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  • ChannelGain integrates with leading private sales sites to redefine hotels’ online distribution beyond OTAs’

    Published on July 26, 2011

    Noida:  There isn’t any iota of doubt on the effectiveness of these sites when it comes to actual online bookings…

    Private-sale sites, or member-only travel sites, are the next IN thing in online travel. Industry insiders believe that private-sale travel sites may be the next online travel business model that ultimately squeezes the OTA’s (online travel agency) supreme dominance. The party got started over a year ago, but now the bigger travel players are entering with their own brands and harnessing social networks as their marketing and distribution channel to sell attractive offers.

    Usually limited to members only or a specific community, these sites offer access to exclusive hand-picked discounted offers. Inventory is sold via “flash sales,” defined as a targeted offer of restricted stock sold within a short, specified time. Travelers who aspire to stay and have a luxury experience find these sites appealing as they let them try these packages at a good trial entry point. Also for the existing guests, it gives them a feeling of having found a deal especially during periods when they might not want to book at full price.

    From a hotel’s perspective, it also lets them get access to a new micro market segment which if converted effectively can lead to repeat direct business and retention of this segment as it grows over time.

    RateGain’s online channel management solution – ChannelGain has now been enhanced to integrate with some of the leading private sales sites worldwide. It enables hotels to seamlessly integrate and package their inventory with attractive offers and distribute on these sites. Besides 300+ online and offline channels, hotels can now reach out to some of the leading private sales sites like JetSetter & Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

    Using ChannelGain, hotels can not only push their last minute inventory, but can also offer bundled pricing to generate ancillary revenue with attractive packages and distribute it on these sites. Not just last minute, with ChannelGain hotels can manage lead booking period better so that they can fill their premium category rooms much ahead of time. It eases the pressure on their base category room prices closer to the date from a revenue manager’s perspective. It is also very beneficial for managing lean periods/off seasons much ahead of the time.

    With ability to manage different restrictions like ‘Minimum Length of Stay’, ‘Maximum Length of Stay’, ‘Early Check-in’ and ‘Weekend versus Weekday’ rates etc., ChannelGain provides the flexibility to intelligently manage pricing for each room type. Its innovative feature enables hotels to honor their contractual obligations with their other distribution partners by implementing effective rate strategies and fencing for the best rate guaranteed conditions.

    Speaking on this partnership, Tamara Heber-Percy, CTO & Founder, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, “We are delighted with the integration with RateGain. We share a common customer – the hotel – and this integration provides them with a quick and easy way to update rates and availability on our systems, reducing their workload and the risk of errors. In a world where travel distribution is getting more and more fragmented by the day, consolidating the work and effort it takes to manage several different channels can only be a good thing.”

    According to Vishal Jain, Head Product Management, RateGain, “Hoteliers have worked with private sites before, but usually for shifting distressed inventory or last-minute availability. However, as the channel matures, smart hoteliers are finding that managing their supply to private sites – in terms of rates, volumes and availability – can generate stronger margins than other distribution channels. Another benefit to working with private sites is a lower customer acquisition cost over the lifetime value associated with that customer. Not only does the cost compare favorably with other channels but also the cost isn’t amortized with that booking only and is spread to a longer time frame. Once a private sale guest has experienced the hotel, the property gets an opportunity to develop a direct relationship with the customer, building a long term relationship with them.”

    Vishal further added, “We have always believed in innovation and introducing new technologies as per the market demand and trends. Integration with these top private sales sites is a major step to redefine hotels’ online inventory distribution by going beyond the OTAs.”

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