Local hotel groups are becoming much savvier in adopting RM practice in a day to day hotel operation
“Local hotel groups are becoming much savvier in adopting RM practice in a day to day hotel operation. They have started recruiting experienced Revenue Managers and deploying the right RM tools, RM trainings etc...” said Mr. Javier Albar, the General Manager of the Beijing Marriott Hotel City Wall.
Traveldaily.cn conducted an interview with Mr. Albar recently.
TravelDaily:" What significant changes are you noticing between the customers you served 5 years ago and the customer are serving today? What are the products that hotel customers will want tomorrow say three to five years from today? "
Mr. Albar："Significant Changes. Guests’ expectation have changed, guests are now much more knowledgeable and sophisticated, they know what to expect. Guests’ attention to the details is getting more and more important. All hotels have good products and good food but attention to small details differentiates good from great hotels. The world is getting smaller and guests and companies need a good hotel brand with excellent worldwide distribution. Globalization will play even a bigger role in the future.
I would think that they would like to feel as comfortable as in the own place but living a new pleasant experience. Advances in technology will make this available at a bigger scale from expensive world wide access of entertainment to advance instant video and voice communication."
TravelDaily:"As an extraordinary service provider, how does Marriott connect with each customer’s individuality and deliver service that is customized to every person’s preference? "
Mr. Albar:"It is all about making guests feel as special individuals, associates must know what the guests’ likes and don’ts are. Guests want to be treated by all associates with affection and genuine care. Guests are sick and tire of been treated uniformly, we are all individuals and as such guests want to be treated. "
TravelDaily:"What processes do you have in place to track customer preferences especially during the period of economic downturn? "
Mr. Albar:"Encourage all staff’s participation and support, all service process control and close attention to all details. Get the staff to grasp little knowledge of daily life for guests’ convenience, close attention to guests’ statement and behaviors. Arrange duty sales manager at lobby to welcome and communicate with guests. Effective immediate follow-up of guests’ requests and needs."
TravelDaily:"Did you see any signs of recovery from the recession? What do you think? "
Mr. Albar:"China’s economy development is spearheading the world economic recovery. Chinese local travel market and Chinese companies are growing and spending. China GDP has increased from USD 200 to USD 3000 in the past 30 years. China’s tourism in and out bound industry will be number in 10 to 15 years. Recovery Signal - in June 2009, the number of foreign tourist in Beijing increased 8.8% compared with June 2008 (Reported by Beijing Tourism Bureau, July 12, 2009); National enterprises recovered 10.3% in the second quarter compared with the first quarter (Reported by National Statistic Bureau, July 9, 2009); National Finance revenue increased 19.6% in June compared with June 2008 (Reported by National Ministry of Finance, July 13, 2009)."
TravelDaily:" The tactics of hotel revenue management (RM): what are the misunderstandings behind RM? How the Chinese hotel groups and independent hotels use the revenue management tools to maximize their revenue potential? "
Mr. Albar:"Revenue Management strategy establishes "target" numbers to be achieved through a variety of ways; it is a pro-active rather than reactive function that simply turns the faucets on and off. Counter parts need to understand the depth of Revenue Management lots of efforts are made in forecasting accurately through e.g analysis, real data, historical data, seasonality etc… these together with sophisticated software, makes very reliable pricing and data forecasts.
The numbers generated from RM are not a baseless forecast but accurate prognostics made after careful analysis. Misunderstanding generally comes from lack of professional training.
Local hotel groups are becoming much savvier in adopting RM practice in a day to day hotel operation. They have started recruiting experienced Revenue Managers and deploying the right RM tools, RM trainings etc... This is further adapted in a daily routine projections done by the RM team. Hotel operations departments plan much better with proper resources and profit target numbers. In addition regular Revenue Strategy Meetings should look under the market in macro and in micro details to understand better the market and maximize profits. "
TravelDaily:" What are the 3 main challenges you are facing here at the Marriott City Wall? What are your strategies? "
Mr. Albar:"Challenges are - Financial Crisis; Largest Marriott Hotel outside the USA with 1312 rooms; Over supplied hotel market in Beijing.
My Strategies are: Enhance the hotel operation and management efficiency; Strengthen our hotel’s international and national distribution to ensure that our hotel is well known all over the world with easy access to rooms reservations. Cost control and energy savings. Pay attention to the development of environmental protection to assist our ailing environment.
As the General Manager of the largest Marriott Hotel outside the United States, Mr. Albar will lead the hotel and all staff to a more glorious year of 2010.
About MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, Inc.
MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) is a leading lodging company with more than 3,000 lodging properties in the United States and 66 other countries and territories. Marriott International operates and franchises hotels under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites and Bulgari brand names; develops and operates vacation ownership resorts under the Marriott Vacation Club, Horizons by Marriott Vacation Club, The Ritz-Carlton Club and Grand Residences by Marriott brands; operates Marriott Executive Apartments; provides furnished corporate housing through its Marriott ExecuStay division; and operates conference centers. The company is headquartered in Bethesda, Md., and had approximately 151,000 employees at 2007 year-end. It is ranked as the lodging industry’s most admired company and one of the best companies to work for by FORTUNE®, and has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the 2007 Sustained Excellence Award and Partner of the Year since 2004. In fiscal year 2007, Marriott International reported sales from continuing operations of $13 billion. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at www.marriott.com.