Return To Market: Planning 90 Days Out
By Sarah McCay Tams
Thursday, 22nd July 2021

As hotels around the world reopen their doors and ramp up their revenue strategy, we take a look at the tactics you should be considering 90, 60, and 30 days out.

The aim is to provide actionable ideas and refreshers on how to prepare to reopen or resume businesses at a consistent level of demand.

Let’s look at what action you can be taking 90 days out – whether that’s 90 days from stay date, re-opening date, or a forecasted uptick in demand.

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Where possible, proactively planning and adjusting strategy 90 days out can set you apart from your competition. But beware:

  • Don't fall into the trap of relying on OTAs
  • Don't expect transient demand to be the same as last summer

Traditionally, the 90-day window to stay date would give a good indication of expected business on the night. On the books business (OTB) would be swelled by a nice base layer of group bookings – whether business or leisure.

But the lack of convention and corporate group business – often the bread and butter of hotels – makes things more difficult.

However, hotels are now slowly starting to see the return of SMERF and weddings and, in some scenarios, this business is doubled up for 2021 versus what we would have seen for a normal year.

Tactics for growing group business

Layer in as much group business as possible and keep in constant contact with these groups so that you can help move their reservation should the need arise. It is a lot easier to call one group to reschedule, than call 50 separate reservations.

Consider these three factors:

Demand: Booking behavior is different. Traditionally, you may expect only a small percentage of wedding guests to book a room. In 2021, the pent-up demand to get out means that more of the party are likely to want accommodation. Hotels need to be aware of this added demand and changing consumer behavior.

Segments: Double down on the segments that you know are going to come back first, such as weddings, and then look at other verticals such as government and wholesale.

Cancellations: Understanding your wash factor on a group and being able to forecast it is nothing new to revenue managers. But for 2021, this is just a little more volatile. By being able to view the cancelation business mix metric in ScoreBoard, revenue teams can get a better idea of what they might reasonably expect to cancel or materialize. You have to make decisions based on these data points.

Building your base business enables you to shrink the box and be strategic with what inventory is left.

With this baseline business in place, you can then start to get very aggressive with the remaining inventory, using Open Pricing to continually flex rates in line with demand and based on room type and other variables.

Sarah McCay Tams, Director of Content, EMEA

Sarah joined Duetto in 2015 as a contributing editor covering Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA). In 2017, she was promoted to Director of Content, EMEA. An experienced B2B travel industry journalist, Sarah spent 14 years working in the Middle East, most notably as senior editor – hospitality for ITP Publishing Group in Dubai, where she headed up the editorial teams on Hotelier Middle East, Caterer Middle East and Arabian Travel News. Sarah is now based back in the UK.


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