Library Archives

Euan McGlashan

The reaction to the coronavirus pandemic has arguably been the most radical, vicious and unprecedented in history – we are currently in the worst economic slump since WWII. This is not just a financial crisis, it's a global crisis. Though it our industry has been forced to press pause, savvy hoteliers understand that how we react today will shape long-term guest loyalty, while creating unique opportunities for growth during a period of economic decline. Though we've never experienced anything like this, we must all stay positive. Now is the time to identify and resolve pain points to prevail, in wake of COVID-19. READ MORE

Rick Garlick

Now more than ever it is important that hotels look for ways to reduce friction in the hotel experience. In this article, Rick Garlick will examine the ways in which technology can help reduce friction in the hotel experience, leading to more enjoyable experiences for travelers. Such tactics that Rick suggests hotel brands adopt include one-click booking, smart luggage, and in-room technology. This article will also look at factors beyond technology that hotels have to weigh when it comes to reducing friction in the hotel experience, as interaction-less guest experiences, health and cleanliness practices, and guest communications. READ MORE

Larry Spelts

Team members who work the hardest and often are paid the least are our room attendants. While there are opportunities for them to supplement their incomes with tips, these industrious individuals more often than not leave rooms empty handed. Even though there's a well-accepted method of calculating tips for servers across the U.S., hotel guests are either unclear on what an appropriate tip for a room attendant should be or simply unaware that it's customary to tip room attendants. With that being said, should hoteliers educate their guests on proper tipping etiquette to increase the likelihood of guests tipping room attendants? READ MORE

Brenda Fields

Are companies like Amazon and Apple setting better examples of great customer service than the hospitality industry? There has been a sharp decline in the hospitality industry in basic customer service with more reliance on technology, resulting in impersonal or rote customer interactions. Many times, calling a hotel requires extreme patience because of all the sales and reservation messages and the numerous prompts before getting to the right area, if lucky. This article will address what great customer service is from the guest perspective and the value of general managers setting the standards. READ MORE

Euan McGlashan

What do artificial intelligence and delicious craft beer have in common? On the surface, not much, but look a little deeper and you'll discover these are part of two trends that will impact hotels in 2020. Emerging technologies and food and beverage programs are transforming the guest experience, and hoteliers should take note. In the new year, we'll also see increased sustainability efforts (goodbye, plastic), more niche loyalty programs and brand-affiliated hotels, and properties catering to the bleisure traveler. This article covers five trends that will shape the hotel industry in 2020. READ MORE

Mark Ricketts

Select service hotels are one of today's most popular and successful hotel asset classes, attractive to investors, developers and property and asset managers, as well as guests. For more than a decade, they have accounted for more than 60 percent of planned builds in the hotel development pipeline. This strength is reflected in favorable construction windows, labor costs, flexibility in offerings of food and beverage services and other amenities, and gross operating profits. This article discusses factors for success in select service today and some of its development challenges and opportunities. READ MORE

Bill Caswell

Many hotel brands invested heavily in customer experience (CX) and loyalty programs without a cohesive business strategy. As a result, today they are having trouble measuring the return on their investments. Loyalty programs are hard to measure because they were expanded to include infrequent travelers, offering them perks earlier in the customer journey. Many hotels also plunged substantial dollars into CX without fully understanding their customers – or how to recoup their investments. As hotel brands plan for the future of their loyalty and CX programs, it is important to learn from past experiments. READ MORE

Ford Blakely

Mishaps are inevitable in the hospitality industry. But these mistakes don't have to be fatal. In fact, the strategies you put in place to respond to service missteps can become some of your strongest tools to win customers and drive revenue. However, recovery is impossible when you don't know where problems lie in the first place. Recent research shows that only 1-in-4 hotel guests say they'll report any issue that impacts their experience. This is worrisome news for hotel operators. But there are ways to overcome these blind spots and create service recovery strategies that boost your reputation and bottom line. READ MORE

Jennifer Corwin

As the battle between traditional hoteliers and alternative lodging providers heats up, the major players are experimenting with how to jump into each other's markets. It is a two-way street. Airnbnb is moving forward aggressively to fill traditional hotel rooms, while major hotel brands offer up luxury homes to capture a greater share of the travel wallet. In this article we explore how established and emerging brands stay true to the "experience promise" that remains critical to achieving customer satisfaction objectives and loyalty -- even as travel behaviors evolve. READ MORE

Bill Caswell

Across industries, loyalty programs are a virtual battlefield where the fight for customers is happening. From airlines to retail chains, credit cards and hotels, companies are competing aggressively for business by offering loyal customers better perks than rivals. The ascendance of loyalty programs represents a unique threat to independent hotels, however. The challenge is redemption. Large hotel chains allow travelers to earn and redeem points at thousands of properties globally. Big hotel brands don't hold all the cards, however. As independent hotels figure out loyalty programs, they are better positioned to implement them effectively and deliver world class service. READ MORE

Mark Allvey

Niquesa Travel is dedicated to providing clients with hyper-bespoke travel experiences, aimed less at where they want to go and more at how they want to feel while there. It believes that travel should be transformational, attending to each desire or need of guests. These intensely personal requirements demand an exemplary level of client care; gaining their confidence and intuiting their needs to curate the experience that they are seeking. Mark Allvey, Managing Director and Founder of Niquesa Travel, outlines its approach to guest service which goes above and beyond the expected from the outset. READ MORE

Keiko Sutton

The women of today have begun to shift public opinion on who is able to travel alone-studies have shown that accommodations booked by female lone travelers has increased by 45 percent in recent years. As women continue to venture out into the world for solo travel experiences, safety precautions remain a major concern. Throughout Japan, this issue has been remedied by women-centric travel and experiential accommodations. Taking women's comfort into consideration, sleep capsules are being utilized in hotels that exclusively serve women or offer the option of gender specific floors, offering women necessary privacy and safety in their own spaces. READ MORE

Steve Cohen

Artificial intelligence will never replace the warmth and welcome of personal interaction; however, in the hospitality industry, it can be an effective tool to enhance the guest experience. AI can help smooth out touchpoints and anticipate guests' needs. While the guest is at the center of any hotel or resort experience, AI can also benefit brands with back-of-house efficiencies like improving supply chain, staffing, scheduling and more. Used correctly, AI has the potential to vastly improve the hotel guest experience. It is a tool that can make hospitality brands more profitable, but only as a complement to the human touch. READ MORE

Priyanko Guchait, PhD

This article introduces a new service recovery method called Stealing Thunder - a proactive strategy to handle service failures which can have a significant impact on customer loyalty and trust. Stealing thunder implies the service provider identifies a service failure first and takes the initiative to report the failure to the customer before the customer has identified the service failure. When proactive service recovery strategies such as stealing thunder are used, there may not be a need to offer monetary compensation to customers following a service failure. Recommendations are provided to managers about incorporating "stealing thunder" in employee training. READ MORE

Mark Ricketts

The desired outcome for any hotel is maximum occupancy and ADR, smooth operations, productive and motivated staff, and realistic return on investment. However, all this is dependent on having a continuing stream of guests pass through our doors and keeping them satisfied, so that they come back in the future and recommend us to others. But how do we achieve the guest satisfaction needed to achieve those goals? This article considers some basics: what are the imperatives of genuine customer satisfaction and how might we achieve them. READ MORE

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Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.