Newshound

Friday, April 18, 2014

Top Hospitality Industry Trends for 2014

Hospitality industry is constantly evolving and always trying to stay one step ahead. In an industry where change is the ultimate word, keeping up to date on the latest trends in hospitality technology – is a daunting task for hotel owners and operators. Everything from in-room entertainment to guest service management to effective use of social media is becoming a challenging task. The hospitality industry saw a lot of exciting things happening in 2013 and some that would continue to impact business are highlighted below -

Mobile: The Game Changer

Mobile phone has radically changed the world - 62% of the world’s population is using mobile phones. Hospitality is no exception to this revolution, in some cases leading the way. It is the new face of computing as devices such as tablets and smartphones have revolutionized the way we interact with technology. The rise of mobile users have impacted business strategy and changed guest behavior largely. There has been a myth that mobile phone has the minimal impact on hospitality industry but as the smartphones and tablets become critical tools, the myth has been thoroughly laid to rest. Now nearly 45% travellers travel with two or more devices and 7% of bookings are done through mobile phone which is continuously increasing.

2014: The Year of Meta-search

With the grand entry of TripAdvisor and Google in the metasearch space the whole hotel distribution scenario has drastically changed. Modern travellers believe in competitive shopping. According a survey by eMarketer - a guest visits minimum six sites before he makes any booking decision. One of our recent infographics on meta-search shows that Kayak processed over 1577 million queries in 2013 and TripAdvisor receives 260 million monthly unique visits to its website. The dominance of meta-search engines will grow rapidly in 2014 as these sites are becoming mainstream in hotel distribution space.

Free Wi-Fi

Research studies show that 85% travellers believe Wi-Fi in hotels should be free. Nowadays the only thing that guests would prefer over a complimentary breakfast or free parking is Wi-Fi. Modern travelers are hyper-connected and do not have patience for poor internet connection in hotels. Your hotel should facilitate free Wi-Fi so that business travellers can check their emails and take online conference calls, while leisure travelers can use the internet to communicate with friends and family or enjoy music. Poor internet connection is one of the most common complains and something that you should save your hotel from. So if your hotel provides free Wi-Fi service to guests, make sure that the speed of the internet is not irritating them.

Word Of Mouth

As we increasingly live our lives online, we’re finding that not only are there major downsides to all that social media over-sharing—but we may have little control over the way we appear on the internet. According to a new eMarketer report, the Worldwide Social Network Users in 2013 was 1.73 billion i.e. one in four people were connected through social media. And by 2017, total global social network audience will be 2.55 billion. TripAdvisor is the largest source of hotel reviews having 150 million reviews and opinions covering 3.7 million accommodation providers. Considering there are millions of reviews written each day across a plethora of different platforms, the internet has the power to influence one’s decision making process. So managing reputation be it through social media or replying to the guests directly through reputation management tool will become increasingly important.

Guest Service

Guest service is an inseparable part of the hospitality business. However changing consumer tastes has led to higher expectations and hotels need to live up to these. Travellers today do not want to feel like they are in a corporate setting when they are staying at your hotel – they would rather prefer an environment where they can interact with people and receive personal attention. Eye for detail is an important aspect that hotels need to focus on and ‘wowing’ guests with impeccable service is something that every hotel is striving for. You need to identify what you can do to make your guests’ stay unforgettable to win over their loyalty.

Behavioural Change of GenY

The travel industry is riding a wave of change. An unpredictable economy and fast-paced technological advancements have caused 21st century travellers to shift their behaviour dramatically. These travellers prefer to interact with hotel staff through technology rather than picking up the phone. About 40% of guests at a hotel select iPad as their communication device to connect to a hotel and plan check-in time. So what do guests want? Well, it could be a long list starting with - free Wi-Fi, automated check-in / check-out and multi-use lobbies that encourage guests to socialize among various other things. This new segment of traveler is no longer looking for white-linen service, hotel boy to carry their luggage up to their room rather to check-in online to bypass the front desk.

Home Away From Home

When travellers enter a hotel, they look for a home-like ambience. Hotel companies need to be able to offer high quality guest service alongside seamless communication and comfort to every guest. To achieve this, a hotel needs to have its back-office set in a way such that everything moves to clock-wise precision. And this starts from the time the guest researches your hotel to making the reservation, the actual stay and post stay feedback. Everything needs to be managed efficiently for a well-rounded experience for the guest.

Monday, April 14, 2014

HMH Partners with eRevMax to Improve Online Sales for its Hotel Portfolio

HMH - Hospitality Management Holdings has chosen to partner with eRevMax to boost online sales for its hotel portfolio. The group will be using RateTiger Suite, the industry leading channel manager, across its properties for live rate and inventory management.

Headquartered in Dubai, HMH offers a complete spectrum of options to travelers ranging from top-end luxury hotels to budget properties. With its growing network, HMH required an online distribution solution that would help them expand to new markets while keeping rate and inventory updates simple to execute. RateTiger was the natural choice given its vast network of two-way XML connections and leadership position in the market. The integrated module of rate shopping and channel management proved to be a perfect fit for HMH ensuring live ARI updates as well as delivery of relevant pricing reports to help adapt rate strategies as per demand scenario. 

