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Hi, I’m

Ira
Vouk

Technology Executive and Founder / Pricing and Revenue Management Professional / Coach / Published Author / Speaker

2011

Co-founder of iRates LLC

- company that pioneered Pricing and Revenue Management automation for limited-service hotel segment

2013

Selected as Top 5 Pricing and Revenue Managers in the country

by HSMAI

2015

The originator of the ARPAR performance indicator

(#ARPAR)

2018

Author of 'Revenue Management Made Easy, for Midscale and Limited-Service Hotels'

2020

Recognized as Top 17 Technology professionals inspiring innovation in the US Hotel Industry

by AHT

2021

Board member at the Cornell Hotel School

Center for Hospitality Research

2021

Strategic Advisor at Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG)

AI for Hospitality Workgroup and Marketing Pillar

2021

Guest lecturer

San Diego State University, University of Delaware, University of Denver (topics: Revenue Management technology, Forecasting and Optimization)

About

Helping hospitality industry become more efficient and successful through building innovative solutions, consulting and coaching.

Tech innovator with nearly 20 years of practical experience in the hospitality industry and a deep passion for automation. 

I developed a new index for profit maximization (Adjusted RevPAR, or ARPAR), built a revolutionary automated Revenue Management tool iRates (acquired by iQware Inc. and renamed to xcelerates), the first RMS that adopted Machine Learning algorithms. Published a book on Revenue Management. Helped build PIE (Pricing Intelligence Engine) by Cloudbeds, which has become the fastest growing RMS in the history of hospitality. Assisted Duetto with their initiatives to innovate in the area of the Hospitality Analytics.

I’m a professional Hospitality technology and Revenue Management consultant.

Served as an advisory board member at Cornell CHR @ School of Hotel Administration and Strategic Advisor @ HTNG.

Contributing writer for HSyndicate, HospitalityNet World Panel, HSMAI blog and other online media.
Frequent speaker on the topics of hospitality technology, distribution, revenue management, profitability and automation. Guest lecturer at SDSU, UDEL, DU, University of Angers (France).

My book

Testimonials:
"The best you can find, if you're interested in Revenue Management 101 in Tourism and Hospitality. Solid, profound, practical. Read it, open an excel sheet and start."
Dr. Hans Vettiger
Senior Lecturer at Swiss Universities
"I started to read the book last night......LOVE IT! I had a couple 'aha' moments but the biggest gap in my understanding was about Pace -> occupancy based rules need to incorporate the booking window / revenue pick up...mind blown! It's a simple concept but tough for lazy people to implement without the tech. More to come!"
Pritesh Patel
Hotel Owner
Book available here:

Amazon (printed and ebook),
Lulu (ebook),
Lulu (printed, bulk discounts available),
Google (ebook).

Experience

January 2020

Top 17 Technology professionals inspiring innovation in the US Hotel Industry. AHT

June 2013

Top 5 Revenue Managers in the US award. HSMAI

Certifications: MBA, MA, CHA, CHSP, CRME, CSPO, Pragmatic Certified Product Manager

 

July 2014 - Present

Hospitality Technology & Revenue Management Consultant

I provide consulting services for hospitality organizations on the topic of hospitality technology, distribution, revenue management and profit maximization.

August 2020 - Present

Advisory Board Member

Cornell Hotel School - Center for Hospitality Research

August 2020 - September 2021

Senior Director of Product Management, Data & Analytics

Duetto - Hospitality Revenue Management software company

February 2018 - May 2020

Senior Product Strategist

CloudBeds - Hospitality software company

January 2020

Revenue Management Training

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts - US Operations Team

November 2011 - December 2017

Co-founder, VP of Business Development

iRates RMS - Revenue Management SaaS company

September 2006 - November 2011

Director of Revenue Management

Gaslamp Hotel Management - Hotel Management company

June 2014 - April 2017

Revenue Management consultant

Heritage Hotel Group - Hotel Management company

November 2012 - December 2016

Director of Technology - board member

HSMAI - Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association

2008 - Present

Owner, founder

Russian Mixer - Event planning company

February 2011 - February 2012)

Revenue Management Consultant and coach

Neurok Techsoft - Software Development company

May 2004 - February 2012

Sales and Marketing, Revenue Management

Ramada Gaslamp / Convention Center

June 2012 - August 2012

Business Analysis

San Diego State University

Published work

Ira's educational articles, publications, interviews and podcast episodes

September 15, 2021 | Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

In July, the School of Hotel Administration’s Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) hosted a virtual roundtable called Finding the Balance Between Driving Revenue & Managing Costs. A group of twenty-three academics and experts from various sectors of the hospitality industry attended the two-hour event. Through moderated discussion, they challenged the industry’s long standing practice of managing top line room revenues, proposed a shift to managing cash flow, and aimed to uncover opportunities for turning talk into action, with their ultimate goal being industry wide implementation of profit management and profit benchmarking.

