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  • HFTP Research Report: Pre-opening Expenditures in Hospitality

    A study of the pre-opening budget; the timeline for these expenditures; timeline for onboarding of staff; and the selection, installation and training of the technology component. By Agnes DeFranco, Ed.

  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • Letter from the HFTP Global President: At the End of the Year, We Reflect on the Best of the Year

    As we prepare to transition to the new HFTP Global board at the 2018 Annual Convention in October, I would like to take the time to reflect on my year serving as HFTP Global president.

  • Members Only: 2018 HFTP Compensation and Benefits Report

    By Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA. Results to the biannual survey conducted by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). Information includes data on compensation and benefits trends for finance and technology professionals in the club and lodging industries.

2019 Plea to Hotel PMS providers for Distribution Cost Tracking Functionality

Xotels ·16 January 2019
Over the last few years there has been much discussion in the the world of hotel revenue management on managing GOPPAR and NREVPAR over only REVPAR. Understanding the cost of distribution is vital to the financial success of every hotel. For this we would need our systems to support us in registering and calculating such costs. Unfortunately many hotel Property Management Systems (PMS) have not yet evolved sufficiently in this area.In a discussion on my last post on the Hotel P&L the topic came up. I have made this plea various times already to PMS providers. So I am using the start of 2019 to make a public plea to request all hotel systems to develop a comprehensive cost of sales functionality.As hoteliers we need to be able to track our cost of sales properly. This includes not only base commissions but also overrides and other transaction fees or costsTherefore, we need a system that allows us to program the cost for each channel. When talking commissions the functionality should administer standard OTA commissions, but also take into consideration commission overrides. This data should be included in the reservation delivery interface, avoiding laborious manual corrections on the hotel side. Some OTA have a mix of sell (gross) and net rates. This would all need to be well recorded on a per booking basis.But we don't only pay commissions to OTA. How about groups an travel agency reservations? Again here we would need for a standard commission to be applied based on a contract. This most PMS allow for. But what if there is a commission override? Can we post this to the group folio to be recalculated over all the reservations?And override commissions on FIT and Wholesale contracts, we should be able to record these as well as a cost of sales. On this segment another question comes to mind, should we be able to add a markup to have a gross rate, when comparing to BAR and other public rates?And then, there are the GDS and CRS, what do they cost by month and transaction. How can we configure our systems to track this as well. Same goes for chain and representation fees. Booking Engine, Channel Manager and interfaces costs should also not be overlooked.Meta-Search and Adword advertising are also important costs we should look to incorporate in our cost of distribution. However the cost of these bidding models cannot be allocated to individual reservations. So maybe we need a module allowing us to administer advertising costs on a scheduled basis. This could either be per month, day or week. But take note the spending moment equals the booking date but is not related to the stay date. Would a calculation considering booking lead time allow us to assign costs effectively?This type of distribution cost functionality will finally allow us to move beyond a proverbial 'garbage in, garbage out' era, and enable hotels to gain much better insight in the true cost of sales. Hoteliers will finally be able to make an apples to apples comparison on Net-ADR and Net Revenue Contribution per agency, channel and segment. It is time we get a full understanding on how each and every single reservation contributes to the bottom line.This is of course highly complex, and as you can see I don't have all the answers. But I hope this post will start a public debate amongst hoteliers on which requirements we have as an industry from our technology providers. This would give them the full specs on what to build, and hopefully we will see some great developments by our system partners in 2019.Look forward to everyone's feedback, both from hotels and PMS vendors of course ...Happy 2019 everyone! Patrick Landman @ Xotels

Hotel Profit and Loss Statement: how to create it?

Xotels ·19 December 2018
Hotel Management isn't merely about strategy. There are many layers, each of which require your undivided attention. Human resources, operations, budgeting, and income and cost control are but a few areas which necessitate focus, as well as the requisite knowledge and skill. But how can you efficiently assess the business areas that generate maximized profits?To accomplish this step and provide the best platform from which your hotel will succeed, the key is to prepare and execute a carefully structured profit and loss statement. In this article as we review a Hotel P&L sample based o the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USAL), a rich resource that provides numerous key insights for hotel managers.A hotel profit and loss (PnL) statement provides you with an analysis of your hotel's revenue, cost and profit performance. It helps you understand how much bottom line margin the property is making. Therefore, it is essential for any hotel manager to fully understand each line item of their P&L statement, and where pertinent, how to interpret the data to inform business decisions.Note: You may also see P&L statement referred to as your hotel income statement, profit and loss report, statement of financial results, income and expenses statement, or statement of profit and loss.They are typically carried out on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. Although the frequency is entirely at your discretion and what you think is best for your hotel, I would recommend to review such a report at least with a monthly frequency to avoid the business moving off beyond control. Larger hotels even provide such reporting on a weekly or even daily basis to really micromanage their financial successThe importance of profit and loss statements for independent hotels1. HIGHLIGHTING CAPITAL FLOWSPeriodic P&L reports are essential for the success of your hotel, as they highlight where your profits are coming from and where your expenses are going. For this reason it is a key tool you want to make data-driven decisions on expenses and revenue at an operational level.2. UNDERSTANDING PRECISELY HOW EACH DEPARTMENT IS PERFORMINGYour P&L statement provides a close scrutiny of departmental performance across your hotel. It also allows you as the hotel manager to analyse this performance compared with your overall and departmental budgets per week, month, quarter or year.The key benefit is that it provides you with insights to identify financial performance weaknesses and strengths. You can then act accordingly to make improvements, such as through cutting hotel costs, enhancing underperforming areas, or investing in new revenue growth streams.The P&L is of course strongly linked to your other two essential financial statements:1. Balance Sheet and Liabilities (A&L) Statement2. Cash Flow StatementThe P&L feeds both these statements. Therefore, its correct and accurate structure, execution and understanding is critical to help small and independent hotels keep a tighter rein on cost control.The simple 5-step plan for an effective hotel profit and loss statement templateImplementing the following four steps will provide a strong foundation from which to develop an effective P&L report:1. Sound management of all revenue operations, producing accurate and timely numerical information for your hotel accounts department (sales figures, expenses and so forth)2. Periodic accounts department preparation of accurate and insightful P&L reports to deliver to management3. Management analysis of the P&L with the purpose of identifying where the hotel is meeting or exceeding established goals / budgets and where improvements can be made. Management must determine the correct course of action to take in order to maximize outcomes, based on the information provided by correct and accurate P&L statements4. Hotel management oversees and implements the previously decided course of action regarding improvements and the resolution of problem areas5. Periodic reviews of the entire P&L workflow process, from drawing up your P&L reports to interpretation and implementation of decisions based on their insights. Rigid commitment to a review process helps you to identify where further improvements can be made and what is and isn't contributing to the provision of value-added data and informationKPIs and elements of a hotel P&L statement:For the specific case of hotels, the most important KPIs to look at in our Profit & Loss statement are the GOP (gross operating profit) and NOI or NOP (net operating income or profit)Working out your GOP (gross operating profit)1. Add the revenue and costs from all operational departments (restaurant, bar, banquets, front office, housekeeping, engineering and others).2. Deduct all the undistributed, fixed and overhead costs to work out your NOI (net operating income) and EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation). This is basically the profit generated from the hotel's own operations.A hotel P&L statement includes the following elements:1 . REVENUE OR TOP LINEThis is typically itemised into individual revenue sources. These include room turnover, food and beverage revenue (restaurant, breakfast, bar, room service), and if applicable, events, activities, spa membership and gift shop income, among other possible revenue sources.Once you have the figure of the total sales revenue, the cost of sale (commissions that are paid to different sales channels, for example to the OTAs ) should be diminished to obtain your gross profit.2. COSTSa) Operational expensesThese are the operational costs for delivering the services of each revenue source, for instance: restaurant, bar, banquets, front office, housekeeping, cleaning, engineering and others.b) Undistributed expensesOverheads such as administration, staff, and property-related costs.c) Fixed expensesThese costs remain constant. They include property tax, property-related costs such as building and/or equipment rental, amortization, depreciation, insurance and the interest to pay on loans or debt, such as from loans, lease and insurance.d) Interest, taxes, amortization and depreciation3. EARNINGS OR BOTTOM LINEDifference of deducting the cost from the revenue. It is also known as net income, profit or earnings.Here's a sample hostel profit and loss statement:1. REVENUE OR TOP LINETo calculate the total revenue generated:Room RevenueFood & BeverageBreakfast RevenueBar RevenueRestaurant RevenueRoom Service RevenueOther Departmental revenue:EventsActivitiesSpaTelephoneGift ShopParking2. COSTSa) Operational expenses:RoomsPayrollCleaningLaundryOtherF&BFood CostBeverage CostPayrollCleaningLaundryOtherOther departments: spa, events and othersPurchasing CostsPayrollOtherb) Undistributed costs:Administration, excluding what has been taken into account already for being related to services of the hotel.Marketing and distribution expenses, you can take into account: cost of commission to OTA, cost of metasearch, marketing expenses and other sales channels costStaff not directly related to rooms, including F&B, spa and events staffCleaningOtherc) Fixed expenses:Property taxProperty rentalEquipment rentalInsuranceBy applying the following formula we obtain our NOI (net operating income) or EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation Amortization):Revenue - Expenses before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and AmortizationTo conclude with the P&L statement, the final step is to calculate the following:InterestTaxesDepreciationAmortizationThe above sample is of course a simplified version of a hotel P&L statement. Your accounting department may wish to break your own P&L statements down into more detail to aid greater understanding and provide deeper insight.A final wordTo understand your P&L as well as possible, what it boils down to, simply, is this: total sales minus total costs equals hotel profits. While it doesn't need to become complicated, the more detailed your P&L, the better for your understanding and insight regarding overall hotel operability and performance.Any hotel management business that wishes to achieve healthy financial results, should invest a good amount of time to build a well structured profit and loss statement, and review it monthly with the members of the hotel executive and management team. It is a key step to your success!Download your free copy of a sample hotel P&L statement in Excel or PDFAs ever, please let me know your thoughts!Cheers,Patrick Landman @ Xotels

Opening your Dream Hostel: the Simple 5-Step Plan for Success

Xotels Blog·17 December 2018
Do you dream of opening a successful hostel? Or perhaps you’re closer to making it a reality, having already scoped out locations and gathered the required investment. Wherever you are on your journey to opening your very own successful hostel, I can relate from my own first-hand experience with my hostel management company.

