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Van der Valk: Seasonal Promotions Boost Total Profitability

Dutch hospitality chain, Van der Valk Hotels, which operates more than 60 hotels across the Netherlands, throughout Europe, and the Dutch Antilles, takes a holistic approach to profitability, balancing rooms revenue with F&B and banqueting.

According to Gerk van der Poll, Commercial Director, Van der Valk, rooms revenue represents 45% of total revenue, while F&B produces 30% and banqueting 25%. As such, packaging is an important element of the company’s revenue strategy.

“We create a lot of packages to boost our revenues in F&B and banqueting designed around the four seasons of the year, as well as [packages] incorporating leisure activities inside and outside the hotel surrounds,” van der Poll explains.

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Early in its Duetto deployment, Van der Valk adopted room-type automation and used segmented discounts – all part of the Open Pricing concept – according to Tomos Jones, Senior Customer Success Manager, EMEA, who looks after the account.

“Since deployment, we have started diversifying based on the individual property’s requirements. The team at Van der Valk has always been very engaged and quick to adopt new product features. We are now working with them on the new rate logic within BlockBuster and piloting Fixed Rate Restrictions by rate value,” Jones explains.

Adapting Strategy

A large proportion of the Van der Valk portfolio are hotels located close to highways. Traditionally, the company targeted business travelers. However, the pandemic led to a new way of approaching marketing and revenue, with a fresh focus on the leisure market. The company made changes to its product offering to bring it in line with a more leisure-orientated guest. Adapting its strategy and diversifying revenue streams has proved successful, and central to this has been Duetto’s Open Pricing methodology.

The company has also worked hard to implement a revenue management culture across all levels of operations and regularly conducts practical workshops, business case exercises, and best practices sharing. 

“Structured, on-property revenue meetings help to improve the commercial mindset of the operations teams and enhance their analytical skills when looking at the performance numbers,” says van der Poll.

Pre-Stay Promotions

Pre-stay communication and upsell promotions have played a big part in optimizing total profitability. The Van der Valk portfolio takes advantage of the upselling integration between Duetto and Oaky, which launched in April 2022. The integrated solution connects Duetto’s Open Pricing with Oaky’s highly personalized upselling platform and can yield up to 45% higher guest spend per upgraded night.

Using pre-arrival emails, Van der Valk ensures guests are made aware of upgrade opportunities, hotel facilities and additional services, and restaurant reservations, making it easy to book or upgrade. A similar process is employed at check-in, to give guests as much opportunity as possible to personalize their stay.

Calculating Profitability

The Van der Valk revenue team operates with a consolidated P&L across all its hotels. At the same time, for rooms Net TrevPAR is the focus, as van der Poll explains: “For rooms, we take all revenue channels and then subtract distribution costs, including our internal cost of sales on our own channel,, to end up at Net TrevPAR.  For all other revenue streams, we follow the traditional subtraction of operational cost of sales.”

Understanding its own channel distribution costs is vital for the company, which achieves 70% of bookings through direct channels.

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Sarah McCay Tams, Director of Marketing Communications.

Sarah joined Duetto in 2015 as a contributing editor covering Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA). In 2017, she was promoted to Director of Content, EMEA, and in 2022 promoted to Director of Marketing Communications. An experienced B2B travel industry journalist, Sarah spent 14 years working in the Middle East, most notably as senior editor – hospitality for ITP Publishing Group in Dubai, where she headed up the editorial teams on Hotelier Middle East, Caterer Middle East and Arabian Travel News. Sarah is now based back in the UK.

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