In the first ever HSMAI global distribution executive roundtable, leaders in the field gathered to share best practices and challenges. It was clear from the start that the group had a lot to talk about around content and rate parity and leakage – the biggest challenges everyone faced. Below are best practices that came out of the discussion.
3RD Party Content Current State
There was consensus among the group that for most hotel companies, a content hub does not exist to update all booking channels. Updating content across all booking channels requires a lot of work and a lot of communication between corporate and the properties. Many systems are antiquated and need to be updated to a be more integrated so that a change made in one place distributes across all channels. Some mentioned technologies that vacation rentals use to streamline content. Many agreed that partners don’t seem to be putting a priority on assisting with content development. In fact, some partners regularly add content fields and do not tell hoteliers. It was agreed that hoteliers need to come together and push the partners to further technology in this space.
Given the limitations and challenges, here are ideas participants shared for optimizing efficiency in content.
- Build the business case to have a dedicated team for updating content for third party partner sites.
- Ensure there are proper communication channels in place, so the properties update corporate on changes.
- Ensure you track changes made to content on all channels.
- Reference the vacation rental industry who has a content hub for ease of updating content.
- Contract with a company that can assist with image distribution and question/ answer sites.
- Leverage content APIs provided by some partners.
- Push your CRS & PMS providers to add more content fields to their systems.
Rate parity and leakage was the other hot topic among the global distribution executives. Though there are technology providers that say they can solve rate parity, it continues to be an issue. There were some great tips shared for handling parity and leakage.
Rate Parity and Leakage Tips
- Sunset any contracts that provide static rates and move to dynamic rates.
- In the B2B space – give the same discount to everyone to level playing field.
- Do test bookings to find the source of distributer that is reducing the rate – either internally or using a 3rd Build clauses into the agreement to have the 3rd party pay for test bookings.
- Contract a partner that will perform rate shops on your behalf.
- When leakage is found, either terminate the offenders or give them limited rates.
- Add clauses to the contract that leakage is grounds for termination.
Executive Roundtables are invite only discussions and networking for HSMAI members that are senior level hotel leaders.