2019: Time to relook at your Hotel Cancellation Policies

With ‘Free Cancellation’ almost becoming a norm with major OTAs, high cancellation rate has become a source of major concern for hotels. Cancellation is not at all welcoming for the host, and sometimes for guests as well.

For a long time, hotel industry has been fairly flexible with the cancellation policies. However, with the popularity of meta-search sites, even after booking, consumers now keep track of room rates. Whenever there is a drop in the room rates of the booked hotel or it’s competing properties, guests often cancel their existing reservations and rebook.

This high cancellation rate especially closer to the arrival has a major impact on the hotel’s revenue management decision where often inflated estimation of potential occupancy level leads to sub-optimal rates and lost revenue.

In the last few years, major hotel chains have been relooking at their cancellation policies and developing a strategy to address the changed consumer behaviour. While some hotels have followed the airline way, and introduced non-refundable early-bird rates, some have extended the cancellation cut-off. Empowered with comprehensive reservation data sources, including cancellation information, and analytics, hotels are now making thorough assessment of cancellation cost to hotel’s revenue and fine-tuning their cancellation policies in a strategic way. If you are planning to re-work your cancellation policy, here are some tips you can consider.

Limiting the Cancellation Period

Free cancellation is a major draw, especially on OTAs, to attract potential guests. However leading hotel groups are now extending the cancelling notice period from existing 24 hours cut off to 72 hours. Guests who cancel after that are charged with a penalty which varies from the cost of one night’s stay to total booking amount.

Variable Policy

Many hotels are now adapting to a dual strategy where there is a non-refundable rate and relaxed cancellation policy for premium rates.

Partial Payment for Guarantee

High-demand hotels often charge one night’s stay immediately after booking and debit the rest of the amount closer to the arrival while enforcing a strict no-show / cancellation penalty. While booking, guests are made aware of these finer points and as a result think twice before going for cancellation.

Vouchers instead of refund

Boutique hotels and resorts are now adjusting their cancellation policy in a way where for a last-minute cancellation, instead of a penalty, or refund, they are offering a voucher which the guests can use for a future booking within a stipulated period of time.  It’s often a win-win situation where the hotel gets the revenue and the guests the option to modify their plans.

Loyalty member specific cancellation policy

Some hotel groups with their own loyalty programmes have designed member-exclusive cancellation policies where loyal guests are given the flexibility to cancel their stay at the last minute even as other guests have shorter window. This benefit additionally gives hotels another opportunity to improve their loyalty programme which eventually results in more direct bookings.

No Cancellation

While some hotels do have this policy, in the age of online booking and price-comparison sites, this policy is tending to lose its acceptance.

The choice of cancellation policy depends on the dynamics of the market, hotel size and categories. For a business hotel, it’s is very difficult to implement a strict cancellation policy, whereas high-demand leisure resorts can afford to do so.

For years the hotel industry has been relying on a cookie-cutter approach when it comes to their cancellation policy. It’s time for change. Monitor your reservation sources and identify channels where the cancellations are coming from. Based on their data, hotels need to create cancellation policy terms for each rate-category, plan and channel. An advanced system like RateTiger, for instance, allows restrictions and cancellation policies to be assigned and updated for different rate plans on OTAs. The reservation delivery options immediately notify hotels whenever there is a cancellation, making it easier for them to allocate inventories accordingly.

Invest in a system which helps you to optimally manage your revenue and distribution efforts and save time to focus more on strategy.

The Week, That Was – January 2019 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!!

RateTiger joins the Spanish Association of Hotel Directors – AEDH

RateTiger Hotel Channel Manager initiates collaboration with AEDH at FITUR 2019

https://www.erevmax.com/ratetiger-news/ratetiger-news-archive/jan2019-erevmax-ratetiger-joins-spanish-association-hotel-aedh.html

 

Hotelbeds launches new features on its hotel extranet

Hotelbeds’ extranet for hoteliers adds functionalities that allow the visualization of fares and availability in real time for any hotel.

https://news.travelling.gr/2019/01/hotelbeds-launches-new-features-on-its-hotel-extranet/

 

The power of personalization and building personal connections

Expedia on how the travel industry is entering an era of both traveler and supplier personalization – leveraging high tech to deliver high touch experiences.

https://www.hotel-online.com/press_releases/release/2019-hotel-trends-the-power-of-personalization-and-building-personal-connec

 

The psychology of online reviews

From the humble beginnings of word-of-mouth to an entire industry, feedback has certainly come a long way and it’s not stopping here.

https://www.trustyou.com/blog/guest-feedback-reviews/psychology-of-online-reviews

 

How consumer driven trends are impacting the world of hospitality

Sabre released a study which reveals the top consumer trends that will shape the hospitality industry in 2019 and beyond.

