YieldPlanet at FITUR 2019

YieldPlanet at FITUR 2019

YieldPlanet at FITUR 2019

This year we will be attending the most important International Tourism Fair that takes place in Spain, FITUR 2019. Our stand will be located in Hall 10 in the Fitur Know How & Export Area – STAND B17.

This year our team has prepared surprises for all the hoteliers who come by our stand. From raffles to special promotions for contracts closed during the fair.

On Wednesday, January 23rd and Thursday, January 24th, our representatives will be offering live demos of two of our systems: the Channel Manager and the Price Optimizer.

For more information on what will is scheduled on each day, please, check out our program below:

Wednesday 23rd:

We will be receiving visitors from 10:00 to 18:00 at our stand, offering demos of the YieldPlanet Channel Manager and YieldPlanet Price Optimizer.

If you do not know our solutions or have not used them for more than a year, we are convinced that you will be surprised to see the new integrations of our intelligent distribution tools.

Request a meeting or demo and we will attend you in a personalized manner in our stand:
To request an appointment fill in the form or email us.

At 17:30 we will raffle a one-year contract for free of the Channel Manager (Essential version – Up to 5 channels) to everyone who has requested information and who has the raffle tickets. Ask our representatives to learn more about the conditions of the this raffles.

* Raffle limited to 20 participants
* Ballots will be given to the first 20 to arrive between 17:00 to 17:30 in our stand.

Thursday 24:

We will be receiving visitors from 10:00 to 17:00 at our stand, offering demos of the YieldPlanet Channel Manager and YieldPlanet Price Optimizer.

At 17:30 we celebrating our yieldTonic Fitur 2019:

Have a Yieldtonic with us, while our Sales Managers, Roberto Sánchez and Tristán Cnudde present the main functionalities of our RMS Price Optimizer and the new characteristics of YieldPlanet’s Channel Manager.

Discover the Channel Manager’s new functionalities through our interactive presentation.

At 6:00 pm we will raffle among the attendees:

1. One year of free Channel Manager service (Essential version – Up to 5 channels)
2. 6 months of free Price Optimizer Start service with initial audit included.

Raffle limited to 20 participants
A ballot will be given to the first 20 to arrive from 5:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.

We hope to see you at FITUR 2019!

A step-by-step guide to achieving success with revenue management I

A step-by-step guide to achieving success with revenue management I

A step-by-step guide to achieving success with revenue management I

The revenue management concept was devised thirty years ago and is effectively employed today by most hotels and airlines. However, even though hotel managers often talk about revenue management, the definition of the concept differs depending on the individual… One thing is for certain – revenue managers are faced with the most important challenge in running a hotel, namely selling the right rooms to the right customers at the right time and rate through the right sales channel.

What is Revenue Management?

The revenue management concept was devised thirty years ago and is effectively employed today by most hotels and airlines. However, even though hotel managers often talk about revenue management, the definition of the concept differs depending on the individual… One thing is for certain – revenue managers are faced with the most important challenge in running a hotel, namely selling the right rooms to the right customers at the right time and rate through the right sales channel.

This article is aimed at broadening your understanding of hotel revenue management. Using my experience, I will try to familiarize you with the concept of revenue management and to present you with a ten-point list of the best practices of its implementation.

Let us start with some history.

A short history of revenue management

Revenue management emerged when the US federal government made the move to deregulate airlines at the beginning of the eighties. A few years on, sales performance strategy planning became a commonplace practice among the biggest carriers. Revenue management even has its unofficial birthday – 17 January 1985 – the day on which American Airlines launched its “Ultimate Super Saver” special offer aimed at weakening their competitor, the low-cost PEOPLExpress airline.

The hotel industry was quick to notice the benefits that airlines gained from embracing revenue management. However, it was initially slow to spread across hotel chains as they lacked adequate data processing technology and often had little guest data to process. What is more, the main obstacle that had to be overcome was managing the length of stay – a variable that was not present in airline revenue management.

The economic roots of revenue management

Understanding the close ties between economics and revenue management is essential if one wishes to understand the philosophy behind the latter. The process of devising hotel rate strategies is directly tied to economic concepts: both revenue management and economics emphasize the meaning of supply and demand as well as the price elasticity of demand. These concepts, combined with methods of determining the associated indicators, are crucial for successful revenue management.

