TUI-owned accommodation supplier Hotelbeds has completed the development of new API connectivity which it says is quicker and more flexible and will slash the time it takes to complete integration.
Carlos Muñoz, managing director of Hotelbeds, said the development of APItude was part of the firm’s mantra of being easy to do business with and ‘we live simple’ catchphrase promoted at World Travel Market this week.
The new API is not just a tweak Muñoz said, but a fundamental re-engineering of its connectivity to customers which he said will be 30% faster and provide customers with more rich content and property descriptions and information. He said interaction will be three times quicker than with the previous technology.
“This not just a marginal improvement but a real change in approach. It’s completely new and it is that which will make a difference,” he said.
Muñoz said the upgraded technology will provide clients with a much broader range of room types and rates without compromising speed and efficiency and will enable customers to be more creative in looking for a competitive edge.
“It’s more efficient for everyone,” he said. “The end consumer is becoming much more demanding and they do a lot of research before they make their final decision. This is completely new connectivity with clients, much faster and a lot lighter.”
APItude combines three different APIs in one; BookingAPI, CacheAPI and ContentAPI. It also enables the customer to control the whole booking process.
It is multilingual and provides detailed property information as well as direct access to pricing and room availability.
It also offers geo localisation, keywords or advanced filter searches which Hotelbeds says will assist customers’ sales of travel product and it is mobile responsive.
“We are very proud of APItude. It is the faster and lightest distribution API in the market,” claimed Muñoz.
“APItude is the future of booking systems. The way users search and book is changing forever and consumers expect the process to be fast and easy no matter where they are or what device they use.
Muñoz said advances like APItude will help drive consolidation in the bed bank sector with customers enabled to simplify their range of suppliers and cut out duplication.
He said that when the market matures consolidation is inevitable, but at the moment the sector is growing quickly with everyone benefitting.
“My view is there will be consolidation in the market because margins are very tiny. You need continuous strong investment in IT and economies of scale are very important. OTAs maybe connected to 10 or 20 different bed banks but in reality they only need two or three to get what they need, the rest is duplication and marginal.
“The advantages of having multiple suppliers reduce due to the increased complexity in your business. Customers will realise it’s not profitable to be connected to 20 suppliers and they will make a choice to focus on three or four.”
Muñoz said there was a big opportunity for firms dynamically packaging holidays to differentiate themselves against the online giants like Booking.com that focus entirely on accommodation.
“When you package, then you see good rates. This creates an opportunity to bring value to the end consumer,” he said.
“For hoteliers more than distribution costs, the problem is being in the hands of one distribution player. This is a very uncomfortable place to be for anyone on a business. The day Booking.com decides to change the rules of the game then their future is in their hands. Hotels more and more are trying to diversify their distribution to secure their business on the future. It does not have to be complex.”