Distribution could look like a spaghetti bowl if you are not careful about which channels you choose to reflect on your brand, your pricing and so on…you can easily been lost in all the distributions deals you made last year and focus all your energy on updating OTAs extranets (anyone using RateTiger?) The distribution channels that work last year ago might not be the same in 2010. Focus on what could bring you revenue but more importantly eye balls on your website. Hi, My name is Guillaume and I have been living in London for 9 years and I am truly passionate about the hotel industry and more importantly about what’s going on in the Internet hotel distribution. I am a full time employee at Amadeus based in beautiful Crawley, South of Gatwick where I head Business Development focusing on travel agents and hotels. On my spare time (early morning, evening and weekend), I am writing and managing the leading blog HotelBlogs.net for more than 3 years where I share my views on online hotel trends and also interview innovators in the travel industry. Enough of me… Ciaran asked me to talk about new and emerging 3 rd parties websites. 2 weeks, I got 15 companies I wanted to talk about. Last week, I got 10. Last Friday, I got 7. And guess what? They are not all about driving directly hotel bookings to your property. Not everything on the net is transactional. So without further due, here are 7 new distribution channels that I have picked up recently that are maybe worth to look at. Some are pretty straightforward, others require a bit of attention because they are disrupting the conventional model of distribution hotel rooms online. Let’s check them out in no particular order.
AboutAnywhere is a new kid on the block trying to disrupt the Expedia model and co where hoteliers have been pushed to squeeze margins in order to pay a huge commission. Company founded by Ashwin Kamlani who is ex VP Distribution at Sol Melia Americas. I tell you…He knows a thing or two about hotel distribution. Not only does AboutAnywhere cap the commission at 10% , they re-use partially the commission to add value adds with the guest TOP 20 programme: placement on PayPerClick a bit similar to Google
Do you find difficult to promote your special offers on your website and OTAs? How can you capture quickly potential customers attention? DealBase is the place where travellers find hotel deals. Deals that are sent by hoteliers themselves. You just need to send the deal via their website, they check whether it is relevant and they publish it. The consumer gets to book the deal via the hotelier website.
Let me ask you this? Who has actually a video of their hotel rooms, reception, facilities? Are you aware of YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Metacafe? Do you know that the Facebook generation are watching more YouTube than TV networks. Will you be ready when this generation will have enough money to be your next customer? This tool could help you to distribute your video 1000% more than you do today.. Why? because TubeMogul distribute your hotel video in all relevant video sharing sites like YouTube, Vimeo, MySpace video and so on. No more time wasting around all these login and upload video one by one. You get upload once and TubeMogul does the rest. Isn’t beautiful? There is no reason why hotels in the 21 st century don’t have their video or two about why I should stay in their hotel against the other hotel across the road. Remember, hotel description is not anymore about text, it is also about pictures, video, reviews, maps, ancillary services…
Another disrupting model where instead of targeting mass audience, only a happy few get to see the best travel deal in the planet. How it works? Based on invitation only…High yield for providers I tell you. But you need to give an exclusive price to Voyage Prive. The site works on email subscription and offers have a time limit. Once the inventory is sold out, that’s it. This model has some appeal because you have a feeling of being privileged. One of the first company trying this new retail concept was Vente Prive who nows turns around ½ B euros of revenue this year…
RoomAuction is a very small company and probably very early stage but I find the model very interesting at least from a hotelier point of view. It is based on auction that gets sent to the site who will check with the hotel whether they accept the price suggested by the traveller.
Still not convinced by shooting a video of your hotel? Well here’s another example of why this is important. Founded by ex Expedia France executives, TVTrip puts the video in the centre of the hotel search process. You view the video, you like the hotel and you book with affiliates. If you want your hotel filmed by TV Trip film crew professional, get in touch with them http://www.tvtrip.com/hotel-form
I guess you’ve all heard about Twitter. But probably never heard of Inoqo. The company is the first who has build their model on the Twitter application dedicated to hotel offers. Another great way to get some last minute rooms filled up in your hotel. At this stage, Inoqo only works on 48 hours before arrival. Hotel special offers need to be found via Twitter. Very early stage company as well but quite innovative in a way travellers look up for deals.
So here they are, 7 new ways to distribute your hotel online but… GDS are not dinosaurs as some journalists said in the past. We are very much alive. TMCs, Business Travel Agents are still very much using GDS, Corporate are using our self booking tool AeTM…
Amadeus is not anymore just a GDS and is not only used by TMCs. We have evolved from cryptic entries on a black screen to develop easy to use interface like Hotels Plus to make sure all hotels get found by agents or travellers. We are asking for more info from hotels, because travellers are more savvy than ever before thanks to the extensive use of TripAdvisor and co. People want pictures, text, videos and Amadeus is able to provide this to agents today. Also gone are the days where you would have to belong to a hotel chain to be distributed on the GDS. Today, you have the choice to be represented by “rep companies” or 3 rd parties like Fastbooking or Travelclick. Different models occur. It’s up to you choose which partner you want to work with.
Thank you very much for your attention. Now I am happy to take any questions you maybe have.
7 new distribution channels you’ve never thought you could join in Hotel Website Marketing Conference Dublin, 24 th November 09 Guillaume Thevenot