Demand Forecasting

Demand Forecasting: Effective Strategies for Hotels/Motels

Demand forecasting is a highly beneficial process if done correctly. The following guide is a simplified guide to understanding demand forecasting and preparing your property for the busiest seasons. Get control of your demand. 

What is Hotel/Motel Forecasting?

Hotel/Motel Forecasting is the strategic utilisation of historical data and market insights to anticipate future demand patterns across different timeframes. It involves synthesising your property’s historical performance with an understanding of peak periods for your location.

Armed with this knowledge and a keen awareness of potential demand surges, your property can proactively adjust pricing and staffing levels to optimise revenue streams and enhance your bottom line. Not only does this approach facilitate revenue growth, but it also mitigates operational challenges such as inventory shortages.

This meticulous process integrates internal data from your Property Management System (PMS) alongside external sources, including local event calendars and market dynamics. By leveraging comprehensive reporting tools within your PMS and staying attuned to external factors, you can construct a yearly forecast calendar, offering valuable insights into anticipated demand fluctuations.

What are the benefits of forecasting?

 

Forecasting offers a window into the future, providing a myriad of advantages when regularly integrated into your operational strategy:

 

  • Anticipate Demand Fluctuations: By forecasting, you can accurately predict both peak and off-peak periods, allowing you to adjust operations and resources accordingly.

 

  • Maximise Revenue Opportunities: With insights from forecasting, you can strategically plan for busy periods, implementing targeted pricing strategies and promotional campaigns to optimise revenue streams.

 

  • Efficient Inventory Management: Forecasting enables you to anticipate demand for essential items, ensuring adequate stock levels to meet guest needs without overstocking or shortages.

 

  • Set Informed Business Goals: By basing your goals on forecasted demand and market trends, you can establish more realistic and achievable targets for your business.

 

  • Tailor Marketing Efforts: With a clear understanding of upcoming events and demand patterns, you can tailor your marketing efforts to target different customer segments effectively.
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By integrating forecasting into your operations, you’re not only better prepared for the present but also empowered to enhance the guest experience by anticipating their needs and delivering exceptional service.

What data should you be looking at to forecast? 

When conducting your forecasting research, delving into a multitude of internal and external data points is essential. The specific areas to explore may vary depending on the type of forecast you seek, but for a comprehensive overview, consider analysing the following factors:

  1. Booking Data: Reviewing past booking data spanning several years can unveil recurring trends. Compare this with competitor data, if available, to identify peak periods, shoulder seasons, and low-demand periods.
  2. Cancellation Data: Analyse which types of guests are more prone to cancelling reservations and identify any seasonal patterns in cancellations.
  3. Pricing Data: Evaluate your pricing strategy in comparison to competitors and assess how pricing fluctuations correlate with changes in demand.
  4. Special Events: Examine the impact of unusual occurrences such as one-off events, adverse weather conditions, or event cancellations on past demand levels.

Regardless of the type of data under scrutiny, maintaining a consistent analytical process is crucial for transparency and efficiency. By following a structured approach for all analyses, you not only ensure the reliability of the information gathered but also cultivate a habit of continually refining and streamlining your forecasting process. Here’s a simple process to guide your analysis:

  1. Collect Data: Begin by defining the focus of your forecast and gather relevant data, both internally and externally. Internal data should be readily accessible with a detailed historical record, while external data should include competitor insights and prevailing marketing trends.
  2. Identify Patterns: Analyse the timeframe under scrutiny and pinpoint recurring patterns. Determine whether these patterns are influenced by special events or represent natural annual cycles. Extract insights from all available data sources.
  1. Analyse Demand: Evaluate demand dynamics to ascertain optimal pricing strategies for room sales. Adopt a revenue-centric approach to identify the rate and occupancy levels that maximise revenue generation. Consider whether demand is driven by room rates or influenced by special events.
  2. Make Changes: Develop action plans tailored to forecasted periods throughout the year. Adjust staffing levels to match demand peaks and valleys, remaining flexible to implement plans promptly as seasonal shifts may occur unexpectedly. Additionally, target diverse market segments during their respective peak demand periods to optimise occupancy.
  3. Stay Ahead: Continuously iterate on the forecasting process or review previous analyses to stay abreast of emerging market trends or potential oversights. This proactive approach ensures that you capitalise on your property’s full potential during peak periods, staying ahead of the curve in the competitive hospitality landscape.

 

How GuestPoint Can Assist in This Process 

 

Your GuestPoint data is a valuable resource, providing access to historical records spanning the duration of your usage. Whether you’ve been utilising GuestPoint for five years or less, you can leverage this data to identify patterns and enhance your forecasting efforts.

 

Occupancy reports offer a comprehensive view of your property’s occupancy levels over the years, facilitating easy comparisons and aiding in forecasting endeavours. Additionally, revenue reports enable you to analyse revenue generation in conjunction with room rates and occupancy rates, allowing you to pinpoint the pricing strategies that yield optimal revenue.

Understanding your customer base is crucial for effective targeting, and GuestPoint provides detailed reports on demographics, enabling you to tailor your marketing efforts to specific audience segments. By identifying patterns within your customer base, you can refine your targeting strategies and effectively engage with your audience during peak periods.

GuestPoint’s features streamline operational adjustments, empowering quick action when needed. The revenue maximiser feature enables instant price adjustments, ensuring your property remains competitive and responsive to market fluctuations. Furthermore, the housekeeping feature ensures efficient task management during busy periods, guaranteeing that cleaning tasks are completed promptly and effectively. 

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