How Èhôtels-Lyon reached new customers in minutes
ABOUT THE HOTEL
Èhôtels-Lyon is a boutique, thematic hotel chain with key locations across France. These include the UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Lyon and the historic port city of Toulon. With their group of unique hotels in exceptional and culturally rich settings, they seek to promote the architectural heritage of an area in harmony with its development.
They told us all about their distribution strategy, what issues they have faced in the past, and why joining Impala was the right choice for them.
We’re willing to test to see what works.
In order to be visible, reach target markets and fill their rooms, Èhôtels-Lyon have always sought partnerships with a mix of intermediary companies They connect to the big players, (such as Booking.com) but are also open to trying other, smaller channels; “We’re willing to test to see what works - and if it doesn’t work, at least we tried.” This strategy is in place not only to reach new markets but also to keep them competitive with other local hotels, “it’s necessary to be aware of what’s out there.”
Now they’ve started using Impala’s new technology, Èhôtels-Lyon will be able to do all of the above, only much more efficiently. They no longer need to connect to various channels individually. Instead, all they need is Impala’s two, simple API requests, and they are ready to spread their reach wide, with minimal effort.
Like the entire industry, Èhôtels-Lyon had to adapt quickly in the face of the Covid pandemic. Joining Impala has helped them map their road to recovery properly; “Through Impala we sought out UK specific agencies so that we were positioned and ready for when the market picked up again.”
KEY CHALLENGES TO DATE
Some of Èhôtels-Lyon’s key challenges to date have included lack of control, loss of rate parity and having to adopt technology that requires huge mapping and integration.
Lack of control of their own distribution, and the fragmented nature of the industry, has seen delays in updating hotel information and jeopardises booking power. What’s more, it is difficult to have direct contact with companies to solve issues as “everyone has been bought by someone else”.
This lack of control results in no rate parity. “Nobody respects it … it’s been long since we had any rate parity issues, but recently it’s been very present … we see agencies undercutting us which completely undermines our strategy”.
When connecting to new distributors, mapping can be a lengthy process with plenty of room for mistakes. This can cost the company time and money. And yet, because of the volatile nature of the room-selling market, there has been an understandable internal hesitancy at Èhôtels-Lyon when it comes to big changes.
“When we changed to two-way connectivity with channel managers, we had to validate this shift to the team. They were very siloed and it was a challenge to change the internal mindset. There was this fear that all of our room stocks would be available in all channels. There was a lot of configurations through Protel, which at first glance wasn’t necessarily intuitive.”
It’s difficult to pick just one reason, I had a good feeling!
Zero Risk “It’s very accessible on the fact that it takes zero risk to join.”
Negotiated Rates “I like the principle of being able to negotiate at the commission level and having the choice of negotiation at the agency level. To have this leeway is a major bonus.”
New Markets “Impala gives us the agility to discover and test new markets with zero integration. Impala has allowed us to reach new customers, and in particular, given us more access to the UK.”
Rate Parity “It’s like we’re in a prison, we need the problem solved.”
5 hotels onboarded within 24 hours.
A couple of days after this interview, Èhôtels-Lyon received their first booking.