WIHP ROI first quarter 2010



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.

Interview – TendanceHotellerie.fr

TendanceHotellerie.fr is a French website for hoteliers, they do news and information about the French Hotel Industry and it’s a clean look and fell.

Vincent Rajjoo one of the editors there recently interviewed me and I thought I would publish the link. It is mainly for les Francais but if you’re interested you could translate it with one of the online translation tools.

Interview de Vincent Ramelli, Président de WIHP – Lookotel

29 mars 2010 par TH – Mots clés : site web – distribution

Vincent Ramelli - President WIHPQuelle a été votre activité avant de commencer WIHP / Lookotel ?
Avant de créer la Société WIHP et le produitLookotel.com je faisais partie en tant que co-fondateur de la société 1001webpromotions. Et avant cela je travaillais avec une des premières sociétés qui offraient des services internet à Paris.

Comment décriveriez-vous WIHP / Lookotel ?
Nous avons plusieurs produits. WIHP Sites webLookotel.com et WIHP Gestion.
WIHP Sites web est le leader en termes de création de sites web pour les hôtels indépendants sur Paris et probablement en Europe. Nous n’offrons pas des « sites web » nous procurons des réservations aux hôteliers à travers un site performant.
Lookotel.com est un portail unique en Europe dans son genre : sans commission pour les hôteliers ! C’est un grand avantage d’avoir une telle puissance de feu pour faire la promotion de son hôtel à grande échelle. Tous les frais son fixes pour hôtelier. Le but est de faire des réservations en direct depuis le portail ou d’envoyer les clients vers le site officiel de l’hôtel.
WIHP Gestion : notre équipe de professionnels de l’hôtellerie s’occupe de commercialiser une trentaine d’hôtels sélectionnés. L’équipe prend un hôtel et le « booste », en utilisant toutes les possibilités de distribution, les réseaux sociaux, l’amélioration de la décoration de l’hôtel, et de la qualité du service à travers une formation très pointue. Ils gèrent un hôtel sur 6 mois minimum avec une promesse de résultats.

WIHP / Lookotel en quelques chiffres ?
Lookotel : 1 visiteur sur 3 qui voit votre hôtel sur Lookotel.com va cliquer sur votre site. C’est une augmentation de 500% du nombre de visites sur 1 an avec un choix de 250 hôtels sur Paris pour l’internaute.
WIHP Sites web : c’est plus de 15 000 réservations en ligne par mois sur Paris seulement. Et ce sont des sites qui doublent le taux de conversion visites/réservations depuis la mise en ligne des sites de dernière génération.
Et ce n’est pas un hasard – ce sont des centaines d’heures de programmation pour créer un système « analytics » qui nous aide à mesurer la vraie efficacité de nos sites. Comme je le disais nous n’offrons pas un « site web » mais de la réservation et en volume.

Quelles sont les différences entre WIHP / Lookotel et d’autres sociétés de création web ?
Notre différence est que l’on prend soin de mesurer l’efficacité de nos sites en détails ; nous avons des outils que l’on a développés pour cela et on arrive à isoler le problème exact pour chaque site et s’assurer qu’il marche et produit des réservations. Etant propriétaire d’hôtel en parallèle je sais ce que cela veut dire de gérer un hôtel et de payer les factures à la fin du mois. Donc je suis doublement motivé pour m’assurer que nos sites font des réservations pour les hôtels.

Qui sont les clients WIHP / Lookotel ?
Les hôtels indépendants qui veulent changer le pourcentage de remplissage fait en direct.

Quel peut être l’intérêt d’un hôtelier de rejoindre WIHP / Lookotel ?
Si un hôtelier veut espérer arriver à 40 voir 60% de remplissage en direct avec son site web, il a un grand intérêt à faire un site avec WIHP.

Quels sont vos prochains axes de développement ou produits ?
Les sites web sont en évolution constante. Chaque nouveau site est diffèrent et contient de la nouvelle technologie. On vient de lancer un nouveau module de site pour mobile/iphone, et suite à notre expérience de vente de chambres à travers les réseaux sociaux et le web 2.0 on a découvert de nouvelles options que l’on est en train d’intégrer sur nos sites et nos portails. Et pour le reste… ça sera une surprise dès que nous serons prêts.

Inscription WIHP & Lookotel.com

Collection des hôtels WIHP

Cracking the WIHP with MICE

The MICE Report, a magazine for the MICE industry (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) has an article about WIHP that Cliff James wrote. I thought you may find it interesting and it gives a great overview on what we do and how we do it.

