Commission Free Hotel Bookings with Treovi – Exclusive Interview with the Founders

An exclusive interview with Michal Wrobel, one of the co-founders of Treovi, a recently launched hotel distribution initiative that is causing industry buzz with a unique value proposition for hoteliers…an end to OTA commissions!

Commission Free Hotel Bookings with Treovi

[JJ]  Treovi has been actively driving buzz in the industry with its promise to eliminate OTA booking fees…can you tell us a little more about your project and what hoteliers and consumers can expect?

[Michal] At Treovi, we believe a disruption was needed in the hotel reservation industry. I think the first question we have to ask ourselves, is: what is the main driver of OTAs? It is the commission system, which is related to a business model that has absolutely nothing to do with web 2.0 and Internet today. OTAs simply used the system that applied to physical travel agents and put it online. Similar happened for classified ads. Now, users can place their ads online for free… same change should have happened in hospitality online. It didn’t. In fact, it even got worse, the position of OTAs is now more and more controversial regarding the tools they use to drive bookings. We can’t really blame them, this is business, although some of the methods they use made hoteliers feel as being hostages of a system they are fed up with. Currently, online products and services available to the travel industry are deliberately reinforcing the old commissions system. We believe it has to change, and one simply can’t do it without disrupting the whole business model. This is what Treovi is about. Hoteliers are able to sell their room nights for free. Forever. We provide them with a fantastic “extranet” interface – we call it hotelier admin panel. We also provide something called “Treovi Hotel Profile” to which a hotel can setup a custom URL in the form (where hotelname is the chosen by the hotelier), and on which you can book directly a room, without using our search feature. Consumers can expect great interfaces, social media integration, and a lot of surprises. I will come back to that later. Upcoming soon are the mobile app and optional products and services, based on a freemium model.

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The Hotels vs OTA Paid Search War – Get Your Defensive Strategy Right

Here’s another great guest post by the team at Mirai Espana, this time by Pablo Delgado and César López. This post examines how 3rd Party Retailers / OTAs capture business intended directly for hotels…and how to approach / fix the problem. Also evaluated is the value OTAs CAN add, i.e. via generic and destination level searches.

How Online Travel Agencies (OTA) or 3rd Party intermediaries get the customers that are searching for you on the web

PART 1: The problem

In Continental Europe, hotels with registered trademarks can prevent intermediaries from using their brand names in Google Adwords. Doing this means that more users end up on their own websites. In spite of the advantages, most independent hotels don’t take the necessary steps to benefit from it.

Did you think you were first in line? Others are cutting in front of you.

Your 1st place is barely visible

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The curse of too much choice

A great TED talks video by Sheena Iyengar that talks about the perils of too much choice. To quote from the video blurb:

We all want customized experiences and products — but when faced with 700 options, consumers freeze up. With fascinating new research, Sheena Iyengar demonstrates how businesses (and others) can improve the experience of choosing.

We all know what happens when you’re faced with too much choice…if you’ve ever stood in the local hypermarket aisle, facing endless brands of washing powder, you’ll know exactly what I mean. We all love choice…but do we really need 25 varieties of washing powder? Humans are great at processing 6-7 pieces of information at a time and at eliminating the choices we know we DON’T want.

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Are we over-complicating the issue of Privacy?

This recent article on Forbes has sparked a fair bit of interest and controversy – “How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did“. Essentially the piece is about how Target uses clever data mining techniques to discover (and sometimes predict) user behaviour and circumstance (as evidenced by the aforementioned case where they were able to predict a pregnancy…and recommend suitable baby products to the customer).

Seth Godin followed this news (not sure if there was a connection) with a great blog post about “the illusion of privacy” which made a great point…despite all the hullabaloo about privacy (or lack thereof) these days, perhaps what we’re most concerned about are unexpected surprises. This makes a lot of sense…after all, we only want so much “privacy” in our lives. Wikipedia defines the term privacy as “the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively.” We constantly reveal details about ourselves selectively in the hopes of rewards (think loyalty programs, credit cards, shopping cards), access to free services (think Facebook…or even Google) or a personalized experience. So what we’re really afraid of are people or companies that appear to know things you didn’t selectively choose to share…or perhaps didn’t realize they had access to.

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Web 3.0 – The Sensory Web

Here’s a great presentation by a good friend (and extraordinary hotel educator), Lukas Ritzel. Lukas presented on the topic of the sensory web (Web 3.0) at the second ever TEDx event in Switzerland (Zug – May 27, 2010).

Explore Lukas’ presentation below using Prezi, a superb presentation tool:


Here’s a video of the presentation: