Duetto teamed up with Hotelier Middle East magazine to co-host a webinar on ‘How hotels can boost profitability and guest experience’ on June 23, moderated by Hotelier Middle East senior editor Paul Clifford.
Panelists for the webinar were:
- Richard Haddad, CEO, Jannah Hotels
- Babu Sathar, Director of Revenue Management, Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi
- Romain Bentejac, Director of Sales, Duetto
Attended by more than 100 hoteliers and revenue specialists from across the EMEA region, the webinar focused on tech advancements due to Covid, tailoring your strategy to the guest, and how human + machine can better drive success.
Missed the webinar? You can catch this On Demand here: https://www.hoteliermiddleeast.com/suppliers/duetto-revenue-management
Here’s a quick recap of the conversation:
Romain Bentejac, Director of Sales, Duetto, started by setting the scene for where hotel technology adoption is today, following the pandemic.
“Before COVID, hotels had the staff to deal with a disjointed tech stack that might not have been communicating with each other or not flexible enough. Then COVID hit and we faced different challenges. People were on furlough. It was hard to predict the future and to forecast. The life of a revenue manager became more difficult, with more manual tasks. This led to many considering how to upgrade their tech stack,” Bentejac explained.
“Unifying and enhancing the tech stack helped drive results and generate more revenue. By adopting Open Pricing, you can bring more dynamism to your pricing strategy by yielding each room type, segment, and channel independently,” he added.
Richard Haddad, CEO, Jannah Hotels, explained how many hotel companies had moved towards a connected commercial strategy. Jannah Hotels contracted with Duetto in early 2022.
“We needed to cluster services and have revenue managers to oversee multiple properties, regions, or areas. We needed support with real-time data and the revenue team needed to know that, in their absence, the system is there to run the strategy that has been set. Otherwise, you are only managing revenue for 8-9 hours a day,” Haddad said.
“Having a strategy and a center where the strategy that you defined is managed by a machine makes you efficient all the time.”
Jannah Hotels recently introduced a new brand, Edge, to the market. Haddad and his team are busy helping this new brand stand on its own in the market while pulling on the support of the parent commercial team at head office.
“Edge benefits from being part of a group that has been in the market for 10 years. But for the consumer, it has a different vibe. In terms of distribution, it does benefit from the existing Jannah brand: using a call center with established demand and a commercial team with partnerships in the market. The website for this brand took time to start building up but we are confident with the best pricing strategy and offering parity within all channels we will see demand grow,” Haddad explained.
Balancing Tech with Human Touch
Aligning revenue strategy and its systems with the guest experience was a central talking point of the webinar. Babu Sathar, Director of Revenue Management, Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, explained to the audience how Dusit International was rolling out an Experience Program, connecting service, well-being, and sustainability.
“How can we entice the guest? That’s the common goal of the whole team,” Sathar said. “We’ve launched [the Experience Program] and are in the pilot phase in many properties in Dusit. In Abu Dhabi, we have seen improved guest experience. But this needs full team cooperation,” he added.
Haddad took this a stage further to talk about personalizing the offering before booking, and the importance of having the right data to do this effectively.
“It’s not only about pricing. It’s about creating the right package,” he said, talking about identifying special patterns of guest behavior to find the right offer.
“Data is so large a human cannot manage it. RMS systems can help you for a year out while you are considering today’s tactical moves. You have 365 days open with 7 billion people you can potentially reach. If you are not ready and if you don’t have the tech to become the decision-maker, it is not a possibility you will survive. All of us need to embrace it and those who do not will be left behind.”
Human + Machine = Success
There were many questions from the audience, including ‘Do you think artificial intelligence teamed with Duetto can replace the human intelligence to drive profits?
Haddad from Jannah Hotels answered this:
“It won’t ever replace a human. It helps a human to make decisions. Years ago, customers would have waited a day to get an answer on a booking, then it became a few hours, now if you don’t respond within an hour, you get chased by the guest. The right technology to take the decision will help you. It will not replace you. It cannot write the strategy, but it can execute the strategy,” he said.
Sathar from Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi agreed: “The Duetto system is very user friendly. The integration and implementation were very smooth. And training was excellent. We started using it immediately after the training, and there was less than one month of transition.”
Bentejac commented: “We are not only providing a system, but we are also teaming up with our clients. And thanks to that teamwork we are very proud of our 99% renewal rate. We are building strong and long relationships.”
Catch the rest of the webinar On Demand via the Hotelier Middle East website. Visit: https://www.hoteliermiddleeast.com/suppliers/duetto-revenue-management