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How Technology Helps Tank Stream Hotel’s GM Also Run Revenue Strategy

At a busy intersection in the heart of Sydney’s central business district stands the Tank Stream Hotel, one of the newest international players to join Australia’s thriving hotel industry. Owned by Malaysia’s IGB group and within the St Giles Collection of hotels, Tank Stream Hotel is the group’s only representation in Sydney, although a second one in the Pyrmont district is due to come online within a year.

The 280-room Tank Stream Hotel, named for the site of the freshwater stream that was the life source for the first European colony in Sydney, benefits from its ideal location. It is a few minutes’ walk of Pitt Street Mall and Circular Quay, one block away from Wynyard Train Station, and front, back and centre of the city’s finest eateries, retail and entertainment centres.

The hotel opened in November 2015 in a highly competitive market. Surrounded by branded five-star hotels, Tank Stream Hotel — pitched as a “4.5-star” option — was challenged to achieve a healthy rate growth while maintaining a strong occupancy rate.

“The hotel always enjoyed good occupancies or rate, but I think it had suffered in the area of RevPAR growth,” said its current general manager Klaus Kinateder. “The team couldn’t decide which was better, to go for occupancy or rate growth,” and this was hampered due to the manual reporting being carried out for revenue management.

Kinateder joined the group in January this year, coming from more than a decade of service with AccorHotels in executive and general manager roles in New Zealand, Sydney, Wollongong and Cairns. He was most recently group general manager of accommodation for the Iris Hotel Group.

One of the first changes he implemented when he joined the Tank Stream Hotel team was to put in place Duetto’s cloud-based Revenue Strategy applications, GameChanger and ScoreBoard. In a short period, Kinateder managed to bolster the hotel’s rate growth by nearly 10% whilst maintaining the hotel’s occupancy growth of 30%, making Tank Stream Hotel one of the best-performing properties in IGB’s stable of hotels.

It is a task that he takes on personally, having no revenue manager on his team at present.

So how does the day look for Klaus Kinateder, Tank Stream Hotel’s general manager who also doubles up as its revenue manager (and sometimes traffic controller and restaurant bus boy, he jokes)? Kinateder allowed Duetto to follow him to work on a typical Wednesday last month:

6:15 a.m.: Begins his train commute to work from his home in a beachside suburb south of Sydney. He pulls out his laptop and re-runs the rate optimizer in GameChanger before completing his forecast using Scoreboard, in preparation for his Revenue Strategy meeting this afternoon. He completes this task within a few minutes.

He remembers his operations team will soon have to create the roster for next month. Running the operations report will help with the forecasted arrivals, departures and stay-throughs. It is noted that there are potential spikes in arrivals, being Aussie footy season and with several special events showing up on the calendar.

He reviews the pick-up and pace for the next six to eight weeks and then updates the hotel’s pricing for the next 365 days, for which Duetto makes recommendations.

7:40 a.m.: Arrives at the hotel and spends some time at the front lobby greeting and meeting guests.

10 a.m: Heads back to the office. Duetto’s Customer Success team is contacted to help the hotel set up the Fixed Rate Restrictions feature, allowing him to proactively manage his flat contracted rates during peak periods. That is done quickly, and a training session has been scheduled for the hotel team.

1 p.m.: Takes a walkabout at the restaurant to check if everything is in order. After lunch, Duetto’s second auto-optimization recommends a decrease in discount levels for some dates next week.

2 p.m.: The sales team runs a group displacement analysis for a group that wants to come in two months’ time. Duetto recommends a rate only marginally discounted from the public selling rate due to the forecasted strong business from their public segments.

5:10 p.m.: On the southbound train home, receives alert on email to see there have been a high number of regrets on a particular set of stay dates. Runs the Duetto applications again. Demand over those respective “regrets” dates is adjusted, and there is a recommendation to increase the rates.

Kinateder pulls out the news to read, and notices there is a music festival that has was just announced on those same dates. But rates have been adjusted, and he continues on his way, assured his rates are already set where they should be.

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Vera Lye, Contributing Editor, APAC

Vera has been a travel trade journalist in Asia/Pacific for two decades, working in most of the major trade publications. She is now based in Sydney where she juggles her writing with managing her young son’s development as an aspiring tennis professional.

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