HOTELIER Magazine 2nd issue - English - Page 5

From your experience working with Armenian market can you please tell us what problems or issues you face starting from the registration of the property to managing them in Expedia’s platform? What are the points that you see there is a need to improve? would note two major challenges that hoteliers make. They can appear at any stage of cooperation with Expedia: both at the very beginning, and after several years of work. Firstly, hoteliers often forget that working with OTA is a continuous process. There is a misconception that you can simply create room types, set rates, and upload photos, and then wait for bookings. But the market is dynamic, it is necessary to use various promotion tools, update rates, advertise additional hotel services, work with reviews, analyze the demand and the behavior of competitors. Expedia Group offers a wide range of analytical tools that are available to all our partners in their Extranet including through the mobile application. Therefore, the hotelier can analyze the situation at any time and make changes, for example, in his pricing policy. I always draw a parallel between the online booking site and the supermarket. In order for a consumer to buy your product, first, it is necessary that he finds it in a huge store, distinguish among others and I choose to purchase. In 2019 it is no longer enough just to place a price tag on the packaging of goods, it is necessary to put efforts on its promotion. In other words, it is important to invest your knowledge and time in working with online resources, and then they will bring the desired income. Secondly, the lack of understanding of the market situation is often interfering hoteliers and, as a result, the incorrect positioning of the hotel. When we talk with hoteliers about their competitors, our partners name 2-3 properties nearby. Perhaps this is relevant for a business traveler who chooses between several hotels in close proximity to the office of the hotel to the office, the availability of breakfast and the price. But if you think outside the box and talk about the leisure-segment, then the hotelier must remember that competition is also created by an alternative accommodations - the same apartments that we have already mentioned. Moreover, a competitor can be located not only in Yerevan and even in Armenia, but, for example, a hotel from neighboring Georgia. Therefore, we always urge to consider your hotel inseparably from global trends: follow how hotels in other countries (especially where potential guests from feeder markets go) position themselves, follow the launches of hotel chains and the arrival of new airlines, communicate with colleagues, alternative resources and the media, to participate in industry events. The comprehension of the market situation is the key to the correct positioning and promotion of the hotel, and not only through online channels. In my practice, there were cases when the hotel created the demand for a specific destination. People wanted to come to this or that place that they had never heard of before in order to stay at a particular hotel, and the interest for the region contributed to the opening of new accommodation facilities. I wish there were more stories like this.