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...

Library Archives

 
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...

Dave Llorens

Over the past few decades, the environmental movement in the U.S. has gained quite a bit of momentum and started to impact more facets of everyday life. Spurred on by the interconnectivity of the internet and social media, consumers have become more demanding of their favorite companies - they want those brands to echo their own social and environmental values. To prioritize the energy efficiency that consumers demand, companies will need to make some major changes. While overhauling your organization to be more environmentally friendly sounds daunting, these changes don't need to interrupt daily operations or break the bank. Read on...

Mark Ricketts

Identifying, recruiting, hiring and training new workers are expensive, time-consuming propositions for hospitality groups these days. As hoteliers work to find enough qualified workers, there is no one answer in understanding and appealing to the moving target of what motivates an ever-changing employment pool, including those who already work with an organization. What are we to do? This article considers some approaches to finding those workers we need to operate quality properties, care well for guests and develop meaningful, profitable organizations that are poised for growth in a highly competitive economy and industry. Read on...

Bill Caswell

Timeshares and vacation clubs are working to determine what their next product sets should be in order to attract younger buyers. The industry as a whole has consistently increased its revenues over the past decade, but many believe this has been done on the backs of existing owners. There is still a generational disconnect between the product, the marketing and sales processes, and today's younger buyers. The problem for operators is that many are using decades-old acquisition and sales models to reach today's generation of buyers, who are less willing to make big financial or ownership commitments. Read on...

Willem Niemeijer

Anurak Community Lodge in southern Thailand is winning plaudits for its ecological best practice efforts. Located adjacent to Thailand's Khao Sok National Park – home to a magnificent rainforest ecosystem older than the Amazon – the lodge takes an innovative yet practical approach to sustainable tourism. Its back-of-house operations are built on simple, but effective, recycle, reduce, reuse policies and procedures. The lodge has also cultivated strong community relations with its neighbors. Its latest initiative is its Rainforest Rising project to return a palm oil plantation on its grounds to native forest cover. Read on...

Mostafa Sayyadi

Leadership has always been at the forefront management training. The four functions of management depict leadership as one of the four. The four that seemed to stand the test of time are controlling, leading, planning, and controlling. Leadership, being the core of management, has manifested itself into the forefront of many hotel executives. Leadership can help hotels to achieve a sustained change and eventually a higher degree of effectiveness. In the absence of effective leadership, hotels are not capable of effectively implementing changes at the competitive level. Hotel leadership is crucial to business success----both from a performance and management level. Read on...

Dana Kravetz

Legislation is being passed worldwide that seeks to protect consumer privacy; most notably, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Hoteliers, these laws may well apply to you, even if you don't have any properties located in the Golden State or EU. Long story short, for those in the hospitality space, If your bookings include CA or EU resident, you must be mindful of how guests' personal information and data are collected, processed, shared and retained, and poised to implement comprehensive data privacy programs at an organization-wide level to ensure legal compliance. As for the latter, if you haven't done so already, the time is now. Read on...

Lisa Ross

User Generated Content (UGC) is a double-edged sword for every hotelier. It's invaluable as far as it delivering positive, authentic guest testaments to future hotel guests. However, it can also elevate a hotel's pain points into the public domain. As hoteliers focus on the balancing act of leveraging guest accolades and damage control, it's easy to lose sight of the impact that UGC ultimately has on room revenues, as well as the potential ways in which hoteliers could be maximizing UGC to further enrich the guest experience and better the property's exposure among potential new guests. Read on...

Mark Heymann

It's no secret that engaged employees work more efficiently, improving a hotel's bottom-line results. But they also bring a level of commitment and passion to their work that enhances the level of service, increasing guests' satisfaction and, in turn, their intent to return and recommend. This article explores the factors that impact employee engagement and the role that engagement plays in optimizing a hotel's workforce, ultimately driving top-line revenue. Read on...

Steven Ferry

A bold and perhaps perplexing question, but the unfortunate reality is that almost all third-party Quality Assurance audits are designed either to increase membership in a club that guests used to use as a barometer of whether or not a hotel or resort would be good (where mostly today they make these decisions based on social media/OTAs); or to be included in a magazine that some guests refer to for the same reason. The goal of those participating does not necessarily add up to improved service and guest experience-more to influencing guest perception and awareness of the property and so strengthening sales. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

For the hospitality and travel industry, giving the customer the ability to personalize their experience, and thusly pay the right price for that experience, is all the rage. Airlines, restaurants, and even some resorts have pioneered new ways to give the people precisely what they want, but for the standard hotel operation, it's not proven to be so simple. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the hurdles hoteliers face when it comes to instituting customer-choice pricing into their sales processes, and we'll take the pulse of personalization in the industry and the evolving guest expectations driving this shift. Read on...

Katharine Le Quesne

Developing next generation destinations is a hot topic. We are travelling overseas more than ever before, looking for great places – new or old – to visit, stay, eat, enjoy, work and entertain. However, with issues of environmental degradation, overtourism and waste management in the spotlight, it is imperative to develop destinations in ways that regenerate, protect and nurture the very things that attract tourism. Today, a successful destination development framework secures buy-in from investors, masterplanners, governments and visitors. It should also be sustainable. So, who are the visionaries out there and what are they doing? Read on...

Nancy Brown

Hotels are a 365 day a year, 24 hour a day enterprise. This business model provides a number of challenges, including how best to provide for guests needs while balancing costs when considering overnight shift capacities. This final instalment of the four part series unfolding disaster resilience in the hotel sector provides lessons learned by Wellington New Zealand hotels following a midnight earthquake in Kaikõura New Zealand. Hotel staff rose to the opportunity to provide guest service when faced with this significant disruption. Hotel leaders and staff learned a number of lessons and provide a few clear ideas that hotel everywhere can adopt to improve their resilience. Read on...

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Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.