The main takeaways from each session are highlighted in this article.

August 31, 2021 | HospitalityNet

Essentially, what Revenue Managers are doing today (and what we’re still teaching the new generation) is using historical internal occupancy data to predict number of expected booked rooms for a given day in the future.
Let’s be honest with ourselves: with this approach, we’re not predicting demand, we’re predicting occupancy while absolutely ignoring the hotel’s pricing strategy, and this is a big problem.
Read further for more details.

2020-2021 | HospitalityNet

A panel of hospitality industry leaders and experts dedicated to the topics of innovation, optimizations and profitability.

December 22, 2021 | Revenue Academy

Interviewed along with other industry leaders for a review published by Revenue Academy on how 2020 shaped up for revenue management and those in the discipline.

August 10, 2021 | Duetto Research

As hotel markets begin to see demand return, revenue managers now need to start conducting some housekeeping on their strategies rather than just reacting to the inconsistencies in the market. Room type efficiency analysis is one aspect of revenue management that is often overlooked while having a huge potential to improve your profitability. 

June 2, 2021 | Duetto Research

The pandemic made it obvious (and painful) to hoteliers that in any situation that poses uncertainty it is crucial to quickly develop and deploy strategies to adapt to both short- and long-term shifts in demand. But here’s the thing. Travel demand has always been uncertain. And history never repeats itself. Recent events just highlighted this fact for all of us and pushed the Revenue Management discipline towards more innovations in the areas of forecasting and optimization.
In early 2020 it became clear that forecasting and optimization algorithms had to be reimagined. Responding to a constantly evolving demand landscape requires an intelligent and flexible revenue strategy platform that quickly learns and adapts to myriad factors that impact the decisions you make. A platform that is agile and adaptable.

March 8, 2021 | Duetto Research

Ira Vouk joined Duetto in August 2020 as Senior Director of Product Management Data & Analytics. She has nearly two decades of experience working in hospitality, predominantly championing the role of revenue management and the use of technology to provide hoteliers with insight to improve how they lead their business strategy.

A published author and educator on revenue management, Vouk is looking forward to showing owners and operators the role technology can play in all aspects of hotel operations.

We caught up with her to find out more about her role, her experience, and her future goals.

How To Choose An RMS That Is Right For You? (article)

December 10, 2020 | HospitalityNET

2020 has shown all businesses how important it is to not just recognize changes in the environment but to be able to quickly and efficiently adapt to those changes. And just like after previous disruptions, the most adaptable and innovative hotels will thrive, leaving others staring at the horizon.

How do you make the right decision when selecting a Revenue Management system for your hotel or your portfolio of properties?

Interview about forecasting methodologies in Revenue Management (interview in German)

November 27, 2020 | Hospitality Inside

An insightful discussion around “old” and “new” approaches to forecasting in the hospitality industry and how the pandemic has been driving the trend towards automation and Machine Learning in the Revenue Management discipline. 

Hospitality Marketplace presentation of Duetto RMS (video)

December 1, 2020 | FunnelTV #justpitchit

Organized by Funnel TV, over 40 Travel Tech Companies met online to present their innovations through a strictly live “pitch elevators”. #justpitchit

Ira Vouk represented Duetto RMS as a Senior Director of Product Management, Data & Analytics

Interview with Advanced Hospitality Technologies (interview)

February 17, 2020 | Advanced Hospitality Technologies

AHT Inc. commemorated the leading-edge achievements of professionals who have dedicated their careers to innovate hospitality. Their recent 2020 countdown celebrated 17 hospitality leaders who are leading the evolution of technology in the industry. Ira Vouk is one of their most honored innovators, a professional with almost 20 years of hospitality experience. AHT had the opportunity to engage Ms. Vouk for an exclusive interview. Ira discussed with AHT some brilliant insights on hospitality technology, revenue management, the future of the industry, her personal journey as an influencer of the industry, and a bit from the heart.

Marketing automation in Hospitality (article)

January 29, 2020 | eHotelier

Sophisticated technology surrounds us in our everyday live, AI algorithms predict our shopping behavior, social media ads are tailored to our needs based on vast amounts of data gathered and analyzed through the web. Yet at the same time, most hoteliers are still adopting old-school generic marketing approach without investing in any (even basic) technology.

Revenue Management 101: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide (series of educational blog posts)

January 16, 2020 | Cloudbeds

A series of articles uncovering revenue management startegies that are designed to help hospitality operators realize optimal revenues and profits for capacity-constrained and perishable assets (hotel rooms).

