Ask the Expert - Ofelia Blanco


Ofelia Blanco

Director of revenue management
Kerry Hotel Pudong, Shanghai

Ofelia shares her insights on questions relating to pricing, revenue management and marketing from hoteliers and travel agents based on real situations and experiences gained from nearly six years of revenue management practice.


PayPal issues

PayPal is a convenient and safe online payment platform for customers, but not always so for middlemen like us. In some cases, PayPal does not prompt us when they receive payments from our clients and sometimes even delays payments for weeks.

How do I manage fluctuating currency rates that affect my overhead?

The Indonesian currency is getting much stronger. Our contract rates with the overseas agents are in US dollars, while our spending in Indonesia is mostly in rupiah. Increasing selling prices too much will make us uncompetitive, while a normal five- to 10-per cent increase is barely enough to cover the overhead.

How do I deal with procurement managers who expect freebies that will cost me?

The travel industry is becoming a "dog eat dog" world. On one end, procurement managers are pressing for competitive rates, yet on the other, they also expect "freebies" or "favours" which have a direct cost to the business.

What can a hotel or travel agent do to avoid price wars?

In any competitive marketplace, price wars are inevitable. In all your years of experience, have you witnessed any best practices by tourism players that has helped them to avoid price wars?