Hotel Benchmarking: Here's What You Need to Know
By Fiona Gillen
Last updated December 19, 2022
2 min read
Ready to start your hotel benchmarking journey? Let's start by determining why it’s important to do so in the first place. Our fast-paced world has led to a shift in business decision-making from action to reaction, leading to sometimes questionable decisions. However, new innovations and advanced data analytics have made it easier than ever to assess situations in greater detail without compromising on time.
Regardless of property type or location, having accurate and reliable data, and knowing turn your learnings into actions, is key to developing a successful hotel revenue strategy. Benchmarking tools are where you’ll find these valuable insights.
Benchmarking provides you with a way to monitor your own hotel's performance, as well as an understanding of how it compares to the rest of the market. By understanding your positioning and how to set yourself apart from your competitors, you will be able to pinpoint your brand's strengths and identify areas for improvement. Read on for all of the information you’ll need to take your steps towards understanding, and ultimately taking control, of your direct channel.
1. Understand your competition
Knowing who to compare yourself against is the first step to outperforming them. Some hoteliers may identify this set as only hotels similar to their own, or in the same destination. However, key insights can be found when expanding this vision.
When comparing your results with properties in other parts of the world with similar profiles and booking levels, there is a great deal of opportunity for learning. A deeper level of insight is gained through this kind of analysis, which transforms hoteliers from purely competitive to learning mindsets.
2. Pinpoint key metrics
It is extremely beneficial to have access to hotel metrics and data, but knowing which ones to focus on is crucial. Analyzing and comparing the metrics most relevant to your hotel's strategy is important as a hotelier, as well as keeping track of their evolution over time. Hoteliers usually think of occupancy and ADR as the main metrics of hotel benchmarking, however a hotel's online reputation and price disparities are also important not to underestimate.
One area to investigate that isn't always top of mind is your direct channel performance. Analyzing metrics such as booking engine conversion and total website conversion will give you a clearer picture of your hotel's performance. These benchmarking analytics provide you with 100% visibility into your direct channel, not just 2-3% of website traffic.
3. Get to know your data
With the move from static monthly PDF reports to interactive benchmarking platforms, you are able to pick and choose the data you analyze in real-time like never before. You can gain a more detailed understanding of your hotel's strengths and weaknesses by drilling down into your benchmarking data by search dates, travel party, or even traffic source.
Imagine filtering your hotel's average booking value data for a specific travel group: families. By applying this filter, you'll know how much families spend on accommodation booked directly on your website, and compare these results to your competitors. Using these insights, you can determine where you need to adjust your marketing campaigns and strategy based on your property's situation.
4. Analyze against previous periods
For benchmarking to be effective, results must be compared with those from previous time periods to understand what changes made were effective and led to positive results, to better plan for future strategies and campaigns.
A sole reliance on historical data can, however, be misleading, especially in current times where previous trends aren’t necessarily indicative of present needs. When comparing your analytics, you should examine other data sets. Like evaluating the current week’s performance with the one prior, for example.
5. Learn, then act
When you identify an area where the difference between your results and compsets is significant, it's key to find ways to improve them. Also, results aren’t only significant when they’re low. You should identify areas where you are outperforming others to find new ways to generate revenue.
Whenever you make changes based on benchmarking insights, it's interesting to monitor the evolution overtime to see how the changes affect future performance.
Begin your hotel benchmarking journey
Within the hospitality industry, there are a number of benchmarking tools available to choose from, depending on what area of your business you’re hoping to improve.
Looking for an easy way to use hotel benchmarking to grow your direct bookings?