Thursday, December 22, 2011

ERevMax International Appoints VP-Human Resources to Drive Corporate Development and Indian Expansion

eRevMax International, a global software and services company, has appointed Ms. Anupama Dasgupta as Vice President-HR, to spearhead its Indian and international expansion plan.

As the Head of Human Resources in India, Anupama will be responsible to further develop the recruitment, HR and training strategy to continue eRevMax’s strong commitment towards nurturing future leaders within the industry sector. In a career spanning 14 years, she has been associated with firms across a range of industries leading HR programmes that contribute to organizational change to meet expansion and growth targets.

Announcing the appointment, Mr. Udai Solanki, Managing Director - India, eRevMax International said, "With increasing demand for our products, services and expertise, it is essential we continue to further invest in our internal processes to help execute our growth plans over the next few years. As we proceed to scale up our Indian and global operations, we are pleased to have Anupama in our leadership to oversee this endeavor. Her vast people management experience will contribute to our overall recruitment strategy and develop the training tools, initiatives and internal employee support networks to grow our people in-line with the growth of the business."


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Newshound: Trends and Reports - Hotel Online Distribution


RateTiger launches Apple Mac version


RateTiger announced the launch of its RTSuite for Macintosh OS X. RTSuite, RateTiger's premium rate shopping and channel management product has now been developed for Mac users. It will give hoteliers greater flexibility with rates and availability which they can now update via their MacBook.
http://www.traveldailynews.com/pages/show_page/46716-RateTiger-launches-Apple-Mac-version

Booked.net Integrates with RateTiger for Improved Update Functionality

Hoteliers’ can now update Booked.net through RateTiger’s XML interface transferring data in real-time. This development will enhance the performance of communication between the two systems and provides hotels with the ability to update Booked.net instantaneously with the correct rates and availability.
http://hotelmule.com/showthread.php?5946-Booked.net-Integrates-with-RateTiger-for-Improved-Update-Functionality

How well do you (and your team) know your competition?


Maximising your knowledge of your competitors' product is a vital tool in any hotel's sales and marketing efforts and investment decision making. However recent experience suggests that some of the basics are being forgotten. Today individual hotels, as well as large hotel companies, have access to more information than ever about their competitive performance and customer views.
http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4054053.html

Mystery travel: A new distribution channel

Several companies are cashing in on the mystery-travel trend, and hoteliers around the globe are utilizing the trips as a new opaque distribution channel.  According to EuroMonitor International’s Global Trends Report, mystery trips are quickly gaining popularity with consumers in North America.
http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles.aspx/7106/Mystery-travel-A-new-distribution-channel

Last-minute hotel reservations on the rise

Smartphones are empowering a segment of hotel customers often overlooked by the industry: last-minute buyers who aren't traveling. Hoping to draw impulsive buyers addicted to daily coupon alerts, hotels and online travel agencies are introducing a flurry of new specials and features targeting those who book a room locally on the day of the stay.
http://www.hospitalitynet.org/external/4054078.html

Hotel demand up in key central African cities

Hotel demand grew strongly across the three main economic centres in Western and Eastern Africa for year-to-date October 2011, compared to the previous year, according to data from STR Global, the leading provider of market information to the global hotel industry. Demand grew 27.9 percent in Lagos, Nigeria, 19.4 percent in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and 10.7 percent in Nairobi, Kenya.
http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles.aspx/7083/Hotel-demand-up-in-key-central-African-cities

UK hotel prices explode for New Year’s

For the New Year's Eve weekend report, cities across Europe such as Prague (268 percent increase), Edinburgh (196 percent increase), Venice (130 percent increase) and Amsterdam (119 percent increase) have significantly increased hotel prices compared to their average price for December. The UK has likewise experienced a jump in prices.
http://www.traveldailynews.com/pages/show_page/46734-UK-hotel-prices-explode-for-New-Year%E2%80%99s

Extended-stay 2012 RevPAR to outpace industry

Extended-stay hotels and the overall hotel industry follow very similar cycles. Consequently, if STR’s forecast of significantly lower revenue-per-available-room growth in the hotel industry during 2012 compared to 2011 is realized, extended-stay hotels likely are to follow a similar trend.
http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles.aspx/7046/Extended-stay-2012-RevPAR-to-outpace-industry

Thursday, December 1, 2011

WTM 2011: RateTiger Updates

The recently concluded World Travel Market in ExCel London was a well organized show and one of the best in recent times. It provided good opportunities to visitors and exhibitors to do business as well as reach out to new contacts.

RateTiger was present in full force and most of our Sales Managers from across the globe descended upon London to witness this grand show. Below are excerpts from some of their feedback on the event –

Pilar Sanchez Aita, Sales Manager – Spain & Portugal says, “This year’s edition was excellent; it helped me further strengthen customer relations and gain new prospects. The main topics of my discussions revolved around new revenue trends such Flash sales (Groupon), Social Media booking engine, online distribution, the affect of the recession on Southern European markets for domestic travel, etc. RateTiger’s stand location was fantastic, which helped generate a lot of traffic.”

