The world’s hoteliers will finally be back in the driving seat, thanks to the launch of a groundbreaking new hotel booking platform next month that will see customer/hotel relationships once again come to the fore.
Global Hotel Exchange (GHX), an innovative new trading platform that boasts a number of ‘hotelier-friendly’ features, is set to reinvent the way hotel bookings are made online, giving back full control over financial transactions and customer data back to the hotels.
Hoteliers have struggled in recent years thanks to the previously unstoppable growth of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), which took control out of the hands of hotels, keeping their customer’s financial and personal details firmly under wraps and limiting the flexibility of service that hotels could offer.
That’s all about to change however, with the impetus shifting back to the hotels once again.
GHX does things differently; they don’t take commissions on bookings made through their platform, and they don’t even handle the finances. Instead, all payments (including room rates, surcharges and taxes) go directly into the hotel’s coffers – unlike with OTAs who traditionally take their cut the instant a transaction is made.
Best and Easiest Wins
The benefits for hoteliers are sure to put pressure on OTAs to come up with something better. GHX, which is completely free to use, pursues an aggressive marketing campaign for all hotels under its banner, pushing their client’s brand through search engine marketing on sites like Google, and social media marketing on the likes of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn et al. Engaging customers where the customers are, this is the golden ring for any new age interrupter, and if GHX can engage best and easiest, the rest of the story is a cake walk.
Biggest benefit of all is undoubtedly that GHX offers hotels the chance to build a loyal customer base like never before. With OTAs out the way, hotels will ‘own’ their customers the moment a booking is confirmed, which means they have more flexibility when it comes to accommodating reservation changes and additional requests, something that can’t be done with many of the inflexible bookings made on OTAs.
Thinking of Hoteliers, Who Think of Customers First
But it’s not just hotels that will benefit from GHX – consumers will also reap the rewards. GHX offers the most transparent price comparison system yet seen on a booking platform. The super-simple ‘market-based pricing’ allows consumers to view today’s current room rate for any given hotel against the previous 12 month’s high/low median room rates for that area, ensuring full confidence that the prices on offer are absolutely fair.
Keeping simplicity in mind, the search parameters are kept to a minimum. Consumers enter their city/destinations, any attractions they want to be nearby, their preferred price range and star rating, their dates and hit the search button. GHX pulls up a list of all partner hotels that fit the bill, ranked according to the best value.
Gist of Value
Of course, the customer/hotel relationship rekindling benefits consumers equally. The inflexible, pre-paid bookings on OTAs have long been a nightmare for travelers, who find it difficult if not impossible to cancel or change their requests after booking. With GHX, that’s no longer an issue as partner hotels are encouraged to be as flexible as possible when it comes to accommodating last minute changes.
As anyone on the social web knows, real time and systematic request-response has been the motivation for a great many SM innovations and trends. It will be interesting to see just how far Global Hotel Exchange, can push the social and marketing envelope.
Posted in Social Media News. Tags: niche social networking, travel social media networks
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