Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Is TripAdvisor turning into an OTA with its Instant Booking Model?

TripAdvisor has recently unveiled their direct booking feature, which offers users the option to book hotels within its site. Officially called TripConnect Instant Booking, this function has already created a lot of buzz in the industry.
I attended a session at WTM, where TripAdvsior gave a rough sketch on how the model works.  This will allow users to research, compare, choose and now book hotels, in other words, complete the buying journey while staying within TripAdvisor user experience.

This is a major shift in TripAdvisor’s revenue model, which earlier relied on advertising. Only last year, the travel giant had revealed its meta-search service, where a supplier  uses TripConnect CPC (cost-per-click) to place bids to appear in the price and availability search results. With the new model, TripAdvisor has introduced a commission based ‘bidding model’, where suppliers like OTAs, hotels, GDSs bid on a commission percentage they are willing to pay.
The basic difference between the CPC and Instant Booking model is that for the former, partners bid via cost-per-click for the top positions, and pay when users click on that link, whereas in the new model, they pay TripAdvisor a commission once the user completes their stay.  In the earlier model, suppliers required bid management strategy to be on top position, and directing traffic would not necessarily lead to conversion. The Instant Booking gives them 100% return on investment; in addition they will own the data, can view traveller profile and be the pointof sale collecting the payments.
If it reminds you of the traditional OTA model, you are absolutely right. But does that mean TripAdvisor is aspiring to be an OTA? According to analysts, this is an extremely smart move by TripAdvisor to improve monetization of its mobile channel.  The site gets around 110 million monthly unique visitors, about 40% of its total traffic, but accounts for less than 20% of desktop when it comes to monetization.
With mobile booking rapidly growing in US, Europe and APAC, Instant Booking, which allows users to book a hotel room while staying on the TripAdvisor user-shell will encourage more people to book, and therefore improve conversion rates. To make it more attractive for partners, TripAdvisor is using the Top Position of it search result and extending Premium Certification to enjoy benefits like tradeshow and online promotion to those signing up for this programme.
For independent hotels struggling to improve position in a channel where big OTAs with larger marketing spends typically dominate, this can be a golden opportunity to get direct bookings at a lower cost per acquisition, and to increase distribution on distressed inventory or increase direct bookings in low periods through improved mobile booking experience.
Choice Hotels International, Best Western, GetaRoom.com, Amoma, Tingo and GDS operator Travelport have already signed up for this programme.  In fact for TripAdvisor, Travelport’s listings for 580,000 hotels worldwide, including 480,000 non-branded properties and 150,000 e-commerce enabled listed properties can be the biggest coup for this program.

Presently pilot testing on global Mobile and certain US desktop IP addresses, the program is expected to be globally rolled out early 2015. With Google Hotel Finder also testing Buy Now in the UK market, does this indicate a new trend to look out for in 2015? It certainly looks so!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Amazon’s entry to online travel – is that disruption?

As if the entries of Google and TripAdvisor were not enough disruption, we now have Amazon which is entering into hotel distribution. So while buying your books and what nots, you can now go and buy a hotel room from the retail GIANT!
Amazon Local currency has already been selling some limited and wholesaler type hotel programs for a while now. But that was more of a distressed sale kind of an approach they were taking. With the new model, Amazon is asking hotels to publish their rates and availability for a longer period. For hotels, this means hotels can push full price inventories in the peak season, and of course offer discounts when they are desperate.
Does that mean Amazon is now seriously entering into travel services a la Google?  Travel analysts apparently think so.  Expedia CEO has already ‘welcomed Amazon into the party’.
Truth is, as Expedia Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says, travel today is a trillion dollar global industry. And everyone wants to take a share of the pie. That is why we are seeing TripAdvisor making serious entry to commission based model through TripConnect Instant booking. Wait for Google to make the next move.
Are these changes going to make it more complicated for hoteliers? In my opinion, Amazon, with its marketing capabilities, can become a serious alternative for independent and small hotels. What about TripConnect and Google Direct booking, when they are launched globally?

