluate which Channel Manage provides you with insights on insights on booking volume, competitor analysis, market rate movement and other important parameters to identify top performing channels and make adjustments to their distribution strategy.

Payment and Data Security

One of the biggest challenges for the hotel industry today is to keep security in check. Since Channel Managers delivering reservations has access to credit card information, it is important to safeguard guests’ information from data theft and cyber fraud. It is recommended to opt for a PCI DSS Certified Channel Manager to ensure you customer card data is fully protected. Further, the solution also needs to be GDPR compliant for data and privacy protection,

Ease of Use

Simplicity is beautiful. Simplicity is loved. A product might have loads of features, but what’s the us eof those features if it’s too complicated to handle. From Microsoft Office to iPhone – most successful products share a common philosophy – they are incredibly easy to use.  The last thing an hotelier needs is to get confused with the complexities of a technology solution. Instead, when looking for your next Channel Manager, check how easy it would be to manage and how long would you need to spend every day to manage your online distribution.

How Can Hotel Guest Reviews Boost Sales?

How Can Hotel Guest Reviews Boost Sales

Hotel business has always relied on word of mouth publicity. The experience is improved with the help of hotel guest reviews you can use the best approach and transform the feedback of guests into a vital piece of your overall sales strategy. Here are some ways that can help you to improve your hotel sales with hotel guest reviews-

Train staff and ask for reviews from guests

You can train staff for asking for guest feedback at the time of stay. Guests will interact with hotel staff and leave their feedback. It’s important to take note of that. Often the most trivial issue raised by a guest can trigger into a major backlash.  The most direct method often happens to be the most effectual one. Your staff have to be trained to ask for guest feedback at important moments during the stay of guests, so that you have enough time for responding, fixing any problem and getting a glowing testimonial. Also train your staff at restaurants and spas to try to get separate feedback from the guests. If you allow guests staying in outside properties to try your restaurants, it’s important for you to have higher ratings and open a new revenue stream.

Ensure guest feedback goes back to hotel team

Sound communication is among the keys to the success of the hotel industry, and it begins with your hotel staff. You have to consider going through reviews in hotel staff meetings every month or week, to ensure that things are under control and customer grievances addressed may be improved.  Interestingly, guests are more likely to book a hotel which responds to negative reviews. Hence, respond to all reviews, but more importantly negative ones. It shows your sincerity in dealing with criticism.

Boost your hotel service with guest reviews

Reviews, both negative and positive, can help your staff to take decisions before time to know how they can deal with some forms of complaints and have the entire team together. Reviews may be used as a powerful source for data aggregation. In case you can track surveys and reviews and analyze the same over a period, you can identify which areas guests feel the best. You can also know where there is any area of improvement.

Make use of technologies for guest feedback and reviews

Most OTAs today allow guests to post reviews. Along with TripAdvisor, Google and social media, tracking reviews from all travel websites can sometimes be tricky. Thanks to technologies, you can not only capture feedback , but aggregate, make an analysis of overall guest sentiment and respond . There are plenty of solutions available which can do that.

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.

Contact for Hotel Room Distribution Management System

How to Boost Hotel’s Repeat Business – 6 Steps to Follow

This blog elucidates the 6 hacks that can help hotel owners to build and cement a strong guest-host relationship. Read on to find out more!

Hotel businesses can be intriguing and filled with challenges – whether in good or bad times. When there is low occupancy, you need to pamper your guests well, so that they come back again and you can get more customers. When your hotel is filled choc-a-block, you need to ensure that the requirements and requests of each guest is taken care of. Here are 6 steps to help you boost the repeat business of your hotel.

Offer airport pick-up at night to -female guests

If you have female guests coming to your hotel for the first time, you can make the journey safer for them by offering airport pick-up at night. This can be especially useful if they are not familiar with the city, and are coming in for the first time. Direct airport to hotel transfer during the night can be very useful for them.

Focus on add-ons

Additional services and extras can make a big difference. You can focus on their needs for relaxation, such as a selection of coffee and tea and various other refreshments, and also famous books and magazines. Keep devices like powerful dryers, curlers and hair straighteners, and other useful items such as nail polish remover, nail polish, makeup, exercise / meditation mat and more.

