European hoteliers in the Choice Hotels group are entering 2016 more confident than the previous four years.
More than two thirds (78%) believe the hotel sector will see a sustained upturn, compared to 55% who expressed similar sentiment in 2014, a new study reveals.
Hoteliers’ confidence in room rate performance is also growing with 78% expecting room rates to continue to perform well in 2016, compared to 68% the previous year, and up from 33% in 2012.
Value and features of their hotel rooms continues to be considered the most important element in securing repeat business, followed by staff service and price or value.
Refurbishment is the main expansion plan for hoteliers (69%), and an additional 28% report that securing another property for their portfolio is once again the second most likely expansion objective.
Stepping up sales and marketing activities to attract new customers remains the number one business priority for the fourth year running.
When asked to predict the main industry trend for 2016 more than half (58%) pointed towards increased use of channel managers to help maximise hotel and revenue management followed by further growth in the franchising model (22%).
Further acknowledging how critical effective revenue management is to running a successful hotel operation, 62% believed they could realise between 2.5% and 10% in increased revenue if managed effectively, while a fifth (21%) believed they could realise more than a 10% increase.
A bank loan is still the first option for hoteliers looking for capital to expand their hotel operations (66%), with 8% now prepared to consider crowd-funding.
Looking at ways to attract business travellers, 28% plan to offer the highest Wi Fi bandwidth at their properties, 24% are looking to grow the number of client specific rates offered through major distribution channels and nearly half (43%) are going to sign up more business travellers to Choice Privileges, Choice’s global loyalty scheme.
The 2015 ‘European Hotelier Pulse-Check’ survey was conducted amongst 73 Choice Hotels franchisees, operators and general managers from the UK, France, Germany, Czech Republic and Italy.
Mark Pearce, senior vice president, international division, for Choice Hotels said that hoteliers were looking towards 2016 with confidence.
“They recognise that staying ahead of the competition with innovative sales and marketing strategies is key to their success as is the importance of effective revenue management,” he said.
“We help our hoteliers by providing expertise and best practice as well as putting the most sophisticated revenue-management tools into the hands of our franchisees.”
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