Library Archives

 
Jeff Guaracino

With legal recognition and a growing public acceptance of same-sex unions around the world, a new business opportunity for hotels to host formal celebrations and to create honeymoon packages has been created. In fact, gay tourism is a growing industry representing more than $50 billion spent annually in the United States. Considering that is estimated that there are around 15 million adult people who identify as GLBT in the United States, that is an incredible per trip spend. Read on...

Jeff Guaracino

Safety, progressive politics (such as gay marriage) and even immigration (policies that don't discriminate against gay people) all play a factor in travel decisions. The latest research found that among gay travelers the top seven U.S. destinations are New York City, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles-West Hollywood, Palm Springs, Ft. Lauderdale and Chicago. The top seven European cities are London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Florence and Venice ties with Berlin. Read on...

Darrell Schuurman

In my previous articles, I've talked about the benefits of targeting the gay and lesbian travel market, and what this market looks for when travelling. However, when trying to reach a new market like this for your property, it can be somewhat overwhelming, requiring both time and financial commitments. Depending on the size of your property, you may not have a sufficient supply of resources to put behind your new entry into the gay and lesbian market. That's where partnerships can play an important supportive role. By forming partnerships within your city or region, you can overcome some of those challenges and thereby facilitate your move into the new market. Read on...

Darrell Schuurman

You provide wireless internet for the business traveller. You provide swimming pools and water parks for families. You provide discounts for seniors. But what do you need to provide for the gay and lesbian traveller? Is it any different from the mainstream 'straight' traveller? Simply put, no, it's no different. The gay and lesbian traveller still demands and expects the same general products services as the mainstream traveller. They want the spa, the workout facilities, the business centres. But there are still services and products that your hotel can offer to go that extra mile, and provide a message of commitment to the market. After all, since you've already invested heavily in this market, it only makes sense to provide products within the hotel that are targeted as well. Read on...

Olivier Bottois

While it is true that the general manager's role has changed radically over the past 30 years, this new role is really an amalgam of old and new. In today's luxury hotel and private residence club, this person plays the innkeeper role, as homeowners have brought about the need for the traditional innkeeper to maintain personal relationships for the property. The new general manager also has to handle a more complex business model, so all operations, from finance to marketing, require different knowledge and management. Now, too, this person serves as a real estate professional because the entire project thrives on this knowledge and sensibility. Entering the industry with the mindset of a traditional hotelier, one focused solely on managing the hotel, no longer makes sense with the advent of new, more productive models. Read on...

Jeffrey Catrett

Imagine a world in which Hilton, and Sheraton, and Marriott join Howard Johnson's, Statler, and Americana as fading icons of a time gone by. What started as product niching, through concept restaurants and boutique hotels supported by internet, is now a sea change in how the buying public is perceiving hospitality. The benefits of yesterday's standardization - reliable cleanliness and reservations - are now simply the expected attributes of any player in the game. Today's increasingly travelled and savvy mid-scale and high-end customer no longer settles for "no bad surprises," seeking instead to be delighted outright. Increasingly, it is design, lifestyle harmonization, ambience, service style and delivery, creativity, flare and finesse that distinguish the winners from the losers. Read on...

Jed Heller

Have you read reviews of your property on the Internet? If you haven't, the experience may be a real eye-opener. At even the finest resorts and hotels, reviewers (past guests) often complain about rude or inefficient service from hotel staff. But at resorts where staff is friendly and welcoming, reviewers will often dismiss dated furnishings or other concerns to rave about the people who made their stay special. What does this mean to you? It means that your staff members really are your most important asset. And if that's true, shouldn't that be where you're investing your time and energy? Developing and maintaining an effective employee communication and training protocol may be the highest yielding management effort you can make. You just need to give employees the tools, information, and feedback they need to get the job done. Read on...

Jeffrey Catrett

Demographics has played an ugly trick on the hospitality industry. Today, our profession is facing the daunting challenge of replacing Baby Boomer managers, departing in record numbers to retirement or to consulting, with green Generation Y high school and college graduates. It has been estimated that the industry will need more than 200,000 new managers within the next five years in the US alone. (The interim generation, Generation X, is only 3/7 the size of the Baby Boom so cannot possibly slot into all the management positions becoming available.) Just when traditional hospitality is hardest pressed to make itself attractive to this teens and twenty-somethings cohort, it has been abandoned by the media and has quietly disappeared off the radar screens of most of today's youth as they plan for (or stumble into) their future careers. Read on...

