World Panel
Special Series22 October 2020

Special Series:Visioning a Post-COVID Era in Revenue Management

Visioning a post-COVID Era

— 9 suppliers shared their view

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Visioning a Post-COVID Era in Revenue Management

In this viewpoint, we asked 9 leading solution providers to share their views and thoughts on how revenue management will change in the post-COVID era.

Kevin Duncan
Senior Director, Strategic Product Initiatives at Cendyn — website

'We started the year in 2020 and ended it in 2030.' This quote from Inspired Capital co-founder Alexa von Tobel perfectly encapsulates the realities of the hospitality industry today. Trends have accelerated and we seem to have jumped ahead a decade, with transformative change happening seemingly overnight.

So, what is next for revenue management? We have an exciting opportunity to hit the reset button and rethink systems while demand is constrained. As we look ahead to the post-pandemic landscape, now is the time to build a revenue management discipline that maximizes revenue during both good times and bad. 

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Valyn Perini
Vice President, Partnerships and Marketing at Nor1 — website

Before we can talk about changes to revenue management in a post-COVID world, we have to talk about changes to demand.  Traveler behavior has definitely changed and will continue to change, and understanding guest demand of all revenue streams, including upsells, during these ongoing changes is the key to revenue management success.  Because Nor1 has the largest set of guest/buyer behavior data in the hotel industry, including demand, we took a look at YOY guest demand for paid (not free) upsells, including click-through rates, upsell request rates, and average price per night.  The data is clear – upsell revenue must be a factor in any revenue management strategy, especially now.

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Mike Chuma
VP Marketing, Enablement & Engagement at IDeaS — website

Our global hospitality industry is facing its greatest challenge in modern history—and also its greatest opportunity for transformational change. It would seem 2020 dealt us all a losing hand, but there's still a game to be won. To survive—and thrive—hotels must now prepare to break down longstanding silos, think in radically new ways about the guest value and the total guest experience, and take bold, strategic action toward profit optimization and commercial success across the hotel organization. The pandemic has forced drastic changes to how we conduct business. This new reality will force us all to do more with less.

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Chinmai Sharma
President – Americas, RateGain — website

Skift Global Recovery Index shows that currently, we stand at 42% recovery compared to last year. Although the recovery index is showing small growths, it is still a long journey ahead. The challenges faced by hoteliers are multi-faceted. The current scenario has left the hospitality industry in a state of confusion and uncertainty. For example, when the occupancy is as low as 20% then doubts arise as that why do we even need a Revenue Manager at all? In other words, how can a Revenue Manager help us to survive, grow, and recover?

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Gino Engels
Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer at OTA Insight — website

Today's hotel revenue departments are scrambling to determine the best sources of data to help them make informed decisions around operations, sales, and marketing. Fortunately, top-of-funnel data with deeper insights into traveler intent is available to help revenue teams get a real-time glimpse into current and future demand. Instead of being reactive, revenue managers are now forced to be proactive. 

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Jos Schaap
CEO at ROOMDEX — website

All kinds of businesses use upselling to enhance the customer experience and maximize revenue on existing sales. From the McDonald's server asking, “Do you want fries with that?”, to airlines offering seat upgrades, upselling provides a business the opportunity to maximize the value of every customer. When done right, through revenue management, digitalization, dynamic pricing and personalization, upselling can bring you closer to your guests, and earn you more revenue and returning guests. Especially during and post COVID-19 when limited guests actually are staying in Hotels. “This is a time when upselling is unbelievably important.” Adam Gollance, President & CEO Modus Hotels.

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Erik Muñoz
Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at Lybra.tech — website

The hotel revenue management technology sector is an area where the biggest impact of the pandemic can be seen in a very clear way. Traditional RM technology was reliant upon algorithms, most often based primarily on historical demand patterns - such as booking lead times, booking pickup by segments, and seasonal stay patterns by day, week, or month – as a basis for determining the best possible room rate, at any given time. Of course, because of the pandemic, revenue management systems (RMS) reliant on historical data have now become obsolete, as hotels worldwide are experiencing unprecedented market conditions, which can't be ignored or treated as a temporary blip.

So how can hotels ensure that their property is able to increase bookings and revenue - even if the depressed demand that has exemplified the COVID-19 world in which we're all now living, remains well into 2021 (or beyond)?

Today, the pandemic is requiring RMS to shift towards real-time demand analytics, coming from a variety of important data sources. This article gives revenue managers a complete breakdown of what updates are needed in a property's RMS - and overall revenue management strategy - to ensure their property's profitability today, tomorrow, and in a post-COVID world. 

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Stan van Roij
Vice President – Hospitality Solutions & Program Management at Infor — website

Infor is dedicated to working with industry leaders to ensure lasting resilience in the coming era, post-COVID. Revenue management and pricing solutions will play an integral role to ensure success. Learn how Infor's technology solutions for the hospitality industry can help organizations create stability, gain clarity, and form actionable and effective strategies for the present and the future, too.

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Ujjwal Suri
Vice President, Global Revenue & Distribution, Fornova — website

Post-COVID-19, Revenue Managers perhaps have the greatest opportunity to redefine their role by becoming central, strategic advisors in how hotels can optimize revenue and capture demand. We believe they can make a critical difference to their hotel's future success by evolving from Revenue Managers to Data Engineers, re-orienting themselves to embracing dynamic instead of static data, and being adaptive as opposed to reactive to market developments. If all the above can seem overwhelming, especially when working with reduced team sizes, then Fornova's entire suite of solutions, all based on extensive business intelligence, is here to help hotels use the right channel, at the right time, to the right audience.

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