How to Create a Family Friendly Hotel

Xotels ·12 December 2018
Helping parents with the logistics of travelling with their kids is a huge part of the job while simultaneously providing a stay at your hotel that is fun, inspirational and relaxing.If you want to help level up your hotel into an industry benchmark for child-friendliness, now is the time to look beyond merely offering a standard family room and embrace fresh, creative, innovative ideas to win business from families and keep them coming back time and again.Here are some such ideas for you to consider.Boosting your hotel's appeal to familiesAs hoteliers we increasingy have to dazzle our guests with new, fresh proposals on a regular basis. And families present two buyer personas in one. We must cater to the needs and desires of both parents and children.With this in mind, what can your hotel do to attract families in a unique way that trumps your competition?At Xotels we have worked with many hotels on improving their appeal to families. We see this niche target market as a great opportunity, but unfortunately many hotels are not addressing their needs adequately.One common theme is that families love package offers, complete with meals, activities and perks. And those with activities for young children and early-year adolescents in particular are the most successful. Here are five initiatives you can consider implementing.1. Form a partnership with brands or prominent public figures that complement your own brand. These can include cultural and sports icons unique to your city.2. Appeal to adventure-seeking families by promoting your hotel as a family destination with nearby activities. These can include cultural hotspot visits like a museum, castle or zoo, and sport activities, excursions or events.3. Target families with high disposable income by positioning your hotel as a premium-level location for a family getaway, fully prepared with a range of outstanding children's activities and services to help parents relax and unwind.4. Target families on a budget by offering family room deals including triples and quads. Especially in times of typically lower occupancy this is an effective tactic.5. Create unique, memorable themes for your family packages. Two examples are: (1) "Our first family holiday!" and (2) "The great outdoors family weekend away".Optimising your family package promotionIt is of course essential to promote your family packages to the decision makers in the family: parents. Due to the logistics of organising a family holiday around kids' time off school and parents' time off work, families usually arrange their vacations in advance. With this in mind, how can you best promote your family packages? Here are three suggestions.Send quarterly newsletters to guests with families that detail your upcoming packages that they simply can't miss out on. This also presents an opportunity to attract early bookings with offers and special deals.Partner with bloggers and online publications that write about family activities for your geographical area. Parents are often very receptive to recommendations from recognised authority sources. Many online family publications and social media accounts have enormous influence with parents.Publish and promote professional photos and videos of the activities, spaces and locations that form your family packages on your website, on your social accounts and also consider paid PR campaigns via social media and traditional media, including print and radio.Make your hotel family-friendly"Family-friendly" as a concept refers to all family members as a unit but as individuals too. Here are three family member age groups (adults, toddlers and young children) with various ideas for each to consider.1. FOR PARENTSi. Propose activities for Mum and Dad to enjoy together, such as a romantic meal or leisure pursuit, while offering supervised creche services for babies and on-site entertainment options for older children.ii. Create postnatal or pampering activities and treatments for Mums to re-energize, but be sure to also offer any Dads a range of services to choose from too. Pursuing individual parent activities in such a way also appeals to any families staying with just one parent.iii. Offer a "Baby Breakfast". This sees child carers pick a family's baby or babies up early in the morning to be fed and cared for, allowing the parent(s) alone time to enjoy a restful morning, relaxing breakfast or revitalising spa session.iv. Provide babies and/or young children with swimming lessons with a qualified child instructor. Parents can also join or watch on from the side.2. FOR BABIES (0-3 YEARS OLD)Travelling with babies can be complicated and therefore it isn't so common. But this can be an advantage to hotel managers. Simply through investing in the following kinds of items and services that help provide baby care, your hotel will stand out from your competition by showing that you accommodate families as a priority.i. Cribsii. Baby trolleysiii. Babysitting, creche and playpensiv. Nappy binsv. Changing matsvi. Bottle warmersvii. Arranged agreement for callout doctor visits should they be necessaryviii. Baby essentials such as nappies, wipes and cream as part of a toiletries pack3. FOR PRE-TEEN CHILDREN (4-12 YEARS OLD)i. Kids menus including healthy optionsii. Kid-size pyjamas and bathrobesiii. Activities including child care such as bike tours, water sports, cooking lessons, or interactive pursuits including outside treasure hunts or geocoachingiv. LEGO butler or any toy delivery in the room, by developing a toy room-service menu. If room-service is not your strong suit, you can reserved a drawer only for toys, for children to enjoy in their room.v. Bedtime story butler, reading the perfect bedtime story according to your kidsvi. Children afternoon tea or a play-area that you can do in a conference room or in the bar area, to optimize these spaces, sometimes quiet in the afternoon (under-supervision of course)vii. Candy Man within the hotel, to deliver candy, chocolate bar or gummy bears with his cartviii. Welcoming gift for kids: you can include hotel T-shirts, coloring book, yo-yo, teddy bear.. .Personalized it according to your hotel identity!Family friendliness for boutique and independent hotelsIf you run a boutique or independent hotel, you can make the requisite amendments to boost your family-friendly appeal without needing to invest a lot. Here are some budget-friendly options.1. FAMILY SERVICES AT BOUTIQUE AND INDEPENDENT HOTELSi. Offer standard rooms that can be family-customized with optional extras. These can include snacks and welcome family food packs, a crib or cot, mini fridge, children's TV channels, board games and other entertainment options.ii. Make your lobby area cozy for children with a play area and toys while parents check in or out or simply want to sit and relax with a refreshment.iii. Prepare budget-friendly, quality packed lunch for adults and kids alike.iv. Set up an area of the restaurant dining room for children with small tables and colorful decor.v. Offer extended check out on all family bookings.2. PROPOSE FAMILY VACATION IDEASi. Itineraries and plans for the whole family to do together, as well as individual activities for parents and for children.ii. Make and promote a checklist of the 10 essential things to do in your city or local area and see before your 15th birthday, but that parents will also find stimulating.iii. Form partnerships with local swimming instructors to offer lessons for kids in the morning, or with gyms and other activity centers to offer other types of class.3. FACILITIES FOR BABIES (0-3 YEARS OLD)As we mentioned, travelling with toddlers isn't common. Therefore, it doesn't provide a strong return on investment to spend heavily by focusing on families with children under 3 years of age. But you can certainly provide the following items and services easily, which can make a world of difference in how families that do check in with a young baby view your hotel.i. Baby bibs at the hotel restaurantii. Puree and baby food at the bar/restaurantiii. Bottle-heating room serviceiv. Cribs, cots and playpensv. Nappy changing amenities and products4. IDEAS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN (4-12 YEARS OLD)i. Set up a section of each main common area for children to play in while their parents can watch on. You can deck it out with board games, toys, superhero costumes and indoor playground facilities such as a mini slide. This also provides an opportunity to partner with local companies that provide products or services for children.ii. Organize a themed treasure hunt in a specific area of the hotel grounds. This includes creating a map with clues and prizes for locating the treasure.iii. Prepare for rainy days by offering indoor activity options too, including classes, courses and shows. You can seek to make it unique to your hotel by leveraging local history, traditions, events, culture or folklore.THE FINAL WORDMany families want to spend quality time together on holiday, while others prefer let their kids enjoy themselves while the parents enjoy some time to themselves, and others want a bit of both. Successful hotel management explores and caters to all these preferences by listening carefully to guests regarding services and facilities, in order to inform any necessary update decisions.In a hotel sector in which change is now constant, it is the hotel manager that is proactive and prepared that will achieve the greatest commercial success while delivering an outstanding service that turns families into happy, repeat-stay guests.These reflections are based on our first-hand experience at Xotels working with scores of leading hotels around Europe and beyond on successful hotel family service implementation. I hope they provide you with some valuable insights into how to boost your own family-friendly appeal.As ever, please let me know your thoughts or if you have anything to add in the comments!Cheers,Patrick Landman @ Xotels

Upgrade your Hotel Positioning with some Unconventional Amenities & Services

Xotels ·22 October 2018
Our role as Xotels has developed over time from revenue management into a full hotel management company, we are now looking way beyond pricing and distribution for hotels. We are actually also developing new hotel concepts, and for this it is important to keep up to date with the latest developments in the hospitality industry.The hotel industry has welcomed an unprecedented level of luxury. The rising demand for this extravagance is the increasing guest pursuit of meaningful, personalized experiences that are at the same time unique, exclusive and memorable. Join me in this post and discover 10 of the most brilliant hotel offerings that deliver the ultimate experience in luxury.Hotelier insider tipAt Xotels, we work with a number of hotels that offer such services. From this first-hand experience, we have seen that luxury hotel guests don't want to be seen as capricious and wasteful. They value their privacy, yet seek out luxury stays for the unique surprises and thrills that hotel management can offer.By surpassing your guests' expectations with a spectacular 5-star hotel service, your hotel will quickly gain a reputation for an unforgettable, must-have experience.We have gathered some examples from hotels around the world to inspire you;10 OUTSTANDING LUXURY HOTEL SERVICES1. PAPARAZZI POLICEKeeping their vacation private is the minimum that your guests can ask of your luxury hotel, right? But, if for instance you have celebrity guests whose daily life involves being followed by paparazzi, maintaining such privacy presents challenges.To solve this paparazzi problem, the Las Ventanas hotel in Los Cabos, Mexico came up with an innovative solution to ensure their guests' privacy and an enjoyable stay. This hotel's staff are equipped with reflective screens, which protect their guests from prying photographers. These "Paparazzi Police" use their screens to shine light at the photographers, which ruins their photos.Not only that, it also works as a deterrent, as photographers know that there is now little point in trying to take photos at Las Ventanas.2. PERSONALIZED FIREWORK DISPLAYWe focus on Las Ventanas again, as the luxury hotel offers a spectacular personalized, private fireworks show. Costing around $1,700 per minute, guests can easily personalize it to their liking. It is another service that helps create a truly unique, unforgettable experience in a part of the world that is known for its mesmerizing natural beauty.3. ONSITE GIRAFFESLocated in the Langata suburb of Nairobi, Giraffe Manor is an exclusive boutique hotel. Like its name suggests, it is home to a large group of giraffes, which can be seen walking around the 12 acres of hotel land, and are known to greet guests by frequently poking their heads into their windows!Giraffe Manor is one of Nairobi's most iconic buildings, hosting international guests since the 1930s when affluent Europeans began to visit for a safari trip. But, by far the hotel's most stunning attraction is its beautiful and friendly group of giraffes, which year after year continues to entice guests in search of luxury hotel experiences.While you may not be able to offer onsite giraffes at your own hotel, perhaps Giraffe Manor can inspire you to come up with your own unique offering.4. HOT AIR BALLOON RIDEBreathtaking experiences are a favorite of luxury hotel guests prepared to pay extra for the privilege. One such experience is a ride in a hot air balloon. And one such hotel that offers this service is the Kale Konak Hotel, located atop Cappadocia in Turkey.Leveraging its position amid a location of natural splendor, this hotel helps its guests by organizing a hot air balloon ride, which promises a stunning experience of a lifetime.How can your hotel take advantage of its surroundings to offer thrilling adventures and experiences?5. SUNSCREEN-SPRAYING BOOTHSHotel guests don't want to worry about anything when they enjoy the beach or the resort pool at remote and exclusive locations. And if there's one thing that can ruin a vacation, it's sunburn. Proactive hotels take it upon themselves to help guests prevent burning up by including sunscreen-spraying booths as a standard luxury hotel service. In particular, many Caribbean hotels offer this service, loved by solo travelers, couples and families alike.After all, even if a guest carelessly forgets to apply sunscreen and suffers the consequences, they are much more likely to associate your hotel with the negative experience. By offering sunscreen-spraying booths, you cancel out this possibility and create a value-added service for your guests, so they can enjoy their vacation in full.6. PARAGLIDINGFor hotels that are located with expansive countryside hills nearby, paragliding is a luxury service that ticks all the boxes. It can be relatively inexpensive to run, offers a riveting add-on experience, and will hep move you head and shoulders above your competition.A novel twist is to offer a paragliding route from atop a hill to the hotel entrance at the bottom. With the help of a professional paragliding expert, the most demanding and fearless of guests can enjoy an extreme sport and make a rock-star entrance at your hotel.7. SECRET, INVITE-ONLY ROOMIt is an increasing trend to offer a secret or hidden service. But the catch is that it can't be bought by money. Certain luxury desires can only be attained with the right contact, recommendation, knowledge or invite. Think of the appeal of speakeasy bars, or exclusive, secret societies.Take advantage of this winning trend by creating a secret, invite-only room in your hotel. Make it exceptionally beautiful or intriguing, or offer services that are unobtainable to "regular" guests. Choose a secluded or forbidden area of your hotel for its location. And of course, this secret room cannot be advertised on your official channels, such as your website.8. IN-SUITE SHOPPINGLuxury is never having to pack a suitcase, no matter where you go or for how long. Take inspiration from London's Hotel Cafe Royal, which offers its guests a personalized, curated styling service for all occasions during their stay. Guests check in without luggage and find a selection of clothes handpicked by a personal stylist to choose from in their suite upon arrival.By offering your guests this luxury option, you make them feel like pop stars. And not only is it extremely convenient, everyone loves discovering a new outfit to wear and feeling like a VIP.9. COMPLIMENTARY LUXURY CAR DRIVESSome of the very best 5-star luxury hotels offer their guests luxury cars during their stay too, for free. Hotels like The Peninsula Beverly Hills in California provide their guests with Rolls-Royce and Infiniti cars, having developed a strong relationship with the high-end car manufacturers.If you have the budget to ramp up your luxury hotel with this complimentary service, it will help serve as a magnet for guests eager for exclusive experiential stays. And if not, there are other options. For instance, you can approach high-end car leasing companies to enquire about reaching an agreement. And it doesn't have to be luxury cars. You could also tap into the growing importance of sustainability to guests by offering premium eco-friendly cars.10. NO-INTERNET DIGITAL DETOX ZONEC-suite executives and stressed millionaires with companies and scores of people dependent on their decisions and attention find it difficult if not impossible to disconnect. With so much responsibility on their shoulders, they are often available around the clock, seven days a week.Even if they do get an opportunity to get some much needed time off, they are often interrupted by a colleague who needs their input on the latest emergency or major decision at their company. Cue the growing prevalence of no-internet resorts. No WiFi, no mobile internet signal and no onsite computers to access the web. Completely and utterly offline.This digital detox is increasingly sought after by hyper-connected individuals who want to get away from it all, even if only for a few days, offering them total peace and quiet, without the fear of their phone blowing up with calls, messages and emails. For typically busy company executives and such individuals in an ultra-connected world, this kind of opportunity to unwind and relax "off the grid" is an increasingly exclusive luxury.THE FINAL WORDMore and more hotels are trying to make their guests' stay as special as possible so in the near future, many of these unconventional services will be offered by more luxurious hotels all over the world.This being said, a great hotel manager goes beyond what customers say they want, helping them to realize their wildest dreams by combining fun, joyful experiences with exclusive, unique services that make them feel important.More ideas? Let me know them in the comments...Cheers,Patrick Landman @ Xotels.com

