Boutique Hotel Trends 2011

By Didi Lutz President, Didi Lutz PR | February 06, 2011

Another year for hotels has passed where little has happened in terms of the economy, but a lot has evolved in the spheres of marketing, communication, and the world of social media. Much has been learned during this time, and 2010 marked the year of digital media in hospitality. While the industry was fairly late in adopting social media, hotels thankfully realized its potential and caught up relatively quickly. While I am unsure of specific numbers and statistics, hotels keep joining Facebook and Twitter everyday. And as they learn how to feed these monsters the right information that can make a difference in the guest experience, it's important to keep in mind what trends are forming as the economy picks up, albeit at a slow pace.

Rethink marketing completely

With the economy as it has been the past two years, hotels will need to not only prioritize in terms of marketing strategy, but also implement creative tactics. Guests are inundated with promotions and information everywhere these days – from Sunday paper to last minute specials via text - and rethinking your marketing approach will be key. Hotel marketing is currently shifting dramatically; many components affect this change and its important to hire professionals to get your property's brand ahead.

Digital crowd-sourcing may not work for you

We've all seen the hype about Foursquare and Gowalla, currently the two giants in the geosocial market. There are hotels who are embracing digital crowd sourcing via promotions (i.e., check in via Foursquare and get a free spa treatment, etc.) Large hotel chains have started some promotions, but we're not sure where this is going. While digital crowd sourcing has excellent marketing potential, such as competing for mayorship at a property, it has some serious drawbacks like privacy and security that keep the lines a bit blurred right now. It makes more sense to study your existing digital media channels and how well those are working for you before leaping into something completely new.

Embrace hyperlocal on a global scale

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.