But as always, your success depends on how well you manage your booking channels. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Italy based travel agency announces partnership with eRevMax

Italy based global travel services provider Seneca Travel Affair has joined the eRevMaxChannel Ecosystem to provide RateTiger Suite, the industry leading integrated channel manager for rate and availability updates, rate shopping and reservation delivery to its hotel customers.

eRevMax is the perfect online distribution partner for our business needs, and with this alliance we will be able to provide our hotel customers the best in class technology to streamline their online distribution.  RateTiger’s automated rate and inventory distribution and rate shopping capabilities complements our proprietary technology platform Xenia making it a one stop solution for hoteliers to manage online sales,” said Ercolino Ranieri, CEO, Seneca Travel Affair.


Seneca Travel Affair provides business travelers and hotels, benchmarking and expense management, self-booking tools, web services, interfacing to proprietary platforms or third-party reporting matrices.





Friday, November 21, 2014

Leading Channels of South America connects with eRevMax Channel Eco System for upgraded connectivity

Leading online booking channels of South America CVC, MalaPronta.com and several others have integrated with eRevMax for seamless connectivity to its growing base of customers in the region.

Our integration with eRevMax will help our hotel partners update rates and inventory in our sales channels in real-time, enabling us to bring the best offers to our customers. This integration will also connect us to eRevMax’s Hotel Ecosystem for improving our global inventory supply,” said Cristiane Belotti, On-line Product Manager at CVC.

Alicia Ribas, Operations Manager at MalaPronta.com also adds “This integration is aligned with our commitment to deliver the fastest and most trusted user experience. This will help our hotel partners to further reduce their time to update rates and availabilities while automating reservation delivery directly into their PMS.”


Following this integration with eRevMax accommodation providers connected to these channels can update Availability, Rate & Inventory (ARI) updates and receive bookings generated by these channels directly into their property management system via eRevMax solutions.


Read Full story here

Monday, November 3, 2014

Hoffmeister Hotel & Spa selects RateTiger for effective rate and inventory distribution

One of the finest luxury boutique hotels in Czech Republic, Hoffmeister Hotel & Spa has partnered with eRevMax to expand business exposure and optimize online revenue. The five-star luxury property has been using RateTiger ChannelManagement Solution for managing availability, rate and inventories (ARI) across their online distribution mix.


RateTiger is a must have hoteliers tool in 21st century allowing you to effectively balance all the material variables in the hoteliers profit/occupancy/rates/distribution costs/channel parity equation,”  said Petr Novotný, Sales Manager, Hotel Hoffmeister & Spa.

Hotel Hoffmeister is built in Mediaeval Roman architectural style of the 15th century, sales 45 spacious apartments across various channels. The hotel offers its guests a worry-free time in a Roman bath style jacuzzi, soothe their body and mind while trying signature massages - relaxing, detoxifying and chocolate one or pamper themselves in a Beauty Parlour.

Read full story here

Monday, October 20, 2014

LaTour Hotels and Resorts selects RateTiger Channel manager to boost occupancy

One of the leading Hospitality Management and Rental Accommodations Travel Company in US, LaTour Hotels and resorts has selected eRevMax to boost its online bookings and expand online presence. Multiple properties of the California-based group are using RateTiger Channel Manager for managing availability, rates and inventory (ARI) across online sales channels.

Commenting on the partnership Lauren Doran, Director of Sales and Marketing at LaTour Hotels and Resorts said, “We wanted to be more proactive and promote our rates and inventory on various channels to boost occupancy. eRevMax is recognized for its product quality and superior service - the implementation of RateTiger has resulted in faster and extensive rate and inventory management allowing us instant control over our distribution processes and online sales.”

The group has presence over multiple cities of United States, Mexico and Venezuela and delivers highly personalized vacation experiences at four-star golf, ski, urban and oceanfront properties. Properties of the group using RateTiger Channel manager can sell rooms from an allocated pooled inventory across multiple channels automatically.

Read full story here

Thursday, October 9, 2014

eRevMax Customer Satisfaction Survey: 9 out of 10 customers trust RateTiger & Connect solutions for accurate & up to date information

eRevMax, the leading distribution, channel connectivity, market intelligence and revenue management solution provider for travel industry, has announced the results for its annual customer satisfaction survey. The results show that 90% of the customers who took part in the survey think eRevMax solutions are reliable and provide accurate & up to date information.

