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40 SPECIAL FEATURE TRANSPORT Iceland - a Natural Hub Much More Than a Local Player, Icelandair Spreads its Wings Birkir Holm Guonason CEO of Icelandair Hall 18 Stand 114 Birkir Holm Guonason, CEO of Icelandair, reveals how the company is repositioning itself as both regional and trans-Atlantic player, and the importance of being on time... Icelandair’s business strategy is based on utilising the geographical position of Iceland on the natural flight route between northern Europe and North America to create an international hub and spoke network. Operating on three different and independent passenger markets (the North Atlantic market, the Icelandic home In its 2013 summer schedule Icelandair connects 25 European cities with 10 North American cities through the company’s hub in Iceland market and the tourist market to Iceland) gives the company a variety of options in network and revenue management. In its 2013 summer schedule, Icelandair connects 25 European cities with 10 North American cities through the company’s hub in Iceland. Iceland is growing in interest as a destination in itself. What are the most popular attractions? Yes, Iceland’s variety of landscapes and weather, the easy access to wilderness, glaciers, mountains, rivers and lakes as well as volcanoes and hot springs make Iceland a special place. But the cultural and historical aspects are also a draw – the vibrant music scene and the many quality restaurants are a surprise to many. What are the main new routes that have opened in the past year, and what is planned for 2013? In the past few years we have opened up Toronto, Seattle, Washington, Denver and now Anchorage in North America, and on the European side, we have new cities like Manchester, Brussels, Bergen and this year St Petersburg and Zurich. In 2013 we are also adding about 15% to last year’s capacity through increased frequency on many of our key routes. ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 6 th March 2013

TRAVEL TECHNOLOGIES SPECIAL FEATURE 41 How Mobile Can You Go? Manfred Osthues, cofounder and managing partner – protel – has been at the very heart of hospitality software development for many years. We asked whether he felt hotels are catering adequately for the mobile revolution… Not enough to be honest. Many hotels now offer free Wi-Fi, which is a good start, but there is much more to consider. For instance, many hotel websites and web booking engines are not “mobile”, meaning they have not been adjusted to the smaller screen size of mobile devices. It is much more pleasant for guests to enter new room bookings via a web booking engine that is optimised for smartphones. And isn’t it the comfort guests are looking for – even before arrival? What new products/ upgrades are you launching this year? We are highly motivated to guide our clients throughout the entire guest journey: to provide hoteliers with tools that aid in the interaction with guests before, during and after their stay to ensure repeat visits and increase customer loyalty. Our latest innovations which will be presented at the ITB Berlin include protel Messenger and protel Housekeeping mentioned above, new features of protel for iPad (mobile PMS) and a new version of protel Survey and protel Voyager. We are also very proud of our new Web Booking Engine (protel WBE 4.0), which is geared to maximize direct bookings and cut down on OTA commissions. We treat ITB Berlin as the main opportunity to present Manfred Osthues Co-founder and managing partner – Protel our latest innovations to our prospects and clients who are accustomed to finding out what’s new at protel during this time. Many, in fact, just visit our booth and ask us to present our newest releases because they know what to expect from us at ITB Berlin. This year we will show the hotelier step-by-step how he can better interact with the mobile guest once he has the proper tools from protel – on-site as well as in the cloud! ® Hall 8.1 Stand 103 Hotel Distribution Technologies The growing need to stand out… and reach your desired consumer How difficult is it for a hotel to gain recognition in today’s ever more complex market and how can a technology solutions company help? We put the question to Alex Alt, Chief Operations Officer of Sabre Hospitality Solutions, who is set to replace Felix Laboy as the company’s new President and General Manager, effective April… There are two interesting challenges when it comes to recognition. The first is the continued growth and diversity of hospitality developments in emerging markets. As competition grows, so too does the need to stand out and reach your desired consumer. The second is that of changing consumer profiles in emerging markets. These so-called ‘virgin consumers’ will engage and buy in different ways. Establishing recognition with this consumer group may necessitate new distribution strategies and brand positioning. Larger brands are increasingly adept at consumer engagement via multiple channels and CRM initiatives (e.g. the Delta /Starwood crossover rewards program) and therefore setting an important precedent. In comparison, smaller groups and independent properties find themselves challenged by a gap in knowledge, resource and tool sets. Sabre Hospitality Solutions operates as Idiso Continues Expansion in 2013 Spanish hotel distribution company Idiso, who launched the Innwise hotel e-marketing service at the end of 2012, is continuing its expansion of its booking platform. The expanded platform allows for reservations in every kind of hotel, ranging from urban to holiday destinations and including both independent hotels and the big chains. The platform is accessible to end-users, tour operators, and travel agencies both on and offline. Idiso offers its clients more than 2000 hotels in 35 countries through booking aggregators Amadeus, Sabre, Worldspan and Galileo, an extension to a hotels’ revenue, distribution, marketing and property operations team. By understanding our hotel customer’s brand and commercial objectives, we can provide them with the same level of market visibility and distribution reach that a larger brand would typically enjoy. What are the biggest problems for hoteliers when it comes to distribution? How does Sabre Hospitality Solutions help? The biggest issues are how to attract and successfully convert website traffic into firm reservations and deciding which channels they should partner with to distribute their inventory sets in a way that supports their revenue management, CRM and content strategies Sabre Hospitality Solutions creates award-winning websites and has a proven booking engine that helps convert shoppers into bookers with usertested features like and the company is also significantly expanding its services with over half of its current offer consisting of newly introduced products. Hall 8.1 Stand 104 Alex ALt Chief Operations Officer of Sabre Hospitality Solutions custom booking paths, promotional pricing, comparison shopping and expanded photo galleries. In addition, we have experts that consult with our hotel managers to help them create and implement a distribution strategy that will support their goals. This combination of sophisticated technology and human touch is what differentiates us from many other providers. Hall 8.1 Stand 125 ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 6 th March 2013

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