Is your PMS enough for distribution?

Channel Managers and Hotel Property Management Systems have been around for quite a few years now. Whether you are a real estate agency, a hotel, a B&B manager or the owner of some family properties, there are chances that you are looking for the type of software that can help you out the best. Here are some differences between Channel Management systems and Property Management Systems, which can let you understand such platforms better and take an informed decision.

Is your PMS enough for distribution

Purpose

Property Management Systems are a type of software system that is created to make daily operations management easier for real estate companies, hotels or rental agencies. The aim is to assign, schedule and organize tasks and these are especially helpful for reporting, accounting and staff management. Channel Managers, on the other hand, specialize in distributing short-term rentals to listing websites, whether it comes to wholesalers, GDS, Metasearch, Vacation Rental sites or OTAs.

Capability

PMS systems are created originally in the form of front desk hotel software, and are made to follow trends in the market and can redirect them to vacation rentals or some other expanding sector. With the use of this type of system, you can spend less time in dealing with business and get more time to concentrate on guest experience and guests.

A PMS channel manager can let you deal with time-consuming operations of managing a vacation rental business. A PMS channel manager updates information automatically across every booking channel and can automate payments and online reservations. Dedicated channel managers, however, are online distribution specialists and can frequently offer much more connections across many channels.

Sophistication

When you choose a property management system integrated with a channel manager, it can help you in online property management and can ensure listing distribution for you across many websites. A PMS or company has several advantages. Property management systems offer automated guest communication services, business performance analytics, in-built accounting services and many more.

PMS coming with an in-built channel manager can be very useful for your own business. A dedicated channel manager is useful in all those cases where there is a drop in the functionality of a property management system. There are more sophisticated capabilities of dedicated channel managers, which can let you create a very complex type of pricing model as per your wish. While PMSes and channel managers tend to vary in nature, the former lacks the sophisticated features that are part of dedicated channel managers – such as pushing right property specs and dealing with a complicated pricing model.

Support

A few property management firms have a team comprising of local employees that care for on-site upkeep and maintenance. But you can expect a built-in expert team with dedicated channel managers, which come with the support of a team comprising of expert distribution professionals. The team of experts of the developer company has a direct communication line with booking websites as well as other channels, due to the fact that a high volume of properties is offered by dedicated channel managers to listing websites.

 

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Hotel Channel Manager in 2019

It is necessary to have a wonderful hotel channel manager in the hotel industry. It will let you sell rooms efficiently, reduce the number of unsatisfied guests and minimize your monetary losses as well as reduce the amount of time that you waste on double bookings, under bookings and overbookings. In the absence of a channel manager, hotels need to manually update availability and inventory on every channel. Before picking a hotel channel manager in 2019, here are a few things that you need to consider.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Hotel Channel Manager in 2019

Real-time updates

Real-time rate and availability updates are important features of any capable hotel channel manager. The channel manager of your choice must let you adjust hotel rates and room availability with convenience. It should be connectible to many booking sites. Thus, when there is booking of a room, the availability should automatically change across every distribution channel.

Channel performance report

A proper channel manager needs to offer you detailed reports on every channel. It will allow you to view how every channel is performing, what has to be fixed, the amount of money that you are making and more. You should get higher visibility on your channel distribution network, which can boost your performance, and reduce your expenses. The channel managers that are best-in-class heavily invest in cutting edge analytics and reports that are easily understandable and show revenues, reservations and occupancy for a particular time period.

Connectivity to many markets and OTAs

You should also check the way your channel manager forms connection all your preferred markets and various OTAs. The connection established to many OTAs around the globe will let you enter your chosen markets that you supposed to be out of your reach. The process needs to be fast and easy, similar to ending a connection with an Online Travel Agency that you do not regard as important for your business. The best kind of channel managers let you use your most productive channels to advantage, and also experiment with channels that are less apparent and might help you gain access to markets that are tough to reach otherwise.

Support and training

A hotel channel manager of your choice needs to include support as well as training. In case it does not, you will be at risk of losing money and time. Without any training, you will not be able to get familiarity with a new hotel channel manager. It should help you to grasp all the particular features. The support needs to be great as well. Like any other software program, it can come with quite a few problems. When help is required, you need to be assured that it will be available right on time.

