Newshound: Trends and Reports – Hotel Online Distribution

BTN’s 2011 Business Travel Survey: At The Crossroads
Many travel buyers this year find themselves in uniquely challenging positions. Their companies are healthy and growing and must continue chasing business wherever opportunities lie. That means more travel, and perhaps more corporate travelers. At the same time, the financial shocks organizations weathered, the procurement discipline they adopted and the scrutiny applied to every bit of spending has generated an ever-higher level of cost vigilance.–At-The-Crossroads/

Traffic to travel websites in Australia surges more than 30%
Australia’s Internet user population may be dwarfed by that of regional neighbors China, Japan and India, but the continent is nonetheless one of Asia Pacific’s most mature and dynamic online travel markets.

STR – Positive Performance for US Hotel Industry for May 2011
In year-over-year measurements, the industry’s occupancy was up 4.6 percent to 61.5 percent, average daily rate ended the month with a 4.0-percent increase to US$101.54, and revenue per available room rose 8.8 percent to US$62.47. The U.S. hotel industry posted increases in all three key performance measurements during May 2011, according to data from STR.

How is hotel booking technology evolving
It wasn’t too long ago when most of the hotel bookings were made through HBAs (Hotel Booking Agencies), TMCs (Travel Management Companies) and direct to hotels.

“Dynamic pricing models are a great way to negotiate corporate rates”

London-based hotel sales and marketing alliance Great Hotels of the World has reported a 19 percent increase in corporate travel bookings via its GDS chain code in Q1 2011 in comparison with the same period in 2010, offering signs of growth in the corporate travel market.

Newshound: Trends and Reports – Hotel Online Distribution

Only price is valued over positive reviews in online travel booking

A poll has indicated that user-generated content in the form of positive reviews on sites like TripAdvisor is increasingly becoming the make or break factor when it comes to online travel booking, with more than one quarter of consumers identifying it as the most important factor.

OTA debate stresses better channel management

What’s the topic that never ceases to pack a room or stir up emotion? The role of online travel agencies in hotel-room distribution.

Five Reasons to Bet Big on the Asia Pacific Online Travel Market

The Asia Pacific online travel market has reached a tipping point. With the region’s online leisure/unmanaged business travel market surpassing 20% of the total market in 2010, online travel is no longer in its infancy. Double-digit growth is projected through 2012, and momentum is building.

Northstar Travel Media acquires PhoCusWright

Northstar Travel Media, a leading business-to-business information company serving the travel and meetings industries, has acquired PhoCusWright, a premier global travel, tourism and hospitality research and event business.

The future state of revenue management

According to STR’s Randy Smith, the single biggest problem the industry is facing right now is the way we’ve trained our customer base to constantly seek a deal, to constantly negotiate, to constantly look for the lowest price.

Newshound: Trends and Reports – Hotel Online Distribution

European online travel industry grew 11% in 2010
Travel properties, which include online travel agents, destination information sites, and transportation and accommodation sites, now penetrate 44.0 percent of the European internet audience, a 5 percentage point increase, according to new ComScore data.
Online travel audience in India jumps 32 per cent in 2010
As per a study of the online travel industry in India released recently by ComScore Inc, the number of visitors to travel sites increased 32 per cent in the past year to 18.5 million visitors, as more Indians turned to the web for their travel needs.
Chinese market shows continued year-on-year growth in RevPAR for the first four months of 2011
The importance of the Chinese hotel market both in terms of its strong performance and growing hotel stock is seen in figures supplied by STR Global, the leading provider of market data to the world’s hotel industry.
Corporate travel market easing off its double-digit growth
Business travel experienced a temporary slow-down in April 2011, according to data released from Pegasus Solutions.
Trends shaping the US hotel recovery
According to STR, hotel demand growth will begin to moderate as the year progresses – not a sign of slowing momentum, but rather of the more difficult comps from 2010 when the recovery began.
Where Online Travel Penetration Grows, OTA Bookings Follow

Bookings via online travel agencies comprise just 37% of global online travel sales, versus 63% for suppliers. The channel mix is not expected to change through 2010, although supplier websites, which represented two thirds of the global market in 2008, lost share during the global recession.

Newshound: Trends and Reports – Hotel Online Distribution

PwC anticipates solid RevPAR growth into 2012

The updated lodging forecast released today by PwC US shows that the lodging recovery is expected to continue at a solid pace in 2011, driven by balanced growth in industry occupancy and average daily rate.

Asian hotels continue to see double-digit gains

Hotels in the Asia Pacific region experienced mostly positive results in the three key performance metrics during April 2011 when reported in US dollars, according to data compiled by STR Global.

US hotels enjoyed close to 10% profit increase in 2010

While 70 percent of the properties in the Trends® hotel financial sample enjoyed an increase in revenues in 2010, only 60 percent were able to convert that into more money in the bank, indicating that the turnaround in industry performance has not occurred evenly across all sectors of the U.S. lodging industry.

Who are my ‘true’ hotel competitors?

While the question will continue to linger, technology, resources and analytics will continue to evolve. This will undoubtedly provide us with greater insights and strengthen the position of individuals involved in those lively boardroom discussions.

Social media significant traffic source for 78% of travel sites

Social media is a ‘top eight’ driver of traffic for 78% of travel sites according a recent study of the “digital competency” of travel brands, with airlines and hotels dominating the leading brands in the study.

