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!

The Week, That Was – April 2018 Week 1

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 partnerships, market performance and some general updates. Read on!!

eRevMax completes 2-way integration with Brazilian PMS provider Check-in
Interface to facilitate seamless real-time rate, availability and reservation data transfer between hotels and online sales channels

http://www.erevmax.com/ratetiger-news/ratetiger-news-archive/apr2018-erevmax-2way-integration-brazilian-pms.html

 The $28 billion opportunity for hotels
Ancillary bookings represent a significant opportunity for hotels to add revenue while increasing guest engagement. The airline industry adopted the practice of cross-selling and up-selling trip extras more than a decade ago with impactful results.  How can hotels do the same and best complete their guests’ travel experience by offering products beyond hotel rooms?

https://www.tnooz.com/article/the-28-billion-opportunity-for-hotels/

The Smart GM’s Checklist for Hotel Marketing

A smart, easy place for every GM to start is understanding the four traditional pillars of marketing that directly drive the success of your hotel.

https://www.hospitalitynet.org/opinion/4087765.html

Business travelers are eager to purchase more from hotels
Business travelers are more loyal than leisure travelers: 59% of business travelers belong to one or more hotel loyalty programs.
A new white paper commissioned by iSeatz, a technology company providing ancillary booking solutions, titled Business Traveler and their Demand for Ancillary Services, researched by Phocuswright, shows that business travelers are interested in purchasing more than just rooms from hotels.

http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/business_travelers_are_eager_to_purchase_more_from_hotels

European visitors to GCC to increase 17% by 2020Arrivals from Europe to the GCC will increase 17% over the period 2018 to 2020, driven by extra flights, routes, competitive fares, and the rising number of mid-market hotels throughout the region, according to the latest data published ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2018, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22-25.
https://www.eturbonews.com/181749/european-visitors-to-gcc-to-increase-17-by-2020

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!

The Big 5 – a look into top performing channels in the APAC region – Part I

There are total 2.92 billion people in the world having access to internet. Nearly half of them or 1.3 billion are from Asia Pacific. Last year, Asia Pacific became the largest regional ecommerce market and now contributes for more than a third of all business to consumer ecommerce sales in the world. The increase in online penetration has changed the travel behavior which traditionally preferred travel agencies, group bookings and in-person sales. Many are now choosing to travel in smaller groups, or even alone and preferring to self-manage travel by booking online.

PhoCusWright reports that in 2012 APAC region surpassed Europe to become the world’s largest regional travel market with US$326 billion in gross travel bookings. Despite slow economic growth and political turmoil in some countries in the region, an average 8% growth is expected this year taking the online travel market to $126billion, which is pretty mind-blowing. With 46% APAC travelers planning to book online, no wonder global giants like Expedia and Booking.com are eyeing for a share of the pie, where regional OTAs still rule.
Consider this – 69% of Chinese OTA market is controlled by three regional travel agencies Ctrip, eLong & Ly.com. In India MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip and Yatra have 60% of the market share. Japan, one of the largest online markets in the region, is dominated by Rakuten Travel.
In this article we list out five online travel agents who are playing vital role in shaping the online travel industry in Asia Pacific.
MakeMyTrip, the only local site to be amongst the top 10 most popular online booking sites globally has been consistently dominating the Indian online travel market with over 47% market share.  Rising disposable income and the corresponding expansion of the Indian middle class have triggered more cash flow in households, opening up possibilities for spending and leisure. Working on a hybrid model which offers both online and offline travel services, MakeMyTrip now has a customer base of over seven million, and page views crossing 20 million every month. To cash on the smartphone led internet revolution in the country, MakeMyTrip has invested heavily on their mobile application with full booking capabilities for flights, hotels and bus ticketing across all major platforms.  The application which has seen more than 3.2 million downloads, more than 29% of their monthly unique visitors and 25% of total online domestic hotel transactions come from mobile.
With the rise in disposable income levels, and an expanding middle class, China has emerged as the biggest outbound market. China has 632 million Internet users and 46.9% of them are pure mobile. Ctrip which receives over 1 million transactions per day is the largest Chinese online travel agency by revenue and valuation.




Ctrip.com controls 54% of Chinese online travel market and receives 8.6 million monthly visitors to its website of which 73.52% comes from China only. Ctrip has been partnering with local regional travel portals to consolidate its dominance in Greater China. The channel has formed a partnership with Priceline which gives Ctrip access with Priceline’s 500000 inventories and improve the cross-promotion of each other’s hotel inventory and other travel services.

In my next edition I’ll talk about three more online channels who are playing vital role in shaping the online travel industry in Asia Pacific.
NB: Oriental People Image by Stockvault and Chinese Street by Freepik Images


This is a view point by Christy Toh Sales Manager at eRevMax based in Singapore.  She can be reached at christinet@erevmax.com

The Rise and Rise of Mobility: how it is Changing World Travel – Part 1

More people today own a mobile device than a toothbrush. At the beginning of this year, about 5.1 billion, or 5 out of 7 people have access to mobile phones.  To say that the figure is mind blowing would be an understatement. Truth be told, mobile technology has occupied our daily lives – it has changed our relationships with family, spouses and close friends, altered communication modes and social behavior.
For hospitality industry, this effectively means fundamentally changing the way we do our business. Putting that in perspective, today we deal with a customer who has access to market data all the time. Right from planning to booking to sharing feedbacks – the traveler is using web, largely through a connected mobile device at every step.