Offer luxurious items

Try to offer items of luxury that can make your guests feel as if they are given a royalty or celeb treatment. The luxurious stuffs can include duvets, sheets, bedding, night table, full-length mirror etc. along with aromatic towels, bathrobes, branded toileteries and more. These things can serve to heighten your guest experience without you spending a lot of money.

Pay attention to details

Train your staffs to take care of even the smallest details, such as dietary preferences – and having gluten-free and vegan options, knowing about food allergies of guests and more. All these can make your guests feel more relaxed.

Have a manned 24/7 front desk

Implement various security measures, including having a manned 24-hour front desk – so that guests can always connect to someone for anything they might need during their stay.

Have Women-only floors

This can make female travelers rest easy, and ensure repeat business from female customers for your hotel.

Top tech trends for driving your hotel revenue

With the constant evolution of technology and new trends coming and going, its important for hotels to keep a track of what is happening around them. Knowing the impact of new technology and how it can affect revenue is key to running any business successfully today. The same applies to the travel and hospitality sector which is one of the most dynamic industries today. Given the huge dependence on guest behavior, hoteliers need to know how to influence key decision makers and be visible at every key touch point. Here are some upcoming trends that we feel will have an impact on the industry and hoteliers should take notice and prepare well in advance.

  • Data explosion with 5G Network

The new 5G, with its superfast download speed and other benefits, is sure to have a massive impact on the expectations and behavior of mobile phone users. One can readily access virtual reality and videos and the 5G network is likely to bring a huge change in how guests research and book travel and hotel.  Users will have the opportunity to visualize themselves in their preferred room instead of only seeing the photos.

‘Mobile-first strategy’ will likely rule the trend. Google, being the early adopter like it is, may reward hotels that pro-actively focus on their mobile strategy and penalize the ones that are not at all mobile friendly. Thus, hotels need to make sure their brand website is mobile friendly and has a good page load speed. It’s important to develop mobile focused marketing strategy to capture this segment of guests that like to book things on mobile.

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  • Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) will get a big boost with 5G network. However, AR proves to be more realistic than VR to hoteliers. Why? Real environment is replaced by a virtual one by VR. To visualize this, one needs wearable technology. On the contrary, AR introduces digital components into real environment that one can easily access with smartphones.

Some hotels have already started using this technology like AR-enabled maps and brochures. It is a great opportunity for hotel industry to enhance in-stay and pre-stay experience of their guests.

  • Dominance of Videos

Conveying information through videos is more effective than words because people today prefer watching than reading, especially in mobile phones. Do you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine globally? Facebook too generates huge traffic from its videos every day. With the emergence of 5G, videos will achieve greater importance.

To future-proof business, hoteliers have to invest in entertaining, informational and relevant video advertising. According to Google, videos are likely to capture 80% of online media in the coming years.

With so many innovative technologies coming up in the market, hotels have to optimize these opportunities to reap the maximum benefit for their business.

 

Luxury UK hotel trusts RateTiger Shopper for pricing decisions

The Greenbank Hotel has been leveraging eRevMax’s price intelligence tool – RateTiger Shopper to monitor competitor rates across multiple sales channels and take informed pricing decisions to stay ahead in the market.

The Greenbank Hotel is a luxury 4-star property in Cornwall with an interesting history. Having started out as a sailor’s pub back in 1640, the property today boasts of a unique location, characterful heritage, contemporary styling and outstanding levels of service, which keep guests coming back, year after year.

The hotel has been using RateTiger Shopper over the past few years to monitor trends in room rates over selected time periods and for up to 24 months in the future. The intelligent room rate data allows the hotel to access past and current pricing data for accurate forecasting.

“We have been using RateTiger Shopper for rate benchmarking. We save a lot of time as we can take our pricing decisions by just reviewing the pricing reports we get from the tool. We can easily shop multiple parameters, review the market data, know our price position, identify rate movements and monitor our competitors – all through a few reports and alerts. It is a simple and effective tool which makes our work very easy. I can recommend RateTiger Shopper for any hotel that is looking for real-time price intelligence as it saves lots of time,” said Oceane Mechain, Revenue Manager, The Greenbank Hotel.

