Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Newshound: Trends and Reports - Hotel Online Distribution


Hotelier’s 2012 Mobile Marketing MUST Dos and Don’ts

Max Starkov, HeBS Digital’s President and CEO, was interviewed recently by Michelle Renn, Managing Editor of “Inside Hotel Online Today (Hotel Online)” on this year’s hottest topic: mobile marketing and mobile distribution channel in hospitality.

Asian hotel revPAR continues to rise
According to the latest data from STR Global, the region’s occupancy increased 3.6% year-on-year to 66.5%, average daily rates (ADR) climbed 2.8% to US$146. This pushed revenue per available room (revPAR) up 6.5% to US$97. STR Global said however, that the year-on-year comparisons were impacted by Chinese New Year falling in January this year compared to February in 2011.


Search weighing down CRS
The continually increasing volume of booking options is causing growing stress on hotels companies’ central reservation systems, according to a study undertaken by Pegasus.

Average Hotel Rate in the UK Drops!A global report demonstrating how the cost of a nights stay in a major city can reflect the country’s economic health, has revealed that hotel prices in the UK are stagnating, with only London’s hotels being able to report a rise in the average hotel rate.

Friday, March 23, 2012

C&W Hospitality Conference 2012


I had the pleasure of presenting a webinar during the Coakley & Williams Hospitality Conference earlier this month. Though the event was a grand one organized at The Hilton Springfield hotel in Springfield, Virginia, I conducted my webinar from our Orlando office.

With the attendees comprising mostly of hotel General Managers and Revenue Managers, I had the opportunity to discuss various aspects of online rate shopping through my webinar.

I attended the event last year and this time decided to try the webinar mode. This presentation was organized specifically for RateTiger as the organizers were intent on us sharing our expertise with their audience. Hence they scheduled the webinar during the technology meeting session. This gave me the advantage of having the full attention of the attendees who were very receptive. They had a lot of questions about rate shopping and how our products work. It really was a great experience for me.

I congratulate the C&W Group for having put up a good show and look forward to the next edition.


Jan Murza is Sales Manager - USA at eRevMax and is responsible for sale of RateTiger products in the region. He is based out of Orlando and can be reached at janm@ratetiger.com

Hotelympia 2012


Hotelympia
is a product show catering to the needs of all departments and business units of a hotel, much different to the traditional revenue management, hotel technology and global travel trade shows we attend. Wandering among towels, cookers and dishwashers, key systems and tiles, I could see the focus of the attendees - goods that they could hold, while those in the technology space like RateTiger have to accept a more backseat.

Our partners in HOSPA were there with a business area next to the small presentation section where I sat to listen to Mastering Digital Channels to Maximize Revenue. Although this really only touched on the very basics without looking at real revenue growth and opportunities of assessing data, bookings, production and traffic - it did identify some of the key points if seeking direct sales.

Direct sales however is a very expensive business, and either you need to have a very innovative proposition or a very strong customer database and loyalty programme. To try to achieve direct sales fresh without integrating a full channel and social media strategy will certainly leave you out in the cold.

However the presenter looked on at the basics - it's no longer interruption marketing but conversational (no longer placement adverts but social media). The marketer needs to Attract, Engage, Convert, Retain. The presentation highlighted the task list for direct marketing - Online advertising, Articles/blogs/Online PR, Link Building, PPC, SEO, social media, and e-marketing offering tips on how to best manage these. Although it was a pity there were no real life case studies looking at how this has been fully achieved by a hotel and how much business it really represents. Direct sales will always be expensive unless there is something really innovative you offer the traveler.

Overall Hotelympia is great for hotel managers - just not worth it for Revenue and Sales managers.

Ryan Haynes is the VP - Marketing Communications at eRevMax and is responsible for driving all PR and Marketing activities of RateTiger and eRevMax brands globally. Ryan is based out of London and can be reached at ryanh@ratetiger.com

BIT 2012


Italy’s leading travel exhibition, Borsa Internazionale Del Turismo (BIT), took place in Milan from 16th to 19th February. The event saw over 2000 exhibitors representing 130 countries with various parallel sessions that covered topics like destination tourism, social commerce, mobile travel revolution, social media strategies, revenue management and green travel among others.

Our Founder President Mr. Andrew Morsi, a noted figure in the Italian hospitality sector, was invited to deliver a presentation on Evolution of the Online Bookings. The session was designed for a specific target audience comprising revenue managers and hotel owners.

The discussion focused on how online bookings have evolved over the years and where it is headed. Andrew also touched upon trends that he foresees for the Italian hotel industry.  The quality of questions from the audience proved their maturity with regards online bookings and also of Andrew’s expertise in the field.


BIT has always proved to be a perfect platform to meet hoteliers and discuss current trends. It provides the best of networking opportunities which we look forward to!

Sergio Panzera is Service Manager at eRevMax. He is based out of London and can be reached at sergiop@ratetiger.com

Friday, March 16, 2012

HAC-ORC 2012


I was in Toronto last week to attend the Online Revealed Canada (ORC) which was collocated with Hotel Association of Canada Conference (HAC) in the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. Both these events are doing a world of good for the Canadian hospitality industry.

This being my second year at the event, I find a definite evolvement in the online hospitality community of the region. Last year I presented on Maximizing Online Distribution and this time I noticed a better grasp and understanding for online activities within the overall distribution and revenue strategy. This was not only in the area of working with OTAs strategically and the billboard effect, but also the interaction in social media.

