Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Spanish hotel major - H10 selects eRevMax to optimize online sales potential

H10 Hotels, one of the largest hotel groups in Spain, has selected eRevMax to increase their online business and distribution exposure. “RateTiger has really helped us to save time and respond to market dynamics. It is faster than any other channel manager when it comes to updating rates.” said Meri Ferrando, Sales Manager, H10 Urquinaona Plaza.

Real time connectivity is directly impacting on H10’s sales, maximising take up on last minute availability to enhance profits from this operational area. Two new properties of H10 Group,
Urquinaona Plaza and Port Vell hotels have been using RateTiger Channel Manager to centrally manage rates and availability in real-time across all connected channels. The properties are also utilizing the eRevMax Channel Eco-system, which offers two-way seamless connectivity with global OTAs to reach out to new markets.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hotel channel management leader revamps Enterprise Connectivity Platform

eRevMax International today announced the launch of a new website focused on ‘Connect by eRevMax,’ its enterprise connectivity solution focused on providing hotel companies with a centralized distribution solution. “Connect’s rebranding represents our evolution and strategic direction,” said Greg Berman, Chief Operations Officer, eRevMax International. “We are making key, targeted moves as we align product in support of our customer-centric business strategy.”

Connect, formerly known as RTConnect, the electronic distribution XML gateway for the hospitality industry, provides connectivity for rate and inventory distribution, and reservation delivery to existing hotel management systems. It enables hotel chains to centralize their distribution strategy by managing sales channels for all its properties in real-time directly from PMS / CRS through the web-based Connect Control Center.

The launch of the Connect website will provide a new visual identity - www.erevconnect.com, giving customers all the information about product features, benefits and latest updates.

Click here for the full story.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Adjusting to the Demands of Connected Customers: It’s All About Speed

The distribution landscape has changed rapidly in the last five years with the emergence of mobile as an important e-commerce channel. The advent of iOS and Android has changed the consumer behavior, and shortened the travel booking window. The popularity of same-day booking channels like HotelsTonight.com along with the dominance of traditional OTAs have thrown a major challenge for today’s revenue managers – i.e. how to stay in tune with the booking dynamics of each channel.

The opportunity that comes with the divergence of online distribution channels has also led to an increasing dilemma for hoteliers – how to manage channels profitably and accurately with limited resources. Throwing manpower at the issue is no longer an option. One small mistake and a hotel can face huge revenue losses as well as a downgraded ranking and a penalty from their distributors!

Facing a search-savvy customer, who will on average search 22 travel sites before booking, hotels have to stay visible at every touch point; and this is where superior connectivity becomes essential. In today’s multi-channel environment, keeping up-to-date with the distribution mix manually is not a daunting task, it’s virtually impossible! 

Understanding the role of social search
Over time, the growing power of web interaction, social media and mobile has changed the consumer’s shopping behavior, and hoteliers need to address them by taking advantage of technology to integrate social media into the distribution architecture. According to Expedia, hotels that scored one point higher in the guest popularity rankings were able to command a 9% higher average daily rate on Expedia. Several other studies have also pointed to the impact of user-generated content in the form of guest reviews as drivers of hotel rate and revenue. 

With Google, Bing and other search engines giving importance to social search, customer profiling has become important. Google has been making suggestions based on previous search and purchases for a while now. Major OTAs like Expedia, Orbitz and Booking.com have followed suite. This is where understanding the consumer becomes crucial. The more the revenue manager knows about the price sensitivity of a particular segment, the more he or she is able to price optimally. Social media provides hotels with vital inputs to map the customer’s state of mind and hence elasticity. Rate benchmarking tools help hotels to track the market dynamics and rate movements. Revenue managers also get an overview of how rates are positioned on different OTAs compared to their competitors for different dates on different channels. Knowledge of rate behavior along with price elasticity is the key to optimal pricing.

In the last couple of years, m-commerce has grown exponentially, and has the potential to contribute up to 20% of bookings through hotel-owned channels, according to PhoCusWright. For hotels, it not only means another channel to manage, but a channel to push the last available inventory. How fast you can react to the changing situation will have a direct impact on the revenue! But that can only be done if you are selling the right product to the right person for the right price on the right channel. Hence, it is important to understand consumer behavior and listen to what they are saying and address their concerns.

Future rate data provides revenue managers with the business intelligence important to creating rate strategy with the target to constantly increase product position and price and thus revenue. With prices set in sync with rate behavior, hoteliers have more confidence to manage last minute availability. This rate manipulation both for today and for tomorrow helps the revenue managers to begin improving the value of their product and its price. 

What is Enterprise Connectivity and why is it gaining prominence?
Equipped with sophisticated XML technology in the back-end, enterprise connectivity solutions deliver secure direct links between hotel systems like the CRS/PMS/RMS and the electronic sales channels including GDS, OTAs, IDS, Wholesalers, Tour Operators and other travel sales companies that process online hotel bookings. Hotels can take advantage of these pre-connected solutions reducing time to market thereby maximizing revenue opportunities and reducing distribution costs by efficiently increasing reach and visibility.

