Benjamin Jost

Guests constantly hop across different communication channels. To keep pace with them, hotels must migrate through these various platforms to remain engaged. Most modern hotel executives recognize the importance of communicating with guests on the medium in which they are most comfortable. However, identifying and implementing approaches that makes these meetings possible can be more difficult than these executives consider. After all, anyone can send a text message. But meeting and tracking an SLA across an SMS creates an entirely new set of hurdles an owner must address to his advantage. Read on...

Mia A. Mackman

Technology and automation are making exponential headway touching nearly all sectors of hospitality, including spa and wellness. This article reviews the impact and importance of integrating these systematisations to help stimulate and streamline the functionality and profitability of hotel and resort spa operations. Retooling the focus from manually centered services and embracing advancements in new technologies to support sustainable profitability and continued growth. Read on...

Steven D. Weber

There is a growing shortage of qualified and skilled hospitality employees. This shortage may lead hospitality brands to hire from competitors. While the idea of hiring a skilled employee with access to a competitor's information may be tempting, hiring from a competitor may have negative repercussions for the employee, the employer, and for the hospitality brand that is hiring them. To mitigate the risk of such a repercussion, a hospitality brand may wish to consider the below when hiring from a competitor. Read on...

Jeff  Catlin

The early days of the travel and leisure industry are more recent but nonetheless important. In days gone by the idea of traveling cross-country or across a continent was a life-and-death proposition. Through innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit, the travel and leisure industry has become the ambassadors of business across the globe. Yet, when your customers can be literally anyone in the world, how can anyone be expected to effectively understand what they are they are saying? We will take a more detailed look at how social engagement should differ for the various brands within a hotel chain. Specifically, we're going to examine how sentiment is not a universal measure, and that it's not only correct, but appropriate that sentiment for high end hotel chains will have a much larger variance (more really positive and really negative comments). Read on...

Library Archives

 
Mark Ricketts

As leaders of organizations responsible for the property management and asset management of hospitality portfolios, how can we complement or merge the "employee manual with everyday vision, " reinforcing and strengthening what we represent as a business. This is especially challenging, as many hospitality organizations managing a property must combine adroitly the guidance from a formal brand with their own standards and operating philosophies. In addition, hospitality organizations are today responsible for a broad array of brand relationships; not just with guests, but, also, with vendors and suppliers, strategic partners, industry organizations and community groups. There are many daily pushes and pulls to which we are subject and the brand must emerge unscathed, stronger than ever. This article will explore some of the practical, simple and, yet, profound aspects of this everyday brand management. Read on...

Dana Kravetz

Hoteliers may ask: "isn't cannabis illegal under the federal law?" The short answer is yes, but that is a qualified response at best. As the scale tips toward marijuana becoming legal throughout the country, pot continues to be against the law federally. The resulting dichotomy between the relaxed view of cannabis and its extracts at the state level and the current federal position on marijuana is an interesting one. According to the Controlled Substance Act, by which the federal government regulates drugs, there is no recognized difference between cannabis, cocaine, heroin or LSD. Likewise, the CSA does not distinguish between the medical and recreational use of marijuana. So technically, pot is illegal and users (even those with valid prescriptions for the substance) can be arrested, convicted and sentenced to jail under the federal law as it stands. Read on...

Ashish Modak

Hotels and especially luxury hotels are glamorous in their appeal, their style quotient and the wow feel they deliver to all their patrons. And every hotel and resort has its set of superstars who perform their acts to perfection. Very often these very stars are celebrated and written about. But, how about the secret armour that every hotel carries in its back offices and hidden troves? This essay attempts to bring forth the contribution of many such superstars who work day in and day out in quiet anonymity through their careers. It is time for all hotel managers to celebrate the contributions made by these teams who truly form the nervous system of the hotel world. Read on...

Bhanu Chopra

You may have a sizeable stock of inventory. You may also have revenue managers who know how to leverage pricing strategies. Moreover, you may have access to a variety of channels to reach your target market. But, is that all you need to ensure high revenue? Despite having all these goodies, your hotel's revenue-making potential can suffer on account of revenue leakages, which often go unnoticed. Avoiding them will make an immense difference to your hotel's bottom line. But, before we get there, let us understand these glitches in detail. Read on...

Andrew Dyer

Business travelers go where their work takes them, but their choice of accommodation, even within a travel policy, is driven by personal preference. Hotels, airlines and other travel suppliers recognize this, and personalization has become a primary focus over the last several years. Look no further than Uber's integrations with Pandora and Spotify, which allow riders to play their favorite music while en route. As a hotel, the key to standing out from the crowd is in understanding the corporate traveler's preferences and responding with a compelling and relevant offering up front in the booking process. Read on...

Justin Effron

The combination of increasing customization and advancing technology is bringing the world together. What used to take ten or more separate devices is now all in one smartphone. Platform-based services like Uber, Netflix, and Airbnb are revolutionizing business as we know it. Just about every industry has jumped on board this trend towards tech-based simplicity except one. The hotel industry has been slow to adapt, preferring instead to stick with separate systems for their various departments—if using systems at all. Thanks to the increasing awareness of hospitality platforms however, all that's about to change. At long last, the hotel industry is getting its long-awaited wake-up call. Just don't go back to sleep, before making room for a platform in your upcoming budget. Read on...

