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Global Revenue Management Survey Indicates Key Trends & Tactics Necessary for Success in 2011

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December 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How Paid Search Results Can Help in Hotel Revenue Management

Hotel with budgets turn to pay-per-click advertisements to generate interest. The results are almost immediate because the ads appear in the context of relevant content. However, the question is, can you make a good return on investment (ROI) on this initiative? A significant number of hotel revenue managers would say yes though their results may vary. Yet, there are also many who say that the effort involved isn’t worth it.

Sometimes, the difference between success and failure in PPC lies in testing. While most agree that testing to grow hotel revenue is important, they argue about the scope of the metrics. The ad copy you use, in particular, can provide results that are quite drastic. Take the case of using “Download Now” vs. “30 Day Free Trial”. Using the latter can increase your conversion rate by 8% which is no laughing matter.

To take full advantage of your PPC campaign, it is important to understand certain things about this strategy:

Different Ads Are Rotated Against Keyword Groups – Google Adwords and similar companies enable you to rotate different ads against selected keyword groups. This strategy creates rapid feedback that enables you to study the response rates of the campaign using metrics such as the conversion rate and CTR.

Testing Can Take a Long Time – granularity is an essential factor to look into. This is because your numbers aren’t exactly derived in aggregate stacks. For instance, if an ad group generate hotel sales of 100 sales a month, you can expect that a certain ad has a conversion of 40, another one has generates 20 sales, while several others make up the remaining. In this case, it is safe to drop the worst performing ad and focus your budget into promoting the best performing one.

Quality Scores – relevance and CTR are key considerations when you’re dealing with Google. Quality scores are determined by ad delivery, ad position, and CPC of the keyword. According to Google, there are other relevancy factors aside from this. Conduct testing to enhance the effectiveness of your campaign.

April 6, 2010 Posted by | boost profitability, hospitality revenue management, hotel channel management, hotel yield management | , , | 2 Comments

Balancing Online Booking with Traditional Channels

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the travel landscape is forever changed. We’re not even talking about the emergence of the internet here, a lot of changes have occurred even after that. Previously, all the hospitality or travel company needs to do is to set-up a website. Then the users will flock into it to book their travel itinerary. Drastic changes in social media have further changed their buying behavior.

For example, on a typical day, the potential guest will look over his iPhone, browse Facebook for the latest hotel deals, and read reviews on Yahoo Travel before booking his stay. Already, there are several possible obstacles before you can boost hotel profitability. If your website is not mobile SEO ready, your establishment may not be found. Similarly, if consumers don’t see any of your special offers on Facebook but notice that of your competitor, that is a sale lost.

Statistics reflect the importance of social media in hotel booking. Internet sales now represent about $2 billion in hotel revenue according to the research from PhoCusWright. Despite these trends, it will be a mistake to ignore the Global Distribution System (GDS). It continues to play a major role in yield management. To see increase hotel sales, this channel needs to be strengthened alongside web technologies.

Travel agents continue to be important in some markets. They rely on their GDS to see information on air, hotel, and car rental availability. That’s why it’s important for these hospitality firms to provide accurate and useful information to the agent. If these criterions are met, more agents will turn to the system. Ultimately, it is not a question of whether a hotel revenue manager should forego one medium at the expense of another in the quest to generate hotel sales.

Rather, the key is to have the right mix of booking channels. The combination depends on a large part on the individual hotel. Using strategies such as Pay-Per-Click Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, and leveraging on Social Media are important. So is strengthening your ties with other players in the industry.