RateTiger Shopper is a comprehensive yet easy to use hotel rate intelligence solution. It enables hotels to check room rates are accurate across all channels while analyzing room rates of your competitive set and rate positioning across multiple hotel websites, third party sales channels and online travel agents (OTA).

eRevMax is known for its innovative products and stable solutions with 99% uptime. The company is ISO and PCI certified and GDPR compliant. eRevMax offers excellent connectivity with around over 400 online channels and technology partners and provides 24×7 customer support.

RateTiger joins the Spanish Association of Hotel Directors – AEDH

RateTiger, the connectivity division part of the leading hotel technology group eRevMax, provider of online connectivity tools for hotels, has joined the Spanish Association of Hotel Directors (AEDH). As a member of the association, the company will participate in the events organized by the AEDH with the aim of educating hoteliers about trends and technological innovations in the hotel sector. The company will also present its innovative solutions at the AEDH stand 10B08 at FITUR in Madrid from 23 to 27 January 2019.

Recognizing RateTiger for its technological skills, the AEDH has endorsed the efficiency of its tools, thus making RateTiger its preferred partner for the management of online channels in hotels. AEDH hotel members can take advantage of RateTiger special offer at FITUR to reduce their cost of acquiring guests online, saving time and increasing their revenue.

RateTiger is one of the most efficient online distribution and hotel management platform, currently used by more than 9000 hotels around the world. RateTiger offers XML connections with more than 450 leading OTAs and partners worldwide and regionally, achieving optimal connectivity.

“It is an honor to join forces with a company like RateTiger with such prestige in hospitality. Our goal is to be able to generate a positive impact on the hotel members of our association by providing them with state-of-the-art technology that complements their growth strategy and RateTiger is the perfect match. We strongly recommend our members to contact RateTiger to benefit from our exclusive offer for members of the AEDH,” said Manuel Vegas, President, AEDH.

“We believe that the AEDH has been doing a great job and we hope to contribute our bit to the success of the organization as a whole. The hospitality discussion and knowledge exchange sessions organized by the AEDH are very effective in helping hoteliers to better understand how to use technological innovation to maximize the revenue of their properties and improve customer service. We hope to have the opportunity to meet in person each of the members of the association,” said Samantha González, Director of Sales – Spain, eRevMax – RateTiger.

Meet Team eRevMax at FITUR in Madrid at Stand 10B08, Hall 10 from 23- 27 January 2019. Book an appointment today – https://bit.ly/2F6knJ0

Are you using Metasearch Channels for your hotel distribution yet?

Metasearch sites help travelers compare hotel rates from various online travel agencies and other booking sites in one place. Metasearch, as a sales channel, is growing in the travel ecosystem. Travelers today want technology that offers information at the click of a button. Metasearch offers just that, by aggregating rates and availability across multiple OTAs and brand websites onto one screen, thus making comparison easy and decision making simpler.

Today, it is important for hotels to be visible on metasearch sites to increase direct bookings and visibility, thereby generating more revenue. You might be thinking – why do I need to add one more channel to my distribution mix? Here’s why –

Metasearch allows for more direct bookings

While OTAs continue to lead the third party sales booking, they have one very big disadvantage for hoteliers – bookings are made exclusively through the merchant site, for which the brand will pay a nominal fee.

Metasearch sites allow visitors to book either through OTAs or through the brand website, helping to increase direct sales for hotels if they are listed on the metasearch. Metasearch sites such as TripAdvisor have been criticized for favoring OTAs with which they have a partnership, but direct hotel booking information is available, which is more than can be said for OTAs themselves.

Traditional search is a dying breed

Metasearch might still be kept in the back burner when compared to traditional searching, but reports show that search statistics on these sites are up by 13 percent in recent years and are continuing to grow. In this age of technology, traditional search is a dying breed, as more and more internet users opt to take advantage of the features of metasearch sites, that traditional search simply cannot offer.

In utilizing metasearch channels, hotels can remain modern and relevant, and can widen and diversify their audience.

Rate comparison can work in favor of hotels

The core concept of metasearch channels is that they offer multiple hotel comparison – a feature that OTAs typically do not offer.

