Posted on June 2015
IP Hoteles are a relatively new 'kid on the block' when it comes to global distribution, so we were delighted to speak to Ignacio Peña Ayerza and Federico Vidal to see how things are done in Argentina and what more we can do to help maximise the presence of IP Hoteles on the GDS.
Please tell us a little more about IP Hoteles?
IP Hoteles is a hotel solutions company for the Latin American market. We offer our 200-strong hotel members a variety of services which include: revenue management, web design and online booking capabilities, distribution to online travel agencies via our channel manager product and of course GDS distribution. For GDS connectivity, we have partnered with Amadeus LinkHotel.
We have an equal mix of leisure and business hotels, so for the time being, we are focusing our GDS efforts on those properties that are more likely to appeal to the corporate market - due to their favourable location, facilities, star rating etc.
How long have you been a member of Amadeus LinkHotel and what were the main reasons that led you to select Amadeus LinkHotel as your distribution partner?
We activated our first properties via Amadeus LinkHotel about a year ago and now have 25 properties on the GDS. There were a number of reasons which led us to select Amadeus LinkHotel as our distribution partner: firstly, we could see that the Amadeus LinkHotel offering was a perfect match for our hotels,
Amadeus LinkHotel offer was a perfect match for our hotels
which are predominantly 3-4 star, privately-owned properties with no GDS representation. It was also very important to us that we partnered with a company which could offer us multi-GDS services and with Amadeus LinkHotel , we can distribute our hotels on all the major GDSs, providing instant, international coverage. Secondly, the combination of Amadeus - an established and highly reputable IT provider - and IP Hoteles, a well-known and respected brand in South America, makes for a great package! And finally, I (Ignacio) used to work at Amadeus so I was familiar with the products, ethos and professionalism of the company.
Do you plan to bring more IP properties onto the Amadeus LinkHotel platform? What is your growth strategy on the GDS?
We already have plans to bring a further seven hotels on-board this year. We are keen to see how these first properties do in terms of driving more corporate business and reaching new market segments on the different GDS, so assuming things go well, we have ambitious expansion plans over the next few years!
What challenges do you face in Latin America when discussing global distribution with new IP Hoteles customers?
Where we are based in Argentina, there is limited knowledge amongst hoteliers about the GDS and the opportunities to be gained from expanding their sales reach beyond established markets. We are doing our best to educate hotels on the importance of GDS-friendly booking policies, rate parity, corporate hotel programmes and of course open inventory, but these things take time and hotels have very little to compare it to.
How do you find working with the Amadeus LinkHotel Central Reservation System (CRS)? How easy is it to update rates, room types, availability etc.?
We received our Amadeus LinkHotel CRS training and have found the tool to be very user-friendly and intuitive for our needs. We are still learning about the full capabilities of the system, so I'm sure that the more we practice, the more we'll get out of it. At the moment, our hotels are not participating in many Consortia programmes so we have a limited number of rates and room types to load and manage. Having said that, they keep us very busy!
Other than the support you already receive from your Account Manager, is there anything else that we could be doing to help you?
We receive excellent support and advice from our Account Manager - Miguel Angel, who assists us with both technical and general rate management issues. What would be really useful for us would be to have more market intelligence about the booking potential for the cities we are targeting, so that we are able to provide prospective hotels with real proof points about GDS booking volumes into these destinations.
We receive excellent support and advice from our Account Manager who assists us with both technical and general rate management issues
What advice would you give to a hotel chain which is thinking of joining Amadeus LinkHotel?
Our advice is quite simple. If you aren't on the GDS, you won't be able to receive the high yield, high value business that the major travel agencies generate. And if it's not going to your hotel, it's going somewhere else!
What would you say is the best thing about working with Amadeus LinkHotel?
We are delighted with the professionalism and commitment that we have experienced with Amadeus LinkHotel. Our Account Manager is always there for us and we particularly appreciate this support as we are only just embarking on the GDS journey. We hope that our partnership will be extremely fruitful and look forward to growing business for IP Hoteles across Latin America.
For more information on Amadeus LinkHotel, please visit our website or email us with any questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org.