Last Wednesday Amadeus IT Pacific hosted a media round-table at their head office in Haymarket, Sydney. Key trends influencing changes to hotel distribution both locally and globally were discussed. Also discussed was how Amadeus is helping travel agents and TMC’s in Australia grow their prospects.
In attendance at the round-table were the following executives from across APAC;
- Peter Waters, Director, Hotel Distribution, Amadeus IT Group
- Christian Lukey, Head of Hotel Distribution, Amadeus Asia Pacific
- Tony Carter, Managing Director, Amadeus IT Pacific
- Benjamin Weinmann, Manager, Hotel Distribution, Amadeus IT Pacific
- Justin Montgomery, Head of Commercial, Amadeus IT Pacific
To kick off proceedings, attendees were introduced to the idea that now, more than ever, hoteliers need to adapt to the way we live and the way we buy. These two aspects are fundamental to business growth and success, distinguishing players in what is a highly fragmented market.
Tony Carter then shared an overview of Amadeus in Australia and why the company’s hotel offering is significant, specifically addressing how hoteliers and suppliers are able to improve their competitive edge through alternative distribution solutions with a global reach, ultimately reducing booking costs and helping to secure loyalty. “Amadeus has invested in this platform that can provide both hotels and subscribers, travel agents and TMCs with a highly efficient, new value proposition,” said Carter.
Offering insight into hotel industry trends, Peter Waters explored an important and exciting transformation that the hotel booking industry is undergoing this year due to key trends such as mobility and personalisation. “The landscape is changing at a high-velocity and the oligopoly OTAs are squeezing margins across the industry. As a result, the offline, leisure and boutique agencies need an alternative – they cannot compete with the big players by themselves. Travellers are overwhelmed by the options available at their fingertips, they now find it very difficult to understand a channel that is trusted, relevant and flexible to their needs,” said Waters.
“We’re seeing a great deal of consolidation in the market, particularly at the chain level and in the online space. This has narrowed the options as to whom and to where the distribution can go to. Having said that, we still have a fragmented industry and it is an inefficient marketplace as a result. At Amadeus, we have the ambition, scale, focus, dedication and resources to counteract this.”
Peter also reinforced, Amadeus’ position in the industry and explained the company’s two-pronged approach to hotels:
- Acquisitions and organic development e.g. Newmarket, Itesso and IHG, the latter of which he noted is an important strategic play for Amadeus and the industry as a whole.
- Distribution, emphasising demand for an open marketplace from both providers and booking agents. Peter explained that Amadeus currently provides the biggest, open market for hotel players in the world.
“We’ve made investments in a number of start-ups to fuel personalisation for our customers. As a result, we’re able to develop hotel sentiment and a better understanding of the property itself so we can better communicate the benefits and match these with the needs of customers. In addition, we understand the who, why and where, allowing us to match this data and build automatic recommendations.”
Christian Lukey spoke of the collaborative partnerships Amadeus is engaged in locally and across APAC, specifically addressing how this work brings customers the best content and quality data, down to each hotel room. “The momentum is growing across the region with partners such as The Hotel Network and Lido, as well as our ongoing relationship with Accor. As a result, we now offer 1.4 million shopping options for customers through 421 thousand unique properties,” said Lukey.
Mr. Lukey also discussed optimisations in the workflow of travel agents through meta-search functionality so that agents are instantly able to meet the needs of customers. “We’re diversifying from standard commercial models at Amadeus by building an umbrella over the silos that exist in the hotel industry. As a result, we know a lot about travellers before their intent to book a hotel. That’s a big part of the Amadeus difference.”
Concluding the Q&A session, Tony Carter went on to discuss the significance of virtual payments in the market and the opportunity for the Hotel industry in particular: “The opportunity presented by virtual payment technology in this market is vast as it increases efficiencies such as automated reconciliations. This is a big step forward for the industry and we look forward to announcing some exciting news in this space later in the year.”
“Ultimately, Amadeus Hotels increases choice, generates loyalty and delivers greater revenues for our customers as a result. More business is better business,” added Mr. Carter.
For more information visit: http://apac.amadeus.com/hotels
Many of these issues will be discussed at BTTB Australia, the regions leading business travel conference and exhibition. The conference will be held on 4th and 5th May 2016, Melbourne. Read more details here: http://bttbonline.com/