Revenue Management
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...

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...

APRIL: Guest Service: The Personalized Experience

Scott Hale

Home sweet home. Your dog recognizes the sound of your car pulling in the drive and waits anxiously for you at the front door. Your thermostat knows the temperature that you expect the kitchen to be as you prepare dinner. Your stereo knows what playlist works best with tonight’s recipe. Your television has your preferred programming all cued up when you’re done with your meal. The list goes on. Home sweet home. What if you could make your guests’ next experience at your hotel just like home – but better? You can. Read on...

Tom O'Rourke

Mobile devices are not only important when planning trips, they are indispensable to guests when they are on the actual trip. According to the Expedia and Egencia Mobile Index published last year, travelers rank their smartphones as their top priority when on the go. Mobile devices are so important that survey respondents ranked them higher than a toothbrush or a driver’s license. The mobile experience extends beyond the point of booking the room—it’s now an integral part of the journey. Read on...

Adele Gutman

Before the first shovel was in the ground, we knew Aria Hotel Budapest would be an extraordinary hotel. For the Library Hotel Collection and our founder, Henry Kallan, creating a hotel that is beyond ordinary is everything. We think about each detail of the design and experience to create wow factors for our guests. These elements generate rave reviews, and rave reviews are the cornerstone of our marketing program. This is how we became the #1 Hotel in the World in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards. Read on...

Megan Wenzl

A personalized guest experience is important in today’s hospitality industry. Guests can voice their opinion about a hotel in seconds because of the Internet, and their feedback is contained in sources like social media sites and online reviews. Potential guests read this information when they are looking for where to stay on their next summer vacation. Guests will post online reviews about their experiences. According to research by ReviewTrackers, 45 percent of hotel guests are likely to leave to a review after a negative experience, while 37.6 percent of hotel guests are likely to leave a review after a positive experience Read on...

Coming Up In The May Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Eco-Friendly Practices: The Value of Sustainability
The hotel industry continues to make remarkable progress in implementing sustainability policies and procedures in their properties throughout the world. As a result, they continue to reap the benefits of increased profitability, enhanced guest experiences, and improved community relations. In addition, as industry standards are codified and adopted worldwide, hotels can now compare how their operations measure up against their competitors in terms of sustainable practices and accomplishments. This capacity to publicly compare and contrast is spurring competition and driving innovation as hotels do not wish to be left behind in this area. Water management and conservation is still a primary issue as population growth, urbanization, pollution and wasteful consumption patterns place increasing demands on freshwater supply. Water recycling; installing low-flow fixtures; using digital sensors to control water usage; and even harvesting rainwater are just a few things that some hotels are doing to preserve this precious resource. Waste management is another major concern. Through policies of reduce, reuse and recycle, some hotels are implementing “zero-waste” programs with the goal of substantially reducing their landfill waste which produces carbon dioxide and methane gases. Other hotels have established comprehensive training programs that reinforce the value of sustainability. There is employee engagement through posters and quizzes, and even contests are held to increase innovation, sensitivity and environmental awareness. Some hotels are also monitoring a guest’s energy usage and rewarding those who consumed less energy with gifts and incentives. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document how some hotels are integrating eco-friendly practices into their operations and how they and the environment are benefiting from them.