Integrating revenue management into hotel operations

Revenue management is not an independent process in hotel operations. Its full potential becomes apparent only when it is integrated into the remaining hotel management processes. Employees should be familiarized with it and it should become an inherent part of hotel operations. The revenue management culture should be introduced with strong support from the management and be based on a strong conviction in the positive outcomes that the associated practices will bring. Hotel management should set sales goals for each department and for the hotel as a whole. Introducing additional salary bonuses, especially at the departmental level, is also a good solution. When team members are motivated, they focus on doing that which is best for the hotel and not for themselves personally.

Revenue management should not be perceived solely as a manner of conducting business as a hotel, but encompass all of the hotel’s activities with a common commitment from all individuals involved.

Research your market

Below are several questions that will test your knowledge of the market:

  • What is your market penetration?
  • What is the market share of the individual segments of your business?
  • What is your hotel’s position in the market?

Business intelligence reports covering the hotel industry may prove very helpful in obtaining the above information. A good revenue manager is well aware of the influence that external and internal factors have on the local market and on the hotel’s position within it. As a revenue manager, you may carry out a SWOT analysis of the above factors. Do not forget to also carry out a thorough comparative analysis.

Ask yourself the following simple questions to determine your position in the market:

    • Does your hotel set or follow price trends?
    • If your hotel sets price trends, then have you compiled an accurate

list of your competitors? Do you know what factors should be taken into account when doing so? Is your list of competitors based on the number of bookings or only the room rates?

    • How is your hotel positioned with regard to its business mix?
    • What is your RGI (Revenue Generation Index)?

The next article in this series elaborates on the subjects of market segmentation, revenue strategy, forecasting and setting rates. Read PART 2: The basic ingredients of the revenue management recipe.


About the Author 

Zak Ali, the Global Revenue Development Director at YieldPlanet, has over 12 years of experience in Revenue Management and hotel distribution. Zak has managed hotels of various sizes in many of the world’s key markets, including London, Dubai and Singapore. He has also taken part in creating a global rate application which has been implemented in 3000 hotels. Zak is a Certified Revenue Management Executive (CRME), a title awarded by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI).

Big data and the modern hotel industry

Big data and the modern hotel industry

Big data and the modern hotel industry

Running a 21st century hotel requires processing a staggering amount of data, including rates, types of rooms, booking details and the competition’s activity on booking portals. The growing importance of the Internet forces hotel operators to search for tools that will help them manage the massive flow of data and analyze it with the aim of making key business decisions.

Due to a rapid development of the Internet the hotel industry, just like any other industry in the world – has been undergoing some big changes. The World Wide Web holds a gigantic amount of data with terabytes of information flowing among servers. The development of Internet shopping, social media, tourist websites, etc. requires data to be arranged in ways that will allow the businesses to grow further. This is where big data comes in.

Big data – what exactly is it and how can it apply to your business?

It is a concept used to define enormous collections of data that are hard to process and analyze, but further information leading to new business opportunities may be extracted from them. Using user data makes it possible to carry out successful advertising on the Internet. Tracking the behavior of users visiting hotel websites provides information on what exactly they are interested in. This allows hoteliers to carry out personalized advertising campaigns, both through email, as well as through displaying banners, for example using Google’s advertising network. Big data informs hoteliers on the number of prospective guests who visit the website through smartphones and traditional computers. It is big data that makes it possible to form target groups used in Google Adwords and Facebook campaigns. There are currently several thousand websites through which hotels sell their services. Some of them are large and well-known, such as Booking.com and Expedia, but there are also numerous small local OTAs and those that offer only a selection of hotel services, e.g. wedding receptions. Hotels currently rent their rooms through an average of 5-10 OTAs, whereas big hotel chains sometimes use as many as 25 OTAs at once. Effectively managing such a big number of channels, including full sales analyses and competition monitoring, is extremely time-consuming and, at a certain point, becomes a huge burden for hoteliers. This is where professional multichannel selling tools come to your rescue. They centralize all sales in a single account and, thus, hotel operators are not required to log into all of the websites one by one.

Channel Manager: a tool to process big data

YieldPlanet’s Channel Manager is one such tool. It uses SaaS technology (which means that you are not required to install it on your computer) and because it is connected to more than 500 most popular OTAs, GDS, wholesalers, etc. it provides you with a wide range of distribution channels to choose from. Channel Manager is also integrated with most popular PMS systems and, therefore, provides a trouble-free and quick transfer of data from partner websites to the hotel’s website.

