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Marc Portugal

How do you get people to "stay" in your hotel when people are traveling less? How will you make your hotels money this year? What do you really have to offer locals? How are you different than hotels in your areas? The answer lies in the old casino adage: The longer they stay, the more likely they'll lose. In the absence of gaming itself, how is this strategy translated into practical, relevant and profitable outcomes? Read on...

Marc Portugal

Why do people REALLY love hotels? It's NOT the scratchy towels and continental breakfasts. It's NOT the out-dated patterned carpeting in the meeting rooms. It's NOT the travel sized bar soap or the cold bathroom tile. It IS the opportunity to get away from daily routines. It IS the opportunity to live out expressions of aspiration. It IS the opportunity to become a "celebrity" for a day - to the extent that a guest FEELS the experiences of both extraordinary recognition and paramount service. A Habitat is the incarnation and delivery of the sentiments of relevant, experiential, and meaningful promises. This is also how a BRAND is actually defined. Read on...

Rob Rush

A system that was originally created to set some standardized expectations for the hospitality industry and inform and educate the consumer has now mutated into one that does exactly the opposite. While Mobil will proffer its Star system and AAA will offer the comfort of the Diamonds, the truth of the matter is that it's the wild, wild west out there. Any property with an overeager public relations firm and an on-call poolside perspiration valet can stake a claim to star-driven fabulousness. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

We are Sasha Cohen, Reggie Bush, the Olsen twins, and the McCaughey septuplets. Born after 1985, we already number 75+ million, and are growing. By 2010, we will be 100+ million strong. And with our numbers, we will become a very powerful economic force as we travel, stay in your hotel, and become members of your loyalty program. Because we were the first generation to grow up immersed in a digital-driven world, we are often called Generation Y (Gen Y), the Net Generation or iGen. But we are also known as Echo Boomers, because we are primarily children of the Baby Boomers. We have even been labeled the Einstein Generation because we are adept at multi-tasking. Read on...

Jed Heller

A well conceived and executed marketing strategy can be the key success factor for small hotel owners, whether the property is privately owned or a small franchise within a large chain. In today's uncertain economy, many hotel owners are rethinking their marketing strategy and re-evaluating the magnitude of their financial investment as they can't afford to waste their limited funds allocated to marketing. But, they can't survive without a marketing investment either. Logic dictates that owners must get the biggest bang for their buck with their marketing spending. Read on...

Naseem Javed

There are three types of business names, Healthy, Injured or on Life-Support. Corporations must know the hidden the powers of their names. Each business name has several components often invisible to marketing executives and these characteristics and split personalities determine the success or failure of a name. To measure the effectiveness of a name or to see how much extra luggage a name is burdened with, following are the guidelines for a general check up. Read on...

Edward Donaldson

In the world of hotel consortiums, a brand is only as good, or in the case of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, as great, as its member hotels. In order to maintain the supreme quality and service that makes a "Small Luxury Hotel stay" an unmatched travel experience, SLH employs stringent processes for evaluating both prospective hotels and existing member hotels. When guests look through the beautiful color directory of our hotels, they expect and deserve a guarantee that all 300 plus properties across the globe will deliver the same high level of service and quality. To that end, the evaluation process for admitting new members involves a deep consideration of how the prospective hotel fits with and enhances the SLH brand. I will take you through the process of becoming a member of one of the elite hotel memberships in the world and provide you with an insight into how we choose our new hotels, as well as ensure that our existing members continue to meet the lofty SLH standards. Read on...

Naseem Javed

Most corporations, when giving birth to a new product, behave just like parents jumping in frenzy in a maternity ward. This typical hysterical hoopla of the incubation wing is often replaced by a subtler, cubicle behavior and at times becomes a subdued Dilbertish style revolution. Objects do fly, even though they are memos or sometimes, sharp yet harmless, foamy projectiles. Everyone shares the excitement and all fights are well intentioned. Everyone wants a successful launch. There is always a good feeling and everyone is happy. Read on...

Johnna Freud

Have you ever asked yourself, "how do travelers decide where to stay?" Did you ever question how travelers view your hotel, resort, bed & breakfast or inn compared to your competition? If these questions sound familiar, then qualitative marketing research may provide some of the answers you seek. This article is the first in a series about qualitative marketing research. It provides a basic overview about this methodology, especially for those in the hospitality industry who are not fully acquainted with it. Read on...

Brenda Fields

The advancement of technology has made the world a smaller place. Movies, television, and now the Internet have created a world which has fostered a better understanding of and access to different cultures. But, does this familiarity and exposure lessen cultural characteristics or nuances? Is it correct to assume that this familiarity creates instant purchases of your product? And does this also ensure that your product will be selected over your competition in these markets? This article will address key components to consider when planning and implementing global marketing campaigns or initiatives or in just reaching specific international markets. Read on...

Johnna Freud

Qualitative marketing research can be a valuable tool for gaining an in-depth understanding of business travelers' behaviors and attitudes toward hotels. It is a means for investigating what influences business travelers' purchase decisions and why. Obviously, business travelers today have many hotel choices. In fact, in many instances, these choices are within walking distance of one another. So, why do some business travelers choose to stay at your hotel while others stay at the one across the street? How can you drive more traffic to your property? Understanding what motivates them can greatly influence your bottom line. Read on...

Stacy Shaw

If you think your marketing efforts are finished when your guests walk through the front door, then you are leaving money on the table. Marketing initiatives that generated the guest booking are just the first part of the battle. Getting guests to spend money in your hotel throughout their stay is what drives incremental revenue and makes your marketing efforts a complete success. So how do you maximizing guests' expenditures? By using a touch-point marketing strategy. Touch points are opportunities for generating incremental revenue from hotel guests throughout their stay from the moment of arrival to departure. Touch-point marketing involves determining the message, identifying the areas of opportunity, developing a method of delivery and tracking the conversion rate. In a nutshell, you have to tell the guest what you want them to do, how you want them to do it, affirm that they have made the right decision and tell them thank you for their spending. In addition to driving incremental revenue, touch-point marketing is critical to building brand loyalty. Read on...

Stacy Shaw

Marketing partnerships can provide multiple benefits. They can help stretch your marketing budget, expand your brand visibility, provide a low-risk test marketing opportunity, generate incremental dollars and create community goodwill, just to name a few. However these same marketing partnerships can explode and cost you unexpected time, money and brand credibility if they are not developed in a strategic manner. At m-k-t-g, we employ an eight-step approach to the development of strategic partnerships and marketing alliances to ensure that all parties involved receive a ROI that is favorable to both their brand image and bottom line. Read on...

Cheryle Pingel

This year, experts predict that business travel will rebound to pre-9/11 levels for the first time. The National Business Travelers Association says there will be 219 million domestic business trips in 2005, up from 210.5 million in 2003 and awfully close to the 220 million made in 2000. This is good news for travel aggregators and suppliers alike - great news, really. But how do travel marketing executives leverage this upswing in terms of online marketing? Well, luckily there is even more good news: There are still plenty of stones left unturned in the online marketing arena, especially in the search engine marketing space (which I must say is the darling of the online marketing world). Read on...

Edward Donaldson

The outlook for the coming years show countries such as India, Brazil, China & Russia having the largest impact on the consumer market. China is the largest population in the world and recent statistics indicate that 1 out of every 6 people on earth are living in China. This will have a drastic effect on the travel industry and the luxury market. Analysts also forecast that China will be the world's most important luxury market by 2011. As more products become available to more people, the pressure increases to offer something truly special. 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.