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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

3 Hotel KPI Revenue Management Experts Use

Xotels - 29 September 2017
Driving your profitability in the most efficient manner is a challenge that all hotels face. But here at Xotels, we have found that there are certain key performance indicators (KPIs) that are particularly powerful. Some of the commonly used KPIs include Average Room Rate (ARR), Bedroom Occupancy Rate (OCC) and Cost per Occupied Room (CPOR). But, in this article we focus on the three hotel revenue management KPIs that experts use to maximise profitability in particular.These are: Gross Operating Profit Per Available Room (GOPPAR)Net Revenue Per Available Room (NREVPAR)Total Revenue Per Available Room (TREVPAR)Hotel KPIs are essential towards maximising your hotel's profitability. They provide unique insights into the performance of a number of crucial criteria across your hotel. They also help you to understand the results of your revenue management strategy effectively. Furthermore, hotel revenue management KPIs help you to set and measure financial goals. It is these goals that help drive your hotel's growth and profitability.The 3 Hotel Revenue KPIs that will Drive your Profitability Goals:1. Gross Operating Profit Per Available Room (GOPPAR)GOPPAR offers one of the most effective methods of measuring your hotel's performance. It's that simple. We recommend that it be front and centre of your measurement strategy. It gives you a detailed holistic view of your hotel's entire revenue management process. It shows you where you can make adjustments towards improving your top line growth as well as aligning it with your bottom line too.GOPPAR allows you to view the value of your hotel as an asset at any time - together as an operating business and real estate property.The GOPPAR formula: Gross Operating Profit (GOP) / Number of Available Rooms2. Net Revenue Per Available Room (NREVPAR)NREVPAR is similar to another useful KPI: Revenue Per Available Room (REVPAR), but it offers an important difference. NREVPAR includes net revenues in its calculations, so when using, you're getting an insight into distribution costs, transaction fees and travel agency commissions too.This inclusion gives you a more transparent measurement of revenue management performance. It will assist enormously in your strategic planning. The only caveat is that it can be a challenge to gather and calculate the various costs that we mentioned above. But it is worth the extra effort.The NREVPAR formula: (Room Revenue - Distribution Costs) / Number of Available Rooms3. Total Revenue Per Available Room (TREVPAR)TREVPAR offers you an important distinction to REVPAR or NREVPAR. It encompasses all revenue generated by each room across all hotel revenue sources. These include food and drinks, leisure, events and any other guest expenditure.This hotel KPI offers a more immediate view to management of all generated revenues and of where adjustments can be made for further growth. Is guest restaurant expenditure low, for instance? If so why and what improvements can be made? This is the kind of insight that TREVPAR offers.The TREVPAR formula: Total Revenue* / Total Available Rooms*Total Revenue = Accommodation + Breakfast + Spa + Bar + Mini Bar +[Any other extra revenue]At Xotels, we are seeing how these three hotel revenue management KPIs have grown in use. This has led to more hotels making wiser choices and achieving long-lasting profitability growth.Cheers,Patrick Landman @ www.Xotels.com
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Secrets behind Hotel Revenue Management Strategies Uncovered

Xotels Blog - 19 September 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.
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Top 10 Tips for Successful Hotel Revenue Management

Xotels Blog - 19 September 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.
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Revenue Management Career Success Stories

Xotels Blog - 31 July 2017
We are proud of the career opportunities that we offer to our hotel revenue managers working at Xotels. We constantly look at making a career in hotel revenue management here as rewarding as possible, in an environment where our employees can learn and grow professionally.
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A New Solution for Hotel Revenue Managers

