As we move into a post-Covid world, the recovery strength and timing are uncertain with some significant unknowns for the industry to face. Operating efficiencies are going to be critical and we find many times that owners are investing in programs and services that are not providing an ROI for owners. This is the time to engage with those vendors and services and put a plan in place to set goals and measure the success of each one.

REVENUE MANAGEMENT

How many specialists do you really need to manage your revenue management initiatives.

A property Revenue Manager, the Regional Franchise revenue manager, the General Manager and the DOS  are each participating and sometimes you find that your ADR is not really any better than your comp set. When was the last time you really questioned the current process? Have you figured out strategy? Your Star Report will tell you just about everything you need to know

In addition to pricing, maybe you should also be focusing on promoting product differentiation. When was the last time you took an objective look at your website? Are your current visuals promoting your unique services and qualities as well as the local and regional experiences, activities, vs the boring bedroom, lobby, photography that is the norm in our industry. Focus instead on driving up the ADR and not emulating the comp set.

SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR, BUYING HABITS HAVE CHANGED AND WILL CONTINUE TO CHANGE

The off shoot of our industry has been exploited with claims that illustrate SEO strategies that drive bookings but there is not a method in place that can correlate SEO expenditure with bookings generated. Social media campaigns expenditure that supposedly trigger response but again we are so bombarded with messaging that such strategies are no longer effective unless we have a unique value proposition such as a signature restaurant opening, take out service, a new lobby bar, or offer various experience packages that include outdoors activities such as hiking, sailing, architectural tours.

The question is often asked “Do I need to spend $25,000 per month for SEO initiatives, Social Media campaigns that lack content and Public Relations counsel that have little or no effect on my occupancy especially in these market conditions.

Where is my ROI?

THE GROUP MARKET IS UNDER TREMENDOUS PRESSURE

We have now experienced alternative options for all size groups through ZOOM and that will continue for years to come even though a vaccine is expected available to the public in the early part of 2021. Our experts in the field are not forecasting a recovery until 2022.

As responsible managers, we need to reduce or cut entirely the costs of industry trade shows, sales trips, costly promotions, entertainment because we do not expect a rebound in this sector anytime soon with a booking lead time of 6 to 12 months assuming you have to rely on the group segment. 

This is another expense that in the properties we work with can lead up to $100,000 annually in business development expenses that cannot be measured in terms of effectiveness and ROI.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL MAY TAKE YEARS TO RECOVER.

International leisure and business travel is expected to take 2 years to recover. Airlines and brands are now projecting a long recovery period. OTA’s are not going to drive the international travel segment as consumers will opt to fly less frequently, and instead visit/drive to destination resorts and focus on outdoor activities for recreation and experiential holidays.

Focus instead on an interim marketing plan that will drive occupancy in the local and regional drive markets by creating Experience Value Packages with outdoor activities directed at the leisure market. 

About the Author

Prior to becoming a Managing Principal for Luxury Hotel Advisors, Inc, Carlos served as Vice President & Managing Director of Hotel Bel-Air and the Palace in New York as well as EVP and COO of Olympus Hospitality responsible for directing hotel operations, marketing, and branding strategies for eight Rock Resort properties.

Carlos co-founded Unique Hotels and the Bel-Air Hotel Company. Over a period of five years with partner Eric Prevette, he successfully repositioned and managed over 50 luxury hotels and assisted in the sale of properties valued in excess of $500 million.

Previous to that, he served as Senior Vice President at Rosewood Hotels and responsibilities included operations, branding, centralizing marketing, and distribution initiatives. He also served as Sr. Vice President of Marketing of Four Seasons Hotels during their primary expansion which included new hotels in Washington, San Francisco, Vancouver, Newport Beach and New York.

Recently, Carlos redeveloped the new iconic Hotel Californian, one of the newest luxury lifestyle hotels on the west coast.

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