Tsuba Hotel: the story of a successful opening

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An elegant 4-star Parisian hotel with 82 rooms, the Tsuba Hotel opened its doors a few months ago in Paris’ 17th arrondissement, a few steps from the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Élysées.
Behind its beautiful 1920s façade, spacious interiors are inspired by the precision and pure elegance of Tsuba (鍔), the traditional hand guard of Japanese swords. The design evokes the clean lines characteristic of this collection piece.

Curtain raised… The opening of a hotel is never a trivial matter. Hoteliers are faced with major challenges:

  • Create visibility and awareness around the hotel to quickly attract the first customers.
  • Spread news by word-of-mouth, collect reviews on social networks and comparison sites
  • Get to know and work with new teams, develop a feeling of ownership of the hotel and it’s surroundings.

While it is essential to rely on good operational management, setting up an effective distribution strategy is equally important to ensure the success of a hotel opening.
Discover how FASTBOOKING accompanied Yannick Aragno, General Manager of the Tsuba Hotel, to orchestrate this opening!

We met Yannick, who shared with us the special moment that is a hotel opening, and he explained to us FASTBOOKING’s role in this adventure.

Hello Yannick! To begin with, what were the distribution matters at stake when opening the Tsuba Hotel?

The main challenge was to be able to manage all the e-distribution on a single tool, to have a global view and easy control of everything.
By the way an opening is a unique chance to evaluate and identify your future partners to better manage your distribution. This step is key for the development of a hotel: we had to find a reliable partner to count on.
And then, with a new team and a new framework, it was imperative to have user-friendly solutions that are easy to work with.
We chose FASTBOOKING to accompany us because they offer a high quality of service combined with an affordable price. We needed a solution like this to manage the opening better.

During an opening, the notoriety of the hotel is non-existent. What techniques have you used to create and develop brand awareness?

There is an inevitable lack of online visibility: you have to create the brand image of the hotel from scratch. While OTAs can help us develop visibility and reach many travelers, it is certainly not the most profitable channel on a long term view, nor the one that fosters loyalty.
We chose to use social media to help us with search engine optimization: we run a Linkedin page, a Facebook page with already more than 4,000 subscribers, and an Instagram account that allows travelers to share memories of their stay at the Tsuba.
And, as a necessary step, we have paid particular attention to our website and its SEO/SEM. We entrusted the development of our website to FASTBOOKING.

How did FASTBOOKING accompany you in this process?

The main advantage of FASTBOOKING is to master both e-commerce techniques to develop a hotel website and traffic acquisition techniques, as well as tech tools such as the booking engine.
We wanted to offer web surfers a true “Tsuba” experience, to convert more visitors into customers. We also wanted to create an emotional connection with visitors and to make our site very attractive. I am delighted with the rendering of the site, its performance and the way the project was managed. On FASTBOOKING’s side, David, our dedicated web project manager, really supported us and helped us to implement innovative e-commerce solutions and modules.

What are some examples of the innovations you integrated?

The FASTBOOKING Web Studio has integrated a module that allows travelers to access exclusive offers by logging in via their ‘social identity’ (Facebook, Gmail …) on our website. It’s both engaging and differentiating.
We have also set up a dynamic calendar, which meets travelers’ primary need: find the best price.
Thanks to an intuitive and ergonomic design, it improves the visibility of our prices according to the chosen dates.
To boost conversion, FASTBOOKING has integrated directly on the room description pages a view of the cheapest prices, which refers to the real-time offers available in the booking engine.
In addition, a special offers management module allows me to create a new offer in just a few clicks, thus reaching our target markets.
These examples of functionalities encourage the traveler to confirm his reservation.

Once these online features were created, how do you attract travelers to your site?

We defined our strategy along with the FASTBOOKING team: create banners to look for prospects, but also be visible on metasearch. The goal was to launch the Tsuba’s online presence and reach a selected clientele.

Why did you choose FASTBOOKING rather than a web agency?

For us, the fact that the Traffic Acquisition team at FASTBOOKING is specialized in the hotel industry is a real asset versus web agencies: they know our problems perfectly and implement adapted and tailor-made strategies.
As an independent hotelier, it is difficult to face major groups and large carriers who invest heavily in numerous distribution channels.
Here, not only does the FASTBOOKING team of experts manage our campaigns, but we only pay for the actual reservations. The risk is null. Thanks to this performance business model, we were able to implement marketing actions that we could not have considered without this partnership.
Moreover, it allows us to benefit from all the digital distribution solutions with one single partner, centralized by a contact person: Matthieu, our key account manager, who guides us proactively.

An anecdote about the opening of the Tsuba?

Perhaps the happiness of meeting everyone around a large buffet, the day after the security commission tested the hotel. We were ready to open two days later. it was a great moment of sharing and camaraderie!

Are you also thinking about redesigning or developing your WEB offer?

Ask an expert!

Published on: October 24, 2017
Author:
FASTBOOKING’s e-commerce solutions will help your hotel increase profit through a direct sales strategy.

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