Stefan Wolf, director - revenue management, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts says such new guidelines as well as other RM initiatives only work if they get the appropriate amount of support from the various members of the property revenue management team as well as the from the corporate support teams.
In an interview with EyeforTravel.com’s Ritesh Gupta, Wolf spoke about Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts other RM initiatives. Excerpts:
How do you handle issue of rate parity or disparity across various channels?
We initiated conversations with a couple of big offline wholesalers, who resold the net rates to various TPI’s and continue to follow up on all Best Rate Guarantee claims. Working with the right partners will minimise issues of rate disparity.
How is customer behaviour affected by changes in price and pricing strategy?
The reaction to price strategy changes can vary so much depending on the price sensitivity, demand situation and market segment that the only way to answer that question is to track consumer behaviour changes in relation to demand and include the result of this analysis in the next pricing discussion.
How do you think the way forecasting is done has evolved?
Forecasting - being the base revenue maximising strategies should be build on - is getting more and more scientific. Even if you don’t use an automated RMS with complicated algorithms, excel spreadsheets now look at segment or subsegment level, while a couple of years ago the focus was on day by day occupancy forecast. Booking pace is another factor, which has to be considered and also can be analysed without a RMS by looking at the market segment pick-up report.
What route/practices do you adopt when it comes to building RM team?
Identifying the right candidate for the right location as the expectation of the revenue managers skills can vary quite a bit from property to property and making sure that the whole revenue strategy team gets involved at an opening hotel or if a new initiative is being rolled out.
How do you overcome language barriers and complexity of different markets in Asia when it comes to training?
The involvement of employees with different first languages is higher if they are trained together with peers at a similar experience level.
What’s on your agenda?
Training will again play an important role in 2007 as we have seen a good ROI and it also is a very good motivator for the team.
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