By Juli Jones, CAE, Vice President, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)
HSMAI’s Revenue Optimization Advisory Board (ROAB) held its annual retreat last month to identify the most pressing issues facing hotels on the revenue front and outline plans to provide revenue professionals the insights, tools, and best practices they need to address them. Here are a few key discussions ROAB members had:
Top issues: What are the top issues facing the revenue optimization discipline today? ROAB members identified:
- Technology — finding the balance between the art and science, and a balance between owner and brand interests.
- Technology and talent — with changes in technology, talent has to evolve in terms of skills and approach.
- All skills for talent, including soft skills such as changing management and communications styles, and hard skills such as understanding technology and revenue management fundamentals.
- Blurry lines amongst sales, marketing, and revenue groups.
- Too much technology, and not enough use of it.
- Today’s talent is not prepared for different market conditions.
- Distribution disruption — like with Google and Amazon — which gets between hotels and guests.
On the horizon: What is the next thing coming at us? Is it an opportunity or a challenge? ROAB members said:
- Technology — we have to define the skills needed to determine where we need it and don’t.
- Data — the effective and efficient use of it.
- Remote workforce management — stressing the importance of communication, collaboration, and ensuring both market and industry knowledge.
- Understanding demand in a shifting supply environment.
- Intermediary technology that disrupts pricing and buying behaviors — bots, voice, filters, etc.
- Short-term rentals — we need to realize they are impacting hotel rentals and focus on the generational factors, impact on pricing, and potential development opportunities.
- Economics and training talent that is new to a downturn environment.