Forecasting trends for the online distribution of hotel rooms in 2012, SiteMinder says many accommodation providers will switch their channel management strategy from 'legacy' manual channel management products of yesterday to technologies capable of providing fully automated, two- way, seamless integration between online booking channels and their PMS, CRS or RMS systems. This would help hotels gain an upper hand in what has become a complex and "cut throat" marketplace on the net, according to SiteMinder's General Manager for Sales and Marketing, David Williams.
"As integrated channel management solutions become mainstream this year, hotels will benefit from broader distribution reach and streamlined automated business processes that, together, result in higher revenues, lower costs of acquisition and a healthier bottom line," Mr Williams said. "2012 will also see an emergence and recognition of new, exciting and easily accessible distribution options such as social media sites, mobile and group buying consumer sites like Groupon to keep them ahead of their competitors," he said. "2012 is all about accessing new selling opportunities, focussing on effective revenue management strategy and maximising business efficiency through the full automation of the distribution process so staff can focus on adding value to the business rather than on the manual processing of data."
Mr Williams said the online landscape for hoteliers was a "complex" arena where increased competition would this year prompt a record number of properties to fully automate their distribution. "A year ago, just 15 per cent of SiteMinder's hotel clients had their channel management systems with us fully integrated and automated, with the remaining still manually re-keying online booking reservation emails. Today, 35 per cent of our hotels are fully automated with us and by the end of 2012, that rate will jump to 45 per cent as hotels strive to cut costs and streamline their business processes.
"For technology vendors in the online travel segment, 2012 will be a year of rapid adaptation in this dynamic, ever-changing market. Online travel is arguably the fastest moving and most dynamic area of the travel space. Constant innovation and adaptation in distribution are critical for accommodation providers and SiteMinder, which has been leading the way in two-way integrated channel management since 2007, will work alongside hoteliers around the world to achieve this throughout 2012 and beyond."
SiteMinder is the global hotel industry's leading provider of online distribution and direct booking technology. Founded in 2006, SiteMinder offers award-winning, cloud-based products – including the world's largest channel manager, a customisable booking engine, deep PMS/CRS/RMS integration and GDS connection tools – to help hotels increase online revenue, streamline business processes and lower operational costs.
Driven by a no-contract, commission-free business model, SiteMinder's robust product suite and exceptional customer support has made the business one of the most recognisable in the industry. In addition to its global head office in Sydney, SiteMinder has operations in Bangkok, Cape Town, Dallas and London, and more than 16,000 customers in over 160 countries. For more information about SiteMinder and its market-leading products, visit www.siteminder.com.