By Kaitlin Dunn, Writer, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)
Hospitality students who are focused on a career in hotel revenue optimization can get on the inside track by earning HSMAI’s new Certified Revenue Management Analyst (CRMA) certification. To help students prepare, HSMAI has developed a CRMA curriculum toolbox, including slides, links to free in-class readings, individual and small-group exercises, and a revenue management simulator. Topics covered include supply, demand, and revenue management; reservations, pace, and forecasting; pricing; and search engine marketing.
Recently HSMAI sat down with two hospitality instructors who are using the toolbox in different ways: Marie-Claire Louillet, DBA, CRME, professor at Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec, and Hugo Tang, associate professor at the Purdue University School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. They shared how it’s been helpful to their students.
What class or classes did you use the CRMA toolbox in?
MCL: A graduate-level revenue management and ecommerce course. I’m planning on using it again next semester in another accelerated course.
HT: A graduate-level revenue management course. I plan to use it in the future as well.
How are you using the toolbox in your classroom?
MCL: I used the entire thing as my lessons this semester. I had my own material for the course previously, but I put it aside to give students a chance to work with the material for the certification. Since there are 14 lessons and 15 weeks in the term, it worked out well. Because this is an advanced course, the first few PowerPoints were pretty general and not needed as much, but some of the others, such as the probability calculation lesson, were a bit more difficult to grasp. So, we had to adjust the pace, but every piece of material was relevant.
HT: I used the simulator and a few of the lessons to supplement my own materials. I assigned parts of it as homework, and then they hit the key points when we discussed them afterward. In class we made it more interactive, so they can really see the effects of competition. I think that it went really well.
What part of the toolbox do your students most respond to?
MCL: Students reacted very well to the simulation game in particular, which helped to support the learning experience. It was amazing to see them discussing in teams things like RevPAR, rate, and occupancy, and to see how they put all these elements into perspective.
HT: Definitely the simulator. It makes the concepts a lot more tangible for students, because most students don’t have experience in revenue management or economics, and this helps them get a better understanding for the topics. I could really see how much it helped them as they were using it.
From an instructor’s point of view, why do you like this program?
MCL: I believe that certification is paramount to the industry. Particularly in Montreal, there is a lack of skill and manpower in revenue management. I think this is a great opportunity for the field of revenue management. I’m CRME-certified, but the CRMA is a very good first step that previously was missing. I also want to highlight my appreciation for the support I had through HSMAI with using this program, particularly Ricardo Anders of Level60 Consulting and Christopher Anderson of Cornell University, who helped me through the technical aspects and some clarification on the material. It was great to have a support network to exchange ideas with through HSMAI.
HT: I have used similar toolkits and simulators, such as pricing simulations, but I like this one the best. It’s a good combination of lessons and flexible enough to customize the different parts such as pricing or distribution channels. I can change the parameters to suit the needs of the students.
For more information on the CRMA certification or to obtain access to the CRMA toolbox, visit here. There is no fee for HSMAI-registered faculty instructors to receive free access to the course materials. The registration fee for students to take the CRMA examination is $99.