At Lybra, we’ve got lots of exciting developments happening regularly. Check back often to learn about our company’s news.
In planning for 2021, many hoteliers (like you!) are trying to identify ways to get back to pre-COVID revenues, because of the light at the end of the tunnel; however, that isn’t the best strategy today, due to the ongoing depressed demand that all global markets are still experiencing. Instead, hoteliers should be focusing on preserving business, by capturing as much of the existing demand as possible using out-of-the-box revenue management strategies to price your rooms more competitively.
So, how can you capture as many bookings as possible, even if there is very limited demand in your destination?
Register for Lybra’s upcoming DemoDay – a free webinar taking place on January 27 at 4pm CET/10am EST – which will give you the answer to that question, PLUS actionable insights so you can optimize your revenue management strategy for 2021.
During the DemoDay event, Erik Muñoz & Fulvio Giannetti will be discussing the future of revenue management, and demonstrating how Lybra’s Assistant – a demand-centric, next-generation RMS – can help your property recover more quickly, today, tomorrow & post-COVID.
💡 WHEN: January 27, 2021 at 4pm CET/10am EST
💡 WHERE: Streaming live on the LinkedIn event page & YouTube
Capture as much of the demand coming to your destination as possible, by embracing #TomorrowsLogic to optimize your revenue management strategy, and increase your property’s bookings and revenue, no matter how the ongoing pandemic affects demand.
Follow Lybra in this space or on LinkedIn for more information about how to improve your property’s revenue management and pricing using future data, to capture as much of the (limited) demand in your destination during the ongoing pandemic.
To find out more about Lybra’s DemoDay or the Assistant RMS, please contact Lorenzo Magnarelli, Chief Customer Success Officer, at Lorenzo.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published by HospitalityNet
In planning for 2021, many hoteliers are trying to identify ways to get back to pre-COVID revenues; however, that isn’t the best strategy today, due to the ongoing depressed demand that all global markets are still experiencing. Instead, hoteliers should be focusing on preserving business, by capturing as much of the existing demand as possible using out-of-the-box revenue management strategies to price their rooms more competitively.
So, how can you capture as many bookings as possible, even if there is very limited demand in your destination?
Here’s the good news: you can do it using technology that you already own – your revenue management system (RMS). As well as suggesting room rates, your RMS can actually be used in many creative ways to help your hotel survive the ongoing pandemic, no matter how demand changes over the coming months.
Here are 6 out-of-the-box ways to use your RMS to capture more demand in 2021:
1 – Monitoring hotels’ market for potential opportunities by forecasting future demand
In order to capture the bookings that are coming into your market, you first must know about the travelers who are interested in your destination; that’s where your RMS’ ability to forecast future demand becomes very valuable.
Once you know who is interested in coming to your destination, when they are interested in coming and from where, you have the ability to target your marketing and pricing to suit those exact travelers – making it much more likely that they will book with your property over your competitors.
So, how does your RMS help you predict future demand?
Machine-learning based RMS collect and analyze millions and millions of data sets (a.k.a. information) that are collected online from a variety of sources – including future flight search data, competitor pricing, a property’s online reputation, market data, local events, etc. Data is key to hoteliers’ success because it is the only way that hotels can obtain a better understanding of what is to come, both in the short- and long-term. Real-time market demand indicators offer information about the projected number of travelers who will be coming to a destination and ensure that hotels are earning as much revenue as possible from each new booking.
Future flight search data is of particular importance as a predictor for travel demand, because actively searching for flights, shows travel intent – giving you a strong indicator that the traveler will also be looking for a hotel in your destination during their trip.
Flight search data also helps revenue managers establish whether it is primarily domestic or international guests who are interested in traveling to your location. For example, a US hotel may see greater domestic demand at the moment because of the border restrictions, but a property in Italy may see more demand from other countries within the EU (international demand). Again, by determining which travelers are interested in traveling to your destination, your marketing team can update your campaigns according to the real-time demand, to capture as many of those bookings as possible.
