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The Netherlands' first fully-electric hotel now taking reservations with SiteMinder

SiteMinder 13 December 2017
The Netherlands' first fully-electric hotel has begun accepting reservations ahead of its opening in April 2018. Powered entirely by wind energy, Conscious Hotel Westerpark will become the fourth property of sustainable hotel chain Conscious Hotels, which for the past year has employed the global hotel industry's leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, to market and sell its rooms online."SiteMinder provides us an easy way to connect with the industry's top partners. Instant channel updates, real-time reservation delivery and high reliability are the main reasons for us furthering our partnership, and the expected occupancy levels upon the opening of Conscious Hotel Westerpark is validation of those reasons," says Rob van Hemert, Head of Marketing & Innovation at Conscious Hotels."Additionally, the configuration and integration process with SiteMinder has always been fast and uncomplicated. The user-friendly interface of their technology and their efficient customer support have been always a huge plus as well."Conscious Hotel Westerpark is located in Westergasfabriek, a hotspot in Amsterdam for cultural events and bustling markets as well as walks in the park. As with Conscious' other hotels - Conscious Hotel Vondelpark, Conscious Hotel Museum Square and The Tire Station - sustainability has played an important role during every step of the Westerpark property's development, from its 89 rooms to its restaurant which features eco-materials and a fully-organic menu.SiteMinder's country manager for the Netherlands, Rebeca Rubio, says, "SiteMinder has always been proud to work with Conscious Hotels, the Netherlands' first sustainable hotel chain. We are delighted to play a role in the group's expansion and continual pursuit of innovation, and congratulate the team on yet another exciting project in Conscious Hotel Westerpark."Bookings can be made at www.conscioushotels.com.About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major global distribution systems. With more than 27,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.About Conscious HotelsConscious Hotels is an eco-design hotel chain founded by Marco Lemmers and Sam Cohen. The sustainable hotel chain consists out of three hotels: Conscious Hotel Museum Square, Conscious Hotel Vondelpark and The Tire Station. Next to that, the organic restaurant MOER and eco-patisserie Sticky Fingers belong to the Conscious family.For more information, visit www.conscioushotels.com.
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New SiteMinder head in DACH: "It's time Germany's hotels embrace the digitisation of travel"

SiteMinder 5 December 2017
The new head of DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) at SiteMinder, the global hotel industry's leading cloud platform, is urging Germany's hotels to begin embracing the digitisation of travel.Clemens Fisch, a travel industry expert for more than a decade, has been appointed as regional manager for SiteMinder in DACH and France and says a world of opportunity is awaiting hotels not yet on the cloud."In Germany, like in many other countries, we are seeing an industry that no longer doubts digitisation is taking place - online hotel sales are expected to surpass EUR8.8 billion in Germany this year - and yet, for the most part, local hotels remain behind in welcoming the change. The cloud is still new and often frightening for many hoteliers, as is everything that comes with it, such as online payments. This resistance to embracing modern, compelling and cost-effective solutions is holding back a nation of otherwise world-class hospitality," says Mr Fisch.Born and raised in Vienna, Austria, Clemens Fisch has spent almost 12 years working within Europe's dynamic hospitality and travel industry, beginning as a humble tour guide before leading tour operator EF Cultural Tours as an area manager in Switzerland, contracting hotels to provide affordable accommodation for travellers. From there, he served for five years at travel agency PDM Touristik, initially as a delegation manager before being promoted to deputy head of sales. Prior to joining SiteMinder, he was a senior account manager at Booking.com where he discovered the real challenges of hoteliers behind the front desk."Today's hoteliers have one of the hardest jobs in the world. Not only are they expected to excel at hospitality, they are expected to be masters of technology, online reviews, social media and everything in between. While there are many hoteliers leading the way, the reality is the vast majority lack understanding of technology, its benefits and potential."In a region where we see many hotels disadvantaged by outdated technology, SiteMinder has shown a unique ability to scale and bring smart and simple, cloud-based technology to the masses. Its portfolio of 27,000 hotels is testament to that."Ruairi Conroy, Managing Director - EMEA at SiteMinder, says, "Clemens has deep, multi-faceted experience gained within DACH's travel industry. With an openness to embracing digitisation and the cloud, I believe the region's hotels have a tremendous opportunity to compete on the international stage under the leadership of Clemens and his team."
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Inn Style partners with SiteMinder to push hotelier distribution needs to "the front of the queue"

SiteMinder 31 October 2017
One of the UK's fastest-growing hotel management system providers, Inn Style, has partnered with SiteMinder to provide more than one thousand hotels access to best-in-class distribution from the global hotel industry's leading cloud platform.The partnership complements Inn Style's direct connections with OTAs, to provide faster speed-to-market to its customers - typically B&Bs, restaurants with rooms, luxury inns and small independent hotels."Hotels increasingly want access to more channels for wider exposure of their brand, particularly the larger independents that Inn Style has begun to attract. These hotels are aware of the exciting, new channels on offer, and know SiteMinder likely provides them already - or is at the front of the queue building that connection," says Adrian Melrose, CEO and Co-Founder at Inn Style."Like other hotel tech providers, we could build connections to more distribution channels, ourselves - or we could partner with the leading online distribution platform to provide that mature offering for us. We opted for the latter and are very excited to have this partnership with SiteMinder."The five-star Lodge on the Loch Spa Retreat in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, is the first hotel to integrate their Inn Style property management system (PMS) with SiteMinder's platform. The property is one of hundreds that use 'Inn Style Pro' - a version for larger accommodation providers that require a more sophisticated hotel management and distribution strategy.For the Lodge on the Loch Spa Retreat's proprietor, Derek McCulloch, the seamless, integrated setup also means no overbookings and an opportunity to maximise revenue.Mr McCulloch says, "Inn Style Pro is a great solution for my hotel. Inn Style's PMS gives me all the information I need to run my business effectively, whilst SiteMinder allows me to push rates and availability to more than 350 booking sites, ensuring maximum visibility. Distribution is simple to manage and, unlike other systems, there are no hidden fees on top of OTA bookings."SiteMinder's director of partnerships for EMEA and the Americas, Mike Kantor, says, "Inn Style has proven there is a desire amongst hoteliers to compete more effectively, through automation and diversified distribution. Their growth rate over the past few years is testament to that and we couldn't be more delighted to partner with them to bring this offering to the UK's hoteliers."About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major global distribution systems. With more than 27,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.About Inn StyleInn Style is an accommodation owner's best friend. Think of it as an online diary, booking system, and payment processing machine rolled into one simple-to-use tool. There's no software to install, an accommodation owner simply goes to innstyle.co.uk and starts their free trial. They'll be guided through the setup process - adding rooms (or cottages, caravans and tents), prices and any rules (such as minimum stays).Inn Style lets the user embed a beautiful, mobile-friendly calendar onto their website, so potential guests can see availability and book online instantly. Availability will be updated in real-time, so they will never have to worry about a double booking again. What's more, Inn Style can handle all credit and debit card payments safely and securely - without any clunky card terminals or expensive, lengthy contracts.For more information, visit innstyle.co.uk/pro.
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SiteMinder secures Atahotels as group remains in prime position to capitalise on Italy's tourism boom

SiteMinder 4 October 2017
One year after completing its merger with UNA Hotels & Resorts, Atahotels today announces it has partnered with the global hotel industry's leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, to further capitalise on Italy's rising tourism numbers. SiteMinder will power the distribution of Atahotels' more than 4,700 rooms online and increase guest acquisition for the hotel group through the company's 350-strong network of the world's top booking channels.Atahotels merged with UNA Hotels & Resorts in 2016 to form the first wholly-Italian-owned and operated hotel group. Together, the two brands have 43 properties located in 25 destinations across the country.SiteMinder's country manager for Italy, Simona Melone, says, "SiteMinder is a key enabler of sustainable tourism in Italy. In fact, it is through technology like ours that local hotels have the opportunity to tap into international source markets and capitalise on the influx of tourists in an efficient, cost-effective way. Together with several UNA Hotels & Resorts properties, we are delighted to support Atahotels, an esteemed and forward-looking group with big plans for even greater growth in the future, to maximise this opportunity and increase their visibility, occupancy and revenue."Italy consecutively ranks among the five most popular destinations in the world, according to the country's chief national tourist organisation, the Touring Club. Contributing more than EUR70 billion to the local economy each year, Italy's tourism sector welcomed 50.7 million visitors in 2016 and recent figures show visitors this year-to-date have already surpassed 55 million.Today's announcement comes one week ahead of TTG Incontri - Italy's main international tourism fair - where SiteMinder will again be exhibiting, and as the national government reveals "efficiency and sustainability" as the slogan for its new tourism strategy.About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major global distribution systems. With more than 26,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.About AtahotelsBorn in 1967, the dynamic Atahotels belongs to the Unipol Group which in late 2016 also acquired UNA Hotels & Resorts to create Italy's first 100% hotel group. Together Atahotels and UNA Hotels & Resorts comprise a portfolio of 5,492 rooms in 43 hotels covering 25 destinations across the country.The Atahotels brand today comprises:Five hotels: four 4-star and one 5-star in Milan, Turin, Bologna, Varese and TaorminaThree resorts: two 4-star and one 5-star, offering a relaxing and wellness stay in Sicily, Trentino and TuscanyFour aparthotels: offering long stays in Italy's main business city, Milan.UNA Hotels & Resorts comprises:17 metropolitan hotels and five hotels located outside of city centresEight resorts.For more information, visit www.atahotels.it.
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SiteMinder partners with PriceTravel Holding and Despegar, says it is committed to Latin America's hotels

