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Paul van Meerendonk

Many revenue management professionals struggle when it comes to measuring and articulating the impact of their initiatives to senior management. Industry professionals should spend time considering the methods they use to measure the impact revenue management is having on their hotel so that steps can be undertaken to provide a compelling value proposition. In order to be truly effective in the job, revenue managers need to understand that devising, implementing and agreeing on "what success looks like", in many cases, is as important as the activities themselves, and will ultimately go a long way towards supporting their success story. Read on...

Bill Kotrba

In the old days yield management systems worked best when paired with complex and arcane pricing structures such as the ones that were used at airlines and hotels. For other industries, though, the complex techniques and price structures from airlines and hotels weren't really applicable. Fast forward to 2011. The emergence of state of the art pricing and revenue management systems has introduced a shift from a "yield" approach to "pricing" approach. Whereas "inventory classes" and "yield management" was something that a few industries like airlines and hotels cared about, "pricing" is something that impacts every industry. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

In today's highly competitive hospitality market, a heightened understanding of a guest's preferences and total worth will enhance a guest's experience, maximize revenue and ensure loyalty, while establishing market share for your hotel. While there have been many advances in revenue management throughout the years and market segmentation and channel management strategies have become more targeted in identifying and reaching guests who could add revenue to a hotel, some hoteliers do still not understand the full value of their guests. Read on...

Christian Koestler

The formal practice and profession of revenue management continues to be one of change and evolution. Keeping up with advances in technology, changes in marketing and increasing numbers and types of distribution channels requires more flexibility than ever before. Amid these developments, the online travel agency (OTA) has forever changed the rules of revenue management, affecting areas ranging from communications to rate parity. Here, Christian Koestler of Lixto, Inc., outlines some of the significant ways OTAs are impacting revenue management today, and what managers can look forward to in the future. Read on...

Bill Kotrba

In pricing and revenue management, hedging your bets with a tried-and-true process may actually be riskier than taking a chance on something different. It sounds counterintuitive, but the fact is that the conservative route to pricing practices is costing big hospitality firms millions in revenue, risking their future viability. Over the past few decades most hotel chains have adopted some form of automated revenue management (RM) system. But there are still some medium and large chains that have not. Worse yet, as some of these chains churned through acquisitions and ownership changes, their RM systems were abandoned or shut down. During the last decade's brand consolidations, industry realignment and ownership changes, business intelligence (BI) tools were growing in maturity and sophistication. Read on...

Kelly McGuire

Hotel Revenue Management (RM) is maturing, and more and more hotels have implemented RM programs along with advanced RM software to automate pricing. As the discipline matures, the law of diminishing returns begins to apply. More and more effort is required to squeeze our fewer and fewer dollars from hotel rooms. Smart revenue managers are turning to revenue generating assets outside of the hotel room, like function space , restaurants , golf courses and spa, as the next potential for revenue gains. In a world where most hoteliers are already doing more with less, how do you even get started? Read on...

Kelly McGuire

It is clear that revenue management practices can help hotels increase revenue, but successful revenue management counts on consumers being willing to pay different prices for essentially the same product, based on the hotel's expectation of demand. Hotel managers have good reason to be concerned about negative consumer reaction to demand-based pricing. Research has shown that consumers will punish firms that they perceive to be acting unfairly in their pricing strategies by refusing to patronize them in the future. So, how can hotels balance the risk of negative consumer reactions with the benefits of variable pricing? Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

With Conferences & Events revenues accounting for a significant portion of a hotels financial performance, an increasing number of companies are starting to focus on these activities to support their facility's bottom lines. However, with the rise in prominence of Conferences & Events, there are a number of key issues that savvy revenue managers should consider, including: what are the key issues needing to be addressed when trying to optimize conference & events space and more importantly how will the role of the revenue manager look in the future? Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

For many hoteliers, 2010 will forever go down in history as the one that got away. As the economic downturn bottomed out, hoteliers around the globe received an unexpected boost from international tourism demand which offset some of the implications of financial recession. Future forecasts are frustratingly mixed. Whilst some financiers are flying the flag for recovery, naysayers continue to cast doubt with cries of a double dip recession. As long as savvy hoteliers are amply prepared with the right intelligence, they will make educated and informed decisions when developing their negotiating strategies for 2012 and enter into the year in a strong position. Read on...

Kelly McGuire

Revenue management and marketing really are two sides of the same coin. Each department holds key pieces of information about demand that, when integrated, result in critical insight about demand patterns, product preferences and purchase behavior. Unfortunately, employees in these two closely related functions do not always work well together. Misaligned goals and poor communication result in situations where marketers, with a goal of generating demand, sends out discount promotions that dilute rates during peak periods. While revenue managers, trying to maximize revenue, close off promotional rates meant to encourage stays from the most loyal guests. These conflicting activities damage revenue performance and guest relationships. Read on...

Kristie Dickinson

Lodging experts have written numerous articles on revenue management aimed at addressing specific tactical issues on pricing, distribution and measuring results for those "inside" the operation. By contrast, this article is intended for the "outsider" - namely individuals closely vested in hotel performance, but not directly involved in daily operations…hotel Owners. While the art and science of revenue management should be left in the hands of the property management and asset management teams, here are some key considerations which may be helpful to hotel owners in evaluating the role and effectiveness of revenue management and understanding the influence it can have on hotel performance and overall asset value. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

Progressive hoteliers spend significant time analyzing their properties and identify areas where revenue potential can be expanded through packaging a range of services. While areas such as food and beverage, spa facilities, conference facilities and even additional leisure options such as golf courses, make up a hotelier's overall 'Asset', often overlooked is the role hotel technology can play in helping to package and promote offerings that expand beyond room rates. Read on...

Brandon Edwards

There are two ways to increase profits - raising revenue or lowering costs. Hospitality employers often miss opportunities to lower costs by missing valuable tax savings attributable to hiring incentives. The federal government provides businesses with tax credits for hiring members of disadvantaged groups. This often represents a larger share of a hotel's staff than one would imagine. A member of a targeted group can be as simple as someone who lives in a designated area to one of the 40 million plus recipients of food stamps. Overall, a hospitality employer can expect between 15% and 25% of new hires to qualify for tax credits. Here is a rundown of the major programs to look at for 2011... Read on...

Glenn Pedersen

How are you monitoring your direct sales force efforts? Who do you count as a member of the sales team? How often are you validating their effectiveness and what are the measurement criteria you are using? Who is interacting with the sales team on a daily, weekly and/or monthly basis? How often does the sales team speak with the revenue management team? Who is on the REVENUE MANAGEMENT TEAM? The answers to each one of these questions can be the difference between success and failure, between REVPAR growth or lost business. Read on...

Mike Kistner

Recovery continues in both the corporate and leisure travel markets. While the leisure sector sustains a slow but steady pace, corporate travel has eclipsed the recovery with both strong booking volumes and record-high growth in average daily rates (ADR). However, despite the significant increases in reservations of greater than +24% over 2009 each month since April, according to data reported in The Pegasus View, hotel revenue is still being hampered by weak ADRs, particularly in the leisure sector. What's a hotel to do? Examine and understand the state of their rates, then seize control of their pricing strategy by understanding their market position, their guests and their resources. Read on...

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Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.