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Rick Garlick

With so many hotel brands in the marketplace, the one distinguishing characteristic is how well these brands create loyalty among their customers. Examine the best ways to build brand loyalty in the hotel industry by first understanding the emotional and rational drivers of hotel bookings. Both factors need to be met to build a sustainable customer base, but how can brands find the balance? Whether it be providing an experience that is more rational-driven or one that is more emotional-driven, explore ways to build experiences around the customer's wants and needs first to ultimately improve brand loyalty. Read on...

Gino Engels

The most effective revenue managers are pros at nuance and experimentation, looking for patterns and trends that inform their strategy. The ideal setup includes technology that automatically analyses local market demand data alongside pricing data, and puts it in a visual, approachable format. But what are the key factors that drive hotel revenue? In this concise article, we review eight or nine themed clusters that can guide your thinking, including: your compset, as part of your pricing strategy and demand analysis; other demand factors; channel management; promotions and discounts; competitor benchmarking; reputation management and rate parity; employee engagement; and digital and metasearch advertising. Read on...

David Allison

The Lodging industry in all price categories is going through a period of disruption, with huge forces at play. New technologies, mergers, acquisitions, online competition, Airbnb, new travel behaviours, new types of travelers: these are not small adjustments to an ecosystem. In the midst of that chaos it's valuable to step back and ask our consumers, directly, what they value, want, need and expect. And that's where the 75,000 surveys in the Valuegraphics Database come in. We've done that work of asking hotel guests those questions for you. Read on...

Stuart Butler

The war over direct bookings has died down in recent months. Despite Hilton and Marriott's best efforts with their "Stop Clicking Around" and "IT Pays To Book Direct" campaigns, nothing much has changed. I still speak with properties on a daily basis who are 60%, 70%, or even 80% reliant on OTAs for their bookings. This not only eats into a property's profits but it also places them in a really risky position as we face a possible economic downturn,. Read more about the real danger of over-reliance on OTAs and how you can avoid falling into the same trap. Read on...

David Torres

Creating a large and loyal fan base is a brand's ultimate goal, and it is clear that beach resorts have some of the best products in the world for attracting repeat customers. Some amenities and services are more obviously enticing than others and some might even be overlooked when trying to attain and maintain popularity among guests, but all in all it might not even be what you would expect. Excellence Resorts has come up with a short list of our successful branding and customer service approach when it comes to bringing the same guests back year after year. Read on...

Court Williams

Generation Z currently comprises more than a quarter of the U.S. population and delivers a hefty contribution to the economy. They may not be booking hotel rooms yet, but they already have a significant impact on their parents' choices of accommodation. Over the next decade, we can expect Gen Z guests to challenge many aspects of the hospitality industry, from the way hotel brands market themselves to the type of in-room entertainment they offer. Court Williams, CEO of HVS Executive Search, looks at what Generation Z wants from a hotel stay experience, and what leading hotel brands need to factor into their plans to remain competitive and relevant to this audience. Read on...

Lisa Ross

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now a part of everyday life and is still growing at an astonishingly rapid rate. Consumers live in smart homes and work in smart offices, so it should come as no surprise that this revolutionary technology has made its way into the hospitality realm. Hotel marketers are rapidly identifying ways to put AI into widespread use. In this article, you will learn how AI impacts hotel marketing and what hoteliers can do to transform how they operate, maximize processes and interact with guests for increased satisfaction and loyalty. Read on...

Brian Morris

The JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa brings luxury to the Texas Hill Country by offering guests outdoor adventure, golfing paradise, spa rejuvenation and a true escape. Conveniently located a short drive from San Antonio International Airport and downtown, the resort boasts 1,002 recently refreshed guest rooms, two 18-hole PGA TOUR TPC golf courses, a 9-acre water park, over 280,000 square feet of meeting and event space, five on-site restaurants and a full-service spa and wellness center. Whether guests are visiting to connect, meet, stay, play or refresh, the JW Marriott San Antonio has on-site amenities to meet every need. Read on...

Miranda Kitterlin, Ph.D.

In the United States, women represent the majority in both hospitality and tourism operations and academic programs, yet are sorely underrepresented in high level positions. The prevalence of sexual harassment in the industry adds an even greater challenge to the female professional in terms of navigating the workplace and road to advancement. While not a new phenomenon, the Me Too movement has brought the issue to the forefront and forced us to ask a question that may not have otherwise received such substantial and international attention: How do our female leaders make it to the top in a #MeToo world? Read on...

Gino Engels

It is no secret that hoteliers are looking to increase direct bookings to mitigate against rising distribution costs. As cost inflation has pushed direct booking to the top of most hotels' priority lists, hotels are pursuing more business through the lower-cost direct channel, in an all-out effort to preserve the profitability of each booking. In this article, Gino Engels, CCO and co-founder at OTA Insight, discusses 10 essential tactics-such as enhancing your booking experience, segmenting your guest lists, properly forecasting demand, and more-that you can employ to produce more direct business and increase your hotel's revenue per available room. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

Somewhere along the way, we came to believe that all it takes to generate value, loyalty, and great ambassadors for our hotel are outstanding facilities, programs, and services. And don't forget those loyalty programs. While that may have been true back in the 20th Century, it is no longer enough in 2019; these qualities are just expected in a hotel. To provide the kind of experiences that will drive guest value and hotel revenues, it takes more than top facilities and good service. In this article, you will learn how a Gum Ball Machine can point your way into this Experience Economy. Read on...

Court Williams

New hotel brands are being developed on an almost daily basis, to the point that it becomes confusing for guests and the public to identify what brand belongs to whom. In some instances, hotel groups are buying out existing brands to get their reservations book, while in others they are building new brands from the ground up. Is there a solid business case to be made for the proliferation in new brands, or is it overkill? Court Williams, CEO of HVS Executive Search analyses the benefits and disadvantages to all stakeholders, to determine whether this state of affairs is good for the hospitality industry over the long-term, or simply a short-sighted strategy without a future. Read on...

Gino Engels

In order to best position your hotel in a competitive marketplace, it is essential to have an airtight revenue strategy so that room prices are priced right every time. While that sounds simple enough, it is important to remember that there are four key factors (events, timing, trends and competition) that need to be accounted for in order to accurately forecast demand and maximize revenue for a hotel. In this article, Gino Engels, CCO and co-founder at OTA Insight, discusses why these factors matter and how to extract exploitable data and insights from each. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

Eleven years from now the U.S. population will reach a tipping point. The year 2030 will mark the moment when all baby boomers will be at least 65 years of age; in other words, 20 percent of our population will be of retirement age. Jonathan Vespa, a U.S. demographer, puts it this way: "The aging of baby boomers means that within just a couple decades, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history. By 2035, there will be 78 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.7 million under the age of 18." So, what does this have to do with hotels? A lot. In this article, you read about two unique opportunities for your hotel to take advantage of the longevity trend. Read on...

Javier Coll

As hotel owners and investors discuss strategies for success in the coming year, a careful review of current market conditions is imperative. While supply in the international hotel market remains growing and strong, room rates are beginning to soften, and smart owners should now consider a brand conversion strategy to stay ahead of the curve. In this article, Javier Coll, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Apple Leisure Group, shares why a conversion, with the right brand partner, is key to beating out the competition in a potentially oversaturated market. 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.