Monday, February 8, 2010

Florida Huddle 2010

Organized at St. Petersburg/Clearwater from January 24 through to January 26, 2010, Florida Huddle turned out to be a great event for me.

The event focuses completely on buyer-supplier meetings and is a good platform to meet prospective buyers and close deals. A new segment called the Travel Service Provider has now been incorporated as well. However they need to clearly define the requisites to qualify as supplier and /or travel service provider.


The discussions at the event revolved around the current economic scenario, similar to the OHV agenda. Hoteliers in Florida too are driving occupancy and not ADR. More than 165 hoteliers were present in the total gathering of 200 plus visitors and all were eager to find out the best way to take prices up again.


From the business perspective, presence at Florida Huddle is always lucrative as it allows decision makers from the buyer and supplier sides to meet directly and cut deals. RateTiger too signed many new contracts at the event and it was a very successful event for all involved.



Siobhain McArdle is Sales Manager for south eastern states of USA at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. She is based out of Florida and can be reached at siobhainm@ratetiger.com

Hotelier ÖHV Congress 2010

The Austrian Hotel Association (ÖHV) recently organized the hotel industry’s annual congress from 18 – 20 January 2010 in Zell am See, Salzburg. The event focused primarily on the economic situation of hotels in Austria.



I was representing RateTiger there and was not amazed to see that Austrian hoteliers too like their counterparts across the world have resorted to the mantra of ‘Putting heads in beds’. In the process they have gone into the discount mode to increase bookings. This has led to erosion in hotel rates which has hugely impacted their economic situation and hence the main agenda at ÖHV was to find ways to deal with the current scenario.



More than 250 hoteliers attended the event which was a good thing. It proved that Austrian hoteliers are eager to find out what they can do to conquer the situation. It was a good experience for me to meet with them and gain awareness about the market. On the other hand, it presented me with an opportunity to tell them about RateTiger which can help them in effective distribution of rates and inventory online to reach a wider audience. Overall it was a nice opportunity to explore a new market.





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 ulfg@ratetiger.com

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

MATKA 2010

Matka 2010 held recently from 21st - 24th January 2010 at the Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre turned out to be a very modern and well organized fair. The event was focused on the Finnish hospitality market but also included exhibitors and visitors from Scandinavia, Baltics, Poland, Russia, Iceland and Greenland.



Inspite of the temperature hovering around -20 degrees Celsius, more than 80,000 people attended the convention & fair, of which over 18000 were travel trade executives. There were quite a few hoteliers, including groups like Radisson Blu, IHG, Best Western, Omena and Reval Hotels. To my pleasant surprise, there were a large number of independent hotels as well and infact were representing properties from far and across including Vietnam, Korea, China, Panama, Seychelles, USA, Russia, Baltic countries and of course Finland.



The event had various sessions and the main topics included 'How to be different in hard times as a supplier?' and 'How to deliver quality and meet price expectations for your clientele?'



Attending MATKA helped me evaluate the online distribution scenario in Finland. Many hoteliers now understand the opportunities that online distribution & channel management offers. Surprisingly however a substantial number of hoteliers are still using pen and paper methods and manually updating 3rd party websites. Hence the need to educate them on automated benchmarking and channel management practices is a must since Finland can become a fantastic gateway to unexplored territory in Northern Scandinavia and Russia.



Overall it was a great event and I was happy to hear “We know about RT, tell us more” from various hoteliers in the region. For me it was the key that unlocked many doors and created many opportunities.



Dan Jakobsen is Sales Manager, Europe at eRevMax and is responsible for sale of RateTiger products in the region. He can be reached at danj@ratetiger.com