Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Newshound: Trends and Reports - Hotel Online Distribution


Making hotels comfortable with the notion of confirmed demand

A start-up called BackBid is offering hotels the ability to reach confirmed travelers – in other words, travelers that are definitely going to be traveling, not just those who are doing research or comparison-shopping online. With such offering, hotels can assess who is coming to their market, how much they are willing to pay, and what their travel preferences are, whereas consumers get to choose from personalised bids designed to meet their needs/ preferences.

TripAdvisor expands Facebook integration
Trip Friends will now start showing links to reviews from people within their friend’s network. This is probably the biggest development to the Trip Friends channel on TripAdvisor so far and plugs into where TripAdvisor is heading – tapping into the social graph of users so that they can rely on reviews from people they trust or like-minded travelers that may share similar interest by virtue of being within an existing social circle.

Room 77 grows up, adds loyalty points
In addition to searching multiple online travel sites simultaneously, Room 77 now helps travelers uncover special rates, including advanced purchase, AAA member rates and senior discounts – saving travelers up to 50% off other online travel providers. 

Top three hotel marketing myths (and the truth behind them)
The way consumers shop for and book hotel accommodations has evolved and disciplines such as social media and mobile have entered the picture, and likely won’t be leaving it any time soon. The article identifies and explores these myths and reveal the truths behind them.

Major markets enjoy the benefits of raising rates
Rising occupancy levels will enable hotel managers in the nation’s major markets to significantly raise their room rates in 2012. The average daily room rate for hotels in the 50 metro areas for which PKF Hospitality Research prepares a Hotel Horizons fore- cast is projected to increase 5.3 percent in 2012. This compares to an ADR increase of just 2.7 percent for all other U.S. hotels located outside of these 50 markets. Favorable supply and demand conditions in the large metro areas during 2010 and 2011 have set the stage for the strong 2012 ADR forecast.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Team eRevMax @ Kolkata Cyclothon 2012


Kolkata's biggest ever cycling event 'Avon Cycles India Cyclothon' took place on 18th March 2012 at Salt Lake Stadium. Cycle enthusiasts from across the city flocked to the stadium on Sunday morning with helmets in place and sporting cool white tees. The participants ranged from age group of 8 to 60 and the event witnessed a turnout of over 3,500.

Team eRevMax was represented by 14 members who rocked the show. The company’s CTO & MD Udai Singh Solanki led the team and his infectious enthusiasm got others interested; Rajib Roy, AVP - Administration took on the task of organizing the company’s representation and soon we saw 14 participants of which one was a visiting member from our sister company Lunar Logic Polska.



 
Krzysztof Knapik has only been on cycle trips with friends along the Baltic seaside in Poland. He says, ‘I had a really good time and I'm happy that I could participate since the event took place while I was in Kolkata. I didn't expect it would be so much fun. It was amazing to see so many people in one place, driving all possible kinds of bikes who were happy because they were part of this grand event.’

The concept of promoting cycling through such events is popular worldwide but it takes a lot of effort to organize, that too when it gets as big as this one was. The event was absolutely thrilling for me as this was my first ever cycling event. The idea that this was happening in my own city was enough to get me going. To be very honest I was very amazed, I did not expect such huge participation. Every participant present there was eager for the Cyclothon to begin! It was overwhelming. Infact Team eRevMax was so high on spirit and enthusiasm that I would give us a 10 on 10!

Kudos to the organizers and the Bidhannagar Police for having pulled this one off so smoothly!

Pooja Joshi is Market Manager at eRevMax. She is based out of Kolkata and can be reached at
poojaj@ratetiger.com

Monday, April 9, 2012

Le Salon HBS


I was in Avignon on 13th & 14th March 2012 to attend a tradeshow organized by HBS dedicated only to hoteliers. Le Salon HBS is a platform that allows hoteliers to come together and look for commercial solutions to improve sales, occupancy, RevPAR or how to simply manage marketing online and offline. This is a unique opportunity for them to meet other players including online travel agencies, web solution providers, aggregators, channel managers, GDS companies and technology providers among others.

