Inventory restrictions – a key aspect of your revenue management strategy

Inventory restrictions – a key aspect of your revenue management strategy

The condition of the hospitality industry is clearly improving after the difficult pandemic period. The demand is growing, and we are now in the stage of smooth recovery, so this is the best time to focus on cost optimization and boosting the revenue. How to shape and implement winning revenue management strategies in the hotel industry? How to effectively integrate restrictions into your action plan?

Booking Restrictions you should consider while shaping strategy

Continuous monitoring and understanding of booking patterns is the key to the success of any revenue strategy. Knowing the behavior and needs of your guests, you can not only improve your offer, but also wisely implement restrictions that will allow you to maximize the hotel’s revenues. What specific restrictions are we thinking about? You have a lot of possibilities to choose from, but will be better to focus on a few basic restrictions:

  • Minimum Length of Stay – think about giving priority to guests who plan to stay for a longer period when you expect very high demand – e.g. before Christmas or big events. Longer stays bring lots of benefits. You can reduce housekeeping costs; time needed to check in/out and build guests loyalty – the longer they stay the more chance you have to win them over. But no worries, you can always add a release that would allow you to open sales in case if you still have unsold rooms before a certain DTA (days to arrival).
  • Maximum Length of Stay – it may seem that limiting availability by specifying a maximum number of nights a guest can book does not make sense but think about it to protect your property against “ghost” reservations and scammers who make a reservation for 30 days, and then carry out schemes with cards.
  • CTA (Closed to Arrival) – it means your potential guests are not allowed to arrive on that day. Think about this restriction if you do not have staff or for any other reason you do not want to perform check-ins on a given day (e.g. Christmas). CTA may be also useful before special events to facilitate the check-in process better.
  • CTD (Close to Departure) – why to block check-outs on a given day? Mostly to drive more profits for your hotel, but also to better manage reception’s workload over busy periods. How can CTD boost your income? For example, by blocking check-outs on Saturday you can win over those guests who are ready to stay until Sunday. Skillful application of arrival and departure restrictions will work in a similar way as MLOS.

You should also remember to control prices and adjust them to the changing market situation and occupancy rate. Restrictions and skillful price optimization will allow you to get the most out of your hotel’s inventory.

Price Optimizerdynamic price optimization for your hotel

Effective implementation of your revenue management strategy is not a simple task, but don’t worry. You don’t have to do everything on your own. In order to fully use the potential of a hotel, it is necessary to use technology that will analyze many different factors in real time and adjust the offer and pricing policy to them. Check out our Channel Manager and Price Optimizer, which will do most of the work for you.

Price Optimizer offers for example a convenient function adjusting the discount depending on the rooms availability – the higher the occupancy rate, the lower the discount on the non-refundable rate. Worth mentioning here is also the Capture Availability function which limits the availability of rooms in the offer and thus prevents their sale at low prices – for example it avoids group bookings and the commission that must be paid to OTA for such reservations. Thanks to Dynamic Pricing they can be sold at prices that reflect demand level.

Do you want to learn more about how YieldPlanet’s Price Optimizer can help you?

Read our last case study and discover how Price Optimizer has helped The Íslandshótel chain to grow and become one of the country’s best and most prospering hotel chains, which hosts thousands of people every year.

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Consortia as a source of corporate bookings

Consortia as a source of corporate bookings

Consortia as a source of corporate bookings

GDS distribution is the entry point to worldwide corporate travelers. The GDS feed most consortia, providing a major source of business for hotels that capture strong corporate demand. How to join TMC & Consortia hotel programs to make the most of your online channel distribution?

There are various channels a hotel should be aware of existing when it wants to have access to corporate reservations. The most important one is the GDS (Global Distribution system). GDS distribution is undoubtedly the entry point to worldwide corporate travelers who book accommodates for their professional travel through travel agents or their corporate self-booking tool (connected to GDS). This makes GDS an opportunity to reach an attractive segment of clients.

The GDS feed most consortia, providing a major source of business for hotels that capture strong
corporate demand. A Consortium is an organization consisting of independent travel agents and agencies joined together to increase their buying power, commissions, and amenities they are able to provide clients worldwide. In many cases, these agents switch consortium, consolidate or are acquired ongoing, or associate with several consortia, the main goal being a larger reach of hotels. Some of the main international consortia are ABC,WIN Global Travel Network, American Express, BCD, CCRA, Carlson Wagonlit, Radius, and Thor. A broad list of the most powerful travel agencies is available here.

Consortia rates
In exchange for offering better rates and commission to the TMC’s & Consortia, hotels receive listings under their private GDS rate code, website, and intranet for additional exposure to all member agents. Viewership of Consortia rates in the GDS is restricted – the rate is not available to general public and may be booked only when you enter the Consortia rate code. This means that if an agent searches for hotels in your city under the Consortia rate code and your hotel is not listed with the Consortia, your hotel will not show up in these search results.

Why join consortia & TMC programs?
Consortia will help you access new clients, drive growth, ADR, occupancy and incremental sales. TMC & Consortia will give you enhanced exposure to booking agents and their clients globally, all year round.

By joining TMC & Consortia hotel programs, your product is distributed to a balanced mix of on average 80% corporate and 20% leisure agencies, with both weekday and weekend business. You also get access to a variety of additional marketing opportunities to elevate your position and drive incremental business.

Consortia management programs help independent hotels compete for a share of the global business and leisure travel market by marketing preferred rates to qualified travel agents.

TMCs book the consortia rates and corporate rates they have access to, and all public rates.

An agent part of ABC Global services can book ABC Global Travel rates only if a hotel has signed a contract with ABC Global Services. An agent with CCRA Travel would not be able to book the ABC Global Travel rates.
Travel Management Companies negotiate rates with hotels on behalf of the corporations they represent. This rate is specific to that client and only authorized users can view, access, and book the negotiated rates. Corporations pick the Travel Management Companies they want to handle their travel bookings, and only this TMC has access to the negotiated rates for that corporation.

Corporation, say, XYZ has a negotiated rate with your hotel. Corporation XYZ has decided to work with American Express Business Travel, so American Express agents can see and book your negotiated rated with Corporation XYZ. An agent at CWT would not be able to book this negotiated rate.

Hoteliers determine the right Consortia & TMC partners to contract with each year. The bidding process has just started, so if you are considering to join, the moment is now. Here is the general Consortia timeline.

General Consortia Timeline:

June 1st – December 31st
• Sign up opens for Consortia services 2020

June 15th – August 30th
• From June 15th: RFP System training & educational sessions
o Invites with dates & times are sent separately
o Online training available all year at sabre University
• July 31st: (Recommended date)
o Hotel to complete their profile data – this is a recommended deadline since hotels cannot complete any Consortia submissions until profile data is 100% completed in the system.
• From August 1st: Consortia RFP training sessions – deep dive
o Invites with dates & times are sent separately
o Online training available all year at sabre University

From July 18th
• Sign up to Consortia Packages
• Individual Program sign up and a la carte sign up – Nexus Launch date is August 1st
• Additional Programs are being launched ongoing until October
• First Consortia submission deadlines are set to August 29th (Late submissions are accepted)

October 1st – December 31st
• Rate extension – ensure your existing consortia rates are extended until 31 March 2020, to avoid missing out on any potential bookings in the beginning of the year
• Rate loading & mapping – hotels are responsible for building and managing rates in the CRS, rates will then be automatically mapped to the GDS

From November 1st
• Sign up opens for 2020 consortia marketing opportunities and event participation

January 1st – February 28th
• Archive or Delete expired rates
• Rate Audits are performed ongoing to ensure rate availability in GDS and remove squatted rates

Read our GDS white paper Why do you need to be on a GDS now? A guide to the GDS market for hoteliers’  to learn more about GDS market.

How to maximize your peak season earnings

How to maximize your peak season earnings

How to maximize your peak season earnings

With the high demand that peak season brings to your distribution channels, together with we are sharing some tips to show you how your business can benefit. This is how you can attract more guests to your property.

