Wednesday, March 30, 2011

RateTiger @ ITB Berlin 2011

As the organizers describe – “ITB Berlin is THE B2B-Platform for trade visitors – an excellent opportunity to meet business partners and to do business. For all other visitors ITB Berlin is a wonderful possibility to discover the whole world within a few hours.” I completely agree with the event’s definition based on my experience at ITB Berlin 2011.

This year had a buzz like no previous that I had attended - this was my third time in Berlin for this mammoth travel event and no longer did we have people wander past our stand asking us what is channel management? Instead hotels wanted and needed a channel manager. This was such an amazing positive change for us and the industry

We had over 6 journalists come by for conversations with us to discuss some of the key trends in social media, new digital sales techniques and integrated channel management technologies. Many were very interested in the NH Hotels implementation of our tools.

Siew Hoon of Web in Travel stopped by and we had a vibrant conversation on how we can best educate hotels and make them into more informed buyers - so it looks like I have a lot of work on my hands to create more content and informative articles.

Among the various topics of discussion, I attended two sessions as part of the hospitality distribution programme; Holiday Hotels and Online Booking Behaviour that showed how the online buyer has changed and should not be stereotyped however it did find that expensive luxury trips are still more frequently being purchased offline - from findings by GfK Research Panels.

I also attended Social Media and Mobile Devices and the types of people using these for booking and research; it was interesting that only a few years ago we were saying that 'nearly' 50% of travel is booked online, now we are saying 'over' 50% of travellers are engaging with social media and consumer travel reviews that is having a major affect on purchase decisions both before and during the holiday.

We had so much to talk about and so many developments for the business that the discussions were much more diverse than just hotel channel management - this makes me look forward to next year’s event.

Ryan Haynes is the Marketing Head at eRevMax and is responsible for driving all PR and Marketing activities of RateTiger and eRevMax brands globally. Ryan is based out of London and can be reached at
ryanh@ratetiger.com

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