Revenue Management
S. Lakshmi Narasimhan
  • Revenue Management
  • The Buffet A La Carte Balance in Hotel Restaurants
  • As someone who has poured money into a restaurant as an investment vehicle, the owner is looking at a good return on that investment. Restaurant profits cannot match rooms accommodation profits and in most cases tend to be between one third to one half of rooms profits. It is thus critical that the restaurant product is well thought out and harnesses resident hotel guest patronage complemented by non-residents. A well balanced buffet and a la carte offerings in the hotel restaurant will go a long way in delivering that patronage factor as well as producing that return on investment the owner is seeking. A win win situation that owners and stake holders hold dear to their hearts. Read on...

Charles B. Rosenberg
  • Revenue Management
  • A "BIT" About Cuba - Using Bilateral Investment Treaties to Protect International Investments
  • In July 2016, Starwood Hotels & Resorts opened a new hotel in Havana, Cuba. Once unimaginable for a U.S. hotel company, the Four Points Havana offers more than its 186 guest rooms and modern spa; it provides an authentic Cuban experience where guests can enjoy traditional Cuban cuisine in the Don Quixote restaurant, sip on the island’s most popular beers, Cristal and Bucanero, in Starwood’s signature bar “Best Brews,” and experience Cuba’s most sought after cigars with the guidance of a cigar sommelier in the hotel’s 5th Avenue Cigar Bar. As the first U.S. hotel in Cuba in nearly sixty years, the Four Points Havana signals the beginning of a new era, as previous forays into the hotel industry in Cuba did not end auspiciously for U.S. investors. Read on...

Ravneet Bhandari
  • Revenue Management
  • Outside-In Vs Inside-Out Hotel Demand Forecasting
  • Rate optimization is arguably the most critical component of a successful Revenue Management strategy, but most hoteliers still tend to fall into two broad categories when it comes to this discipline: Set-it-and-forget-it, or follow-the-market. Both of these approaches are sub-optimal as they simply ignore the evolving purchasing patterns of increasingly savvy customers. We live in an era of disintermediated distribution, and the reality is that meta search and third party aggregators have made it easier than ever for customers to shop and compare options. Read on...

Matt Lindsay
  • Revenue Management
  • The Value of Customer-Lifetime Value in the Hospitality Industry
  • As simple as it sounds, knowing which customers are profitable is a challenging task for many businesses. Predicting which customers have the most profit potential is even more challenging since it requires estimation of future business. Applying these same modeling techniques and profit calculations to potential customers adds yet another degree of difficulty. Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a (relatively) old concept. Businesses have been calculating the expected operating margins received from a customer from long before the birth of the internet and modern data tools. Read on...

Tammy Farley
  • Revenue Management
  • The Future of Revenue Management in the Age of Airbnb
  • The rise of Airbnb and other peer-to-peer hotel alternatives has shaken up the hospitality industry. While the long-term impact remains to be seen, this new breed of short-term rental providers is proving to be agile competition to traditional hotels, with inventory and pricing adjusting quickly to fluctuations in demand. How can a hotel’s revenue management team effectively respond? Do they treat local Airbnb inventory as a competitor in their market? Shop Airbnb pricing as they do their traditional hotel competitors? This article explores the issues revenue managers must address as they navigate this latest threat to revenue growth. Read on...

Ravneet Bhandari
  • Revenue Management
  • The Impact of Machine Learning and Personalization on Your Revenue Management Strategy
  • The hotel business is in the midst of a peer-to-peer revolution, and it’s seriously threatening the industry’s financial stability. A new wave of accommodations spurred by the birth of the sharing economy is radically altering how many people prefer to stay while traveling. According to a survey of US travelers, consumer preference for staying at traditional hotels is halved (79 percent vs. 40 percent) once they’ve experienced peer-to-peer housing. In addition to Airbnb, there’s a rising number of peer-to-peer accommodation sites appealing to specific market segments. Those include the high-end home rental group OneFineStay, and the family friendly HomeAway, which are both nipping at the traditional hotel business. And if hoteliers don’t meaningfully respond, that nip could become a significant bite to the bottom line. Read on...

