Revenue Management
Max Starkov
  • Revenue Management
  • In Search of the Internet Intelligence Report That Makes Sense
  • With more and more revenues in hospitality being generated from the Internet, predictions over the next three years from now will see the Internet contributing over 20% of all hotel bookings and convincingly surpassing total GDS bookings. With such an industrial shift toward the web, hoteliers need intelligence tools to measure performance against its competitive set on direct and indirect channels outside of the GDS. Hoteliers are in search of Internet intelligence reports that make sense. Here's what sales & marketing, and revenue managers should be asking in order to competently formulate their online pricing and inventory control strategy... Read on...

Jose Acosta
  • Revenue Management
  • Ten Tips for Hotel Owners and Operators to Survive the Recession
  • Although nobody can predict exactly when the economy is going to rebound nor when hotel prices and occupancies will return to previously desired levels, it is probable that there will continue to be a decline in corporate executive retreats to luxury resorts, annual board meetings, corporate sales incentive trips, and annual holiday parties over the coming year. In fact, one can only wonder about the extent of recovery for specific markets such as luxury, as well as whether there will be a recovery at all for the condo-hotel market. Having said that, it is important to pay attention to the items that will help maintain profitability by focusing on what I think are the top ten key recession survival best practices. Read on...

Juston Parker
  • Revenue Management
  • GOPPAR (Gross Operating Profit Per Available Room) - Best Measurement of Success
  • Revenue Management continues to change rapidly. The days of "right room, right person, right price at right time" have long disappeared. So how do you really measure success at the property? Now-a-days, the margins are getting ever closer and with more and more rooms being sold at net or wholesale rates, it's ever so important that properties look beyond the top line and see how their bottom line is effected by the decisions they make. GOPPAR, or Gross Operating Profit Per Available Room solves that need and gives a valuable look at how a property is truly performing. Read on...

Joshua Miller
  • Revenue Management
  • The Link Between What You Earn and What You Keep
  • Hospitality managers work hard through many different efforts to generate revenue for the property at all levels. Many are surprised to find thatheir success at this process does not always fully make it to the bottom line. The "leakage" is caused by many reasons, but most often by error and theft. Every hotel experiences these issues in some degree, impacting bottom line EBIDTA anywhere from 1% to as much as 10% or more. In this article, we discuss some areas which are at risk and how establishing an effective revenue control system can prevent them. Read on...

Bob Carr
  • Revenue Management
  • All You Need to Know About “Junk” Fees, Statements and Selecting a Processor
  • Processing payments is a huge expense, but there are three key things you can do to gain control of that expense. First, identify the "junk" fees many card processors charge so you can protect against them and save money. Next, learn how to better understand your statements, and ask your processor, accountant or a competing processor to explain any fees you don't understand. Finally, select a payments processor who will become a partner that can help you navigate the complexities of card processing and control the associated costs. Read on...

Robert Gilbert
  • Revenue Management
  • Key Points in Revenue Management in a Down Economy
  • Like housing prices, there seemed no end in sight for maximized hotel rates, spurred by ever-increasing demand. But the economy moves in cycles. Every peak overlooks a valley. And so it is in the hospitality industry. However, many managers never have encountered low demand or zero growth. What can they do maintain revenue? There are a number of strategies that properties can use to maximize revenue during the downturn. Robert A. Gilbert, president and CEO of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), outlines advice for revenue managers. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk
  • Revenue Management
  • The Brain Drain: How to Make the Most of, and Protect Your Intellectual Capital.
  • As the wider hospitality industry continues to face a prolonged period of economic uncertainty, hotels should be looking inwards during this time with a view to protecting and making the most out of their intellectual capital. Whilst many organizations are wisely using this current economic downturn to adequately plan for the future through improved levels of staff investment, many others are not heeding the warning signs and are instead shedding costs wherever possible. Read on...