“We needed a reliable integrated solution for price shopping and channel management. We are aware of the success other hospitality companies have had with RateTiger to streamline revenue operations and this will enable us to achieve the same, while acting quicker and faster to the changing market dynamics. We have five new hotels opening this year and eRevMax is the perfect online distribution partner for our business needs. RateTiger will provide instant control over revenue management, allowing us to handle more product types while automating our distribution process,” said Laurent A. Voivenel, CEO, HMH.


“We are glad to be the chosen one for Hospitality Management Holdings. Middle East is a growing market and Dubai is expected to attract 15 million visitors by the end of this year. This offers immense potential for HMH to tap and acquire new customers through our solutions. Not only can they connect to new channels, they can also push direct bookings by leveraging the meta-search engines that we now offer as a new channel option thereby improving online revenue instantly,”
said John Seaton, VP - Sales, EMEA at eRevMax

RateTiger Suite is an integrated solution to manage third party sales updates, benchmark competitor room rates, and manage reservations through two-way XML connectivity. It helps hotels improve sales through real-time ARI updates and leverage rate movements as per demand scenario. It is one of the most effective hotel channel management solution to drive bookings and maximize online revenue.

Read full story here

Monday, April 7, 2014

Infographic: eRevMax predicts 2014 to be the year of Meta-search

eRevMax, the leading hotel online distribution and channel management solutions provider has released an Infographic – ‘Meta-search: it’s here to stay’ shedding key insights on growing influence of meta-search over the hotel online distribution space. 



The infographic, based on several market studies, advises hotels to invest in meta-search marketing and include it to their core marketing plan. Traffic to meta-search sites have been steadily increasing with over 36% online travellers using comparison shop before booking. This is evident from 13% growth in the meta-search traffic statistics over the last year amongst varying age groups. 39% of ‘Millennials’ cite meta-search channels as their preferred source of information, 35% of ‘Xers’ (age 35-48) opt for meta-search, 23% of Boomers (age 49-67) and 14 % of ‘Matures’ select these sites as their top source for travel information.

With the entry of TripAdvisor and Google in the meta-search space, it is no wonder that meta-search is going to take center-stage in 2014. Kayak has processed over 1577 million queries in 2013, and this is expected to reach over 3 billion in the next 5 years. According to December 2012 data from PhoCusWright and Experian Hitwise, 6% of US traffic comes from sites such as Kayak. TripAdvisor receives 260 million monthly visits and over 50% of them use the meta-search feature. 

This tremendous growth can be attributed to the value proposition these sites offer to the travel consumers – not only do they provide real-time availability and rate data, and enable price comparison – these sites are one-stop platforms for travelers to research and consequently book their hotel stay. 

eRevMax predicts the year 2014 to be the year of hyper meta-search expansion as companies spread their reach way beyond their home-market comfort zones. For hoteliers to sell through these channels effectively, eRevMax has added meta-search as a new channel option within its distribution network. Hotels can subscribe to push their rates and availability on multiple meta-search sites directly from their RateTiger and Connect platform to boost direct bookings. 

To access the full infographic, click Meta-search 2014 - It’s here to stay

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hyatt certifies eRevMax as the Preferred Channel Manager Partner

Global luxury hotel chain Hyatt International has endorsed RateTiger as preferred channel management vendor in Europe, Africa, Middle East and South West Asia.

RateTiger’s flexible, multi-platform solution to manage online sales and exposure have been used in Hyatt properties throughout the world. This endorsement will help all members of the chain to benefit from rate shoppingchannel management, reservation delivery and guest review management to manage online distribution and reach out to luxury travellers throughout eRevMax’s Channel Eco-system.

RateTiger will enable franchise members to gain easy access to competitive pricing strategies and to retain their competitive position in the market place. RateTiger helps hotels sell rooms from an allocated inventory across multiple channels simultaneously from a single platform, making online distribution completely automated and saving time. All reservations made on online travel sites are captured, and available inventory is automatically redistributed for the hotels to sell last-room availability thus eliminating the chance of overbooking.

Greg Berman, COO, eRevMax said, “Hyatt International is one of leaders in hospitality industry and a valued customer. Their market knowledge and consistent constructive feedback over the years has helped make eRevMax’s RateTiger products what they are today. We have always focused on innovation and customer needs; over 75% of our product development is customer driven. We hope this endorsement will contribute to understanding our customers and the challenges they face while selling through a larger distribution base.”


RateTiger, from eRevMax, is a fully integrated channel management and connectivity solution that entirely automates the connection between hotel inventory systems and distribution channels, regardless of business model, connectivity type or geography.

Considered to be a one-stop solution for the hospitality industry, eRevMax continues to innovate and offer new ways for hotels to maximize online revenues while reducing distribution costs. The PCI compliant and ISO certified company offers sophisticated real-time revenue management solutions with business intelligence (BI), ARI Update, Reservation Delivery, Allocation Management and Review Management components built on a single platform for hotels to leverage all aspects of distribution in order to make more informed decisions.

Read full story here