Central processing of large amounts of data, and in the case of tools meant to manage room reservations this includes mainly rates, restrictions, bookings, types of rooms, etc., become easier thanks to the principles of automatic sales. You only need to define the basic room type and rate plan after which the system will recalculate all of the plans for all types of rooms within a specified time period. This allows you to plan sales months in advance without worrying that your employees will forget to take care of it while they are preoccupied with their other duties. Another example is the central allotment function that allows you to manage all bookings and cancellations through an automatic system that updates room availability across all channels.

Use big data to monitor your competitors

Big data also makes it possible to follow what the competition is doing. A single OTA website hosts offer from thousands of hotels. Each of them has a number of room types and various special offers. Such large amounts of data may only be processed in a short time by using an algorithm. Sales channel management tools are able to monitor the rates of selected hotels in a given time period. Users are provided with a report that will prove helpful in planning short-term sales strategies and making key decisions regarding rates. A revenue manager who is keeping up with the times will use management tools to not only supervise sales channels but also manage rates. The available tools identify and recommend rate strategies that correspond with the hotel’s general strategy based on an in-depth analysis of customer habits. Revenue management systems use big data to analyze historical data, but also forecast rates up to a year in advance. YieldPlanet has recently teamed up with academics from across the world to work on a new rate management tool. This will be a new generation tool using algorithms that mimic the artificial intelligence of a virtual revenue manager.

Many would probably wonder why you should invest in such solutions. However, the annual growth of the world hotel market in essence forces you to use increasingly modern tools, which will do complex data analyses for you and streamlinedecision-makingg processes. Are you ready for the new dimension of hotel operations?

Spring – a perfect season to offer hotel packages

Spring – a perfect season to offer hotel packages

Spring – a perfect season to offer hotel packages

Create added value spring packages to attract guests to your hotel and increase your occupancy. Spring is the perfect season to take a special interest in planning the ideal getaway for your guests. To get more customers, you do not necessarily need to lower rates. In truth, lower rates do not always create room demand. You may sell a few more rooms, but you will difficulty sell enough rooms to offset revenue lost due to lowered rates.

What you need to do is to come up with more creative ways to get people through doors and increase room revenue. This can be achieved simply by adding value to your offer. Creating and promoting special deals such as Spring retreat packages is a good way to accomplish this.

In honor of the arrival of spring, you can offer a romantic “Birds & Herbs” package for couples or a „Bike & Hike” for active and adventurers. For example, a “Birds & Herbs” package would include a room with a garden or lake view, complimentary freshly squeezed juices or a fruit basket, a massage with oil herbs at the hotel SPA and a gift basket with spa-themed toiletries. Other packages could include great local food with seasonal products and spa treatments, or a budget accommodation spiced up with a picnic lunch for two. You can price these packages slightly higher than normal rates, as the complimentary items add value to the overall experience. Packages allow you to mask actual room rates with features which add benefits to staying at your property.

Before making packages for this season, you can get some useful insights by asking our previous guests what would be a perfect vacation mix for them. Simply use your guest database and send them an email or survey.

Learn more on how to set and promote packages on your website

6 tips to make your photos sell rooms

6 tips to make your photos sell rooms

6 tips to make your photos sell rooms

Check out our 6 easy tricks on how to use room images to your full advantage.

Good room photos give your bookings a leg up.Along with prices, images are the first thing visitors who book online look at. You should, therefore, make sure each room type offered through your booking engine is not only clearly described but also illustrated by several high-quality photos of different parts of the room.

  • Get the most from your images: a good selection of attractive, high-quality pictures will promote your hotel well;
  • Give your guests the full picture: take photos of the room, bathroom, and a couple other angles to provide guests with a more complete visualization;
  • Think beyond the room: for example, if you are offering a room facing the sea, it is advisable to showcase the pictures of both the room and the sea view;
  • Make them feel at home: include a picture with a stack of fluffy towels, nice toiletries, and slippers;
  • Take them on a trip with your photos: make your potential guests imagine lounging on the bed with a glass of champagne or enjoying a bubble bath on the tube. Emotion is everything when it comes to selling;
  • Take them on a trip with your photos: make your potential guests imagine lounging on the bed with a glass of champagne or enjoying a bubble bath on the tube. Emotion is everything when it comes to selling;
  • Depict the target group of guests – especially when it comes to MICE, SPAs or hotels which organize weddings, you can add photos with people and let the guests identify themselves with the models an events on the pictures.
  • Remember that images play a key role in the decision to book. As we live in the age of visual culture, let the pictures do the talking!

