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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...

Brett Tabano

Consumers are spending increasing amounts of time on mobile devices, forcing brands to rely more heavily than ever on digital marketing to drive bookings and boost revenue. Unfortunately, the ever-changing digital landscape is becoming more difficult to navigate and control, often resulting in brand safety issues. From ensuring that ads don't run next to damaging content to preventing competitors and other nefarious "squatters" from exploiting the awareness you've built, marketers must take proactive measures to protect the value of their brand. As a scalable, efficient solution, a growing number of marketers are shifting to a real-time, programmatic, platform-based strategy. Here's why. 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...

David Bilicic

Research firm Magid digs into the opportunities and challenges presented by subscriptions in the hospitality industry, especially among loyalty program members. Magid found that travelers who already belong to a loyalty program are much more likely to be interested in a subscription program offering than those who are not part of loyalty programs. This research, which was conducted through an online study of 3,000 individuals who have an active subscription within one of 14 business verticals (Including meal kits, fitness, music, beauty, clothing and more), also delves into other consumer perceptions around subscription programs including price, offerings and "must-haves." Read on...

Shannon Colbert

What separates the good hotels from the great? The vice president of sales and marketing at Endeavor Hospitality Group, Shannon Colbert, explains that it comes down to one business element: your people. To be successful in the competitive and ever-evolving hotel space whilst providing consistent, yet fresh and memorable guest stays, it all starts with cultivating a fulfilled, resilient and productive team that is inspired to deliver on your hotel's promise. Read more about Shannon's six tips for making new employees feel at-home and satisfied in their hospitality career. Read on...

Brian Wise

Hospitality marketers are currently facing a more challenging landscape than ever when it comes to attracting and appealing to millennials. The methods used for generations past are proving to be irrelevant for this current audience, not just in where they are going, but why. And with the generation on track to make up 75 percent of all hotel guests by 2020, hospitality industry professionals should start to learn what amenities make them tick – and why they all point to Vegas. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

Generation Z is actually known by several names. But whatever it is called, this generation is the one that follows the infamous Millennials.. Typically, demographers and researchers classify iGens as those born between 1995 to 2005, putting them still in school with leading edge finishing up their college years. Although this cohort is still relatively young, they influence about $600 Billion of what and where their family spends its time and money – i.e. that's about 70% of their parents' spending. Already they are swaying their family's travel decisions. By 2020 – that's less than two short years from now - they will represent 40% of the world's consumers. In this article, you learn more about this up and coming generation and how your hotel can attract their business. Read on...

Lisa Ross

Learn why integrated marketing communications is essential to your hotel's success. The essence of integrated marketing is to meld consistent brand messages across all channels to provide a seamless experience for consumers to interact with your brand. As new marketing strategies and digital platforms have evolved and launched over the past decade from Google, Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest, it has never been more important to have effective integration of brand messages and channels. This article will review what integrated marketing means and share how to create a multi-platform and cross-channel marketing program… Read on...

Leora Halpern Lanz

The number of customer touchpoints between a hotel and its guests only continue to increase. In reviewing some of those touchpoints, one better understands the expertise needed to manage those moments and how hotel brands use varying methods to bring together skills sets for optimal (digital) customer experiences. How brands determine to manage the increasing touchpoints for optimal connection, will help distinguish them from the competition as they strive for continued excellence in customer contact. Read on...

Brett Tabano

Once summer ends, travelers start researching and booking flights and hotel rooms for holiday travel, an ideal time for brands to step up their digital marketing strategy and utilize new ways to increase sales. Programmatic performance marketing with a strong emphasis in native search enables advertisers to make smarter bidding decisions and allows brands to transform into digital publishers by selling comparison search ads to competitors. In this piece, Brett Tabano, MediaAlpha Senior Vice President of Marketing, will explore native advertising from the advertiser's and publisher's perspective, as an organic way for hotel brands to become more efficient and profitable. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

WT is a term that encompasses all electronics that can be worn on the body. It can be an accessory, such as a smartwatch, or it can be a sensor embedded into clothing that can tract motion, time, and even location. The key benefit of wearable technology is that it connects to the Internet so that the information collected can be sent to a network, stored, exchanged, analyzed and acted upon. Businesses are finding that IoT is offering them new insights into how to increase efficiency, how to better engage employees and customers, and how to develop new revenue stream opportunities. Can the hotel industry be far behind? Read on...

Margaret Rogers

Ever since the statistic from reputation management company Podium that customers would pay more for a better experience was revealed, leaders have been scrambling for ways to improve their customer experience across industries, hospitality included. To compete with Airbnb and increase customer retention, some hotels have even created robotic bellhops or allowed guests to stay in their rooms by the minute. But going deeper than the tactics themselves, there's one underlying factor that makes these strategies effective and empowers a hotel to truly appeal to customers: the ability to be agile. Read on...

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Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.