A Conversation with Elizabeth Cambra, Vice President, Pricing and Revenue for Outrigger Hotels and Resorts.

EPCambra Headshot Nov 2012

A new feature to Naked Hospitality is a conversation with key executives, such as this one with Elizabeth Cambra. I started this site with the belief that truthful conversations about hospitality marketing would inspire new ideas. Ones that have real-world impact, encourage paradigm-shifting execution, and demonstrate that far-sighted risk taking can deliver meaningful return on investment. Hopefully, you will be inspired to join the conversation.

So what does a Vice President, Pricing and Revenue do on a daily basis at Outrigger Hotels and Resorts?

My daily focus is on collaboration, mitigating obstacles, encouraging calculated risk taking, and following through on all of the above.

What are today’s top revenue management challenges?

1. Keeping a healthy pulse on the competitive market while keeping the consumer at the center of our focus
2. Identifying future revenue, pricing, and distribution talent is a concern. We have to invest now in cultivating potential candidates, and we have to think outside the industry box—banking, technology, and insurance are a few businesses worth looking into for tomorrow’s leaders.
3. Balancing technology, business practices, and strategic forward thinking.

The biggest myth about revenue management is…

Pricing and revenue management isn’t fun and all data driven. Yes, data is the best foundation but technology, pricing, marketing, sales, finance, and your trusty gut makes this discipline fun and ever-changing.

Gut instinct versus algorithms. Which is more important?

BOTH are a key to success. Algorithms are the foundation but the gut and instinct must be layered on top. Risks must be taken which takes a strong spine and trust in the mathematical foundation of your decision or strategy.

In order to be successful, how closely should the revenue management and marketing departments be connected?

Success means we must be connected like the majority of our society is connected to their technology, Internet, or even Facebook!

Do you believe the OTA’s have made hoteliers lazy marketers?

Hoteliers will never be able to spend a fraction of what the OTA’s spend to encourage travel throughout the world. If you rely on the OTA’s, you become lazy. If you are strategic, you focus on what can be done to maximize their spend and drive those that want to travel to your city or destination to your property.

If you took a chunk of the commissions spent with OTA’s, and instead, used the monies on effective marketing designed to drive direct bookings, do you think it could be more profitable? Do you think it would add to brand value?

Any action that adds to brand value makes a company more profitable. A key factor is determining how deep your pockets must be to move the brand value and profitability number and not lose market share.

What’s one thing your team members would be surprised to know about you?

Playing polo has sharpened my strategic and leadership skills. My horses have taught me a new level of flexibility and partnership. Having less available time has made me more efficient.

About Elizabeth Cambra
Elizabeth P. Cambra, CRM is the Vice President, Pricing and Revenue for Outrigger Enterprises Group, the largest Hawaii-owned hotel operator and one of the fastest growing lodging companies in the Pacific. She is responsible for applying industry leading revenue management and pricing practices in addition to training the company’s revenue generation teams to attain optimal revenues under the company’s multi-branded line of hotels and condominium resorts, including Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, Outrigger Condominium Collection and OHANA Hotels & Resorts. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Cambra is an active member of HSMAI, currently serving as a member of the HSMAI’s Americas Board, and in 2013, HSMAI recognized her as one of the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales and Marketing. She is also an appointed member of Hawaii’s Council on Revenues, a group of seven economists and business executives who provide long- and short-term forecasts of the state’s economy.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 at 11:27 am and is filed under Conversations . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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