Europeans using new media more to organise and manage their holidays

Europeans are organising more and more via the Internet in preparing their holidays, with 57 percent of them claiming to reserve mainly via the Internet, according to a new study.

Road to Effective Channel Management – Part 1: Understanding today’s scenario

Heads in beds is the key driver for all hotels – we know that if you don’t have the occupancy to meet running costs then you will become another of those properties closing each week. The recession has bitten hard but it’s also the result of a much more competitive hospitality industry.

Today’s world requires a much more aggressive approach to sales and distribution. Your hotel needs to be visible, it needs to be value driven and it needs to be easy to book.

You may have developed clever ancillary revenue strategies, improved your customer service or completed a major refurbishment of your rooms – but without a clear distribution, pricing and revenue strategy you will continue to struggle against stronger and more knowledgeable hoteliers.

City markets are becoming more volatile with hoteliers selling on an average of 10 websites, some sell across as many as 24 or more, are you matching this sales technique?

Hoteliers can update their rates up to five times a day to secure their much needed occupancy levels, you too need to ensure that your rates are consistently reflective of market conditions and you do not price yourself out.
To help assess the effectiveness of your hotel’s channel management techniques, you need to measure and benchmark your current strategy.

We no longer sell rooms, we sell products. For the guest it’s the entire experience from researching accommodation, booking, checking-in right until check-out.

You need to know who your product appeals to, or who you want to appeal to.

Start by finding out what people already think of your product by looking at guest reviews. This will also give you more information about your guests – who they are, what they like, age, and lifestyle – from a review you can build a whole personality profile.

Once you have identified your target audience and what you are selling, you then need to market it. You wouldn’t market a business suite to leisure travellers, so you need to make sure you are visible in the places corporate travellers’ book.

You need to know what other hotels are charging, make sure that you know the exact value of your product against others. It is important that your walk-in rate is different to your online rate; this will help you secure more bookings in advance while maintaining integrity. 

Check out Road to Effective Channel Management Part 2.


Newshound – 05/05/2011

Global Hotel Market Proves Resilient in March

Corporate travel reservations grew in March 2011 over 2010 by +30%, while revenue climbed +42.5%, aided by a +6.9% increase in average daily rate (ADR). Following a growth dip in February, March global leisure bookings achieved the second highest growth pace in the last year, climbing +10.8%, while revenue jumped +15.5%.
New Travel Study Defines Digital Genius
No industry has embraced digital faster than travel. It’s not just online sales that are impressive. It’s the reality that the digital space is providing a whole new arena in which travel brands are beginning to engage customers and serve them in ways never before possible.
Online travel to experience solid growth in Middle East
The online travel and tourism industry is poised to “experience solid growth” over the next five years – with the Middle East and Africa leading the way in percentage terms, reveals research from Euromonitor International. Online hotel sales in Middle East and Africa over the period will grow by more than 12%, sharing the top slot with Latin America which sees the same growth rates for accommodation.
Local OTAs rule India’s growing online travel market
The global OTAs may be the biggest names in online travel, but Indian travelers clearly prefer the flavor of OTAs grown closer to home. A recent report by travel industry research authority PhoCusWright revealed the dominance of India’s homegrown OTAs.

International Sales Meet 2010

The International Sales Meeting stayed in the home country of RateTiger’s operations office. The team in London traveled south bound to the British coast to my home town Bournemouth, here the rest of the international sales team joined us for four days of intense team building, strategy deliberation and skills development. This was the first time I had been in the same room as all our global reps and it was a great way to learn more about the specific regions and how the marketing and communications campaigns are working.

Our VP International Sales, Keith Povah, organised a very thorough but fun and engaging itinerary. Surrounded by our Management Team and Board of Directors, our sales managers demonstrated their success over the past 12 months and the opportunities that lie ahead.

Our new VP RTCorporate, Keith Watson, told me “The ISM managed to combine the sharing of information amongst a large team with the chance to get to know them better in a non-work environment. The sessions allowed for many different topics to be covered, which for a new starter is a great introduction.” Having only been in his role for a few weeks it seems this was the perfect intro to the madness of the Tiger!

Casey Davy, our UK Sales Manager (while he had to stay home – no international travel for him) said “There were great training sessions to expand and reinforce product knowledge,  opportunities for knowledge sharing, and exercises to help develop individual skill sets and overviews of strategic sales and marketing plans.  It was also an opportunity for Management to share with the team the big picture, corporate goals, and development within our budding company.”

While our US team did get to travel halfway across the world, from Orlando our Sales Manager Sandy Fanucci also a new member of the team said: “I have been in sales for over 9 years and have participated in many Regional/National Sales Meetings. I have to say this is honestly the first one I enjoyed as much as I did. The meeting format was perfect. Sitting in meeting rooms all day, consecutive days in a row can be very rigorous for someone that’s used to being on the go. So the fact that we got what we needed from a full day’s meeting then a “day break” in between with LOTS of fun was ideal.“

The ‘day break’ she is referring to was a day of Paintball. All members of the team conscientiously participated. The groups, split in two, came out winning four games each – although the hot dogs were much to be desired.

Following the ISM, the team is now back at their desks rapidly working through developments and ideas that came from the session. It’s non-stop for the Tiger! 

Ryan Haynes is the Marketing Head at eRevMax and is responsible for driving all PR and Marketing activities of RateTiger and eRevMax brands globally. Ryan is based out of London and can be reached at

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

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

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