When the fourth quarter arrives each year, hoteliers are tasked with two major responsibilities. First, they must manage a busy holiday travel season. In 2013, almost 138 million people in the U.S. traveled 50 miles or more during the Thanksgiving and year-end holiday seasons, so with the hotel industry trending positively, opportunities for capturing reservations should be plentiful again this year. Secondly, they must plan how they will navigate the peaks and valleys of traveler activity that will occur the following year. Hotel performance is predicted to be strong in 2015, but the industry is naturally volatile, so operators must carefully balance the busy and lean travel periods.
Both responsibilities present challenges for operators, but are far from insurmountable with a solid execution plan and operational management tools. We recently provided tips for surviving the holiday season, so now we’ll focus on planning for 2015.
Technology and strategy are two key components in achieving and sustaining success for the long-term. innRoad’s cloud-based hotel reservation management system features four core technologies specifically configured to support a hotel’s most important operational functions, such as attracting new guests, managing every aspect of their stay and ensuring the property is maximizing profitability. With innRoad, operators receive:
- Global Distribution: Expands hotel’s digital footprint by connecting with highly-trafficked online travel agents, like Expedia and Travelocity. When rooms are booked, our fully integrated hotel reservation management system automatically adjusts inventory across all channels – eliminating overbooking and keeping guests happy.
- Booking Engine: Enhances hotel websites to capture commission-free reservations. And for travelers on-the-go, our Mobile Booking Engine puts hotels “in their pockets.”
- Property Management System: Manages the entire guest experience, from pre-arrival to departure and beyond. Easy-to-use functions simplify check-in/out, detailed profiles organize guest data, comprehensive reports keep team members informed and quick billing ensures the guest’s last impression is memorable.
- Hotel Revenue Manger: Streamlines hotel data so it is easy to analyze and update. Complete hotel reservation management system integration allows for automated rate and inventory adjustments, so performance metrics, like RevPAR, ADR and occupancy, remain at maximum levels.
With innRoad’s hotel reservation management system, hoteliers are equipped to manage the challenges that occur daily. Now they must put together a strategy for attracting guests and achieving the industry-wide increases, 0.6% occupancy, 4.3% ADR and 4.9% RevPAR, that are expected next year. Here are simple tips for planning and leveraging easily-accessible resources to manage hotel performance:
- Check your calendar: Compare where holidays and events occurred in 2014 versus where they will fall in 2015. For example, July 4th fell on a Friday in 2014, but occurs on a Saturday in 2015. This one-day change may result in some guests staying until Monday, rather than checking out on Sunday, because they will have the day off of work – a great opportunity to capture additional revenue. A thorough year-over-year calendar comparison is a great way to identify opportunities to drive more dollars to the bottom line.
- Talk to your neighbors: Hoteliers should take a proactive approach and speak with the organizations in their community that impact travel and tourism. The Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and event and performance centers all know of upcoming events that may help drive reservations. Building relationships with these groups can position operators to uncover and take advantage of new opportunities.
The hotel business constantly presents new challenges for even the most seasoned veterans, but with the right technology and a sound strategy, operators will be able to navigate their property to another year of strong performances and increased profitability. To learn more about how innRoad’s hotel reservation management system can position your hotel for success, download our PMS Buyer’s Guide and register for a 14-day free trial today.