The Week, That Was – June 2018 Week 4

In five minutes or less, keep track of the most important news of the week, curated just for you. We present to you hand – picked news on latest industry perspectives and some general updates. Read on!!

 HITEC: Industry must think holistically about tech
A panel of top-level executives speaking at the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference said the hotel industry has to adopt more broad technology solutions that work together.

http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles/286985/HITEC-Industry-must-think-holistically-about-tech

Travelers losing interest in home-sharing, Google gaining ground as travel resource
For all the chatter of Airbnb stealing scene time away from hotels, traveler interest in home-sharing seems to be waning. According to MMGY Global’s Portrait of American Travelers study, which surveyed nearly 3,000 US adults that have taken at least one trip over the past 12 months, just 33% of respondents are interested in sharing economy accommodations, down from 41% in 2017 and 37% in 2016.

https://www.phocuswire.com/MMGY-Global-portrait-of-american-travelers-2018

How strategic use of technology drives guest loyalty and hotel revenue
Technology is creating new opportunities and challenges for hospitality brands, and the ones that use it effectively will be rewarded with a loyal following of guests and, ultimately, more profits.

https://www.phocuswire.com/HITEC-CEO-technology-panel

Google: Travel’s closely watched obsession
Google’s entry into metasearch may be more than half a decade old, but it continues to be a closely watched obsession for the travel industry. Since the very beginning, Phocuswright has carefully tracked the evolution of Google travel products and their growing role in travel’s search-shop-buy funnel.

https://www.phocuswire.com/Google-travel-obsession

How hotel managers can generate profits above and beyond owner’s expectations
There is a lot happening in 2018 that hotel owners should be happy about. After the best Q1 on record earlier this year, it is shaping up to be another stellar year in hospitality with demand (2.4%) outweighing supply (2%); occupancy increasing by 0.4%; ADRs growing by 2.6%; and RevPAR increasing by 3% (STR, PWC).

https://www.hebsdigital.com/blog/hotel-managers-generate-profits/

How RevPAR growth translates into profits
Hotel profitability is the primary measure of success for hotel owners, managers and operators. However, revenue and top-line data continue to be the focus of the industry.

One major reason for this is the availability of revenue-per-available-room data, which is directly linked to the success of STR at aggregating rooms revenue data across a substantial portion of the industry. Alternatively, profitability data is much more difficult to amass because hotel ownership and management groups are much more fragmented than hotel brands.

http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles/286892/How-RevPAR-growth-translates-into-profits

Amazon’s latest focus on hotels comes via Alexa
Amazon is launching a new service for hotels to introduce its voice-controlled assistant Alexa for guests to use in their rooms. Alexa for Hospitality will allow hotel guests to make verbal requests through an Amazon Echo device, including room service, housekeeping and contacting the property’s concierge.
https://www.tnooz.com/article/amazon-hospitality-alexa-hotels/

Fake hotels becoming a massive issue for OTAs
The rise of fake hotels is a phenomenon that has left both consumers and online travel agents (OTAs) frustrated and out of pocket. And they’re becoming more sophisticated and believable too. In recent months, the travel industry has witnessed a tidal wave of fake chalet websites, with one website, Alps-stay.com, conning unsuspecting holiday-makers out of tens of thousands of euros.

http://travolution.com/articles/107814/guest-post-the-fake-hotels-phenomenon-targeting-otas

Connect with us for your connectivity needs to make the most of online revenue.
https://goo.gl/3gKUJZ

Thanks and have a good day!

The Week, That Was – June 2018 Week 2

In five minutes or less, keep track of the most important news of the week, curated just for you. We present to you hand – picked news on latest industry perspectives and some general updates. Read on!!

