On October 3-4, the hotelier community will come together in Dallas to discuss the biggest challenges in the industry. The representatives of the hospitality’s biggest players will share their invaluable insights during the Direct Booking Summit’s workshops, keynote speeches and panel discussions.
Right on the top of the Summit’s speaker list is Gil Harel, Head of Strategic Partnerships Hotels and Content at Skyscanner. Gil has an experience of 15 years in the online and mobile industry. He formulated business relations with some of the most known companies in world, such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Hilton, Marriott, Expedia, Groupon, Yelp and many others. Gil has also established strategies for several organizations and has planned, directed, and coordinated operational activities at senior management levels.
Triptease (T): What can the Direct Booking Summit attendees expect to learn from your panel titled "Metasearch in 2018"?
Gil (G): I think they can expect to learn how Meta continues to evolve in 2018 as a product and as a distribution channel, how it is affected by mobile and the different challenges and opportunities it faces from players such as Google, Booking.com etc.
T: What changes have you noticed in the hospitality industry in the past couple of years?
G: The hospitality industry is a fascinating dynamic industry. There are several interesting phenomenas happening simultaneously: The increase influence of the millennial generation on travel: that impacts travel habits (Bleisure for example), hotels branding (urban, Boutique) etc. The ongoing shift to mobile and how the industry including hotels react to this change by investing more in building a mobile presence. The active role hotel chains and hotels take in redefining their direct channel strategy and "fighting" back by launching loyalty programs and rates to attract customers to book directly on their platform. The impact of Google on travel - the challenge of SEO, their push to provide their own direct results. There is a renaissance of technology impacting the industry such as Hotels developing smart rooms. The ability to run hotels more cost effectively using technology etc.
T: What are the main challenges do you face as Head of Strategic Partnerships Hotels & Content at Skyscanner?
G: The main challenges I face is making sure hotels know Skyscanner and understand that we are much more than a flight search engine, we now provide the option to book hotels, cars and more verticals to come. We also want to make sure that hotels understand that we are partners and share the same values: provide a great product for the users where both sides: hotels and Skyscanner benefit.
T: How do you plan to tackle these challenges?
G: We meet partners/hotels all the time and we are able to articulate this message successfully. Furthermore, Hotels that work with us directly see that we really do care about our customers and our partners - Hotels
T: What do you think about the direct booking movement?
G: I think it is a great initiative that really help hotels. The notion that hotels can get together every few months or once a year and with the help of industry leaders can learn from each other on best practices, trends and challenges in the industry is supper helpful and contributes to the ability of hotels to drive more business directly.
We at Triptease also can’t wait to join the guests at the Direct Booking Summit: Americas. Gil and other hoteliers from around the globe will come together to contribute to the industry-changing direct booking movement. This event is not to miss!