October FOCUS

Revenue Management: Maximizing Profit

Revenue Management: Maximizing Profit

Hotel Revenue Management continues to evolve at a blistering pace. Driven by technological innovation and new distribution channels, there are some dynamic opportunities for expansion in this fast-growing field. The technology is primarily designed to help revenue managers further refine their operations and pricing models to maximize hotel profit. For example, hotels can't be all things to all people, so a key strategy is to precisely identify their target audience. By employing geo-targeting techniques and analyzing behavior such as previous bookings, on-property purchases and online shopping practices, there is an increased capability to define guest demographics. By segmenting customers in more specific ways, hotels are able to create more personalized experiences which, in turn, allow managers to optimize their room rates. It is also an effective way to fulfill the unique needs and preferences of the individual. Another methodology is to consistently monitor the competition's pricing strategies. There are software tools that analyze a competitor's current rates, and then allow a hotel to make its own pricing adjustments. It is also a useful means to conduct forecasting models. Other technologies that are being integrated into a revenue manager's toolkit include Artificial Intelligence in the form of automated algorithms, and Voice Recognition (VR) for data inquiries, rate changes, and booking behavior. Predictive and analytic software programs are also being leveraged to provide more forward-looking data, instead of the usual reliance on historical performance. These metrics allow managers to be more proactive - rather than reactive - with their revenue strategy. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine these developments and report on how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.



Library Archives

 

This month's feature articles...

Cassie Bond

There are myriad of uncertainties for revenue managers at hotels worldwide. From managing an internal team, managing ever changing expectations, all while maintaining a sustained level of profitability, there's a lot to consider. Cassie Bond, CHRM, CRME, Vice President of Revenue Strategy at Chesapeake Hospitality discusses what revenue managers should keep top of mind while strategizing a way forward. READ MORE

Yatish Nathraj

Critical changes need to be made in the hotel industry before travel in the United States returns to normal. Property owner's, franchises and vendors need to work together to find scientific solutioned that will ease the fears of traveling guests. Better cleaning policies are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to guest concern's about getting sick. READ MORE

Renie Cavallari

Frugal Innovation (FI) is the ultimate human-tool to think differently about resources & develop inexpensive solutions to solve dynamic problems. Most of these solutions come out of necessity & adversity vs. pure innovation, stemming from a lack of capital and R&D. FI is an active-thinking-lab that creates solutions through repurposing resources that are likely right in front of you. READ MORE

Bram Gallagher

While the importance of F&B revenue has declined in middle-priced hotels, upper-upscale hotels have retained high levels of F&B revenue. The most important difference may well be meeting space, which acts to secure relatively stable F&B activity even in times of economic distress. Social distancing as a result of COVID-19 may limit the use of meeting space. READ MORE

Mario Candeias

In a world where science took over daily pricing decisions, costs and ease of operating sophisticated software, the longtime it needs to be updated with reliable databases that allow exact and meaningful forecasting and decision-making, became an obstacle to optimize pricing decisions and profitability as a whole. An endogenously developed and tailor-made Excel model & dashboard is a reliable and cost-effective answer to the above. It's cooler, too. READ MORE

Sheryl E. Kimes

A few weeks ago, one of my friends asked me why Revenue Management (RM) mattered anymore since there was no revenue to manage. Then, I started noticing that many hotel companies were laying off many of their RM team members. That got me thinking and as an RM person, of course it sort of rankled me. Does RM still have relevance in the post-Covid world? READ MORE

Trevor Stuart-Hill

Over time, increasing complexity in the areas of revenue management, marketing and distribution has driven the need for specialization, both in terms of technology and human capital. While each discipline can impact property performance independently, superior performance can only be attained through close collaboration and clearly defined common objectives. READ MORE

Theresa Hajko

With the onset of the Covid 19 Pandemic and the catastrophic impact it has had on the Hotel industry Revenue Managers have had to sharply adjust their strategies to the changes and become even more resourceful in their approach. Read how Spire Hospitality continues to adapt their game plan to the constantly changing playing field during these critical times. READ MORE

Bonnie Buckhiester

Today we are witnessing market extremes; those that have very little demand, and those that bizarrely have a ton of demand. With traditional market segments evaporating overnight, hoteliers cannot afford to wait for a third generation revenue manager to take a leadership role in their organizations commercial thinking. This means fully embracing digital marketing and searching out new (or little-used) performance indicators. READ MORE

Todd Szymczak

The global pandemic has been catastrophic for hotel business. Economic costs and consequences have been most severe. More than just a disruption, these staggering numbers reveal an industry in deep distress. How much of that distress will lead to lasting damage? What will be the short-, mid- and long-term impact of the pandemic? And what liabilities and opportunities exist for hotel owners and investors? READ MORE

Doll Rice

Hotel management professionals can learn valuable lessons about their teams, their properties, their priorities and their processes in a crisis, and one of the richest areas for new insights is in revenue optimization. This article discusses some of the revenue optimization lessons being discovered in a pandemic-altered industry landscape. There are plenty of reasons to believe that pandemic-driven revenue optimization lessons will leave the industry stronger and better than ever. READ MORE

Kell Sloan

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic presents huge financial and operational challenges. With no end in sight, the overriding concern for many properties will be about the long-term survivability of the property. The key to survival will be cash flow. Revenue Management utilized properly can improve operational performance and keep the cash flow coming. READ MORE

Mike Chuma

When a ship encounters a storm, do crew members abandon ship? Not if they want to survive. Instead, they batten down the hatches and use know-how and navigational tools to steer the vessel to calmer waters. The same is true of hotel revenue management. To navigate this year's perfect storm of mass cancellations, record-low demand and downward pressure on rates, hoteliers must draw on their experience, fortitude and technology tools of the trade. READ MORE

Coming up in December 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.