Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS), a leading Internet, eMarketing and eDistribution consulting firm for the travel and hospitality industry, has announced signing its 100th client. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (FHR), a unique collection of 41 world-class resorts and city center hotels based in Toronto, Canada, has contracted with HeBS to help assist in developing a comprehensive on-line distribution strategy.
By encompassing the Internet as a total distribution channel, Fairmont
can more effectively boost distribution while manage the mix between indirect and direct booking with customers. As a result, implementation of this strategy can deliver a more profitable booking mix and higher revenue per available room (RevPAR), exploit new channels for distribution, substantially lower commission costs to third party vendors, as well as increase the brand presence on the Internet.
“By working with HeBS we anticipate further success with our comprehensive direct-to-consumer online strategy,” noted Jens Thraenhart
, director, Internet Strategy of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. “We well appreciate the challenges in the industry presented by intermediaries and Internet channel complexity, and HeBS is assisting us to execute our online direct-to-consumer distribution strategy.”
According to Max Starkov
, HeBS president and CEO, “It is often difficult for hoteliers to identify the really important direct-to-consumer online distribution channels and find ways to position themselves on these channels. Fairmont is in an excellent position to leverage the Internet on behalf of its 41 property in 23 competitive destinations. Our proprietary Total Online Distribution Strategy with customized focus on each distinct destination will allow Fairmont to better position itself on the local market. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, a leader in developing online distribution strategies, will now have even better control of their Internet bookings enabling them to maximize Internet generated revenues directly from consumers.”
Hoteliers are recognizing the importance of direct-to-consumer online strategies, the long-term competitive advantages of these strategies and the importance of lessening dependence on intermediaries. Hoteliers should focus on the direct channel services first to secure their own robust presence on the Web.
Developing a comprehensive total online strategy that encompasses both direct and indirect channels can avoid price and brand erosion, control distribution costs, and enable hotels to maximize revenues by better managing the direct/indirect mix. This is accomplished by positioning the hotel at “all points of contact” with potential online travel bookers consistent with a robust online distribution strategy that enables the hotelier to maintain full control of brand and price integrity. Once hoteliers have secured opportunities in the direct channel they can utilize support from a selected number of indirect channel services.
HeBS has successfully developed Internet distribution strategies for a number of major brands, including Starwood, InterContinental Hotels Group, Carlson, Millennium Hotels, Fairmont and a number of hotel management companies and independent hotels and resorts. Many of HeBS’ clients already generate 3-5 times higher Internet revenues than the national averages.
The total online distribution strategy, coupled with the Internet Distribution Monitor Report (IDM Report) are quickly becoming the industry standard in online competitive intelligence, can help a hotel benchmark online performance and track its competitive set. The two products combined offer substantial benefits in boosting direct distribution.
“We believe we have a leadership position in the industry,” concluded Thraenhart. “In fact, this past April, fairmont.com received the 2003 Gold Award for Most Effective Web site from The Association of Travel Marketing Executives (ATME) and in January, the company was recognized with the Golden Click Platinum award in the Hotel Category and Best of Show award by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) for the design and development of its website.”