Library Archives

 
Bruce Fears

This year is going to be one of the most exciting times in the meetings and conference industries to date. With all the changes taking place, it can also be daunting if you're not on top of the competitive arena. The following article outlines some of the most significant trends and opportunities in the industry as projected by myself and my team at ARAMARK Harrison Lodging, a leading provider of professional services to 50 conference and corporate training centers, specialty hotels, national and state parks, resorts and other tourist destinations throughout the United States. Read on...

Kevin Williams

The U.S. has grown accustomed to being a top destination in international travel, but recent data shows that the number of foreign travelers visiting the country is declining. Although this year showed a slight increase in foreign travel to US markets, it is not enough to offset the sharp losses we experienced after September 11th. While the travel industry is making small progress, greater initiative is needed to revive our status in the international community. With the domestic economy faltering, the travel industry should be more aggressive in exploiting the dollar weakness to its advantage and bringing more foreign money to American shores. Read on...

Neale Redington

In a recent New York Times article, it was reported that a 74 year old traveler spent the past several years on various adventure vacations, including climbing the 19,300 foot Uhuru Peak on Mount Kilimanjaro and pitching a tent in a sandstorm in the Gobi Desert. She has also traveled to Mongolia, Madagascar and Peru in recent years and is planning trips to the Andes and Ethiopia. What does this mean for the travel industry? Increasing longevity creates new economic opportunities in the near term. According to a U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey, consumers age 50+ have accumulated more wealth and have more spending power than any other age group in history. In addition, they spend more than $1.7 trillion on goods and services each year. Read on...

Edward Donaldson

Over the last two years, the value of the US Dollar has significantly declined against foreign currencies significantly deflating Americans spending power abroad. The hotel and travel industries have been among the hardest hit by the drop in the dollar value as exchange rates have kept Americans from traveling to places where the dollar was once king and spending was frivolous. In today's market, room rates and occupancies have been drastically affected by the global economic condition. Small Luxury Hotels of the World sees 65% of their global business originating within the United States, thus making it crucial for member hotels to react to the current economic situation and reach out to the US traveler. With both the British Pound Sterling and Euro at their highest levels in decades, the challenges of hotels in the international markets are not only to maintain business levels but continue growth within them at the same time. Read on...

Robert Mandelbaum

Immediately after a catastrophic event such as Hurricane Katrina, the thoughts of hotel owners and operators go in many directions. First priority is the safety of the guests and employees. Once the human situation is secure, attention then turns to rebuilding the facilities and services of the hotel and getting "back to business." Read on...

Naseem Javed

The corporate teams that are overdependent on research averages often see their marketing fail at a spectacular rate. Their new product introductions seem caught in a revolving door -- what's in and what's out based on "researched" hypotheses that have little to do with actual market behavior. Interest in surveys that purport to identify averages and norms is so great that the myths this type of research spawns are sometimes floated as sophisticated branding and marketing strategies. Read on...

Robert Mandelbaum

Changes in supply and demand patterns are the two factors that cause shifts in the hotel industry cycle. Currently, most hotel owners, operators, and analysts are bullish with regards to the short- and intermediate-term outlooks for the lodging industry. On the demand side, occupied room nights continue to climb despite rising gas prices and multiple hurricanes. Barring an unforeseen catastrophic event, our PKF Consulting/Torto Wheaton Research Fall 2005 Hotel Outlook forecast calls for growth in demand each year from 2005 through 2008 at a 2.5 percent compound annual growth rate. Read on...

Naseem Javed

Giving consumers the tools for aerial scanning and three-dimensional mapping of the world -- allowing them to fly by their neighborhoods or make a detailed inspection of far away places -- is radical. Air Google makes it possible to inspect hotels and vacation destinations, conduct market research, spy, carry out competitive surveillance, hunt for a job, trade property, study ecologies, jog trails and fish streams, among at least a million other things -- virtually. Silicon Valley's current enfants terrible - Google's brilliant duo -- have given the global populace wings to soar over towns and cities, and the flights include everything except peanuts. Fasten your seat belts. Read on...

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Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.