London, UK – The head of France at SiteMinder, the global hotel industry’s leading cloud platform, is alerting the country’s hotels to a slowing growth rate of direct online bookings. Clemens Fisch, a travel industry expert who has led SiteMinder’s French and DACH regions since 2017, says the deceleration exposes French hotels to a future of distant relationships with their guests and guest experiences that are lacking in personalisation.
Mr Fisch’s statements come ahead of a new SiteMinder report being released this month on the latest opportunities and challenges facing France’s hotels. According to the report, titled State of the Nation 2018: How big is the opportunity for hotel bookings in France?, the contribution of direct bookings to France’s online hotel sales has risen only 2.6 percent since 2012 and the growth rate will slow further to 2.1 percent over the next five years, with third-party booking sites forecast to constitute 71.5 percent of the country’s online hotel sales by 2022.
“It is ironic that direct bookings are slowing in one of the first markets to make sure rate parity was a non-issue for local hotels. I believe it’s time France’s hotels assess the balance of their distribution strategies, and capitalise on the continued rise of tourism entering the country by taking more ownership of their supply. While hoteliers are incredibly time-poor, they can take small steps – examine the state of their hotel website, for example, or the conversion rates of their online booking engine – and look to technology as a key enabler,” says Mr Fisch.
Clemens Fisch has more than a decade’s experience working within Europe’s dynamic hospitality and travel industry, having begun as a tour guide before leading tour operator EF Cultural Tours as an area manager in Switzerland. From there, he served at travel agency PDM Touristik, initially as a delegation manager before being promoted to deputy head of sales. Prior to joining SiteMinder, he was a senior account manager at Booking.com where he discovered the real challenges of hoteliers behind the front desk.
As the regional manager of France at SiteMinder, Mr Fisch leads a team that has secured deals with Paris’ largest hotel chain, Machefert Hotels Collection; the famous Hotel du Louvre; and Hotel Barrière Le Gray d’Albion Cannes. France is one of SiteMinder’s fastest-growing markets, having grown its local customer base more than ten percent in the past six months and local customer reservations more than thirty percent since January.
Today’s announcement precedes the Food Hotel Tech conference in Paris, where SiteMinder is exhibiting for the first time.
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