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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Benjamin Jost

As we enter into the planning period for 2018, you might be talking about revenue forecasting, occupancy rates prediction, holiday promotions - but have you factored in the winning guest feedback formula to operate a hotel successfully? This "winning formula" is one I've written about before, but here, and in my two upcoming articles, I'll be sharing specific details on how to use this formula in your 2018 planning, in order to see greater success next year. By now, you probably want to know what this formula is. Read on...

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Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.