CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - The Check-In hospitality seminar, held for the first time in Cape Town last week, was hailed as a “huge success” by organisers and attendees. The event was hosted by leading hotel management system RoomRaccoon and featured a panel
discussion on how independent hotels can adapt to the dynamic market in South Africa and increase their revenue.
Niels Verspui, Country Manager for RoomRaccoon South Africa, kicked off the event by sharing the company’s findings over the last six months. He shared that despite the onset of the Omicron variant in South Africa last December, the company noted a significant increase in average occupancy, peaking at 80% on 31 December 2021.
Verspui also shared that the average pickup activity, which indicates the number of bookings received in a day, recorded in January, February, and March 2022, is the highest that RoomRaccoon has recorded in South Africa since launching four years ago.
“I am very optimistic for the future of travel in South Africa,” he shared.
Joining the event were independent hoteliers in the area. Mark McKeon from the Glenn Boutique Hotel shared, “The RoomRaccoon Check-In event was highly focused, informative, and delivered against our expectations.”
The panel consisted of industry experts Amanda Owen, Area Manager at Expedia Group; Theresa Prins, Founder and Thought Leader at Revenue Resolutions; and Stuart Lewis, Founder & CEO at Flux Full Circle. They covered the topic of effectively managing inventory for the upcoming months.
Theresa Prins highlighted the importance of manipulating your prices to stimulate demand and optimise revenue. “What you want to forecast is how much demand you are going to get so that you can price effectively and optimise the revenue,” she shared.
Stewart Lewis noted that direct bookings are on the rise and highlighted the importance of optimising accommodation websites for sales. “We can’t deny that travel’s online evolution is well underway,” he shared. “Users are a lot more familiar and a lot more comfortable transacting directly on a website than before.”
He also highlighted the importance of understanding different markets and raising brand awareness before peak booking season. He shared that once booking sentiment is high, users will come on to your website and, if there is zero friction, are more likely to transact.
Although business is on the rise, Amanda Owen emphasized the importance of looking to data to influence your pricing decisions in order to not leave money on the table.
RoomRaccoon is planning Check-In events in Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Portugal this year, and registration forms will be available on RoomRaccoon’s website.