1. Improve your visibility

As simple as it sounds – the first and foremost step to attracting more guests is being seen by more people – that means improving your visibility on distribution channels. Look through the photos and descriptions that you use to make sure they are up-to-date and reflect all of the assets of your property. Structurize the text and try to use the arguments that may be convincing to your target group of guests. Joining special programmes for partners that some OTAs have can also help. has a Preferred programme. This move opens new possibilities for your offer to be displayed in attractive placements in the search results, for example. A property which has joined the programme, can get up to 65% more page views and 35% more bookings, according to’s statistics. For properties who will not be able to join the programme, there are another ways to make your offer be more visible.’s ranking is the order in which available accommodation in guests’ search results is displayed. These results are sorted based on what’s most relevant to guests’ particular preferences, taking into account their past search behaviour, specific market dynamics and properties’ overall performance on the website. This makes it easier to match guests’ needs with the right kind of accommodation, and helps you attract guests who want to book your kind of property. uses machine learning to continually evaluate what matters most to guests, which, in turn, helps your property connect with the guest. The number of bookings you receive impacts your overall performance, an that affects your ranking.

2. Boost your conversion

That is again, a content issue. To stand out in search results – and increase the number of clicks on your property’s page – you need to have accurate and attractive content. Numbers don’t lie – properties that follow this rule receive up to 18% more bookings than properties with incomplete content. Another way that helps to increase your conversion is to target high-value guests with your offer.’s Genius programme helps you secure revenue by connecting you with the most frequent bookers on By offering Genius guests a 10% discount, you’ll get extra visibility and promotion – and potentially increase your bookings by up to 18%. You can also look to attract business guests by offering them a special rate. Business guests are 50% less likely to cancel and 60% more likely to book your property again in future. Additionally, they increase your occupancy on weekdays and tend to spend more than other guests.

3. Reduce your cancellations

Did you know that guests who pay online are four times less likely to cancel or not show up? By allowing last-minute bookings without credit cards you will make last-minute bookers cancel far less. This will simplify their booking process and improve your chances of securing their reservation. Another way to turn cancellations into new bookings is to set a grace period – the time you let your guests change a booking without being charged. As 25% of cancellations happen within 24 hours of the original booking, grace periods help you get your rooms back on sale quickly. This option is possible on

4. More channels, more bookings

Last, but not least: take full advantage of the possibilities your channel manager gives you. Maybe it is time to add some more distribution channels? Take action on your peak season opportunities now!
5 revenue strategy hacks that you MUST implement during the Christmas holidays period

5 revenue strategy hacks that you MUST implement during the Christmas holidays period

5 revenue strategy hacks that you MUST implement during the Christmas holidays period

In this festive season hoteliers have to start doing everything they can to fill up the rooms of their properties. This is the moment to close the year with green numbers. What can be done in order to achieve this goal?

Here are some revenue management strategies that you can work with this Christmas and that can help you improve your occupancy and maximize your direct income.

Sell, but sell at a higher price with upselling:

In sales, “upselling” is the practice of encouraging customers to pay more for a similar product (but of higher quality) than the one they are thinking of choosing.

A client is browsing the website of your hotel and is looking to book a double room, but, just before finalizing the booking, they are shown the option of the superior double room (more spacious and with better amenities).

How can you convince the client to book the double superior instead of the double standard at this Christmas season or at any time of the year?

1. Use high-quality photographs in your booking engine, highlighting differential spaces.

  1. Include a text such as “Only €30 more”, to help the customer focus on the value of this upgrade.
    3. Promote scarcity and urgency as does by appealing to the fear that this offer or room is limited.

Create and promote the “early booking rate”Many people like to book ahead of time. Take advantage of this Christmas season to include early booking rates for 2019. Improve your short-term cash flow by fully charging a reservation that will be made in 40 days or more. Another advantage of this strategy is that it helps you drastically reduce your cancellation fees.

Offer and promote packages that guarantee reservations

Create suitable packages for this time of year, designed for families, singles and seniors.

For many families, Christmas is a time to change the routine, not to spend thousands of hours cooking for your entire family. Your hotel can offer a package for these families that include accommodation, dinners and, of course, some activities for the children.

Another segment that of clients we recommend targeting your offer at for this Christmas is the singles. Offer special packages of half-board or full-board for singles that include a Christmas or New Year party and/or an event to meet people.

Finally, the third age segment or grandparents can also bring benefits and ensure greater occupancy at the end of the year. As life expectancy increases around the world, there are more retired people and not everyone has family to visit. Offer half-board or full-board packages with specific activities for them including, of course, your New Year’s Eve dinner.

Optimize your multi-channel strategy

During the last decade, the hotel industry has undergone dramatic changes, particularly in revenue management. OTAs, GDSs and metasearch websites are competing for customer service and all are affecting the margins of the hotels. This is why hotels have to optimize their channel mix and analyze in depth the costs and benefits of each one of them in order to develop a holistic strategy that generates income and profit flows that are sustainable in the future.

How do you do it?

On one hand, analyze the costs of each one of the channels: the rates of the CRS, the commissions of the OTAs and, of course, the direct channel. On the other hand, understand the history of each of the channels and how they have impacted sales. Then maximize the profitability of each channel, evaluating the total contribution of each of them. For example, the channels that bring guests who in the long run make greater complimentary expense and repeat are much more profitable than those that bring customers who do not consume anything at the hotel and don’t return.

Optimize your products and prices based on your history and customers

Develop a strategy of balanced room types. This is done by evaluating your rooms and the prices of your products and how you describe them in the sales channels.

Commit to actively managing your inventory and selling your premium product instead of upgrading to boost rates.

Finally, understand your clients to find out which ones offer the most value to your hotel. Different customer profiles have a strong preference for particular channels, but you have to know which channels bring us customers that spend more in your establishment. If you manage to capture the additional expense of your customers, instead of just the income per room, you can make a clearer picture of the total value of the client and with them accurately forecast the demand and set rates optimized per room.

With these 5 revenue management ideas for this Christmas, we hope you can generate more bookings and more revenue for your hotel.

8 revenue management tips to boost your hotel

8 revenue management tips to boost your hotel

8 revenue management tips to boost your hotel

Revenue management in the hospitality industry involves predicting customer demand with the aim of streamlining the sales process, allowing companies to sell at the correct price, to the correct customer, at the correct time. When conducted correctly, revenue management can be an extremely effective strategy, helping hotels to significantly enhance their profit margins.

Follow the 8 revenue management tips below to boost your hotel’s performance.

1. Create a revenue management culture

Our first revenue management tip is to create a revenue management culture within your organisation, but what do we mean by this exactly? Basically, this means that revenue management is not something which should be left entirely to the main decision-makers or to the management team; it’s something which everyone should be aware of.

By raising awareness of what revenue management is and why it is important for the hotel, positive behaviour can be encouraged among all employees. If employees understand why it is necessary, they will tend to be more careful when recording data and more likely to use this data to make good decisions based on knowledge.

2. Keep consistent, relevant records

Data collection is the essence of the revenue management process, and the data compiled by the hotel will form the basis of almost all of the decisions made. However, some hotels record too much data, which only serves to confuse matters. Therefore, it is vital for records to be relevant and consistent.
You must identify exactly what information must be collected and how it must be recorded. Then, to make life easier for the people who will use the data, a set of standard practices must be introduced, ensuring that all those involved in data collection employ consistent methods.

3.Offer incentives for direct reservations

Although OTAs may be of great assistance, generally speaking, it is preferable to attract direct reservations. This is the best way to build customer loyalty. As most direct reservations are made online, the hotel website must be well-maintained and updated.
At a time when prices can be compared on third-party websites in just a few seconds, the trick for attracting direct reservations is to offer worthwhile incentives. For example, loyalty programmes offer the possibility of obtaining lower prices in exchange for frequent visits, while other ideas include offering discounts in restaurants or free Wi-Fi for guests making direct reservations.

4. Pay attention to changes in guest habits

A significant part of revenue management involves the use of historical data to make decisions in the present in relation to the future. However, historical data is not always entirely reliable.
Over the years, it is likely that you will see changes in your customer database. These changes may include aspects such as average age, but they may also be more subtle. For example, you may notice a change in the way in which the average client reserves a room.

