Library Archives

 
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

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.