Customer stories

Customer Spotlight: Intercontinental Seoul

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“Rate Insight’s comprehensive competitor data allowed us to increase our average best flexible rate by 24% in a single month”

Jiye Seo | Revenue Manager at Grand InterContinental Seoul & InterContinental Seoul COEX

About Grand InterContinental Seoul and InterContinental Seoul COEX

Both the Grand InterContinental Seoul (550 rooms) and the InterContinental Seoul COEX (656 rooms) are set in the Gangnam district, the capital’s most vibrant and modern neighborhood. They each boast splendid views of the city and offer easy access to the many cultural, business and lifestyle venues nearby. The two hotels also feature a wide variety of on-site facilities such as a selection of international restaurants and bars as well as vast meeting and event spaces. We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Jiye Seo, Revenue Manager at Grand InterContinental Seoul & InterContinental Seoul COEX. During our conversation, we learned how she has been using Lighthouse’s suite of business intelligence tools to save vast amounts of time, gain access to reliable, real-time market data and make well-informed pricing decisions that have improved her properties’ results. 

Immediate access to real-time competitor information

Before setting up Lighthouse, our competitor research was a tedious manual process. We checked our compset’s websites daily to see their prices for similar room types and analyze their advance purchase and best flexible rates (BFR). Especially during the recovery phase, cancellation policies became another factor we had to examine. This took a lot of time and still only left us with a snapshot that would quickly become outdated. 

Implementing Rate Insight completely changed that. The tool saves us massive amounts of time every day because it provides live competitor data 24/7. It displays all the information we need on a single screen, so we can check our rates against the compset every morning in just minutes. If needed, we can make informed adjustments immediately and move on to our other tasks.

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"Rate Insight displays all the live data we need on a single screen, so we can check our rates against the compset every morning in just minutes"

Optimal positioning at all times

For me, the biggest advantage is that Rate Insight lets me customize the timeframes and datasets I compare. For example, I can look at rates by channel or check who has the lowest best flexible rate (BFR). The ability to drill down shows me the discounts our competitors are offering and allows me to easily monitor our positioning. It also lets me gauge how much demand other hotels have.

Since we can do this so quickly now, we can better react to changes in the market and make decisions that allow us to keep our rates and conditions competitive. As a result, we’re often able to win the top position in our compset.

This worked particularly well during the early days of recovery. At that time, Rate Insight showed an increase in our compset’s BFR every weekend. Since we also experienced higher demand on these days, we decided to increase our BFR and remove discounts for weekends. That led to a 24% increase in average BFR in a single month.

Seizing revenue opportunities with the help of forward-looking data

In the past, we used a combination of historical data and compset information from our sales managers to predict business development. This worked for us since we knew our market and its patterns well. The pandemic changed that since it turned well-established trends upside down and made historical data all but obsolete. 

When the recovery phase began in Korea, demand picked up quickly but of course, the majority of the market was focused on winning the same segment. Thanks to Market Insight we could see where demand was developing well in advance. The tool’s metasearch analysis and its flight search data revealed the domestic and international source markets where travelers were planning trips to Seoul. 

We used this information to create geo-targeted travel ads and promotions on OTAs. This allowed us to capture a lot of demand early on and set the stage for a successful recovery period. When the first bookings started coming in, Business Intelligence showed that especially international guests were now booking longer stays. As a result, we further refined our targeted ads and created an attractive deal that helped us make the most of this new trend.

"Lighthouse’s information is also helpful for other departments, especially since it’s presented in such a user-friendly way"

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Improved communication across commercial departments

The revenue team uses Lighthouse’s platform daily to monitor performance and access the data needed for pricing and distribution decisions. But Lighthouse’s information is also helpful for other departments, especially since it’s presented in such a user-friendly way.

That’s why we share it with our sales team, the general manager and the rooms division manager during our weekly meetings. This shows them what to expect in the near future, so they can plan their operations accordingly. It also gives us the opportunity to make commercial decisions together and work more effectively towards our goals.

A quick overview of essential market and competitor data

The new overview tab offers a concise summary of our current performance. It reveals our OTB business compared to yesterday and last week as well as daily market trends and a summary of compset rates. 

That immediately gives me an idea of where to drill down to find additional revenue opportunities. From there, I can access Rate Insight, Business Intelligence or Market Insight to get more information and make the needed adjustments straight away. 

A word to your peers

I recommend all of Lighthouse’s tools to fellow revenue managers. They’ll save you so much time by providing instant access to live, reliable market and competitor data in a single platform. That means you’ll be able to focus more on in-depth analysis to find and take advantage of new revenue opportunities. And since Lighthouse helps you make smart pricing decisions more quickly than ever, you’ll always stay a step ahead of the competition. 

"The team spent vast amounts of time on manual market and competitor research every day. Despite that, it was impossible to gather and analyze data fast enough to constantly update our rates in line with the latest market developments."

"Lighthouse does 80-90% of the heavy lifting by supplying and presenting comprehensive internal, market, and competitor data. All that's left for you to do is use these insights to make the right choices for your hotel."

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