The budget is indeed your first forecast. But how do we make an accurate forecast for a hotel? To do so we will be discussing the following elements; unconstrained demand, stay patterns, booking pace
Your Budget should be realistic but it is also the time to set new targets. What if you invest in sales resources, what if you invest in on line marketing, what if you increase your on line visibility?The budget should be developed day by day, to answer the following question:
At which rate and how many rooms can you sell for every future day (booking pace)?
The budget can therefore be developed by market segments in room nights and revenue.The budget can also be widened with a monthly forecasting per country of origin and top accounts (corporate, tour operators). How do you anticipate the business demand, the leisure demand per country? At which rate can you sell on the upcoming months? How will your main corporate accounts behave?
The forecast will reflect the expected situation in the short term (1 to 3 months). Forecasts will be compared to the budget. New rate and selling strategies will be applied depending on the new Revenue expectations to maximize Revenue.
Besides of the frequency of the budget review you can implement a Rolling Budget. That means keeping open constantly 12 or 13 month strategy. It will help you be more accurate as the data you will use to budget or forecast for the same month next year is fresh in your mind.
In our next revenue management article we will look at how to create a demand calendar.