Friday, January 19, 2007

HRS enters the UK

Will avoid any war like analogies in commenting on HRS's announcement that they are entering the UK market. HRS are the dominant player in the German (and I think also Austrian) markets. In the Travelmole article they claim 54% of the online German market.

This is a smart strategy for them - maybe a year or two earlier than would have been perfect but a good move. The market is crowded and they will have to work hard take on the cocky and growing Pricleine (through Activehotels and - hey speaking of which I have not yet seen the implementation of the proposed name change) the entrenched and all powerful Expedia and and the perpetual successful sleeper site combo of HotelClub and RatesToGo. They have the right content mix to fight with these player but will need to work on traffic and marketing from the UK (obviously) but may also have to abandon their long held belief in keeping the display unbiased. In a cut throat market like the UK you need to use revenue management tools to make the most of out each piece of traffic you get your hands on including sort order biasing and display management.

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