5.Focus on providing added value

One of the best revenue management tips is to think in terms of offering as much value as possible. Part of price optimization is understanding when prices shouldn’t necessarily be compromised.
By offering extra value, such as discounts for additional nights or even a free extra night when demand is sufficiently low, you can be braver with your prices, which could generate higher revenues.

6.Predict and map demand

Of course, anticipating demand is one of the most important elements of any revenue management strategy, and this requires forecasting. It’s also important to predict aspects such as availability of rooms and market share. However, you must also take measures to attempt to identify the origin of the demand.

Hotels are usually able to access excellent information on their guests, especially in terms of their origin. By comparing this information with historical data, it should be possible to identify the areas in which demand is growing and other associated trends, which could lead to a growth in business from these regions in the future.

7.Only use automation when appropriate

Many hotels largely depend on automation, and it can seem like a gift from heaven. However, automation can sometimes be an enemy of revenue management, which requires complex decisions based on factors such as supply, demand, the cost of making a sale, etc.

To be clear, automation can still play a role within a revenue management strategy. After all, modern software is capable of handling fairly complex decisions and relieves employees from time-consuming data entry tasks. However, good revenue management also requires human decisions, thinking outside the box and taking occasional risks.

8.Prioritise mobile optimisation

Our final revenue management tip relates to mobile optimisation of hotel websites. If you haven’t done this yet, it’s absolutely essential that you make the necessary changes to your hotel website so that the user experience on a mobile device is just as simple as on a desktop or laptop computer.

Mobile devices are now one of the most significant sources of revenues. In fact, Google recently revealed that mobile searches now exceed desktop searches.

By following the 8 tips listed above, you’ll be able to implement an effective revenue management strategy, allowing you to match supply to demand and maximise your property’s revenues.

Reach us to learn how Channel Manager can help you streamline your distribution and increase your revenue.

How to choose the best Channel Manager?

How to choose the best Channel Manager?

How to choose the best Channel Manager?

Implementation of an omni-channel strategy by a hotel facility is still difficult although, undoubtedly, necessary. Accordingly, a professional Channel Manager system is a must as a tool supporting the daily work of a hotel manager. However, to effectively manage bookings and revenues, the hotel needs to find a Channel Manager capable of supporting the hotel’s pursuit of its strategy to the largest extent. How to choose the best solution offered by the market?

The market offers a number of solutions that facilitate multi-channel sales of hotel services, automate work and, in addition, perform advanced analytics to provide decision-makers with information important from the business point of view. So, the question is: how to choose a solution ideal for your hotel from among the broad range of such advanced tools? The first thing to consider while thinking of a solution that is supposed to be optimal is whether it can respond to the current and future requirements of the facility and support plans for expansion on new markets, client groups and market segments. Obviously, that is not all that should be addressed. What else should be remembered?

#1: Very wide range of online distribution channels

To ensure that its pursuit of the omni-channel strategy will be effective, the hotel needs tools that will provide them with access to a wide range of various online distribution channels. These are Online Travel Agents (OTA), including so-called “sharing economy” OTAs, Global Distribution Systems (GDS) and leading tour operators. The longer list of accessible distribution channels compatible with the Channel Manager under review, the larger freedom in designing a custom omni-channel strategy.

While choosing a tool that is supposed to be optimal for the hotel, it is worth to check thoroughly the list of integrated channels to see whether it contains the channels that are already in use and also such ones that could become attractive add-ons to the current distribution strategy. The best off-shelf Channel Manager systems offer access to as many as a few hundred integrated channels that can serve as a vehicle to reach clients from throughout the world. These include both internationally recognisable and niche, or the local ones that must not be ignored. In many cases they can turn out much more effective than booking systems leading in terms of international recognition. What distinguishes the best multi-channel sales management systems from the rest is the possibility of connecting them to dedicated channels on demand.

The wide choice of online distribution channels and flexibility in terms of adding new ones as needed is one thing. The other thing is the intuitive management of the channels. A good Channel Manager should be as simple and intuitive as possible. Only such tools make it possible to pursue the selected distribution strategy without unnecessary wasting time for setting complicated configurations or for solving more or less complex technical problems. While choosing a Channel Manager, it is also worth to pay attention to this aspect.

#2: Integration with PMS

Investment in a Channel Manager system involves also the necessity of integrating the system with the hotel’s Central Reservation System (CRS) and Property Management System (PMS).
The Channel Manager should be compatible with these two for avoidance of extra costs, such as those related to modification of the existing solutions. What is the purpose of this combination? It enables automatic exchange of information on new bookings between the reservation system of the hotel and the online sales channels. Operating efficiency in this area is critical because it has a huge effect on both the revenues and the image of the hotel by preventing the overbooking. The choice of a Channel Manager in the context of integration with the hotel’s PMS should be made in analogy to the online distribution channels. The list of PMSs integrated with the tool should contain, first of all, the one that is currently used by the hotel and, optimally, at least a few other ones, which can turn out beneficial in the event of future replacement of the system. Fortunately, most top-rated Channel Manager systems have a lot to offer in this respect.

#3: Much room for automation of work

Automation of work is the primary goal of investing in advanced tools for management of the hotel’s sales channels. The manual updating of prices on all partners’ Web sites is a very labour-intensive task consuming at least a few hours of work. The more online distribution channels, the longer time required for the manual update. Also the issue of the image, as noted above, is not without importance. A manual modification of room prices in many channels involves a risk of human error and delayed update of the offer in all the channels. A coherent pricing strategy gives clients a feeling of certainty that they will book rooms on the best possible terms regardless of the sales channel they use (planned promotions involving one or a few sales channels are an exception). The Channel Manager makes it possible to eliminate this problem and manage room availability and pricing policy in real time through all the channels from a single manager console. Automatic price management is another way of automating operations, offered by some Channel Manager tools. The possibility of setting up multiple predefined tariff scenarios provides another opportunity to save time. Another thing worth noting is the possibility of following a flexible pricing policy and synchronising promotional offers, which translates into effective and efficient management of the hotel’s revenues. As any capital expenditure, the hotel’s investment in their Channel Manager should yield as high return as possible. If the selected tool enables achievement of a high level of automation, the odds for materialisation of such scenario will be really good.

#4: Advanced analytics

The undoubtedly wide, and still expanded, integration capability of the tool, its intuitive operation and high level of attainable automation of work are not all. Sales statistics and reports are also very important from the point of view of a Revenue Manager or a Director managing the hotel. Access to details of clients and their decisions as well as thorough analysis of this information make it possible to draw a number of business conclusions, which, consequently, can lead to improvement in effectiveness of the sales and marketing strategy. While choosing a tool for managing the multi-channelity of sales, it is worth to pay attention to its capabilities in terms of advanced reporting. The best Channel Manager systems enable analysis of sales and room occupancy both in historical perspective and in real time.
Such amenities allow for flexible modification of the pricing policy in response to dynamically changing market conditions.

#5: Price offer

It could seem that the price for a Channel Manager tool should be a major consideration for the choice. Far from the truth. Focusing on the price rarely leads to a good decision. It is not always the case that the most expensive system is best and the cheapest one is worst. Undoubtedly, the price is one of factors affecting the final decision but it should not have the casting vote. A system for managing multi-channel sales is an investment. This is a long-term investment, so savings, if any, gained by choosing a cheaper solution should be compared to potentially lost benefits which could be provided by a somewhat more expensive tool offering extra functionality. Costs involved in implementation and subsequent operation of a Channel Manager-type system are generally widely varied as a result of differences between transaction settlement models adopted by system vendors (fixed subscription fee, commission, etc.), so it is not always possible to compare them directly. While analysing the issue of cost, it is worth to consider not only implementation and maintenance but also costs related to the use of extra tools and support systems. These can include systems designed to optimise earnings of the hotel, provide personal assistance to the Revenue Manager, recommend prices, analyse feedback from guests or follow pricing policies of competitors. Why is it worth to think of extending the basic product by adding complementary products? The possibility of tracking pricing polities of the major competitors enables at least alleviation of the risk of following a wrong pricing policy and the risk of related detriment to the image. Furthermore, they contribute to optimisation of the pricing strategy and, consequently, growth of the hotel’s revenues. Extra tools for support of the hotel’s revenue management are offered by many vendors of Channel Manager systems. While thinking of the choice of a specific solution, it would be reasonable to verify the complete portfolio and make the final decision on this basis. Benefits resulting from a combination of a number of seamlessly integrated tools can come as a nice surprise.

