HSMAI Foundation Releases Special Report on The Transformational Power of ‘Commercial’

McLean, VA (May 23, 2024) – TheHospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Foundation has released a special report, “From Solos to Symphony. The Transformational Power of ‘Commercial’,” which outlines the findings of the HSMAI Foundation’s study on how industry professionals conceptualize the role and scope of commercial strategy within the hotel industry. The report is authored by Breffni M. Noone, Associate Professor at The Pennsylvania State University, and Chris Boyd, Revenue Management Specialist at Hilton.

As ‘Commercial’ and ‘Commercial Strategy’ are relatively new additions to the hotel industry vernacular, this study investigates how hotel companies have embraced the formalization of the commercial function and provides a practical blueprint for hotel organizations to fully embrace the transformative power of commercial.

This study was conducted through an online survey distributed to HSMAI members who work within the commercial space, resulting in a total of 204 participants.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Describing ‘Commercial’ – While 29% of participants broadly described commercial objectives as optimization of hotel performance, 54% specifically flagged topline revenue optimization across all revenue-generating assets as the key outcome of an effective commercial strategy.
  • The Importance of Commercial Strategy to Company Success – When asked to rate the importance of having a commercial strategy, 80.6% rated it as Extremely Important and 17.3% rated it as Very Important.
  • The Current State of Corporate Commercial Leadership – 65% of the hotel companies that have a corporate office have a Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) or CCO-equivalent.
  • Essential Competencies of a Successful Commercial Leader – The five key aspects of essential skills and abilities for strong commercial leaders that dominated participants’ responses are analytical/critical thinking skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, adaptability/creativity, and influence/negotiation skills.

“This white paper illuminates the importance of understanding and implementing a robust commercial strategy in the hospitality sector,” said Lori Kiel, CHDM, HSMAI Foundation Chair and Chief Commercial Officer, The Boca Raton Resort and Club. “Embracing a unified approach across Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Management optimizes performance and ensures sustained growth and competitiveness in a rapidly evolving marketplace.”

The HSMAI Foundation “From Solos to Symphony. The Transformational Power of ‘Commercial’” Report is made possible with the support of the HSMAI Foundation’s corporate talent partners.

The full report is available at https://global.hsmai.org/from-silos-to-symphony/.


About the HSMAI Foundation

The HSMAI Foundation is a 501c3 organization established in 1983 to serve as the research and educational arm of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. The Foundation’s mission is to elevate the overall caliber and performance of sales, marketing, and revenue management professionals in the global hospitality industry by driving initiatives that will attract new talent, develop emerging talent and engage existing talent. The work of the Foundation is supported by private donations and Corporate Talent Partners. Visit www.hsmaifoundation.org for more information.