Interview – Dr. Wouter Hensens – Executive Dean Stenden South Africa

TrevPAR World - Wouter Hensens

What social media channels are you on and why have you selected them?

LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram as well as Facebook. Purpose is to keep track of friends & family and promote Stenden South Africa and the Stenden MyPond Hotel – which is our real world learning hotel. 

Connect with Dr. Hensens on LinkedIn Here.

As a non-revenue professional in the industry please describe Revenue Management in one word; 

Maximising

 In terms of Industry, what do you always stick by when looking at revenue growth?

Never over promise

 Where do you see Revenue Management in 5 years from now?

As much as one wants to see Revenue Management as an integrated function of hotel operations, it requires a dedicated skill set that is difficult to find in existing roles of a hotel. One thus needs to look at hotel champions that lead the way and integrate the language and focus of revenue management to the wider staff compliment and in this way integrate revenue management into existing hotel operations.

 In your opinion what is more important in terms of Revenue Measurement – ADR, RevPAR or Occupancy?

That is a no-brainer: RevPar. Only through the optimisation of ADR and Occupancy can the bottom line be successfully influenced.  

 As a non-revenue professional, what do you think is lacking in today’s Revenue Management Culture?

Integration into the wider hotel operations. Revenue Managers tend to stand too much outside of the operations and this limits their effectiveness. You can compare this role to that of a Marketing Manager or Quality Manager – without the involvement and commitment of the wider team, their effectiveness is constricted.

TrevPAR World - Wouter Hensens

What do you think is the best way that revenue management culture can be adopted into the organisation?

I have found that too few people in the hotel receive revenue management reports, be it forecasts, pick up reports, rate reports or performance reports. If one is included in these reports, one cannot help but grow excited when activities result to better performance and the operational side of the hotel will be ready to deliver when the volumes arrive. My advice is thus to include as many employees as possible in these reports and discuss them during staff meetings. The buy-in that this generates can take revenue management to its next level.

In terms of Revenue Management and Revenue Growth, what do you think the most important aspect is to focus on?

Revenue Management. I see revenue management as a constant search to optimise the bottom line, also in adverse market conditions in which revenue growth may not be possible. In a declining market, one clearly still needs to manage revenues and continue to optimise the bottom line. I also believe that each market is different and thus the revenue management of each hotel requires a different focus.

 What role do you think revenue management will play in your field of expertise in the next 5 years?

I believe that for all hotel managers, revenue management competences are key. At the end of the day, our graduates need to maximise the return of the properties they manage. A manager that does not prioritise Revenue Management leaves a lot of money on the table.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself that nobody would expect;

I spent the first 2 years of my hospitality career as a dishwasher.

TrevPAR World - Wouter Hensens

Who and Where is the best hotel you have ever stayed in?

That would be the Saxon Hotel  in Johannesburg.

TrevPAR World Saxon Hotel

On closing, what bit of advice will you give all aspiring hoteliers that are trying to make a name for themselves in your field of expertise?

Never stop asking questions.

We would like to take the time to thank Dr. Hensens for this brief interview on the future of revenue management and how he sees revenue management from an academic point of you, very insightful and we hope our readers enjoy the interview as much as we enjoyed putting it together.