The future of revenue management in the hotel industry

The future of revenue management in the hotel industry

The future of revenue management in the hotel industry

Revenue management in the hotel industry is still relatively young and has grown exponentially in the last decade, particularly in the last few years.
This article explores the changing role of revenue management in the hotel industry and the developments which we can expect to see in the near future.

1. Revenue management is moving up a notch

A growing trend of elevating the role of revenue management can be observed in the hotel industry. Many hotels are now seeking the analytical overview and strategic knowledge which only this area can provide. This information and knowledge is used to make key decisions. Revenue managers are increasingly participating in executive committees, with the same status and stature as directors of marketing and sales departments. Equally, many hotels no longer have a revenue manager but rather a director of revenue management, lending far greater weight to the role.

2. The role of revenue management will continue to expand

Revenue management is undergoing constant change, to a far greater extent than other departments. This is due to its close links with technological capability. As technology evolves, analytical methods will be far more powerful.
At the current time, a revenue manager must be able to tackle marketing and sales challenges.

3. Revenue management will expand to other sectors

Revenue management is forecast to expand to other revenue-generating areas in hotels such as hotel restaurants, venue hire, room service and leisure facilities.
You may also be interested in: 3 key aspects of a successful revenue management strategy

4. Profit management will play a central role for hotels and revenue managers

The increase in importance of revenue managers in hotels is down to one key factor: they are in a unique position to help generate profits. For this reason, the role will increasingly be perceived as profit generation rather than revenue management. As a result, revenue managers are focusing more and more on increasing profit margins instead of increasing revenues.
This focus on profit will intensify this year, as revenue management uses new methods to better understand customers and improve margins.

5. Revenue managers will focus on guest analysis

The hotel sector is more competitive today than ever. Hotels are not only competing with their rivals in the same city, but also with competitors in other cities and even their international counterparts. Online travel agencies, the increase in Airbnb apartments and high demand from guests are making the industry more and more competitive. As a result, hotels are resorting to customer analysis in order to offer better products adapted to each segment.

A step-by-step guide to achieving success with revenue management I

A step-by-step guide to achieving success with revenue management I

A step-by-step guide to achieving success with revenue management I

The revenue management concept was devised thirty years ago and is effectively employed today by most hotels and airlines. However, even though hotel managers often talk about revenue management, the definition of the concept differs depending on the individual… One thing is for certain – revenue managers are faced with the most important challenge in running a hotel, namely selling the right rooms to the right customers at the right time and rate through the right sales channel.

What is Revenue Management?

The revenue management concept was devised thirty years ago and is effectively employed today by most hotels and airlines. However, even though hotel managers often talk about revenue management, the definition of the concept differs depending on the individual… One thing is for certain – revenue managers are faced with the most important challenge in running a hotel, namely selling the right rooms to the right customers at the right time and rate through the right sales channel.

This article is aimed at broadening your understanding of hotel revenue management. Using my experience, I will try to familiarize you with the concept of revenue management and to present you with a ten-point list of the best practices of its implementation.

Let us start with some history.

A short history of revenue management

Revenue management emerged when the US federal government made the move to deregulate airlines at the beginning of the eighties. A few years on, sales performance strategy planning became a commonplace practice among the biggest carriers. Revenue management even has its unofficial birthday – 17 January 1985 – the day on which American Airlines launched its “Ultimate Super Saver” special offer aimed at weakening their competitor, the low-cost PEOPLExpress airline.

The hotel industry was quick to notice the benefits that airlines gained from embracing revenue management. However, it was initially slow to spread across hotel chains as they lacked adequate data processing technology and often had little guest data to process. What is more, the main obstacle that had to be overcome was managing the length of stay – a variable that was not present in airline revenue management.

The economic roots of revenue management

Understanding the close ties between economics and revenue management is essential if one wishes to understand the philosophy behind the latter. The process of devising hotel rate strategies is directly tied to economic concepts: both revenue management and economics emphasize the meaning of supply and demand as well as the price elasticity of demand. These concepts, combined with methods of determining the associated indicators, are crucial for successful revenue management.

Integrating revenue management into hotel operations

Revenue management is not an independent process in hotel operations. Its full potential becomes apparent only when it is integrated into the remaining hotel management processes. Employees should be familiarized with it and it should become an inherent part of hotel operations. The revenue management culture should be introduced with strong support from the management and be based on a strong conviction in the positive outcomes that the associated practices will bring. Hotel management should set sales goals for each department and for the hotel as a whole. Introducing additional salary bonuses, especially at the departmental level, is also a good solution. When team members are motivated, they focus on doing that which is best for the hotel and not for themselves personally.

Revenue management should not be perceived solely as a manner of conducting business as a hotel, but encompass all of the hotel’s activities with a common commitment from all individuals involved.

Research your market

Below are several questions that will test your knowledge of the market:

  • What is your market penetration?
  • What is the market share of the individual segments of your business?
  • What is your hotel’s position in the market?

Business intelligence reports covering the hotel industry may prove very helpful in obtaining the above information. A good revenue manager is well aware of the influence that external and internal factors have on the local market and on the hotel’s position within it. As a revenue manager, you may carry out a SWOT analysis of the above factors. Do not forget to also carry out a thorough comparative analysis.

Ask yourself the following simple questions to determine your position in the market:

    • Does your hotel set or follow price trends?
    • If your hotel sets price trends, then have you compiled an accurate

list of your competitors? Do you know what factors should be taken into account when doing so? Is your list of competitors based on the number of bookings or only the room rates?

    • How is your hotel positioned with regard to its business mix?
    • What is your RGI (Revenue Generation Index)?

The next article in this series elaborates on the subjects of market segmentation, revenue strategy, forecasting and setting rates. Read PART 2: The basic ingredients of the revenue management recipe.


About the Author 

Zak Ali, the Global Revenue Development Director at YieldPlanet, has over 12 years of experience in Revenue Management and hotel distribution. Zak has managed hotels of various sizes in many of the world’s key markets, including London, Dubai and Singapore. He has also taken part in creating a global rate application which has been implemented in 3000 hotels. Zak is a Certified Revenue Management Executive (CRME), a title awarded by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI).

Big data and the modern hotel industry

Big data and the modern hotel industry

Big data and the modern hotel industry

Running a 21st century hotel requires processing a staggering amount of data, including rates, types of rooms, booking details and the competition’s activity on booking portals. The growing importance of the Internet forces hotel operators to search for tools that will help them manage the massive flow of data and analyze it with the aim of making key business decisions.

Due to a rapid development of the Internet the hotel industry, just like any other industry in the world – has been undergoing some big changes. The World Wide Web holds a gigantic amount of data with terabytes of information flowing among servers. The development of Internet shopping, social media, tourist websites, etc. requires data to be arranged in ways that will allow the businesses to grow further. This is where big data comes in.

Big data – what exactly is it and how can it apply to your business?

It is a concept used to define enormous collections of data that are hard to process and analyze, but further information leading to new business opportunities may be extracted from them. Using user data makes it possible to carry out successful advertising on the Internet. Tracking the behavior of users visiting hotel websites provides information on what exactly they are interested in. This allows hoteliers to carry out personalized advertising campaigns, both through email, as well as through displaying banners, for example using Google’s advertising network. Big data informs hoteliers on the number of prospective guests who visit the website through smartphones and traditional computers. It is big data that makes it possible to form target groups used in Google Adwords and Facebook campaigns. There are currently several thousand websites through which hotels sell their services. Some of them are large and well-known, such as and Expedia, but there are also numerous small local OTAs and those that offer only a selection of hotel services, e.g. wedding receptions. Hotels currently rent their rooms through an average of 5-10 OTAs, whereas big hotel chains sometimes use as many as 25 OTAs at once. Effectively managing such a big number of channels, including full sales analyses and competition monitoring, is extremely time-consuming and, at a certain point, becomes a huge burden for hoteliers. This is where professional multichannel selling tools come to your rescue. They centralize all sales in a single account and, thus, hotel operators are not required to log into all of the websites one by one.