Believe it or not, comparison isn’t solely based upon price. For example, it has been found that an estimated 71 percent of users look at basic information, while 67 percent of users compare photographs. Comparison may seem daunting, but it’s actually a good chance to show off.

Upgrading to two-way connectivity can help you improve your channel content, by making it quicker and easier to update multiple channels with up-to-date information regarding the establishment.

With meta search considered to be one of the biggest marketing techniques of the year, there has never been a better time to add these channels to your distribution portfolio. Make sure you choose to work with connectivity advisors that provide relevant channels to get it right the first time.

In essence, metasearch channels save time and money for guests in their travel booking journey, while offering a robust distribution platform for hotels to improve visibility and direct booking revenue.

Connect to metasearch channels like Google, TripAdvisor, Trivago, HotelsCombined, Skyscanner & Escapio. Update them directly from your RateTiger channel manager to improve your direct hotel revenue! Book a demo today – https://bit.ly/2HiEzJp

 

 

How Social Media Can Increase Hotel’s Direct Bookings

It is difficult to project the ROI from social media, but one can’t deny the fact because of social media presence, hotels are increasingly focusing more on guest engagement which drives better service eventually leading to loyalty.

According to experts, 45 percent of travelers encounter hotel social media during the beginning of their booking journey, 45 percent encounter it during the middle and 11 percent at the end.

Recent projections have valued the *B2C e–Commerce business to over 3.2 Trillion dollars by 2020!

So with all that money flowing through the internet it’s no surprise hotel marketing teams should look to a cast a wider net via social media channels to pull in higher direct booking. But how much business for hotels can and is being generated directly through social media outlets today? And more importantly how can you effectively tap into social media in order to increase your direct bookings?

 

Amount Of Business Social Media Generates

Estimates show the *number of worldwide users on social networks by 2018 to be a whooping 2.5 Billion which is nearly 90% of all people online. According to a study made last year by the social times 28% of time spent online is spent on social media. And *nearly half of all online shoppers rely on social media when making a purchase online!

In hospitality alone there are over 148.3 million bookings made on the internet each year. The amount of business on the internet which is generated via social media is so overwhelming hotels have no choice but to focus on these channels. And the hotels who turn a blind eye to social media as a real avenue of generating direct business will be severely impacted and lose countless bookings to other properties who do cultivate their social networking channels.

First And Foremost, Know Your Market

74% of online adults use social networking sites. It is important to remember who the current adult population is today. As scary as it may sound, it is Millennials who make up the largest consumer market. And according to Eventbrite research, Millennials spend $1.3 Trillion in annual consumer spending in the US alone! And 78% of Millennials would rather spend money on an experience over buying something desirable! So to pull in more direct business it’s a matter of marketing your hotels experience. And there is simply no better place online to market the experience you offer at your hotel than on social media! But it’s not enough to know who your market is (millennials) and where they are (online, on social media). You need to know HOW TO REACH & ENGAGE  THEM!  A staggering *1 in 5 Millennials access the internet exclusively through their mobile devices. And the majority of their time on mobile is spent on social media!

So the stats would seem to point toward channeling your digital content to a mobile friendly environment. Unfortunately the below infographic from Hotel News Now gives great insight into how even Millennial hotel employees see a great need for improving mobile and tech use as a hotel.

Knowing the largest consumer markets technology trends and how their mobile and online use directly ties into their social media should encourage hotels to make the appropriate adjustments to reach potential clients more effectively.

You Must Give To Get

And no I am not just talking about content. According to recent online studies even the *accounts with the largest amount of followers are unable to reach their target markets and make conversions unless they pay for visibility. Today’s online traffic is so heavy that in order to really target potential customers you must pay for targeting campaigns. Spending more money on ads is the necessary evil to succeed via social media & digital marketing. And without doing so your chances of converting traffic into actual business is as likely as shooting an apple off a person’s head while blindfolded and being spun around. The outcome is obviously lethal and with regards to your business it could be the same. So at the end of the day when using social media as a channel to increase direct bookings, you really must give to get.

Investing those extra dollars to your marketing budgets is the only way to see any real results. And considering social network ad spending  is expected to hit over $15 billion in 2018, you can be sure if you don’t spend, your competitor will and they will reap the rewards instead of you.