Library Archives

Kevin Williams

It's a pretty well-known fact that baby boomers currently dominate a huge sector of the consumer market. They have the numbers; they have the influence; they have the money. Born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers represent more than a quarter of the total population, and they generally appreciate the good things in life. And with more than $2.1 trillion in spending power, they can afford them. Needless to say, baby boomers are vitally important to the travel industry. As such, it's imperative that we note the nuances of this market segment. After all, any category that includes the Clintons, Bush, Madonna, Donald Trump, and John Travolta, among many others, is bound to have its issues. READ MORE

Brenda Fields

The immediate outlook remains promising but the future is less bright according to prominent analysts i.e. PricewaterhouseCooper and Smith Travel Research. One school of thought is "If it ain't broke, why fix it?". But we know that the hotel industry is driven by various economic factors that create many ups and down. The bad times don't last forever and the good times don't last forever, either. So what better time to address any weaknesses in the organization, flaws in the system, or product deficiencies, than when occupancies are strong and the outlook is favorable? This article will address the benefit of early prevention and will identify areas to evaluate in order to ensure that your property is well positioned for any downturn so that it will remain profitable and vibrant. READ MORE

John Manderfeld

Effectively managing requests for proposals (RFPs) is an important process that can get fumbled by even the most capable hotel general managers and sales departments. Since this time of year is "RFP season", now is a good time to review your RFP procedures. Of course, you should be receiving and responding to RFPs throughout the year-but because many travel management organizations plan on a calendar-year schedule, you will receive most RFPs for the upcoming year during July through September. If your hotel wants business in the group, corporate transient, government or incentive segments, you need to be actively engaged in the RFP process. Here are 12 ways to be sure that you are: READ MORE

Bonnie Knutson

In this article, one of a four-part series on generational marketing, we will look at the second "hump" of your hotel's four-humped customer camel - The Baby Boom generation. Boomers have reshaped each phase of life as they have passed through it, due to their sheer size and tendency towards rebellion and creativity. And they are doing so in your hotel. In their middle years now, they are characterized by a desire to stay fit and healthy for as long as possible and to maintain their youthful looks. As they age, they will redefine the term "seniors" in the same way that they redefined other life stages. With continued improvements in medicine and people living longer and healthier lives, their 70 will become the new 50. So what products and services can your hotel offer that will be in sync with the values of this generation? Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing: READ MORE

John Ely

Mergers. Acquisitions. Employee attrition. These terms are becoming more and more commonplace in the hospitality industry, and they all translate to big changes. The brand message your customers receive sets the tone for your property's ongoing success, and dictates not only whether or not they will come back, but what they'll say about your property to others. One bad experience or one encounter that fails to deliver what was promised or expected means they'll potentially attach a negative perception to your property and, most likely, share that perception. Unfortunately, you can't blame the hiccup on your period of change. Once that impression is made, there is little you can do to change the customer's opinion. So how do you prepare when it comes to managing your brand during times of change? READ MORE

Jeffrey Catrett

The War Generation, raised on Depression and World War, may have accepted somewhat stoically the difficulties of navigating through an America accustomed to focusing on youth culture, but Baby Boomers have never yet accepted anything anyone has tried to impose upon them and have had the economic might to get their way. As 78 million consumers enter their later years, expect to see sweeping changes in the treatment of greying populations. Intelligent businesses will begin today developing new products and services targeted at this mass of older spending power. READ MORE

Blake Suggs

As the current recession impacts the travel industry, it is more vital than ever to focus on gaining incremental customers and retaining your market share. Online campaigns must quickly capture customers' attention and create undeniable incentive to visit your site and transact once they arrive. Read the insights of Blake Suggs and Teri Utley, of Range Online Media, and learn the top 10 tips for optimizing your online campaigns in today's tough economic conditions. From new ways to capitalize on travel's seasonal advantages and highlighting your property's unique features to campaign re-design and geo-targeting, you will learn the secrets of the online trade that will help you succeed. READ MORE

Bonnie Knutson

If you ask a thousand hoteliers if they should discount their products or services in today's economic climate, chances are you will get a thousand different answers. While discounting is usually a boon to guests, it is often the bane of hoteliers. But discounts, per se, are not an entity-non-grata. Discounting, as a driving force in pricing strategy, is. A price break for your guests, current and potential, can be an effective short-term solution to a short-term marketing issue. The operative phrase is short-term. In this article, you get some hints on how to drive carefully down the price highway and avoid the big discounting potholes. READ MORE