Bob Carr

There's no denying that credit card fraud is on the rise. A 2007 report from the Association for Payments Professionals found 72 percent of 3,000 members surveyed had been victims of actual or attempted fraud in 2006. That's up from 68 percent in 2005. Unfortunately, 80 percent of data compromises originate through small merchants - those generating less than 20,000 e-commerce transactions or a million total transactions annually - according to Visa USA. These smaller merchants - such as independently owned hotels - don't always have the technology to provide the secure systems needed in today's increasingly risky financial world. Worse, many hotel owners dismiss the problem because they think they are protected by their merchant acquirers. But they are not. Read on...

Mike Handelsman

To realize the most success in selling your hotel online, it is imperative to maximize the effectiveness of your listing. A well thought-out and well-written listing will allow you to attract more prospects and better sort out the serious buyers from the rest. By keeping in mind the following "10 commandments of quality online listings," you can help ensure that your hotel attracts the best potential buyers, and that the selling process goes quickly and smoothly. Read on...

Mike Handelsman

Whether you are buying a hotel for the first time or an experienced owner looking to invest in a new business, the process can be intimidating. Although it is usually not easy, entering the buying process fully prepared can save a great deal of time and frustration, making it easier to close a deal on a hotel that is perfect for you. Going into business for yourself or buying a new hotel will undoubtedly require large amounts of commitment and drive to overcome fear of the unknown, but keeping four critical factors in mind can help ensure success when investing time and money into a new business. Read on...

Mike Handelsman

When the time has come to sell your hotel and you have listed it for sale online, it is a great feeling to receive interest from potential buyers. Let's face it - selling a business independently can be a lot of hard work and a major time commitment, and when people show interest in what you are selling it can translate into a quick, painless sale. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons communication between a buyer and a seller is not always simple. Hotel owners who list their establishment for sale on the Internet often have to deal with many inquiries from browsers who enter into a conversation without any serious interest in purchasing a business. If hotel sellers are not savvy in how to address this type of situation, they might find the selling process to be longer and more frustrating than necessary. By following some simple communication guidelines when selling your hotel online, you can ensure you don't get caught up in a communication trap. Read on...

Mike Handelsman

As more and more business owners are choosing to take a do-it-yourself method when it comes to selling, we are noticing a growing number of hotel owners using online outlets to put their business on the market. Unfortunately, we also see many hotel owners attempting to sell online using largely ineffective methods. These situations are usually the result of a lack of research and preparation before listing a business, and can greatly increase the amount of time a business is on the market, can make the selling process more frustrating than it should be, and can result in a much lower selling price. The good news is that if hotel owners looking to sell devote time to researching proper selling methods and follow simple steps, the process can be a breeze. Read on...

Thomas E. Pastore

Hotels and resorts are multi-faceted business operations. I recall the last time I was room guest in a hotel. In addition to utilizing lodging services, I ate in the hotel's restaurant. I relaxed at the end of a long day in the hotel's spa. I attended a convention in one of the hotel's conference rooms. As you can see, there are four distinct business operations in the above example. Of course, readers can probably sight several other additional hotel services such as laundry, hair salon, tennis courts and retail gift shops. While motels and hotels are real property assets similar to commercial properties in terms of the location of the specific asset and long economic life (usually 20 to 50 years) they differ from typical commercial properties... Read on...

Thomas E. Pastore

Stop anyone on the street and ask him or her to name some familiar hotels. Would you be surprised if the average person could identify three, five or more? Probably not - this is the power of brands. Just like Kleenex and Clorox, name brands for tissue and bleach, a strong hotel brand has the ability to penetrate the target market to such a degree that it becomes recognized as an enduring symbol of the market-specific service standards. This service image cultivates the loyal customer base that is the foundation of a hotel brand's future earnings capacity. The proper identification of a brand's service potential, therefore, is the first step in quantifying its value. Read on...

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.