Hotel price wars and the race to the bottom (article)

November 12, 2019 | Cloudbeds

Softening demand is naturally followed by a desire to lower rates in order to offset the loss in occupancy. Are we in danger of starting another rate to the bottom?

Smart Pricing Strategies Key to Winning in a Downturn (podscast episode)

October 9, 2019 | Lodging Leaders Podcast

Revenue Management has been playing an increasingly important role in hotel operations in the last decade. While the hospitality industry traditionally has been considered relatively conservative in adopting new strategies and technologies, things are looking better than they did just a few years ago. This article highlights major trends that we’re noticing in the Revenue Management world today, as we conclude the current decade of innovations.

Revenue Management trends at the end of the decade, or Hindsight 2020 (article)

September 13, 2019 | eHotelier

Revenue Management has been playing an increasingly important role in hotel operations in the last decade. While the hospitality industry traditionally has been considered relatively conservative in adopting new strategies and technologies, things are looking better than they did just a few years ago. This article highlights major trends that we’re noticing in the Revenue Management world today, as we conclude the current decade of innovations.

Interview with Skift: The Automated Hotel Revenue Management Landscape 2019 (interview)

April 10, 2019 | Skift Research

Interviewed along with other hospitality tech executives for a research that was aimed to investigate the current landscape of Revenue Management systems, highlighting the opportunities for growth in the upcoming years.

Pricing intelligence tools offered by OTA's... to trust or not to trust? (article)

January 29, 2018 | HospitalityNET

As Revenue Management becomes more and more relevant in the Travel industry and more hotels finally begin to understand the importance of dynamic pricing fluctuations, various hospitality companies start introducing products that are aimed at assisting hoteliers with managing their revenue, one way or another. A wide range of RM/pricing solutions have flooded the market, and there is a wide range of companies offering them: from strictly RM tech companies, to PMS providers, to even Online Travel Agencies. How reliable are those tools and how much faith should hoteliers put in them? There are two major aspects that we need to review in order to answer this question.

Hotel Rooms vs Apples | Specifics of Managing Perishable Inventory (article)

January 15, 2018 | HospitalityNET

Revenue Management techniques are dictated by the type of product you’re selling. What are the main characteristics of hotel rooms as a product and what makes it different from, let’s say, apples?..

2 Types of Data Needed for Successful Dynamic Pricing (article)

January 3, 2018 | HospitalityNET

As we know, the main goal of Revenue Management is to sell the right product to the right customer at the right time and for the right price, with an ultimate goal to maximize the bottom line (the final profit). “The right price” is found through Dynamic Pricing, which should be the central element of every property’s Revenue Management strategy.

Revenue Management 101 | 5 easy steps to successful Revenue Management for midscale and limited service hotels (article)

March 1, 2016 | HospitalityNET

Why revenue needs to be managed? The answer is obvious: to increase profits. Unfortunately, not all hotel operators understand the importance of managing revenue and paying enough attention to this activity. Times of “set it and forget it” are long gone. In order to be able to respond to this challenge and not get lost in constantly changing market conditions, every single hotel needs to understand the value of adequate proactive daily Revenue Management.

Automation in Hospitality Revenue Management (article)

April 21, 2015 | HospitalityNET

The slogan of the successful Revenue Management is to sell the right product to the right customer at the right time and for the right price. It sounds relatively simple but is not easy to accomplish. How do we know when the right time comes, what the right price is and what types of customers we should target?

Are you also afraid of overselling? You're not alone (article)

December 22, 2014 | HospitalityNET

The effect of incorrect overbooking policies (or the lack of thereof) is being widely underestimated in the industry, especially in the limited service/middle tier segment. Proper overselling at the peak of demand helps hoteliers sell their rooms at the premium rate and not leave money on the table from empty rooms due to anticipated cancelations and no-shows. This is optimal strategy that leads to revenue (and profit) maximization. The additional revenues gained from the overselling techniques go straight to the bottom line. But nonetheless, not very many hoteliers embrace this practice. It’s still very common for most managers (especially in the middle tier segment) to close out availability on all channels before they reach 100% occupancy mark for a certain day…

Things you didn't know about RevPAR, or: ARPAR as a better performance indicator (article)

September 22, 2014 | HospitalityNET

RevPAR is also not the most perfect index for measuring a hotel’s actual productivity (or, the Revenue Management and pricing strategy, to be exact), regardless of the widely spread opinion in the hotel industry. This statistic does not objectively reflect the performance (and profitability) of your hotel, due to the following:

  • It does not take CPOR into account (costs per occupied room). You can’t tell what optimal occupancy you need to reach by only looking at your RevPAR.
  • It does not take into consideration any additional income a hotel may have from other revenue-generating departments (restaurants, meeting space, banquet rooms, casinos, parking, spa, etc.)

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