Brands are enjoying 2019 all over again — at least when it comes to leisure — while hotel management companies are more focused on cross-teams collaboration and how people work, according to participants at HSMAI’s Brand and HMC Chief Revenue Officer Executive Roundtables, held in Dallas on Sept. 30 during Commercial Strategy Week. As part of the programs, they shared these and other positive trends they’ve observed recently, including:
- We’ve largely recovered to 2019 levels in some segments.
- We have a much deeper understanding of necessary travel. When we really dug into who was traveling and why they were traveling, it gave us greater focus on the segments and accounts that were really producing.
- By the end of the year, we will have exceeded 2019 revenues for leisure.
- We crushed it in Q3 in our market. There was very little group to speak of, but it didn’t matter, because leisure customers were there in droves.
- People are realizing that the way they’re going to optimize their business isn’t just through price by segmentation.
- While some groups are canceling, lead volume is still very strong and we can replace it.
- I’m bullish on international travel coming in; as the regulations allow that, they will want to come to the United States.
- How people used stimulus money was distributed evenly — both using it for immediate travel or saving for future travel benefited us.
- Our owners are ahead of 2019 for some markets. Volume is strong, and ADR is outrageous.
- Innovation could have been paused during the pandemic, but hospitality organizations are continuing on the innovation roadmap and making investments in technology.
- We’ve been able to better focus on what our guest experience should be.
The roundtable was supported by IDeaS Revenue Strategies and ZS, and attended by leaders from Best Western Hotels and Resorts, G6 Hospitality, IHG, Las Vegas Sands Corp. (Venetian/Palazzo), Margaritaville, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Outrigger Hotel Group, Preferred Hotel Group, Red Roof Inn, Sonesta+RLHC, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts.
- The siloing of disciplines is gone because we had to take into account occupancy, channels, redeployment, lean teams, and more. We’re clinging on to keeping those siloes gone forever.
- Team members are becoming real teachers and spending more time on education with hotels to teach why we do what we do (holding on to rate is just one example).
- The numbers of new users coming into software platforms, which indicates the onboarding of new team members.
- There’s more collaboration across sales, marketing, and revenue teams.
- We’re getting better with our data and making search more relevant to consumers based on how far they are willing to drive.
- Leisure ADR movement that is being driven by special events (college football games, for example).
- College football, concerts, beaches — they’re all bright spots. Plus, we’re seeing a decline in group cancellations (government and SMERF especially).
- An increase in IBT mix over the last few weeks with dynamic rates.
- It’s okay to talk about mental health at work.
- Borders are opening, vaccinations are increasing, and international travel is increasing.
- Talent is finally getting to decide where they live while still doing the work we need them to do.
- Getting back to some grassroots, 101 tactics — especially in our sales organizations.
- Improved relationships with the brands as we’re starting to come back from the worst. You need the brands on your side to face the owners.
- Increased interest in all-inclusives at the four- and five-star level.
- The lifting of international restrictions.
- Luxury ADR growth.
- An uptick in group leads.
- Progress made in automating the use and roll-up of data to do more with less — it didn’t cost as much as we thought it would.
- Growth in business travel and group leads for urban hotels.
- The investment community is spending more money on renovation and product improvement, which will help with recovery cycle and holding/increasing rate.
- A shift to being more strategic.
The roundtable was supported by OTA Insight and ZS, and attended by leaders from Aimbridge Hospitality, Chesapeake Hospitality, Concord Hospitality Enterprises, Crescent Hotels & Resorts, Highgate Hotels, Hotel Investment Services, HRI Lodging LLC, Kessler Collection, Marcus Hotels & Resorts, McNeill Hotels, NCG Hotels, Playa Hotels and Resorts, Preferred Hotel Group/PHG Consulting, Prism Hotels & Resorts, Regency Hotel Management, SBE Lifestyle Hospitality, Shaner Hotel Corporation, Stonebridge Companies, Vail Resorts, and VRI Americas.