Rates Management at a Crossroads
There is nothing like a good depression to change something that needs to be fixed. The time is right - in fact, it is past due - to change the way hotels manage and maintain rate parity.
With more and more hotels striving to increase Direct bookings, the practice of only having Rack Rates on the hotel website is past. It's more than past; it's downright nonsensical.
The major chains work it well and have steady decreased their dependency on distribution partners. Many chains now get over 80% of their Internet bookings directly from their website.
The driving force in getting direct sales is simple:
Be Visible and Be Valuable.
Offering value is not about putting your highest Rate on your website. Travelers compare; they look at 6 or more sites before making a decision. They will compare costs and value given in each channel. Travelers do like to visit the Hotels' own website and they like to buy direct - but not at a premium.
See Travel Rants and Raves
This is why AXSES has developed a powerful and easy-to-use Specials Management and Marketing System. With it, our clients are able to create short-term specials for low booking periods and offer great Value. The Specials are distributed on AXSES channels and available for publising on thousands of websites, like Google Base and Facebook, with AXSES arcRes distribution tools and RSS publishing systems.
See Our Travel and Tourism Marketing dialogue Rates, Revenue Management and Specials Tourism Marketing
There are several articles that are well worth reading
http://tr.im/rateintegrety - This provides a very helpful strategic approach to Revenue Management
http://tr.im/goodbyeRateParity - Dennis Schall is well worth following. Here, he talks about getaroom.com technology that helps hotels avoid contract limitations regarding rates.
For marketing-related articles, see our "At a Crossroads" Blog:
How top Hotels Brands are using Twitter
More on using Social Media: see AXSES Social Marketing for Travel - A Primer