Technology to Reach Your Hotel Revenue Potential

By Melissa Maher Senior Vice President - Global Partner Group, Expedia, Inc | October 14, 2018

Aside from their guest and overall customer experience, we can likely agree that hotel partners also care strongly about their revenue performance and how they fare against their competitive set. Hotel revenue management has been around for more than 30 years, yet adoption of revenue management technology has been slow – despite the importance of revenue performance as a top principal– with less than three percent of hotels globally leveraging it. Hotels today are often missing valuable access to rich information on competitive sets, market demand scores, pricing calendars and more, which can put them at a disadvantage.

On any given day, a hotel without a functional revenue management technology has a laborious task at hand – and one that is not rooted in the instantaneous insights technology can provide. Think about the number of room types in any hotel, across different days in the future, and across various channels – let alone its pricing to various demographics and origins. It is a time-consuming challenge to manage pricing manually, resulting in hoteliers spending on average between 1 to 3 hours per day on price setting activities.1

Even further, many of the methods and technologies used today also make it difficult for hotels to establish their true competitive set, as they're over-dependent on a static data set, with a lack of transparency around why certain recommendations are made.

Real-time market data is essential when making smart pricing decisions, but large amounts of data can be difficult to manage and expensive to access. Hoteliers often grapple with how best to analyze and synthesize data they can access, to make sense of what it is telling them, so they can turn those insights into actions and report learnings to key stakeholders. Hotel News Now, in conjunction with the recent HSMAI Revenue Optimization Conference, spoke with a panel of revenue leaders and reported that these leaders, representing various hotel companies, are "putting a lot of effort into translating different data streams to help themselves and their stakeholders like owners to understand what's really going on." Data should tell a story about your hotel's revenue performance, not overwhelm or consume your time.

There's also the stigma that hotel revenue management technology can be both costly and complicated. A hotel partner commented, "I have my own process on how I manage my revenue and pricing. I don't have time to change over to something new that's going to be more complicated." It's no secret that changing from how something has historically been done to implementing a new, technology-based solution, can be scary, but the payoff is well worth it.

It's why, at Expedia Group, we have studied, developed and redefined our offering for how hotels access, consume and act on pricing insights and strategy with Rev+. It is available today at no cost to all of Expedia Group's hotel partners. Rev+ is a part of Expedia Powered Technology, a toolkit of technology, marketing and data offerings designed to help our hotel partners drive knowledge and efficiencies to better grow their business.

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.