Ryan Haynes, VP – Global Marketing says, “This had to be the best show RateTiger has done in the 5 years of exhibiting at WTM. It was certainly the year for Technology and a year for Channel Management solutions with all global enterprises present and visible at the show. We had a busy four days and a very successful presentation on the second day delivered by Keith Povah.”

“As for the core discussions - Channel management, for the first time, was a key topic of conversation, while social media tried to reign supreme. Again the recent news and discussion surrounding TripAdvisor was not sitting well with hoteliers. Hotels are looking for tangible results from marketing and sales strategies and distribution was answering most of their questions. Many exhibitors were talking about RateTiger – some nice free marketing.”



Lilian Stjepanovic, Sales Manager – Eastern Europe quipped in, “The show was fantastic as I got to meet a lot of hoteliers from my region. Having the same stand location helps in the sense that most people know where to find us. Overall, a great show which makes a lot of business sense.”

Keith Watson, Division President – RTCorp concluded, “This year’s show was very successful. My team took the opportunity to setup many meetings with prospects we have been cultivating over the last 12 months. These went very well. We also met with some new potential customers, who liked what they saw in RTCorp. Our discussions focused around filtering shopped rates as well as better understanding price comparison websites.”

All in all, a grand show, very well organized and an event that will see RateTiger come back every year.

eRevMax Anniversary Celebration – 10 years of innovation

The official corporate eRevMax 10th Anniversary celebration took place at the Nutfield Priory Hotels & Spa in Redhill Surrey. The evening event with VIP guests, business associates and partners was abuzz with discussion and interaction.

An exclusive meal followed a champagne reception in an elegant reception suite at the hotel accompanied by a string quartet of classical music. The founding presidents, Reuel Ghosh and Andrew Morsi, with the CEO, Sascha Hausmann delivered a speech reminiscing on a decade of eRevMax and RateTiger, recounting some of the more hilarious business encounters and silly mistakes all small businesses experience as they grow.

Following the dinner and it being Guy Fawkes Night in the UK it was the perfect opportunity to bring out the fireworks. We were entertained by a 15-minute firework display brightening the dark and dry cool night sky. After, we finished the evening in the bar to a soundtrack of light jazz music by band – Delta Detour.



To round the evening, our guests stayed the Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa, enjoying everything the exquisite hotel has to offer. We’re now looking forward to celebrating many more successful decades in business.

Ryan Haynes is VP – Global Marketing at eRevMax and is responsible for driving all PR and Marketing activities of eRevMax and its various product brands globally. Ryan is based out of London and can be reached at
ryanh@ratetiger.com

Tigers in London for game planning

Tigers from across the world congregated in London, UK for the annual strategy convention. RateTiger representatives from Asia, Europe, South America and USA came to Reigate in Surrey to discuss plans for world domination.

In total there were about 30 of us looking at the new trends in channel management, the challenges hoteliers are facing and the effects that the economic situation could have on hotels. The International Sales Meeting gives us the opportunity to share best practices, identify similarities in market behaviours and plan product development to meet the new demands that hoteliers are facing with pricing, distribution and bookings.

This event is always an eye-opener as we discover there are similarities between Asia and USA while many European countries behave differently to each other. The past year has also seen emerging markets becoming more relevant for our technologies; through a series of regional sales presentations we learned which market wants what product immediately showing the differences in approach by revenue managers.



The three-day conference gave us all the opportunity to meet in person away from our emails and Skype in favour for more real discussion, debate and laughter. Now RateTiger has completed a very successful 10 years in the business, the team are pent up to drive forward for the next decade.

We’re ready for 2012.


Ryan Haynes is VP – Global Marketing at eRevMax and is responsible for driving all PR and Marketing activities of eRevMax and its various product brands globally. Ryan is based out of London and can be reached at ryanh@ratetiger.com

Monday, November 28, 2011

ITB Asia 2011

The fourth edition of ITB Asia gave a record performance and attracted 7511 trade visitors representing 91 countries. Exhibitors from over 70 countries were represented from as far as Botswana, Finland, Croatia and Iraq as well as partner country Japan who reported an increase in business activity at ITB Asia 2011, reiterating the strength of the regional travel industry despite economic uncertainties.

RateTiger was among the exhibiting team and had a great show. I was there as part of the Asian sales team and was very glad to meet old and new clients as most people attending the show are now aware of our presence in this event. We received rave reviews about our product as well as visibility in the region.

Our discussions with hoteliers and travel fraternity revolved around the benefits of integrating with RateTiger as well as the necessity of Channel Management software in today’s time. Keith Povah, Division President – RTSuite gave a presentation on “The evolving world of hotel online distribution” which was very well received by attendees.

We had a pretty successful show and managed to create various new contacts. I look forward to ITB Asia 2012 which is expected to be bigger and better. 



Kenneth Yeo is Sales Manager – APAC at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. He is based out of Singapore and can be reached at kennethy@ratetiger.com

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Park Hotels Installs RateTiger To Gain Competitive Price Intelligence

The Indian hotel chain with nine luxury properties in major Indian cities has implemented RTSuite Shopper, RateTiger’s online real-time rate shopping tool in five of its leading properties. The tool helps them analyze their market position by comparing competitor rate information across various OTAs as well as the GDSs. These rate reports help the hotel make informed decisions and react to market conditions in a timely and effective manner.

