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HSMAI’S Resort Best Practices Initiative Examines 70 Effective Ways to Generate Revenue in a Recession

  • 10.19.09
The combination of the AIG Effect and the country’s declining economy has taken a toll on the resort sector, which suffered an estimated $1 billion loss in meeting and conference revenue.

In response to this decline, members of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International’s (HSMAI) Resort Best Practices Initiative embarked on a study to examine successful revenue generating programs implemented by industry peers over the past year. The resulting report, "70 Effective Ways to Generate Revenue in a Recession", offers recommendations to sustain business through the recession and prepare for the post-2009 travel environment.   

“Resorts were asked to identify the initiatives they undertook to stimulate revenue in the most hostile of climates,” said Cindy Estis Green, owner of The Estis Group and author of the report. “They were asked to document any programs that triggered the phone to ring or the ‘reserve now’ button to get clicked on a Web site.”

The 30 resorts that participated in the study employed a wide variety of practices and programs, resulting in the four major categories of initiatives outlined in the study:

  • Tapping Consumer Markets
  • Leveraging Secondary Revenue Streams
  • Groups/Meetings
  • Distribution Channels: Booking and Communications  

In addition to these initiatives, the study provides insights regarding ways to minimize damage experienced during the recession in order to make a stronger recovery when the time comes.

“The initiatives that were most successful in each category had some similar elements,” said Estis Green. “As an added value, many resorts offered suggestions or caveats that they will heed themselves if and when they repeat the programs. Many resorts indicated that they feel the approach taken in the past, has to fundamentally change in the new climate and that these changes will need to be sustained throughout a recovery; there will not be a going back to the old ways.”

The executive summary of "70 Effective Ways to Generate Revenue in a Recession" is available in the October issue of HSMAI’s Marketing Review. The full report is available to current Resort Best Practices Initiative subscribers and new subscribers who join the initiative before November 15, 2009.

HSMAI’s Resort Marketing Special Interest Group is a group of HSMAI members who advance the resort sales and marketing discipline and the professional development of its members through information sharing and education. This group was created to create forums for information exchange related to the resort sales and marketing specialty. It also guides the best practices initiative, of which this report is a product. The best practices initiative produces two research studies per year, and includes webinars, a subscriber only LinkedIn group and bi-monthly networking conference calls. For more information, visit www.hsmairesortbestpractices.com.

HSMAI is a hospitality industry source for knowledge, community and recognition for leaders committed to professional development, sales growth, revenue optimization, marketing and branding. With a strong focus on education, HSMAI has become an industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry, and bringing together customers and members at annual events, including HSMAI's Affordable Meetings®. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas region.

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