Friday, April 21, 2017

With Love from Sao Paulo - Technology Hits and Misses from WTM LATAM

Time is Money!
This statement has never been as valid perhaps as it is today.

I was at WTM Latin America a few days back and realized the truth and depth of this statement while talking to some friends from the industry. Constant news from solution providers and revolutionary technological innovation continues to prove how valuable time is!

For those like me who had their first contact with a computer in the early 90's and learnt the complicated codes of the GDS used by Varig Airlines (my first job in the industry) – we get amazed by the developments that has happened since then.

Year after year, hotels have had several innovative tools at their disposal to simplify their daily work and facilitate the management of business, but the main concern for them is how to choose the best from among so many options available in the market.

Now let’s talk about Latin American hoteliers in specific. I have been working with hotels in this region for quite some time now and I see that many of them are able to see a new world of opportunities with excellent perspective on improving their room occupancy, RevPAR and overall profits.

However, there are various others that are yet to understand and visualize all the benefits that these new distribution and connectivity tools can provide to their business. We can’t blame them because this technological evolution has been very fast and ran over all the pre-existing models. 

Hoteliers need to adapt to non-fictional reality and try to understand the origin and consequences (both positive and negative) of this evolution.

The new generation of hotel employees is able to adapt more easily to trends and new technologies. For many, the thought of being "stuck" in an office can be the worst nightmare and hence mobility, agility, thinking outside the box and the possibility of managing your work through virtual access to hotel systems is very appealing. This is the era of connected individuals who are constantly sharing with the world what they are doing. They are open to new technologies and apps and are not scared to try anything new.

Think about a Ferrari! Everyone agrees that it is a wonderful car but it just doesn’t make any sense for you to buy it, if you only know how to ride a bicycle. This is one of the most famous analogies that many ‘old school’ hoteliers still make when approached with innovative technologies. They continue to ignore potential growth opportunities that could come their way with the right distribution tools and by selling on the right channels.
They also ignore market changes and think they can continue working like they used to in the 90’s. They think will be able to survive in the market riding their bicycles while their competitors are using Ferraris.

As a result of the advancement of technology, work-flow processes of the past will not survive the current day pressure of hoteliers and is getting altered quickly. Cloud technology and innovative platforms will only help hotels in this increasingly competitive market. In addition to bringing several improvements to the professionalization of the hotel market in Latin America, the greater reflection of this technology adoption will be seen in how hotels effectively meet and exceed guest expectations. 

Karl Marx once said "The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people."
 
I wish I could show Karl Marx all the technological innovations of our market today and he would, for sure, change his mind. 

Because TIME IS MONEY after all!




This post is by Alex Moura who is the Regional Sales Director for North America, Caribbean & Brazil at eRevMax. He can be reached at alexm@erevmax.com

Pegipegi completes 2-way integration with eRevMax


Pegipegi
, one of the most popular online travel agencies in Indonesia, has completed 2-way integration with eRevMax. The seamless interface will allow hotels using RateTiger and RTConnect platforms to update rate and availabilities and receive reservations generated through the channel in real-time.
“As an OTA providing Hotel, Flight and Train booking services, Pegipegi always strive to provide the best service not only for our customers, but also for our partners. Through our co-operation with eRevMax, we try to provide convenience for our hotel partners to be more practical in uploading their room availability, price, and facilities in Pegipegi,” Ryan Kartawidjaja, Deputy CEO, Pegipegi.

“At eRevMax, we give utmost importance to provide our hotel customers with a diverse range of superior connectivity options. The integration with Pegipegi allows us to offer hotels with wider selection of leading South East Asian channels to choose from and capitalize on the region’s online travel growth story,” said Ashis Saha, SVP – Project Management, eRevMax. 

Launched in 2012, Pegipegi currently offers more than 7,000 hotels in Indonesia, more than 20,000 flight routes, and more than 1,600 train routes.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Dubai based star hotel experiences 600% growth in online business with RateTiger

Astoria Hotel in Dubai shared recently that it experienced 600% growth in online business over the last 3 years with RateTiger channel management and rate intelligence solutions.

Alankar Borkar – Manager –Sales & Reservation at the hotel says Rate parity & accurate inventory management are must to maintain your property at par with your competitors, specially clusters like Bur Dubai which are very price sensitive. Being heritage property in Dubai was a tough transition period for us to market on dynamic platforms - we can say eRevMax – RateTiger is our most important partner in this transition. We have stretched our online market to 38 % in the last 3 years due to excellent support & tools from RateTiger. We highly recommend RateTiger products especially in Dubai.”

Astoria Hotel is a three-star property with over 100 rooms. RateTiger’s real-time connectivity with over 300 online sales channels has facilitated the property to connect to the better producing OTAs, resulting in an increase in online business share from 5% to 38% over 3 years’ period.
The Middle East is the fastest-growing region for travel with the UAE being the dominant market. With over 15 million overnight visitors, Dubai has seen double digit growth in mid-market travel segment. RateTiger solutions have enabled Astoria Hotel to maintain real-time rate and availability in OTAs based on sound business intelligence.