Download the report – https://www2.sabrehospitality.com/2019-global-trends-report?utm_source=hotelmarketing_com

 

How to resolve negotiated rate audit failures in the GDS

Some corporations test in their online booking environment that utilizes the GDS for connectivity. Requesting a screenshot from the client at the time they report an issue will help you identify the point of sale source of the audit. Unfortunately, during January and February many hotels will learn they have failed a preferred rate audit.

http://www.sabrehospitality.com/resources/hotel-marketing-blogs/best-practices-how-resolve-rate-audit-failures

 

Hotel coworking space: The future of hospitality

Coworking spaces in hotels provide an area for hotel guests and locals to gather to work and meet. With the number of coworking members expected to jump to 3.8 million in 2020, it is only natural for hotels to capitalise on this feature.

https://www.traveldailymedia.com/coworking-space-hotels/

 

Hoteliers use revenue management to boost off-season

The off-season isn’t a hotelier’s favorite time of year. Rooms can sit empty, restaurants are quiet and the cash flow isn’t as robust.

But, this can also be the best time of year for hoteliers to try out creative promotions, boost their properties’ profiles with online travel agencies, partner with local attractions that are weather-appropriate for the time of year and even experiment with new restaurant menu selections.

http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles/292401/Hoteliers-use-revenue-management-to-boost-off-season

 

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

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RateTiger joins the Spanish Association of Hotel Directors – AEDH

RateTiger, the connectivity division part of the leading hotel technology group eRevMax, provider of online connectivity tools for hotels, has joined the Spanish Association of Hotel Directors (AEDH). As a member of the association, the company will participate in the events organized by the AEDH with the aim of educating hoteliers about trends and technological innovations in the hotel sector. The company will also present its innovative solutions at the AEDH stand 10B08 at FITUR in Madrid from 23 to 27 January 2019.

Recognizing RateTiger for its technological skills, the AEDH has endorsed the efficiency of its tools, thus making RateTiger its preferred partner for the management of online channels in hotels. AEDH hotel members can take advantage of RateTiger special offer at FITUR to reduce their cost of acquiring guests online, saving time and increasing their revenue.

RateTiger is one of the most efficient online distribution and hotel management platform, currently used by more than 9000 hotels around the world. RateTiger offers XML connections with more than 450 leading OTAs and partners worldwide and regionally, achieving optimal connectivity.

“It is an honor to join forces with a company like RateTiger with such prestige in hospitality. Our goal is to be able to generate a positive impact on the hotel members of our association by providing them with state-of-the-art technology that complements their growth strategy and RateTiger is the perfect match. We strongly recommend our members to contact RateTiger to benefit from our exclusive offer for members of the AEDH,” said Manuel Vegas, President, AEDH.

“We believe that the AEDH has been doing a great job and we hope to contribute our bit to the success of the organization as a whole. The hospitality discussion and knowledge exchange sessions organized by the AEDH are very effective in helping hoteliers to better understand how to use technological innovation to maximize the revenue of their properties and improve customer service. We hope to have the opportunity to meet in person each of the members of the association,” said Samantha González, Director of Sales – Spain, eRevMax – RateTiger.

Meet Team eRevMax at FITUR in Madrid at Stand 10B08, Hall 10 from 23- 27 January 2019. Book an appointment today – https://bit.ly/2F6knJ0

The Week, That Was – January 2019 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!!

Spanish upscale hotel endorses RateTiger for distribution connectivity

Hotel Guadalmedina, an upscale hotel in Spain has recommended RateTiger for stable and seamless connectivity with world’s leading OTAs. The hotel, which has been using RateTiger Channel Manager for online distribution, has improved its visibility across OTAs resulting in positive revenue and occupancy growth.

https://www.erevmax.com/blog/index.php/2019/01/spanish-upscale-hotel-endorses-ratetiger-for-distribution-connectivity/

11 uncomfortable truths about hotel revenue management

Hotel revenue management (RM) is not new and has been around for 30+ years, yet only 3% of hotels globally use revenue management technology today. The main goal of sharing these uncomfortable truths is to elevate the dialog around the importance of RM and why, as an industry, we must strive to do better in driving revenue performance using data driven insights.

https://www.phocuswire.com/Uncomfortable-truths-hotel-revenue-management

 Are you using Metasearch Channels for your hotel distribution yet?

