Is Your Hotel Ready? Revenue Management Predictions for 2015

By Paul van Meerendonk Director of Advisory Services, IDeaS Revenue Solutions | January 04, 2015

Another year has come and gone, and hoteliers worldwide are already planning for the months and quarters ahead. Renovations, expansions and overall segment growth will continue to fuel the industry and will gain much attention throughout the year, but it will also be crucial to monitor the constant evolution of today’s hotel management environment. Change is upon us, and the ways hoteliers operate more efficiently while driving better revenue is the newest frontier. Take revenue management for example: no longer dictated by gut instincts or stagnant spreadsheets, the practice of revenue management—and the technologies driving it—continues to incorporate new strategies for maximum profitability. Not only are hotel operations more tightly integrated with revenue management technology overall, but that technology is extending to other areas within hospitality as well, enabling hoteliers to take a more holistic revenue approach. But these are just some examples of what to look for in revenue management as we begin a new year. Let’s explore a few more.

Powerful Analytics is Key

A pricing trend to watch this year will be the continued adoption of powerful analytics to drive overall strategy. Analytics can answer questions like “why is this happening?” or “what will happen next?” Even before the surge of big data, analytics performance of automated revenue management systems was a primary consideration for revenue managers when selecting a system for their properties. Now with the abundance of big data, an important differentiator for revenue managers to understand clearly is what types of data are integrated into their systems’ decision making engine versus the types of data that are merely displayed or just used for reporting. When used as an integral part of the pricing algorithm, big data can be a powerful analytics capability.

Big Data Doesn’t Have To Be a Big Headache In 2015

Advanced analytics are already a key business tool in a range of industries. For hoteliers looking to drive performance and increase profits, analytics are an invaluable tool for examining and creating trustworthy pricing decisions for one property or worldwide estates.

Data today comes in all types of formats and some can feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information coming at them daily: structured, numeric data in traditional databases, information created from line-of-business applications, unstructured text documents, email, video, audio, stock ticker data and financial transactions etc.

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.