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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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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Coming up in May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.