News for the Hospitality Executive
|Orange County, California - April 2010 - The
Orange County California Chapter
of HSMAI hosted its annual Revenue Management Panel discussion as part
March monthly program. The distinguished
Gregory Weiss Vice President of Revenue Management, Joie de Vivre Hotels
Lisa Kroll Director of Hotel Services, Orbitz Worldwide
Scott Roby Vice President of Revenue Management, Tarsadia Hotels
Anthony Batke Corporate Director of eCommerce, Red Lion Hotels
Tim Morison Director of Market Strategy, Marriott International
The panel addressed a number of topics from the audience, with the major focus being split between what they are seeing as the most recent trends, and the direction that they see both the industry, and specifically the Revenue Management discipline going in the near future. Among the answers were several interesting and significant highlights:
Early 2010 Trends
The panel agreed that while the retail corporate transient segment was the “canary in the coal mine” when measuring the recent declines, this segment has seen the largest resurgence of late. After combining the production of other channels whose rates mirror this segment due to rate parity, production is up in many cases. Most agreed that they are seeing an up-tick in group demand as well, and that it is allowing some hotels to recover the concessions recently made in areas like room rental and cancellation terms. Finally, OTAs are seeing an increase in international business, as well as a redistribution back to the three star segment of the market share that the four star segment “”bought” over the last 18 months with deep rate concessions.
Where Are We Headed?
The entire panel was optimistic about the apparent reversal of the downward trend, although they warned that the rebound is sure to take much longer than the decline. They supported the growth of social marketing, although everyone agreed that the best initial opportunities were for independent hotels, or at least those with a very specific niche’ reason to be communicating. There was also a great deal of discussion about outsourcing social marketing, as well as SEO and PPC, including the use of existing clubs as partners in targeted social marketing campaigns,
The Evolving Role of the Revenue Manager
The question was asked: “When we sold out three nights per week I understood, but now, can you tell me what my Revenue Manager does all day?” Everyone agreed that the increase in the number of distribution channels, plus the constantly changing opportunities that each offers has clearly impacted the work load over time. However, there was also complete consensus that today’s “best in class” Revenue Manager has successfully transitioned from Inventory Manager to a full fledged e-Marketer. It is simply no longer enough to manage existing demand, today’s Revenue Manager must champion the constant search for new and effective methods of reaching customers electronically. The panel, plus several member of the audience, arrived at the same conclusion that this may eventually give rise to positions such as the Chief Revenue Officers that are cropping up in related industries.
The event was flawlessly hosted by the Fairmont Newport Beach and attended by over 80 industry professionals, including Robert Resurgent, Vice President of Revenue Management at Sunstone Hotels, and Gary McLin, Vice President of Revenue Management at Rim Hospitality. The panel was moderated by Scott Dahl, President and Founder of Hotel Revenue Resources, (www.HotelRevenueResources.com) and a 2006 recipient of HSMAI’s “25 Outstanding Minds in Hotel Sales and Marketing” award for his accomplishments in Revenue Management.
HSMAI is the hospitality industry source for knowledge, community, and recognition for leaders committed to professional development, sales growth, revenue optimization, marketing, and branding. For more information on HSMAI, please visit www.hsmaioc.org.
Hotel Revenue Resources