Getting hotel rates straight sounds complicated but for Hyatt it’s about keeping it simple from the get go.
Like all the big chains, Hyatt Hotels has the budget and the human resources to keep up and continue innovating in revenue management. According to Christen Garb, the company’s VP of RM, the group is constantly looking to improve how they integrate revenue management (RM) into the company culture.
And by so-called ‘integrated RM’ she means ensuring that revenue managers are working closely with operations, sales, food & beverage, marketing and more at the property, regional and corporate levels. A big part in making this succeed has been high-level training on the group’s sophisticated RM systems, but the work is ongoing.
Also, like most of the big chains, driving direct bookings is a well-documented top priority, but Garb doesn’t think of it as ‘trying to beat the OTAs’. Rather it’s about finding ways to be “great partners” while also building relationships with customers so they “come and book directly with us”. And, crucially, part of this process is getting pricing right.
This is something that hotels really seem to struggle with as we heard at EyeforTravel’s European Summit earlier this year. Here Citizen M COO Lennert de Jong pointed to the worrying pricing practice of hotels with low occupancy discounting heavily at the last minute. Many hotels will acknowledge that one of the biggest challenges is to sell empty rooms in the last month – hence, or perhaps because of, the rise of firms like hotels.com and hoteltonight.com.
See the slide below.
However, there is a growing view that one of the biggest pricing mistakes hotels can make is to over price from the outset. This can happen for a number of reasons including: