Rapid new hotel development and increased renovations of older properties have transformed local and regional markets across the United States, forcing many hoteliers to consider new strategies to stay competitive.

According to Lodging Econometrics, by the end of 2018, the number of hotels and rooms in the United States is forecast to grow by 2.5%. That includes:

• 1,145 new projects

• 130,209 new rooms to the market

In 2019, it is expected to grow another 2.5% with:

• 1,209 new projects

• 137,546 new rooms to the market

Across the United States and in Canada, where construction of new hotels is up 17%, hotel owners and operators must find new ways to compete on rates and operate their hotels more efficiently. Here are some ways to do it:

Boosting Best Available Rate (BAR):

Many hoteliers are still setting rates manually. In today’s high-tech age, even hyper diligence may not be enough to maximize opportunities afforded by an automated rate setting. A cloud-based PMS, such as the SkyTouch Hotel OS®, can automatically adjust BAR levels based on occupancy rates across all distribution channels for any given day or even number of rooms sold. Automated BAR levels help revenue managers make sure that all rates leverage market conditions without manual staff intervention.

Seasonal Sensibility:

Many hotels experience seasonality in their businesses. If a hotel is located in the sun belt, or close to a local convention center, it may experience different drivers of market demand throughout the year. Hotels in seasonal markets can benefit from a Property Management System (PMS) such as SkyTouch Hotel OS® which features up to nine Best Available Rate (BAR) levels, as well as four demand types and unlimited “seasons.” This enables adjustments during peak and shallow demand periods. In fact, the system is flexible enough to attach a rate for every demand type a hotel experiences throughout the year.

Operational Opportunities:

A cloud-based PMS gives a hotel operator the opportunity to leverage mobile technologies to uncover operational efficiencies that were unavailable with a traditional premise-based system. For example, in the housekeeping department, mobile technology eliminates wasted time. Managers can assign rooms to be cleaned quickly, since they are automatically alerted to which rooms are expecting checkouts and which ones have already departed. Everything is automatically updated, which saves time; staff members are spending less time on reporting and administration. Housekeepers can spend more time working on getting rooms back into service rather than searching up and down the hall, knocking on doors, and hoping someone has checked out.

Staff Training

Complex, older premise-based systems take more time to learn and master. In a high turnover environment such as a hotel, the more time an employee spends training, the less time he or she spends on revenue-producing duties. The SkyTouch Hotel OS® is specifically designed to be intuitive to operate and can help streamline the training process. SkyTouch’s less complicated interface typically lowers training time to as little two shifts for new employee orientation. After just a single shift, some current of our customers have reported that their new front desk agents are self-sufficient faster than with their previous systems.

The hotel industry is becoming more complex and challenging, especially as new and renovated hotels upend market pricing stability. An investment in a cloud-based PMS can help open savings and revenue generating opportunities that hotels using older technology may not be currently benefiting from.