We spoke with Raimund Notz, Director, Hotel Revenue Optimization Central & Eastern Europe at Preferred Hotels & Resorts, one of our speakers at Best Stay 2019.

1. Your presentation at this year’s Best Stay is focused on strategic revenue management. Could you give us a short insight into your presentation? I am delighted to provide you with a sneak preview of my presentation. Revenue management is mainly driven by technology improvements. At the same time, hospitality is really sluggish in regards to technology improvement. Strategy is such a big word and it’s important to understand and to underline the impact of different functions and processes on property. To put together a marketing plan or budget for the coming year isn’t a strategy, but it’s considered an important part of a strategy. A Strategy starts with a long-term vision of the owner or GM. This has to be broken down to milestones, means the budget years. By saying this, it means taking decisions on partners, technology etc. everything which could be defined and facilitate to achieve budgets and support to turn the long-term vision into reality. In regards to strategic revenue management, it requires to plan well ahead and understand the impact of B2B pricing, channel diversity, economics but also and more important rate parity. Rate parity self-impacts the productivity of channels, not only in B2C on Metasearch site but more important the agent sourcing for the GDS and corporate self-booking tools. Strategic revenue management in the 21st-century distribution is very diverse but highly important.

2. Now, more than ever, revenue management is the cornerstone of running a successful, profitable hotel. In your opinion, what are the most effective hotel revenue management strategies? A very good question. I assume nobody is able to answer this one in a generic way. There are many internal and external factors that impact the revenue strategy for each property. So there is no magic formula to be successful by just implementing revenue management. I often hear from hoteliers: “I can’t discount the room rate for a meeting request” –  but reducing a room rate by i.e. € 10 you can secure a 500K EUR meeting business. If you don’t do it, it could become a deal-breaker and the property is losing this juicy piece of business to the competition. It clearly underlines the strategy part in here and how important it is to plan this in advance and to empower the staff to make decisions and secure the business. However as a revenue manager, it is crucial to be open to all new ideas/technologies, think outside the box and foster a solid and continuous communication with both external and internal stakeholders. Revenue management is clearly considered a common approach jointly with sales (this includes M&E sales) and marketing. When looking at total revenue management also the finance department should be included to ensure a costs optimization down to the bottom line.

3. Preferred Hotels & Resorts has developed “I Prefer” membership for its members. What are the benefits of this kind of membership? Loyalty is a key topic for our luxury hoteliers. I Prefer Hotel Rewards is the largest points-based loyalty program for independent hotels. It helps to drive direct bookings into our member hotels, improve communication with customers and ensure the customer is using the member hotels for his travel. More than 3+ M global members generate a high average stay value, improve direct bookings and help to optimize the distribution costs over the booking engine or mobile devices vs. OTA´s. I Prefer members earn points for each stay to go towards reward certificates. The loyalty members are eligible to take immediate advantage of attractive exclusive member rates, free wifi and room upgrade as well as priority check-in and late check out.

4. What do you expect to gain from participating at Best Stay this year? I am looking forward to a very interesting and exciting event. Full of exchange, networking, opportunities, education and fun with many of the industry colleagues and participants.

Get a chance to hear Raimund speak at Best Stay 2019, grab your ticket today – register here.