April 4, 2010 Posted by | Hotel real-time pricing with integrated yield channel management, hotel channel management, hotel management software, hotel revenue management software solution dynamic rate optimization real-time pricing integrated yield channel management | , , | 4 Comments

Grow Hotel Revenue: Encourage Customer Action in Social Media

While travel is one of the most active industries in the World Wide Web, there are a significant number of hospitality organizations, including hotels that feel like they’re being left behind by the fast changing internet social scene. This need not be a problem. With the right techniques, it becomes possible for hotel to keep up and even thrive in today’s environment. Below are some tips to improve hotel booking performance:

Think Social – just keep the conversion flowing. Make use of highly popular social sites like Facebook and Twitter to leverage on your friends and fans. While many customers don’t like overt advertising, they would appreciate your presence if you take the time to know their needs. Take the time to reply to their queries personally or hire someone to manage your social media presence. It can pay off over the long term.

Use Images – if the hotel is renowned for its ability to host unforgettable events, make sure to post pictures of these special occasions. Upload them on sites like Flickr, Facebook, and Multiply. If you get permission to tape videos of the said event, you can post it on YouTube as well.

Write Compelling Content – instead of using a formal tone of voice, most interactive sites online are characterized by friendly, conversation style. If you don’t have time to manage hotel rate strategy, inventory, and GDS channels together with social media initiatives at the same time, it might be a good idea to a young staff member to build your hotel’s brand online.

Give Freebies – don’t just inform readers about the developments in your hotel; let them take part in it. Offer discounts, gift certificates, and conduct contests to generate interest. Everyone likes free stuff especially if its travel related. Giving away free drinks at the hotel bar will be a successful initiative as well.

There are many other techniques to generate social media interest. Be innovative in your approach. The key to grow hotel revenue is to cope with the times. Leading the market is even possible with the right mix of techniques.

April 2, 2010 Posted by | boost profitability, hotel channel management, increase hotel profit, increase revpar, yield management | , , | Leave a comment

Boosting Hotel Profitability with RevPAR Guru

With the number of tools available today, there is no excuse for hotel revenue managers to tolerate manual processing. It just leads to poor data transfer, inaccurate information, and less productivity on the part of the employee. Add this to the fact that the hotel industry is still suffering from the recession and you’ll have a recipe for disaster. In order to compete effectively in today’s market, it is crucial to go above and beyond customer expectation. One way to do this is to get a hotel central reservations system that can boost hotel profitability.

Certain software programs, notably RevPAR Guru, is equipped with real-time capabilities that gives details about the hotel’s inventory levels, industry statistics, and even customer preference. Historical data are analyzed so that hotel revenue managers will have a good overview of market demand. Not all revenue management software are created equal though. Good systems should have the following characteristics

  • Real time inventory information
  • Modular structure
  • Solid technology platform
  • User-friendly interface
  • Integrated technology elements including channel management, revenue management, account management, business management, and contact management
  • Data accuracy

These factors need to be taken seriously in hotel revenue management. It helps improve hotel efficiency, streamline the booking process, and generate hotel sales. It is fortunate that companies like RevPAR Guru exist to provide companies with a complete solution to meet the demands in the travel industry. With the right utilization of its capabilities, it becomes possible to boost hotel profitability.

RevPAR Guru is a yield management program that has been specifically designed for hotel revenue managers. It is also easy to modify. That’s why the unique needs of each establishment can be met. After knowing all these benefits, it is no wonder that hotel establishments throughout the world are taking advantage of this system. It gives them an edge over the competition.

March 24, 2010 Posted by | boost profitability, hospitality revenue management, hotel management software | , | Leave a comment

Airline Traffic Improving After 18 Months

Airline companies have a reason to be happy. After more than a year of travel slump and losses, it seems like the travel industry is picking up again. Traffic, which is measured in miles, only declined by 1 percent for the month of November. Even if the figure isn’t yet out of the red, it is definitely a good sign. In fact, Southwest posted a 12 percent increase while Continental’s improved by 2.8 percent.

Individuals involved in the hotel revenue management can heave a sigh of relief. According to Robert Mann from the RW Mann & Co, this development is encouraging because “What we need is people back working and able to spend on air travel, and businesses profitable and willing to invest not only in jobs but in travel”.

