Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive




Leaving Las Vegas with the ‘Innovation’ Crown;
iRates Emerges the Winner of EyeforTravel's Innovator Award




September 25, 2012 - A company which has wrapped rocket science up in a calculator interface won the day at this year’s EyeforTravel Travel Distribution Summit in North America. Pamela Whitby catches up iRates after the event to hear its next steps.
 
In the highly competitive, rapidly changing travel business where savvy consumers have far more choice and hotels are operating in a tough economic climate, it is perhaps a sign of the times that this year’s winner of the EyeforTravel innovator award is a revenue management tool. Judged by a panel of industry experts, iRates, the revenue management solution for small to mid-tier hospitality firms, was up against four other innovators – three of which were trip-planning tools of a kind. 
 
But it was a tool for revenue management - an increasingly important part of a hotel’s business – that won day. The company’s chief executive, Vadim Asadov, says quite often iRates’ the target audience, namely small to mid-tier hotels, do not have the resources (financial or human) to invest in a complex RM system. Many of these hotels are working under the pressure of rapidly changing demand as a result of increasingly savvy and demanding customers who have a whole range of tools - aggregators, recommendation sites, mobile apps and so on - which enable them to find the best price available. The company says its programme is perfect for this group because it is simple to use with a ready-to-go interface and inexpensive implementation process. It is so simple that Asadov says a five-year-old child could run it.  “It’s rocket science wrapped into a calculator interface,” he says.
 
According to iRates’ vice-president of business development, Ira Vouk, just 30 minutes of remote training is enough to learn how to use the system and will lead to an immediate improvement of a property’s RevPAR.  An average three-star hotel saw a 42% increase in RevPAR, almost 30% higher than the comparable period, after using the system, which led to $60,000 in additional monthly revenue.
 
That sounds like good news but what are the next steps for the firm?
 
Next steps
 
Buoyed up by the networking opportunity at TDS North America, which Asadov says offered the “perfect combination of the right people, industry expertise and abilities,” the company will now be following up leads.   Says Vouk: “The summit was very useful from a strategic point of view. We met many people from different companies that we can develop mutually beneficial partnerships with.”

The revenue management company targets its system at small to mid-tier hospitality firms, introduced its product last year in the United States and now plans to grow its market around the world."  Asadov says the plan now is to focus on three major areas:
 
  1. Improving and expanding algorithms inside the core system.
  2. Integrating with different property management systems and rate shopping software to improve infrastructure that already exists.
  3. Strategic development such as quality control, implementation and preparation for mobile and, in the longer term, a cloud-based version
The company had initial development support from parent company, Neurok Techsoft, following which it raised angel funding to the tune of 150K. Asadov says iRates is a few months from breaking even. So far, however, financial development has been “more linear and we are still talking with some VC to make it exponential”.
 
Winning the EyeforTravel innovator award may make that road a little less bumpy.
 
How it works  
  1. Using proprietary mathematical tools, historical sales data is analysed to build demand patterns specific for the property – we are extracting real demand from visible one. So, each iRates version is built and customised for a specific hotel.
  2. When installed, the iRates’ algorithm takes into account incoming reservation data and other market information, like ‘comp set’ prices for example, to instantly react to changing market conditions and demand fluctuations.
  3. Manager input can be used to provide additional information about market conditions. iRates’ interface allows a dialogue between the user and the programme, because human expertise may be very helpful.
  4. .iRates state-of-the art algorithm constantly analyses multivariable dynamic data to calculate the most optimal price for every day in the future for 365 days ahead with the ultimate goal to maximise the hotel’s bottom line profit - not just a revenue. The company takes into account the hotel’s financial structure for this purpose. The user has full control over the rates calculation process at every step.
  5. The programme can be used from day one – there is no need to wait months for statistical data to accumulate. The benefit is evident from the first day and the results are seen within a few weeks. Documentable results are seen in 30 days, reflected in a range of performance reports.
About EyeforTravel
EyeforTravel is a leading business intelligence provider for the online travel and tourism industry. As well as providing some of the most in-depth research into global online travel markets and trends, EyeforTravel produces a series of senior executive travel conferences on a diverse range of topics including travel distribution, online marketing, social media, mobile and revenue management.  For more information visit www.eyefortravel.com.

 
Contact:

Marco Saio
Global Events Director
London, UK: +44 (0)207 375 7219
US Toll Free: 800-814-3459 (Ext: 7219)
Email: marco@eyefortravel.com

Rosie Akenhead
Director of Events & Industry Analysis, EyeforTravel
London, UK +44 (0)207 375 7229
US Toll Free: 800 814 3459 (Ext. 7229)
Email: rosie@eyefortravel.com


Receive Your Hospitality Industry Headlines via Email for Free! Subscribe Here  

To Learn More About Your News Being Published on Hotel-Online Inquire Here

Also See: Innovation in Action: Meet 5 new companies battling it out for the EyeforTravel innovation crown in 2013 / September 2012

The Heat is On: Five Online Travel Trends Set to Explode / September 2012

A Terrific Opportunity: Your Customers on the Go with New Search Tools / August 2012

Act Global and Think Local: How Not to Get Lost in Translation / August 2012

The Rising Mobile Tide: Five Trends for 2012-2013; Putting in place a mobile strategy is no longer a nice-to-have, it is the essential weapon in a fast-paced and competitive sector. EyeforTravel.com identifies some emerging themes / August 2012

A Tough Job: Targeting the Fickle and Attention-Deprived Travel Consumer / Ritesh Gupta / July 2012

Revenue Management Must Overcome Several Challenges to Create a Bigger Impact / Ritesh Gupta / July 2012

Orbitz's Storm in a Teacup and Lessons Learned / Ritesh Gupta & Pamela Whitby / July 2012

Do's and Don'ts for Travel Campaigns on Facebook / Ritesh Gupta / February 2012

Devising Travel Marketing Strategies Based on the Strength of the Devices / Ritesh Gupta / February 2012

Meeting the Expectations of Last Minute Mobile Bookers; Customer Expectations are Driving Changes in the Online Travel Business / Ritesh Gupta / January 2012

Why 2012 is Going to be 'The Year of SoLoMo' (Social, local, and mobile) / Ritesh Gupta / January 2012

Understanding How to Measure Social Media: An Interview with Barbara Pezzi, Director of Analytics & Search Optimization, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International / December 2011

Travel & Hospitality Brands Need to Make Mobile a Top Priority for 2012 / December 2011



To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch

Home | Welcome | Hospitality News
| Industry Resources

Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.