Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Newshound: Trends and Reports - Hotel Online Distribution


What happened to direct sales in the hospitality industry?


Once a discipline of an enviable combination of great social skills, good business judgment, and powers of persuasion, direct sales was many times the starting point for learning the business of hotels. A knowledgeable sales person understood how each piece of business or account had an impact on revenues in all areas not just limited to rooms and not just for the short but the long term as well.

Industry Leaders Predict Top Trends For 2012 – What’s Hot, What’s Not?

The travel industry is growing globally but the geographical, socio-economic and technological balances are shifting. The Internet continues to be ascendant and disruptive in its ability to change the way the travel industry and its consumers operate.  2011 was marked by many dramatic challenges to tourism and the travel industry.

Google’s “Find Hotels By Travel Time” Offers Some Of That “Innovation” Google Was Talking About

Before Google was formally approved to buy travel software company ITA, the company argued that the acquisition would result in “innovation” for travelers and travel search users. Beyond the appearance of flight times/routes in search results we haven’t seen much “innovation” yet. Google’s new “find hotels by travel time” experiment is, however, an example of how Google might deliver new functionality and shake things up in the intensely competitive yet paradoxically complacent travel segment.
 
U.S. online travel growth to slow through 2013

Although U.S. online leisure/unmanaged business travel market growth continues to outpace the total travel market, the days of lightning-fast online growth are gone for good, says PhoCusWright.  The share of U.S. travel booked online (i.e., online leisure/unmanaged business travel as a share of the total market) will increase to 40% by 2013, growing just one percentage point over five years. Yet despite the slowing overall growth trend, online penetration continues to vary significantly by segment.

With Improved Occupancy, Focus Turns to Pricing in 2012, According to PwC US Lodging Industry Forecast


Reflecting year-end 2011 results, an updated lodging forecast released today by PwC US anticipates pricing recovery to be the key driver of revenue per available room ("RevPAR") growth in 2012. Despite a year that was marked by macroeconomic uncertainty, and resulting shaky consumer and business confidence, hotels in the US ended 2011 on a strong note.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Newshound: Trends and Reports - Hotel Online Distribution

Six hotel giants team up to launch hotel search engine Roomkey.com

Choice Hotels International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International
and Wyndham Hotel Group teamed up to start Roomkey.com to, in their own words, “provide travelers a search and book experience tailored for ease of hotel shopping through an uncluttered and trustworthy site”. In an unexpected move, six of the largest hotel companies in the world have partnered to launch a hotel search engine of their own, dubbed Roomkey.com. The hotel companies hope that offering a ‘personalized experience’ and ‘accurate information’ will make travelers choose for them when they search for accommodation.

Technology will take the strain out of travel

'From Chaos to Collaboration', a new research study commissioned by Amadeus, challenges the travel industry to overcome the uncertainty and stress of modern-day travel, through the application of new technologies and innovations. 

Brands work to simplify revenue management

As revenue management becomes increasingly sophisticated and complex, many major hotel companies are rolling out new platforms and tools to help managers at the property level. Phoenix-based Best Western International, for example, recently introduced a two-pronged support structure that offers for-hire services, as well as simplified rate “buckets.”
 
Optimising revenues via apt integration of revenue management and marketing

The ultimate goal for hotels should not be about just filling the rooms, or to charge the “best rate” but to incentivise exactly the right amount of demand to fill the hotel every night, such that profitability across the property is achieved. When it comes to optimising revenues from CRM, for long it has been mentioned that CRM must establish similar credibility within organisations that its evaluation methodologies can incrementally improve the incumbent RM practices.
 
International tourism to reach one billion in 2012

International tourist arrivals grew by over 4% in 2011 to 980 million, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. With growth expected to continue in 2012, at a somewhat slower rate, international tourist arrivals are on track to reach the milestone one billion mark later this year.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Newshound: Trends and Reports - Hotel Online Distribution


2011 Year-End Hotel Technology Review

Well, it wasn’t the year we’d hoped for; initial optimism that we were at last coming out of the recession was replaced by reminders that there was still a long way to go. Nevertheless, many properties took advantage of slow business to upgrade their systems and lay the foundations for more efficient operations once traffic does return, and equally as many vendors enhanced their systems for greater integration and flexibility.
Poor e-commerce results drive travel agents to social media strategies

Travel agencies’ use of the Web has changed dramatically since they began putting up websites in the 1990s. No longer are most agencies trying to drive online bookings and lead generation. Today’s agents are focused on using Web 2.0 and social media for networking and marketing.

