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Kristi White

Occupancies have stabilized and are recovering around the world. It's time for ADRs to make the same recovery. No more hibernating with the bears. For those regions still in hibernation, the time to act is now. At best, consumers will accept a 5% increase in rate annually. While that might not seem much, it's better than a 5% move in the opposite direction. For hoteliers, every day in the foreseeable future should be a run with the bulls—with the same sense of urgency and confidence. Viva San Fermin! Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

For many hotels, developing effective pricing strategies remains a complex issue for revenue managers. Their goal, ultimately, is to maximize companywide revenue and profits while building strong hotel partner relationships within their marketplace. Beyond the scope of regular revenue management practices such as selecting the correct overbooking, rate restrictions and best available rate, lies the challenge of selecting the correct rates to choose from in the first place. The emergence of rate optimization has made strides to demystify pricing practices and help revenue managers understand the demand characteristics of their products, understand the price sensitivity of demand and design a rate spectrum that is tuned to all these. This allows hoteliers to take full advantage of their business opportunities, ensuring that they are capturing the maximum revenue at all times through an optimized rate spectrum. Read on...

Tina Stehle

Hoteliers that want to prosper in today's economic environment are increasingly turning to business intelligence applications that enable them to assess risks and make more informed decisions. Business intelligence solutions help you to gather, analyze and leverage a wide variety of data in order to gain a competitive edge and increase your visibility in a crowded market. In my article, I outline the top 10 benefits of incorporating a business intelligence solution into your daily operations. Read on...

Bob Carr

Processing payments is a huge expense, but there are three key things you can do to gain control of that expense. First, identify the "junk" fees many card processors charge so you can protect against them and save money. Next, learn how to better understand your statements, and ask your processor, accountant or a competing processor to explain any fees you don't understand. Finally, select a payments processor who will become a partner that can help you navigate the complexities of card processing and control the associated costs. Read on...

Mike Kistner

Based on the three to five billion transactions Pegasus Solutions is processing each month for more than 95,000 hotel distribution customers worldwide, leisure travelers are regaining confidence. In fact, booking volumes through the alternative distribution systems (ADS), made predominantly by leisure travelers, climbed +13.93% above 2009, +9.13% above 2008, and a staggering +33.83% above 2007 levels. Future booking data in the same channel evidenced positive growth in reservations on the books through mid-2010. That means the bookers for your rooms are there, and continuing to come back. The question becomes, how are you going to get them? The answer is through revenue management driven by actionable competitive intelligenc Read on...

Jean Francois Mourier

General managers and hoteliers face the challenge of synchronizing all of the internal processes of a hotel every day, coordinating the F&B department with the front office and sales, all while making sure engineering keeps the place running right. It's a tough job! One of the greatest challenges facing hoteliers and hotel managers in terms of getting their symphony well-tuned is synching their sales and revenue management systems. This article provides GMs and hoteliers with suggestions on how to properly integrate their sales and revenue management systems to ensure optimal revenues, a must in today's tough market. Read on...

Jean Francois Mourier

The recession ushered in new era of hotel discounting. From free nights to one penny rooms, hotels were literally giving away the house. During a recession, discounting may work to bring in business but today, as the travel market begins to rebound, discounting is not the right pricing strategy. This article will examine the real economic impact of discounting and how discounting can not only eat away at your bottom line (or RevPAR), but also erode your customer base and brand image. The article also offers alternative suggestions on ways to increase RevPAR without the slash-and-burn mentality of deep discounting. Read on...

Bob Carr

Accepting credit and debit cards for reservations and room payments is a way of life. However, recently, you may have noticed the mounting cost of these transactions. In fact, you may be paying more for card processing now than you were last month, and lining the pockets of your processor. Many processors take advantage of interchange rate increases from the card brands, which usually happen in April and October, to discreetly improve their own bottom lines at the expense of business owners while unfairly blaming the card brands. Understanding a few key pieces of information about card processing can ensure you're not spending more than you have to ¯ and help you protect your hotel's bottom line. Read on...