The seamless online booking connectivity guarantees real-time information flow, from hotel to third party channels and vice versa. Hotels can respond to market conditions and process ARI (Availability, Rates and Inventory) faster than ever before, while the system delivers reservations generated on the channel directly into the connected property management systems. Overbooking risks are therefore eliminated, as the available inventory in sales channels do not go beyond the defined threshold while the revenue manager can see all reservations directly in the PMS without having to make error prone manual updates. 

What’s more, superior systems can integrate information from all channels, and create a consolidated report in an easy to read format with bite size pieces of relevant information – this reduces the effort that revenue managers have to spend on collating big data and then extracting relevant information from it. Quality data is essential for producing meaningful analysis and accurate forecasts. Reservation Reports, available through advanced channel management systems, provide revenue managers with an overview of booking demand from all demand sources broken down into market segment. By analyzing the performance metrics, they can get a clear understanding of buying behaviors; what makes travelers book the property? Which channel delivers the most booking? Which OTA provides the highest RevPAR? And which delivers the longer lead-time to book reservations? What type of packages are people buying? This data helps hotels identify their most valuable guests, their demography and the channel they are using for booking, allowing them to adapt strategies accordingly to maximize revenue.

However, total revenue management will only be possible when they work together with the sales and marketing team. Today’s marketing promotions are built around rate strategy set by revenue management teams, and hence can only be successful through a cohesive approach. Marketing, sales and distribution departments have to work with revenue management to inform and advise on demand and pricing decisions. Hotels that tie their sales and marketing with revenue management strategies and find ways to incorporate this into their day-to-day revenue plans will lead their competitive sets and ultimately find themselves ahead on the bottom line.

The key to reducing distribution costs and improving profitability depends on how skillfully one can align one's marketing strategy with the right technology. Technology helps hotels determine new metrics to measure total revenue management. A single integrated enterprise connectivity system saves time, reduces costs, and enables revenue managers to focus on the data at hand in order to make better decisions to increase revenue. The future will start now if we could change the way we do our job differently. 

This article by Michael McCartan, CEO, eRevMax, is published on Global Hotel Network.

Friday, August 16, 2013

eRevMax connects with GTA

Global wholesale travel provider GTA and eRevMax, the automated online distribution and channel management specialist, have established a two-way XML connection for rate, inventory and reservation distribution between properties on GTA’s booking systems and subscribers of eRevMax. “This powerful and seamless integration will significantly reduce time to update reservation data while ensuring customer data is entered accurately into the hotel system.” said Greg Berman, COO, eRevMax International.

GTA, a part of part of worldwide wholesale travel provider, Kuoni group, provides its services in over 190 countries. Properties on GTA’s booking systems will benefit from eRevMax’s Reservation Delivery service, which facilitates automatic transfer of reservations data booked through GTA’s online sales channels directly to the hotel property management system (PMS). The hotels can also process rate and inventory updates through RateTiger’s XML interface transferring data in real-time helping them control pricing strategies and optimise revenue.

Click here to read the full story.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Yatra.com & Travelguru.com complete XML integration with eRevMax

Leading Indian online travel agencies, Yatra.com and Travelguru.com have integrated with eRevMax to offer XMLconnectivity to their growing base of hotel customers. Following a two-way XML interface certification with eRevMax to leverage its RateTiger and Connect enterprise distribution services, Yatra and Travelguru.com join a growing list of certified distributors; part of the eRevMax Channel Ecosystem.

“Our integration with eRevMax will help our hotel partners to update rates and inventories in our sales channels in real-time, enabling us to bring the best offers to our customers.” said Arun P Ajayan, Key Account Manager, Travelguru.com. From now the two online travel agencies will be able to gain access to broader products and more inventories, improve booking conversion and increase revenues as part of its growth plans across the Asia Pacific region. Yatra is the second largest online travel services provider in India. Travelguru has the country’s largest hotel network with over 9000 domestic and 300,000 worldwide properties.

Read the full story here

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Transhotel becomes a certified eRevMax distributor

Global travel services provider Transhotel has joined the eRevMax Channel Ecosystem – a collection of certified demand partners having two way XML connection pre-configured for rate, inventory and reservation distribution to help hotels take online sales to the next level.
Transhotel, which collaborates with 78,800 travel agencies and offers a portfolio of more than 60,000 hotels internationally, will be a great platform for eRevMax's hotel clients looking to expand their visibility by promoting inventory globally and creating incremental business opportunities.
“This integration will enable eRevMax hotel users to process rate and inventory updates via the advanced XML interface transferring data in real-time, while also receiving reservation data generated from the Transhotel extranet. The seamless connectivity aims at enhancing data flow, which will greatly reduce time to market, thereby helping hotels place immediate updates depending on the latest market scenario. This will further help hotels to continuously generate incremental and guaranteed business through RateTiger updates," said Natalia Fern├índez, Chief Contracting & Product Officer at Transhotel.
The hotel channel management specialist has been developing its distribution network to offer advanced connections to RateTiger and Connect enterprise platform users. eRevMax aims to help industry partners better match supply with relevant demand in a timely manner thereby creating new business opportunities.
Read the full story here.