Ideally located in the picturesque countryside between Cologne and Bonn, three traditional hospitality institutions – the Kronprinz, the Augustin, and Hotel Hangelar – have long been a mainstay for both leisure and business travellers, many of whom have been returning for years and have many a fond memory of conferences, weddings, or vacations. But each month new guests also discover these hotels and their beautiful surroundings.
Recently the three properties merged with all 128 rooms now being managed by the family business SIBO Hotels. We sat down with Andy Krolop, the managing director of the two hotels in Sankt Augustin, to find out how SiteMinder helped him increase revenue and generate more direct bookings.
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Efficient rate management
SIBO Hotels was already using a channel manager before switching to SiteMinder; however the system had several restrictions, which made Andy and the management team search for a new solution – and soon they came across SiteMinder.
“I was after a well-structured and user-friendly platform that allowed me to manage all three properties from a single platform. SiteMinder met all these criteria. I was also convinced by the company’s long-standing experience in the hotel distribution sector as well as the recommendations of existing customers”, he explained.
Switching to SiteMinder’s channel manager immediately made rate management faster, simpler, and eliminated the need to remain in one specific location.
“Once I set a standard rate in SiteMinder, the prices of all the OTA rates are derived automatically. That saves me a lot of time because I don’t need to create and load separate rate codes for all our different distribution partners”, Andy added.
The same goes for setting restrictions and other booking rules: “The bulk-update feature simplifies everything, for example, it only takes a few clicks to edit a minimum stay restriction for several date ranges. This allows us to perfectly meet the existing demand without the need to update our booking conditions for each date.”
Automatic data exchange
The solution Andy and SIBO Hotels were using before SiteMinder offered a far from ideal integration of their PMS and the systems of their online distribution partners. Since they made the switch to SiteMinder accidental double bookings and the manual reconciliation of occupancy are a thing of the past.
“The overall integration of everything has clearly improved. Thanks to the integration of our PMS, SiteMinder can automatically retrieve the availability of our hotels. This data then is immediately passed on to the OTAs. If someone makes a booking over one of these channels, it will be directly sent to the PMS and the room sold will be taken out of the available inventory,” Andy said.
Flexible rate management leads to increased revenue
SiteMinder has given Andy the means to better manage his room offers, regardless of whether he’s in one of the properties or on the go. This in turn has had a positive impact on the revenue of SIBO Hotels.
“With SiteMinder we always have a clear idea of what our occupancy and demand look like. Additionally, we are a lot more flexible when it comes to pricing structure because managing rates has become so easy. When we become aware of increased demand for a certain date range, I can immediately react to it by adapting our rates.”
As result, the three properties were able to increase their booking volume by up to 15%, which led to an increase in revenue between 5% and 10% in each hotel.
More direct bookings thanks to SiteMinder’s booking system
Aside from the channel manager, SIBO Hotels now also use SiteMinder’s online booking engine, which has made booking directly on the hotel website much easier and smoother for guests.
“I recently spent a lot of time working on our booking page, optimising many details and testing it to make sure the booking process is as easy as possible. We now receive between 20 and 30 additional direct bookings each month, and this number is constantly increasing. Sometimes we even get more bookings on our website than through HRS”, Andy said.
One notably effective change was to refrain from checking credit card details for non-guaranteed bookings: “We noticed that more guests completed their reservations if the booking process was shorter. Because we have a low cancellation rate even without checking card details, this step made sense for us”.
Advice for colleagues
At the end, we asked Andy if he had any advice for colleagues that are currently looking for a new distribution solution.
He did not mince his words: “I love working with SiteMinder. The system is designed in such a way that it’s fun to get to know it. That’s why I will always recommend SiteMinder, both the channel manager and the booking system features – you’ve got everything you need. It’s particularly useful if you manage more than one property or more than one person is taking care of online distribution”.
Thank you, Andy, for this stellar recommendation! We’re excited to see SIBO Hotels achieve such success with SiteMinder and wish you all the best for the future.