SiteMinder 5 September 2017
Four months since announcing Chile's RQ Grupo Hotelero as its 26,000th customer, the global hotel industry's leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, today reveals it is more committed than ever to supporting the burgeoning tourism industries across Latin America. The company has partnered with PriceTravel Holding and Despegar, two of the top online travel agencies within the region, to provide local hotels greater visibility within international source markets.The partnerships follow SiteMinder's strategic connectivity agreement with Best Day Travel Group announced in August.PriceTravel Holding's CEO, Esteban Velasquez, says, "We are pleased to partner with SiteMinder, an organization that deeply values the promotion of Latin America's hotels on a global stage. For international hotels, this is also an opportunity to connect with PriceTravel Holding and attract local consumers who know, love and book their hotels with us."Adds Rubi Perez, director - LATAM at SiteMinder: "SiteMinder's partnerships with PriceTravel Holding and Despegar are about allowing more travelers from around the world to find the best that Latin America has to offer, from its hotels to its landmarks and its rich, diverse cultures. These are exciting opportunities for local hotels looking to develop or open new markets. They are also endorsements of SiteMinder by the Latin American travel and hospitality market."About PriceTravel Holding and DespegarFounded in Cancun in 2000, PriceTravel Holding with its multi-channel business model is a company dedicated to the commercialization of travel products. The assortment of services and products offered by the company is a key factor in its success, along with customer and supplier satisfaction - its most-prized asset.Despegar is the largest travel agency in Latin America with a network of more than 150,000 hotels and 500 airlines worldwide. The travel giant was founded in 1999 and today has presence in 21 countries.
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SiteMinder brings GDS representation in-house as hotel customers more than triple in one year

SiteMinder 17 July 2017
Almost 900 hotels located in the world's top destinations are poised to receive personalized GDS sales and marketing representation from the global hotel industry's leading cloud platform. SiteMinder announced its new service at the 49th GBTA Convention Sunday on the back of a year that has seen its GDS connectivity solution, 'GDS by SiteMinder', gain its own chain code and more than triple in hotel users.Through sales and marketing representation, those hotels can now access a network of GDS experts based in New York, Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong, Paris, Munich and Sydney that will work with travel buyers on their behalf to increase hotel brand exposure and revenue.Jason Lewis-Purcell, Vice President, GDS at SiteMinder, says, "There is a tendency to overlook global distribution systems in today's digital age, but the truth is they are still some of the highest performing sales and marketing channels for hotels. Over the past year, GDS by SiteMinder powered nearly 200,000 reservations worth over $60 million in hotel revenue, showing how effective global distribution systems are in bringing guests hotels wouldn't otherwise attract, especially from Monday to Friday when properties need business most."A former hotel sales and marketing director and 20-year hospitality industry veteran, Mr Lewis-Purcell has spearheaded SiteMinder's dedicated GDS function over the last 12 months, growing the total number of GDS by SiteMinder hotel users from 250 to almost nine hundred. The hotels are located in the world's top business travel destinations, including Chicago, Los Angeles and New York in the United States; Barcelona, Berlin, London and Paris in Europe; and Bangkok, Hong Kong, Sydney and Taipei in the Asia Pacific."SiteMinder has always known the crucial role the GDS plays, but we wanted to bring the legacy system into the modern world. GDS by SiteMinder uniquely brings cloud-based technology together with legacy GDSs that are as relevant today as they were thirty years ago, to provide hotels an incomparable total distribution platform. It's now used by about sixty percent more hotels than our industry's most renowned soft brands."GDS by SiteMinder provides hotels a single point of entry to the world's major global distribution system providers - Sabre, Amadeus and Travelport - and travel agent network. In addition to sales and marketing representation, hotel users of the GDS connection receive free consortia advice, account management and local customer support.Travel agents can find hotels listed through the connection by using the 'GD' chain code.
Article by Mateus Coelho

Why hotel distribution is no longer a job, but a button

SiteMinder 6 July 2017
It made me wonder whether - or, rather, hope that - one day soon, I'd be reading a similar article about the demise of slow, onerous and manual data entry at hotels. As both someone who flies the hotel technology flag and stays at numerous hotels around the world, I really look forward to that day.It seems a long way away, though, doesn't it? But is it possible? I truly believe so.Thanks to the power of cloud-based channel managers, and the integrations that are made possible through this technology, distribution no longer has to be a job. It's a button. Or, at least, it can be.The search for hotelier freedomOver the last few decades, the front desk has evolved from being a physical table to cloud-based software.It's an evolution all hoteliers today must be embracing. As Peter O'Connor, professor of information systems and dean of academic programs at Essec Business School, puts it: "Archaic systems aren't collecting the right data, and when they do (the data is) siloed and can't be used together."Interestingly, it's an issue many hoteliers clearly realize. In late 2015, SiteMinder and Revinate released groundbreaking research which found that, behind managed guest relationships, integrated technology systems were the second most critical need of hoteliers when it came to distribution and online marketing.The finding was encouraging, as it affirmed that hoteliers are recognizing the freedom modern technology can provide to maintain a property without having to physically be there. And, as we know too well, today's hoteliers must wear many hats - they need to understand room distribution, online marketing and revenue management just as well as they know hotel operations - so being able to run their property efficiently is both a tremendous benefit and a growing need.A recent survey by Starfleet Research is further proof of this. Ninety-six percent of those who responded to the survey said the integration of their property management system with different technologies, to create a 'command and control center' with a 360-degree view of operations, was either 'important' or 'very important' to them.Because, with seamless integrations, comes powerIn spite of the latest research, sadly too many hoteliers today continue to operate in silos, using on-premise technology rather than solutions which are cloud-based and have the ability to literally connect a hotel property to the world.I know, for some of these hoteliers, it feels easier to just put up with the technology they are using because of the scars of installing it all those years ago. As our partners from StayNTouch have said, the easiest decision is not to make one. But at what cost?With mobile phone users being forecast to reach 4.77 billion in numbers in 2017, there are obvious reasons why mobile is continually a hot topic in the trade press and at any major trade conference. However, I find what is often understated is the equal importance of mobility to hoteliers, and, with that, the cruciality of seamless integrations and strong connectivity which lie at the core of automated transactions - and hotelier freedom.SiteMinder provides a platform that more than 200 property management systems seamlessly connect into today. That's more than any other hotel technology platform, because we believe the front desk should be the single source of data and truth for hoteliers; data that should be shared - distributed - to guests in real-time, with the click of a button.In late 2016, Jose Morilla, commercial director of Hoteles Casas y Palacios de Espana, said the integration of SiteMinder's Channel Manager with the group's property management system marked a real "turning point" in the way online bookings were managed. The integration was responsible for lifting the group's occupancy and average daily rate by fifteen percent that year. Additionally, for Mr Morilla, the integration meant the group could "optimize and sell our rooms right up to the last minute without any fear of being overbooked".Hotel distribution doesn't have to be a full-time job. The integration of a property management system with a cloud-based channel manager not only provides hoteliers a centralized view of their guests' journey, it provides efficiency that simply wasn't possible thirty years ago.Importantly, a tightly-integrated distribution setup significantly lowers costs and provides hotels the tipping point for exponential growth in reaching and converting more guests.So, will I soon be reading about the demise of slow, onerous and manual data entry at hotels? Only time will tell.
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Canada's vacation rental market now accessible to more property owners as CanadaStays partners with SiteMinder

SiteMinder 29 June 2017
As Canada's largest vacation rental marketplace, CanadaStays offers both domestic and international travelers the ability to choose between thousands of unique vacation rental properties across Canada, the USA, the Caribbean and Latin America. Properties listed on the platform benefit from added exposure through a partner distribution network that includes HomeAway, VRBO, Tripping and travelalerts.ca."We're very happy to announce this new partnership with SiteMinder," says Mark Bordo, Founder and CEO at CanadaStays. "With this integration, we're able to give thousands of property owners using SiteMinder's platform direct access to the millions of travelers who visit CanadaStays every year, while growing the number of vacation rental options available to our travelers."SiteMinder is the renowned market leader for accommodation providers looking to streamline the way they manage their availability, rates and inventory online. Over the past year, the reach provided by SiteMinder distribution network has led the company's customers to generate US$16 billion in revenue from more than 43.5 million reservations.Fig Cakar, Managing Director - the Americas at SiteMinder, says, "Owners of vacation rentals have long been challenged with gaining the same connectivity that owners of more traditional forms of accommodation have had access to. Consumer preferences have clearly shifted, and integration partnerships such as SiteMinder's with CanadaStays are crucial for property owners to navigate through the complexities of online bookings, to ensure their listings on booking sites are continuously up-to-date, and to ultimately secure the modern traveler and guest."About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major global distribution systems. With more than 26,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.About CanadaStaysFounded in 2008 in Toronto, Ontario, CanadaStays is Canada's largest vacation rental marketplace with a wide range of vacation rental properties including cottages, cabins, chalets and condos. CanadaStays also offers travelers unique vacation rental properties in the US, the Caribbean, Mexico and South and Central America. With an easy-to-use backend system and a strong distribution network, CanadaStays provides property owners with a simple and effective marketing solution that gets their property listings in front of millions of people, while providing travelers with unique accommodation options in destinations where they travel to most.Visit www.canadastays.com to learn more.
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SiteMinder founder: "If we can't find good technology to integrate with, then we build it ourselves"

