As default, PMI will use historical data from the same month for forecasting purposes, i.e. January will be used to forecast January. If you are satisfied with this basic setting, you don’t have to read any further, but we do recommend you build up your Seasons on your own to maintain and gain the most benefits of PMI and its algorithms.
However, for most properties it will be a good idea to divide the year into seasons rather than calendar months. A season is a longer period during which the business mix, price sensitivity and demand are similar during the entire period. The seasons are therefore, by definition, the same from year to year.
As an additional feature, you can mark certain dates as being different from the standard season; for instance, special cases like large congresses, sporting events, holidays, etc.
General Manager, Hotel Manager, Revenue Manager and Booking Manager.
For Room Forecasting, historical pickup statistics must be available for each season, special period and fixed date that is going to be forecast.
For other forecasting, historical numbers must be available for each season.
1. To edit seasons and special events, open the Tools – Live Forecast module and click on the ‘Seasons’ icon.
- It is possible to create several sets of season definitions. A chain could, for instance, create one set to be used in a specific city, and another to be used at their Ski Resorts.
2. To create a new set, click on the [+] icon.
3. Enter a name for the new season.
4. Decide if this season should be applicable only to a specific property.
5. Decide if this season should be applicable to a group of hotels and use the drop down menu.
6. If Holidays are selected, PMI will include the predefined holidays from the Hierarchy (e.g. Easter) in the season calendar.
7. Select the season you want to use from the drop down menu.
8. To edit or delete the definitions for the chosen set, click on the pen icon (edit), or trash can (delete).
There are 4 different types of entries that can be created for the calendar:
- Special Periods
- Fixed Date
A season is a longer period during which the business mix and price sensitivity is similar. You expect the same booking behavior during this period. The seasons should be very similar year to year.
10. Special Periods
Within a season, some days could be different from the usual due to special events taking place. It is during a shorter time span, and during this period the booking behavior is significantly different. Examples could be a large convention, sports event, concert, etc. Please note that Special Periods should be used for shorter periods, preferably 2 weeks or less, and only if it’s not normal for the season. If it is a recurring period each year during the same period, you should consider setting up a new Season instead.
These are dates or periods that should be disregarded for future calculations of pickup. Examples: Hotel entirely or partially closed due to renovation, extreme pickup/cancellations due to force of nature, or files not exported correctly from PMS. As all of these dates will be disregarded it will not add any value to have several types of outliers. However, if you want to keep track of why dates are not used, you can create as many as needed.
Dates that are recurring each year and always have a significantly different booking behavior compared to the normal season. Examples: National day and New Year. Please note that holidays that are recurring but on different dates each year are handled by the Holiday function (6) above and automatically entered in the calendar.
12. To add a new season, special period, outlier or fixed date, start by entering the name in the field.
- Choose the type from the drop down menu and click on the [+] icon. Choose a color by clicking on the gray square next to the name. You can change the color at any time by clicking on the square and the name by clicking on the pen icon. To delete a season, click on the [-] icon next to the season.
13. When clicking on the + icon next to the name of the season, the Booking Horizons are shown. The value entered is the shortest lead time when the segment might reasonably be expected to have new bookings. Once inside this period, the algorithm will only take actual changes in consideration and not suggest additional bookings. As a default, these are set to 0, i.e. it will be forecast each day up until arrival date.
14. Once you have made any kind of changes to the seasons, please remember to save by clicking on the Save icon on the bottom right of the page.
15. Once Seasons has been established, highlight a season you would like to use by clicking on the season name. Then click directly on the date in the calendar on which that season should be used. By holding down the right button on the mouse, you can apply the season to several days. To change to a new season (or special period, etc.), just select a new season and click on the date again.
16. When you start editing, you will receive a message asking if you would like to create a new template. If you answer OK, all changes will be applied to both historical and future years. This is very useful when setting up basic seasons and Fixed Dates. By selecting Cancel, the changes will only apply to this year.
17. You may see the different seasons more easily in the overview by ticking the check box “Show”.
Do not create too many seasons and special periods, as there will be less information for the algorithm to base its forecasts upon:
- Try to combine similar booking patterns into one special period, even though the events themselves could be different. Example: combining “sport events” and “concerts” into “Local Event”.
- As the algorithm will consider the day of the week, there is no need to break up a week into separate seasons/special periods depending on the day of the week, as it is already considered.
- For OTB based forecasts: The algorithm considers current OTB and uses historical days with similar OTB for comparison; thus the demand for the day is taken in consideration. Therefore, first see if the suggested forecast is adequate without special periods, as fewer special periods means less maintenance
- For revenue driver based forecasts: When the actual driver goes up or down, the forecast will show the same swings. As long as the expected relation between the driver and the outcome is the same, the same season and/or special period can be used. E.g. a driver based on room nights will automatically suggest a lower forecast on days with low expected occupancy. No special consideration, therefore, has to be made based on expected occupancy levels.