Talent Review – Wayne Fisher – General Manager – South Africa

Wayne Fisher General Manager

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

I’m on facebook, primarily to stay in contact with family, great help for remembering birthdays! LinkedIn, as a professional network platform, I find it very informative for industry related news and information.

Link up with Wayne on LinkedIn Here

Describe Revenue Management in one word;

Control

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

It is important to understand that revenue growth through revenue management is not a blind shot in the dark, it is methodically planned over a certain time frame. In this regard, patience is key, consider it as a long-term objective and not something that happens overnight. The market has different segments and it is important to understand how the diversification between them works. Some market segments will give you business year-round, while other segments tend to be more seasonal, making it critical to recognize your opportunities through demand periods and determining different segments spending power which allows you to make decisions on which segments to focus on and which to restrict. Once you comprehend this, you will understand the dynamics and opportunities to increase and lower your prices.

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

Technology and automation are current driving forces for business leaders to maximise growth and margins. Unfortunately, this concept has not filtered to everyone in the industry yet. We are currently in an age where we are more connected than ever before, this is only going to grow and develop with more systems and data being linked and available. In the future, revenue management will be a key driving force for business optimization, and will determine the success of the business. Bluntly, Revenue Management will be the make or break factor.

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

Well, they each add value. However, it would be pointless to have a high ADR with very low occupancy, simulally, having high occupancy with very low ADR.  The key here, is balance, and that is why I rate RevPAR as the most important. In laymans terms, RevPAR pays the bills.

What are your thoughts on the current discussion to reduce OTA business? Do you agree or do you feel OTA’s are a needed entity within distribution?

I firmly believe that OTAs are needed within distribution. Achieving economic sustainability in an environment where costs of marketing and direct reach are increasing is becoming more difficult, it is essential to create economies of scale. OTAs are providing value in interesting and innovative ways that the industry is not seeing from search engines or meta-sites. The majority of modern day travellers decide where and when, through OTAs. OTAs dominate against direct bookings in their strategies that are achieving success over hotels by winning new customers and maintaining active ones.  The facts alone speak for themselves. OTAs are using technology to provide additional functionality and are driving a totally new customer to properties. In the current market, I would concern myself if a full time resource was not allocated to this.

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

Change. Change is a certainty and it needs to be a focal point for any business leader, many people are opposed to change or uncertainty making change management a struggle. Firstly it would be advisable to understand how revenue management is used to generate revenue growth and how the dynamics of both work. Revenue Management  is also something that you need to constantly check and modify, you can’t set your strategy in stone. It needs to be revaluated daily if not hourly, in order to be competitive and to stay on top of your game.

Where would you like to be in your career in the next 5 years?

I doubt that I will solve world peace or eradicate poverty, but I have the ambition to help and develop our economy through job creation and business development. My ultimate goal is to better myself though education and experience that will assist in creating the tools necessary to grow the business/ organisation that I choose to work with.

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

I enjoy pushing myself outside of work just as hard as I push myself inside of work. I have studied full time while working full time, I hold a National Diploma, Btech degree, Bcom Honours and am currently finishing Masters in Strategic Management through the University of Johannesburg. I have flown a plane, jumped off a bridge and taken flight in a hot air balloon.

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

It was at an &beyond hotel in KZN, Phinda Mountain Lodge.

On closing, what bit of advice will you give all aspiring revenue managers?

Keep pushing, a lot of ‘hoteliers’ do not understand or grasp the concept to the extent where significant change will happen, and you will receive resistance. Have patience, determination and persistence, the rest will fall into place.