Advanced Hotel Revenue Management

School of Hotel Administration

How long?

  • blended
  • on demand

School of Hotel Administration


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Who should attend

  • General managers
  • Revenue managers
  • Marketing managers
  • Hospitality professionals who are responsible for the financial performance of their organization

About the course

Increasing sales and profits entails a comprehensive revenue management strategy that includes creating and managing customer demand and establishing a marketing strategy built around rigorous control systems. Doing this better than the other players in the market will produce a clear, competitive yield advantage.

This blended certificate program, which begins with a series of online courses and culminates in a four-day capstone experience at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, New York, builds on the fundamental principles of pricing and revenue management to give you advanced tools and techniques to make strategic hotel pricing decisions, set inventory controls, and encourage demand manipulation to drive profits and overall organizational performance.

After completing the online courses, you will travel to the Cornell campus to work with faculty experts and hospitality professionals from around the world to further explore revenue management via hands-on activities, interactive case studies, and team assignments. You’ll run a competitive revenue management and pricing simulation that will enable you to test your skills and knowledge, apply new tools to today’s revenue management challenges, and discover new approaches to maximizing profits versus revenues. You’ll walk away with new skills and best practices, a powerful network of international colleagues and affiliate membership in the Cornell Hotel Society.


Price and Inventory Controls

Technology- and Internet-savvy consumer behaviors have fundamentally changed the way in which revenue is managed. This online course encourages those schooled or experienced in traditional revenue management to elevate and fine-tune their approach to price manipulation, length of stay, and demand and availability control. This curriculum will prepare students to succeed in this new, highly competitive hospitality landscape.

You'll investigate individual cases and strategies used by the world's top airlines, casinos, hotels and car rental businesses. Learn how these top companies optimize their price setting and inventory control measures to generate maximum profit and minimize systematic inefficiencies.

Whether you're preparing to create a proprietary revenue management system or use a commercially available revenue management system, the principles and techniques learned in this course will serve as a foundation.

Price Sensitivity and Pricing Decisions

Pricing strategy is the central component in your overall profit performance. This online course prepares you to anticipate the impact certain pricing decisions will have on consumer demand and thrive in a highly competitive environment.

You'll learn to measure demand sensitivity to your price changes, measure the overall impact and even analyze and improve upon your competitors' strategies. See how pricing strategies in economic declines can bring volatility and bring about a "price war" situation, like that of the airline industry. This course also provides the tools to conduct a break-even analysis, which is used to determine a baseline volume and price that will generate positive revenue.

Closely aligned with the break-even analysis is the concept of price elasticity, which is the measurement of change in demand as it relates to a change in price. By measuring demand sensitivity, running a break-even analyses and forecasting price elasticity you'll be able to develop a measured, data-driven approach to pricing strategy geared toward positive revenue generation and sustained profitability for your operation.

The course Price and Inventory Controls is required to be completed prior to starting this course.

Segmentation and Price Optimization

Segmenting your customer base is critical to developing a variable pricing scheme. By identifying core groups of customers and their purchasing habits, you can target them accordingly by setting prices that will help you win their business over your competition. Without proper segmentation, however, dynamic pricing can backfire, which can alienate consumers and turn them into perpetual deal-seekers.

This course expands upon the central concepts in revenue management—RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) and RevPASH (Revenue Per Available Seat Hour)—with the goal of selling the right room or reserving the right table for the right person at the right time. Get your organization properly managing inventory and using market-based pricing to maximize revenue.

If you can achieve a workable segmentation and variable pricing scheme, you won't need to adjust prices as often. Many hotels and hospitality organizations have used stable prices to create a marketing advantage, by providing stable rates for customers who appreciate consistency. Finding the right mix in variability and stability in pricing, and setting upgrade policies, are what generate repeat business from happy customers and create an environment for sustained profitability.

Displacement and Negotiated Pricing

Group events, conferences and negotiated business bookings frequently account for over 50% of hotel room reservations. This course will prepare you to develop your own data-driven, systematic approach to group pricing.

