Tour operators seeking to assure clients that what they are paying for is all-inclusive can look forward to new challenges as hoteliers are seeking still more ways to increase revenue streams and increase per capita spending by hotel guests. According to HotelNewsNow, which covered the just concluded Hotel Data Conference in Nashville, some hoteliers are turning parking into a revenue generator, while another is strategically employing the use of food trucks at certain hotel-or-resort sponsored functions.
Highlights of what hotels are doing or contemplating—they come from a session that was tagged as “Beyond rooms and F&B: Total revenue management practices”—include the following:
—Hotels can learn lessons from how music festivals and amusement parks manage to create tiered experiences based on how much consumers are willing to pay. Said Isaac Collazo, vice president of performance strategy and planning, InterContinental Hotels Group, “At music festivals, you can buy a regular ticket or a VIP ticket. In hotels, we don’t really think about things that way. We need to figure out what’s a VIP item we can charge for. It helps make the experience better and makes money for the hotel.”
—Marcus Hotels & Resorts has been successful finding “untapped revenue” by hiring a corporate director of parking, which helped turned a cost center into a revenue generator. “On pricing, we’re just doing the same for parking as you do for hotel rooms,” said Linda Gulrajani, the company’s vice president of revenue strategy and distribution. “You do competitive shops and see what’s in the market. One problem is a lot of (automated) parking machines don’t do dynamic pricing, and it’s great to price special events differently. But you end up doing a bunch of manual work with labor hours to make that money.”
—Omni Hotels & Resorts is creating new at its golf resorts and spas, as an Omni panelist said that people are willing to pay for if a hotel or resort is able to “offer value for experience.” She said there is great revenue potential, particularly with golf, if companies are better able to dissect data and look for opportunities to increase rates.
—Marcus’ Gulrajani said her company was able to better incorporate F&B revenue into its golf experiences by buying a food truck to use at a course that had no clubhouse dining.
—Marcus has also had success selling roof space for cell towers. “Make sure you don’t sign a noncompete contract,” Gulrajan said, explaining some companies will ask for that in negotiations. “But it’s pretty much pure profit.”
—Paul Breslin, principal at Horwath HTL, told attendees that his company has been successful leasing out retail space, while Omni has experienced revenue growth by opting to lease out restaurant spaces instead of keeping F&B operations in house.