Rohit Arora, Corporate Director Sales & Marketing, The Park Hotels commented, “We have been using RTSuite Shopper for around two months and are very satisfied with it. RateTiger’s pricing reports are always accurate and up-to-date to the minute. We have so much confidence in the reports that we don’t want to look back. Earlier we gathered pricing data manually which took us around two - three hours for each hotel. With the implementation of RTSuite Shopper, we have saved a lot of time spending just ten minutes to monitor data for each hotel. This, in itself, speaks a lot about the tool’s efficiency and importance.”

Mr. Arora further states, “RateTiger’s easy-to-use functionalities make it a product of choice for us, while the different formats in which we can export reports further make it valuable. And the Rate Alert feature is simply amazing. You do not have to keep checking, whenever any competitor’s price goes beyond a defined threshold, the tool gives you an Alert and you can act instantly. RateTiger truly makes technology work for you.”

 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

eRevMax Annual Day Celebration 2011


“Lights, Camera, Action!” Our 10th year Anniversary celebration was nothing short of a glitz and glam affair and the evening was one to remember. eRevMax recently completed its 10th year in the industry and celebrations were truly spectacular. Thanks to the mesmerizing and enchanting music by maestro Tanmoy Bose and the crowd pulling songs by popular singer Rupankar, it became a grand show.


The evening was made even more special with the felicitation of our CTO & MD Udai Singh Solanki for completing 10 years with eRevMax. The emotion in his eyes and the tenderness in his voice said it all. Founder President Reuel Ghosh paid him a befitting tribute for his dedication and vision in helping mold the company to where it stands today.

When CEO Sascha Hausmann popped open the bottle of champagne to raise a toast for Udai, we got to witness a comical fun moment - our COO Michael McCartan showed his dexterous skills by catching hold of the flying cork with immense ease.

This was followed by a surprise. The senior team comprising of Founder Presidents Reuel Ghosh and Andrew Morsi, CEO Sascha Hausmann, COO Michael McCartan, CTO Udai Singh Solanki and CFO Lars Hahn (who unfortunately could not attend) were presented with their caricatures which were hilarious as well as personal. We eRevMaxians truly appreciate their commendable work and responsible leadership which drives the company to new heights.

Another important section of the evening - the Annual Awards ceremony, is always a special moment when the efforts of eRevMaxians are recognized. Whether it is for New Cubs, Employee of the Year, Innovations for future products or for Best Managers, each one was given due recognition for all the sweat and hard work. 


The evening wore on with good food and free flowing spirit while many of us had a gala time on the dance floor. All in all, it was a Night to Remember and we look forward to many more such celebrations, success and prosperity in time to come.

Krystan Mark De'Cunha is Senior Executive, Escalation Support at eRevMax and provides support to RTConnect clients globally. He is based out of Kolkata, India and can be reached at
krystanm@erevmax.com

IoH announces Aspiring Manager Awards 2011

The Annual Chairman’s Ball & Aspiring Manager’s Awards organized by the Institute of Hospitality, London branch took place on 28th October 2011 in a glittering ceremony at the newly re-opened Four Seasons Hotel, Park Lane, London.

I was there to attend the same as part of RateTiger’s partnership with IoH. The audience comprised of many of London’s top hoteliers and elite hospitality industry professionals. The event was interesting with this year’s theme being ‘Masked Ball’. The evening started with guests pleasantly posing for photos upon their arrival, thereby moving on to their dinner tables and soon the much awaited Aspiring Manager Awards were announced.
 
The winner of the evening was Nikki Goodwin (picture right) from Ramada Southport, who unfortunately could not make it to the event. The hotel GM Enda Rylands collected the Award on Nikki’s behalf.  Once the excitement of the awards was over, guests had the pleasure of masked dancing and enjoyed the live band, Versatility.

Overall a well organised event with lot of excitement and fun as well as opportunities to connect with friends from the industry.

Pictures from the event courtesy Chris Mann: http://www.cjmann.com/2011/10/ioh-chairmans-ball-awards-at-four-seasons-park-lane/
 
Casey Davy is Sales Manager - UK at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. He is based out of London and can be reached at caseyd@ratetiger.com

Friday, November 11, 2011

RateTiger News


Global Hotel Exchange Utilizes RateTiger Effect

On Tuesday, a new, independent OTA announced a strategical alignment with RateTiger. Global Hotel Exchange, a cost free distrubution channel for hotels to launch in January, will leverage the power of global hospitality technology provider Rate Tager and eRevMax. Set to go live in January of 2012, Global Hotel Exchange (GHX) was founded by Tom Magnuson, CEO of Magnuson Hotels, the largest independent hotel group in the world. As part of the strategic move, GHX gains access to over 20% of the UK hotel market, not including the strength of Magnuson’s other 2,000 hotels in the US and across the UK.
http://www.argophilia.com/news/ratetiger-effect/24140/