Pooled inventory

Proper channel management also needs a pooled inventory model. Make sure that there is sharing of your room inventory across every channel, instead of being manually allocated channel-by-channel. Pooled inventory makes sure that there is proper availability of rooms, so that the hotel rooms may be simultaneously promoted across every channel with no concern of overbooking.

5 ways to attract millennials

It’s 2019, and it’s clear that millennials have a definite impact on travel and tourism than any other generational group. Around 20% of international travelers are young travelers of millennial generation, who value experiences over material possessions.

Boston Consulting Group, in its report, suggests millennials will account for almost 50% of travel spending by 2020. A high spending segment with very distinct travel preference is a reality that hospitality industry has been learning to accept and adjust.

Millennials, who were born between 80s and 90s, comprise almost half of the global workforce. Technologically sound with strong online presence, social and worldly, they have different set of values and expectations. They cherish individuality and prefer personalized travel experience. A cookie-cutter approach of traditional marketing does not work with them. Hotel needs to deliver customer journeys tailored to the changing travel habits of this segment.

To help you better connect with the millennials, we’ve got some quick tactics. You might be already be doing some of things we’re going suggest, which is great. However, you can always fine-tune and add more to your strategy while exploring our ideas.

  1. Online booking – give the channel for online booking a boost – Boost the online booking system so that it is fast and does not take much time for completion of the booking. The system should have the ability to push promotions across social media.

The millennials are tech savvy and they would do extensive research prior to booking.

i) Go for an in depth check of the website for your hotel and then get the site updated with all features and images that will help you attract millennials. They are the original smartphone generation with 43% checking their phones every five minutes. They use it to stay social, connect with people, take photos, do businesses and make purchases. If your hotel website is not mobile optimized and looks un-attractive to them, they will simply move to another site. Invest on a website which is fast, responsive and visually enriched.

ii) One reason OTAs are scoring high is their user-friendly interface. Most OTAs follow a simple booking process which is also highly secure. Invest in a booking system which is simple, stable and secure. Millennials know technology and are used to seamless buying experiences from applications like Amazon or Uber. Unless you live up to their expectation, they will look for another option.

2.   Millennials are price conscious and will not waste money

While millennials are the biggest spenders, however, unlike the earlier generations, they do not like to overspend. A generation that was most hit by global recession and education loan, millennials look for deals and often shop for last minute deals and alternative housing like camping or homestays. Given their busy work schedule, they prioritize shorter trips making memorable experiences out of lower budgets and tighter schedules.

This is one generation which have grown up with online travel agents and are familiar with their booking process. However, as they look for a more holistic experience, they are exploring new opportunities from a value and service perspective. To attract them to book direct, hotels need to ensure that their offers and rates are as good or even better than OTAs. Millennials are used to flexible terms and conditions, and expect no less from your direct booking engine. If your rates are just in parity with OTAs, they might go for the OTAs given their comfort factor with the travel websites. Provide additional value as Book Direct rewards like free parking, wifi or loyalty bonus.

3.      Millennial Family Travel is on Rise

Depending on time when they were born, millennials have very distinct preferences, with the travel journey of millennials varies based their life stages. Some of them, who are in the early stage of adulthood are still exploring their preference, while elders in the category have families. While the young ones often look for traveling solo in off-beaten adventures, those with family have more different sets of priorities. According to a survey by Resonance Consultancy, millennials with kids prioritize on safety, lower prices and convenience when considering their vacation plans. Digitally savvy, they take months to plan and visit multiple sites to compare prices before booking. Interestingly elder millennials with kids are almost as comfortable in experiencing urban life as their elder generations preference for beach resorts.

Major hotel chains are taking note of this change in travel habit. As more and more millennials see local experiences, out-of-the-way places and genuine connections with locals, hotels are increasingly collaborating with cooperating with local guides and teaming up with local restaurants to show off the region’s cuisine.

4.     Add visual pleasure to hotels

One thing that drives the millennials to travel is the social currency. According to a study by UK based Schofields, the millennial choice of holiday destination is being driven by how ‘Instagrammable’ it is. 40% of those surveyed with 18-33 put picture-worthiness of a particular place over other factors such as cost, local cuisine and availability of alcohol with sightseeing being the lowest priority.

In a similar way, over 42% Facebook posts by millennials are about travel. They connect with their families and friends over social networking platform and expect the same from hotels. For hotels this gives a unique opportunity to catch the attention of millennials and get their booking. However posting content on social media would not make millennials book property. Millennials expect personalization and customer engagement can make a lot of difference.

