Be sure to attend our panel of experts to help you navigate these issues and avoid the pitfalls. Flash Sales: Curse or Blessing?
As a primer for our timely and very relevant November 22, program “Flash Sales: A Curse or a Blessing,” here is a case study on how the misuse of Flash sales can cause mayhem. This is excerpted from a Max Starkov article on HotelsMag.com
A Case Study from the Hospitality Industry:
There is a very good case study from New York City where a luxury boutique hotel was (mis) using Twitter to offer last-minute discounts for unsold rooms for the night:
- Every day at 5PM the hotel would send out a Twitter-only Last-Minute Special that was 25%-30% below BAR (discount varied based on number of empty rooms available for the night).
- All 8,000-10,000 Twitter followers received this last minute special.
- Potential guests, new and old, frequent and occasional, were waiting for these last-minute specials to book via their mobile phones or call from the airport or from the taxi cab while en route to the hotel (5PM traffic to Manhattan – you get the picture).
- There have been numerous cases when people were waiting in the lobby of the hotel to receive the 5PM last-minute deal and then walked up to the reception desk and booked their stay right then!
- There have been many cases where guests arriving with advance reservations booked at much higher rates via the hotel website, voice, GDS or an OTA, demanded at the front desk to be accommodated at the lower “last-minute rate of the day.” The front desk had to oblige reluctantly.
- Major ruckus and noisy scandals at the front desk were a common occurrence on a daily basis.
In 6 months or so the hotel discontinued the practice and spent at least a year after that repairing the damage to its price integrity.
On November 22, you’ll get to hear representatives from discount sites, coupon offers, and industry experts on how to use Flash sales and discounts coupons effectively and avoid this type of disaster. Register here
I case you missed this article on the HotelsMag.com site, I am posting a quote from it. I also have questions for you at the bottom. This could have a major impact on how you capture market share and price your inventory online.
When searching for hotels in Google Maps, the search results return pricing data with dropdown boxes that display the rates offered for the given hotel from various booking channels, along with links to those booking pages.
Is Google moving toward becoming a OTA? How much longer before Google begins to allow booking right from Search?
Let us hear your thoughts on:
- Are you taking advantage of this opportunity?
- How are your results?
- Would you like to hear expert speakers on this topic at a future HSMAI VA event?
Since Brian Payea, Trade Relations Manager of TripAdvisor, visited us to talk about getting more out TripAdvisor, I found this video of my friend and fellow hospitality marketing professional, Daniel Edward Craig, talking with Josh Mackenzie about how to get your guests to write good reviews on TripAdvisor. I want to add that Brian stressed that you cannot violate the rules for getting guests to post reviews.
- You cannot provide an incentive for guests to write reviews
- You cannot provide a computer in your lobby or from your hotel for them to post reviews
Violation of those rules could get your listing blocked or posted with a big red warning banner.
TripAdvisor now gets over 40 million visits a month. That kind of volume has the potential of enormous impact on your property or venue, both positive and negative. You owe to yourself to attend the November 11 luncheon featuring Brian Payea, liaison to hospitality and advertising industries, with a focus on opening communications channels and strengthening the ties between TripAdvisor and the hospitality community.
Update: Thirty people attended the luncheon and provided feedback like this from Ross MacNett, Senior Market Manager, Expedia, “Congrats on a great HSMAI event yesterday!! Just got the run down from someone on our team that attended.”
The next event is on January 13, 2011 and the topic is mobile marketing. Stay tuned for more information coming soon.
There has been a rash of recent articles (http://ow.ly/2FOxf http://ow.ly/2FOR9 http://ow.ly/2FOVN are examples) that provide impressive data on the amount of revenue the OLTA’s (Online Travel Agents) generated from hotels during the current recession. There is enormous discussion about whether this revenue was the result of poor hotel revenue management decisions or, in fact, was justified through effective channel management on behalf of the hotel industry.
Now you can hear a panel of OTA representatives and a seasoned hotel professional at September 23, 2010 luncheon “More Effective Marketing Through OTA’s”, at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. Come prepared with your questions and comments. This is a timely and too important to be missed event.
Panelists and moderator are:
Tomiko Burroughs l Market Manager
Maryland: Baltimore, Annapolis, & Ocean City
Virginia: Newport News, Virginia Beach & Williamsburg
Direct: 301-455-4870 l Fax: 866-573-1445
Tomiko began her Expedia career as Market Manager, in June 2008. She manages hotels in Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, Ocean City, Baltimore and Annapolis. Prior to joining Expedia, she held various Hotel positions as Hotel Sales Manager, Revenue Manager and Director of Sales and Marketing in the the DC metro area. Tomiko’s hotel experience includes working for Fairmont, Hilton, Marriott and Independent properties.
Regional Director, Northeast
Donna Mulligan is responsible for leading a team of 6 Market managers who own accountability for hotel sales from Virginia through Eastern Canada. Formerly, Donna served as the Director, Product Development at National Leisure Group (NLG), a company that sells vacations and cruise packages directly to consumers through multiple brands. Her experience includes marketing and product development in the travel/tourism industry, on both the traditional wholesale and online retail travel model. Her position at NLG included the responsibility for developing and managing all aspects of the company’s relationships with hotels, hotel chains, government bureaus and destination services. Prior to NLG, Donna held a Director of Marketing position with Liberty Travel/GOGO Worldwide Vacations from 1984 to 2003.
Regional Revenue Manager
Currently The Regional Revenue Manager for Ltd Management, based in Chesapeake, VA with 31 branded hotels
Denise Manages and oversees Revenue strategies for 9 of those hotels, for several brands including Marriott, IHG, Hilton, Hyatt, and Choice. She has been a multi property revenue manager, for over 5 years, with experience of working with both branded and non-branded properties., Previously Denise worked in operations as a GM for most of her career, mainly in the Virginia Beach market.
Mark McCullough, CHRM
Partner Development Manager
M E D I A
Mark McCullough has held positions as area and regional director of sales for Extended stay Hotels and more recently the role of Market Manager overseeing Virginia and West Virginia for Orbitz Worldwide.
Mark now is the Partner Development Manager for Smarter Travel Media a subsidiary of TripAdvisor in this role Mark secures partners for SniqueAway™, the first members-only site where each travel deal is endorsed by the people. All hotels featured on SniqueAway have earned a minimum four-star rating classification and a minimum four out of five TripAdvisor review rating
Mark holds a certification in Revenue Management from Cornell and resides in Williamsburg with his wife and three children.
Details and to register:
The Secrets to Marketing More Effectively Through OTAs. http://ow.ly/2FPsc