Six Ways to Insure Your Halls are Decked

By Zoe Connolly Co-Founder & Managing Director, Hospitality Spotlight | October 25, 2015

This year’s holiday season seems to be bearing early gifts for the travel industry, as average daily hotel rates seem to be trending up year-over-year, according to the same Orbitz study. However, as consumers are paying more, it becomes incredibly important for hotels to provide value that lines up with the increased prices. Various studies show that prospective guests have increased their expectations with rising costs, which can mean a variety of requests from free WiFi and continental breakfast, through various personalization and technological advancements.

To meet consumer demand at the holiday rush, hoteliers must staff accordingly to ensure a successful travel season. This can mean staffing up with temporary employees to support the seasonal rush as well as being prepared to work the busiest season of the year without many of your best employees. After all, many hoteliers must decide to offer their best employees time off for the holidays in order to retain their top talent.

This Catch-22, where hotels may need to go their busiest few days without their best employees, happens each year, and there is virtually no way to handle the situation perfectly.

However, that’s not to say steps can’t be taken to help prepare for a hotel’s busiest (and perhaps most profitable) time of year. After all, we all know that the Wednesday before the fourth Thursday in November will be a busy one, and we have a pretty good idea of when the other holidays will fall.

Below are six tips that can help hotel leaders be prepared for the upcoming season, and to recruit a top notch staff accordingly.

1. Start Looking Early

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.