Yulia Kudryavtseva
Senior Portfolio Revenue Manager – IHG Revenue

I’ve started in the Hospitality Industry while being a student at the State University of Management (specialty Management in Hotel & Tourism Business). The first position was in the Reservations Department which is a very common and natural start for a career in revenue management. During next years I was growing in marketing which is also very close to Revenue management in terms of channels /content management and also analytical part – then joining Korston Hotels & Malls chain as Revenue management. That was a very exciting period for the brand, when they did a rebranding of old “Soviet” Orlenok hotel into Korston – also opening 2nd newly build property in Kazan. I was lucky to be a part of a very strong team with most heads having international chain backgrounds. That was a great chance to grow in Revenue management because at that time the knowledge was accumulated within International chains and very few courses in Revenue Management were available. After several years in Korston, I’ve continued to search new career opportunities and joined Azimut Hotels chain as a Cluster Revenue Manager being responsible during next few years for supporting their growing portfolio of hotels – including rebrandings, openings in different cities of Russia. The next logic step was an International hotel chain and I was really happy to join IHG on cluster Revenue Manager position.

To be a revenue manager in one hotel and to do revenue management for several hotels at once should be a very responsible and difficult task, especially in a big company like IHG. Can you please describe your day and in general your job?

With technologies that are available now in many cases, it’s possible to do Revenue Management remotely. I’m supporting hotels in very different locations and even countries, speaking different languages – in Moscow, Istanbul, Krakow, Baku, Tbilisi, Yerevan, etc. Every day I have 2-4 calls scheduled with hotels. I also spend about 1-2 hours for a call preparation and about an hour to create call notes with a summary of actions discussed.  In our regional office, we have 2 more people besides me looking at the hotel’s revenue performance. We are all part of a bigger European team, and as we all work remotely it’s especially important that we have some team calls/meetings to exchange best practices and communicate with each other. We also make hotel visits at least once a year. So, there is quite a lot of travel within the region as well.

Not all hotels have a revenue department in the hotel so how many rooms should the hotel have to create a revenue department? Why it is necessary or/and important to have it?

I would say that each hotel no matter of size needs to have some dedicate Revenue Management resource. For smaller hotels, remote support would be enough to set up correct positioning, pricing to maximize revenue. The reservations manager will be the key contact for remote/cluster RM to support him with daily routines. Full-service hotels with conference facilities and big group potential need to have RM on-property. In this case, the responsibilities of RM will be wider focusing on optimizing business mix, group control. If all revenue centers need regular review and RM approach, Revenue Director can be assigned to implement the approach of Total Revenue management.

Forecasting and flexibility: Should a professional who is responsible for hotel revenue follow the political, economic and diplomatic relations happening between countries, federations or Unions to do right forecasting?

Yes, sure, Revenue Manager should be open-minded person, with erudition broad enough to review and analyze market info, not only on a micro but macro level as well. We now live in a very fast-moving world where each year can be different from the previous one because of global trends. It’s making Revenue Manager’s work more complex but more interesting as well than several years ago when seasonality was the main factor to be considered when forecasting.