The Top 5 future trends in hospitality industry in 2018

Hotel revenue management trends move fast. The sector has evolved at a remarkable pace and is set to continue this course. It’s an exciting time to be a part of such a fast-moving industry and hotels can benefit from taking advantage of the new trends that are shaping it.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 trends and changes that are driving hotel revenue management.

1. A shift to profit management

An increasing number of revenue managers believe that hotel revenue management has already moved to a specific emphasis on profit management. This may well be what we come to call our profession before long. A focus on profit has become more prominent as revenue managers move on from a reliance on the traditional key performance indicators (KPIs) of total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR).

Instead, revenue managers will use gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as the main KPI. This puts profit at the centre of revenue management strategy, and managers will increasingly search for new techniques to increase the profitability of their hotels.

A KPI we have been advocating of as well is NRevPAR or NetRevPAR, it is a step towards GOPPAR from RevPAR, taking into consideration cost of distribution and marketing. It focusses on a net reservation value.

ROI is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical the focus on profitability and ROI will continue to sharpen.

 

  1. An increased focus on direct hotel bookings

    Revenue marketing managers know that one key area to drive profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This increases brand recall and loyalty, and generates repeat business. It also offers a unique platform to market the hotel via direct communication channels with the customer, offer deals and upsell additional services or room upgrades.

    OTAs of course have an essential role as a reservations source but they come a distant second to direct bookings for the hotel that takes profit maximisation seriously. To persuade guests to book directly on the hotel website, the benefit must be clearly presented to the would-be guest. Why should they go to your hotel’s website instead of to an OTA? What is the advantage? This is where revenue managers will ramp up focus.

    3. Greater efficiency in use of data

    Hotels are inundated with all types of data metrics now. There are many KPIs and types of hotel big data to work with. This makes it even more important to understand how to leverage it, to cut through the data thicket and mine it for its true worth. Efficient use of customer data provides key takeaways that in turn drive business decisions.

    An RMS that encompasses data reporting and analysis tools is increasingly seen as less of a luxury and more of a necessity. This helps drive profits via the insights that efficient use of data provide.

    Revenue managers are increasingly working out new and improved ways to combine KPIs with specific data types. Software including customer relationship management and resource planning tools provide essential data and will continue to proliferate in use.

    4. Technology enhancements in revenue management

    The technology that powers revenue management systems is constantly changing. One of the most important recent, ongoing changes is the increased presence of automation. RM systems with automation are much more preferable than without. Automation increases RM efficiency and helps managers focus on driving profitability. They can spend more time on strategy, while data entry and logistics are automated.

    As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. Other new trends in RM technology are the increasing prominence of machine learning and predictive analytics tools.

    Technology that integrates with the revenue manager’s workflow is key. This can include communication channels management systems, guest review systems and benchmark reporting systems.

    5. A continuing shift in focus to mobile

    The shift to mobile is not entirely new. 2017 in particular saw a significant rise in mobile interaction and bookings. But, it is set to rise further. 2018 will see even greater focus on mobile. Increasing revenue and profits will be increasingly dependent on a mobile website that delivers high performance.

    For this reason, revenue managers will be keen to ensure that hotel websites are optimised for customer engagement, measuring hotel performance and business generation. Moreover, websites must be continually updated and maintained for optimum performance. It will be absolutely critical to the success of a hotel in 2018.

Xotels is a leader among hotel management companies with a focus on hotel revenue management. We help independent hotels outperform their competition.

Posted in Hotel Management

The Changing Role and Future of Revenue Management in the Hotel Industry in 5 Steps

Revenue management in the hotel industry is still relatively young. While it began in the 1990s, it has really bloomed and grown exponentially in the last decade, particularly in the last few years. In this time, it has been overshadowed by other departmental functions within the industry, such as sales and marketing. Revenue managers, in comparison, have worked behind the scenes and tended to report to these departments.

But not anymore.

Hotel revenue management is moving front and centre of the overarching business model for many hotels, and this trend is only set to rise further. In this article, I discuss its changing role in the hotel industry and what we can expect to happen in the near future.

  1. Revenue management is levelling upAt Xotels we have seen a growing trend of hotels elevating revenue management’s role. Many now look to take advantage of analytical insight and strategic knowhow that uniquely come from revenue management.

    This insight and knowhow supports key business decision-making. Increasingly, revenue managers are sitting in on executive committees, equal in status and stature to the marketing and sales department heads.

    Many hotels no longer have a revenue manager but rather a director of revenue management, having upgraded the importance and weight of the role. No longer are they reporting into the DOSM. They have a straight line to the general manager.

    2. The role will continue to expand

    Revenue management undergoes constant change, more so than other departments. This is because it is rooted in technological capability. Technology will continue to evolve and more sophisticated methods of guest analysis will come to the fore, as revenue managers keep searching for ways of becoming more competitive.

    This constant change has contributed in large part to the expanding roles that today’s hotel revenue manager is charged with carrying out. After all, it is through inventive marketing strategies that hotels can generate business. Ecommerce, social media, client engagement and relationship management have all become central to the revenue manager’s job in order to drive business.

    Some additional roles include:

    Managing the hotel’s online presence and reputation

Overseeing website digital marketing strategies

Customer communication and engagement initiatives

Technological development of the hotel services, facilities and procedures

Identifying new markets and new opportunities within current markets

Product evaluation, business development and capital investment recommendations

Today’s successful revenue manager must wear many different hats. And it is exciting to see how this will evolve further with new technologies, customer trends and innovation in hotel industry.

