Starwood taps machine learning to dynamically price hotel rooms

Should Marriott International acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide as is widely expected, it will gain a company whose smartphone check-in, key-less entry and robot bellhops are progressive in the increasingly technology-focused hospitality sector. But Starwood’s digital crown jewel is invisible to guests: Its analytics software platform enables the hotelier to automatically recalibrate pricing of its properties using hundreds of variables that influence supply and demand. Starwood spent more than $50 million over three years on this revenue optimization system, or ROS as the company calls it, which has helped the chain improve demand forecasting by 20 percent since 2015, says David Flueck, Starwood’s vice president of global revenue. As ROS “learns” it will price rooms more efficiently, ideally boosting revenues and profitability. “What we’re trying to do within our…


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