2017: A Year of Ruthless Prioritsation

The key to a better tomorrow is in identifying those really important things to focus on with ruthless prioritisation. So here is a list of 5 things that hotels can do to boost their revenues for 2017.

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2017 HAS begun with bang. All that could go wrong for the hotel business has already gone wrong. Demonitisation and after effects, Trump tweets, BREXIT and security issues across many parts of the world are to name a few. The good part about us Indians is that despite of all doom and gloom we are still an optimistic nation and believe that tomorrow will be a better day.

The key to a better tomorrow is in identifying those really important things to focus on with ruthless prioritisation. So here is a list of 5 things that hotels can do to boost their revenues for 2017.

Go Digital

For all those hotels that are still wondering that sales is about only relationship and one on one sales is the order of the day, please get real. With smart phone penetration increasing day on day, internet bandwidth improving, demographics of the Indian consumer changing rapidly with younger consumers with lots more disposable income coming into our client base, the writing is clear on the wall. Go Digital. A lot of people still don’t know where to start. Follow these basics, start with engagement on social media, optimize your online reviews, enhance visibility through SEO, and make your website a living being so that you have more confirmations. Go Digital if you want to continue running your hotel, it is not the future, it is the present.

Experiment with Analytics

Hotels in India have traditionally been slow to adopt business analytics. Considering the fact most hotels maintain detailed guest history and even know preferences of pillows to wines, hotels have been slow to use the data collected to market to guests. Hotels can proactively and effectively market to existing consumers based on their past history of stays and spends on food & beverage, spa, laundry etc. This can be easily tracked through the existing property management systems. All you need is somebody with basic analytical skills to read this data and interpret for action.So here is a thought provoking question to hotels GMs and DOSs- Do you know which of your regular in house guest spends the most on food and beverage in your hotel .If so how much is the spend per visit? The answer lies when you seek and not find.

Understand the Intermediary Business

The world is going through disintermediarisation (if that is a word) and on the other hand hotels are seeing newer types of intermediaries. Traditional tour operators, destination management companies, travel agents, online travel agents, concierge services, venue finders to name a few. The new ones are all commissionable models, which are enticing to begin with as there is no financial commitment from the hotels point of view. However things start to get interesting when they start getting significant revenue share for your business and flex their muscle on higher commissions. The key is first developing an understanding of these intermediaries and have a healthy mix across channels of distribution. Negotiate commissions with your distribution partners for a profitable business.

Go Direct

All hotels want direct business however few actually make concerted effort to get that. An international hotel company took the lead and came out strongly with their Go Direct campaign. I see that in future brands will become their own distributors. This will be led by larger chains. Driving traffic to your hotel website and offering incentives for booking direct will be the norm. Make the right investment and have a strategy in place to ensure that each and every guest is repeat customer who books directly. A healthy mix of direct and intermediary business is critical.

Invest in Sales Training

When you think sales, do you think of the bunch of team members designated as sales team that go out every day to pitch or do you think the army of people who work in your hotel interacting with guests every day. Here lies the fundamental difference between hotels and progressive hotels. Make sure everyone, who works with you or for you, is motivated enough to tell others about your amazing hotel. All it requires is a sales orientation, which can be achieved through consistent messaging and structured training as “every battle is won BEFORE it is fought”.


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