Hotel Beacon NYC recommends RateTiger as the most effective Channel Manager
The upscale hotel has been using RTConnect for 2-way XML connectivity between its property management system and online sales channels for the last three years to effectively manage all its demand partners seamlessly.

https://goo.gl/tJt9yX

How TripAdvisor ranks hotels
Online guest reviews have become worth their weight in gold to hotels. Today, a huge 95% of people read a travel review before they book a trip, which means building a strong online reputation plays a fundamental part in attracting guests and driving bookings.

http://www.traveltripper.com/blog/how-does-tripadvisor-rank-hotels/

Securing last-minute bookings during peak season
Peak season in travel presents its own unique challenges. The article explores why deep discounting may not always be the winning recipe to secure late bookings and how thinking outside the box is necessary to maximise revenue. Every hotelier and property has to deal with peaks and troughs in demand, but if rooms need to be filled at the last-minute, being able to think beyond dropping prices and taking a more strategic approach could give you that crucial competitive edge.

https://click.booking.com/features/2018/06/04/securing-last-minute-bookings-peak-season/

Are hoteliers too skeptical of artificial intelligence?
AI disruption has already begun in the business world, and the hospitality industry should pay close attention. Hotel companies must already be strategizing about how they can take advantage of this inevitable new wave of automation and guest-experience evolution.

https://www.phocuswire.com/Hoteliers-skeptical-of-AI

How and why you have to deal with the watershed that is GDPR
The GDPR is a watershed event that will impact every business that collects personal information, wherever located, and no industry will be more impacted that the hospitality industry. Other companies can choose not to do business with EU citizens; some companies have determined that it is impossible to comply and have actually closed. That is not an option for hotels. Hotel companies need to understand the goals and requirements of the GDPR. The nature of hotels and the various data holding sources such as OTA bookings and PMS systems escalate the regulation for travel and hospitality industries.

https://ehotelier.com/global/2018/06/08/deal-watershed-gdpr/

In land of the giants, smaller OTAs find ways to grab customers
According to Phocuswright’s U.S. Online Travel Overview 17th Edition Report published in February, OTAs’ market share rose to 19% in 2017 from 17% in 2015. Booking Holdings brands Priceline and Booking.com accounted for 23% of the U.S. OTA market share last year, while Expedia brands (excluding Egencia and HomeAway) accounted for 69%.

http://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News/Travel-Technology/Smaller-OTAs-find-ways-to-grab-customers

Connect with us for your connectivity needs to make the most of online revenue.
https://goo.gl/3gKUJZ

Thanks and have a good day!

Hotel OTTO Berlin recommends RateTiger for channel connectivity

Hotel OTTO, an upscale property in Berlin has recommended RateTiger Channel Manager for stable and seamless connectivity with world’s leading OTAs. The hotel, which has been using eRevMax’s award winning distribution solution, has improved its online exposure resulting in positive revenue and occupancy growth.

Centrally located, Hotel OTTO is a modern property with 46 rooms catering largely to business travellers. Since 2010, the revenue management team has been using RateTiger to update rates and availability across online sales channels. Following the suggestion from RateTiger’s Connectivity Advisor, the hotel added top OTAs from China and South East Asia in their distribution mix. This improved the hotel’s exposure in upcoming markets and brought a positive impact to their online business

“We have been using RateTiger for the last 8 years and are very satisfied with the services that totally match our needs. Thanks to the diversity of their distribution portfolio (OTA, Wholesalers etc), we can connect with bigger number of distribution partners and have experienced a steady growth in our online business.  Amongst all the products I have used in the market so far, RateTiger remains one of the most powerful and efficient,” said Mihai Cucu, Revenue & Operations Manager, Hotel OTTO.

“Providing hotels with stable connectivity have remained our priority for the last 17 years. We have developed our channel ecosystem for hotels to improve exposure and tap new markets.  We are committed to adding value to our customers, and this recommendation shows how well we deliver when it comes to best-in-class technology and premium customer service,” said Alin Lazar, VP – Sales, Europe & Americas, eRevMax.

eRevMax offers strong connections with over 350 OTAs and 70 technology providers. The company provides channel management, business intelligence and connectivity solutions to hotels, groups and serviced apartment globally.

The Week, That Was – April 2018 Week 3

In five minutes or less, keep track of the most important news of the week, curated just for you. We present to you hand – picked news on latest industry perspectives and some general updates. Read on!!

