Revenue Management
Natasa Christodoulidou
  • Revenue Management
  • Key Challenges in Electronic Distribution Channels
  • In the travel competitive arena, hotel executives have to deal on an every day basis with various challenges of distributing their room inventory. These challenges include Internet-only rates, distressed room inventory web sites (such as Priceline and Hotwire) and an increasing number of OTAs and Meta sites such as Hotels.com, Kayak.com and others. In order to distribute effectively the room inventory, a deep knowledge and understanding of the distribution channels as well as the impact of e-CRM and social media is required. One challenge is determining the combinations of distribution channels and the optimal number of hotel rooms to be offered for sale through each channel. Read on...

Bill  Kotrba
  • Revenue Management
  • How Pricing and Revenue Management Technology Can Help End Price Wars
  • The hospitality industry has always been a fertile ground for price wars. This industry ― indeed the entire travel industry ― is one of high fixed-costs, low marginal-costs and price transparency. That means when one hotel cuts prices, other hotels react quickly, typically matching the lower price to avoid losing customers. The thinking is that it's better to put a head in a bed ― at a low price ― than not at all. During a recession, the situation becomes more desperate, as hotels slash prices in an attempt to stimulate new demand or gain market share. Every dollar of revenue is vital to cover the high fixed costs of building and maintaining properties. Read on...

Johan Creytens
  • Revenue Management
  • Avoiding Rate Price Wars and Keeping the Rack Rate High
  • Hospitality industry experts advise hoteliers to be careful not to drop their rates this year, and boost them when possible. The process of building the rack rate however, leads to price wars, within properties in a certain destination. The economy has caused hotels to price out one another, as travelers seek value and the lowest rate possible when booking a hotel. Often times, travelers don't mind at all to book last minute, taking advantage of lowest rates as they shop among area hotels. But, what does all this mean to hoteliers who are doing what they can to keep their hotels alive through the downturn of this global crisis? Read on...

Gabor Forgacs
  • Revenue Management
  • The Room Rate Conundrum: The Leap From Tactical to Strategic
  • Room rates should be not the first but the last thing to touch. Room rates are too important to play a continuous game of pull/push with. Hotel brands that held their rates and didn't dilute their rate integrity were the first to lead REVPAR recovery after market slumps. Coming down with room rates, can be done pretty fast. Previous recessions have taught us that rebuilding it, after heavy discounting may take years and it will be uphill all the way. Tactical discounts reflect a short-term approach. Strategic thinking is harder but it may lead to long-term success. Read on...

Steven Pinchuk
  • Revenue Management
  • Commodity Price Wars: Using Customer Centric Strategies to Maintain Guest Loyalty
  • The best way to build and maintain guest loyalty during times of commodity price wars is to use Customer Centric Strategies (CCS). The term "commodity" means that the consumer sees all products as the same and the only difference to the consumer is their price. In a commodity market, consumers will usually make their purchase decision based predominately on price. Do you want to keep from becoming a commodity, and settling for the prevailing price of the other products that the consumer sees as a substitute? To avoid being bought as a commodity you can either make your product better than the competition, in the eyes of the consumers, or differentiate yourself to the consumer in another way. Read on...

Glenn  Pedersen
  • Revenue Management
  • Maximizing Direct Sales Force Revenue
  • How are you monitoring your direct sales force efforts? Who do you count as a member of the sales team? How often are you validating their effectiveness and what are the measurement criteria you are using? Who is interacting with the sales team on a daily, weekly and/or monthly basis? How often does the sales team speak with the revenue management team? Who is on the REVENUE MANAGEMENT TEAM? The answers to each one of these questions can be the difference between success and failure, between REVPAR growth or lost business. Read on...

Brandon Edwards
  • Revenue Management
  • Driving Increased Profits with Federal Hiring Incentives
  • There are two ways to increase profits - raising revenue or lowering costs. Hospitality employers often miss opportunities to lower costs by missing valuable tax savings attributable to hiring incentives. The federal government provides businesses with tax credits for hiring members of disadvantaged groups. This often represents a larger share of a hotel's staff than one would imagine. A member of a targeted group can be as simple as someone who lives in a designated area to one of the 40 million plus recipients of food stamps. Overall, a hospitality employer can expect between 15% and 25% of new hires to qualify for tax credits. Here is a rundown of the major programs to look at for 2011... Read on...

