June Edition 2021
In the recent past, traveling has changed a lot. Many businesses collapsed, and many survived. The ones that survived have done one thing right: they innovated to adapt to the time. The travel restrictions have surely affected the overall tourism and hospitality business, but at the same time, the industry is recovering sooner than expected. One of the most renowned companies in the industry is the ehotel AG, a medium-sized multi-award-winning company from Berlin that offers outstanding hotel booking services for private and corporate customers.
As an end-to-end service provider, ehotel has repeatedly won a variety of different awards. The main focus of ehotel®’s corporate strategy is to provide a complete digital cycle for hotel bookings and related services for corporate customers, thus ensuring strategic control of hotel purchases, hotel bookings, group bookings, and meetings.
The history of ehotel®
As one of the first independent online hotel booking portals, the company pioneered a service concept that enables business travelers to compare all offers available on the extensive hotel market. Today, ehotel®’s unique meta-search technology allows companies to set internal specifications in their search for cheap hotel rooms among all available contingents from all providers worldwide. As an internationally successful hotel solutions provider, ehotel® has long been offering a variety of other features that facilitate essential processes in the work of business travelers, travel agents, buyers, and accountants, including sourcing, payment, and billing. Companies can manage their entire planning and accounting processes via ehotel® — be it individual bookings or conferences, cost absorption or tax refunds, participant management or booking statistics.
Over the past twenty years, ehotel® has grown continuously while staying true to its original ideas. The biggest challenge the company has had to face in its young history has undoubtedly been the COVID-19 crisis. Fortunately, ehotel® itself did not record any significant losses and was able to use the lockdown periods creatively, expanding its search filter functions to include sustainability certifications, relaunching its website, and further developing its technologies.
However, the tourism industry is facing a comprehensive market overhaul, and since the sudden standstill in March 2020, travel itself has changed. Customers are looking for more security. This is where ehotel®’s principles of innovation and customer proximity prove themselves to be true assets: Anticipating trends and being able to react to customer needs at any time is a natural and integral part of the ehotel® business, even during the pandemic.
In addition to providing up-to-date information on mandatory safety measures, hygiene rules, and travel warnings through the ehotel® blog and newsletter as well as round-the-clock customer service to help with customers’ questions and problems, ehotel® quickly adapted its technologies and tools to respond to new challenges during the crisis.
The ehotel®l business model
The meta-search technology takes into account only valid and available contingents, so each search is guaranteed to be successful – even during trade show season when hotel rooms are in high demand and despite COVID-related closures. ehotel®’s individual billing solutions help to organize necessary long-stay layovers and facilitate payment even for large amounts. With ehotel® Analytics, travel managers can locate employees currently on a business trip and fulfill their duty of care. Even in crisis areas, contact with travelers can be maintained using state-of-the-art technologies.
ehotel® Analytics was originally developed to simplify the analysis of employee travel data and thereby control and optimize processes in all business areas. In addition, the tool provides travel managers and hotel buyers with a real-time overview of employees’ booking behavior, expenses, budgets, and other relevant factors at any time. ehotel® Analytics provides transparency and a variety of reports as a basis for data-based decision-making to help companies identify savings potentials and efficiently structure their booking activities in real-time. The ehotel® Rate Manager is another practical tool that facilitates the everyday life of travel managers and buyers by helping them to negotiate and apply rates and to ensure rate security. Also, the tool detects and prevents deviations from negotiated rates. Regular audits with detailed documentation ensure correctness, completeness, and quality across any GDS or non-GDS channel.
The billing solution ehotel® central billing can also be configured according to customer preferences. The globally applicable system links the booking and billing processes directly to one another, compares booking data against internal specifications, generates booking statistics, creates collective invoices as necessary, and reliably arranges cost transfers to the respective hotel.
The advantages of ehotel®
For larger events such as congresses and conferences, the professional participant management tool ehotel® Meetings provides freely customizable packages that ensure precise planning and seamless execution. All required data on each participant and detailed budget information is readily available at any time. Following the event, the tool offers event analysis and single bespoke billing.
The common denominator for all ehotel® features is that they not only effectively reduce costs – they also save time and process costs and facilitate process optimization by enabling innovative solutions and data-driven decisions. Customers can trust that ehotel® takes their privacy very seriously and extensively protect their data, as ehotel® complies with all relevant statutory provisions and the recommendations of the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) as well as meeting the strict requirements of credit card companies – including PCI-DSS certification – in order to protect sensitive customer data at all times optimally and throughout the entire booking process.
The employees at ehotel® also play an integral role in driving the development and growth of the company and are valued accordingly: modern workplaces with state-of-the-art equipment are just as important as a pleasant atmosphere with good communication structures and fair salaries. ehotel® also offers further training opportunities and flexible working hours. The satisfaction of the employees is reflected in the range and quality of service that ehotel® provides; the company is frequently recognized by international media, renowned magazines, and independent institutions for its consistently high performance in all areas. “We are very happy to receive awards,” says ehotel® CEO Fritz Zerweck, “especially if they confirm that our customers are thoroughly satisfied.”
Meet the CEO
Fritz Zerweck is the CEO of ehotel AG. Zerweck came to ehotel® in 2006 – almost by coincidence, as he himself likes to say. After studying economics, he worked in finance for a long time before he was appointed to the board of ehotel®. Since then, he has contributed to the success of ehotel® with great commitment, inventiveness, and an extraordinary talent for motivating others. “It is important not to get too comfortable now, but to continue to work in a customer-oriented manner,” explains Zerweck.
“The world is changing; currently, we are increasingly integrating aspects of environmental protection into our system,” says Zerweck. “We are also focusing on contactless payment, which has become significantly more popular as a result of the pandemic.” ehotel®’s end-to-end solutions have always moved with the times – for more than twenty years.