We are well in the midst of a mobile revolution. Mobile devices are not simply an additional guest touch point, but a new platform for customer interaction. Forrester Research predicts by 2015, 82 million people will be using mobile devices. The hospitality industry is particularly well positioned to use mobile technology to enhance the guest experience, promote onsite and local services and improve operational efficiency. The real question is not if, but how you utilize this channel. If you don't have a mobile strategy - you need one. There are almost endless possibilities for communicating with mobile guests, but your business needs to adopt a strategy to be successful. It goes beyond simply identifying all possible revenue and service touch points. You need to understand guest preferences for interacting with your brand and what they expect in return. The January Hotel Business Review will take a look at what some hotels are doing to embrace the mobile revolution, and some of the solutions being used that are impacting the bottom line.
With Social Media rapidly becoming popular as a source of travel information, hotels need to figure out how to successfully establish themselves within the complex and convoluted Social Media space. Managing Social Media takes time, effort and expertise. However right now the playing field is wide open for hotel companies that get it right. Although most major hotel chains are present on Social Media channels, practically all suffer from low levels of visibility, activity and engagement. Understanding how Social Media works, and taking steps to actively manage interactions with channel participants, will result in a better relationship with current and potential customers and ultimately lead to increased sales. The February Hotel Business Review will highlight the activities and success stories of some leading hotel brands that have managed to make social media work for them.
The economic challenges of the past four years have led many hotel companies to re-examine the ways in which they do business and how they deploy talent. In many cases, the work did not go away and fewer people were left to carry on the tasks that had previously been shared among many. As we work our way out of the recession and look forward to a healthier economic environment, there is an understanding that despite recovering business levels, we may never see the return of former staffing levels. This "new norm" of operating with leaner teams has led Human Resources professionals and people managers to look at career development and growth opportunities in a new light. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the strategies being used by successful hotel brands, and techniques human resource directors are currently exploring.
Service excellence, customer involvement, and customer satisfaction are all facets of the same jewel for the hospitality industry, because they all contribute to increased revenue and profitability. In addition, social media is raising the bar and standards for the hotel business when it comes to customer service and in turn, customer loyalty. Customers are increasing their reliance on social networking sites and blogs to gain insight into a hotel before they visit. Whether your hospitality niche is timeshare, shared ownership, vacation club or hotel, customer loyalty and retention is at the top of everyone's priorities these days. According to J.D. Power & Associates, the top ten global hotel brands from the year 2000 increased their guest satisfaction, loyalty, and market share over the following decade, while the bottom ten at the start of the century saw reductions in market share and repeat purchases. Based on a survey of hotel customers, those who are most pleased and delighted are most likely to return to a property, and they will spend more on their current stay and future stays. The April Hotel Business Review will take a look at what some hotels are doing to provide guests with an award-winning service culture.
Wireless Internet is changing the way business gets done in the hotel industry. There's a tremendous demand for wireless access - for overnight guests and even for conferences and trade shows where video streaming, audio streaming and voice-over-IP are all competing for the same Internet pipe. It's not just for email and web surfing anymore. Wireless has also created new ways for hotels to connect with their guests to generate loyalty. Wi-Fi has become a standard amenity. It's becoming a determining factor on where guests choose to stay. But few guests would say they're happy with the current sign-up and security concerns of hotel Wi-Fi. With mobile media hitting the mainstream, hotels are eager to find affordable and non-disruptive solutions to meet guest demand for reliable, consistent in-building cellular coverage. The May Hotel Business Review will focus on these challenges, and will explore unique solutions hoteliers are doing to capitalize on hotel wi-fi.
Sustainability is now a daily topic that affects every facet of hotel development and operations. As hotelier Hervé Houdré recently noted "The goal of Sustainable Development is clearly to secure economic development, social equity, and environmental protection. As much as they could work in harmony, these goals sometimes work against each other". In the June Hotel Business Review, some of the industry's most recognized sustainable development experts come together to identify emerging trends and discuss how sustainability is currently affecting the hotel industry. Each author presents the most important aspects of sustainable development of much interest to hotel owners, operators, investors and developers. We include perspectives and case studies on best practices from leading hotel groups and other industry players.
More and more, hotel spas are learning that simply waiting for guests to walk through the door or passively relying on traditional hotel marketing department approaches aren't winning strategies. A marketing department's game plan of placing the spa's brochures in the guest rooms, spa posters in the elevator, a page on the website, all dosed with "luxuriating" descriptors and images of guests having treatments simply isn't enough. Additionally, the spa-goer is forever changed by the recent prolonged unemployment, rising fuel costs and economic instability. As spas increased in number so did those frequenting spas, however, their wants and needs were changing. No longer will the $200 per hour spa service make it in most cities without the recipient feeling that they have really received something with a measurable impact on their health and well-being. The art of consistently satisfying the needs and desires of spa guests results in loyalty and valuable referrals. The July Hotel Business Review will present readers with an insight into some of the current challenges hotel spa operators are experiencing, with case studies from those hotels currently at the forefront of spa leadership.
