A small revolution in the Hotel Industry?

If you’ve been following the hotel industry news lately you may have noticed the little feud going between Choice Hotels and Expedia. If not, here’s a synopsis. Choice and Expedia couldn’t come to an agreement on the terms and as a result Choice pulled out all of it’s hotels from the Expedia website.

There’s a lot more in this article in Hotels Mag http://www.hotelsmag.com/TalkBack/Comments?article_id=6702984&articleid=ca6702984&talk_back_header_id=6630527

Ask an independent hotel what he thinks about OTAs (Online Travel Agents) and you should be happy if he doesn’t spit at you.

The point is an OTA takes about 25 to 30 percent of the income from a hotel, and once they have done that they demand a certain number of rooms to be allocated to them permanently, whether they fill those rooms or not (at the hotel’s cost) and then they demand that nobody be given better prices than them.

Sound crazy? Well it’s the hotel industry.

Now if you wonder why hotel prices have gone up about 300 percent over the last 15 years then start looking in that direction. Because 30 percent mark-up is a lot!

So back in the end of the 1990s we started making websites for independent hotels to give them a fighting chance on the online world. This worked quite well and hotels have managed to give their direct customers a lower price.

This year we decided to take this one step further, we created lookotel.com it’s all their websites combined into one site where travelers can find better prices and hoteliers can sell without the 30% markup that OTAs demand.

So is a revolution started in the hotel industry? Well, we think it started long time ago but now the chains have realized that it’s gone too far and they are getting on the bandwagon.

It’s only a matter of time before they will need to either change their ways or hotels will find other solutions.

And go check out http://www.lookotel.com, if you’re a hotelier try it out and log your hotel. If you’re a user, book your hotel and compare prices. You could see a difference (if some major OTA hasn’t clamped down on the hotels yet).

Feel free to comment.

Articel in L’Hotellerie mag

Here is a recent article that appeared in a French magazine for the Hotel and Restaurant business. This was in the on-line version, you can find the link to the article here: http://www.lhotellerie-restauration.fr/journal/equipement-materiel/2009-06/WHIP-la-gestion-sur-internet.htm

I’ll be getting translated version of the article posted here shortly.

the logo of the magqzine

the logo of the magqzine

WHIP, la gestion sur internet
lundi 15 juin 2009

La société WIHP propose aux hôtels indépendants d’assurer la gestion de leur commercialisation sur le web en mettant en place une stratégie dédiée.

WIHP (World Independant Hotel Promotion) a été créée en 2009 pour répondre aux besoins de l’hôtellerie indépendante, dont les budgets ne permettent pas de déployer de grands moyens pour effectuer leur promotion, et qui ne peuvent compter sur les structures organisées des chaînes intégrées. WIHP, fondée par Vincent Ramelli, qui réalise des sites internet innovants pour les hôtels indépendants, et qui possède aujourd’hui un portefeuille clients d’environ 750 hôtels parisiens.

Utiliser les flux

“Nous faisons de l’ingénierie en commercialisation touristique sur le net, précise Vincent Ramelli, ce qui permet à l’hôtelier d’optimiser la visite client et le revenu par chambre.” La société réalise, en effet, un plan marketing pour l’hôtel en s’appuyant sur les données apportées par les flux touristiques, notamment les flux connaissant la plus forte croissance, à savoir, ceux qui ne sont pas organisés.

Initialement, 1001 Web Promotions propose aux hôteliers d’assurer la promotion de leurs établissements sur le web en travaillant sur l’ensemble des réseaux, en utilisant les sites collaboratifs type Trip Advisor ainsi que les centrales de réservation. “En croisant ces informations avec les données statistiques émises par flux de visiteurs, cela nous permet de faire un buzz, et d’être mieux référencés sur les sites internet. C’est ce que nous appelons le cercle vertueux”, déclare Vincent Ramelli. WIHP renforce donc l’action de 1001 Web Promotions en dessinant pour l’hôtelier un vrai plan marketing internet sous forme de services et d’aménagements adaptés à la clientèle de l’hôtel. Ces services se déclinent par pays, en fonction des habitudes et des comportements nationaux.

