Sharper forecasting, better revenues: The power of Predictive Analytics
In the 20th show of the second edition of BW HOTELIER’s The GM Show, industry experts discussed the topic, Predictive Analytics for Demand Forecasting: Exploring how predictive analytics help GMs anticipate and manage demand fluctuations
In the dynamic world of hospitality, where guest preferences and market gestures are in constant flux, the role of General Managers (GMs) has never been more pivotal. It is the astute decisions and strategic insights of these industry leaders that often determine the success of a hotel or resort. In a recent episode of BW Hotelier's The GM Show, Season 2 Episode 20, the spotlight shone on a game-changing tool that is revolutionising the way GMs approach their craft: predictive analytics for demand forecasting.
Hosted and moderated by Bhuvanesh Khanna, CEO of BW Communities and BW Businessworld, this episode brought together a panel of accomplished GMs from renowned hotels: Kunal Shanker, GM, InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort; Shilpa Rameja, GM, Taj Wellington Mews, Chennai; Ruban Das, GM, Hyatt Regency Chennai; Divakar Shukla, GM, Holiday Inn Chennai OMR IT Expressway.
The first question was directed to Kunal Shanker: What does predictive analysis mean in the context of the hospitality industry and how are past data and external factors used to forecast future predictions? During the answer, Shanker set the stage by defining predictive analysis as the art of using historical data in conjunction with external factors like demand and analytics to forecast future trends. He added, "For GMs, this means harnessing past data to predict what the next six months or even a year might look like in terms of guest demand. Additionally, predictive analytics tools can help identify the spending potential of repeat guests, along with their brand preferences, allowing hotels to benchmark their offerings against the competition."
Shilpa Rameja emphasised the importance of predictive analysis in navigating high, moderate, and low demand periods. She highlighted, "Achieving a balance between income, costs, profit margins, and guest satisfaction is a key challenge for GMs, and precise forecasting is the linchpin for success. Predictive analytics not only improves revenue but also optimises operations, ensuring that guests receive exceptional service from the moment they arrive until check-out. It also guides decisions on resource allocation for future expansion."
The next question in line was for Ruban Das, who stressed the need for real-time data in the hospitality industry, to which Das pointed out the importance of special events like cricket matches and their influence on demand and the need for advance planning. He said that the reliance on industry standards-accredited reports for demand forecasting plays a significant role.
Divakar Shukla, GM of Holiday Inn Chennai OMR IT Expressway, delved into the tools and technologies that drive predictive analytics in the industry. He mentioned three major categories: guest sentiments, demand forecasting, and revenue management. Shukla also discussed risk mitigation strategies, such as transferring overbooked guests to sister hotels or nearby locations to ensure a seamless experience. He introduced the IG Concerto dashboard, which provides robust analytics and daily rate analysis for hotels. Furthermore, Shukla highlighted the role of third-party companies in providing detailed predictive analyses tailored to specific hotels, along with platforms like Hot Stats that optimise workforce and profitability.
Considering the Covid19 era, Rameja pointed out emerging trends such as "Dream, Drive, Discover, Delight," Staycations and Daycations, which have gained prominence in the tourism industry. These trends have become essential considerations in predictive analysis as hotels adapt to the evolving preferences and behaviours of travellers.
As the insightful discussion drew to a close, Bhuvanesh Khanna, the host and moderator, took a moment to thank the panel of GMs for their invaluable contributions. He emphasised how their expertise and willingness to share their knowledge had shed light on a crucial aspect of modern hospitality management. Before bidding farewell, Khanna shared that the show shall take a six-week break and return on October 26, 2023, after the IHA 2023 on October 20-21, 2023.
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