Xotels - 19 July 2017
There are three main phases a revenue manager needs to go through daily, collecting and aggregating data, analyzing this data to forecast demand as well as performance and finally action the analysis resultsXotels handles the revenue management of over 60 hotels. In our experience, much of a revenue manager's time has always been spent on the tedious collection and aggregation of data and then building the forecast demand and performance. Very little time is usually left to really analyze in-depth this data once collected and aggregated. The only solutions out there to assist you in taking care of these time-consuming tasks are so expensive that it is impossible to purchase them unless you are a global chain.That is why we have developed a new revenue management technology, called HotelScienz. Based on decades of combined revenue management and distribution experience, we created an easy to use hotel revenue management software. It is an affordable demand based system built on best hotel industry practices.The system provides all you need including:Performance dashboard with KPI'sDaily Pick-Up ReportsPast, current and future Performance DataYield algorithms to Highlight Demand TrendsPricing RecommendationDemand ForecastingIntegrated Competitor Rate ShopsOptional Integrated Channel managerRevenue managers save time in daily operations and analysis by using HotelScienz, so they can focus on strategic yield opportunities and grow overall RevPar. Other stakeholders like general managers, asset managers and hotel owners are provided with crucial reporting to gain instant insight into the performance of their hotel portfolio.For more info, go to: www.xotels.com
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Record Performance for Independent Hotels in Q1 & Q2 2017

Xotels Blog - 5 July 2017
Record Performance for Independent Hotels in Q1 & Q2 2017 - Xotells2017 is looking to be our most amazing year yet. Our independent hotel collection is performing a record levels. REVPAR and other financial result KPI are UP, UP, UP ... Moreover, we have broken another record. We are now handling revenue management for over 60 properties.
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The 5 Top Characteristics of Independent Hotels

Xotels Blog - 28 June 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 countiqie or 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?

How to Write a Persuasive Hotel Business Plan

Xotels - 26 June 2017
Why? Many do not have the time, don't know what to write or how to do the financials. But until you finish your business plan, you will not be able to get the financing either. So you end up with ideas sitting in your head not realizing your dream.Really it is not that difficult to make a good hotel business plan. It is merely a structured summary of your idea. Most people try to include everything about their hotel concept in the plan. This leads to an indigestible super novel like bookwork, aka a mess.They key is, knowing what to include, and what not to include in your hotel business plan. Create a clear road map for success. Excite investors rather than bore them to death like most business plans full of redundant information do. And you need to lead readers down the exact path you want.One of the main challenges for example is that after reading the first page most business I often don't fully understand what the hotel is all about. For investors and lenders it is crucial they can quickly comprehend your plan, without reading the whole document.We have put together a guideline / template with 10 critical points you must include in your hotel business plan;1. Executive SummaryThis exists of two parts:Mission Statement: Intro: a 1 line company description only the essence of your hotel (not 2 lines or a paragraph). It explains why you are in business or or which huge need you are solving, that currently is not being met. For example in the case of Qbic Hotels 'Moving modular hotels into under-utilized real-estate to reduce build-out cost and time.'Objectives: What do you hope to accomplish? I.e."Reach an annual occupancy of 90%."2. Company AnalysisMore detailed information on the USPs (unique selling points) of your hotel concept. 3. Industry AnalysisInformation on the current industry trends and the current state of the market and how this will impact your hotel. This is needed as investors want to be sure you really understand the hotel industry.4. Customer AnalysisIn-depth information on your target market, including geographic, demographic, socio-economic, psycho-graphic, behavioral segmentation details. Which are the types of guests who will mostly stay at your hotel? Explain how your hotel will meet the needs of these main segments in terms of location, amenities and services. Basically, how will consumers answer this question 'Why my hotel?'5. Competitive AnalysisA study of your local competition or global concept competitors, with each of their strengths, weaknesses, occupancy rates and market share (SWOT analysis). And don't forget the most important part; what differentiates you from them. What makes you stand-out?6. Strategic PlanThis exists of 3 parts:Marketing: How exactly will you attract customers / guests? How will you position yourself? What will your message be to the different segments of your business mix? How will your direct marketing work? What will is the plan for your hotel website, SEO, SEM and SMM? Will you do offline promotion?Distribution: Which 3rd party channels will you use and how will you manage availability? What technology will you need?Revenue Management: What pricing and yield techniques will you use? What will your payment and cancellation policies be?7. Operations PlanHow will you run the hotel? How much staff and supervisors will you need? What are their job descriptions / responsibilities? What background and experience should they have? When should they start? What are your service standards? Will you develop manuals? Which supplier will you use? How will you manage inventory?8. Management TeamInclude the bios of your team. Focus on what uniquely qualifies you to make your hotel such a success.9. Financial PlanProvide the start-up costs of the hotel (capital investment), the ingoing business costs, operational expenses and revenue projections for the next five years. Include KPI like expected occupancy, ADR (average daily rate) and REVPAR (revenue per available room).If you are raising money, outline how much funding will be needed and when. Explain how you will generate a return on investment for investors, or when lenders will be paid back.10. Key MilestonesThese are the most important achievement which once they have been completed, will make your hotel more likely to succeed. Think off:Location selectionPermits & LicensesBuild-out / Construction of the HotelStaffing and TrainingOpeningGOP Break-evenNOI Break-even10% EbitdaEach time one of the key milestones is achieved, the risk of lenders or investor decreases. And once your last key milestone is reached, chance of success is more or less guaranteed.11. AppendixProvide any other relevant information here. Don't clutter the main sections of your hotel business plan with too many details. Rather support them with attachments in this part.Many people have great business ideas. But that really doesn't matter. The difference between dreamers and entrepreneurs is the action mindset. Are you ready to ship your idea to the market?The first step is to put your ideas on paper. I hope this free sample will help you write a persuasive hotel business plan. Because no investor or lender will be interested if you cannot present a clear plan.Follow your dreams and go for it!Cheers,Patrick Landman @ XotelsFor Expert Help go to www.Xotels.com