Rate parity or differentiated pricing, the choice is yours

Rate parity or differentiated pricing, the choice is yours

Rate parity or differentiated pricing, the choice is yours

New rules in online distribution might be well underway, but rate parity it is still very often a contractual requirement for the hotel to do business with large OTAs. For many properties, the practice of rate parity goes beyond any binding agreement. It is part of the hotel’s strategy as it ensures a consistent price and supports the brand by adding to its rate integrity.

YieldPlanet helps hoteliers willing to maintain consistent prices for all partners, for all the various room types, dates and restrictions. By automating the entire process, YieldPlanet’s Channel Manager takes risk, cost, and effort out of online channel management – so that the hotelier can sell online in full confidence and focus on other important hotel management tasks. In addition, YieldPlanet’s Price Shopper allows verification of the hotel’s pricing over the last 30 days across up to three different OTAs. A red highlighting will alert the user to prices which may not respect rate parity.

For hotels wishing to differentiate their pricing strategy, YieldPlanet’s Channel Manager can help in ways. The mapping tables allow you to introduce formulas (plus or minus an amount or percentage of the price) which enable different prices per channel. It is also possible to display price and availability separately for each OTA, where values can be input manually.

Regardless of your price strategy, it is worth to remember that room rate is just one of the tools at your disposal to attract and satisfy guests. With this in mind, YieldPlanet designed products ready to serve different pricing structures and strategies, depending on your hotel, room products, and services.

Website photo gallery

Website photo gallery

Website photo gallery

The website photo gallery is the hotel’s visit card. Thus it should provide visitors with the first impression of the place where they’ll be staying and what is in there for them.

As such, make sure that your gallery includes photos of:

  • the property: its lobby, guest rooms, the restaurants, and other amenities;
  • the area: hotel exterior, surroundings, views from the room(s) and eventually the local attractions;
  • the services: recreational areas, SPA, fitness center, concierge, etc.

You can divide your photo gallery into tabs to better target your group of clients and enhance user experience. Each of the tabs will be a thematic photo album (e.g. Weddings, Golf, Scuba Diving, etc.). Put yourself in the shoes of potential guests and group photos according to the different audiences. What do they want to see? A group of friends on a diving getaway is probably not willing to look through wedding photos, nor a couple planning their honeymoon hoping to see a few buddies swinging their golf clubs.

Once the photos are selected and grouped, you can also add a tag to your photos to improve your search engine ranking on Google!

France prohibits Rate Parity clauses by law

France prohibits Rate Parity clauses by law

France prohibits Rate Parity clauses by law

As expected, on July 9th, the French National Assembly voted in favor of suppressing rate parity clauses in contracts between hotels and online travel agencies (OTA) and qualifying the term of contracts as a “contrat de mandat”. The law applies regardless of where the online booking platform is based and sets a fine up to 150 thousand euros for its violation.

This is the first decision at the legislative level, in Europe, that explicitly prohibits such anti-competitive clauses in these agreements, forcing hotels to not to sell their rooms at lower prices than offered in the OTAs. Unless hotel reservation platforms challenge the decision via the Constitutional Council, hoteliers in France will soon be able to offer their customers the rates they want in their own online and offline channels.

France thus follows the example of Germany who, as first, through the competition authority had banned this practice.

Start growing your mobile bookings today

Start growing your mobile bookings today

Start growing your mobile bookings today

With 335 million devices sold around the world during Q1 2015, smartphones are ubiquitous and their usage keeps growing. Travellers are no exception – today more than half of them book their hotel stays and flights with their smartphones. In the US alone, last year 40% of travellers switched from traditional desktop/laptop computers to mobile devices for travel-related tasks.

How can you take advantage of this trend?

First and foremost, if your hotel has its own website make sure it displays nicely on the smaller screens of smartphones and tablets. In fact, after the recent adjustment of Google’s algorithm mobile device compatibility has become a must: your site might have been on the first page of Google’s search results, if it’s not mobile friendly it will no longer be visible. Google’s decision may be controversial but it reflects the key role of mobile Internet usage.

Contact details

A website content you see on a large computer screen will most likely appear differently on a mobile device. In particular, information might be shown in a different order, so it is important to keep the most important elements „above the fold” – i.e. in the area immediately visible after the user has loaded the page. The phone number and the email address of your hotel, as well as the contact form, should be in this area. A mobile webpage can be very long so don’t make your visitors search for your contact details endlessly!