How to Attract Millennials to Book your Hotel: The 5-Step Plan

Xotels · 8 October 2018
So by now we should all know that Millennials represent the largest consumer demographic group in the world today. And more importantly for the hotel sector, they love to travel. For these reasons, it is critical to the success of your hotel management strategy to appeal to the millennial market.This consumer group is made up of people born between 1981 and 1996, which in 2018 equates to ages from 22 to 37. With the baby boomer cohort retiring and millennial spending power increasing, it will be the latter group that will increasingly drive the success of your hotel over the years to come.So, we have put together top five list of brilliant tactics and tips to get millennials to book your hotel time and again.1. OPTIMIZE YOUR ONLINE BOOKING CHANNELSIs your website up to date? Does booking through it take less than a minute? Does your hotel have actively managed social media accounts across a range of platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat)? Do they drive traffic for direct bookings?If the answer to any of these questions is no, your online booking channels are not optimized, and you are almost certainly losing customers to your rivals.Millennials are the most tech-savvy demographic in history. Frankly, if you don't meet their tech expectations, they will find a hotel that will.Here's a quick to-do list to make sure your direct bookings are as plentiful as they can be:i) Carry out an in-depth assessment of website optimization for the millennial market and implement the necessary updates. And with 46% of travel booked through a mobile phone or tablet, it absolutely must be enhanced for mobile.ii) Integrate a booking management system that is designed with millennials in mind, for a speedy, user-friendly reservation experience. We need to go beyond the basic off the shelf booking engines, with only 1 small image per room type and one line of text. It is time for a big revamp, and give the IBE a look and feel more matching Tinder or InstaGram.iii) Plan and implement a detailed social media strategy to drive direct millennial traffic to your website. Which platforms should you be on? Are you consistently producing and recycling content that can be shared and liked?2. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEIR PRICE-SAVVINESSMillennials' spending power is increasing, in particular as many scale the career ladder, but they are generally on the lookout for a good deal when it comes to travel expenses. With their high levels of brand loyalty in mind, your hotel has an opportunity to win repeat millennial custom.A good starting point is to promote a loyalty program that rewards millennials with genuinely appealing gifts or discounts. And we are not talking about a system where the need to gather points before they get something. No millennials are all for instant gratification, so give them their discounts and extras right away when they sign-up.Another important point to keep in mind is that millennials are prepared to spend more for an upgrade to their experience with you, representing up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.You can add to these steps by offering more than just the typical all-inclusive package by including various additional perks for a comprehensive experience package deal. You will find some great tips in our article on 'how hotels should compete with AirBnB'.3. TARGET THE SOLO TRAVELLING MILLENNIALSUnlike previous generations, a large portion of millennials are interested in travelling alone, reportedly up to 37%. When we also take into consideration that the "digital nomad" group - people who work while travelling and staying in different locations around the world - is growing, and that freelancers are expected to rise to around 50% of the global workforce by 2030, the need to appeal to the solo guest market is evident.You can win solo traveler business by designing individual guest packages. This might include perks, such as a personalized spa and leisure offering, a communal area to get to know other solo travelers, and leveraging unique points about your hotel, such as its unique location, history or the local cuisine.Your marketing, customer service and sales processes should also be tailored to individual travelers too, including website landing pages, and social media and email marketing strategies.For example, create a Digital Nomad landing page, where you outline specifically what you offer them, giving some extra perks. Package it up with a e-bike to explore the city, or an airport pick-up with a green-taxi service.4. FOCUS ON THE AFTER-SALES SERVICE AND CULTIVATE A STRONG CLIENT RELATIONSHIPMillennials want to share their experience of their stay in your hotel, and with the massive reach of Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms, not to mention hotel review websites, it is critical to not only make a good first impression on your millennial guests, but to actively invest in and cultivate a strong relationship.What does this mean exactly? To begin with, you must be receptive to feedback, whether good or bad. This will arrive through any of a number of online channels, so you need to be ready to respond as professionally to complaints as you do to glowing reviews (some tips on how to here).The hotel that successfully appeals to millennials does this through efficient communication via social networks, their own internal communication channels, through online travel agencies (OTAs) and review websites. And to maintain direct communication and promote repeat stays, a sophisticated email marketing strategy is essential.We have implemented a guest Whatsapp concierge service in many hotels. This way guests can be in touch with the reception constantly and ask advise on what is going on in town or get help with restaurant reservations 24/7.In our experience, really making an intense effort of talking frequently with our guests during their stay, and sending a sincere personal post-stay thank you message, drives up review scores magically. Don't wait behind the reception desk for them to come to you, go out and meet them in the lounge or breakfast room and create a bond. Show them you care and are interested in their personal stories, and they will pay back the love!5. MAKE YOUR HOTEL INSTAGRAMMABLE AND EXPERIENTIALInstagram is the visual social network of choice for millennials. Put simply, it allows its users to post beautiful images and share it far and wide with the assistance of up to 30 hashtags, the Instagram Stories feature, and of course, its image filter selection.Making your hotel fit for Instagram purpose allows you to essentially get word-of-mouth marketing on a mass scale for free, as millennials will happily share photos of your hotel for you. And if it is truly instagrammable, you can bet that your millennial guests will sing your praises too.Really, your hotel needs to be designed for the millennial guest. If not, it is probably time for a decor update. But before you go about overhauling your hotel to appeal to this group, it is worth paying close attention to their penchant for unique and unforgettable travel experiences.The days of hotel concepts across your city and possibly even country being more or less the same are probably on their way out, because new hotel concepts are increasingly driven by the unique experience that they can offer to millennials.A great example here is the Katikies in Santorini, Greece. Besides that they have an amazing location with stunning views, they go out of their way to be instagrammable. They spend US$29.392 a year on paint. They have a full time painter on their team and patch up every day to stay picture perfect. (check the article)Also check out a positioning strategy article I wrote earlier titled 'give the selfie shooters what they want'Put simply, what can your hotel offer millennials that no other can? How can it differentiate the experience it offers its millennial guests? Experiential hotels take their inspiration from the unique culture of their city, region or country; from an immersive hotel experience that they offer; or basing their concept on activities that their specific location offers, such as, for example, water sports at the nearby river rapids.WRAPPING UPMillennials are arguably the most demanding consumer group in history. They want more, and they want to pay less for it. And whether good or bad, they are very likely to leave feedback on one or more online channels about their stay at your hotel.On the flip side though, if you nail your hotel management strategy for this demographic, you will reap the rewards of attracting and keeping a highly brand-loyal consumer group that is only going to grow in prominence, and that as a bonus is very receptive to up-selling and cross-selling initiatives.While millennials necessitate a more intricate business model, the rewards for successfully executing one for your hotel can be exponential.My advice would be to create a task force and make it part of your annual strategy plan, and during your monthly management meetings, add a time where you discuss what you are doing specifically to attract and serve millennials better. It needs to be a constant focus.Look forward to any other ideas or suggestions from you ...Cheers,Patrick Landman @ Xotels

How to Attract Chinese Travellers to your Hotel

Xotels ·23 August 2018
With around $300 billion spent every year overseas, Chinese market is incredibly tempting for hotels, but it's probably the hardest one to penetrate as well. We are always looking to develop our revenue management and distribution strategies for new opportunities. Talking with some of the experts in the market we have put together a top 10 list of tips and best practices to make your hotel 'chinese friendly' and attract this massive growing market segment.So, if you don't know where to start with the "Land of the Dragon", forget about noodles, dumplings or martial arts B-movies and follow this short guide to turn your hotel into the ultimate Chinese-friendly experience!1, 2, 3, GO!Statistically, the average Chinese travelers stay is pretty short (according to a recent Ctrip study, most package-tour travelers visit over 3 Countries in 10 days), they prefer to move in groups and avoid the DIY approach. This is because of several reasons: usually Chinese do not speak fluent English, so traveling in groups is reassuring, moreover, agencies take care of pretty much every aspect of the travel, including getting Visas (only 7% of the population actually possesses a passport and getting a Visa is usually a pain in the butt, if you pardon my french). Chinese travelers have a clear preference for beaten-track destinations with known landmarks.TIP #1: SPEAK TO YOUR TOUR SERIES AND GROUP BOOKERS AND FIND OUT IF THEY HAVE CHINESE CLIENTS. YOU COULD USE THIS GROUP MARKET TO QUOTE 'OPAQUE RATES' TO CREATE BASE OCCUPANCY. OF COURSE HIGHLIGHT THE SPACE YOU HAVE FOR BUSSES OR MINIBUSES TO DROP-OFF AND PICK-UP GUESTS.THE YEAR OF THE CAT, NOPE, THE DOGEqually important is to recognize the religious, cultural and political differences. For example is not unusual for Chinese to have only one or two weeks of annual holidays. Unthinkable, for us, lazy Europeans! Nevertheless, last year over 6 million of Chinese travelers spent the Lunar New Year Holiday week (late January - early February) overseas, a period that is usually considered low-season in Europe and can be, therefore, exploited!TIP #2: STUDY THEIR TRAVEL HABITS AND CREATE SPECIFIC PACKAGES FOR THE SPRING FESTIVAL BREAK!MEETING THE EXPECTATIONSYou should learn what the Chinese travelers expect from hotels when abroad: paying for wifi, for example, is unimaginable and, even though they do not expect your staff to speak fluent Mandarin, it will certainly improve their experience. Comb, toothbrush, and slippers in a room are expected, just like kettles to make (huge quantities of) tea. When managing a complaint with a Chinese guest, staff should be indirect, diplomatic and avoid confrontation at all cost: the worst offense you can do to a Chinese is to lose your temper, as hiding emotion seems to be the national sport over there. As bad as it may sound, hotel staff (and staff in general) is considered as servants by Chinese, therefore more delicate issues should be managed by General Managers directly. Never turn your back on a Chinese guest and don't forget to smile like until your mouth aches when talking to them. Do not offer preferential treatment to women and, in the rare case a Chinese offers you his business card, treat it as the Holy Grail and grab it with two hands.TIP #3: SOMETHING THAT IS NORMAL IN WESTERN CULTURES IS OFFENSIVE TO CHINESE. DO YOUR HOMEWORK! HAVING CHINESE SPEAKER STAFF IS A VERY EFFECTIVE, YET, NOT ALWAYS POSSIBLE FOR SMALL PROPERTIES. TRY ADDING SOME CHINESE TV PROGRAMS AND A FEW TYPICAL DISHES ON YOUR MENU! AND HOW ABOUT PARTNERING WITH A LOCAL CHINESE SPEAKING TOUR-GUIDE ...THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILSDid you know that the Chinese word for "four" sounds like the Chinese word for "death"? Greek call this tetraphobia, or fear of the number 4. This number should never be pronounced during holidays or when somebody is sick. Chinese elevators often skip the 4th floor. So, you got it: NEVER put a Chinese guest on the 4th floor. Looking for a complaint (or an ancient Chinese curse?): assign the room 444... But, hey, the good news is that the numbers 8 and 9 are considered very lucky.TIP #4: MAKE SURE YOU NEVER ASSIGN A ROOM WITH A "4" IN IT TO A CHINESE GUEST, BUT PREFER ROOMS WITH A 8 OR A 9I PAY WITH MY LITTLE PHONEA friend of mine from Shangai once told me that "I can live pretty well by having only Alipay or WeChat on my mobile". This can sound like a radical statement, but it is incredible how quickly the Country managed to move its payments from cash to digital, almost skipping the credit card phase tout-court. According to a recent Nielsen survey, when abroad Chinese travelers "subconsciously take out their phones, only to realize later that the merchant does not support mobile payments".TIP #5: ACCEPT ALIPAY AND WECHAT AS METHODS OF PAYMENT! DON'T FORGET TO MENTION IT ON YOUR WEBSITEBANNED IN CHINAEven though there is a timid, new trend of tech-savvy Chinese travelers using western online platforms such as Google (via VPN, of course) remember that over 6 million websites are blocked in mainland China. And, between them, there are the main western capitalist social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. So trying to penetrate the Chinese market using these platforms is like tying eat chicken soup with chopsticks.TIP #6: ACCORDING TO DRAGON TAIL, OVER 70% OF CHINESE TRAVELERS USE SOCIAL MEDIA AS THE MAIN CHANNEL TO ORGANIZE THEIR TRIP. DID YOU KNOW THAT WECHAT HAS MORE USERS THAN INSTAGRAM? CREATE A WECHAT ACCOUNT (POSSIBLY A SERVICE ONE) NOW!FORGET ABOUT BOOKING.COM AND GOOGLEOTAs are different from ours in China (oh, yeah, that's surprising...): even though Booking.com and Agoda are available, Ctrip, Qunar, and Alitrip are way more popular. TripAdvisor has its own Chinese language version (DaoDao), but it is way less used than Qyer or Mafengwo. Same with search engines: political pressures have negatively influenced the expansion of Google, so the majority of hotel searches start in Baidu (700 million users). On top of that, the algorithms developed to organize search results in Indo-European languages are not effective for different alphabet and syntax.TIP #7: CONNECT WITH CHINESE OTAS, AT LEAST WITH CTRIP (OVER 50% OF MARKET SHARE AND 160 MILLION APP DOWNLOADS) AND DO NOT WASTE MONEY ADVERTISING ON GOOGLE, BUT TRY SOME BAIDU ADS!PAPER IS DEAD, BUT NOT ENTIRELYDid you know? One of the most popular travel search queries in China is "name of city + travel guide". As anachronistic as it may sound, being listed on a few guides is not such a bad idea.TIP #8: LIST YOUR HOTEL ON A FEW CHINESE TRAVEL GUIDES TO INCREASE YOUR BRAND AWARENESSWHERE TO HOST YOUR CHINESE WEBSITELoading times for websites not hosted in China can be incredibly high. But, in order to host your website over there, you should register a Chinese business... And it's bloody expensive.TIP #9: IF YOU CANNOT HOST YOUR WEBSITE IN CHINA, CHOOSE HONG KONG: IT'S SLIGHTLY EASIER AND LOAD TIME WILL BE GOOD ENOUGH FOR CHINESE WEB USERSKILLED BY DESIGNThe cultural background heavily influences Chinese aesthetic canons as well. Try to compare Tripadvisor with its Asian equivalent Daodao: the profound aesthetic web design differences are striking. Advertising in China is not that simple, either. Baidu, for example, is way more restrictive on advertisements than Western search engines and it requires the approval of your account before you can start bidding.TIP #10: CREATE A DEDICATED WEBSITE VERSION FOR CHINESE USERS AND MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW BAIDU GUIDELINES FOR ADVERTISING!THE FINAL WORDChina is a complicated market, especially for the cultural and political differences that divide us. If you want to attract the Chinese traveler to your hotel, you will have to learn and about their habits and preferences. Adapting to their needs and expectations is fundamental to success.So, in order to penetrate this segment, enhance your hotel management strategy and start following these ten takeaways. Otherwise, they will simply pick another hotel that does ...Cheers,Patrick Landman @ XotelsPS: 1 more tip, but as we did not want to break the top 10, we put it here ...When traveling, Chinese prefer to spend more on shopping than accommodation. Yes, like to all Asian, shopping is a must. They spend a lot on buying European brands ...TIP 11: ADD SHOPPING INFO ON YOUR WEBSITE. A ROUTE OF DEPARTMENT-STORES OR LUXURY BRAND BOUTIQUES WILL BE VERY EFFECTIVE. ALSO INCLUDE DETAILS ABOUT THE CLOSEST OUTLET SHOPPING VILLAGE. SHOPPING PACKAGE COULD ALSO WORK WELL, EVEN THINK ABOUT PARTNERING WITH A LOCAL CHINESE PRIVATE SHOPPING CONCIERGE / GUIDE.

