By Shane Mansell
ResNet World director of operations Shane Mansell urges hoteliers to think carefully when selecting a CRS provider in order to avoid paying over the odds for the service they receive.
I speak to hoteliers on a daily basis and it is no surprise that the main topic of discussion is the existing economic climate and the effects of the current recession on revenues.
The good news is that today's recession will undoubtedly be followed by tomorrow's economic upturn. So, in today's climate, hoteliers should work on diversifying their revenue channels to ensure they maintain fair market share as economies rebound and occupancies start to increase.
The single most important way to gain revenue opportunity is through the proper utilisation of the hotel's Central Reservation System (CRS). Whether your customer wants to book through a travel agent, a third-party website, or directly with you, your CRS will provide that capability 24 hours a day. Those who practise well thought out electronic distribution strategies will not only maximise revenue now, but will also position themselves to outperform their competition in the future. Those who delay and react to the economic upturn will be left behind.
One of the most important decisions a hotel can make is the selection of their CRS partner. The key word to consider when making this decision is ‘partner'.
A CRS provider must be willing to work with you to ensure revenue opportunities are maximised. This means listening to you, understanding your needs and most importantly, rolling up their sleeves and actually working for you in the electronic reservation market.
CRS providers are often guilty of signing hotels, providing them minimal training and then filing their paperwork in a drawer. If the most common communication from a CRS provider is in the form of a monthly bill, there is truly something wrong with that partnership.
Choosing a CRS provider is not always an easy decision. There are some top tips to ease the selection process in the box opposite, but the most important issue is to ensure that your provider is ready to work for you and earn your business.
And don't forget: this is a buyer's market. Be willing to pay a fair price, but be clear about what you expect from your provider before you sign a contract. They are the experts, so be willing to rely on them to follow up on the promises they make. Look for companies you trust with your future and always remember...the future is bright!
Shane Mansell has 18 years' experience in the hospitality field and currently holds the position of director of operations at ResNet World. Details:
or +971 (4) 448 7222.