Prevent Revenue Leakages by keeping a Check on Rate Parity

By Bhanu Chopra CEO, RateGain | January 07, 2018

When certain actions or outcomes lead to loss of revenue, leading to a decline in your planned estimated revenue and actual revenue, you have revenue leakages. An example of that is fixing the price of a product and estimating your revenue based on it, but if one of your distribution channels sells it for a lower price, you face Rate Disparity. With the advent and popularity of online booking channels, the complexities of sourcing and managing your inventory have also increased. Hence, more will be the chances of revenue leakages. This is why industries with perishable product and services like airline and hospitality frequently face this challenge. To curtail them, we must learn where they stem from. 

Following are some common causes of revenue leakages- System/tool related errors in your revenue management software. Discrepancies due to lack of communication between departments and deliberate misuse of fare rules.

Some of these challenges are a part of a hotelierís day to day life. While you cannot eliminate all of them, you must focus on the Ďbig-eatersí because taming them will substantially lift your bottom line.

OTAs ó The Big Eaters or the Much Needed Friend?

Hotels and Online Travel Agents share a love-hate relationship. While hotels always want to get rid of the bulky commissions they have to shell out for the online bookings OTAs bring you, they also do not want to miss the market penetration, reach and promotional benefits OTAs provide them. OTA popularity and massive customer reach remain unmatched to that of any hotelís online presence. However, OTAs often undercut hoteliers, making them a major contributor to hotel revenue leakages.

Let us look at some facts. According to Triptease- On an average 25% of the times, a direct hotel price is undercut by an OTA. As per estimates, this level of undercutting is costing hotel industry over $1Bn a year in direct bookings. Regardless of this, the direct price is on average $10.27 cheaper compared to all other platforms

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Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.