By Guy Barnes

Time to plan your next vacation. Choose a destination—check. Book your flights and lodging—check, check. You’re happy to do this in advance, securing a spot and locking in your price.

Travelers have grown to expect to make these purchases online. We demand a choice of products and services, and we want what we buy to be digitally-accessible, convenient, and immediate.

Now back to booking your trip…have you thought about whether space in your preferred parking lot will be available when you get to the airport? If only you could pre-book a parking spot and lock in the price you will pay.

Trailblazing airports around the world, like Raleigh-Durham and Avinor Oslo, are actively growing pre-book parking and using data and analytics to offer the right parking product to the right customer, at the right price, at the right time. It’s a practice called revenue management and it’s been used by airlines and hotels for decades. Not only does it improve the traveler experience, but it optimizes occupancy and maximizes parking revenue.

It’s quite simple. A parking spot, like an airplane seat, is a perishable asset. If the spot isn’t filled, it doesn’t generate any revenue for that day. If it’s filled at a low price when the consumer is willing to pay more, the business misses out on additional revenue.

It’s also quite complex. How do you pick the perfect price that factors in demand, price sensitivity, and varied arrival dates and lengths of stay? Thanks to advances in automated analytics technology, sophisticated tools are now available that replace guesswork with empirical science and data-driven pricing decisions.

It’s only a matter of time before booking a place for your car to stay is just another step in the planning process of your next getaway.

Guy Barnes is head of global sales, parking, with IDeaS Revenue Solutions. He will present on this topic at the 2019 IPMI Conference & Expo, June 9-12 in Anaheim, Calif. For more information and to register, click here.