Organized at St. Petersburg/Clearwater from January 24 through to January 26, 2010, Florida Huddle turned out to be a great event for me.
The event focuses completely on buyer-supplier meetings and is a good platform to meet prospective buyers and close deals. A new segment called the Travel Service Provider has now been incorporated as well. However they need to clearly define the requisites to qualify as supplier and /or travel service provider.
The discussions at the event revolved around the current economic scenario, similar to the OHV agenda. Hoteliers in Florida too are driving occupancy and not ADR. More than 165 hoteliers were present in the total gathering of 200 plus visitors and all were eager to find out the best way to take prices up again.
From the business perspective, presence at Florida Huddle is always lucrative as it allows decision makers from the buyer and supplier sides to meet directly and cut deals. RateTiger too signed many new contracts at the event and it was a very successful event for all involved.
Siobhain McArdle is Sales Manager for south eastern states of USA at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. She is based out of Florida and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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
World Travel Market has consistently performed as a fantastic tradeshow within the hospitality community over the years, and 2009 was no different. Despite the industry having high cloud coverage over the past 18 months, WTM’09 was an excellent exhibit of the bright light at the end of tunnel for bustling hoteliers.
Both new and veteran exhibitors alike will testify that this year’s event was well attended, and more importantly attended by the right parties. At RateTiger we definitely felt the presence of hoteliers and OTA’s visiting our stand with intent. Visitors have become shoppers! As a result, our expanded stand was constantly lively and packed with prospective hoteliers roaring with the desire to put a tiger in their hotel.
WTM has always been a dynamic event not only for generating new clients, and building on existing relationships but also for creating new partnerships and sharing great ideas. For me personally, the event was a great success, especially hearing the many stories from hoteliers’ on how RateTiger tools have already or will in the future save them time and help maximise revenue.
Without a doubt I look forward to WTM 2010. See you there next year.
Casey Davy is Sales Manager – UK at eRevMax. He is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in United Kingdom. Casey is based out of London and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The €0.01 per room incident experienced by the Crowne Plaza is a pure example of how human errors can have a major impact on revenue. With the employment of a channel management system the revenue manager would have been able to ensure all rates were accurate across all channels before making the relevant updates.
Systems like ours allow hotels to set a minimum rate per hotel room to ensure typing errors are detected. As the online market place evolves, hoteliers are struggling to keep up, remain agile and control rates. This human error has occurred many times before and without utilising technology to simplify inventory and rate distribution, it is very likely to occur more frequently across the world as the number of channels that need attention increases.
Hoteliers really need to think sensibly during these times, to ensure revenues are optimized. Making mistakes like this will not only have an impact for the hotel itself but will also send the economy into further disarray.
Sascha Hausmann is the COO at RateTiger. He is a specialist in online distribution systems in Europe and the US and is looked upon as a trusted advisor. Sascha handles international operations and strategic alliances for RateTiger and speaks at various events. He is based in Germany, and also spends time across eRevMax’s international offices, mainly in America and the UK.
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.