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 March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.