Six steps to using smart travel analytics to maximize revenues
revenue potential? An upcoming webinar on EyeforTravel.com on January 22 will deal in some detail with some of those issues. To whet your appetite we had a pre-webinar chat with our panel of speakers to hear what lies in store for smart travel analytics in 2014.
- Learn how translate and simplify of data
"That may sound vague," says Josh Henegar, Corporate Revenue Director at 1859Historic Hotels, "but a consistent challenge is digesting all the information in front of you and putting it into terms that help us make a sound decision." Of course, this does get easier over time and as firms become accustomed to particular analytics, they are able to connect the dots much quicker. Yet data is constantly evolving with new twists and turns, "so it keeps us on our toes" he admits. Henegar longs for more clarity on the front end. "If only we could automate the process of picking out specific, relevant data and bringing it to the forefront of what we came to find out," he says. For Sameer Mehra, Chief Revenue Officer, Hersha Hospitality Management the best way to maximise revenues will be through simplicity and consolidation of data to enhance the decision making process. "There is a lot of information available but due to the lack of consolidation, RM faces the challenge of taking quick decisions, " he says.
2. Beware the rising costs of commissions
Most directors of revenue management are not focused on it but the rising cost ofcommissions paid to distribution partners is the biggest challenge facing them today, says Patrick Bosworth, Co-Founder and CEO of Duetto Research. He even goes as far as to say that current RM strategies are inadvertently benefiting intermediaries at the expense of hotel owners and operators. Hotels must abandon best available room rates, independently yield segments, and always offer all known customers a lower price through their direct channels than they offer to Expedia, Booking, Kayak, GDS and so on.
- Choose the right people to make the magic happen
According to Henegar, anyone that has tried to write a job description for a revenuemanagement position in the last two years will have found it tough to keep it under the size of a novel. This is because revenue management today is so far beyond the old definition of simply managing rates and availability. "The different ways consumers are able to conduct business in the travel industry is astounding," he says. "At times, that's a great thing; at others it's just ridiculous. The greatest challenge a revenue manager has is keeping up with it all. But I don't think we need to be looking for a solution to that challenge – we need to be looking for the right people to make the magic happen."
- Expect tools, systems and channels to proliferate
2014 will likely bring even more incredible ways to do business in travel, says Henegar,who "can only hope that we see a trend emerge among owners and managers who continue to embrace what's going on and adapt accordingly". Why? Because the likely trend in the near future is that more and more innovators will take the lead - whether you're on board or not. Mehra, on the other hand, expects the industry to see meta- search appearing on direct websites.
- Ensure analytics systems provide relevant information to hotel GMs
"Without their buy-in and understanding it's hard to maintain budgets and in such casesdata-driven decisions are too often overridden," says Bosworth. On another note, he says it is also important for transactional systems in the industry to build more robust APIs to disseminate data quickly, cheaply, efficiently and flexibly.
- Prepare for a refocus on net revenue
According to Bosworth, 2014 will be the year when hoteliers begin to focus on netrevenue rather than just gross revenue as this is usually reflected in RevPAR. "We will learn that while RevPAR will continue to grow in 2014 the cost to acquire that revenue will grow faster," he concludes.
Josh Henegar, Corporate Revenue Manager, 1859 Historic Hotels. Ltd, PatrickBosworth, Co-Founder and CEO, Duetto Research Inc, and Sameer Mehra, Chief Revenue Officer, Hersha Hospitality Management will join Tim Gunstone, Managing Director, Eyefortravel for our free webinar Employ smart travel analytics to maximize your revenue: http://events.eyefortravel.com/smart-travel-analytics-north- america/webinar-employ-smart-travel-analytics.php
Global Conference Director, EyeforTravel
Phone: +1 201-204-1694
EyeforTravel is an online travel intelligence provider to hotels, airlines, online travel agents, cruise, car hire firms and more. Established in 1997 by Tim Gunstone, right at the inception of online travel, the group offers a diverse product portfolio including industry analysis, insights, research, webinars, reports and conferences. From major hotel brands to new startups, EyeforTravel helps its 80,000 strong customer base make better decisions, build better brands, close the most lucrative deals and ultimately sell more of their product.
For more information visit www.eyefortravel.com.