This report is based on the subject of revenue management. This report is prepared to present a proper revenue management strategy to the General Manager of Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour for the financial year July 2016 to June 2017. The report has emphasized mainly on four key areas of the business and that areas are – market segmentation, competitors analysis, demand forecasting and channel analysis. All of these four areas are related to the revenue earning capacity of the company. At the end of the report, conclusion is derived by considering the overall findings of the study and after that, recommendations are provided for the future revenue management of the company.
Revenue management refers to the business activity that helps to apply different techniques that predict the behavior of the customers and the future market trend at micro level. Revenue management system helps to maximize the growth of the revenue by optimizing the availability of product or services and price for the same.
Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour is one of the well-known hotels that is operating its business successfully in Australia. However, recently, due to the increased competition in the market, the company is trying to improve its business performance by improving its revenue management system in a better manner. The revenue of a business organization is dependent on the market segments in which the organization operates the business. At the same time, revenue is also dependent on the demand and price of the product and services (Novoteldarlingharbour.com.au 2016).
Therefore, it order to derive the best strategy for revenue management of Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour, it is important to analyze the market segment, competitor set, future demand and business channels. The analysis of each of these segments is stated below:
Analyzing the market segmentation
Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour provides its services at 4.5 star level. Presently, the hotel is providing all the possible comfort to its customers. The services of the hotel include – car parking, car rental, dry cleaning, laundry service, hotel to airport transport, wireless internet connection, 24-hours room service and others. The management of the organization has segmented the market by three strategies – psychographic segmentation, demographic segmentation and geographic segmentation (Novoteldarlingharbour.com.au 2016).
Psychographic segmentation: The organization that is Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour has done the psychographic segmentation as per the life style of the people. The company has divided the market into two categories – people who prefer to live advanced life-style and people who want to live general life style. The company has segmented the market as per the life style because the hotel business is dependent on the life style of the people. The people, who come under the first group, prefer to avail the services at 5 star, 4 start or 3 star level. However, the second group prefers to choose the hotels that provide the service at 2 star and 1 star level. Between two segments the company has targeted the first segment, means the people, who prefer to live advanced life-style (Novoteldarlingharbour.com.au, 2016).
Demographic segmentation: Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour has segmented the market as per the demographic characteristics also. Mainly two factors the company has considered and that are – income level of the people and age group of the people. As per the income level, the organization has divided the market into three categories – high-level income group, upper middle-level income group and middle-level income group. The management of the company has targeted the first two level income group because the services that the hotel provides to the guests are of high quality and advanced (Masiero, Pan & Heo, 2016). Therefore, the management needs to charge high price for the service, which can be availed by high-level income group and upper middle-level income group. On the other side, as per the age, the company has divided the market in to two segments – people below 18 years age group and people above 18 years age group. The company has targeted the second age group because that age group is able to take their own decision regarding the choice of hotels (Aha.org.au, 2016).
Geographic segmentation: As per the geographic segmentation, the management of the hotel has segmented the market into three categories – Asian market, European market and African market (Solnet, Boztug & Dolnicar, 2016). Among all of these three segments, the hotel has given the first priority to the European market because each year maximum number of tourists or guests comes to Sydney from the European country. However, the organization has not ignored the other two segments of the market.
In order to manage the revenue of the organization in a better manner, the management has can launch package system (Patiar, 2016). This package system will include different packages for the hotel guests. In order to create different packages, the management needs to consider the needs of each of its target segment. At the same time, the management can set the pricing as per the services available under each package. The possible packages are shown below:
European, Asian and African high income group
Luxury accommodation, Wilson parking, dry cleaning, hotel to airport or city transport, laundry service, high speed wireless internet service for 24 hours, 24 hours room service, free breakfast, lunch, dinner, Yoga room, current Sydney and international channels, in balance gym, special accessible rooms, 24 hours telephone service, separate smoking zone and outdoor swimming pool.
$1200 per night
European, Asian and African upper middle-class income group
Luxury accommodation, Harris street parking, 24 hours room and telephone service, laundry and dry cleaning service, free breakfast and dinner, 24 hours internet and TV channels, separate smoking zone and transport service to airport.
$800 per night
European, Asian and African middle-class income group
Luxury accommodation, street parking, 24 hours room, telephone and internet service, laundry service, TV channels, free breakfast and different smoking zone.
