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Bonnie Knutson

Instagram is simply a social networking site that is now part of our marketing lexicon. Developed in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the app was sold to Facebook about two years later and is now part of the Facebook empire. At its core, Instagram is simply an app that enables its users to upload (i.e. "post") photos and videos clips. These posts can then be viewed by other users who can "like" them as well as "follow" a user or a brand. Instagram is all about sharing visually. In this article, you discover how being on Instagram can add incredible value to your hotel. Read on...

Mostafa Sayyadi

Hotel executives began to deal directly with the things that they can control while managing to lessen the burden of threats for things that they could not control. With distinctive competitive advantage or even core competitive advantage, a hotel's internal resources should be managed in order to enhance competitiveness. Therefore, this core-competitive advantage relies within and among people. Hotel executives embrace various internal resources affecting competitive advantage through adding more manageable control and reducing operational risk. Some of these internal resources can be controlled by hotel executives and others are risks that have to be factored into strategic decision-making. Read on...

Bill Caswell

Early adopters of technology often force competitors to ramp up their technology investments to stay relevant. This scenario is playing out in the hospitality sector right now, where forward-looking companies are upping their technology game and causing others to do the same. However, the existence of technology that can improve the customer experience (CX) is no guarantee that it will be widely adopted. The challenge for the hospitality industry is meeting consumer expectations while ensuring that investments in CX make financial sense. This article discusses both how technology can improve CX – and what's holding companies back from adopting new technology. Read on...

Zoe Connolly

Recruiting is hard. It's harder when a full team of amazing professionals stops thinking about ways to augment their own crew, and comes to the logical conclusion that it's better to focus on their specific roles than it is to go outside comfort zones. After all, no one wants to rock the boat for a group that's doing amazing work. However, leaders who can encourage their employees to build a pipeline of talent will almost never find themselves unable to meet every guest's requests. Read on...

John Mavros

Many turn to Starbucks for a caffeinated wakeup call every morning. However, given a recent court ruling, Starbucks now serves as a wakeup call for employers who need to improve their timekeeping practices. This article examines the landmark California Supreme Court decision in Troester v. Starbucks, which illustrates just how important it is to capture every minute that an employee works - even time that seems short and trivial, or also known as "de minimis." This article will explore the lessons learned from Starbucks and further outline best timekeeping practices that all hotels should consider implementing to avoid an employment wage-hour lawsuit. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

So, you want to be a high-performing hotel revenue manager, but how much should you understand about analytics, and how much can be left to the scientific experts and automated technology solutions? Well, does being a safe, efficient driver really depend on that much technical knowledge of what's under the hood? Sure, you should probably know where to put the gas, but it's the mechanic we trust to effectively diagnose and repair major issues, and there's an entire history of trial-and-error innovations built into your vehicle that make it into the advanced machine you rely on to get from point A to point B. Read on...

Herve Tardy

Power anomalies don't take a summer vacation. From heat waves to hurricanes, wildfires to monsoons, there is no shortage of disasters waiting to wreak havoc on critical hotel systems between the end of the school year and Labor Day. But with the right approach to power management, hotels can ensure system uptime if disaster strikes, keeping guests protected from the complications of summer blackouts. This article will explore some of summer's greatest threats and offer steps to prepare for power outages that could adversely affect business operations. Read on...

Gino Engels

The most effective revenue managers are pros at nuance and experimentation, looking for patterns and trends that inform their strategy. The ideal setup includes technology that automatically analyses local market demand data alongside pricing data, and puts it in a visual, approachable format. But what are the key factors that drive hotel revenue? In this concise article, we review eight or nine themed clusters that can guide your thinking, including: your compset, as part of your pricing strategy and demand analysis; other demand factors; channel management; promotions and discounts; competitor benchmarking; reputation management and rate parity; employee engagement; and digital and metasearch advertising. Read on...

Priyanko Guchait, PhD

This article introduces a new service recovery method called Stealing Thunder - a proactive strategy to handle service failures which can have a significant impact on customer loyalty and trust. Stealing thunder implies the service provider identifies a service failure first and takes the initiative to report the failure to the customer before the customer has identified the service failure. When proactive service recovery strategies such as stealing thunder are used, there may not be a need to offer monetary compensation to customers following a service failure. Recommendations are provided to managers about incorporating "stealing thunder" in employee training. Read on...