In addition, the Bloomberg US Airline Index has improved 20 percent since Nov. 27. Meanwhile, William Greene from Morgan Stanley recommended airline stocks in December 2, 2009. These indications point to the fact that the travel slump might be over.

The Demand is Present

US airlines are preparing for an improvement in the industry. Hotel revenue managers and yield management teams would be wise to follow suit. Southwest has already filled 76.5 percent of its capacity in November; this is mostly attributed to lack of fees on the first two bags. Their promotional fares help push matters further. United Airlines, for its part, is intending to order wide-body jets to refresh its fleet. Delta Airlines also believes that the demand is there. And that it will improve more as the economy recovers.

Airline statistics is a significant aspect in predicting trends in the travel industry. Being able of these developments will help increase hotel sales and boost profitability.

December 9, 2009 Posted by | hospitality revenue management, Hotel real-time pricing with integrated yield channel management, hotel revenue management, hotel yield management, increase hotel profit, increase revpar, revenue per available room, yield management | , , | Leave a comment

Improving Hotel Sales through Mobile Marketing

The popularity of mobile marketing is undeniable. The travel sector would be wise not to ignore this. Consumers are now more reliant in the internet and mobile technology than ever. Aside from the rise of smart phones, users are also connecting to the internet via other types of devices. The fact is, the world is getting increasingly connected every single day. The internet has become a part of everyday life.

A user uses mobile internet when searching for a place to eat, sleeping accommodations, or attractions to visit. In fact, they even pay bills through mobile banking. If hospitality revenue managers take advantage of this phenomenon this early, they might reap the benefits of it later on. There are a number of people in the hotel revenue management field who are taking the hint.

The Hilton Hotel Group, in particular, is interested in this concept. It has already unveiled applications in its different brands including Conrad, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hilton, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, and Homeworld Suites. The iPhone application contains the “Request upon Arrival” feature which lets guests ask for room service upon their arrival at the hotel. It also features the “e-check-in” which lets travelers check-in remotely 48 hours in advance. For skeptics of this tactic, it should be noted that the group already experienced a 59 percent increase in their mobile revenues (1st quarter of 2009).

Meanwhile, the role of social media should not be underestimated by yield management teams. Already, there are 65 million people accessing Facebook through mobile devices. The same can be said about MySpace and Twitter. These are important mediums because people connect through these social networks for information and tips.

The figures stated above are on-top of desktop internet users. To effectively boost profitability from these trends, it might be wise to adopt a mobile-specific strategy to target this segment.

December 8, 2009 Posted by | boost profitability, hospitality revenue management, hotel revenue management, Hotel software solution dynamic rate optimization and update, hotel yield management, increase hotel profit, increase revpar, revenue per available room, yield management | , , | 1 Comment

Effective Hotel Revenue Management in Difficult Times

In spite of Americans’ fondness with traveling, the difficult times inevitably dampen their holiday plans and affect hotel yield management. Based on the results of a Maritz telephone survey (Oct. 2009), it seems that holiday travel plans will decrease dramatically this year for the first time in about a decade. Aside from the economic downturn, concerns about the H1N1 virus are also making a lot of people wary. As a result, more travelers are staying put instead of having a vacation.

Optimists believe that the hospitality revenue management industry will see an upward trend in 2010. However, there are several considerations that should be given a deeper look. One is the unemployment rate. People won’t get jobs overnight. According to the people surveyed, they were actually personally affected by this trend because 14 percent reported that a person in their immediate household was laid-off due to the financial crisis.

In addition, it is doubtful that the unemployed will get a suitable job in the future because companies are making do with less manpower. Until such a time that companies experience dramatic growth, they will hold back on hiring. Related to this trend is the decline in business travel. Business travel is also down or is reigned in since more companies believe that it actually hinders productivity. There are many collaboration tools that make cooperation among top executives and team members possible without physically meeting.

