eRevMax Football Tournament 2010

On 28th August the Kolkata sky was overcast with dark malevolent clouds which burst into heavy showers on and off. The outfield was wet and there were even puddles across the pitch; hardly an ideal situation to play an outdoor game, let alone a Football Tournament. Try as much as they might but the elements of nature never stood a chance when it encountered head-on, the indomitable spirit of Team eRevMax who were out for a spirited game.

With full attendance from all six participating teams, the game started with much cheer and fanfare. The teams led by their captains – Royal Blue (Suvranshu Mohanty), Dark Blue (Pushparghya Mandal), Olive Green (Surajit Kar), Green (Abdul Hasan), Yellow (Kaushik Kapat) and Red (Briti Sundar Biswas), looked every bit international. And why not? Along with the Kolkata members we had Ragnar Strerath, VP Product from our Germany office and Jorge V Rico, Project Manager – RTConnect from Spain who were here on a business visit. We also had our new French MM who joined the Kolkata office just a few weeks back – Frank Tchere who is originally from Ivory Coast, USA. So it was a team comprising members from across continents and what a beautiful game they played!

After a series of games, teams Royal Blue and Yellow emerged as the top contenders in their respective Leagues. The teams in second position were Dark Blue and Green. After a nail-biting match, Team Dark Blue emerged winner for the third position under the able captaincy of Pushparghya Mandal.

The finale was a nerve wrenching game; it went into extra time, at the end of which both the teams had scored 3 goals each. With no definite result, the referee announced penalty shoot-out. Team Yellow played a tactful and patient game emerging as winners for the coveted Trophy.

Except for a toe injury suffered by Surajit Kar, Captain – Team Olive Green, the games went pretty smoothly. After an exciting afternoon, Udai Singh Solanki, MD India presided over the prize distribution ceremony and awarded the Champion’s Trophy to Team Yellow and Jorge Rico presented the Runners-up trophy to Team Royal Blue. The Best Goalkeeper title went to Sumanta Pramanik while the Best Scorer title was picked up by Joydeep Chakraborty; Ragnar Strerath did the honors for these two young men.

At the end, what did we all say? eRevMaxians Rock… Long Live eRevMax 🙂

Kushal Dasgupta is Market Manager – Austria, Czech Rep., UK & Ireland at eRevMax and is responsible for providing product training and handling client queries. Kushal is based out of Kolkata, India and can be reached at  kushald@ratetiger.com
 

The Hotel Industry Forum 2010

I was in Portugal in the second week of June to attend the Hotel Industry Forum. The 4-day event took place at the beautiful Grande Real Santa Eulália Resort in Albufeira, an exclusive resort hotel with the perfect combination of elegant standards and relaxed atmosphere.

The Hotel Industry Forum is a premier business platform for executives who work within the UK and European hotel and leisure industry. The event covers the full supply chain requirements of hotel and leisure group operators.

This weekend event brought together buyers and suppliers from various facets of the industry and enabled us to create opportunities for new business, enhance relationships with existing clients, and share best practices amongst industry peers. It was the perfect forum to not only do business but also build close rapport with acquaintances in a socially charged environment.

I met over 35 hoteliers who could be perfect users of RateTiger solutions in the long run. I also managed to contract some new clients and potential upgrades. Overall it was a great opportunity for networking and building long-lasting relationships, as well as reinforcing brand awareness.

Casey Davy is Sales Manager – UK at eRevMax. He is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. Casey is based out of London and can be reached at caseyd@ratetiger.com

Arabian Travel Market 2010

A couple of weeks back I was in Dubai to attend the Arabian Travel Market with my colleague. It was our first visit to a mid-east event and hence I would like to share a bit of background detail on the event. Organized by Reed Exhibitions, organizers of World Travel Market in London, ATM is the principal travel and tourism exhibition in the Middle East, attracting exhibitors from all over the region as well as from Asia, Europe, South America, etc. This was the 17th edition of ATM and it continues to grow in importance and size. 
Many hotel brands exhibited at the event including major international chains like Accor, Starwood, Marriott, IHG, etc. as well as the larger regional players like Rotana, Coral and Ramee. The independent hotels and smaller chains were also present and were operating from booths on destination stands like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. A separate section was dedicated to Travel &Technology companies which had representations from OTAs including HRS, Expedia, etc. and a couple of providers such as Amadeus.
My colleague Sudhir and I concentrated on exhibitors from our respective regions – generally only meeting up in the evenings to discuss the day’s happening and then moving on to sample the extremely varied nightlife Dubai has to offer. We managed quite a few meetings with prospective hoteliers and presented RTSuite solutions to them. Channel management solutions are not widespread in the region and are mostly used by 5 star hotels. 
However with the growth of ecommerce and shift in booking patterns from offline to online channels, many hotels, including single star and standalone properties, are now looking to work more actively with online channels. The feedback I received was very encouraging and hoteliers were very receptive to my presentation of RateTiger solutions. 
Overall I am very pleased with the interest shown by exhibitors – it seems the timing is right for us to focus on the region, as previously hotels were not selling through enough channels to warrant the investment. ATM was definitely worth a visit and I will surely be back next year.
Giles Gurney is Sales Manager – Europe & Middle East for corporate products at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. He can be reached at gilesg@ratetiger.com

Czech Hotel Association Event 2009

In the last week of November (25th – 27th November 2009) I attended an event organized by the Czech Hotel Association. As a RateTiger representative I was eager to see the kind of turnout the event would witness and I am glad to say that it was not a dismal show. With over 260 member hotels and companies present, it provided a good opportunity to meet many hoteliers.

