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Michael Barbera

The attention span of a goldfish is eight seconds. The attention span of the average American is seven seconds. It's not surprising that we are easily distracted. There is marketing content everywhere we look. Many businesses are competing with one another to gain the attention of the consumer in order to fight for their dollar. Furthermore, the same applies to the lodging industry. It doesn't matter if you're a luxury resort, four star hotel, motel or renter on AirBnB, you're goal is to get the consumer to return; however, your consumers will make that decision within the first three to five seconds of walking through the front door. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

YouGov research found that children are "active decision makers in family economies" across a lot of decisions – including travel. They also found that young children can hold as much persuasive power as teens. From a young age, children's preferences influence where the family goes and where the family stays. The vast majority of parents give their children some say in deciding where they want to go on a trip, whether for a weekend getaway or a more traditional family vacation. Parents view kids' input as a way to ensure that their children get more out of the family's travel experiences. And, let's face it, it is also a way to reduce the nagging quotient too. In this article, you'll read about the money muscle of kids, how they influence family purchase decisions, and what your hotel can do to capitalize on this important market. Read on...

Simon Hudson

I have just completed an incredible round-the-world voyage teaching on Semester at Sea, a floating university campus that visits around a dozen countries, giving students a comparative study-abroad experience that is truly global. One of the countries I visited was Morocco where, seeking to understand why the country is Africa's most popular tourist destination, I interviewed two successful entrepreneurs – one French and one British – responsible for attracting tourists to this exotic destination. Both have opened up modernized riads in the beachy-chic resort of Essaouira, on the Atlantic Coast. The Moroccan Riad is a traditional house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard. Read on...

Mark  Heymann

The millennial generation is the most socially aware and feedback-driven yet. To attract and engage this cohort, hoteliers must rethink their success metrics, tying them to a higher level of social responsibility. They must be willing to share more information, more freely, with their workers than ever before. And, they must provide frequent feedback, inviting employees and guests to do the same. For managers who are accustomed to holding information close to the vest, this will require nothing less than a mindset change. Read on...

Janet  Gerhard

The hospitality industry is constantly under attack. New technologies, new entrants, new regulations, and changing customer demands require hoteliers to be relentlessly vigilant. It is not merely a matter of loyalty. Today's fight is about relevance. In a world of digital transformation, no industry is immune. With every discussion on digital transformation orbiting around customer experience, is there an opportunity to disrupt how the hospitality industry measures customer experience? Read on...

Tony Bridwell

In a world full of options, real-time media and people connected around the globe like never before, it's no surprise that people are also sharing experiences and reviews like never before. But let's not overlook the fact that people have always shared reviews with each other. In fact, if we went back to caveman days, we're almost certain that they probably were telling each other what cave had the best rocks and why. The question is, how do you make sure people are talking about your rock? Read on...

Peter McAlpine

It is obvious from the proliferation of new brands and the desperation to find new technology to improve the guest experience that there is a growing feeling that the SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) approach to custom satisfaction has become unsatisfactory, and that now the big hotel groups are searching for a solution. Unfortunately the hotel industry as a whole seems to be unaware of how quantum science, religious traditions, ancient cultures, and heart energy research are all showing that their shareholder-oriented, guest experience concept is based on erroneous principles and thinking, and on an obsolete worldview. Ironically, the solution is closer than their life's vein and implementing it is so simple and almost cost-free. Read on...

Ashish Modak

Hotels and the hospitality world have always intrigued people for centuries. It is the apparent glamour and uniqueness of the hotel world which creates curiosity in the mind of an onlooker regarding the various roles and job descriptions of people working in hotels. Have the principles and practices in managing a hotel changed with time? What is expected of a hotel manager in these continually evolving times? The writer firmly believes that a General Manager shapes the hotel experience for all his guests through his personality traits and approach towards his team and guests. The short essay brings forth the beauty of the golden art called hospitality. Read on...

Tony Bridwell

Being a statistic seems to be inevitable in life. In some way, each of us will find ourselves on a statistical list of sorts. For over half the country one such list is a reality: the "first time job" list. At some point in our life we have held a job in the hospitality/restaurant industry, and if you throw retail into the mix, it is possible to cover most of all the country. Read on...

Jim Maguire

We know that guests always expect the absolute most from us. I would ask you before reading this article to think back to the last time you had a great customer service experience. I would bet it started with a warm and friendly smile that made you feel good. How we can win guests over with a service smile is quite simple in theory, not as easy to execute. It starts with a culture, a service smile, the positive actions that follow - I call this service the "Wow Factor" The "Wow" is all about how we make a guest feel when he/she is staying at the hotel. The end goal is to make your guests feel as though you went above and beyond to exceed their wants and needs. Read on...

Naomi Stark

8, 600, 000. That is the number of results Google returns in .39 seconds on the search, "how many studies on smiling are there?" Scientists have explored every aspect of smiling. Apparently, it even was used in predicting the life span of baseball players in 1952 – extending the life of those with "beaming smiles" seven years!. Wow. Research studies prove every which way that our brain, our emotions, our body, our children's development, our stress level, blood pressure - you name it - just about everything is benefited by the all-powerful smile. Read on...

Sue Garwood

In the hotel industry, excellent service is vital, as customers' expectations continue to evolve, raising the bar and setting a higher standard. These days, a smile, "please" and "thank you", just doesn't cut it. Customers want to have memorable experiences they can walk away with, which is why hotels are implementing new programs to improve and monitor clients' satisfaction. A good program today should highlight not only the importance of customer care, but also for each employee. Below are key aspects to keep in mind in order to build an outstanding customer satisfaction program. Read on...

Adrian Kurre

When it comes to an exceptional customer experience, it's not just what you offer, but how, when and why you offer it. Employed thoughtfully and effectively, efforts to drive customer service to new levels become infectious throughout a hotel organization, down to each individual property and team member. Easy to say, harder to execute. To stay on the forefront of providing the ultimate experience for business and leisure travelers takes continuous innovation. Integrating new technology, continuously improving team member training, and striving for targeted and personalized customer interactions remain essential to success now and going forward. Read on...

Alexandra Sewell

A smiling face behind the check-in desk. Prompt and unobtrusive room service. Eager hands to help with luggage. A friendly greeting. "It's my pleasure." "You are quite welcome." "Please, let me help." These are just a few of the personal touches that define exceptional guest service. Human interactions are indeed the cornerstone of the guest service mission at most hotels. Get those human interactions right, and you have a satisfied and loyal guest who is likely to sing your praises to others. Get those human interactions wrong, and they can damage your reputation and your business. It's often the negative voices that ring the loudest and get the most attention. Read on...

R.J. Friedlander

Hoteliers can gather endless amounts of data from analytical tools but the real challenge is knowing what to do with it. Today, savvy hoteliers are using Guest Intelligence to motivate each department and get the most out of individual teams to improve overall guest satisfaction and boost revenue. By creating a guest-centric culture, employees at hotels are empowered to make a difference. At the end of the day, your employees are representatives of your brand and those responsible for offering remarkable guest service. 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.