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Bonnie Knutson

YouGov research found that children are "active decision makers in family economies" across a lot of decisions - including travel. They also found that young children can hold as much persuasive power as teens. From a young age, children's preferences influence where the family goes and where the family stays. The vast majority of parents give their children some say in deciding where they want to go on a trip, whether for a weekend getaway or a more traditional family vacation. Parents view kids' input as a way to ensure that their children get more out of the family's travel experiences. And, let's face it, it is also a way to reduce the nagging quotient too. In this article, you'll read about the money muscle of kids, how they influence family purchase decisions, and what your hotel can do to capitalize on this important market. Read on...

Simon Hudson

I have just completed an incredible round-the-world voyage teaching on Semester at Sea, a floating university campus that visits around a dozen countries, giving students a comparative study-abroad experience that is truly global. One of the countries I visited was Morocco where, seeking to understand why the country is Africa's most popular tourist destination, I interviewed two successful entrepreneurs - one French and one British - responsible for attracting tourists to this exotic destination. Both have opened up modernized riads in the beachy-chic resort of Essaouira, on the Atlantic Coast. The Moroccan Riad is a traditional house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard. Read on...

Mark Heymann

The millennial generation is the most socially aware and feedback-driven yet. To attract and engage this cohort, hoteliers must rethink their success metrics, tying them to a higher level of social responsibility. They must be willing to share more information, more freely, with their workers than ever before. And, they must provide frequent feedback, inviting employees and guests to do the same. For managers who are accustomed to holding information close to the vest, this will require nothing less than a mindset change. Read on...

Janet Gerhard

The hospitality industry is constantly under attack. New technologies, new entrants, new regulations, and changing customer demands require hoteliers to be relentlessly vigilant. It is not merely a matter of loyalty. Today's fight is about relevance. In a world of digital transformation, no industry is immune. With every discussion on digital transformation orbiting around customer experience, is there an opportunity to disrupt how the hospitality industry measures customer experience? Read on...

Tony Bridwell

In a world full of options, real-time media and people connected around the globe like never before, it's no surprise that people are also sharing experiences and reviews like never before. But let's not overlook the fact that people have always shared reviews with each other. In fact, if we went back to caveman days, we're almost certain that they probably were telling each other what cave had the best rocks and why. The question is, how do you make sure people are talking about your rock? Read on...

Peter McAlpine

It is obvious from the proliferation of new brands and the desperation to find new technology to improve the guest experience that there is a growing feeling that the SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) approach to custom satisfaction has become unsatisfactory, and that now the big hotel groups are searching for a solution. Unfortunately the hotel industry as a whole seems to be unaware of how quantum science, religious traditions, ancient cultures, and heart energy research are all showing that their shareholder-oriented, guest experience concept is based on erroneous principles and thinking, and on an obsolete worldview. Ironically, the solution is closer than their life's vein and implementing it is so simple and almost cost-free. Read on...

Ashish Modak

Hotels and the hospitality world have always intrigued people for centuries. It is the apparent glamour and uniqueness of the hotel world which creates curiosity in the mind of an onlooker regarding the various roles and job descriptions of people working in hotels. Have the principles and practices in managing a hotel changed with time? What is expected of a hotel manager in these continually evolving times? The writer firmly believes that a General Manager shapes the hotel experience for all his guests through his personality traits and approach towards his team and guests. The short essay brings forth the beauty of the golden art called hospitality. Read on...

Tony Bridwell

Being a statistic seems to be inevitable in life. In some way, each of us will find ourselves on a statistical list of sorts. For over half the country one such list is a reality: the "first time job" list. At some point in our life we have held a job in the hospitality/restaurant industry, and if you throw retail into the mix, it is possible to cover most of all the country. Read on...

Roberta Nedry

Customer experience management is increasingly critical as a top investment area and skill essential for C-suite executives (some firms even have a CXO). What does that mean exactly and what do leaders need to do to ensure they are ready? How will they proactively acquire these skills and mindset when there is no single or even clear roadmap as to exactly what to do or how to do it? On top of that, the new science of customer emotions is inspiring even more considerations and most CEO's don't like to 'get emotional' about their business strategies! Some are finding their way in the dark. Yet, more and more evidence shows the direct relationship of emotional intelligence as part of the customer experience strategy. It's time to figure it out! Read on...

Marcus Nicolls

Have you ever found yourself asking the question, "How did that (poor service, long wait, missing items, wrong room, discourteous service - fill in your own guest complaint) happen?" Maybe you've discovered a scathing 1-star TripAdvisor review that you know will impact occupancy. At that moment you might be asking, "Who's accountable? What happened here? How do I fix this?" Read on...

Steven Ferry

Four- and five-star hotels and resorts around the world number in the hundreds, catering to different markets/publics with different needs and wants. The imperative to make the guest experience so memorable that the guests become repeaters and ambassadors, occupancy runs dizzyingly high and word of mouth sizzles, is one that every new (or existing) General Manager/Managing Director faces; each has a vision, a style of management, a stable of successful actions, and erstwhile colleagues they trust to support their standards and whom they quickly bring in to precipitate success for owners, shareholders, management, staff, and guests alike. Read on...

Peter Friedman

Travelers love to tell stories: the snorkeling trip they took in the Molokini crater in Maui, or the fabulous dinner they had at a hole in the wall in a far-flung city. They regale their friends and family with stories of their adventures, showing them pictures, recommending their best spots, and warning them off bad experiences. Some of them will post on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, sharing their good - and bad - encounters with your company on their journey. Read on...

Simon Hudson

The hotel industry is constantly searching for the perfect formula to provide guests with addictive experiences, and, as such, music-themed hotels are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in big cities. This article focuses on these kinds of upbeat boutique hotels, from the Beatles-themed Hard Days Night Hotel in Liverpool, to the rock-themed Backstage Hotel in central Amsterdam, to Hotel BPM, a music-themed hotel in New York City. The keys to success for these hotels? Authenticity, superior customer service, and staying true to the music theme. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

To really appreciate our guests' requisite for personalization we can go back to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs that we learned in school. Maslow taught us that people are motivated to achieve certain needs; when one is fulfilled, they move on to the next one. By definition, a hotel satisfies the first two levels of physiological and safety needs. It provides shelter, water, in many cases food, and of course a safe place for guests to stay. The third level includes guests having a sense of belonging and acceptance, of being part of something special. But it is Maslow's fourth level where this personalization trend really kicks in. He called it Esteem and loosely defined it as our desire to be valued by others and to be recognized as an individual person. In this article, you'll find the ABCs of moving your marketing strategy from globalization to personalization. Read on...

Tema Frank

Most hotels now ask for guest feedback through comments cards or surveys, but too many forget to put the follow-up systems in place so they can really benefit from that feedback. Here are some of the things you need to think about to collect the right feedback and deal with it in a way that benefits your hotel as well as its guests. Read on...

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Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.