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Hotel Revenue Management

For any business to succeed it has to have a strong reputation in the market. While the reputation of any business was subject to word of mouth publicity, things have changed in this digital age. Now it is the virtual world or the internet, which makes or breaks a business’s reputation.

Reputation does matter

As part of hotel marketing solutions, it has become essential for hotel businesses to better manage their reputations online.  Now an increasing number of hotel guests express their views of any hotel brand and experience of staying there on social media and other internet channels. With online reviews dominating the decision-making process of prospective guests and reviews after prices influencing booking decisions, it is time to manage a hotel’s online reputation. Since any business’ success is heavily dependent on online reputation a few ways to improve it are:

Keep a watchful eye on independent review sites: With sites like Trip Advisor and Yelp and other top-rated reviews sites influencing customer’s decision making, these have to be well managed. Keep a check on reviews both positive and negative, and add useful information on them to improve traffic to your website and social media pages. Ensure that all the images of the hotel and of the highest-quality and represent your services and facilities in the best possible ways. Remember just having good quality images of your hotel can increase booking percentages by a considerable amount.

Make the most of the available data. There are plenty of management tools available to gauge customer satisfaction and loyalty. Conducting regular surveys among existing clients is a good way to measure customer satisfaction and the probability of them leaving recommendations. Those who express satisfaction can be asked what areas of service or facilities were they satisfied or impressed by. Similarly, those who express displeasure can be asked to enumerate the reasons or areas that caused dissatisfaction. Following up on these and taking remedial measures will improve reputation and show how much customer satisfaction you value.

Be prompt in your response to customer reviews or queries. It is the most effective way to show that your hotel values its guests and their opinions of those that express their views online. From engaging to following up on every bit of feedback on social media will reflect positively on the business. Studies clearly show the connection between being responsive and improvement in a hotel business’ performance.  The greater the responses to reviews and feedbacks, the higher are the ratings of a business.

Reputation management for hotels is just no more something nice but rather critical and a must have. What once served as an asset to marketing is now an integral and vital part of any hotels revenue management strategies. The more we interact and respond with customers online the better will our hotel reputation be.

The bottom line is effectively managing a hotels reputation is the key to succeeding in the extremely competitive hospitality industry.

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Hotel Revenue Management

Having a property management system is a must for hotels and these assist the hotel staff in different hotels operations. The problem with selecting a generic PMS is that they do not always offer solutions for specific issues that the hotel might have.

The solution is to opt for a customized property management system that includes revenue management software.

Some of the benefits of choosing customized PMS are:

Improved service levels:

If you want to stay competitive the levels of customer service have to be of a very high order. As a hotel owner, you have to ensure that guests get only the best customer service from the staff. The higher the levels of customer service the better the hotel reviews and recommendations. A PMs makes it easier to perform day to day tasks much faster. E.g. check-in of the hotel guests and room status updates etc. As billing and booking is an essential part of PMS it also offers the use of online tools for guests. Having a PMS system removes the need to perform repetitive tasks that take time.

Better communication between staff:

As most services are carried on by staff they need to have a clear line of communication and the latest updates. That is where PMs is of immense use and ensures everyone is on the same page. As all of the information is stored in one common system, it becomes easier for staff to work. Another option is to have a messenger service linked to the PMS so no messages are missed by staff. To make things having a customised mobile app linked to the PMS will ensure all staff members receive notifications. This ensures that all the staff are updated and leads to better customer service.

Managing third-party channels:

Since most hotels use third-party channels to maximise bookings like OTAs, it can become a challenge to manage multiple channels and have them updated in real time. This task can be made easy by having all third-party channels integrated into the hotel PMS. Since all bookings are managed at a single place in the PMS the problem of overbooking does not arise.

Effective data management:

The purpose of all those in the hotel business is to constantly improve their business’ performance. The challenge for all hotel businesses is to gather relevant information to analyse key business areas. The most efficient way to gather and analyse data is through the use of the property management system. Since all aspects of the hotel operations are managed by one single unit the PMS, getting reports becomes easy. This data helps to plan your management strategies, which can be beneficial in increasing hotel profitability.

As a norm, most top hotels keep a track of key performance indicators (KPI) like daily average rate, revenue generated per room and gross profit per room. Having a customised property management system in place allows business owners to decide the metrics and reports they will need to plan their revenue and marketing strategies.

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Hotel Revenue Management

With a larger number of hotel bookings made online, direct bookings have become critical to increasing a hotel’s revenues. Consequently, hotel management has started to become innovative in the methods to promote direct bookings and improve the overall customer experience. Upselling and cross-selling are two ways by which both the hotel and guests can benefit.

Using the latest booking engine software can also help to improve customer experience, which in combination with revenue management software can help hotels to increase profitability and better cross and upsell.

Some of the ways to implement cross and up-selling are:

Bespoke service:

The fact is every one of us likes that extra bit of attention to make us feel special and valued. Capitalise on this human feeling by offering them bespoke services and specially personalised upgrades. If a business traveller, you could offer them the use of the fitness centre free. If a family with kids offer them those services which a family needs or perhaps even an upgrade to a bigger room. These are just some of the ways to make the guest feel welcomed and extra special. Ensure that regular guests’ preferences are noted and catered to, the next time they check in at the hotel. When guests are happy the profit margin will see a rise.

Offering accommodation upgrades:

The simplest way to improve guest satisfaction and customer experience is a room upgrade. However, it shouldn’t be on offer before a guest has booked. Only after the booking is over should they get an offer the option to upgrade. This is because if there are multiple options given to the guest before they book, it might leave them in a dilemma what and whether to book at all. Any attempt to upsell is only effective after a booking takes place. Mention the benefits at the time of the offer to make them aware as to the manner in which the upgrade will be of benefit.

