Library Archives

 
Bernard Ellis

What a difference a year made in hospitality technology. For Americans, Chip-and-PIN/EMV appears to be the new Y2K - those who prepared are feeling terribly anti-climactic, and those who ostriched, so far, haven't felt much pain. It did, however, provide more widespread awareness of the need for credit card tokenization, and data security in general. People who previously hadn't moved to the cloud out of fear of losing data security, now started doing so to actually increase it. READ MORE

Rahul Razdan

Data and social media are the twin forces of change within the hospitality industry. Maximizing the power of these tools - for the good of workers and guests alike - is (or must be) a hotel executive's principal responsibility. Of equal importance is the democratization of these commodities: The accessibility, and increased affordability, of online marketing and promotions to a diversity of travelers. With the help of the right experts, and with an uncompromising eye toward quality and excellence, hotel executives can benefit from the application of data and social media. Now is the time to seize this opportunity of technological significance and business success. READ MORE

Brandon Dennis

There are countless website solutions out there these days. You could go the SaaS route and pay a monthly subscription for your website, or you can hire an agency to make a website for your hotel. Both have their pros and cons. There are some hoteliers, however, who want to make, host, and publish their own websites by hand. And for them, there is no argument--the best tool to use is Wordpress. With this 7-step guide, I will show you how to make a basic but fully functional hotel website with Wordpress. READ MORE

Amy Hutchins

Remember when free Wi-Fi was considered cutting-edge? Now, of course, most hotel guests expect it—if not in their room, then certainly in the common areas of the property. Hotel technology is evolving rapidly. Digital solutions are becoming the norm for solving common pain points in accommodation management. In particular, mobile technology and cloud-based software services are revolutionizing both the guest experience and the job of the hotelier. That will continue to be true in 2016. The year ahead promises to bring more developments in mobile and digital solutions for hospitality, as well as continued emphasis on the direct channel. READ MORE

Jeff Catlin

This article lists the top mistakes that we've seen people make when attempting to implement and use automated text analytics of consumer reviews. More importantly, this article gives advice as to how to proceed methodically thus avoiding most of the minefield, and getting the most value for dollar out of your automated review analysis. From "starting from the question" to "don't think too small," we'll cover the top nine mistakes and corresponding fixes. READ MORE

Steven Ferry

In the 1990's, I interviewed several futurists who, amongst other predictions, anticipated the omnipresence of robots in the workforce. In 2001 (unrelated to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey), I spoke at a butler convention about a convergence of "hominids" (humans) and robots: the robots becoming more human and the humans becoming more robotic-and warned that this did not augur (signal) well for humans who preferred superior service. Hospitality, basic definition is friendly, which comes from an Indo-European root word meaning love. Met any friendly robots recently, ones who expressed their heartfelt love? Or for that matter, from staff who lack passion for service? READ MORE

Karim Meghji

There's a lot more to building a new product than just the technical aspect. Sure, you've got to have excellent design and execution, whether we're talking about blue jeans or cloud-based software solutions. Before you get to that stage, though, there's some important soul-searching that needs to happen. Approaching the planning stages with a healthy dose of critical thinking and honesty leads to the best product possible. And that's what everybody wants, from the business to the consumer. READ MORE

Abi Mandelbaum

Virtual reality is on the cusp of significantly transforming the way people interact and engage with brands. It is expected to grow into a $60 billion industry within the next 10 years. But what are hoteliers to do with the emerging tech today? More importantly, what do you need to know about virtual reality to decide whether it's right for your hotel? This primer will get you up to speed with this fast-moving technology, detailing virtual reality's past and present, as well as detailed ways innovative companies—both inside and outside the travel industry—are already using virtual reality to drive results. READ MORE

Eric Presworsky

Industry experts agree - networks built with a Passive Optical LAN (POL) are much more secure than those built with traditional copper switching networks. That is because fiber transmits light, not electrical signals like copper, which means hackers cannot listen to signal emissions. Passive Optical LAN technology addresses the hotel industry's primary concerns; security, cost, space savings, low power utilization and equipment. With old and new infrastructures, the technology can be powered through wireless or over existing Ethernet ports. Imagine adding one more room on each floor because you can eliminate a wiring closet by using fiber-optic technology versus copper. READ MORE

