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Definitely Doug 10/18/19
Posted: 12/06/2019

Sustainable Innovation
 
Sustainability can yield multiple benefits to hotels. Saving energy and water yields direct cost savings. Revenue can be generated by guests who prefer to deal with businesses that minimize their environmental impact. And many would argue that conserving scarce resources is simply the right thing to do.

Definitely Doug 12/6/19
Posted: 12/06/2019

Meetings Innovation
 
The sale and delivery of groups and meetings is perhaps the most significant and under-automated functions for many hotels. Even though groups often account for 30% to 60% of revenue, most group bookings are still handled manually for most if not all of steps, as they move from a meeting planner’s research to a confirmed booking.

The biggest enemy to any system is complexity. In a system of inputs and outputs, such as an enterprise system, more complexity means more parts are used in interaction with inputs to create the outputs. Every part that must be built and maintained costs time and money

Tracking the evolution of key performance indicators (KPIs) over time allows hoteliers to identify meaningful trends, create forecasts and budgets and assess the results of different strategies. To perform this kind of analysis, data has to be recorded within consistent time intervals and in chronological order. This is known as a time series.

Definitely Doug 11/15/19
Posted: 11/15/2019

Every time I turn around these days, I see a new vendor or product promising something called a complete Guest Experience Management, Guest Journey Management, or Guest Engagement (or some variation on those words). This week I looked at some of the emerging products claiming to be in this space, both to try to better understand it, and to see what promising ideas it may hold.



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The Power of the Negative Review

12/18/2013
by Kelly McGuire

The hotel marketplace is rapidly evolving from price transparency, where the advent of the OTAs suddenly allowed consumers to easily compare all room rates in a market, to value transparency, where, along with price, consumers have ready access to user experiences with hotel stays in the form of reviews, ratings, rankings and images.  As this transition unfolds, nearly every hotel revenue manager I’ve spoken with in the last couple of years (and there have been many) has (smartly) asked some version of the same question: How should all of this user generated content impact pricing decisions for my hotel? 

My research partner, Breffni Noone, Associate Professor at The Pennsylvania State University and I set out to answer this question for the industry.  We have done several studies (and have more planned) to explore consumer buying behavior in this new social world.  For our first study, we developed a scenario similar to buying a hotel room online, in which we showed a hotel example with different combinations of price (low or high), review valence (positive or negative) and aggregate rating (low or high).  We tested how the different levels of these attributes, in combination, influenced our participants’ quality and value perceptions.  Our second study built on the first by getting at the way that how consumers make tradeoffs between different attributes.  We designed a choice experiment to test how much influence these attributes have on consumers’ likelihood to purchase a particular hotel.  We varied price, review valence (positive or negative), the content and language used in the review, known vs. unknown brand, TripAdvisor rank, and aggregate ratings in a set of three hotels, and asked people to choose the one they would book. 

We will present the results from both studies in detail in an upcoming issue of Hospitality Upgrade, along with more information on how we designed and executed the two studies.  As a teaser, I’ll preview some key findings here.  The two studies clearly demonstrated that reviews are king in consumers’ decision making process, followed by price.  While consumers do pay attention to ratings, TA ranking and brand, they use the valence of the review (positive or negative) as an indication of the quality and value of their purchase, and as a primary driver of choice.  This means that negative review will remove a hotel from the consumers’ choice set, regardless of the price. 

Many hoteliers want to know whether they can charge a premium for a property with good reviews.  Our study clearly demonstrated that consumers always preferred to pay the lowest price, all things being equal.  Consumers would choose a higher priced option with better reviews than the competition, but from the choice patterns, it seemed that this was more the result of NOT picking the poorly reviewed hotel because of the negative reviews, than a decision to pay more because of the positive reviews.  So, if you are definitely better than the competition, you have some additional pricing power, but if not, consumers will look at price also.  The best advice I can give to managers is that they must pay attention not only to their own reviews, but also to their review position relative to the competition, before making any strategic pricing decisions. 
  

About The Author
Kelly McGuire

SAS
Hospitality And Travel Global Practice


Kelly McGuire leads the Hospitality and Travel Global Practice for SAS.  In this role, she is responsible for driving the offering set and setting strategic direction for the practice. McGuire works with product management, sales, alliances and R&D to ensure that SAS solutions meet the needs of the market, and evangelizes the value of advanced analytics to the industries she serves.  She has a PhD in Revenue Management from The Cornell School of Hotel Administration.

 
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