STAAH, a premier connectivity partner with Booking.com and also the winner of APAC Top Connectivity Partner Award 2019, attended the Click. 2019 event by Booking.com in Amsterdam. Role of technology in providing connected experience was explored and valuable insights were revealed, so as to continue upping the game for our partners.
STAAH leaders attended the Click. 2019 by Booking.com and brought back home a bag full of memories, valuable insights of this dynamic industry, and innovative ideas uncovered through discussions and conversations while networking with the best people within the hospitality industry.
The Partner Program
Being involved in the Core Connectivity Advisory Board for hotels, allows STAAH to share inputs on the ongoing development of the Partner Program, so as to ensure that it is delivering value for all. Whilst recapping the progress of the prior board, the plans for next 12 months were firmed and STAAH looks forward to providing continuous inputs, during the meetings and forums throughout the year; sharing insights and feedback from interactions with our clients and partners.
The Connectivity Panel session
Booking.com invited STAAH to participate along with four other connection partners in the Connectivity Panel Session. STAAH team was happy to share insights on the role of technology, about the Property Management System and Channel Manager, along with the advantages of these technologies and also the challenges faced.
Channel Managers have evolved over recent years from the core role of changing rates and managing online inventory to distribution across all verticals, updating from PMS & VR Property Management Companies systems to OTAs, Reputation Management sites, Payment Gateways, CRM Solution Providers, Revenue Management & Booking Engines”, says Tony Howlett, COO of STAAH.
Ideally, a PMS should be the single source of truth and be able to deliver all of this by connecting directly, but since these capabilities are not delivered, the role of a high performance channel manager to provide such connectivity comes into crucial play.
Innovation & Development
Attending the Click. event provided for valuable insights into current trends and developments in the industry. The forum along with multiple other aspects of the Booking.com partnership, add considerable value in driving innovation, development and improvement of our products. The evolving improvement of the API with Booking.com enhances the experience and efficiency for our clients. However, one of the challenges still faced is knowing what is the best rate for the day based on market demand, along with Dynamic Pricing. This information could potentially be shared by Booking.com through the Channel Manager adding to greater value.
The theme of the event was ‘Connected Trip’ discussing on how all aspects of your trip or experience could be connected in one place. However, it was commented that this was not as simple as it sounds as the path to purchase for activities is fundamentally different than accommodations. Data shows that the majority of travelers purchase accommodations weeks or even months in advance. However most will wait to book an attraction until the last minute, even the day of the activity.
Industry Contacts and Networking
Being new to the technology provider side of the business and having come from hotels, the event provided a great opportunity to meet industry contacts and share ideas and challenges with one another, which has been invaluable”, says Tony.
Booking.com provided STAAH with a booth space, to promote STAAH products and services to the attendees. This presented a great opportunity to increase our exposure, networking, and create brand awareness, adding additional value to attending the event.
Update on Booking.com Connectivity
Attending the Connectivity Executive Summit provided a very informative update on the plans Booking.com have for the year ahead. It was also a great platform providing opportunity to ask questions and get answers”, says Tony.
For STAAH, the Click. event covered the road map for enhanced connectivity, further developing the API’s and reducing the need to access functionality within their own extranet. Ensuring adequate training to property partners about latest releases and new functionalities, is crucial to maximise benefits, and this educative process is often conducted in partnership with Booking.com which really helps.
To find out more about the STAAH partnership with Booking.com, click here.