There are other types of market data that are hugely important for RMS to factor into their pricing calculations – including local events, demand pressure, compset pricing, etc. – as it helps the RMS establish an accurate assessment of future demand – 365 days in advance.
In addition, market demand data is important as it enables you to evaluate where your property ranks’ in the marketplace. By comparing overall city demand vs. your individual hotel’s demand, your RMS can pinpoint specific, actionable opportunities for your property to adjust your marketing, pricing and inventory allocation to ensure that your property is the most attractive to potential guests that are already planning a trip to your destination.
2 – Demand generation
As I’m sure you know from personal experience, most hoteliers have limited data and no time to optimize their hotel ads, so they rely primarily on OTAs for most of their business at an incredibly high cost of acquisition (who, as we all know, spend billions on Google to move traffic away from property’s brand.com sites).
Although investing in Google and social media advertising can feel risky, online ads can help your property maximize demand generation opportunities. By integrating your RMS with a metasearch management solution that optimizes online ads, you’ll be stimulating demand, while driving more direct bookings.
Here’s how it works: your RMS’s market demand data can trigger a targeted hotel online ad campaign in the metasearch management solution, designed to stimulate demand. By following this practice, revenue management evolves to become proactive, rather than reactive, as you are creating the right campaign, generating the right price, at the right time, at the lowest cost.
3 – Understanding your potential hotel guest’s perception of value for your hotel property
We’ve all heard the phrase, “perception is not reality;” in the hotel industry, this is absolutely true – and your property’s perception (by potential guests) could be losing your hotel many bookings, without your knowledge.
Hoteliers often forget that, as the decision-makers, it’s important to view your property through the eyes of potential guests; understanding potential guests’ perceptions of your property’s value – both individually and compared to the other properties within your destination – is important because, in order to get more bookings, your hotel has to be perceived to have strong value and a good reputation.
Through data analysis, your RMS can evaluate all of the factors that impact your property’s perception in the eyes of potential guests, giving you a better understanding of whether or not your property is aligned with how guests actually perceive your hotel within the market.
If you find that your property is perceived to have a lower value than other properties within your destination, it is unlikely that you will be the one who captures the bookings that are available within your destination, so it’s important to take action to ensure that your actual value offering matches the perceived value that potential guests have of your property.
4 – Helping hotels to attract longer staying guests
A new trend has emerged because of the long quarantine periods that many countries are imposing on travelers; many travelers are choosing long-term stays of a month or more, rather than the traditional week or two-week vacations that were popular, pre-COVID. This is a HUGE opportunity for hoteliers because long-stay customers end-up costing the property less (vs. multiple short-term stays, which will cost your property more in commissions and transaction fees) and make it a safer stay (by reducing the guest turnaround).
To attract these highly valuable customers, you should price long-term stays more competitively, using length-of-stay (LOS) pricing in your RMS. This will make your property more attractive to potential extended-stay guests and emphasize the value of your property, encouraging more bookings and revenue.
5 – Integration between operational systems
There has always been talk, in the hospitality industry, about the importance of all of your operational technologies being integrated, but that statement is truer now than ever.
In order to open-up again, many hoteliers have had to lay off or furlough their support staff to cut costs, leaving them overloaded, struggling to keep the property running smoothly; the last thing that anyone – especially a hotel trying to operate with a smaller staff – needs is manual data entry to update pricing and booking information between the property’s various operational technologies.
After all, these solutions – RMS, PMS, CRS, etc. – were designed to make hoteliers’ lives easier by minimizing the manual tasks associated with property and revenue management so it’s hugely important that your RMS is integrated with your hotel’s PMS and all other operational solutions that you use at your property.
6 – Decrease your property’s tech spend
Innovative, machine learning-based RMS are not just there to help your property price your rooms; they can also decrease your ongoing tech spend. Consolidating all of a property’s owned internal and external data in your RMS makes it possible for the solution to offer revenue management functionality, plus rate shopper, online reputation management, CRI (Choice Relative Index), competition analysis and market/demand analysis functionality, at no extra cost.
