Creating Commercially Savvy Hotel Teams & Graduates

Every year, hotels and hotel schools around the world aim to equip their teams and students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the hospitality industry.

As the industry continues to evolve, one trait that is becoming increasingly important is commercial savviness. In order to meet the demands of the modern hotel industry, hotel teams and graduates must understand not only the fundamental principles of hospitality, but also the intricacies of distribution, sales, marketing, and revenue management.

Gone are the days when revenue management (RM) was the be-all and end-all of hotel profitability

In today’s digital age, where over 70% of hotel bookings are made online, it is crucial for hotel teams and graduates to understand the interdependencies between sales, marketing, distribution, and revenue management. A comprehensive understanding of these areas will enable them to make informed decisions and drive the commercial success of their current and future employers. Take a look at these numbers below and you will see why learning about online distribution is critical.

Traditionally, revenue management has been seen as the key driver of hotel profitability. While it is still a crucial component, it is no longer sufficient on its own. Commercial savviness entails a holistic approach to maximising top line revenue while minimising costs. Hoteliers and hotel schools need to understand that revenue management is just one piece of the puzzle, and that success lies in the seamless integration of various departments.

Hotels and hotel schools must strive to provide their students with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in this new era. Simply teaching revenue management techniques is no longer enough. The learners and team members need to be exposed to real-life scenarios and trained to understand the commercial implications of their decisions. By nurturing their analytical and critical thinking skills, hotels and hotel schools can ensure that their teams and graduates are well-prepared to tackle the challenges of the modern hospitality industry.

One area that deserves special attention is distribution.

With the majority of hotel bookings happening online, graduates must grasp the significance of effective distribution strategies. From brand websites and metasearch to online travel agencies (OTAs) and wholesalers, to online group booking capabilities and global distribution systems (GDSs), they need to understand the intricacies of each channel and how to effectively manage them. This knowledge will enable them to optimize occupancy levels and drive revenue.

Furthermore, it is essential for graduates to understand that distribution goes beyond simply filling hotel rooms. It is about positioning the property in the right market segments and ensuring that it reaches the right audience. This requires a deep understanding of sales and marketing principles, as well as the ability to identify and cater to the unique needs and preferences of different guest segments.

Hotel schools and universities should consider incorporating practical approaches to distribution and marketing into their curriculum. By exposing students to real-world scenarios, such as creating marketing campaigns and managing channel distribution strategies, they can develop the skills needed to navigate the complex landscape of modern hotel operations.

Another crucial aspect of commercial savviness is the ability to understand the interdependencies between sales, marketing, distribution, and revenue management.

These departments do not operate in isolation, but rather, they rely on each other for success. Graduates who can comprehend these interdependencies will be in a stronger position to make informed decisions that drive revenue growth and profitability.

Hotel schools and universities can foster this understanding by encouraging collaboration and cross-functional learning. By bringing together students from various disciplines, such as sales, marketing, revenue management, and distribution, they can facilitate the exchange of ideas and provide a platform for students to understand how their decisions impact other areas of the business.

Hotel schools and universities must adapt their curriculum to the demands of the modern hospitality industry to produce commercially savvy graduates.

This means going beyond teaching revenue management techniques and incorporating a more holistic approach that includes the understanding of distribution, marketing, sales, and their interdependencies.

By equipping students with these essential skills, hotel schools can ensure that their graduates are ready to make an impact in the highly competitive world of hospitality.