BTL 2012


I attended BTL earlier this month. This was the 24th edition of the event and it witnessed close to 800 exhibitors and over 80,000 visitors.

Various hotels participated in the event and most of them were concerned with the economic situation. The hotel industry in Portugal is currently experiencing falling occupancy and RevPAR. Many revenue managers and proprietors we spoke to were interested in understanding how to boost revenues.

Awareness about online distribution is rising which has led to many local players now offering channel management solutions. The Portuguese market is surely maturing and understands the benefits they can derive from a good channel management product.

RateTiger has been attending BTL for five years now and there is no denying the fact that it is a business platform of reference to both professionals and for the general public. It provides a chance for all interested to meet in one place and is one of the largest and most comprehensive tourism events in Portugal.

Pilar Sanchez Aita is Sales Manager for Spain & Portugal at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. She can be reached at pilara@ratetiger.com

Newshound: Trends and Reports – Hotel Online Distribution

Distribution experts share key to success
For all its complexity, the distribution game comes down to one simple factor: value. If a channel doesn’t offer value, then hoteliers shouldn’t use that channel to yield inventory, concluded a panel comprising a diverse array of representatives in the field.

Making Social Media An Asset To Your Hotel, Part 3: Sales & Marketing
Marketing using social media requires a different discipline and expertise from traditional and online marketing. Just as radio ads don’t translate well to television, branded online ads typically don’t work well in social media. Marketers wanting to utilize social media will need to think differently, and this section explains how.

A New Era for OTAs
Tension between hotels and online travel agencies has been palpable for the past several years, as the Web distribution marketplace has seen heated competition both online, through the battle for booking revenue, and off, through business negotiations and legal disputes. But as economic purse strings have loosened, consumer demand has risen, and hotels themselves have become more savvy in corralling their own direct customers, several of the major online travel brands have changed their game to reflect what they see as the current state of the business.

Online now accounts for more than half of travel sales across Europe
Online bookings accounted for more than half the travel sales across Europe for the first time last year, according to industry analyst IPK International. But agency sales continue to dominate Europe’s biggest travel market: Germany. IPK reported 55% of all travel bookings in Europe were online last year, up 15% on 2010. Attached is the key findings of the report.

Global average room rate rose by 4pc last year: report
A report released by Hotels.com has indicated that the results are showing the green shoots of recovery for many countries with the average price of a hotel across the world rising four percent, placing them on a par with prices from 2005. According to Hotels.com’s Hotel Price Index (HPI), the relative strength of the global hotel sector can be seen as an indicator of a potential turnaround in the economic outlook with the average price of a room around the world rising four percent in 2011.

Newshound: Trends and Reports – Hotel Online Distribution


The Evolution of Online Travel

Since the rise of online travel in the mid-1990s, it seems that there’s an endless well of ways to get your travel fix.  It’s projected that within the year 2012, there will be 98.3 million bookings on the Internet, which translates into major profit for online travel companies. In Mashable’s infographic, you’ll see the progression of online travel, from its roots in old electronic booking systems to the newest and shiniest deals websites. Plus, get an inside look at how users behave while on online travel sites — and where they love to go.

The 5 Golden Rules of Social Media ROI

Facebook page? Check! Twitter account and dedicated hastags? Check! Competitions, discounts and giveaways? Check! Any real, measurable and abundant ROI from social media campaigns? A recent Eye for Travel survey of APAC travel brands shows that despite 67% claiming to have deployed social media initiatives, more than half admitted confusion or inability to effectively rack and measure ROI.

A hotelier’s viewpoint on the current status of the flash sales model

Social buying/ Group buying and flash sales sites will undergo a saturation stage in their lifecycle. Many will reach the end of the road but a few strong ones will survive – albeit with some innovative add-ons to the existing business models, says Ricky Ang, vice president – Sales & Marketing, Hotel Equatorial Group.

Global business and leisure hotel rates up

Global average daily rates (ADR) for both business and leisure hotel rooms continued to climb in January, according to Pegasus Solutions’ data. Following a record increase over 2010 in December 2011, January 2012 saw business rates grow +3.8 percent and leisure rates rise +7.0 percent over January 2011, shared The Pegasus View January edition.

ASEAN Tourism Forum 2012

I was at the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) last month. It was the first time I attended the event which was a good experience.

