Breathing Easier About Energy Efficiency

By Steve Kiesner Director of National Accounts, Edison Electric Institute | May 04, 2010

In working with national lodging chains, I know that improving energy efficiency has long been a focus of the industry. Efforts have included simple measures, such as reminding guests to turn off lights, to more complex efforts, such as installing high-tech energy management systems and innovative heating and cooling systems.

These efficiency actions have paid off in greater profitability. Energy typically accounts for three to five percent of a hotel's total operating expenses. The money saved through energy-efficiency has created more money to spend on guest amenities, on staff salary increases, or on other vital areas.

What you may not know is that your energy-efficiency actions, and those by other businesses and consumers across the country, are part of the reason why the nation's air quality has been improving. A new report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shows that overall air emissions nationwide have dropped by more than 50 percent since the Clean Air Act was adopted in 1970 www.epa.gov/airtrends/econ-emissions.html

What is even more remarkable is that as our air has become healthier in the past 35 years, our population has grown by 39 percent, our energy consumption has increased by 45 percent, the Gross Domestic Product has risen by 176 percent, and the number of vehicle miles traveled has jumped by 155 percent.

This environmental progress creates an opportunity for you: Take credit for it. Promote the connection between encouraging your guests to use natural resources more wisely and the nation's improving air quality.

A national survey by EEI shows that Americans overwhelmingly believe pollution is the most important environmental issue facing the country today. And a clear majority (65 percent) of Americans feels that the current air quality in America is worse than it was 30 years ago. Half of all Americans also say they are pessimistic about future air quality. Pointing out the connection between their conservation efforts and the nation's healthier air can encourage more conservation efforts, which will further help the air and your energy bills. This is important because there is always room to do more.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.