Mike Kistner
  • Revenue Management
  • The State of the Rate: The Battle to Recover Hotel ADRs
  • Recovery continues in both the corporate and leisure travel markets. While the leisure sector sustains a slow but steady pace, corporate travel has eclipsed the recovery with both strong booking volumes and record-high growth in average daily rates (ADR). However, despite the significant increases in reservations of greater than +24% over 2009 each month since April, according to data reported in The Pegasus View, hotel revenue is still being hampered by weak ADRs, particularly in the leisure sector. What's a hotel to do? Examine and understand the state of their rates, then seize control of their pricing strategy by understanding their market position, their guests and their resources. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk
  • Revenue Management
  • Revenue Management and the Growing Influence of Channel Management
  • There's no doubt that the speed with which the hotel industry is evolving is accelerating, and more often than not, hoteliers are being forced to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate throughout the year to ensure that revenue is being maximised. Given the growing influence of channel management in recent years, hoteliers across the globe are having to plan very carefully for the future and ensure that the right strategies are in place to work with organisations like Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) - who wield more power than ever before. Read on...

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...

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OCTOBER: Revenue Management: Technology and Big Data

Gary Isenberg

Hotel room night inventory is the hotel industry’s most precious commodity. Hotel revenue management has evolved into a complex and fragmented process. Today’s onsite revenue manager is influenced greatly by four competing forces, each armed with their own set of revenue goals and objectives -- as if there are virtually four individual revenue managers, each with its own distinct interests. So many divergent purposes oftentimes leading to conflicts that, if left unchecked, can significantly damper hotel revenues and profits. Read on...

Jon Higbie

For years, hotels have housed their Revenue Management systems on their premises. This was possible because data sets were huge but manageable, and required large but not overwhelming amounts of computing power. However, these on-premise systems are a thing of the past. In the era of Big Data, the cost of building and maintaining an extensive computing infrastructure is incredibly expensive. The solution – cloud computing. The cloud allows hotels to create innovative Revenue Management applications that deliver revenue uplift and customized guest experiences. Without the cloud, hotels risk remaining handcuffed to their current Revenue Management solutions – and falling behind competitors. Read on...

Jenna Smith

You do not have to be a hospitality professional to recognize the influx and impact of new technologies in the hotel industry. Guests are becoming familiar with using virtual room keys on their smartphones to check in, and online resources like review sites and online travel agencies (OTAs) continue to shape the way consumers make decisions and book rooms. Behind the scenes, sales and marketing professionals are using new tools to communicate with guests, enhance operational efficiencies, and improve service by addressing guests’ needs and solving problems quickly and with a minimum of disruption. Read on...

Yatish Nathraj

Technology is becoming an ever more growing part of the hospitality industry and it has helped us increase efficiency for guest check-inn, simplified the night audit process and now has the opportunity to increase our revenue production. These systems need hands on calibration to ensure they are optimized for your operations. As a manager you need to understand how these systems work and what kind of return on investment your business is getting. Although some of these systems maybe mistaken as a “set it and forget it” product, these highly sophisticated tools need local expert like you and your team to analysis the data it gives you and input new data requirements. Read on...

Coming Up In The November Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Architecture & Design: Authentic, Interactive and Immersive
If there is one dominant trend in the field of hotel architecture and design, it’s that travelers are demanding authentic, immersive and interactive experiences. This is especially true for Millennials but Baby Boomers are seeking out meaningful experiences as well. As a result, the development of immersive travel experiences - winery resorts, culinary resorts, resorts geared toward specific sports enthusiasts - will continue to expand. Another kind of immersive experience is an urban resort – one that provides all the elements you'd expect in a luxury resort, but urbanized. The urban resort hotel is designed as a staging area where the city itself provides all the amenities, and the hotel functions as a kind of sophisticated concierge service. Another trend is a re-thinking of the hotel lobby, which has evolved into an active social hub with flexible spaces for work and play, featuring cafe?s, bars, libraries, computer stations, game rooms, and more. The goal is to make this area as interactive as possible and to bring people together, making the space less of a traditional hotel lobby and more of a contemporary gathering place. This emphasis on the lobby has also had an associated effect on the size of hotel rooms – they are getting smaller. Since most activities are designed to take place in the lobby, there is less time spent in rooms which justifies their smaller design. Finally, the wellness and ecology movements are also having a major impact on design. The industry is actively adopting standards so that new structures are not only environmentally sustainable, but also promote optimum health and well- being for the travelers who will inhabit them. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.