Air fare and hotel price tracking services provider Yapta has completed the full release of its automated hotel rebooking solution, bringing to market a touchless hotel rebooking technology for the corporate travel industry. The company says the automated technology is capable of immediately rebooking “savings eligible” hotel reservations directly within the Sabre GDS, without the need for an agent to assist, and without disrupting a traveller’s itinerary.
“Airfare and hotel price tracking are now table stakes for corporate travel programmes and procurement departments around the world,” says James Filsinger, President and CEO of Yapta. “Automating the rebooking process when savings are available is a huge leap forward for our customers and it raises the technology bar for the corporate travel industry.”
The Seattle-base business, named in Deloitte’s Fast500 ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America for both 2017 and 2018, says that through the utilisation of the automated hotel rebooking service, customers have seen savings opportunities “converted at a significantly higher rate,” resulting in greater savings levels and decreased travel agency costs.
On average, clients see a 30% increase in savings achieved using automated technology and see a decrease of 35% in agent costs, according to Yapta, which claims to have saved customers USD75 million in actual bottom line savings using RoomIQ.
Yapta’s existing RoomIQ platform dynamically monitors hotel bookings looking for price reductions and amenity gains on comparable rooms at the same hotel, sending instant alerts to clients if the room rate drops. The company believes automation represents the potential for an additional USD22 million in savings without any additional agent costs or traveller impact.
“Yapta’s automated solution is simple to implement, significantly increases savings, and reduces operational costs, all while maintaining a positive traveller experience,” explains Valerie Layman, chief product and services officer at Yapta. “When travel managers are already seeing up to 4% savings on their hotel spend, why wouldn’t they want automation? And because we tie automation to a company’s ‘Best Match’ settings, there is no downside for a travel manager.”
Utilising the ‘Best Match’ functionality, corporate travel managers are able to “green-light” specific hotel reservations for automated rebooking. Through unique company configuration settings, travel managers can select from a set of key hotel criteria to determine the ‘Best Match’ for their company – including properties with the exact same rate code, same bed type, same room type, same or better cancellation policy, and same or better amenities. Travel managers can also target properties with negotiated rates only, and with commissionable rates, with the functionality “helping ensure zero traveller impact and higher rates of travel policy compliance,” according to Yapta.
Ms Layman says Yapta has seen “great demand” from its customers for automated hotel rebooking functionality, having already seen the successful operation of automated airfare rebooking functionality performs. “This was the logical next step,” she adds, but highlights it could only be deployed by preserving the traveller’s itinerary as “a top priority”.
Yapta was established in 2007 and its network now encompasses more than 8,300 customers in 46 countries. It claims to have delivered more than USD250 million in total trip savings, on average saving clients USD260 per airline ticket and USD109 per hotel stay.