Ali Kansou, Regional Sales Director at eRevMax will be present at Arabian Travel Market in Dubai from 24 – 27 April 2017. To set a meeting, contact marketing@erevmax.com today.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Hotelaria Brasil recommends RateTiger ahead of WTM Latin America 2017


Hotel connectivity expert eRevMax has consistently been recommended by its hotel clients globally. Hotelaria Brasil has been using RateTiger solutions across all its 14 properties for the past few years. The team has immensely benefited in their overall implementation of pricing and revenue strategies. 

Raffaela Gambarini, Revenue Management Coordinator at Hotelaria Brasil said “RateTiger comes to meet our Revenue Management strategy facilitating the daily tasks of a hotel Ecommerce department. We are very satisfied with all the features of RateTiger platform that allow us to save time and increase revenue results.” 

Alex Moura, Regional Sales Director at eRevMax commented, “We believe in long term partnership with our clients and treat them as business advisors. Over time, we have developed various new features within our Shopper and Channel Manager products providing more options and a wider network. We are glad to see how Hotelaria Brasil has leveraged RateTiger in achieving their revenue goals through effective pricing decisions.”

“We are excited to be presenting LIVE OS at WTM Latin America in Sao Paulo next week. LIVE OS is the first hospitality operating system that offers hoteliers with relevant business intelligence components along with access to various service providers from a single sign-on platform. We will be showcasing this fantastic platform to hoteliers and partners during the event,” concluded Alex. 

eRevMax is known for its stable solutions with 99% product uptime. The company has invested in building a robust infrastructure to provide hoteliers with uninterrupted service offering 2-way XML connectivity with over 300 online channels and provides 24x7 customer support. It is the connectivity partner of choice for large hotel groups, mid-scale chains as well as small properties in both luxury and budget segment worldwide. 

Alex Moura and Julian Lindt from eRevMax will be present at WTM Latin America in Sao Paulo from 4 – 6 April 2017. Book a meeting with them today on marketing@erevmax.com

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Three Things Hotels Should Not Ignore

The world of hospitality and travel has entered a new era of growth and transformation. Global business travel spending hit a record-breaking $1.2 trillion in 2015, up by five percent from the previous year. Healthy booking growth is forecasted to continue across the leisure and business fronts in 2017, but the spoils are not guaranteed to travel’s biggest or most-well-known brands. Here I find three most prominent things hotels SHOULD NOT ignore in 2017 -
  • RMS   
  • Social Media  
  • Reviews 

Revenue Management Systems

RMS’s are getting stronger day-by-day. The data sets are increasing every day. As the primary job of RMS is to forecast the future rates and for this they need past and current data. RMS companies get data from different sources and different places and based on that they do forecasting of future rates. At present the cost of data storage is low and processing has increased. As the amount of data is increasing day by day, hence they are getting more clear insights of hotel’s revenue management and forecasting is becoming more accurate  and precise. This is also one of the major reasons why the demand for RMSs has gone up. Almost all the big properties are using a Revenue Management system or rate recommendation tool today.
 

Social Media

Your hotel needs social networks because it’s a unique opportunity to stand out of the crowd of big chains, and achieve a greater number of followers. The number of hotels that are on Facebook and Twitter is growing every day; this is why you must join these platforms to compete with your rivals.

The challenge for hoteliers lies in how to influence their customers to share positive reviews on social networks and convert potential prospects into future guests.
Things have changed over the last ten years - today we are in an era of 'now'. Consumers have evolved and become smarter – always connected to the Internet, everywhere. With the emergence of modern technologies and social networking, consumer taste and behavior have been changing and they have become very powerful. Consumers are taking decisions and dictating the reputation of an establishment.

With the advent of smartphones and mobile devices, consumers have easy access to platform through which they can make or break a hotel's reputation through their comments and reviews. Today's consumers are experin communication - they are a content generator reaching millions of people through their social profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Blog etc.

Reviews

Now-a-days all potential buyers routinely sort through search results by customer reviews and star ratings before making a final buying decision. Things work in a similar manner in the hospitality industry. A recent research shows that more than 61% of vacationers now trust online reviews.

In another survey, 79% of hotel customers said that a good response to a bad review reassures them whereas, 78% of hotel customers said that a good response to a good review makes them think highly of the hotel.

Following things hotelier should do to manage their hotel reviews:

- Maintain Active Presence on Review Sites: Set your accounts on various review sites, such as Yelp, BBB, City Search, Angie's List, etc.

- Create a Detailed Listing:  Hotelier should make themselves available over different platform and should select their descriptive categories carefully.

- Go on Social Media: Be on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media channels without being reluctant to encourage people to follow you on Yelp, TripAdvisor, or other review channels.

- Ask for review during Checkout: Be responsive during guest checkout and learn about what your guests feel about your hotel service when their memories are still fresh. If you receive a 'yes', encourage them to write about you to help future customers.

- Make the process Easy: Simplify the process of leaving a review or feedback. 


Internet and social media has empowered the consumers with information and changed their purchasing behavior. If earlier they consulted their friends and relatives, today they have millions to consult and take suggestions from.  

More than 90 percent of questions posted to TripAdvisor's English-speaking forums are replied to by other travelers within 24 hours. Facebook has over 500 million active users, and TripAdvisor receives over 50 million unique visitors every month. 

As we move towards the age of consumer controlled brand conversations, hotels need to integrate customer feedback into their business approach and strategy planning. Ignoring the power of social media would be suicidal for hotels.