David Ashen

In the sea of ready options, limited service properties that define who they are get noticed. No one wants to choose a hotel by price alone and there's no need to. Because a place has reasonable prices, no longer negates the presence of good design. In fact, some guests even leave inspired to replicate the look of a hotel's public spaces or furnishings in their own homes, the hallmark of engaging, aspirational design. Like the new Hyatt Place near Cleveland, complete with spacious rooms with mini-refrigerators and free Wi-Fi; complimentary hot breakfast and Starbucks coffee; beer, wine and mixed drinks; a fitness gym; and eco-friendly heated indoor pool, today's limited service brands are pushing the envelope while staying affordable and providing guests with a memorable experience. Read on...

Leon Fresco

There are two main challenges the hospitality industry faces from the new Administration's immigration policies – increased labor costs and decreased demand. With regard to labor, policies are likely to be promulgated that may remove millions of non-U.S. citizen workers from the U.S. workforce and make it far more challenging for the hospitality industry to obtain the labor needed operate its facilities. With regard to demand, policies have already been put in place, and are likely to continue to expand, that will reduce the demand from foreign visitors to enter the United States and consume hospitality resources. Read on...

Brenda McGregor

In an industry where so much depends on a hotel management company's ability to deploy motivated, experienced and talented people, attracting and retaining high-quality employees is an urgent–and constant–priority, especially today. It's one thing to say "we need good people" and another thing to make it happen. Brenda McGregor, Vice President of Human Resources at Chesapeake Hospitality, offers critical insight about how companies can boost their recruiting and retention efforts to attract top talent. Let's take a look at some of her expert tips and the company's best practices that have translated into a strong industry retention rate and defined company culture. Read on...

Scott Acton

According to IBISWorld, the theme park industry has grown strongly over the past five years to more than $18 billion at a 5.4% annual growth rate, largely driven by the operators securing intellectual property rights to major film franchises and entertainment, bringing films and characters into exciting new features and experiential rides that have been driving revenue and increasing profit margins. These theme parks have long known what intrigues customers and keeps them coming back, and smart hoteliers are now catching on to this trend. Let's take a look at how theme park attractions are impacting the hospitality industry's growth by infusing the elements of the big screen into the guest experience. Read on...

Mia A. Mackman

The magnitude of wellness and mindfulness has ushered in new perceptions of performance and program authenticity. While the nature of the hospitality industry is to serve, care, and exceed guest expectations; there can be considerable breaks in delivery, legitimacy and company culture, making it a challenge to quantify value and maintain significance and consistency. This article examines the central mainstays of delivering wellness with a mission and purpose that effectively ties to company cornerstones, employee ethos and crafts genuine, wellness-focused guest experiences. This article also looks at internal value propositions that add meaningful engagement, and enhance employee investment in stride with operating and fiscal performance through integrally focused wellness models. Read on...

Benjamin Jost

The importance of technology in the hospitality industry grows every year, and with each new year brings new options for hoteliers to consider. From creating better experiences for guests, to collecting and tracking meaningful data points, when implemented correctly, technology can make an impact. This article examines the due diligence and critical steps hoteliers should take when evaluating new technology. Additionally, this article outlines the key elements of an effective and revenue-driven hotel technology stack, that includes focusing on marketing and operational aspects to create optimal success for hoteliers. Read on...

Brenda Sandoval Valdes

In today's technology dominated society, the days of hotels and resorts creating brand loyalty through old-fashioned classic mailers, television commercials, and print ads are all but obsolete. In a world where tablets, computers, and smart phones stream blogs, social media, and videos that are readily available and at the customers' disposition 24/7, today's travelers are more knowledgeable and particular about the content they process and the brands they choose. Amidst this endless streaming of information, opportunities have emerged for hotels to share their messages across a multitude of direct platforms. Quality content has always been important, but now with the rapid evolution of markets and the overload of information it is more essential than ever. Read on...

Richard Hudak

On the night of October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, leaving 58 people dead and 546 injured. Instead of assigning blame for the shooting incident, more discussion should focus upon the value of 360 degree of protection and the layers of security the Mandalay Bay resort provided which altered the shooter's behavior, and minimized how much more destruction he could have unleashed. The impact of this tragedy is that although security can alter criminal behavior, even outstanding security measures, may not be able to prevent it. Read on...

David Lund

In the hotel business payroll is the number one cost. STR recently reported that labor made up 50% of revenues for a sample of over 4, 000 hotels of all types and sizes. This should not be even a little bit of a surprise to anyone. Many hotels are well north of the 50% mark. We have all become accustomed to serious REVPAR growth year over year which has taken the bight out of wage and expense increases. But what happens when the REVPAR bubble bursts. We all know it's not a matter of "if" it bursts it's when will it burst. Read on...

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Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.