Library Archives

Christopher G. Hurn

In the hyper-competitive hotel business, keeping pace with the major flags and industry giants can be a daunting task for small hoteliers and franchise operators. Banks and other lenders take very close and careful assessments of the small hoteliers' track record and personal credit history when considering financing. Access to capital, which is essential for the small hotel owner/operator to maintain and enhance their property and amenities, is extremely difficult, and ultimately this prevents many of these smaller businesses and properties from reaching their fullest potential. One of the best solutions for the small owner/operator is the Small Business Administration's 504 loan program, which enabled 753 hoteliers to borrow $802 million during the 2006 federal fiscal year. READ MORE

Nina Curtis

Why does the word "selling" get such a negative response? Mainly because no one really wants to talk about it in the spa world where we believe it is only our position to make people feel good, well at least when it comes from the therapist's mouth. I had this thought at one time as a therapist but only because during my basic cosmetology training no one presented sales as a part of my soon to be career. The same was true of my massage training. Nowhere during my training did any of my instructors present the importance of product selling in one of their lessons. READ MORE

Kurt A. Broadhag

With current trends towards the greening of the hospitality industry it seems like a logical step to include hotel fitness centers as environmental models for sustainable design and operations. After all, these two sectors share a common thread - achieving optimal health, be it personal or environmental. It seems ironic to think that fitness centers of the past, created to support health and well being, could have adversely affected both its inhabitants and the environment. With proper planning, design, and operations your hotel fitness center can achieve the stewardship needed to be at the forefront of an ever-important shift to the incorporation of green practices within the fitness industry. READ MORE

Richard D. Hanks

As much as we all like positive feedback, negative comments have the opposite reaction. It cuts us personally when a departing guest tells us that they had a bad visit. How you react to their feedback is the key. Do you shrug it off and chalk it up to one customer who won't come back? Or do you see an opportunity? I hope it's the latter. Let me explain the benefits of having flaws exposed by disgruntled customers, how to make them right, and then turn a disappointed guest into a lifetime advocate for your hotel. READ MORE

Andrew Freeman

Reality Bites. Let's face it, most hotel restaurants aren't typically destination hot spots and in fact, many are still decorated as "garden terraces" and have the sort of vibe that is most attractive to the drowsy breakfast crowd. Yet, hotel operators know they have a real opportunity to create restaurants with destination caliber cuisine that are both social centers and culinary experiences. These operators are bringing in experienced restaurateurs, consulting/rising star chefs, mixologists, as well as public relations and branding experts to help them develop clearly defined (and appealing) concepts, create enticing menus and identify innovative ways to build the buzz, covers and revenue. By making their hotel restaurants sexy, fun and delicious, these smart operators are creating hot spots that entice both locals and hotel guests alike. READ MORE

Andy Dolce

Business travel is big business with millions of individual and group trips being tracked in each year. Among overnight trips, 85% of business travelers stayed in a hotel or motel. While this is good news for airlines, rental car companies and hoteliers, business travel exacts a heavy toll on the environment. Responsible environmental stewardship is not only an integral part of doing business at Dolce International; it is the core of who we are as a company. Read on to learn about five hot trends in the meetings industry I recommend for going green. READ MORE

Leigh Anne Dolecki

The word concierge actually dates back to mid 17th century Europe, when hosts, usually of a lavish property or castle, provided a servant whose primary responsibility was attending to the comfort of their traveling guests. This servant eventually catered to the every whim and wish of visiting nobles; they held a very important position in the household, and often kept the household keys. Eventually hotel concierges began to appear in the finest hotels of Switzerland and France, expanding on the value of the "guest service" begun in those royal households. It wasn't until the mid 1970s that American hotels began to add the position of concierge to their staff, providing their guests with the impeccable guest service that they have come to enjoy in Europe. READ MORE

Steven Marx

The industry, as well as the hotel rating agencies and internet intermediaries, have managed to create a sufficient number of "classes" of hotels to not only confuse their guests, but the hotel companies themselves. And depending on to whom you talk, everyone has a different interpretation of what each of these classes mean. Then you add in 4-star, 4-diamond vs 3-star/diamond; we toss those ratings around when describing properties, not even referring to their "official" rating by Mobil and AAA. How many of us have fought with about their classification of our hotels, which directly affect a significant amount of potential revenue? And then we come to boutique hotels; the confusion around what classifies a boutique hotel makes the issue with "conventional" hotels look like a walk in the park. READ MORE