The survey is important to gain an objective perspective on all aspects of the business. The findings are an instrumental guide for our strategy. We continue to work on our mission of providing customers with the best technology supported by exceptional service and training to remove the complexity out of their eDistribution business. The result only deepens our commitment to helping hotels improve their channel management, competitive positioning as well as optimize revenue,” said Greg Berman, Chief Operating Officer, eRevMax.

The survey results collected from 500 responses shows that 86% of RateTiger customers are satisfied with the service delivery cycle time, while 90% of Connect users think the time taken to resolve issues meets their expectation.

Read full story here

Monday, October 6, 2014

Oakwood selects RateTiger for channel management and competitor intelligence

Oakwood Hospitality Group, the world-class accommodation provider has selected RateTiger Channel Manager for its twelve properties to manage rates and availability across multiple sales channels from single platform.

We are looking at implementing a channel management system that helps us achieve rate parity efficiently. RateTiger will help us save valuable time and give us a better overview of the market, enabling us to concentrate on the strategic aspects of marketing,” said Tabatha Ramsay, Vice President Sales, Marketing and Revenue.



The group has 28 properties in 15 cities across eight countries and territories, operates under three brand names Oakwood Premier, Oakwood Residence and Oakwood Apartments which offer distinct guest experiences to cater to different lifestyles. Leveraging RateTiger solutions Oakwood Asia can maximize its revenue opportunity and reduce its distribution costs by quickly and efficiently increasing its distribution reach.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Skyware PMS Completes two-way integration to expand rate and inventory distribution

One of the fastest growing companies in North America Skyware Hospitality Solutions has completed two-way XML connectivity with eRevMax to serve automated channel management and reservation delivery to its growing base customers across the country.

As Skyware Hospitality Solutions grows and matures in the hospitality industry, we are always looking for organizations that provide a technical advantage to our customer base.  eRevMax’s, RateTiger is a great example of this. They provide a flexible solution with multiple channels and easy to use software.  Their pricing model fits well within our customers' price point," said Bob Palloni, Chief Operations Officer, Skyware Hospitality Solutions.


Skyware Hospitality Solutions, serving the hospitality industry with its 24/7 service and state-of-the-art technology, is widely recognized for providing hotels, resorts, and management companies with flexible software solutions. With this integration accommodation providers connected to Skyware PMS can distribute pricing and availability to the major third party booking sites through RateTiger and Connect solutions.



Thursday, September 25, 2014

AB Hotels selects eRevMax for rate optimization

A collection of luxury hotel brand in England, AB Hotels has partnered with eRevMax to get maximum benefit from real-time rate intelligence and competitor price analysis to maintain its market leadership position. Two properties of the group Arch London and Sopwell House St Albans have selected RateTigerShopper to get live alerts on rate changes and rate reports for upto 3 years in advance.



AB Hotels is delighted to be working with RateTiger by eRevMax as we endeavour to constantly improve the tools we use for revenue management. RateTiger offers the most detailed and comprehensive solution in the market and this allows us to have more knowledge over our competitors and ensure we are competing as best as possible,” said Rafi Bejerano, Director, AB Hotels

The partnership enables revenue management team of the hotels to compare rates and packages of its competitors, like-for-like, at both beds and room-type level while also being notified immediately of competitor rate changes through rate alerts owned luxury hotels.


Monday, September 22, 2014

GreenPark Hotels & Resorts improves online sales with eRevMax

Leading Indian Hospitality chain GreenPark Hotels and Resorts has selected eRevMax to boost its online bookings and expand online presence. Five properties of the group are using RateTiger Chanel Management Solution to manage their rate and room inventory updates in real-time accurately across all connected sales channels.


“RateTiger provides us with all the major channels to efficiently distribute rates and inventory. We have enjoyed excellent online sales growth over the past several years with RateTiger as our channel manager. Instant updates to all our channels, the ability to modify last minute rates and maintain tighter control of our inventory has contributed to higher occupancy and revenue,” said Antariksh Mathur, Group Revenue Manager, GreenPark Hotels and Resorts.