Compared to older generations, millennials have distinctly different travel expectations and behaviours compared to other generations. Travel companies need to align themselves with the changing mindset in order to make themselves relevant with this generation. When this tactic is executed well, travel companies are satisfied with the results.

Luxury boutique hotel in Philippines improves online sales with RateTiger

Superior connectivity with OTAs results in 5% revenue growth in 3 months for Bayleaf Intramuros

Bayleaf Intramuros, an upmarket boutique hotel in Philippines has improved in online sales with efficient rate and availability distribution through RateTiger. The property offering 57 rooms in Manila, has started using RateTiger Channel Manager in June this year and experienced immediate result.

Located within the walls of the oldest district and historic core of Manila, Bayleaf Intramuros is an iconic landmark popular with luxury leisure travellers. The property has been leveraging eRevMax’s seamless connection with global and regional OTAs to update rates and availability across channels like Booking.com and Expedia and receive reservations in real-time. RateTiger’s interface with leading technology providers like DirectWithHotels has allowed Bayleaf to manage their online booking engine through the interface. This has resulted in 5% growth in revenue in just three months.

“We work with a number of online demand partners like Booking.com, Expedia, TripAdvisor- just to name a few. RateTiger has 2-way integration with all these travel sites plus a wide range of metasearch, wholesalers and niche channels to choose from. The best part is I can monitor performance, targets and reservations, always updated, on the LiveOS platform, to make informed decision. We are now able to yield better than before,” said Benjie V. Martinez, Area Director of Sales and Marketing, The Bayleaf Hotels.

Philippines is one of the world’s fastest-growing online travel markets – and much of the region’s online opportunity is yet to be tapped. With close to 46% bookings coming from online, it’s important for the property to maintain presence, maintain exposure in OTAs. The revenue management team of the Bayleaf Hotels is also using RateTiger’s benchmarking report to monitor competitor’s rate movement and maintain rate parity across online sales channels.

“I personally monitor the rates daily and update our prices according to the market demand. The competitor rate shopping tool on LiveOS has really made my daily operations smooth. I am now very hands on with revenue management, more than ever before, thanks to RateTiger”, said Benjie V. Martinez, Area Director of Sales and Marketing, The Bayleaf Hotels.

eRevMax offers seamless connectivity with over 350 distribution partners including OTAs, Metasearch channels, GDS, Wholesalers and offline tour operators among others. The company continues to expand its partner base through new integrations to offer hoteliers integrated and seamless connections across different systems. eRevMax offers rate shopping, channel management and connectivity solutions to hotels worldwide to support complex revenue generation strategies.

 

Luxury hotel in Ghana recommends RateTiger for online distribution

The Royal Senchi Hotel & Resort, a luxury property in Ghana has recommended RateTiger for streamlining online distribution. The hotel has experienced significant improvement in their operational efficiency leveraging RateTiger’s cloud based channel manager and on-demand shopping tool.

Located in Akosombo, a resort town near Ghanaian capital Accra, the The Royal Senchi Hotel & Resort, with its 84 rooms, caters to primarily leisure tourists. eRevMax’s XML connectivity with global and regional OTAs, GDSs and Metas have made it possible for the revenue management team to manage their OTAs, GDS and booking engine from LiveOS dashboard.

 “It was easy when we’re handling just the booking engine. The real challenge came when we signed up with several OTAs – updating multiple extranets and consolidating reports from these channels manually was time-taking and taking a toll on our efficiency.  RateTiger by eRevMax has solved it all. With just one entry I can update all OTAs simultaneously from the dashboard. It also gives me the data I want at one go with a simple click,” said Bennett Attakorah, Rooms Division Manager, The Royal Senchi Hotel & Resort.

 “Providing hotels with stable connectivity remained our priority for the last 17 years. RateTiger and LiveOS have been built with a vision to make online sales simpler for hotels, and this recommendation is a testimony to that,” said Ram Mohan Dubey, Regional Sales Director, eRevMax.

Abasto Hotel experiences 65% revenue growth with RateTiger Channel Manager

Abasto Hotel Buenos Aires,  a  property in Argentinian capital, has improved its online sales by over 80% leveraging eRevMax‘s gold standard of connectivity with leading OTAs. The Buenos Aires based property has been using RateTiger  Channel Manager  for online distribution and managing rates and inventory across its connected OTAs since 2012.