Food and drink:

Food and drinks are one area where the hotel can benefit from cross-selling. When planning to cross-sell these the guests must have an experience of the food and drinks on offer to ensure they are satisfied and for the hotel to rake in the benefits. There could the option of choosing between multiple menus to decide which they would prefer to upgrade to. They could skim through the many options before deciding which they would prefer to choose.

Additional Services:

Those booking online are most often interested in package deals. That is where OTAs are highly effective in catering to the needs of travellers. Those hotels that have a variety of additional services like restaurants, spas and any other service can make the most of cross-selling in this scenario. In addition, affiliate partners can be of use to improve cross and up-selling. The bottom line is not about selling any product but rather enhancing customer experience.

These are just a select few ways hotel businesses can increase their overall profitability by implementation of effective cross-selling and up-selling.

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Hotel Revenue Management

Having the right hotel management software is critical in property management across the world. Hotel software is of immense use in daily operations for all types of hotels 5-star properties to B&Bs. While most of the top hotels have migrated to cloud-based hotel management software, others are still undecided as to what type of hotel management software to invest in. Having the right software saves on costs and time for any hotel.

One way to find the most efficient software is to engage a professional hotel marketing solutions company like Digital Hotelier. They offer the best state-of-the-art hotel management software including revenue management software among others. Their experts will analyse your business and help to identify the software best suited for your business needs.

Some of the things to consider when looking for hotel management software are:

Need for hotel management software:

Those with smaller and mid-sized hotel properties frequently have doubts about whether there is any need for them to invest in such software. Questions like the need for, cost and training the staff pop up most frequently. The fact is investing in such software is a prudent decision because:

  • Automation saves time
  • Improves worker productivity with time saved on manually updating the system
  • Provides detailed reports helping to streamline and function more efficiently
  • Helps to improve marketing strategy to raise profitability

Kind of software:

The fact is a selection of software is not subject to the number of properties or rooms at a hotel. There are various flexible models of software to cater to client needs. There are two kinds of software to choose from.

Cloud-based software:

Must more economical and fast with no requirement for hardware of an IT support team. There are various plans to choose from which are pay per month. The benefit of using cloud-based data storage is it is accessible from any part of the world. There is the flexibility for multiple users to log on simultaneously at no extra charge. An added benefit is the plans include support and training for staff. When selecting cloud base hotel management software it must integrate with the hotel website.

On-Prem Software:

Also known as Premise Software as the name suggests the data is stored on site. There is no requirement for an Internet connection and hotel owners have to pay for the complete package. While the hotel owner has complete rights over the software as its owner there is a limitation on the number of people with access to it at a single time. There also is a need to have an IT support team for maintenance.

Of the two, cloud-based software is the ideal option for hotel businesses of all sizes. The benefits offered by cloud-based software are not available using the On-Prem software.

The use of hotel management will improve the overall efficiency of the staff as they will no longer be busy with administrative tasks. The entire process is automatic without any need for manual intervention at any stage. No extra training is of need as it only needs basic computer skills.

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Hotel Revenue Management

As an independent hotelier you likely won’t have the sheer volume of resources that chains like Hilton and InterContinental have at their disposal. Robot butlers or Star Wars droids might be out of reach but, that doesn’t mean you don’t have options other than ‘increase rates’ when it comes to making more money and increasing your RevPar. If finding fresh new ways to maximise your occupancy rates and grow your room rates is feeling like an uphill battle, read on for a few ways you can shift your approach to hotel management and grow your RevPar as a result.

Drive incremental value

Your reservation engine doesn’t have to hum with 100 more bookings a day to generate a stronger RevPAR. It could be boosted with incremental value, with the same number of guests spending more, as a result of enriched service delivery and creative guest experiences.

One such example? The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado. This 5-star, 5-Diamond Ski resort has a lot to recommend it. It’s ski in, ski out in a popular ski resort, a luxury accommodation option and offers award-winning food and fine dining.

While it’s loved by those wanting to enjoy the powder in the ultimate comfort, it’s also developed a cult following for its pets welcome policy. Not only are dogs welcome, they have their own hashtag on Instagram (#nelldogs), the bellman has been known to take canine residents walks while their humans hit the slopes and après ski and they are treated to dog-friendly gourmet breakfasts and beds.

You may not want to go to those lengths, but if your hotel revenue management services identify pet friendly status as being important to your guests, implementing and then marketing your pet friendly policy is a superb way to drive incremental value.

Rethink your add-ons

Every guest expects their room to have Wi-Fi and a flat screen but, if you can rethink your amenities and repackage certain services as extras on your reservation engine, the upsell will enhance both your guests’ experience and your own bottom line.

You could transform a regular stay into something that feels truly indulgent by offering an in-room massage, scented candles, pillow sprays, champagne and luxurious bath bombs, soaks or bubbles for example. One New York hotel calls this its bath ritual package. It makes a feature of the room’s standard tub but re-packages it as a luxurious ritual, adding bath bombs, wine and a take-home candle. While this is low effort for the hotel, it will cost guests an additional fee when they get to the reservation engine.

If your hotel revenue management services tell you this wouldn’t align with your own clientele’s expectations and tastes, the idea can easily be adapted and rolled out throughout your hotel. You could offer a movie night package for example, with popcorn, sodas and a choice of movies, a cocktail making class with your head bartender or even a cooking class with your head chef. Pod Hotels in New York offer a free walking tour of their neighbourhood led by their concierge.

The sky is the limit – the key is being creative and figuring out how your own hotel can offer its guests an exceptional experience.

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Hotel Revenue Management

Whether you are an independent B&B, a boutique hotel, a nationwide chain or have an international presence, there is little doubt that the hospitality industry is challenging right now. A report by PwC Hospitality Directions pegs the supply growth of hotels to reach 1.9% – almost, but not quite – reaching the peak of 2.0% recorded in 2009. Add more accommodation available, which translates to more competition, with a global trend for declining demand, and the environment is tricky for hoteliers.

