New rates management technology to make everyone’s lives easier
Imagine you’re the data capture chappy in a busy tour operator’s office and you get an alert from a large and well-known city-style hotel group that explains its latest STO rates, its BARs, its winter/summer/mothers/long-stay/combo/pay-stay/conference/wedding specials, and the difference in rates between tea and petit fours served in smoking and non-smoking rooms. And that guests’ children may share a sleeper couch if their combined age adds up to 16 …
What would you do?
Most likely (a) panic, (b) capture something incorrectly, and (c) ask where the kids should sleep if their combined age comes to, say, 14?
“Exaggerated, perhaps, but this kind of thing happens all the time,” said Nicki Delmulle, who, with husband Bart, is currently developing software that will revolutionise the way we design itineraries, quote, and make reservations in the tourism industry.
The platform is expected to go live at www.xcursia.com in June. (Note the spelling!) .
“We’re creating technology to link accommodation providers and tour operators smoothly, to reduce the paperwork created by the old fashioned method of signing and returning STO contracts, and to make STO, BAR, and Rack rates immediately available, and 100% accurate.”
(I looked them up just to check: STO = Standard Tour Operator, and BAR = Best Available Rates. But I knew that.)
“I looked, but I couldn’t find a system of rates management that could handle all the fascinating combinations of specials that become available on a day-to-day basis.
“I think most of the specials that come into our inboxes just get deleted, and when you actually have to book them, you can never find them again – even if you do remember that you had received something about them last week.”
Xcursia will offer instant and efficient online rates distribution from accommodation providers to tour operators; paperless contracting; and superior market intelligence. And although it will link accommodation establishments and tour operators when it launches, the developers plan to bring attractions and activities on board in the very near future – so it will become a service for everyone.
For accommodation establishments, Xcursia means:
Instant distribution of rates and specials from one central point;
Accuracy (no chance that Tour Operator Data Capture Chappy will enter your rates incorrectly);
The ability to differentiate between target markets so that you can make your rates work for you;
Instant access to your competitors’ rates – and that will make your market research more accurate;
Access and exposure to a global database of tour operators;
Endless possibilities for data mining;
The power to easily and quickly make changes to your rates and special offers – which means you can react to the market faster and more efficiently;
The end of rate parity issues.
And for tour operators:
Dynamic calculations – with issues like specials, child policies, and maximum room capacities taken into account;
The ability to compare Rack, STO and BAR rates from one central point;
The end of the unmanageable number of emails about rates and special offers that we’re all tired of receiving;
You’ll always quote on current rates;
You can view all current specials instantly;
The end of bulky and out-of-date rates files;
Access to a huge database of the world’s hotels;
The end of data capturing departments – and the errors they make when they load your suppliers’ information;
The end of endless communications between yourself and the hotels when you’re trying to make sense of their rates and specials.
Sounds like a no-brainer, really.
The Xcursia team has been working closely with large and small tour operators, and they’ll be at Indaba this week to answer any questions you may have – and to drum up support for a system that’ll finally take the frustrations and complexity out of rates management.
Get hold of them if you’re an early adopter and an industry pioneer:
Nicki Delmulle: 083 391 5258 or email@example.com
Bart Delmulle: 083 285 2619
Karin Bohme: 082 474 4483
Office phone: +27(0)21 946 2488
For media enquiries, please contact Jacques Maritz: 083 389 2523
Now go away on holiday (or get down to Indaba). It’s in the economy’s best interest
With best Barefoot Wishes – M
MARTIN HATCHUEL, Barefoot Writer
Specialist writer for the tourism industry
Social media & advertising
Cell +27(0)84 951 0574
Fax +27(0)86 614 8853
63 Wilson Street, Knysna 6570
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