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Are On-Line Travel Agents Killing my Business? Helping a client understand the issues

The client

The CEO and the Director of Sales and Marketing of a chain of mid-scale full service hotels operating primarily in the UK.


What did Hotel Solutions Partnership achieve for the client?

–  Analyzed key changes and weaknesses in revenue management, channel management and ecommerce strategies.
–  Established the impact of the “OTA effect” (On-Line Travel Agent) on booking volumes and market share.
–  Provided guidance and recommendations accordingly.

Our work helped guide the client to problem resolution not only in the management of OTAs but also in other elements of the fast changing and complex inter-relationships between marketing, operations and technology.

Project objective

In recent years the client has pursued an aggressive plan to grow online revenues. In revenue terms this has been successful, but in combination with significant recent changes in revenue management tools and processes, the introduction of a new channel management tool and advent of strong OTA growth, the client sought to clarify the following:

–  The impact of the revenue management changes and the possible contribution to rate and brand dilution.
–  The impact of channel management and its  relationship to the growth of OTA volumes and decline in web direct bookings.
–  The efficiency and capability of the brand’s website, content, optimisation strategy and demand marketing expenditure and their impact on driving direct demand.

Methodology

We worked on three tracks simultaneously:

1. The ecommerce and marketing analysis comprised the following:
–  Website review, analytics audit
–  Marketing review – SEM
–  Content strategy and SEO review
–  Strategic links/alliances review

2. The revenue management component established a base understanding of client strategies, processes, tools and organisation and included:
–  Review of recent Opera PMS migration effects.
–  Establishing the scope of revenue management policy changes and their effect – BAR.
–  Understand the impact of Ideas, its implementation and how effective the client is using it.

3. The channel management and distribution track included:
–  Reviewing the relative value of each channel and changes in their values in the trailing year, with particular reference to bookings.com.
–  Establishing the effect of the introduction of Rate Tiger and its impact on revenue.
–  Reviewing the interoperability of the constituent platforms since their introduction and assessing their impact on revenue and distribution management.

 


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