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50 Fastest Growing Companies Of The Year 2019

An Interview with Fritz Zerweck, ehotel AG CEO: ‘We Offer an Outstanding Service for Corporate Customers in the Hotel Reservation’

thesiliconreview-fritz-zerweck-ceo-ehotel-ag-19

“The hotel market is heterogeneous and fragmented. The adaption of the needs of the market and customers is most important. As a changeable and innovative company, we constantly optimize ourselves.”

The world is on the move. People are travelling more than ever and according to a report by World Tourism Organization, it is estimated that by 2030 a global population of 8.5 billion people will take approximately 2 billion international trips. Travel has progressed by leaps and bounds and so have travellers. Thus, the industry ought to constantly transform and enhance itself in numerous ways from technology to sustainability.

In light of the above-mentioned scenario, we’re thrilled to present ehotel AG.

ehotel is a hotel booking platform that provides the world’s largest hotel offer with over 7 million hotels. The corporate focus is on the support of business travel in its entirety – starting with simple information, booking and invoicing services and endling up with special technical innovations for cost and time savings. ehotel was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Berlin, Germany.

Fritz Zerweck, ehotel AG CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. Why was the company set up?

The company was set up to meet the needs of business travelers: Provide comprehensive content and best available rates helping the business to reduce costs and increase employee satisfaction.

We work as a one-stop shop hotel solution provider for corporate businesses worldwide. For 19 years now we put the business traveler at the center of our work wherefore we are constantly optimizing our services and adapting the changing needs. Our services refer to reporting, sourcing, payments and invoicing, hotels and rates, reservation and profiles.

We offer a hotel booking in its entirety – with all the tasks and duties that are required before, during and after the business trip so our clients save time and money.

Q. How successful was your first project roll on? Share the experience?

When we started our business, digital booking platforms were not established yet.  At that time we could not fall back on what already existed and had to work actively on our own product. We performed very well, achieved a lot during the years. We are today the only hotel booking platform in the business travel industry that bundles all offers of the leading hotel brokers, tour operators, and resellers in one single application with full service.

Q. What challenges did you face in your initial years?

During the years we faced different challenges such as the best price clause which caused a monopoly position of some players in Europe. Since then the comparability of prices got more difficult for customers. Another challenge is the dynamic pricing for hotel rooms. Due to technology hotels are able to adapt prices several times a day – that is challenging for the booking platforms.

Q. What kind of responses have you received from your consumers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company?

A close and very personal relationship with our clients is key. We communicate at eye level and get permanent feedback this way – either positive or negative – that helps us to improve ourselves constantly. Several times we have been rewarded for the service we offer since the inception; which confirms our everyday business and still keeps us going.

Q. What were the grounds on which you have expanded your company and its offerings over the years?

With our services, we always focus on the needs of our customers. Hotel bookings became very complex over the past years. What customers need are a simplified booking platform and intelligent solutions to save money and time. One landmark has been the launch of our ‘central billing solution’ that automates the processing of hotel booking and invoicing through payment and expense solution. It helps the accounts department and employees save time and improve the adoption rate of company internal booking procedures and travel policy.

Q. What are the factors that make your company stand out from the competition?

  • Central billing service
  • VAT-balancing for more than 10 European countries

Q. Do you have any new products ready to be rolled out into the market?

The market and its current developments tell us which path we should take. At the moment we expect new techniques such as voice control or robots to be more and more important in the near future. It is essential to adapt our service to those novelties to pick up the customer where he spends his time prospectively.

Q. Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

Due to the expansion of new technologies – which also leads to an expansion of our booking platform – the hotel booking will become even easier for the travel managers and business travellers. In the future, we will keep focusing on the needs of the consumers and gear our services to the changing needs.

“We are today the only hotel booking platform in the business travel industry that bundles all offers of the leading hotel brokers, tour operators, and resellers in one single application with full service.”