For many hotels in Europe and across the globe, wholesalers and distributors are important – sometimes vital – business partners. With every passing year, these partners are evolving their business models and their reservation infrastructures to remain relevant and of value to the hospitality trade. As lines between the OTA, GDS and intermediary markets become increasingly blurred, as diversification drives different models for growth and customer value, GTA is adapting too: becoming even more flexible and provide a more immediate, more responsive and ever more attractive service.
How is distribution changing and what challenges is it bringing hoteliers?
Distribution is being influenced by many factors. The internet and the rapid pace of technological change, metasearch and mobile, social media and more mean consumers today expect to find precisely what they are looking for – sometimes when they don’t know what they are looking for – among a vast amount of information, quickly and wherever they are.
Today at GTA, we are noticing that customers have high expectations when it comes to speed, accuracy, relevancy, flexibility and service. And they tell us they could be more loyal to those that they can rely on to meet their expectations well.
The internet especially has helped people connect: to people like them, to things that interest them. Diversity and individuality are driving increasing segmentation and the growth of niche. Every person, in every interaction online, is generating huge amounts of information and ‘Big Data’ which organisations – public and private – find invaluable in understanding behaviour.
To serve these needs, distributors must do more, more quickly, but must be more efficient and effective than ever before. Distributors must rise above the disruption, draw their tools and experience about them and stride forwards on confident new paths.
How is the changing Wholesale market and new paths impacting how you do business today?
There is a complex range of channel managers, revenue management platforms, property management systems and central reservation systems, all existing to help hotels manage bookings. All understand the importance of accurate data and the need to continuously optimise its flow to maximise conversion. But while each serves its own interests within a maelstrom of rapidly changing technologies and fast-evolving consumer habits, GTA is gathering its tools and expertise to give all hotels the confidence to explore the opportunities opening to them.
We have widened the ways that hotels can welcome more customers through the strength of our people, our wide-reaching presence and the performance of our technology and innovations. Static contracts are today complemented by our margin agreements which make dynamic pricing and revenue management more possible. They let our hotel partners act on rapidly changing market forces, sell more room types and reach higher average daily rates. To date over 4000 hotels have taken advantage and have benefitted from an additional one million room nights.
We have completely replaced our XML interface for travel sellers with state of the art technology to provide high performance and stability when working with GTA. It all means that when suppliers give us great allocations, deals and more, we can push them to travel sellers – and travellers – around the world.
As technology raises the expectations of travel sellers too, we are rewriting our agent booking system from the ground, ready for full roll out in 2016. A clean, intuitive and inspiring design will make using our system easier and quicker so agents can easily find content that is relevant for their customers, and facilitate the sales process. Optimised for desktop and laptop, tablet and smartphone, it lets them work the way they want to work.
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