Marcus  Nicolls
  • Revenue Management
  • Dollars & Sense: Merging Cultures Post-M&A
  • A super platinum-everything status guest with a certain brand hotel chain walked into one of his favorite properties after this brand recently merged with another chain, looked around and said, “It just isn’t the same. I don’t even recognize them anymore.” He then walked out of the door determined to find a new favorite property he could count on. Does this sound far-fetched to you? It shouldn’t; it happens all too often, and it should send chills down every leader’s spine. While this anecdote focuses on the guest, you can imagine the impact this would also have on the employees. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk
  • Revenue Management
  • Is Your Organizational Structure Maximizing Your Revenue Potential?
  • The evolution of the revenue management industry has been one of 2016’s top trending topics. From the onslaught of big data opportunities to the drastic improvements in the life of the revenue manager, the benefits of revenue management practices and its sophisticated technology have been far-reaching in leaving virtually no revenue stone unturned. However, advanced technology has been accommodating far more in this industry’s evolution than high consumptions of complex data and the bolstering of on-the-job productivity. As the industry continues to propel forward with better insights and more informed strategic opportunities, we’ve also seen a distinctly marked shift in how the role of revenue management is positioned within the organizational make-up of hotel(s) and hotel companies. Read on...

Kelly  McGuire
  • Revenue Management
  • Price, UGC and Loyalty
  • With the growing presence of UGC, consumers have more information than ever before when they are making a hotel room purchase. The question is: how do consumers use all this information, with price, to establish value and ultimately make a purchase decision? Understanding this, particularly across different segments of guests, will help hotels make better pricing and positioning decisions. The unmanaged business traveler represents a large and very valuable segment for hotels. This group of frequent travelers is potentially highly influenced by their loyalty affiliation. Does their loyalty change their reaction to price and UGC? Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk
  • Revenue Management
  • Assessing the Performance of Your Revenue Performance Initiatives
  • While revenue management professionals devote significant investments and efforts towards advancing their hotel’s revenue resources, many hotels still struggle with assessing the actual performance of these revenue management initiatives. Namely, how can hotels ensure they are squeezing all the juice out of the proverbial revenue management orange? The hospitality industry has been using revenue management successfully for decades. However, for many organizations, the greatest revenue management challenge is not necessarily of a technical nature, but often organizational. Confronting hotels today is an essential need to align their people, processes and technologies around achieving maximum revenue performance. Read on...

Boaz Ashbel
  • Revenue Management
  • Miami's Hotel Industry in Growth Mode
  • Miami continues its transformation from beach destination to world class city, giving travelers a much wider range of lodging options. With close to 5,000 additional hotel rooms being delivered by the end of this year, Miami is experiencing a very active and strong hospitality market. This includes the entrance of international hotel brands and new concepts being introduced by the leading hotel groups. While the region’s visitor count continues to reach record-setting numbers, critics have voiced concerns that the market could experience oversupply, which coupled with other threats the hospitality market faces today, could have a negative long-term impact. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk
  • Revenue Management
  • A Day in the Life of Two Revenue Managers
  • Recent discussions have been swirling around the revenue management industry and its swift evolution over the past few years, moving steadily past merely filling as many rooms as possible to holistically approaching the quest for achieving total revenue performance. However, approaches and technologies have not been the only revenue management components swept up in these influential winds of change. The lives of hotel revenue managers have also experienced drastic changes in not only their job responsibilities, but in their overall work efficiencies, insights and performance. Read on...

Bhanu Chopra
  • Revenue Management
  • How Room Prices and Sleep Quality Are Interrelated
  • The scent of fresh sheets in a tidy hotel room can win any heart! Travelers unanimously agree that a ‘hotel stay’ should be nothing less than a rich and pampering experience; and they further justify the statement by saying that prices are paid immediately, as quoted online. In order to pay the guests due respect, hospitality chains claim that they change or improve their services as and when an insurgency crops up. So, the single biggest truth of the hotel industry is that ‘sleep quality’ drives this segment. Believe it or not, this catch phrase has materialized into a key measure of health and productivity in the global public consciousness. Read on...

Anthony Clervi
  • Revenue Management
  • How Hotels Can Win the Supply Chain Game
  • Managing supply chain and procurement is one of the best ways a hotelier can increase profits and minimize losses, but it’s tough to do it well. A hotel must manage hundreds of SKUs. With so many products to buy, it’s challenging to find the best sources. Hotel procurement is further complicated by fragmented operations. Bring together franchisees, owner-operators, and multiple brands under one umbrella, and it can be impossible to keep up with procurement. Without centralized processes, managers and operators are more likely to make multiple small-scale purchases from numerous suppliers, making it difficult for corporate officers to ensure hotels purchase high-quality items at the best prices. Read on...

S. Lakshmi Narasimhan
  • Revenue Management
  • Banquet Operations Vs Real Estate Space
  • Almost every banquet operation in recent times in its key performance indicators carries out a measurement of revenue and profit per square foot of banquet space. Why is this? Given that highest and best use has become the primary motivation for managing an asset including banquet spaces, the metrics for measuring performance have also shifted dramatically. No more, is it just revenue dollars less cost dollars resulting in a profit. It is now a matter of leveraging every square foot of space and its worth to earn revenues and profits. You could say that the owners and stake holders are now looking at every foot of space for returns. 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




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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.