Rate Intelligence, the free rate-shopping tool by Booking.com’s Booking Suite, will unfortunately be discontinued at the end of next month on November 30th, 2020.
For those that are unaware of what the rate intelligence price shopping tool was, in late 2016 it was the first tool of its kind to provide accommodation providers with daily updates on market demand data and rate shopping insights for their property 360 days in advance.
Essentially Booking.com Booking Suites Rate intelligence tool was a free basic version of a rate shopper and will be remembered as the grandfather or pricing tools. The software was not without its faults, it focused heavily on a small set of direct competitors to a hotel or hostel owners’ property which meant it provided a lack luster idea of the market as a whole.
The point of contemporary revenue management and the speed at which it operates is its strength, the ability to change your hotels pricing strategy to become a price leader instead of a price follower and to avoid unknowingly starting a race to the bottom against your competitors. Additionally, Booking Suite’s Rate Intelligence tool was unable to take internal data into account which greatly hindered its ability to make a recommendation on whether your prices were reasonable in the given circumstances.
The app store element of the product will remain, but Booking.com will end support for the platforms because it wants to “continue to deploy resources toward our core business and invest in our long-term strategy.”
The closure of the main element of BookingSuite has inevitably triggered a flurry of hotels on the Booking.com network that currently use the platform to switch to another form of revenue management, new marketing services and new website operations etc. ahead of the November 30 deadline.
The next unpaid best alternative that many hoteliers use is Rev+ by Expedia. It is a revenue management tool designed to provide hotel partners with smart, actionable data and insights by analyzing the data of up to 19 competitors. Rev+ is free but comes with account obligations to Expedia to use the service and does not provide pricing recommendations because it is not connected top your PMS and has no way of checking hotels current or past occupancy.
Otherwise this may be the time to upgrade to a fully automated revenue management software like Pricepoint, with a software that connects directly to your PMS/Channel Manager and offers Dynamic Pricing, Competitor Scanner/Rate Shopper, Real Time Continuous Information Search, Automated Price Updates, Occupancy & Demand Forecasts, Pace Monitor, Smart Notifications, Mobile & Web App Accounts, Dedicated Account Revenue Manager, Email & Whatsapp Support all while the hoteliers retain full control of base rates and price ceilings/floors.
The November 30th Deadline is fast approaching along with the eventual market recovery, it is time to seriously evaluate your hotel tech stack and position yourself strategically with the best tools at your disposal to match and beat last year’s revenues.
Wyatt Niblett-Wilson, Marketing Coordinator – Pricepoint