Travel agents: your key to improved RevPAR
Travel agents – along with tour operators, airlines and loyalty programmes – are an often-overlooked channel for generating incremental bookings from high-value international guests. Non-domestic travellers typically book further in advance, cancel less, stay longer, spend more at destinations and return more frequently.
And another important characteristic to bear in mind: they value personalised service.
Acting as specialised travel consultants for both business and leisure travellers, retail travel agents attract these customer profiles by offering tailored packages that are difficult to find online. This distribution channel plays an important role when optimising any hotel’s revenue strategy, especially the occupancy rate and RevPAR.Working with Hotelbeds you will get access to an extensive network of more than 100,000 unique retail travel agents around the world.you’ll never have to close individual deals with travel agencies again.
What is RevPAR?
Revenue Per Available Room is a metric used to measure the business performance of a hotel during a specified period.
While RevPAR doesn’t give you the full picture of a hotel’s financial performance, it helps you evaluate how well the hotel is filling up on chosen dates and how much revenue the average room generates before you deduct costs like staff and services.
How to calculate RevPAR
There are two RevPAR formulas:
1. Hotel Occupancy multiplied by Average Daily Rate
2. Room Revenue divided by Number of Rooms Available during a specified period
RevPAR helps you compare month-over-month performance
Use it to look back to see how you did during a specific holiday or to compare one year to the next. But remember, this metric only offers an overview of the number of rooms sold at a hotel in a certain period and the revenue generated from those bookings.
RevPAR doesn’t capture the full picture
While it gives you a useful overview, RevPAR doesn’t factor in additional revenue made on food and drink or extras like spa services and laundry. Nor does it consider cleaning, maintenance or front desk costs to the business. This is important to bear in mind when measuring overall hotel performance.
How retail travel agents help drive positive RevPAR
For travellers booking multi-stop tours to new destinations, retail travel agents offer beneficial local knowledge and expertise through their network of trusted partners and native contacts in each destination.
For business travellers booking trips for multiple colleagues or whole company departments, having someone to help organise activities, book meeting room space, and arrange transport saves them time. While intrepid leisure travellers seeking out unique experiences can adjust itineraries to include activities specific to their interests while also booking flights and accommodation through niche travel agents.
The online sector continues to find innovative ways to service customers, but for now, being able to connect with a dedicated agent in-person or on the phone remains a favourable competitive advantage for retail travel agents. This tailored experience is a significant factor in the increased customer's loyalty generated by travel agents.
But it’s not only travel agent customers who benefit from sector-wide efforts to improve loyalty, bedbank partners can also take advantage of attractive incentives too.
Hotelbeds’ sister bedbank, Bedsonline invites retail travel agents to sign-up to its Star Rewards loyalty programme individually and earn points based on the value of their bookings.
Members can redeem points by choosing e-gifts from vendors, including Amazon, Nike, and Apple. By incentivising retail agents, Hotelbeds found those who sign up to the loyalty scheme tend to book more frequently and for higher amounts. These high-value bookings then transfer the benefit to our hotel partners in the form of increased occupancy.
Online travel agents attract high volumes of travellers because they sell rooms at highly discounted prices. While this helps fill your rooms, it can harm your hotel’s revenue. Instead of attracting guests by charging less, retail travel agents can increase the perceived value of your room by pairing it with additional activities or packages.
Customers who book via retail travel agencies, whether for business or leisure, typically display some common characteristics:
- Longer average stays
- Higher spend at destinations
- Lower cancellation rates
- Above-average booking lead times
Increased customer acquisition
As part of its ongoing commitment to offer hoteliers access to high-value guests, Hotelbeds is regularly adding travel agent customers. In doing so, this relieves hoteliers of the time-consuming and costly task of reaching new customers.
Carlos Muñoz, Managing Director Bedbank at Hotelbeds Group, explains:
“It makes strategic and practical sense for us to continue to develop our travel agent proposition under one integrated global platform and brand. The benefits from this move will help all our partners boost revenues and profits through improved functionality and increased opportunities to upsell high-yielding complementary travel services in addition to our accommodation offering.”
With a global network that’s attracted over 60,000 B2B travel buyers including retail travel agents, tour operators, airlines and points redemption schemes, Hotelbeds is constantly adding to its portfolio. And this low-effort, high-reward access to valuable international customers presents a key benefit for hoteliers
There are currently a total of 70,000 unique hotels available on the Hotelbeds system in Europe alone. Globally, there are over 180,000 unique hotels available on the platform.
More robust than other channels during crisis periods
Last but not least, travel advisors can be the most reliable channel to endure crisis situations. In times like these, travellers are searching for flexible and non-binding solutions that OTAs and travel websites are not always able to guarantee. On the other hand, the human value of travel advisors plays a crucial role that will facilitate the recovery from critical situations. It can guarantee a more stable experience to travellers that is calm and measured, and therefore easier guests to your hotel.
Find out more
To deep dive into how different channel distribution strategies can improve your hotel’s performance, check out the Hotelbeds guide to hotel distribution in 2020.