WTM: 2011 Money Generation Machine

Travel Daily News reported this morning, the start of this week’s World Travel Market in London, the leading worldwide travel industry event, welcomed some 183 new exhibitors for 2011. From national tourism boards, destination management companies, to technology entities and beyond, ExCeL, London is the place to be November 7 through 10.
http://www.argophilia.com/news/money-generation-machine/24135/

WTM Travel and Online Technology region prepares for more visitors and buyers

World Travel Market, the leading event for the global travel industry, reveals that the number of pre-registered visitors interested in technology and online travel for WTM 2011 is already 13% up on the previous year.With a week to go until the event launches on Monday 7 November, the improvement on last year is likely to increase further.
http://www.incentivetravel.co.uk/shows/4013-wtm-travel-and-online-technology-region-prepares-for-more-visitors-and-buyers

JacTravel embraces hotel channel management

Travel wholesaler JacTravel has launched a new channel management service for its hotel partners to address what it says it has identified as an important growing market. Commercial manager James Blackmore has been appointed to head up the service and partners already signed up include RateTiger, TravelClick, Figaro, and A&O Hotels and Hostels. Channel management has taken off in recent years with some firms reporting double digit growth in sales and triple digit growth in usage, according to JacTravel. Sascha Hausmann,  chief executive of eRevMax, which owns RateTiger, said: "Channel management is becoming an essential technology to more efficiently and accurately manage the multiple sales channel landscape of the internet. Over the past two years we have seen an increase of over 150% of channel updates processed per month."
http://www.travolution.co.uk/articles/2011/10/14/5103/jactravel-embraces-hotel-channel-management.html

Thursday, November 3, 2011

LodgeGate implements RateTiger for seamless online booking connectivity


Dutch-based company Hotels Online, provider of LodgeGate Hotel Management System (PMS), has selected RTConnect, the premium XML interface, for electronic rate and inventory distribution as well as reservations delivery.

RateTiger recently completed the 2-way XML connection integration with LodgeGate and its 150+ hoteliers are currently adopting the technology to better manage sales. Over 30 properties will soon be using the enhanced service and benefit from a two-way connection to their electronic distribution network. Customers of the PMS will be able to automatically maximize their online presence while avoiding over-booking through an easy-to-use interface.

LodgeGate’s customers can now easily manage and update multiple sales channels including the Global Distribution Systems (GDS), various Online Travel Agents (OTA), e-commerce and social media. Rate and availability data already present in their PMS can now be shared automatically with RateTiger’s channelmanager. This will save time and provide opportunity to make additional money.

As part of the interface, hotels will also receive booking confirmations directly into their property management system, therefore sparing the effort of manual data entry.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Channel Connectivity: The Changing Trends, Part 1: Yesterday v/s Today


Heads in beds is the key driver for all hotels – you need good daily occupancy to meet your property’s running costs and thereafter make profits. With thousands of hotels listed online, how can you ensure your property stands out from the rest?

As online travel grows, accommodation owners need to position offerings appropriately, using the right channels. Google’s success is based on page ranking through keywords and relevance, all searchers will type in what they want to see and results will be made of popular channels. In other words, on the internet, the more visible and optimized you are, the more customers you will attract to your hotel!

Just 10 years ago the environment was wholly different. Booking a hotel room over the telephone or through a travel agent was the norm as only less than 5% of all travel was booked online. Today the travel booking landscape has changed significantly:

We used to distribute inventory evenly between tour operators, corporate contracts, telesales and the GDS. Most of our business was stable and regular rate changes and inventory changes were not required. Sales departments were busy but not overloaded.

However in recent years the internet has taken over GDS and telesales; a 2010 eTRAK Reservation Sources for Major Hotel Brands Report shows that major hotel brands experienced 52.3% of all reservations coming from the internet compared to 22.9% from GDS and 24.7% from Voice (2006 figures show Internet: 37.6%, GDS: 31.3% and voice: 31.3%).

In this respect let’s take a peek into the developments of Y2K, a significant period in many ways. The internet has been growing at a fast pace with the likes of Expedia, Travelocity, and Priceline having launched in mid-late 1990s during the dot-com boom.  The bubble burst and many online industries had to rebuild their sales model. Online travel was not greatly affected, on the contrary it started to grow - though it meant the offline hotel industry had to start paying attention and, more importantly, hotels had to realize that something was changing.

By 2000 the total annual online hotel booking rate was around 4% of total bookings. In only 10 years this has reached around 35%, according to a report by PhoCusWright's Global Online Travel Overview Second Edition, 2011.

This goes to prove the ongoing importance of the internet and the changing consumer buying trends. While it took almost a decade to achieve this level of sales, within the maturing APAC market there has been increasing focus on mobile internet as this is adopted faster than the traditional computer access. This is deemed to grow at a faster rate than the internet over the next decade.

With such changes comes the necessity to adapt. Business has become more volatile and requires adequate planning. Product has to be constantly optimized, prices analyzed and yielding performed. Tasks that do sound natural to hotel operation but are still not honed to perfection.