SiteMinder 18 May 2017
SiteMinder's co-founder and managing director, Mike Ford, reveals the early beginnings of 'TheBookingButton' Internet booking engine and 'Canvas' hotel website creator, detailing their relationship and the unparalleled ways the technology has helped hotels achieve their business goals during SiteMinder's lasting tenure.A LOOK BEHIND THE MAKINGS OF 'THEBOOKINGBUTTON'SiteMinder's initial goal was to help hoteliers optimise their distribution by making it easier for them to update their availability and rates on third-party sites like online travel agents. For Mike Ford, this quickly turned into a new source of ideas."We realised the hotel's own website should be one of those prominent channels, working seamlessly, and being exposed to the same inventory the booking sites are."This would enable a hotel to have a powerful booking channel of their own that they could manage at the same time as third-party sites - without paying commission. However, when SiteMinder investigated a path towards integrating with booking engines, the company didn't find what it had hoped for, explains Mr Ford."When we began looking at booking engines to integrate with in 2007/08, we didn't find much good product. Hotels were using difficult-to-navigate products that were hurting their conversion rates and a lot of them didn't have the capability to integrate with us. That led us to think 'if we can't find any good product to integrate with, we should probably build it for our customers ourselves'."It was this dedication to customer service and quality development that spawned TheBookingButton, a product that is now a core element of the SiteMinder business."We ended up building a booking engine that was simple to manage, but really effective in converting guests that visit a hotel website. Originally it was for the independent market, but we've rapidly increased the capabilities of the product. We have some significant hotel groups using our booking engine now and its features are quite advanced," says Mr Ford.A LOOK BEHIND THE MAKINGS OF 'CANVAS'Somewhat a sister product of TheBookingButton, Canvas is a smart and easy-to-use hotel website builder.According to Mr Ford, hotels were overlooking the need for a functional, optimised and aesthetic website."One of the things we noticed with TheBookingButton was that it looked fantastic on a hotel's website, but the website itself looked dated. Many hotels were providing a bad user experience on their website. They were slow and not mobile-friendly because hotels didn't respond to the change in the way people shop."The reason for this largely stems from the speed at which technology leaps ahead, and the expensive nature of updating and creating websites through developers."Hotels could hire a web developer and spend thousands of dollars not even knowing what the finished product is going to look like," says Mr Ford."Given this landscape we developed Canvas, a continually-evolving technology that allows hotels access to pre-designed websites that are specifically geared towards properties and guests. What you get when you buy Canvas is a very carefully considered website that the designers have spent a lot of time thinking about from the guest's perspective."Canvas evolves as technology evolves so the hotel never has to worry about upgrading or redesigning their website. Partnered with TheBookingButton, it allows a hotel to have a hassle-free direct online booking experience for the guest."HOW DOES SITEMINDER DEVELOP THE USER EXPERIENCE?From a development perspective, what stands out from SiteMinder's technology is the constant progress that is being made when it comes to their effectiveness. Mr Ford and his team never let anything rest, forever looking for new opportunities."We still see a lot of potential for booking engines, particularly in the big hotel and chain space. We're definitely not at the end of the development journey of TheBookingButton. In saying that, we're very happy with how effective is it is right now."Some our biggest competitors have really confusing booking interfaces and we've created a very simple navigational experience for the guest, which results in high conversion rates for the hotel."Throughout this development journey, simplicity always remains a key focus for SiteMinder.If the products are easy for the customer to understand and use, they can spend more time on running their hotel and see even more benefits in the form of increased revenue.Mr Ford says this is also made necessary by the range of entities served by SiteMinder - from smaller independents through to large chains."It means we have to think about simplicity when we design our products, but that ends up benefitting all our customers. Our products do a lot for the hotelier, but they're extremely easy to operate. That's really important even in the big chains because staff turnover can be high and the training requirements for our products are low. It's easy to get up-and-running quickly because a lot of it is automated."TheBookingButton and Canvas are great examples of that and support our strong focus of delivering direct bookings to hotels."Also read: SiteMinder's co-founder and chief technical officer, Mike Rogers, on the company's launch product, The Channel Manager; its newest addition, Prophet; and what goes into building new systems.About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major global distribution systems. With more than 26,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.
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SiteMinder penetrates Latin America, signs RQ Grupo Hotelero as 26,000th hotel

SiteMinder 10 May 2017
The global hotel industry's leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, today announces it has surpassed 26,000 hotel customers with the signing of RQ Grupo Hotelero, an established provider of extended-stay accommodation in Chile's major business districts. The signing of RQ Grupo Hotelero's properties in Santiago, Providencia and Las Condes comes mere weeks after SiteMinder's exhibition at World Travel Market Latin America and the company says it plans to only deepen its penetration within the region.RQ Grupo Hotelero has seven properties to provide guests more than 230 rooms.The group's commercial manager, Ana Marticorena, says, "We hadn't used a distribution platform until now. We simply knew that in order to sell more rooms, we needed help to manage changes in our room rates and to achieve rate parity across our distribution channels."SiteMinder came highly recommended to us from other hotels, due to the performance and usability of its technology, and as RQ looks to double its capacity over the next two years, we are comforted in knowing we have a partner to help us make better decisions and reach higher occupancy rates."Fig Cakar, managing director - the Americas at SiteMinder, says the addition of RQ Grupo Hotelero to SiteMinder's strong network of hotel partners is an indication of the company's true global footprint and its wide acceptance into LATAM."For more than 10 years, SiteMinder has demonstrated its ability to connect with hoteliers from all corners of the globe, from the Asia Pacific to the UK and mainland Europe, Africa, the Middle East and, more recently, the Americas. SiteMinder's growth to 26,000 hotels is testament to our technology and our people, both of which speak to the complex needs of hoteliers, including the need to engage in their own language."With Latin America's travel market projected to reach $73.3 billion in value within the next three years* - and online travel growing at virtually twice the rate of the entire market - there is a need for the region's hotels to capitalize on technology like SiteMinder's and have the best opportunity to compete with the rest of the world."* Latin America Online Travel Overview Third Edition, Phocuswright, 2016About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major global distribution systems. With more than 26,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.About RQ Grupo HoteleroRQ Grupo Hotelero is one of the leading providers of apartments and suites in Chile. With seven properties located strategically at key points across the Santiago, Providencia and Las Condes business centres, RQ Grupo Hotelero provides travelers the experience of being in their own home and is the ideal solution for a guest's extended-stay needs.For more information, visit www.rq.cl.
Article by Mike Ford

The Changing Face of Hotel Tech

SiteMinder 11 April 2017
We work in an exciting industry. Each day brings something new in the world of online hospitality and, last week, it was AccorHotels' acquisition of Availpro.It's a well-deserved outcome for the Availpro team, which has created a substantial business serving a meaningful segment of the French hospitality market.A CONTINUING TRENDConsolidation in the hotel tech industry continues its march and in the last few years we have seen a significant number of deals.Here are just some examples:Buuteeq, PriceMatch and Hotel Ninjas acquired by Priceline Group (owner of Booking.com)Hetras PMS, SnapShot and ReviewPro acquired by PMS company ShijiItesso acquired by AmadeusTrust International and Genares acquired by SabreRevcaster acquired by the Rainmaker GroupGuestfolio acquired by CendynSerenata acquired by HeBS Digital.And, of course, FastBooking and Availpro acquired by AccorHotels.While their recent acquisition is, I'm sure, a welcome outcome for the Availpro team, it also continues a trend of independently-owned hotel tech providers falling under the control of large corporates like booking sites or hotel chains. Given most of this tech is cloud-based, it is not only the software that the new owners come into possession of, but all of the guest data, transaction history, and future-looking rate and availability information of what are ostensibly competitor hotels.Hotel tech providers that are independently-owned and operated are becoming increasingly scarce, as a number of players have been swallowed by industry giants. The motivation for these tech acquisition varies by player, however one of the main drivers for acquisitions of tech by booking sites and hotel chains is undoubtedly the battle for hotel supply. Booking.com has acquired hotel tech in what could be interpreted as an effort to gain control over the hotel room availability and rate supply source while Expedia is building its own hotel tech to engage the hotelier deeper with their extranet (read: the place where inventory and rate is captured). In the case of AccorHotels, they need hotel supply outside of the AccorHotels brand in order to drive more consumer choice on the AccorHotels booking website, aimed at capturing some of the OTA bookings through the brand's direct channel.Herein lies the problem for the acquired businesses, and their hotel customers, when they lose their independent ownership.These once fast-growing, innovative, customer-focussed companies that lived and breathed to make better product every day for their hotelier customers are now caught up in a larger machine that likely has a completely different agenda from the one the company had when it was born. Pre-acquisition, they existed to delight their hotel customers and build features that mattered to them. Now, their actions are heavily driven by the agenda of the larger entity that owns them. It's unlikely companies like AccorHotels and Priceline are looking to meaningfully boost their revenue through the sale of this tech to independent hoteliers, as this opportunity is negligible in relation to revenue from their main business. What the acquired tech can do is deliver gold to these companies in the form of hotel room supply and analytics of the data coming from the supplying hotels.This may naturally present inherent conflicts of interests to the hotelier using these acquired technologies. Some may be apathetic or be unaware of the possible implications, but many hoteliers do not want to give over control of their technology and data to a single booking site, nor do they want to cede control and access of their valuable inventory, pricing and guest data to a competitor hotel operator.WHAT WILL THE FUTURE HOLD?It's not surprising that some hotel tech companies decide to sell early on in their lifecycle. It can be a very tough business building and selling technology to hotels. In the case of distribution and connectivity providers, it is particularly tough as you have to deal with huge transaction volumes, have high availability, instantaneous updates, and vast integration options to all manner of channels and property management systems. This only works really well at scale which is why I suspect many companies in our sector choose to be acquired when they hit a few thousand customers. It is really hard to scale the business from 5,000 to 25,000 customers and not everyone has the desire to take that on.As for the remaining independently-owned tech providers, interesting times lie ahead. Will the future be one where the only choice for hotels is to buy their technology from large hotel chains or from the booking sites they list on, or will smaller, independent technology developers thrive in an environment where open platform integration and technology innovation will make them a more attractive choice to hotel?When we started out, the tech supplier industry was fragmented with many small players. These days, some very large corporates have taken their place or absorbed them. With the pace of acquisition and consolidation, the face of hotel tech is changing fast.What will the future hold? Who knows. But like I always say, there is never a boring day in online travel!
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SiteMinder receives a Top hotel Star Award for the third straight year