Jean Francois Mourier
  • Revenue Management
  • Nine Hotel Revenue Management Trends for the New Year
  • The hospitality industry's crystal ball is, unfortunately, just as cloudy this year as it was this time last year. Though we can perhaps take comfort in the fact that those clouds are just grey instead of black and stormy, uncertainty is still the only thing that is certain for the hotel and lodging industry in general. Even with positive GDP last quarter (indicating that the recession is technically ending), hotels, resorts and other lodging properties are still experiencing depressed demand, low average daily rates and stagnant occupancy. In other words, low RevPAR. No one can know for certain whether these negative trends will persist through 2010 but following are my thoughts and projections for what 2010 has in store for the hotel industry. Read on...

Bob Carr
  • Revenue Management
  • Protect Your Hotel From Fees That Needlessly Drive Up the Cost of Accepting Card Payments
  • Accepting credit and debit cards for reservations and room payments is a way of life. However, recently, you may have noticed the mounting cost of these transactions. In fact, you may be paying more for card processing now than you were last month, and lining the pockets of your processor. Many processors take advantage of interchange rate increases from the card brands, which usually happen in April and October, to discreetly improve their own bottom lines at the expense of business owners while unfairly blaming the card brands. Understanding a few key pieces of information about card processing can ensure you're not spending more than you have to ¯ and help you protect your hotel's bottom line. Read on...

Jean Francois Mourier
  • Revenue Management
  • Protecting Your Brand from Discounts: The Real Economic Impact of Losing Rate Discipline
  • The recession ushered in new era of hotel discounting. From free nights to one penny rooms, hotels were literally giving away the house. During a recession, discounting may work to bring in business but today, as the travel market begins to rebound, discounting is not the right pricing strategy. This article will examine the real economic impact of discounting and how discounting can not only eat away at your bottom line (or RevPAR), but also erode your customer base and brand image. The article also offers alternative suggestions on ways to increase RevPAR without the slash-and-burn mentality of deep discounting. Read on...

Mike Kistner
  • Revenue Management
  • Hotel Competitive Intelligence: What is it, Can it Affect Your Revenue Management?
  • Based on the three to five billion transactions Pegasus Solutions is processing each month for more than 95,000 hotel distribution customers worldwide, leisure travelers are regaining confidence. In fact, booking volumes through the alternative distribution systems (ADS), made predominantly by leisure travelers, climbed +13.93% above 2009, +9.13% above 2008, and a staggering +33.83% above 2007 levels. Future booking data in the same channel evidenced positive growth in reservations on the books through mid-2010. That means the bookers for your rooms are there, and continuing to come back. The question becomes, how are you going to get them? The answer is through revenue management driven by actionable competitive intelligenc Read on...

Kristi White
  • Revenue Management
  • Bulls or Bears: Which Pricing Strategy Is Your Hotel Using?
  • Occupancies have stabilized and are recovering around the world. It’s time for ADRs to make the same recovery. No more hibernating with the bears. For those regions still in hibernation, the time to act is now. At best, consumers will accept a 5% increase in rate annually. While that might not seem much, it’s better than a 5% move in the opposite direction. For hoteliers, every day in the foreseeable future should be a run with the bulls—with the same sense of urgency and confidence. Viva San Fermin! Read on...

Stowe Shoemaker
  • Revenue Management
  • Revenue Management and CRM: A Conflict of Strategies?
  • Hospitality managers have paid much attention to the practice of both revenue management and customer loyalty over the last few years. Unfortunately, these managers often come from different departments; and as a result, they often have different goals and different financial targets. For instance, those in marketing are measured by increases in repeat purchase, word of mouth, and satisfaction, while those in revenue management are measured by REVPAR index and yield index. While in an ideal world these goals would be complimentary, this is often not the case. Rather than being a zero sum game, it is a winners take all game, where the win is the incentives that come from reaching specified targets. For example, in one of my executive education classes a sales manager of a large international hotel company told me the following story... Read on...

Juston Parker
  • Revenue Management
  • Outsourcing Revenue Management
  • Revenue Management continues to change rapidly. The days of "right room, right person, right price at right time" have long disappeared. Keeping up with the latest trends and keeping staff well educated is increasingly expensive and difficult. Outsourcing a property's Revenue Management has become a real and viable solution. Revenue Managers also present challenges for a property. What is their role? What does their job consist of? In the industry, most Revenue Managers really are Reservations Managers handling the duties of both jobs. This, of course, takes away their focus from both managing revenues and managing reservations. Not exactly a win-win situation. Read on...

