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Fair Rate Perception and Brand Integrity
A recent Cornell University study shows that if a traveler perceives the hotel rates to be fair they are more likely to return to that site. (Cornell Study January 2010).

The study recommended that Hotels should focus on increasing guest understanding of their pricing practices and make alternative rates visible and available. A visitor to a hotel or tourism website feels more secure if the website shows that there are better rates than rack that apply. They also need to know if there are special deals and what they need to do to get them.

Quite often the hotels own website is simple seen as the most expensive channel in the world (Not so for chains and other hotels that manage rates wisely). Guest like to know that they are being treated fairly - they need to know what rates plans might apply to them.

Travelers should be know the rules regarding rates and be given the opportunity to select the best rate that applies.

more >>> AXSES blog: are booking engines the new hotel search engine


Rate Plans and Specials Marketing


In the arcRes website booking engine special rates are managed by Groups (Rate Plans) and with Specials. If you subscribe to this option arcRes will display rates that you want travelers to see on your booking engine.

- RAC standrad rate
- WEBSITE (online bookings)
- AAA
from $110.00 pp - info >>
from $88.00 pp - info >>
from 71.55 pp info >>
Bookable Specials that pertain to these rates will be applied automatically

Travelers who visit the booking page will see all the special rate Plans as well as rack rates. The system allows a traveler to select any rate they believe applies. The rules are displayed by clicking the info >> button. The arcRes booking engine will automatically apply Special rates that apply.

The system allows Rate Plans and Specials to be combined if desired. Rooms and channels can be exempted from any plan. Channels can also have their own Rate Plans and Specials.

This approach clearly tells the traveler that your rates are fair. You give them the choice to select the best rate (according to the rules and terms) . You also let them know that specials will be automatically applied.


Group Rate Plans

Affinity Groups
You may offer special rates to airline personnel, travel agents, or companies that you do business with.
You can also offer special rates to AAA members and any affinity group that you may have a marketing initiative with and who can help market yr property by listing on thr preferred rates accounts.

In arcRes it is easy to set up these rates as a % off of your normal rate. They are automatically displayed on the appropriate channels (you set which channels to exempt. The rates can apply to all units or you may exempt units.

Best Rate Guarantee
The "Best Rate Guarantee" (BRG) is now used extensively on chain hotels sites. This does not mean that the Best Rate is always applied, all sorts of fine print apply and you have to read the rules. At the least this means is that the Best Rate available for that site (website) will be applied (ie if their is a Website rate it is applied, if there is a Special that applies it will be calculated and shown. In Many cases BRG rules will also say that if the traveler finds a better rate they will match it. The fine print is important - exceptions include opaque rates where in some channels the hotel name is not noted. Deep discounts offered by some channels (like Expedia) are also often not included.

Loyalty Programs
Some of the loyalty programs reward loyalty by rewarding a visitor who sends new guests to the hotel. This can be recognized even before the referer has stayed in the hotel, they are simple invited to stay and receive a free night for every guest week they refer. The loyalty program can be implemented very easily using an honour system. Simply create the rate plan and let the guest choose the one that fits. If they don't qualify they don't get the rate. If you have a complete database of all arrivals you can create more complex automated systems but the honor system works out of the box and can be applied immediately and with least cost.

Availability Calendar
Travelers don't want to waist time looking at rates that are not available. Showing and availability calendar on the rates and bookings page is increasingly important. The arcRes bookings engine allows suppliers to offer a request and a block request system, which means that travelers bookings are not confirmed. This is easy to operate and has the advantage of not managing inventory online. It is however becoming less relevant as travelers demand to know what is available. Hotels say they do not want to manage multiple rates across multiple channels.


New Collaborative marketing service from AXSES


AXSES is now introducing a new collaborative marketing solution where we help you use technology, brand and market your products, get exposure, and close more direct sales.

More on this will follow in the next newsletter.

In the meantime please call or email me if you want to explore this new initiative:

juliah 'at' axses.net


About AXSES

AXSES is a travel marketing company building marketing and management tools for travel suppliers. Axses owns over 30 travel portals promoting direct sales to its hotel and tourism clients.

AXSES supplier tools
include Internet marketing portals, website tools like calendars, blogs, content management, guest tracking and travel planning, dynamic packaging, comparison shopping, reservations and bookings systems.


Contacts

AXSES Travel Marketing - http://axses-travel.com

1-246 429 2653.                                 Bookmark and Share
Janelle Knight - jknight (at) axses.net
Kayelyne Burgess - kburgess (at) axses.net


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