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The Revenue Management “ROC Stars” Weigh in on the Industry’s Top Trends

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October 01, 2013
Revenue Management
Kylie McKlveen

At the 2013 Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC) in Minneapolis, Minn., more than 400 revenue management executives gathered to learn and discuss the latest trends and best practices in the hospitality industry. Held in conjunction with HFTP’s HITEC, HSMAI President and CEO Bob Gilbert described the attendees as a mashup of the corporate revenue managers from all the major brands, management companies and ownership groups. The largest attendance the event has seen in its 10-year history, more than 110 hotel companies were represented, as well as a notable amount of new faces in the crowd.

Hospitality Upgrade asked a selection of revenue management experts, “What are the biggest trends in the industry?” Trevor Stuart-Hill, president of Revenue Matters and an HSMAI’s Revenue Management Advisory Board member, recalled a discussion from the general session which specifically focused on the future and provided an outlook of the industry in light of economic and political events both around the globe and domestically.  “We are seeing some trends with regards to recovery coming from the leisure segment predominantly,” he said. “The group segment is lagging, although there is some optimism as it relates to group recovery coming in the first quarter of 2014. So there is some hope on the horizon on the group segment. The corporate transient segment is still lagging…occupancies are fairly stagnant, maybe one or two percent in terms growth, and we’re seeing about a four percent, a little stronger than the inflationary type of growth in the average rate.”

Vice President, Revenue and Distribution, Commune Hotels & Resorts, and member of HSMAI's Revenue Management Advisory Board, Kathleen Cullen, CRME, approached the topic of trends in the industry from a different angle. “We have this big collision right now between revenue management and marketing. Today those positions are typically very separate in the industry, but it's really critical that we start coming together and working together as one team,” she said. “Revenue management absolutely needs to understand what's happening in the digital world and in online marketing, and how that plays into their revenue management strategies.”

Total revenue management was a buzz word among the thought leaders and experts interviewed at the conference. Garth Peterson, from IDeaS and Neal Fegan of Fairmont Raffles Hotels International mentioned the push toward using total revenue management in additional spaces within the hotel – food and beverage, catering, function space and even the spa.
Hospitality Upgrade also interviewed industry experts Ginny Morrison, vice president of sales and marketing, for Spire Hospitality, Jessie Chen, product manager global revenue management, for InterContinental Hotels Group and Scott Roby, vice president, revenue management for Evolution Hospitality.

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