Landscaping During a Drought

By Ken Hutcheson President, U.S. Lawns | November 22, 2015

According to a 2014 study from the University of California-Davis, last year's drought was likely to inflict $2.2 billion in losses on the agricultural industry. Harsh drought seasons have led to habitat destruction, wildfires, and have also caused entire landscapes to change. In severe and prolonged seasons, droughts reduce the quality of soil and promote soil erosion, which can result in the loss of the landscape all together.

However, by working with your contractor to create the right preparation plan that includes vegetation selection and proper irrigation methods, hoteliers can protect and increase the durability of their landscapes.

Preparation

Implementing a comprehensive drought preparation plan is the key to preventing landscape upheaval during periods of drought. One way hoteliers can achieve this is by choosing grass, flowers, trees, and other vegetation that require less water. These landscape features are particularly important because they're features that hoteliers can plan and control before drought season begins. Below you will find a more in depth look at each of these landscape features.

Grass

Hoteliers understand how important it is for their properties to maintain a crisp, clean, and overall attractive appearance. And since grass is one of the largest components of the exterior landscape, it's critical that it upholds both its green color and strength. In order to accomplish this, hoteliers should work with their contractors to identify which species of grass is the most appropriate for their climate and location. Hoteliers need to look for options that are both drought tolerant and low maintenance. It's important to point out that there's a direct correlation between maintenance and drought-tolerance, so choosing a low maintenance grass can also help you reduce water runoff, lower irrigation costs, and increase its overall lifecycle.

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Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.