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David Lund

In the hotel business payroll is the number one cost. STR recently reported that labor made up 50% of revenues for a sample of over 4,000 hotels of all types and sizes. This should not be even a little bit of a surprise to anyone. Many hotels are well north of the 50% mark. We have all become accustomed to serious REVPAR growth year over year which has taken the bight out of wage and expense increases. But what happens when the REVPAR bubble bursts. We all know it's not a matter of "if" it bursts it's when will it burst. Read on...

Nicholas Tsabourakis

Latest developments in technology and added pressure in the market have advanced Revenue Management to acquire a more strategic role with emphasis in maximizing all components of the customer journey. And while there are still challenges in the adoption of such a business practice it is an exciting time for Hotel Revenue Managers. Technological advances have led to systems with enormous potential in handling the complexities of managing various revenue streams due to their abilities in advanced problem solving, reasoning and perception. This will elevate the role of RM and empower it to reach its full potential whilst allowing the whole organization to benefit from its concepts. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

The evolution of revenue management has taken hotels from dynamic pricing of transient rates to a holistic strategy of maximizing profitability across multiple revenue streams. True hotel profit optimization leverages multiple hotel functions to ensure goals are aligned to achieve optimal results. It encourages hotels to intelligently decide which business to accept across multiple revenue streams at all times, based on greatest overall value to the asset. This holistic approach to revenue management goes beyond guest room rates and maximizes profits from the strategic management of other key hotel revenue streams; like sales with group bookings and meetings & events teams with catering sales. Read on...

David Lund

The first thing you need to know about reading a hotel financial statement is there are basically 2 different statements that you will want to get comfortable with. The two different statements are the income statement, some call it the P&L for profit and loss statement and the second in the balance sheet. Now I know what you're thinking, balance sheets are for the accounting types and they are complicated. Nothing could be further from the truth and I am going to give you a new understanding and share a secret about the balance sheet and the relationship to the P&L. Read on...

David Chitlik

The decision to appeal a hotel's property assessment for tax purposes is only the first of a series of judgments before the case is resolved. Who will defend the appeal? Based on what facts? How far is an appellant willing to go to gain a remedy for the assessment? Deciding to appeal seems straightforward, but before the decision is made, the hotelier needs to understand that appealing a property assessment can be more art than science. It's showing convincingly that an appellant's opinion of value outweighs that of a professional assessor who works under strict laws, rules, regulations, guidelines and interpretations, many of them nuanced by the tax jurisdiction. Read on...

Bhanu Chopra

The hospitality industry is one of those industries where the people running the show of hotel business cannot lay back and earn easy revenues. Revenues of a hotel may fluctuate like weather depending upon a number of factors like demand, competitor rates, climatic conditions, security & political situation, holiday season, events etc. Revenue managers are always on their heels to ensure that the hotel operates at maximum occupancy throughout the year. Every empty hotel room is a loss of revenue as the operational cost of running a hotel remains broadly the same for 50 customers or 100 customers. Read on...

Ally Northfield

The hotel industry is no stranger to change and one of the most dynamic areas of hospitality, revenue management, looks due for a correction. The playing field for revenue management is changing; traditional metrics are being challenged. Top line revenues no longer cut it when measuring asset performance. Big Data is history, replaced by data science. The revenue management role now encompasses profit manager, customer experience engineer and data scientist. In the light of this shift in complexity and the new skills being asked of revenue managers, does it make more sense to outsource revenue management to revenue specialists? Read on...

Lily Mockerman

Total Revenue Management is growing in popularity for discussion, but there remains some ambiguity as to what this really means. Some discuss the application of revenue management principles to ancillary departments like F&B, or a narrower application of simply enhancing room sales to include additional ancillary revenue. Others focus on things like cost containment or various fees. For the purposes of this article, we will define Total Revenue Management as the concept of monetizing every area of the operation in various ways to capture the highest profits given the time-perishable aspect of a hotel's various types of inventory. Read on...

Michael Schubach

In the world of hospitality, the collection and use of data are the industry's game changers. We depend on data to deliver the differences that turn personal travel into opportunities to collect life experiences and unique memories, and to tailor personalized service; it's access to data that gives Millennials and business travelers efficient access to availability, price shopping and loyalty / reward points. But all data is not created equally. As I look across the kinds of information that we use to find and serve our guests, I see four distinct data types, distinguished by their method of manufacture… Read on...

David Lund

In hospitality, the measurement and management of productivity is hit and miss and miss again. Time and time again hotels are using ineffective measures to try and capture labor productivity measurements. It is important from the beginning to establish the goals for measuring productivity in your operations on rooms and food and beverage in your hotel. Read on...

David Lund

Outsourcing your hotel accounting is an unintelligent move, that is my opinion and I am going to make my case right here. When I refer to outsourcing, I am talking about a third party provider, not a centralized function. Any good decision comes down to more pros than cons. I often work with clients on decisions and we often make two lists. Good things that can come from a decision and how we can amplify them, then the bad things that could and would happen and how we can minimize them. Read on...

Lily Mockerman

Today's revenue management systems can help any hotel quickly and efficiently manage revenue tasks that would otherwise present a challenge. It can be difficult to stay on top of distribution across multiple channels when there are plenty of other issues facing a property at any given time. In the Revenue Management world, the differences within independent or branded environments can often be significant regarding how each respective entity deals with revenue management. Often, we're asked about differences in working with each type of property as it relates to strategies or RMS systems, and how TCRM approaches these unique challenges. Read on...

Lily Mockerman

Over the years, outsourcing has developed a somewhat sordid reputation, synonymous with offshoring and tax evasion in some consumers' minds. But when the concept of outsourcing is applied to specialty areas such as IT, accounting, HR and others, it tends to be somewhat more accepted. Nevertheless, many companies still favor hiring these employees directly. Most feel that it ensures better control over that department's performance, and allows them to provide their own assessment of talent. Yet perhaps this level of control and talent direction is precisely why hiring internally can be a disservice to companies. Read on...

Tom Engel

The hospitality industry is abundant with more than 270 hotel brands globally. Nevertheless, this whopping number is not stopping Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, and Hilton from expanding their portfolios with even more new brands. Theoretically, broadening the supply of brands is favorable for generating revenues from various distribution networks, loyalty programs and supply channels. But just how useful, helpful or even good is all this for the customer? Has the hotel industry gone mad by over-saturating the market with brands that are not all that different from each other? Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

Today's hoteliers face mounting pressure to increase their hotel profitability. From acquiring brand new customers to driving repeat business and loyalty, making the right operational decisions and running a hotel with optimal efficiency continues to be an ongoing challenge for top hotel executives. However, with increased scrutiny focused on the best ways to drive total hotel profitability, what exactly do the industry's c-suite executives need to know about revenue strategy and profit optimization? Read on...

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Coming up in November 2019...

Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.