Former executive at Hotelbeds Group SLU
- Post-pandemic TTV (total transaction value) recovery and potential recessionary impacts
- Booking Holdings (NASDAQ: BKNG) and Expedia Group’s (NASDAQ: EXPE) B2B strategy implications on Hotelbeds
- Bedbank economics and deleveraging outlook, plus asset integration and future consolidation
- Pre-buying trends and working capital implications
- Process modernisation and potential CAPEX needs
How do you think about TTV [total transaction value] growth given how important that is for the Hotelbeds business? When might we surpass 2019 TTVs by way of recovery?
Do you think a full TTV recovery in 2023 is reasonable given today’s recessionary backdrop?
How far has Hotelbeds been able to diversify from Europe to include North America and APAC, either through acquisition or autonomic growth?
How different is the hotel distribution mix across Europe, North America and APAC? There are definitely distinct regional nuances, but how do you think about the wholesale share of TTV in those markets?
Is the bedbank channel growing, flat or declining as a share of total distribution for a hotel?
How are Expedia and Booking outcompeting Hotelbeds? I’ve heard that EPS [Expedia Partner Solutions] is doing very well in the wholesale channel. How is the company outcompeting?
Does EPS have a bigger reach in terms of B2B partnerships compared to Hotelbeds?
What about the demand side in terms of the agent pool using Hotelbeds? How large is that relative to Expedia and Booking?
Do you think the mix of agencies is different between EPS and Hotelbeds? Do you see Expedia working with more corporate types of businesses such as airlines, whereas Hotelbeds may be working more with traditional offline travel agents, for example?
Is most of Hotelbeds’ TTV coming through independent travel agents?
How would you view the risk of Expedia and Booking continuing to use their sales teams to onboard more Hotelbeds inventory to their own platforms?
Roughly how much exposure do you think Hotelbeds carries today to the independent travel agent, who may be otherwise under pressure from industry consolidation?
When Expedia approaches a hotel, why can’t it have a single agreement for B2C and B2B and simply explain the difference in the distribution channels to the hotel?
Given their size, can Expedia and Booking get better rates than Hotelbeds when contracting with hotels?
How do bedbanks incentivise hotels to give them a greater share of their wholesale allocation?
How important do you think guarantees and deposits are as a part of the business? Is this a way that Hotelbeds will try and defend its market share from Booking and Expedia trying to muscle in?
How do you see bedbank economics evolving, looking at the accounts from 2019 to pre-pandemic are more normalised. Revenue was about 14% of TTV and it was EUR 18 per room on average. Gross margin was 67% of revenue, 9.2% of TTV, then EBITDA margin steps down to 4% of TTV, or 29% of revenue. Are these largely representative of the business today, or have any of those changed?
Why is revenue declining as a percentage of TTV?
What’s the broader impact of best available rate penetration vs static rates? What share of the overall mix do you think best available rates represents now?
Do you think there’s scope for further consolidation and M&A in the bedbank industry?
Do you think there’s a strategic buyer out there for Hotelbeds?
What do you make of the integration of GTA and Tourico? How integrated are those assets? How integrated can you make acquisitions in the bedbank space? Do you see any additional synergies coming out of those acquisitions?
Do you think the business needs incremental investment from a technology standpoint? It has spoken about investing more into technology and digital. Is that something the companies will need to spend significantly on?
How would you think about a sensible estimate as to Hotelbeds’ future CAPEX needs? Is there a reasonable percentage of revenue range? How do you think about what an appropriate level of spend would be?
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