Recipients of several national and international awards, GreenPark Hotels & Resorts are also using RateTiger Shopper to monitor rate parity across all its channels. Further, to optimize its room rates and improve price forecasting, the team is also tracking competitor rates and sales position through the rate reports and live alerts that Shopper provides.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Kotimaailma Apartments selects eRevMax for online expansion and revenue growth

One of the leading apartment-hotel chains in Finland, Kotimaailma Apartments has selected eRevMax to expand its business exposure and optimize online revenue. All five apartments of the group are using RateTiger Channel Manager for rate and inventory management.

A channel manager program is a "must" in our business nowadays since we are expanding to new cities in Finland and consumers and tourists are a growing part of our business. To have a tool like RateTiger for managing multiple channels is just great. And good support and training from RateTiger is highly appreciated,” said Hans Ekholm, Owner, Kotimaailma Apartments.

One of the finest service apartments in Finland, Kotimaailma can maximize its revenue opportunity and reduce its distribution costs by quickly and efficiently increasing its distribution reach. RateTiger Channel Manager will help Kotimaailma to increase online sales by ensuring real-time room availability across all distribution channels through the automatic adjustment of availability from a pooled inventory.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hecansa signs an agreement with eRevMax to bring new technologies to the management of tourism enterprises Canary

An initiative of the Government of the Canary Islands, HECANSA, has signed a partnership agreement with eRevMax, with the goal to bring new online distribution technologies to the Canaries. The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ricardo Fernandez de la Puente Armas, and Director of Sales for Spain and Portugal at eRevMax, Cristina Hernandez, were responsible for signing the agreement at the Hotel Escuela Santa Brigida, in Gran Canaria.


         

Being aware of this new source of employment, Revenue Management, acknowledged  by the National Public Employment Service, HECANSA signs the present agreement for the utilization of the product RateTiger Suite with the purpose of giving an answer to the new necessities and improvement of the competitiveness of the Canary Islands’ tourist sector.” commented Ricardo Fernández de la Puente Armas, Deputy Minister of Tourism for Canary Islands.

The premiere hotel school of the Canary Island will be using RateTiger Suite for their two schools to power their students’ education in the Distribution and Revenue Management fields.

See full story here

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sweden Hotel recommends RateTiger solutions for its affiliated hotels

Sweden Hotels, the personal hotel chain of Sweden has endorsed RateTiger as its preferred Channel Manager for all its affiliated properties across the country. Founded in 1977, the group has over 60 properties with three-and four-star hotels spread across Sweden all starred under European Hotel Stars Union.

RateTiger Channel Manager and Rate Shopper products are amongst the best available in the market for hoteliers who want to retain control of their rates and availability being marketed and sold through various booking channels.  The purpose of this strategic partnership is to make it easier for our member hotels to select the most suitable technology solution to find their best match in channel management solutions,” said Eva Palmgren, CEO, Sweden Hotels.

The leader in  online distribution, channel connectivity, market intelligence and revenue management solutions, eRevMax’s flexible, multi-platform solution to manage online sales and exposure, has been used by over 20,000 hotels across the world. This endorsement from Sweden Hotels will allow all member hotels of the chain to streamline their online distribution through rate shopping, channel management, reservation delivery and guest review management and expand their distribution network.

Read full story here

Thursday, August 7, 2014

ResorTime integrates with eRevMax Channel Ecosystem for seamless booking connectivity

ResorTime, the leading timeshare condo rental reservation site, has integrated with eRevMax the leading provider of online distribution solutions, to further expand connectivity options available to its fast growing portfolio of resort and hotel partners. Accommodation providers connected with ResorTime will now be able to make immediate ARI (Availability, Rates and Inventory) updates on the channel through eRevMax’s RateTiger solution.

Jeff Farr, Vice President, ResorTime, said “We continue to deploy new technologies that enable our guests and lodging partners to find each other, allowing us to deliver better rates and services to both segments. This integration helps our partners reduce their reaction time to constantly changing market demands.” ResorTime’s improved connectivity to eRevMax’s hotel customers is an opportunity to tap new partners thereby increasing supply and reach.