In 2017, analysts Ernst and Young forecasted that RevPAR growth would decline to its lowest level in seven years. This might add up to fewer travellers and more accommodation options for them to choose from, but there is not cause to panic. Yes, navigating this challenging landscape and emerging victorious calls for strong hotel revenue management and an innovative mindset. However, that same mindset can see hotels soaring ahead of their less responsive, pioneering rivals.

Being innovative means your hotel revenue management team needs to know exactly what it is guests wants. What convinces them to make a booking? What do they look for? What turns them off? Using this insight to fuel decision making and chart your course is critical to growing RevPAR.

innovative mindset

So, what areas should your hotel be innovating in?

A TripBarometer survey of travellers in 2016 found that price of accommodation was the deciding factor for 93% of guests, however ratings and accommodation scores on review sites was a close second, with 88% of travellers saying it was a deciding factor. Online reviews and posts on TripAdvisor was the third most important factor at 86% and proximity to key attractions scoring 82%. Accommodation amenities clocked up 76%.

The takeaway from this report is that those perks that you may have used to entice guests to make a booking such as included Wi-Fi or flat screen TVs in room are no longer viewed as being exceptional. In fact, guests expect them. This means to grow your RevPar, you need to identify other ways to up the convenience factor and delight guests during their stay with you. This in turn leads to positive reviews online, which will bring in more guests and help to boost hotel revenue.

Use your hotel revenue management data to innovate

Your hotel data is a treasure trove of opportunities just waiting to be leveraged, if you understand and analyse it correctly. Use your hotel revenue management software to understand trends and interests and then use this knowledge to offer something tailored to your guests. You may use this to adjust in-room offerings or overhaul your rewards program to offer perks that truly delight guests – the key is to let it inform your guest experiences to ensure your rewards and offering is distinct from the competition.

Invest in technology

With previous tech such as Wi-Fi now expected as standard rather than appreciated, investing in new technologies can give you the edge over rivals. Installing in room voice assistants such as Siri or Alexa for example could be an easy way to get ahead. Augmented reality or apps that offer keyless access are also emerging in forward-thinking hotels.

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Hotel Revenue Management

The guest journey is typically broken up into three very distinct stages. Stage one is the period leading up to the stay, stage two comprises the stay itself and stage three of the journey is what happens after the stay.

At each of these three stages, you should have services, processes and technologies which maximise the user experience, increase convenience and sync with your hotel revenue management software to boost bookings and RevPar.

Here are a few ways you can drive up your revenue throughout the three stages of the guest journey.

Offer your best rates

Use your hotel revenue management software to check that you are pricing your rooms correctly. You’ll also want to check that your room rates are competitive when compared with similar properties in the area- guests shop around and convenience and value for money are key. Whether you choose to limit inventory available to aggregators or welcome indirect bookings, making your best rates available at a profitable margin, is an opportunity to grow your bookings.

guest journey and revenue management

Link your marketing efforts with your hotel revenue management software

Offering guests great value for money doesn’t have to end when a booking has been made. If your marketing and revenue management teams work closely, you can create opportunities to upsell guests as they move into the stay stage of their journey. That could mean they stay longer, purchase a more expensive accommodation type or spend more during their stay on upgrades.

Start by identifying where you can offer upgrade promotions, leverage cross-selling and promote add-ons such as in-room dining, spa treatments, excursions, attraction tickets and even car hire. Your hotel revenue management software should help you to pick up on seasonal and guest demands – this data can then be shared with your marketing team to ensure your promotional strategy reflects that insight.

Know who your most valuable guests are

Although your hotel will value all bookings, it’s undeniable that some guests are worth more than others. They may be the ones who go return often, choose the most expensive suite or spend highly on in-hotel services such as spa treatments and dining.

Your revenue management software should help you to identify who these guests are, so that you can craft appropriate offers to them at each stage of their guest journey. This could be delivered via a loyalty app or via one of your other owned distribution channels for example.

By working closely with your marketing department, your revenue management team should be able to ensure that every opportunity is taken at each stage of those valued guests journey. This should be considered at every stage of the guest journey. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to upsell when booking or promote spa treatments or upgrades at the stage of stay. Identify where post-stay opportunities exist to, in order to draw those most valued guests back to book with you directly or stay more frequently.

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Hotel Revenue Management

There is a big shift towards data-driven marketing happening right now. Fuelled by the abundance of data that marketers are now able to lay their hands on – from social media click throughs and post likes, to time on a page, source of lead and even progression from one channel to another – marketing is becoming more and more of a numbers-led science. For hoteliers, this is a golden opportunity to work more efficiently and effectively, with hotel revenue management holding much of the data that marketing needs to roll out better performing campaigns.

Still not convinced? Read to discover a few of the advantages and benefits you can expect by bringing your hotel revenue management and marketing functions together.

Better lead tracking

In any business, the ability to track leads and predict lags is a competitive advantage. Bringing revenue management and marketing functions together means that revenue can feed marketing the data needed to show when a lag is coming – and when a marketing campaign to counter-act that quiet period is therefore needed. This should help to smooth out seasonality and low demand, so your hotel doesn’t sit empty during quiet periods.

Winning business from competitors

Your hotel revenue management team should actively be benchmarking your own room rates against those of your key competitors. Making a habit of passing this information on to marketing means your marketing department can work this knowledge into their campaigns – promoting cheaper rates or better deals to win business away from your rivals.

marketing and revenue management

Capitalising on opportunities

Your revenue management function should be able to identify opportunities from the data it has access to. That could be identifying the guests who always go for a more expensive suite option rather than a standard room. It should also identify those guests who spend more during their stay and are therefore of higher value – those customers who book expensive spa treatments for example, purchase fine wines, order room service or make multiple excursion reservations.

By bringing revenue management and marketing together, marketers are empowered to create relevant, personalised campaigns for those valued guests. They can use the tools at their disposal, such as email marketing or remarketing, to maximise those opportunities to increase revenue.