Jose Acosta

Although nobody can predict exactly when the economy is going to rebound nor when hotel prices and occupancies will return to previously desired levels, it is probable that there will continue to be a decline in corporate executive retreats to luxury resorts, annual board meetings, corporate sales incentive trips, and annual holiday parties over the coming year. In fact, one can only wonder about the extent of recovery for specific markets such as luxury, as well as whether there will be a recovery at all for the condo-hotel market. Having said that, it is important to pay attention to the items that will help maintain profitability by focusing on what I think are the top ten key recession survival best practices. Read on...

Jean Francois Mourier

The hospitality industry's crystal ball is, unfortunately, just as cloudy this year as it was this time last year. Though we can perhaps take comfort in the fact that those clouds are just grey instead of black and stormy, uncertainty is still the only thing that is certain for the hotel and lodging industry in general. Even with positive GDP last quarter (indicating that the recession is technically ending), hotels, resorts and other lodging properties are still experiencing depressed demand, low average daily rates and stagnant occupancy. In other words, low RevPAR. No one can know for certain whether these negative trends will persist through 2010 but following are my thoughts and projections for what 2010 has in store for the hotel industry. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

As the wider hospitality industry continues to face a prolonged period of economic uncertainty, hotels should be looking inwards during this time with a view to protecting and making the most out of their intellectual capital. Whilst many organizations are wisely using this current economic downturn to adequately plan for the future through improved levels of staff investment, many others are not heeding the warning signs and are instead shedding costs wherever possible. Read on...

Jean Francois Mourier

Hotels are now faced with a myriad of sales channels. Add online travel agencies (OTAs) to flesh-and-blood agents, an individual hotel website to the direct channel (which was dominated by phone bookings, pre-internet) and third-party room aggregators to global distribution systems, and you have a daunting range of available avenues for room sales. Today, the unquestioned growth leader among these channels is online. Clearly, the current size and future potential of this channel demands an innovative pricing strategy to match it. So how does your pricing strategy measure up? Read on...

Joshua Miller

Hospitality managers work hard through many different efforts to generate revenue for the property at all levels. Many are surprised to find thatheir success at this process does not always fully make it to the bottom line. The "leakage" is caused by many reasons, but most often by error and theft. Every hotel experiences these issues in some degree, impacting bottom line EBIDTA anywhere from 1% to as much as 10% or more. In this article, we discuss some areas which are at risk and how establishing an effective revenue control system can prevent them. Read on...

Brenda Fields

The concept of revenue management has been around for quite awhile, with the airline industry first formalizing it with its computerized Yield Management system. The hotel industry, although late in the game, has now made a "revenue management" position as part of its standard staffing. This position was primarily developed as a way to capture revenues generated by the increasing demand over the past decade. Now that business is significantly down, many properties are at a loss as to how to generate business and how to ensure that each room is sold at the right rate to the right market. This article will provide some tips on ensuring that you manage your rates from a position of strength for both a short term and long term pay off. Read on...

Joshua Miller

Most hotel management principles focus on enhancing revenue and improving efficiency. An assumption that many hoteliers make inaccurately is that all of the revenue they earn actually makes it to the P&L. Most hotels experience revenue slippage due to problems with error and theft. In the major divisions, revenue control practices are put in place to safeguard against these issues, but these are rarely seen or enforced in the minor operating departments. This article will focus on revenue control in the non-core focus areas of the hotel and what you can do to improve it. Read on...

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Coming up in October 2019...

Revenue Management: Focus On Profit

Revenue Management is still a relatively new profession within hotel operations and as such, it continues to evolve. One significant trend in this area is a shift away from using revenue as the foundation to generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and to instead place the emphasis on profit. Traditionally, revenue managers have relied on total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) as the basis of their KPIs. Now, some revenue managers are using gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as their primary KPI. This puts profit at the center of revenue management strategy, and managers are increasingly searching for new ways to increase the profitability of their hotels. Return on Investment is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical that profitability and ROI will be emphasized going forward. Another trend is an expanded focus on direct hotel bookings. Revenue managers know that one way to increase profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This tactic also reinforces brand identity and loyalty, and encourages repeat business. In addition, it provides a valuable platform to market the hotel directly to the customer, and to upsell room upgrades or other services to them. Another trend for revenue managers involves automation in their software programs. Revenue management systems with automation are far more desirable than those without it. Automating data entry and logistics increases efficiency, allowing managers to spend more time on formulating strategy. As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.