After two years of turmoil, and with supply and demand still in constant flux, it is little surprise that hoteliers are turning to technology to help them navigate the new revenue landscape.
Duetto recently surveyed hoteliers from around the world and analyzed their responses to gauge the sentiment of and priorities for the hotel industry in terms of revenue management, revenue tools, and innovations.
What we found was that automation and integration are seen as key to future success by the majority of those working in a revenue function. In fact, 77.6% of respondents expect to increase their hotel tech investment in the next three years, while 16.7% expect to retain a consistent expenditure.
Tech investment is clearly central to preparing for the future. It’s probably little surprise, then, that tech investments picked up during the pandemic and look set to increase even further as hoteliers pull out of the crisis and more expenditures become possible as revenues return.
Our survey results showed that 46.2% of respondents increased their tech spend in the past year, while 43.8% retained roughly equal investment levels over both years.
Most respondents (67.6%) currently use a revenue management system (RMS). Of the remaining 32.4%, 50% sought to invest in revenue technology in 2022, with a further 23.4% looking to invest in the next two years.
Integration Tops RMS Needs
When asked to identify the most important trends in Revenue Management for 2022, technology also came out on top, with 58.6% of respondents citing integrated systems as most important, followed by 54.8% naming automation as critical.
The top five responses were mixed between technology trends, revenue trends, and guest behavior:
· Integrated systems (58.6%)
· Automation (54.8%)
· TRevPAR (36.7%)
· Digital guest journey (31.4%)
· Ancillary revenue (29%)
The time savings and efficiencies of running an integrated tech stack are vital as hotel revenue teams look to do more with less. Add in automation and the ability to run revenue on autopilot, and revenue teams are truly able to get time back to focus on understanding the needs of their business.
Analyzing the survey results, Duetto’s Director of Hospitality Solutions Matthias Heel, said: “The winner here was integrated systems, which makes sense because if they are not integrated you have issues with things such as bug fixes, which are extremely time-consuming and inefficient.”
“Automated processes are seen to be extremely important in 2022 and strategic revenue management seems to be the key.”
On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being ‘Extremely Important’, 56.2% said automated processes in revenue management would be ‘Extremely Important’ in 2022; 59.5% said this had increased from 2021.
55.2% of Revenue Managers who were surveyed also reported they’ve increased focus on strategic revenue management as automation has helped reduce manual tasks such as data entry, reporting, and other time-consuming efforts.
Direct Channels Key Drivers
In terms of optimizing business, the survey results showed a continued emphasis on driving direct business.
When asked ‘How do you plan to optimize your Business Mix in 2022?’ the top five areas of focus for 2022 were:
· Channel management - website / email / phone (79%)
· Corporate business (47.1%)
· Groups business (42.9%)
· OTA business (40%)
· Tour operator, wholesale, FITs (31.9%)
When considering where they would invest efforts for Channel Management in 2022, the top five areas of focus were:
· Own website (91.9%)
· Invest in metasearch (67.6%)
· Invest in loyalty (61%)
· Push OTA (45.7%)
· Push GDS (29%)
Own channels, corporate and group business typically have lower distribution costs, so it’s easy to see why hotels are focusing effort here. Similarly, metasearch and loyalty all filter back to own channel distribution.
Tech adoption in hotels has been accelerated during the past couple of years, but still, the industry lags behind widespread adoption and optimization. However, it’s promising to see that more industry leaders are focusing on tech adoption, tech upgrades, and creating an integrated tech stack, both at a property and enterprise level.
Discover more about the top trends and opportunities that should be shaping your revenue strategy in 2022. Download Duetto’s latest Special Report: Re-booting Revenue: Refreshing Strategies for 2022 and beyond.