Founded in Thailand in 1983, Centara Hotels & Resorts has developed into a multinational hotel chain with over 85 hotels and resorts across six brands in 14 countries. They’re known for their iconic properties in unique locations and a service philosophy rooted in Thai traditions and family values.
We recently had a chat with Bharath Satyavolu, Head of the Revenue Management Division at Centara Hotels & Resorts. He highlighted how OTA Insight’s Rate Insight and Market Insight tools have made work more efficient and supported his team in making timely, well-informed pricing and distribution decisions even in challenging markets.
"Rate Insight put all the data at our fingertips so we could make the most of demand surges that followed the lifting of travel restrictions."
Before using Rate Insight and Market Insight, we did not have any business intelligence (BI) tools. That means our teams had to do a lot of manual research to get a clear picture of their market and positioning. The rate shopping data from OTA extranets helped, but it had its limits. As a result, we often had to make our pricing decisions based on incomplete data sets.
Using Rate Insight slashed the amount of manual work we had to do. The dashboard reveals our compset’s live rates 24/7 and shows us how we compare. That allows us to make immediate rate adjustments based on accurate real-time insights. Now, we can easily maintain our positioning and avoid outpricing ourselves or leaving money on the table.
On top of saving us valuable time, Rate Insight’s data prompts us to ask the right questions and have more insightful conversations about our pricing. Now we can look at hard data and rely less on personal opinions when forming our strategies. This has improved our decision-making and opened the door to data-driving pricing.
Every time the government announces or removes travel restrictions, there’s an immediate drastic change in demand levels. During the prolonged period of border closures, this effect was especially pronounced at the hotels that are popular with domestic travellers.
Whenever restrictions were lifted, demand spiked immediately. This left us no time to deliberate. We had to make our pricing decisions quickly to benefit from the sudden pick-up. Rate Insight put all the needed data at our fingertips and helped us make the most of these demand surges.
The strategy tab proved especially useful to us in this situation. It allows us to analyse competitor rates based on factors such as length of stay, lead time, device, or cancellation policy. This gives us a more accurate picture of deals available in the market and helps us stay competitive.
"Rate Insight’s accurate live data prompts us to ask the right questions and have more insightful conversations about our pricing."
Pre-covid, historical and on-the-books data were the most important reference points we used to price our rooms. This no longer works since the pandemic upset our well-established demand patterns. As a result, we’ve had to fundamentally shift which data sets we look at to set rates and forecast our business.
Market Insight’s forward-looking demand insights have been a game changer. The tool shows us the first signs of demand for specific dates and highlights which markets are researching our destinations. In the revenue department, that helps us with two important things. First, we see revenue opportunities well in advance and can adjust our rates to take advantage of them. Second, we can forecast more quickly and accurately since we can access precise, real-time market data in just a few clicks.
Market Insight has also become an integral part of our revenue meetings. It’s easy to pull up the dashboard, go through the latest data and have informed discussions about challenges and opportunities with the team. I wouldn’t want to go back to doing these meetings without Market Insight.
There are too many different players specialising in collecting and collating various types of data for our commercial departments. Most often, this data sits in silos and the teams find it hard to share it despite everyone’s best intentions. We can’t afford such inefficiencies anymore.
Instead, we need a holistic, consolidated, fully integrated solution where commercial teams find a maximum of data and market intelligence in one place. OTA Insight’s suite of BI tools is a huge step in this direction. In the long run, it will help us break up our data and communication silos. Our objective is to go from each department working on its own, to coming together as a strong commercial team that forms strategies based on holistic data.
We’re already on the way there. For example, we recently introduced Market Insight to our marketing team. They’re looking into using the flight and hotel search data to create more targeted promotions. Our digital partnerships team leverages the OTA ranking to see where we have room for improvement. As Market Insight develops further, we’re also keen on having the sales team use this platform, so we can find new ways to better align our efforts.
Its ease of use is another reason Revenue Insight has proven itself as the right choice for us. The tool’s user interface and navigation are so intuitive, we immediately know how to use it. We were able to get the data we needed in just a few clicks from the first day. Having tested other business intelligence tools, I think Revenue Insight is the most straightforward solution. It does the best job at making data accessible and presenting it in a clear format. I wouldn’t want to go back to working without it.
"Market Insight’s forward-looking demand insights have been a game changer because they reveal the first signs of demand and highlight which markets are researching our destinations."
OTA Insight’s team has been very helpful from the first point of contact. They respond to questions quickly, provide valuable input and always appreciate our feedback.
Especially during the worst months of the pandemic, their support showed how invested they are in a long-term relationship with us. Their commitment to our success proves that we’ve chosen the right partner.
Today markets are less predictable than ever, and we can’t rely on our old way of forecasting business or pricing rooms anymore. In this new landscape, hoteliers who want to stay competitive should look for one consolidated platform that addresses a maximum of their needs. In the realm of business, competitor and market intelligence, OTA Insight’s suite of tools is the best option.