Covid-19 and the resulting travel restrictions have completely upset the usual travel patterns many hotels relied on to make forecasting and pricing decisions.
Today it’s clear that revenue managers can no longer look to historical data to predict the future. However, in these uncertain times, an accurate forecast is as important as ever.
The same goes for pricing. Revenue teams must maximise revenue from every little bit of business. But in today’s unpredictable and quickly shifting markets that’s no easy feat.
These developments have brought forward-looking data into the spotlight. It’s the key to optimising revenue and accurate demand forecasting, so let’s look at how to access and use it.
A ground-breaking change in revenue management – How hoteliers can get a unique competitive advantage
Relying on on-the-books (OTB) data is no longer enough. Instead, you need to rethink how to best adapt to today’s market conditions and which advanced resources to leverage. Only then you’ll be able to move beyond the recovery period, uncover new sources of demand and tap revenue streams. Just as a heads up: this could require developing new concepts or business models for new audiences.
In the future, a proactive, data-driven approach supported by innovative tech tools and top-of-funnel demand information will be the key to hoteliers’ success.
Why is top-of-funnel data so revolutionary? Because it provides revenue managers with the booking and travel intent information they need to accurately predict demand. Properties that can access these insights via innovative tech solutions in only a few clicks will have a unique competitive advantage over their competition.
“Historical reference points don’t offer the guidance they once did. Hotel forecasting is extremely challenging in these times, however, looking into the future and planning for it has never been more important. Revenue managers must focus more on current and forward-looking data to predict demand and adjust pricing at the right time. Understanding true demand data in the future, like for example the intent to travel, will allow revenue managers to create realistic forecasts which will no longer be based on historical on-the-books data,” says Alexander Edström, CEO at Atomize.
How incorporating future demand data will benefit your revenue management tactics
Forward-looking data has several valuable benefits historical data doesn’t offer.
Among other things, forward-leaning data allows you to do the following:
- Recognise high-demand dates and new market trends so you can offer optimised rates.
- Track hotel booking demand and booking intent in your geographical hotel market, 365 days rolling.
- Stay a step ahead of your competition since many other properties don’t use future demand data yet.
Let’s illustrate three ways how you can maximise revenue by using predictive, forward-leaning demand data.
Get localised demand insights:
Future demand data looks at how demand for your region is developing in your source markets. If you know when a specific market shows interest in your hotel, you can set up geo-targeted promotions and ads for this source market. This lets you capture more of the existing demand at optimised rates set by your RMS.
Access more detailed competition insights:
Combine forward-leaning demand data with competition insights to get a clear picture of how other properties are responding to shifting demand now and in the future. This market overview lets you position yourself better among both your compset and in the market as a whole. That lessens the risk of you outpricing yourself and makes it easier to optimise rates according to real-time demand fluctuations.
Refine revenue strategies with a complete market overview
Top-of-funnel data looks further than OTA trends and the latest competitor rates. It shows you the bigger picture by including event, holiday, flight, GDS data and much more. A business intelligence (BI) tool is indispensable to collect and go through all this data. No team could ever handle so much information manually in real time. A powerful BI tool uses data to show you market and future demand as a whole, instead of in separate, seemingly unrelated snapshots. Leverage this to fine-tune your revenue strategy and optimise your decision-making for the short and long term.
“Market conditions for hoteliers have changed drastically with fundamental shifts in traveller behaviour and constantly evolving demand patterns. Understanding traveller search patterns and upper-funnel data has become essential for hotels to capture demand before their competition,” said Sean Fitzpatrick, CEO of OTA Insight.
How can I get access to forward-leaning data for my hotel?
For the last few years, OTAs have almost held a monopoly on future demand data. However, cutting-edge BI tools like OTA Insight’s Market Insight now give hotels access to this information. These aggregated data sets show revenue managers booking demand for their property 365 days rolling for any market around the world.
Take things a step further by feeding this data directly into an RMS to guarantee your rates are always adjusted in real time. The newly formed partnership between Atomize RMS and OTA Insight’s Market Insight BI tool lets you do just that. In a nutshell, it makes it easier to navigate markets now and in the future by revealing search volume and inbound travel volume for destinations around the world.
As a hotelier, you get a special competitive advantage out of this because you can forecast more accurately and boost future bookings, revenue and profitability.