ITB coincided with my first full week working for Duetto. What a week to start! Endless meetings, great conversations, educational events and, in its final hours, an incredible revenue management opportunity for all Berlin hotels. Did you spot it?
At 5 a.m. on the final morning of the exhibition, ground crew at Berlin’s Tegel and Schoenefeld airports walked out in a dispute over pay. The strike forced the cancellation of around 670 airline arrivals and departures, and Germany’s Lufthansa grounded its entire flight programme from Berlin, a total of 68 cancellations, according to Skift.The revenue management lesson for Berlin #hotels at @ITB_Berlin — if DORMS noticed #ITBBerlin Click To Tweet
All of this coincided with 18,000 ITB attendees bringing their exhibition week to a close. The timing couldn’t have been better. After all, the eyes of the international travel industry were all on Berlin.
For the majority of people, the strike was super annoying and exhausting. However, there was a group of people out there who should have benefited from this initiative: Berlin’s hoteliers.
Revenue managers of those affected hotels, did you think about increasing your rates as guests had to book an extra night? If your property had a powerful data-driven solution in place, profit optimisation would have been fully automated, so no need to worry; the system would have been alerted of the change in demand and seized the opportunity for you.
It’s a big part of how Revenue Strategy can be set up so that hotels are managing by exception and quickly recognizing opportunities to drive rate when demand allows it.
The Berlin airport strike proved to us once again that we live in very unpredictable times. It underlined the need for assistance from analytics to help us make smart business decisions. The days are long gone when hotel revenue managers can just trust a gut feeling.
A Renewed Focus on DACH
If ever there was a week to reinforce our message on the benefits of predictive analytics in hotel revenue management during unpredictable times, ITB was it!
But what of my stranded colleagues from the Duetto London office? Naturally, they crunched the figures and sought another solution to the ITB strike problem: a train journey from Berlin to Hamburg, where they then caught a flight back home.
For myself, being based in Munich, the air strikes were less inconvenient. Now, I’m looking forward to the next challenge: opening the Duetto DACH office to build our presence in the German-speaking market, covering Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
Having worked in the hospitality industry throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia providing cloud-based CRM solutions, I recognize the potential a software-as-a-service model has to elevate hotel Revenue Strategy. Germany, Austria and Switzerland are on the cusp of some very exciting, dynamic times.
It won’t always take a labor strike, but there will be chances throughout the market to leverage predictive analytics and new strategies to yield rates for even better profit growth. I look forward to jumping straight from ITB into tackling this new challenge every day.
And I’m already planning for ITB 2018. Hopefully, we’ll all be ready to seize any opportunities next year as well.
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