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Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Are hoteliers ready for post-rate parity era?

There has been a lot of talk in the press and discussion forums about the "fall” of rate parity in Europe and its implications.

Most of the new rules and proclamations in Europe thus far concern Most Favorite Nation (MFN) clauses in the hotel-OTA agreements. In the case of France, a new “rate parity” law was adopted in August, which directly affected the rate parity clauses in the hotel-OTA agreements in this country, and most probably will have Pan-European repercussions as well.

I believe one of the reason for the confusion about what exactly is happening and has happened in Europe is that the analysts and editors are mixing two completely separate issues: Most Favorite Nation (MFN) and Rate Parity.

Most Favorite Nation: this is historically the contractual requirement by Booking.com in Europe that a hotel cannot give a lower rate to another OTA. This MFN requirement does not exist here in the U.S. and Booking.com and Expedia both take advantage of various exclusive deals a hotel extends to them based on the property’s business needs. The 24-hour exclusive sales on Expedia fall into this category.

Rate Parity traditionally means maintaining the same publicly available rate for the same room/same stay across all public distribution channels. Rate Parity is not a new online policy specifically designed for the OTAs. It existed long before the "commercial internet" came into being and there was only one reason for its existence: it made revenue management and management of distribution channels much easier. All major hotel chains and smart hoteliers applied rate parity across all offline distribution channels: voice, walk-ins, GDS/brick-and-mortar travel agents, etc. With the advent of the online channel, this business policy was applied to the hotel website and the OTAs as well. Read More »

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

GDSes deserve some love

These days when you read about hotel distribution, the Priceline's, Kayak's and TripAdvisor's of this world get all the attention. Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport get hardly any mention allthough they are kicking butt when it comes to hotel bookings - and at increasingly higher average rates.
The GDS channel posted ADR growth of 4.6% during the second quarter, according to data from TravelClick’s “North American distribution review.” That bested not only the OTAs (3.9% ADR growth) but also brand.com as well as central reservation offices, which house central reservations systems (both at 3.8%).  “Interestingly, the GDS continues to demonstrate growth, especially with higher ADR bookings,” TravelClick’s John Hach noted in a news release. Read More »

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

MP's to lobby for cut in tourism VAT

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) is increasing pressure on the government to cut the rate of tourism VAT by establishing a cross party parliamentary group of MP's to build momentum for the bill.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Visitor Economy will be chaired by Nigel Huddleston, Conservative MP for Mid Worcestershire and Margaret Ritchie, the Social Democrat and Labor MP for South Down in Northern Ireland.

It will also promote measures to drive visitor number and investment across regional economies in Britain and Northern Ireland.

To see the full article click below:  Read More »

Friday, July 03, 2015

Expedia amends rate-parity clauses

1 July 2015 – The Expedia group (Expedia) today announced that it intends to waive certain clauses in its agreements with its European hotel partners.

A number of European competition authorities are currently investigating rate, conditions and availability parity clauses in certain online travel agency agreements with hotels. Expedia has worked closely and constructively with these authorities and the European Commission and today announced that it is waiving its rate, conditions and availability parity clauses with its hotel partners for a period of five years in line with Clauses 1.1, 1.2 and 2.1 of the formal commitments offered by Booking.com and accepted by the national competition authorities in France, Italy and Sweden in April 2015. The changes announced today apply to all hotel properties in Europe and affect consumers booking via Expedia’s sites worldwide. Read More »

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

RateGain partners with Navarino Servies to Expand its Global Distribution Footprint

RateGain, a leading provider of SaaS-based hospitality and travel technology solutions, today announced a partnership agreement with Navarino Services, one of the most established British-based hotel representation and distribution companies. With this partnership, Navarino Services will start offering RateGain’s software solutions to all its clients.

“Navarino Services is proud to be partnering with RateGain and offering their PriceGain tools and services across the board to all the Navarino clients. We recognise that RateGain is a market leader in providing robust, accurate, simple-to-use Rate Shopping technology and the ability for Navarino's clients to leverage this 'Partnership' and enhance their ability to more scientifically manage their rate structure and improve RevPar, is an exciting development,” said Christopher Codrington, Director, Navarino Services. Read More »