Revenue Management
Jean Francois Mourier
  • Revenue Management
  • RevPAR, the Constantly Moving Target Revenue Management Strategies in a Recession
  • As the hotel industry struggles to keep its proverbial head above the deep recession waters, the matter of effective revenue management becomes more critical than ever. Hoteliers want to know, in such a depressed climate, what revenue management strategies will work most successfully? Well, you asked for it, and you've got it. This article outlines the new revenue management model and the steps that every hotelier needs to take right now (and we do mean, right now!) to survive and thrive during the recession. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk
  • Revenue Management
  • Rate Optimization: Enhancing Your Hotels Pricing Strategy
  • For many hotels, developing effective pricing strategies remains a complex issue for revenue managers. Their goal, ultimately, is to maximize companywide revenue and profits while building strong hotel partner relationships within their marketplace. Beyond the scope of regular revenue management practices such as selecting the correct overbooking, rate restrictions and best available rate, lies the challenge of selecting the correct rates to choose from in the first place. The emergence of rate optimization has made strides to demystify pricing practices and help revenue managers understand the demand characteristics of their products, understand the price sensitivity of demand and design a rate spectrum that is tuned to all these. This allows hoteliers to take full advantage of their business opportunities, ensuring that they are capturing the maximum revenue at all times through an optimized rate spectrum. Read on...

Tina Stehle
  • Revenue Management
  • Top 10 Benefits of a Business Intelligence Software Solution
  • Hoteliers that want to prosper in today’s economic environment are increasingly turning to business intelligence applications that enable them to assess risks and make more informed decisions. Business intelligence solutions help you to gather, analyze and leverage a wide variety of data in order to gain a competitive edge and increase your visibility in a crowded market. In my article, I outline the top 10 benefits of incorporating a business intelligence solution into your daily operations. Read on...

Tina Stehle
  • Revenue Management
  • Maximizing Profitability Through Data Analytics
  • Competing in the hospitality environment has never been more challenging. The number of vendors and products is overwhelming. Competitors are constantly looking for a marketing advantage. And hotels within your competitive set are likely to be utilizing business intelligence more than ever before. In this environment, hotels that succeed must do more than merely 'keep up' with the competition. They must be able to identify guest trends, recognize problem areas and develop strategies that increase profitability. They also must be able to react to market changes quickly and efficiently. Sounds good, but how do you make it happen? With 'data analytics,' which uses guest and operational information to predict future trends and stay a step ahead of the competition. Read on...

Jean Francois Mourier
  • Revenue Management
  • The Importance of Getting Sales and Revenue Management Systems and Teams in Sync
  • General managers and hoteliers face the challenge of synchronizing all of the internal processes of a hotel every day, coordinating the F&B department with the front office and sales, all while making sure engineering keeps the place running right. It’s a tough job! One of the greatest challenges facing hoteliers and hotel managers in terms of getting their symphony well-tuned is synching their sales and revenue management systems. This article provides GMs and hoteliers with suggestions on how to properly integrate their sales and revenue management systems to ensure optimal revenues, a must in today’s tough market. Read on...

Juston Parker
  • Revenue Management
  • How to Create Demand
  • Is it possible for a hotel to "create" demand? Is this just a myth used by Directors of Sales to try and stimulate the troops? When it appears that there is just no one wanting to visit your property, can you really "flip a switch" to drive people to your product? It is possible to create demand where there is none. First we need to uncover what is demand and how can it be managed and even stimulated. Read on...

Juston Parker
  • Revenue Management
  • Group Pricing - Getting the Best Revenue While Keeping Bookings in the Block
  • To group, or not to group, that is the question. It doesn't take William Shakespeare to pose the quandary facing many hotels of how much group business is good business and when does a group pose a risk to maximizing revenues at a property. To begin to answer this, we must first uncover the principles that hospitality pricing has always been under. Hotel Revenue Management has been and many times, still is, under the "department" of sales and marketing and the Director of Revenue, most of the time still reports to the Director of Sales. The Director of Sales has a mandate to fill the house and most sales managers focus on group business, so therefore the thought is "if we want a sales team, we want them to sell and they need to sell group". This then leads to the thought of "take group business and then if we get the transient to fill in the holes". These thoughts are fundamentally unsound and cost many properties hundreds of thousands of dollars. Read on...

Juston Parker
  • Revenue Management
  • How World Events Can Effect Revenues
  • The hospitality industry has been affected by many devastating events in recent years. The attacks of September 11, 2001 struck fear in travelers, and the airlines and hotels responded in unprecedented ways that completely changed the way we traveled. SARS fears reached to multiple continents as people feared the spreading epidemic. The war in Iraq and the increasing terror threats reduced attendance at the Olympics in Athens to unheard of low levels. Hotel occupancy and Revenue per Available Room or RevPAR (a key indicator in the hospitality industry) were expected to be at record highs but dropped to record lows. Read on...

Connie Rheams
  • Revenue Management
  • Tightening Operations Can Increase RevPAR
  • Recent "commoditization" of the hospitality industry has encouraged companies to compete on price, and achieving differentiation through service has required higher investment (higher quality, shorter operation cycles), reducing overall profitability. Every year, surveys are conducted that clearly outline companies' need to reduce costs and increase operational efficiencies. Many companies have already made great headway in accomplishing this goal by reducing complexity, implementing best practices and leveraging best-of-breed technologies. While the hotel industry has experienced strong revenue growth over the past few years, however, bottom-line performance has eroded since 2000, due to escalating expenses, including "non-controllable" costs such as utilities, insurance and government regulation. These costs - along with "controllable" costs such as payroll, staffing and marketing - are expected to only increase in the years to come. Read on...

Connie Rheams
  • Revenue Management
  • Our Occupancy Is Up: Are Profits?
  • It may seem counter-intuitive, but just because hotel occupancy rates are up, does not necessarily mean that profits are. Increasing the bottom line may require a new way of thinking. Many hospitality industry executives instinctively feel that technology is both a blessing and a curse. Yes, technology increases productivity and enables new ways of communicating with customers, but it also creates new challenges as distribution channels emerge, and new headaches when the technology doesn't work the way it's supposed to - which seems to happen all too frequently. Read on...

Juston Parker
  • Revenue Management
  • When to Book? Looking at Guest Patterns
  • When does a guest book? The answer most give is, "when they want to stay". The truth of the matter is they book when the time is right for them. Traditional marketing gets all the information in front of the guest and hopes that when the gust books they choose you! This shotgun approach leaves many properties unable to track true conversion on their efforts and wasting money on trying to get guests that never stay. By looking at true patterns, one can put the value product in front of the ideal guest at they time they are interested in booking, thereby creating an easy environment for the guest to book. In addition, since this guest is getting what they want, not only is conversion higher, but the ADR is as well. So, how do you know when is the right time to get before your guest? The key is micro-segmentation of the guest profiles and searching out what they value. Read on...

Juston Parker
  • Revenue Management
  • Short Term Action Plans
  • Revenue Optimization as most know has drastically changed over the past few years and is still constantly changing. How people shop and where they get their information changes on a day by day basis. The old adage of "right room, right person, right price" is no longer applicable and a successful property has all bases covered from demand and content management. As the world of Travel 2.0 grows, the traveler is getting smarter and access to more and more tools they may not have had in the past. Sites such as www.gusto.com have made the traveler the one in control. With real time access to like-minded people, the new Web 2.0 allows the potential guest to see what they really want to know about the destination they are going to and this includes value. As the adage goes, price is what you pay for something and value is what you get. Read on...

Juston Parker
  • Revenue Management
  • Proactive Revenue Management (Optimization)
  • As we go through the throws of the budget and planning season, people consistently wonder how does one look into the future to get more accurate budgetary planning and get good data for revenue strategies. Now, is always a good time to start planning. There is one fundamental difference between Revenue Management and Revenue Optimization, the former is passive and the latter is active. More than that, it's proactive. Revenue Optimization looks into the future and builds a plan to effectively create revenue and harness demand to fully return the best revenues possible. This is the goal of all who do Revenue Management (Optimization). So, what are the keys to proactive Revenue Management? What can move a property from Revenue Management to Revenue Optimization? Let's look at the process and learn how to maximize our return. Read on...

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...

MAY: Eco-Friendly Practices: The Value of Sustainability

Eric Ricaurte

In 2011, we visited the 10 hotels contracted in the room block for the Greenbuild conference in Toronto. As part of their award-winning sustainable event program, the conference organizers embedded green practices into the contract language for these hotels, who either had to comply with the requirements, explain their reason why they couldn’t implement them, or pay a $1,000 fine. Part of our consulting work was to gather the data and confirm some of the practices on-site. Read on...

Susan Tinnish

Hotels brands have actively engaged in large-scale efforts to become more environmentally friendly. Individual hotels have made great strides on property. Many significant large-scale eco-initiatives s are most easily built initially into the infrastructure and design of the building and surrounding areas. Given that the adaptation of these large-scale changes into the existing asset base is expensive and disruptive, hotels seek different ways to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. One way to do so is to shift the focus from large-scale change to “small wins.” Small wins can help a hotel create a culture of sustainability. Read on...

Shannon Sentman

Utility costs are the second largest operating expense for most hotels. Successfully reducing these expenses can be a huge value-add strategy for executives. Doing this effectively requires more than just a one-time investment in efficiency upgrades. It requires ongoing visibility into a building’s performance and effectively leveraging this visibility to take action. Too often, efficiency strategies center on a one-time effort to identify opportunities with little consideration for establishing ongoing practices to better manage a building’s performance ongoing. Read on...

Joshua Zinder, AIA

Discussions of sustainability in the hospitality industry have focused mainly on strategies at the level of energy-efficient and eco-friendly adjustments to operations and maintenance. These "tweaks" can include programs to reduce water usage, updating lighting to LEDs, campaigns to increase guest participation in recycling, and similar innovative industry initiatives. Often overlooked—not only by industry experts but even by hotel operators and designers—are possibilities for hotel design and construction that can make a property truly sustainable from the get-go. Read on...

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.