Our recent Paris Revenue Lab event provided a platform for hoteliers in the French capital to come together to discuss the many challenges they face in terms of distribution, technology adoption and overall change management. Experts from the field provided a stark reminder on the dominance of online travel agents and sage advice on how integrated technology can help hoteliers regain control of their inventory and rates.
Held at the CitizenM Paris Gare de Lyon on 21 November 2019, the standing-room only event was kicked off by Ziad Minkara, Managing Director, CDS Group, who tackled ‘Big changes in distribution - impact on hotels - why invest in technology?’
In his keynote presentation, Minkara explained the truth of current distribution trends, revealing that 50% of the bookings made by CDS Group are made via an OTA, 25% via the GDSs, 10% through wholesalers and 15% directly with hotels and brand.com.
He went on to explain how many GDS companies are now distributing rates from OTAs, a statement that generated a lot of questions from the audience.
Equally concerning was the emergence of hotel re-shopping tools, which constantly monitors rates and will cancel and re-book rooms on behalf of customers if the rate drops.
Minkara told the audience that they needed to invest in tech tools that would enable them to generate a positive booking curve; one that sees rates go up ahead of day of arrival, not going down.
“You need to have a machine that optimises pricing at all times and doesn’t drop your rates at the last minute. You need to have a tool that allows you to spend your time being a hotelier. And you need that tool to be easy to use, interact with the rest of your technology, and provide support to your revenue team,” he told the audience.
Change Management with CitizenM
Amina Weiss, Hotel Manager at our host venue the CitizenM Paris Gare de Lyon, gave an inspiring presentation on the CitizenM 4 Pillars: efficiency, luxury lifestyle, intuitive and reliable technology, and the ability to recreate an authentic relationship with the customer.
She told the room how CitizenM embraced change management. How everyone in the company spends one month learning about the on-property and guest-facing technology so that anyone can help the client at any time. And how anyone can work in any department at any time.
Why Choose An RMS?
I had the pleasure of leading a panel on ‘Why hotels should choose to have an RMS.’ I was joined by Caroline Lebourg from The Curtain, Aurore Poupard from Emeraude Hotels, and Christophe Chauvet of Warwick hotels. Each explained their reasonings for choosing Duetto. For Lebourg, it was the ability to be more strategic and look at the bigger picture, for Poupard it was that everyone had access to the same data, and for Chauvet his big gain was in reporting, forecasting and the support of our customer success team.
[Watch to Caroline Lebourg explain how Duetto helps her be more reactive, in this yDuetto video]
Other sessions included a panel led by Guillain Deniselle of Tendance Hotellerie, which tackled ‘How to drive change in a project such as change of PMS or channel manager?’ We heard from SiteMinder, D-Edge, Mews and Medialog about the changes and challenges of distribution, and the importance of good integrations.
Augustin Cacot, Duetto’s VP of Customer Success, EMEA, gave an insightful presentation on Cloud-based technology, the difference between running an Agile system versus a Waterfall model, and the importance of choosing tools that innovate all the time.
And Pauline Billette, founder of REVUP, talked about ‘Why is RMS becoming a key technology in the hotel ecosystem and how to conduct a deployment.
Finally, we closed with a Duetto workshop that saw clients and hoteliers sharing best practice, talking use cases, and discussing segmentation, change management and the role tech can play.
The Revenue Lab will return to Paris in the New Year. If you are interested in being on the guest list, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.