Question for Our Revenue Management Expert Panel:

What are the top innovations and trends in hotel revenue management that we can expect to see in 2022?

Industry Expert Panel

Our Industry Expert Panel exists out of professionals within the hospitality & travel Industry. They have comprehensive and detailed knowledge, experience in practice or management and are forward-thinking. They are answering questions about the state of the industry. They share their insights on topics like revenue management, marketing, operations, technology and discuss the latest trends.

Nikhil Roy
Nikhil RoyRevenue & Pricing Manager, Key Hospitality B.V.

“Revenue Management is extremely exciting and a constantly evolving field. There are several innovations and new products/ software currently in development that are designed to make the life of a Revenue Manager easy and also help them take the right decisions.

Covid-19 had a great impact on the travel and hospitality industry. Though we slowly see some markets recovering from the deep red, the impact will be felt all through 2022 and even later. This presents an opportunity as well as a challenge for Revenue Managers to identify prospective areas of revenue generation. Revenue Managers need to be agile in their approach and decision making.

Some interesting trends to expect are:

  1. Rates that offer flexibility and/ or free cancellation will continue to be more popular for future dates.
  2. A short booking window for hotels located in the city/ metropolitan area.
  3. Regional / Domestic travel is still expected to be more prevalent than international travel.
  4. Business travel will be the last to pick-up, meaning that all the corporate inventory will be released to transient and leisure travellers.
  5. Hotels located in far off places (holiday destinations) will perform better than city hotels and will attract bookers who are willing to pay a higher price.
  6. Revenge travel will be common as fully vaccinated people can travel again and will be the first ones to drive the industry forward.

Looking ahead to future innovations:

  1. Hotels have already started (and will continue) to give importance to direct bookings via their own website. Google Hotel Ads will play a huge role in channelling direct traffic and will compete head-to-head with OTAs.
  2. Instead of price wars, I see many hotels offering extras (via their own website) to stand out from the crowd and differentiate from OTAs.
  3. Contactless experiences will be common amongst smaller hotels as they will try and shift to automation in order to save costs.”

Paulo Aragao
Paulo AragaoRevenue Management Professional

“What I hope to see in the future is more recent graduates diving deep into revenue management and technology. People that are interested in what goes on behind the scenes in automation of revenue management processes and especially forecasting and pricing. This new breed of revenue management tech enthusiasts will enable our Revenue Management Systems to have better well-trained machine learning and algorithms.

These professionals do not need to be Data Scientists, but they need to be in the picture, and the collaboration between these two teams is what will drive these RMS to successful forecasts and reliable pricing. COVID-19 came as proof that RMSs need to be flexible, adaptable, and quick to respond to external and internal factors. The more people with revenue management knowledge working together with data scientists to build efficient tools, the merrier!”

Sandra Gannon
Sandra GannonCommercial Consultant, Revenue Puzzle

“I believe that we will see more and more hotels adapting ways to improve their automation. That does not mean replacing staff or teams, but having automation as a way to increase efficiency and assist with decisions. Data points are now more important than ever, as well as an expectation of a seamless customer journey, so that will cover pre-journey until post-journey of a guest’s stay. There are more and more new products coming up on the market to assist.”

Daniel Feitosa
Daniel FeitosaUniversity Teacher Revenue Management, Faculdade Roberto Miranda

“I see a high level of revenue opportunities centred around sustainability. Companies and clients, as well as hotels, are becoming increasingly focused on safety and sustainability. Therefore, creating an environment and products that will make the guests comfortable while showing social proof of the hotels’ actions will be an important asset in generating revenue and increasing demand.

Even if you’re a business hotel you can contribute to the society/environment and these actions will be more than appreciated by guests. Being part of the community is an urgent need.

Another opportunity is for those hotel that can provide hybrid meeting features to make better events showing real cost savings for clients and helping clients to achieve more business. Hotels will have a great audience from this segment.”