Top Ideas to grow Hotel Ancillary Revenue

Xotels · 9 July 2018
Start Upselling from Today and Maximize the Revenue of your PropertyOver the last weeks, we have been racking our brain and plowing through hotel websites to gather best practices for upselling and generating ancillary revenues in hotels. We have looked at our own portfolio, and outside to come up with a list of amazing tips.Whatever the size of your property, the potential of ancillary revenue is big and the options to get it can be very creative ...WHAT ANCILLARY REVENUE OPPORTUNITIES EXIST IN HOTELS?Your hotel has high occupancy, the reviews of your resort are good, or your want to increase the average income of your hotel or resort. This is the moment when you ask yourself "What is next?" Annual industry reports say that ancillary sales will account for more than 18% of a 'tourism business' total revenues. Want your piece of the pie?There are 4 different ways to use ancillary revenue opportunities and start with a total revenue management strategy:1o CREATE PACKAGES:Bundle ancillaries (add-on services) with higher category room types. This option is known as "Themed Packages", and is all about selling an experience. You can call them romance, adventure or family packages.Be aware that some guests look for the entire travel experience, but others prefer to organize flights and hotels first ... and think about activities after. Address both:- Offer themed packages on your web so they can choose it during the booking- A week after a room booking is completed, send an email to the guests offering the activity (with a nice picture and the price), and upsell to them...Do not limit yourself: if you do not have facilities for activities, partner with local third parties. We talked about this as well in our last article about what hotels can learn from AirBnb.Examples on How to apply this Ancillary Revenue idea to ResortsYou have a nice hotel or resort in a beautiful location, congratulations! Some guests will choose your location and will find you, but you can do much better...Use your surrounding to sell a broader experience, that goes beyond your hotel. Add a pack of activities in the form of a package and find one key activity related to each target customer market (young adventurers, couples, seniors). Two awesome examples:Spa:Did you know, you don't even need to have a spa to actually position / market your property as a Spa Hotel? Look at Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra in San Sebastian, for instance. Here we have partnered with the high-end La Perla Spa and created a wonderful package.Romantic EscapeIt is one of the most looked for searches on Google for your destination. So why not offer it on your website? You can do a simple champagne and chocolate offer, or build a more extensive romantic package with a dinner for 2 in an exclusive location or restaurant. You can let your imagination do the work.Golf & SportsA popular sport, with dedicated travelers. Again, there is no need to be on or next to the golf course. Build a package together with the local golf course.And what other activities can we target just as golf? Hiking, diving, cycling, kite-surfing, paddling, kayak, and many more ...Other packages that come to mind: culinary, family activities, cultural, city tour, weekend break, etc2o TARGET A CLIENT NICHE MARKETChoose a niche client market and be the best there. To properly cover the niche you will have to adapt your property and your communication. The good part of this strategy is that you can, and should, offer related services to improve the experience and your guests (and charge them for it...)Dog Friendly HotelPet owners are known for being very generous with their furry friends. But the hospitality industry is slow in getting adapted to cover their needs. Not just in terms of accepting pets at hotels, but also for offering special products for them. So we have put some ideas together for you: - Offer a pet friendly room rate that includes an extra mini bed for the dog and a pack of plastics bags, a toy and some dry food - Have a little shop with products that the pet owners might need during the stay - Partner with a veterinary, so you can easily offer it in case is needed - Propose services such as dog walking, dog washing, dog daycare, so guests can go to touristic activities while their dog is enjoying too!Family & Kid FriendlyDo you have Family Rooms in your hotel? How will families find your hotel when searching on Google ... a fair question to ask, if you want them to stay at your hotel, right?Family vacations are expensive, and a cool family friendly hotel is the perfect option. But is your hotel truly kid friendly? What activities inhouse and outside do you offer?Some ideas to ponder on ... - Nursing and childcare service, to help parents to rest some hours a day and enjoy the city by themselves. - Early check in and late check out, so they can easily adapt logistics to the schedule of the children. - Propose a daily schedule of paid activities for children at various ages in the city and the nature...and adult activities at the same time. - Sell nice but simple and healthy packed lunch to take out, for a day on the town. - Offer family rooms to keep their spent low and also to make easy the night care of the little kids.PrecruiseIf you are planning to go on a cruise from Barcelona and want to leave your car at the city, Hotel Grums offers the possibility.3o GET ROI FROM UNDERUTILIZED AREASTrue, every refurbishment requires money spent but...Have you ever calculated the ROI of any of the actions below?- Call to advertising agencies and startup incubators to offer them your garden for their events, do it for free the first time, make stunning pictures and get awesome reviews ... and after you can start charging for it.- Are your meeting rooms being used all the time? Could they be used as a space for for photographers to do a photoshoot? Or as a space for companies to conduct interviews, recruiting staff?You could potentially also turn it into a co-working space ... it all comes down to math. The trick is to make the spaces as polivalent as possible, and not just for banquets or weddings ...4o CREATING A COMPETITIVE EDGEOTA and Meta-Search are still very focussed on selling rooms. So it is up to you to make your hotel stand out, and add experience to the mix.The key to succeed is to be an expert on your customer profile and to clearly define which product or service could be interesting for them...at each stage of the customer journey, because if you do it on this way the offer will be seen as a valuable proposal instead of a sales opportunity.- Offer some low cost service during the booking process:Stand out from your competitors with a pick up on the airport or a free parking spot. What surprises me the most is the big number of properties that are including this service already but do not highlight it during the booking process!Inspiration and planning during and after the booking:Offer activities for guests who need inspiration and for the ones that think about activities days after the hotel reservation is done. Zoku Hotel sends an email with upgrade offers and San Nicolas Hotel in Belgium offers a delicious chocolate tour on their web.Offer paid activities during the stay too. Your front desk can mention it to the guests at the arrival. It could be cooking classes of local recipes on rainy days... or yoga lessons at your lovely rooftop.Partner with local artists and decorate your hotel with pieces of art available to buy. See an example of the Omni Hotel in Dallas that is exhibiting more than 7000 artworks at common areas and at guestrooms.Send promotions for a second stay, and special offers to guests after their departure.MORE TIPS TO GENERATE EXTRA REVENUESPOSITION YOUR RESTAURANT TO NON-GUESTS:Promote it by building an independent website for the restaurant or the spa. One of our customers, Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra in San Sebastian, has a great Basque Restaurant, which page is on the top menu of the Hotel web and also redirects to the own web of the restaurant. By having a separate identity, you will attract more people from outside...OFFER EARLY CHECK IN AND LATE CHECK OUT:Think about your customers, are they business people or leisure travelers?- Business people usually flight very early or very late, to be able to work during office time. And they value easy and fast logistics ...- Leisure travellers spending a single weekend, might be glad to have a nice offer to extend the check out on sunday and enjoy the day before going to the airport. Include this offer on your confirmation email.Extra tip: Offer room service directly to all guests who have requested early check in or late check out...because restaurants will be closed at very early o very late hours, right?SELL EXPERIENCES, NOT JUST ROOMS:Our hotel hotel Es Moli, located in the beautiful Mallorca, with access to a private cove...offers a private sailing sunset experience.SELL MERCHANDISINGHotels could replicate the same strategy than museums. Have you heard that your guests love your pillows? Put a logo, a slogan, and sell them. Do your offer coffee to take away? Sell travel coffee mugs. But please do not go cheap, if you are stamping your logo the quality of the product should be awesome. The Pantone Hotel is frequently visited by fans of the brand, they use their own mugs on the room service and sell them at the hotel store ( and online also...)CAKE AND FLOWERS FOR YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDSThe Townhouse Hotel Maastricht member of LBG, you can buy a delicious local Maastricht flan pie to take home. You can enjoy it with family and friends talking about you visit to this beautiful town and fun hotel. When they were selling 30 to 40 cakes a weekend and generating an annual profit of EUR11.000, they decided to extend the idea to week days too.MOTORBIKES TO RENTMove beyond bike rentals...You can buy 2 or 3 motos and rent them rent per hours and days, or make an agreement with a local company. Make sure you invest on cool models, so your visitors cannot resist to instagram their pictures....with your logo on them. Find some ideas:- https://www.cooltra.com/- https://www.getyugo.com/HOW TO PROPERLY MEASURE ANCILLARY REVENUESo which ancillary revenues are more profitable? And which are most popular? I have talked with upselling companies and they all agree that the most requested ancillary services are, sorted:- Early check in and late check out- Wifi- Breakfast- Dinner- Champagne- Chocolate - ToursAnd It is interesting also to have a look to the evolution of the different ancillary revenue stream on the last years:Graphic representing the evolution on Ancillary Revenue Streams from 2014 to 2017. (Source: Eye for Travel)Let's talk now about how are revenue managers measuring how profitable is each ancillary service. I read a report online stating that 71% of revenue managers feel that they do not have the tools to properly measure ancillary revenue...We face this challenge because ancillary revenue tends to be measured on a holistic way, assuming that the spent on ancillary comes just from guests of the hotel or resort. But on the examples above, we have seen that a service such a restaurant, a diving activity or golf course can also bring customers that just pay for the activity, and that could also become into guests of the hotel because of it. All these scenarios should be measured separately.The main KPI to measure the ancillary revenue spend is Total Revenue Per Available Room (TRevPAR) but the only way to have a proper indication, is to compare it as an index with the RevPAR. GOPPAR also provides good insight, as it gives a more complete view of the entire business and the cost of sales.CONCLUSION: THE FINAL WORDTracking and managing ancillary revenue is much more than a trend in hotel revenue management. There are clear strategic opportunities to use it in hotels, hostels and resorts.As revenue managers and hotel managers, we have large and proven experience on how to use it, as an income source or to increase the occupancy on low season. Which strategy have you tested? Which example did you like the most? Let me know it on the comments.Are you getting your piece of the pie?Cheers,

