The Strathmore University School of Tourism and Hospitality (STH) hosted over 140 senior managers drawn from hospitality establishments for a roundtable breakfast meeting. This was a platform to share knowledge on hospitality revenue management, a new and exciting discipline in the hospitality industry.
The meeting sought to analyze challenges and solutions hoteliers face with optimal pricing and profitability in a highly competitive market. Revenue management is key to any business with relatively fixed capacity, perishable inventory, and time-variable demand like the business of hotels. With increased competition, high distribution costs and a shortage of competent revenue managers, today’s hotelier more than ever before needs revenue management skills. Revenue management originated from airlines but other tourism products are slowly embracing these concepts.
The breakfast session was facilitated by speakers who have a wealth of experience in the topic of revenue management. One of the speakers, Lynn Zibwak, Director of Revenue Management, Tribe Hotels Group, said “Nobody wins in a price war. Pricing should be based on costs and not on undercutting competitors. Hoteliers should not be in a race to the bottom”.
The speakers emphasized the need to make use of data both from internal and external sources to make optimum decisions that positively affect the bottom line. Cosmas Kimanzi a revenue management lecturer at the university, while speaking on leveraging hotel data in revenue management, highlighted the need to have centralized data either by private entities or public bodies like the Tourism Research Institute.
A session on distribution channels management for revenue optimization was facilitated by Felix Musa, the account manager at Booking.com and a revenue management analyst. He emphasized that a hotel should not get into a distribution channel without clear reasons as to why that specific distribution channel is viable for the enterprise.
The roundtable also provided a platform for STH to evaluate the training gaps in hospitality revenue management. The school has developed a 3-day intensive programme in Hospitality Revenue Management Proficiency that runs from 29 – 31 January, 2019. The programme is suitable for hospitality professionals responsible for improving the financial performance of their establishments and for leaders who want to take on more responsibility for improving profitability in their property.
This article was written by Peter Kibe.
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