The recent Sabre STX conference in Singapore was an opportunity for hoteliers to be acquainted with Sabre Hospitality.
Known for its travel network, airline solutions, commercial and passenger operations of airlines, and Global Distribution Services, Sabre put up its hospitality and proper management systems in a bid to close the gap between booking flights and booking hotels for a seamless traveler experience.
HNP had a one-on-one interview with Clinton Anderson, Sabre Executive Vice President and President of Sabre Hospitality Solutions.
Joining Sabre four years ago, Clinton was head of corporate strategy for the first three years before taking the leadership in hospitality. Most of his previous twenty years were in airline consultancy, a career that made him travel and sleep in various hotels every week.
“I slept in more hotels than in my own bed, so my perspective is from the customer level, not hotel management,” he said.
Here are excerpts from the interview:
How long has Sabre been serving the hospitality sector?
“We started this business about 15 years ago but we have been in the airline business for many years before that. We started to think why don’t we do for the hotels what we do for the airlines? It started out very small. We acquired a small business that had 12 million USD in revenue and now 15 years later, we are in 300 million USD in revenue, so it’s growing very quickly.”
How is your approach to marketing your products to hotels?
“Each hotel brand approaches the customer differently and our technology has to work for all the brands in any country, so the way we look at it is at the brand level, next is the country level. We need to work at what the hotel needs to be successful. Taxation and payment solutions are different by country. What we are trying to do is to meet the requirements and the flexibility required to service the hotels. Today we serve about 40,000 hotels globally from one-star to the highest number in 176 countries.”
What are the fields that are compliant to privacy regulations?
Data comes to us in different ways. For example, in the reservation, we see info like name and address, even payment (secured and encrypted). We actually don’t store payment information and that is for 24 hours only. In addition to that, we also integrate with different CRM (Customer Relations Management) products that are connected to the loyalty systems of the hotels which contain lots of information. In addition to the demographics, we see the preferences, and past purchases anonymously, like creating a persona, a benchmark. We look for those products so even if we know it’s not you but behaves like you and we see thousands who behaves like you, who bought products A & B, we are going to offer him the product. This capability is not yet available today but it is the basic model of customization which says I am not going to betray your privacy and confidence, no one will ever know your name, but when you show up at our site, or the hotel website, you are going to receive a customized offer to better fit your need than if you are just showing up without any information.
Do the 40% of the big brands that you have still use the CRS that they have grown accustomed to?
It would mean that we have them on our platform, not the core reservation service that they have either moved away from another provider or a home-based solution. One