As a customer today uses multiple devices to complete purchase journey, hotels need to ensure that guests get a ubiquitous experience. Here is what I think will be key factors hotel needs to consider while developing their mobile strategy.
Mobile Optimized Site
The days of tracking your customers through Desktop / Laptop IP address are gone. According to Global Online Travel Overview by PhoCusWright, about 22% of online bookings will be made in mobile this year.  Experian, in a recent report suggests that about 97% of tablet owners have made a purchase on their devices, and 83% have been engaged in shopping-related activities immediately before, during, or after visiting a store. Clearly it has become an integral part of the travel buying journey as they use the device from planning to “showroom’ viewing to purchasing to finally posting review – in other words using it at every stage of the travel journey.  However, do remember, your probable guest is most likely to use mobile while on the go, and hence has a shorter attention span. Make sure they don’t need to visit too many pages to get the right information. A responsive web-design which provides an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices should get the top priority in your wish list for 2015.
 

Ease of Booking
1.75 billion people today own a smartphone, a number you can hardly ignore for being used by elites. More than 50% of leisure travelers and 74% of first-class travelers today use a smartphone making it a platform which hotels must adapt to. By now, mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop internet usage, and mobile devices – and one in every five booking will come through smart phone and tablets. Peer-to-peer apartment rentals booked through mobile is even more at 34%. For the hospitality industry, this essentially indicates that unless they have a mobile friendly direct bookings, baked by a focused marketing strategy, lion-share will go to the OTAs which have been early adapters of this change.

Newshound: Trends and Reports – Hotel Online Distribution


eRevMax Restructures Customer Service To Deliver Product Consultancy

eRevMax International has restructured its customer service to deliver 24/7 technical support and full service product consultancy for revenue managers. Customers of the RateTiger Suite portfolio and RTConnect will benefit from immediate attention on all technical issues relating to product performance and channel connectivity with a ‘Follow the Sun’ approach adopted by the hotel technology specialist.
http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com/_news/showNewsDetail-docID-5809.asp

Individuality is key for proper channel mix

An overall strategy for managing a hotel’s distribution channel mix should include individual plans for each of the channels, according to several industry experts on the topic. Experts said that while revenue management and channel management practices have become more technical over the years, neither of them should be considered rocket science.
http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles.aspx/9081/Individuality-is-key-for-proper-channel-mix

Victory for value: good deals drive bookings for corporate travel

Corporates are getting savvier about the way they choose and procure accommodation, and a key influencer today is value for money. Firms are trying to extract more for their hotel stays by cashing in on value-added incentives.  Recent data released by hotel distribution technology provider Hotelzon has highlighted the growing popularity of five-star hotels with business travelers.
http://www.eyefortravel.com/distribution-strategies/victory-value-good-deals-drive-bookings-corporate-travel

Distribution challenge: how OTAs are making appropriate use of online technology

To ensure the best possible yield for hotel partners, online travel agencies (OTAs) must ensure that they are compatible with most of the key channel management solutions. At the same time they must aim to increase accommodation choices for travellers. The ultimate aim of the OTA is to expand their global coverage to offer a range of properties from ordinary global chains to elite hotel groups and unique, independent hotels around the world.
http://www.eyefortravel.com/mobile-and-technology/distribution-challenge-how-otas-are-making-appropriate-use-online-technology

Infographic:Turning social media reaction into booking action for travel brands

We know the basics – social media allows travel companies to engage with existing and potential customers and can act as an unofficial watchdog of products. But with 61% of travellers apparently referring to some kind of user review and almost a third posting reviews of placed they’ve visited, for example, what can companies do to increase booking conversions as a result of activity on social networks.
http://www.tnooz.com/2012/10/04/news/turning-social-media-reaction-into-booking-action-for-travel-brands-infographic/#FH7CCAC6MYpKpQ7g.99 

Online travelers in Europe visit fewer websites

When it comes to online travel shopping, European consumers are keeping it simple. According to PhoCusWright’s European Consumer Travel Report Third Edition, a Global and European Edition report, online travel shoppers in France, Germany and the U.K. trimmed down the number of websites they visited when shopping for travel in 2012. The percentage of online travel shoppers who used only 1-2 websites to shop for travel products increased within the past year – to 41% in France, 30% in Germany and 37% in the U.K. http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/online_travelers_in_europe_visit_fewer_websites

GBTA Convention 2012 – Preview

Come Monday and one of the biggest Business Travel events will kick off in Boston, Massachusetts. With two former US Presidents featuring as key speakers among the biggies of the travel industry, there is surely some exciting time ahead!