So, what are the strategic steps needed to bring those teams together?

Bringing both functions together requires more than simply relocating one department next-door to the other. While sharing an office or being physically located in the same place will undoubtedly make life easier and enhance communication, more is needed.

When looking to create a cohesive marketing and hotel revenue management unit, consider the following three As:

Align: Think in terms of how your two teams can work together. Are there barriers or tech compatibility issues to overcome?

Assess: Consider what data your teams have access to and where each strength lies. Revenue management should be able to pinpoint opportunities in data, with marketing able to execute them.

Action: Decide which opportunities are the most profitable and leverage them.

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Hotel Revenue Management

Ever wished you could dig out your crystal ball and predict what the demand will be for your hotel for any given period? Would knowing how many bookings you could expect in a particular timeframe make your hotel marketing, operations and staffing that much easier? Well, a new study suggests that this could actually be possible and not a work of fantasy, as Google shares data which shows a definitive, clear link between searches carried out by its users and hotel demand. Curious? Read on…

The study

Google joined forces with STR to conduct a research study which examines the correlation between searches for accommodation and actual hotel bookings. The study sought to determine whether or not a relationship between the two existed and if searches performed on Google could be used as an indicator for hotel occupancy rates.

The results make for interesting reading and could help operations teams to get more from their hotel revenue management software and better understand and predict peaks and troughs in booking figures.

hotel searches and demand

The markets

In order to determine whether there was, in fact, a link between Google searches for accommodation and hotel occupancy rates, two major global markets were identified; London and New York.

London and New York perform similarly when it comes to travel trends. Both cities are business and leisure destinations and both are at the head of hotel supply and performance in the United Kingdom and the United States of America respectively.

• There are 115,000 hotel rooms in New York, compared with 129,000 hotel rooms in London • Demand for hotel rooms in London grew by 1.8% in 2016 • Supply of hotel rooms in London grew by 2.7% in 2016 • Demand for hotel rooms in New York increased by 5.8% in the same period • Occupancy of hotel rooms in New York reached 80% in 2016 • Correspondingly, Google data shows that the volume of searches it handled for accommodation in New York (with all related phrases such as hotel in New York) grew by 7.3% in 2016, with further spikes at the end of the year • Search volume for all related London accommodation and London hotel searches grew more modestly, at 0.8% • In both cities, occupancy levels were above 80%, with 90% occupancy rates recorded on a number of occasions in New York.

The date from Google showed that a statistically significant relationship does exist between Google search volume and hotel demand. There was a proven link between an increase in search volumes in Google and corresponding higher demand for hotel accommodation.

How to take advantage of this data and hotel revenue management software

Hoteliers can take heart from the link between search and demand. Monitoring Google search trends can help with forecasting and give a deeper insight into trends at any given property. Knowing that demand is high can also be used to set rates and benchmark against competitor performance.

The link between the two also underlines how important search marketing and data analytics are to hotel marketers. With search driving demand, not being present in the Google results pages could be catastrophic.

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Hotel Revenue Management

To achieve maximum performance from hotels, hoteliers have to juggle numerous different aspects. By balancing RevPar, distribution, and revenue management, hotels can reach their potential. It’s no simple task but there is an aspect that influences all three critical areas; reviews.

It’s become the norm to research and seek out reviews whenever consumers are investing in a big purchase. And it’s no different in the travel industry. With travellers parting with their disposable income to stay at your hotel it should come as no surprise that they’re likely to use a search engine, OTA, or review sites to find out what your previous guests have been saying. It’s a growing trend that has a direct impact on your RevPar, distribution and hotel revenue management.

Leading review site, TripAdvisor has amassed over 500 million reviews on its platform, demonstrating just how important it’s become for travellers to research. Research has shown that reading reviews is a task that most travellers undertake before making a reservation, with more than eight in ten stating it helps them feel more confident in their decision. Some 98% also state that they’ve found the reviews are an accurate reflection of the experience they have, placing it above other areas where travellers can source information, such as directly on your website.

Whether travellers choose to book directly or through one of your other hotel distribution channels, reviews are one area that remain important. Interestingly, having no reviews at all has a negative effect too, with half of travellers signalling they wouldn’t make a booking if they couldn’t read real life experiences. As a result, reviews, building trust and developing online reputation is essential.

RevPar

It goes without saying that the more positive reviews your hotel receives, the greater the RevPar you can achieve. Consumers trust review sites to give them information that they can rely on. If you’re receiving consistently positive reviews that highlight your facilities, level of services and value, you’ll be able to increase revenue per room. It gives you an edge over competitors in increasingly tough market conditions, allowing you to maximise revenue potential.

RevPar, distribution and revenue management

Distribution

Your hotel distribution channels have a big impact on performance. Researching hotels is a common theme among all travellers, no matter which channel they plan to make a booking through. With leading OTAs now operating their own review network and linking to trusted sites, such as TripAdvisor, reviews are a crucial element for improving outcomes across your distribution network. It allows you to optimise each channel, converting as many of those browsing to paying customers as possible.

Revenue management

As in any consumer sector, consumer perception has a huge impact on revenue in the hospitality industry. As part of your revenue management, working to improve reviews allows you to boost sales in other areas. Cultivating a trustworthy image that’s proven to add value not only will convert more leads but means guests are more likely to purchase optional extras and upgrades, particularly if they’ve been highly recommended among leading platforms.

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Hotel Revenue Management

When you’re trying to optimise your hotel’s revenue there are multiple different metrics to consider. Occupancy used to be the key factor that hotels considered but if you’re focussing solely on driving up your occupancy rates, your revenue could actually be harmed. Balancing different information to achieve maximum profit and improve your margins is no small task but it is possible.

Why isn’t occupancy the metric you should be focussing on?

