How To Revenue Manage Your Hotel’s Return to Market

July 8, 2021 | Sarah McCay Tams, Director of Content, EMEA

Hotels around the world are facing the unique situation of opening or ramping up business after COVID-19 closures. This is not a traditional ‘soft’ or ‘grand’ opening. There is little to no sense of celebration. Yet there should be.

How a hotel approaches this re-opening period could determine how they place within their market and comp set for the near to mid-term.

Making the right decisions and adopting the right tactics early on will give strategic hotels the edge. But how can you plan when many properties around the world are still unclear on when they can open their doors once again?

And how can you forecast when historical data for 2020 is effectively null and void?

[Discover more about the measures you need to take to be proactive in your revenue management right now. Download our Special Report, How To Build A Net New Revenue Strategy, today.]

Revenue, unlike other hotel disciplines, never closes because the long-term forward booking window is always active and this needs to be carefully managed. This means, even if your hotel is still closed or running on very low occupancy, there is work to be done.

It’s never too early to plan ahead

Hotels now need to get back to actively planning, even if those plans have to change further down the road.

By having the ability to plan and forecast, hotels can not only optimize rates but can also optimize operations. Accurate staffing levels, ordering perishable inventory, and – for larger hotels and resorts – being able to plan a phased re-opening strategy by building in a spread-out campus, can all have an impact on the bottom line. But these can only be achieved if you are planning ahead and can paint a picture of where demand is coming from. Being able to recognize demand sooner, and act on it, will set your hotels apart.

Hotels now need to reset their mindset to the fact that demand is back. But you need to be able to identify the new, shorter booking window and people’s willingness when it comes to prepaid bookings.

You need to be flexible and offer fair cancellation terms because there are consumers out there willing to book and pay in advance. Now your cancellation policy may be to take a one-night deposit rather than payment for the full booking. Simply offering a choice between a refundable or a non-refundable rate is not enough right now. Look at offering a credit against a future stay, offering alternative dates, or an alternative property if you are part of a cluster or group.

For some properties, projecting a full recovery can be a difficult task while demand remains volatile. However, unlocking your data through Duetto’s reporting can give you some clues. Understanding how you are pacing for farther out against ST2Y or ST3Y, reviewing your lost business, and comparing booking windows to previous years are good places to start.

This blog is part of a series outlining what measures you need to take to shore up your revenue strategies 90, 60, and 30 days from guest arrival or reopening date. Next week we look at Planning 90 days out.

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