How to Start your own Independent or Boutique Hotel

Xotels - 19 June 2017
Especially if you have never worked in the hotel industry you will be faced with many unexpected situations and complications you might not have imagined. The international hotel business is highly competitive and achieving good financial results is not as easy as it seems.In my experience in dealing with entrepreneurs and investors I have found that there is no shortage of creative ideas for innovative boutique hotel concepts. The challenge however lies more in the strategic and organizational areas of the business.Where to get started if you want to open your own independent hotel? What kind of hotel should it be? How does location influence my business? How to attract guests? How to control operational costs and run a profitable business? These are all important questions that should be dealt with prior to getting into the business.It will be extremely important you prepare yourself well, do a lot of research and develop a detailed business plan to ensure success. Unfortunately I still see too many startup hotels fail due to little planning. In my previous articles I already pointed out some common mistakes made in the pre-opening phase of hotels.In the next few articles we will be covering various important aspects and steps of how to open your own hotel. Topics we will coves include:Innovative Hotel ConceptsHotel Business PlanHotel Market ResearchHotel Feasibility StudyI hope these tips will help fellow entrepreneurs start successful new hotel businesses!Also look forward to your input, ideas and feedback ...Cheers,Patrick Landman @ Xotels
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Hotel Feasibility Study: A How To Guide

Xotels Blog - 12 June 2017
In over ten years of helping hotels to open and remodel successfully, we have seen time and again at Xotels how indispensable a feasibility study is. We have also seen how many would-be hoteliers simply assume that their vision will succeed, without conducting any notable research on building a hotel business that will be consistently profitable and competitive. In this article we look at the steps involved in carrying out an effective hotel feasibility study.
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Revenue Management for Camping Sites & Holiday Parks

Xotels Blog - 23 May 2017
Over the last year, we have expanded into a new and very exciting segment of the tourism industry. We have taken on the revenue management for a camping site and holiday park in the UK. We have adapted our methodology to the specific requirements of this lodging type, and the results are incredible. We would like to take you with us through our journey of the last few months implementing yield and dynamic pricing at Lady’s Mile in Devon, United Kingdom.
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How to Reply to Negative Hotel Reviews - Online Reputation Management

Xotels Blog - 27 March 2017
As a hotel’s guest review score has a significant impact on the RevPAR performance of a hotel, we place great emphasis on online reputation management in our hotel revenue management strategies. As a little refresher, we asked our friends at TrustYou for some practical tips on how to tend to your hotel's profile online. Here the first in a series of articles on this topic.
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2016 Hotel Revenue Performance in Review