Sanjay Nijhawan

Whilst we are living in unprecedented times there is no reason why the basic precepts of good marketing practice should suddenly be removed and replaced by knee-jerk reactions and cost-cutting. Indeed the opposite is true - never has it been more important to be faithful to your brand's promise. Now is the time to remember what makes marketing work effectively and, even more importantly in the current climate, efficiently. Maintaining your marketing activity and budget, whilst ensuring it is working as hard as possible, will be vital to negotiating your way through this recession and in ensuring you are in a strong position when we come out of it. READ MORE

Blake Suggs

With tax season behind us and streamlined budgets on the mind, it is time for hoteliers to undergo an audit of their online marketing strategies as well. In this article, I will give readers an inside look at an actual nline strategy audit for a top tier hotelier. We will review their paid earch, SEO and consumer shopping feed strategy as well as determine what was working well for them and where they needed to improve. Learn the secrets of brand versus non-brand search campaigns, landing page optimization and keyword bidding strategies to keep your campaigns lean, mean and profitable. READ MORE

Rob Rush

Recently released unemployment figures indicate a continued rise in that cheery metric to 8.5-percent, a 25-year high. Even in light of some modest signs of life, the credit and housing markets continue to limp along as well. And despite the OK from President Obama to pursue business travel and corporate meetings, the damage may have already been done and those markets remained strained. Human beings, however, must travel and, in fact, are traveling. READ MORE

Marc Portugal

In my first article for the Hotel Business Review, I proposed that many hotels may benefit from a shift in branding and marketing toward a "habitat" model - providing an ongoing "hub" of activity and experiences for locals as well as out of town guests. In my second article, I discussed means of cross-marketing these activities once they were created. In this article - allow me to back up and clearly address the activities themselves - what I will call Event Marketing - and how they can make hotels money both now and in the future. READ MORE

Didi Lutz

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is a relatively new concept in the field of Marketing and Public Relations. The idea is to combine all promotional efforts in order to expand the organization's market, explore additional sales possibilities, secure market share, and maximize revenue potential. If practiced properly, Integrated Marketing Communications is a healthy balance that can yield unlimited results beneficial to the organization's goals. Defining IMC has been controversial and has caused a lot of argument among experts, but generally it is described as the mix of all promotional efforts into "whatever works." With that in mind, hotels have begun applying this notion as part of their everyday outreach. READ MORE

Vanessa Horwell

The comp set, or the Smith Travel Research Competitive Set analysis, is often used by hoteliers as the benchmark for their pricing or marketing strategy. But savvy hoteliers know that in today's marketplace, the comp set is no longer a robust or thorough marketing or revenue management measure. Hotels that successfully market outside their comp set can expand their potential customer base, avoid a 'following' marketing and pricing scheme, improve the reach of their brand by exploring new markets, and position themselves to better compete in this challenging environment. READ MORE

Rob Rush

To begin with, please excuse my mangling of the time-honored maxim "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again" in the headline. I fear I have taken what once were innocent words of encouragement to 19th-Century schoolchildren and turned them into some vague threat. The potential menace in my message, however, pales in comparison to that posed by disregarding it. Ignore the first "touch" you have with your customers at your own peril. As those who have regularly read my articles know, my roots (and those of my business) are firmly in the hospitality industry. Of late, those roots have extended to other sectors where the concept of "customer experience" has proven intriguing. READ MORE

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Coming up in July 2020...

Hotel Spa: Back to Nature

As the Wellness Industry continues to expand, hotel spas are also diversifying, placing a greater emphasis on overall well-being. For some spas, this means providing clients with all-inclusive packages that include fitness classes, healthy dining, and offsite leisure activities, in addition to their core services. For example, spas near ski resorts are offering packages that include lift passes, pre-ski yoga sessions, after-ski dinners and spa treatments. Other spas are offering packages that include massages, saunas, mineral baths, hot springs, and recreational hiking and snowmobile activities. These kinds of spa offerings are also part of a "Back to Nature" movement that encourages guests to get out and experience the healing qualities of nature. One such therapy is the Japanese practice known as "forest bathing" which has become popular with spas that are near wooded areas. This practice relies on the ancient power of a forest for promoting a sense of health and well-being. Other spas are incorporating precious metals and stones into their health and beauty treatments - such as silver, gold, pearls and amber. Silver ion baths relax the body and mind, reduce fatigue, and restore energy balance. Gold keeps skin radiant and can even treat various skin diseases and infections, due to its antibacterial qualities. Amber is used to calm the nervous system and to relieve stress. Other natural products and therapies that are increasingly in demand include sound therapy, cryotherapy, infra-red saunas, and even CBD oil, which is being used in massages, facials and foot scrubs, providing a new form of stress relief. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will document these trends and other new developments, and report on how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.