A family-friendly property with 126 rooms, Abasto Hotel is located in the historical district, just steps from Museo de los Ninos and Abasto Shopping Center and caters to upmarket business and leisure travellers. RateTiger’s seamless connectivity with global and regional OTAs as well as metasearch sites allows Abasto Hotel to be visible in all relevant sales channels for maximum exposure.

“In the past 4-5 years, we have seen our online revenue grow 65% with an 80% increase in OTA sales. We have experienced an overall growth in business and our occupancy have gone up despite the macro-economic factors,” said Silvina Donvito, Revenue Manager at Abasto Hotel Buenos Aires.

RateTiger is more than just a hotel channel manager. It’s a powerful tool that makes connectivity simple and hassle free. The stable and secure connections help in making immediate rate and inventory updates across all channels while also delivering bookings back into the system. Further, the 24×7 support makes it very convenient as we can go to them whenever with the smallest of query and they are always happy to help,” concluded Silvina.

The Argentinian hotel market is characterized by regional operators that have a strong position. With supply of rooms outpacing demand, online channels have emerged as an important revenue source for hoteliers. Abasto Hotel, with 15 OTAs in its distribution mix, has been able to improve its occupancy to 85%, about 20 points more than the industry average in Buenos Aires. This has resulted in an increase in RevPAR and profitability, with the help of RateTiger Channel Manager.

Hotel GDS Description – how to get it right?

The GDS still is, and will most likely remain, a noteworthy channel for ARI distribution and reservations for hotels. Both recreation and corporate travel operators utilize it to search and book hotels. Numerous OTA sites likewise utilize the GDS for room stock. Hence, it is critical that your hotel is available on GDS.

We have put together a few tips and tricks on how hotels are getting the most out of their GDS channels through descriptive content. The Hotel GDS Description (HOD) goes about as your hotel’s electronic leaflet. It is conceivably your brand brochure for tour operators and travel agents to access and get all the pertinent details with your property description, hotel amenities and data about neighborhood attractions etc. Here are the top GDS HOD Tips:

  1. General hotel description – Try to keep your hotel description very targeted – put the hotel USPs and try to provide key differentiators and why a guest must chose your hotel over competitor’s.
  2. Facilities and Services – List out all your amenities and services – provide restaurant details, timings, cuisine along with details of in-house services like salon, spa, gym, pool etc. Also, drop in a line about safety and security as these tend to be a key concern today.
  3. Area Information: Mention any specific locational advantage you might have. Or else list out the nearby attractions to draw interest. Whether your hotel is downtown or near the airport, remember to put your Geo code for correct location identification.
  4. Property Address – Make sure you put your hotel’s full address and zip code correctly. Sabre uses the official street address to geocode the property. If you don’t have a street number, use 1, to ensure better visibility and bookability.
  5. Driving Directions – Provide details on the easiest way to reach your property, whether it is from the airport, train or bus stations or from downtown. Also, provide a phone number in case a guest is stuck and wants to connect to the hotel.
  6. Room Type Name – GDS’s provide 30 characters to cover this, so be creative. But remember to make sure that it’s easy to understand the room type by the name you provide to it.
  7. Room Type Description – Try to use this section to attract your guests with room details and inclusions like in-room coffee machine, free wi-fi, luxury bathing products, etc. The description should also adhere to the kind of property it is – luxury, corporate, budget etc.
  8. Presentation – It is best to keep the description language crisp and fluid. Travel agents prefer short sentences or bulleted description. It helps to capture relevant points while covering all the necessary information.
  9. Nearby Attractions – Include details about attractions in the area, timings, distance and directions to the place. This makes your hotel more appealing and train your concierge or front office staff to have details about shows /tickets at these attractions.

Keep your Hotel GDS Description up to date. Whenever you introduce a new service or roomtype or if there are new attractions nearby, remember to update your hotel description. Always provide correct information and present in a nice and concise manner. Always keep your USPs on the top to catch the attention of the travel agents.

Indian budget hotel endorses RateTiger Channel Manager for online distribution

Kolkata based IndiSmart Hotel has endorsed RateTiger for simplifying online distribution. The property has been using eRevMax’s cloud-based Channel Manager and Shopper for managing their online sales channels and has improved their business operational efficiency.

