Futurecasting is a practice used by many businesses to plan strategically for their future. The practice evaluates underlying industry dynamics, predictive analysis and a variety of business strategies to help organisations develop an insightful vision of the future. Importantly, for hoteliers, the advancements in revenue management have opened new strategic forecasting opportunities, including methods for capitalising on new industry data to drive more profitable results.
Traditionally, hotel forecasting practices have generally focused on data such as historical results and economic factors to anticipate market demand. Hoteliers rely heavily on these types of traditional data sources to influence, shape and evaluate what embodies a profitable business strategy. However, with the emergence of forward-looking demand-intelligence data, hoteliers have new opportunities to extract and analyse behaviour-based statistics of industry data for a holistic view of their future performance.
The practice of strategic futurecasting encourages hotels to analyse how and why a particular outcome occurred plus the likelihood of recurrence. It amalgamates revenue management data with demand intelligence to help hotels understand what drives potential guests to book, as well as the ideal price in every channel that will bring in the highest profits. This gives hoteliers an informed view of the future that can be used to plan intelligently and make profitable decisions for their organisation.
Applying futurecasting to the distribution space.
Given the continued growth of online travel agencies (OTAs) and the increased popularity and consolidation of industry channels like Expedia and Booking.com, many hoteliers are reevaluating how to proactively and selectively drive profitability through controls within the online distribution channels. Futurecasting can be applied to the distribution space through available industry data, which helps hoteliers better identify their short- and long-term distribution strategies and evaluate which channel partners are the right fit for the overall strategic direction of their brand. With better insights into what drives their best guests and target markets to book through search data, hotels can identify and properly balance their different distribution partners to better position themselves within their most profitable channels—and to their most profitable guests.