There is a bevy of macro and microeconomic trends that will help shape the hotel industry’s next 18 months, panelists discussed during the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International’s Revenue Optimization Conference, recently published in Hotel News Now. The topic of technology was mentioned during the majority of panel sessions at the conference. The general consensus? Hotel companies have a long way to go.
The panel offered some tips to help bring hotel companies into the mindset of “total revenue management” by using more advanced technology and better data-gathering practices:
Reduce the value placed on historical data: Most systems have great historical data, but most fall short for future pace and predictive reports.
Forecasting templates: Hotel companies should incorporate formulas to determine changes in market mix and segmentation that automatically reveal profitability, including from food-and-beverage and ancillary revenue.
Sales incentives: Have data available for profit per square foot of meeting space, spa space and retail space.
Brand reporting: Segment by room type performance.
There was also a considerable amount of chatter during the opening general session about how growth in emerging markets is slowing. But China remains a powerhouse of opportunity as the country’s middle class continues to swell, panelists said. By 2060, China will be 60% “richer” than the United States. So how do hoteliers tap into that resource? Aran Ryan, director of Lodging Analytics at Tourism Economics, suggested improving marketing the U.S. as a destination.
Another trend is that the online-travel-agency business has grown so much during the last few years that the number of OTAs in the space is “boiling over". One way to stay ahead of the game is to use Google Analytics because this free resource can help hoteliers identify source traffic such as metasearch sites. What you can see now is metasearch where your (frequent individual travelers) are fighting you and beating your own rates, panelists said.