The Austrian Hotel Association (ÖHV) recently organized the hotel industry’s annual congress from 18 – 20 January 2010 in Zell am See, Salzburg. The event focused primarily on the economic situation of hotels in Austria.
I was representing RateTiger there and was not amazed to see that Austrian hoteliers too like their counterparts across the world have resorted to the mantra of ‘Putting heads in beds’. In the process they have gone into the discount mode to increase bookings. This has led to erosion in hotel rates which has hugely impacted their economic situation and hence the main agenda at ÖHV was to find ways to deal with the current scenario.
More than 250 hoteliers attended the event which was a good thing. It proved that Austrian hoteliers are eager to find out what they can do to conquer the situation. It was a good experience for me to meet with them and gain awareness about the market. On the other hand, it presented me with an opportunity to tell them about RateTiger which can help them in effective distribution of rates and inventory online to reach a wider audience. Overall it was a nice opportunity to explore a new market.
Ulf Guldi is Sales Manager – Germany at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. Ulf is based out of Germany and can be reached at email@example.com
San Diego recently witnessed the very successful NBTA International Convention & Exposition organized by National Business Travel Association (NBTA). It turned out to be a very busy event where I met many old friends from the industry, which is not a surprise given that over 5,600 travel professionals attended the 4-day event (August 23 -26, 2009) at the San Diego Convention Center.
The setting was spectacular as the convention center was situated right on the waterfront. The attendees were a blend of airlines, hotels, software providers, OTAs and travel company representatives.
The discussions mainly revolved around how to survive the current economic scenario. There were over 65 educational sessions where industry experts from the corporate travel community discussed business travel growth in today’s volatile economy and shifting corporate culture. It was a very intense and active convention with a blend of all the components of the travel experience.
With more than 400 exhibitors and 1240 travel buyers, it was a good milieu of people. A big advantage from RateTiger’s perspective was the opportunity to meet up with independent hotel groups face to face. The added access to the OTAs was a huge plus which helped develop rapport with them for future business relationship.
I would conclude by saying that the NBTA Convention is rightly known as the Business Travel Event of the Year. It has lived up to its reputation and is one of the few successful travel events in recent times.
Phil Stiles is the Vice President of Sales at RateTiger. He manages RateTiger’s sales and support operations in North, Central and South America regions and has facilitated the expansion of the RateTiger brand in the US market leading to increased business opportunities. Phil is based in RateTiger’s Florida office and travels to the European and Indian offices when work demands. Being a new business specialist, he attends various travel trade shows throughout the year to keep himself abreast of latest developments.
The first news to hit the wires on Monday continued to throw gloom into the financial markets with Hotels.com’s Hotel Price Index (HPI) revealing rates for rooms in the UK to have fallen for the first time since 2004.
The HPI indicates that in the final quarter of 2008 prices dropped 4% to an average of £97 per room per night compared to £101 a year earlier. The rates are representative of many major UK cities as hoteliers scramble to maximise occupancy over rates. However, properties in more remote regions, like Inverness in Scotland experienced a rate decline of 15%.
A new report from Pricewaterhouse Cooper (PwC) hospitality and leisure team claim that rates in London will decline as much as 23% in 2009. While on average it will drop by approximately 10% across the UK.
It is essential today that hoteliers focus on expanding their sales channels and market outreach. This will help to maximise opportunities and secures bookings in the short, mid and long-term. Since 1995, the internet has experienced a significant increase in bookings with travel websites gradually becoming the key source for consumer’s travel purchases.
Employing proper channel management technologies will enable hotels to identify appropriate selling rates through competitor benchmarking. Allocation mechanisms will then help to allocate inventory to the most successful and relevant channels to maximise occupancy. In a single year, total business via the internet for Thistle’s 56 hotels increased 130%:
“Basically, Rate Tiger gives the hotel an understanding of what the demand is and what is happening so we choose our rate wisely,” said Warren Mandelbaum, Area Revenue Manager, Thistle.
2009 is a year that requires exploring opportunities presented by online sales channels, focussing on price and offering to capture a share of the difficult market.
Welcome to the RateTiger blog. As channel management specialist for the hospitality industry we provide tools for hoteliers to easily benchmark and distribute rates and inventory online. Going forward this blog will provide you with news, insights and industry activities to keep you informed of developments in our sector.
The RateTiger blog will be updated regularly with news items that will be of interest to hoteliers selling rooms across the internet; reviews of events from our representatives across the world; and an insight to the thoughts and feelings of key players in the channel management space.
The online channel management market is a new and exciting industry only coming into its own over the past few years with the rise of popular consumer travel booking engines like for example Expedia, Lastminute and bookings.com. In 2007 nearly half of all travel bookings in the US were made through online channels. The internet enables consumers to look for deals online rather than rely on traditional travel sources. Watching the trend, online distribution sites seem to have an even more significant impact on hotel bookings over the next few years.
Therefore, hoteliers selling rooms across multiple distribution websites are continuously increasing the number of channels they distribute inventory too. It seems more important than ever to ensure updates are accurate and management of these channels is not extremely time intensive.
With a weak economy channel management becomes even more a priority for hoteliers to help maximise rates and occupancy. This blog will help identify ways you can make the most of the market.