SiteMinder 21 March 2017
The global hotel industry's leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, has again been recognised as a provider of one of the best products in Germany's ever-growing hotel market. SiteMinder was yesterday announced a recipient of its third consecutive Top hotel Star Award, as voted on by readers of Germany's most widely-circulated trade publication, Top hotel, for its online distribution platform, The Channel Manager.The Channel Manager placed bronze in the 'online' category, as revealed during the third day of INTERNORGA in Hamburg.Speaking on the goal of the awards, Top hotel editor Thomas Karsch said, "When hotel guests review their stay in a hotel, they first think of the friendliness and readiness of the hotel staff when assessing the quality of that hotel's service. The hardware at the hotel, including its facilities and equipment, are frequently unnoticed or presumed (to be self-evident)."For more than 10 years, The Channel Manager has served hotels globally as the leading cloud-based platform for managing a hotel's availability, rates and inventory in real-time. The Channel Manager provides two-way connectivity between 350 distribution channels and more than 200 property management systems, central reservation systems and revenue management systems to maximise a hotel's online reach, minimise overbookings, and lower costs of acquiring guests.The product leads SiteMinder's solutions in generating more than 43.5 million reservations and over US$16 billion in revenue each year for 24,000 hotels globally.Among these hotels is the DORMERO Hotels group, which implemented The Channel Manager in 2015 to support its plan of doubling in size by the end of the decade.Max Herbst, head of revenue management at DORMERO Hotels, today says, "The power SiteMinder's Channel Manager gives to us to access both local and global markets is unsurpassed, and it's the reason it is the leader in the market today. Supported by the company's local customer service, SiteMinder's Channel Manager has empowered our hotel business to increase year-on-year room nights by 45 percent and year-on-year revenue by 33 percent, while significantly reducing the cost of acquiring guests. We congratulate SiteMinder for this well-deserved win."The annual Top hotel Star Award also recognises suppliers from 13 other categories, including food & beverage, design and service. More than 100 suppliers were nominated this year to attract more than 4,000 votes in total.About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major GDSs. With more than 24,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.
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Pestana Hotel Group completes global rollout of SiteMinder's online distribution platform

SiteMinder 7 March 2017
Portugal's largest international tourism and leisure group and the 25th largest in Europe, Pestana Hotel Group, has completed a global rollout of SiteMinder's online distribution platform across the majority of its properties. The enterprise rollout sees SiteMinder's Channel Manager integrated with OPERA, the hotel management system for 65 of Pestana's properties located in Europe, Africa and North America.Joao Machado, the executive committee member for IT & Business Intelligence at Pestana, says the group-wide implementation of SiteMinder's technology will provide the data and efficiencies needed to support the group's growth in international markets."Pestana's growth strategy is focused on diversifying outside of its established markets, into the United States and further into Europe, with hotels that can meet both corporate and leisure demand. This diversification in feeder markets will allow us to expand more effectively across the world's top travel destinations, and the global reach provided by SiteMinder is fundamental to supporting that growth."The Pestana properties already live with the integration are reporting very positive results, and we ourselves can see that through the enterprise features of SiteMinder's Channel Manager. This is a major competitive advantage; having full transparency over the revenue and reservations coming through to our business, and where they are coming from, so we can adapt in an informed way."With its growing portfolio of more than 11,000 rooms, Pestana Hotel Group today generates over EUR400 million in annual revenue and is the only Portugal-headquartered hotel group to feature in HOTELS's Corporate 300 list. Each year, Pestana attracts more than three million travellers to its four and five-star hotels in 14 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, Portugal, Germany, the UK, Cape Verde, Morocco, Mozambique, Spain, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa and the USA. Its collection of hotels is underway to grow to 100 properties in 16 countries within the next two years."We are pleased to have Pestana join SiteMinder's fast-growing travel network. Pestana is a thriving, respected brand the world over, with a clear desire to diversify its online presence beyond traditional channels and into newer distribution verticals. We are delighted to be able to provide these, and to support Pestana through our local teams in Europe and the United States," says Filipa Campos, director of enterprise - EMEA at SiteMinder.About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major GDSs. With more than 23,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.About Pestana Hotel GroupPestana Hotel Group is the largest international tourism and leisure group of Portuguese origin and the 25th largest in Europe. It remains the only Portuguese hotel group to be featured in the Corporate 300 listing by HOTELS magazine. There are eight business divisions operating under the Pestana brand including: Hotels & Resorts, Pousadas de Portugal, Holiday Ownership, Gaming, Travel, Golf and Residence, Industry and International Business Centre of Madeira.Starting with one hotel in Madeira Island in 1972, the family-owned Pestana Hotel Group has grown to include nearly 90 four and five-star hotels worldwide with four brands: Pestana Hotels & Resorts, Pestana Collection Hotels, Pestana CR7 Lifestyle Hotels and Pestana Pousadas de Portugal. Its properties can be found in 14 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, Portugal, Germany, the UK, Cape Verde, Morocco, Mozambique, Spain, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa and the USA.For more information, visit www.pestana.com.
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SiteMinder makes two key appointments as it looks to take business to the next level

SiteMinder 1 March 2017
Five months into its 10th anniversary, the global hotel industry's leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, today announces two key appointments to its C-suite as it looks ahead to the next era of business. SiteMinder has appointed Ken Aoyama and David Jaros, both renowned leaders in their fields, to the respective roles of Chief Product Officer (CPO) and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) with immediate effect.The appointments, based in SiteMinder's Sydney head office, conclude an over-two-year string of investments into the company's global leadership team, following the appointment of a chief financial officer and chief operating officer in 2014, and an executive vice president of global sales in 2015. All complement the existing leadership roles of Managing Director and Chief Technical Officer, filled by SiteMinder founders Mike Ford and Mike Rogers, respectively.Mike Ford says: "We are delighted to welcome Ken and David to SiteMinder. Their appointments not only show our ongoing ability to attract top talent to SiteMinder; they underscore our plans to enter an exciting, new phase of expansive growth, led by some of the industry's most respected experts."Ken and David will be pivotal in enhancing our go-to-market strategy, consisting of excellence in product, marketing, sales and customer support, and backed by both financial strength and operational efficiency. As we look ahead, SiteMinder's focus is to continue building on these strong foundations to become the trusted partner of choice for hotel technology."Ken Aoyama brings to SiteMinder a distinguished career in product development, gained at leading technology corporations that include Microsoft and, most recently, Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed Cybozu where he served as Head of Engineering and Chief Global Business Officer to penetrate new markets, double revenue and acquire more than 10,000 new customers for Cybozu's application Platform-as-a-Service (aPaaS) business. As CPO for SiteMinder, Ken is responsible for leading an over-60-strong product and engineering team to deliver the company's strategy, development and innovation of product; and enhance its current Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering.David Jaros has more than 22 years' experience across strategy, marketing and technology, and an impressive track record of pioneering growth in SaaS markets. He joins SiteMinder from FinTech startup Noesis Finance where he served as Vice President of Marketing and, later, CMO. Prior, he spent four years at disruptive IT management software company SolarWinds, where he successfully ran lead generation and field marketing to deliver in excess of 400,000 trial downloads per year. As CMO at SiteMinder, he will be responsible for all global marketing activities, including corporate marketing, brand awareness, customer marketing, field marketing and lead generation.About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major GDSs. With more than 23,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.
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SiteMinder announces integration with Agilysys to offer integrated distribution solution to PMS customers

