HOTEL REVENUE LEADERS IN ASIA PACIFIC MEET TO DISCUSS CURRENT CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES
Chief Revenue Officers Roundtable Discussion by HSMAI Asia Pacific
12th may, 2023 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
The Chief Revenue Officers Roundtable, organized by HSMAI Asia Pacific, brought together commercial and revenue leaders across the hotels from Asia Pacific region to address the current challenges faced in the industry. The discussions revolved around several key issues affecting revenue generation and customer experience.
Positive growth in business demand across all regions has had a favourable effect on occupancies and average daily rates (ADR). However, the roundtable group recognized the significant influence of changing source markets and length of stay (LOS) on hotels. Domestic market continued to be the key demand driver and countries like Vietnam witnessed new emerging markets, such as Mongolia and Central/Eastern Europe driving up the demand. India has also become a prominent source market across all price segments. Notwithstanding the recovery of brand.com, caution was advised against relinquishing control back to online travel agencies (OTAs), which present challenges in the business resurgence phase.
While corporate travel has decreased, there has been an increase in the length of stay. Hoteliers recognized that restaurants and meeting spaces provide additional avenues for revenue growth. The roundtable underscored the significance of cultivating repeat guests, as it was highlighted that a mere 15% of customers contribute to a substantial 60% of revenue. Therefore, concerted efforts should be directed towards converting more guests into loyal, repeat visitors. Loyalty programs play a key role in this.
The significance of customer experience in revenue meetings was stressed. Participants acknowledged that decisions should be customer-centric, and obtaining guest feedback on their preference for online booking was encouraged. It was suggested that delivering superior customer service, hotels loyalty programs, and competitive / value based pricing strategy can help to divert business from OTAs.
Inventory management, viewed from an asset perspective, emerged as another focal point of discussion. The discussion touched upon the idea of hotels reducing premium/business class rooms, similar to how some of the airlines are doing. The consensus was that the focus should be on upselling guests rather than merely upgrading, as this approach has the potential to drive incremental revenues. The potential for reconfiguring room types, offering paid upgrades/ upsells to optimize inventory utilization and generate additional revenue was explored. Effective marketing strategies for upgraded rooms were discussed in detail.
An exciting development mentioned during the roundtable the emergence of newer AI tools which can help hoteliers to upload room pictures and create virtual walk-throughs, enhancing the booking experience for potential guests.
The concept of Total Revenue Management (TRM) was revisited, with a focus on evolving market dynamics and the need for better forecasting. The roundtable participants acknowledged the volatility in demand patterns and emerging micro market segments and expressed the desire to improve forecasting accuracy using advanced technologies like AI.
The discussion concluded with insights into the impact of technology and AI on revenue management. Ideas Revenue Solutions shared how they utilize AI for forecasting and price optimization.
Looking ahead, the participants speculated on the changes that would occur in the next 12 months. This topic will be revisited at the HSMAI Revenue Optimization Conference in Singapore on May 9th-10th, 2024.
Overall, the Chief Revenue Officers Roundtable provided valuable insights into the challenges faced by hoteliers in the Asia Pacific region, with a focus on adapting to changing source markets, improving customer experience, utilizing inventory effectively, and leveraging technology for revenue optimization.
CS Ramachandran, Preferred Hotels Group