News for the Hospitality Executive
By Jean Francois Mourier
October 5, 2010
In the wake of the recent economic recession, there were few businesses that remained unaffected. This holds especially true in the hotel industry, particularly in the business of luxury hotels and timeshares. Earlier this year, popular hotel brand Wyndham Worldwide Corp. reported a 39 percent decrease in timeshare sales as compared to 2009. Marriott International also reported big declines in its timeshare sales. While the statistics don’t look encouraging for the timeshare business, it doesn’t mean that the industry can’t bounce back from the economic hit. In fact, like hotels, timeshare companies can benefit from the same changes many hotels and resorts are making in their operations and marketing strategies, along with updates in their revenue management practices—all which can prove very effective, especially with the current advancements in technology.
Traditionally, selling timeshares has always been approached a bit differently than selling hotel rooms. Timeshares usually pay consumers—either with theme park tickets, free trips or some other amenity— to attend seminars where sales people will then try to get attendees to purchase a timeshare. While this method has resulted in the sale of many timeshares throughout the years, it also proves challenging as often many attendees aren’t initially interested or they don’t qualify for a timeshare.
So what if the business model was changed to selling timeshares the same way as hotel rooms are sold? To begin, this method would be less costly as vacationers wouldn’t need to be enticed with something free as they would have already have booked and paid their own hotel room. Approaching guests with the idea of a timeshare once they’re already at the hotel will make it more likely that they’d be interested in that property right off the bat—they did book a stay there on their own, so chances are they already like and are at least a bit knowledgeable about the particular hotel. This method can also potentially increase a property’s revenue as it can simultaneously make money from timeshares and hotel rentals from many of the same customers.
Additionally, selling timeshares the same way as hotel rooms can allow for timeshare companies to use automated revenue systems, much like many hotels are beginning to use recently. Using an automated revenue system can prove not only convenient but also profitable for the timeshare industry. These systems have features such as allowing owners to pay maintenance fees and handle reservations online.
They also make it possible for properties to manage rates and occupancies online so that staff can always be up-to-date with how much inventory there is, as well as be able to give clients the current rate information. Automated revenue systems can also allow timeshare companies to have access to page positioning optimization, competitive pricing engines, and channel management services.
In fact, many hotel companies are already reaping the benefits of using automated revenue management systems. Petchey Leisure, a leading hotel group with nine resort properties in Portugal, Mainland Spain, Tenerife and the UK, began using this software two years ago at one of their resorts. Because of the success of the program, the company quickly expanded to utilize this technology at all their properties.
Is your timeshare company being managed to its top potential?
Jean Francois Mourier is CEO & Founder of RevPar Guru, a company that has developed an alternative type of revenue management and real-time pricing solution (combined with automated online distribution) to help hotels maximize occupancy and increase their profits. The company’s Yield Dynamic Price Engine, an integrated revenue management and pricing solution, adds unprecedented power and real-time adaptability to the pricing process, leaving managers more time to run their hotels. You may reach him through www.revparguru.com or by calling +1.786.478.3500.
REVPAR GURU INC.
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