Your property must make full use of the tool that you already have – your RMS – and optimize its functionality to create new demand, capture existing demand and drive direct bookings at a lower price. Your RMS can help you optimize your property’s financial performance, today, tomorrow and in the post-COVID world (fingers crossed that’s sometime in the very near future!), so get started today, by implementing these tips and watch as bookings come rolling in.
For more tips on how your property can optimize your rates to boost bookings and revenue, download the free whitepaper from Lybra & MyCloud Hospitality: “5 tips to optimize room rates and boost revenue collections for hoteliers.”
What is a paradigm shift in revenue management?
I am often asked to explain what a paradigm shift is, as it relates to hospitality demand forecasting in revenue management and, as a data scientist, I have difficulty explaining the meaning in a simpler way. Creating forecasts that are not (or minimally) based on historical data, but using forward-looking data, is a truly complex analysis exercise, especially in the tourism industry and in revenue management.
it’s important to know that, before Lybra’s Assistant RMS, no RMS provider has ever successfully included the data that we do in our algorithm, for many reasons, including the scarcity of future data and lack of scientific literature capable of providing adequate models.
The best way to explain this is to use a metaphor…
Instead of data, let’s use the spectrum of colors, from blue to yellow, as a metaphor to explain this concept. Imagine building the best algorithm in the world, which was designed to create new colors, by combining the two initial colors: blue and yellow. As powerful as the program is, the result (the new color) will always be one that is based upon the two colors; that means that the program’s suggested result could be any color on the spectrum from blue to yellow, including many gradients of green – but could never create any other colors that are outside of that spectrum.
This is how traditional RMS work; they are limited by their input data – primarily historical data, which has now been made obsolete due to the unprecedented market conditions we’re currently experiencing – not by the program’s capabilities itself.
Let’s look go back to our metaphor to better illustrate the limitations of the input data (or colors)… No matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t create the color brown with our initial input colors (blue and yellow); in order to create this new color, we would need to add a third input color into the algorithm: red.
Now, let’s bring that back to what we are doing at Lybra; today, we are creating RMS algorithms based on data from new and different sources, including flight searches, metasearches, OTA demand pressure and local events.
To bring it back to our metaphor, we are adding new colors to the input stage, which is used to create a forecast (hotel revenue management) that more accurately describes the true demand forecast for hotels – giving us the opportunity to create all of the colors in the world.
We started to develop Lybra’s Assistant RMS four years ago and we are glad to have the opportunity to work with a dedicated team within Zucchetti Group, one of the most important European companies in the IT sector. Creating forecasts based on future data sources is a paradigm shift in revenue management and, truly, the future of how hotels will price their rooms.
Some basic insights on revenue management with future demand data
Determining which variable is the most important for creating a revenue management forecast is more complicated than it first appears. For a start, is crucial to understand that “most important” is not the accurate word, in this case; it’s more correct to speak of the “relative importance,” which, in data science, means “attributing the right weight to the variables according to the context.”
So, back to the question at hand… which new variables are we analyzing in our advanced revenue management algorithm, and why are they the most “relatively important”?
Flight searches on destinations are an important factor, but the importance of this data tends to decrease the further you get away from the city that “hosts” the airport. (Learn more in our flight search module.)
It may seem redundant in some cases (when compared to flight searches) but, in reality, this data is important for hotels located in the province or far from the airport(s).
Events are another important variable; however, not all events have an impact on the destination and, therefore, on the occupancy of the hotel.
Understanding what the competition is doing crucial for hotels because, regardless of whether they follow revenue management or pricing strategies, as a whole, competitor’s rates determine the reference price. The reference price is one of the most important parameters that the customer evaluates before purchasing a product or service.
Reputation naturally plays an important role because it impacts the determination of the reference price for the customer and, on the other hand, it affects the pricing capacity of the hotel. Price and reputation are inextricably linked and play on different temporal levels. Reputation is an intangible asset, which can deteriorate even with a long-term discounting-based pricing policy, which undermines the brand’s value/reputation, in the minds of consumers.
The old paradigm in revenue management
All variables play an important role in determining the forecast, but unlike the analysis of historical data alone, the weight of each of these variables is relative, contextualized to the individual hotel.