SiteMinder 8 February 2017
The global hotel industry's leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, today announces a partnership agreement with Agilysys, Inc. whereby SiteMinder's Channel Manager will connect with Agilysys' next-generation cloud hospitality platform, rGuest(r), to integrate with Agilysys' award-winning property management systems and automate the flow of rates, availability and reservations for hotel customers.SiteMinder's Channel Manager allows hotels to continuously promote available rooms on all their booking channels and immediately update inventory across those channels when a booking is made. It eliminates manual entry and reduces the risk of overbookings with deep, two-way integrations between a hotel's property management system (PMS) and the online travel agencies, wholesalers, hotel websites and global distribution systems it sells through."This partnership reinforces our mission and strategy to partner with technology leaders that deliver significant value to hotels," says David Chestler, executive vice president of global enterprise sales & business development at SiteMinder. "Both SiteMinder and Agilysys are committed to providing solutions that enable hotels to compete more effectively. We are excited to expand our footprint in the U.S. hospitality market and to join forces with Agilysys to deliver a state-of-the-art solution to hotel customers of all sizes."Agilysys' next-generation cloud hospitality platform, rGuest, provides the industry standard integration framework that connects SiteMinder's Channel Manager with the Agilysys PMS solutions. rGuest provides a standards-based solution on an open architecture with public APIs to enable richly-integrated applications delivered from Agilysys, its partners and customers. Agilysys' property management solutions include the Lodging Management System(r) (LMS), Visual One(r) PMS and the groundbreaking cloud-based rGuest(r) Stay PMS. The company's award-winning property management solutions are used in hotels around the world - including large casino properties, boutique hotels, chain hotels and resorts - to streamline operational efficiency, increase revenue and enhance the guest experience."This partnership combines the power of our rGuest cloud hospitality platform with the breadth of SiteMinder's Channel Manager to make the online distribution of rooms simple and seamless for our joint customers," says Jim Walker, senior vice president of global revenue at Agilysys.The partnership between SiteMinder and Agilysys addresses a key finding in Phocuswright and h2C's Independent Lodging Market Report, co-sponsored by SiteMinder, that half of U.S. independent hotels use a PMS, yet only 13 percent use an integrated channel management solution. The partnership also addresses the need for hotels to adopt secure technology. SiteMinder's Channel Manager and all of Agilysys' PMSs comply with PCI DSS standards.About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major GDSs. With more than 23,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.About AgilysysAgilysys is a leading technology company that provides innovative point-of-sale, property management, inventory and procurement, workforce management, analytics, document management and mobile and wireless solutions and services to the hospitality industry. The company's solutions and services allow property managers to better connect, interact and transact with their customers by streamlining operations, improving efficiency, increasing guest recruitment and wallet share, and enhancing the guest experience. Agilysys serves four major market sectors: Gaming, both corporate and tribal; Hotels, Resorts and Cruise; Foodservice Management; and Restaurants, Universities, Stadia and Healthcare. A significant portion of the company's consolidated revenue is derived from contract support, maintenance and subscription services. Agilysys operates throughout North America, Europe and Asia, with corporate services located in Alpharetta, GA.For more information, visit www.agilysys.com.
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SiteMinder adds 10,000+ rooms to its distribution network with TFE Hotels

SiteMinder 2 February 2017
The global hotel industry's leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, today announces it has secured a corporate deal to power the distribution of TFE Hotels (Toga Far East). The deal adds the more than 10,000 apartment and hotel rooms of TFE Hotels' 70 properties across Australia, New Zealand and Europe to SiteMinder's distribution network, further heightening SiteMinder's dominant market share in the Pacific and building on its solid presence within the European region.TFE Hotels' brands include Adina Apartment Hotels, Medina Serviced Apartments, Rendezvous Hotels, Vibe Hotels, Travelodge Hotels and the new TFE Hotels Collection."TFE Hotels is pleased to partner with SiteMinder, a market leader in the online distribution of hotel rooms, especially as we continue to pursue growth opportunities and greater operational efficiencies worldwide," says TFE Hotels CEO Rachel Argaman."Our business is in the midst of its largest ever development pipeline, as we prepare for the opening of 17 new hotels in the next five years. SiteMinder's strong, local people presence and technical capabilities with its channel manager product both within the Pacific and Europe will be important to helping us achieve success as we scale."TFE Hotels is a joint venture between Australia's Toga Group and Singapore's Far East Hospitality Holdings. In 1998, it opened what is now Adina Apartment Hotel Budapest and became the first Australian-headquartered group to operate hotels in Europe, where it continues to expand. Nine of its properties are now located within Europe, including two Adina Apartment Hotels in Frankfurt and Nuremberg which opened in late 2016. Two more properties are scheduled to open in Leipzig and Hamburg, Germany, this year, helping to more than double Adina Europe's current 673-strong room portfolio by 2019.Mike Kinloch, head of SiteMinder's Pacific region, says, "It is clear that the automation of technology, through integration, is increasingly driving the decision-making process for hotels globally. Simply being connected is no longer enough. SiteMinder applauds forward-looking hotel groups like TFE Hotels for recognising this and looking at how they can maximise the data being centralised into their systems, so they can, in turn, drive efficiencies and revenue as well as more meaningful conversations with guests prior, during and post-departure."About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major GDSs. With more than 23,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.About TFE Hotels - The Developer's HotelierTFE Hotels is the only company headquartered in Australia to design and manage hotels end to end, from concept to successful operation. It has 70 hotels in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe and has 17 more in the design or construction phase, to open the next five years.TFE Hotels was established in 2013 as a joint venture between Australia's long-established apartment development and hotel management company, Toga Group (1963), and Singapore's Far East Hospitality Holdings. Its six hotel brands are:Adina Apartment Hotels in 30 locations in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Other locations coming soon include Frankfurt, Nuremburg, Leipzig and Hamburg in Germany; Macquarie Park and Sydney; Brisbane; and Fremantle in Western Australia.Medina Serviced Apartments in five locations in Australia.Vibe Hotels in eight locations in Australia. Other locations coming soon include Northpoint in North Sydney and Hobart.Travelodge Hotels in 17 locations in Australia and New Zealand. Other locations coming soon include Sydney Airport.Rendezvous Hotels in six locations in Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.TFE Hotels Collection include Hotel Kurrajong Canberra, Australia. Other locations coming soon include The Calile in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley.For more information, visit www.TFEhotels.com.
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The world's 42nd largest hotel chain, Barcelo Hotels & Resorts, signs with SiteMinder

SiteMinder 10 January 2017
The global hotel industry's leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, today announces it has secured 109 properties belonging to Barcelo Hotels & Resorts, the third largest hotel chain in Spain and the 42nd largest in the world. The win adds nearly 33,000 hotel rooms to SiteMinder's distribution network one week ahead of FITUR, the world's tourism trade fair for the Ibero American markets, where SiteMinder will be exhibiting for the third consecutive year.Speaking on the decision to adopt SiteMinder's technology, Barcelo Hotels & Resorts' head of e-distribution, Albert Santin, says, "SiteMinder has provided the peace we were looking for to complete our distribution strategy. Their expansive partner network gives Barcelo direct access to new, important markets, and greater visibility in existing ones, to significantly lower our cost of acquiring guests. And, I know SiteMinder will only continue to grow to provide us even greater direct business with the world's leading distribution channels."Additionally, as we look to grow our portfolio to 200 hotels in the next five years, having the ability to centralise as many bookings as we can now means we can have greater control as we scale, be significantly more efficient, and make better decisions that drive revenue."Part of the Barcelo Group founded in Spain's tourism hot spot of Palma, Barcelo Hotels & Resorts comprises 109 establishments with nearly 33,000 rooms across 18 countries. Almost all establishments are 4-star and 5-star vacation resorts and city hotels.In 2015, the hotel group acquired Occidental Hotels & Resorts to expand its presence throughout Europe, Latin America and Africa under the brands of Occidental, Allegro and Royal Hideaway. The acquisition was followed in 2016 by a franchise agreement with Chinese giant Plateno, which has enabled Barcelo to leverage Plateno's 100 million-member loyalty program and granted Plateno rights to operate under the Barcelo brand in the world's biggest outbound tourism market.Mateus Coelho, regional manager - Iberia at SiteMinder, says, "SiteMinder's partnership with Barcelo Hotels & Resorts signifies the need for even the largest hotel brands to deploy distribution technology that is powerful and automated in order to remain competitive in today's dynamic booking landscape. With SiteMinder's Channel Manager, we are pleased Barcelo can now benefit from incomparable reach online and a platform that works at the speed at which their guests are booking."About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major GDSs. With more than 23,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com or the team at FITUR (stand 8F07).About Barcelo Hotels & ResortsBarcelo Hotels & Resorts, the hotel division of the Barcelo Business Corporation, is the third largest chain in Spain and the world's 42nd. Today, and after the acquisition of Occidental Hotels & Resorts, it has 109 establishments - which are almost exclusively 4-star and 5-star, all-inclusive vacation resorts, top-range vacation resorts and city hotels - and nearly 33,000 rooms distributed over 18 countries. In addition, the 85-year-old company owns a 40% shareholding in Barcelo Crestline, an American management corporation, the portfolio of which amounts to 75 establishments.For more information, visit www.barcelo.com.
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Personalised booking journey now possible for not-for-profit resort as SiteMinder donates direct booking technology

