With a good mix of hoteliers, students and suppliers, the discussions revolved around topics like yield management, marketing and social media. With the continuous evolution of online bookings, hoteliers from tier two cities are also starting to acknowledge the need for revenue and channel management solutions. I witnessed this growing awareness as many hoteliers and consultants flocked to the RateTiger stand to know more about our solutions and how it helps.
HBS invited us to deliver a presentation on “How to Maximize Online Revenue?” which I conducted to a receptive audience. Le Salon is the first of its kind event in France and the feedback we received is very encouraging. Moreover, it is a great platform to establish new relations and to track business with existing partners. I look forward to other such interesting events from the HBS stall.
Well done Team HBS!!
Stefan Casimir is Sales Manager – France at eRevMax and is responsible for sale of RateTiger products in the region. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are Travel Agents Really Making a Comeback?
According to a recent PhoCusWright study, travel agents have successfully tapped into a market PhoCusWright describes as the “oldies but goodies” segment of travelers – 67 per cent of their sales come from clients age 45 and older, and 32 per cent come from customers who are at least 60 years old. Leisure travel agents said that 70 per cent of their bookings have per-person spending of at least USD 1,000, and that 35 per cent spend at least USD 2,000. By comparison, the average U.S. traveller’s per-person spending is well below USD 1,000.
Pricing power becomes evident in hotel metrics
The hotel industry is back on the recovery race with rate leading the way. The global corporate rates were up 3.7% year over year and global leisure rates were up 7.6% in February, according to Pegasus data. The hoteliers needs to have a clear rate strategy to take advantage of the strong demand and continue rate growth.
Expedia’s social journey into the ‘recommendation age’
Expedia is thinking very seriously about its plans for an integrated social media strategy. According to an independent research commissioned by the agency, there is a strong correlation people actively engaging with Expedia on Facebook and those going on to book a holiday with the site. Expedia also wants to engage more closely with social media for brand-building exercise and generate more transactions.
Distribution Strategies: Working on mobile offerings as per your customers’ behaviour
The usage of smartphones by leisure and business travellers is on the rise and this growth makes the whole talk about mobile product strategy more fascinating. Consumers’ expectations and behaviour on mobile phones and tablets are different than on a website. It is important to understand and accept that people will access many channels and you should be consistent in your branding and experience.
Rate Strategy: Savvy pricing strategies mitigate risks
Since today’s customers are able to shop around more easily, rate integrity can be elastic. They expect high rates during peak seasons opposed to shoulder periods, but they don’t expect a higher rate during the off season. Business mix is especially importuning in pricing, understanding gross-operating-profit-per-available-room metrics and channel cost can increase top-line revenue and profitability.
The Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne is an extraordinary place, being the second time to visit this is a world of its own. Students are taught all areas of hospitality service, operations and management. As you step on campus the students are warm and welcoming and immediately make you feel at home – it’s part of the service.
My second visit was an invitation from Professor Horatiu Tudori, who we are working with on a market research project to better understand the challenges hoteliers are facing on local and global levels, to deliver a presentation to his students. Along with Casey Davy, VP EMEA we addressed an eager audience of over 150 students – I suddenly felt I had been catapulted back to my University days as I stared headlong into an audience towering above me in the auditorium.
Here we delivered the Evolution of Channel Management – the history of sales and the future challenges we have ahead of us. In particular exploring those that this generation of revenue managers will face when they enter the full-time workplace. We had a discussion on Booking.com, social media and voucher websites – it was abundantly clear these students were well read.
I certainly feel our partnership is growing and I look forward to this year ahead with Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and the launch of our Research Paper.
Thank you Professor Horatiu Tudori.
Hotelympia is a product show catering to the needs of all departments and business units of a hotel, much different to the traditional revenue management, hotel technology and global travel trade shows we attend. Wandering among towels, cookers and dishwashers, key systems and tiles, I could see the focus of the attendees – goods that they could hold, while those in the technology space like RateTiger have to accept a more backseat.
Our partners in HOSPA were there with a business area next to the small presentation section where I sat to listen to Mastering Digital Channels to Maximize Revenue. Although this really only touched on the very basics without looking at real revenue growth and opportunities of assessing data, bookings, production and traffic – it did identify some of the key points if seeking direct sales.
Direct sales however is a very expensive business, and either you need to have a very innovative proposition or a very strong customer database and loyalty programme. To try to achieve direct sales fresh without integrating a full channel and social media strategy will certainly leave you out in the cold.
However the presenter looked on at the basics – it’s no longer interruption marketing but conversational (no longer placement adverts but social media). The marketer needs to Attract, Engage, Convert, Retain. The presentation highlighted the task list for direct marketing – Online advertising, Articles/blogs/Online PR, Link Building, PPC, SEO, social media, and e-marketing offering tips on how to best manage these. Although it was a pity there were no real life case studies looking at how this has been fully achieved by a hotel and how much business it really represents. Direct sales will always be expensive unless there is something really innovative you offer the traveler.