Today, it is important for hotels to be visible on metasearch sites to increase direct bookings and visibility, thereby generating more revenue. You might be thinking – why do I need to add one more channel to my distribution mix? Here’s why –

https://www.erevmax.com/blog/index.php/2019/01/are-you-using-metasearch-channels-for-your-hotel-distribution-yet/

Airbnb Sees Increase in Hotels Using the Platform

Last year, Airbnb saw a 1​52​%​ increase in the number of rooms available on Airbnb in properties that hosts categorized as boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts, and other hospitality venues like hostels and resorts.

https://www.hotelbusiness.com/airbnb-sees-increase-in-hotels-using-the-platform/

The megatrends defining travel in 2019, according to Skift

From the rise of undertourism to blurred lines in hospitality to travelers’ demands for control, these are travel’s megatrends in 2019

Click to download the report- https://skift.com/megatrends-2019/

Will Google stay off the OTAs patch?

As Google’s meta-model becomes increasingly monopolistic, Pamela Whitby takes a look at how travel distribution is evolving. Although Expedia’s gross bookings continue to rise – by 11% to $2.5 billion year-over-year, according to third-quarter earnings published last week – Booking Holdings remains the biggest revenue spinner, and has the strongest operating margins (36.7% vs just 5,69% at Expedia). Meanwhile, China’s Ctrip remains the fastest growing, according to a recent report from EyeforTravel.

https://www.eyefortravel.com/distribution-strategies/will-google-stay-otas-patch

Online marketplaces gaining momentum in tours booking race

The tours technology specialist says total bookings made directly via operator websites went from 79% in 2017 to 67% in 2018, while the percentage of total bookings going to online marketplaces increased from 3.2% to 9.1%.

https://www.phocuswire.com/trekksoft-travel-trends-2018

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

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Are you using Metasearch Channels for your hotel distribution yet?

Metasearch sites help travelers compare hotel rates from various online travel agencies and other booking sites in one place. Metasearch, as a sales channel, is growing in the travel ecosystem. Travelers today want technology that offers information at the click of a button. Metasearch offers just that, by aggregating rates and availability across multiple OTAs and brand websites onto one screen, thus making comparison easy and decision making simpler.

Today, it is important for hotels to be visible on metasearch sites to increase direct bookings and visibility, thereby generating more revenue. You might be thinking – why do I need to add one more channel to my distribution mix? Here’s why –

Metasearch allows for more direct bookings

While OTAs continue to lead the third party sales booking, they have one very big disadvantage for hoteliers – bookings are made exclusively through the merchant site, for which the brand will pay a nominal fee.

Metasearch sites allow visitors to book either through OTAs or through the brand website, helping to increase direct sales for hotels if they are listed on the metasearch. Metasearch sites such as TripAdvisor have been criticized for favoring OTAs with which they have a partnership, but direct hotel booking information is available, which is more than can be said for OTAs themselves.

Traditional search is a dying breed

Metasearch might still be kept in the back burner when compared to traditional searching, but reports show that search statistics on these sites are up by 13 percent in recent years and are continuing to grow. In this age of technology, traditional search is a dying breed, as more and more internet users opt to take advantage of the features of metasearch sites, that traditional search simply cannot offer.

In utilizing metasearch channels, hotels can remain modern and relevant, and can widen and diversify their audience.

Rate comparison can work in favor of hotels

The core concept of metasearch channels is that they offer multiple hotel comparison – a feature that OTAs typically do not offer.

Believe it or not, comparison isn’t solely based upon price. For example, it has been found that an estimated 71 percent of users look at basic information, while 67 percent of users compare photographs. Comparison may seem daunting, but it’s actually a good chance to show off.

Upgrading to two-way connectivity can help you improve your channel content, by making it quicker and easier to update multiple channels with up-to-date information regarding the establishment.

With meta search considered to be one of the biggest marketing techniques of the year, there has never been a better time to add these channels to your distribution portfolio. Make sure you choose to work with connectivity advisors that provide relevant channels to get it right the first time.

In essence, metasearch channels save time and money for guests in their travel booking journey, while offering a robust distribution platform for hotels to improve visibility and direct booking revenue.

Connect to metasearch channels like Google, TripAdvisor, Trivago, HotelsCombined, Skyscanner & Escapio. Update them directly from your RateTiger channel manager to improve your direct hotel revenue! Book a demo today – https://bit.ly/2HiEzJp

 

 

The Week, That Was – December 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 perspectives and some general updates. Read on!!