With over 1400 pre-registered buyers, the 2012 GBTA Convention will have the largest buyer attendance in its 44 year history, which speaks volumes about the show. The agenda looks well-defined and with huge cuts on global business travel budgets, we can expect to witness hot discussions and debates on ways to achieve more productivity.

How do we do that?
Well with technology moving forward in leaps and bounds, there will be much to catch up on. And of course I will be there at the RateTiger stand 959 speaking to attendees on how they can leverage our tools to achieve ultimate rate transparency

A recent PhoCusWright report mentions how quickly corporate travel bookings are moving online, with over 56% of all business travel bookings to be made over the internet by 2013. The technology boom doubled with increase in mobile and tablet usage has converted corporate travelers into corporate tourists. Further with travel managers keeping a close check on online hotel rates, it has become difficult for hotels to disregard their corporate contracts and offer differential pricing.

New technology and software tools are expected to play an important role with TMCs experiencing increased pressure from companies to thoroughly assess and deliver returns from their travel spend. Corporates are defining stricter ROI metrics to ensure they get ‘more from less’ when it comes to their money spent. Therefore buyers need to look at rates carefully and ensure they are getting the best deal – hence the importance of rate shopping tools (aka RTCorp). Our corporate price management tool will give the transparency needed when negotiating RFPs with hotels.

I look forward to all the discussions and networking, as well as checking out what others in the business travel space are doing. Watch this space for updates when I am back from the show.

Jan Murza is Sales Manager – USA at eRevMax and is responsible for sale of RateTiger products in the region. He is based out of Orlando, USA and can be reached at janm@ratetiger.com

Newshound: Trends and Reports – Hotel Online Distribution


Are Travel Agents Really Making a Comeback?

According to a recent PhoCusWright study, travel agents have successfully tapped into a market PhoCusWright describes as the “oldies but goodies” segment of travelers – 67 per cent of their sales come from clients age 45 and older, and 32 per cent come from customers who are at least 60 years old. Leisure travel agents said that 70 per cent of their bookings have per-person spending of at least USD 1,000, and that 35 per cent spend at least USD 2,000. By comparison, the average U.S. traveller’s per-person spending is well below USD 1,000.

Pricing power becomes evident in hotel metrics
The hotel industry is back on the recovery race with rate leading the way. The global corporate rates were up 3.7% year over year and global leisure rates were up 7.6% in February, according to Pegasus data. The hoteliers needs to have a clear rate strategy to take advantage of the strong demand and continue rate growth.

Expedia’s social journey into the ‘recommendation age’
Expedia is thinking very seriously about its plans for an integrated social media strategy. According to an independent research commissioned by the agency, there is a strong correlation people actively engaging with Expedia on Facebook and those going on to book a holiday with the site. Expedia also wants to engage more closely with social media for brand-building exercise and generate more transactions.

Distribution Strategies: Working on mobile offerings as per your customers’ behaviour
The usage of smartphones by leisure and business travellers is on the rise and this growth makes the whole talk about mobile product strategy more fascinating. Consumers’ expectations and behaviour on mobile phones and tablets are different than on a website. It is important to understand and accept that people will access many channels and you should be consistent in your branding and experience.

Rate Strategy: Savvy pricing strategies mitigate risks
Since today’s customers are able to shop around more easily, rate integrity can be elastic. They expect high rates during peak seasons opposed to shoulder periods, but they don’t expect a higher rate during the off season. Business mix is especially importuning in pricing, understanding gross-operating-profit-per-available-room metrics and channel cost can increase top-line revenue and profitability.

Newshound: Trends and Reports – Hotel Online Distribution


Revenue Measurement Is Not Revenue Management

In pricing and revenue management, hedging your bets with a tried-and-true process may actually be riskier than taking a chance on something different. It sounds counterintuitive, but the fact is that the conservative route to pricing practices is costing big hospitality firms millions in revenue, risking their future viability.
http://www.hotelexecutive.com/subscribe/2669/

Integrating e-commerce into a hotel’s overall business strategy

Commerce should be a compliment to every part of a hotel’s operations. All staff members need to be briefed on the advantages of taking a collaborative approach to e-commerce.The front desk staff, for example, needs to understand the correlation of stellar customer service on online guest reviews and the ability of a hotel to sell its products online.
http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4052549.html

Online traveler review volume continues to grow

A new report from PhoCusWright reveals that online hotel review volume expanded significantly in 2010, as traveler opinion plays an increasingly powerful role in the online travel search-shop-buy process. PhoCusWright’s Social Media in Travel 2011: Traffic, Activity and Sentiment analyzes nearly 2.9 million online traveler reviews, covering more than 26,000 U.S. properties of 65 top hotel brands.
http://www.traveldailynews.com/pages/show_page/44789-Online-traveler-review-volume-continues-to-grow

“RM now moving away from overall profitability towards customer centric profitability”

It is critical to understand that the interests of the hotel are the same as protecting your most valuable customers, says Devdutta Banerjee, Regional Director – Revenue Management, India Bangladesh and Nepal, Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
http://www.eyefortravel.com/news/hotels/%E2%80%9Crm-now-moving-away-overall-profitability-towards-customer-centric-profitability%E2%80%9D