IFT and Cornell University, in the United States, held on 7 and 8 November in Macao an executive development programme for hotel professionals on the subject of “Demand Management: Maximising Hotel Revenue Through Distribution Channels”.
Dr. Bill Carroll, former Clinical Professor at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, led the programme at the Pousada de Mong-Há at IFT’s main campus. More than 20 industry professionals based in Macao – including several members of the IFT teaching staff – took part.
“Demand management encompasses pricing, revenue management, marketing management and reputation management,” notes Dr. Carroll. “It means you are taking a comprehensive look at making the consumer aware of your services; making them engaged with the services; getting them to pay for the services; and [having them] talking about the service after it is all over,” he adds.
“Most of the [Macao hotels] are encompassing those activities within the analytics of what they do on a day-to-day basis,” says Dr. Carroll, pointing out that much of the value of the programme was for these busy professionals to share their experience and to gain insights into current theory on the subject.
“This marketplace [Macao] has a tremendous focus on the Chinese consumer, and how that consumer reacts; and that behaviour is very different from other parts of the world,” he observes.
Dr. Carroll’s professional marketing experience includes working as Vice President for Global Marketing Planning in the car rental division at the Hertz Corporation, where he was responsible for global pricing, yield management, marketing information systems, and counter sales.
Among the programme participants was Mr. Lawrence So, Director of Sales for the Sheraton Grand Macao and St. Regis Macao.
He says: “It was a great opportunity to work together with so many talented people from different hotels, covering sales management, sales revenue management and operations.” Mr. So adds: “We were able to exchange ideas via a lot of discussion in an atmosphere that was also fun.”
He says some of the main insights he gained related to Internet-based sales and the developing network of modern distribution channels.
“How we deal with OTA [online travel agency] issues, and in terms of [marketing] distribution channels through intermediates and direct selling, were important,” he states. “It gave us ideas about how to maximise our revenues in the long run,” Mr. So adds.
“By putting on this course, IFT is helping a lot of professionals working in the industry to share and update our knowledge,” says the executive.
Mr. Calvin Toh, Deputy General Manager at Rio Hotel in Macao, also took part in the programme. “One of the important things I gained from the programme is the theories and the different formulas incorporated in the course,” he says.
Mr. Toh adds: “I have been able to learn from the different experiences of peers, via this course. This allows me to explore ways of improving what I am actually doing right now.”
Mr. Toh says he will also share this knowledge with colleagues. “From this course I have thought of a couple of new ideas about how we could improve the overall sales in our company.”
Asked if he would recommend IFT executive development courses to friends and colleagues, Mr. Toh says: “Definitely. IFT is becoming a major industry player in this area.”
He adds: “This is my second course at IFT: the previous one was on human resources. IFT is doing a great job not just in bringing new talent into the workforce, but also updating the current workforce regarding their existing skills and giving them access to new methods.”