News for the Hospitality Executive
How does Revenue Management Work
Small and Independent Hotel Chains?
Special Interview with Elizabeth Churchill, VP Sales and Marketing,
Aqua Hotels and Resorts
September 2008 - For small and independent hotel chains, a lack of resources and less money for high-end technology mean big systems and brought-in expertise just don’t exist. However the hands-on-approach of senior decision-makers means better communications, leads to faster decisions, less cultural obstacles and a greater understanding of RM across all departments.
Elizabeth Churchill who heads up sales and marketing for the 12 property Aqua Hotel and Resorts, chain argues that this approach means that RM can sit at a more profitable core of a small chain’s distribution strategy.
In the interview Elizabeth Churchill discussed the major differences between large and small hotel chains in terms of revenue management, focusing on RM technology and roles within the revenue division.
Elizabeth Churchill will be speaking on this topic at EyeforTravel’s Revenue Management and Pricing conference on October 1-2 in Las Vegas. More information visit: www.eyefortravel.com/tdsusa/revenue
Helen Raff: What specific revenue management challenges do you face as a small independent hotel chain compared to a large chain? What impact does this have upon your role within the company?
Elizabeth: The key issues when it comes to revenue management are a lack of resources and a limited budget to invest in high-end technology.Helen Raff: In terms of revenue management, what are the positive aspects of working for a small hotel chain?
Elizabeth Churchill: One of the bonuses of working for any small company is that there tends to be better communication between different departments. Working for a small hotel chain, you have the flexibility for open lines of communication so all team members can work closely together. This is one of our strengths at Aqua and allows us to put our Revenue Management strategy at the core of our business philosophy. I feel that we’re definitely heading in the right direction; once your core philosophy is accurate you can really build on that success.Helen Raff: How should a revenue manager divide their time when resources are stretched? What should you be focusing on?
Elizabeth Churchill: You need a revenue team to focus on strategy rather than just reports. Manual reporting is very time consuming, and it can be hard for small hotels to get their hands on reports quickly and easily. We currently rely mainly on manual reporting, but are in the process of upgrading technology and replacing manual reports with custom reports designed for our specific needs.Helen Raff: Is a manual system always out-dated?
Elizabeth Churchill: A manual system is not always outdated and it has actually worked quite well for us in the past.Helen Raff: What do you predict for the future?
Elizabeth Churchill: Integration is the key to any successful revenue management strategy. At the moment, not all our systems integrate into our Property Management System (PMS). Integration is a challenge faced by everyone and hopefully in the future technology will become so advanced that all our systems will be integrated.Churchill summed up by saying “Hospitality needs to look at strategies from dynamic industries and companies who have been so progressive in revenue generation. Hospitality doesn’t always examine other industries enough. If we think more about hiring from, and learning from, other industries the sky is the limit!”
Elizabeth Churchill will speak
on this issue in more detail at EyeforTravel’s