3. Total hotel revenue management will be unleashed

This is a concept that has been discussed for a few years, but it looks like it can really begin to take hold soon. Total hotel revenue management expands from a focus only on room revenue calculation to encompass all other hotel revenue generators.

These include the hotel restaurant, space rental, room service and leisure facilities. According to a recent study by Cornell University, 63 percent of revenue managers believe that the concept is on the verge of breakthrough.

Can you imagine how important this will be for revenue management? Its development could make it the kingmaker department in the industry at large.

4. Profit management will take centre stage

The elevation of revenue managers in importance to hotels comes down to one thing: they are uniquely positioned to help drive profits. The function is increasingly seen as profit generation rather than revenue management.

Revenue managers are pivoting to a focus on increasing profit margins rather than on increasing revenue. The ideal is of course to do both. It’s great to grow, but it’s better to do so with higher profit KPI’s.

This focus on profits will sharpen in 2018 and beyond, as revenue management uses new methods to understand guests better and improve margins.

5. Revenue managers will focus on guest analytics

The hotel sector is probably more competitive than ever before. Hotels aren’t only competing with their cross-town rivals, but inter-city and even international counterparts. Online travel agencies, the rise of hostels, and high guest demands make the industry even more competitive. So, hotels are turning to hospitality data analytics; and new technology is making efficient analysis that produces unique, valuable insights possible.

The final word: Get used to constant change

‘The only constant in business is change’ is an old business maxim. But for revenue managers, it is particularly applicable. Let’s look at just some of the recent changes to the role: adapting to the new guest expectancy of unique hotel experiences and nothing but the best service; the rise of technology-driven solutions; data analysis and use of communication channels to build relationships with guests long after they have checked out; and not least, the importance of mobile strategy to hotel success.

These represent a lot of changes, but revenue managers must continue to adapt and anticipate future trends. The most thrilling thing of all is that most hotels still don’t use a revenue management system, but they are catching on to the benefits that they are missing out on. This is great news, as revenue management is set to continue growing and to play an even more important role in driving the success of hotels.

Xotels is a leader among hotel management companies with a focus on hotel revenue management. We help independent hotels outperform their competition.

Posted in Hotel Management

The Top 5 Hotel Revenue Management Trends and Changes in 2018

Hotel revenue management trends move fast. The sector has evolved at a remarkable pace and is set to continue this course. It’s an exciting time to be a part of such a fast-moving industry and hotels can benefit from taking advantage of the new trends that are shaping it.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 trends and changes that are driving hotel revenue management.

  1. A shift to profit management

An increasing number of revenue managers believe that hotel revenue management has already moved to a specific emphasis on profit management. This may well be what we come to call our profession before long. A focus on profit has become more prominent as revenue managers move on from a reliance on the traditional key performance indicators (KPIs) of total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and (RevPAR) revenue per available room.

Instead, revenue managers will use gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as the main KPI. This puts profit at the centre of revenue management strategy, and managers will increasingly search for new techniques to increase the profitability of their hotels.

A KPI we have been advocating of as well is NRevPAR or Net RevPAR, it is a step towards GOPPAR from RevPAR, taking into consideration cost of distribution and marketing. It focusses on a net reservation value.

ROI is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical the focus on profitability and ROI will continue to sharpen.

2. An increased focus on direct hotel bookings

Revenue managers know that one key area to drive profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This increases brand recall and loyalty, and generates repeat business. It also offers a unique platform to market the hotel via direct communication channels with the customer, offer deals and upsell additional services or room upgrades.

OTAs of course have an essential role as a reservations source but they come a distant second to direct bookings for the hotel that takes profit maximisation seriously. To persuade guests to book directly on the hotel website, the benefit must be clearly presented to the would-be guest. Why should they go to your hotel’s website instead of to an OTA? What is the advantage? This is where revenue managers will ramp up focus.

3. Greater efficiency in use of data

Hotels are inundated with all types of data metrics now. There are many KPIs and types of data for hotels to work with. This makes it even more important to understand how to leverage it, to cut through the data thicket and mine it for its true worth. Efficient use of customer data provides key takeaways that in turn drive business decisions.

An RMS that encompasses data reporting and analysis tools is increasingly seen as less of a luxury and more of a necessity. This helps drive profits via the insights that efficient use of data provide.

Revenue managers are increasingly working out new and improved ways to combine KPIs with specific data types. Software including customer relationship management and resource planning tools provide essential data and will continue to proliferate in use.

4. Technology enhancements in revenue management

The technology that powers revenue management systems is constantly changing. One of the most important recent, ongoing changes is the increased presence of automation. RM systems with automation are much more preferable than without. Automation increases RM efficiency and helps managers focus on driving profitability. They can spend more time on strategy, while data entry and logistics are automated.

As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. Other new trends in RM technology are the increasing prominence of machine learning and predictive analytics tools.

Technology that integrates with the revenue manager’s workflow is key. This can include communication channels management systems, guest review systems and benchmark reporting systems.

5. A continuing shift in focus to mobile

The shift to mobile is not entirely new. 2017 in particular saw a significant rise in mobile interaction and bookings. But, it is set to rise further. 2018 will see even greater focus on mobile. Increasing revenue and profits will be increasingly dependent on a mobile website that delivers high performance.

For this reason, revenue managers will be keen to ensure that hotel websites are optimised for customer engagement, performance measurement and business generation. Moreover, websites must be continually updated and maintained for optimum performance. It will be absolutely critical to the success of a hotel in 2018.

The final word on hotel revenue management trends and changes in 2018.

2018 will be an action-packed year for revenue management. These are some of the most important trends that we at Xotels see coming. Revenue management has developed quickly and established itself as a dominant force in driving hotel success, but 2018 could be its most evolutionary year yet.