SiteMinder 13 December 2016
A luxury resort opening in 2017 to promote wellness, recreation and lifestyle to those living with a spinal injury, will soon be able to attract guests directly to its property, thanks to a donation from the global hotel industry's leading cloud platform, SiteMinder. SiteMinder is supporting Sargood on Collaroy on Australia's eastern coast through the provision of distribution technology and its Internet booking engine, TheBookingButton, to enable commission-free bookings via the resort's website.Resort manager James Dakin says with almost 15,000 people living with spinal injuries in Australia, and one more spinal cord injury being sustained each day1, there is a growing demand for a property like Sargood on Collaroy. With this demand, he says having the ability to receive the individual guest's information, and understand their personal needs before they arrive at the resort, is crucial."Spinal cord injury is debilitating and can be emotionally, physically and psychologically overwhelming for people in recovery as well as their families. Sargood on Collaroy is the first of its kind to bring a focus on building a future for people with a spinal injury," Mr Dakin says."We wanted to make booking a stay at Sargood on Collaroy as easy as possible for our guests. To achieve this, we knew we needed an easy booking experience and that will now be possible through TheBookingButton. Not only is it user-friendly for us at the resort, it will, importantly, be user-friendly for our guests."Sargood on Collaroy will feature 17 fully-accessible, purpose-built, luxury apartments for individuals and families impacted by spinal cord injury. The resort will provide guests opportunities to develop vocational skills; be educated on self-managing their health, wellbeing and resilience; receive psychological and relationship support, and family/carer education; have recreation and leisure time, and community engagement.The adoption of TheBookingButton at Sargood on Collaroy will enable guests to view real-time availability at the resort and book their stay in two steps. TheBookingButton's integration with the property's management system will automate the process and eliminate double bookings.Mike Kinloch, head of SiteMinder's Pacific region, says, "When James shared the story of what his team was looking to achieve with Sargood, I knew SiteMinder had to support it, even if only in a small way - through our technology. We look forward to Sargood's success and their clients enjoying the highly-personalised experience Sargood offers, from the moment they book right through to when they stay and leave the property."1 "The facts", The Sargood Foundation, 2016About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major GDSs. With more than 23,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.About Sargood on CollaroyBringing to life the vision of the Sargood Foundation, with support from iCare, Sargood on Collaroy will be operated by Royal Rehab, a leading spinal injury rehabilitation service in New South Wales, Australia. The resort opens to guests in March 2017 and aims to be recognised globally as the place where people with a spinal injury and their families come to refresh, learn and connect. Sargood on Collaroy will provide the opportunity for development of vocational skills, health, wellbeing and education.For more information, visit www.sargoodoncollaroy.com.
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SiteMinder secures its place in Deloitte Technology Fast 50 for sixth year running

SiteMinder 24 November 2016
Two months into celebrating its 10th year in business, the global hotel industry's leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, is proving its growth is far from slowing with the announcement it is a Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Australia winner for the sixth consecutive year.The annual Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Australia program ranks the top 50 locally-headquartered technology companies based on percentage revenue growth over the past three years. As all other winners', SiteMinder's listing automatically places the company, once again, on the Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500.Mike Ford, co-founder and managing director of SiteMinder - and winner of an EY Entrepreneur of the Yeartm Eastern Region award this year - says, "It is an honour to be recognised among some of Australia's most renowned technology brands for yet another year. This year of 2016 is particularly memorable for SiteMinder, as we reflect on our journey since 2006, from being a two-person operation in Sydney that wanted to bring an idea to life, to having six global offices and rolling out smart and simple technology that would, ten years later, positively change the lives and businesses of more than 23,000 hoteliers around the world."I commend the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 program for continuing to highlight that innovation can originate from this corner of the globe and stand among the world's best."SiteMinder today boasts a holistic suite of technology solutions that enable hotels to attract, reach and convert guests globally online. Its latest addition, Prophet, a real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing hotel rooms, was launched in June.Over the year ending June 2016, SiteMinder's cloud-based technology generated more than 43.5 million reservations worth in excess of US$16 billion in revenue. These figures are testament to SiteMinder's continued success in global markets, most notably in EMEA where the company has since opened its second local office, in Ireland, to complement its regional headquarters in London.The announcement of the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Australia winners now rounds out a year that saw SiteMinder listed among the 20 greatest pioneering technology companies to come out of Australia and New Zealand.To download a copy of the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Australia winners' report, click here.About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major GDSs. With more than 23,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.
Article by David Chestler

The future is now: How robots are storming the travel industry

SiteMinder 7 November 2016
It's interesting how novelties can become commonplace quicker than we expect.No more than 15 years ago we were watching sci-fi films that boggled the mind and tested the limits of our imagination. Facial recognition technology, fingerprint biometrics, intelligent phones and computers that talked to people, functional artificial intelligence; all of this seemed worlds away.How things have changed.The technology dreamed up for those blockbuster productions is the same as what we see entering our reality today. Seemingly, it's taken no more time than the transition from child to adult. To the average person, it still feels unimaginable that innovation like artificial intelligence (AI) is at our doorstep.Apple's 'Siri', the intelligent computer program that also happens to be a personal assistant, has already been around for five years. She's now being joined - and, in some cases, surpassed - by developments like chatbots and actual robots.This technology is applicable to almost every industry thanks to customer interaction - a prime area for smart tech to be implemented. The travel industry is a massive target for newer, smarter, more automated, personalized and predictive processes. In fact, as progress continues, tourism could be a world leader for cutting-edge technology and advanced AI.Let's take a look at how this technology is infiltrating the hotel industry...THE COMPUTERIZED HOSPITALITY WORLDMessenger applicationsThe popularity of apps has now been on the rise for a while and will only continue as developers introduce slicker platforms. Apps have already been appropriated by many companies to provide intelligent real-time customer service without the need to place a human in position.Facebook has 'M', Amazon has 'Alexa', Apple has created 'Viv' in addition to Siri, and Google has announced its 'Assistant' service. There are some specific to travel, too, like 'Lola' and 'Pana'.All of these apps are designed to deliver an instant concierge-style chat service to help customers plan and manage their everyday needs. They're smart enough to handle even some complex requests and they're constantly being refined to deal with more scenarios.Parts of the travel industry are embracing them with open arms. Edwardian Hotels London employs the aptly-named virtual host Edward who can take amenities requests, give directory and review information, facilitate complaints and connect guests to an immediate call-back if they need human assistance. He's designed to respond within a few seconds.Dutch airline KLM is using a Facebook messenger chat service to send passengers booking confirmations, notifications, and boarding pasess. This process is easily transferable to hoteliers who can maintain an ongoing dialogue with guests from the booking to check-out stages, and everything in between.Chatbots as a serviceKayak CEO Steve Hafner believes voice and physical interaction are the only way forward, saying we'll see an increase in travelers being helped by spoken word and chatbots:"There's a whole generation who are more familiar with text messaging and voice via Siri looking for a different interaction with an online travel agency. We've got a Facebook Messenger chatbot for example. We have voice interaction with Alexa, where you can actually talk to Kayak and say, 'Hey Kayak, what's the status of my flight to Denver later today? Where can I go this weekend for $300?'"Chatbots are meant to engage customers in a 'live' scenario without the need to trade communication back and forth via email or phone. Facebook aims to use this technology to enhance its personal assistant, 'M', which will be able to purchase items, have gifts delivered, and make various bookings and appointments.Yahoo's Enrique Munoz Torres urges all companies to embrace this new opportunity: "Users are increasingly more comfortable with conversational interfaces, and they expect that systems will be able to handle complex requests."In June, Booking.com launched a chatbot to connect hotels and travelers in two-way communication, which can be used from any device, including iOS and Android. The conversation is more natural, having been freed from templates or automated script. However, specific templates are provided to translate frequently asked questions into 42 different languages.Robots... yes, actual robotsHere comes the fun part. Yes, real robots already exist in the travel industry.Marriott has 'Mario' welcoming guests, Hilton has 'Connie' the concierge, and InterContinental has 'Dash' transporting items between guests and staff.On Mario, Ghent Marriott General Manager Roger Langhout says: "As soon as we saw Mario interacting with our guests we saw a smile. Nobody has seen it before."Mario spends his time at the front desk and can help guests check-in, give speeches, inspect rooms, discuss the menu, and give presentations. Most intriguing is the effect Mario has on audience attentiveness when he is delivering speeches."We've found that content retention by participants is increased when Mario makes the presentation," says Langhout.Another interesting example comes from where else but Japan. The Henn-na Hotel has over 100 rooms and features multilingual robots (one human woman, one dinosaur) at the front desk, a robot-arm locker service, a robot porter to transport your luggage, and facial recognition software so you don't have to worry about carrying a key.Inside the room, air-conditioning analyses your body temperature and adjusts accordingly, while you can control the other in-room facilities from a tablet device. If anything else is required you can ask the robot concierge named Tuly, who will impart a range of knowledge.In the future, there are plans for drones to deliver room service, too.The best part? Rooms start from $80 a night, making the experience available for budget travelers. Those robots clearly don't demand any wages!HOW COULD SMART TECHNOLOGY IMPACT THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY?Any influx of mass change will naturally have mixed reviews. Tour guides, in particular, may be worried about their jobs becoming automated. For instance, it's easy to imagine a robot at the front of a bus giving a history lecture - and probably without the need for a microphone.But what about travelers? Will they still want to stay at your hotel if a human isn't there to greet them? Apparently, the answer is yes. Travelzoo conducted research and almost two-thirds of the survey respondents said they'd be comfortable being looked after by machines on their trips.Even though AI is still in its infancy in the hotel sector, it's potential is broad. With that in mind, let's look at the six major effects we think it could have...A diversified booking methodChatbots and conversational messaging will add yet another dimension to a customer's path-to-purchase. Imagine a traveler making a booking via their TV during an ad break, or on their hands-free mobile while driving. From a customer's perspective it could seem like an easier method for booking a trip, especially at the last-minute.An improved pre-arrival experienceGone will be the days of email back and forth and multiple phone calls. With a chatbot the hotel or customer need only make a conversation request and any requirements, such as booking additional services, can be finalized in an instant.More on-site guest interactionVirtual assistants will be able to fulfil any rudimentary requests from guests including food and beverage orders, amenity needs, basic complaints, and tour/directory information.Sustainable teams of hotel staffThis will free up other staff to concentrate on optimizing the guest experience even further and perhaps provide more luxurious features. Saving man hours will either mean increased profit or unbind money to spend on guest experience, leading to increased bookings and revenue. In seasonal lows, it may reduce the need to cut staff entirely.Increased personalized data collectionIf an AI is taking a traveler through the whole customer journey it will gather a raft of valuable data in the one place that can be used to incorporate more personalized services based on the preferences the guests have shown - which in turn increases the rate of return business and direct bookings.Seamlessly integrated customer journeysMessenger apps and chatbots will remove many pain points because the connection between online and offline services will become seamless. However, if it's something hotels want to take advantage of it's even more important that they have an optimized and mobile responsive website, as well as an integrated Internet booking engine that can move with the guest throughout their complete customer journey.The speed and innovation of technology, such as robots and AI, present hotels with a fantastic opportunity to become cutting-edge accommodation providers, giving guests an enhanced experience driven by forward-thinking service. Question is: are you ready for the robot revolution?I look forward to seeing many of you at WTM London this week, where I will be speaking on 'Unbreak the fragmentation: The hotelier movement toward the single screen' from 11.30am - 12.15pm on Tuesday. I hope to see you there and continue this conversation at the SiteMinder stand, TT560.
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SiteMinder increases Mallorca market penetration with Timon Hotel and Ola Hotels