Next, if you already have w responsive, mobile-friendly website, keep in mind a few rules which might help you grow your bookings.

Booking engine

If you are using a booking engine make sure it is usable on a mobile screen. In particular, navigation elements should be large enough (make it easy for your visitor to hit the „book it” button with his/her finger). Luckily a growing number of booking engines are mobile friendly. And if you choose YieldPlanet’s Booking Engine, you will also benefit from seamless integration with your website – the booking page is just another page within your web domain, rather than a pop-up window hosted on a third-party booking domain.

How to get there…

Some of your potential guests are searching for accommodation whilst already on the road. Make it easy for them to reach your hotel, wherever they are. It is as simple as adding a Google map to your website with your hotel’s position marked – visitors of the mobile version will be able to use your coordinates to navigate and find your hotel easily.

Minimize the weight of your pages

Despite broadband access offered by most cellular networks, in many places around the world mobile Internet can still be painfully slow. This means that your web pages, when accessed via a mobile device, should be lighter than your standard pages. For example, your mobile page can use smaller and fewer pictures – you can keep just a couple of images that illustrate your property the best.

Mobile ads

If you advertise via Google Adwords remember to optimize your ads for mobile devices. This will increase the number of visits to your website. If you send email newsletters do you know that most email marketing service providers make it possible to send responsive emails, adapted to mobile devices? Simply provide an alternative design, adapted to smaller screens, to improve the results of your email campaigns.

Become a “mobile-friendly” hotelier to stay ahead of your competitors and grow your bookings today.
Sources: idc.com

Get started with wholesale distribution

Get started with wholesale distribution

Get started with wholesale distribution

It is no news that the wholesale segment has been losing out a significant share of online business to OTAs. Nevertheless, hotels should still consider wholesale companies as important providers of accommodation booking services in the travel market. In fact, for many hotels, wholesalers are not only significant but vital business partners.

It is said that distribution providers are put at the service of both consumers and hotels. On one hand, wholesalers give the global community of leisure travel buyers access to a full range of properties around the world, while on the other they offer opportunities for hotels, allowing them to access different client segments and sub-segments in any country.

Adding a wholesaler as an online sales channel broadens the hotel distribution network consisting of online travel agencies, tour operators, brokers and consolidators. Hotels gain access to new global markets and see their all-year round occupancy improved, which ultimately helps them to adjust to seasonal fluctuations.

If you are new to wholesales distribution here is a brief overview for you to get started.
The wholesaler is normally an aggregator or a bed bank, from whom Tour Operators and Travel Agents can buy. Wholesalers generally work with hotels of all sizes, from hostels and B&Bs to the industry leading chains. They usually contract with a commission that can vary between 20% and 40% (which includes the commission of the TO and travel agent), which means that the wholesaler rate will normally be the lowest.

Thanks to the integration into wholesaler’s online environment, properties using a leading channel management technology, such as YieldPlanet’s, are able to centrally and easily maintain inventory and room rates, while increasing their exposure through various distribution channels.
Learn more about how to broaden your online distribution and request the full list of wholesalers with whom we are integrated here.

Generating direct bookings with metasearch engines

Generating direct bookings with metasearch engines

Generating direct bookings with metasearch engines

Nowadays, metasearch engines are a fast-growing advertising model in the travel industry. They can be an alternative channel for generating traffic and therefore represent an opportunity for hotels helping them to increase direct bookings.

Metasearch engines present a consolidated offer while providing travelers with a wide choice of properties and price transparency. The mechanism is simple with benefits for both hotels and consumers. Hotels pay advertising fees which ultimately lead to direct bookings. The traveler clicks on their chosen property and completes the transaction directly on the hotel website.

Metasearch engines search for the user’s request in other search engines and databases, aggregating then the result in a singles list. For travelers, this means easy access to real-time availability and pricing. For hotels, metasearch engines represent a key driver of traffic and direct bookings.

Metasearch engines can be an important tool to reduce their dependency from OTAs as they redirect the users to the property’s website, to complete the booking process. Generally, metasearch investment produces a very good return-on-ad-spend.

Metasearch engines, include the giants Google Hotel Finder, Trivago by Expedia, and TripAdvisor. The hotel’s goal should be to see themselves in the Google Hotel Finder metasearch pricing menus or among the top three features advertisers in the TripAdvisor meta-search menu. These metasearch functionalities, although not reaching very significant results at the moment, are constantly growing and increasing their functionalities, and could raise their role in hotel online distribution in the next few years.

