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Mark Ricketts

In our busy day in hospitality, we are constantly talking, texting, posting or emailing to another individual or a group of recipients. However, is anyone listening or understanding what we are saying? Being a great communicator is a core skill and function of our hospitality world. Some people are naturals at communications but it is something that all hospitality organizations must also cultivate for all of its members, including frontline staff. The result is strong relationships with our guests, our vendors and partners, and others in our own group. Read on...

Cristine Henderson

Whether you love them, or love to hate them, millennials are often characterized as disruptors across many industries. This generation has definitely made its mark on the hotel industry, especially where design is concerned. Known for innovation, affinity to technology, and often associated with the advent of social media, millennials are making changes throughout the consumer landscape. Read ahead to see how all these characteristics are translating into the future of our industry. And don't worry, short-term rental services are not quite the death sentence they are painted to be. From selfies to sleek finishes, millennials are shaking things up. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

Eleven years from now the U.S. population will reach a tipping point. The year 2030 will mark the moment when all baby boomers will be at least 65 years of age; in other words, 20 percent of our population will be of retirement age. Jonathan Vespa, a U.S. demographer, puts it this way: "The aging of baby boomers means that within just a couple decades, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history. By 2035, there will be 78 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.7 million under the age of 18." So, what does this have to do with hotels? A lot. In this article, you read about two unique opportunities for your hotel to take advantage of the longevity trend. Read on...

Mark Heymann

A persistent labor shortage means the hospitality industry is facing tough workforce questions: How can a hotel deliver the level of service it promises with a smaller staff? Will tougher competition for workers impact average wage rates in a historically low-paying industry? What solutions, like cross-utilization, can hotels implement now? And what solutions will require larger-scale legal and societal change? Among the more transformational ideas this article will explore are rethinking current minimum shift requirements and looking to nontraditional sources, from retirees to training the formerly incarcerated, for future hospitality work. Read on...

John Tess

In the competitive hotel industry, it is sometimes hard to successfully market a property's history and heritage in a cost-effective manner. In 1989, the National Trust for Historic Preservation created Historic Hotels of America, a marketing organization specifically charged with capturing the heritage tourism market. Thirty years forward, the organization has grown to represent 300 properties nationwide, including nearly every major brand. The success of HHA can also be found in the average daily room rate and per room revenues. This article explores both the growth of heritage hotels and the programs of HHA. Read on...

Jeff Hart

Jeff Hart, General Manager of the Los Angeles Airport Marriott explores airport hotels and their unique advantage to meetings and events. Hart discusses tactical tips and strategies that airport properties can take to stand out as a premier event destination. From challenges to opportunities, Hart gives a 360-degree look at the unique ways in which travel hubs can bring a destination to life and tell a story to potential clients that extends beyond near convenience and proximity to the airport. According to Hart and the team at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott, airport hotels are raising the bar, and now is the time for properties to look at the ways (small or large) in which they can level up their spaces, offerings and approach. Read on...

Court Williams

Hotel brands these days have much to gain by integrating a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program into their core business strategy. Doing so benefits their profitability, increases trust with their target audience, and can significantly boost a hotel or chain's reputation. A strong CSR program enhances brand awareness and traveler loyalty, while providing the essential ingredients to build a competitive advantage in the market. Employees also benefit from the opportunities offered to give back to the community, and CSR can be a powerful way to retain top hotel talent. Discover some of the novel ways different types of hospitality properties have implemented CSR strategies, and how their activities are benefitting local (and not-so-local) communities. Read on...

Mark Allvey

Niquesa Travel is dedicated to providing clients with hyper-bespoke travel experiences, aimed less at where they want to go and more at how they want to feel while there. It believes that travel should be transformational, attending to each desire or need of guests. These intensely personal requirements demand an exemplary level of client care; gaining their confidence and intuiting their needs to curate the experience that they are seeking. Mark Allvey, Managing Director and Founder of Niquesa Travel, outlines its approach to guest service which goes above and beyond the expected from the outset. Read on...

John Welty

No business is immune to a cyberattack. Hotels handle guest personal information and credit card information. They also handle numerous transactions in person and via the Internet. If one hotel employee were to fall victim to a sophisticated phishing scam, the hotel's reputation and revenue stream could be deeply affected. To avoid this, hotel owners and operators need to identify and understand their risk exposures. As hackers get more sophisticated with each passing day, it's important to reevaluate a business's risk regularly. In this article, we discuss recent cyberattacks affecting hotels and the repercussions, as well as what hotel owners and operators can do about it. Read on...

Kristi Dickinson

The annual budgeting process should involve much more than preparing a simple operations budget. An effective budget is a tool to communicate both goals and expectations. Budgets provide operational objectives for your team and help them stay on track and they are both a standard for comparison and a baseline for future planning. A well-organized budget involves a business plan that includes marketing and new programming, as well as capital expenditures which contribute to the long-term vision beyond the next operational year. In this article I outline a plan of action that every hotel spa director can benefit from. Read on...

Nate Lane

Google's continually evolving ecosystem presents both a challenge and an opportunity to business owners looking to maximize their impact and increase visualization on the web. Today, the algorithms behind Google are designed to make recommendations based on a user's intent rather than direct keyword matches, a trend observant hoteliers are taking advantage of. This article will outline the cornerstones of a strong search engine optimization plan, how business owners can adopt an intent-based search process, and why these strategies are integral to your future success. Read on...

Mostafa Sayyadi

Hotel executives realize that knowledge is the most strategic factor for empowering the capabilities of a hotel and improving its competitive advantage in the marketplace. Knowledge is shared and synthesized with an aim to providing higher quality services. However, this is still not enough for hotel executives because knowledge is quite elusive and is changing on a day-to-day basis with discontinued services and the ever changing vast array of environmental issues. The key is for hotel executives to integrate risk management, knowledge management and talent management within hotels so that information can be found and used instantaneously. Read on...

S. Lakshmi Narasimhan

So, what does the future hold in store for the wedding event as well as business? The hospitality industry is currently going through what can be termed as the guest experience customization craze. No one wants a cookie cutter stay in a hotel. They want their stay to be a memorable experience. Well, if that is the requirement, wedding events have a lot going for them. To begin with, they are already clear, important events in any one's life. Thus, the motivation to make it something to remember is already there. What new initiatives would you bring to your target market's wedding or anniversary events? Read on...

David Ashen

Of all areas affected by changes in the way people live, work and play, public spaces are chief among them. David Ashen, president & CEO of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, explores what's behind the shift, including generational preferences, an increase in remote and co-working environments and a need to surprise and delight guest like never before. Ashen explores how hotel brands can stay relevant to leisure and business guests by reimagining meeting spaces and ballrooms to make way for fresh possibilities and a world of flexibility. Read on...

Adrian Kurre

Tourism in Canada is on the rise, leading to a bevy of opportunities for hotel brands, developers and owners. For the All Suites brands by Hilton, comprised of Embassy Suites by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, and Home2 Suites by Hilton, the state of the market combined with the use of multi-brand builds and flexible prototypes has led to great success, with the category recently opening its milestone 30th Canadian property. With a robust pipeline and recognitions such as Great Place to Work®'s 2019 Best Workplaces™ in Canada, it's no wonder the brands are seeing continued growth in Canada. Read on...

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Coming up in February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.