Xotels Blog - 26 January 2017
2016 has brought Xotels to new levels, it was a year both of growth in many ways. We have expanded our portfolio with some amazing new hotels, and have been able to increase financial results of our hotel portfolio in a significant way.
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Best Revenue Management Articles & Blog Posts by Xotels in 2016

Xotels Blog - 4 January 2017
2016 was again a very dynamic year, with many changes in the hotel & travel industry. Chains have merged into mega-chains, book-direct is becoming popular on meta-search channels, chains are pushing for direct business etc. But what has been popular in the world of Revenue Management?
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Hotel Asset Management will continue to Evolve in 2017

Xotels Blog - 26 December 2016
In 2011 I wrote an article about the seismic shift in Hotel Asset Management: ‘Hotel Asset Management has Changed Forever’. A change in focus from operations and cost control to a more strategic view, incorporating Revenue Management. Going through LinkedIn reviewing some of the key players in the field of asset management in the hospitality industry I could not help but notice that the shift of focus continues.
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Hotel Internet Marketing Plan & Online Strategies - Part 2

Xotels Blog - 24 October 2016
In Part 1 of our hotel internet marketing plan we ended talking about brand protection to drive direct sales. Another method that can be used and is very effective is PPC advertising in search engines, also called SEM, or Search Engine Marketing.In Part 1 of our hotel internet marketing plan we ended talking about brand protection to drive direct sales. Another method that can be used and is very effective is PPC advertising in search engines, also called SEM, or Search Engine Marketing.
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Hotel Marketing Plan: How to Drive Direct Sales

Xotels Blog - 8 September 2016
It is a balancing act for hoteliers between selling rooms through their own direct channels and using the help of third party websites, wholesalers and online travel agents (OTA's). Naturally, the best way would be to do everything ourselves. According to the motto ‘if you want something to be done good, do it yourself’. But as an independent hotel will it be enough to rely solely on your own revenue management and hotel marketing strategy. In practice however we often reach out for help and alternative distribution channels.
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The Art of Driving Direct Sales - For Independent Hotels

Xotels Blog - 7 September 2016
blauw merkbeeld standaard xotelIt is a balancing act for hoteliers between selling rooms through their own direct channels and using the help of third party websites, wholesalers and online travel agents (OTAs). Naturally, the best way would be to do everything ourselves. According to the motto 'if you want something to be done good, do it yourself'. But as an independent hotel will it be enough to rely solely on your own revenue management and hotel marketing strategy In practice however we often reach out for help and alternative distribution channels.

Independent Hotels have a strong advantage over Chain properties in today's market

Xotels Blog - 26 July 2016
Reading the industry press over the last couple of months, I could not help but notice, all the upheaval about the large chains and the mergers and acquisitions happening. After Marriott acquired Starwood the industry is talking about the era of the mega hotel chains. However, I see actually rather a big opportunity for the independent hotels in the current marketplace. Independent hotels thrive currently and from my experience are outperforming chain hotels in results.
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Independent Hotels have a strong advantage over Chain properties

Xotels Blog - 26 July 2016
Reading the industry press over the last couple of months, I could not help but notice, all the upheaval about the large chains and the mergers and acquisitions happening. After Marriott acquired Starwood the industry is talking about the era of the mega hotel chains. However, I see actually rather a big opportunity for the independent hotels in the current marketplace. Independent hotels thrive currently and from my experience are outperforming chain hotels in results.

Hotel Revenue Management Glossary launched by Xotels

Xotels Blog - 1 July 2016
Not long time ago Xotels celebrated 10 years. Ten years of successful business in Hotel Revenue Management, turning our partner Hotels into ‘bestsellers’. We advice, we manage, we calculate, we analyze, we represent, we sell. We evaluate your numbers and drive your revenue, we set up strategies, we push your sales and we improve your marketing strategies. We train your staff, we build your website, we optimize your search engines, we turn your properties into top accommodations. No matter if you open, reposition or simply want to improve. We are the driving force behind your Hotel. We are the hotelier’s best friend. Whatever question you have, we do our best to find the right answer for you.

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