Customer Spotlight:

Dur Hospitality

“OTA Insight offers the live and forward-looking competitor, internal and market data we need to navigate today's challenging, unpredictable markets.”

Adam Salem | Director, Commercial & Digital 

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About Dur Hospitality

Dur Hospitality proposes SAR 0.5/shr dividends for 2019 - Mubasher Info

Since being founded in Saudi Arabia in 1976, Dur Hospitality has grown its portfolio to include over 30 owned and managed hotels and serviced residences across the kingdom. The publicly listed company was the first to bring the concept of 5-star hospitality to the country and has become one of the preferred local development partners to several international hotel groups. Currently, Dur Hospitality is expanding its footprint by opening 3-4-star hotels in emerging destinations around Saudi Arabia.

We recently sat down with Adam Salem, Commercial & Digital Director at Dur Hospitality. During our chat, we found out how he and his company use OTA Insight's suite of integrated business and market intelligence tools for data-driven business planning, forecasting, and pricing decisions at a time when markets are volatile and historical data has lost importance.

Makarem Ajyad Exterior

Makarem Ajyad Exterior

"Without Rate Insight, we'd always play catch up and miss essential revenue opportunities in this dynamic and unpredictable market."

Reliable market and competitor data at the click of a button

When I joined Dur Hospitality in 2019, I immediately recommended implementing the full suite of OTA Insight's business (BI) and market intelligence (MI) solutions. Before that, the team spent vast amounts of time on manual market and competitor research every day. Despite that, it was impossible to gather and analyze data fast enough to constantly update our rates in line with the latest market developments. 

Rate Insight has proven to be the best tool for competitor tracking. It provides accurate live data round the clock and shows us exactly how we're positioned compared to our CompSet. When everyone is fighting for business, getting a clear overview of booking pace and rate evolution helps me spot trends in the market early on. Without this, we'd always be playing catch up and miss essential revenue opportunities in this dynamic and unpredictable market. 

On top of seeing the competition's rates for various room categories, we can even monitor their inclusions and discounts now. This reveals their complete pricing strategy and helps me understand the impact on our properties. That way, you're not benchmarking hotel versus hotel anymore. Now you're benchmarking selling strategies. That's something unique I'd never seen before. It makes it much easier to react appropriately and maintain our positioning because we know the whole picture. 

Primarily our corporate team benefits from Rate Insight, bringing us closer to the market in this way. Without such a solution, it would have been much harder to get a solid grasp on the many needs that operations should know of.

Understanding and forecasting demand in an unprecedented situation

Like in other markets, Covid-19 upset our usual trends and booking patterns. This meant our RMS could no longer use all our historical data to make good pricing recommendations or accurately forecast demand. 

Today, OTA Insight's tools support us in this area. Market Insight leverages forward-looking demand data (e.g., search pressure and flight search volume) and predictive models to create an accurate picture of our market's future. This reveals precisely when and where demand is picking up well in advance. As a result, we can adjust our pricing early on and capitalize on every positive shift. The events calendar helps with this since it shows every upcoming event, and we can plan for the increased demand on time. 

Forecasting has also become more accessible with OTA Insight's BI tools. Market Insight provides the external market overview I need to understand how overall demand is developing. Revenue Insight shows me how our pick-up is looking by comparison. I can also drill down and benchmark booking pace at various times this year to see how well demand converted into reservations for us. This helps me conclude how much of the future demand we'll be able to capture. 

This deep understanding of demand in our market allows us to make confident pricing and yielding decisions even if we don't have our total OTB share yet. As a result, we achieved our minimum ADR goals even during the crisis and often surpassed them. 

Makarem Annakheel Jeddah room view

"Market Insight leverages forward-looking demand data and predictive models to create an accurate picture of our market's future."

Makarem-Annakheel Jeddah Resort View

Fully integrated business and market intelligence set-up

All four of OTA Insight's BI solutions are connected in one platform to offer a holistic market overview. This makes data much more accessible and actionable than when you use several separate tools. Being able to see forward-looking demand data, the CompSet's rate strategies, and our performance metrics in one shot gives our entire commercial team a chance to navigate our highly dynamic markets successfully

Since implementing OTA Insight's tools, communication and collaboration between the sales, revenue, and marketing departments have drastically improved. This enables the creation of more data-based promotions and marketing initiatives to drive business. For example, at some properties, Revenue Insight showed that production on weekends was consistently low. Revenue and marketing worked together to create a weekend package which began driving extra business. In another case, the data showed that the majority of our bookings were for two nights. We created a three-night package to make longer stays more attractive and again saw good results. 

Another benefit of having all data in one spot is that it makes it easy to spot-check a property's performance. If a general manager wants a quick overview, he can log in to OTA Insight. Our sales and marketing teams do the same to evaluable results and new opportunities. Finally, we even use it to present to senior management or back up our decisions with the necessary data. In the past, all this would have required lengthy manual data collection and collation, which I'm glad we can now leave up to our BI tools. 

A deep relationship with the OTA Insight team

Rate disparity cases also used to be a significant challenge for us, and we wanted to use Parity Insight to address it. While the tool helped us tackle the problem and cut back on disparity incidents, we were not 100% satisfied with the result. We considered switching to another product for some time to see if we could achieve better outcomes. We mentioned these plans to OTA Insight's team and were amazed at their response. 

Our customer support representative immediately offered assistance and also wanted to know what had caused our decisions. We spoke to several team members, and even the CEO got on the phone with me to learn more about improvements we were seeking, particularly in the Parity Insight product. On top of it all, they gave some valuable behind-the-scenes insights into their development process and upcoming feature launches. 

This led to a rediscovery of OTA Insight's entire suite of tools and a much deeper connection with their team. It was impressive to see how much they value us as a customer and how determined they are to provide the best solution for us. In the end, of course, we decided to stick with all of OTA Insight's resolutions and look forward to what they have in store for us in the future. 

Crowne Plaza Riyadh Palace Exterior

Crowne Plaza Riyadh Palace Exterior

"Being able to see forward-looking demand data, the CompSet's rate strategies, and our performance metrics in one shot gives our entire commercial team a chance to navigate our highly dynamic markets successfully."

Cost-effective solution

OTA Insight's pricing is another massive advantage. The fee structure is clear and fair, especially considering the results it's helped us achieve. When comparing the value OTA Insight's solutions deliver with what other providers offer, OTA Insight beats them by a long shot. It's an accessible option for hospitality businesses of any size, standalone hotels, or large groups. 

A word to your peers

If you haven't invested in a reliable business and market intelligence tool yet, you're running late. This is not about simply following the latest tech trend. It's about what your hotel gets out of such a solution. OTA Insight does 80-90% of the heavy lifting by supplying and presenting comprehensive internal, market, and competitor data. All that's left for you to do is use these insights to make the right choices for your hotel. And since you're no longer doing manual research, you have more time to think things through. 

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