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Lisa Ross

User Generated Content (UGC) is a double-edged sword for every hotelier. It's invaluable as far as it delivering positive, authentic guest testaments to future hotel guests. However, it can also elevate a hotel's pain points into the public domain. As hoteliers focus on the balancing act of leveraging guest accolades and damage control, it's easy to lose sight of the impact that UGC ultimately has on room revenues, as well as the potential ways in which hoteliers could be maximizing UGC to further enrich the guest experience and better the property's exposure among potential new guests. Read on...

Gino Engels

As the hospitality industry continues to grow and change, traditional strategies are being tested and it can be daunting for revenue managers to know how to adjust. This article features insights from industry experts on distribution, direct bookings and rate parity. Our experts share some of their challenges and approaches to revenue managing whilst aiming for a seamless customer experience. We also look at some key trends, including harnessing customer data, the upturn of direct booking, and new developments from hotels in order to keep up with market changes. Read on...

Stuart Butler

Love them or hate them, OTAs likely drive a substantial number of heads-in-beds to your property. That's not a bad thing, especially when it comes to driving first-time guests. The problem is that far too many hotels aren't putting their best foot forward when it comes to converting first-time OTA bookers into repeat guests who book via a direct channel. This article looks at some simple and effective steps that you can take that will ensure each and every OTA booker wants to return to your property and that they are much more likely to do so by booking direct the next time. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

On March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell uttered his famous words, "Mr. Watson. Come here. I want to see you." Watson, who was in an adjoining room heard Bell's summons clearly. The telephone was more than an invention by an unbelievably creative mind. It was a disruptor. There is a distinct difference between an invention and a disruptor. Today, there is a disruptive "new sheriff in town" and its name is Blockchain. In this article, you'll see how this technology can be integrated into your hotel and transform your Loyalty Program. Read on...

Amanda Hurley

As people continue to take more interest in their pet's well-being, pet travel has become increasingly popular. In fact, according to the 2017-2018 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 37% of pet owners travel with their pets every year, which is a nearly 20% increase from a decade ago. Savvy hoteliers know how to capitalize on this and stay relevant among the competition. In fact, more than half of US hotels now allow pets, according to the 2018 American Hotel & Lodging Association Hotel Trends Survey. This case study explores the ways in which the Inn at East Beach, managed by broughtonHOTELS, used operational and promotional strategies to ensure the hotel was set up for success in becoming a dog-friendly hotel. Read on...

Stuart Butler

In this article we look at interesting statistics and takeaways from the 2019 Leisure Travel Study. The annual research provides a comprehensive look into consumer shopping and booking preferences and behaviors. This year's data shows that hotels are missing out on a huge opportunity to reduce reliance on OTAs and drive more direct bookings, that it may be time to invest in a branded mobile app, that consumers aren't quite ready to embrace voice-enabled technology, and that Millennials really are quite different than previous generations. Read on...

Lisa Ross

Wellness travel is taking tourism by storm. Growing year-over-year at twice the rate of the global tourism industry, hotels and destinations can't afford to ignore this trend if they are to remain competitive. A place on the field requires a full grasp of the niche traveler's scope of demands. The wellness experience permeates the traveler's daily existence: From their dining choices and sleep habits to their state of mind and spirituality practices. Hotels and destinations that leverage this holistic mind-body movement have an opportunity to better profitability, attract new travelers and potentially build greater brand loyalty. Read on...

Cheryl Buono

The millennial generation (people born between 1981 and 1996 – now ages 23-38) is growing slightly older as its economic influence continues to increase. This story will walk you through how millennials' spending habits differ from those of Generation X'ers and Baby Boomers, how their media consumption habits influence channel preference, and how their behavioral habits influence messaging from marketers. All of this will provide hotel owners and operators a roadmap on how to find, target and win over millennials, a generation that spent approximately $200 billion in travel last year and takes an average of 2.6 trips per year. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

Instagram is simply a social networking site that is now part of our marketing lexicon. Developed in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the app was sold to Facebook about two years later and is now part of the Facebook empire. At its core, Instagram is simply an app that enables its users to upload (i.e. "post") photos and videos clips. These posts can then be viewed by other users who can "like" them as well as "follow" a user or a brand. Instagram is all about sharing visually. In this article, you discover how being on Instagram can add incredible value to your hotel. Read on...

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...

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Coming up in December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.