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.

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.

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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.