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Why Do Consumers Prefer Booking With Online Travel Agencies?

Why Do Consumers Prefer Booking With Online Travel Agencies? | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
Many hotels are experiencing a notable increase in reservations coming from online travel agencies, most notably those from Booking.com.
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

My last article on Tnooz: the reasons why OTAs are winning consumers trust and increasing their bookings share.

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Frédéric Pressac's comment, December 20, 2014 6:43 AM
What are OTAs doing better than hoteliers in order to get more sales?
Francesc Pujol's curator insight, November 28, 2015 6:29 PM

My last article on Tnooz: the reasons why OTAs are winning consumers trust and increasing their bookings share.

Marry Wislon 's curator insight, January 24, 2017 7:07 AM
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Google’s Admits That Calls to its AI-based Reservation Booking Service (Duplex) Are Often Answered by Humans

Google’s Admits That Calls to its AI-based Reservation Booking Service (Duplex) Are Often Answered by Humans | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
When Google launched Duplex with a demo at I/O last year, the audience was left wondering how much of the call was staged. The AI-based reservation booking service seemed almost too impressive to be a machine. Now that it’s been used for real-world reservations, Google has revealed that it frequently isn’t. The company recently told […]
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

The company recently told The New York Times that Duplex calls are often still made by human operators at call centres. Roughly 25% of calls start with a live human voice. Of the calls that start with machines, 15% require a human to intervene.

Google told us during a demo last year that humans would be monitoring the system, ready to take over if something went haywire. That’s to be expected, of course. This sort of real-world testing ran into some snags as the company works to iron out the kinks, now that the product is available for both iOS and Android devices. But the 25% initiated by people seems a little high for the advanced AI-based system.

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Online Travel Market in Europe Grows Almost 4 Times Faster Than Total Travel Market and Mobile is Driving this Growth

Online Travel Market in Europe Grows Almost 4 Times Faster Than Total Travel Market and Mobile is Driving this Growth | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it

OTAs are continuing to grow, apparently at the expense of offline channels, all of which were in decline.

Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

According to the latest Phocuswright research, last year European travel spend declined although trip frequency was up by 4%. OTAs are continuing to grow, apparently at the expense of offline channels, all of which were in decline. Mobile drives this change.

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While OTA’s Are “Surging” Ahead in Europe, Mobile Bookings are Showing Slower Signs of Growth

While OTA’s Are “Surging” Ahead in Europe, Mobile Bookings are Showing Slower Signs of Growth | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

The study looked at consumer shopping behaviour and found that OTAs are continuing to grow, apparently at the expense of offline channels, all of which were in decline. And bookers are still failing to gravitate to mobile in “huge numbers”, said Rauch with only around a quarter using mobile to book some time in 2018. Asked about their last trip that figure fell to 10% who booked a hotel or flight on mobile.

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Time for Hotels to Get Personal with Attributed-Based Selling

Time for Hotels to Get Personal with Attributed-Based Selling | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
Written by Edward Wright, director of sales, Asia Pacific, Hospitality, Amadeus
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

From shopping to flight bookings, consumers expect to be able to completely customise their experience – and they are prepared to pay for it. Personalisation is moving away from being optional to a necessity – new research found that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalised experiences.

Attributed-based hotel booking systems will start to emerge to cater for the desire and need for personalisation – so much so that we might even see the end of room types as a way for hospitality providers to differentiate their offerings.

In an attributed-based model, the concept of room types is eliminated; instead consumers select from a list of attributes – for example a king bed with a sea view on a high floor – to creating a room that meets their needs. Each attribute adds an incremental price to the base room rate. This already exists as a model for low-cost airlines with the booking of up front/exit seats and in-flight meals or entertainment.

To drive maximum conversions, these systems must shift to an anticipatory service. That means hotels need to learn, remember and predict a guest’s specific preferences to offer them a unique, sellable combination.

Guests are prepared to pay a premium for the things that matter to them, and that will differ from person to person. By switching to a more modular sales structure, hotels not only stand to sway the balance of power between brands and the online travel agencies but also gain greater loyalty from customers in the process.

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Google Study Says Social Norms & the "Power of Free" Are More Important Than Brand When Booking a Hotel

Google Study Says Social Norms & the "Power of Free" Are More Important Than Brand When Booking a Hotel | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it

New Google research has found that while brand remains important when holidaymakers are shopping for package holidays online it is not the defining influence.

Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

Google says early results in the Hotels sub-vertical has revealed while brand also plays an important role, more critical is social norms, and the power of free.

The buying cycle for travel can be up to 70 days – it can take weeks or months – and often it involves more than one person.

Social norms – views and recommendations of ‘friends’ in social networks – and industry body kitemarks or awards (‘category heuristics’) help customers shortcut decision making. Also influential in the package sector is ‘power of free’ – added value like free nights or all-inclusive. In hotels it’s a much more cluttered market than holidays and differentiation is harder to deliver so additional free components work much more to influence unconscious decision making

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51% of the €295 Billion European Travel Market to Be Sold Online in 2019

51% of the €295 Billion European Travel Market to Be Sold Online in 2019 | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
The Phocuswright Europe doors open in just one week - if you haven't registered to join us yet, now's the time!
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

Europe's travel market was projected to climb 2% to €286 billion in 2018. Annual growth of roughly 3% will bring the total European travel market to €320 billion in 2022. Leisure travel remains top of mind for European consumers in terms of discretionary spending.

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Direct Booking Accelerates in U.S. Lodging Market 

Direct Booking Accelerates in U.S. Lodging Market  | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
The verdict is in: Hotel loyalty rates are paying off – at least for some of the largest chains with robust loyalty programs. It's been roughly two years since many U.S. chains started offering lower rates to loyalty members, circumventing rate parity rules with OTAs. According to a new Phocuswright travel research report, U.S. Hotel & Lodging 2018: Key Developments, hotels are now catching up to OTAs in terms of online distribution. Meanwhile, after years of double-digit growth in OTA sales, gains will fall to single digits in 2019 and beyond.
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

Hotel loyalty rates are paying off – at least for some of the largest chains with robust loyalty programs. It's been roughly two years since many U.S. chains started offering lower rates to loyalty members, circumventing rate parity rules with OTAs. Hotels are now catching up to OTAs in terms of online distribution. Meanwhile, after years of double-digit growth in OTA sales, gains will fall to single digits in 2019 and beyond.

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OTAs Bookings Continue to Climb in Europe 

OTAs Bookings Continue to Climb in Europe  | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
Online travel agencies (OTAs) operating in the European travel market find themselves in an interesting position in 2018. On the one hand, these intermediaries have been instrumental in the maturation of the region's online travel marketplace, and the key players in the category are household names among European travelers.
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

OTA bookings continue to climb in Europe even if modest growth is projected for the next several years, as OTA bookings grow at roughly half the pace of the supplier-direct channel. In terms of OTA channel distribution, growth has become uneven; while desktop bookings are projected to be flat for the next few years, OTA mobile bookings are projected to skyrocket. By 2022, more than a third of European supplier-OTA bookings will be transacted via mobile websites and apps.

Historically, OTAs have focused more on technology than have travel suppliers, and it is critical for them to maintain this focus to remain competitive with online direct bookings in some segments. This is particularly true with respect to the high-growth mobile channel.

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Google New Hotel Search Results Design Makes Price Changes and Offers More Visible

Google New Hotel Search Results Design Makes  Price Changes and Offers More Visible | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
After months of testing, Google has released a new design for the hotel search results.
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

After months of testing, Google has released a new design for the hotel search results.

The new design uses a grid and card interface that shows hotel cards sorted by your search filter. You can further filter down the search results on the map by zooming in and/or dragging the map around. You can also change your date range, price ranges, review ranges and more, as well as specify which amenities are required and more.

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How and Why Hotels Still Get Technology Wrong

How and Why Hotels Still Get Technology Wrong | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
Technology remains the new frontier but plenty of hotels are still getting it wrong, according to the man who pioneered the boutique hotel movement in the Technology is the new frontier and plenty of hotels are still getting it wrong, according to the man who pioneered the boutique hotel movement in the United States.
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

Hotels are too focussed on showing gadgets rather than using technology to make things easier for guests, said Ian Schrager, who founded the Morgans Hotel Group and has launched a number of other brands.

Technology remains the new frontier but plenty of hotels are still getting it wrong, according to the man who pioneered the boutique hotel movement in the United States.

Schrager said that hotel companies need to remember that they are in the hospitality business and that the guest experience needs to be “doing something that astonishes people,” with added “excitement” and “glamor.”