One of the leading timeshare condo in U.S, ResorTime offers its services to more than 900 resorts located in top destinations throughout the U.S., Mexico, Caribbean, and Canada, making it one of the largest condominium rental services. With this new partnership with eRevMax ResorTime will be able to manage their ARI more effectively through the eRevMax Channel Ecosystem.

Monday, July 28, 2014

eRevMax launches RateTiger & Connect Analytics for hotels

eRevMax, the leading provider of electronic distribution, smart travel channel connectivity, market intelligence and revenue management solutions for the hospitality industry has launched RateTiger & Connect Analytics, a first of its kind of Business Intelligence solution for the hospitality industry. Hoteliers using Analytics will be able to get instant visibility into their business performance at anytime from anywhere.


On the launch of the Analytics Michael McCartan, CEO, eRevMax said “In today’s extremely competitive business environment, it has become critical for our hotel clients to filter data meaningfully to detect problems, identify opportunities, and respond to market dynamics. Our new solution combines eRevMax’s extensive expertise on online distribution, intuitive benchmarking and deep analytical capabilities.” 

Designed in collaboration with revenue managers Analytics, offers benchmarking on important parameters obtain real-time production data, analyse gaps to give hoteliers a clear picture of their business.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Spa & Golf Resort Weimarer Land Selects eRevMax for maximising online sales

The four-star-superior hotel Lindner Spa & Golf Hotel Weimarer Land, a luxury hotel brand in Germany, has selected eRevMax to streamline its online distribution. The property, is using CONNECT by eRevMax to ensure real-time connectivity between the property and online travel agents, meta-search agencies, travel agents and corporate clients.



“eRevMax solutions give instant control over yield management, allowing our properties to handle more product types while automating the distribution process. We were able to identify the best producing websites, while also improving our overall online booking,” said Mark A. Kühnelt, General Manager, Spa & Golf Resort.

Opened in 2013, the 160 hectare complex, including a 36-hole-golf course Lindner Spa & Golf Hotel Weimarer Land offers 94 rooms on 5 channels. From now they can utilize eRevMax’s superior connectivity with over 100 global and regional distributors including OTAs, Tour Operators and Wholesalers to reach out to new markets.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Leading Indian OTA Goibibo partners with eRevMax

Goibibo, one of the top three online travel aggregators in India has partnered with eRevMax for smooth distribution connectivity to its growing client base. With this superior 2-way XML connection the accommodation providers connected to the channel using eRevMax’s online distribution platform will be able to update Availability, Rate & Inventory in real-time helping them control pricing strategies and optimise revenue.



Commenting on the partnership, Sanjay Bhasin, CEO, Goibibo.com said, This integration is aligned with our commitment to deliver fastest and most trusted user experience. This will help our hotel partners to further reduce their time to update rates and availabilities while automating reservation delivery directly into their PMS. In addition, connecting with eRevMax Hotel Ecosystem will give us the opportunity to explore new supply partners for improving our global inventory supply.”


One of the fastest growing online booking sites in India, Goibibo is presently connected with over 9800 domestic properties and 1, 50,000 worldwide. With this integration Goibibo will be a certified eRevMax Channel Ecosystem partner, and will directly connect to the leading PMS and CRS to gain access to broader products and more inventory.

Read more here

Friday, July 4, 2014

eRevMax redefines rate shopping with RateTiger Managed Report Service

eRevMax, the leading hospitality technology & solutions provider of channel management and connectivity solutions has launched Managed ReportsService  which will offer high quality market intelligence data for informed pricing decisions. Hoteliers now can get high quality rate intelligence data from over 42000 hotel sites and around 100 travel sites.


Vishal Arora, VP - Product Management, eRevMax states that understanding market trends and implementing balanced pricing strategy is very crucial in this ultra competitive world. Managed Reports will help hotels evaluate pricing strategies for their properties and that of competitors and turn that insight into bottom-line results based upon actionable business intelligence.