SiteMinder 30 August 2016
The global hotel industry's leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, today deepens its market penetration of the vibrant Mallorca hot spot in Spain with the announcement it has secured a strategic integration partnership with Timon Hotel, a renowned local hotel management system provider, and a group-wide deal with Ola Hotels. The wins - which come amid a summer period expected to see record arrival numbers - continue SiteMinder's ever-growing presence in Spain and Europe's key tourist destinations, including Barcelona, Madrid, London and Paris.Martin Millan, general manager at Timon Hotel, says, "In Mallorca, we have the great privilege of having hotel clients that are pioneers in their sector and have more than 100 years of experience behind them. Our partnership with SiteMinder means we can now offer these and our other hotel clients the opportunity to integrate their Timon Hotel property management system with SiteMinder's Channel Manager so they can be more efficient and make more intelligent decisions around how they run their hotel business."Over the past three decades, Timon Hotel has grown to manage more than 100,000 hotel beds across Mallorca and the Balearic islands, which attract around 13 million travellers each year."The volume of tourists that visit Mallorca every year is nearly ten times the size of the island's entire population, which goes to show how important tourism is to local hotels," says Mr Millan.Among those hotels is Ola Hotels, a three and four-star hotel group that has adopted SiteMinder's Channel Manager to increase its online reach to travellers booking their accommodation in Mallorca. Ola Hotels offers travellers nearly 1,200 rooms within its eight properties."SiteMinder's Channel Manager has helped us control the availability of all our hotels online and also allowed us to achieve total rate parity, which has been essential to be more competitive in the market," says the hotel group's revenue manager, Manuel Oliver.Dai Williams, managing director - EMEA at SiteMinder, says today's wins are testament to SiteMinder's increasingly-strong brand recognition in Spain, which has enabled the company's cloud-based technology to gain traction in a market traditionally dominated by tour operators and offline distribution methods."There is a clear desire among hotels in the Balearic's tourist destinations to be more visible online, and we are fully committed to empowering those hotels - and hotels right across Spain - to be seen by the online consumer, especially during the summer."About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major GDSs. With more than 22,000 hotel customers and 400 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.About Timon HotelSince 1989 Evolucion Informatica has specialised in analysing management issues in the hotel industry and dedicating its efforts to developing effective solutions. The result of this work is Timon Hotel, a management program that allows hotels to obtain relevant information at the appropriate time while saving time and money in managing their facilities, as well as ensuring continued adaptation to the hotel industry.Today we are one of the largest suppliers of solutions for managing hotel information. Currently more than 300 establishments rely on Timon Hotel - distributed among the main tourist destinations in Spain, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Cuba - which collectively manage more than 100,000 beds. Our customers are companies of renowned prestige, which we proud of.For more information, visit www.timonhotel.com.About Ola HotelsOla Hotels is dedicated to the operation of hotels and apartments, with extensive experience gained in some of Europe's major source markets. Ola Hotels currently has a network of eight properties in the prime tourist areas of Mallorca, and has plans to continue expanding.For more information, visit www.olahotels.com.
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Alpin Rentals luxury group appoints SiteMinder to take control of inventory and rates

SiteMinder 23 August 2016
Five months ahead of opening its 16th property in Austria, luxury apartment and chalet group Alpin Rentals has appointed SiteMinder to take control of managing its inventory and room rates. The appointment sees Alpin Rentals adopt SiteMinder's Channel Manager, the global hotel industry's leading cloud platform for online room inventory and dynamic rate management, at its 15 properties located in the alpine destinations of Kaprun, Zell am See, Saalbach and Leogang.Alpin Rentals' marketing & sales manager, Alexandra Wocheslander, says the decision will help the group be more efficient as it looks to minimise costs and scale."Currently, each of our 15 properties offers over 200 types of apartments with varying prices, and, on average, each property connects to about five different booking portals. So, for us, it was very important to find a solution that could streamline the flow of information going out to each of these portals, so our hotel staff could save lots of time in the way they manage their inventory and room rates - especially as we grow," Ms Wocheslander says."SiteMinder has met this need with a user-friendly platform that, in our sector, where many staff changes are common and there is almost no time for training, is absolutely crucial. It is for this same reason that SiteMinder's local customer support was so attractive; we know we will always experience unforeseen problems and so it was important to us to know we would get quick and professional support when those problems occurred."For seven years, Alpin Rentals has offered travellers a home away from home in the Alps. The luxury group's latest project is Avenida Panorama Suites, an apartment hotel that opens in December in Kaprun, where it will soon also establish a new office to house its management, marketing & sales, accounting and reservations teams.Dai Williams, managing director - EMEA at SiteMinder, says, "SiteMinder is delighted Alpin Rentals has adopted The Channel Manager across its stunning and unique portfolio of properties. Alpin Rentals' decision reflects the powerful capability offered by SiteMinder's cloud-based platform to support all hotels in getting back to what they do best - focusing on the guest, the consumer, while we focus on the technology on their behalf."About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major GDSs. With more than 22,000 hotel customers and 400 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.About Alpin RentalsAlpin Rentals is a home away from home in the alps. Established in 2009, Alpin Rentals today provides more than 200 luxury apartments and chalets centrally located in the beautiful destinations of Kaprun, Zell am See, Saalbach and Leogang, and surrounded by breathtaking landscapes of lakes, mountains and the Kitzsteinhorn glacier.For more information, visit alpinrentals.com.
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SiteMinder report: Average booking value on direct hotel websites nearly double that on third-party channels

SiteMinder 9 August 2016
The average booking value hotels are realising on their direct website is nearly double the value they are receiving from third-party booking channels, the global hotel industry's leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, reveals today.The finding is based on the 43.5 million reservations that passed through SiteMinder's technology over the 12 months ending June 2016 to generate US$16 billion in revenue for the company's 22,000 hotel customers around the world. An analysis of the year-long data found that the average reservation was US$340 through SiteMinder's Channel Manager, which streamlines reservations made on more than 350 largely third-party booking websites, while the average reservation was US$600 through SiteMinder's Internet booking engine, TheBookingButton, which facilitates bookings on a hotel's own website.SiteMinder's managing director, Mike Ford, says the finding highlights that hotels should be investing heavily in ensuring they have a balanced approach to distribution and that they are focusing on their direct booking strategy in order to maximise direct conversions and therefore profit."Our data shows that hotels globally are achieving 1.8 times more, on average, for accommodation booked via their own direct website than via OTAs and other third-party channels. While we can't forget the reach these third-party sites provide to hotels, it's important to note that direct bookings are not only achieving higher value overall but there is no commission payable on them so they are very much more profitable," says Mr Ford."Today's finding not only highlights the need for hotels to focus on direct booking technology and improving their own website and search rankings, but also points to the fact that hotels need to ensure that they are at least at parity with OTAs and other third-party channels in order to compete effectively. Too many hoteliers are giving OTAs better rates than their own websites which is not smart given the profitability of direct bookings."The total revenue and reservations generated through SiteMinder's technology have grown 122 percent and 142 percent, respectively, over the past three years. Every minute, SiteMinder now powers 83 reservations worth more than US$30,000 in revenue for its hotel customer base which spans 160 countries on six continents.In addition to TheBookingButton - which, alone, powered 1.75 million reservations worth US$1.05 billion in revenue for hotels over the past year - and The Channel Manager, SiteMinder's technological solutions include GDS by SiteMinder, a single point of entry to the industry's major global distribution systems, Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers, and Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms.About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major GDSs. With more than 22,000 hotel customers and 400 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.
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SiteMinder opens Ireland office to support 10 years of rapid global growth