Staff needs training but not only sale is affected. All departments within a hotel need to brush up as the consumer has options to review services with the general public. From rooms division to management, the hotel has to be organized and prepared.

Another factor, often not recognized enough, is that marketing has changed too. Gone are the expenses for costly brochures. Not that we can spend less now, but the likes of Google, Kayak, trivago, Groupon have taken their place, still marketing but a different caliber with different rule sets. Also, some OTA’s require additional commission for better placement. One could argue that this is not just cost of sales but to a degree brand marketing too. A battle the two departments will need to have in order to best place the house.

Check out Channel Connectivity: The changing trends Part 2 next week.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Brook Hotels improving revenue by managing advanced rates


The British hotel chain with 21 historic properties has introduced channel management technology within its Sales and Marketing department to gain greater control over future bookings. Brook Hotels has seen an increase in advanced bookings, particularly with the upcoming national events in 2012, Diamond Jubilee and London Olympics, and is seeking to further benefit from OTA exposure.

“It’s imperative now that we engage in more future planning across our sales channels,” said Amit Ummat, Sales and Marketing Manager, Brook Hotels. “We are seeing that room rates need to be much more flexible for future dates as our guests look at booking further ahead.”

Brook Hotels chose RateTiger’s RTSuite Channelmanager to meet the increasing demands of selling online to multiple travel agents. Implemented two months ago, RateTiger has already significantly reduced the time managing rates and ensuring they are accurate across all channels.

The hotel group manages both large booking portals like booking.com and laterooms.com as well as local tourist boards and extranets with the prospect to add more sites in the coming months. This additional sales exposure has also lead to increased direct bookings to the website while keeping each property high in the search rankings.

Read on further on HotelMarketing

Thursday, September 29, 2011

RateTiger Shortlisted for Travolution Awards 2011


RateTiger, the premium channel management solution provider, has been nominated as a finalist for the Travolution Awards in the Best Technology Provider category. The nomination has been made based on its channel connection achievements.

The Travolution Awards, considered one of the industry's highest accolade for online innovation and excellence in the UK, aims at recognising companies, brands and individuals who excel in the fields of online travel distribution, digital marketing and technology.

RateTiger has been recognised for its success in creating the largest online channel network, offering hoteliers' access to more than 750 OTAs globally. The full service channel manager constantly develops technology to help hotels to take advantage of new opportunities to optimise marketing and sales online including utilising social media platforms like Facebook. It recently became the first channel manager to distribute hotel inventory and rates to eBay, the largest international ecommerce platform representing 14% of global e-commerce.

"We encourage innovation and integration of technologies to support the evolution of online sales and channel management. Hoteliers are fond of our solutions because we provide them meaningful single-point access to all required channels, and continue to add new platforms" said Michael McCartan, COO RateTiger. "GDS, via CRS, booking engines, tour operators, OTAs to social media, online advertising and auctioning platforms has been very successful. Now with this prestigious award nomination, we know we are on right track and will continue to create value for our customers."

These connections help hoteliers to broaden the reach of newer market segments, further maximises online revenues while minimising the workload involved in researching and managing new media.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Newshound: Trends and Reports - Hotel Online Distribution


Social Media and Review Analytics Guide for Hotel Marketing

While online reviews understandably receive a lot of attention in the hotel industry from a reputation management perspective, there is another use that is equally important: setting the direction of your marketing and advertising campaigns.

The TripAdvisor effect: Are online reviews making hotel brands irrelevant?

Take a destination based Google search for Super 8 Motels, for example. On the front page, you’ll see ratings that hotel guests have written about particular Super 8s on TripAdvisor, Yahoo Travel and Yelp. Importantly, the reviews vary widely.

The Smart Hotelier’s Guide to 2012 Digital Marketing Budget Planning

2012 is quickly approaching and budget-planning season is upon us. Whether you are just starting to think about where you are going to allocate your dollars, or are moving towards finalizing your budget for next year, this is the perfect time to take a step back, review the state of the industry as well as your property's successes and failures in 2011, and prepare for a year of driving the most revenue ever through your most cost-efficient channel – the hotel website.

ADR, guest satisfaction: Opportunity and action

This is the first in a series of columns from J.D. Power’s Stuart Greif that analyzes and provides deeper insights into the company’s 2011 J.D. Power and Associates North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study.
 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Newshound: Trends and Reports - Hotel Online Distribution


The 5 Defining Moments of 2011 (So Far)

Tumultuous. This is the word that springs to mind to characterize 2011 for our industry. Whereas last year saw online travel companies at the mercy of economic conditions it seems that 2011 has been more defined by competitive forces and players. Survival of the fittest has evolved into only the savvy prosper.
http://www.eyefortravel.com/news/industry-analysis/5-defining-moments-2011-so-far

Are travel shopping sites killing technical performance?