Channel Manager: a tool to process big data

YieldPlanet’s Channel Manager is one such tool. It uses SaaS technology (which means that you are not required to install it on your computer) and because it is connected to more than 500 most popular OTAs, GDS, wholesalers, etc. it provides you with a wide range of distribution channels to choose from. Channel Manager is also integrated with most popular PMS systems and, therefore, provides a trouble-free and quick transfer of data from partner websites to the hotel’s website.

Central processing of large amounts of data, and in the case of tools meant to manage room reservations this includes mainly rates, restrictions, bookings, types of rooms, etc., become easier thanks to the principles of automatic sales. You only need to define the basic room type and rate plan after which the system will recalculate all of the plans for all types of rooms within a specified time period. This allows you to plan sales months in advance without worrying that your employees will forget to take care of it while they are preoccupied with their other duties. Another example is the central allotment function that allows you to manage all bookings and cancellations through an automatic system that updates room availability across all channels.

Use big data to monitor your competitors

Big data also makes it possible to follow what the competition is doing. A single OTA website hosts offer from thousands of hotels. Each of them has a number of room types and various special offers. Such large amounts of data may only be processed in a short time by using an algorithm. Sales channel management tools are able to monitor the rates of selected hotels in a given time period. Users are provided with a report that will prove helpful in planning short-term sales strategies and making key decisions regarding rates. A revenue manager who is keeping up with the times will use management tools to not only supervise sales channels but also manage rates. The available tools identify and recommend rate strategies that correspond with the hotel’s general strategy based on an in-depth analysis of customer habits. Revenue management systems use big data to analyze historical data, but also forecast rates up to a year in advance. YieldPlanet has recently teamed up with academics from across the world to work on a new rate management tool. This will be a new generation tool using algorithms that mimic the artificial intelligence of a virtual revenue manager.

Many would probably wonder why you should invest in such solutions. However, the annual growth of the world hotel market in essence forces you to use increasingly modern tools, which will do complex data analyses for you and streamlinedecision-makingg processes. Are you ready for the new dimension of hotel operations?

Rate parity or differentiated pricing, the choice is yours

Rate parity or differentiated pricing, the choice is yours

Rate parity or differentiated pricing, the choice is yours

New rules in online distribution might be well underway, but rate parity it is still very often a contractual requirement for the hotel to do business with large OTAs. For many properties, the practice of rate parity goes beyond any binding agreement. It is part of the hotel’s strategy as it ensures a consistent price and supports the brand by adding to its rate integrity.

YieldPlanet helps hoteliers willing to maintain consistent prices for all partners, for all the various room types, dates and restrictions. By automating the entire process, YieldPlanet’s Channel Manager takes risk, cost, and effort out of online channel management – so that the hotelier can sell online in full confidence and focus on other important hotel management tasks. In addition, YieldPlanet’s Price Shopper allows verification of the hotel’s pricing over the last 30 days across up to three different OTAs. A red highlighting will alert the user to prices which may not respect rate parity.

For hotels wishing to differentiate their pricing strategy, YieldPlanet’s Channel Manager can help in ways. The mapping tables allow you to introduce formulas (plus or minus an amount or percentage of the price) which enable different prices per channel. It is also possible to display price and availability separately for each OTA, where values can be input manually.

Regardless of your price strategy, it is worth to remember that room rate is just one of the tools at your disposal to attract and satisfy guests. With this in mind, YieldPlanet designed products ready to serve different pricing structures and strategies, depending on your hotel, room products, and services.

Generating direct bookings with metasearch engines

Generating direct bookings with metasearch engines

Generating direct bookings with metasearch engines

Nowadays, metasearch engines are a fast-growing advertising model in the travel industry. They can be an alternative channel for generating traffic and therefore represent an opportunity for hotels helping them to increase direct bookings.

Metasearch engines present a consolidated offer while providing travelers with a wide choice of properties and price transparency. The mechanism is simple with benefits for both hotels and consumers. Hotels pay advertising fees which ultimately lead to direct bookings. The traveler clicks on their chosen property and completes the transaction directly on the hotel website.

Metasearch engines search for the user’s request in other search engines and databases, aggregating then the result in a singles list. For travelers, this means easy access to real-time availability and pricing. For hotels, metasearch engines represent a key driver of traffic and direct bookings.

Metasearch engines can be an important tool to reduce their dependency from OTAs as they redirect the users to the property’s website, to complete the booking process. Generally, metasearch investment produces a very good return-on-ad-spend.

Metasearch engines, include the giants Google Hotel Finder, Trivago by Expedia, and TripAdvisor. The hotel’s goal should be to see themselves in the Google Hotel Finder metasearch pricing menus or among the top three features advertisers in the TripAdvisor meta-search menu. These metasearch functionalities, although not reaching very significant results at the moment, are constantly growing and increasing their functionalities, and could raise their role in hotel online distribution in the next few years.

How to increase online visibility in Central Europe

How to increase online visibility in Central Europe

How to increase online visibility in Central Europe

The XML connectivity with Szallas enables YieldPlanet clients to make immediate prices and availability updates on the channel through YieldPlanet’s Channel Manager in a few clicks. This partnership is a great opportunity for hotels to drive more bookings by targeting local audience from the eight countries in Central Europe where Szallas operates.

The Szallas Group started in 2007 as a start-up founded by a group of friends. Today, it is a major player on the Hungarian hotel booking market, operating in eight countries and ten languages, in Central Europe.

How to use this channel to increase the number of guests?

Once your hotel is added to it will become visible in all countries where Szallas operates with its portals. This means that a tourist from Hungary or from Slovakia looking for a stay in Poland will find your property when searching in his local Szallas OTA, and the hotel description is available simultaneously in 10 languages.

Are you ready to start distributing to a new sales channel? Click here to register to this OTA and fill in the web form. After submitting it, a Szallas’ sales specialist will contact you to assist you with the completion of the registration process.

Do not forget to contact our Customer Support in order to plug the new channel into YieldPlanet Channel Manager. The XML connection between YieldPlanet Channel Manager and Szallas Group allows you to manage prices and availabilities of your room inventory in real time.


How to plan and implement winning revenue strategy II

How to plan and implement winning revenue strategy II

How to plan and implement winning revenue strategy II

A revenue strategy is vital to the success of a hotel’s revenue management philosophy. A revenue strategy allows the entire revenue team to discuss, strategize, and understand what the goals are for the hotel and how to work towards these goals. It is also critical that the strategy is put into writing. By strategizing with the team and documenting the revenue strategy a hotel is setup to ensure that the hotel looks out into the future and creates a long-term measurable path for success.

The objective of a revenue strategy is to capture the optimal profitability from projected demand. It is important that there is a focus on creating a successful strategy.

Developing a Successful Revenue Strategy

The first step in developing a revenue strategy is to first ensure that the entire revenue team is included, prepared and attends the meetings. To be successful the entire revenue team needs to provide their input, and fully buy into the strategy. This is the only way to ensure all perspectives are taken into consideration and that there is across the board agreement. Moving forward, everyone needs to be working from the same foundation and goals.
It is also important to understand that the development of a revenue strategy may take one long meeting or several shorter meetings. So be sure to plan accordingly and make sure everyone has the same understanding and expectation

The elements that should be included in every revenue strategy are as follows:

    • Demand targeting, to determine the most appropriate segments and identify which ones will deliver the greatest profit or value to the hotel. This must be done for the entire year and broken down by season, by month.
    • Acquisition planning, to determine a communications plan and a sales plan that outlines how to reach each of the targeted segments to achieve the goals.
    • Customer retention, to identify the method(s) by which the hotel plan will retain customers. How will the hotel work to communicate directly with the customers to capture their next booking? How will the hotel target the appropriate customers directly?
    • Revenue per available customer value Identify the types of customers who provide the most value to the hotel. Factors to be included in this are the total spend, the time-of-year or day-of-week the customer typically stays with the hotel and finally the method of booking. Once the hotel has a good idea of the revenue per available customer, create a plan to target the customers with higher value.
    • Channel costs determine the cost to the hotel for each channel. This will allow the hotel to understand the most profitable channel through which to receive bookings.
    • Channel shifts once the hotel understands the most profitable channels, develop a plan to target specific customers or customer types to shift their bookings to a lower cost channel as appropriate for each customer. For example, for those customers who currently book through a higher cost channel such as a third party site, provide an incentive for them to book via a lower cost channel like the hotel’s website. It will not be appropriate to shift all customers to another channel but it will benefit the hotel to shift those that are appropriate.

