|hotel.de sees booking volumes as bottoming out and even posts slightly positive development in domestic booking totals|
Nuremberg, 5 October 2009* - hotel.de AG, one of the leading worldwide online hotel reservation services, believes that booking volumes have begun to bottom out. "Together with increasing acquisitions of new private and corporate customers, our marketing and sales campaign has enabled us to compensate ever more effectively for the subdued business travel booking behaviour at many companies, as well as for the negative development in hotel room prices", commented Dr. Heinz Raufer, CEO of hotel.de AG, with regard to the company’s situation within the ongoing difficult macroeconomic climate.
Booking volumes increasingly stable
At Euro 93.3 million, total booking volumes in the third quarter of 2009 were still 7.4% down on the figure of Euro 100.8 million in the same period in the previous year. When compared with the sharp decline in the second quarter of 2009, however, in which booking volumes dropped by 13.5%, this figure underlines the effectiveness of the measures introduced by hotel.de. While booking volumes in Germany remained virtually stable at Euro 54.8 million (-1.3% on Q3 2008), developments in the international business were more markedly negative, with booking volumes of Euro 38.5 million (-14.9% on Q3 2008). More positive impulses, on the other hand, were provided by France (+11.8% on Q3 2008) and Spain (+5.6% on Q3 2008). "The monthly figures also show that we have already come through the worst. September booking volumes in Germany were even slightly ahead of the previous year’s figure", added Dr. Raufer. The new conference business segment contributed Euro 2.2 million to total bookings in the third quarter of 2009.
Booking totals in Germany slightly up on Q3 2008
The turnaround is even more apparent in terms of booking totals. With 481,434 bookings in total, hotel.de virtually matched the number of bookings in the same quarter in the previous year (-1.1%), while the total of 322,379 bookings in Germany was even slightly ahead of the previous year’s figure (+0.6%). This development underlines that the decline in booking volumes is due in particular to the sharp reduction in hotel room prices and to a lower average length of stay per booking. "Booking behaviour at existing customers is beginning to pick up, while our new customer business continues to perform well", remarked Dr. Raufer confidently.
Further consistent implementation of profitability enhancement measures
As well as implementing its marketing and sales campaign, hotel.de has also pressed further ahead with the measures introduced to enhance its profitability. The aim is to raise the agency fee paid by hotels to up to 11.5% by the end of 2010, while at the same time optimising the company’s cost structures. The increased efficiency of processes led to a significant streamlining of the company’s workforce in Germany in the first half of 2009. hotel.de had a total of 416 employees in Germany as of 30 June 2009 (31.12.2008: 517 employees).
* The booking figures stated here correspond to the data retrieval status on 01.10.2009. Booking figures may be reduced by subsequent cancellations.
hotel.de AG, with its international brand hotel.info, operates a free hotel reservation service for companies and private customers at www.hotel.de and www.hotel.info. The company offers more than 210,000 hotels worldwide for booking online. Customers benefit in this respect from considerable cost savings. hotel.de shows all available room rates for each hotel, thus always enabling customers to select the lowest or most appropriate rate. All bookings are forward simultaneously, securely and directly to the individual hotel. This is guaranteed by the unique integration of hotels’ own reservation systems (so-called CRS and PMS systems) and hotel.de’s own myRES reservation system under hotel.de’s standard user surface. hotel.de’s corporate application is already used by well-known companies, such as BASF, SAP AG, Texas Instruments and Ernst & Young AG. Since January 2007, hotel.de has extended its portfolio to include a conference enquiries and booking system. Business customers in particular stand to save time and money due to the optimised conference organisation processes facilitated by this conference tool.
hotel.info – the international brand of hotel.de AG – was created to promote the company’s expansion into international markets. To acquire new customers and hotels abroad, sales offices have already been opened in the UK (London), France (Paris), Spain (Barcelona), Italy (Rome) and China (Shanghai). The company’s high share of business customers with international operations facilitates its entry into new markets. The aim is to establish hotel.info as the leading online hotel reservation service for business and private customers in the foreign markets mentioned and then step by step across the whole of Europe.