M Hotel Downtown by Millennium Dubai endorses RateTiger for online distribution
M Hotel Downtown by Millenium has improved their online sales through eRevMax’s seamless connectivity with leading OTAs. The 4-star property has been using RTConnect to update rate and inventory across online sales channels and receive reservations into their property management system (PMS).
Top concerns hotels need to know about the GDPR and how to prepare your action plan
The GDPR is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union and regulates how companies manage, use, and share personal data. The GDPR will take effect on May 25, 2018. The GDPR applies to natural persons, whatever their nationality or place of residence, whose personal data is processed and whose behavior is monitored while within the EU. This change in legislation means that nearly every online service is affected, and the regulation has already resulted in significant changes for US users as companies begin to adapt.
Booking.com buying tours/attractions tech company
The FareHarbor acquisition will help provide content to expand Booking.com‘s upselling of consumers on tours after the consumers have already bought another product from the online travel giant.
   
For hoteliers: 6 steps to success in text messaging and chat from an expert
As text messaging and chat become the communication channels of choice for consumers, more hotels are adapting to the trend by inviting travelers to connect with them by SMS, chat widget, or messaging app. Consumers love messaging because it’s fast, easy, and convenient.
Airbnb moves into MICE accommodation space
Airbnb has released its Airbnb for Events tool, offering event organisers and conference planners the ability to create an interactive map of Airbnb listings near their venues.
The data says: Global demand growth for Airbnb, TripAdvisor and Agoda
One of the main criteria for mastering global expansion is understanding the market you are about to enter and the elements that set that market apart. But just as important is being keenly aware of what is similar and which elements of an existing strategy can be applied ‘as is.’ Few examples show this process more clearly than Airbnb’s strategy in France where the company is enjoying a 25% traffic share increase among the top 20 sites in the sector.

Meet us at
ATM Dubai, from 22 – 25 April 2018 to see how we can assist you – marketing@erevmax.com

Thanks and have a good day!

eRevMax completes 2-way integration with Brazilian PMS provider Check-in

eRevMax has completed integration with Brazilian hospitality software provider Check-in. Mutual hotel customers can now get the benefit of automatic distribution of availability and rate to third party online booking sites whenever they are updated and get reservations delivered from OTAs to the Check-in property management system.
The Alpha, developed by Check-in, is one the largest property management systems in Latin America and is used by over 1800 hotels. eRevMax’s distribution solutions are used by over 9000 hotels to update rate and inventory across multiple booking channels and deliver reservations into PMS. The tools also update availability across connected channels whenever a new booking is made.
“This interface compliments our continuous efforts to offer our hotel customers seamless connectivity between their technology solutions and OTAs. The Alpha PMS, with its modular, easy to use, installable and cloud modules combined with compatibility to work with different models of hotel management gives hotels scalable options. A greater number of hotels can now leverage the benefits of our Channel Ecosystem while streamlining their distribution efforts,” said Ashis Saha, SVP – Project Management, eRevMax.
“This integration will free hotels from manually capturing booking site reservation information into the property management system, resulting in a more efficient reservation process while reducing cost and effort. With this interface, we now provide a 360-degree option to our hotel customers to expand their distribution leveraging eRevMax Channel Ecosystem’s 2-way XML connectivity with OTAs, GDSs, Meta sites and Wholesalers,”  said Moisés Costa, CEO, Check-in.
eRevMax offers seamless connectivity with over 350 OTAs and 80 technology providers. The company is developing its connectivity solutions to offer sophisticated real-time revenue management functionality to the hospitality industry.
Meet the team at WTM Latin America from 3 – 5 April 2018 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. To set a meeting, contact marketing@erevmax.com

Newshound: OTAs lead in US, changing distribution strategies, traveler’s path to purchase


OTAs remain the top research source for US vacation package buyers, says Expedia

Online travel agencies continue to be American consumers’ favorite source of information prior to booking vacation packages, despite all the buzz about review sites such as TripAdvisor and metasearch sites such as Kayak.
http://www.tnooz.com/2013/08/26/news/otas-remain-the-top-research-source-for-us-vacation-package-buyers-says-expedia/


RM hits the big stage but must work harder to secure the lead role

Revenue management today is beginning to deliver strategic benefits across the business. With a bigger and broader mandate, RM specialists have an important role to play in communicating with other departments to make the most of emerging opportunities.
http://www.eyefortravel.com/revenue-and-data-management/rm-hits-big-stage-must-work-harder-secure-lead-role

