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As a member of LinkHotel for nearly 5 years, we asked Rose Bischoff - Assistant Sales, Tours & Incentives at City Lodge Hotel Group to share her experiences of working with Amadeus LinkHotel and to give some tips and advice to new members.
The first City Lodge property opened its doors on 1 August 1985 and our portfolio has now grown to 54 hotels: 51 in South Africa, 1 in Botswana and 2 in Kenya. What makes our chain special is that we own all the hotel buildings, so we have complete control over renovations, standards, look and feel. In fact, it is company policy that each hotel is refurbished every 5 years - that way we can ensure that when a guest stays in a City Lodge property, they are guaranteed the same high standards in both our rooms and facilities. We also go the extra mile in providing convenience and choice for our guests. So if a business client doesn't have time for breakfast, there is a 'grab and go' station at every hotel where they can take a coffee and muffin in a handy take-away bag, with our compliments.
98% of our bookings are corporate which makes it essential for City Lodge to have good coverage across all the GDSs. Of these bookings, about 60% come through the GDS and the remainder (including leisure reservations) are booked via our website or by telephoning the hotels directly. As a general rule, it's business bookings and corporate rates Monday to Thursday and leisure guests at the weekend, so we have a good mix of clients from all around the world.
The Amadeus LinkHotel Central Reservation System (CRS) is essential as we manage all our rates and inventory from there. It is also an important tool to retrieve information on bookings (e.g. agency name, location, traveller details), which our individual properties often request. We haven't yet used the Amadeus Media Solutions, but we are discussing with our Account Manager, Petar, the various types of campaigns that we could implement to target particular markets in the future.
The Amadeus LinkHotel booking reports are great as they provide us with a full overview of all our business, broken down by property, rate code, date etc. We also find the Amadeus LinkHotel Newsletter and the regular news flashes really useful as they provide us with an update on any product developments as well as general industry news. It's great to know that we can access these articles at any time on the Amadeus Hotels News Site. Last but not least, I have to say that we rarely need to call the Amadeus LinkHotel Help Desk, quite simply because we have Petar Popov in our life and he is super-efficient at resolving any issues we may have!
The Amadeus LinkHotel CRS is an important tool to retrieve information on bookings (e.g. agency name, location, traveller details).
Definitely! Peter Popov offers us an excellent, efficient and friendly service and most importantly he knows what he is talking about. If I had to rate my Account Manager, I'd give him 10/10!
If possible, we'd like to be able to offer each hotel property in the City Lodge chain, access to the Amadeus LinkHotel CRS so that they can see reservation details for themselves. This would certainly save us time at head office!
First, I would say that by joining Amadeus LinkHotel, your hotel instantly becomes bookable on a global scale. I always compare this to a can of baked beans being available for sale in as many shops as possible: you want to be able to purchase it at the corner cafe, the petrol station shop, the large supermarkets etc. In a similar way, you want your hotel rooms to be bookable wherever the shoppers are (agents and end-customers). In terms of tips, I'd say:
By joining Amadeus LinkHotel, your hotel instantly becomes bookable on a global scale.
From a business point of view, I would say that being bookable on the GDS channels gives us increased exposure. From a personal point of view, we just love working with Petar!