Library Archives

 
Michael S. Wasik

In the sixth century BC, Greek philosopher Heraclitus observed "Everything changes but change itself." Twenty-six centuries later, it's still just as true. It certainly applies to today's hotel customers. Travelers, whether business road warriors or families on vacation, are more selective, value conscious and well-informed than ever before. They also have a whole new set of expectations. Hotels have a unique opportunity now to embrace and benefit from this new customer reality. Read this article to learn how you can capitalize on it in ways that will differentiate your property's brand, rise above the competition and increase customer loyalty. Read on...

Paolo Boni

Today's travelers are choosing hotels that inspire them and effectively articulate why their rooms and amenities are 'worth' the price. But hotel listings on travel sites are typically lackluster and undifferentiated with unclear value propositions. The challenge for hoteliers is this: successfully conveying their hotel's unique value on the sites travel shoppers use to research and compare hotels online. Hoteliers can capitalize on their presence on travel websites by applying online merchandising techniques and using visual content to their advantage. Read on...

Hillary Bressler

Since Google Earth launched, millions of Internet users have traveled the globe in search of everything from Mount Kilimanjaro to their childhood homes, all from the comfort of their own computers. But, this popular satellite-based application is far more than a way to pass the time at work. When integrated into a website, Google Earth is a powerful tool that can boost Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and support the overall marketing strategy. Read on...

Drew Rosser

Next Generation Technology: Trendy Term or Actual Practice? Well, it is a trendy term like most trendy marketing terms it is being used to sell something rather than to identify actual practice. Is there Next Generation technology development going on? Absolutely. However, you wont hear too much about it until it's being pushed out in user testing or Beta versions. Anything that is out there now isn't Next Generation it's Now. Make sure you do your due diligence when in the market for technology. Don't get sold on trendy titles. Read on...

Pedro Colaco

Many independent hotel managers are unhappy with the amount of business generated by the websites. This should come as no surprise as only 14% pursue a structured online strategy. Yet, embracing e-commerce is the best opportunity for independent hotels in the downturn of 2009/10 as online bookings continue to grow and travelers show a healthy appetite for booking directly at the hotel's official website. This article tackles the issue of how independent hotels should create a structured online strategy to ensure e-commerce success for their official websites. Read on...

Kristi White

Over the past 10 years, the web has become a powerhouse for growing business. For the hotel industry, it has changed all the ground rules, from how you interact with your customers to how you drive bookings. Ten years ago, hotel chains started investing in online virtual brochures. These sites were designed simply to lay out the product and drive customers to call centers. As the sophistication of the web platforms increased, rudimentary booking engines were laid into the websites. No one anticipated that this electronic brochure would soon be a key business driver. Read on...

Tina Stehle

In the current economy, it's more important than ever to conserve resources and cut costs. One of the best ways to streamline operations is to automate inventory and procurement. Hotels that do so typically report savings in the range of 5 percent to 15 percent - through efficiencies as well as direct cost savings. The operational benefits of e-procurement are numerous, including reduced inventory levels, improved auditing and financial control, elimination of paperwork, enhanced staff efficiency and shortened delivery time. Today's systems take inventory and procurement to an entirely new level with automated e-mail bids, the ability to route purchase requisitions for approval via e-mail or PDA, electronic invoicing, budget tracking, business intelligence functionality and more. In this article, I outline five top reasons to automate your hotel's inventory and procurement system. Read on...

Rob Kall

Online travel reviews are nothing new; they have existed in one way or another for over 10 years. Sites without user reviews may become less common over the next few years, as consumers rely more heavily on others' experiences before making a decision. So how can hoteliers take advantage of this growing trend to bring in more business to their property? Easy, include customer reviews directly on your site. This article explains and analyzes the pros and cons of posting consumers' reviews of your property on your own website. Read on...

Jacki Kelley

The Internet has revolutionized the way consumers make travel purchasing decisions. In fact, according to a recent comScore Media Metrix study, more than 55 million consumers used web searches to research travel throughout the month of July 2006 alone. Moreover, the majority of those who conducted a web search booked travel online. According to Forrester Research, the Internet makes up one quarter of all travel sales today and is projected to grow to just under 50 percent by 2010, making Travel second only to computer software and hardware when it comes to overall category growth. Lodging companies have made significant strides in harnessing the Internet to leverage distribution and make it easy for consumers to research, compare and buy from their desktops; however, when it comes to building brands on the Internet, opportunity exists. With broadband penetration projected to reach 83 percent of U.S. households by 2008, the opportunities to leverage the medium, engage consumers, drive preference and manage channel distribution has never been greater. Read on...

David Chin

Historically, the hospitality industry hasn't exactly been the leading hotbed of technology. Earlier this millennium, the best you'd usually find was billing and room reservation systems linked using the room TV as a display. And guest services tended to be centralized with terminals at reception and in restaurants. Now, IT is everywhere. In-room mini-bars are connected to IP networks that add purchases to the bill 30 seconds after a cold beverage is lifted from the fridge. The flat screen TV offers streaming music services with soothing screensaver photos. Even the room key has become part of a technology link that allows guests to buy food in restaurants and access voice mail and wireless Internet portals. And a new generation of gadget-minded and gear-toting business and leisure guests are forcing hotel operators to continuously -- and at warp speeds -- adopt new information and entertainment technology systems. Read on...

Hilary Murphy

The challenge of optimizing IT investment is relentless for the hospitality sector. This article reviews some of the salient issues that impact on optimizing new technologies by revisiting the determinants of technology adoption and then by sharing some of my research into Strategic Technology Relationships in the Hotel Sector, conducted earlier this year with the hospitality technology managers (CIOs and IT Directors) in the major European hotels. Finally, some suggestions are proposed for the future optimization of technology in the hospitality sector. Read on...

Jacki Kelley

We all know the Internet has changed the way people consume media. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who would dispute this. But lately, the conversation has evolved to include Web 2.0 - a second-generation of Internet-based services that let people collaborate and share information online in new ways. But to understand the true value of this shift, let's talk about Consumer 2.0 - at the heart of Web 2.0. Read on...

Tina Stehle

Success in hotel operations means reducing costs and improving operational efficiencies while enhancing guest satisfaction. The most visible benefit of deploying a document management solution is an immediate reduction in manual processes and volumes of paper. Companies that choose to deploy a document management solution gain a rapid return on investment. The costs savings are easy to see: dramatic decreases in the time and labor required to search for and retrieve documents, increases in work capacity and productivity and reduced physical space demands for filing paper copies of documents in offices and off-site warehouses. Read on...

Mark Tapling

Why has guest experience accelerated in importance over the past several years? Some say it's the build out of local markets where location and price have reached their zenith. Oversaturation is the death knell for many an operation. But there are still others that realize a focus on guest service and the guest experience has the potential to negate many of the affects of competition, location and price. In fact, many are finding that they can significantly increase revenue by focusing on guest service. Read on...

Tina Stehle

Enhanced customer service, reduction to staffing costs, and a better utilization of hotel resources are just some of the hotel benefits obtained by successfully implementing self-service kiosks. Many customers are already accustomed to using self-service alternatives for airline check-in, rental cars and supermarket check-out. Today, customers are demanding the same convenience and ease of use in the hotel check-in process. Read on...

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Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.