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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...

Larry Mogelonsky

Weddings are often viewed as an orphan kid of our industry, and special attention to this stream is only given at a narrow set of dedicated properties. Lest I remind you, however, that weddings are 'recession proof' whereby every bride wants her day to be as immaculate as possible. But it takes time and commitment to develop a successful weddings program, and to this end there's no better place to look for inspiration then a five-star, five-diamond hotel with a stellar reputation in this arena. Read on...

Janet Gerhard

Would you meet up with a fellow passenger from your flight to New Orleans at Cafe du Monde? Or leave a couple of women from a cleaning service in your house alone if you only just met then a half an hour before? How do you feel about leaving your cellphone at an airport charging station unattended? Yes, I've done all these things plus many more that some may call naïve or downright boneheaded, but I have always had a high level of trust in the strangers I meet every day. It's served me well for four decades, but how is trust changing in the modern world? Read on...

Bernard Perrine

Through customer reviews and social media chatter, hotels have online reputations. While many owners and managers view this as a hassle, guest input is actually a gold mine, both for fixing service issues and learning about potential product additions that can provide new revenue streams. Hotels that address problems customers raise in cyberspace also outperform those that don't. We offer a guide to turning clientele comments into better service.This article will examine how managers should deal with online feedback, both positive and negative, and will look at how they can turn constructive criticism into better guest service. Read on...

Tema Frank

The best way for a hotel to thrive is by really understanding its customers and what they really want. We make too many assumptions about what our customers want and how they interpret our marketing and services. Kodak, for example, buried its own invention of a digital camera because it thought customers wanted printed pictures. Far too late they realized that what customers really wanted was a convenient way to capture and revisit special moments. It didn't have to be print. This article shows ways you can use market research and tools like personas to identify, understand and successfully cater to your ideal customers. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

A current "hot term" in digital marketing is engagement. Everyone wants to engage their customers through their online content. The trouble is that most businesses, hotels included, are still trying to find their way in making this happen because, engaging customers via electronic media is still more art than science. This article will explore five "best blogging" tips for engaging customers/guests. Read on...

Jeff Catlin

Twenty years ago people chose hotels through travel agencies, word-of-mouth reviews, or simply driving by and stopping at the first clean-looking motel they spotted. Today, the rise of the smartphone and advent of online review websites like TripAdvisor marks a crucial paradigm shift in how average consumers make their travel arrangements. The Internet has given every consumer a voice — a voice that may love or loathe your product. Time and time again in articles, op-eds, and essays published in thought-leading websites and journals, hospitality experts agree: customer satisfaction should be a hotelier's number one priority, and that this is best achieved through better listening to your guests. Read on...

Simon Hudson

The lines between business and leisure travel are becoming increasingly blurred. Fueled by the proliferation of mobile devices and the ability to stay connected, over half of business travelers now extend their business trips into leisure trips. This presents new opportunities for hotels, but they need to configure their services to be flexible. Conference and meeting planners also have to be cognizant of these changes, ensuring that they incorporate an element of leisure when they plan their meetings. This article will focus on hotels around the world that are responding to the blurring of business and leisure travel. Read on...

Marcus Nicolls

Too many leaders rush to the idea that just one more perk, one more raise or one more break-room game table would boost employee engagement. This thinking is flawed—that "more" might produce a bump in engagement scores. Reality check, here. These quick-hit, feel-good tactics do not produce long-term, sustainable engagement. With the latest Gallup data revealing that employee engagement scores are currently less than 32%—worse still, nearly 1 in 5 acknowledge that they are "actively disengaged"—there has never been greater urgency and need for leaders everywhere to think and act differently in order to engage their people. As a leader in the hospitality industry, what are your plans to stir up positive employee engagement in your organization? Read on...

Lewis Fein

Hotel executives offer guests many things, from the ordinary to the extraordinary, in an effort to showcase a property's locale or a resort's accommodations. They invest in technology and security, as well as convenience and privacy. But the one thing every hotelier can highlight - the one concept that does not require consultants, engineers, designers and approval from various boards of directors - is family-friendly fun. That commodity is a matter of will, not money, where a hotel appeals to parents and children alike. The rewards can be substantial because there is something for everyone. That is a hotel executive's ideal scenario. Read on...

Tema Frank

A "hot term" in digital marketing is engagement. Everyone wants to engage their customers through their online content. But most businesses, hotels included, are still trying to find their way in making this happen because engaging customers via electronic media is still more art than science. Engagement is one of those terms that has been absconded by marketers with everyone knowing what it is but no one can define what it means. When I think about engagement, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's legendary phrase pops into my mind: "I know it when I see it," because its meaning is subjective and lacks a clearly defined meaning. This article will explore five "best blogging" tips for engaging customers/guests. Read on...

Simon Hudson

This article discusses the growing market for accessible tourism and the opportunity it represents for the hotel sector. The article focuses on one hotel chain in particular - Scandic - that has positioned itself as a world leader in accommodating visitors with disabilities. With 230 hotels spread across Europe, Scandic is the Nordic region's leading hotel chain. In 2003, it drew up an accessibility standard as a platform for all accessibility work at every hotel. Such a proactive approach has given Scandic a competitive advantage in the hotel sector. Read on...

Leora Halpern Lanz

With the powerful travel influence of the millennial generation as well as the ever-growing needs of today's geo-traveler, the popularity of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasingly important in the arena of hospitality. While various luxury brands and independent resorts have, over the last few years, implemented their own elementary degree of CSR programs (in which employees can partake or even the guest), today we are witnessing hospitality assets implementing interesting programs to further elevate their CSR practices into services or amenities. Hotels and brands need not spend considerable investments to implement wellness and sustainable practices into everyday operations. Read on...

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Coming up in August 2019...

Food & Beverage: Millennial Chefs Lead the Way

Led by Millennial chefs, hotels continue to foster sustainability, sourcing and wellness within their dining rooms and banquet spaces, and by all measures, this is responsible for an increase in their revenues. In many hotels, the food & beverage division contributes 50 per cent or more to hotel sales and they are currently experiencing double-digit growth. As a result, hotel owners are allocating an increasing amount of square footage for F&B operations. The biggest area of investment is in catering, which is thriving due to weddings, social events and business conferences. Hotels are also investing in on-site market or convenience stores that offer fresh/refrigerated foods, and buffet concepts also continue to expand. Other popular food trends include a rise of fermented offerings such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and pickles - all to produce the least processed food possible, and to boost probiotics to improve the immune system. Tea is also enjoying something of a renaissance. More people are thinking of tea with the same reverence as coffee due to its many varieties, applications and benefits. Craft tea blending, nitro tea on tap and even tea cocktails are beginning to appear on some hotel menus. Another trend concerns creating a unique, individualized and memorable experience for guests. This could be a small consumable item that is specific to a property or event, such as house-made snack mixes, gourmet popcorn, macaroons, or jars of house-made jams, chutneys, and mustards -all produced and customized in house. One staple that is in decline is the in-room minibar which seems to have fallen out of favor. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.