Creating a Revenue Strategy as Unique as Your Portfolio

By Paul van Meerendonk Director of Advisory Services, IDeaS Revenue Solutions | May 28, 2017

The hospitality industry is the global provider of choice. All around the world, guests choose where to travel, how to get there, where to eat and sleep, what attractions to see. There are many factors that drive these decisions, of course, but every travel decision leads to another, and a myriad of subsequent choices will eventually be made. Hotels undisputedly understand the critical role that choice, and the appeal of endless guest options, plays in the travelers’ decision-making process. After all, hotels make it their business to provide potential guests with as many choices as possible.

Hotels set themselves apart competitively by offering distinctive room types and lush amenities, dog-friendly atmospheres, Zen lifestyle packages with yoga mats and serene spaces, and gluten-free and vegan-friendly menus. These are available options guests can choose from to help minimize the disruptions caused by traveling. And when you look at innovation in the technology space, it takes guest options and competitive opportunities for hotels even further. Mobile apps, keyless entry software, digital newspapers and room service robots have become all the rage in recent years—and they are all geared to ultimately influence the guest’s choice to book with the brand family.

In fact, choice is even one of the cardinal themes embedded in nearly every brand ethos. A quick look around the Internet and words like “unique, ” “memorable, ” “diverse, ” and “curated collection” are frequently used to describe any given portfolio of hotel brands. Company credos “No matter your travel style, there’s a Sonesta to suit you” and “Brands to fit every lifestyle and occasion” from the likes of Sonesta and Hilton, respectively, further exemplifies just how much value hotel organizations place on appealing to every type of traveler. From high-touch luxury properties to low-touch limited service facilities to vacation timeshares, the choices are all there—and they fulfill virtually every possible guest need.

All of these aforementioned guest options, incentives and choices are ultimate reflections of an overall brand strategy. However, choice shouldn’t be a message embodied only within the vivid description of a brand promise, its contemporary lounges or the high-tech amenities and ultra-modern guestrooms. For organizations with a unique portfolio of hotel brands, choice also needs to be a primary theme that permeates into every one of their properties’ revenue strategies—and it needs to be supported by advanced revenue technology.

Here are some considerations for how hotel organizations can identify the ideal revenue technology for executing a cohesive, profitable and productive revenue strategy across their entire portfolio.

It Starts With Choosing the Right Technology

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.