Despite all the changes in the yield management dynamics, it is possible to increase RevPAR. In fact, there are establishments that are still thriving either because a good strategy is implemented or because the hotel revenue manager understands where to position the hotel during the crisis.

November 23, 2009 Posted by | boost profitability, hospitality revenue management, Hotel software solution dynamic rate optimization and update, hotel yield management, increase hotel profit, increase revpar | , , | Leave a comment

Travelers Skip Expensive Rooms, Goes for Bargains

The largest hotel chains in the world were significantly affected by the severe declines in economic activity. With this development, it was only to be expected that they will do something about it. Travelers need not wait long. Hotel yield management teams have already cut their rates, offered highly discounted packages, and even established boutique hotels for budget-conscious travelers.

Take Starwood Hotels & Resort, for example, it charges $399 up to $639 a night. But their boutique hotel is charging only $119 a night. Another hotel chain, the Intercontinental Hotels Group, is following the same tactic. Both companies want to profit from the successful formula in the 1980s when individual properties offered quirky interiors and luxurious facilities to frugal guests. But while in the past, the formula was done to generate attention; it is gaining popularity now because of desperation. The global crisis left majority of travelers unwilling or unable to spend on their vacations.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the top four hotels in the United States experienced 16 to 22 percent decline during the first nine years of the year. The unemployment rate is much to blame for this decline. In addition, the firm expects room rates to fall until 2010 as hospitality revenue management teams try to entice wary consumers. Other reasons for the significant decline include:

Executive Compensation Backlash

The lavish spending by financial firms, high executive compensation, and excessive risk taking is getting a backlash from the public. And almost all big companies are affected. Hotels that had previously focused on business travelers are left with facilities they cannot use and amenities no one wants to pay for.

No-Frills Accommodation

As a result of these developments and more, hotel revenue managers are trying to cut costs. In many hotels, the mini-refrigerators in the rooms are left empty. Even the shampoo and shower gel are attached to a dispenser in the wall. Faced with this type of competition, the hotel revenue managers in many high-end hotels are joining the bandwagon or coming up with ways to retain their market share.

November 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Hospitality Management: Acknowledging Customer Life Time Value

Hotel marketers have long since known about Life Time Value (LTV) and they have worked hard to gain the loyalty of high-value guests. In an increasingly connected marketplace though, the playing field is shifting. In essence, LTV is simply blocks of income that the guests generate for the hotel over their course of their relationship. Yield management revenue comes from the initial stay, the services paid for, and additional products purchased.

Aside from this, the guest also provides good feedback and repeat purchase lessens the cost of acquiring new customers. For every first-time guests that becomes a customer, there is already a cost associated with acquiring that guest. And there is a potential loss to you if the guest is unsatisfied with the accommodations offered since they will seek alternatives and advice against your hotel.

In order to avoid disappointments and boost profitability, here are some hospitality revenue management tips that will maximize the customer life time value:

Strive for Excellent Service Levels on the Internet

For many hospitality revenue management personnel, the internet is seen as a way to boost profitability. As a result, the focus is mostly on marketing instead of customer service. Well, online service shouldn’t be overlooked because it still reflects on the hotel. Make sure that the same level of service provided at the hotel is available on the internet.

Provide High-Quality Front-Line Service

The front-line staff is your direct link to the guests. The hotel revenue management team and executives might be committed to the hotel’s success and the marketing might be brilliant, but all these are for nothing if front line service is poor. The staff needs to be motivated, monitored, and improved wherever possible. They should be trained in customer service because potential damage can result from poor reviews.

Lastly, it should be noted that in order to increase hotel sales, the hotel should continually reinvent itself to suit the changing needs of its guests.

November 18, 2009 Posted by | boost profitability, hospitality revenue management, hotel channel management, hotel revenue management software solution dynamic rate optimization real-time pricing integrated yield channel management, increase hotel profit, increase revpar, revenue management hotel | , , | Leave a comment