Yesterday our colleague Neville Isaac had the pleasure to attend the HSMAI event in Mallorca.
It was a great day full of industry leaders and very interesting discussions about the present and future of Revenue Management and distribution.
Summarizing the different presentations, panel discussions round tables, our main takeaways from the day were:
1. Artificial Intelligence will influence everything we do .
This will be used in every aspect of hotel operations – obviously in the increasing sophistications of the algorithms of RMS tools, but also in predictive analytics, helping with marketing in the personalization of pricing, and even with the design of internet booking engines and in recruitment processes.
2. Personalization is key .
The huge amount of data available about our clients will allow hoteliers to treat each customer in a more personalized way. This can be done at every step on the customer journey, from initial searches right through to post stay. Increased insight about our customers will enable us to tailor our pricing offers to each customer profile and offer tailor made products and services at the correct time.
3. Distribution is changing.
Here there are 2 key aspects to think about: Hoteliers need to have a clear and holistic long-term digital strategy where each channel can be evaluated on its own merits, with a clear picture of the costs and benefits of each one. This is no longer a binary choice of direct versus indirect bookings – a much more nuanced viewpoint is needed in order to have a real overview and be able to take decisions made on channel profitability. We need technology to support us and be able to manage our businesses based on NetRevPAR.
At the same time, it looks like changes are on the horizon, with the tech giants (Google, Facebook etc) set to enter and disrupt the distribution space in the near future
4. We need to think about how we recruit
The profile of the Revenue Manager is evolving. Since technology now gives us all the data we need, new profiles need to be more strategic, and be able to communicate and influence other stakeholders on their chosen strategy. Hand in hand with this aspect is the need for continuous training in a rapidly changing environment. Employers need to think about what value proposition they are offering to prospective employees to attract the best talent.
5. The tech ecosystem is hugely complex.
With new tech becoming available seemingly every day. there is a need for platforms which can consolidate data and tools in one place to increase productivity and optimize processes and revenue. Hotels also need some guidance on which tech really adds value and how this can be measured.
6. The line between revenue and marketing is ever more blurred.
There is a clear need for these two areas to work more closely together on a coordinated strategy in all channels towards the same objectives and the same goals. Strategies should not just take into account not just revenue generation but also marketing spend and consequently net impact on the business in the long term.
And a final reflection
Lastly, but equally important, although the world economy is facing a few challenges right now ( Brexit, trade wars, climate change etc.) , the outlook remains cautiously positive at a macro level and consequently for the tourism industry as well. There´s a lot to be optimistic about!!