Do we need a new revenue management toolkit for 2021?
— 18 experts shared their view
It is no longer news that the hotel industry has suffered the worst decline in history. The resulting business failures are starting to make the news and most industry experts agree that it will be several years until the industry returns to anywhere near the health it had in 2019. While the global picture is still very gloomy, we are starting to see isolated upticks in reservations. However, whether it is traveler's slowly adjusting to the "new normal", or just pent up leisure demand, the booking patterns are different than ever before. And just like the periods following previous disruptions, the most aggressive and innovative hotels will gobble up all of this trickle of new travelers, leaving most hotels still staring at the horizon, looking for signs of life. Although there will be few winners and mostly losers during the early stages of the recovery, most hoteliers are still working with the exact same set of tools they had, pre-pandemic, including over half of the industry that uses no dedicated revenue optimization technology whatsoever.
So, we ask our panel experts: 1) For a hotel just getting started implementing a revenue optimization process, what technology and services are most essential, and how should they be selected? or 2) For a hotel with an established revenue optimization culture, what new tools have emerged that could be game-changers?
Revenue & Commercial Strategy and Founder of Federica Salvatori Consulting
In this time it is crucial for hoteliers to get into the Revenue optimization and the implementation of the correct set of tools can make it possible.
The very first step for this process is to get automated and let the machine doing the manual tasks hotels still do with an enormous expenditure of time: extracting data and putting them together in an excel file, updating inventory and rates in multiple systems
So, it is essential to implement:
- a Channel Manager interfaced with the hotel PMS
- a Business intelligence providing the main reports
- an automated RMS, powered by AI, which collects data (internal and external), analyzes them and makes recommendations by using algorithms.
- Market intelligence: Rate Shopper, with price positioning in the compset and market share tool, important to analyze the market, the competition and the demand, and to make the right strategy or tactical adjustment
These tools should be cloud based, agile, easy to connect. The most important aspect to consider is the integration with the other revenue tools, and the willingness of the partners to work together.
The future of hospitality will be customer centered, therefore the game changer for hotels with an established revenue optimization culture will definitely be innovations which analyze the customer behaviors and personalize their experience: advanced CRM, BE and website with targeted messages and offers.
Moreover, the RMS with sophisticated algorithms powered by AI and ML, which predict the demand in a granular way and act on pricing at micro level.
Chatbots to increase conversion and upselling softwares to generate incremental revenue.
Finally, the tools and channels helping distributing in a more sustainable way by looking at acquisition costs and therefore at profitability.