According to Hotel F&B Magazine, the hotel food and beverage industry declined by an annual rate of 4 percent over the past four years, one of the foodservice industry's greatest declines over that period. However, with an upturn already noticeable, the segment appears poised for above-average growth. The hotel industry is rebounding from the recession; consumers are traveling more often and spending more on hotel foodservice. The long-term forecast indicates that hotel food & beverage will be a high performer over the next five years. The vast majority of new properties and brands entering the U.S. lodging industry offer either limited, or no food and beverage service at all. On the other end of the spectrum are full-service hotels with multiple restaurants, lounges, and banquet facilities. For these full-service hotels, the offering of food and beverage is not just a source of revenue but an amenity used to position the property within the marketplace. The bottom line - a hotel's Food and Beverage department is an exception if profit exceeds 20%. The August Hotel Business Review will provide readers with an in-depth analysis of the trends that are currently shaping hotel food and beverage. We present expert insight from a team of recognized leaders who will guide your food & beverage sales for success and make your profits sizzle!
Revenue Management, also known as Yield management in hotels is selling rooms and services at the right price, at the right time, to the right people. The techniques of yield management are relatively new - the first research to deal directly with these issues appeared less than 20 years ago. Robert Crandall, former Chairman and CEO of American Airlines, gave Yield Management its name and has called it "the single most important technical development in transportation management since we entered deregulation." These days, yield management, including overbooking and dynamic pricing, has been an enormously important innovation in the service industries. According to Sheryl E. Kimes Ph.D. in a Cornell report, a survey of nearly 500 revenue management professionals in the hotel and related industries forecasts that the application of revenue management (RM) will become more strategic and will be supported by increasingly sophisticated technology as it includes more of hotels? income streams. In particular, RM will likely be applied to function space, and may also include such revenue streams as spas, restaurants, and golf courses. As a consequence, the revenue management function will become more central to hotel operations, and will quite likely be a separate department that is under the general manager's supervision. Progressive hospitality organizations that have heeded the warning signs that dynamic markets and changing industry requirements are part of the new "normal" and have taken the time to update or invest in the right technology and training, will be better placed to effectively conduct business in the marketplace ahead. The September issue of the Hotel Business Review will include a line-up of today's most forward thinking experts on hotel revenue management, providing insights on how hotels can explore methods to achieve maximum profits and realize optimum revenue from operations.
Major events provide a unique opportunity for hoteliers to increase their revenue potential and improve ongoing financial stability. Group events represent a $30 billion+ market opportunity for hotels, and over 30% of a hotel's total revenue on average. Many hotels rely on group events for over 50% of their revenues. No matter what your guests are in town for -- whether it is a convention, an educational workshop or an awards event - professionals in the hospitality industry have a chance to make a lasting impression on a large group of people all at once. Regardless of the program or career-related benefits of these events, planners know that attendance is at its highest when professionals have the opportunity to travel to an interesting destination offering a truly unique experience. In the October Hotel Business Review, we take a look at the trends currently influencing the meetings market, including advances in social media, green meetings, new technology, and much more.
This is the most exciting era to be working in the hotel sales and marketing department. A few years ago it had become somewhat stale - build a website, connect some links, and watch (and hope) as your customers booked online. These days it has become far more complicated and competitive than that! Advances in technology are reshaping interpersonal communications, as well as how we mass communicate, advertise, organize and strategize in business. A hotel website now needs to be actively managed, marketed and promoted, and the choices for this are becoming more diverse each day. Increasing demands are being placed on hotel sales & marketing teams to have a solid grasp of the full range of internet marketing strategies. In the current competitive hospitality market, one must have a thorough understanding of these strategies in order to be successful. The November Hotel Business Review will present readers with an insight into some of the biggest challenges facing hotel sales & marketing departments today, with sound advice from a line-up of top hotel sales leaders.
The concierge remains the most recognized point of contact for any guest need or desire. With unprecedented worldwide disasters, economic events and financial woes emerging and intensely competitive markets and escalating needs to serve the public, hoteliers and service delivery professionals are more challenged than ever. Hotels and resorts are striving to attract profitable guests and provide service solutions in a consumer market where excellent, much less good service seems rare. Amidst these challenges, concierge professionals seem to be emerging as service heroes and role models. The role of the hotel concierge constantly expands as their relationship with every department in your property grows; to the front desk staff upon guest check-in, to the bell staff and doormen by keeping them armed with information, to the Sales and Catering Departments by bringing in groups, to the Food and Beverage Department through supporting and promoting your property's outlets, to the Reservations Department as additional service concluding a reservation. To the guests, the concierge can make the difference between an average stay and an outstanding stay. How can the hotel concierge provide more personalized service for the hotel guest? How is technology transforming today's concierge? What is the profitability impact of today's concierge. What levels of service are guests currently demanding? How is the internet impacting the role of the concierge? The December Hotel Business Review will include a hot-list of prominent concierge professionals and those at the forefront of the concierge profession providing cutting-edge tips and advice on capitalizing on the 21st Century hotel concierge.