ATF is a cooperative regional effort to promote the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region as one tourist destination. This annual event involves all the tourism industry sectors of the 10 member nations of ASEAN: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Each year ATF is rotated among the member countries. ATF 2012 marked the 31st anniversary since its inauguration in Malaysia in 1981. Indonesia hosted ATF 2012 and I had the pleasure of meeting up with over 300 hoteliers who attended the event along with others from the tourism industry.

The event was dominated by hoteliers from Indonesia; and it was great to meet with them. Topics of conversation revolved around new hotel openings in the region, growth of online distribution as well as new technologies catering to it. The next edition will take place in Laos and we look forward to being there next year.

Michael Atienza is Sales Manager for APAC at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. He can be reached at michaela@ratetiger.com

FITUR 2012

The thirty-second edition of FITUR was inaugurated by Prince Philip and Princess Letizia of Spain. The official opening by the Royal Family once again shows its unconditional support for the tradeshow and, in general, the Spanish tourism sector.

I attended the event along with my colleague Cristina Hernandez. We found that the exhibition this year was comparatively smaller due to the ongoing recession and various country representations were missing. However, FITUR made their commitment clear to the online sector, web 2.0, technology, social networking and video marketing among others during FITURTECH conferences.

The discussions at the event revolved around topics like new revenue trends such as Flash sales (Groupon), Social Media booking engines, online distribution, direct xml connectivity, online reputation management and affect of the recession on Southern European domestic travel scenarios, etc.

We had a stand which kept us constantly busy. Overall it was a good show with lot of networking opportunities. Look forward to the next edition.

Pilar Sanchez Aita is Sales Manager for Spain & Portugal at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. She can be reached at pilara@ratetiger.com

ÖHV-Hotelierkongress 2012

I attended the ÖHV-Hotelierkongress 2012 in Schladming last month and was pleasantly surprised in my first week taking over the region by the warmth and friendliness of Austrians. It turned out to be a well organized event with over 600 attendees comprising hoteliers, representatives from tourism boards, business and economy.

The focus for this year’s congress was to gauge current changes in society resulting from the recession and political shifts and its impact on the hospitality & tourism. The conference covered topics like impact of crisis and austerity on tourism, dealing within a changing world, the role of tourism in integration, the Family Hotel 2020 and the change in e-tourism.

For me, it was a great opportunity to meet with local hoteliers and discuss channel management and the potential it offers. The hospitality scenario in Austria is dominated by family run leisure hotels and small establishments. The awareness about online distribution has started to seep through though it will take some time to gain momentum. The event provided a good networking platform and it was a valuable learning experience for all present.

I look forward to the next edition and other such events in the region.

Cristina Hernandez is Sales Manager for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Eastern Spain at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. She can be reached at cristinas@ratetiger.com

Newshound: Trends and Reports – Hotel Online Distribution

Distribution Channel Analysis – A Guide for Hotels

The report discusses the effects of channel mix on profitability and what the industry can expect in the near term in the distribution landscape. It reviews the size and structure of the hotel industry at a high level, with respect to hotel performance and its use of dis­tribution channels. It also drills down to issues of distribution costs and benefits, price elasticity, and the evolving roles of marketing, revenue management and distribution strategy in a dynamic and volatile online environment.

Leaders debate success of Room Key

Not every hotel executive thinks Room Key will be a success. Michael Shannon, for one, didn’t hesitate to express that opinion.“This is a really interesting but really late attempt by the hotel business to try to get control of their customer … and I don’t think it will work,” said the managing director of KSL Capital Partners.

Travel to European Destinations in 2011 Has Exceeded the Prior Peak Set in 2008

The European Travel Commission (ETC) has just published its fourth quarterly report on European Tourism in 2011 – Trends & Prospects. Travel to European destinations in 2011 has exceeded the prior peak set in 2008. Impressively, 22 of 23 reporting countries show international visitor growth in 2011, ranging from 3% in the UK to more than 20% in Latvia and Lithuania.  And 24 of 26 countries show gains in hotel occupancy in 2011.

Tips for integrating social media on your website


Are you leveraging the power of social media on your site? Together, social media channels and your website should work seamlessly to promote your online brand. However, if you’re like most businesses, you’re probably missing out on potential interactions, impressions and ultimately sales.