Vincent Ramelli, interview - The MICE Report

Vincent Ramelli, interview - The MICE Report

Cracking the WIHP

With independent hotels currently being charged an average 20% commission on reservations made through online booking agencies, hoteliers are seeking new ways to recoup their revenue. A commission-free solution is now at hand, as the marketing specialist company WIHP provides comprehensive strategies to help hotels increase their direct income. Cliff James talks to WIHP’s General Manager, Vincent Ramelli, about a commission-free future for hoteliers.
Vincent Ramelli understands the nuances of the hotel industry. As the owner of two successful boutique hotels, he has firsthand knowledge of the vagaries of the hospitality trade – in particular, the often exorbitant fees charged by online travel agencies for internet bookings.
However, the route he took to becoming an hotelier included substantial careers in marketing and web promotion. In retrospect, it seems inevitable that Vincent’s areas of expertise would coalesce in the 2009 launch of WIHP (World Independent Hotel Promotion) – a groundbreaking marketing organisation that enhances revenues for hotels with no extra cost to hotel guests.
“Back in the 1990s, I worked for a telecom company and saw how the internet was going to be the future sales channel for travel,” he explains. “I co-founded a company called 1001webpromotions and we began doing websites. With my own hotels, I quickly discovered the importance of having a great online marketing strategy and so I created WIHP to combine hotel management and hotel marketing into one structure that could offer a complete array of services to hotels.”
More than proposing a mere marketing plan, WIHP takes a holistic approach in analysing all aspects of a hotel’s profile and uses pioneering techniques to scrutinize a huge range of information. Vincent explains that their first step when working with a hotel is to gather feedback from hotel guests on websites such as Tripadvisor. “We’ll see what they like and dislike, and this gives us an idea of where the added value is for a hotel and what needs to be remedied. Sometimes hotel owners have a fixed idea of how to promote their hotel. But while the hotel image must be respected, the marketing strategy must be aimed at the potential customers, not the owners.”
This radical approach to devising an effective marketing strategy is augmented by WIHP’s programme of hotel staff training workshops, bespoke website design, and the launch in 2009 of a commission-free online distribution channel, Lookotel.com, which drives internet traffic and direct sales to the hotel’s own website – thereby bypassing the excessive charges of the OTAs.
Having refined a proprietary analytics system that constantly assesses the efficiency of a hotel’s website, the marketing specialists at WIHP know when a website is not producing sales and will work on the issue until a solution is identified.
“What we offer isn’t a website; it’s bookings,” says Vincent, drawing upon his substantial experience in web promotion. “If there are no results, we review our actions and adjust them until they work – and that’s the way with all our products. Having been on the receiving side, we know what hotels need.
“A site is more attractive with special offers and packages. The site also has to be made attractive by the use of real photos and video. Our objective is the same as the hotelier: ensuring the guest arrives directly on the hotel’s website and reserves directly with the hotel.”
As a hotel owner himself, Vincent’s own experiences have informed the quality of service provided by WIHP. He reveals that the company’s vision is to assist other hoteliers market their properties and take their share of the pie in direct bookings, whether that be through website enhancement, search engine optimization, payper-click advertising, offline marketing or through the lookotel.com distribution channel.
Based upon the company’s impressive growth within its first year, WIHP’s specialist approach is proving immensely popular, with more than 350 independent boutique and luxury hotels in various countries already benefiting from the service. In Paris alone, WIHP makes more than 15,000 commission-free bookings for celebrated venues such as Hotel de l’Abbaye, Hotel Ares Eiffel and The Five Hotel.
Vincent Ramelli maintains that hotels are opting for this specialist marketing service because it bears greater return on investment than the alternative. “WIHP provides a bespoke website for around €9000, depending on the options that the hotelier wants to add,” he explains. “Membership of lookotel.com starts at €50 a month, and our marketing management and social marketing campaigns begin at €1500 per month.
“On the other hand, the average commission for regular OTAs is 20% of the revenue brought to the hotel – a huge dent in the monthly budget. We aren’t out of the recession yet so saving 20% on commissions is a big saving. I have two hotels myself, so I know the difference this can make in a budget.”

Back from ITB (Berlin Travel Fair)

ITB logoWas at ITB last week (as a visitor this year, not an exhibitor) and it was great. Met up with some great people from the industry Sabre, TravelCLICK, Availpro, Pegasus and many others.

ITB is fun, but it’s huge. It just goes on and on. Well us being in the tech industry with WIHP (World Independent Hotels Promotions) we were mainly in the halls 8 and 9.

It’s always great to connect up with the industry like this, get a fresh idea of what is happening out there from many many perspectives at the same time. I found it interesting how Iphone and Android applications were the latest and greatest.

Of course it’s a great feature – we’re doing mobile versions of our hotel websites and I know how important it is to be present on all the markets. But I just cant picture myself in the metro pulling out my credit card in order to pay my hotel rooms “on the go” and frankly I haven’t seen anyone do it either.

Maybe we could get a payment system that goes through a mobile version of paypal like iTunes, that could work.

But as far as I can see Mobile sites are a great way to present the hotel, well sized photos, good information, proper maps etc are vital. It’s the showpiece, and they’ll bookmark the hotel and reserve from home.

In any case, I loved ITB and look forward to going to London soon for WTM.

PS: Couldn’t find what ITB means, is it International Travel Berlin? if you know drop a comment below.

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


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.

Small Business Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

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.

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.