In most cases, traditional forecasts take historical data and project it onto the future, through the analysis of pick-up trends. This methodology has been the mother of forecasting for 40 years; in other words, this methodology was the origins of revenue management as applied science. Much research has been done over the years on how to make forecasts using the time series stored in the PMS (property management system); however, this type of analysis is fundamentally inaccurate, because it does not consider many “relatively important” variables.
For example, if we only analyze last year’s pick-up trends, we only have a number but no information about why that pick-up came out last year. We know nothing about last year’s competitors’ prices or last year’s demand pressure. All of these are important variables that somehow conditioned last year’s pick-up but, as we mentioned earlier, it is information that traditional RMS, using historical, pick-up pricing models do not consider; for this reason, the accuracy of the forecast models is not optimal.
Based on these considerations, it is easy to understand the level of abstraction that traditional revenue management models – and the resulting RMS – have; it also shows us why, today, with new technologies and above all with the strong dynamism of the market, it is necessary for revenue management models to use forward-looking data, not historical.
The new paradigm in revenue management with future demand data
The revenue management optimization process – also known, as the use of complex algorithms with complex future data – has the primary purpose of finding the right measure of each individual variable, and the best combination of those variables, to increase the accuracy of the forecast and, therefore, of the room pricing.
However, given the complexity of the subject, it is unthinkable to manually change the weight of each variable for each hotel, and that is why machine learning algorithms are used. These new artificial intelligence models work independently to find the right balance in the measure of each of the market variables to optimize and scientifically support revenue management decisions.
This fundamental paradigm shift in revenue management is already happening because of Lybra’s Assistant RMS. What makes this new paradigm shift even more exciting is that we are working on a blank slate; as new research and/or practical studies are done by our development team and by universities, new information will be discovered, over time, that can be applied to further optimize revenue management pricing models.
For more technical details about the new paradigm shift in revenue management with demand data, you can contact us directly at email@example.com.
Follow Lybra in this space or on LinkedIn for more information about data science and for ways to improve your property’s revenue management and pricing with future data, to capture more of the (limited) demand in your destination during the ongoing pandemic, to boost bookings and revenue.
Welcome to LYBRAry, a weekly round-up of the most important hospitality news that we discovered each week.
International Travel Can Safely Restart, Without Waiting for Vaccines Says WTTC
WTTC recognises that public health is paramount and welcomes the recent roll-out of the game-changing vaccines, which in the long-term will play a major role in combating coronavirus and restoring international travel.
However, they must not be a requirement to travel as this will further delay the revival of the already ailing Travel & Tourism sector, which needs to restart now to save itself, millions of jobs in the sector and beyond, and the global economy.
Hoteliers, industry experts predict 2021 trends
As 2021 quickly approaches, hoteliers and industry experts are beginning to predict which of 2020’s trends will stick around as well as new opportunities that could emerge…
Among the predictions include an increased focus on customer service following a record dip in occupancy. Many brands are extending loyalty programs through 2021 and maintaining communication with brand-loyal customers.
World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Launches Global Safety Stamp
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) launched the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp. The specially designed stamp will allow travelers to recognize governments and businesses around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardized protocols – so consumers can experience ‘Safe Travels’.
Airbnb is worth more than the 3 largest hotel chains combined after its stock popped 143% on its first day of trading
Airbnb’s stock soared on Thursday in its highly anticipated public market debut, closing at $144.71 per share, more than double its initial offering of $68 per share.
That price also gives the short-term rental giant an approximately $86.5 billion valuation. Or, more than the combined market capitalization of the top three hotel chains globally: Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Marriott International, and Intercontinental Hotels Group, which were together worth $84.1 billion when the markets closed Thursday.
Airbnb also surpassed its largest rival among online travel agencies, or OTAs: Booking.com closed at $86.2 billion on Thursday.
Air Canada first Canadian airline to offer optional biometric boarding
Air Canada said it is the first Canadian airline to offer its customers the safety and convenience of a new boarding option utilizing facial biometrics. The technology is now available for customers departing San Francisco International Airport (SFO) with plans to progressively roll it out for customers at other US airports where the airline operates.
