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Years before we started Duetto, Marco Benvenuti and I recognized that revenue management needed to transform if hotels and casinos wanted to keep up with the pace of change in hospitality. What we pictured as hotel Revenue Strategy has taken a lot of work to bring to life, but the industry has reached an inflection point where it’s all possible for any property.
Revenue Strategy is a concept that was born from Marco and my days at Wynn when we were running the enterprise strategy team. We knew managing revenue the traditional way wasn’t enough. We wanted a comprehensive strategy that would encompass more than just pricing rooms, including distribution, hotel marketing and e-commerce.
After we left Wynn, we developed what became Open Pricing and led to Duetto’s differentiated approach to pricing rooms. But hotel Revenue Strategy or casino Revenue Strategy is about so much more than pricing. It requires a fundamental shift in a property’s organization and culture. Without a focus on cross-departmental collaboration and sharing of data, there’s no way for a hotel or casino to align everybody’s goals around increasing profitability.
Revenue Strategy also requires a significant change in the way hoteliers think about the typical hotel technology stack. Until Marco and I teamed up with Craig Weissman to found Duetto and put these strategic capabilities into cloud applications, we had no way to scale Revenue Strategy into the industry-wide philosophy that we knew hospitality needed.
Much has changed in cloud technology — and in hotel distribution — and the industry is poised to embrace new ways to regain control of their inventory, bookings and guest loyalty.
I take today’s announcement that growth investor Warburg Pincus has closed an $80 million Series D financing round in Duetto as validation of the vision we began with six years ago. It’s the largest ever investment in a software firm serving the hospitality industry not to result in an acquisition.
Our growth partners are supporting the entire hospitality Revenue Strategy promise, which is a holistic approach enabling collaboration and innovation across all departments of a hotel or casino, including the technology to support it.
By unifying all teams around a common source of dynamic data and a company-wide mission focused on profitability, an organization can drive more direct engagement with customers and overcome the multiplying challenges from online travel agencies and other actors trying to further disrupt distribution.
Of course, Open Pricing is a big part of this paradigm shift, and we know hotels and casinos will make more money when they set prices independently by room type, booking channel or customer segment. But pricing is only one piece of Revenue Strategy.
So many more companies are embracing the term “Revenue Strategy” today, from hotel and casino operators to the media to other technology providers in the space. We’re thrilled about that — and even a little flattered. But remember, if the Revenue Strategy you or your partners pursue doesn’t also address collaborating with all departments, using an open platform where all your source systems unify and share data, you might only have old-school revenue management or an obsolete RMS.
The future will hold plenty of challenges for hotels and casinos, as their consumers’ preferences and spending behaviors will evolve. The OTAs will not stop innovating new ways to sell properties’ inventory, either. But there’s also so much to be excited about in the short and long term, like bringing true personalization to hospitality e-commerce and providing a personalized booking experience.
Hotels and casinos will be able to capture even more data than they do now, and companies including Duetto will keep inventing new ways to make that information actionable and profitable.
I’m proud of how far this company and this industry have come over the past few years. I’m even prouder to say that we’ve only just begun to see the potential of Revenue Strategy.The Duetto Story (Video)
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