Social media has strong impact on brand perception and sales

According to Ogilvy’s recent study “Does investing in social media create business value?” social media indeed has a strong impact on sales as well as brand perception. Integrated social media (social content + one or more channels) exposure is linked with significant increases in spend and consumption. For example, social media + PR exposure was associated with a 17% spend increase compared to the prior time period without these.

Revenue-management resolutions for 2012

For many revenue managers, the primary goal in the year ahead is the same as it was during 2011: raise rates.
It’s something with which the global hotel industry has had only moderate success. Through November 2011, the Americas region posted a 3.9% increase in average daily rate in dollars, according to STR Global, sister company of HotelNewsNow.com.

“The Asia travel landscape still remains robust and dynamic”

Asia’s travel market is growing steadily despite facing tougher market conditions and a global economic slowdown, says Robert Bailey, president and CEO of Abacus International. Bailey also lists his top 5 travel trends for 2012.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas @ eRevMax Kolkata

eRevMaxians in the Kolkata office celebrated this winter festival on 23rd December. The technology centre was dressed up with colorful streamers, balloons, ribbons and a huge Christmas tree completed the reception area decoration. Members came in sporting their best dress and showed off their winter buys.




Presents came through Secret Santa which was a big task to organize given the 140 plus headcount. It was good fun nonetheless and very heart warming to see everyone participating and getting lovely gifts.

The event began with a fun quiz and moved on to the ‘Guess your Santa’ activity. After all the gifts were attacked and unwrapped, the gang moved on to the cafeteria for some rich plum cake and snacks. An evening full of fun, laughter and camaraderie with wishes for many more such days!!


 
Similar events and Christmas dinners were organized in our UK and US offices.


After an eventful and remarkable 2011, we at eRevMax look forward to an exciting 2012 and wish one and all a very prosperous and Happy New Year!!

Neha Ginoria is Sr. Executive- Marketing Communications at eRevMax and is responsible for driving the company’s PR and Marketing activities in APAC. Neha is based out of Kolkata, India and can be reached at nehag@erevmax.com

Monday, January 2, 2012

HOSPACE 2011 Conference


HOSPACE is the annual conference and exhibition hosted by HOSPA (formerly BAHA) - the UK's leading educational organisation for hospitality professionals. The event took place on 24th November 2011 in UK and saw approximately 400 delegates attending it. 

The event opened with an overview of the industry and the upcoming Olympics, post which it moved on to a panel discussion on key issues, trends and developments facing Finance, Revenue Management and IT professionals followed by the Hospitality IT Debate and a Revenue Management Session.

There were some educational workshops lined-up as well. My colleague Casey Davy did a presentation on Online Distribution and Channel Management which was very well attended.


Overall it was a very successful show as the turnout was great. It was a good mix of suppliers including hotel technology and the buyers which comprised of large hotel groups as well as standalone properties which made it more interesting.

Not only did the event receive excellent feedback from all exhibitors, but the delegates too shared positive reviews and found it a worthwhile platform for business.


Sunaina Jagtiani
is Sales Manager – UK at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. She is based out of London, UK and can be reached at sunainaj@ratetiger.com

Hungary Hotel Association General Assembly


Earlier in November, I was in Budapest to attend the General Assembly of the Hungary Hotel Association. It turned out to be a great event with many hotels attending. The Association President election was also held on this occasion.

Sascha Hausmann, CEO, eRevMax International was present at the event and was invited to do a presentation on the ‘Evolution of Online Channel Management’. The session was very well received and there was a lot of interest among hoteliers to understand new technology trends in online distribution.

Other topics of discussion revolved around issues related to tourism in Hungary, need for better industry statistics and election of the new president. The event provided a good networking opportunity and the Gala Dinner was great.

Overall it was a nice platform to meet up industry partners and hoteliers in a professional setting. I look forward to the next edition.

Lilian Stjepanovic is Sales Manager – Eastern Europe at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. She can be reached at lilians@ratetiger.com