Managing Online Distribution: Exclusive Interview with MappingMaster's General Director.
Monday, 10th March 2014
Source : Nele Obermuller ~ Exclusive from ITB 2014
New technologies are greatly impacting the travel and tourism industry;

Every day, customers choose to go online to book their journeys, accommodation, holiday activities and more and to remain visible on the web, hoteliers and other overnight accommodation providers have to post and update their offer on multiple distribution online channels. Hotel channel management helps them do this.

4Hoteliers Image LibraryMappingMaster is a start-up based in Switzerland which recently launched itself as the "world's easiest channel manager". Its general director, Sascha Eikelmann, gave 4Hoteliers.com an exclusive interview at the ITB Berlin, where he was presenting his company's product.

What exactly is hotel channel management?

In essence, hotel channel management is a facilitator. A hotelier or host can use over 70 online distribution channels at any given time to make customers aware of their offer. This is great for providers, because it means they can potentially reach a large number of potential clients or guests.

But it also means that prices and availability need to be updated simultaneously on multiple channels. That's not possible without hotel channel management. The service enables hoteliers and hosts to manage all of their properties on a single channel.

What has changed in the hotelier industry to make hotel channel management necessary?

There have been two major developments in the past five years. The first is the impact of the internet. These days anyone can advertise any property. Plus, potential clients or guests expect to find reliable, up-to-date information on overnight options online.

The second major change is the number of overnight options available. With services such as Airbnb, there are more offers available now than at any point before.

Every one of those providers is wondering how to best promote their properties and consequently, hotel channel management is rising in the background.

MappingMaster is a recent start-up. Could you describe its genesis?

The beginning was a bit of a whirlwind. The CEO of Cultuzz Digital Media, Reinhard Vogel, and I had the idea in spring 2013. By November 2013 development was completed and we started marketing in December 2013. Now we already have over 100 clients.

And what does MappingMaster provide?

What you get with MappingMaster is a single login, which leads you to a central cockpit from where you can control and update all of your data or properties. Once you click update, MappingMaster automatically distributes that data to 60 distribution channels.

How have you differentiated yourself from your competitors?

The significant difference is that MappingMaster is cloud-based. No software has to be installed and saved to a desktop. After registering, you can just login from any place and from any device. Plus, since there is no software that needs to be installed, there are no updates, it's easier to use and it's cheaper.

What about security? Is there an increased risk with this type of cloud-based service?
All of the data is stored in Germany. There are security guidelines for cloud storage systems and we are following those.

This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted.

Nele Obermuller is an award-winning journalist writing primarily on social affairs and development. Her work has appeared in both English and German press and she works with journalists across the globe as part of the international journalism organization, Associated Reporters Abroad (ARA). Whenever she can, Nele leaves daily routines behind to enjoy the unexpected turns of slow travelling.

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