One of the best uses of technology, Schrager said, is to make the guest experience as easy as possible.

Process like check-in and check-out should be  “absolutely frictionless and the time cut down to nothing.”

Paying bills and communicating with guests before, after and during could be made much simpler

“We can’t sit still and let everybody else do it and we follow everybody,” Schrager said.

The hotel industry should not forget the importance of innovation and care. “We forget that we’re really hosts, taking care of people who come into your home,” he said.

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Google’s New Hotel Location Score Will Help You Find the Neighbourhood Where it's Best for You to Book a Hotel 

Google’s New Hotel Location Score Will Help You Find the Neighbourhood Where it's Best for You to Book a Hotel  | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
Slowly but surely, Google is expanding its portfolio of travel offerings that now range from hotel- and flight-booking services to trip planning tools. Today, it’s launching yet another set of new travel features that focus on travel planning and hotel bookings. Maybe the most interesting new…
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

Once you have decided on a destination, Google’s new hotel location score can then help you find the neighborhood that’s best for you. The score summarizes information like nearby bars, landmarks and access to public transportation based on data from Google Maps. It’ll also tell you how to get to and from the airport, which is a smart addition.

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Google Slowly Makes Hotel Websites Irrelevant By Forcing Hotel Ads towards "Book on Google" 

Google Slowly Makes Hotel Websites Irrelevant By Forcing Hotel Ads towards "Book on Google"  | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
Channels advertised on GHA can now also show photos of the rooms. We believe that it is an opportunity for your direct sale to attract your client visually and reach where some OTAs still can’t.
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

In campaigns which are part of the new Google Room Booking Module, all users will be redirected to Book on Google, without the possibility of redirecting them to your hotel’s website. 

In your current Google Hotel Ads campaigns (which Google calls Standard), you can still choose whether you want to redirect the user to your website or to the Book on Google funnel so they can finish their booking there. It is your decision to activate it or not, at least for now...

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OTAs Growth Rates 2x Total Global Travel Market

OTAs Growth Rates 2x Total Global Travel Market | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
According to Phocuswright's latest Public Online Travel Roundup, Full Year 2018 travel research publication, growth rates in the world of public online travel once again slowed in 2018, but remained in double-digit territory, rising more than twice as fast as the total global travel market. Read the insights into regional focuses for the world's biggest OTAs.
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

The accommodation business for both Expedia and Booking remains a priority, yet each OTA's room nights grew at a more modest rate than either has been accustomed to in prior years.

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Booking.com to Charge Commission on Resort Fees to Fight Hoteliers' "Techniques" to Pay Less To Travel Agents

Booking.com to Charge Commission on Resort Fees to Fight Hoteliers' "Techniques" to Pay Less To Travel Agents | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
In a game-changing move, Booking.com is notifying hotels around the world that it will begin charging them commissions on resort fees, as well as other Booking.com is notifying hotels around the world that it will begin charging them commissions on resort fees, as well as other fee-based services, such as for Wi-Fi, on top of a hotel's base rate, Skift has learned.
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

Hotels levying resort fees have often used them to avoid paying commissions to travel agencies to boost their own coffers. Booking.com is notifying hotels around the world that it will begin charging them commissions on resort fees, as well as other fee-based services, such as for Wi-Fi, on top of a hotel’s base rate.Booking.com views some hotels penchant for charging resort fees as a way to game the system, and therefore cheat the online travel agency out of the compensation it believes it deserves for driving business to the properties. Implementation of the fee could have hotels choosing to abandon Booking.com for other online travel agencies if Expedia Group doesn’t match Booking’s move. It could also lead to higher rates for consumers if hotels pass along the higher commissions. It was unclear at publication time if other Booking Holdings brands, such as Priceline and Agoda, would follow suit, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if they did. Will Expedia follow Booking’s lead?

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On Mobile More Europeans Search and Book Hotels Than Activities and Airline Tickets

On Mobile More Europeans Search and Book Hotels Than Activities and Airline Tickets | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it

Bookers are still failing to gravitate to mobile in “huge numbers”, according to the latest Phocuswright research, with only around a quarter using mobile to book some time in 2018.

Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

On mobile more customers search and book activities than airline tickets. Smartphone booking is not a matter of habit yet, there is still plenty of room for innovation and disruption, according to the latest Phocuswright research.

