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Lawrence Hefler

What are the ingredients for a successful Private Residence Club? Many would suggest that it starts with location...a resort setting where there is a strong demand for luxury vacation homes or luxury hotel offerings. A location with mountains, rivers, golf courses, spectacular views, and multiple seasons is preferable. Resort areas with land scarcity and a difficult entitlement process are also particularly attractive. Read on...

Rob Rush

As the definition of "green" intersects with "sustainable" and both mature in the marketplace, and it becomes abundantly clear that a "green" hotel needn't detract from the guest experience, it will behoove hospitality professionals to a) Get on the bus, as sustainable practices will be a required "cost of entry" practice in the future, not a marketing initiative; and b) Figure out how "green" can actually enhance the guest experience. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

With the current state of the economy, it is not at all surprising that consumers and hotels alike have developed a frugal mindset. Or as one upscale frequent traveler aptly put it, my wallet is closed! So just what can your hotel do to be tough, be ready, and get going, and still be on-trend with the new luxury consumer? The answer lies in a popular song originally recorded by Billy Ocean in 1985: When the going gets tough, the tough get ready. The operative word is, of course, ready. This article is the second of a two-part series that looks at how lodging properties can take advantage of the paradigm shift between old luxury and new luxury. Read on...

Richard D. Hanks

Loyalty. What creates it? How can you sustain it? Is there a 'secret sauce' that helps you transform a run-of-the-mill customer into a wildly enthusiastic devotee? What motivates a consumer to drive past 25 restaurants to get to their favorite one? Why does every piece of clothing I'm wearing have a Nordstrom label? What in the world causes Harley Davidson loyalists to love a brand name so much that they will tattoo it on their body? I'm not sure there is a single answer. But I know some things that will help. Here are ten sure-fire ways to help turn customers into brand enthusiasts: Read on...

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...

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Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.