Hotels encouraged to be destination experts in Expedia partner platform upgrade

Hotels encouraged to be destination experts in Expedia partner platform upgrade

Expedia is to start allowing hotels using its Partner Central technology platform to tailor destination information relevant to their properties.

Initially hotels will be able to select or deselect points of local interest that are already in the system but eventually they will also be able to add their own.

Benoit Jolin, vice president global product, gave a demonstration of Expedia Partner Central (EPC) at last week’s Expedia Partner Conference in Las Vegas.

“Hotels are the true destination ambassadors and can tell us what the highlights are in their neighbourhood.

“We are allowing them to review all points of interest associated with their property and remove those that are not relevant and highlight the ones that are.”

Currently destination content is attributed to hotels by an algorithm but Expedia plans to open up the destination guides to hoteliers so they can write their own and take more control.

Jolin confirmed points of interest loaded into EPC by hotels will not be kept for exclusive use of that property.

Further plans to enhance EPC will see hotels being able to use it to offer real-time offers to people they know are actively looking at their property on an Expedia website.

These will be tailored to target the individual looking at the property and be time-limited, so the potential customer will be offered a short window in which to take up the offer.

Expedia will also be developing new templated messages that can be personalised and sent to consumers during their stay to offer ancillary products like excursions or spa treatments.

This year EPC has been enhanced to give hoteliers more intelligent revenue management capabilities including a price calendar that will show how quickly various room grades are selling out.

This can be measured against last year’s performance as well as against up to 20 competitor hotels, identified by the EPC user hotel.

Jolin said: “Everyone is competing on price, which is great for the customer, but no one is helping the hotelier sell higher quality product at a higher price level.”

EPC now allows hotels to pre-set upgrade specifications which determine how much they are prepared to offer certain customers to opt for a more premium room.

Expedia has also begun using sentiment analysis on the reviews it collects on hotels to enable them to assess the impact of improvements and benchmark this against competitors.

“Hotels want to know what services and amenities are helping to promote their brand and which are hurting it,” Jolin said. “Hotels can use that information to better inform the shopping experience.”

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