Monday, April 12, 2010

Hotel Website Marketing Conference

The Hotel Website Marketing Conference took place in Amsterdam on March 25th, 2010. The conference was dedicated to providing hotel sales managers with the latest innovations in online marketing.

The main topics included 3rd Party Websites & Distribution Channels, designing and marketing your hotel website, managing your hotel website booking engine and effectively using social media.


I attended the event as a speaker on behalf of RateTiger and spoke on “Making the most of IDS to deliver your revenue management strategy". The idea was to outline the importance of distributing rates to third party booking websites using Internet Distribution Systems (IDS) while also examining the key tools needed to implement hotel online revenue management strategy.


With around 60 people in attendance including 35 hoteliers, the event concluded with meaningful discussions and networking. Other speakers represented companies like Expedia, Ideas, Meetingsbooker, Hoteliers.com, BeCurious and others.


The platform helped me reinforce RateTiger's brand name in the market and it was quite clear that RateTiger is perceived as a market leader by many hoteliers.

Casey Davy is Sales Manager - UK at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. He is based out of London and can be reached at caseyd@ratetiger.com

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Friday, March 12, 2010

ITB Berlin 2010

ITB Berlin 2010 has kicked-off to an excellent start as our CEO completes a contract of partnership with Micros as RateTiger technologies further integrates with Micros Opera suite to provide channel management features. Our sales managers have also been bouncing around the very large exhibition centre meeting with hotels chains and property owners to display the wide-range of services RateTiger provides.

This year we are also providing support to manage Advertising campaigns with our special partner TravelScream; hoteliers seem to be lapping this up while trying to get their head around how we are integrating all their processes into one – their eyes often beam when we say that as they realise how much time they will save.


Our RTSchool is being received with great interest, the Distribution Days in May and June will help hoteliers understand and get a greater grasp of multi-channel sales through a programme exploring channel management in changing markets with Xotels.


This year we have installed a large and impressive touch-screen display on our stand in hall 8.1 which is currently running the RateTiger iPhone application. Those RateTiger team members with an iPhone are proudly and excitedly presenting it to all delegates visiting us.


There is a constant stream of attendees through the Technology Hall all of which are at least pausing by the RateTiger stand in interest. It seems this is the year of channel management – we are all really feeling it, suddenly hoteliers truly understand how these technologies work and the necessity for them.



Ryan Haynes is the Marketing Head 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


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Monday, February 8, 2010

Florida Huddle 2010

Organized at St. Petersburg/Clearwater from January 24 through to January 26, 2010, Florida Huddle turned out to be a great event for me.

The event focuses completely on buyer-supplier meetings and is a good platform to meet prospective buyers and close deals. A new segment called the Travel Service Provider has now been incorporated as well. However they need to clearly define the requisites to qualify as supplier and /or travel service provider.


The discussions at the event revolved around the current economic scenario, similar to the OHV agenda. Hoteliers in Florida too are driving occupancy and not ADR. More than 165 hoteliers were present in the total gathering of 200 plus visitors and all were eager to find out the best way to take prices up again.


From the business perspective, presence at Florida Huddle is always lucrative as it allows decision makers from the buyer and supplier sides to meet directly and cut deals. RateTiger too signed many new contracts at the event and it was a very successful event for all involved.



Siobhain McArdle is Sales Manager for south eastern states of USA at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. She is based out of Florida and can be reached at siobhainm@ratetiger.com

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Hotelier ÖHV Congress 2010

The Austrian Hotel Association (ÖHV) recently organized the hotel industry’s annual congress from 18 – 20 January 2010 in Zell am See, Salzburg. The event focused primarily on the economic situation of hotels in Austria.


I was representing RateTiger there and was not amazed to see that Austrian hoteliers too like their counterparts across the world have resorted to the mantra of ‘Putting heads in beds’. In the process they have gone into the discount mode to increase bookings. This has led to erosion in hotel rates which has hugely impacted their economic situation and hence the main agenda at ÖHV was to find ways to deal with the current scenario.


More than 250 hoteliers attended the event which was a good thing. It proved that Austrian hoteliers are eager to find out what they can do to conquer the situation. It was a good experience for me to meet with them and gain awareness about the market. On the other hand, it presented me with an opportunity to tell them about RateTiger which can help them in effective distribution of rates and inventory online to reach a wider audience. Overall it was a nice opportunity to explore a new market.



Ulf Guldi is Sales Manager - Germany at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. Ulf is based out of Germany and can be reached at ulfg@ratetiger.com

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Friday, January 22, 2010

BTL 2010

The 22nd edition of BTL - Bolsa de Turismo de Lisboa- 2010 which was held from 13 - 17 January 2010, showed mixed signs of caution in the Portuguese Hotel sector. Inaugurated by Minister of Economy, Innovation and Development, José Vieira da Silva, BTL witnessed more than 1,000 companies exhibiting from 45 countries.

Alongside the Portuguese Tourism Awards, which, for the 5th time is being hosted at BTL, Bernardo Trindade, Secretary of State for Tourism, emphasized the importance of perspective in 2010, in close coordination with national tourism industry. To reverse the downward trend in 2009, he called for the participation of all stakeholders in the sector and pledged to support and provide solidarity of the Government in this strategic economic sector.