Xotels is a leader among hotel management companies with a focus on hotel revenue management. We help independent hotels outperform their competition.

Posted in Hotel Management

Secrets behind Hotel Revenue Management Strategies Uncovered

In the early days of Xotels we used to do revenue management and distribution seminars, and we would always ask a trick question, ‘Who has Standard Rooms in their hotel’. Half the room would raise their hand (unfortunately). We would get into the discussion of how much they would pay for something Standard (or rather average). Room type names are an often-missed opportunity in hotels to commercially position the product more attractive and competitive.

Using Hotel Room Types for Strategic Positioning

Room type names are an often-missed opportunity in hotels to commercially position the product more attractive and competitive. Before we get to the commercial aspect of naming room types, we should get into the why we have room types  and how many a hotel should have. Room types are basically the different products a hotel offers to the market. Having a varied product offer allows hotels to offer various pricing levels catering to various budget levels as well as psychological needs of the consumers.

Yes pricing is a psychological game. Not everyone simply buys the cheapest product on offer. For those of you who went to hotel school, remember the restaurant management classes explaining why a wine list requires a selection? Many diners will buy up from the bottom price od the list towards the middle. And we had to ensure those wines were super profitable… This menu engineering technique has to be applied to hotel rooms as well. We need to offer a wide selection of rooms,  priced slightly up from your mist economical room category, and they should preferably not require extra cleaning cost.

Travelers will upsell themselves. Without any effort from your side!

Well that is not entirely true. My dear hotelier colleagues. We need to get creative and open our minds …

It seems we are dealing with a legacy issue in the traditional hotel industry

based on technology inheritance and old-school indoctrination. In the early days of digital distribution, the GDS’s had system codes for rooms which included types like Standard, Deluxe, Superior, Junior Suite etc. It seems this level of standardization has flowed through into an erosion of creativity in our industry. Hoteliers have simply copied this rather boring unification continues to apply it even now when opening new hotels. It seems we have been brainwashed or indoctrinated by old-school thinking, and are challenged to think outside the box.

By the way another room type name that ticks me off is a Double Room. What does this tell me about the room you want me to book and pay for? Absolutely nothing … Just show it to me when I search for a room for 2 people …

Get Ready to Be Blown Away

Fortunately, there are still courageous cavaliers out there breaking this dogma. Take a look for instance at the room type names at W Hotels. Below an overview of hotel room trends at W Barcelona:

Cozy Room

Wonderful Room

Wonderful Sky Room

Fabulous Room

Fabulous Sky Room

Studio Suite

Cool Corner Suite

Marvelous Suite

Spectacular Suite

Wow Suite

Extreme Wow Suite

I mean, I am sold … aren’t you? Or would you rather stay in a Standard Room?

 

 

 

 

 


The Methodology

There are all sorts of ways to picking creative and appealing room type names, even with a more classical hotel. Always when we take on revenue management for a new hotel, we go through an exercise where we list all the room numbers with their individual features;

Floor level

View / Orientation

Size in m2

Bedding types and sizes

Seating

Normal and max occupancy level

Extra Beds / sofa bed

Facility details

Shower vs tub

Based on this we can group the rooms which are similar into categories, after which the creative process of naming them comes into play. Focus on different attributes of the rooms and link it to the concept of the property, and you can come up with some amazing room type names. An all-open-everything-goes-no-idea-is-bad brainstorming session with the team is highly recommended. You will be surprised what comes out of it. In my case a bottle of good wine always helps.

I always love this exercise as it always motivates the team in understanding that we are selling an experience, rather than a product. The room type names have to capture the essence of that experience and your concept, and communicate clearly what the people can expect.

How We Do It …

Let me share with you some of the ideas we came up with for our hotels and resorts:

Zoku Amsterdam (new concept aparthotel)

Zoku Loft

Zoku Loft XL

Zoku Room

Zoku Bootstrap

Hotel Revenue Management Secrets roomtypes 2

Ibiza Rocks (a party hotel)

Rocks Self Catering

Rocks Room

Chill Out Pool

Main Pool View

Stage View

Rock Star Apartment

Secret de Paris Design Hotel (a hotel themes after different landmarks in the city of lights)

Musée d’Orsay

Trocadero

Opera Garnier

Atelier d’Artiste

Moulin Rouge

Tour Eiffel

Mabi Maastricht (boutique hotel located in an old movie theater)

Basic Twin

Unrestricted Twin

Imagine King

Plush Twin

Plush King

Twisted Twin (with an amazing aperitive mini bar)

Twisted King (with an amazing aperitive mini bar)

Plush Triple

Corbusier Family Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Domenico Palace (luxury 5 star hotel, part of Leading Hotels of the World)

Convent Cloister View

Convent Garden View

Convent Sea View

Convent Sea View Terrace

Convent Junior Suite with Sea View

Convent Garden Suite

Convent Garden Grand Suite

Grand Hotel Classic

Grand Hotel Sea View

Grand Hotel Sea View Terrace

Grand Hotel Deluxe – Sea View Terrace

Grand Hotel Large Sea View Terrace

Grand Hotel Junior Suite – Sea View

Grand Hotel Junior Suite – Sea View Terrace

Grand Hotel Terrace & Jacuzzi

Grand Hotel Suite – Terrace & Jacuzzi

Bougainville Suite

Taormina Bay Suite

San Domenico Palace Suite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And yes, sceptics are already reaching me by telepathic brainwaves.
Way too many Room Types I hear them shouting.

Nope, not true!

