Product Manager Julia on why getting set up with Impala is so easy for hotels
- With a background at Airbnb, Accor and Starwood, Julia Panabiere knows hotels. And as a Product Manager at Impala, she’s responsible for developing our platform and bringing Open Distribution to life for properties around the world. One part of working with Impala that stuns hotels is how fast it is to get started, because with us, there’s no integration required. We sat down with Julia to find out how this is possible, and why it works so well for hotels.
Julia, how would you describe the status quo for hotels working with new distribution partners?
There’s no black and white answer that describes the experience of all properties. That’s because it varies massively based on the size of the hotel, the experience of the team, and the tools they already have in place. But one thing we find consistently is that while exact worries might vary, there’s always apprehension about adopting new tools.
Hoteliers are typically concerned about the cost, time and complexity of adopting new technology. And that’s understandable - changing your setup has traditionally been expensive, slow and difficult. So we knew that in order for properties to embrace Impala and Open Distribution, we needed to do something dramatically better.
We’ve “de-dramatised” creating new partnerships. Joining Impala requires no investment of either money or time by hotels.
How is Impala different?
The way I like to describe it is that we’ve “de-dramatised” creating new partnerships. Joining Impala requires no investment of either money or time by hotels. There’s no lock-in, so you can try it, and stop it if you don’t like it. We’ve done away with the daunting costs, approval processes and timelines hotels have come to expect.
How have you made the setup process so simple?
Hotels need to offer consistent and dynamic rates and availability across all channels. And until now, this has required channel manager integrations to start selling through new partners. Impala’s approach is radically simple and smart: we eliminate the need for the channel manager integration.
We collect live ARI for all properties we work with from existing public sources, instead of integrating with channel managers. But the key thing is that properties stay in control: our dashboard allows you to make changes, and decide who you work with. We take the weight off properties when it comes to setup, but we make sure they’re still in the driving seat.
How does Impala solve the “cost, time and complexity” problem you described before?
In terms of cost, Impala has no setup fees, and the charges per booking are similar to what you’d expect from a channel manager. And you also have complete control over where your rooms are sold, and for what price and commission.
When it comes to time, we can get you set up to try Impala within 48h. Give it a go, and if you don’t like it, we can switch you off just as fast. No effort needed from your side.
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And as for complexity, there are no blockers for Impala. You could be using a totally obscure channel manager, or a big player like SiteMinder, and we can always fetch your rates.
What would you say to hotels about Impala?
It’s a dynamic time in the travel industry - a lot is changing. When it comes to working with Impala, this is a decision that doesn’t prevent you from making other choices in future. You have nothing to lose by trying it out.
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