Friday, November 25, 2016

Did you know what trended at WTM 2016?

One of the leading travel trade events, WTM attracts thousands of hospitality and travel trade professionals from across the globe every year. This year was no different with over 51,000 visitors in attendance. The show has grown at an unprecedented rate in recent years making it the event where the industry conducts business.


eRevMax attracted a lot of visitors with its innovative product offering as well as unique stand design hosting a giant tree with colourful beach balls lending vibrancy to the Travel Technology Hall.

The company was there to promote its new hospitality operating system LIVE OS which is a one-of-its-kind platform in the industry today. It received a lot of positive comments with technology veterans using terms like ‘awesome’, ‘revolutionary’ and ‘mind-blowing’ to describe LIVE OS. Hotel clients were happy to talk about their association with the company and how they are benefiting from using eRevMax products on a daily basis. Here is a video of one such happy customer!



Reuel Ghosh, CEO, eRevMax was invited to present a session on Hospitality Operating System at the Travel Tech Theatre on Monday, the day when attendance is by invitation only at the show. The session saw an attendance of over 100 trade visitors, many of whom later visited the eRevMax stand TT550 to find out more about eRevMax offerings. Here is a quick glimpse of the session recording for those who missed it.

 
The event proves to be a perfect platform for hoteliers and travel technology companies from Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific to explore new technology offerings and partnership opportunities.




Monday, November 14, 2016

3 ways to gain market share from OTAs

The online travel agents are becoming more powerful day-by-day and they are eating others lunch, especially of hoteliers. The more powerful OTA means higher commission for hotels that lead to lower profit for the hotels and this has become the pain points or bottlenecks for the hoteliers. This is the high time for the hotels to take action to gain market share from the OTA’s to retain their profit percentage. In this case hoteliers are left with two choices either to increase their room rate to maintain their profit or to find out other way where they can increase direct booking maintaining a fair balance with OTAs to get maximum outcome from their revenue strategy. Since hotel business is very price sensitive the first option is little difficult to implement in this competitive market - if a hotel increases its room rate then they may not get business at all. Now the hoteliers are left with the second option and they can better think of increasing direct booking coming from their Brand.com.


In last couple of years I’ve been constantly reviewing how the hospitality industry is changing and how hoteliers are looking into more direct business. Here in this article I’d like to suggest three ways in which the hotelier can gain market share from the OTA’s.

User driven design:
Responsive Design: You should have a responsive website which should be used in mobile because now a day’s most of the people only use mobile for doing their hotel booking. 
Content Marketing: The content is powerful. The photo gallery, room details are something what a user look for and content drives new traffic from the search engine. A website with good and organised content always drives more traffic to your website that can convert your potential guest to loyal customers.

Website- Your Best Salesman

Your hotel website is your sales conversion engine. You should design your website in a manner where it will help you to increase your look-to-book ratio. The increase in look-to-book ratio means more sales and your attempt should try to convert each of the visitors as your potential customers. For doing this you need to keep few things in mind: 
Meta Search Allows for Direct Bookings

Meta search is considered to be one of the biggest digital marketing trends for hoteliers in current time. It is anticipated to be the fastest growing method of brand awareness and growth, and hotels should be encouraged to utilize these channels, including them as part of their distribution portfolio.

While OTAs continue to lead the third party sales industry, they have one very big disadvantage for hoteliers - bookings are made exclusively through the merchant site, for which the brand will pay a nominal fee.

Meta search allows for visitors to book either through OTAs or through the brand website, helping to increase direct sales. Meta search sites such as TripAdvisor have been criticized for favouring OTAs with which they have a partnership, but direct information is available, which is more than can be said for OTAs themselves.

Turning OTA booking into direct booking

The hotelier should always try to convert the OTA booking into the direct booking. The first step to this can be to have the guest email address and to add him to your loyal customer’s data base. One of the best ways to attract these guests can be emailing them about the special rates and plans of your hotel.  In addition to this the hotelier can reply to the comments and reviews of guests on different OTA’s. Replying to the reviews help a lot in increasing the loyalty of your brand and converting them from OTA to direct booking.

As technology advances with enormous pace we’ll see more hoteliers will implement a clear balance of direct and OTA strategy to drive more revenue.

Posted by Omprakash Singh, Business Analyst, eRevMax