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Spotlight Interview: Erik Engel, Founder and CEO, NextPax

Starfleet Research

NextPax is known as one of the most advanced channel management technology providers for hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals worldwide. The need for a more unified and aligned platform model utilized by owners, managers, and agents inspired the company’s conception.

Erik began his work from a small attic focusing primarily on VR, and was directly joined by the current CTO Robert van der Mast, to write the first lines of code. Since then, the company has seen rapid growth to become a leading channel manager specializing in providing seamless, two-way connections between property management systems and distribution channels worldwide. Ever since, NextPax has built an extensive network of over 600,000 properties and 50,000 hotels.

Could you tell us a little more about NextPax, and what you believe has attributed to the success of the company?

NextPax is just different. We are faster and better than many other channel managers, and we offer a fair pricing model, which only charges a small fee per booking. We also pride ourselves on maintaining an exceptional global footprint that enables us to fully realize the industry as a whole.

The “DNA of NextPax,” as I like to refer to it, lies in our unique service approach. Leveraging an intuitive API-connectivity platform, we’re able to provide hotels and vacation rental companies with cost-effective channel promotion that optimizes content and attracts the most profitable guests. We understand that effective channel management is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution, but rather, requires a highly automated solution. Keeping content current and relevant on every channel in real-time involves automation. It’s impossible to do it manually. In fact, this is a core principle that inspires our internal process —leveraging automated processes behind the scenes, including the synchronization of content updates, rates and availability. This proves that our solution is fully scalable and is meeting the demands from large scale properties and managers to small ones.

We also ensure that we put the property manager (PM) first, every step of the way, offering support for our clients’ listings using cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) technology, the provision of resources, and unparalleled onboarding times. When onboarding a new client, our build-outs and syndications take less than 24 hours. As you might imagine, this is a favorable shift away from the typical industry standard of a week or more.

Beyond the emphasis we place on our clients and their continued success, we also consider ourselves to be an industry leader when it comes to partnerships. As we align with companies like Booking.com, Airbnb, Vrbo/HomeAway, Google, Ctrip, Expedia, Agoda, HotelPlanner, Awaze, OYO Vacation Homes, HHD AG, VTrips, and more, we have been able to achieve dramatic global expansion with a truly competitive end-to-end solution that can easily handle all inventory types.

NextPax has experienced rapid growth over the years. What has this looked like?

As our product is highly automated by nature, we find ourselves with the advantage of not having to grow internally at a pace that matches the growth of our client base. The recent momentum has been undeniable, and today, we have a team of 10 in the US and 25 in the Netherlands, along with a brand-new head office in Almere, with panoramic views of Amsterdam.

In addition to the year-over-year growth in Europe, we are currently witnessing exciting growth in the US market. We have hundreds of clients in North America and have expanded our partnerships with property management companies such as LiveRez, JANIIS, and CiiRUS. Every brand that signs with us gets a dedicated expert account manager, who is available to provide direct support. This is paramount as we want to see each of our clients be successful, and having an account manager that is local helps in ensuring their success.

How did you achieve growth in the US? Furthermore, how did you manage this successful crossover?

In 2016, we were able to attract Jim Barsch, ex COO VacationRoost and LeisureLink, to spearhead the North American growth strategy. Now, as we enter a new decade, Jim leads the charge as President of NextPax Inc., poised to accelerate our expansion efforts and drive continued innovation alongside leading industry partners.

We currently have hundreds of accounts in the US and a growing team to meet the increasing demand for our products in North America. We are making a true impact in the US market, being awarded the prestigious American Group Travel Award for Best Emerging Technology and we recently won the Peak Season Competition for ‘key collection’ from Booking.com for releasing implementations to help property managers improve their performance on the Booking platform. We successfully enabled the key collection functionality for 33,718 properties within a day, greatly exceeding the required 1,100. 

Click here to read more.

Hotel Technology News is the hospitality industry’s premier source of information and insights related to technology innovation at the world’s leading hotels and resorts. Our reporting, research and opinion pieces reveal how forward-thinking hoteliers are upgrading their technology capabilities to improve operational performance and the quality of the guest experience, as well as to reduce waste and improve environmental sustainability, and how top solution providers are advancing the frontier on next-generation hospitality technologies. 

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