Lawrence Adams

Hotels and resorts have increasingly become targets of terrorist attacks. Ease of access to facilities that are designed to promote welcoming hospitality to its guests and visitors make securing hotels against attacks a difficult challenge. Terrorist regard hotels and resorts as "target-rich" since guests in luxury lodging are typically affluent and potentially politically influential. Recent attacks emphatically demonstrate that today's hotel and resort security systems need to focus not only on petty criminals and intruders bent on theft, vandalism, arson or personal assaults, but must employ cutting edge technology in early threat detection of potential terrorist attacks. Read on...

John Welty

Human trafficking is a despicable crime where individuals are forced into commercial sex or labor. It is crime that affects nearly 25 million victims around the world and a crime in which, too often, hotels unknowingly play a part. The privacy offered by hotels is particularly attractive to traffickers and can be a weak spot for hotels. In this article, we look at recent trafficking incidents where hotels were involved, state laws on human trafficking impacting hotels and what hotel operators and staff can do to prevent these incidents or properly identify such a situation should they encounter one. Read on...

Rick Garlick

With so many hotel brands in the marketplace, the one distinguishing characteristic is how well these brands create loyalty among their customers. Examine the best ways to build brand loyalty in the hotel industry by first understanding the emotional and rational drivers of hotel bookings. Both factors need to be met to build a sustainable customer base, but how can brands find the balance? Whether it be providing an experience that is more rational-driven or one that is more emotional-driven, explore ways to build experiences around the customer's wants and needs first to ultimately improve brand loyalty. Read on...

Kurt Meister

For U.S. hotels, an active shooter situation ranks high on the list of security concerns. And without proper employee training, a hotel has no chance of handling such a situation correctly. Effective training should include local law enforcement, first responders and all employees. It should address real-life scenarios that prepare staff members to respond appropriately. It should include key roles and responsibilities for each division head. And it should include smart prevention strategies. This article walks you through the basics and provides resources hotel general managers can use to develop their own program or enhance their current training. Read on...

Steve Cohen

Artificial intelligence will never replace the warmth and welcome of personal interaction; however, in the hospitality industry, it can be an effective tool to enhance the guest experience. AI can help smooth out touchpoints and anticipate guests' needs. While the guest is at the center of any hotel or resort experience, AI can also benefit brands with back-of-house efficiencies like improving supply chain, staffing, scheduling and more. Used correctly, AI has the potential to vastly improve the hotel guest experience. It is a tool that can make hospitality brands more profitable, but only as a complement to the human touch. Read on...

Marcela Trujillo

Revenue management and marketing can seem like two different worlds. Different in many respects, many revenue and marketing teams operate without true cooperation. In this article, Marcela Trujillo with Total Customized Revenue Management (TCRM) explores the similarities and differences between revenue and marketing teams, uncovers the potential of a partnership between the two disciplines and explains how a collaboration can work to attract the perfect customer - one who will not just stay at the hotel or resort, but will also spend within the property and increase total asset revenue. Read on...

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Coming up in October 2019...

Revenue Management: Focus On Profit

Revenue Management is still a relatively new profession within hotel operations and as such, it continues to evolve. One significant trend in this area is a shift away from using revenue as the foundation to generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and to instead place the emphasis on profit. Traditionally, revenue managers have relied on total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) as the basis of their KPIs. Now, some revenue managers are using gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as their primary KPI. This puts profit at the center of revenue management strategy, and managers are increasingly searching for new ways to increase the profitability of their hotels. Return on Investment is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical that profitability and ROI will be emphasized going forward. Another trend is an expanded focus on direct hotel bookings. Revenue managers know that one way to increase profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This tactic also reinforces brand identity and loyalty, and encourages repeat business. In addition, it provides a valuable platform to market the hotel directly to the customer, and to upsell room upgrades or other services to them. Another trend for revenue managers involves automation in their software programs. Revenue management systems with automation are far more desirable than those without it. Automating data entry and logistics increases efficiency, allowing managers to spend more time on formulating strategy. As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.