Shell Vacations LLC, a Wyndham Vacation Ownership subsidiary and one of the largest independent vacation ownership clubs and property-management groups in North America, is reaping big rewards from a survey pilot launched in cooperation with ZDirect and Arizona State University. The Shell Vacations Hospitality 2013 Logit Study used predictive analysis to determine consumers' willingness to pay for vacation rental attributes like additional bedrooms and kitchens; based on guest demographic. The task exceeded expectations, with 10,000 recipients responding and $100,000 generated in room revenues.
Instead of guessing how to price its vacation rental units, Shell Vacations Hospitality enlisted the expertise of Big Data specialist ZDirect to distribute an email survey crafted by Arizona State University that would drive intelligence for revenue managers. The goal was to learn more about their customers' perceptions of price vs. value. Survey recipients were chosen from a rate code within the Shell Vacations Hospitality database. Those who answered eight simple questions would receive 20 percent off their next stay at a Shell Vacations resort.
Dr. Timothy Tyrrell, Professor of Tourism Economics at Arizona State University, used the project to determine the viability of the survey method used commonly by academics, but infrequently by practicing revenue managers. Using ZDirect and a logit framework, Shell Vacations Hospitality was able to retrieve the information it needed by asking only eight questions. If the logit framework was not used, Tyrrell said it would have taken hundreds of questions to arrive at the same results.
Hoteliers interested in improving their two-way communications with guests are encouraged to visit ZDirect at the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC), June 25 to 27 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Booth No. 125.