Top 3 Emerging Risks for Hotel Management

By Kurt Meister Senior Vice President , Distinguished Programs | August 26, 2018

When it comes to mitigating risk in the hospitality industry, it's time for a wakeup call – and not the kind you call the concierge to schedule. Seismic events like the horrific Las Vegas shooting, a multitude of large-scale point-of-sale (POS) attacks and the #MeToo movement have reframed the dialogue about how hotel owners and operators can best keep their guests, their data and their employees safe.

Here's a look at emerging risks within these three areas, and tips for how hotel owners and operators can rise to the challenge:

1.    Hotel Security: Balance Convenience With Safety

Last October's Las Vegas massacre – where a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel – taught the industry many lessons. The biggest one: Hotels can no longer ignore what happens behind closed doors.

One of the earliest changes Vegas hotels made after the tragic event was revamping longstanding "do not disturb" policies by preventing guests from hanging the once ubiquitous placards on their room door handle for more than 24 hours. Major chains like Hilton and Disney went one step further by replacing "do not disturb" signs with "room occupied" placards.

In addition, many hotels nationwide – at the urging of industry leaders – now insist that a hotel employee enter every guest room at least once each day.

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Coming up in June 2019...

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.