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Data is the answer to the loyalty puzzle

by Ed Watkins, Contributing Editor |

Seven trending hotel news stories that will impact your hotel Revenue Strategy.

1. Data is key to creating guest personalization

Creating personalized guest experiences is the new mantra for many hoteliers, brand companies and marketers. But creating personalization and employing it as a loyalty tool is easy to discuss but hard to implement. One answer to the puzzle lies in data: compiling it, analyzing it and putting it to work.

The industry also needs to move to cloud-based applications that provide connectivity between technologies that store guest data. The big brand companies are working toward solutions that cover a wide range of functions that ultimately could provide more personal experiences and lead to improved loyalty.

Full story at Hotels. 

2. Using RM to find a hotel’s ‘profit tipping point’

Pricing has many more implications for a hotel than simply gross revenues, says the author. Revenue managers have a duty “to understand the point of achieving peak gross operating profit” and then creating pricing strategies to achieve that goal.

And as it is with many revenue decisions, data is the key. Using a predictive analytics platform can help RMs “take consumer-centric insights, property data and market intelligence to predict demand and provide specific pricing recommendations in real time to help hotels maximize revenue and guest loyalty.”

Full story at Duetto Research.

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3. Keys to an effective overbooking policy

Overbooking can be a risky maneuver for revenue managers. Maximizing revenues and profits are primary goals, of course, but they must be balanced against inconveniencing and annoying guests, particularly loyal ones. The author presents solid strategies to make the mix work:

  • Effective data analysis is important to understanding booking patterns and tracking no-show patterns.
  • Type of guest (business travelers, as an example) and hotel location (airport) can guide in overbooking decisions.
  • Develop partnerships with nearby hotels to accommodate guests that need to be walked.
  • Consider the advice that not overbooking enough can be costing a hotel money. 

Full story at Hotel News Now.

4. Regional, demographic differences in hotel bookings

The world of travel isn’t homogeneous, and people from different regions and in different age groups have different preferences and habits, including how they book hotel rooms. According to data to be released this week, revenue managers need to understand their feeder markets and their guest profiles to gain a clear picture on which distribution channels to use in what proportions.

Some interesting data nuggets from the story:

  • In the eight markets studied, online travel agencies is the preferred booking path for leisure trips.
  • Like most people in the rest of the world, Brazilians are most likely to use an OTA to book; however, when contacting a hotel directly, they’re more likely to call than use a website or mobile app.
  • One in four consumers over age 55 will call a property to make a booking, compared to 14% of 18-34s.
  • The largest gap between the behaviors of age groups came in the OTA segment, where 38% of 18-34s prefer making a booking in contrast with just 22% of over-55s.

Full story at Tnooz.

5. Google, Facebook tools shorten path to purchase

Hotel marketers and revenue strategists struggle to find ways to capture consumers as they move along the path to purchasing leisure (or even business) trips. According to the author, new tools from Google and Facebook can shorten what he calls the “distance between discovery and booking.”

The tools—Google Bucket Lists and Facebook City Guides—provide consumers with source materials they can save, share with friends and use as a way to decide on destinations and accommodations. The author suggests hotels can glean public information from these lists to engage in “advocacy marketing” using the listings as user-generated content.

Full story at Eye for Travel.

6. OTAs could launch soft-brand collections

The author believes it’s a short leap for some online travel agencies to create their own hotel brands—albeit ones with the look and feel of major brand company collections, such as Autograph, Tribute, Curio, etc. He said this OTA-centered model would provide consumers with the same kind of products now offered by these successful soft brands.

The OTA companies will be able to create these models through significant investments in “the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to address the needs of their customers in a more efficient and customized way in order to increase conversions and loyalty,” he says. The OTAs have the resources, but it remains to be seen whether they employ them in this new direction. 

Full story at 4 Hoteliers.

7. 2016 was a record-breaking year for tourism in Europe

According to the latest PwC European Cities Hotel Forecast, 2016 was a record-breaking year for European tourism with 12 million more visitors and 2.8 billion nights spent in tourist accommodation.

2017 is set to see further growth, with PwC predicting RevPAR growth in key markets, including Porto (+14.8% RevPAR forecast growth), Dublin (+8.7%), Budapest (+6.8%), Madrid (+5.9%) and Lisbon (+5.6%).

Full story at Hotel News Resource.

Stay up on hotel Revenue Strategy news and discuss industry tech trends in the Hotel Revenue Strategy Leaders Group on LinkedIn.

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Ed Watkins, Contributing Editor

Ed Watkins, Contributing Editor

Contributing editor at Duetto
Ed has been covering the hotel industry for more than 40 years. He was editor-in-chief of Lodging Hospitality from 1980 to 2012. He then joined Hotel News Now as an Editor at Large, until his retirement at the end of 2014. Ed still contributes to several publications and is a member of the advisory boards for the hotels schools at Michigan State and Penn State.
Ed Watkins, Contributing Editor

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Ed Watkins, Contributing Editor

Ed has been covering the hotel industry for more than 40 years. He was editor-in-chief of Lodging Hospitality from 1980 to 2012. He then joined Hotel News Now as an Editor at Large, until his retirement at the end of 2014. Ed still contributes to several publications and is a member of the advisory boards for the hotels schools at Michigan State and Penn State.