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Amazon Launches Flight Bookings in India, Stepping into Travel Again

Amazon Launches Flight Bookings in India, Stepping into Travel Again | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
Travel companies have been waiting for Amazon's inevitable next try at travel booking after shuttering its nascent hotel business in 2015. It now appears A shoe just dropped. Amazon is stepping into travel again. It may offer travel products in all sizes once it really gets going.
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

Powered by India online travel agency Cleartrip, Amazon has begun offering domestic flights in India. Airlines such as Vistara UK, GoAir, SpiceJet, and Indigo were among the carriers offering flights through the service, which offered up to 2,000 rupees ($28.50) cash back on bookings. Amazon customers would see the rebate in their Amazon Pay balance within 48 hours, according to Amazon. 

Cash back is a very popular way for Indian ecommerce sites to gain users and traction.

Travelers booking flights see the total airfare at checkout plus a “convenience fee” that’s tacked on.

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The New Google Travel Website To Eat More Market Share to OTAs and Metasearch

The New Google Travel Website To Eat More Market Share to OTAs and Metasearch | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
If you've been waiting for the proverbial next shoe to drop when it comes to Google Travel putting all the pieces together, it just did. Google on Tuesday
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

Google on Tuesday launched a Google Travel desktop website that puts flights, hotels and vacation packages, as well as a variety of trip-planning tools and recommendations, all on one page. The features are also available in Google Search and Google Maps, the latter making Google Maps more of a superapp for travel, dining, events, spa appointments, and more.

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Ignacio Conejo Moreno's curator insight, May 15, 7:40 AM

Google cambiará de nuevo las reglas del juego en todo lo relacionado con los viajes.

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IHG Hotels Doesn't Back Up the Direct Booking War Anymore

IHG Hotels Doesn't Back Up the Direct Booking War Anymore | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
InterContinental Hotels Group, which counts brands ranging from Holiday Inn to InterContinental Hotels and Kimpton in its portfolio, will announce the InterContinental Hotels Group, which counts brands ranging from Holiday Inn to InterContinental Hotels and Kimpton in its portfolio, will announce the creation of a 17th brand next week, an official said.
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

While many of IHG’s competitors, including Hilton and Marriott, have been running campaigns and emphasizing direct-bookings, where guests find the lowest rates for loyalty program members on the chains’ websites, Garnier in Cancun said IHG recognizes that not everyone prefers or is able to book its properties direct. Garnier said he welcomed the fact that there has been a deescalation of late in the rhetoric about an alleged booking war between hotels and online travel agencies. It’s not just a matter of director booking being good and third-party booking being bad, he added. 

In other news, Cliff Galitz, partner development manager for Google Travel, said consumers looking for a hotel peruse 45 “digital touchpoints” when researching a hotel, up from 39 in 2017. The finding, which was part of consumer research done with McKinsey, makes the consumer booking journey more complex, he said. That research takes place in 60 sessions over 36 days on average, Galitz said.

Some 70 percent of travelers have no brand in mind when starting a Google search for a hotel, Galitz said, adding that it is imperative for marketers to get more involved in the inspiration side of travel planning to get higher in the traveler consideration set.

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OTAs Increase Market Share at Hoteliers's Expense in Europe

OTAs Increase Market Share at Hoteliers's Expense in Europe | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
The hotel distribution landscape is often touted as a duopoly held by Booking and Expedia, but we see it slightly differently. While they do command a sizeable part of the market share, there are actually other channels that hoteliers are leveraging successfully. After hundreds of hours analyzing the last five years of hotel distribution across a …
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

The market share distribution channels has remained relatively stable, however, trends are showing that both OTAs (especially Booking Holdings’ distribution channels) and wholesalers grew, while more channels with lower costs per client acquisition (such as Direct) lost share. 
In 2018, eventually, this negative trend started to reverse, with Direct regaining 1.6 percentage points over the previous year. The trend is somehow reassuring, even though the results are lower than what they were back in 2014, with a 23,2% decrease in market share.

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How Search Intent Is Redefining the Marketing Funnel

How Search Intent Is Redefining the Marketing Funnel | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
Today’s customer journey does not follow a linear path to purchase. Their consideration set is varying and reshaping the marketing funnel along the way.
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

Forget everything you know about the marketing funnel. Today, people are no longer following a linear path from awareness to consideration to purchase. They are narrowing and broadening their consideration set in unique and unpredictable moments. People turn to their devices to get immediate answers. And every time they do, they are expressing intent and reshaping the traditional marketing funnel along the way.