What should Hotels Learn and Copy from AirBnB

Xotels ·22 May 2018
The hotel industry generally suffers from a victim mentality. AirBnB is the big bad wolf that is not playing according to our rules. Them and other sharing economy business models are bringing damage to our hotels, and it isn't happening in a fair way. But let's turn the game around and find out what we can learn from them to become better at our own business, hotel management, a.k.a. hospitality ... Let's have a look at their strategies to find some disruptive ideas and see how we can apply them in our hotels. Ready?Innovative Strategies for Hotels in the Sharing Economy Age1.USE OF EXPERIENTIAL HOSPITALITYThe city is the experience itself and Airbnb helps their guests to live it. Experiential travel trumps convenience. So, Airbnb rentals not only offer a place to rest but also unforgettable experiences during the stay. How? They bought the company Trip4real, so their guests can directly book experiences during the stay with local people. Conclusion: it is not just about the stay anymore, it is about the offered value of the entire stay.HOW CAN HOTEL MANAGERS APPLY THIS INITIATIVE AT THEIR HOTELS?Work with sharing economy platforms or with freelance local tour guides and offer your guests themed walking tours of your city. Check out these sites:www.withlocals.comwww.toursbylocals.comwww.showaround.comwww.globalgreeternetwork.comwww.likealocalguide.comwww.getyourguide.comwww.triple.cowww.tourguides.viator.comwww.meet-thelocals.comGo even further by recommending your guests to join events on one the following sites during their stay for a real local experience:www.EatWith.comwww.meetup.comwww.mealsharing.comYour Host (reception) team should become local social concierges. They should network with locals and get to know the best of the best, and know what is on in town besides the big events. They can even organize MeetUp events with locals in your hotel to stimulate more interaction.2. MAKE THEM FEEL HOME AT YOUR HOTELSome guests choose AirBnB it because staying at an apartment makes them feel home. Have a look to the facilities of their apartments and figure it out what do they value: access to a kitchen, a living room to relax, a laundry... Hoteliers can offer this too, one idea is to create a new rate including some of these services.. and see what happens. Do you have business travellers that come to your hotel on a regular basis? Test it with them! You can have great ROI from very little investment.HOW CAN HOTEL MANAGERS APPLY THIS INITIATIVE AT THEIR HOTELS?Gift them cozy slippers to be used on the facilities. Note they need to be nice ones, they can take home as a souvenir, (so not the standard white hotel edition).Have an open area with some free drinks snacks opened 24h so they will have something to eat at any time.Organize a daily free aperitif with some wine and something to nibble on. This works magic for your guest review scores by the way.Have free books that they can read during their stay and take with them when they leaveOffer free laundry service for a limited weight.Create a package around the above options to present it well on your website.3. BE HUMAN THROUGH TECHLet's look at the way they interact with their guests before, during and after their stay. AirBnB is killing it, compared to hotels in service level.There is an efficient chat mechanism. Actually it's more like email, but it poses as chat, to make it feel more personal. Guests can contact hosts for any question on the facilities, location etc. And the host can make recommendations and provide personalized add-on service throughout.What upsets me, is that in the hotel industry we have become lazy. Our website is a gatekeeper. It is a barrier that replaced the phone. It allows us not to have to talk to travelers who might be interested to stay with us, or even guests who booked that might, that have some questions.No mind you, most hoteliers don't want to talk to prospective guests. We have a website, all information is on there. Please look it up yourself, and we will even give you a discount if you book online on our website.We have to admit AirBnb has smartly noted hotels have missed the boat on how to best use new technology and smartly played into this humanizing the booking process with a more personal human touch.So let's use all those resources we have our hotels to provide amazing pre-stay and post-stay service, and show travelers how much better we are at this game than AirBnB hosts.Yes, hoteliers should also communicate and answer questions or concerns and quickly reply or make adjustments, which ultimately builds trust, repeat customers, ...and more (direct) hotel bookings!HOW CAN HOTEL MANAGERS APPLY THIS INITIATIVE AT THEIR HOTELS?Implement a live chat to answer questions on the spot while potential customers are using your website. They will see that there is a real person behind, looking forward to welcome them. It is a preview of what to expect when staying at your hotel. So a moment to shine.Contact with your guests before their arrival, as a human host would do, you can propose them some local activities during their stay or just to ask if they have some special requirement. Use an automated email campaign and after you just have to interact with the ones interested!Do follow-up calls to guests prior to their stay to upsell them. This comes across very personal, and is perceived as additional service. Based on certain criteria you can define on what to offer. I.e. if they are in a drive radius, offer them parking, and explain space is limited, and you want to make sure your guests are taken care off. There are a million things you can think off4. UNIQUENESS AND DESIGN PERSPECTIVEWe have all seen that AirBnB is now open for hotels to advertise their rooms at their platform. The idea behind is that some hotels can offer added value in comparison with the apartments. Basically, They just want hotels that have two characteristics in special: the uniqueness of their space, and cool open areas with common spaces that motivate socialization among guests.HOW CAN HOTEL MANAGERS APPLY THIS INITIATIVE AT THEIR HOTELS?Build common areas, with a unique design concept. Make sure it is also accessible and welcoming to locals, so your guests can interact with the community.Co-working spaces are very popular as well to integrate into hotels mixing travelers with locals.5. DECENTRALIZATION & SUSTAINABLE TOURISMControversial topic that always jumps into the table when we talk about AirBnB. It is a fact that Tourism has caused congestion at some areas of the cities and this deteriorates the quality of live of the residents. AirBnB says that they are moving guests to areas of cities outside of the city centre because they have apartments all around the city area..Also lately, AirBnB has published an statement talking about how sustainable tourism benefits to all the stakeholders guests, hosts and cities, and have developed their business taking this mindset into account. And for this reason they want their hosts to be sustainable and to implement green practices. Great but...what can we do?HOW CAN HOTEL MANAGERS APPLY THIS INITIATIVE AT THEIR HOTELS?Build your hotel at a new and trendy neighborhood. Be a pioneer and position yourself as the place to enjoy the city out of the crowd, and you will kill it with the travellers who want to spend a few days living as locals.Install a green energy system onsite of water conservation and use of renewable energy.Use green and recycled, organic, fair trade products on the hotel facilities and rooms.Choose and promote local suppliers for the the food of your restaurant, the sheets and towels of the room, hire local designers to develop an unique lodging concept.THE FINAL WORDAirBnB has taken a piece of the cake by offering a disruptive product, and their growth in few years means that they know what the travellers want. As hotel managers, we need to adapt our offer to satisfy these needs. So..Why limitate ourselves to use them as a new booking channel? Let's steal some strategies from their success and be disruptive, try, experiment!
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What should Hotels Learn and Copy from AirBnB

Xotels Blog·21 May 2018
The hotel industry generally suffers from a victim mentality. AirBnB is the big bad wolf that is not playing according to our rules. Them and other sharing economy business models are bringing damage to our hotels, and it isn't happening in a fair way.
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10 Tips for Hotels to Penetrate the Chinese Market

Xotels Blog·10 May 2018
With around $300 billion spent every year overseas, Chinese market is incredibly tempting for hotels, but it's probably the hardest one to penetrate as well. We are always looking to develop our revenue management and distribution strategies for new opportunities. Talking with some of the experts in the market we have put together a top 10 list of tips and best practices to make your hotel ‘chinese friendly’ and attract this massive growing market segment.

2018 Checklist for Hotels and Resorts

Xotels · 4 May 2018
Case Studies for Hotels & Resorts:REVENUE MANAGEMENT CASE STUDY 1: HOTEL QBIC AMSTERDAM WTC1. PROFILE OF THE HOTEL:Modern Budget city property with very high occupancy (94%-95% every year.) The hotel is located in the business district called the South Acis, inside the World Trade Center. It is a real hub in the city. The property has a podstyle hotel with cool and functional design, located inside an office building.2. THE REVENUE MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES:Xotels has been running this property since 2010. After 8 years of successful performance the revenue management challenge of this hotel case study is to keep growing the generated revenue. And with occupancies always in the mid 90%, ARR increase is the only way to go ... Ah, yeah, and of course to replace OTA business with Direct bookings.3. REVENUE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES PROPOSED AND IMPLEMENTED BY XOTELS: Better inventory management:Revising room-type supplementsOverbooking room-types strategically in low demand periodsRestrictions on OTAs on MLOS and room categories on high demand periodsInventory micro-management to optimize conversion on stay through availabilityGroup quotations:Increasing conversion levels for low / mid demand periods with competitive offersDriving ARR for high demand periodsWebsite growth techniques:Trademark protectionMeta-search with a strategic selective approach, favoring high value stays over blanket volume biddingConversion stimulation via persuasive pop-upsSubscription based discount and promotional codes prominently positioned on websitePost stay emailing to gain loyalty and improve reputation scoreFocus on Best Price Guarantee on website and in Booking funnelFixed corporate rates to used to drive demand on low seasonYield opportunities, driving ADR on weekends and special events with a longer lead timeDeeper and better analysis of segmentation and booking pace, micro managing yielding for a 13 month window4. THE RESULTS: REVENUE MANAGEMENT KPI'S TO MEASURE THE SUCCESS OF THE HOTELAfter having this hotel at our Revenue Management portfolio for many years, and as result of the revenue management strategies implemented, the KPI'S are as follows:RevPar: 30% increase on the last 3 yearsNet RevPar: 32.3% increase on the last 3 yearsREVENUE MANAGEMENT CASE STUDY 2: SAN DOMENICO PALACE HOTEL *****1. PROFILE OF THE HOTEL:A 5 star Leading Hotel of the World, set in an ancient Dominican monastery on the cliffs of Taormina, Sicily. The prestigious and luxury hotel features a 2 star Michelin restaurant and attracts a note worthy high end clientele. The G7 was also hosted by the hotel this year.2. THE REVENUE MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES:Xotels started running strategies for this seasonal property as of January 2017. The hotel was suffering over-production of lower priced segments and distribution partners.3. REVENUE MANAGEMENT ACTIONS PROPOSED AND IMPLEMENTED BY XOTELS:Strategic restrictions across selected distribution channels:Limiting production of lower rated tour operator contractsFreeing up inventory across all room categories to sell via premium travel agentsChanging price positioning from a seasonal approach to a daily yield gridRepricing of room supplements, based on daily demand patterns (dynamic supplements)Micro-management of inventory:Managing room type availability at a per segment and per channel basis, based on daily revenue potentialOpening up lower room types to a wider distribution spectrumUsing room type availability management as a dynamic yield tool over simply selling physical room product4. THE RESULTS: REVENUE MANAGEMENT KPI'S TO MEASURE THE SUCCESS OF THE HOTELThe results we achieved at this resort hotel speak for itself:Average Daily Rate, ADR, increase of 24%RevPar increase of 40% year on year (2017 vs 2016)REVENUE MANAGEMENT CASE STUDY 3: HOTEL GRUMS BARCELONA1. PROFILE OF THE HOTEL:Modern 78 room Boutique hotel in Barcelona, at a central location near the old port and cruise terminal. Guests say in their reviews this hotel has some of the best beds in Barcelona to sleep in!2. THE REVENUE MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES:When we took the revenue management of this hotel in 2013 the hotel was positioned as another generic hotel with no clear differentiation versus the multitude of competitors in the market. The property had been commoditized by 3rd party distribution channels.3. REVENUE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES PROPOSED AND IMPLEMENTED BY XOTELS:Defining a more clear positioning of the values of the hotel:The hotel was positioned as an independent boutique hotelA focus was added incorporating the guest review feedback about the amazing bedsResegmenting room types:Creating categories that offer a clear value propositionA multitude of room types with small supplements allowing for easy self-upselling by guestsCreating yield levers beyond rate managementTargeting different client niche target markets:Launching several dedicated SEO landing pages on the hotel website, targeting different client profilesPersonalizing room product descriptions to match the needs of the various target marketsWebsite growth techniques:Trademark protectionMeta-search with a strategic selective approach, favoring high value stays over blanket volume biddingConversion stimulation via persuasive pop-upsSubscription based discount and promotional codes prominently positioned on websitePost stay emails to increase loyalty and online reputationFocus on Best Price Guarantee on website and in Booking funnelDifferentiated yield and distribution strategy:Uncoupling supplements of room types of single / double occupancy from higher occupancy room typesAnalyzing lead time per room category and adjusting pricing strategy individuallyDiscrimination of 3rd party channels favoring direct sales over high demand periods, by differentiating room type availability and MLOS restrictionsClose monitoring of competitor activity, identifying their strategic weaknesses and taking advantage4. THE RESULTS: REVENUE MANAGEMENT KPI'S TO MEASURE THE SUCCESS OF THE HOTELAgain I am excited to share the results with you:2016: +10% RevPar increase 2016 versus 20152017: in May, June and August 2017 the revenue was 25% higher that in 2016(unfortunately politics in Barcelona has put the market under pressure since then, but we are holding a top spot in RGI performance)REVENUE MANAGEMENT CASE STUDY 4: ES MOLI1. PROFILE OF THE RESORT:A luxury 4 star summer resort hotel, located on the cliffs of Tramuntana coast of Mallorca, in the picturesque village of Deia. The rooms of this boutique resort offer amazing views over the crystal blue water of the Mediterranean sea.2. THE REVENUE MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES:This property used to sell the resort hotel via traditional tour operators mainly. And clientele target market was limited to an older age group from only a few countries .3. REVENUE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES PROPOSED AND IMPLEMENTED BY XOTELS:Expand global distribution reach:By adding a broader mix of distribution channels, both online and offline, a wider range of target markets could be reachedPre and post season promotional campaigns were used to expand brand exposureRevamping of pricing grids:A fully dynamic rate strategy was implemented, moving away from a seasonal structureRates were now manage fully flexible on a daily basis based on demand curves, pace and revenue potentialRoom categories readjustment:Producing a clear value propositionCreating additional yield leverage toolsInventory micro management:Artificially yielding on tour operator fix contract pricing through room type availability managementRoom type availability discrimination on 3rd party channels to stimulate direct salesWebsite growth techniques:Trademark protectionMeta-search with a strategic selective approach, favoring high value stays over blanket volume biddingConversion stimulation via persuasive pop-upsSubscription based discount and promotional codes prominently positioned on websitePost stay emails to increase loyalty and online reputationFocus on Best Price Guarantee on website and in Booking funnel4. THE RESULTS: REVENUE MANAGEMENT KPI'S TO MEASURE THE SUCCESS OF THE HOTELYes, it works like a charm the best practices we have developed for seasonal resort hotels. Just check out these results:Since 2010 the occupancy has been increased +23%, the ARR +27%, and the revenue +93%, meaning +1.973.213EURProfitability increased with even higher % due to a shift in segment production. Take a look at the change in business mix from 2010 versus 2017: - 2010: Direct 41%, Online 9%, TTOO 50% - 2017: Direct 48%, Online 32%, TOO 17%, Travel Agencies 1% Groups 2%The final wordIt is always exciting to see the results we are achieving in our hotels. Even for after 12 years it remains a fun challenge identifying the revenue potential and turning a property around.I hope these case studies provide you with a checklist on revenue management and online marketing action steps to implement. And if you need some more marketing tips, check out our hotel marketing plan.To find your opportunity for growth, you have to take a step back and look at your business objectively without any preconceptions. Once you have identified weaknesses, it takes rolling up sleeves and getting into the details. A methodical and structured approach is key.And remember, no matter how good your financial performance is already... there is always room for improvement.Cheers,Patrick Landman @ XotelsPS: or you could consider bringing in our team of experts of course ...
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2018 Revenue Management Checklist

