How hoteliers can be better prepared for the New Year
Last year proved to be a strong one for tourism across Canada, with RevPAR, demand and ADR all trending positively, according to the November 2018 HVS Hotel Valuation Index. The report also shows Canada is primed for a strong year in tourism with supply continuing to increase. Here are four major trends we expect to continue in 2019.
Mobile demand is on the rise in Canada
Integrating mobile in your long-term strategy to drive demand is an essential step in capturing travellers, as more customers browse and shop for travel across different platforms. Cities that saw an increase in mobile demand across Canada include Vancouver and the Okanagan Valley, both up nearly 20 per cent, while Montreal was up more than 20 per cent and Edmonton grew 25 per cent, according to Phocuswright’s Canadian Online Travel Overview Fourth Edition, released in December 2017.
Looking ahead, a younger Canadian demographic will continue to drive a shift to online and mobile booking. OHVS shows online-travel-booking growth will outpace the overall market through 2021, when online-travel penetration will reach 47 per cent.
Outdoor destinations are attracting more package bookings
Canada’s outdoor destinations are best positioned to attract package demand. Phocuswright’s report shows areas where package demand has seen an increase in 2018 include Banff (up more than 40 per cent), Jasper (up more than 30 per cent) and Whistler up more than 25 per cent. According to Faraz Kidwai, Revenue manager for Fairmont Hotels and Resorts Western Mountain Region in Canada, “we attracted more package bookings at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge by adding more room categories, including signature cabins on Expedia.ca in 2018, as well as refreshed images and content on our website.”
Below are a few best practices to better maximize your package offerings:
- Know your top origins markets, both domestically and abroad
- Leverage origin-specific deals. If you know, for instance, that a high percentage of one origin market’s visitors come through the package path, offer a higher discount to draw even more guests from that market
- Be aware of top booking periods from your top origins, which can vary by country and region
Revenue Management Systems Offer a Significant Advantage — yet only 15 per cent of Hoteliers use them, says Expedia Inc.’s Partner Survey 2016.
Hoteliers spend between one to three hours per day on price-setting activities, yet most are missing valuable access to intelligence on competitors, market demand and daily changes.
Recognizing this need, Expedia Group developed Rev+, a free revenue-management solution available to hotel partners via Partner Central. Rev+ users can access, aggregate and analyze the most robust global hotel market data set available in travel. Expedia Group data shows in the last 12 months, that hotel partners engaged with Rev+ saw more than a 20 per cent incremental uplift in revenue compared to their competitive set (Expedia Group, November 2018, based on media hotel revenue uplift, compared with partner’s competitive set).
“This tool is extremely reliable and will give us the big picture in real time,” says Pascal Pineault, sales consultant, Hôtel Universel Québec & Hôtel Ambassadeur Québec. “Since I have integrated Rev+ in my daily routine, it has helped me save precious time and helped us always stay one step ahead of our competition.”
It is imperative to have access to real-time data when it comes to managing revenue.
The Rise of Gen Z Travel
Move over millennials. Gen-Z travel is on the rise, representing $143 billion in buying power and taking over as the largest generation by 2020. Gen-Z travellers are open-minded travellers, with 77 per cent open to destination inspiration; and the best way to inspire these travellers is through social media5. Gen-Z travellers are attracted to appealing deals (56 per cent), imagery (53 per cent) and informative content (45 per cent)5. Deals have the power to influence their decision making, but, according to Expedia Group Media Solutions, A Look Ahead: How Younger Generations Are Shaping the Future of Travel, 2018, it’s important to note that Gen-Z travellers will spend 22 per cent of their entire travel budget on lodging accommodations5.