$400 per night
Table 1: Proposed packages
(Source: Created by author)
Analyzing the competitor set
There are four hotels, which are considered as the major competitors of Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour. The names of these competitors are – Four Seasons Sydney, ADGE Apartment Hotel, The Langham Sydney and The Westin Sydney. All of these competitors are large hotels in Sydney, which are having the service facility at 4 to 5 star level. If the comparison is done between the performance of Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour and its competitors, then it can be said that Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour can improve its pricing strategy to improve its revenue management system. As price is the most important element of revenue management system of the organization, therefore, in order to analyze the revenue management of the competitors, it is very important to analyze their pricing strategy.
As per the current pricing strategy at Four Seasons Sydney, the guests or tourists can enjoy the price discount offer for the time span between October to November in each year. At the same time, Four Seasons also provides offers in different packages. The pricing at Four Seasons Sydney is divided in to five packages – Sydney Gateway, Advance Purchase, Bed and Breakfast, Romance package and New Year’s Eve. These five packages are available at different price ranges. In case of Sydney Gateway, the hotel offers 15% off on overall price; in Advance Purchase, 25% price off is available; in case of the Romance Package 2% surcharge is applicable and the rates change as per the availed services. Therefore, the revenue management system of the hotel becomes easier for the managers (Fourseasons.com, 2016).
At ADGE Apartment Hotel, the price range varies as per the seasons. In the season between August to November, the hotel offer the services at 50% off. There are no such different packages available at ADGE Apartment Hotel. However, this hotel charge extra price for the reservation service (Adgehotel.com.au, 2016).
On the other side, the price at The Langham Sydney varies as per the types of rooms. They offers different types of rooms like, Grand Langham room, Terrace room, Junior suite, Langham suite, The Residence and The Observatory suite. The price range differs as per the choice of rooms. At the same time, The Langham Sydney offers different packages also (Langhamhotels.com, 2016).
Apart from these three, the price range at The Westin Sydney also has a specific structure. The price range at The Westin Sydney differs as per the availed service and booking system. If the guests book the hotel room through direct hotel channel, then they do not have to pay for the Wi-Fi facility and water. However, if the people book the hotel room through some different agencies, then they have to pay extra money for Wi-Fi and water (Westinsydney.com, 2016).
Therefore, in the above discussion, it can be identified that the major competitors of Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour has applied different pricing strategies in order to manage their revenue in better way. The competitors have managed their revenue by providing different offers and packages, so that the guests or customers feel value for their money. Moreover, maximum competitors of Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour have applied the “offer” strategy for better revenue management. This particular strategy helps the hotels to attract more customers during the pick seasons like, July to November.
Hotel or Hospitality industry in Australia is the most important sector of the country. Due to the beautiful natural view and wildlife, the country is always at the top choice to the tourists in different countries. Among all of the tourist places in Australia, Sydney is the most popular and currently it is occupying 74.4% of hotel accommodation. However, as per the comment of Baker & Magnini (2016), the overall revenue of the industry is declining because of decrease in the demand from tourists and corporate segments. On the contrary, Yang & Cai (2016) mentioned that the hospitality industry in Australia has achieved 3.1% annual growth during 2015-2016, which denote the sector is having demand at a satisfactory level.
Therefore, from the above information, it can be clearly understood that overall demand in the hotel industry is still at positive point and the revenue growth of the industry is going on. This is good for the organizations, which are operating their business in the Australian Hospitality industry (Ortega & Ortega, 2016). The industry data has also disclosed that the hospitality industry in Australia is providing service to 1 million visitors or tourists in each year since 2010 (Tan, 2015).
However, Kandampully Zhang & Bilgihan (2015) stated that before the financial year 2010, the industry provided service to one and half million people. This is clearly disclosing the fact that the demand has declined. According to Tang, King & Kulendran (2015), the main reason behind the declined demand in Australian hotel industry is the global financial crisis. The number of visitors from the corporate segment has declined in last five years.
Therefore, the above discussion is indicating that Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour needs to take careful steps to maintain its financial performance. As the demand is declining due to the global financial crisis, the organization needs to take better pricing strategy so that it can attract the corporate segment again. Cox (2015) noted that currently the people in the corporate segment think to save their money for better future. This type of mentality of the people may create barrier for the company in enhancing the number of customers. At the same time, Tan (2015) added that the continuous rise in food price, energy cost and interest rates is de-motivating the people to avail the service of luxurious hotels. Therefore, it can be said that in coming financial years, the company needs to revise its pricing strategy to manage its revenue in better manner.
