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Gino Engels

The best business decisions are often derived from Big Data. With revenue management so heavily influenced by dynamic changes in data, this is more true of the hotel industry than most. Just consider the variables: seasonality, local events and conferences, room types, amenities, variations of packages (such as breakfast included)... the rate permutations across hotels in a given market can easily run into the millions. So how do revenue managers adapt to this firehouse of data? It's about having the most relevant dataset. With that in mind, Gino Engels discusses the good, better, and best tactics for leveraging data effectively. Read on...

Melissa Maher

Hotels are not only looking for industry partners that provide them access to a diverse breadth of travelers, but also for tools and technologies that will help them optimize their revenue and overall business. Business needs constantly evolve at the pace of the consumer today, and by better leveraging technology partner tools, they can drive insights and efficiencies that will not only grow their business, but can maximize occupancy and ADR, and even improve guest relations. This byline will explore how technology partners, like Expedia Group, are powering the travel industry and mobilizing technical expertise to offer data-driven and tested technology solutions. Read on...

Andrew Dyer

As more travelers continue to seek more authentic experiences and one-of-a-kind moments when traveling, hotels have the increasing challenge of standing out in a crowded market. This is even more true for the business traveler, who has high expectations. As a hotelier, it's important for you to understand what drives travelers to select your property to ensure you're your maximizing your occupancy and revenue. Furthermore, as the global business travel industry continues to grow year over year, hotels should consider re-thinking their strategy to tap into this lucrative market. By understanding business travelers' search and booking preferences, hotels can successfully drive more bookings from business travelers and differentiate themselves from competitors in a crowded space. Read on...

Simon Hudson

As the ski season comes to an end, my article looks at the unique challenges of running a hotel in the mountains, and at the winter-specific services provided at ski resort hotels - from the humble Lake Louise Inn in Banff National Park with its affordable family units, packed pizza restaurant, and popular pub nights for ski workers, to the spectacular Waldorf Astoria Park City, the only Waldorf on snow, that gives guests access to high-end, brand new ski and snowboard equipment, and use of its own dedicated Frostwood Gondola a few steps away from the hotel entrance. Read on...

Mia A. Mackman

This article highlights Spa and Wellness program innovation and investment risks. While wellness and spa are commanding high-level investments across the hospitality and travel sector, knowing how to measure risk versus reward during conceptual development and assembling sound operational framework, can mitigate challenges and safeguard imperative returns on investment. This article also addresses management, leadership and employee turnover challenges that can often disrupt profitability and downgrade quality, consistency and program performance. Read on...

James Downey

Do you know at what point your hotel is neither making money nor losing it? Do you know what fixed and variable costs are in relation to total sales, room revenue, restaurant seats sold, rooms sold and occupancy? If you answered no to any of these questions, you need to understand how break-even analysis can aid in determining your hotel's short and long-term financial profitability. . This article will provide a definition of fixed and variable costs so as to aid in the calculation of a hotel's break-even point. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

Sense of Place has become one of marketing's more recent hot buzzwords. It's been used to promote everything from a national park to a housing development. And, yes, it is also used to promote hotel bookings. The truth, however, is that we can't really define the phrase so we don't really know how to leverage it effectively. Trying to define it is akin to what Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said in his 1964 test for obscenity, “I shall not today attempt further to define [it]…and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so, but I know it when I see it…” In this article, you'll read about the three keys to making sure your hotel has a sense of place, not placeness. Read on...

Mia A. Mackman

The magnitude of wellness and mindfulness has ushered in new perceptions of performance and program authenticity. While the nature of the hospitality industry is to serve, care, and exceed guest expectations; there can be considerable breaks in delivery, legitimacy and company culture, making it a challenge to quantify value and maintain significance and consistency. This article examines the central mainstays of delivering wellness with a mission and purpose that effectively ties to company cornerstones, employee ethos and crafts genuine, wellness-focused guest experiences. This article also looks at internal value propositions that add meaningful engagement, and enhance employee investment in stride with operating and fiscal performance through integrally focused wellness models. Read on...

Leora Halpern Lanz

Have we become immune to the terrorism around us? Travel. It is a privilege for all of us. Some may say it is a right for all of us as human beings. Travel is the way to connect and learn from each other -- the manner to promote tolerance and understanding. The activity from which we all grow and evolve as citizens of the world. And yet, the last 16 years of world terror have shaped and quite literally directed how many of us travel. Read on...

Michael Barbera

Virality is a social media marketer's dream. Achieving virality is a feat that few could claim. It is statistically more likely to be admitted to an Ivy League university, to win the lottery or to be struck by lightning than to go viral. In the business of business, which is revenue generation, engagement is a means to an end, and that end is increasing profit. The idea is that the more engagement you get, the more likely it is that people will know and trust your brand, and hopefully purchase a product or service at your business. Social media marketers continuously attempt to develop content that contains all of the essential attributes of historically viral posts. However, changing the default could increase the chances of virality and increase organic reach: set the honeypot. Read on...

Leora Halpern Lanz

Internships, work experiences, field experiences...the semantics may vary, but the gist is the same, and their importance is only increasing in today's undergraduate experience. Students, schools, and industry professionals are recognizing the significance of internships for developing a resume, an experienced, well-rounded candidate, and a student that has made connections in the industry prior to graduation. Read on...

Paul Breslin

Generally, any hotel that uses a nearby educational institution as the primary demand generator can be considered a campus hotel; however, the scope of this article focuses on hotels that are directly affiliated with an educational institution, often a college or university.For each campus hotel project, developers should fully understand the school's vision to create a property that not only meets the design requirements and educational purposes, but is also economically sustainable. On the other hand, operators should have appropriate revenue management practice, leverage school's internal resources, and manage student employees with extra emphasis on scheduling and training. The concept of campus hotels is not a new one. Read on...

Jonathan Barsky

With improved benefits and guest-friendly rules, hotel loyalty programs are increasingly becoming one of the primary reasons for selecting a particular hotel. Loyalty programs now rank fourth among reasons why consumers select a hotel (the top three reasons are "Location", "Price", and "Past Experience"). Across the industry loyalty program membership is on the rise and the percentage of "Elite" members in these hotel programs rose sharply in 2011 (up 5%). This is good news for hotels because members of these programs are more likely to recommend the hotel, spend more per room, and are less sensitive to price increases compared to non-member guests. Read on...

Rohit Verma

Issues relating to discounting and value are brought to the fore by the sudden popularity of "social coupons," which are activated when a group of people accept a particular promotion. The social coupons typically involve a steep discount, which challenges businesses to create promotions that do not lose money. Although studies have found that the social coupons do bring in additional business, they also raise the specter of cannibalizing existing sales. Instead of deep discounts, hospitality operators might better find ways to add value to existing services, especially since research has shown that the amount of the discount is less important than the fact that the business is offering a "deal." Read on...

Ashish Gambhir

Companies today are drowning in data - much of which may not even help you make better decisions and improve business outcomes. Slicing and dicing the reams of data in order to extract relevant, actionable insights is a business imperative. Read on...

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.