With a good mix of hoteliers, students and suppliers, the discussions revolved around topics like yield management, marketing and social media. With the continuous evolution of online bookings, hoteliers from tier two cities are also starting to acknowledge the need for revenue and channel management solutions. I witnessed this growing awareness as many hoteliers and consultants flocked to the RateTiger stand to know more about our solutions and how it helps.



HBS invited us to deliver a presentation on “How to Maximize Online Revenue?” which I conducted to a receptive audience. Le Salon is the first of its kind event in France and the feedback we received is very encouraging. Moreover, it is a great platform to establish new relations and to track business with existing partners. I look forward to other such interesting events from the HBS stall.

Well done Team HBS!!

Stefan Casimir is Sales Manager – France at eRevMax and is responsible for sale of RateTiger products in the region. He can be reached at stefanc@ratetiger.com

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Newshound: Trends and Reports - Hotel Online Distribution


Are Travel Agents Really Making a Comeback?

According to a recent PhoCusWright study, travel agents have successfully tapped into a market PhoCusWright describes as the "oldies but goodies" segment of travelers - 67 per cent of their sales come from clients age 45 and older, and 32 per cent come from customers who are at least 60 years old. Leisure travel agents said that 70 per cent of their bookings have per-person spending of at least USD 1,000, and that 35 per cent spend at least USD 2,000. By comparison, the average U.S. traveller’s per-person spending is well below USD 1,000.

Pricing power becomes evident in hotel metrics
The hotel industry is back on the recovery race with rate leading the way. The global corporate rates were up 3.7% year over year and global leisure rates were up 7.6% in February, according to Pegasus data. The hoteliers needs to have a clear rate strategy to take advantage of the strong demand and continue rate growth.

Expedia’s social journey into the ‘recommendation age’
Expedia is thinking very seriously about its plans for an integrated social media strategy. According to an independent research commissioned by the agency, there is a strong correlation people actively engaging with Expedia on Facebook and those going on to book a holiday with the site. Expedia also wants to engage more closely with social media for brand-building exercise and generate more transactions.

Distribution Strategies: Working on mobile offerings as per your customers’ behaviour
The usage of smartphones by leisure and business travellers is on the rise and this growth makes the whole talk about mobile product strategy more fascinating. Consumers’ expectations and behaviour on mobile phones and tablets are different than on a website. It is important to understand and accept that people will access many channels and you should be consistent in your branding and experience.

Rate Strategy: Savvy pricing strategies mitigate risks
Since today’s customers are able to shop around more easily, rate integrity can be elastic. They expect high rates during peak seasons opposed to shoulder periods, but they don’t expect a higher rate during the off season. Business mix is especially importuning in pricing, understanding gross-operating-profit-per-available-room metrics and channel cost can increase top-line revenue and profitability.

Monday, April 2, 2012

RateTiger @ Ecole


The Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne is an extraordinary place, being the second time to visit this is a world of its own. Students are taught all areas of hospitality service, operations and management. As you step on campus the students are warm and welcoming and immediately make you feel at home – it’s part of the service.

My second visit was an invitation from Professor Horatiu Tudori, who we are working with on a market research project to better understand the challenges hoteliers are facing on local and global levels, to deliver a presentation to his students. Along with Casey Davy, VP EMEA we addressed an eager audience of over 150 students – I suddenly felt I had been catapulted back to my University days as I stared headlong into an audience towering above me in the auditorium.


Here we delivered the Evolution of Channel Managementthe history of sales and the future challenges we have ahead of us. In particular exploring those that this generation of revenue managers will face when they enter the full-time workplace. We had a discussion on Booking.com, social media and voucher websites – it was abundantly clear these students were well read.

I certainly feel our partnership is growing and I look forward to this year ahead with Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and the launch of our Research Paper.

Thank you Professor Horatiu Tudori.

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