Search engines, OTAs, review sites, metas and other tools have changed the way travellers look and book rooms. But revenue management has remained the same during my fifteen years working in the business.
We are still so caught up in managing rates, availability, inventory and occupancies on a daily basis that there are a lot of opportunities that are being missed, so caught up in a department-driven processes that we are losing focus on critical changes happening in the world around us.
The hyperconnected world
Technologies such as mobile, big data and social media now play a key role in influencing the travel decision process. Mobile is no longer the secondary device, but in many instances it is the device.
In today’s connected world, it is important that the revenue manager ensures the right information is made available to the customer at the right point of the decision process in order to ensure conversion – be it at the price comparison stage (search/meta search), the looking for content stage (search/ OTA/website), or the expecting tailored offers stage.
There is an abundance of information (the accuracy of which is a question for another day) available to the revenue managers of today. Revenue managers can use the data to create pricing value for the guests to encourage spend. In a utopian world, pricing would be not on day of the week but personalized by individual. Can the revenue management tools of today help here? That’s another question for another day.
- If Mr X’s past history shows departure at 1600hrs on Thursday, would he be interested to stay over the night at a small supplement, considering that Thursday is the beginning of the weekend.
- Could a client who usually arrives early in the morning be tempted by a competitively priced early check-in option if he or she could be guaranteed a room? And data helps here as well by helping the housekeeping team to staff accordingly for faster turnarounds.