Located next door to Universal Studios Japan, this elegant family hotel places you at the centre of Osaka's famous entertainment, food, and sightseeing district. Having opened in August 2015 just opposite the park's main gate, you can’t stay anywhere closer to the theme park.
In an interview with Ms. Yuho Onishi, Reservations & Revenue Manager at The Park Front Hotel, we found out how she and her team leverage both Market Insight and Rate Insight together to significantly improve time-efficiency and allow them to focus on driving revenue. Ms. Yuho Onishi shared how the tools help her to easily visualise demand to Osaka from different source markets; monitor rate development and make data-driven pricing and marketing decisions.
Prior to using Rate Insight, researching competitors' rates was a time-consuming process, and it took an especially long time to then complete the entire process that eventually determined our own rates. Without Market Insight forecasting demand correctly was a challenging and lengthy process. We always needed to look at data outside of our business, such as the data coming from OTAs and metasearch, and have discussions with competitors and association members near Universal Studios, which was time-consuming and highly labour-intensive. Market Insight provides this data in a few clicks.
I used to spend almost half a day gathering data and creating and examining different documents to understand the market situation. But by using Rate Insight and Market Insight, my manual workload has greatly reduced and I am able to use this extra time to develop strategies to drive further revenue. We realised that we needed to try and reduce our time on manual tasks and activities which could be alleviated by using technology solutions - as it would then free up as much time as possible for analysis and strategy.
Rate Insight's competitive rate comparison is fast at updating prices and easy to use. The user interface is so simple and naturally intuitive. We can live rate shop and get the answers we need with a few clicks. And with the rate evolution tab you can also keep track of the rate changes over time, so you get a much better idea of pricing trends in the market, allowing you to see when and why competitors are changing or holding rates at certain times, which better informs our own pricing decisions.
It also enables you to spend less time checking your competitors rates, so you can spend more time on other activities to drive business growth. Live rate shopping can be done incredibly quickly, and that combined with the straightforward user interface and simple reporting mean the tool’s time saving ability can’t be underestimated.
Market Insight is easy to read and understand, especially with the arrows showing the week-to-week comparison. It allows you to see which countries are generating the most traffic when searching for your market, even down to which airport they are looking to fly from. This kind of insight can be used as a reference point when trying to market your hotel - where you want to generate exposure and target your advertising spend.
"By using Rate Insight and Market Insight, my manual workload has greatly reduced and I am able to use this extra time to develop strategies to drive further revenue."
Rate Insight does all the heavy lifting of gathering rate comparison data for you and displaying it in an easy to ready dashboard. So you can spend more time carrying out other critical tasks of a Revenue Manager, the main being strategising with your team how to maximise revenue.
With Market Insight, you can easily see the volume of people searching for your market and from which regions they are searching from. This gives a great insight into traveller demand for your region which can influence our pricing and marketing strategies. Since it is updated in real time, we make a habit of checking it every day to constantly understand the flow of demand for our area rather than just occasionally.
When using Rate Insight and Market Insight together, you have the ability to quickly compare competitor rates and almost instantly visualise market demand, this greatly improves our time efficiency. It reduces the time previously spent researching both of these aspects. This then allows us to spend our time more effectively, on analysis and strategy. The improved time efficiency is where we see the most ROI - we believe this is what makes the tools cost-effective.
If we didn’t have these tools in place, I think our day would come to a close and we would still have plenty of work to do to try and understand both our pricing strategy and the market demand situation. We would need to gather information on competitors and conduct various interviews to predict demand. I wouldn’t have the time available to get to the real work of making decisions on prices and thinking about future sales development.
Due to the pandemic, it was nearly impossible to predict how the market was moving based on previous years' trends and past performance. The lead time was also very different from past years. By using Market Insight, we were able to confirm which future dates were being looked at in real time and develop plans ahead of time. This puts us ahead of our competitors and avoids any delay in creating strategic plans and setting rates.
"With Market Insight, you can easily see the volume of people searching for your market and from which regions they are searching from. This gives a great insight into traveller demand for your region which can influence our pricing and marketing strategies."
With Market Insight’s data we check the increase and decrease in demand to the Osaka area on a daily basis. We then use this information to decide whether to change our rates in line with our own booking curve.
We also check the growth of searches for the stipulated upcoming dates and use this as a reference to decide whether to create new strategic plans to match that period. In addition, we use the flight search feature to check which regions are wanting to travel to our area the most. We then use these insights to inform our marketing and social media efforts, and to gain greater exposure for our hotel.
I then check Market Insight in conjunction with my own booking curve and I check it in conjunction with Google Analytics on my website to monitor demand and where it is coming from.
Running an integrated tech stack will really save you time by being able to check everything on a single platform. It makes things far easier to understand because of the unified visualisation, tables and reports.
The number one piece of advice I would give to hoteliers when making a decision about a new tech investment is to choose whichever tool is easiest to use and understand. One that will save you time at work and one that does not require secondary processing of data. And I recommend OTA Insight as one of the options to consider.