Hotels must join the data revolution

Klaus Kohlmayr, Chief Evangelist at IDeaS Revenue Solutions, gave a presentation at the 2019 ITB Berlin Convention entitled: The Role Of Humans In The Future Of Revenue – A Story Of Magic, Intelligence And Dogs yesterday. We caught up with him one-to-one to get his take on the hotel industry.

Increasingly, hotel guests want and look for personalised and bespoke experiences. While the key to delivering this, the utilisation of large amounts of data, lies within hoteliers’ reach – the task is often beyond the reach of their systems and employees.

What is the effect of outdated infrastructures in properties?
A 360-degree view using old systems isn’t possible. A large number of hotels still use outdated data infrastructure, with reservation systems of many global chains based on technology dating back to the 1950s and 1960s. While they continue to function, have high availability and can handle a significant amount of data, they aren’t focused on customer retention and personalisation. A 360-degree view of the hotel guest simply isn’t possible with systems that don’t communicate with each other.

Can you give us a taste of your presentation at the ITB Berlin Convention?
I focused on the industry’s near future and examined the impact of ‘application processes’. I highlighted how the success of Uber and Airbnb is based on


analysis of many thousands of customer data points, allowing highly customised and personalised communications and offerings – in principle, these business models are very efficient apps.

You talk about revenue management being the GPS for the hotelier. Can you explain this?
Revenue management systems are now capable of holding a hundred million process transactions a year and determine the links between different variables that must be included in a pricing decision. Drawing a comparison to the GPS of a modern navigation system, hoteliers must trust their revenue management system to make the right decisions.

Photo: Klaus Kohlmayr, Chief Evangelist, IDeaS Revenue Solutions