This is a guest article by Dorian Harris, founder of hotel booking site Skoosh. I stumbled across an amazing piece of software recently called Splunk. It does for server logs what Google does for web-pages, more or less.
http://www.tnooz.com/2011/09/05/news/are-travel-shopping-sites-killing-technical-performance/

Dubai hotels posts biggest jump in occupancy in MENA region | EY Reports

Hotel occupancy in Dubai witnessed a 10.5 percentage points increase in July 2011 year-on-year, the biggest such increase within the region, global consultancy Ernst & Young said in its Middle East Hotel Benchmark Survey.
http://ahla.hsyndicate.com/news/4052831.html

Monday, September 12, 2011

GBTA Convention 2011

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) - the voice of the global business travel industry had a record breaking 2011 GBTA Convention in Denver, Colorado last month. Over 6,000 people attended the event, amongst which were 1,200 travel buyers, making this one of the largest GBTA Conventions in its history.

The RateTiger stand at the convention experienced a good show with a large number of pre-confirmed visits gaining a lot of interest among travel buyers. The main topics of discussion revolved around identifying how real-time hotel rate benchmarking can best benefit the corporate travel market and the individual corporate travel manager.

Travel managers mostly use historical rate data for price-comparison; but they know that real-time benchmarking will take the industry to a new level, which led to their added interest in RTCorp. This product fulfills two main areas of demand for the corporate travel managers – (a) To show supervisors how their negotiated hotel rate compares against publicly available rates on the internet to support their negotiations; (b) To provide corporate travel managers with email alerts that identify future instances where the publicly available rates may be cheaper than their negotiated rates and therefore provide them with the opportunity to renegotiate with those hotels in advance of their travelers booking their travel. In addition corporate travel managers are looking for a tool that audits their negotiated rates and availability across their chosen GDS.

Another point of interest for us was RateTiger’s nomination for the GBTA Travel Innovation Award 2011 under the Travel Management category. This was very encouraging for us given that RTCorp was launched to the corporate travel segment only recently. We look forward to coming back to the GBTA convention next year for many more productive discussions and yet another meaningful show.

Mark Neter is the Sales Manager for RTCorp. He is based out of Orlando, Florida and can be reached at markn@ratetiger.com

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Newshound: Trends and Reports - Hotel Online Distribution


How much exactly a hotel should invest in Internet marketing in 2012

Allocating the appropriate amount of your property’s overall marketing budget to online marketing can be more of an art, than science. Here’s why you need a significant investment in online marketing to increase direct bookings and key areas to focus your efforts on to realise the highest digital ROI.                                                                                                
http://www.eyefortravel.com/news/hotels/how-much-exactly-hotel-should-invest-internet-marketing-2012

Google, Facebook and TripAdvisor on what’s next for online travel
 Which emerging trends will fizzle, and which will pop? What is the most significant opportunity (or critical threat) that our industry faces? Which disruptive forces will re-shape the online travel landscape as we know it in the next years?                                                                                                    
http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/google_facebook_and_tripadvisor_on_whats_next_for_online_travel 

How OTA hotel reviews drive bookingsMove over, TripAdvisor. There’s a new leader of hotel reviews in town: online travel agencies. According to a PhoCusWright study of 27,000 U.S. hotels comprising 65 major brands, two out of every three online traveler reviews were posted to an OTA. The remaining third, or 34%, were posted to a travel review site like TripAdvisor.                                                                  
http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles.aspx/6295/How-OTA-hotel-reviews-drive-bookings

Study: Despite Soft Spots, 2011 Global Business Travel Poised To Surpass $1 Trillion
Global business travel this year will jump 9.2 percent and surpass $1 trillion, according to a Global Business Travel Association Foundation study. That increase would follow an 8.4 percent bump during 2010, which more than offset a nearly 8 percent decline in 2009.                                                                                                                                                                               
http://www.businesstravelnews.com/Worldwide-Travel/Study--Despite-Soft-Spots,-2011-Global-Business-Travel-Poised-To-Surpass-$1-Trillion/?a=trans 
 
RevPAR Growth Momentum Expected to Yield to New Economic Reality According to PwC US Lodging Industry Forecast
An updated lodging forecast released today by PwC US shows that the lodging recovery is largely intact, yet a resetting of the economic outlook has lowered expectations of revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth for the remainder of the year.                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/154000320/4052784.html 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

eRevMax – RateTiger Marks Its 10th Anniversary

eRevMax International, global software and services provider and owner of RateTiger, SimpleDistribution and Lunar Logic Polska, today celebrates its tenth corporate anniversary.  The company has specialized in revenue and distribution solutions for the hospitality industry for a decade, having launched one of the very first electronic, online and hotel website room rate shopping services in early 2002.

The lead product brand, RateTiger, was one of the first to focus on bookings and revenue from the internet. The channel manager launched within a couple of months of incorporation and was built to specifications requested by hoteliers. RateTiger today is setting a standard in the online revenue maximization market with the largest and most diverse distribution network of over 700 connect channels worldwide.

"Over the last ten years, eRevMax has seen significant growth as the company has strictly adhered to the founders belief in innovative and qualitative solutions,” said Sascha Hausmann, CEO, eRevMax International, “I would attribute this success to our focus on deploying only the best high-quality technology and the dedication we’ve had from our employees over the last 10 years, especially from our founding CTO, Udai Singh Solanki. Reaching this milestone in our company's history is a true testament to everyone who’s been involved, from the technicians to our customers – who have really helped shape the technology that it is today.”

