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

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.