By segmenting your product in a clear way, you are communicating clearly what differentiates them. Moreover, selling experience in this way will make it easier for people to upsell themselves. The feeling of getting a slightly better or upgraded model is worth extra money in the eye of the beholder.

People Upsell Themselves

Back to the wine menu class from our hotel school days. Putting 2 or 3 wines on the menu would make most people choosing the cheapest one. Adding more choice leads to people going up in the price category they choose

Same goes for hotels. As we implement this choice of room types in both city hotels and resorts, we see the average hotel rome rate increasing. People are upselling themselves. This works best if supplements are not too high. For instance, in city hotels we often use a €5 to €10 increment, and in resorts or luxury boutique hotels we drive premiums of €30 up to €100.

In medium size hotels of 50 to 60 rooms I would generally like to have about 6 rooms types. Of course it is different for each hotel,  but to drive revenue up you need yield tools, and room types are among the most effective.

It works like a charm, ADR and RevPAR increase every single time implementing this trick in hotels. I kid you not!

Hope this has been a helpful eyeopener. There is a lot of low hanging fruit out there for your hotel. Go back to the drawing board and look at tour property’s assets objectively. If you need help, don’t hesitate, reach out to us. We would be more than happy to help you to capitalize on your untapped potential revenue..

Xotels is a leader among hotel management companies with a focus on hotel revenue management. We help independent hotels outperform their competition.

Posted in Hotel Management

KPI’s Revenue Management for hotels; the top 3 Experts Really Use to Drive Profitability

Driving your profitability in the most efficient manner is a challenge that all hotels face. But here at Xotels, we have found that there are certain key performance indicators (KPIs) that are particularly powerful. Some of the commonly used KPIs include Average Room Rate (ARR), Bedroom Occupancy Rate (OCC) and Cost per Occupied Room (CPOR). But, in this article we focus on the three hotel revenue management KPIs that experts use to maximise profitability in particular.

These are:

Gross Operating Profit Per Available Room (GOPPAR)

Net Revenue Per Available Room (NREVPAR)

Total Revenue Per Available Room (TREVPAR)

Hotel KPIs are essential towards maximising your hotel’s profitability. They provide unique insights into the performance of a number of crucial criteria across your hotel. They also help you to understand the results of your revenue management strategy effectively. Furthermore, hotel revenue management KPIs help you to set and measure financial goals. It is these goals that help drive your hotel’s growth and profitability.

The 3 Hotel Revenue KPIs that will Drive your Profitability Goals

1. Gross Operating Profit Per Available Room (GOPPAR)

GOPPAR offers one of the most effective methods of measuring your hotel’s performance. It’s that simple. We recommend that it be front and centre of your measurement strategy. It gives you a detailed holistic view of your hotel’s entire revenue management process. It shows you where you can make adjustments towards improving your top line growth as well as aligning it with your bottom line too.

GOPPAR allows you to view the value of your hotel as an asset at any time – together as an operating business and real estate property.

The GOPPAR formula: Gross Operating Profit (GOP) / Number of Available Rooms

2. Net Revenue Per Available Room (NREVPAR)

NREVPAR is similar to another useful KPI: Revenue Per Available Room (REVPAR), but it offers an important difference. NREVPAR includes net revenues in its calculations, so when using, you’re getting an insight into distribution costs, transaction fees and travel agency commissions too.

This inclusion gives you a more transparent measurement of revenue management performance. It will assist enormously in your strategic planning. The only caveat is that it can be a challenge to gather and calculate the various costs that we mentioned above. But it is worth the extra effort.

The NREVPAR formula: (Room Revenue – Distribution Costs) / Number of Available Rooms

  1. Total Revenue Per Available Room (TREVPAR)

TREVPAR offers you an important distinction to REVPAR or NREVPAR. It encompasses all revenue generated by each room across all hotel revenue sources. These include food and drinks, leisure, events and any other guest expenditure.

This hotel KPI offers a more immediate view to management of all generated revenues and of where adjustments can be made for further growth. Is guest restaurant expenditure low, for instance? If so why and what improvements can be made? This is the kind of insight that TREVPAR offers.

The TREVPAR formula: Total Revenue* / Total Available Rooms

*Total Revenue = Accommodation + Breakfast + Spa + Bar + Mini Bar +[Any other extra revenue]

At Xotels, we are seeing how these three hotel revenue management KPIs have grown in use. This has led to more hotels making wiser choices and achieving long-lasting profitability growth.

Learn more about what we do and how we can help your hotel achieve greater profitability.

Xotels is a leader among hotel management companies with a focus on hotel revenue management. We help independent hotels outperform their competition.

Posted in Hotel Management

Top 10 Succesfull ideas for Hotel Revenue Management

Why Revenue management?

Independent and boutique hotels have the opportunity to capitalise on traveller appetite for unique experiences. Big hotel chains simply can’t compete on this front. And your hotel is also able to completely differentiate itself from other independent hotels. Coupling this with the implementation of hotel revenue management best practices gives your hotel ample opportunity. Read our 10 hotel revenue management tips here to drive the success of your organisation.

  1. Focus on Value

    In a price-sensitivity sector, value and perceived value are king. It is important to differentiate the two: one, you need to provide the value to your guests that you say you will; and two, that value must be clear to potential guests when considering which hotel to book. It doesn’t mean to undercut your competition at all. What a focus on value means is what the guest gets – where is the bang for their buck?

    You can bring value through outstanding customer service, food and beverage packages, free parking and so forth. Value-added extras that are unique to your hotel go a long way to making guest experience positive and memorable. This is the kind of value that leads to repeat stays and recommendations.

