We’re out of the rut. Now what?
— 11 experts shared their view
By the end of 2019, many of the thought leaders in revenue management had begun echoing a common theme, basically that the Revenue Management discipline was stuck in a rut. Industry-wide, Total Hotel Revenue Management was starting the become a joke. There was the longstanding complaint about the OTAs, but little being done about it. And the more recent debate about whether AI was on track to replace the Revenue Manager, despite only 15% of all hotels globally even having a revenue management system. Some openly warned that without evolving, the discipline risked losing relevance, and the influence and opportunities that go along it.
Then COVID-19 came out of nowhere to occupy the top of everyone's mind… overnight. Short term crisis management became the only job requirement. But these concerns did not go away, and if anything, the opportunity (and responsibility) that organizations possess to challenge every existing norm as they rebuild has only shortened the timeline.
The question to the Revenue Management community is: As we move out of the crisis management phase and towards the "next normal", how have your organization and responsibilities changed? What tools, technology, and processes have earned a permanent place in your routine going forward?
Corporate Director Revenue Management Palladium Hotel Group
The industry needs to face some important challenges, the first one incorporates more technology in our ecosystem, hotels and chains need to have more information on the daily basic decision, but they need to be more disrupted in this area, for example, smart destination software must come to our technology ecosystem.
Secondly, we need to be very open mind about home-based positions because this is going to be disrupted and probably it will change the industry .. imagine you are able to hire a top profile in the industry, but he/she is based in India ... imagine you could be able to hire this person independently where he/she is, or in the opposite way, you are able to work from Spain in the headquarters of the biggest hotel chain in India per example ... this could change the industry if we are smart enough to take advantage of this opportunity.
As a company and having a strategic view we need to adapt our workforce to the new reality because we face some uncertain and difficult moments and we need to readjust our team to this new reality, in addition, we need to be very focused on the next season/year because this 2020 is almost lost and we need to work very hard for the 2021 year,
Finally, in a very tactic perspective, we need to adapt our payment policies to the new reality and be more flexible with clients.
During all this month of pandemic crisis, one of the biggest changes we made, as a revenue management department, was changing the way we forecast adding the client´s nationality and the propensity of cancellation due to the status of the virus in their country of origin, this was a huge change and it helped us a lot in all these moments.