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Luxury Hotels Talk COVID-19 Recovery

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After 730 long days without face to face interaction, MRK Associates were finally back to hosting in-person events for the revenue management industry!

On Thursday 9th September 2021, we hosted our first in-person Revenue Management Roundtable since the pandemic. The objective of the roundtable was to discuss COVID-19 and share different recovery experiences.

The roundtable was hosted by MRK Managing Director Roland Seddon and MRK Revenue Management specialist Lucy Marsh. We continued the tradition of organising our roundtables at a five-star venue at the spectacular newly opened Nobu Hotel London Portman Square. Accompanying us at this roundtable were a plethora of current Senior Revenue Managers and revenue management experts from across the country.

Andrea Downes, Mandarin Oriental; Ryan Dance, Malmaison and Hotel Du Vin; Robin Stangroom, The Set Collection; Paula Frey, Paula Frey Consulting; Lukas Peter, Soho House & Co; Gilbert Faddoul, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts; Philip Gardner, Almarose Hotels & Resorts; Judit Farkas, Jumeirah Group; Stella Hart, Carefree; Olga Sommer, Nobu Hotel London Portman Square were all in attendance.

The event was proceeded by MRK Managing Director Roland Seddon, opening with the topic of technological development, discussing the different steps each hotel took during the pandemic and what they found to be most effective. A common theme was that hotels used technology to dive into data and drive their strategy. The attendees also spoke about the effect COVID-19 had on the luxury market, addressing new KPI’s, trends and stay times; whilst touching on the topic of staffing challenges.

Further into the discussion, the topic of optimising total revenue management was introduced. More specifically; the use of historic data and whether it has become redundant, changes in monitoring demand shift for adapting rates and if hotels used more cross-selling and incentives to optimise sales.

The experts shared their personal recovery experiences, analysing how they adapted to allow more flexibility with bookings. Ultimately, reflecting upon how their revenue management function has become more commercial over the past two years.

MRK Managing Director shared his delight for the event

it was great to get back to face to face meetings at the Revenue Management Roundtable at the stunning NOBU Portland Square. Catching up and discussing key issues in the industry with some of the country’s most senior revenue professionals in the luxury hotel market was inspiring.

We heard how people had developed their functions over the last 18 months, improved direct booking strategies and adapted to changing consumer behaviour. Challenges still lie ahead for the industry with staffing seeming to be the biggest short-term problem across all parts of the hotel industry. Overall, it’s now time for the industry to make the most of the demand and it was great to hear the positivity.

Each attendee brought a dynamic approach with unique views to the event. We would like to say a huge thank you to all those in attendance, Olga Sommer and Nobu Hotel London Portman Square for allowing us to host this event at your wonderful hotel. Follow us on LinkedIn to keep up to date with other industry events.

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MRK Associates is a recruitment and career advisory company specialising in finance and revenue management jobs.

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