As mentioned earlier, all of the decisions and factors must be documented and distributed to all revenue team members. Be sure to include the following in the documentation.

        • Be specific and detailed with all action plans that are created in support of the strategy;
        • Assign responsibilities for all action plans;
        • Assign timelines or specific dates for all action plans.

The last step in the development of the strategy is to set a follow-up meeting or meetings to review the progress, discuss any challenges and identify resolutions. This meeting will allow hoteliers to ensure everyone is doing what they should be doing in order to stay on target.

Communicating the strategy

Once the revenue strategy is developed and properly documented, it is critical to communicate it to all key stakeholders. “This must be done in a well planned and thorough manner in order to obtain a high level of ‘buy-in’ of the current goals and objectives of the hotel.

All members of the revenue team must receive a final copy of the strategy. Be sure to distribute the final copy to all team members by the predetermined due date.
A communications plan must be created and executed in order to ensure proper understanding, support from the field and success. Each department and level of staff or management has their own role in ensuring success. Therefore, they will need to understand varying parts of the strategy in order to support it and do their part. Remember—one size does not fit all. The communication will need to be tailored to each audience member. For example, what the general manager needs to know may be different from what the front office manager needs to know and will certainly be different from what the reservation agent need to know.

It is very important that the revenue director (or whoever is responsible for the communication) manage the communication to all team members. The communication of the strategy can ultimately determine its success.
Following are 7 crucial recommendations to help manage the communication of a revenue strategy:

      • Prioritize the information that needs to be shared.
      • Educate appropriately.
      • What is the specific information that each department needs to know?
      • Provide specific ways each department plays a role and show them their importance.
      • Be specific about what is needed from each department.
      • Create a plan of action with each department. Be specific by assigning dates and responsibilities.
      • Set follow up meetings to ensure ongoing communication and buy-in.

Why is the new Price Shopper so desired in Europe?

Why is the new Price Shopper so desired in Europe?

Why is the new Price Shopper so desired in Europe?

The hotel industry in Central and South Eastern Europe has been growing year by year. 2016, due to the global geopolitical situation, was a fantastic year for Polish, Bulgarian, Romanian and Croatian hoteliers because of the significant number of tourists who decided to spend their holidays in these countries rather than Turkey or Egypt, for example. This year will be no different – once more, Polish people are announcing their intention to stay within the country for the holiday season (up to 73% of respondents in research conducted in January by Hilton).

The same research also highlighted the preferences that drive Polish tourists to choose their place of stay – as high as 72% of respondents indicated places offering a host of attractions, thanks to which their stay would be more exciting. The same number of respondents chose a travel destination on the basis of quality for the given price. What does this mean for hoteliers?

This sheer quantity of both new and more experienced tourists forces hoteliers into a life-and-death battle over prices. Everyone would like to take advantage of the latest trends in order to fill up their hotel, hostel, or guesthouse and increase their RevPAR. In addition, hotel distribution and revenue management alone cease to suffice. Thus we arrive at a new duty – price management, which focuses on optimal price modeling for each given date, taking many different factors into account at once. Considering the fact that almost 80% of hotel revenue is generated by room reservations (based on YieldPlanet research), it is obvious with what care hotels must approach such a sensitive sales element as price. In order to effectively join the fight to increase occupancy and maximize revenue amid stiff market competition, it is absolutely necessary to use tools that will reduce workload and ease the making of key decisions while pricing roomnights.

One such tool is the Price Shopper, which, being of the price comparison type, fulfills the role of monitoring the competition. We have launched a completely new version of the Price Shopper based on both the newest trends in price management technology and suggestions received from our clientele, which is why it has been designed with all hotel types in mind – from the smallest independent properties to large hotel chains.

In contrast to the previous version, the new Price Shopper is a complex tool supporting price management, the use of which benefits even the smallest hotel properties. In the event of connection with other YieldPlanet products – the Channel Manager and Price Optimizer – it becomes one of the key tools in YieldPlanet’s ecosystem, as a provider of price management solutions.

Online price reports

We have prepared, for your convenience, real-time price reports, which can be either refreshed manually or automatically from a time horizon of 30 up to as much as 365 days. Prices of as many as 15 competitive hotels are downloaded from various sources simultaneously and presented in the form of highly-readable charts and tables. Clicking on any point in a table allows it to view all possible information concerning the prices of the given hotel on the chosen date.

Ad Hoc Reports

With only a few clicks, you can generate an exact price report for the chosen competition. Generated in real-time, this information is displayed in relation to the preferred established settings – taking the relevant rate plans and breakfast settings, length of stay, and type of accommodation (single or double room) into account. Reports can be refreshed automatically or manually – thanks to which you will always have an up-to-date price report divided into the various members of competition and specific dates – 30, 60, or 90 days, as applies to the chosen version of the Price Shopper.

Automatic Reports

You do not need to log into the tool every time in order to check the prices of your competition. The Price Shopper can be programmed so that you will receive, for example, a report of the prices of your chosen competition on a daily basis at the supplied email address. Depending on the chosen version, these can be daily reports or weekly reports.

Events & Holidays Calendar

The new Price Shopper takes into account local and global events as well as holidays in its reports. You can add party events yourself, or download them using our tool-integrated search engine. This helps to identify changes and price trends of roomnights in response to, for example, approaching holidays, or a concert, and then to incorporate them into your pricing strategy. Thanks to all this, your prices will be able to accurately reflect current and impending events.

Reputation reports

Just like in the cases of the Channel Manager and the Price Optimizer, the new Price Shopper contains integrated only reputation reports for your hotel. Prepared in cooperation with ReviewPro, the widget is given hoteliers access to statistics formed on the basis of reviews made on such influential opinion-shaping platforms as TripAdvisor, Facebook,, or Expedia. These statistics show the general sources of opinion regarding your hotel and, more importantly, divides these opinions into negative, neutral, and positive categories. This allows you to quickly react to negative or neutral opinions damaging to the reputation of your hotel. And this lowers the risk of a decreased RevPar.

The Price Shopper is a tool that works well both on its own and in concurrence with the Price Optimizer. This latter is yet another crucial platform, supplying data for predicting prices and related recommendations via algorithm. However, in connection with the Channel Manager, the Price Shopper helps hoteliers to make quick pricing decisions in order to maximize revenue.

How to win new markets in the hotel industry?

How to win new markets in the hotel industry?

How to win new markets in the hotel industry?

Building an efficient distribution strategy for a hotel is a challenge that many hotel managers are facing today. Fierce competition they encounter on the market pushes them increasingly more frequently to take risk and reach out for entirely new markets and segments. On-line travel agencies (OTA) are usually an indispensable ingredient of such strategy but reliance on this channel cannot guarantee success. How to reach a completely new group of clients? How to conquer new markets and improve operating parameters of a hotel?

The ongoing globalisation and the overwhelmingly rapid emergence and growing accessibility of new technologies are the key factors that make conquering new markets much easier today than it used to be the case just a few or a dozen or so years ago. This applies to tourism as well as to any other industry. Reaching prospective clients with, and personalization of, an offer have never been easier, which is true of activities undertaken by hotels both directly and through intermediaries (such as OTA). However, relentless experimentation, optimization of efforts and continuous adaptation of distribution strategies to changing business environments and evolving preferences and expectations of clients remain the key to success –  all that in the face of stronger than ever competition. The use of advanced technologies by the tourism and hotel industry has boosted the growth of the market, and has made much easier the travel planning process itself. Mobile devices have almost replaced desktop PCs from communications between hotels and their clients. Almost everyone has a smartphone today, so hotels can use the GPS tracking facility to inform their clients in an instant of any delay or change in the bookings and, further, efficiently distribute any promotional material.

