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Lawrence Adams

The explosive increase of hotel brands in recent years has reached an astounding level. Smith Travel Research recently listed 1,073 brands globally. Of the major hotel companies, Marriott, following its merger with Starwood, has accumulated 30 brands; Hilton has 14 brands, AccorHotels has 34 and InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) has 14. New independent brands continue to pop up at a rapid rate fueled in large part by the insatiable appetite of millennials for new and unique experiences in their lodging choices. In this article we explore the advantages and disadvantages of brand proliferation and look at some of the unique new brands in some detail to understand their appeal. Read on...

John Tess

A quarter of the population, millennials are increasingly a targeted hotel consumer. Boutique hotels historically presented an alternative to standardized chain. Their edge however has been eroded by the arrival of soft brands, such as the Marriott Autograph and Hilton Curio. Portland, Oregon-based Provenance Hotels, with 2,500 rooms under its control, attempts to expand on the boutique hotel by creating a truly unique place. As envisioned by its President, Bashar Wali, Provenance Hotels defines its audience as "forward thinking creatives" and sees its opportunity by smaller-scale properties that provide a more handcrafted or curated approach to design, operation and experience Read on...

Rocco Bova

It has been a long journey for boutique hotels. In the last 40 years (or so), this concept has dramatically changed the landscape of standard, box-type hotels selling average experiences and mostly clean rooms and hot breakfast. The disruption continues with the birth of similar-ish concepts that have evolved as well as how they are perceived around the world. I have followed this phenomenon for many years now and I hope you will enjoy my point of view and insights on this topic. Read on...

Patrick Connolly

Today's consumers are demanding more personalized services and unique experiences than ever before. This continues to create rapid change and heavy competition across many industries as they struggle to meet these new challenges, and hospitality is no exception. But how do you keep pace with the ever-changing demands of your guests? Although certain technologies can help you plan for and anticipate these needs, it's your people that will make the most difference. Learn how Holiday Inn Club Vacations engages, invests in, and provides its team the skills and knowledge to be one of the fastest-growing timeshare companies in the industry. Read on...

David Ashen

A rising renaissance in the roadside motel has prompted a growing trend in the transformation of the formerly dated designs to reinvented brands for the modern traveler. Building on nostalgia, the millennials' desire for authenticity and romance combined with wanderlust, David Ashen, principal and founder of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, explores some of the more interesting trends in this category, including, for instance, the conversion of a typical Super 8 motel into an independent and funky property offering local and unique experiences that pay homage to the brand's past while highlighting today's conveniences and tastes. Read on...

Nancy Brown

Disaster resilience is a core concept for contemporary hotel disaster/crisis management objectives. Resilience building provides flexibility, improved capacity to adapt, and leverage against the continually changing tourism environment. Understanding the value of resilience can make the difference in prioritizing this vital tool. The interconnectedness of the tourism sector worldwide requires novel approaches to assessing organizational strengths - organizations' face the need to develop potential solutions to unknown challenges. Building disaster resilience offers a potentially multi-faceted solution sets to todays', and tomorrows', challenges. This is the first article in a four-part series... Read on...

Cristine Henderson

Whether you love them, or love to hate them, millennials are often characterized as disruptors across many industries. This generation has definitely made its mark on the hotel industry, especially where design is concerned. Known for innovation, affinity to technology, and often associated with the advent of social media, millennials are making changes throughout the consumer landscape. Read ahead to see how all these characteristics are translating into the future of our industry. And don't worry, short-term rental services are not quite the death sentence they are painted to be. From selfies to sleek finishes, millennials are shaking things up. Read on...

Philia Tounta

Human Resource Management in a small business can be a vital task leading to success. Specifically in the service sector, service quality depends mostly on the quality of personnel since it is labor intensive and requires face-to-face interaction with customers. Unfortunately, small-sized hotels are faced with unfavorable conditions but they have opportunities to expand using their strengths as small firms with high levels of flexibility. Smaller organizations need to change HR practices compared to larger organizations because of the different workforce requirements and legal. Specifically, they must focus on improving customer satisfaction and the quality of service through a procedure of well organized HR management. Read on...

Lily Mockerman

How can hotels successfully expand their revenue strategy beyond occupancy? Is heads-in-beds truly the only method for increasing revenue and profits? When should occupancy be a priority, and when should hotels minimize occupancy for maximum revenue? With expert advice, years of experience and thoughtful analysis, president and CEO of Total Customized Revenue Management Lily Mockerman discusses both the benefits and the drawbacks of relying on occupancy as the sole indicator of a hotel's performance. Read on...

Ashley Halberda

In light of the "Me Too" and "Times Up" movement, recently passed County Hotel Worker Protection Act of 2018 will be requiring hotels to develop, maintain, and comply with new sexual harassment policies. With this new industry-wide pledge, hotel leaders agreed to enforce stronger safety and security measures for hotel employees. One of the ways they plan to carry this mission is through the use of safety devices known as "panic buttons." These new laws and regulations come at a pretty steep price to hotel employers, we want you to know what you can do to ensure you're protected. Read on...

Gino Engels

In order to best position your hotel in a competitive marketplace, it is essential to have an airtight revenue strategy so that room prices are priced right every time. While that sounds simple enough, it is important to remember that there are four key factors (events, timing, trends and competition) that need to be accounted for in order to accurately forecast demand and maximize revenue for a hotel. In this article, Gino Engels, CCO and co-founder at OTA Insight, discusses why these factors matter and how to extract exploitable data and insights from each. Read on...

Mia A. Mackman

This article reviews contributing factors to rising capital expenditures and investment demands in relationship to progressively important guest experiences and wellness attributes. As increasing wellness and lifestyle features continue to emerge across the hospitality sector focused on well-being, new value propositions continue to evolve. This article reviews Capex spending increases amid rising construction costs, and consumer demand with an emphasis on the value of incorporating enhanced spa and wellness-oriented property features. Read on...

Mark Heymann

In simplest terms, optimization means consistently delivering against customer expectations to drive revenue, while managing costs to maximize profitability. With the economy projected by some to soften by year-end, the hospitality industry must prepare for short-term growth while planning for longer-term slowing - and be flexible enough to respond to unexpected events. Combine this with the continued challenges of attracting and retaining talent and the priority for hotel operators becomes clear: workforce optimization. You see in this article how a deeper understanding of the specific factors driving both guest satisfaction and employee engagement will give you creative options to optimize operations. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

Get as much heads in beds as possible while optimizing your hotel's profit potential. This straightforward definition of a revenue manager's job probably rings true for many of us in the industry. However, if a revenue manager is solely focused on guest-room pricing, then who's in charge of enhancing revenue for the rest of your property? Hotels can generate more than half of their revenue on non-room revenue streams, yet traditional revenue managers and revenue management systems still take a limited "heads-in-beds" approach. So, how do we best decide what business to accept when faced with the complexities of multiple revenue stream considerations like function-space booking? Read on...

Ed Fuller

Hospitality industry leader Ed Fuller shares his expertise on the importance of hotel safety and security preparedness in today's tumultuous times. The need for hotels, both large and small, to have crisis management and a crisis communications management plan in place at all times has never been more urgent. Hopefully, hotel executives will never need to activate these plans but being prepared is paramount. Additionally, Fuller highlights several news stories that sparked a media relations nightmare for several national brands offering readers insight on how local incidents can become front page news thanks to people's smart phones. 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.