May was the first edition of our new and refreshed Gathering Minds. Once a month we review various media with interesting content that sparks conversation. Why do we do this? One of Meetingmax’s core values is Thirst for Learning and is the key reason why we get together to explore, share, and learn more about the world around us!
The May edition focused on an industry article brought to our attention by Michele Hughes from Apex Events; IHG Sees Room for Improvement in Hotel Revenue Management.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has partnered with tech giant, Amadeus, to roll out a new platform which allows for a new pricing and booking process called attribute-based booking. Much like one would select amenities at a hotel, attribute-based booking allows the guest to input a number of attributes that they are looking for in their hotel room such as bed-type, view, room size, floor location, and more. The booking system will then provide a custom price based on the attributes requested.
For some of our audience, it was reminiscent of the days working as hoteliers, when they had the power to assign certain ‘better’ attributes to customers. For example, the king room on floor 15 has a better view and a larger footprint but is still sold at the same rack rate as the other king rooms. This internal ‘premium’ room would be reserved for select guests. With attribute-based booking, this room has the potential to be sold at a different (higher) rate due to it’s premium attributes.
Our audience was happy to see IHG exploring disruptive changes, as opposed to other major chains such as Marriott and Hilton. We’re curious to know the full list of attributes they anticipate offering, and if that information will provide a better grasp on how the whole thing will work. How far will it go? Will we eventually be able to customize the room down to the colour on the walls? What will a base model room look like? It feels similar to the ultra low-cost airline model where you pay for a seat (basic room in this case) and everything else is an added cost.
The conversation soon touched on how it might affect even room block management processes, specifically the Meetingmax system. Will guests select attributes before seeing available hotels? Will this push attendees away from brand loyalty and into the best attribute equipped hotel? It could provide an opportunity to charge for premium attributes, with event planners receiving commissions for upselling them.
There’s a lot of unknowns at this point but it’s certainly going to shake up the room booking space! Our audience discussed how massive an undertaking this is going to be, and that it will likely take some time before we see the project implemented and adopted as mainstream.
In any case, this is something we can all keep our eye on as it evolves.