However hoteliers had concerns of their own related to the economic downturn. Many of the revenue managers and proprietors I spoke to were interested in ways they can boost revenues. The industry in Portugal is experiencing falling occupancy, it reached less than 70% last year, and RevPar approximately to EUR 48,00 – below that of 2008.

Bernardo Trindade also encouraged investors and welcomed the role of BTL as reflecting the pulse of the industry and demonstrate the efforts of private investment.

I consider BTL to be quite productive, I had the opportunity to meet 26 hotels, Groups, Chains and local OTA's to show the benefits of channel management products, also I meet AHP (Portuguese Hotel Association) for our Membership agreement to strengthen our relationship with the Hoteliers in Portugal.


This is the 3rd year RateTiger attended BTL and that confirms our interest in the market and give us the recognition in the Hotel sector.


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

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

BTO 2009

The 2009 edition of Buy Tourism Online in Florence turned out to be better than expected. With various companies backing out from big international events, this travel tradeshow was quite well attended. Compared to last year, more people turned up for the event and the total count almost touched 1600.

With interesting sessions on online travel, evolution of internet, travel 2.0 and other current trends being discussed by leading authorities and specialists in the field, the visitors got their share of take-away and hence were happy to be there. Furthermore, focus on technology integration was a big draw for hoteliers who were inquisitive to find out benefits from such tie-ups.

Representing RateTiger at BTO was a great opportunity for me to meet up with many local Italian hoteliers. Not only is internet sales gaining prominence amongst them, they are also embracing technology to better manage online distribution. Hoteliers who knew about RateTiger products were keen to see a demo and some signed up immediately acknowledging the efficiency and simplicity of our products. Many others were interested and enrolled for our trial version to get a feel of the software.

With business prospects improving, hoteliers are more open to adopting technology solutions that will help them save time while maximizing revenues. I personally look forward to the next edition of BTO which I expect to be bigger and better.


Enzo Aita is Sales Manager - Italy at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. Enzo is based out of Italy and can be reached at
enzoa@ratetiger.com

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GÄSTE 2009

Gaste 2009 which took place from 8th – 11th November this year in Leipzig, Germany didn’t to draw much attention for online distribution. The event was low in attendance and the gathering consisted mostly of students from hospitality institutes.


With various competitions and sessions focused on catering, Gaste was a complete F&B forum with little focus on distribution and online channel management domains. Even then we were successful in creating entry level awareness about the concept amongst East German hoteliers.


One thing we learnt was the need to stick to established events like ITB Berlin if we are looking at promoting RateTiger and generating business in Germany. With the way internet is being widely used, I hope there will be more regional hospitality tradeshows which focuses on upcoming online distribution and channel management technologies.



Ulf Guldi is Sales Manager - Germany at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. Ulf is based out of Germany and can be reached at ulfg@ratetiger.com

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RateTiger @ WTM

Thursday, September 10, 2009

2009 NBTA International Convention & Exposition

San Diego recently witnessed the very successful NBTA International Convention & Exposition organized by National Business Travel Association (NBTA). It turned out to be a very busy event where I met many old friends from the industry, which is not a surprise given that over 5,600 travel professionals attended the 4-day event (August 23 -26, 2009) at the San Diego Convention Center.

The setting was spectacular as the convention center was situated right on the waterfront. The attendees were a blend of airlines, hotels, software providers, OTAs and travel company representatives.

The discussions mainly revolved around how to survive the current economic scenario. There were over 65 educational sessions where industry experts from the corporate travel community discussed business travel growth in today’s volatile economy and shifting corporate culture. It was a very intense and active convention with a blend of all the components of the travel experience.

With more than 400 exhibitors and 1240 travel buyers, it was a good milieu of people. A big advantage from RateTiger’s perspective was the opportunity to meet up with independent hotel groups face to face. The added access to the OTAs was a huge plus which helped develop rapport with them for future business relationship.

I would conclude by saying that the NBTA Convention is rightly known as the Business Travel Event of the Year. It has lived up to its reputation and is one of the few successful travel events in recent times.



Phil Stiles is the Vice President of Sales at RateTiger. He manages RateTiger’s sales and support operations in North, Central and South America regions and has facilitated the expansion of the RateTiger brand in the US market leading to increased business opportunities. Phil is based in RateTiger’s Florida office and travels to the European and Indian offices when work demands. Being a new business specialist, he attends various travel trade shows throughout the year to keep himself abreast of latest developments.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Venice hotel error is an eye opener for hotels

The €0.01 per room incident experienced by the Crowne Plaza is a pure example of how human errors can have a major impact on revenue. With the employment of a channel management system the revenue manager would have been able to ensure all rates were accurate across all channels before making the relevant updates.


Systems like ours allow hotels to set a minimum rate per hotel room to ensure typing errors are detected. As the online market place evolves, hoteliers are struggling to keep up, remain agile and control rates. This human error has occurred many times before and without utilising technology to simplify inventory and rate distribution, it is very likely to occur more frequently across the world as the number of channels that need attention increases.


Hoteliers really need to think sensibly during these times, to ensure revenues are optimized. Making mistakes like this will not only have an impact for the hotel itself but will also send the economy into further disarray.


Sascha Hausmann is the COO at RateTiger. He is a specialist in online distribution systems in Europe and the US and is looked upon as a trusted advisor. Sascha handles international operations and strategic alliances for RateTiger and speaks at various events. He is based in Germany, and also spends time across eRevMax’s international offices, mainly in America and the UK.


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