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Major OTAs Bookings Keep Growing by Over 25% YoY 

Major OTAs Bookings Keep Growing by Over 25% YoY  | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
Hotels and air have historically been the biggest pieces of OTA business, but 2018 kicked off with a flurry of activity around the less-talked-about segments like activities, packaging, rail and car. Public online travel companies made alignments and acquisitions, and rolled out technology and product enhancements, all in the name of offering a fuller plate of travel services.
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

Collective gross bookings from 10 publicly reported companies rose 22% year over year (YoY), to US$161.7 billion in the first half of 2018 (1H18).

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Chatbots For Your Hotel: Everything That You Need to Know

Chatbots For Your Hotel: Everything That You Need to Know | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
Do you know exactly what they are for? Do you need them for your hotel? How can you choose the best one for you? In this post, we will try and answer all your questions
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

Incorporating a chatbot seems like a good decision. It will help you improve communication with your clients, give them a higher degree of satisfaction, generate additional sales for the hotel (from those which you may have lost in the past for not being able to quickly and promptly answer their questions) and boost your direct channel (because by answering more questions on your own website you reduce the probability that clients go to OTAs in search for answers).

However, I fear that chatbots are not something you can install and forget about. Their success will mostly depend on the use you give it. You will only be successful if you configure it properly, dedicate time to it, pay attention to whether it’s working properly and improve it every month with new questions or by correcting the current ones. Otherwise, it may be counterproductive and generate the opposite effect: unsatisfied and frustrated clients.

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Hilton New Push on 'Book Direct' Campaign, Featuring Anna Kendrick, Urges Travelers to ‘Expect Better’ 

Hilton New Push on 'Book Direct' Campaign, Featuring Anna Kendrick, Urges Travelers to ‘Expect Better’  | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
Hilton seeks to encourage direct booking by travelers as it competes with Google, Airbnb and online travel agencies
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

Hilton’s new promise to consumers to “Expect Better” includes a Price Match Guarantee for guests who book at Hilton.com, through the Hilton Honors app or through other official Hilton channels. If a traveler finds a lower rate, Hilton will match the price and then discount the stay by 25 percent*. By booking as a Hilton Honors member, guests will also receive Hilton Honors points and perks that lead to unforgettable experiences before, during and after their stay.

“We know guests seek the best value in their travel choices, and ‘Expect Better. Expect Hilton.’ is designed to deliver. In the last year, guests who booked their stay through an online travel agent or other travel site missed out on 1.5 million free nights, on top of other benefits they would have received,” said Chris Silcock, Chief Commercial Officer at Hilton. “If you’re already staying with Hilton, why not take advantage of all the perks available?”

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Google Launches its Group Planning Tool

Google Launches its Group Planning Tool | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
Earlier this year, Google announced its revamped Google Maps, which puts a stronger emphasis on discovery. Some of the features the company announced back then have already launched, including many of the promised discovery and exploration tools, but the one feature that was still missing was group…
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

Now you’ll be able to create a list of places in Google Maps and then share those with your friends. And then, like in any good democracy, your friends can vote on where to go. Group members can also veto places by removing them from the shortlist and add other ones that they’d prefer (nobody said democracy was easy, right?).

Once you have created a list, you can share it just like any other link and your friends will be taken right to Google Maps on mobile or the web to join in the planning fun.

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The New Revenue Management Paradox: Consistent Higher Occupancy Doesn't Imply Higher ADR 

The New Revenue Management Paradox: Consistent Higher Occupancy Doesn't Imply Higher ADR  | Hotel Marketing & Revenue Strategies | Scoop.it
Francesco Canzoniere's insight:

“Just having a high occupancy does not mean you’re going to get a much more dynamic rate growth in this cycle,”. According to STR data, the average annual ADR gap between hotels with consistent high occupancy (greater than 75%) and low-occupancy hotels (less than 75%) was larger in past cycles. If you built a hotel and opened it in the mid-2000s, you are experiencing about 6% average annual rate growth. If you’re doing it today, it’s about 1.7%. It’s a phenomenal difference.

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