The 22nd edition of BTL – Bolsa de Turismo de Lisboa- 2010 which was held from 13 – 17 January 2010, showed mixed signs of caution in the Portuguese Hotel sector. Inaugurated by Minister of Economy, Innovation and Development, José Vieira da Silva, BTL witnessed more than 1,000 companies exhibiting from 45 countries.
Alongside the Portuguese Tourism Awards, which, for the 5th time is being hosted at BTL, Bernardo Trindade, Secretary of State for Tourism, emphasized the importance of perspective in 2010, in close coordination with national tourism industry. To reverse the downward trend in 2009, he called for the participation of all stakeholders in the sector and pledged to support and provide solidarity of the Government in this strategic economic sector.
However hoteliers had concerns of their own related to the economic downturn. Many of the revenue managers and proprietors I spoke to were interested in ways they can boost revenues. The industry in Portugal is experiencing falling occupancy, it reached less than 70% last year, and RevPar approximately to EUR 48,00 – below that of 2008.
Bernardo Trindade also encouraged investors and welcomed the role of BTL as reflecting the pulse of the industry and demonstrate the efforts of private investment.
I consider BTL to be quite productive, I had the opportunity to meet 26 hotels, Groups, Chains and local OTA’s to show the benefits of channel management products, also I meet AHP (Portuguese Hotel Association) for our Membership agreement to strengthen our relationship with the Hoteliers in Portugal.
This is the 3rd year RateTiger attended BTL and that confirms our interest in the market and give us the recognition in the Hotel sector.
Pilar Sanchez Aita is Sales Manager for Spain & Portugal at eRevMax and is responsible for sale of RateTiger products in the region. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2009 edition of Buy Tourism Online in Florence turned out to be better than expected. With various companies backing out from big international events, this travel tradeshow was quite well attended. Compared to last year, more people turned up for the event and the total count almost touched 1600.
With interesting sessions on online travel, evolution of internet, travel 2.0 and other current trends being discussed by leading authorities and specialists in the field, the visitors got their share of take-away and hence were happy to be there. Furthermore, focus on technology integration was a big draw for hoteliers who were inquisitive to find out benefits from such tie-ups.
Representing RateTiger at BTO was a great opportunity for me to meet up with many local Italian hoteliers. Not only is internet sales gaining prominence amongst them, they are also embracing technology to better manage online distribution. Hoteliers who knew about RateTiger products were keen to see a demo and some signed up immediately acknowledging the efficiency and simplicity of our products. Many others were interested and enrolled for our trial version to get a feel of the software.
With business prospects improving, hoteliers are more open to adopting technology solutions that will help them save time while maximizing revenues. I personally look forward to the next edition of BTO which I expect to be bigger and better.
Enzo Aita is Sales Manager – Italy at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. Enzo is based out of Italy and can be reached at email@example.com
Gaste 2009 which took place from 8th – 11th November this year in Leipzig, Germany didn’t to draw much attention for online distribution. The event was low in attendance and the gathering consisted mostly of students from hospitality institutes.
With various competitions and sessions focused on catering, Gaste was a complete F&B forum with little focus on distribution and online channel management domains. Even then we were successful in creating entry level awareness about the concept amongst East German hoteliers.
One thing we learnt was the need to stick to established events like ITB Berlin if we are looking at promoting RateTiger and generating business in Germany. With the way internet is being widely used, I hope there will be more regional hospitality tradeshows which focuses on upcoming online distribution and channel management technologies.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
ITB Asia 2009 which took place at the Suntec Exhibition & Convention Centre, Singapore, was worth the value of time and resources we spent planning and exhibiting there. It was the perfect setting for an Asian travel tradeshow and I am glad the second edition of the three-day B2B show has maintained its growth despite recent economic challenges.
This was our first participation in an Asian tradeshow; Sascha, Keith and I were quite excited to see how it would turn out. I had a large number of appointments and many delegates dropped by. The interactions went really well and now back in Delhi I have already done quite a few product demos with the newly built contacts.
We were amazed and pleased to see the reaction we got from fellow exhibitors and visitors, mostly hoteliers. They were aware that RateTiger offered premium quality products and they wanted to get a first hand feel of the software. We obviously were geared up to show them the tools and how it can help them.
The event presented us with an opportunity to network with Asian hoteliers, online travel website owners as well as travel agents, all of whom form a crucial part of our prospective audience. ITB Asia managed to attract the right mix of people with nearly 43% from accommodation sector, tour operators and travel agencies made up 31%, while tourism organizations and associations accounted for 10% of the audience.
Infact to translate its success – the show had 679 exhibitor organizations, among them one was RateTiger. Along with that 553 vetted quality buyers from 50 countries were present and nearly 18,000 buyer-seller appointments took place.
I look forward to ITB Asia 2010 and I am sure it is going to be bigger and better.
Sudhir Ghildiyal is Sales Manager – APAC at eRevMax. He is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the Asia Pacific region. Sudhir is based out of Delhi, India and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 €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.
I recently went to Singapore to attend HTNG’s Second Annual Asia-Pacific Members’ Meeting & Conference. It took place from 13-15 July 2009 at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton – I was on the 22nd floor and enjoyed every minute of my stay, relishing the overwhelming view of the Marina Bay.
The HTNG member meetings are generally great and it was no different this year. It brought together key industry executives and eminent speakers who talked about thought leadership and HTNG workgroup progress reports.
It was an excellent platform to interact with like minded people ready to adapt to new technology. I met quite a few IT heads and GMs from various hotels and chains.
There was an interesting session on Hotel IT spending in the current scenario with panelists being CIOs of various hotels. It was good to get first-hand knowledge on what their priorities are currently.
The conference had an ideal mix of hoteliers and technology providers with around 150 people attending the event. As per the agenda, latest updates of the activities of various workgroups including In-room solution, Architecture and Property/Distribution Solutions, were shared with us.
The key take-away was the details of new technology and upcoming trends received from the core teams of different workgroups. Data security, green room technology and role of social media were the hot topics; other topics included technology updates on revenue management, online distribution and related areas.
I feel it was an event worth attending as it provided excellent rapport building opportunities and first-hand information on how the industry is faring. These kind of events give that realistic feel and allow you to compare between analysts forecasts and actual scenario, and accordingly decide your next move forward.
Udai Singh Solanki is the CIO at RateTiger where he steers the development team, oversees organizational process and IT strategy. He also looks into Information Security and Management. Udai is passionate about innovation and keeps himself abreast on latest happenings by attending events and tradeshows. He is based in eRevMax’s technical development centre in Kolkata, India.
The Central Florida chapter of HSMAI organizes quarterly Luncheons for its members to meet and discuss the latest happenings in the field of revenue management over a hearty meal. On June 19, 2009 they hosted the Revenue Manager’s Luncheon at the Regal Sun Resort in Orlando.
The topic for the luncheon was “Market Conditions, Strategies, and New Technologies in Challenging times”.
Phil Stiles, Vice President of Sales, RateTiger, Daryl Cronk, Director of Research, Orlando/Orange County Conventions & Visitor’s Bureau and Debbie Morris, Founder and owner, Web Resource Management were invited for a panel discussion on the subject.
Phil describes his experience of the event, “The event was very productive as it allowed focused discussion on the ground realities of the hotel and travel market, specifically in Orlando. It was well attended and the presence of over 55 members, including Expedia and Travelocity signifies how relevant these sessions are to the industry.”
“HSMAI’s luncheon events are popular due to the fact that it allows meaningful networking with focused group of people and all involved benefit out of the process. RateTiger sponsored this event and I have to say it was worth it,’ concludes Phil. RateTiger US Sales Manager Siobhain McArdle did a brief presentation on RateTiger products which was very well received by the attendees. Various queries came in after the event indicating how hoteliers are looking at technology more than ever to tide over the current scenario.