There’s no denying that hotel revenue and occupation levels are linked. It goes without saying that the more people that are staying at the hotel the larger the opportunity to increase your profits. But if increased occupancy comes at the price of heavily discounting your usual room rates, your incomings can actually be less. As a result, striving for maximum occupancy at all times isn’t the way to improve your revenue.

It’s also important to note that the more rooms you fill up, the greater outgoings you’re going to experience. For example, the additional rooms will add to the amount of time that hospitality staff will need to spend turning rooms around. The more guests you have staying at your hotel the more wear and tear that your furnishings will endure too, so you’ll need to replace them sooner. With this in mind, it’s vital to weigh up the cost you’re advertising the room at to drive up occupancy against the amount it costs you.

 Is occupancy dead The new secret to optimising your hotel’s revenue

Which metrics to use to boost hotel revenue

With occupancy not acting as a reliable method to boost hotel revenue, what other metrics should you be looking at to deliver maximum profit? In order to shift from a high-volume booking strategy to one that focuses on profit, there are numerous metrics to factor in, including:

• Average daily rate • Demand • Pace • Cost per occupied room • The potential to upsell

By balancing key information and using it to inform your hotel reservation system software you can devise a strategy that allows you to build revenue over occupation.

Should different hotels take different strategies?

There are core metrics that hotels should consider but your type of hotel and its target market, will also determine where you should be focusing your efforts to improve your revenue streams. For example, all-inclusive hotels can be seriously harmed if in their quest to improve occupancy they slash their margins, given how many costly extras guests can benefit from. In contrast, for budget hotels, occupancy and filling as many rooms as possible is vital for maintaining profits.

The secret to improving hotel revenue is to understand how your occupancy and costs balance out and only then determine whether or not you should focus on occupancy or other factors to boost your revenue. With the right hotel reservation system software in place, your real-time pricing can be automated to reflect your baseline costs in light of the current bookings and how to improve them.

Using technology based analysis to inform choices can help your create a reliable, long-term strategy that’s been designed with your goals and success in mind.

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Hotel Revenue Management

If your hotel’s current revenue strategy is solely focused on optimising room rates, it’s likely that you’ve fallen behind and are missing some big opportunities to drive revenue growth. Modernising and staying ahead of the curve is no easy task but with creative ideas it is possible to bring your revenue management into the modern age.

Every hotelier is all too aware of how competitive the hospitality and travel industry is. Hotels are under increasing pressure to add value to their customers and find alternative revenue streams to stay ahead of rivals. While hotel management software that focuses on room rates and increasing occupancy is a critical tool, hoteliers and revenue managers need to go even further today.

It’s not enough to follow the trends, hotels that are to be leaders need to look ahead and find their own game changing strategy.

Advancing technology, such as smart hotel booking engine options, means that human resources should have more time on their hands to come up with creative ways to improve the commercial strategy. Hotels that are looking at exactly what their current facilities and resources can offer will realise that they have a lot of options to improve revenue than simply tactical pricing.

While technology has a lot to contribute, revenue managers are the ones that have the potential to transform revenue management. With the right skills and experience, your revenue manager can assess profitable opportunities both within the hotel industry and through effective partnerships to expand.

Is your approach to revenue management as modern as it should be

Modern revenue management needs to go beyond the traditional revenue streams to stay ahead of competition. Is your hotel taking a modern approach to hotel management? If you’re looking for ways to give your revenue a boost, we’ve got some ideas for you to explore putting into practice.

Create a booking portal for your hotel space – Your hotel is more than just its rooms and there are numerous businesses, professionals and organisations looking for spaces where they can hold functions, from formal meetings to informal networking events. While you probably already have a hotel booking engine for rooms, building other areas into the tool can improve uptake, making it simple and convenient to use.

Partner with food delivery companies – Takeaways and food delivery companies are becoming more popular choices with guests that want to enjoy dinner in their rooms. The growing number of businesses, including a new initiative from TripAdvisor, in this industry means it’s more accessible than ever.

As a hotel, you might be tempted to shun the trend. But embracing it can actually have positive benefits. You can both work with delivery services to give your guests even more choice and give the local community a chance to sample the food created in your kitchen.

Appeal to motorists – There’s a lot of potential for hotels to offer vehicle services that could prove lucrative. Depending on your location, you could create a substantial revenue stream by offering your unused car parking spaces to locals or commuters. If you’ve already got electric charging points installed or are considering embracing the technology they could offer you another source of revenue.

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Hotel Revenue Management

Boosting your direct bookings and increasing your RevPar does not have to mean alienating OTAs (online travel agents). There is a fine line to walk – and while direct bookings will typically have a lower cost per acquisition, knowing how to leverage that with an effective distribution strategy that harnesses the visibility and traffic levels of online travel agents is key to boosting your rev par in this current quarter.

If you are looking for new ways to increase your revenue per available room this quarter, try these four techniques for an instant lift. Each can be used alone, coupled with your usual distribution and customer acquisition strategies or used collectively to keep your hotel reservation system software whirring with new bookings and reservation enquiries. As with all marketing strategies, remember that measurement is key to success and will allow you to refine your approach for even greater success next quarter.

1. Offer Targeted Discounts

Providing a few discounts targeted directly at valuable market segments can help you boost your revenue per available room without alienating online travel agents with whom you have a pre-existing arrangement. Consider forming select audiences from your contacts via opt in e-mails, social media followers or prior customers. This is a great way to convey to your guests that they are valued as individuals, whilst also giving your RevPar a lift. Loyalty programmes offer the same kind of appeal, as well as rewarding repeat custom and providing a steady stream of income to the hotel from valued and loyal guests.

content - 4 Powerful Techniques to Boost Your Rev Par this Quarter

2. Use Add-On Services to Create Package Deals

Your hotel reservation system software should provide the ability to customize room deals and create packages which will entice visitors to come and stay. Common tactics include adding a free meal, drinks at the hotel bar or discounts at local attractions. This is an area with plenty of scope for creativity, so allow yourself to get imaginative when creating these deals. Not only do they represent great quality for your customers, but adding packages to your room deals allows you to expand the horizons of your offering beyond the room itself and distinguish yourself from the competition.