This year also marks the expansion of eRevMax International to new territories in Australia, New Zealand, China and South Africa. Earlier in the year the company acquired Lunar Logic Polska, a Poland-based web and digital development company to spur channel management, rate shopping and strategy technologies into the next generation. 


http://www.etravelblackboard.com/article/122877/erevmax-8211-ratetiger-marks-its-10th-anniversary

http://www.hospitalitybizindia.com/detailNews.aspx?aid=11641&sid=1

http://zeenews.india.com/biz/businesswire/28090news.html 

http://www.technology4hospitality.com/2011/09/erevmax-%E2%80%93-ratetiger-marks-its-10th-anniversary/

Friday, August 26, 2011

Newshound: Trends and Reports - Hotel Online Distribution


What’s Around the Corner for Hospitality Distribution & RM?

As the hospitality sector continues to morph and be shaped by forces old and new, I caught up with Mark Molinari, Vice President of Revenue Management & Distribution at the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, to find out what key issues lie ahead for the hospitality and gaming industries. 
http://www.eyefortravel.com/news/europe/what%E2%80%99s-around-corner-hospitality-distribution-rm

Paid search producing positive results for hoteliers

Paid search advertising is becoming more commonplace by hotel marketers as a cost-effective, high-yielding e-marketing tool to help drive consumers to their respective website booking engines.
http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/154000392/4052649.html

European hotels on recovery track

The European hotel performance picture is a positive one, according to STR Global’s Konstanze Auernheimer. “Hotel performance is doing really well,” said the director of marketing and analysis at STR Global, a sister company to HotelNewsNow.com.
http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles.aspx/6255/European-hotels-on-recovery-track

Demand records are made to be broken

Last summer, in July 2010, you probably heard a lot of hype about the U.S. hotel industry selling the most hotel roomnights ever, breaking records and setting milestones. http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Blog.aspx/6258/Demand-records-are-made-to-be-broken

Thursday, August 18, 2011

RateTiger launches hotel price transparency tool


Travel technology company RateTiger has launched a new tool that allows hotels to assess its room prices across the trade and retail. The price shopping service, named RTSnapShot, will alert hotels over price discrepancies online through a one-off report service. It is aimed at helping companies better understand rate performance during a specific location or event.

"We’ve been inundated by requests from corporations and travel management companies to tailor our RTCorp service to allow them to get just a snap shot of the hotel marketplace," said Keith Watson, Division President – RTCorp at RateTiger. "Whilst many of our customers need to receive regular rate data to monitor prices, some in the corporate space need it only monthly or quarterly dependent on events or budget planning. RTSnapShot gives them only the most relevant pricing data without long-term commitment to an ongoing subscription, making better sense for budgets and rate planning."



Newshound: Trends and Reports - Hotel Online Distribution


Revenue Measurement Is Not Revenue Management


In pricing and revenue management, hedging your bets with a tried-and-true process may actually be riskier than taking a chance on something different. It sounds counterintuitive, but the fact is that the conservative route to pricing practices is costing big hospitality firms millions in revenue, risking their future viability.
http://www.hotelexecutive.com/subscribe/2669/

Integrating e-commerce into a hotel’s overall business strategy

Commerce should be a compliment to every part of a hotel's operations. All staff members need to be briefed on the advantages of taking a collaborative approach to e-commerce.The front desk staff, for example, needs to understand the correlation of stellar customer service on online guest reviews and the ability of a hotel to sell its products online.
http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4052549.html

Online traveler review volume continues to grow

A new report from PhoCusWright reveals that online hotel review volume expanded significantly in 2010, as traveler opinion plays an increasingly powerful role in the online travel search-shop-buy process. PhoCusWright's Social Media in Travel 2011: Traffic, Activity and Sentiment analyzes nearly 2.9 million online traveler reviews, covering more than 26,000 U.S. properties of 65 top hotel brands.
http://www.traveldailynews.com/pages/show_page/44789-Online-traveler-review-volume-continues-to-grow

"RM now moving away from overall profitability towards customer centric profitability"

It is critical to understand that the interests of the hotel are the same as protecting your most valuable customers, says Devdutta Banerjee, Regional Director - Revenue Management, India Bangladesh and Nepal, Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
http://www.eyefortravel.com/news/hotels/%E2%80%9Crm-now-moving-away-overall-profitability-towards-customer-centric-profitability%E2%80%9D

Friday, August 5, 2011

eRevMax Expands its Global Footprint in America, Africa & Asia


eRevMax International, a global software and services house, has announced further expansion of its brands RateTiger and SimpleDistribution. The company has opened sales offices and representations in Australia, South Africa, South America and China.

The new offices will strengthen eRevMax International’s global market leadership in the hospitality and travel industries while enabling the company to enter new markets in Asia Pacific and South America. This will help keeping up with the growing demand of its products as well as its commitment to customers to provide local presence and support.