  2. Get your Distribution Channels Right

    As an independent hotel, you may not have the marketing budget that many chain hotels have. For this reason, it is essential that you choose the distribution channels that will boost your revenue management strategies best. But how do you decide which channel is best for you?

    A number of factors are important. These include ease of channel management; their potential; the cost involved; marketing opportunity the channel provides; and not least, the technology it uses and its compatibility with your own property management system.

 

  1. Offer Direct Booking Incentives

    Booking through external partners such as online travel agents is important, but direct bookings are the most desirable method of guest reservations. As a hotel revenue manager, you can implement measures to increase them in number.

    Direct bookings help create customer loyalty. You can encourage direct bookings by offering value-added incentives. These can include anything, from food and beverage discounts, reservation price reductions, discounts on future stays and so forth. The goal is to divert guests away from using hotel comparison sites, where they are more likely to choose a competitor. You can also promote a loyalty programme and drive the likelihood that guests recommend your hotel.

  2. Create a Culture of Perpetual Revenue Management Improvement

    A culture of revenue management improvement creates focus and negates the threat of complacency. If a focus on hotel revenue management is pervasive through your organisation, it leads to awareness among all employees of its importance. This in turn leads to more thoughtful business decisions and behaviour, which ultimately help drive revenue.

  3. Maintain Organised Records of Key Data

    Data is key to the evolution of your revenue management efforts. But the data must be pertinent. Some hotels collect a lot of extraneous data. This impedes rather than helps business decisions. Focus your hotel on the most essential – on quality over quantity, and on how it will be recorded and used.

    Not only will it be easier to store and interpret the data, but it will be faster and it will lead to more relevant insights. These insights will drive your entire revenue management approach.

  4. Always Keep up with Changing Consumer Trends

    Your hotel must never lose sight of the importance of revenue management in hotel industry and staying up to date with changing customer behaviour. This also plays an important role in supporting business decisions. You can do this through various means. For instance, a periodic review of the booking process will tell you if the channels through which customers make reservations change in any way, and of customer demographic trend movements and so forth.

    Monitor what guests say about your hotel online, on social media, blogs and hotel review websites. You must keep up with and respond to all online activity concerning your hotel, and involve the revenue management team. Knowing what customers are saying at any given time gives the revenue manager vital information that can assist decisions.

  5. Use Automation to Support, Not Replace

    Automation has become omnipresent in modern revenue management. But, it is important to not fall into the trap of thinking that everything can be automated. It should be used to assist effective revenue management, which involves many complex decision-making processes that require human professionals.

    Automation is an excellent solution, particularly for time-consuming tasks such as data entry and reporting, but it is human capital that separates the best revenue management systems from the mediocre.

  6. Prioritise Website and Mobile Experience

    Quite simply, too many hotel websites are out of date or neglected. Considering the vast majority of guests make reservations online, it is paramount to have an updated, optimised website for computer, mobile and tablet. A professional website also requires periodic updates, taking into account technology updates, changing customer behaviour, design trends and security.

    An optimised website assists your search results. But you can also use it as a foundation for online marketing tactics including advertising via Google and social media as well as organic growth through your blog and social media accounts.

  7. Always Keep ROI in Mind

    ROI should be front and centre of a revenue management strategy. It underpins every choice made and helps the revenue manager evaluate the merit and potential benefit to the hotel of pursuing a given decision.

    With efficient use of KPI data, a focus on ROI also provides hotel management with greater insights during periodic hotel performance reviews. These insights shape the business direction of the hotel.

  8. Achieve Accurate Demand Forecasting and Mapping

    Forecasting hotel demand is essential to revenue management. Accurate forecasting informs the hotel of projected costs and needs, as well as expected revenues. But your hotel will also benefit from knowing where your demand originates. This is known as mapping.

    Through mapping, you can spot trends that tell you if demand is growing or declining from specific customer demographics – age, place of origin and so forth. Mapping can also reveal other vital information, including changes to type of reservation, average customer spend per age group and so forth. This can then support marketing and sales initiatives to increase future revenues.

To implement these tips for successful hotel management, we recommend a comprehensive and large-scale review of your operations as a starting point. With these best practice tips, you will be well placed to increase efficiency and revenue in hospitality industry.

Xotels is a leader among hotel management companies with a focus on hotel revenue management. We help independent hotels outperform their competition and become market leaders.

Posted in Hotel Management

Record Performance for Independent Hotels (chains) in Q1 & Q2 2017

2017 Is looking to be our most amazing year yet. Our independent hotel collection is performing a record levels. REVPAR (marketing) and other financial result KPI are UP, UP, UP … Moreover, we have broken another record. We are now handling revenue management for over 60 properties.

2017 Mid-Year Results @ Xotels

Yes, we have passed the 60 hotels milestone, and are continuing to strategically grow our portfolio. Additions this year include the Yadoya Hotel in Brussels, a Japanese styled midmarket boutique hotel. The Plaza Elysées, a 4-star gem on Boulevard Hausman in central Paris. And we have expanded our luxury portfolio with the 5 star Sa Torre Resort in Mallorca, and not least the San Domenico Palace in Taormina Sicily (Italy), a Leading Hotel of the World, where we recently hosted the G7.

We have also been quite busy on the budget market and have grown the number of hostels we manage, via strategic partnerships with Hotel One, Gallery Hostels and SafeStay, which have properties across Europe (United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Hungary, …).

