—“Please, Don’t call them receptive: A couple of years ago I expressed astonishment when one of the traditional receptive operators became incensed with me for referring to Tourico, Hotelbeds and GTA as “receptive tour operators. “They’re bed banks,” he told me, and I responded by saying that I had no control over how the industry decides to refer to the major hotel aggregators that wholesale worldwide hotel inventory. He hasn’t spoken to me since.
“Well, at IPW this year I finally learned why. Speaking with one of the myriad companies that represent multiple hotels to the international wholesale market, it appears that hotel revenue managers and OTAs that have developed algorithms that can trace the source of bookings that fall outside rate parity parameters, harbor a negative image of all receptive operators when the bed banks operators unwittingly resell inventory to someone. They expect the bed bank operators to police the inventory of downline resellers, as they are penalized by Expedia and Booking.com for rate parity violations when they are found.
“The bed banks respond that they are providing guaranteed volume and cannot control to who their clients sell their inventory. This is becoming a growing issue in high-demand destinations (NYC, San Francisco, Miami, Las Vegas) where traditional RTOs find that clueless hotel revenue managers lump all int’l inbound tour operators as ‘Receptives’ and it’s making it harder for them to get inventory at the static FIT rate.”
—“Met up with Jeff Hammerly, manager, international tourism, Asia and Asia media manager for Travel Portland, on an airport shuttle and it appears that, after over 15 years of concentrated relationship building with operators and media, the destination has become one of the hottest commodities in Japan. With five department stores creating Portland consumer promotions and H.I.S., one of the largest Japanese tour operators, reporting that it has become their fastest growing North American destination, Oregon is investing $500,000 in consumer media this year to leverage the intense interest around Portland’s hipster culture and craft beer and artisanal craft product.”
—“Met Richard Hanson, managing director of Trek America, the operator that brings over 7000 25 to 34-year-olds seeking active vacations in the US. They, like other operators focused on Western Europe, have experienced a decline in bookings (pre-Brexit vote) due to the devaluation of the Euro, feels that the fact that Donald Trump has emerged as a serious candidate is having an indirect impact as the among travel agents who’s political sentiments have caused them to become indifferent to selling the US, almost like a subtle form of boycott.”
REMINDER: With this issue, the Inbound Report will be published biweekly until after the USA’s Labor Day holiday (September 5, 2016), when we will resume publication on a weekly basis.