Carton House Resort, Ireland recommends eRevMax for online connectivity

Carton House, a historic luxury hotel in Ireland has recommended eRevMax solutions for online distribution. The property has been using RateTiger Channel Manager to maintain real-time rate and inventory updates across online sales channels including booking engine.

https://bit.ly/2SuD7UX

Expedia to Hoteliers: Alternative accommodations won’t steal your business

Expedia wants to create value for hotels by providing them with tools to make them more efficient rather than hurting them with the increased presence of vacation rentals, the company said at its Explore partner conference in Las Vegas this week.

https://skift.com/2018/12/06/expedia-to-hoteliers-vacation-rentals-wont-steal-your-business/

 How Real-Time, Transparent Bidding Can Fix a Broken Travel Search Ecosystem

Today, even before most travelers ever step foot on a plane, they’ve already gone on an epic journey while planning their trip. According to Skift’s The State of Online Travel Media 2018 report, 73 percent of global travel searches begin with no brand or destination listed.

https://skift.com/2018/11/30/how-real-time-transparent-bidding-can-fix-a-broken-travel-search-ecosystem/

Why European Biz Travelers Go Outside Their Companies to Use Online Travel Agencies

Business travelers tend to book their trips through whatever channels they prefer, regardless of whether there is an online booking tool or agency that their company wants them to use. The research found that while travelers consistently use a company’s online booking tool to book air and hotel, they are increasingly turning to online travel agencies and direct channels as well. In fact, online travel agency use has pulled into near parity with a company’s travel agency department in many countries.

https://skift.com/2018/12/03/why-european-biz-travelers-go-outside-their-companies-to-use-online-travel-agencies/

Data pinpoints hotel mismanagement of inventory allocation and availability

The management of room inventory on both a hotel’s brand site and through contracted online travel agency partners is at the core of an effective distribution system. The findings are based on data gathered from brand websites and contracted OTAs for 7,600 properties around the world during a two-month period beginning in September. In its report, Fornova says it calculated demand as a function of room rate – when rates were below the median, it considered it to be a low-demand period and when rates were higher than median it considered it high demand.

https://www.phocuswire.com/Fornova-allocation-availability-report

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

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Carton House Resort, Ireland recommends eRevMax for online connectivity

Carton House, a historic luxury hotel in Ireland has recommended eRevMax solutions for online distribution. The property has been using RateTiger Channel Manager to maintain real-time rate and inventory updates across online sales channels including booking engine.

Located at the outskirts of Dublin, Carton House is one of Ireland’s most historic Palladian houses, offering 2 world-class 18-hole championship golf courses and a luxury spa. The company has been leveraging eRevMax’s seamless connection with global and regional OTAs to update rates and availability across sales channels and receive reservations in real-time. RateTiger’s integration with leading internet booking engines and PMS’s has ensured inventory is always in sync with bookings, thereby minimizing chances of overbookings.

 “The Account Management Team has been extremely professional and easy to deal with and always available which has been great. We look forward to continuing our working relationship over the coming years,” said Fiona Mullin, Director of Revenue Management, Carton House.

“As a technology partner, we are committed to empower the hotel with efficient rate distribution across their online distribution channels.  The single sign-on dashboard simplifies the operations, improves efficiencies and gives hoteliers time to focus on strategy,” said Alin Lazar, Director of Sales , EMEA, eRevMax.

The Week, That Was – November 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 perspectives and some general updates. Read on!!

eRevMax has unveiled unveil AgentX101 at WTM London 2018

eRevMax has unveiled AgentX101 – a revolutionary 360 Degree Platform for Travel Agents & Tour Operators during WTM London.

https://www.erevmax.com/ratetiger-news/ratetiger-news-archive/oct2018-erevmax-unveil-agentx101-wtm-london.html

 How Social Media Can Increase Hotel’s Direct Bookings

According to experts, 45 percent of travelers encounter hotel social media during the beginning of their booking journey, 45 percent encounter it during the middle and 11 percent at the end.

Recent projections have valued the *B2C e–Commerce business to over 3.2 Trillion dollars by 2020!

https://www.erevmax.com/blog/index.php/2018/11/how-social-media-can-increase-hotels-direct-bookings-2/

 The Changing Customer Experience: Keynote urges hoteliers to examine their operations

Customer loyalty isn’t dead, it’s just much harder to earn and much harder to keep because it’s so easy to leave today.

http://www.hotelinteractive.com/article.aspx?articleID=41922

 Will Google stay off the OTAs patch?

