Hotel Revolution and the Hospitality Industry's Business Model Evolution: Steam, Diesel or revPAR?

By Jean Francois Mourier Founder & CEO, RevPar Guru Inc. | March 18, 2012

Hospitality is one of the world's largest and oldest industries, with lodging as the most prominent segment. The product, i.e., the service delivered by hotels, motels and resorts, is very easily defined: shelter, a clean room and bed and perhaps a meal. This core concept and basic market demands haven't really changed since the medieval days of roadside inns, and it is this age-old simplicity which has been the hotel industry's greatest asset.

Paradoxically, it is also its greatest barrier to innovation and especially when it comes to pricing, sales and marketing. For years, hotels have employed traditional methods in these operational categories, even as the marketplace changed around them. Historical pricing, excessive reliance on competitive set analysis, 'push' marketing tactics and a reluctance to embrace new media, are all part of the outdated business model still being clung to by many hoteliers across the globe. However, if anything positive has come out of the current state of the economy, it has been to show the lodging industry how ineffective these strategies are compared to newer, more forward-thinking, efficient models being used by leading properties worldwide.

For the rest of us, there is more good news - these initiatives are available and ready for your hotel to implement - all that's needed is a willingness print("code sample")to look beyond the tried and easy methods and to embrace the newest tools available. Are you ready?

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As you'd expect, these tools are found primarily online. It's been said that the prevailing business models for the hotel and hospitality industry have been evolving over the last decade ONLY because of the rise in internet bookings. So just how important is the online channel?

In 2008, about 44% of the hotel market was online - a substantial jump from 21% in 2002. Experts predict that by 2012, 57% of the hotel market will be online, representing a $65 billion online hotel market.[1] Clearly, such rapid growth over such a short period demands a different way of doing business - and progressive revenue management firms are there to help you.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.