The event included three full day conference with networking evening parties. Some of the discussion topics included recent developments in global economy and its impact on Czech Republic, tourism market in the region as well as scenario in Czech hotel industry compared to the EU states and rest of the world. The presentation hosted by STR Global turned out to be really interesting allowing hoteliers to see how others have remained resilient in tough economic conditions.

Hotel Managers from different cities in Czech Republic were present at the event with a good section of them representing Prague. I met with many of them and was glad to hear they considered RateTiger to be a leading channel management solution provider and wanted to know about our new products and features.

Overall it was a great experience with excellent networking, lots of new contacts and the opportunity to create further awareness about the products. It was good to know the importance of the Hotel Association’s event given that various senior members from many hotels were there. I look forward to attending the event next year.

Aldona Kaczmarczyk is Sales Manager – Eastern Europe at eRevMax and is responsible for sale of RateTiger products in the region. Aldona can be reached at aldonak@ratetiger.com


RateTiger at ITB 2009


What happened? Last thing you know is that the economy is expecting a horrible year and next thing you hear is that the organizers of ITB 2009, Berlin, Germany, reported an increase in attendees as many tradeshows across the world experienced a fall in visitors.

RateTiger attended with its own stand in the technology section (Hall 8.1). We returned with a similar stand design as WTM 2008 to reinforce our position as a leader in the online channel management industry.

As European Seal of e-Excellence awards winners in marketing of innovation RateTiger received significant interest from visitors especially with our luxurious discounts and offers to celebrate our award win.

International and German hotel companies had their brand presence but the number of people representing chains were down from last year. The key concerns for hoteliers seemed to be that the future is uncertain in relation to the economic downturn. The feedback we received was that hotels are looking at more distribution channels while expecting much quicker returns.This was extremely prevalent among clients in the Asian Market. As a natural consequence, the time spent on channel management has and will increase significantly hence the extreme interest in our products.

Sunaina Jagtiani, UK Sales Manager commented: “The great thing about the show is that I got the opportunity to speak with the decision maker or the influencer with regards to online channel management and sales. I met with several potential clients in the Asian market and Sudhir our APAC SM will be following up on those leads.”

Keith Povah, Director of Sales said: “The sales managers found some clients were a little hesitant to invest in software as there are so many dreadful stories about technology companies going under. Being present at the show showed potential clients RateTiger’s strength and stability with our commitment to deliver and also gave us the ability to provide insight into why channel managers save time and make money”

Hoteliers were keen to discuss current needs and how RateTiger would best solve those. Furthermore, a big part of the discussions were about the newly launched products RTStrategy and RTCorp, first available during ITB 2009. The feedback from customers makes us believe that both products hit market needs.

Ulf Guldi, German Sales Manager, his first exhibition as part of the RateTiger team: “I must say the show was great. I have attended quite a few ITB’s in my travel industry history, but I never had so many qualified meetings. We definitely achieved a lot of success from the show and numerous interesting and hot leads from single hotels and smaller hotel groups.”

There was a constant buzz on the RateTiger stand and we have some big announcements to be made in the coming weeks following partnerships we secured with leading vendors and hotel groups.

Travel Technology and Business Travel Show, Earls Court – London




We attended the annual Travel Technology and Business Travel Show last week to meet customers, potential new clients and find out how our business partners are coping with 2009. The event hosted at Earls Court in London brings together the UK corporate travel companies to discuss technology and trends in business travel.

We were hoping to see a few PMS systems, but not this year. The whole Travel Technology Show was smaller than previous years with only a few booking systems and data management companies. On the second day the number of attendees seemed very low. Many of the businesses exhibiting at the fair admitted it had been much quieter than 2008.

During the Business Travel Show, the current economic conditions were mentioned a number of times by various people and very few were optimistic about the upcoming year. We also noticed an increase in the number of apartment companies who were exhibiting, but many do not sell through on-line bookings yet and therefore do not understand the opportunities of online channel management technologies.

Only very few hotels were exhibiting although we did have the chance to have lengthy conversations with the groups that were present. It is pre-dominantly a show for Travel Management companies and considering, the shows are run together, there were very few Online Travel Agencies. We spoke to HRS, Hotel.info and Hotelshop UK Ltd. all of whom said they liked the show, but it certainly did not seem busy to us. Furthermore, unfortunately, none of the seminars were relevant to us deciding to look at the credit crunch and social media tools to increase online visibility.

