“Eastern European hotels need to be equipped with the right tools to respond to increasing guest demand and online bookings”
According to the recent European Cities Hotel Forecast report, Eastern Europe is thriving at the moment, in terms of both tourism and hospitality: “Prague’s hotel market continued to perform strongly in 2016”. Meanwhile, Slovakia and Poland saw “record tourism flows”, according to data from STR Global. “The positive economic outlook for the Czech Republic and the Eurozone will help drive the hotel sector. The outlook for 2018 remains positive, albeit weaker than 2017. Prague in particular, alongside Madrid, Lisbon and Barcelona, sit in the top five cities that are set to grow the most, with a predicted 5.5% rise in RevPAR.”
For Availpro, the region is a real hotspot as we step up our local presence to support an increasing number of hotels. From my own personal perspective, I have seen demand rise for our technology solutions to help them better manager their online distribution. Prague is where we decided to set our Eastern European headquarters back in 2012, and from which we are spreading local sales all around. It’s always been key for us to provide the human element behind the tech interface.
Market Entry in Poland
So much so, before Summer high season, we recruited a new head of Sales for Poland. Based in Kraków, Dominik Suchocki joined from June 1st, 2017.
Dominik brings an extensive expertise in the hospitality business in Poland, as he has been operating as both Hotel Manager and Key Account Manager. His key mission relies into offering hotels new sets of tech solutions, helping them into their digital transformation. The main focus is on increasing revenue while optimizing online distribution.
The Availpro Edge
As well our hotel clients appreciating local support, to help onboard them, and offer continual support, our customers take advantage of our licensing model. We do not charge commission per room booked, but instead offer a monthly fee – helping you to manage your costs effectively.
This is just one of many factors contributing to our growth in the region. In fact, since 2013 the number of hotels we work with in Eastern Europe has rocketed by more than 250%.
The Smart Channel Manager
With the majority of travellers booking online, the management of digital channels is a key component to make your hotel business grow. As an example, the Hotel Royal Prague can now manage many different channels with Availpro’s channel manager. They chose us after a recommendation from their PMS provider.
“This is a new project for us, and we’re still working on it. We work with Expedia and Booking.com, and saw our competitors were starting to use channel managers in our region. We thought it would be reasonable to do, rather than integrating three, four or five different individual channels into our system.”
“First we thought there might be problems with the set-up, but the system is very user-friendly, especially when you enter data. The Availpro staff was also very helpful. If there was anything wrong, they’d fix it.”
“The Channel Manager is simple to work with, so we now have more time to spend on what really makes a difference, guest requests and pricing policy.”
Hotel Best Practices
If you want to find out more about the some of the hotels we are working with in the region, you can take a look at some of our recent “Best Practice” case studies.
- A great combination with the best connection into the PMS and the OTAs with very speed updates.
- Also a unique local support with the team based in Prague
- #4-star #5-star #ChannelManager #PMSConnectivity (with #Protel)
- The group has been using Availpro for 3 years. They saw a great impact since then by saving time in managing and distributing pricing through Availpro’s flexible system.
- #3-star #4-star #hotelchain #BookingEngine #ChannelManager #PMSConnectivity (with HotelTime) #MultiPropertyBookingEngine
Bellevue Hotel Riga (Latvia)
- The hotel met recently another competitor but thinks that Availpro is definitely number one with its user-friendly interface. The products such RateScreener and Data Cruncher are useful for the daily tasks.
- #4-star #BookingEngine #ChannelManager #DataCruncher #RateScreener #Sentinel
- This is the first time that the hotel is using a Channel Manager and they see it as a great advantage on their daily tasks. Availpro has been very easy to implement for both Channel Manager and Booking Engine.
- #4-star #PMSConnectivity (with Asseco Solutions) #BookingEngine #ChannelManager
- This is the first Channel Manager ever used by the hotel. After one year using, the hotel has seen bookings coming from new channels that they never used before, and that they were able to connect and manage through Availpro’s Channel Manager
- #4-star #BookingEngine #ChannelManager #PMSConnectivity (with Alto Slovakia)
With Availpro’s combination of powerful software, strong local support and now the addition of Dominik, covering Poland, we’re looking forward to helping even more hotels tap into the demand this region is now experiencing.
Looking further afield, experts predict the dollar will continue to rise – meaning more US tourists heading to Europe this year and next. Make sure you are distributing across the right channels, and at the right price.
HOTELIER EVENT: Hotel Tech Lab
The Hotel Tech Lab consists into gathering experts of the industry to share their knowledge and insights and to provide a networking platform to hoteliers to discuss about best practices.
Our first ever Hotel Tech Lab was proof of this – held in Prague in April this year, it tackled how the industry has evolved. It was a busy event, that gathered more than 90 hoteliers from Prague and its region, and 10 speakers from the whole hotel tech ecosystem travelling from all across Europe (see here for some excellent insight from our speakers on hotel innovation recommendations).
I’m happy to say we will be hosting further events across Eastern Europe soon, to bring together yet more technology experts with hoteliers and extend the conversation. Next Hotel Tech Lab will take place on NOV16 in Krakow: register here!
|Gregor Halek – Director of Sales and Business Development, Central and Eastern Europe – Availpro
Gregor has started his career in the hotel tech industry as a key account manager for RateTiger in London. Then he relocated to Krakow to serve as a Senior Customer Support Manager. After a total of 4 years, Gregor was offered to join Availpro to develop the Eastern European business based from Prague. Today, he is responsible for a growing team and portfolio across Eastern Europe, including the Baltics.