Xotels Blog·24 April 2018
OK, so last year we sold 1.836.117 rooms at Xotels. Not bad. To be honest I am even impressed by these kind of numbers myself. But how did our team of hotel strategy experts maximize revenue and profit for these? We have put together 4 revenue management and marketing case studies, highlighting our best practices and proven techniques.

Protect your hotel brand from brandjacking

Xotels ·20 April 2018
So how do we deal with this in our Revenue Management strategy?Take a look at the Google Search for this hotel below. Whos is first? Is this what we want as hotels?HOTELS: CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD?According to a recent study by MarkMonitor, the economic damage of Affiliate Brand Bidding in travel is estimated to be around 2.2 Billion USD because, while in almost any other industry companies are prevented from using this questionable strategy by the legitimate trademark owners, it is (unfortunately) common practice in our business. Online Goliaths such as Booking.com and Expedia, in fact, are not particularly worried about systematically hijacking hotels' brands by redirecting traffic to their websites. Because of the almost-non-existent bargaining power that hoteliers have towards their distribution channels, in fact, it is no surprise that one of the many clauses of Booking.com contacts gives the famous OTA (and its subsidiaries) complete freedom to bid on the name of your property. Did you know that?HOW CAN HOTELS PROTECT THEMSELVESRenegotiating contractual clauses with OTAs and other distributors, therefore, would obviously the best way to go, even though it is, unfortunately, the most impervious. Another, more expensive but less complicated, solution is to bid on your hotel brand, using your official website as the landing page for the traffic generated by these campaigns (technically, this practice is known as brand protection).A third, less known but extremely effective, method is to file a complaint with Google for trademark infringement. Let's take a closer look.YOU JUST GOT LITT UP!The prerequisite for submitting this complaint is to apply for a trade mark with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) based in Alicante, Spain at this link: https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/web/guest/apply-nowThe type of mark hotels should apply for is the word mark. This step is extremely important, because figurative marks (logos) are not taken into consideration by Google's trademarks infringement team. The EUIPO website provides a simple step by step application form, where hotels can create and submit their application in less than ten minutes. It is crucial to know, anyhow, that one in five applications is opposed. So if you are concerned about conflicting trademarks, seeking legal advice is highly suggested. The mark is valid for ten years and it has a cost of 850,00 EUR, that should be paid in advance. A short video tutorial can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdXjcoi0I58IT'S TIME TO COMPLAIN!Only when the trademark is registered one can finally file the complaint with Google at this link: https://services.google.com/inquiry/aw_tmcomplaint?hl=enThe complaint can be filed by the trademark owner or by third parties (consulting agencies, lawyers, advertising companies, etc.). In the latter case, the trademark owner must send written authorization toads-trademarks@google.com , confirming that the third party is authorized to act on his/her behalf.WHAT YOU CAN ACHIEVEWhat next? Unfortunately, in recent years the legislative attitude towards Google advertisers has become more and more permissive. Just up until a few years ago, in fact, it was possible to ask for trademark protection at keyword level but, since 2010, it is no longer possible to prevent an OTA (or a review site, or a metasearch engine, etc.) from bidding on trademarked keywords. But not all hope is lost, on the contrary! Hotels can still protect their brands at Ad level: yes, OTAs can appear when a user searches for the hotel brand, but they can not use the hotel brand in the ad text (even though it may still appear in the display URL).For ad campaigns targeting the EU and EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) regions, the policy for trademarks in ad text applies, while no protection is possible for ad campaigns targeting Australia, New Zealand, US, Canada, UK, and Ireland. In these countries, in fact, AdWords advertising campaigns can include the hotel trademark in the ad text, hence the inutility to register one's trademark worldwide.NOT ONLY GOOGLE: THE OTHER SEARCH ENGINESWhat about other search engines? Bing has a similar approach and hotels can file a complaint through its online form here: https://advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/en-us/resources/policies/trademark-misuseYandex, the main Russian search engine, is unfortunately much more permissive, asserting that Russian laws are "designed to encourage competition and freedom of economic activities".Completely different is the approach of Baidu: in order to advertise on the Chinese search engine, in fact, one needs a special authorization issued by the People's Republic of China.THE QUALITY SCORESo, is it really worth applying for a trademark? Yes, it is. By preventing the use of one's trademark in the ad, in fact, OTAs quality score in Google Adwords drops, forcing Booking.com et similia to bid more just to keep the same position on the SERPs or, if the quality score gets too low, preventing them to show the ad tout court. Google quality score, in fact, ranges from 1 to 10 and is an estimate of the quality of the ads and of the landing pages triggered by that specific keyword. A high-quality score indicates that Google believes that the ad (and its landing page) is relevant and useful to the end user and vice-versa.CONCLUSIONSApplying for a trademark is, especially if combined with a solid SEA strategy, the most effective way to regain control of one's brand. And, according to Benjamin Sebagh, Technical Director at Creative Hackers, "Your Brand is your more precious asset". And you don't want it to end up on the wrong hands. Do you?I think it is time Hotel marketing and revenue managers take charge of this issue. Trust me your web production goes up more than 10% if you control this well .... So nothing should be stopping you ...Cheers,Patrick LandmanP.S. for more tips, check out Hotel Marketing Plan
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Secrets of Revenue Management: Protect your hotel brand from brandjacking

Xotels Blog· 4 April 2018
The neologism brandjacking was coined over a decade ago, by astutely combining the words branding and hijacking. In our industry, when we talk about brandjacking, we usually refer to all those activities whose lowest common denominator is the exploitation of another company brand's equity, such as the creation of fake social network profiles or mirror-websites. The most frequent use of brandjacking is, however, is the one that goes under the name of Affiliate Brand Bidding. This mischievous tactic consists in investing in search engines advertising campaigns and bidding on terms that are related targeted company. Ever googled your hotel’s name and found Booking.com, Expedia, trivago and TripAdvisor before your official website? Well, that’s ABB.
Article by Patrick Landman

5 Common Mistakes in Hotel Revenue Management

Xotels · 7 March 2018
Unfortunately, making just one wrong move can prove detrimental to your top and bottom line results. You could easily suffer less-than-stellar KPIs and lackluster market performance.Here are several common mistakes we have noticed in hotels, to help avoid losing revenue potential in your hotel:1. DON'T IGNORE TIMEIt is imperative to understand your target segment typical booking window when rolling out an offer. Failure to do so won't help produce your desired revenue results and may even cause a complete flop of a promotional campaign. Missing out on key booking windows, even by as little as one day, is a catastrophic mistake and can be avoided by taking advantage of dashboard and reporting features in revenue management software.Timing is not the only thing that is essential here.Our team more than anyone else is focussed on 'speed to market'. Time is of the essence. We aim to be more dynamic and work faster (more output) than our competitor hotels. Slow implementation times are costing money. Dynamics is what can get you ahead.Make sure you also pick and choose actions that actually generate revenue. A lot of time can be spend on many topics. The question is however how much does it bring in return to the bottom line. Unfortunately in many hotels a lot of time is spent on meetings, actions and promotions that don't generate revenue. So measure what works, and ditch what doesn't.Efficiency and effectiveness should not be underestimated.2. FOCUS ON THE WRONG METRICSWe agree on the importance of the Room Occupancy, of the understanding the business demand, and the need of to tracking on the pricing of the competitors, but the key for success on Revenue Management is on analyzing the ADR (average daily room rate) while improving the occupancy.Too much focus on only Occupancy or ARR (average room rate), could erode the business.In the end the bottom line is what counts. So a Revenue Manager should always be tracking the impact on the NRevPar(Net RevPar) or GOPPar (gross operating profit per available room).3. BEING AFRAID OF CHANGEFailure to change rates can prove to be a major revenue losing mistakes made by hotels. Static rates prevent you from reaching your full revenue potential. Instead, rates should be changed often to reflect supply and demand in order to maintain a steady pace of bookings. Extraordinary high demand can throw an additional level of complexity into pricing decisions.Understanding that extra demand is not necessarily going to be on top of your typical business demand is essential.Haphazard pricing is also a common downfall for managers. By merely relying on a "gut feel" with no analytics behind your decision, you are only increasing your chance of making mistakes as well as missing out on other revenue-increasing opportunities.4. NOT UTILIZING TECHNOLOGYHotel managers often fail to measure the impact of pricing strategy, something that can be easily achieved with the correct revenue technology and software. Revenue management software help you make data-driven decisions by providing vital information such as the booking history and details of rate discounts. With these solutions, managers can ensure they are maximizing revenue while still offering competitive and attractive rates for guests.Trust me when I say, the machine can help you uncover things you might not notice yourself that easily ...5. FEARING THE OTASUnderstanding booking patterns must also include gathering data from OTAs. While they may have been dreaded and feared by the hospitality industry at first, third party booking sites' popularity gives hotel managers no choice other than to embrace them.You have to use them to your advantage, as distribution channels. This means that you do not simply jump on the bandwagon with any promotion or feature they are trying to sell you (background article). But rather you pick and choose what coincides with the strategy you have laid out for your hotel.As rule of thumb, make sure that you control your inventory and prices across all channels. You should not offer lower rates on more expensive 3rd party channels, than your own direct website.Leverage OTA for global distribution and future demand trends, and stay in control!The final word: lessons learnt on your hotel revenue management strategyWhile it was a prosperous year for many in 2017, it's also important to realize that success doesn't come without continuous evaluation and data analysis. Hotel managers should utilize data, trends and technologies to their advantage, ensuring positive revenue results and business success for their hospitality business.Using the right revenue management tactics and avoiding the above mistakes, will make your hotel revenue management strategy more successful.Hope this has been helpful!Cheers,Patrick LandmanPS. A quote we use in Xotels: "The difference between a good revenue manager and a great revenue manager. Good revenue managers enjoy thinking about high level theories, macro economic changes and general market trends that affect their properties. Great revenue managers know that the devil is in the details. Control over details allows you to understand your property performance inside out."
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5 Common Mistakes in Hotel Revenue Management