The two lead product brands, RateTiger and SimpleDistribution, have positioned eRevMax International as a thought leader of online distribution and revenue management. The solutions offer channel management technology and services to enhance hotel’s sales capabilities that have been recognized with the European Seal of e-Excellence for the Marketing of Innovation for the last three years (2009, 2010 & 2011).


http://www.mydigitalfc.com/news/erevmax-buy-two-more-hospitality-tech-firms-738

http://orientalhospitality.com/erevmax-expands-its-global-footprint-in-asia-america-africa

http://www.htrends.com/article57011ERevMax_Expands_Its_Global_Footprint_in_Asia__America___Africa.html




Newshound: Trends and Reports - Hotel Online Distribution


Defining success in revenue management


The best revenue managers are those who can not only mine the most data but those who can present it in the clearest, simplest way to support agreed-upon organizational goals.
http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles.aspx/6082/Defining-success-in-revenue-management

Corporate Travel Volume Hints at +15% Growth through August

The corporate hotel market saw global bookings increase +8.8% in June, according to data released today from Pegasus Solutions in The Pegasus View. Reinforcing healthy gains made overall in the first half of the year, the growth in business travel bookings could potentially climb to +15% through August, and possibly higher into the third quarter.
http://www.hotel-online.com/News/PR2011_3rd/Jul11_PegasusViewJune.html

Google Launches Hotel Search Tool With Room Price Data

Google has launched Hotel Finder, an experimental search tool, which enables users to define key lodging preferences in hopes of finding the perfect hotel for their travel needs.
http://www.hospitalitynet.org/external/4052400.html

Hotels Must Adapt to Shorter Booking Windows

Meeting planners have limited time to get their jobs done. And, if they can’t find outside space quickly enough, they just may hold their meetings at corporate headquarters. Hotels can keep the business if they’re prepared to help meeting planners hit their deadlines, says Mike Mason, ZEO and founder of Winter Garden, Florida-based, technology startup Zentila.
http://lhonline.com/news/hotels_adapt_shorter_booking_windows_0727/

The Price Is Right – Maybe

Pricing is a powerful and proven strategy for improving profitability, yet few organizations know how to do pricing well. “Pricing and Profitability Management: A Practical Guide for Business Leaders,” a new book released today by Deloitte, helps organizations to better understand and implement effective pricing management.
http://4hoteliers.com/4hots_fshw.php?mwi=6210

Monday, August 1, 2011

Golden Tulip Implements ExtraConnect

Pegasus Solutions® and RateTiger Launch Collaborative Solution with One of World’s Largest Hospitality Groups

Louvre Hotels Group, one of the largest hospitality groups in the world, has implemented ExtraConnect, an integrated central reservation and channel management system from industry leaders Pegasus Solutions and RateTiger by eRevMax International. It is the first central reservation system (CRS) to combine the next generation enterprise delivery of Pegasus' RezView® NG with the powerful channel management capabilities of RateTiger's leading Channel Management technology.



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Java SE 7 Event in Kolkata

Live demonstration of Java SE7 from the one of the developers himself?? 
 
Can it get better than this?

We, the eRevMax Java User Group, had the opportunity to learn and discuss the new Java SE7 features and functionality ahead of its global official release on 28th July, 2011. Chuk-Munn Lee, from Oracle Singapore, was the speaker at the pre-launch event organized jointly by Oracle and eRevMax.

Udai Singh Solanki, CTO & MD, eRevMax was instrumental in organizing this event and played the perfect host. Chuk did a great presentation and explained the upcoming features and specifications of Java SE7 and answered our never ending questions with a smile.

Chuk proved to be a great orator and was a pleasure to listen to. He seemed to radiate a very positive energy and his affable manners made him the star of the event. Listening about Java never seemed so interesting earlier!

With all of us participants bombarding him with questions, Chuk almost missed his flight. But not before Udai has presented him a nice ethnic Bengal memorabilia. There was something for us too. We got to take home Java branded T-shirts sent by Oracle especially for the event.

Swarnadeep Mondol is Sr. Software Engineer at eRevMax. He is based out of Kolkata, India and can be reached at
swarnadeepm@erevmax.com

HITEC 2011

This year’s edition of HITEC, the world's largest hospitality technology exposition and conference, took place in Austin, Texas. We attended the four day event and made the most of it. Having had our stand in one of the main sections helped us meet a lot of people.

HITEC is a combination of hospitality technology education, led by industry peers and experts, and a trade show showcasing the latest hospitality technology products and services.

The event offers us a B2B platform that introduces us to new contacts for our various product lines. This is our chance to present our powerful back-end tools for vendors and large hotel chains, RTCorp and RTConnect, though it amazes me how much of the industry is playing catch-up with new business revenue models through the internet.

Tradeshows like these provide us an opportunity to see how customers and the industry in general perceive RateTiger. We always get to hear good reviews and appreciation, which further encourages us to innovate and develop new features and products to serve the sector better.

Gerard Carrie is VP Sales – Americas at eRevMax. He is based out of Florida, USA and can be reached at
gerardc@ratetiger.com