Joshua Miller
  • Revenue Management
  • Prevent Major Losses in Your Minor Operating Departments
  • Most hotel management principles focus on enhancing revenue and improving efficiency. An assumption that many hoteliers make inaccurately is that all of the revenue they earn actually makes it to the P&L. Most hotels experience revenue slippage due to problems with error and theft. In the major divisions, revenue control practices are put in place to safeguard against these issues, but these are rarely seen or enforced in the minor operating departments. This article will focus on revenue control in the non-core focus areas of the hotel and what you can do to improve it. Read on...

FEBRUARY: Social Media: Interacting with the Hotel Customer

Nisha Thakkar

While social media has become a mainstream marketing channel, there are many variables that hoteliers are not taking advantage of to increase their revenue. Unlike other mainstream marketing avenues, social media is not static, as platforms continuously find ways to increase engagement with both users and advertisers. As social platforms have realized their massive marketing opportunities within their user base, they have increasingly capitalized on their clearly defined users by providing advertisers access to them. Today, the popularity of social channels has created a “pay-to-play” model that leaves many business owners and managers perplexed as to which channels to focus on, and the right budget to allocate in order to maximize return on investment (ROI). Read on...

Cass Bailey

These days, a lot goes into choosing the perfect hotel. Hotel choice no longer depends solely on the location, price, and amenities; it depends on experience. Customers have become more interested in experiential features instead of whether or not the hotel has a five-star review. As the phrase goes, many “do it for the gram.” When looking to book their stay, the Instagram generation is interested in things that are eye-catching and worthy of sharing with their followers. Just searching the hashtag “wanderlust” reveals millions of images of different travel experiences from around the world. Read on...

Tim Sullivan

As hoteliers’ key audiences spend less time on the Web and more time on their smartphones’ social apps, it is crucial for hotels to have a digital engagement strategy that creates meaningful interactions on social channels. Desktop still converts higher, but the path to a booking is a journey full of touch points across social. Now that social media platforms are maturing, hotels can go beyond targeting their own guests to discovering new profitable audiences. They can reach and drive sales for all sides of the business: leisure, corporate and group sales. However, before hoteliers think about social engagement, they need to cover the basics of personalization and one-to-one marketing. Read on...

Chris Teso

Social media has traditionally been approached as a marketing tool for top-of-funnel activities. However, the activities associated with generating awareness, like creating viral posts and taking advantage of real-time marketing moments, are difficult to measure and even harder to link to real business value. Yet, marketers innately know that social media has real opportunity as their audience is there—in volume and in frequency. As a result, a new trend is emerging among hotel marketers that takes distinct advantage of the direct follower model of social networks: the marriage of the loyalty program with social media marketing. Read on...

Coming Up In The March Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Human Resources: Inspiring a Journey of Success
In an increasingly competitive environment where hotels are competing to attract, and more importantly, to keep top talent, Human Resource managers are realizing the need to focus on improving their Employee Experience. Smart managers are embracing the idea of Employee Wellness which translates into a system of physical, mental, emotional, and purposeful well-being. Some organizations are even providing free counseling for their employees and their dependents. The goal is to nurture, support and engage with their employees in a way that increases productivity, improves customer service, enhances loyalty, and creates a more harmonious work environment for all. Along with this development is the need for more effective, ongoing training. Many HR managers rely on external training firms for this, but there is a growing trend which taps the experience and expertise that already exists within the organization. For example, younger employees likely have greater knowledge of social media which an older generation might struggle with. Harnessing this peer-to-peer learning can be an efficient and cost effective way of increasing skills, and as a result, the knowledge transferred is likely to be more acceptable and relevant. Finally, HR managers need to foster an environment that empowers people and taps into their full potential, inspiring a personal journey of success. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the strategies and techniques that human resource directors are currently developing in order to achieve success.