Hotel Competitive Intelligence: What is it, Can it Affect Your Revenue Management?

By Mike Kistner President, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Board, Pegasus Solutions | April 02, 2010

Based on the three to five billion transactions Pegasus Solutions is processing each month for more than 95,000 hotel distribution customers worldwide, leisure travelers are regaining confidence. In fact, booking volumes through the alternative distribution systems (ADS), made predominantly by leisure travelers, climbed +13.93% above 2009, +9.13% above 2008, and a staggering +33.83% above 2007 levels. Future booking data in the same channel evidenced positive growth in reservations on the books through mid-2010.

That means the bookers for your rooms are there, and continuing to come back. The question becomes, how are you going to get them?

You've realized that you need to have a good revenue manager to ensure you're selling at the right price, to the right people, at the right time. But have you provided that revenue manager with sophisticated hotel competitive intelligence tools to increase your revenue through smart analysis of your market and competitive set with historical and forward-looking data?

You need intelligence, not the day's headlines

The 24-hour news cycle has shortened the "time-to-press" of environmental events and business developments that will affect your business. A regional win for a football team may mean an immediate sell-out of your hotel in the next game's host city. A natural disaster may create demand for lodging in a nearby aid location. However, even with online news and social media, catching the potential increase/decrease in demand, timing your related revenue management decision – release the rooms, lower the rates, restrict the sale – will be impossible without receiving comprehensive, pertinent and objective facts outlining your individual market situation, and that of a selected set of your competitors.

Hotel competitive intelligence is not a monthly or a quarterly event, it is a daily science requiring careful and thorough analysis of environmental events, business developments, competitor actions, and buyer behavior to name a few. Hotel competitive intelligence identifies early risks and opportunities before they become obvious. It is the difference between widely available factual information, i.e. traditional, online and social media, and a uniquely created perspective on developments and events that yield a competitive edge. This requires immediate and actionable information.

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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.