Chaya Kowal
Chaya KowalDirector of Revenue Management, Potato Head Family

“I guess that technology will play an even bigger role in Revenue Management in 2022: like integrated solutions for all departments in a hotel/resort to be able to easily combine and track all data in an effort towards total revenue management, a shift towards cloud-based systems (cloud-based PMS for those who don’t have it yet, allowing reservations to work remotely), two-way connection for booking engines and channel managers for those who are not using it yet, more emphasis on mobile bookings and brand websites that are easier and smoother to use (more user friendly and fewer steps to confirm a booking).

Analytics and reporting (especially forward-looking data) will be really important and therefore more properties would like to invest in RMS software and/or in rate shopping and business intelligence tools. These would allow them to understand the guest behaviour and upcoming trends in more detail to create proper strategies (e.g., flight search traffic, geographic locations, length of stay, competition, etc).

The strategy will be even more dynamic, with a focus on providing more options and authentic experiences to guests (not only focusing on numbers and forecasts). There might be more packages being offered and collaborations with partners or airlines; with a lot of focus on safety, wellness and exclusivity. But also, totally different offerings have emerged this year and will still be offered in 2022; for example long-stay offers (flat rates for weekly or monthly stays), or day packages.

As the industry tries to get back on its feet after the pandemic, innovation will be key. There will be more awareness about costs (related to a booking whether it is a direct booking or via a third party) and how distribution channels might be better optimized. Hotels that do not have a CRM might invest in one. The market might be more dynamic and volatile and we might see more hotels shifting to automated systems/RMS. Many hotels that do not have proper Revenue Management will rethink their strategy and change their mindset around it. We could see more empowerment for Revenue Managers.

The availability of more RMS options and business intelligence tools will also increase in the market; maybe making it more accessible to independent hotels and smaller hotels. The trend of more flexible terms and conditions that emerged with the pandemic will definitely continue throughout 2022, encouraging guests to book longer in advance which might also lead to a better long-term strategy. And finally, the focus will shift to short term forecasts vs. long term ones (pre-pandemic) and updating it regularly as the market will be very volatile.”

Theresa Prins
Theresa PrinsFounder, Revenue Resolutions

“I am not so sure about innovation but a trend that we will see in 2022 is the change in how corporate travel will take place. Although there is a need for face-to-face meetings, from a financial aspect corporate travel will be reconsidered now that everyone has grown accustomed to virtual meetings and travel expense savings.

Another trend will be a more fluid approach to pricing and restrictions. We are already observing an increase in requests for dynamic rates as opposed to static prices. This is very beneficial for revenue optimisation, as well as for clients alike.

Additionally, another trend that I believe will stick around longer than we thought is the relaxed terms and conditions, making it easier for clients to do business with us.”

Daphne Beers
Daphne BeersOwner, Your-Q Hospitality Academy

“The appetite for going on holidays and having extraordinary experiences and creating memories will be huge! There will be an increased demand for:

  • Exclusive packages
  • Fine dining / private dining experiences
  • All-inclusive packages

If we look at business travel, I believe that the pandemic has shown us that we CAN do things differently and that travel is not a hard requirement anymore for business meetings. I believe that these topics will be important for 2022:

  • Hybrid event organization
  • Conscious travels & offerings
  • Innovative technology that helps us do business in an efficient & effective way.

The trend will be that Revenue Managers should adapt their strategy and perhaps even redefine core business models. For example, what are you going to do with empty meeting & event spaces? Finding creative ways to optimize selling your square metres will be more important than ever.”

Pablo Torres
Pablo TorresHotel Consultant, TSA Solutions

“After many months (up to 18 in some cases) of low or no income due to the pandemic, hotels are in real need of driving up revenue, and that should be the reason why Total Revenue Management should become the main trend in 2022: Untap every revenue stream, and maximize it. Up until recently, technology was the main block to be able to optimize the revenue in any space other than the bedroom.

However, there are many new tech solutions available now – at affordable prices since they tend to be SaaS – that facilitate this task. From upselling quirky pre-arrival packages (e.g., Oaky) that improve the guests’ experience, to controlling each KPI at the SPA (e.g., Spalopia). From having an in-depth control of the F&B bookings and floor management (e.g., Cover Manager) to managing your meeting space efficiently (e.g., Get Into More).

There are no more excuses for most hotels to keep leaving money on the table: resources are plenty and available, it’s about the mindset now.”