Augmentation des marges

Avec ce service, l’hôtelier peut espérer augmenter son prix moyen, car la méthode lui permet de diminuer ses frais de commission sur les centrales de réservation tout en augmentant son taux d’occupation. Depuis que la société a été créée en janvier 2009, “les hôtels n’ont enregistré que 2 % de baisse par rapport à l’année dernière (année record pour Paris malgré la crise)”, note Vincent Ramelli, précisant également que les hôteliers enregistrent désormais plus de 30 % de leur chiffre d’affaires sur le net.

Bien entendu, ce service a un coût. “Il faut compter, par hôtel, une dépense d’environ 4 500 € par mois, estime Vincent Ramelli. Une dépense qui pourrait être compensée par les résultats obtenus. Ceux-ci semblent déjà probants sur les six premiers mois de l’année. “Nous avons surtout remarqué un référencement beaucoup plus fort, déclare Monsieur Authier, hôtelier à Paris. Nous avons également augmenté le nombre de distributeurs. Quant à notre taux d’occupation, il est en augmentation constante depuis plusieurs années.”

S’il est encore un peu tôt pour se faire une idée de l’impact réel de WHIP, on cependant noter que les réservations sur le net sont en constante évolution depuis plusieurs années et qu’une offre de ce type ne peut qu’ être encourageante pour les hôteliers indépendants.

Evelyne de Bast

Speaking at Hotel Conseil in Paris

Screen Image of the Website of Hotel Conseil - Vincent Ramelli speech link

Screen Image of the Website of Hotel Conseil - Vincent Ramelli speech link

In February this year I was invited to Hotel Conseil conference where I spoke about 1001webpromotions.com and how we work with hotels. The speech is available on Video here (in French) I will get the English text posted later, once translated. 

But if you understand French you may find it interesting. 

The link to the video is: http://www.hotel-conseil.com/Atelier-Site-Internet-Hotel-09-fevrier-2009

Online Bookings and Revenues of 377 Parisian Hotels Grew 42% and 65% Respectively, to August 31, 2005

Here is an article I published in PRWEB back in 2005 I am including it here for reference, if 2005 was good, 2008 was fantastic. And with 1001 Webpromotions we intend to help hotels get through the crisis of 2009.

* * *

Paris (PRWEB) September 23, 2005 — Direct-booking specialist and web agency 1001 Web Promotions just released the online booking and sales figures of 377 Parisian hotels for the period January-August 2005.

According to General Manager Vincent Ramelli, the Paris-based web agency generated over 122,000 direct bookings for [its hotel clients from January 1 to August 31, 2005. This equates to a +42% increase year over year.

Direct bookings are bookings made by individual travelers directly with the hotels, without any sales intermediaries. No commissions are paid by the hotels on such bookings, contrary to bookings made through large virtual tour-operators.

Based on our booking engine statistics, the average stay in Paris is 3.2 night long” explained Vincent Ramelli, adding: Individual direct bookings generated for independent hotels amounted to 390,000 nights over the period.”

Independent hotels are independently owned and operated. They are not affiliated with any chain.

Angel Sanguinetti, CEO of 1001 Web Promotions, stated that based on these figures and last year’s figures, we estimate we should be able to channel about 170,000 direct bookings to our hotel clients at end 2005, vs. 115,200 on December 31, 2004, i.e. an increase of +47.5%.”

As at August 31, 2005, direct room revenues generated by the Parisian web agency amounted to Euros 14 millions, a +65.1% growth year-over-year”, indicated Angel Sanguinetti, adding whereas the number of Parisian hotels served by our agency increased 15.29% to 377 units.”

Such sales growth bears witness to the growing importance of online tourism, as well as to the growing role of direct booking specialists such as 1001 Web Promotions. General Manager Vincent Ramelli commented: Our job consists in helping individual travelers to book directly with the hotels, and by-pass the large tour-operators who may or may not offer the best deals around. We are closing the gap between consumers and hotel owners.”

CEO Angel Sanguinetti added: Individual travelers should be aware that when they book a room through a large tour-operator, the hotel has to pay a large commission to the T/O. Part of this commission could easily be passed onto their guests if they would book directly with the hotel. No independent hotel can afford not to have a web strategy. If only because travelers would benefit from deeper discounts.”

On August 31, 2005, 1001 Web Promotions had developed 1981 hotel websites in several languages for a clientele of independent hotels. Hotel owners pay the direct-booking specialist a monthly fee to be promoted both online and offline. They are free to opt out of the promotion contract at any time after an initial 6-month period.

1001 Web Promotions currently services over 400 hotels, all independently owned and operated.