7 Key Takeaways from the 5th Annual RSS

By: Ken Barna, Director of Marketing

For those of you who were unable to attend RSS 2017, or perhaps you joined us at the Renaissance Marriott on July 26th but just need a quick refresher, our CEO and co-host of the event, Cindy Estis Green has provided her 7 key takeaways from the 5th annual Revenue Strategy Summit. These themes were covered in-depth and reviewed from multiple angles by members of the various expert panels. Below is an executive summary of the highlights to take back to your organizations.

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1. The Tech Titans (Google, Amazon, Uber, AirBnb) are coming – ready or not.  In fact, they are already here and making their presence felt throughout the hotel industry. Their entry may prove to be both an opportunity as well as a threat. Industry decision makers need to stay informed to take advantage of the disruption.

2. Chinese travelers are coming en masse. And the retailers are coming too. Alibaba dwarves Amazon – all eyes are on their entry to North America and beyond.

3. Two new major areas to drive profitability for hotels need to be in focus:

  • Managing acquisition cost across the business mix
  • Generating ancillary revenue outside of solely room revenue
    • This may include revenue share with outside vendors like UberEats for select service hotels

4. The application of data will continue to grow in importance to influence profit contribution – in three main ways:

  • Personalization – recommendation engine type usage
  • Revenue performance evaluation – refining how efficiently hotels acquire their revenue
  • Digital Marketing – both through Brand.com, apps and mix of third party sites and apps.

5. Emerging technology will evolve and adopt quickly

  • Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality will impact guest experience on property as well as marketing to enhance the user in the shopping process.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) in algorithms to refine the match between products offered and customers, as well as predicting hotel performance.

6. Value of guest experience will be a key point of differentiation going forward. Guest preferences will more prominently weave their way into Loyalty programs executed through digital tools and aid in the seamless nature of good hospitality, enhancing the guest experience. This applies across the spectrum of individual guests, meeting planners and travel agents.

7. Hotels will be evolving organizational structures to bring about a more holistic view of revenue strategy – integrating direct sales, revenue management, digital marketing, customer engagement, and promotional activity. In order to approach revenue generation in a more optimal way, the silos will gradually be replaced by interdisciplinary teams.