As Google’s meta-model becomes increasingly monopolistic Pamela Whitby begins a series on how travel distribution is evolving. Part 1 takes a look at the Google factor

https://www.eyefortravel.com/distribution-strategies/will-google-stay-otas-patch

Digital trends to watch in 2019

There’s been a massive shift in guest behavior and booking habits due to trends like artificial intelligence and mobile usage. But the question isn’t whether these trends are important. Hereére three core trends that hotels need want to watch in 2019.

http://hotelnewsnow.com/Articles/291331/Digital-trends-to-watch-in-2019

Connect with us for your connectivity needs to make the most of online revenue. https://goo.gl/3gKUJZ Thanks and have a good day!

eRevMax to unveil AgentX101 at WTM London 2018

The ‘first of its kind’ 360-degree management solution for Travel Agents & Tour Operator

eRevMax, the global hospitality technology leader, will unveil its revolutionary new integrated management solution for Travel Agents & Tour Operators – AgentX101 – at WTM London 2018, being held between 5 – 7 November at ExCel Centre.

AgentX101, powered by LiveOS, is the latest addition to eRevMax’s award-winning suite of products for the hospitality industry professionals that are looking to manage their business efficiently and optimize profits.

“We have always endeavored to build innovative technology that is intelligent, easy-to-use and affordable – to help simplify revenue management and connectivity needs of the hospitality industry. With AgentX101, we go one step further in empowering over 600,000 travel agents and tour operators worldwide, to streamline their daily operations and focus on creating, managing and delivering memorable journeys for their clients,” said Reuel Ghosh, CEO, eRevMax.

The first of its kind management platform for Travel Agents and Tour Operators, AgentX101 provides 360-degree visibility into production sources and suggests actions and alerts to maximize potential. Already tested by some of the biggest names in the industry, the web-based solution will help travel agents automate their daily tasks, improve decision making with real time data, and gather all business information in one place.

eRevMax will also be showcasing it’s recently launched Central Reservation System along with new enhancements in RateTiger and LiveOS.

The company is co-hosting the HospitalityUnited.Club Drinks Reception @Stand TT720 on 6 November 2018 at 5pm. To register, contact us on marketing@erevmax.com

 

The Week, That Was – September 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!!

Why hotels need metasearch?
Metasearch helps travelers compare hotel rates from various online travel agencies and other booking sites in one place. In metasearch sites, hotels and online travel channels publish their rates and availabilities.

https://www.erevmax.com/blog/index.php/2018/09/how-meta-search-is-relevant/

Behind TripAdvisor’s renewed push to inspire travelers beyond just making sales
Already 750 content providers have signed up for TripAdvisor’s new feed of personalized recommendations from friends, social media influencers, and publishers, debuted earlier this month.

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

Special Report: The online travel sector faces challenges
Benati says: “Europe is a mature market, especially in the UK, in Germany, in Scandinavia. Growth in online travel has plateaued, which calls for more targeting of market share. At 5%-6% a year, online growth is still outpacing growth elsewhere, but it is slowing.

Know more about this article: http://www.travolution.com/articles/108868/special-report-the-online-travel-sector-faces-challenges

Drive direct bookings even when you’re being undercut
Fixing disparities takes time – and while all the details you need to replicate a disparity can be found in the Disparity Dungeon, getting in touch with OTAs and getting them resolved doesn’t always happen instantly. On those occasions when you are not in parity, there are four options you can use to continue to drive direct bookings.

https://www.triptease.com/blog/direct-bookings-when-undercut/

New tools gives hoteliers a chance to quantify impact
The U.S. Travel Association has rolled out an interesting new tool that lets those in the travel industry put a number to their economic impact.

http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles/290518/New-tools-gives-hoteliers-a-chance-to-quantify-impact

New Google travel tool tells you when to book your holiday travel
Slowly but surely, Google is expanding its portfolio of travel offerings that now range from hotel- and flight-booking services to trip planning tools. Today, it’s launching yet another set of new travel features that focus on travel planning and hotel bookings.

https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/27/google-launches-new-travel-planning-tools/

BridgeStreet Adds Hostels and Vacation Rentals to Biz Travel Platform
When extended stay booking provider BridgeStreet Global Hospitality relaunched its digital platform last year, the company became something of an outlier in the corporate travel space: a mini-online travel agency for business travel that also connected directly with travel managers around the world.

https://skift.com/2018/09/12/bridgestreet-adds-hostels-and-vacation-rentals-to-biz-travel-platform/

Connect with us for your connectivity needs to make the most of online revenue. https://goo.gl/3gKUJZ Thanks and have a good day!