IndiSmart is a budget hotel with 76 rooms, conveniently located in the IT hub of Kolkata, India. The property caters to business travellers and hence the booking window is lesser than the usual duration with 48-72 hours. Given most bookings are coming from online, it’s important for the hotel to have real-time rate and availability on OTAs.

“We have been able to bring all OTA channels under one window for all possible modifications like rate and inventory. The option of changing rates and inventory at any point of time on a single click has really made online distribution really simple. Rate shopping also helps us to analyse the market condition, to understand our stand and projection,” said Jayanta Bhattacherjee, Front Office Manager, Indismart Hotel.

Prior to RateTiger, the hotel has tried other solutions. However, the result was far from satisfactory.

“The main issue was rate disparity and manifold changes in the extranets manually were really cumbersome. We can handle the OTAs easily and in a better way now with RateTiger. The support team is very good as well,” concluded Mr. Bhattacherjee.

 

The Week, That Was – July 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!!

Expedia says packages are better for hotels than room-only

Hotels are achieving higher average daily rates (ADR) from consumers who book packages rather than just rooms, according to data from Expedia Group.

The online travel giant said consumers buying packages paid around 30% more in ADR than those making standalone hotel bookings.

https://www.tnooz.com/article/expedia-says-packages-are-better-for-hotels-than-room-only/

 Indian budget hotel endorses RateTiger Channel Manager for online distribution

Kolkata based IndiSmart Hotel has endorsed RateTiger for simplifying online distribution. The property has been using eRevMax’s cloud-based Channel Manager and Shopper for managing their online sales channels and has improved their business operational efficiency.

https://goo.gl/gyX3Jr

Hotels.com launches hideaway hotels category

Hotels.com has introduced the Hideaway Hotels category in response to a lift in bookings in the last two years, with a 60% spike in guests leaving positive reviews for off-the-grid hotels.

https://goo.gl/N3SCFX

Is hotel luxury dead?

When hotel discount brokers offer “luxury” accommodations at $49 a night, as occurred during the recent Independence Day holiday, does the word “luxury” have any useful meaning?

Read the interesting article: http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/is-hotel-luxury-dead/travel-hospitality-event-management#When:13:51:00Z

 How Booking.com is trying to solve travel’s pain points

The CMO of Booking.com explains how the company is trying to ease some of those unhappy surprises. Learn more about it by watching the video.

https://goo.gl/4AoyiF

Google tests location tab for hotel knowledge panels

Google is testing a new location tab and section within the hotel knowledge panels. The location tab contains information that tells you what is around the hotel, including sections such as highlights, top sights and a getting-around section.

https://goo.gl/v4eKcn

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 Business Intelligence – The starting point

What is Hotel Business Intelligence (BI)?

Business Intelligence refers to relevant data – past, present and future, from different sources or hotel systems, that helps hotels to analyze and take meaningful business decision.

In todays’ world, business intelligence plays an important role for hoteliers to improve their revenue in a smart way. It helps hoteliers to draw insights and make better decisions. In-depth BI requires proper tools and investment to help drive a hotel’s revenue. BI plays an even bigger role for hotel chains and groups – where the headquarter is managing multiple properties and need to understand occupancy trends, rates and predictions to be able to define forecasts and budgets accordingly. The different system that a hotel uses to draw upon its BI data include –

  • PMS
  • CRS
  • RMS
  • POS
  • Sales and Distribution
  • Market Intelligence
  • Accounting, Budget and Forecasting
  • Market Reports
  • Competitor rate reports
  • Occupancy trends

The main benefits from leveraging business intelligence are:

  • Effective data management and analysis for clarity in decision making
  • Clear directions on daily targets for occupancy and revenue
  • Clarity on guest profile, booking journey, preferences and customer loyalty thereby giving scope to hotels for enhancing guest experience
  • Plan campaigns and promotions for marketing based on guest data
  • BI also helps identify cases of fraud, poor performance in a timely manner
  • Multiple Reports available at the click of a button as required

Advanced BI tools are platform-based giving hotels a consolidated view of their business. It allows for multiple systems to be integrated so that they talk to each other to provide relevant data in various formats for easier consumption.

Invest in a smart BI solution to take your hotel business to the next level. To know more about which solutions to opt for, contact us today on marketing@erevmax.com