Hospitality industry events are returning and thought leaders are sharing their insights into current trends and challenges. Here's what we learned at Leadership From Chaos.
Recently I attended the London gathering of revenue and commercial leaders called Leadership From Chaos. Hosted simultaneously in three European cities, the event aimed to “unite the revenue management community as we emerge from the chaos of the last 18 months.”
Thought leaders from across the industry delivered keynote speeches and presentations on how they see the commercial lay of the land for hospitality, emerging trends and critical lessons to learn which all help to point the way forward to a revenue and distribution strategy for 2022.
Here’s what we learned.
Urban hotel recovery slower than rural
Staycations were a theme in 2021 with many hotels being able to recover significantly by advertising to a domestic market, but in the UK, travel to rural areas was far more popular than to cities, so recovery for urban hotels has been much slower than for those based in the countryside.
Julie White, VP Commercial for EMEA at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts said there was a lot of localization in booked stays. Source markets have changed. In Europe they have noticed performance continue to lag compared with other global regions, as Covid-19’s impact on the continental population has still not fully loosened its grip.
Adding value seals the deal
When everyone was scrambling for those all-important bookings, it became more vital than ever for hotels to attract guests to book direct, steering them away from OTAs. This was best achieved by adding value to the booking, rather than competing on price, and hotels could work to retain guests for the future by building in loyalty.
Distribution was more challenging than usual because guest behaviors were unpredictable. Rebecca Hollants Van Loocke, the COO EMEA of Frasers Hospitality said that 65% of bookings for tomorrow are only made the day prior, making it really difficult to pre-plan the months ahead.
To help tackle this, marketing plays a critical role and personalization of the experience is key. Guests want to be treated and recognized as individuals with different needs and desires, so standardization can no longer be the norm.
Personalised adventure breaks and relaxation are favored
Hospitality has an important role today in sustainable travel and the recovery of local economies, which dovetails neatly with customer demand for unique experiences and leaving a lighter footprint. Packages that offer experiences which give back to local communities in meaningful ways are in demand - as are niche properties. People want adventurous holidays and relaxation retreats, so these are markets which are great for tapping in 2022.
Hoteliers need data to beat the competition
Looking ahead, speakers acknowledged that planning for distribution, revenue and marketing strategy would remain challenging so having good business intelligence data was even more vital. There’s no blueprint and no crystal ball to help guide us, so reliable data tracked from as many points of sale and across mobile web and mobile apps - which guests increasingly use for searches and bookings - is the best way to devise an effective strategy.
Only Fornova gathers competitive intelligence data that tracks across mobile apps, not just mobile web. If you want to get ahead of the competition book a free demo now.