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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Collecting the European Seal of E-Excellence 2010

We were honored to achieve the accolade of European Seal of E-Excellence for a second year in the row.The award recognized our commitment to providing intuitive and innovative solutions for the hospitality industry. Following last year's success for RTStrategyEngine, this year it was time for RTSuite to take centre stage.

We applied for the European Seal of E-Excellence following the completion of our consolidation of hotel products (Shopper, Allocator and ChannelManager) into the single user-interface RTSuite. RTSuite was welcomed by our customers utilising two products, now making it quicker, faster and more efficient to manage multiple channels while remaining competitive.

The European Seal of E-Excellence was presented at the famous global technology show – CeBIT in Hannover, Germany. Here, companies have launched and unveiled new and life changing technologies from the Apple iPhone to Google Maps – I had the chance to get up close and personal with one of the Google Filming Cars – pretty meaty machines! So, with innovation being at the forefront of CeBIT it was only natural for the European Seal to be presented here.

The 60-minute ceremony acknowledged innovations and technologies from all across Europe followed by a social event for winners to discuss their award-winning tools. It became apparent that the theme was social media, from research to aggregation to dissemination – most of the winners worked across these new digital platforms providing solutions to help companies manage new business opportunities.

It was also interesting to learn that the recession hit the technology industry hard and CeBIT had fewer exhibitors than previous years, as noted by many delegates and witnessed by many bare spaces. However many are confident that it will pick up in the next 12months after a years lull. We at eRevMax look forward to RateTiger achieving more accolades this year and hope to return to the European Seal of e-Excellence in 2011.



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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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

MATKA 2010

Matka 2010 held recently from 21st - 24th January 2010 at the Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre turned out to be a very modern and well organized fair. The event was focused on the Finnish hospitality market but also included exhibitors and visitors from Scandinavia, Baltics, Poland, Russia, Iceland and Greenland.


Inspite of the temperature hovering around -20 degrees Celsius, more than 80,000 people attended the convention & fair, of which over 18000 were travel trade executives. There were quite a few hoteliers, including groups like Radisson Blu, IHG, Best Western, Omena and Reval Hotels. To my pleasant surprise, there were a large number of independent hotels as well and infact were representing properties from far and across including Vietnam, Korea, China, Panama, Seychelles, USA, Russia, Baltic countries and of course Finland.


The event had various sessions and the main topics included 'How to be different in hard times as a supplier?' and 'How to deliver quality and meet price expectations for your clientele?'


Attending MATKA helped me evaluate the online distribution scenario in Finland. Many hoteliers now understand the opportunities that online distribution & channel management offers. Surprisingly however a substantial number of hoteliers are still using pen and paper methods and manually updating 3rd party websites. Hence the need to educate them on automated benchmarking and channel management practices is a must since Finland can become a fantastic gateway to unexplored territory in Northern Scandinavia and Russia.


Overall it was a great event and I was happy to hear “We know about RT, tell us more” from various hoteliers in the region. For me it was the key that unlocked many doors and created many opportunities.


Dan Jakobsen is Sales Manager, Europe at eRevMax and is responsible for sale of RateTiger products in the region. He can be reached at danj@ratetiger.com

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

FITUR 2010 (Feria Internacional de Turismo)

The 30th edition of the International Tourism Fair in Madrid, FITUR 2010, has left us enthusiastic as we experienced overtones of recovery in the sector. This edition won't be remembered as the brightest in terms of participation and spending, but has left a good taste in projects and good wishes from the exhibitors.

The data shared showed some light at the end of the tunnel: although the area covered by the fair has declined over the previous year, the number of participating countries, 170, still held FITUR between 2 or 3 main trade shows in the tourism industry.
In general, stands were smaller and somewhat simpler than in previous editions, but some have been very original considering the lack of budget with creative designs. The overall size has fallen from 12 to 10 halls.

RateTiger was present at this year's CEHAT booth (Spanish National Hotel Association) to strengthen our market presence and confidence in the Hotel sector.

During FITUR we announced the integration agreement with Tradyso - one of the major CRS in the Spanish market- the new integration will help Tradyso's 1000 customer hotels to completely automate and streamline online distribution and management through itsTradyso CRS.


FITUR has made clear commitment to the Online sector, Web 2.0, technology, social networking, video marketing among others during FITURTECH conferences.


Following this concept, the Director of Turespaña (Spanish Tourist offices), Antonio Bernabe, presented at Fitur the new campaign that will promote tourism in Spain through social networks under the slogan "Spain, a country to share." The concept of this new promotional campaign is based on Spaniards touring different Spanish cities and divulging the secrets and local attractions, sharing information and experiences in order to attract foreign tourists through networks like facebook, twitter and YouTube.


FITUR also offered solidarity to the recently destroyed island nation of Haiti and provided a complimentary stand at the trade show.


In summary, this 30th edition has shown us, above all, the enthusiasm for the recovery of a sector affected by the global crisis and the opening of new tourist destinations that focus on online distribution as an unbeatable engine to boost sales.

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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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

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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