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Duetto and The Granada Hotels Federation recently hosted an informative virtual workshop focusing on revenue management and its role in the recovery of the Spanish hospitality industry. It was headed up by Cristina Blaj, Duetto’s Director of Sales, EMEA, and Antonio Garcia Gonzalez, the Secretario General de la Federación de Hostelería y Turismo de Granada.
Cristina started the session by giving the participants a rundown on the Duetto Pulse Report, an initiative launched in April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 crisis which aggregates data from all Duetto’s clients globally, breaking it down into four regions - Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia Pacific.
Cristina went on to acknowledge how, from a revenue management point of view, the industry has enjoyed a ‘very positive summer’, with figures ‘quite close’ to those for summer 2019.
She added: “The appetite for travel from our customers has increased enormously, as well as the numbers of bookings and the conversion of bookings, especially very last minute bookings.”
Cristina then explained that the main focus of the workshop was to look at how some of Duetto’s key concepts enable hoteliers to create resilient revenue strategies that will put their revenue management operations to the test, especially during crisis periods. Such concepts include Open Pricing, Flexible Segmentation, Strategy Before Forecast, and Controlled Automation.
The workshop moved on to discuss some success stories from Duetto customers and how they managed to get through the pandemic with their hotels intact. One such example Cristina mentioned was The Ushuaïa Hotel in Ibiza. Cristina said: “With Duetto's support they have managed to transform a hotel that was working with 90% of its exclusive and guaranteed contracts with tour operators, into a hotel that is leveraging 90% of its sales now online with direct bookings.
“And they have increased the average rate from €50 to €500 per night, which indicates all that capacity and agility to be able to adjust to any situation and to be able to take control of the e-commerce part, as well as the distribution and commercial part of the hotel.”
Cristina continued: “But, one of the most important parts of that success was the ability to integrate the different systems, starting with the PMS and the channel manager, with Duetto's revenue strategy platform, and really being able to get the business optimized in real-time constantly through the Open Pricing methodology.”
The second example Cristina gave to the workshop was Helios Hotels, also from Spain. She said: “This example is fascinating from an automation point of view and all this control. They have also felt very empowered by Duetto's revenue management team, as well as by the technological part and all the integrations that they have achieved to be able to apply their commercial strategy.
“They have really tried to stay open throughout the pandemic and to be able to create commercial strategies to adjust to every change in the market. But in a very controlled way, they have been able to use technology and really meet all the departments within Duetto to be able to create the strategies in the best possible way.”
The workshop then moved on to the Q&A session. Questions included: “When there are several RMS providers, what is the difference with Duetto?” Cristina answered that the two most important aspects that made Duetto stand out were Forecasting and Flexible Segmentation.
Another question was: “If my establishment had a contract with a rate shopper tool, can I integrate this information or not?”
Cristina replied: “Being able to feel the pulse of the market and having visibility on the competition and the competition's prices is very important.
“It is certainly possible to integrate this data source within Duetto and our vision is to be able to constantly adjust to changes in the market. We shouldn’t be following our competitors by default, but rather use the data to create tactical strategies on the fly, based on our strategy and the performance of our comp set.
“If a hotel wants to use an average of their comp set price, or focus on a very specific competitor hotel, the hotel can bring that competitor information into the algorithm. We do however need to be mindful of how we use this data as it can be quite risky given we don't really understand from rate shopping competitor pricing what each hotel has booked in each segment for the future. Maybe one of those hotels has a very large group on their books, and we don't really have that visibility and that's why they are selling at a much higher price, or the opposite the hotel may have very few bookings On the Books and they are dropping their prices.
“So, it's important to take that information very carefully, which is why we provide the ability to create the strategies and drill down to a much more granular level and how they want to work with that competitor data, rather than, by default, include it as a signal in the price recommendations we generate in our revenue strategy platform. ”
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