Itai Green
Corporate Open Innovation Expert

Are you on the hotel blacklist

Hotels around the world share information about guests — positive and less positive — so if a guest stole a bathrobe in a hotel in Rio de Janeiro for example, when he made an invitation to a hotel in Israel, the hotel knew about it and could take measures

When a visitor arrives at the hotel and is not satisfied with the conditions or service he is given, he knows how to express it: he may use blogs, social media, rating sites, and more so that he can inform the world about his experience. However, the hoteliers and any other hosting provider do not have these tools, and they stand helpless against the less positive guests — who steal towels, make noise, cause damage, etc…

The balance of power between hoteliers and online travel agencies, such as Booking and Expedia, is also leaning towards the guests. Hotels are becoming increasingly dependent on orders from online agencies, which hold hoteliers hostage with high fees — about 15% -23% and various restrictions, such as the hotel’s inability to communicate directly with future guests on arrival.

It’s not only this — the hospitality industry is highly sensitive to events that are not under the control of hoteliers, but directly affect them — such as economic recession / natural disasters / political instability and more.

The situation that hoteliers, perhaps the most important player in the travel industry, almost no power – is absolutely absurd. An imbalance of power is very significant, eroding the hoteliers’ profits significantly, and at the end of the day rolling into the guest’s doorstep — both from the damage of problematic guests and from the high fees paid to online agencies — which is almost a miracle that the hoteliers are making a profit.

Some Israeli enterprises are trying to provide a solution — and to help the hotels restore the balance of power to the industry.

In order to restore the balance between service providers and guests, WhosYourGuest has created a platform where hotels around the world share information about guests – positive and less positive information – so if a guest stole a bathrobe in a hotel in Rio de Janeiro, when he made a hotel reservation in Israel, Know this and can take measures (request a deposit or check the room well before releasing the client for example), in order to prevent recurrence of the case and reduce the risk.

Hotels also receive email alerts on reports in their country. After a short registration process on the platform and verification of details, the hotel receives access information to the database. The service is free and already operates in 22 countries.

BookingDirection is an add-on for hotel websites that increases direct bookings by tens of percents, saves on commission payouts to OTAs ( Expedia, etc.) and generates thousands of dollars in net revenue per hotel per month.

How Does It work? Researches shows that 76% of online hotel bookings worldwide are made at OTAs. But BookingDirection investigated and found that 52% of users visit the hotel’s website just before booking on an OTA. If so, why are they leaving the hotel’s website and going back to buy at the OTA? There are several reasons for this, one of which is that users mistakenly think that at the OTAs they will find a lower price.

With BookingDirection tools easily embedded in the hotel’s website, the hotel shows visitors that the price it offers on its website is competitive, and sometimes even cheaper than any reservation site in the world. Also, the product uses eCommerce techniques to spur users to order immediately rather than leaving the hotel’s website and ordering elsewhere. BookingDirection is helping hundreds of hotels worldwide to get more commission-free direct bookings.

TheService is a platform that places the hotel in the center of the visitor’s travel experience, allowing the guest and the hotel to communicate directly before, during and after the stay, in the physical space of the hotel and outside it. Through the platform, the hotel can offer the guest a personalized hospitality experience – from hotel services and value propositions to planning the trip and booking restaurants, performances, tours and more. In this way, the hotel closely recognizes the visitor’s preferences, strengthens the personal relationship with him, increases his satisfaction and wins the guest’s loyalty to the hotel instead of the agencies.

And how can you help the hoteliers, and ultimately, yourselves?

You can keep hotels while you are staying and call the hotel directly when you request a room, and ask for a lower price than you see in online agencies.

Have a good vacation!

About the Author
Itai Green is the founder and CEO of Innovate Israel. He is one of the dominant leaders of Israel's corporate open innovation. Itai is recognised as a leading player in Israel's startup ecosystem and is at the forefront of launching its growth at a rapid pace. Itai leads innovation processes by connecting global corporations with the Israeli startup community to create advanced technological solutions; focusing on IT, consumer products, pharma, finance, travel, e-commerce, retail, banking, insurance, energy, construction tech and IoT. Itai is a member in several startup advisory boards. In the past, Itai was head of business development and Innovation at Amadeus IT Group in Israel, amongst other prominent positions at Elbit, CEO at Maxtech Technologies, VP Business Development at Techtium and the co-founder of JerusalemOnline. Itai is the founder of the ITTS community (Israel Travel Tech Startups). ITTS houses 350 Israeli traveltech entrepreneurs and strengthens the internal collaboration between startups, as well as increases the level of engagement between startups, multinationals and investors. Itai has also created the IITS community (Israel Insurance Tech Startups) for the Insurance start-up sector.