Next Up: Turn Your 2024 Budget into a Dynamic Hotel Forecast

You’ve finalized your budget! Let’s unpack steps to making that process easier next time around, plus outline how to turn that budget into a dynamic hotel forecast to guide real-time decisions.

As hospitality businesses navigate a “new normal” in 2024, many of the top owners and operators have shifted focus from traditional annual budgeting to a more dynamic and responsive forecasting approach. In the wake of an uncertain economic outlook and ongoing challenges, many are recognizing the need for continuous attention to their hotel forecast, utilizing real-time data and technology to make smarter budgeting decisions. Let’s explore key budget and forecasting strategies to guide you in 2024.

Want to be part of the discussion? Register for our upcoming webinar, “Navigating The Complexities Of Modern Hotel Budgeting And Forecasting,” on March 5.

1. Use New Booking Patterns to Shape Your Hotel Forecast

In the quest for more accurate demand and financial forecasts, pay close attention to evolving booking patterns. With the lengthening of booking windows and the resurgence of group business, understanding these dynamics becomes crucial. Hoteliers are placing a significance on incorporating such trends into forecasts, highlighting the importance of granularity and adaptability. Real-time data is key, with industry leaders stressing the need for continual planning and monitoring, even projecting years into the future.

2. How Emerging Segments of Travelers Will Affect Your Forecast

The traditional segmentation of guests into business or leisure travelers has evolved with the rise of remote work and “bleisure” trips. Hoteliers are urged to reassess their approach to segmentation, considering factors such as the impact of the work-from-anywhere culture on weekday-vs.-weekend segmentation. Identify emerging traveler behaviors and tailor forecasts accordingly. By understanding the shift from product-focused to experience-driven travel, hotels can better anticipate demand in different market segments.

3. Shifting Your Forecasting Focus to the Bottom Line

While topline revenue trends remain positive, there are a growing number of challenges affecting the bottom line. Rising inflation and increased costs, particularly in labor, food, and amenities, are putting pressure on profitability. Adopt a Total Revenue Management strategy that focus on analyzing costs and benchmarking in bottom-line terms. The shift in mindset from top-line performance to a more holistic view of revenue is crucial for making informed business decisions.

4. Determining the Most Accurate Data for Your Forecast

Historical data alone is no longer sufficient for accurate forecasting, especially in the post-pandemic era. Embrace forward-looking datasets that provide insights into market behavior, competitor benchmarking, and web-shopping analytics. Combine historical and forward-looking data for a comprehensive understanding of trends. 

5. Align Operational Departments With Uniform Data

Centralizing data from various properties and departments is a priority for making smarter business decisions at both the property and corporate levels. Reports should be easily accessible and digestible, and available in real time, allowing leadership to stay informed and make data-driven decisions. For example, see how companies like Mandarin Oriental have successfully implemented data visualization strategies and transitioned from traditional reporting methods to more advanced business analytics.

Find Your Blue Ocean

As the hospitality industry navigates the challenges of 2024, the key to success lies in dynamic forecasting supported by real-time data and technology. Stay agile, continually monitor trends, and collaborate across departments to ensure a unified approach to forecasting. By embracing new booking patterns, understanding emerging traveler segments, focusing on the bottom line, and utilizing accurate data, you can position your portfolio for success in today’s “new normal.”

Ready to Transform Your Forecasting Process?

Don’t let traditional budgeting methods hold you back. With MDO’s software, you can embrace the dynamic, data-driven approach needed for 2024 and beyond. Features like instant data analysis, trend forecasting, and customizable reporting tools are designed to empower hoteliers like you to build robust, dynamic budgets and forecasts that guide strategic decisions in real-time.

Book a demo today and discover how to make your hotel’s budget and forecasts not just numbers, but a powerful tool for growth and resilience.

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