Xotels Blog·28 February 2018
I have been in this hotel revenue management game for more than 2 decades now. And after all these years it still gets me anxious when I see hotels not performing at their full potential. So I have put together a list of 5 common mistakes made in revenue management in hotels, resorts and hostels. Unfortunately, making just one wrong move can prove detrimental to your top and bottom line results. You could easily suffer less-than-stellar KPIs and lackluster market performance. Here are several common mistakes we have noticed in hotels, to help avoid losing revenue potential in your hotel:
Article by Patrick Landman

Coolest Hotel Marketing Video of 2017

Xotels ·12 February 2018
Going through industry news articles this last week I came across a hotel marketing video that blew me away. You should really see this one, as we nominate it to be the best hotel marketing video of 2017. Going through industry news articles this last week I came across a hotel marketing video that blew me away. You should really see this one, as we nominate it to be the best hotel marketing video of 2017. Last we showed you the amazing creative video of la Siranuse: CLICK HEREWe have found a new contender for the coolest hotel marketing video for this year, 2017: A day in the life of Patrick Both, General Manager at the Anantara Siam in Bangkok. It is a great spin introducing the hotel manager with a flair of James Bond and George Clooney ... Credits to Benji Greenberg to spotting this one, see hotelsmag.comWhat are your favorite hotel marketing videos? Please share them with us below ...Cheers,Patrick Landman @ Xotels
Article by Patrick Landman

The Changing Role and Future of Revenue Management in the Hotel Industry in 5 Steps

Xotels · 7 February 2018
In this time, it has been overshadowed by other departmental functions within the industry, such as sales and marketing. Revenue managers, in comparison, have worked behind the scenes and tended to report to these departments.But not anymore.Hotel revenue management is moving front and centre of the overarching business model for many hotels, and this trend is only set to rise further. In this article, I discuss its changing role in the hotel industry and what we can expect to happen in the near future.1. Revenue management is levelling upWe have seen a growing trend of hotels elevating revenue management's role. Many now look to take advantage of analytical insight and strategic knowhow that uniquely come from revenue management.This insight and knowhow supports key business decision-making. Increasingly, revenue managers are sitting in on executive committees, equal in status and stature to the marketing and sales department heads.Many hotels no longer have a revenue manager but rather a director of revenue management, having upgraded the importance and weight of the role. No longer are they reporting into the DOSM. They have a straight line to the general manager.2. The role will continue to expandRevenue management undergoes constant change, more so than other departments. This is because it is rooted in technological capability. Technology will continue to evolve and more sophisticated methods of guest analysis will come to the fore, as revenue managers keep searching for ways of becoming more competitive.This constant change has contributed in large part to the expanding roles that today's hotel revenue manager is charged with carrying out. After all, it is through inventive marketing strategies that hotels can generate business. Ecommerce, social media, client engagement and relationship management have all become central to the revenue manager's job in order to drive business.Some additional roles include:Managing the hotel's online presence and reputationOverseeing website digital marketing strategiesCustomer communication and engagement initiativesTechnological development of the hotel services, facilities and proceduresIdentifying new markets and new opportunities within current marketsProduct evaluation, business development and capital investment recommendationsToday's successful revenue manager must wear many different hats. And it is exciting to see how this will evolve further with new technologies, customer trends and industry innovation.3. Total hotel revenue management will be unleashedThis is a concept that has been discussed for a few years, but it looks like it can really begin to take hold soon. Total hotel revenue management expands from a focus only on room rate revenue to encompass all other hotel revenue generators.These include the hotel restaurant, space rental, room service and leisure facilities. According to a recent study by Cornell University, 63 percent of revenue managers believe that the concept is on the verge of breakthrough.Can you imagine how important this will be for revenue management? Its development could make it the kingmaker department in the industry at large.4. Profit management will take centre stageThe elevation of revenue managers in importance to hotels comes down to one thing: they are uniquely positioned to help drive profits. The function is increasingly seen as profit generation rather than revenue management.Revenue managers are pivoting to a focus on increasing profit margins rather than on increasing revenue. The ideal is of course to do both. It's great to grow, but it's better to do so with higher profit KPI's.This focus on profits will sharpen in 2018 and beyond, as revenue management uses new methods to understand guests better and improve margins.5. Revenue managers will focus on guest analyticsThe hotel sector is probably more competitive than ever before. Hotels aren't only competing with their cross-town rivals, but inter-city and even international counterparts. Online travel agencies, the rise of hostels, and high guest demands make the industry even more competitive. So, hotels are turning to guest analytics; and new technology is making efficient analysis that produces unique, valuable insights possible.The final word: Get used to constant change'The only constant in business is change' is an old business maxim. But for revenue managers, it is particularly applicable. Let's look at just some of the recent changes to the role: adapting to the new guest expectancy of unique hotel experiences and nothing but the best service; the rise of technology-driven solutions; data analysis and use of communication channels to build relationships with guests long after they have checked out; and not least, the importance of mobile strategy to hotel success.These represent a lot of changes, but revenue managers must continue to adapt and anticipate future trends. The most thrilling thing of all is that most hotels still don't use a revenue management system, but they are catching on to the benefits that they are missing out on. This is great news, as revenue management is set to continue growing and to play an even more important role in driving the success of hotels.The key to the future is Business Acumen!Business acumen ("Business savvy" and "business sense" are often used as synonyms) is keenness and quickness in understanding and dealing with a "business situation" (risks and opportunities) in a manner that is likely to lead to a good outcome.Cheers,

Record Performance for Independent Hotels in 2017

Xotels Blog·15 January 2018
Looking back at 2017, it was an incredible year for independent hotels. We have measured record performance levels at Xotels. Financial results based on strategic revenue management have never been higher.Looking back at 2017, it was an incredible year for independent hotels. We have measured record performance levels at Xotels. Financial results based on strategic revenue management have never been higher.
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Best Hotel Marketing Video of 2017

Xotels Blog·30 November 2017
Going through industry news articles this last week I came across a hotel marketing video that blew me away. You should really see this one, as we nominate it to be the best hotel marketing video of 2017. Going through industry news articles this last week I came across a hotel marketing video that blew me away. You should really see this one, as we nominate it to be the best hotel marketing video of 2017.

Creating an Effective Revenue Management Strategy for Independent Hotels

Xotels · 1 November 2017
Independent and boutique hotels have the opportunity to capitalise on traveller appetite for unique experiences. Big hotel chains simply can't compete on this front. And your hotel is also able to completely differentiate itself from other independent hotels. Coupling this with the implementation of hotel revenue management best practices gives your hotel ample opportunity.Read our 10 hotel revenue management tips here to drive the success of your organisation:1. Focus on ValueIn a price-sensitivity sector, value and perceived value are king. It is important to differentiate the two: one, you need to provide the value to your guests that you say you will; and two, that value must be clear to potential guests when considering which hotel to book. It doesn't mean to undercut your competition at all. What a focus on value means is what the guest gets - where is the bang for their buck?You can bring value through outstanding customer service, food and beverage packages, free parking and so forth. Value-added extras that are unique to your hotel go a long way to making guest experience positive and memorable. This is the kind of value that leads to repeat stays and recommendations.2. Get your Distribution Channels RightAs an independent hotel, you may not have the marketing budget that many chain hotels have. For this reason, it is essential that you choose the distribution channels that will boost your revenue management strategy best. But how do you decide which channel is best for you?A number of factors are important. These include ease of channel management; their potential; the cost involved; marketing opportunity the channel provides; and not least, the technology it uses and its compatibility with your own property management system.3. Offer Direct Booking IncentivesBooking through external partners such as online travel agents is important, but direct bookings are the most desirable method of guest reservations. As a hotel revenue manager, you can implement measures to increase them in number.Direct bookings help create customer loyalty. You can encourage direct bookings by offering value-added incentives. These can include anything, from food and beverage discounts, reservation price reductions, discounts on future stays and so forth. The goal is to divert guests away from using hotel comparison sites, where they are more likely to choose a competitor. You can also promote a loyalty programme and drive the likelihood that guests recommend your hotel.4. Create a Culture of Perpetual Revenue Management ImprovementA culture of revenue management improvement creates focus and negates the threat of complacency. If a focus on hotel revenue management is pervasive through your organisation, it leads to awareness among all employees of its importance. This in turn leads to more thoughtful business decisions and behaviour, which ultimately help drive revenue.5. Maintain Organised Records of Key DataData is key to the evolution of your revenue management efforts. But the data must be pertinent. Some hotels collect a lot of extraneous data. This impedes rather than helps business decisions. Focus your hotel on the most essential - on quality over quantity, and on how it will be recorded and used.Not only will it be easier to store and interpret the data, but it will be faster and it will lead to more relevant insights. These insights will drive your entire revenue management approach.6. Always Keep up with Changing Consumer TrendsYour hotel must never lose sight of the importance of staying up to date with changing customer behaviour. This also plays an important role in supporting business decisions. You can do this through various means. For instance, a periodic review of the booking process will tell you if the channels through which customers make reservations change in any way, and of customer demographic trend movements and so forth.Monitor what guests say about your hotel online, on social media, blogs and hotel review websites. You must keep up with and respond to all online activity concerning your hotel, and involve the revenue management team. Knowing what customers are saying at any given time gives the revenue manager vital information that can assist decisions.7. Use Automation to Support, Not ReplaceAutomation has become omnipresent in modern revenue management. But, it is important to not fall into the trap of thinking that everything can be automated. It should be used to assist effective revenue management, which involves many complex decision-making processes that require human professionals.Automation is an excellent solution, particularly for time-consuming tasks such as data entry and reporting, but it is human capital that separates the best revenue management systems from the mediocre.8. Prioritise Website and Mobile ExperienceQuite simply, too many hotel websites are out of date or neglected. Considering the vast majority of guests make reservations online, it is paramount to have an updated, optimised website for computer, mobile and tablet. A professional website also requires periodic updates, taking into account technology updates, changing customer behaviour, design trends and security.An optimised website assists your search results. But you can also use it as a foundation for online marketing tactics including advertising via Google and social media as well as organic growth through your blog and social media accounts.9. Always Keep ROI in MindROI should be front and centre of a revenue management strategy. It underpins every choice made and helps the revenue manager evaluate the merit and potential benefit to the hotel of pursuing a given decision.With efficient use of KPI data, a focus on ROI also provides hotel management with greater insights during periodic hotel performance reviews. These insights shape the business direction of the hotel.10. Achieve Accurate Demand Forecasting and MappingForecasting hotel demand is essential to revenue management. Accurate forecasting informs the hotel of projected costs and needs, as well as expected revenues. But your hotel will also benefit from knowing where your demand originates. This is known as mapping.Through mapping, you can spot trends that tell you if demand is growing or declining from specific customer demographics - age, place of origin and so forth. Mapping can also reveal other vital information, including changes to type of reservation, average customer spend per age group and so forth. This can then support marketing and sales initiatives to increase future revenues.To implement these tips for successful hotel management, we recommend a comprehensive and large-scale review of your operations as a starting point. With these best practice tips, you will be well placed to increase efficiency and revenue across your hotel.Cheers,Patrick Landman @ www.Xotels.com