Google Instant booking

Google Instant booking

Google Instant booking

The fast grow of metasearch engines has attracted Google to the sector. The search giant is now rising in importance in the hotel online distribution. First, Google has launched a metasearch engine for hotels, the Google Hotel Finder. Now they are testing Instant Booking, their own hotel room reservation system.

The fast growth of metasearch engines has attracted Google to the sector. The search giant is now rising in importance in the hotel online distribution. First, Google has launched a metasearch engine for hotels, the Google Hotel Finder. Now they are testing Instant Booking, their own hotel room reservation system.

Currently, travelers searching for a property with Google Hotel Finder are presented with a range of booking options. This mechanism works via price adds in which both hotels and OTAs can participate. When choosing a property, the user is being redirected respectively to the hotel website or to the OTA. In other words, the user leaves the Google interface and is taken to the bidder’s website.

With its new strategy, Google Instant Booking, thanks to metasearch engines and Google user experience, would keep the user within Google, disabling hotels and online travel agencies to complete the transactions.

The fact is that no launch has been officially announced. It is no wonder such secrecy around the topic. Being true, the launch of Google instant booking tool would represent a game changer in the online distribution.

3 tips to make the most of hotels’ partnership with OTAs

3 tips to make the most of hotels’ partnership with OTAs

3 tips to make the most of hotels’ partnership with OTAs

OTAs are here to stay and – like it or not – there isn’t much hotels can do about it. What hotels can and should do is to strengthen their partnership with the OTAs and focus on what they do best.

It suffices to look at the great example of OTAs as far as customer service, technological development and analysis of travel consumer behaviour is concerned. As such, and in order to make the most of their relationship with OTAs hotels should:

Get and defend a high rating score

Hotels can do that by listening to customer’s feedback and continuously improve their service based on the guests’ comments. Very often, travelers consult OTAs even before the booking. They use these channel while planning their vacation and read hotel descriptions and reviews in order to select a hotel for their holidays. This is why is so important to put an extra effort here and successfully communicating hotels’ brand image on OTAs.

Post good content

A good visual content and accurate descriptions give the hotel’s bookings a leg up. It is no novelty that hotel images along with the description play a key role in the decision to book. Thus they should provide visitors with the first impression of the place where they’ll be staying and what is in there for them. Each room type should not only be clearly described but also illustrated by several high-quality photos.

Communicate availability effectively

A key area for hotels to defend their competitive position is the communication of their long-term and last minute availability. The use of a channel manager makes this job easier as the tool includes online room inventory and rate management so that hotels can easily distribute their prices and availability among all OTAs.

Catering to Russian market

Catering to Russian market

Catering to Russian market

Russian travelers are increasingly booking trips abroad. Seeing as high-spending guests, each hotel should the possible and the impossible to cater to their needs. Otherwise, they’ll go and stay somewhere else.

Catering to Russian market

Invest in your Russian guests by localizing your hotel website in Russian and offering Russian-language call center and mobile apps. Additionally, you can add Russian-speaking butlers to the staff, create special menus cater to Russian tastes and offer Russian-language tour guides.

There is not a secret formula to succeed. Try to find our your way out by understanding what their needs are and how you should handle them. Then adapt your offer to this segment and eventually introduce amenities to deal specifically with the Russian segment.

One thing is sure, taking into consideration the overall spending of Russian guests, the rewards for the hotel can be sizeable.

Russians hunger for travel

Russians hunger for travel

Russians hunger for travel

Russia is one of the largest outbound markets in the world. Last year, nearly 40 million Russians traveled overseas, making them the world’s second-fastest growing group of tourists. In 2012, Russian tourists spent $43 billion abroad, placing them as the fifth highest-spending segment of the travel industry.

In recent years, Russia has been one of the major growth drivers for European outbound travel with double-digit annual growth rates. Between 2005 and 2013, the number of foreign trips taken by Russians more than doubled, rising 118% to reach 31.5 million trips last year, the World Travel Monitor from IPK International showed.

More than half (55%) of these holidaymakers head for beach destinations, while city trips (15%), tours (less than 10%) and other types of holiday are less important, IPK figures for 2013 show. Beach and city holidays have grown significantly since 2007. Russians also spent more on their foreign trips. The average length of stay for a foreign trip increased to 12 nights in 2013 from 11 nights in 2007 while spending rose by 35% per night on average. Russians also book holidays in advance much more than in the past, IPK figures show. Like in many countries, bookings through the internet have soared in recent years and now account for about 50% of bookings while travel agency bookings have remained stable at about 40%.

