In Search of the Internet Intelligence Report That Makes Sense

By Max Starkov President & CEO, Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Inc | January 27, 2012

This year over 13% of all revenues in hospitality will be generated from the Internet. Three years from now the Internet will contribute over 20% of all hotel bookings and convincingly surpass total GDS bookings. With such an industrial shift toward the web, hoteliers need intelligence tools to measure performance against its competitive set on direct and indirect channels outside of the GDS. Hoteliers are in search of Internet intelligence reports that make sense.

Here's what sales & marketing, and revenue managers should be asking in order to competently formulate their online pricing and inventory control strategy:

What about the traditional distribution reports?

Traditional vendors continue to provide the current landscape of intelligence distribution reports and focus primarily on the GDS. Recently some of these vendors added online distribution sections supplementary to their predominantly GDS reports. Unfortunately these reports offer hoteliers only a fraction of the big picture of online distribution--Pricing.

These rate-focused reports, like all GDS oriented reports, deal primarily with the daily rate information across online services-- helpful but only a fraction of the information hoteliers realistically need to compete online. Especially since most online hotel bookings don't even come from the GDS but through merchant programs or Internet only reservation systems. These reports provide little analysis on how hoteliers can increase market share, re-gain control of their online pricing from online discounters, or how to utilize direct-to-consumer channels as opposed to merchant services. Sadly, these reports implicitly suggest overuse of intermediaries at the expense of the hotel's own direct distribution strategy. If anything, these reports have aided and abetted those intermediaries to become the 800-pound gorillas of today.

So what's missing?

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