Library Archives

 
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...

Michael  Schubach

When one thinks about the word "personalization, " many images can be conjured. Perhaps it's a monogram or engraving to signify ownership of an object. Or maybe it's home decor: the artwork and memorabilia that make the space your own. Some people might be reminded of their desk at work, loaded with little time-killer toys to amuse oneself during those occasional hiatuses of inactivity. What may not have made your list of highly personalized experiences is a hotel room – or even a hotel stay. Odd, isn't it? Especially now that the hospitality industry's newest, most popular mission is to provide not just the bed and the bath but the "beyond" – the unique guest experience. Read on...

Steven D. Weber

Competitive intelligence is a powerful tool used to maintain an advantage over competitors. A wealth of competitive intelligence can be obtained through public documents like public filings, earnings reports, and legal documents. Compiling, reviewing, and extrapolating the competitive intelligence from those documents takes time and money. Succumbing to the temptation to shortcut the necessary effort can have costly legal consequences. Hospitality industry companies must thus be wary of engaging in methods that cross legal and ethical boundaries. Companies must also be watchful of any efforts by their competitors to gather intelligence from them. Read on...

Tema Frank

Answering reviews, whether positive or negative, is one of the best marketing investments you can make. Just remember to keep your cool, even in the face of outrageous complaints. Review sites like Trip Advisor and Booking.com are here to stay. Sadly, many hotels still aren't dealing with them very well. Either they ignore them (or seem to, by never commenting) or, in some cases, they get downright hostile. That's a no-win situation. Let's take a look at some classic examples followed by solutions on how you can do better... Read on...

Josias Dewey

Earlier this year, the travel company Webjet announced it was in the process of converting a blockchain pilot it had developed into a commercial grade application. The blockchain-based application will be able to provide accurate information about hotel inventory, on a real-time basis, for hotels around the world. Yet, this application of the technology may not have the biggest impact on the industry. This article will discuss these and other possible use cases important to the hospitality industry, including their business justification. Beyond the explanation of use cases, the article highlights several legal considerations that hotel counsel will need to confront and consider as the technology is deployed. Read on...

Maricha Ellis

As hotels continue to focus on their sustainability efforts, the importance of proper hazardous waste management cannot be overlooked. Proper management of hazardous waste is crucial to maintaining a hotel's brand reputation, remaining compliant with government regulations and being a good steward to the environment. There are many best practices to follow when handling hazardous waste, and a foundational understanding of the regulations defining what constitutes hazardous waste is key to laying the groundwork for a proper waste management program. Let's take a look at what you need to know… Read on...

Lorraine Abelow

Luxury travel is one of the most lucrative segments for hoteliers, but success depends on publicizing that you are innovating and a market leader. A travel public relations company that specializes in hospitality PR monitors the emerging trends worldwide to best position its hospitality clients for success. These trends shift quickly in today's digital environment, so it is vital to stay abreast of them by subscribing to Google Alerts, and regularly reading top media outlets like Skift. It is important to position your property in the context of trends, because that is what will perk up the ears of editors, journalists and the all important bloggers. Read on...

Sherry Heyl

Despite all the recent hype around influencer marketing, it is really nothing new. In fact, I ran my first influencer marketing campaign for a large brand in 2006. We did not call it influencer marketing, it was called blogger outreach, but the premise was the same. We developed relationships with bloggers who had a large following and wrote about our niche. In this particular case, it was about cars. At the time the goal was to increase awareness. Our efforts were similar to a traditional media pitch and blogs were seen as "new media." Read on...

Raul Jose Gutierrez

There is no doubt that the bar is constantly being raised; the global explosion of new businesses, innovative new ideas and the strive for domination from heavy players such as Marriott have created a cycle of competition that pushes all businesses to get extra creative if they wish to have any kind of relevance in the market. Regardless of the industry, a strategic alliance will give a company competitive advantage and the opportunity to enter a broader range of expertise and resources. Partnerships should come about not only for the obvious benefits of expansion but to offer distinctive product lines and skill sets that differentiate them from the competition. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

The evolution of revenue management has taken hotels from dynamic pricing of transient rates to a holistic strategy of maximizing profitability across multiple revenue streams. Revenue management has moved far beyond the Microsoft Excel expert in a small back office and now involves multiple stakeholders from several departments, all influencing overall revenue strategy with each of their key areas of function. True hotel profit optimization leverages multiple hotel functions to ensure goals are aligned to achieve optimal results. It encourages hotels to intelligently decide which business to accept across multiple revenue streams at all times, based on greatest overall value to the asset. This holistic approach to revenue management goes beyond guest room rates and maximizes profits from the strategic management of other key hotel revenue streams; like sales with group bookings and meetings & events teams with catering sales. Read on...

Sarah Lucas

A decade ago it might have been socially acceptable to swim with dolphins in a hotel pool. But those days are gone. Now posting a holiday pic posing with Flipper is hugely controversial. Just ask reality TV star Kim Kardashian, who found herself in hot water after swimming with dolphins in Mexico. Or Real Housewives' Bethany Frankel, who copped a wave of social media criticism for visiting Atlantis Paradise Island's Dolphin Cay in August. Read on...

Derek Olsen

Outsourcing components of hotel operations is very much location-driven, property-specific and varies based on Ownership's investment objectives. So, while outsourcing might not be the solution for every hotel at this point in the cycle, an astute asset manager or operator should evaluate all opportunities to enhance profitability. When pursuing the employment of a third-party, performance should be closely monitored, with transparent lines of communication between owner and operator to maximize guest satisfaction. 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.