Tim Unwin

Hotel distribution often creates a confusing technology picture. As solutions proliferate and evolve, opportunities emerge to combine and simplify. Successful integration between previously separate applications and vendors is also becoming more common. This paper examines the background to the 500 shades of complexity and suggests options to help hoteliers equip themselves for more cost-effective and straightforward distribution by combining the strengths of channel management and CRS. READ MORE

David Baker

This article addresses how Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) can be used to fill the gap that exists between in-person and over the phone customer service in the hospitality industry. Typically, customer service via the phone lacks the personal touch that comes naturally with in-person service. Implementing a CTI solution into contact centers helps decrease cost per call, improves telephone customer service by integrating caller background information, and increases revenue by building brand loyalty and repeat visitors. READ MORE

Saeed Kazmi

Hotel business centers are changing because hotel guests are changing - and the result is that hotels are finding creative new ways for their on-the-go guests to stay plugged in. According to industry trends and surveys, today's guests can be classified into three broad categories - Boomers; Generation Xers; and Generation Y travelers, or millennials. They think differently and they travel differently. For hotels to properly serve these three groups, hoteliers must properly understand who they are and what they want. This column examines the differences between Boomers, Xers, and millennials - their characteristics, their preferences, and especially their technological expectations. READ MORE

Ashley Stevens

According to a recent survey by the World Tourism Organization, there were over 940 million international tourist arrivals worldwide in 2011. Almost 60 million of those travelers are coming in to the United States. This presents a huge market that hotels in the US should be sure to target in any online sales strategy. International travelers tend to book early, stay longer, and rarely cancel, all attributes that make international travelers ideal candidates for staying at your hotel. In order to reach these travelers as they start their online planning, your hotel must make a conscious effort to target them in the channels they use the most. READ MORE

Ashish Gambhir

Understanding what guests are saying about their stay at your hotel and what is influencing their perspective enables your marketing and operational executives to determine what steps need to be taken to ensure the best experience possible. Mining and analyzing online feedback and summarizing massive amounts of raw text via an intuitive dashboard alerts your executives to operational and marketing strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities per every hotel, region and brand. At a glance, these real-time summary views provide a strategic look at where you are now, where you need to be going, and what needs to be done to get there. READ MORE

James Filsinger

If hoteliers want growth, they can no longer rest on their laurels and depend on traditional established customer bases. They must look to expand into new markets. Broadening international customer bases is one way to do this, and it can be easier than some think. Harnessing technology is one way to work smarter, not harder, in order to attract a new global customer base and keep them coming back. READ MORE

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Coming up in November 2020...

Hotel Design: Home Away From Home

With the rise of the sharing economy and the peer-to-peer marketplace for lodging options, hoteliers are re-thinking the look, feel and appeal of their locations. There is an emphasis on re-creating a feeling of homeyness - a comfortable, cozy and inviting space that feels like home. 'This is accomplished through the careful selection of furniture design, paint colors, lighting design, artwork, bathroom fixtures and textile accessories. In addition, some hotels are providing their guests with upscale amenities, such as a book and movie library, home-style kitchenettes, a coffee machine with locally-sourced beans and tea, or even a batch of fresh-baked cookies. Similarly, there is a growing design trend based on the concept of place-making. Travelers are searching for experiences that are unique and authentic to the locale in which they find themselves, and so hotel designers are integrating a sense of place into their work. This is partially achieved by incorporating traditional artisanal crafts and other local artwork into hotel rooms and communal spaces. Another design trend includes the creation of full-service, co-working environments within the hotel. Guests don't like to stay alone in their room when they need to work, so now they can go downstairs to the lobby-or up to the roof-to work among others. These areas encourage guests - and non-guests alike - to stay as long as they like and to partake of hotel amenities. Finally, recognizing the importance of the Wellness Movement, some designers are exploring how room design can increase the likelihood of deep and restorative sleep. Creating dark and quiet spaces, blocking excessive light, providing guests with a selection of different kinds of pillows, and the ability to control room temperature, are a few of the best practices in this area. These are some of the architecture and design topics that will be covered in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.