Fitur (Feria Internacional de Turismo) Madrid 28-31 January 2009-02-09

Fitur 2009 had a unique focus on technology and sustainability, which proved positive for us as hotels looked for new markets, new channels and new technology to increase room sales. Hoteliers expressed interest in contracting with more extranets to increase Online Distribution activities and looking at what their competitors are doing across the internet. Many clients are looking for integration to distribute their rates and availability from their CRS to other IDSs

Technology and Sustainability: New technological tools and sustainability was the basis of this 29th edition of Fitur. It was the 1st edition of the conference SMXTravel @ FITUR 2009, showing “all the secrets of the internet” in tourism marketing. It also highlights this year’s edition of Fiturtech 09 that includes, among others, Web 3.0, a 2.0 development environment that integrates a social network with the internal and external customer. Fitur had addressed the demand of the sector regarding online business, and this was extremely positive for RateTiger as we commit to more effectiveness in presentations held with hotels interested in our products.

There is a vast opportunity in the market for Hoteliers to boost incremental revenues. Following in the footsteps of the Low Cost Carriers – hotel companies are adding ancillary products and services to add up to 20% to their bottom line.

However, according to the director of International Tourism Fair in Madrid (FITUR), Ana Larrañaga, there was a 10% fall in visitors on 2008. 
The snowbound weekend had made it difficult for this event to reach or surpass last year’s 250,000 visitors. 


Exhibitors were also at a low – there were 13% less hoteliers and a 9% drop in the number of companies for 2009. Despite the criticism directed at Fitur by some hoteliers on the price per square meter and the challenging organizational structures, the general feeling is that the event was “very positive” and “satisfaction from those who attended it.”

Hoteliers had agreed that “in a difficult economic climate, we can not deny that many companies have been affected by the slowdown and this has had its impact on Fitur”. Despite the situation, they said nothing is more important “when business is especially difficult when we are urged to generate at a meeting point like Fitur where professionals network and it’s valuable generation of new alliances, creativity and ways of doing business to reveal how to boost profits using ancillary strategies”

RateTiger Nominated for the Retail Business Show Awards 2009

RateTiger has been nominated and short listed in The Retail Business Show Awards 2009 for its leading channel management product.

The Retail Business Show Awards, to be held Wednesday 29 January 2009 at The Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair, London, comprises 15 categories, including Hospitality Solution. RateTiger has been identified and selected as one of three companies that have understood the hospitality market and made a significant difference to it’s customers in 2008.

RTAllocator – a tool that helps hoteliers to manage their rates and inventory across multiple online distribution channels – was submitted after a successful installation at award-winning Hotel53 in York. Hotel53 experienced a revenue increase of 10% and occupancy levels rose by 15% in the first few months of use.

RateTiger has been expanding rapidly internationally, as it becomes a leader in channel management applications. Earlier this year the company received certification from Expedia for its room rate and inventory distribution technologies for the hospitality industry. RateTiger is also backed by ISO-27001:2005 certification that implements security controls customised to the needs of individual businesses to protect information assets and give confidence to hoteliers using RateTiger products.

Front of House Manager Sarah Culshaw had been logging online each day to update all websites manually making it a time-consuming activity taking over eight hours each week. Since the installation of RateTiger products Sarah saved 75% of her time managing the different sales channels.

About the product Culshaw said: ““Because all our rates can now be updated almost instantly, it not only frees up a lot more of my time, but it means we can react more quickly to the market. We have four different room types, and thanks to RTAllocator Lite, I can now make 16 daily rate updates very quickly and very accurately. Even though RTAllocator Lite is easy to use, even for a virtual novice, it is reassuring to know that there is round-the-clock help so that any difficulties can be resolved straight away.”

The final judging panel consists of Miya Knights – Editor of Retail Technology Magazine, Jon Davison, Managing Vice President, Gartner Industry Advisory Services, Retail, Paul Rodgers, Chairman, Vendorcom, James Roper, CEO, IMRG and Richard Cobbold, CEO, The Screen

“This is a great achievement for the RateTiger team and truly shows the value of our channel management technologies,” said Sascha Hausmann, COO. “The return for Hotel53 represents the benefits hoteliers across the industry can reap from using intelligent shopping and allocation products for rooms and rates across third party distribution channels. We have been making extraordinary developments in 2008 and this is the icing on the cake as we end a successful year.”

Judges will focus on entries that either exhibit a measurable business benefit and bottom line contribution or show genuine innovation and development, complete with evidence to demonstrate the underlying core value of bringing tangible benefits to the end user.

To view the shortlisted companies in each of the 15 award categories visit: http://www.trbsawards.co.uk/content/shortlisted-companies