Library Archives

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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Coming up in November 2020...

Hotel Design: Home Away From Home

With the rise of the sharing economy and the peer-to-peer marketplace for lodging options, hoteliers are re-thinking the look, feel and appeal of their locations. There is an emphasis on re-creating a feeling of homeyness - a comfortable, cozy and inviting space that feels like home. 'This is accomplished through the careful selection of furniture design, paint colors, lighting design, artwork, bathroom fixtures and textile accessories. In addition, some hotels are providing their guests with upscale amenities, such as a book and movie library, home-style kitchenettes, a coffee machine with locally-sourced beans and tea, or even a batch of fresh-baked cookies. Similarly, there is a growing design trend based on the concept of place-making. Travelers are searching for experiences that are unique and authentic to the locale in which they find themselves, and so hotel designers are integrating a sense of place into their work. This is partially achieved by incorporating traditional artisanal crafts and other local artwork into hotel rooms and communal spaces. Another design trend includes the creation of full-service, co-working environments within the hotel. Guests don't like to stay alone in their room when they need to work, so now they can go downstairs to the lobby-or up to the roof-to work among others. These areas encourage guests - and non-guests alike - to stay as long as they like and to partake of hotel amenities. Finally, recognizing the importance of the Wellness Movement, some designers are exploring how room design can increase the likelihood of deep and restorative sleep. Creating dark and quiet spaces, blocking excessive light, providing guests with a selection of different kinds of pillows, and the ability to control room temperature, are a few of the best practices in this area. These are some of the architecture and design topics that will be covered in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.