Situated between Dubai South and Dubailand, Radisson Dubai DAMAC Hills hotel is a family-friendly hotel with 481 air-conditioned rooms and suites, three varied restaurants and bars, and a full-service spa. Surrounded by several golf courses, including the Trump International Golf Club, the hotel boasts an outdoor pool, a children's pool and a spa tub. With four state-of-the-art meeting rooms and conference facilities, the hotel also caters for business meetings and private events.
We sat down with Rajdeep Roy, Director of Revenue at Radisson Dubai DAMAC Hills, to learn how he and his team have been using Market Insight and Rate Insight to understand demand, their competitive landscape, and what actions they have been taking to implement successful commercial strategies at their hotel.
Getting knowledge of the market, what is happening within the city and in the surrounding area, is key to being able to price my property correctly. This is a new hotel, which opened in April 2021, and is in an area which had only developed in the last couple of years when COVID struck. Where there were 3 hotels in this area two years ago, there are now 10 and given that we rely on overflow from central Dubai, it is even more important for us to understand what the market is doing. We can get an idea about the market from talking to people, and by having an instinctual sense, but beyond that, as a revenue manager, we need real data.
"Market Insight is helping hotels understand market trends, and the new behaviour of travellers after the pandemic."
Data in its simplest form allows revenue managers to be more strategic. But day-to-day, you hardly get the time to sit down and think through those numbers. Now, using the Overview as a gateway into the OTA Insight suite, I can quickly change my parameters to make a decision on one page and in one click of a button. Then, when I look back at the actualised data, what I had been seeing in the data is really what ended up happening. This is itself a return on investment for me, but it is also a necessity for the business.
Market Insight is helping hotels understand market trends, and the new behaviour of travellers after the pandemic. Understanding what is happening in my vicinity is key because for six months, from October to March, we see one business pattern, which is expo related. During this period, I am relying heavily on data from Market Insight to see when demand is increasing in my compset.
When I see demand pick up, I know I need to increase my price point. Rate Insight permits me to look into the pricing part, where I can see what kind of strategy I should implement to drive growth; whether it's room type selling, or volume penetration at any given point in time, or if I can just be bullish with my rates.
However, as soon as April comes, I can see demand slow right down. While I might still have a few layovers, in Market Insight I can see that my compset has also seen demand decline. I can adjust my prices to meet the demand.
"It gives us clear indications about where my priorities should be, how I am performing against my compset, the occupancy, demand, who is booking, from where, and on what channel. This then helps the commercial team to be decisive in their decision making."
I have a 500 room property, the closest hotel to me has 140 rooms, and there’s another property of which 70% of their inventory are apartments. There’s no real comparison between them. The smart compset helps me to compare the price point of like for like hotels, even if they are not in my STR or KPI compset. These are the hotels that are going to directly impact me, whom I might win or lose business from, and this is also where Market Insight is helpful.
A lot of our business is transient. That's where this tool is extremely helpful for me and my commercial team to understand demand coming in. The GDS tab also gives me a broader horizon on how my preferred and non-preferred rates are moving. If there is an increased demand from a particular country, or a particular area, that helps me in marketing. For example, if I see for a selected period a lot of bookings coming in from the UK market, I can focus my marketing campaign or a sale or promotion on that market.
Sometimes my group rates might seem high, and my sales manager might doubt that they can convert at that price, but once the commercial team sees the Market Insight data and that there is high demand, we can actually drive business at a higher rate. It gives us clear indications about where my priorities should be, how I am performing against my compset, the occupancy, demand, who is booking, from where, and on what channel. This then helps the commercial team to be decisive in their decision making.
"The continuous upgrades by OTA Insight are important because they keep up with the market and the needs of our business."
I believe in this tool. Creating a tool is one thing, but the continuous upgrades by OTA Insight are important because they keep up with both the market and the needs of our business. As a revenue manager you need to look at information you can trust. By using these tools you get trusted information in one page. With information accessible in one click you can better spend your time being a strategic revenue leader. Anyone not using these tools are missing out and spending unnecessary time; time which should be used in a much more comprehensive way.