A new study from Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne in Switzerland and RateTiger says rate parity is the biggest challenge for hoteliers. The good news? The Distribution Challenge 2012 study found revenue managers are using channel management tools and price shopping reports more than ever (11 times a day). The bad news? Hoteliers are so focused on managing rate parity and ensuring rate integrity they're less focused on the cost of distribution, increasing revenues and actual revenue management.
The study found the top three issues revenue mangers want to focus on are increasing RevPAR, controlling costs of distribution/e-business and increasing exposure. One way to do all three of those is through social media, not only by promoting your property and events, but actually gathering data and insight from the world wide web and using it for pricing strategies.
I obviously don't have all the answers, or any, really. But I do know a few people who will, and they're speaking at the upcoming Midwest Lodging Investors Summit in Chicago from July 16-18. The panel on Tuesday, July 17 titled, “Social Media: The Next Step,” will tackle these issues and more.
Moderator Chris Jackson, president of G Commerce Solutions, and Gordon Liametz, founder and CEO of Revenue Performance, spoke at our Lifestyle/Boutique Hotel Development Conference last October in Miami and the panel was one of (and maybe) the most popular and insightful. We've also added former STR guru Mark Lomanno, now an executive board member with innovative newBrandAnalytics, and Brigette Breitenbach, the president of Company B Brand Marketing and minority owner of The Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee, to the mix.