Pursuing an ‘all in’ strategy would require hotel operators to do a number of things differently: 1. Rework their rate architecture to suit consumers seeking certain prices and deals, as well as those seeking certainty, choice and service. This is not as straightforward as it sounds and, surprisingly, little new thinking has been done since hotels worked out they could charge some customers more for flexibility and breakfast. There are many possible solutions, from discounted rates with less certainty over room type, to fully unbundled rates with limited service options. 2. More actively ‘trading’ position on intermediaries, allowing operators to know where they are positioned on price at critical booking times, and not giving away too much or too little. They need to manage their presence across multiple intermediaries, and having simple trading parameters that allow for relatively rapid price adjustments. 3. Developing a revenue management approach which ‘works’ through intermediaries. We recently monitored about 1000 resort hotels in Europe for a study on revenue management. Plenty of progress has been made in assessing demand forecasts, pricing up key peak periods, and pricing down tricky periods. However, insufficient attention has been placed on how these prices actually look when presented to consumers or on the longer term impact on behaviours. For example, a few operators were sticking stubbornly to a high early season price followed by a significant drop six months later, which is likely to upset many of their loyal early bookers. It is better to use a combination of different rate types, smaller pricing moves and bolder promotions to engineer larger discounts on restricted rates that do not offend the full rate consumer. 4. Set prices to take advantage of peaks and troughs in booking demand. In a recent OC&C study, we found that often only 20% of hotel/room type combinations were available 9-12 months in advance compared to later in the booking cycle. There is therefore a good opportunity to take greater share and capture early bookings with the right price and promotional offer. 5. Concentrate and divert investment towards delivering a high quality experience that reviews well. This means reallocating spend from brand marketing (where, unless an operator is of sufficient scale, they are likely to be outspent), and investing instead in technology, training and people who can deliver a high quality and consistent service experience. Get the full story at Hotel Business