Below we will let you in on the financial performance and REVPAR results of some our independent hotels:

  • France
    • Plaza Elysées, Paris: +17% vs. 2016
    • Secret de Paris: +8% vs. 2016
  • UK
    • SafeStay London: +36% vs. 2016
    • Lady’s Mile, Dawlish: +60% vs. 2016
  • Italy
    • San Domenico Palace, Taormina – Sicily: +20% vs. 2016
  • Netherlands
    • Qbic WTC, Amsterdam: +11% vs. 2016
    • Zoku, Amsterdam: +17% vs. 2016
    • Mabi, Maastricht: +15% vs. 2016
    • De Duif, Lisse: +71% vs. 2016
    • Kasteel Kerckebosch, Zeist: +12% vs. 2016
    • StadsHotels, Woerden: +24% vs. 2016
  • Belgium
    • Yadoya, Brussels: +5% vs. opening Target
    • Elisabeth, Mechelen: +34% vs. 2016
    • ‘t Putje, Brugge: +18% vs. Target
  • Spain
    • Casa Bonay, Barcelona: +46% vs. 2016
    • Grums, Barcelona: +21% vs. 2016
    • U Hostel Madrid: +10% vs. 2016
    • Hotel de Londres, San Sebastián Donostia: +9% vs 2016
    • Ibiza Rocks: +15% vs 2016
    • Green Nest Hostel, San Sebastian: +13% vs. 2016
    • White Nest Hostel, Granada: +23% vs. 2016
    • Nest Style, Granada +14% vs. 2016
    • Nest Style, Santiago de Compostela: +20% vs. 2016
  • Portugal
    • Premium Downtown, Porto: +61% vs. 2016
  • Switzerland
    • Bernina 1865, Samedan: +14% vs. 2016
    • Seychelles
    • La Digue Island Lodge: +24% vs.2016

Independent hotels are outperforming themselves and their local market in 2017. Not only are we seeing an increase in REVPAR, GOPPAR and also RGI (revenue growth index) is sharply moving upwards. This is being impacted notably by shifting sales to direct via the hotels’ own brand.com websites, and great efforts by the hotels’ operational teams to up-sell and generate significant incremental F&B spending.

We have just moved offices this year in Barcelona to accommodate our growth, and the second half of the year looks like it will remain as dynamic and energetic as the first half. So, if you are a revenue manager, don’t forget to check out our job board, as we continue to recruit.

It is so exciting to see that our in-house developed methodology and best practices in hotel revenue management continue to help driving financial results for such a wide range of accommodation and lodging concepts, including luxury high end hotels, as well as youth hostels, holiday parks and camping’s.

Need help with your strategies? We can help you drill into the untapped potential of your hospitality business!

Xotels is a leader among hotel management companies with a focus on hotel revenue management. We help independent hotels outperform their competition.

Posted in Hotel Management

Jobs in Revenue Management; Career Success Stories

We are proud of the career opportunities that we offer to our hotel revenue managers working at Xotels. We constantly look at making revenue management careers in hotel here as rewarding as possible, in an environment where our employees can learn and grow professionally.

And rather than sing our own praises, here are four of our very own Xotels superstar revenue managers to talk about their career and role as part of the Xotels family.

Meet 4 of our Superstar Revenue Managers

  1. MEET ALBERTO, REVENUE MANAGER AT XOTELS

A little bit about me…

Hi, I’m Alberto and I’m originally from Madrid! Before I came to Xotels I lived in Birmingham, the UK, for 7 years where I worked in hospitality across a range of roles, including hotel reception and sales. Prior to joining Xotels, I worked as a brand revenue manager for Malmaison, the UK boutique hotel chain.

Why did I join Xotels?

It was a perfect opportunity to join Xotels, a company which I knew had a great reputation in the industry. I was looking for a fresh challenge in my career and wanted to move back to Spain.

What is working at Xotels like?“Xotels is a great place to work. What I love here is working with awesome people, the flexibility of the role and the working culture. It is a multinational environment with really capable, smart professionals from around Europe. The work here is all about autonomy – I’m in charge of my properties. I have to adapt to different types of hotel client and different budgets. Management provide a great support platform and grant all revenue managers total autonomy and responsibility to implement ideas and methods, which is very rare to find elsewhere.”

Why should revenue managers come to Xotels?

“Revenue managers should come here because of the variety and flexibility the role offers, and the brilliant people you work with. You’re involved in distribution and you have to set up your own system to how you feel is best for your properties. It’s much more than just revenue analysis.

Not only do you get flexibility from within the company but also from the hotels you manage. As they are boutique and independent hotels, they give you the flexibility that big brand hotels don’t.

The people you work with here are amazing. It’s a real multinational, multicultural mix from all around Europe. We all help each other. We work in English but it’s common to hear 3 or 4 languages across the office.

The learning immersion experience at Xotels is exceptional – from the company, the role, the diverse clients and of course, from the people you work with.”

 

  1. MEET MARTA, REVENUE MANAGER AT XOTELS

A little bit about me…

Hi, I’m Marta! I’m originally from Barcelona. I came to Xotels in late 2016. Before, I lived in London for 5 years. I’ve worked in hospitality across a variety of roles, including reception, reservations, events and sales. Prior to Xotels, I worked for Radisson Hotels.

Why did I join Xotels?

I read so much about the company before I joined and was eager to work here based on the reputation for a dynamic culture. Things never stand still here so you develop quickly as a professional. Xotels is exciting. It’s always fresh and for a revenue manager it’s not easy to find a role that is so compelling.

What is working at Xotels like?

It’s different to any other hospitality role for many reasons. One, it is not a hotel. Everyone is so passionate about their work here. There is a company-wide commitment to excellence. Everyone is focused. I wouldn’t change a thing!

The schedule is very flexible. I’m in charge of my own time, though I typically work a 9-5 or 9-6 day. I used to work for a big multinational hotel chain, where processes and workflows are rigid and often outdated. Here it is the opposite – you have the flexibility to do what you feel is in the best interests of your properties.

