Duetto has surveyed the global hotel industry to find out what are the burning issues of the day with revenue professionals.
Our Outlook & Trends 2023 survey has shown that investment in revenue technology remains an important factor in moving revenue and profitability forward for most hoteliers. In terms of business mix, business and corporate are the two areas most revenue teams are focusing on for the year ahead.
The survey included input from revenue managers, property-level and corporate-level directors of revenue management, revenue consultants, revenue and distribution analysts, and property general managers.
Most respondents (51.9%) worked in leisure hotels, but there was also good representation from business hotels, casino resorts, and hostels.
Geographically, respondents came from North America (39.5%), Europe (21.1%), Latin America (21.1%), APAC (14.5), and the Middle East & Africa (3.9%).
Of those surveyed, 82.3% were already using an RMS. Of those not using an RMS, 71.4% planned to invest in revenue management technology in 2023.
Looking back on tech investment in 2022, 72.2% said their hotel tech spend had either increased or stayed the same.
Looking ahead, 60.8% expected their hotel tech spend to increase in the next three years.
These results correlate with those from our 2022 survey. Last year’s results showed just 67.6% were using an RMS, while 50% expected to invest in one in 2022. With this year’s results showing an uptick in RMS users, we can assume that investment took place.
Revenue management continues to play a vital role in the success of any hotel business.
Rating (0-5) the importance of revenue management to the hotel business, the average score was 4.4, with 54.4% giving a 5 for Extremely Important. The majority (64.6%) said that the importance of revenue management to their business had increased or stayed the same.
Automated processes are seen as very important for revenue teams in 2023. Rating this out of 5, the average score was 4.2, with 46.2% giving this a 5 for Extremely Important.
As staffing issues continue to play out across the global hospitality industry, it is unsurprising that ‘ease of use’ was the number one most important feature of an RMS from those surveyed.
The top five most important features were:
- Ease of use – 63.1%
- Intelligent data – 50.8%
- Automated pricing recommendations – 41.5%
- Custom reports – 41.5%
- Quick and efficient forecasting – 41.5%
Managing cost per booking remains important for hoteliers in 2023, with 50.3% saying this has increased over the past 12 months.
As groups and corporate business continue to return, it is little surprise that this will be the focus for many revenue teams in 2023. When asked how they planned to optimize business mix in 2023, the top five responses were:
- Groups business – 59.5%
- Corporate business – 51.9%
- Channel management – 48.1%
- OTAs – 38%
- Tour operator, wholesale, FITs – 30.4%
Other respondents also cited growing revenue per guest, segmentation, and length of stay as important factors for revenue management in 2023.
Our 2022 survey results showed Channel Management as the number one focus for revenue managers, with Groups Business placing third. This year’s results show those two areas of revenue strategy swapping places.
Interestingly, business travel was also highlighted as the number one challenge for hotels in 2023, with 60.8% of responses.
The online marketplace continues to be the number one focus when it comes to channel management efforts in 2023, with hoteliers looking to make further investment in meta-search through Google, TripAdvisor, and other such platforms.
The top five focus areas for channel management in 2023 were:
- Metasearch – 75.9%
- Loyalty – 57%
- OTAs – 55.7%
- Own website – 54.4%
- GDS – 53.2%
It seems the highly competitive online marketplace is winning in 2023. Last year’s results showed a much heavier focus on direct bookings via their own website, which topped the list with 91.9% of the votes.
Challenges and trends for 2023
When asked what the three most important trends in revenue management would be in 2023, the results were a mix of revenue strategy and technical responses.
The top five trends identified by our survey were:
- TRevPAR – 46.8%
- Integrated systems – 40.5%
- Upselling – 35.4%
- Attribute-based selling – 32.9%
- Digital guest journey – 32.9%
Selling hybrid spaces, ancillary revenue, automation, and personalized pricing were also cited as trends to watch in the year ahead.
Total revenue management is the focus for 2023, but our survey results for last year told a different story. Integrated systems and automation topped the list of trends, with TrevPAR coming third. Again, this shows that a lot of the tech investment predicted for 2022 did go ahead.
Our survey closed by asking hoteliers what they thought would be the biggest challenges for the industry in 2023. Business travel, while making a return, was top of the list.
The top five challenges, as identified by those taking the survey, were:
- Business travel – 60.8%
- Staffing – 55.7%
- Increased costs – 53.2%
- Government restrictions 45.6%
- Lead times 43%
- Cancellations came in sixth place, with 36.7%.
The return of business travel has also placed it top of the list of challenges for 2023, a positive and a negative, as it shows the industry is truly expecting 2023 to be the year corporate travel returns.
In 2022, the top three challenges were identified as staffing, government restrictions, and increased costs.
Duetto conducted this survey among its software users and other hospitality industry professionals including revenue consultants and educators from across the globe from December 1, 2022, to January 16, 2023.