Recently, I wrote an article about how hotels hate online travel agencies (OTAs) because of the commissions charged by the sites for each and every booking. Today, I want to talk about the other major reason that hoteliers hate OTAs: the time and work that it takes to manage them. (Can you say never-ending?!)
Because being a revenue manager is such a time-consuming but highly important job, it’s important that RMs don’t bite off more than they can chew (so to speak). Between strategy meetings, data analysis, competitive analysis, manually updating prices across all OTAs, and all of the other day-to-day revenue management tasks, most revenue managers cannot effectively manage more than four to six channels. If they do take on more, things start to fall through the cracks – pricing is not updated on a regular basis and money is lost. And let’s not even mention the increased risk of human error when RMs are overloaded.
But here’s the Catch-22: if one OTA makes money, then being listed on more than one OTA will make even MORE money. No, no, don’t argue. It’s a proven fact. Even if the travelers don’t book through the OTA, the billboard effect is worth it, in and of itself; many consumers will initially find your hotel on an OTA site and then book directly through the hotel’s website. If that hotel didn’t have a presence on OTAs, the traveler would never have found and booked with them otherwise.
Even so, many hoteliers and revenue managers don’t think that way. They think about all of the work involved with the job - the time spent strategizing, collecting and analyzing data, and then manually updating the rates on all of the different websites - and most want to run away to a Caribbean island and drink pina coladas all day.
But what if you could list your property with 10 or 20 or even 100 OTAs, without dropping the pricing ball? What if your property’s incomes could increase 10 or 20 or even 100 times, without you having to move into your office and manually adjust rates 24/7?
That, my friend, is where technology comes in. Technology can manage your rates automatically, 24/7. Technology can increase your property’s ADR, your occupancy and your RevPAR drastically within days. In short, technology can make your hotel money… lots of money!
But that doesn’t mean that revenue managers will be obsolete. Revenue management software is designed to assist revenue mangers, to make them more effective – not to replace them. It gives revenue managers the ability to focus their attention on what humans do best – strategizing, planning, overseeing staff, etc. – rather than mindless, never-ending analysis and updates (a task which technology can handle more quickly and with less margin for error than a human ever could!).
So go crazy! List your property on 10 or 20 or 200 OTAs, as many as you can, and get on the technology bandwagon. Make your property earn more money… without driving your revenue manager over the deep end. It just makes good business sense (and cents)!
Jean Francois Mourier is CEO and Founder of REVPAR GURU, an intelligent online solution that provides hotels around the world with an alternative revenue management software system designed to deliver maximum bookings and profits, as well as the convenience of full automation and integration 24/7. As REVPAR GURU's custom-designed Yield Dynamic Price Engine is the only real-time revenue management system available on the market, it meets the rapidly changing needs of hotels looking to increase their competitive advantage in an increasingly difficult marketplace. REVPAR GURU’s system offers dynamic rate optimization, real-time pricing, integrated internet and extranet yield channel management and GDS sales distribution, to increase a hotel's RevPAR intelligently and effectively, while maintaining rate integrity and automated rate parity. Since 2004, smart hoteliers worldwide have used REVPAR GURU’s software system to increase occupancy, average daily rate (ADR) and RevPAR.
To learn more about REVPAR GURU, please visit www.revparguru.com or call +1.786.478.3500. Follow REVPAR GURU on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube.
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