I manage hotels all over the world, so it’s never boring! Management are great, supportive and flexible. When you join, the support and training provided to help you acclimatize is fantastic.

Why should revenue managers come to Xotels?

There is no better time to join. It is growing and developing. The career opportunities are endless. The team is so diverse, smart and open-minded. There is an international environment, from which it would be difficult not to learn. It is fast-paced, dynamic and so rewarding.

Come here if like me you want to learn every day, have fun at work and grow as a professional revenue manager!

 

  1. MEET ALEXIS, REVENUE MANAGER AT XOTELS

A little bit about me…

Hi, I’m Alexis and I’m originally from Paris. I’ve been a revenue manager at Xotels since early 2015. Before coming here, I worked in innovation and costs control for a French family-run hotel management company. I was also previously the assistant general manager for an independent French hotel and I’ve worked in other roles, including receptionist, concierge and waiter.

Why did I join Xotels?

I came here to focus on hotel yield management and revenue management. I did a masters degree in innovation. I felt that Xotels would be a good company to implement innovative concepts and ideas. I knew of many hotels that were clients of Xotels. I wanted to join an important company in the sector and to learn as a revenue manager. I also wanted to move to Spain and work in an international environment, and as Xotels is right in the heart of Barcelona, it was a great opportunity for me.

What is working at Xotels like?

Xotels is a great company if you want to learn as a revenue manager. I manage clients in Spain, France, Belgium, the UK and elsewhere, so the client portfolio under your care is always diverse and challenging in different ways.

Why should revenue managers come to Xotels?

You will learn a lot here. You are exposed to so many different markets, and have to work with many different processes. You learn to be adaptive quickly. A bonus for me also is that the office is right in the center of Barcelona city!

  1. MEET FABIO, REVENUE MANAGER AT XOTELS

A little bit about me…

Hi, I’m Fabio, I’m from Italy and I’ve been at Xotels since May 2016! Before moving to Barcelona to work here I lived in Belgrade, Serbia, and worked as a hotel revenue manager. I’ve worked in hospitality since 2010 in various roles including reception and sales.

Why did I join Xotels?

I came to Xotels to boost my career. I always looked at the company as pioneers in the industry. It is driving revenue management improvement across the sector. I wanted to join what I felt was the best revenue management consultancy in the sector.

What is working at Xotels like?

It is a fast-paced, bustling workplace. If you want a professional challenge in an environment where you will learn every day, Xotels is perfect. I wanted to work in an environment with people similar to me – people who have lived and worked or studied in foreign countries and people who want to learn and grow as professionals. I’ve made many good friends at Xotels.

My three favourite things about working here are the variety of work, the wonderful people and the work-life balance – when you finish for the day at the office, you really do finish. And there are no phone calls from the office when you’re on holiday! Oh and I also want to say that the company is great at managing your workload too.

Why should revenue managers come to Xotels?

It is the perfect company for candidates who want to work in a fast-paced environment, are adaptive and eager to learn. You have the opportunity to learn at Xotels what takes much longer elsewhere. Every project is different and you need to learn to think outside the box. It’s such a rewarding position. You always have support from management, but ultimately you are in charge of making and executing your decisions.

I am very much looking forward to continuing my career with Xotels and being part of a forward-thinking, fast-growing company.

START YOUR OWN BRILLIANT REVENUE MANAGEMENT CAREER AT XOTELS

Are you ready for a new hotel revenue management career? Visit our revenue management jobs section for more information on our current revenue manager vacancy.

Xotels is a leader among hotel management companies with a focus on hotel revenue management. We help independent hotels outperform their competition and become market leaders.

Posted in Hotel Management

Hotel Feasibility Study, The best steps for planning a New Hotel or Resort.

In over ten years of helping hotels to open and remodel successfully, we have seen time and again at Xotels how indispensable a feasibility study is. We have also seen how many would-be hoteliers simply assume that their vision will succeed, without conducting any notable research on building a hotel business that will be consistently profitable and competitive. In this article we look at the steps involved in carrying out an effective hotel feasibility study.

What does feasibility study mean and do you need one?

As the name suggests, a feasibility study investigates your hotel proposal to see if it is feasible as a sustainable, profitable business model. It does this by considering its viability relating to market, location, costs and financing. A feasibility study forms the cornerstone of your preparations for your new or remodeled hotel. It shows investors how they will receive a return on their investment (ROI). It is therefore ill advised to proceed without carrying out this crucial investigatory and illuminators step.

Below you will find a template plan and approach the expert team of our hotel consulting company takes to put together a comprehensive validation report, based of hotel financial and market analysis, to determine the viability of a new hospitality project or lodging concept.

The key feasibility steps of an effective hotel feasibility study

  1. Location analysis

Studying proposed sites for your hotel or resort aims to answer a number of questions critical to the success of your hotel project. What makes the location an attractive site? Is there a supply of labour sufficient in number and quality? What human resource costs can be expected? Is the hotel supported by easy transport links? What are potential risks and advantages associated with the local area?

  1. Total costs calculation

This includes the development and architectural costs prior to opening the hotel. Then there are the operating overheads, which the hotel will incur, including licenses, taxes, equipment, furniture, insurance, human resources, inventories, electricity, water and more.

  1. Local hotel supply and demand investigation

This involves analysing all hotels in the local area, chiefly their competitiveness. Information can be found with tourist boards, tour operators and travel research groups. Knowing local hotel supply and demand helps in projecting occupancy levels and rates for your hotel, one of the key elements in establishing its economic feasibility.

