At HSMAI’s Hotel Management Company (HMC) Sales & Marketing Executive Roundtable at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Convention Center Las Vegas on May 16, we asked attendees to tell us what major trends in hospitality sales and marketing are surprising them. Here are a dozen that they identified:
- Distribution: The continued increase in distribution costs despite efforts to impact it.
- Brand proliferation: The launch of so many new brands that are not yet developed — the launch happens without providing the tools and resources needed to operate and support the hotels.
- Fees: Add-on fees from the brands that get charged to operators (above and beyond distribution fees) — business travel fees, third-party intermediary fees, ecommerce support fees.
- Digital: The digital landscape continues to change — you have to worry about GDPR and what your hotels are doing, and what the impact on your company can be. And just when you think you understand something, it changes.
- Forecast: Where we’d predicted very strong months, predictions are falling apart.
- M&A: Merging of management companies, and purchase of management companies by brands.
- Group business: Citywide attendance is down in many markets — convention centers did not contract as many events, and now transient rates are dropping in response. Group leads to fill the business are not coming in, and more supply is coming online at the same time.
- Occupancy: Deterioration in occupancy and rate in first-tier cities.
- Organizational structure: How organizational structures are changing — and how to best manage teams across disciplines in order to increase performance.
- Google Trips: Google’s announcement this week that it is integrating all of its travel-planning products into a site called Trip, at google.com/travel.
- Home sharing: The growth of alternative accommodations — and the TBD impact of Marriott’s new move into the space.
- New players: All the new entrants trying to get a share of the pie — how can we keep our share without increasing the costs of distribution? What is Amazon going to do, and when is it going to do it?
HSMAI brings together Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Digital Marketing Officers, Chief Sales Officers, Chief Revenue Officers, and Hotel Management Company Sales & Marketing Executives throughout the year. The HMC Sales & Marketing Executive Roundtable was sponsored by Knowland, OTA Insight, and TravelClick. Companies represented at the program were Commonwealth Hotels, CoralTree Hospitality, Crescent Hotels & Resorts, The Dow Hotel Company, The Kessler Collection, Hostmark Hospitality Group, Marcus Hotels & Resorts, NCG Hotels, OTO Development LLC, Pineapple Hospitality Company, Prism Hotels & Resorts, Regency Hotel Management, Sage Hospitality Resources, and Windsor Capital Group Inc.