Thursday, March 19, 2009

BIT, Milan, 2009

The global economic markets hit BIT 2009 in Milan hard this year. Italy seems to be suffering more than any other country; RateTiger has been to many tradeshows which reported an increase in attendance. However BIT lost 25% of attendees on 2008.

Our sales managers experienced an atmosphere full of pessimism and lack of motivation from many exhibitors and visitors. Giuseppe Messina, SM in Italy said: “I can tell you that the mood was a bit down. I had the chance to talk with hotel managers coming from Florence, Venice and Rome, and they are all in the same scenario: 25-30% of occupation compared to 2008.”

Due to our position in the market hoteliers were keen to talk about RateTiger and online distribution in general. Stand visitors were interested in a product like RTChannelManager but still worried about increasing outgoings until they began to see a greater return in online channels.

Enzo Aita, SM in Italy, was surprised that some of the big players did not turn up: “Hotelplan and Italian TO (Alpitour, Francorosso, etc) did not come as exhibitors – I was very surprised by this.”

We hope the Italian market will begin to pick up over the next few months. RateTiger will be launching soon a product that will assist smaller hoteliers to maximize rates and distribution online while helping tight budgets.
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