  1. Room rates and year-round occupancy levels

After establishing hotel supply and demand, your own hotel’s competitiveness, your projected operating costs, desired ROI, and crucially, benchmarking your competitor hotels, you can focus on room rates. Year-round projections for demand will go a long way to informing your pricing decisions.

  1. Establishing and projecting hotel revenue sources

The main sources of revenue for your hotel will come from room stays, food and beverage, and events such as conferences and meetings. Using your projections for average year-round room rates and occupancy levels, you can project sales from different revenue sources, including food and beverage, leisure and events.

  1. Hotel feasibility study projected ROI

One of the most important parts of your hotel feasibility study is the projected ROI. ROI is worked out by using a number of metrics, including internal rate of return (IRR), net present value (NPV), debt coverage ratios and discounted cash flow (DCF), as well as others. They help to show if the investment return is enough to proceed and if you will need to find financing from elsewhere.

If so, will the lenders of this capital be content with the projected ROI? If not, the hotel proposal can be abandoned altogether or it can be altered to make the return on investment attractive enough to proceed, such as changing site, tweaking room rates and reducing costs. A clear and comprehensive report is what banks, institutional or private investors (family offices) will be looking for.

Hotel Feasibility Study – The final word

As you can see, a hotel feasibility study is extensive, and with good reason. It gives you and all interested stakeholders such as other investors a much clearer picture regarding the costs involved, whether the return on investment is desirable, and helps in deciding how to proceed. A feasibility study is largely seen as an indispensable step for all serious hotel proposals and accompanies the business plan in forming a blueprint for success.

Xotels is a leader among hotel management companies with a focus on hotel revenue management. We help independent hotels outperform their competition.

Posted in Hotel Management

Xotels | The Top 5 Characteristics of Independent Hotels.

Independent and boutique hotels have a number of advantages over their chain competitors, of which owners can take advantage to achieve greater success. At Xotels we love independent countiqie or concept hotels, because they allow us drive premium results. So, what are these characteristics of independent hotels that provide unique selling points over the chain or franchise hotel variety?

What Are The Successful Characteristics of Independent and Boutique Hotels?

  1. They can offer outstanding personalized hotel service

A quality of service is paramount to business success in any industry, but particularly for hotels – a perpetual client-facing industry. Rather than offer standardized service and practices with rote protocols and rigid systems, boutique hotels can really focus on providing an outstanding, memorable service experience. Quality of service is paramount to hotel business success in any industry, but particularly for hotels – a perpetual client-facing industry. Rather than offer standardized service and practices with rote protocols and rigid systems, boutique hotels can really focus on providing an outstanding, memorable service experience.

Service that goes the extra mile is increasingly rare, which offers independents another opportunity to stand out. It can be tailored, personalised and updated with ease in an independent or boutique hotel.

  1. Unique Hotels Group: Chain vs. Independent Hotels.

If you visit a national or multinational chain hotels, you probably agree that they tend to lack a certain individuality found in independent hotels, right? Independent hotels that are run well offer a unique experience for guests. Perhaps it is their history – with some hotels decades or even centuries old – or maybe it’s the decor, or the fact that it is family-run – it can be any of a number of points to help make the hotel stand apart – a selling proposition that the hotel is able to use to market themselves with a unique pedigree.

The chain hotel in comparison offers a predictable stay – the same experience you’ve probably had before, give or take on minor details, and probably will again. There will always be a clientele cohort that seeks out local hotels over chains.

  1. They have greater creative freedom

Of course there are the chains and international franchises that offer fantastic hotels, but again, they are standardised across the board, with little room to be creative. Independent and boutique hotels can let their imaginations run wild with decor, furniture, food, events and anything else – even in how they market themselves. This allows the independent hotel to strengthen their identity and reputation, and offer a special, distinctive, memorable hotel experience for the guest.

As travellers and tourists look for local, idiosyncratic experiences in today’s globalised world where high streets are nearly identical whether you’re in London, New York, Paris or Barcelona, the independent hotelier can seek to take advantage of their freedom to get creative.

Actually, you can really get more edgy and daring, and create a cool or sexy hotel that connects. A tell that people will be talking about, kick starting your social media influencer marketing for you …

  1. They are much more agile than their chain counterparts

Chain hotel management is typically layered in a hierarchy. They are often international or even intercontinental in scope. It can take a long time for any type of process involving proposals, decisions and execution to be completed. A small group, on the other hand, typically manages independent hotels, on-site. These hotels can make quick strategic and tactical decisions and follow through similarly on execution. This is a massive advantage that independent hotels have over franchise or chain competition.

 

  1. They can focus all resources, energy and attention on one hotel

As mentioned, chains and franchise hotels are 3ayered, with centralised control often in a different city or country. Sure, each branch has a general manager, but they do not have near the remit over operating decisions that their independent hotel counterparts enjoy. Chains may not be able to devote, as much attention and resources to individual hotels is often necessary.

Boutiques and independent hoteliers are able to spend all their time and hotel resources to invest exclusively on their hotel. Their knowledge of their business is more intimate, as well as their awareness of the local market. Moreover, independents tend to absorb low booking periods with greater ease, without the pressure and targets to hit that typically come with chain hotels.

The final word – essential features of boutique and independent hotels

These top 5 characteristics of independent hotels show some of the most noteworthy advantages that they can enjoy over chains. This is of course if they are run well, if management proactively aims to leverage such opportunity for unique selling propositions, and if they continue to invest time and resources towards a continued commitment to excellence..

Xotels is a leader among hotel management companies with a focus on hotel revenue management. We help independent hotels outperform their competition.

Posted in Hotel Management