Library Archives

 
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

Mike Kistner

Travel is expected to slowly but surely continue on its road to recovery through 2012, shifting gears as it encounters inevitable bumps along the way. Independent hotels, mobile adoption, distribution, hotel merchandising and partnerships/integration/alliances played key roles during 2011. So which trends will help shape travel in 2012? There are many, but the following five are especially important.. READ MORE

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Coming up in June 2020...

Sales & Marketing: Technology Rules

It is impossible for any hotel to develop an effective sales and marketing plan that doesn't include a wide-ranging digital strategy. Online platforms have impacted virtually every aspect of their business, due to major changes in how Internet users research, plan, and book their hotel visits. As a result, a successful plan includes generating traffic through the use of a hotel website, social media, email and a myriad of other digital marketing technologies. One such strategy uses data collection and automation technology to create personalized content to individual customers. The goal of personalization marketing is to engage potential customers by communicating with them as individuals - to establish a more personal relationship - as a way of encouraging them to visit a property. Video marketing is also extremely important. Showing someone authentic video from a specific location is immersive and engaging, and video is still the preferred way for customers to interact with a hotel brand. Voice and Visual Search are increasingly in demand, as consumers are moving away from typing queries into a search engine. Instead, they can simply speak their request into their phone, and find and book a hotel without ever typing a word. Similarly, other platforms allow consumers to search visually for almost any image, and find out pricing information, shopping comparisons and how-to-buy - all from the app. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence is also becoming popular. The ability of chatbots to answer simple questions or fulfill requests 24/7 is undeniably appealing. In addition, A.I. seems best positioned to qualify leads that can be later nurtured and closed by a human sales expert - all at a fraction of the cost of a traditional support team. The June Hotel Business Review will examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating these innovative technologies into their operations.