The data goes through a strict Quality Assurance (QA) process for maximum accuracy, thereby hotels get highly accurate data to plan and forecast with greater precision through historical and future rate analysis.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Trust Customer Conference

Being a Trust Partner, we got invited to the Trust Customer Conference in Amsterdam recently. This year’s event theme was “Blossom your distribution”. It was very well organized and provided a great platform to engage with hoteliers and also showcased the upcoming plans that Trust has for its product range.

The forum was designed mainly to exchange ideas and conduct informative, lively and interactive discussions between the Trust team and its business partners. Speakers were invited from leading companies including Google, TripAdvisor, Kayak, ICEPortal, and Essec Business School and shared key insights on industry issues, business opportunities and market trends.



Our COO Greg Berman was invited to present on the upcoming trends and technologies in Channel Management. It was an interactive session where Greg laid stress on eRevMax’s partnership with Trust Voyager and how it simplifies the distribution process to boost the revenue funnels.

Overall the event was a great chance for me to interact directly with multiple hoteliers, revenue managers as well as sales and marketing heads.

Pilar Sanchez Aita is Director Strategic Account Management at eRevMax. She can be reached at pilars@erevmax.com 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Brazil 2014 - Capture the Craze - Infographic

eRevMax, the leader in hotel online distribution and channel management solution has released an interesting infographic “Brazil 2014 - Capture the Craze” in time for the Games!

The infographic based on several market studies sheds key insights on international tourists flow to Brazil and Hotel Price Index. The study shows that in 2012 around 5.7 million travellers visited Brazil which will double by the end of 2014. eRevMax suggests hoteliers to focus on their distribution portfolio with a balanced mix of global and regional channels as an estimated $25 billion expected to be spent by tourists.

Brazil is witnessing an explosion of hotel inventory supply with over 173,000 new rooms being added before the event. With the online travel industry growing at over 34%, eRevMax believes there was never a better time for the Brazilian hotel industry to maximise revenues through intelligent online distribution.

To access the full infographic, click Brazil 2014: Capture the Craze

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

HSMA Pricing & Distribution Day 2014

Marriot Frankfurt witnessed an interesting event last month when the HSMA Pricing & Distribution Day 2014 took place. The forum aimed to inform members about the latest developments, trends and innovations in hotel pricing and distribution.



I was happy with the structure of this full day event as it allowed members to attend sessions that were relevant for them. The day started off with the welcome address by HSMA Germany chief, which was followed by key note session on “The hotel industry explained in five games” by Dr. Christian Rieck, professor of game theory, University of Applied Sciences, Frankfurt. The session went really well as it was quite interactive and engaged the audience effectively.

The rest of the event was neatly segregated into three parallel sessions – Metasearch, Revenue Management and Distribution. Each session had different sub-topics with expert speakers. The highlight of this year's Pricing & Distribution Day was the panel discussion on the hot topic Meta Search - new opportunity or new threat to the hotel industry. Industry experts from Trivago, KAYAK, TripAdvisor and Google took part in the discussion and shared their insights.

The event provided a great networking platform to meet hotel owners and managers. We received some good reviews about our products and also got the opportunity to showcase some of our new solutions. I look forward to attending more sessions organized by HSMA – many congratulations to HSMA for the successful event.

Alina Wysokowsky is Sales Manager for Germany at eRevMax and is responsible for business development in the region. She can be reached at alinaw@erevmax.com

Monday, May 26, 2014

WTM LATIN AMERICA 2014

The travel industry was at centre stage at WTM Latin America held at São Paulo. With the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2014, the host country – Brazil is all geared up to welcome the world. This event itself attracted a whooping 1000 participant companies from around the world.

Greg Berman, COO, eRevMax and Alex Moura, Sales Manager for Brazil attended the event and met regional industry players. WTM Latin America provided a great platform to network with customers, new hotel prospects as well as discuss distribution opportunities with key LATAM channels.


The event focused on a large diversity of travel related products and services aimed to facilitate meaningful business between buyers and suppliers and to encourage revenue generation. With exhibitors from over 50 countries, this year offered a series of novelties including meetings of public and private institutions and important international agreements.

We intend to attend WTM LATAM in the coming years as we expect online travel to grow at the good pace in the region.

Alex Moura is the Sales Manager for Brazil at eRevMax. He can be reached at alexm@erevmax.com