3. Ensure a Well-Designed Website

User experience is paramount when creating your hotel website and booking engine, ensuring customers can find exactly what they’re looking for through your own site rather than searching for deals elsewhere. Seamless integration from website to booking engine is a cornerstone of good practice and if combined with revenue management software in hotels, you will be able to monitor the results.

4. Encourage Face-to-Face Interaction

In an increasingly automated world, don’t underestimate the enduring appeal of the personal touch. Chatting to your customers about your website and its ease of use from a booking perspective helps boost your direct bookings. Consider throwing in a discount for the same guests should they book with you directly, encouraging trust and helping to secure more RevPar for your hotel.

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Hotel Revenue Management

The hotel industry is ever changing and constantly evolving – and your revenue management is no different. Just like every other element in your hotel business, your methods of managing revenue are likely changing at a rapid pace. Most hoteliers understand the basics of revenue management but the complexities, which are possible with this niche, can sometimes be missed.

Here’s what revenue management should look like for you in 2017 and moving beyond.

Revenue Management Is Data-Led

Your activities as a revenue manager should be largely influenced by solid proof and hard data. Businesses across all sectors, including hospitality, are gathering, storing, and using more data than ever before giving you a wealth of information to tap into when you’re making business critical decisions.

As this aspect concerns decision making, which impacts all areas of the business, revenue management is quickly becoming less an art and more of a science. It allows hotels to keep up with increasingly competitive markets and shifting trends. Revenue management in hotels can make or break your venture, so it is best to cultivate staff with the skills and dedication to carry out the role effectively and rely upon user-friendly, high-tech software that delivers useful data as standard.

Revenue Management Doesn’t Over-Complicate

With so much complexity already apparent in the role of revenue management, this aspect of your hotel management should not be forced into overly complex strategies that do not yield results. Whilst grappling with tricky data and complex structures, you should ensure you have booking engine software in place which is able to help simplify where possible without compromising on accuracy. Your revenue management needs to be accessible for both your staff to manage and integrate seamlessly with your booking platforms, to provide an effortless experience for your customers.

Revenue Management System

Revenue Management Monitors Trends

Keeping an eye on trends both within your own hotel and in the hospitality industry as a whole enables your revenue management to truly thrive. Planning is essential, but if you aren’t sure of what to expect, this task becomes almost impossible to achieve. The best and latest digital hotel tech helps you to keep a close eye on your revenue management and give it a boost year on year as required. With the right tools in place, you’ll be in a better position to seize opportunities as they arise and continue operating successfully during downturns, safeguarding your business.

Revenue Management Understands Customers

Revenue management also carefully considers the key role your customers play in all activities – everything you do must have their needs at the forefront. Understanding the consumer behaviour that your data is telling you can help to build more profitable enterprises, as well as allowing to you to craft a plan for attracting yet more of your most profitable audience members to book repeat stays. Modern revenue management crosses the line between finance and customer psychology to ensure your business stays on track to meet and exceed targets.

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Hotel Revenue Management

Small hotels and accommodation providers sometimes feel they can’t be part of the conversation when it comes to crucial aspects of hotel management such as RevPAR. This can be problematic, as RevPAR is crucial for boutique enterprises just as readily as larger establishments and can transform the way that your business operates.

If you want to get involved with the conversation, here’s everything you need to know about RevPAR as a smaller hotel.

What is RevPAR?

RevPAR, or revenue per available room, is a vital metric for assessing how successfully your business is performing. Through tracking the information on how much your rooms are being reserved for, you will be able to discover how well you are currently doing. It will demonstrate where improvements can be made to maximise your ability to generate revenue from your rooms. It’s an essential metric that can drive future decision-making processes.

Calculating RevPAR

To work out your hotel’s RevPAR, you need to calculate your revenue per room and the rooms you have available. It is best to do this for specific times in the year, and compare with busier periods, identifying when rates need to rise and fall. It is tricky to determine a successful RevPAR as this varies across the hotel market and is influenced by exterior factors.

However, there are a few common mistakes you can avoid with your own small business, most prominently:

Conceirge Services

1. Relying Heavily on OTAs

Online travel agents (OTAs) have grown in popularity in recent years, but it’s important not to allocate all your rooms to them. Whilst an OTA will help you grow your occupancy rates, they will also deplete your funds over time by cutting your revenue through commission. There are ways of balancing direct and third-party bookings that allow you to get the best of both worlds, and a company specialising in hotel marketing solutions will be able to point you in the right direction for creating and implementing a beneficial strategy. Ideally, you want as many bookings as possible to be made directly, giving you full control over the customer experience.

2. Excessive Spending

Reducing your spending doesn’t always mean your customer experience is negatively affected. It is possible to cut outgoings while still delivering the same service that your returning customers are used to. As a business you should regularly perform assessments of the areas that seem to be sapping money from your business, allowing you to identify potential opportunities to balance the sheets.

3. Ignoring Added Value

Lots of small hotels and guesthouses forget that they are not just selling a room but an experience. To draw in more revenue, consider how you can increase the perceived value of your offering by adding extras which will give guests an enhanced stay. This could be anything from a complimentary breakfast to a discount on a local attraction – things that boost the experience for visitors is likely to boost your RevPAR in turn. Don’t be afraid to describe your hotel’s attributes, as the ultimate way of enhancing your offering.

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Hotel Revenue Management

The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration has released a comprehensive new study which details its predictions for the future of hotel revenue management.

The 14-page report is the result of a survey of some 400 revenue management professionals. While it acknowledges that hotel revenue management has become more strategic, it also notes that changes and trends have happened gradually over the course of the last six years. As a result, the application of considered revenue management to all hotel revenue streams is still a work in progress rather than a fait accompli – much like the use of social media and mobile technology as distribution channels.