Revenue managers adapt distribution strategies

While new distribution channels are emerging seemingly every day, more accurate forecasting and improved technical automation are helping hotel revenue managers stay sane. Few hotels, unless they’re large full-service properties with a significant amount of meeting space, have a dedicated manager assigned to only that property, sources said. Many hotels share a revenue manager with a small group of properties and, in most cases, a general manager also acts as the revenue manager.
http://hotelnewsnow.com/Article/11094/Revenue-managers-adapt-distribution-strategies

The Traveller’s Path to purchase

When it comes to leisure travel shopping, consumers spend a significant amount of time online researching options. Up to 45 days leading up to a booking, a consumer will conduct as many as 38 visits to travel sites. Knowing how and when to influence their decision-making process is crucial to generating mindshare and ultimately driving bookings. In this report by Expedia Media Solutions, get a snapshot of how the overall purchase path looks like from initial exploration through the booking stage.
http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/149354/file-271132325-pdf/docs/Path_to_Purchase_Expedia_Media_Solutions_MillwardBrown.pdf

Spanish hotel major – H10 selects eRevMax to optimize online sales potential

H10 Hotels, one of the largest hotel groups in Spain, has selected eRevMax to increase their online business and distribution exposure. “RateTiger has really helped us to save time and respond to market dynamics. It is faster than any other channel manager when it comes to updating rates.” said Meri Ferrando, Sales Manager, H10 Urquinaona Plaza.


Real time connectivity is directly impacting on H10’s sales, maximising take up on last minute availability to enhance profits from this operational area. Two new properties of H10 Group,
Urquinaona Plaza and Port Vell hotels have been using RateTiger Channel Manager to centrally manage rates and availability in real-time across all connected channels. The properties are also utilizing the eRevMax Channel Eco-system, which offers two-way seamless connectivity with global OTAs to reach out to new markets.

Read the full story here.

Three Strategies to Boost Direct Bookings and Still Appease OTAs

Travelocity, Hotwire, Priceline and other travel deal sites require hotels to pay significant commission fees in exchange for bookings. While this is an important revenue source for the industry, some hotels have experienced an increasing percentage of their business moving to these channels (effectively reducing the amount of undocked reservations they receive).

One primary reason for this trend is the assumption that these online travel agencies (OTAs) will always have the better deal. While rate parity clauses prevent hotels from publicly advertising rates for less than what’s on the OTA, there are strategies property owners can use to entice more customers to book direct.

Recently, my company interviewed several hotel management software and hotel marketing experts to help brainstorm several ways hotels can drive direct bookings. Here’s what they suggested:

Blog About Great Deals and Share The Posts
Your blog is a great avenue for both reminding potential customers why that moment is a great time to travel, and for pitching them on deals relevant to whatever event or season might be happening. You can send these articles to your email list, as well as optimize them with keywords that have high search traffic. This latter strategy can drive more organic traffic to your website. For example, “SXSW hotels” receives 170 searches per month, so Austin-area hotels could write blogs optimized for that keyword so they rank when people search for that term in Google. Here’s an example of a blog post advertising Spring time events in the area around The Sanctuary Beach Resort in Monterey Bay:

Hook Viewers with Strategic Design
Often, travelers shopping on OTAs visit the hotel’s website to learn more about the accommodations offered. This is your chance to capture those site visitors and stop them from going back to the OTA. This takes smart web design.

First off, make it as clear and hassle-free as possible to book. Provide “book now” buttons on every page that link to your hotel booking automation system. These buttons should be located at the top of the page so they are the first thing customers see. Also, include call-to-actions on every page that encourages visitors to “sign up for our email list for exclusive discounts,” or “Like on us on Facebook for special deals.”

Also, many customers assume they will get the “least desirable rooms” if they book on an OTA. So you need to show them what your best rooms look like immediately. This could convince them it’s worth splurging on your room rather than an OTA room. Make sure your most attractive rooms, views and balconies (if you have them) are front and center (like on your homepage). These images need to be professionally taken, high quality and show the best parts of your most desired rooms – soaking tubs, incredible views, large windows and so on.

By implementing these tips, savvy hotel managers can drive customers to their own website without upsetting their OTA and still reap the clear benefits of using OTAs. Rather than a battle, it can be a win for everyone involved.