For more information about Lybra’s Assistant RMS, to discover tips on how to improve your revenue management or to learn more important hospitality news, visit us at lybra.tech or follow us on LinkedIn.
We are pleased to announce that Lybra’s Assistant RMS has recently completed a two-way integration with RoomRaccoon’s PMS, making it quicker and easier than ever for hotels using both solutions to increase their bookings and revenue, without all the extra tech headaches.
Lybra’s real-time, machine learning, demand-centric Assistant RMS is a sophisticated, flexible, module-based machine learning revenue management system, which will simplify and automate your property’s daily revenue management operations to boost occupancy, ADR and RevPAR – even in times of depressed demand, like the COVID-19 pandemic.
RoomRaccoon’s PMS helps hoteliers manage their business effectively by automating repetitive administration tasks, offering real-time insights into business performance and optimising their financial performance through a wide range of tools. As well as the PMS, RoomRaccoon offers a Channel Manager and Booking Engine solutions, making it possible for hotels to manage their entire-front office operations via the company’s all-in-one system, which was voted the best All-in-One Hotel Management Software in the HotelTechAwards, voted by hoteliers and industry experts worldwide.
To find out more about how the combination of Lybra’s Assistant RMS and RoomRaccoon’s PMS can be used to automate and optimise hotels’ pricing and front office operations, please contact Lorenzo Magnarelli, Chief Customer Success Officer, at Lorenzo.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lybra is proud to announce that four of the Grupo Pulitzer Hoteles – including multiple properties in Barcelona and Paris – have implemeted Lybra’s Assistant RMS.
When they began the search for a new RMS, Iván Navarro, Director of Revenue Management at Grupo Pulitzer Hoteles, was looking for a solution that would support all of the properties in a more efficient way and improve each property’s ability to analyze real-time market data, in order to establish more accurate rates and be more competitive – especially in such uncertain, ever-changing times.
It was also important that each hotel could manage their pricing independently, and that the RMS that they selected could calculate accurate pricing for multiple room types, seasonally and according to what was happening in each destination at the time.
Finally, Iván was looking for an RMS with a group displacement tool, since the company has prioritized this segment in the past year, and needed a solution that would support the pricing for these new efforts.
Lybra’s Assistant RMS was able to fulfill all of those needs and more…
Iván said: “I chose Lybra’s Assistant RMS because the interface was very similar to my previous reports, so it was easy to understand. I was also interested in the way its algorithm analyzes, not only historical data but also future demand, and its forecast occupancy.”
In the year that the Grupo Pulitzer properties have been using Lybra’s Assistant RMS, the revenue managers have found that the RMS has made their teams much more efficient, enabling the revenue managers to focus on strategy and interdepartmental planning rather than manual calculations and data entry. In the first month that they started using the Assistant RMS (and also, the last month before the COVID-19 pandemic and worldwide lockdown), one of the Grupo Pulitzer properties saw an increase of 2% RevPAR, due to the property’s highest occupancy ever!
Of course, COVID-19 made it more difficult for them to leverage the Assistant RMS to its full potential during the lockdown, but overall, the Assistant RMS has helped all of the properties become more competitive, giving them a significant advantage over their competitors during the ongoing depressed demand, caused by the pandemic.
To find out more about Lybra’s Assistant RMS, and how it can help your property optimize your pricing – resulting in an increase in occupancy and revenue – no matter how the pandemic affects demand, contact Nicolò Rolle, Lybra’s VP of Sales – Iberia & LATAM at email@example.com.
Lybra Assistant is the first RMS to integrate forward-looking data demand data into its forecast algorithm
Lybra’s Assistant Revenue Management System – the most sophisticated, machine learning, demand-centric RMS on the market – has now integrated millions of future flight search data sets, from one of the leading OTA metasearch flight booking sites, into its algorithm, which is used – along with other macro-level demand data – to calculate future demand within a destination.
