hotel guest

One of the most under-reported stories in travel is that most hotel owners have no idea what their cost per channel is and what they’re actually getting per room.

That hasn’t been a problem this year or last year, because respectable growth in demand in many markets worldwide has kept everybody happy enough with bottom lines.

But the next downturn could bring an unpleasant surprise to senior executives in digital distribution who make macro decisions about channel optimization.

A metaphor for the problem is handling one’s personal taxes. At any given moment, you may not know what your tax cost for living in a particular place is. You usually have to pull information from multiple sources to calculate it.

The project can be complex enough than many people turn to professional software to help them figure it out.

Similarly, the costs of guest acquisition are spread across hotel profit-and-loss sheets — and some of the costs aren’t even on those sheets.

Kalibri Labs, a data analytics firm, says it has created software to help hotel revenue managers and ownership groups understand how much it costs to acquire guests through their own websites, third-party websites, and other channels.

More than 25 companies in the US and EMEA have shared their data with the company to get set up on its systems. The startup says it has analyzed between five and ten billion transactions, dating back to January 2011.

Kalibri Labs was founded in 2012, but only came out of stealth earlier this year. The startup, based in Rockville, Md., has 20 employees, and many of them are busy loading data from 30,000 hotels.

To learn more, Tnooz spoke last week with Kalibri Labs CEO and co-founder Cindy Estis Green:

Tnooz: Doesn’t everyone already know that digital has changed everything?

Cindy Estis Green: No one’s ever had this data at an industry-level before, so hoteliers still lack an industry-level understanding of what being in the digital age actually means to their business….

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