Overall Hotelympia is great for hotel managers – just not worth it for Revenue and Sales managers.
Ryan Haynes is the VP – Marketing Communications at eRevMax and is responsible for driving all PR and Marketing activities of RateTiger and eRevMax brands globally. Ryan is based out of London and can be reached at email@example.com
For all its complexity, the distribution game comes down to one simple factor: value. If a channel doesn’t offer value, then hoteliers shouldn’t use that channel to yield inventory, concluded a panel comprising a diverse array of representatives in the field.
Making Social Media An Asset To Your Hotel, Part 3: Sales & Marketing
Marketing using social media requires a different discipline and expertise from traditional and online marketing. Just as radio ads don’t translate well to television, branded online ads typically don’t work well in social media. Marketers wanting to utilize social media will need to think differently, and this section explains how.
A New Era for OTAs
Tension between hotels and online travel agencies has been palpable for the past several years, as the Web distribution marketplace has seen heated competition both online, through the battle for booking revenue, and off, through business negotiations and legal disputes. But as economic purse strings have loosened, consumer demand has risen, and hotels themselves have become more savvy in corralling their own direct customers, several of the major online travel brands have changed their game to reflect what they see as the current state of the business.
Online now accounts for more than half of travel sales across Europe
Online bookings accounted for more than half the travel sales across Europe for the first time last year, according to industry analyst IPK International. But agency sales continue to dominate Europe’s biggest travel market: Germany. IPK reported 55% of all travel bookings in Europe were online last year, up 15% on 2010. Attached is the key findings of the report.
Global average room rate rose by 4pc last year: report
A report released by Hotels.com has indicated that the results are showing the green shoots of recovery for many countries with the average price of a hotel across the world rising four percent, placing them on a par with prices from 2005. According to Hotels.com’s Hotel Price Index (HPI), the relative strength of the global hotel sector can be seen as an indicator of a potential turnaround in the economic outlook with the average price of a room around the world rising four percent in 2011.
The Evolution of Online Travel
Since the rise of online travel in the mid-1990s, it seems that there’s an endless well of ways to get your travel fix. It’s projected that within the year 2012, there will be 98.3 million bookings on the Internet, which translates into major profit for online travel companies. In Mashable’s infographic, you’ll see the progression of online travel, from its roots in old electronic booking systems to the newest and shiniest deals websites. Plus, get an inside look at how users behave while on online travel sites — and where they love to go.
Facebook page? Check! Twitter account and dedicated hastags? Check! Competitions, discounts and giveaways? Check! Any real, measurable and abundant ROI from social media campaigns? A recent Eye for Travel survey of APAC travel brands shows that despite 67% claiming to have deployed social media initiatives, more than half admitted confusion or inability to effectively rack and measure ROI.
Social buying/ Group buying and flash sales sites will undergo a saturation stage in their lifecycle. Many will reach the end of the road but a few strong ones will survive – albeit with some innovative add-ons to the existing business models, says Ricky Ang, vice president – Sales & Marketing, Hotel Equatorial Group.
Global average daily rates (ADR) for both business and leisure hotel rooms continued to climb in January, according to Pegasus Solutions’ data. Following a record increase over 2010 in December 2011, January 2012 saw business rates grow +3.8 percent and leisure rates rise +7.0 percent over January 2011, shared The Pegasus View January edition.
The report discusses the effects of channel mix on profitability and what the industry can expect in the near term in the distribution landscape. It reviews the size and structure of the hotel industry at a high level, with respect to hotel performance and its use of distribution channels. It also drills down to issues of distribution costs and benefits, price elasticity, and the evolving roles of marketing, revenue management and distribution strategy in a dynamic and volatile online environment.
Not every hotel executive thinks Room Key will be a success. Michael Shannon, for one, didn’t hesitate to express that opinion.“This is a really interesting but really late attempt by the hotel business to try to get control of their customer … and I don’t think it will work,” said the managing director of KSL Capital Partners.
The European Travel Commission (ETC) has just published its fourth quarterly report on European Tourism in 2011 – Trends & Prospects. Travel to European destinations in 2011 has exceeded the prior peak set in 2008. Impressively, 22 of 23 reporting countries show international visitor growth in 2011, ranging from 3% in the UK to more than 20% in Latvia and Lithuania. And 24 of 26 countries show gains in hotel occupancy in 2011.
Are you leveraging the power of social media on your site? Together, social media channels and your website should work seamlessly to promote your online brand. However, if you’re like most businesses, you’re probably missing out on potential interactions, impressions and ultimately sales.
2011 Year-End Hotel Technology Review
The Smart Hotelier’s Guide to 2012 Digital Marketing Budget Planning