WIHP ROI first quarter 2010

WIHP Logo

WIHP Logo

First quarter 2010 is a serious recovery for the Paris’ hotels. We’re back to 2008 ranges in ADR and more importantly we are way over 2008 in turnover.

There are several factors that are making that change, for one, at WIHP we overhauled our hotel marketing strategies. In 2009 at WIHP we launched a series of new products such as:
Social Media marketing, new pay-per-click systems that helped all hotels get qualified visits cheaper and a much more thorough SEO team that not only thinks in terms of “site placement and visits” but who think in turn-over and ADR. We also launched print advertising which is getting even more response and works great. With that we designed a new generation of sites that convert much more than anything we have ever done before. The result is great.

Doing the same old is just not going to work any more. It takes a much broader concept and a full understanding of hotel needs to deliver bookings through online marketing campaigns. And that includes ensuring a hotel is properly located on various OTAs, helping our customers configure their OTAs and distribution channels and more.

At WIHP our teams come from the hotel industry, have been hotel directors and managers and that is what makes us different. Combining all aspects of online marketing under one roof gives us the strength needed to really assist our customers to boost their revenues.

The ROI for our customer in the first quarter 2010 was 1940%, April 2010 moved up further with 2217% and it’s getting better every month.

We’re very happy about this as it’s a win-win for our customers and us. They are investing more in their online marketing and it’s returning even more results.

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French hotels sue Expedia

The french hotel’s union Synhorcat filed a suit against Expedia, Hotels.com and Tripadvisor on the 15th April. The main points of the suit are:

1. When clicking on a hotel’s photo in Tripadvisor the browser is immediately directed to Expedia whether the hotel has signed with Expedia or not. The hoteliers argue that it should link directly to the official website of the hotel.

2. Expedia sometimes promotes wild discounts such as 75% off without agreement from the hoteliers. And if there is no availability on a hotel. Expedia will still promote the hotel but direct the browser to another hotel thus using the hotel’s popularity to sell other properties.

3. Hotels.com seemingly dissuades users to book directly at the hotel’s website.

These are some of the main points I could understand from the article (see the original article in french here: http://www.zdnet.fr/actualites/internet/0,39020774,39750958,00.htm).

If this case will win or not is uncertain however a few points are clear. Expedia’s model of taking 25% of a hotel’s revenues isn’t appreciated much longer and despite their size, more and more hoteliers aren’t willing to give that type of money to a third party.

Secondly, Tripadvisor will need to open up and become a fully fledged social media. The fact that it is owned by Expedia isn’t going to do Expedia a favour anymore as it may just soon be faced with an anti-trust problem. It is only logical that Tripadvisor favours hotel’s official website. There was a step in that direction this year with the sale to hoteliers of a link to the official website.

Thirdly and most impotantly, websites like Expedia, Booking.com and others all the third party booking systems have a limited future unless they really start to help hoteliers. At the end of the day all they are doing it offer information to the internet users, but charging a huge price for it. Shouldn’t the information be free? Google seems to be making an entry into the field with rates noted on the Google Maps.

Expedia already makes no money on flight tickets… so their only real solution now is going to be to work out a way to give some real added value to hoteliers.

When I built WIHP there was one thing that I knew I had to do from day one and that was HELP hotel’s increase their profits. It has worked wonders so far making us the incontestable leaders in the Paris market. Let’s see how this pans out.

Lookotel.com in Hotels Magazine

It has been a pretty busy time since I last posted. Back in November we were still warming up for the launch of Lookotel.com and since then it has been just flat out travelling, seeing (great) people, meeting the hoteliers, and other industry people. And a lot more.

But I thought I should catch up with everyone and start posting again.

After the launch, here is the article in Hotels Magazine that appeared and I’m pretty happy with it.

Hotels Magazine - article on Lookotel, Vincent Ramelli

Hotels Magazine - article on Lookotel

Lookotel.com Launches As Direct Sales Reservation Web Site
— Hotels, 11/20/2009 8:29:00 AM

PRESS RELEASE

PARIS: 17 November 2009, WIHP (World Indernational Hotel Promotion) launched their website Lookotel.com as the new way to promote your hotel online, commission free. At the event some of the guests present were owner of Mr. Lafortune from Hotel de l’Abbaye, Mr Vaurs and Mr Sauvage, creators and owners of Hotel The Five and Le Hidden, The Kouana family owners of Le Modern and others. Fabrice Affuta from Hotel Napoleon and more.

Lookotel already was a big hit for the Paris sector with great results on Google searches. The site won immediate approval from Parisian hoteliers as a great alternative to OTAs and other commission based sites.

Lookotel.com pledged to the Parisian hoteliers to remain commission free and to always drive traffic to their websites for direct sales in exchange for a subscription fee that hoteliers pay.

The claims are high with figures such as:
– 47% of visitors on Lookotel get interested and want more information on hotels they see listed

– 1 out of 3 internet users seeing a hotel on Lookotel will visit your website

– 500% increased visitors in less than one year. From 280,000 to 1,600,240 page views.

At the event Mr Ramelli creator of Lookotel, launched Lookotel.com for the international market. A new subscription system was implemented with different levels of membership for increasing services and a free 4 month trial for any new subscribers.

Will be back with more news hopefully more regularly.

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