You'll also learn how to anticipate displacement—specifically how a property estimates the number of future arrivals that will have to be turned away when at capacity. Predicting transient business (non-group, individual business travelers) amid negotiated bookings is also a component when considering the effects of displacement on customer satisfaction.

Forecasting displacements and setting parameters for negotiating price will help you determine the number of rooms to allocate to each customer segment. Another key metric is win rate—the probability that a group will accept the quoted price—and the trade-offs to be made around profit margins.

Search Engines and Online Selling: Stimulating Incremental Demand

Today's consumers rely less upon traditional travel agents and more on web-based research when booking travel. In this online course you'll learn to develop online strategies designed to improve your standing in Internet search results, called Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and increase your visibility to target customers.

Learn how to optimize your position on Internet search results and increase conversions: the moment when a search becomes a purchase. Online travel agencies are especially popular because they provide one-stop convenience and notifications for consumers searching for deals and promotional opportunities. The success of online travel agency is largely attributable to their marriage of leading-edge technology and a keen insight into consumer behavior patterns.

On-Campus: Ithaca Campus

Advanced Hotel Revenue Management Capstone

The Advanced Hotel Revenue Management Capstone, part of the Cornell Professional Development Program, is the on-campus component that results in the completion of your advanced certificate. It takes place at the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, NY, at the renowned School of Hotel Administration.

Over four intensive days, you will tackle revenue and demand management challenges and collaborate with a network of peers to expand the foundation of your hospitality knowledge.

Days 1 and 2: Strategic and Competitive Pricing

Revenue management has historically been focused inward; you've used historical transaction data to generate a forecast and manage prices and inventory. As information has become more readily available, you need the ability to more directly model and take into account the pricing and inventory actions of your competitors when contemplating revenue management decisions. In this intensive session, you'll take a strategic and competitive look at revenue management and pricing decisions with a focus on both understanding the reactions of others as well as how to use today's tools to make pricing and inventory decisions to drive profitable revenue. Using a strategic pricing simulation, you'll develop an understanding of the interplay between pricing and digital marketing in competitive markets and refocus your efforts on profit versus revenue.

Days 3 and 4: Driving Profit Through Performance and Demand Management

Defining the “revenue performance” of a hotel has traditionally involved a series of benchmarking approaches like comparisons to last year, budget, forecast, and of course the competitive set. As the discipline evolves, performance metrics need to evolve as well. Metrics such as RevPAR Index will likely remain crucial for the foreseeable future. That said, the role of revenue management is to make tactical and strategic decisions to further the goals of a hotel or set of hotels, and these goals extend far beyond revenue maximization; in fact, some of these goals are actually counter to revenue maximization. In this session, you'll examine the often-competing goals of customer acquisition, customer retention, engagement and loyalty, channel choice, and the corresponding revenue management approaches. You'll also examine a “balanced scorecard” approach, which presents a much more comprehensive assessment of revenue performance. You'll leave equipped with the tools to excel in today's more active revenue management environment.

Key course takeaways

  • Employ a strategic and proactive approach in pricing decisions
  • Anticipate the reactions of your competitors regarding price changes
  • Convey an understanding between transient revenue management and negotiated selling
  • Recognize the role of online channels and the opportunities they provide in demand creation and management
  • Examine the fundamentals of competitive pricing
  • Use segmentation to devise effective revenue management and distribution strategies
  • Analyze the moderating role of digital marketing in low-demand environments
  • Utilize today’s forward-looking demand signals


Christopher Anderson

Chris K Anderson is a Professor at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. Prior to his appointment in 2006, he was on faculty at the Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario Canada. His main research focus is on revenue management and service pricing. He actively works with industry, acros...

Dave Roberts

Dave joined Cornell’s Hotel School faculty in the Fall of 2020, and is currently teaching Introduction to Lodging Operations. Prior to this role, he taught graduate courses in Business Strategy and Corporate Finance at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business. Dave retired from Marriott in 20...

Advanced Hotel Revenue Management at School of Hotel Administration

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