So much has changed in the hospitality industry since 2019.
As well as the challenges brought on by the pandemic where we’ve seen closures, redundancies, staff shortages and supply delays, and now ongoing pent-up demand following two years of very limited travel - there’s also the worry of inflation and a looming recession.
Consumer behaviour has also changed. Traditional compsets have shifted, while conventional forecasting methods based on historical analysis are simply no longer effective. Demand has become harder to predict with any level of certainty, and, with more hoteliers trying to capture a smaller pool of predominantly leisure travellers, competition is fiercer than ever.
Factor in different segments, room types, distribution channel management, cancellation policies, as well as discounting and promotional strategies ,and it is clear that the operating landscape has become even more complicated.
As a revenue manager, wearing ‘multiple hats’ and keeping track of what’s happening day-to-day is hard enough - let alone looking ahead further than the short-term future.
Understanding the new, developing behavioural trends of your customer, as well as the competitive landscape, is vital to planning through these uncertain times. Now, with the help of market intelligence tools such as Market Insight, hoteliers can make strategic forecasting decisions at the click of a button.
But what exactly is forward-looking data in the context of the hotel industry?
Forward-looking search data is top-of-funnel information collected when consumers are still in the inspiration or ‘dreaming’ phase of the customer journey. This data exposes future market behaviour and new booking patterns and trends, which hoteliers can use to forecast hotel demand.
A predictive demand intelligence solution can aggregate billions of these future-facing data points, including flight and hotel search volumes, to reveal booking intent and therefore give important insight into travel demand for future dates.
Quality data is central to understanding what’s happening in the market. The more comprehensive the data, the more solid any strategic commercial decisions will be. And, when all the heavy lifting is done at the click of a button, as is the case with Market Insight, hoteliers have more time to dig into the insights and make calculated, proactive revenue decisions, with speed and confidence.
In the past, hoteliers looked to historical demand patterns, OTB data and event calendars for ideas of what the future may hold. While historical data still has its place, post-pandemic booking behaviour and patterns have shown that it does not have the same level of importance that it previously held when it comes to forecasting.
Forecasting now requires a much broader view of the market for hotel commercial teams. For example, pre-booking data helps one to understand the full guest journey, enabling more effective targeting of travellers in the very early stages of their trip planning. This can hotel commercial teams better anticipate early demand shifts and position themselves to effectively convert lookers into bookers before their competitors.
A predictive market intelligence tool like Market Insight helps hoteliers to understand who may be searching for stays in their market, who their true competition is, while extending their window of opportunity to convert bookings.
Market Insight collects, collates and displays live forward-looking data, in real-time, so hoteliers can:
These actionable demand insights provide essential forecasting information for hoteliers to boost their commercial performance. When used in combination with data from Rate Insight, Revenue Insight and their Revenue management system (RMS), hoteliers get a complete, holistic overview of the market, and their position within it.
This opens up new possibilities to both tighten up any profit leaks, and spot revenue-generating opportunities.
Identifying demand with Market Insight is one piece of the puzzle. Once forecasts show future demand is high or low, hoteliers need to stretch their revenue by making sure they are setting the right price.
In order to maximise RevPar, savvy revenue teams must operate a fine balance between filling their rooms, and ensuring they are sold at the right price to the right guests, at the right time.
A hotel rate shopper or rate intelligence tool, instantly gathers and automatically collates competitors’ current, past and future rates across all distribution channels in real time, saving hoteliers time to make the well-informed, data-backed decisions that ensure they do not leave any money on the table.
Rate Insight provides real-time rate intelligence that reveals your competitors complete pricing strategy, along with granular insights on their long-term promotional and discounting strategies, so you can benchmark your own strategy. By also showing rates across all key OTAs and metasearch channels, Rate Insight allows revenue and distribution teams to identify parity issues and see where they are losing revenue.
By monitoring your market’s pricing data, you can see how properties like yours respond to shifts in demand. When used in combination with the forward-looking search data from Market Insight, hoteliers can spot revenue opportunities and position themselves correctly with an effective pricing and promotional strategy that captures the demand - ahead of your market.
Hotel business intelligence
As market conditions shift, it's important to have an effective strategy in place, while still adapting when and where needed. To judge the effectiveness of your strategy, you need to be able to see how your business is performing.
To start, you'll want to identify which tactics are working - be it a pricing and distribution strategy or marketing promotions - so you can double down on them. And, you'll also want to spot what isn’t working, so you can adjust or stop altogether. Business intelligence tools, such as Revenue Insight, help to monitor those important KPIs and the property’s revenue performance.
By drawing data from a hotel’s PMS, Revenue Insight provides insight into revenue-generating opportunities that allow even greater personalised offers and insights for upselling and promotions. It means that hoteliers can be even more flexible to market changes, and act with speed and confidence as they implement strategies that are targeted across a wide range of indicators which could include rate codes, distribution channels, and room types - with the ultimate goal of driving further revenue.
Get the complete picture with a robust Revenue management system
Integrating market and rate intelligence tools with an RMS,like Atomize, means that data from Market Insight, for example, flows directly into the RMS. This gives the system access to an even broader set of up-to-date and reliable information, offering hoteliers even better rate suggestions and automated rate updates.
Additionally, by combining your RMS hotel occupancy forecast with the market demand forecast in Market Insight, you can discover days with lower and higher demand much earlier than competitors, and develop a sound commercial strategy in order to capture demand and drive business performance.
Demand forecasting should be the first step in your commercial strategy at your hotel. This all begins with a predictive market intelligence solution. By better anticipating future demand levels you can spot and take advantage of short, mid and long-term revenue opportunities, and capture your target audience ahead of your competition.
But, a first step by no means completes a journey. To fully capitalise on the power of Market Insight’s location-specific, segmented demand data, integrate it with a rate shopper, business intelligence tool, and RMS.
While saving you precious time, this also ensures a holistic approach to revenue management, so you can make the correct pricing, distribution and marketing decisions, combined with the applicable long-term strategies.
In a market that has markedly evolved since the start of the pandemic, revenue teams that utilise an integrated suite of commercial intelligence solutions can approach all aspects of their commercial strategy with laser-sharp focus, and have ultimate confidence in their decision making.