Online travel retail sales were one of the driving factors in 2013. Internet transaction value in all categories of travel retail recorded double-digit growth. Growing internet and mobile internet penetration, better consumer awareness and a growing number of online travel agencies in the country impacted the category’s development significantly.

Based on that growing popularity, internet travel agencies show significant expansion in Russia. ostrovok.ru, oktogo.ru and others are showing constant growth on the market. According to Euromonitor, the Russian online travel sales amounted to more than 570 million euros in 2014.

Total departures increased by 15% in 2013, to reach 51 million. The leading destination countries in 2013 were Ukraine (10 million departures), Finland (5 million departures) and Kazakhstan (4 million departures). Amongst the destinations that saw the most significant increases during 2013 were Greece (65%), India (64%), Thailand (39%) and the United Arab Emirates (34%).

What are the prospects for the future?

The number of outbound trips is expected to increase at a CAGR of 5% by 2018. The poor economic forecast and active development of the domestic destinations are two key reasons behind the expected slowdown of outgoing travel from Russia in the forecast period. However, outbound travel will still show positive dynamics as Russians still like to travel a lot if they can afford it.

Russia is not a homogeneous market – a number of different segments of travelers can be identified, ranging from the Rapidly Emerging Middle Classes, through the ‘Funky’ Young Professionals, the Upper Income Group and the Ultra-rich to the so-called ‘Golden Youth’ (the offspring of the Ultrarich).

The emerging middle classes take one or two trips a year on average, usually to sun and beach destinations – often booked at the last minute – and are very susceptible to marketing and promotions and destinations offering visa-free access or visas on arrival.

Sun and beach holidays will continue to predominate, although touring is increasingly popular, as are special-interest trips. The meetings industry, including incentive travel, will also grow. For the foreseeable future, there will continue to be new first-timers in search of mass-market, low priced travel options – mainly for sun and beach destinations – but the more traveled Russians will expect more and become more demanding. And hotels should be prepared to respond to that.

Source: World Travel Monitor

South Americans change travel patterns

South Americans change travel patterns

South Americans change travel patterns

Between 2009 and 2013, South American outbound travel grew by 50% in terms of the number of trips, twice as much as the overall global increase. Despite subsequent economic problems in the two largest economies in South America, Brazil, and Argentina, 43 percent of South American international travelers still want to travel this year as much as in 2015 and 27 percent might travel even more, according to IPK’s Latin American Travel Confidence Index for 2016.

Nevertheless, the outlook for South America in 2016 expects a moderate growth of just 1.9 percent for outbound travel from the region.

South American outbound travel has slowed in 2015 after several years of above-average high single-digit growth but still grew by 5% in the first eight months of the year partly due to the football World Cup in Brazil.

The estimated less than 2 percent growth in 2016 is due to continuing economic challenges in the region’s two main markets, Brazil and Argentina, which together accounted for about 50% of the South American outbound trips. In Brazil, the currency has devalued and that makes trips abroad more expensive while Argentina lost market share due to its economic problems.

The best economic performers at present are Columbia, Bolivia, and Uruguay.

Source: World Travel Monitor.

How to cater the world’s travel champs?

How to cater the world’s travel champs?

How to cater the world’s travel champs?

Germans are the champions of world travel and hotels should work to win their patronage.

The German market is very attractive: Germany has the largest population among EU countries with Germans spending more on foreign travel than any other nation, which is almost 70 billion euros per year. If you are looking to establish a market presence in Germany look no further. YieldPlanet offers a connection with the major German OTAs.

Contact us and we will provide you with valuable insights on how to pave the way for your entry into the German market.

Auf Wiedersehen Rate Parity!

Auf Wiedersehen Rate Parity!

Auf Wiedersehen Rate Parity!

The Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s Federal Competition Authorities issued on December 23, a decision that requires Booking.com to remove all rate parity clauses from its contracts with accommodation partners in Germany, by the end of January 2016.

Following the decision, Booking.com can no longer apply “best price” clauses in its contracts with hotels, and German hoteliers will be allowed to offer lower prices and different conditions on their own direct online and offline channels.

Booking.com already made public is intention to appeal the decision.

