Webinar: Embracing Tech To Boost Revenue

December 20, 2021 | Claire Middleton, Contributing Editor

On November 24 Duetto took part in an informative webinar about the power of technology and how hoteliers can harness that power to increase revenue, as part of the Revenue Club series of educational content. The event was presented by Wilhelm K. Weber, Founder of Swiss Hospitality Solutions; Marios Kounelis from Primal RFS; Yannis Plakis, Sales Manager from HIT (Hospitality Integrated Technologies), Cristina Blaj, Duetto’s Director of Sales; and Nikos Giokas from RevitUp who put forward some interesting ideas and insights.  

The webinar, entitled ‘Embracing Technology: How to Use Tech to Boost Revenue’, covered many interesting areas such as market recovery trends, using tech to adapt to future challenges, and the opportunities ahead for hoteliers.  

A Changing World

Duetto’s Blaj kicked things off by explaining that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught the world how ‘storms can really come in all sorts of shapes’.

She said: “They can turn things around very quickly and we really must be prepared to navigate them in order for us to be able to adapt. That's why Duetto has partnered with revenue and tech leaders here - to help [hoteliers] future proof their business against uncertainty and understand how the various solutions will be able to help.”

Weber picked up the theme and added: “The past few months have shown that we have a very, very vivid and changing situation and so the question is how do we navigate out of that?”

He added: “There are a couple of influencing factors that are not in our hands, and that are determining demand to a very large extent. The three main ones are government restrictions, airline capacity constraints, and corporate travel program cuts or corporate travel rules.” 

Weber added that a general fear to travel and the fact that we're probably heading into a global recession are also major factors but that they are ‘really hard to predict’. 

“So here’s what we can do as hoteliers,” he said. “We urge teams worldwide to have a very close look at government restrictions, airline capacity, and these corporate programs, in order to determine what you can do because forecasting doesn't work anymore. 

“Move out in phases. Phase one is domestic market recovery, phase two is the first corporate travelers coming back, phase three is the international markets and phase four is what everyone calls the ‘new normal’.  

“The good news is we're moving out of it. The bad news is we haven't reached the new normal yet. We're not even close to it.”

He went on: “If you have such a model, you can always focus on what's right for you. Focus on what phase you’re in right now, and ignore the rest. If you want to prepare something, just prepare the next step. You don't have to prepare for phase four if you're still in phase one.”

Using Data To Understand Demand

Blaj then moved the conversation on by giving the audience an introduction to Duetto’s Pulse Report. Launched in April 2020 as a direct response to the pandemic, the Pulse Report provides free analysis which aggregates key market data from across all Duetto customers globally to help hotels plan for the future and monitor behavior in terms of bookings, consumer searches, and cancelations.

She explained: “The data from Pulse shows that the market has been growing steadily. We've had a fantastic summer then things stayed pretty stable throughout October and November and there's more modest growth towards the end of the year.

“The hotels that have access to this forward-looking data are going to find it a lot easier to navigate out of this situation.”

Don’t Fear Change - Embrace It

Giokas talked about just how quickly tech has evolved during the pandemic, referring to a quote from Alexa von Tobel which said: “We started this year in 2020 and will end it in 2030.”

“Technology is here to help us,” he said. “There is change ahead. The behavior of the consumer is changing rapidly and online [shopping] is increasing all over the world. Most hoteliers don’t know about the new technology tools that are available and some think that the ‘new normal’ will be close to what we experienced in the past, but I’m afraid the future is going to be much different. We’re going to need new technology tools and to be trained in those technology tools. It takes time, effort, and energy to embrace these tech tools and changes but whether we like it or not, we are working in an environment where we are relying very much on data.”

He added: “We need to interpret data, we need to visualize data, and we need to combine data from many different sources. As Edwards Deming says, ‘without data you're just another person with an opinion’.

“Let's try all together to embrace technology. Let's start changing and let's start using and knowing the technology tools that are available for us. This is the only way we can discover which of them can suit our needs.”

How Can Hotels Adapt? 

When asked: How do you help hotels to adapt to the changes ahead? Blaj explained the importance of education in all markets. She said: “Ultimately, a revenue strategy platform’s mission is to help hotels maximize their revenue, grow their businesses, and also to drive a lot of the efficiency as they start looking at the data and be able to understand trends, be able to analyze it and be able to distribute their strategy into the market.”

Plakis also gave his insights on how HiT is helping hotels during these times. He said: “The mission of HiT is to provide high-quality services to the customer, including the search and selection of applications and developing innovative and customized solutions, especially for the needs of the market.”

Rounding things up, Kounelis said it was important for hoteliers to ‘change their mindset’ around tech and to ‘think of technology as a solution and not as a cost’.

Blaj ended by adding: “It’s important for hoteliers to look for a solution that can integrate. We've seen how important data is and being able to consolidate data is very important for us to also diversify the data that we're using today, for us to get that forward-looking view, and ultimately, to make sense of everything and bring it together so we can visualize it and interpret it.

“We want to be able to automate a lot of these processes so revenue management systems are becoming more and more relevant to many different markets."

Want to be the first to hear about future Revenue Club events? Be sure to sign up here: https://go.duettocloud.com/duetto-revenue-club

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