Cid Jenkins

Understanding customer needs has become a critical part of any online sales strategy. The best way for executives in the hotel industry to know whether their company is delivering on brand promises is to gather direct feedback from those their business depends on-their customers. Surveying can be used to answer a variety of questions from how customers navigate a site to what makes them abandon midstream. There are a variety of tools on the market that help non-technical hotel personnel develop targeted questionnaires that are sent to customers upon any type of site transaction. READ MORE

Matthew Rosenberger

Cookies upon arrival won't do it. A bag of "stuff" - not good enough. Tickets to attractions that may not be of interest to your guests (or might be dependent on the weather) is not the answer. So what is necessary to create a perfect family package that will attract customers and keep them coming back again and again? Well... it doesn't require an advanced degree to understand that families look for a package that combines activities and amenities that are both educational and entertaining for themselves and their kids. The bag of "stuff" provides 20 minutes of activity at best and an "unhealthy" snack at check in might have a negative impact on parents who are encouraging healthy diets and lifestyles for their kids. This article will provide you with the information and insights you need to create the perfect family package. READ MORE

Michael Goldstein

Increasing profits, running an efficient hotel operation and maintaining prominence are common goals associated with the hotel industry. Because the ongoing relationship between a hotel franchisor and franchisee often affects each of these aspects of day-to-day hotel operations, that relationship is particularly important to ensuring continual new business, a positive work environment and ultimately, a profitable hotel. READ MORE

Jed Heller

In an ideal relationship, you want your managers and management company to take credit for what they have done right and take responsibility and action when something isn't working. You also must be able to measure the results of the management company's service and, when appropriate, your general manager's performance. Just as you hold any employee accountable, you must hold a management company accountable, which will help your organization run more effectively and efficiently. READ MORE

Jed Heller

The hospitality business is a people business. One person, even the most energetic and skilled CEO, can't be successful alone. Even the smallest limited-service hotel requires at least a few employees to check guests in, clean rooms, and maintain the property. The enthusiasm and competence displayed by those employees determines guest satisfaction, and inevitably, the property's success. That fact makes leadership the most important management skill in determining the success of your business. But when I say leadership, I'm not referring to having a commanding presence or using approaches learned in the latest management books. In my mind, leadership is the ability to persuade others to seek objectives enthusiastically. When this happens, everything else falls into place. READ MORE

Jed Heller

Small hotel owners know that every bit of material waste, every unoccupied room, every inefficient process, and every negative guest experience has a direct impact on the bottom line. While some owners are involved in managing the hotel on a daily basis, others rely almost solely on their managers and employees to operate the hotels around the clock. In the owner's absence, it becomes incumbent upon the onsite manager and hotel employees to carry the ownership flag - you trust them to share your values, implement best practices, and conduct themselves in a manner that creates the best guest experience. Undoubtedly, your hotel employees play the most visible role in making or breaking a positive guest experience, and in turn, making or breaking your profitability. READ MORE

Roberta Nedry

As the year 2004 approaches and the historic return of the Olympic games to their ancient birthplace in Greece gears up, athletes will take center stage as we all watch their journey to be the best in the world. Competition will inspire each athlete to excel in each of their endeavors and those that do will wear the gold, silver and bronze while enjoying the world's applause. What motivates these athletes to be the best in their sports and how do they prepare for each increasingly competitive challenge? How can the hospitality world relate to their example and create "service athletes" within their own employee ranks? READ MORE

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Coming up in June 2020...

Sales & Marketing: Technology Rules

It is impossible for any hotel to develop an effective sales and marketing plan that doesn't include a wide-ranging digital strategy. Online platforms have impacted virtually every aspect of their business, due to major changes in how Internet users research, plan, and book their hotel visits. As a result, a successful plan includes generating traffic through the use of a hotel website, social media, email and a myriad of other digital marketing technologies. One such strategy uses data collection and automation technology to create personalized content to individual customers. The goal of personalization marketing is to engage potential customers by communicating with them as individuals - to establish a more personal relationship - as a way of encouraging them to visit a property. Video marketing is also extremely important. Showing someone authentic video from a specific location is immersive and engaging, and video is still the preferred way for customers to interact with a hotel brand. Voice and Visual Search are increasingly in demand, as consumers are moving away from typing queries into a search engine. Instead, they can simply speak their request into their phone, and find and book a hotel without ever typing a word. Similarly, other platforms allow consumers to search visually for almost any image, and find out pricing information, shopping comparisons and how-to-buy - all from the app. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence is also becoming popular. The ability of chatbots to answer simple questions or fulfill requests 24/7 is undeniably appealing. In addition, A.I. seems best positioned to qualify leads that can be later nurtured and closed by a human sales expert - all at a fraction of the cost of a traditional support team. The June Hotel Business Review will examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating these innovative technologies into their operations.