SiteMinder 2 August 2016
One month ahead of its 10-year milestone, the hotel industry's leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, today announces the opening of its new office in Galway, Ireland, to support its 20,000-strong-and-fast-growing global hotel customer base. The office will complement SiteMinder's existing EMEA headquarters in London to service hotels both within the region and around the world, and to form the company's fifth office alongside Bangkok, Dallas and Sydney.Leading the operation will be general manager Ruairi Conroy, who joins SiteMinder from AdRoll and, prior, Google.Dai Williams, managing director - EMEA at SiteMinder, based in London, says, "Europe now constitutes the greatest proportion of SiteMinder's total customer base and we anticipate we will continue to experience vigorous growth from this region over the years to come.""We are delighted to join the thriving technology hub of Galway, which offers us a terrific pool of local talent who are passionate about technology and who can further fuel the success of our multilingual sales and customer support teams servicing hotels located in Europe and all corners of the globe. We are also pleased to welcome Ruairi to the SiteMinder business and look forward to growing the Galway operation under his leadership."Nearly 55 percent of accommodation bookings made by European travellers are now made online, according to Eurostat.1 By the end of 2017, Europe is expected to become the first continent to see offline overtaken by online as the primary booking method for travel products, with Germany, Italy and Spain leading the online adoption.2The Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, through IDA Ireland, says it supports SiteMinder's office opening in Ireland where the tourism sector constitutes almost four percent of gross national product and 11 percent of total employment.3The Irish Government's Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Mary Mitchell O'Connor, T.D. says, "I'm delighted to welcome such a dynamic company as SiteMinder to Galway. Galway is fast becoming a tech hub and SiteMinder is an exciting addition with the creation of at least 100 jobs, which will benefit the entire region and have a positive knock-on effect. As Minister my priority is to ensure an environment for job growth is developed right across the country and in particular the regions of Ireland. I wish the SiteMinder team the very best and I am sure that we will be hearing a lot more from this exciting company in the near future."SiteMinder's established customer base in Ireland includes Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel and K Club, as well as Galway's own The Connacht Hotel and The g Hotel and Spa.About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major GDSs. With more than 20,000 hotel customers and 400 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.
Article by Kevin O'Rourke

Chatbots and the Guest Experience: How are hotels using messenger apps?

SiteMinder 23 June 2016
Let's face facts. We love to chat. And, believe it or not, there is little difference between men and women when it comes to the number of words we speak a day - 16,000 on average, according to a University of Arizona study a few years back.Sadly, technology is often blamed for stifling human interaction and, in particular, the art of meaningful conversation.So it's no surprise, then, that some of the technology industry's best-loved platforms have historically centered around chatting.At its peak, MSN Messenger had 330 million users - three times greater than LinkedIn's current database.Another great example is AOL, which in 2006 had a 52% share of the instant messaging market in the US alone before a steady demise took hold, as users began taking more notice of the likes of Facebook.And now it seems they're making a comeback - well, kind of.Chatbots: The new norm for travelChatbots, conversational robot agents designed to stimulate intelligent conversation with its human users, are fast-becoming the norm in the hotel industry.They might not mean anything to you right now, but Viv, Lola, and M are rewriting the rulebook when it comes to instant service and all part of a new breed of chat-based concierge-style applications to help people manage their lives.While Lola is specific to travel, and launched by a former Kayak executive, M has been developed by Facebook, and Viv by the creators of Apple's Siri.There are others - Pana, for example - which is also specific to travel. Then, most recently Google announced its 'Assistant' service. Given Google's existing presence in travel, as well as its recent launch of the Trips app, its assistant could arguably be the one to watch in this resurgence of messenger services.If it all seems a bit far-fetched for the hospitality industry, then think again. There's already a bit more to this trend than the figment of our techie imaginations.Dutch airline KLM is using the Facebook Messenger chat service to send passengers booking confirmations, flight notifications, and even their boarding passes.Translate this to the hotel industry and any property could keep up a dialogue with guests throughout the booking process, the stay, and post-stay.Meet: EdwardLast month, Booking.com launched a chatbot to connect hotels and travelers with its service working in two ways. Guests can ask their host a question on any device from within their Booking.com account. The conversation is free from templates or automated scripted text making the service less robotic and more naturally conversational. Hosts can also start conversations with their guests. A notification is sent to users bringing them into a conversation via the Booking.com messenger.And, Edwardian Hotels London has created the aptly-named virtual host, Edward. He's available at 12 properties across London and enables guests to request amenities such as fresh towels or room service via text message.Edward can give guests information about local bars and restaurants and has been designed to respond within a few seconds. He can even facilitate complaints, and guests can ask for an immediate callback to engage with hotel staff the 'old-fashioned' way.Again, natural conversational language is built-in to the app and backed up with 'live assistance' when needed. Significantly for hoteliers, this is a ready-made engagement channel that millions of people are already very comfortable using.Edward is powered by Aspect Software and Joe Gagnon, SVP and chief customer strategy officer, says Edwardian Hotels London is simply tapping into the familiarity of everyday activities."Texting and messaging will very soon become the simple and central entry point for the entire customer service ecosystem since it's quick, private and easy to use," explains Gagnon. "It's already a part of most smartphone owners' everyday lives; it is much more convenient for us to order room service, or get recommendations from Edward on the local tourist hotspots - all with a simple text. Aspect's self-service technology can be designed for one channel and then used across others, which will enable Edwardian Hotels London to provide consistency of service across interactions."WhatsApp and WeChat are also likely to make their presence felt in this space, with the latter being especially strong in Asia where it has some 700 million monthly active users.What it all comes down to: Enhancing the guest experienceA number of travel brands, airlines and hotels, are now experimenting with the above channels. WeChat already offers the ability to make flight reservations.Starwood Hotels has, meanwhile, been using WhatsApp and other chat services to enable guests to make requests during their stay. Hyatt has been using Facebook Messenger and has said about 10% of customer service messages that come via social channels are now from Messenger.With big names such as Facebook, Google and possibly soon Microsoft, with its own virtual assistant in development, travel-specific equivalents will have a hard job making themselves stand out.The benefits of this new breed of services are clear, however. The customer engages with the hotel or other business in a live and contextual way.The hotel knows who the customer is, what they have purchased before, and what their preferences are.Google has said it will be using its knowledge graph to help its Assistant provide the best answers for travelers.These apps can also remove some of the pain-points. They connect everything in a more seamless way enabling businesses to finally begin to bridge the gap between online and offline services.This is an interesting development at a time when many independent hotels are still struggling with having an engaging website and responsive mobile presence. Technology such as SiteMinder's website creator, Canvas, exists to give independent hoteliers the platform they need to compete. And Internet booking engines, such as TheBookingButton, also by SiteMinder, provides the mechanisms for hoteliers to engage with their guests at all stages of their customer journey.If independent hoteliers are savvy enough to get on board with this technology and get ahead, then chat assistants can quickly become another way to engage with customers in a place where consumers are already present and comfortable.
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SiteMinder launches 'Prophet', real-time hotel pricing intelligence for the modern age

SiteMinder 21 June 2016
SiteMinder, the global hotel industry's leading cloud platform, today launches 'Prophet', a real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing hotel rooms and brings hotel software to the modern age. Prophet is being unveiled at HITEC and forms the latest addition to SiteMinder's award-winning suite of smart and simple technology for hoteliers who are looking to attract, reach and convert guests globally online.SiteMinder's managing director, Mike Ford, says, "Prophet is about empowering the world's hoteliers who know revenue management is critical but don't have the time, budget or expertise to harness the rapidly-changing rate and market data available to them and use it to their advantage. Prophet purposefully breaks market rate and demand intelligence down into consumable and meaningful insights that matter, so hoteliers can optimize room rates, maximise profitability, and stay ahead of competition easily and at an affordable cost."Providing continually up-to-date, aggregated market data that is refreshed daily or live on request by hoteliers through the system, users of Prophet will be able to analyze their competitor set in one consolidated screen and respond to demand up to a year in advance. Through the product's unique notifications feature, users will receive email alerts based on their pre-defined rules on market fluctuations, so they can say goodbye to manual forecasting and react quicker with strategic pricing decisions.Prophet will appeal to a broad spectrum of accommodation providers, from the smallest hotels up to mid-sized chains, with pricing plans that start free at the entry level and are available at a low monthly fee for more advanced users, to cater for different needs and levels of sophistication.Mr Ford says, importantly, Prophet embodies SiteMinder's design-led philosophy of allowing hotels to sign up instantly, set themselves up within minutes and enjoy the user experience."The simplicity of Prophet is intentional. As an industry, hoteliers have historically been exposed to clunky, slow and often unappealing software - and they've had no choice but to get used to that. It's meant that our industry has been left behind from a software modernization perspective. Through solutions like Prophet, SiteMinder shows that software can still serve a function effectively while looking beautiful and being a pleasure to use."As with the beginnings of our established products, we did want to start small with Prophet and allow our early adopters to not only be a part of the experience but to shape its future. It's our belief that partnering with hotels is the only way to create truly market-leading technology, as opposed to building in isolation and hoping hotels will see its value."One of those early adopters is Quest Southbank - Melbourne. The property's general manager, Jeremy Longstaff, says, "Being a property of nearly 90 rooms, we find that even half a dozen rooms moving on any single date can result in major changes to occupancy percentage, and ultimately result in lots of changes to how we manage our revenue overall. So, speedy and visually easy-to-read data is vital - and SiteMinder's Prophet provides that to us."Prophet now complements SiteMinder's channel management, booking engine and website product solutions, to further empower hoteliers in competing for the online consumer.About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major GDSs. With more than 20,000 hotel customers and 400 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com or the team at HITEC, stand #1611.

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