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TravelClick

Group Travel on the Rise Reinforces Need for Key Innovations

As another indicator that the travel industry is rebounding, the group travel segment, which can be anything from convention goers to group golf trips, is poised to experience tremendous growth.

According to a recent TravelClick North American Hospitality Review (NAHR) study, while individual business and leisure travelers are still driving growth in both occupancy and average daily rate (ADR), the group outlook for the remainder of 2013 and into 2014 is stronger than it has been in past months.

For the next 12 months, TravelClick forecasts an occupancy increase of 1.6 percent for the group travel segment, and an ADR increase of 1.8 percent, compared to the same time last year.

Other Key findings

12 Month Outlook (June 2013 – May 2014)


  1. Overall committed occupancy is up 2.3 percent versus this time last year.
  2. ADR is up 3.4 percent based on reservations currently on the books.
  3. Transient bookings are up 4.1 percent year-over-year and ADR for this segment is up 4.1 percent.
  4. The transient leisure segment is showing occupancy gains of 4.7 percent and ADR gains of 4.3 percent.
  5. The transient business segment is showing occupancy gains of 3.0 percent and a 3.9 percent rise in ADR.

The study looked at group sales commitments and individual reservations in the 25 major North American markets for hotel stays that are booked by May 26, 2013 for the period of June 2013 to May 2014.

Although in the third quarter group travel declines, as most people are taking time off to vacation as opposed to attending large meetings and conventions, overall it is a sign that group travel is on the rise, which can be an indicator of a larger economic recovery happening now.

We believe that this study underscores the need to develop and implement the right innovations that will better cater to the needs of group travelers.  This can be customizable mobile app for specific conventions and groups, or next-generation concierge services that are designed to meet the unique needs of each group.

With group travel rebounding, it is a clear sign that the hospitality sector can develop new strategies for creating brand loyalty – through the use of innovation – that will allow them to full capitalize on this new trend.

 

 

 

Using Data Analytics to Win and Keep Hospitality Guests

We are living in an era where ‘big data’ is driving key decisions and programs for multiple business sectors and even the federal government.  Thanks to new innovations for managing large volumes of data, as well as advances in algorithms and analytics, we are able to gain a complete snapshot of customers and end users.

The hospitality sector is also leading this new analytical approach for differentiating their guest offerings by mining into a deep well of data. Gary Loveman, President, Chairman and CEO of Caesars Entertainment, recently gave the keynote address at HITEC 2012 and discussed how smart customer data analytics drives the success of Caesars’ Total Rewards guest loyalty program.

Loveman said that competing on price alone for online booking engines is a losing bet for hotels. To help Caesars differentiate itself from other hospitality companies, he launched the Total Rewards program in 1998 using data collected on guest behavior to determine the potential value that a guest could be worth to the company. Although it’s important to give great service to all guests, it’s even more important to determine the potential value each guest could be worth to the company.

For example, it might not make sense to spend more on incentives for a customer who visits a casino only once, versus one who comes back again and again. The data analysis methods used in Total Rewards, though, pick up on more subtle cues to determine which customer would make the better investment.

Once Caesars decides to lure a guest, the Total Rewards program is designed to make that task easier by offering rewards that are actually useful to that particular customer.

In addition, offering benefits right away makes Total Rewards more attractive to customers because they will actually see a benefit from signing up. Total Rewards also uses its collected data to tailor offers to individual high-value customers, increasing the chance that they will sign up.

Gary Loveman clearly understands that data analytics can give a full picture on hotel guests. Thanks to his vision, the Total Rewards program has already yielded benefits to Caesars. In fact, over the 2000-2011 period, revenue per available room increased 20 percent, and the company outperformed the competition with +25 percent regional market wins per unit and +28 percent local market wins per unit.

 

Bisnow Lodging Investment Summit Brings Out Brightest Stars in Hospitality

Without a doubt, the Washington DC area has become the cornerstone for the hospitality industry — with Marriott, Hilton and Choice Hotels, as well as many lodging investment players, calling our region home.

So, it was no surprise that the folks at Bisnow Media were able to pull off a spectacular national event that drew together the “who’s who” of the hospitality sector at its Bisnow Lodging Investment Summit (BLIS) on May 9-10 at the Ritz Carlton in Tyson’s Corner.

We had the unique pleasure of attending BLIS, which brought together 500 industry players to hear 32 speakers discuss the future of the hospitality industry. Some of the highlights included Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s new CEO, providing his vision for doubling the hospitality provider’s overseas portfolio, as well as political pundit Tucker Carlson’s enlightening and entertaining speech on the state of politics and what to expect from the upcoming Presidential election.

The event also showcased some of the challenges that the industry faces, such as what will happen to RevPAR as consumer confidence continues to decline, as well as managing growth in a global economy that is still in a state of turmoil.

At NetLink, we have always believed that the best way to enhance growth, in even the most challenging of economic climates, is to ensure that all IT investments support business growth. For example, be sure to check out this case study about how Marriott International developed its online gift card effort, which resulted in $35 million in additional revenue.

As the lodging sector continues to move forward, it is exciting to see that the industry is coming up with unique strategies for business growth. And, plenty of opportunities still abound for those selling solutions to hospitality providers.

Posted by: Diann Turner, Director, Business Development, NetLink Resource Group