The Top 5 Hotel Revenue Management Trends in 2018

Xotels ·26 October 2017
Let's take a look at the top 5 trends and changes that are driving hotel revenue management.1. A shift to profit managementAn increasing number of revenue managers believe that hotel revenue management has already moved to a specific emphasis on profit management. This may well be what we come to call our profession before long. A focus on profit has become more prominent as revenue managers move on from a reliance on the traditional key performance indicators (KPIs) of total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR).Instead, revenue managers will use gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as the main KPI. This puts profit at the centre of revenue management strategy, and managers will increasingly search for new techniques to increase the profitability of their hotels.A KPI we have been advocating of as well is NRevPAR or NetRevPAR, it is a step towards GOPPAR from RevPAR, taking into consideration cost of distribution and marketing. It focusses on a net reservation value.ROI is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical the focus on profitability and ROI will continue to sharpen.2. An increased focus on direct hotel bookingsRevenue managers know that one key area to drive profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This increases brand recall and loyalty, and generates repeat business. It also offers a unique platform to market the hotel via direct communication channels with the customer, offer deals and upsell additional services or room upgrades.OTAs of course have an essential role as a reservations source but they come a distant second to direct bookings for the hotel that takes profit maximisation seriously. To persuade guests to book directly on the hotel website, the benefit must be clearly presented to the would-be guest. Why should they go to your hotel's website instead of to an OTA? What is the advantage? This is where revenue managers will ramp up focus.3. Greater efficiency in use of dataHotels are inundated with all types of data metrics now. There are many KPIs and types of data for hotels to work with. This makes it even more important to understand how to leverage it, to cut through the data thicket and mine it for its true worth. Efficient use of customer data provides key takeaways that in turn drive business decisions.An RMS that encompasses data reporting and analysis tools is increasingly seen as less of a luxury and more of a necessity. This helps drive profits via the insights that efficient use of data provide.Revenue managers are increasingly working out new and improved ways to combine KPIs with specific data types. Software including customer relationship management and resource planning tools provide essential data and will continue to proliferate in use.4. Technology enhancements in revenue managementThe technology that powers revenue management systems is constantly changing. One of the most important recent, ongoing changes is the increased presence of automation. RM systems with automation are much more preferable than without. Automation increases RM efficiency and helps managers focus on driving profitability. They can spend more time on strategy, while data entry and logistics are automated.As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. Other new trends in RM technology are the increasing prominence of machine learning and predictive analytics tools.Technology that integrates with the revenue manager's workflow is key. This can include communication channels management systems, guest review systems and benchmark reporting systems.5. A continuing shift in focus to mobileThe shift to mobile is not entirely new. 2017 in particular saw a significant rise in mobile interaction and bookings. But, it is set to rise further. 2018 will see even greater focus on mobile. Increasing revenue and profits will be increasingly dependent on a mobile website that delivers high performance.For this reason, revenue managers will be keen to ensure that hotel websites are optimised for customer engagement, performance measurement and business generation. Moreover, websites must be continually updated and maintained for optimum performance. It will be absolutely critical to the success of a hotel in 2018.The final word on hotel revenue management trends and changes in 20182018 will be an action-packed year for revenue management. These are some of the most important trends that we at Xotels see coming. Revenue management has developed quickly and established itself as a dominant force in driving hotel success, but 2018 could be its most evolutionary year yet.Cheers,Patrick Landman @ Xotels
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The Top 5 Hotel Revenue Management Trends and Changes in 2018

Xotels Blog·12 October 2017
Hotel revenue management trends move fast. The sector has evolved at a remarkable pace and is set to continue this course. It’s an exciting time to be a part of such a fast-moving industry and hotels can benefit from taking advantage of the new trends that are shaping it.Hotel revenue management trends move fast. The sector has evolved at a remarkable pace and is set to continue this course. It’s an exciting time to be a part of such a fast-moving industry and hotels can benefit from taking advantage of the new trends that are shaping it.

What makes Independent Hotels so Successful?

Xotels ·11 October 2017
Independent and boutique hotels have a number of advantages over their chain competitors, of which owners can take advantage to achieve greater success. At Xotels we love independent boutique or innovative concept hotels, because the allow us drive premium results. So, what are these characteristics of independent hotels that provide unique selling points over the chain or franchise hotel variety?What Are The Successful Characteristics of Independent and Boutique Hotels?1. They can offer outstanding personalized hotel serviceQuality of service is paramount to business success in any industry, but particularly for hotels - a perpetual client-facing industry. Rather than offer standardized service and practices with rote protocols and rigid systems, boutique hotels can really focus on providing an outstanding, memorable service experience. Quality of service is paramount to business success in any industry, but particularly for hotels - a perpetual client-facing industry. Rather than offer standardized service and practices with rote protocols and rigid systems, boutique hotels can really focus on providing an outstanding, memorable service experience.Service that goes the extra mile is increasingly rare, which offers independents another opportunity to stand out. It can be tailored, personalized and updated with ease in an independent or boutique hotel.2. Boutique and independent hotels are uniqueIf you visit a national or multinational chain hotel, you probably agree that they tend to lack a certain individuality found in independent hotels, right? Independent hotels that are run well offer a unique experience for guests. Perhaps it is their history - with some hotels decades or even centuries old - or maybe it's the decor, or the fact that it is family-run - it can be any of a number of points to help make the hotel stand apart - a selling proposition that the hotel is able to use to market themselves with a unique pedigree.The chain hotel in comparison offers a predictable stay - the same experience you've probably had before, give or take on minor details, and probably will again. There will always be a clientele cohort that seeks out local hotels over chains.3. They have greater creative freedomOf course there are the chains and international franchises that offer fantastic hotels, but again, they are standardized across the board, with little room to be creative. Independent and boutique hotels can let their imaginations run wild with decor, furniture, food, events and anything else - even in how they market themselves. This allows the independent hotel to strengthen their identity and reputation, and offer a special, distinctive, memorable hotel experience for the guest.As travelers and tourists look for local, idiosyncratic experiences in today's globalized world where high streets are nearly identical whether you're in London, New York, Paris or Barcelona, the independent hotelier can seek to take advantage of their freedom to get creative.Actually, you can really get more edgy and daring, and create a cool or sexy hotel that connects. A tell that people will be talking about, kick-starting your social media influencer marketing for you ...4. They are much more agile than their chain counterpartsChain hotel management is typically layered in a hierarchy. They are often international or even intercontinental in scope. It can take a long time for any type of process involving proposals, decisions and execution to be completed. Independent hotels, on the other hand, are typically managed on-site by a small group. These hotels can make quick strategic and tactical decisions and follow through similarly on execution. This is a massive advantage that independent hotels have over franchise or chain competition.5. They can focus all resources, energy and attention on one hotelAs mentioned, chains and franchise hotels are layered, with centralized control often in a different city or country. Sure, each branch has a general manager, but they do not have near the remit over operating decisions that their independent hotel counterparts enjoy. Chains may not be able to devote as much attention and resources to individual hotels as is often necessary.Boutiques and independent hoteliers are able to spend all their time and resources to invest exclusively on their hotel. Their knowledge of their business is more intimate, as well as their awareness of the local market. Moreover, independents tend to absorb low booking periods with greater ease, without the pressure and targets to hit that typically come with chain hotels.The final word - essential features of boutique and independent hotelsThese top 5 characteristics of independent hotels show some of the most noteworthy advantages that they can enjoy over chains. This is of course if they are run well, if management proactively aims to leverage such opportunity for unique selling propositions, and if they continue to invest time and resources towards a continued commitment to excellence..Cheers,Patrick Landman @ www.Xotels.com

Using Room Types to Commercialize and Position your Hotel

Xotels · 3 October 2017
In the early days of Xotels we used to do revenue management and distribution seminars, and we would always ask a trick question, 'Who has Standard Rooms in their hotel'. Half the room would raise their hand (unfortunately). We would get into the discussion of how much they would pay for something Standard (or rather average). Room type names are an often-missed opportunity in hotels to commercially position the product more attractive and competitive.Using Hotel Room Types for Strategic PositioningRoom type names are an often-missed opportunity in hotels to commercially position the product more attractive and competitive.Before we get to the commercial aspect of naming room types, we should get into the why we have room types and how many a hotel should have. Room types are basically the different products a hotel offers to the market. Having a varied product offer allows hotels to offer various pricing levels catering to various budget levels as well as psychological needs of the consumers.Yes pricing is a psychological game. Not everyone simply buys the cheapest product on offer. For those of you who went to hotel school, remember the restaurant management classes explaining why a wine list requires a selection? Many diners will buy up from the bottom price od the list towards the middle. And we had to ensure those wines were super profitable... This menu engineering technique has to be applied to hotel rooms as well. We need to offer a wide selection of rooms, priced slightly up from your mist economical room category, and they should preferably not require extra cleaning cost.Travelers will upsell themselves. Without any effort from your side!Well that is not entirely true. My dear hotelier colleagues. We need to get creative and open our minds ...It seems we are dealing with a legacy issue in the hotel industry based on technology inheritance and old-school indoctrination. In the early days of digital distribution, the GDS's had system codes for rooms which included types like Standard, Deluxe, Superior, Junior Suite etc. It seems this level of standardization has flowed through into an erosion of creativity in our industry. Hoteliers have simply copied this rather boring unification continues to apply it even now when opening new hotels. It seems we have been brainwashed or indoctrinated by old-school thinking, and are challenged to think outside the box.By the way another room type name that ticks me off is a Double Room. What does this tell me about the room you want me to book and pay for? Absolutely nothing ... Just show it to me when I search for a room for 2 people ...Get Ready to Be Blown Away!Fortunately, there are still courageous cavaliers out there breaking this dogma. Take a look for instance at the room type names at W Hotels. Below an overview of the room-types at W Barcelona:Cozy RoomWonderful RoomWonderful Sky RoomFabulous RoomFabulous Sky RoomStudio SuiteCool Corner SuiteMarvelous SuiteSpectacular SuiteWow SuiteExtreme Wow SuiteI mean, I am sold ... aren't you? Or would you rather stay in a Standard Room?The MethodologyThere are all sorts of ways to picking creative and appealing room type names, even with a more classical hotel. Always when we take on revenue management for a new hotel, we go through an exercise where we list all the room numbers with their individual features;Floor levelView / OrientationSize in m2Bedding types and sizesSeatingNormal and max occupancy levelExtra Beds / sofa bedFacility detailsShower vs tubBased on this we can group the rooms which are similar into categories, after which the creative process of naming them comes into play. Focus on different attributes of the rooms and link it to the concept of the property, and you can come up with some amazing room type names. An all-open-everything-goes-no-idea-is-bad brainstorming session with the team is highly recommended. You will be surprised what comes out of it. In my case a bottle of good wine always helps.I always love this exercise as it always motivates the team in understanding that we are selling an experience, rather than a product. The room type names have to capture the essence of that experience and your concept, and communicate clearly what the people can expect.How We Do It ...Let me share with you some of the ideas we came up with for our hotels and resorts:Zoku Amsterdam (new concept aparthotel)Zoku LoftZoku Loft XLZoku RoomZoku BootstrapIbiza Rocks (a party hotel)Rocks Self CateringRocks RoomChill Out PoolMain Pool ViewStage ViewRock Star ApartmentSecret de Paris Design Hotel (a hotel themes after different landmarks in the city of lights)Musee d'OrsayTrocaderoOpera GarnierAtelier d'ArtisteMoulin RougeTour EiffelMabi Maastricht (boutique hotel located in an old movie theater)Basic TwinUnrestricted TwinImagine KingPlush TwinPlush KingTwisted Twin (with an amazing aperitive mini bar)Twisted King (with an amazing aperitive mini bar)Plush TripleCorbusier Family RoomSan Domenico Palace (luxury 5 star hotel, part of Leading Hotels of the World)Convent Cloister ViewConvent Garden ViewConvent Sea ViewConvent Sea View TerraceConvent Junior Suite with Sea ViewConvent Garden SuiteConvent Garden Grand SuiteGrand Hotel ClassicGrand Hotel Sea ViewGrand Hotel Sea View TerraceGrand Hotel Deluxe - Sea View TerraceGrand Hotel Large Sea View TerraceGrand Hotel Junior Suite - Sea ViewGrand Hotel Junior Suite - Sea View TerraceGrand Hotel Terrace & JacuzziGrand Hotel Suite - Terrace & JacuzziBougainville SuiteTaormina Bay SuiteSan Domenico Palace SuiteAnd yes, sceptics are already reaching me by telepathic brainwaves. Way too many Room Types, I hear them shouting.Nope, not true!By segmenting your product in a clear way, you are communicating clearly what differentiates them. Moreover, selling experience in this way will make it easier for people to upsell themselves. The feeling of getting a slightly better or upgraded model is worth extra money in the eye of the beholder.People Upsell ThemselvesBack to the wine menu class from our hotel school days. Putting 2 or 3 wines on the menu would make most people choosing the cheapest one. Adding more choice leads to people going up in the price category they choose.Same goes for hotels. As we implement this choice of room types in both city hotels and resorts, we see the average booked rate increasing. People are upselling themselves. This works best if supplements are not too high. For instance, in city hotels we often use a EUR5 to EUR10 increment, and in resorts or luxury boutique hotels we drive premiums of EUR30 up to EUR100.In medium size hotels of 50 to 60 rooms I would generally like to have about 6 rooms types. Of course it is different for each hotel, but to drive revenue up you need yield tools, and room types are among the most effective.It works like a charm, ADR and RevPAR increase every single time implementing this trick in hotels. I kid you not!Hope this has been a helpful eyeopener. There is a lot of low hanging fruit out there for your hotel. Go back to the drawing board and look at tour property's assets objectively. If you need help, don't hesitate, reach out to us. We would be more than happy to help you to capitalize on your untapped revenue potential..Cheers,Patrick Landman @ www.Xotels.com

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