Human Capital: Finding the Best Talent and Retaiining Your Investment

By Robert Festinger General Manager, YVE Hotel Miami | June 21, 2015

Fifteen years ago, revenue management was not considered a crucial part of hotel operations. Revenue Managers weren't even committee members within the industry as they were more thought of as "glorified reservationists," who at most would report to the Director of Sales and Marketing. As a consequence, hotels trailed behind, still learning the dynamics behind rate-optimization and pricing strategies that were only implemented a few times a year.

Fast forward to 2015, years of advancement in channel distribution, mathematical algorithms and technological innovations have elevated the role of Revenue Managers. All those developments combined with the rise in e-commerce took away the attention from wholesaler and travel agent brochures and in turn put the focus back on revenue management as the nucleus stimulating day-to-day sales and hotel operations across all channels.

But successful revenue management goes beyond having good market intuition and mathematical skills. The local and global economies, brand value and services, data analytics, user-friendly interface systems and OTAs are all factors that need to be considered for hotel brands to grow and prosper in their target markets.

As we prepare for one of the highest travel seasons, here are some essential tips Revenue Managers should follow in order to optimize their existing revenue management programs and bring success to their brand on both a local and global scale.

Look Further Than You Can See

Hotel revenue management is an integral part of hotels' future performance, regardless of size and location, and entails more than just balancing occupancy and revenue optimization. Revenue Managers are now the engine of the hotel and the decision makers that are defining tomorrow's hotel business and building long-term customer relationships.

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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.