In this post, we’ve rounded up the key trends to emerge from the report.

Trend one: Revenue management will become more strategic and more regionalised

Over 45% of respondents to the survey predicted that revenue management would be managed on a more regional basis in the future, with 31.8% expecting hotel revenue management to be handled centrally. 65% of respondents also felt that revenue management would become more strategic with 77% citing more interaction between those responsive for revenue management and the marketing team as being important.

Trend two: More analytical

Future revenue managers will be more analytical, display strong leadership skills, distribution skills (this could include familiarity with the online hotel reservation system and channels such as social media for example) and communication skills. Having a rooms background will be insignificant.

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Trend three: mobile technology will play more of a distribution role

The use of mobile technology as a distribution tool has been a subject of much discussion for several years now. When Cornell conducted this same study in 2010 predicted that distribution would occur via mobile devices and social media. Currently, the report suggests that despite this forecast, distribution via social media channels is limited, although networks such as Facebook are being used for promotional purposes to drive traffic to the hotel’s own site and by extension, the online hotel reservation system.

Although the 2010 expectation was that distribution would take place on mobile devices, this is not wholly true today. At present, the customer behaviour pattern suggests that research for travel takes place on a mobile device, but the majority of the actual booking still takes place on a traditional desktop PC. That said, mobiles do facilitate an increase in the volume of bookings, especially last-minute reservations. Moving into 2018 and beyond, 4.64% of the hotel revenue experts surveyed predict that a greater emphasis will be placed on mobile technology. An additional 4.56% expect to see greater integration of revenue management systems with new technologies. There’ll be less emphasis on telephone-based centres and the hotel’s own reservation offices.

Trend four: rethinking performance management

RevPar will no longer be the best way to measure performance moving forwards according to the revenue management experts surveyed by The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. Instead, what we are more likely to see is that measurement shifts towards gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR). 33.7% of respondents expect this to become the primary measurement tool for revenue management performance within the next five years.

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Hotel Revenue Management

Some hotels are wary about embracing resources like OTAs and GDS. There’s been plenty of debate about the challenges that OTAs pose to hotels, with commission eating into hotel profits and significant competition in the online realm. Then there’s GDS – the Global Distribution System – which can have many benefits for hotels, but can also prove expensive in the long-term, especially if you’re not bringing in enough bookings from it.

But what are the booking benefits of embracing these technologies? How can you leverage them alongside your own hotel reservation system? Let’s take a look at why both OTAs and GDS should be an integral part of your hotel marketing strategy.

The benefits of embracing GDS

One of the biggest advantages of being listed on the GDS is that you’ll gain valuable marketing exposure without needing additional manpower or resources. Your property will be in front of a multitude of clients – both agents and consumers – increasing your visibility and enhancing your chances of receiving bookings.

The GDS also generates bundled packages for end-users, which can be of real benefit to your hotel. With packages that include flights, a hotel stay and other perks like transfers or activities, your hotel can be involved in a deal that offers total convenience to guests.

The booking benefits don’t end there. The GDS also allows you to target different audiences without much effort on your part. For example, if you usually attract families and couples, you can use the GDS to attract business and corporate clients, which often use agencies or third parties to plan itineraries for their business trips.

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The benefits of embracing OTAs

OTAs have something of a bad reputation in the hotel industry, with many claiming their commissions and the competition they’ve created in the market are resulting in less direct hotel bookings. That may be the case – but there are a plethora of benefits of embracing OTAs and using them as a crucial part of your strategy.

Firstly, the most popular OTAs have marketing capabilities that surpass even some of the largest hotels. They spend enormous amounts on advertising online, using tools like Google Adwords, Facebook ads and paid search to increase traffic and bookings. They have millions of subscribers and followers online. Just one feature in an OTA mailshot could see you booked up for the rest of the year.

Despite their reputation for stealing away direct bookings from hotels, there’s some research to suggest that using an OTA could actually increase direct bookings. Experts at Cornell University found that 62% of Intercontinental Hotel customers visited Expedia before they booked directly on with the hotel chain. This gives credibility to the idea that consumers use OTAs to find great deals, then end up booking on brand websites using their own hotel reservation software anyway.

For more information about positioning OTAs and GDS at the forefront of your own marketing strategy, contact the Digital Hotelier team today.

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Choosing the right digital partner for your hotel business can be a complex, time-consuming and confusing process. With so many agencies all claiming to know the hotel business best, how do you know how to choose?
Digital Hotelier is different. With a team of hotel marketing specialists and our own advanced booking engine, proven to help increase direct bookings, we know exactly what it takes to boost your revPar, generate more direct bookings and reduce dependence on OTAs. We also know how to create user-friendly hotel websites and have a crack team of digital marketing experts for SEO, social media and mobile app marketing.
All in all, it’s fair to say that Digital Hotelier is a premier partner offering tried and tested services to hotel marketers and hoteliers who seek to enhance the effectiveness of their online marketing channels in order to boost revenue and enhance their web presence.
Here are the top 3 reasons to partner with Digital Hotelier in order to grow your hotel’s channel revenue:
1. Our Varied Hotel Distribution Channels Solutions
Few companies can boast as many varied and customisable options for growing your channel revenue as Digital Hotelier. Whatever your needs, we have the hotel distribution channels to suit.
Hotel Website Design:
Digital Hotelier can provide you with an exemplary hotel website design which delivers your guests with a superior first point of contact. Fully branded and with SEO optimisation as standard, our digital designers and UX specialists create clean, easy to use websites which make a great first impression.
Hotel Booking Engine:
In need of a fantastic booking engine which helps power your hotel to increased bookings success? Then look no further than Digital Hotelier! We can create a custom-built, fully integrated hotel booking engine for your hotel, including a fully optimised guest journey from start to finish. This also ensures a personalised booking experience so you can use customer data more efficiently for marketing in future.
Rate Comparison Tool:
The ideal way to demonstrate your hotel’s superior value next to the competition, the rate comparison tool from Digital Hotelier helps to make the most of your hotel’s value proposition as well as boosting revenue through direct sales.
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2. Our Superb Hotel Digital Marketing Services
Digital marketing is an essential component of any successful hotel’s marketing strategy and essential to your hotel distribution channels performance. Here at Digital Hotelier we have the expertise and experience to help make the very best of your hotel’s digital efforts. Whether seeking to undertake a paid advertising campaign for instant exposure, improve your online presence with optimisation for organic search results and increased traffic, boost your online reputation through reputation marketing or aggregate rates and reviews with meta search so as to increase exposure, grow revenue and get more online bookings, Digital Hotelier can help.
3. Our Fantastic Value for Money
At Digital Hotelier, we know that value for money matters in the busy hotel trade, and that’s why we offer all of our services at superb competitive rates, meaning you’ll never have to worry about feeling short-changed! Get in touch with us today to find out more or request a demo of our booking engine.
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Hotel Revenue Management
Marketing personalisation is big news for modern hoteliers, as today’s hotel guest no longer craves uniformity but diversity of location, hotel appearance and experience. The hotel sector is traditionally good at adapting to new developments, and so it makes sense that this niche has been one of the first to fully embrace the possibilities of marketing personalisation.