The growth of the Internet and its widespread use for planning travel have changed the hotel industry beyond recognition. The first contact of a prospective client with a hotel is still often established by visiting the website of the hotel as the interface for the visible part of the booking process. What is important, this form of booking is the most desirable one because there are no commissions for intermediaries of any kind. Effective building of on-line advertising, social media and content marketing for attracting as many prospective clients as possible to the website of the hotel is crucial to this process. Considering the number of boarding facilities, from large international chains to small independent hotels, which are very active on the Internet today, pursuing an efficient on-line marketing strategy is not as simple as it would seem. On the contrary: it is very difficult and, in addition, more costly from year to year. So, how to prepare for winning new markets? What to remember? What mistakes to avoid?

#1 Identify your target group

There are many ways to source new clients and thereby win entirely new markets. However, the hotel needs to pinpoint it target group before proceeding to the drafting of a marketing and distribution strategy. This is so because different solutions will work for domestic clients than for international ones.

The use of services of on-line travel agencies (OTA) is one of the most effective and least expensive ways of reaching new clients and winning new markets. Tapping on the global coverage of well-established international OTA brands will enable a hotel to diversify its client base and reach entirely new segments and markets. However, to succeed, the hotel needs to define, and learn as much as possible about, the target group before partnering with any OTA for pursuit of the hotel’s distribution strategy. The more accurate definition of the target group, the better odds for coming up with the right marketing and distribution strategy.

#2 Define your strategy

Any campaign aiming at winning new markets and reaching new client segments has to be carefully prepared, so that clients are not only captured but also retained. This calls for a thorough examination of requirements and expectations of the selected target group and for drafting of a proposition maximally suited to these demands: different for business than for tourist clients, as well as different for people who seek a hotel for 2 or 3 nights than for longer-term guests.

Accordingly, to pin-point requirements of a new target group, the hotel may need to personalize its service menu, for instance by throwing in attractive packages for longer-stay clients or by investing in availability of complementary services, such as conference facilities. The planning should be careful, as is the case with any business strategy. No massive investment of effort or money in attracting new clients will make any sense unless the hotel already has an attractive offer in place.

#3 Prepare your action plan

The strategy, once it has been defined, has to be translated into a detailed action plan suitable for implementation, split into a series of individual tasks with assigned priorities, personal responsibilities and deadlines. It is also a good practice to identify all stakeholders and to define milestones for review and wrap-up of the hitherto progress of the plan.

Drafting of the plan is a critical phase and the process should be sufficiently thorough to prevent the taking of hasty decisions or actions. Chaotic or ill-considered steps can cascade into a number of mistakes, the remedying of which could turn out to be very costly or time consuming.

#4 Monitor your performance and optimize your strategy

Specific actions dictated directly by the adopted strategy and by the finished action plan are the last step to the winning of new markets and to the reaching of new groups of clients. Given that the hotel service market is very dynamic and competitive, implementation of the plan should be followed and optimized on regular basis.

OTAs can help in reaching the targeted groups of clients, so partnering with them can be worth the cost and effort. There are myriads of them today. They range from global companies with world-wide recognition to small local offices serving their niche markets. One concern is that although the theoretically desirable representation of the hotel by large and most popular OTAs can warrant the reaching of a really huge population of prospective clients, the actual rate of conversion could be very disappointing. Also, the booking acquisition costs can be higher than average. This is one of the reasons why smaller or niche agencies should not be automatically dismissed. While they have an incomparably smaller reach, they also face less competition, which can translate into better conversion rates.

Accordingly, flexibility and openness to experimentation seem to be the right approach to the successful building of a winning distribution strategy. Also, daily monitoring of operating performance and of cost-effectiveness of conversion is critical to the financial bottom line.

#5 Make sure your distribution strategy is effective

Inclusion of OTAs in distribution strategies is a necessity of the times because these organizations are professionals that stay on the top of changes in travelling habits and keep ahead of advanced mobile booking technologies. Although having clients book directly, via the hotel’s website, is more profitable, free from substantial agency commissions, the fact is that OTAs tend to contribute a two-digit per cent share of bookings and the volume of business they bring to hotels is becoming more important from year to year.

When relying on OTAs as part of the hotel’s distribution strategy, one should ensure to take maximum advantage of this distribution channel. The hotel should always “dress up” for its clients to keep them from going to the hotel’s competitors. High quality visuals, combined with a detailed description of the hotel, can do miracles and contribute directly to the hotel’s operating margins. According to a study by Expedia, the doubling of the number of photographs on an OTA’s website can increase the booking ratio by 4.5% and ADR by USD 3.5! A professional, keyword-optimized description of the hotel can improve the results even further: by 5.0% and USD 5, respectively. Considering these improvements, it is worth hiring a professional photographer and ensuring that the description of the hotel is appealing and up to date.

However, even best visuals and narratives will not translate into a high number of bookings unless the hotel has good credentials and high general ratings. It is clear from studies that hotels with large numbers of reviews get the lion’s share of the clientele. Comments published by guests on OTAs’ websites should be monitored in real time and never left without response. Each critical or favourable review should be answered within 24-48 hours to minimize negative effects of a negative opinion and, in the case of a positive opinion, to reinforce the impression of genuine care for guests and their well-being even after their stay ended. This follow-up can pay off rapidly in the form of a higher conversion rate: a growth of almost 1.5% for more than 50 recommendations.

Smart Strategies to Boost Hotel Revenue [event in Warsaw]

Smart Strategies to Boost Hotel Revenue [event in Warsaw]

Smart Strategies to Boost Hotel Revenue [event in Warsaw]

Join us for an exclusive masterclass for hoteliers in Warsaw on September 6th (Thursday). Learn about best practices and innovative ideas to increase revenue.

Join us for an exclusive masterclass for hoteliers in Warsaw on September 6th (Thursday). Learn about best practices and innovative ideas to increase revenue.

The event, co-organized by ReviewPro and YieldPlanet, provides an opportunity to hear from three engaging speakers, network and talk about the challenges hotels face when it comes to boost revenue.

Elena Zhelezniak, Sales Manager at ReviewPro, will guide the participants on how to deliver better experiences and drive revenue. Sebastian Andruszczak, Sales and Marketing Director and Piotr Olesiński, Product Manager will introduce YieldPlanet’s new Revenue Management System – Price Optimizer. They will showcase how new technologies can change the hotel industry and how you can use them to automate your revenue management process.

The masterclass is free to attend, but places are limited. Save your spot today – register here .


09:00 Welcome and introduction

09:30 Leveraging Guest Intelligence to Deliver Better Experiences & Drive Revenue
Speaker: Elena Zhelezniak, Sales Manager, ReviewPro (ENG)

10:15 Dynamic Revenue Management
Speaker: Sebastian Andruszczak, Sales and Marketing Director & Piotr Olesinski, Product Manager, YieldPlanet (PL)

11:00 Coffee Break & networking


Date: Thursday, September 6th

Time: 09:00 – 12:00

Venue: Radisson Blu Centrum Hotel, Warsaw

Address: Grzybowska 24, 00-132 Warszawa


5 key trends of distribution and revenue management for 2018

5 key trends of distribution and revenue management for 2018

5 key trends of distribution and revenue management for 2018

The Distribution And Revenue Management Trends Report 2018 was created to show what digital distribution currently means for hotel business and its development trends in 2018.

We asked hotel businesses around the world to fill out a short survey on how hoteliers analyse their information. We wanted to know what tools they use and which channel they exploit.

Work with the rates on OTA portals becomes a big part of the hoteliers daily work.

Distribution strategy is one of the most important elements in planning and organization of the hotel work. The majority of hoteliers being interviewed have implemented an online distribution strategy and they are well aware, that despite the daily tasks it needs regular optimization. Based on this rule ¼ of respondents optimize the distribution strategy every day. Far fewer hotels treat the distribution as a tedious duty, but recognize the benefits of price optimization in the channels. In addition, 41% of the hotel establishments plan to increase the pool of distribution channels in 2018.

Technology in distribution becomes essential and popular.

Less than half of the hotels use channel managers or other programs to facilitate the distribution of prices. However, more and more often they note the importance of time saved due to the use of a channel manager.

