Tuesday, April 28, 2009

BuyTourismOnline Light, 2009

BuyTourismOnline recently organized a toned down edition of its main event calling it BTO Light on 6th and 7th April 2009 in Florence, Italy. The conference was focused on “How to maximize sales on the internet market?

Hoteliers, Sales & Revenue Managers & technology companies attended the two day conference in good numbers and obviously their main concern was to understand how to improve their sale through new market strategies. Sascha Hausmann, RateTiger COO, shared a presentation on “The online distribution in the new millennium” for attendees to understand the growing importance of revenue and channel management. With increasing focus on online distribution of inventory, hotels need to make the most of this marketing channel to gain occupancy and maximize revenue. He also focused upon the convenience of having a unique interface for managing various online channels and systems. Hoteliers were also interested in learning more about ‘Web 2.0’. Among the speakers were RateTiger, TripAdvisor, Expedia and Google among others, and all the companies laid stress on technology and the hotelier’s new needs.

“It turned out to be an interesting conference,” says Giuseppe Messina, RateTiger Sales Manager for the region. “This kind of conference is needed in Italy. Hotels are happy about the conference, and personally speaking, I think it is a good idea to refresh hoteliers after the main exhibition (which took place in November ’08), just to increase the interest about technology. I’m sure the next BTO in November’09 will be an even bigger success.”

Enzo Aita (RateTiger SM, Italy) who attended the show with him discussed with us his activities: “Apart from the online sales tools, other important features include Hotel reviews and the importance for hoteliers to be ready to react to positive and negative reviews. I got a feeling that all this innovation and new services has left the hoteliers confused, as they often do not have much knowledge on the subject. Now when they are faced with various choices that are not within their competence, they often buy technology products based on price benefit and not by the quality of service.”

All in all, it was a conference worth attending. Most of the attendees were from North Italy and hence it provided RateTiger with an opportunity to interact with a very specific market segment. Enzo and Giuseppe surely had a good time discussing RateTiger’s new products RTStrategy and RTChannelManager Plus with hoteliers who wanted to see a demonstration of the product, and our Sales Managers obliged by showing them one!
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