Marketing Personalisation for RevPAR
Often used as a tactic to help entice customers to make a purchase, the possibilities for marketing personalisation to help maximise RevPAR (revenue per available room) is a less often explored subject. Hotels are often forced to drive down their room prices in order to boost occupancy levels and avoid empty rooms – but how can you utilise this new development of personalisation to improve your own hotel revenue?

1. Adapt Your Length of Stay Restrictions
This might be considered a traditional tactic amongst many modern hoteliers, but imposing restrictions upon the length of stay within your hotel can help drive up revenue per available room by creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity, therefore heightening the conceivable cost of your hotel rooms. This strategy can be further improved through the clever use of personalisation by providing options for different rate levels or segmenting your market to display different deals. This will require some adaptation to your existing strategy unless already implemented, but there are great potential results to your RevPAR, particularly if this strategy is adopted during high-footfall times of year for your hotel when demand for your rooms is at its peak.

2. Enhance Occupancy Options
By providing customers with more optional add-ons within the booking process, you can help take control of your revenue management without the need for too much compromise. Why not offer access to a specific room or service as a personalised addition to your customer’s hotel room booking? This is a great way to increase the perceived value of your offering. The actual room or service should be tailored to the user, meaning there is room for error if you haven’t got a good handle on your customer and his / her preferences.

Revenue management

3. Review Your Room Types
Reviewing your room types for hotel guest suitability helps you to ensure you don’t downplay or undersell your accommodation, whilst further market segmentation (for example pitching a particular type of room to business travellers, and another to leisure subsets) allows you to mix up your revenue system while providing your hotel guests with the great stay they expect from your hotel.

4. Continue personalisation offsite
Marketing personalisation to drive more bookings shouldn’t be confined just to your website itself. To achieve your revenue per available room targets, it should be a consistent thread through all of your marketing activity – from in-app messages to transactional emails and email marketing. Personalisation has its roots in email marketing and something as simple as using the guest’s name in your email greeting can help to create a closer relationship and build brand loyalty. Of course, you can take this much further and ensure content is also tailored to the guests’ interests and travel habits to ensure mailshots are perceived as being personalised and relevant.
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Hotel Revenue Management
Revenue management in hotel marketing is key to ensuring sustained and growing success for any style and str rating of accommodation.

Here at Digital Hotelier offer a variety of hotel revenue management services designed to amplify your efforts in this area, but it’s crucial every hotel marketer also has a working knowledge of the basic concepts behind revenue management. Read on for a quick guide to what it means for your hotel.

What is Revenue Management?
Put simply, revenue management is a way of predicting consumer demand for what you are selling. It applies to many different industries, but as applied to the hospitality industry, it concerns weighing up the reasons and predictors for why your hotel guests may or may not make a booking. In an analytics sense, it applies a certain discipline to the prediction of consumer behaviour, in an effort to maximise revenue growth.

Revenue management’s origins began in the aviation industry, but the discipline was swiftly adopted by other areas once they realised its key concepts could be applied to a number of different business sectors and activities.

Revenue System
Efficiency of Service
Conducting hotel revenue management effectively enables hoteliers and hotel managers to take control of their own economic destiny to some extent. It seeks to take into account all the possible variables which could either ensure a sale or prevent you from selling a room to the right customer. By ensuring the correct ‘goods’ meet the correct customer at the right time, you maximise the efficiency of your revenue management and meet the potential of your establishment’s resources.

Customer Satisfaction
The satisfaction of your customer base is accepted as one of the key ways of defining the success of your revenue management. After all, a happy customer is more likely to participate in revenue-enhancing activities, such as spreading the word about your hotel via online reviews, forums or word of mouth. They will also be more likely to make a repeat booking than a dissatisfied customer. Linking back to revenue management, when your customer is connected with the right room and therefore made to feel their custom is valued, they are more likely to show greater levels of satisfaction with your service.

Measuring Hotel Revenue Management
Hotel revenue management contains many variable factors which require careful analysis, including ‘big’ data such as past occupancy rates, customer segmentation, target audiences, customer satisfaction levels and other factors which could affect your revenue potential. Whilst formerly these factors would have been monitored internally within the company, more and more hoteliers are seeking to outsource with a revenue management system (or RMS). 

A Long Term View
Revenue management is not a quick fix solution, but it can provide a long-term way of addressing occupancy and efficiency problems within your hotel. All profitability factors are taken into consideration to ensure that the business is consistently drawing in revenue whilst realistically assessing ways to make the most of peak times, and cope with a low season pricing plan.
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