Hotel connectivity and distribution enables hotels to reach a wider audience, attract bookings, and optimise revenue through online distribution channels. Marco D’Amore, CEO of ErmesHotels tells us how its innovative systems empowers hoteliers and remains competitive in an evolving marketplace.
Hotel connectivity and distribution refers to the systems and processes that enables hotels to connect with various online distribution channels and effectively distribute their inventory, rates, and availability to potential guests. It involves establishing connections and partnerships with online travel agencies, global distribution systems (GDS), search engines, tour operators, and other relevant platforms.
In today’s fast-paced and competitive hospitality industry, effective distribution management is paramount in enabling hotels to thrive. Recognising the need for a comprehensive and streamlined solution, Rome based ErmesHotels can now boast a client portfolio of more than 900 clients, emerging as a leading player in creating simple yet effective technology for hoteliers and restaurants to optimise their rates and inventories.
Here we speak to Marco D’Amore, co-founder and CEO of ErmesHotels – Italy’s leader in the online distribution of accommodation – to learn more about the technology systems involved in his company’s customisable, fast, and easy to use booking engine for the hotel and restaurant industries.
Marco, you have an extensive career history in both hotel industry revenue intelligence and finance. Could you tell us a little bit about your background, the need to develop new systems and establishing ErmesHotels, please?
Yes, I’ve more than 20 years active experience in hospitality across managerial, operational, financial and marketing roles. IT systems have always been an integral part of the infrastructure behind successful hotel revenue management, but with an increasing need for efficiency behind finance and accounting, online bookings and reservations, a seamless integration of services is crucial.
In 2004, together with two ex-colleagues, Roberto Romano IT expert and Roberto Santecca Marketing I co-founded ErmesHotels. The three of us had a united dedication to provide innovative solutions, software and service processes – a DMS (Distribution Management System) which respond to the needs of an evolving market. Our starting point and key strength has always been our industry know-how, and this has enabled all solutions we develop to respond to the individual dynamics of the hotel and restaurant industries.
ErmesHotels was born out of a deep understanding of the challenges faced by hoteliers in managing their online and offline distribution channels, including direct bookings and partnerships with travel agencies and tour operators. By centralising and optimising the distribution of rates and room availability in the market, ErmesHotels provides an easily accessible and secure platform for hotels to enhance their distribution strategies.
So what would you say sets ErmesHotels systems apart from its competitors? How do you remain competitive?
It’s a combination of several unique factors! Firstly, we’ve always listened to feedback from our clients and acted upon it. Our functions, modules and technology are regularly updated to ensure our clients not only have access to the latest features, but also uninterrupted service and continuity via real time switching should server outages occur. In addition, we have created the first control panel chat which enables hotels to enter into contact with their clients, negotiate and send real time offers.
Secondly, we offer a wide range of functions and interfaces with third-party systems. This means that our clients are assured of comprehensive, customisable solutions for their distribution management needs. Keeping up with modern methods of communication is also vital. In particular, instant messaging channels such as Whats App are becoming increasingly popular. Our systems are the first to be integrated with Whats App, thus enabling booking confirmations and chat functions via this platform. We also provide high level software assistance with regard to our solutions, and consultancy in sales and distribution for hospitality from our advisors, and we are extremely proud of our exceptional satisfaction rates.
However, most importantly our track record speaks volumes for our success. Our clients report notable stories of revenue growth, improved efficiency, and enhanced client satisfaction. Notable examples include partnerships with renowned Italian hotel chains and independent hotels – Borgo Egnazia in Apulia, a renowned five-star deluxe hotel which is part of the esteemed San Domenico Hotels group consisting of eight luxury hotels.
You’ve mentioned instant messaging and the use of Whats App as being pioneering features of ErmesHotels systems. However, your payment platform and payment options are also innovative. Could you offer more of an insight into what makes your payment platform special?
In today’s digital age, and with the growth of international travel, hotels need payment platforms that can cater to a diverse range of global clients. A user friendly and efficient payment process improves conversion rates, as when guests encounter an easy to use, secure platform they are more likely to proceed with bookings.
Our payment platform offers a convenient booking process with streamlined operations across hotel booking systems, automating payment processing and reporting. Our Payment Collection Manager is fully compatible with systems such as Booking.com and Expedia – reducing administrative work by up to 70 per cent. Various payment options are provided, including the ability to pay by installments, with all transactions able to be viewed by their due date or payment received date.
We’ve partnered with 12 payment gateways, (PayPal, Stripe,Planet, etc), to support multiple currencies, cross border transactions and local payment methods, which enables hotels to attract and accommodate guests from around the world. We’re delighted to announce our recent partnership with Planet as an addition to the payment gateways provided. Our platform incorporates advanced security measures to safeguard against fraud and complies with industry regulations, thereby instilling trust and a high level of confidence in our clients and in turn their guests.
Hand in hand with our overall distribution management system which is exclusively designed to cater for individual client needs, our payment platform is one of the most innovative in the market today.
Do you have a vision for the future? How can ErmesHotels continue to meet the needs of hoteliers in such an evolving landscape?
Obviously we cannot remain complacent. As technology advances, we too must adapt and embrace new ways of working. Our aim is to expand our capabilities and strengthen our position as a forward-thinking solution provider. To this end we will be developing a new business unit in fin tech and studying the potential applications of blockchain technology and Web3 in the industry. By understanding and harnessing the benefits of smart contracts and tokenisation, ErmesHotels will continue to revolutionise the way hotels handle transactions, data security, and guest interactions.
We’ve also made strategic investments in start-up companies like Takyon, a notable NFT booking platform. By supporting and participating in the growth of emerging ventures, ErmesHotels demonstrates its commitment to staying at the forefront of industry innovation and exploring new avenues for the benefit of its clients.
ErmesHotels revolutionises hotel distribution management by providing a centralised platform that optimises rates and availability across online, offline, and direct channels. For further information on systems and solutions provided, opportunities to partner with this market leader, or book a demonstration, please visit https://ermeshotels.com/en/