Revenue Management
Brandon Edwards
  • Revenue Management
  • Best Practices in Employment-based Tax Incentives for Hospitality Employers
  • Many hospitality employers may not be aware of the numerous state and federal  hiring-based tax incentive programs available to them and the benefits these can have on their bottom line. With the most current tax incentive programs in place, hospitality employers can receive an average of over $600 per new employee hired.  Over a three year period, including retroactive credits, this can easily add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per location. Here are some best practices on implementing such programs, specifically the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, the Hire Now Tax Cut and the Enterprise Zone and Empowerment Zones programs. Read on...

Glenn  Pedersen
  • Revenue Management
  • Best Practices for Increasing Conversions, Length of Stay and Average Rates
  • Whether the economy is in good shape or bad shape, Revenue Management is a tool, if used successfully, will drive increased sales and bottom line profits. Revenue Management is something everyone knows about but not everyone uses. While there is normally a cost to implementing this at your hotel, there is also an intuitive cost if you don't use it. Our desk clerks are not trained reservation agents and in most Property Management Systems these same desk clerks have the ability to make reservations at the front desk. Unfortunately, they also have the ability to by-pass revenue management strategies in that same system with very little difficulty. Why do we allow this to occur when the remedy is so easy... easy for the customer, easy for the desk clerk and easy for the top line as well as the bottom line. Read on...

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...

JUNE: Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?

Wendy Stevens

From digital room keys to wireless internet, the hospitality industry continues to embrace new tools and technologies that promise to enrich the guest experience. Advances in technology also open up possibilities behind the scenes for hospitality sales and marketing professionals—online booking services, social media channels, and hotel review sites are reshaping the sales and marketing landscape in important ways. But are all of those changes necessarily a good thing? Are there limitations to the power of technology, and inherent trade-offs and compromises that need to be taken into account? Read on...

Joe Currie

Being a business traveler is not about choosing between Tahiti and Maui for a dream vacation; it is about the luck of dodging an air delay and narrowly catching a few winks of sleep at a hotel before a morning meeting with a client. Business travelers do not have the luxury of choosing time or location, but they do have a choice when it comes to their hotel booking, and the entity that has the most influence over that choice in accommodation ultimately becomes the owner of it. Read on...

Bill Linehan

Channel management is a practice that allows hotel companies to cast a wider net to capture more market share. How you manage various marketplaces defines your customer acquisition strategy. RLH Corporation recognizes cost of distribution differences between direct and third-party channels, and we always promote direct bookings. However, an important component of increasing direct channel traffic and conversion is to leverage OTA site traffic to promote brand awareness. RLH Corporation takes a contrarian approach to OTAs – a customer acquisition strategy where we fish where the fish are to capture, convert and retain ongoing relationships with consumers. Read on...

Tara K. Gorman

When guests checks into a hotel, there are plenty to mechanisms to protect their physical “stuff”, but how can they be sure that their personal information is protected? This is the question hotel owners and operators are keenly focused on in the aftermath of cybersecurity breaches in the hospitality industry. Guest Data - an Asset or a Liability in the Age of Cybersecurity? will explore whether guest data is an asset or a liability by exploring the rules and regulations that govern privacy and security, steps that hotel operations can take to ensure that they are in compliance with privacy and security requirements for guest data, and privacy considerations. Read on...

Coming Up In The July Online Hotel Business Review




{300x250.media}
Feature Focus
Hotel Spa: Measuring the Results
As the Hotel Spa and Wellness Movement continues to flourish, spa operations are seeking new and innovative ways to expand their menu of services to attract even more people to their facilities, and to and measure the results of spa treatments. Whether it’s spa, fitness, wellness meet guest expectations. Among new developments, there seems to be a growing emphasis on science to define or beauty services, guests are becoming increasingly careful about what they ingest, inhale or put on their skin, and they are requesting scientific data on the treatments they receive. They are open to exploring the benefits of alternative therapies – like brain fitness exercises, electro-magnetic treatments, and chromotherapy – but only if they have been validated scientifically. Similarly, some spas are integrating select medical services and procedures into their operations, continuing the convergence of hotel spas with the medical world. Parents are also increasingly concerned about the health and well-being of their children and are willing to devote time and money to overcome their poor diets, constant stress, and hours spent hunched over computer, tablet and smartphone screens. Parents are investing in wellness-centric family vacations; yoga and massage for kids; mindfulness and meditation classes; and healthy, locally sourced, organic food. For hotel spas, this trend represents a significant area for future growth. Other trends include the proliferation of Wellness Festivals which celebrate health and well-being, and position hotel spas front and center. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.