It is expected that in the next financial year, the demand will not decline if Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour start the package system. It can also be expected that the hotel will be able to attract at least 20% of the total visitors in the industry. The demand is expected to be similar like this year. However, the management of the organization needs to take appropriate steps in order to face any uncertain situation.
Tourists and the other visitors are the most important element for the better revenue management of a hotel (Weatherford, 2016). Better revenue management denotes better improvement in the revenue volume. The revenue of the organization that is Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour can be improved by using proper channels. The revenue growth of the organization is highly dependent on the channels that it uses for creating awareness among the people regarding its services. Nieves & Diaz-Meneses (2016) suggested that in order to increase the revenue, the hotels in Australia must focus on the technological advancement. The use of better technology will help the managements to provide the service within minimum possible time. The adoption of digital marketing is the better way to improve the revenue.
Presently, Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour uses the social media and personal websites to promote their new offers and services. The use of social media is very effective in the current situation because most of the people use social media for different purposes (Ng & Lien, 2014). Therefore, by using social media, it becomes easier to attract the people. At the same time, the use of social media is less costly for the organization. However, as social media is a very common platform, most of the hotels in Australia and other countries are using this channel for promoting their services. There are many hotels in Sydney, which are using the email strategy for providing personal touch to their existing and prospective customers (Melissen, 2013).
However, this type of strategy has not been taken by Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour. On the other side, the use of personal website as the channel of promotion is not effective to attract the customers, who have no idea about the hotel (McManus, 2013). If a person does not know anything about the services of the hotel or the name of the hotel, then it is very difficult to attract the person through websites. Therefore, using the website, Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour cannot attract more customers or in the other words, the hotel cannot increase its revenue more.
Therefore, in order to improve the revenue management of Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour, it is very important to use new channels for promotion (Mok, Sparks & Kadampully, 2013). As the current market is very competitive and the demand in the industry is declining, it is very essential to use advanced channels for promoting the services. However, at the same time the management of the organization also needs use such a channel that can represent the company to a wide range of customers. In that case, Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour can use television advertisement and sales promotion. With the help of television advertisement, the management of the hotel can reach to a large number of prospective customers. Television advertisement not only helps to attract the young people, but also helps to attract the old people, who are not much accustomed with the use of social media and visiting the company’s website.
Apart from the television advertisement, the organization that is Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour, can also apply the sales promotion strategy. Sales promotion is such a channel that attracts not only the new customers, but can attract the old customers or guests also. Different offers and discounts help the management to compete in the market and attract the customers of other hotels. However, the offers and discounts must be competitive enough.
In this report, it has been identified that presently, the demand in the Australian hospitality is in declining trend. After the financial year 2010, the number of visitor in the Australian hospitality industry decreased from one and half million to one million. One of the main reasons behind this declining situation is the global financial crisis. Due to the global financial crisis, the people became more conscious about savings. They are more interested to save their money for future. The number of visitors from corporate segment has decreased tremendously.
In case of Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour, the management has segmented the market as per psychographic, demographic and geographic segments. As per the segmentation done by the management of Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour, the hotel has prioritized the European segment than the Asian and African segment. The organization has focused on the age group that is above 18 years and at the same time, the organization has also focused on the higher-class and upper middle-class income group. Apart from that, the report has also identified that there are four major competitors of Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour. The competitors of the organization have applied different pricing strategies to improve their financial performance. However, in order to improve the revenue management, Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour needs to use better channels for promoting its services.
As per the analysis and discussion done in the report, the following recommendations are made for better revenue management of Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour:
Adopt the package pricing system: This is one of the best strategy for better revenue management at Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour. The package pricing system will help the management to control their cost because the company will provide specific services in specific package.
Apply new and advanced technology: Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour can apply advanced technology to provide its services within a short time span. This will help the organization to satisfy its customers in better manner, which will ultimately help to enhance the customer base.
Use television advertisement and sales promotion: The hotel can use the television advertisement and sales promotion as the channels for promoting the services. These two channels are very effective to attract a large number of customers.
Reasonable price range: The management of the hotel needs to keep the price at a reasonable range because due to the global financial crisis, the spending capacity of the people has dropped down and the people are interested to save money. Therefore, to attract the customers Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour needs to keep the price range reasonable.
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