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Not That and Do This

Do not embrace the “New Normal” and
increase your RevPAR in 2010

By Jay Delerno 
November 2009

Over the past year I have seen hotels focus more on driving occupancy than rate to improve their RevPAR.  While hotels may not be able to achieve the higher average rate of the pre down turn, there are opportunities locally they can exploit locally to drive rate even in the current economic environment.

The first step a property must take is to not accept the “new normal”.  That is to say do not accept the current ADR, or occupancy of their property.  While a hotel may not be able to achieve the occupancy and ADR of 2007 or the first three quarters of 2008 (the old normal), it can do better in RevPAR in 2009 even if the economy remains flat or even declines slightly.  What I am saying is and the “new normal” is “THAT” and hotels should not accept it if they expect to substantially improve their RevPAR in 2010. 

The second step a property must take is to identify different Demand Generators in their local market place which can drive rates and/or room nights volume higher than third party Internet sites.  For our purpose a Demand Generator is defined as anything that has the ability to physically bring or attract business to a market place.  Some examples of Demand Generator are hospitals, universities, airports, local companies and Interstate Highways.

After identifying the Demand Generators in their market place, a property must qualify them. Let’s say you identify a hospital as a different Demand Generator because it has been ignored in the past when times were better.

The qualification phase of a hospital is to make a personal call on each of the following departments to understand what business they have and what you can do to attain that business.

  • Administration Office 
    • Visiting physicians, speakers or specialists- over night stays
    • Preferred Hotel Directory- advertising as generally hospitals look for favorable rates for patient coming in from out of town plus their families need accommodations also.  Patient post operation care is another source of business when they cannot stay at the hospital but need to remain close.
    • Any other hospitals that they operate in the area
    • Names of various hospital medical directors
    • Educational Director - seminars and visiting instructors
    • Special Services Director- parties, banquets, etc.
    • Director of Nursing- names of  Head Nurses
    • Director of Volunteers- their activities
  • Director of Physician Relations – names of specialists
  • Public Relations – visiting dignitaries and patient families
  • Purchasing/Medical Supply – purveyors and companies that call on them
  • Head Nurse Station on each floor – family and friend referrals that may want to stay in a hotel rather than driving home
  • Admissions – family referrals
  • In-Patient Services – family referrals and patient referrals if they require further treatment but can not say in the hospital
  • Human Resources/Personnel– relocations, employee parties, meetings and banquets
  • Specialist Units – cosmetic, heart, cancer, etc which require outpatient follow-up care for long term stays.
  • Area Employee Professional Associations for monthly and annual meetings and banquets- housekeeping, physicians, hospital administrators, radiologists, etc.
  • Continuing Education– each specialized area will be represented in a teaching hospital.
A hospital is just one of the Demand Generators many hotels have in their market place. During my career the people I have worked with and I have identified over twenty-five local Demand Generators many of which produce a variety of business for a hotel.  If we think in terms of events that occur at venues rather than just the venues, the number of Demand Generators in a metropolitan area are in the hundred if not thousands. 

The third step is to develop a plan with rates, amenities/services due dates and responsibilities to be used to “attack” all of the departments/areas with in the hospital.  “Attacking” the hospital is best done through personal calls.  The personal calls should be supported by advertising and public relations should these opportunities become available.

For additional ADR and occupancy in 2010 remember……………….. 


  • Do not accept the “new normal”.
  • Identify different Demand Generators in your local market place.
  • Qualify the identified local Demand Generator with personal calls.
  • “Attack” with personal follow up calls and eventually bookings/room nights will happen. 
About Revenue Source One: Revenue Source One was founded in 1987 and provides sales and marketing consultation to hotels.  Identifying and developing plans to solicit Demand Generators is one of the company’s services.  Some additional services offered are Sales and Reservations Mystery Shopping and Training, and Internet Based Mystery Shopping. A complete list of services as well as partial list of current and past clients can be viewed at the company's web site 

Jay Delerno
(817) 283-7685



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