Phoenix—InnDependent Boutique Collection, a division of InnSuites Hospitality Trust is rapidly expanding. Its network now includes 3,700 properties in 39 countries.
Created by independent hoteliers, the IBC hotel network provides a revenue channel that supports the specific challenges independent properties face. IBC is bringing back the simple cost effective 10% travel agent commission and is a growing network of like-minded independent hotels. These hotels now have access to a full-blown loyalty program, large-scale strategic partnerships and technology enhancements for continued success.
IBC Hotels president, Pamela Barnhill, tells GlobeSt.com, “My father actually started this company 40 years ago; he was more on the real estate side and I am more on the tech side. It was the case, many years ago, that we used to complain about the 10% agent commission. Now there are basically two internet companies that own and control the internet travel business. On the average, they are taking 30% of the hotel revenues off the top. We see a need for a more cost effective channel.”
Barnhill attributes the brand’s success to its simplicity and “old-school” travel agent fee structure—like a reversal to the old way of business. “Many memberships, networks, online websites, mobile sites and apps are asking for large margins—15-60% per reservation” says Barnhill. “High fees from OTA’s chip away at revenues making it harder and harder for independent hotels to cover their costs.”
Barnhill says these high margins can affect amenities, customer service and overall customer experience, and that many of the costs associated with the high margins are born by high advertising and marketing costs.
“There are few groups other than IBC dedicated to servicing independent hoteliers and working to raise independent hotelier’s overall profitability by growing revenues, enhancing independent hotel credibility with the IBC Network while reducing operating costs” says Barnhill. “These and along with many other benefits have helped IBC expand it’s national and international footprint daily. The challenges now will be ease of use and customer education. We are very excited about where this is going.”