While 2016 was marked by uncertainty and political instability in Europe and parts of North America, it was mostly business as usual in Asia. However, in today’s connected and globalised world, nothing happens in isolation. As hoteliers in the Asia-Pacific region wait to assess the fallout from 2016 on hotels in Europe, they nonetheless should be getting proactive about limiting their own downside risk in 2017.
Big Data and predictive analytics are poised to make a major mark on hotel revenue management in 2017. Access to new, forward-looking data sets are expected to provide additional insight into market demand, and integrating customer data will allow hotels to better anticipate their guests’ needs and personalize every aspect of the guest stay, including a tailored rate.
Predicting hotel demand — whether for tonight, 30 days, 60 days or even 90 days out — has never been an exact science. In today’s unpredictable times it’s at best a guesstimate. Therefore, expecting revenue managers to compile accurate forecasts 12 months in advance, and then meet their milestones as the year rolls out, has long been something of a “Mission Impossible.”
As we all dive into the new year, hotel owners, operators and revenue strategists are probably a bit perplexed as they try to determine what kind of 2017 it will be. Will the hotel industry’s long upswing continue with further increases in occupancy and higher levels of average rate? Or will the merry-go-round finally come to a stop and everyone need to devise ways to gain bigger shares of declining or flat markets?
As we’ve written before, we think the hotel industry is in the midst of a major evolution in the way it uses technology to market rooms, acquire customers and ensure guest satisfaction. As the battle for bookings between brands and OTAs continues, distribution at the end of 2017 should look radically different than it does today. We predict a much more customer-centric focus, including major steps toward the ability to personalize offers and experiences to each and every guest.