Because flight search data is a strong indicator for travel intent and, therefore, for hotel booking intent, it is particularly useful for revenue managers in establishing accurate, competitive room rates; with the integration of global flight search data, Lybra’s Assistant is the only RMS that gives revenue managers a complete, real-time, accurate assessment of future demand within a destination, up to 365 days in advance.
Providing hotels with the most comprehensive market prediction
With the new integration, revenue managers have access to flight search data – including departure city and airport, destinations, travel dates, one- or two-way flights, etc. – and flight selections – including airline, airport, number of stops selected, flight times, etc. – directly through the Assistant RMS dashboard.
“We are going through a period of great uncertainty; for a year now, market conditions have become highly variable and all forecast models are suffering – especially the models that are based on historical data,” said Fulvio Giannetti, CEO of Lybra. “We are facing a paradigm shift in revenue management and we are happy to lead this change with our Assistant RMS.”
Giannetti continued: “Since Lybra was founded, we have always been attentive to market data and have created a technological infrastructure capable of retrieving real-time data, including tour operator demand, competitors’ prices, competitors’ reputation, events, ranking, etc. This has been a very effective strategy and has distinguished our company, and our Assistant RMS, from our competitors because of the incredible results that our clients have experienced, even during the current period of depressed demand.”
With the integration of flight search data, hotels can also establish the total percentage of demand for their destination, coming from each departure country – and all of the cities/airports within each country – to determine where the most traveler demand is coming from. Knowing which travelers are interested in traveling to the property’s destination – and when – also gives revenue managers the ability to manage their inventory more effectively, by adding more inventory to the booking channels that are most popular.
Lybra’s Assistant RMS – now including future flight search and selection data – will help hotels increase visibility to travelers who are already planning a trip to their destination, to earn more bookings at the right price and through the right channel – resulting in an increase in revenue and the ability to be competitive online.
Contact Erik Muñoz, Chief Commercial Officer at Lybra, today to schedule a demo to see the flight data integration in action: firstname.lastname@example.org. Discover how Lybra’s Assistant RMS will help your property thrive, even during the current period of very low demand!
Lybra is pleased to announce that the company’s Assistant RMS is now integrated with LEAN Hotel System PMS. Through the integration, hotels using both solutions are able to improve the productivity and efficiency of their revenue management & reservations teams, while increasing bookings and revenue, without any extra tech headaches.
LEAN Hotel System PMS was developed by Chapp Solutions, a leading developer of hotel technology solutions, also owned by Lybra’s key investor, The Zucchetti Group. LEAN Hotel System PMS is a cloud-based solution that was designed to optimize hotels’ main management processes, with the best, most straightforward user experience, and integrates with the suite of related hotel operational solutions offered by LEAN Hotel System (and Chapp Solutions).
The combination of Lybra’s Assistant RMS and Chapp Solutions’ LEAN Hotel System PMS is the all-in-one package that will help your property thrive, during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
To find out more about the integration between LEAN Hotel System PMS and Lybra’s Assistant RMS, please contact Lorenzo Magnarelli, Chief Customer Success Officer, at Lorenzo.email@example.com.
Join us on Oct. 7 at 15:00 CET for Lybra’s DemoDay! The key to hotels’ COVID-19 recovery is Big Data & DemoDay will demonstrate how your property can use data to embrace the future of revenue management.
Through the demo of Lybra’s Assistant, the most comprehensive RMS on the market, you’ll see:
1. How many searches are being made for your destination?
2. What are potential guests looking for?
3. At what price?
You’ll learn how this data will help your property survive – and, even thrive! – during the ongoing pandemic. 🎯
NOTE: This will be an Italian-language event. 🇮🇹
Interview with Revenue Hub: Our CEO, Fulvio Giannetti, introduces Lybra & explains what differentiates our Assistant RMS
Wondering what makes Lybra stand out from the crowd? Or how Lybra was founded and what principles were of primary importance to our founders? Unsure of the benefits of machine learning/AI in an RMS?
To find out more about Lybra or for a demo of the Assistant RMS, contact Lorenzo Magnarelli, Chief Customer Success Officer, at Lorenzo.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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