Interact with Customers on Review Sites
Many times when customers use OTAs, they get a list of five or so properties in a similar price range. In addition to visiting the hotel websites, they might also go to something like Yelp or TripAdvisor. This presents another opportunity to draw customers to your own site, rather than having them go back to the OTA to book.

When customers post reviews about your hotel, you need to try your best to answer as many as possible, where they’re positive or negative. Review, a web-based tool by eRevMax, makes monitoring these reviews as easy as checking emails. The application scours all hotel review sites and collects every mention of your hotel in one location. It also lets you respond directly to guests without ever leaving its interface, cutting down time spent hopping from one review site to another for an effective hotel guest review management process.

Besides just viewing and responding to comments, the tool gives you a deeper understanding of your customers. You can see exactly what’s working and what’s not, trends among customers, and also how your hotel stacks up compared to your competitors.

How do you increase direct bookings? Let us know!


Alan S. Horowitz contributed to this report.

Ashley Verrill is an analyst with Software Advice. She has spent the last six years reporting and writing business news and strategy features. Her work has been featured or cited in Inc., Forbes, Business Insider, GigaOM, CIO.com, Yahoo News, the Upstart Business Journal, the Austin Business Journal and the North Bay Business Journal, among others. She also produces original research-based reports and video content with industry experts and thought leaders.

Newshound: Changing hotel online booking, How to tackle same-day booking market, Brands & OTAs mending relationship

How will online hotel booking change in the near future?

In recent years, supplier sites have gained at the expense of OTAs. Hotels want to drive bookings to their own channels because the payouts to online agents for hotel bookings are huge. To be sure, commissions seem to be declining lately. I used to see major chains paying out commissions in high 20% ranges, while more recently such high payouts seem to apply mostly to independent hotels. The savvier big chains like Marriott, depending on the online channel, may have negotiated down the payouts to the high teens.
http://www.tnooz.com/2013/05/23/news/how-will-online-hotel-booking-change-in-the-near-future/#dqApEQ1SIyQGSugH.99

Addressing the 3 Cs of same-day bookings: Control, cannibalisation, commissions

With the recent surge worldwide of same day booking apps, hotel chains know they need to get on board but there are significant challenges to overcome in the same-day booking market – to avoid cannibalisation, to avoid paying high commission on already discounted rates and not relinquish control of how their last minute inventory is sold and promoted via third parties. Let’s take a look at how hotel chains can address the 3 C’s when considering how to tackle the same-day booking market. 
http://www.webintravel.com//blog/addressing-the-3-cs-of-sameday-bookings-control-cannibalisation-commissions_3799

Connect to your hotel guests – directly!

Travel brands have a huge opportunity to circumvent the OTAs and connect directly with consumers searching for their products and services through paid, earned, and owned media strategies. Many travel brands are missing basic SEO strategies that would help them compete with OTAs. 
http://www.hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/more_on_how_travel_brands_can_connect_directly_with_consumers_online/

Brands, OTAs mending relationship

Although large-scale hotel brands have denounced online travel agencies in recent years, instead focusing their efforts on driving travelers directly to their own websites, there seems to be a shift in attitude of late. Hotel brand executives are beginning to embrace OTAs again, even calling them partners, as companies such as Expedia and Priceline work through complex negotiations with many of the major brands.
http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/articles.aspx/10542/Brands-OTAs-mending-relationship?utm_source=feedly

LifeClass Hotels doubles direct booking with RateTiger

Slovenia-based LifeClass Hotels has successfully utilized the Billboard Effect to increase direct bookings by over 100% with the help of RateTiger, the integrated channel manager, pricing data and guest review monitoring tool.

“RateTiger has certainly made it easy for us to set rates and update all the sales channels very quickly.” said Alen Milosevic, Revenue Manager, LifeClass Hotels & Spa. The 4/5 Star hotel group of six properties has been able to introduce a substantial expansion of its product offerings from one room rate plan for four room types to 16 rate plans for 6 to 7 room types. With the help of RateTiger review the property has been able to monitor guest review on various social channels like TripAdvisor, Facebook yelp etc. this has resulted in 30% revenue growth in 2012.

To read the full story, click here.