With over 500 hoteliers present, the main topics of discussion revolved around hotel distribution channel analysis, social media monitoring, and changing consumer behavior, among others. Leonard Brody, President, Clarity Digital Group delivered an excellent keynote speech which planted the seeds for what’s coming next.

I had the pleasure of being a panelist for the Social Media Monitoring session. The discussion was focused on exploring various tenets of Social Media monitoring and its effectiveness. Much has been spoken about the need to measure ROI on social media. We continued that dialogue to further understand how social media measures against other marketing channels and the tools available for the same.

We shared our thoughts on how to get started, creating internal buy-in, basic Must-dos, monitoring through Google Alerts, Tweet Reach etc. Another important point of discussion was whose baby is Social Media – Marketing, PR or Webmaster! What ensued was a lively discussion and a good show.

Well done HAC and ACOC!! Kudos ;-)

Casey Davy is VP Sales – EMEA at eRevMax and is responsible for sale of RateTiger products in the region. He is based out of London, UK and can be reached at caseyd@ratetiger.com

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Holi @ eRevMax


Like every year, this spring festival of colors was celebrated in our Kolkata campus on 7th March. Holi - the festival of colors - is undoubtedly the most fun-filled and boisterous of Indian festivals.


At eRevMax we organize an annual event called Rang Barse meaning ‘Let the Colors Rain’ to commemorate this festival. Various activities and competitions take place which gives way to unadulterated joy, fun and play, music and dance, and, of course, lots of bright colors! The icing on the cake is lip smacking food and chance to win prizes in different competitions!



This year saw us participating in T-shirt painting competition which was a lot of fun as people created impressive designs with imaginative themes. People turned up in multi-hued attires to compete for the Most Colorfully Dressed prize. Further there was a Fun Quiz on Holi and there were interesting gifts up for grab.


Once the competitions were underway, multi colored ‘Gulal’ became the target and soon everyone were into the act of putting colors on each other with Holi songs creating the perfect ambience.

Three of our colleagues from Lunar Logic in Poland happened to be in Kolkata during the event and witnessed all the fun and colors. They loved it and participated whole heartedly - painting T-shirts, playing with colors and dancing to Holi tunes.  Infact they took the Kolkata team by surprise when they answered Holi questions (thanks to technology ;-)!! They captured a lot of colorful pictures and also gorged on the local delicacies and sweets.



It was fun to see the happy faces, colored in hues of red, green, orange, yellow, purple, pink & so on …barely recognizable.  People were jiving in the festive spirit!! On occasions like these we get an opportunity to feel the warmth and significance of being a part of ''the beautiful eRevMax family ''. We hope to enjoy many such events that keep on adding the zing to celebrate life. Happy Holi!

For more pictures, click here.

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

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

BTL 2012


I attended BTL earlier this month. This was the 24th edition of the event and it witnessed close to 800 exhibitors and over 80,000 visitors.

Various hotels participated in the event and most of them were concerned with the economic situation. The hotel industry in Portugal is currently experiencing falling occupancy and RevPAR. Many revenue managers and proprietors we spoke to were interested in understanding how to boost revenues.

Awareness about online distribution is rising which has led to many local players now offering channel management solutions. The Portuguese market is surely maturing and understands the benefits they can derive from a good channel management product.

RateTiger has been attending BTL for five years now and there is no denying the fact that it is a business platform of reference to both professionals and for the general public. It provides a chance for all interested to meet in one place and is one of the largest and most comprehensive tourism events in Portugal.

Pilar Sanchez Aita
is Sales Manager for Spain & Portugal at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. She can be reached at
pilara@ratetiger.com

Newshound: Trends and Reports - Hotel Online Distribution


Distribution experts share key to success
For all its complexity, the distribution game comes down to one simple factor: value. If a channel doesn’t offer value, then hoteliers shouldn’t use that channel to yield inventory, concluded a panel comprising a diverse array of representatives in the field.

Making Social Media An Asset To Your Hotel, Part 3: Sales & Marketing
Marketing using social media requires a different discipline and expertise from traditional and online marketing. Just as radio ads don’t translate well to television, branded online ads typically don’t work well in social media. Marketers wanting to utilize social media will need to think differently, and this section explains how.

A New Era for OTAs
Tension between hotels and online travel agencies has been palpable for the past several years, as the Web distribution marketplace has seen heated competition both online, through the battle for booking revenue, and off, through business negotiations and legal disputes. But as economic purse strings have loosened, consumer demand has risen, and hotels themselves have become more savvy in corralling their own direct customers, several of the major online travel brands have changed their game to reflect what they see as the current state of the business.

Online now accounts for more than half of travel sales across Europe
Online bookings accounted for more than half the travel sales across Europe for the first time last year, according to industry analyst IPK International. But agency sales continue to dominate Europe's biggest travel market: Germany. IPK reported 55% of all travel bookings in Europe were online last year, up 15% on 2010. Attached is the key findings of the report.

Global average room rate rose by 4pc last year: report

A report released by Hotels.com has indicated that the results are showing the green shoots of recovery for many countries with the average price of a hotel across the world rising four percent, placing them on a par with prices from 2005. According to Hotels.com’s Hotel Price Index (HPI), the relative strength of the global hotel sector can be seen as an indicator of a potential turnaround in the economic outlook with the average price of a room around the world rising four percent in 2011.