How to increase online visibility in Central Europe

How to increase online visibility in Central Europe

How to increase online visibility in Central Europe

The XML connectivity with Szallas enables YieldPlanet clients to make immediate prices and availability updates on the channel through YieldPlanet’s Channel Manager in a few clicks. This partnership is a great opportunity for hotels to drive more bookings by targeting local audience from the eight countries in Central Europe where Szallas operates.

The Szallas Group started in 2007 as a start-up founded by a group of friends. Today, it is a major player on the Hungarian hotel booking market, operating in eight countries and ten languages, in Central Europe.

How to use this channel to increase the number of guests?

Once your hotel is added to Szallas.hu it will become visible in all countries where Szallas operates with its portals. This means that a tourist from Hungary or from Slovakia looking for a stay in Poland will find your property when searching in his local Szallas OTA, and the hotel description is available simultaneously in 10 languages.

Are you ready to start distributing to a new sales channel? Click here to register to this OTA and fill in the web form. After submitting it, a Szallas’ sales specialist will contact you to assist you with the completion of the registration process.

Do not forget to contact our Customer Support in order to plug the new channel into YieldPlanet Channel Manager. The XML connection between YieldPlanet Channel Manager and Szallas Group allows you to manage prices and availabilities of your room inventory in real time.


Is Central Europe a new hit in tourism?

Is Central Europe a new hit in tourism?

Is Central Europe a new hit in tourism?

It seems that Central European countries are becoming a more and more approachable region for tourism. What is the region’s potential for the hotel industry? How it differs from Western Europe? How can you attract tourists from other regions to your hotel if you operate in Central Europe?

Hidden from tourists for much of the 20th century, Central Europe has not been a well-established touristic region until recently. In the eyes of many globetrotters, the region, between the Carpathians and the Baltic Sea is closely associated with its tumultuous past, the Iron Curtain and its mix of the Slavic languages. Changing with every moment that goes by, the countries from this region are now full members of the European Union, and as they adapt to greater European culture and reflect the plunge into modern day capitalism, the region is becoming a touristic destination to remember.

Economic development has a real impact on the hotel industry. Given the standard of living of the inhabitants of Central Europe, wealthier citizens are more willing to book accommodation in hotels, even luxury ones. Twenty five years after the fall of the Soviet Union and the regimes of satellite states, Central European countries are trying to catch up with respect to Western Europe. Citizens are quite hungry for the same standards as their neighbours from the west enjoy. Nine years ago the Polish GDP per capita was 54% of the EU average, 3 years ago it was already 68%. Hungary reduced its gap from 61% to 67%, and record holders in the region are Czech Republic (80%) and Slovenia (83%).

Lonely Planet has recently published a list of 10 most important states and cities in 2015. One of the listed was Bulgarian Plovdiv as the biggest city right after Sofia in Bulgaria, boasting the state’s most beautiful sights, attractions and nightlife. The countries of the former communist bloc countries are increasingly present in Western guidebooks, which is good news for hoteliers!

Eurostat data shows that smaller markets are more dependent on the influx of foreign tourists, For Poland, foreigners accounted for 30% of the total guests in hotels. In the case of smaller countries such as the Czech Republic and Lithuania, this number rises to more than 60, and in Bulgaria, 70 per cent. Croatia also recorded a high score thanks to its tourist attractiveness.

What distinguishes the markets of Central Europe from the West? Undoubtedly, the price for the stay. So that’s why the Croatian, Bulgarian or Polish seaside are besieged by Germans, Austrians and even Italians! Cheap holidays at a high quality can become a key to the success of a hotel. Here are a few simple steps on how to attract more tourists from the West to your hotel:

Potential of OTAs

Take advantage of the potential of sales and marketing of OTA portals. Enjoy the benefits of the big global names, but also the locals covering a country or several countries from the region. Global OTAs have massive advertising budgets on Google and enormous databases used for email marketing. However, they don’t have the same access to the little local treasures offered by local, in-the-know OTAs.

Tailor your website to your clients

Is your website offered in multiple languages? Research into the most commonly-used tourist languages in a given region pays off. If the number of Dutch tourists booking stays in a Polish hotel is significant, then supporting a Dutch-language version of your website may bring serious results.

Adjust your hotel to Western standards

Take care to maintain the highest standards of housekeeping, reception and restaurants. Bet on delicious food, local menus and the best quality bed linens! Let wireless internet be available for free in every room, not just the lobby!

Take advantage of the potential of the hotel’s surroundings

Foreign tourists come to your hotel to know the area. Help them in this! Organize attractions in the form of guided tours, or allow your guests to hire a car and a bicycle right from the property.