Simple programs which are not supposed to be used for special tasks, such as making revenue management decisions, analyzing data or planning, do not allow to optimize the daily work of hotel establishments and save the time of hotel team. Respondents who do not use a proper program for revenue management spend from 5 to 8, sometimes even to 12 hours weekly working on revenue management tasks.

Understanding the importance of reputation on the Internet and its impact on revenue.

The vast majority of hoteliers understands the importance of customer opinions and hotel image on the internet in 2018. For this reason most of hotel establishments take advantage of the processing and using this data for building positive hotel reputation through the OTA and other portals. Each time growing number of hotels, use the reviews and their position among competitive set, uses the reviews when planning and implementing a revenue management strategy.

RevPAR is still a “classic” KPI in the hospitality industry.

For a large part of the hotel traditional and well known to all the most important performance indicator is RevPAR, but growing group of supporters of the other indicators, such as netRevPAR or T-RevPAR.

A priority order of marketing mix for hotel establishment.

The pricing strategy is a key instrument and a fundamental basis in a hotel business. It helps to control the cash flow and competitive market, coordinate and contribute the positive development of own commercial activities. Since the price determination in the hospitality industry depends on a lot of factors such as competition, market share, brand, identification of a product and operational costs, it is extremely important for the planning online distribution strategy.

More likely, therefore the half of the answerers give primacy to the Price element from year to year.

5 Steps to Effective Multichannel Selling on the Internet

5 Steps to Effective Multichannel Selling on the Internet

5 Steps to Effective Multichannel Selling on the Internet

The Internet has taken over the hotel industry. Most booking decisions made today are based on information found on the Internet. Of course, not every reservation is made over the Internet. Tourists often use the web to search for information on hotels and then do the booking by telephone. One thing is for certain: a 21st century hotel does not exist if it does not make its presence known on the Internet. What is it then that tourists look for when searching for a suitable place to stay? 

The answer seems to be simple: they wish to stay at hotels that have many favourable reviews. They do not want to buy the cat in a bag, but would rather see how the rooms look before making a decision. And, finally, they want to find the best deal. There is a plethora of OTA websites on the Internet that allow hotels to reach prospective guests. However, one must keep in mind that the competition between hotels listed on the websites is fierce, each OTA charges a commission fee and each one has a different interface for managing the hotel’s account. Selling through numerous online channels requires not only the hotel’s ‘presence’ on the web, but also a sound price and brand policy.  

Why choose OTA websites? Some hotels love them, others hate them, and the truth is that their policies sometimes border on the controversial. However, they do enable hotels to reach new markets and bring in new bookings. OTAs often take on the duty of advertising their hotels as they have access to enormous budgets meant for online advertising, mailing, Google Ad-Words, etc.  What is more, their websites are responsive, i.e. compatible with small smartphone displays: a study carried out by HRS demonstrated that almost 20% of hotel reservations are made through the mobile channel. 

How should one go about using different distribution channels to achieve tangible benefits in the form of increased occupancy rates, revenue and profit? Here are the 5 steps to achieving success in the hotel business with online distribution channels.  

  1. Collect positive reviews 

Maintaining a good reputation of your hotel is more important the even the best rate plans! As we all know, the Internet is a means through which dissatisfied customers may ruthlessly complain about the hotel, its standard of service, nasty foot, dirty bathtubs and crumpled sheets. OTA websites have their own grading systems that allow users to sort hotels by their overall rating. This is why the standard of service provided by your hotel should be impeccable! Therefore, remember to encourage your guests to post positive opinions on TripAdvisor or similar websites.   

  1. Content marketing 

Build your brand using content! OTA websites give you the opportunity to create a rich hotel profile with numerous pictures, a long description, a list of hotel attractions and nearby landmarks. Some websites even allow you to post an advertising video. Remember to follow the ‘content is king’ principle and only add pictures of the highest quality to your profile. Do not hesitate to spend some cash on a professional photo session of your hotel – it will surely pay off in the future!   

  1. Choose distribution channels and plan a rate policy 

There are hundreds of partners operating in the market – OTAs, wholesalers, global distributions systems (GDS), etc. Which ones and how many to choose? It all depends on the profile of your hotel and the market segments that it is meant for. You should certainly strike a balance between global and local distribution. Looking into specialised websites (SPA, conferences, wedding receptions, etc.) may be worthwhile if they fit the profile of your establishment. If you offer room packages or have special deals for corporate clients, finding a suitable partner will be necessary. How many channels should your hotel be included in? Our experience proves that hotels sell their services through an average of 5-10 distribution channels.  

Once you have chosen a pool of OTAs suited for your hotel, you must adopt a correct sales strategy. Thus far, many OTAs have included rate parity clauses in their contracts to prevent hotels from offering lower rates on competing websites. However, this year a breakthrough was made when the French National Assembly forbade using the rate parity clause which allows hoteliers to set their rates in all online and offline channels independently.   

  1. Choose sales management tools 

Managing multichannel distribution, especially when each channel has its own rate strategy, is time consuming. Analysing total sales is another challenge you will have to face. Tools which centralise distribution, for example YieldPlanet’s Channel Manager, may prove helpful in this regard. The system makes it possible to centralise, automatise and optimise all internet sales. This includes dynamic enabling/disabling of specific rate plans or creating formulas for automatic rate changes and availability within individual channels, but also changing rates across all channels. The statistics module lets you carry out an in-depth sales analysis and generate occupancy, booking and revenue reports. Channel Manager also has a competition monitoring module: you only have to choose the competing hotels that interest you to receive information about their rates in selected OTA websites. Therefore, you will always be one step ahead of the competition!  

  1. Your website also generates sales! 

Remember that your hotel’s website is the best, least expensive and most effective online sales channel. First, because it is controlled solely by you, and second, it does not limit the number of photos, descriptions, etc. that you may post. Third, according to research carried out by the HSMAI foundation, one in four online reservations in non-chain hotels was made through its website. If you decide to integrate the website with a booking engine, you may sell your services without paying commission fees to OTAs.  

Booking Engine – packages feature

Booking Engine – packages feature

Booking Engine – packages feature

YieldPlanet has released a new feature in the Booking Engine. It allows the hotel to set up packages in one simple screen.

On a single screen, the hotel can enter the following parameters:

  • minimum stay
  • price for the package
  • description of the package e.g: weekend with tour of the city
  • valid dates for the package

and then the package can be shown in the Booking Engine.

The whole operation to set up a new package takes only a few minutes.

7 things you should know about Brazilian travellers

7 things you should know about Brazilian travellers

7 things you should know about Brazilian travellers

Brazilian are slightly different from other tourists. Having good weather all year round and fabulous beaches in their home country, they are rather interested in shopping, glamour and prestige  gastronomy, sports, historical and cultural attractions. In this context, hotels should gain a deep understanding of their behaviour, likes and dislikes in order to develop effective marketing strategies to target Brazilian travelers. 

7 things you should know about Brazilian travellers: 

  1. They love shopping, To cater to the Brazilian traveler who is looking to buy consumer goods you can create exclusive shopping tourist packages. Many Brazilian guests rent cars to facilitate their shopping trips, so one of these packages may include valet parking; 
  2. Numerous international flights, especially inter-continental, are overnight. Thus, guests from Brazil are early morning or late evening. Givingtchemthe possibility of early morning check-in or late night check-out will give your hotel an added-value; 
  3. Complimentary breakfast is considered a staple in Brazilian culture, A complimentary continental breakfast will give you some extra points;
  4. Brazilians take cleanliness seriously: ultra clean rooms are crucial to guest satisfaction;
  5. Cheerfulness is Brazilian’s middle name:  Staff interactions will be appreciated. Having a Staff member to greet the group or individual in their language will be extremely well received; 
  6. As Portuguese speakers on a Spanish continent, not all Brazilians speak English: localise your hotel website into Portuguese. Additionally, you can have Staff members having a working knowledge of Portuguese to cater to Brazilian guests;
  7. Social media have  become a very influential channel. Blogs, forums, and social networks have become important platforms for sharing thoughts and opinions about travel destinations and hotel experiences. Make sure you don’t miss social media channels in your marketing strategy.