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Bonnie Knutson

Branding. It's a term that carries an image for the guest and means equity for the hotel. Yet few of us really understand how it works. The idea of branding isn't new. In fact, it dates back more than a hundred years to when Ivan Pavlov won a Nobel Prize for his research into branding. Who? Pavlov? Wasn't he the guy with the dog and the bell? Exactly. But what does an old scientist, his dog and a bell have to do with successfully marketing your hotel? In this article, you'll learn how Pavlov's three principles can help you develop a successful branding campaign for your property. READ MORE

John Ely

Have you evaluated all of the places where your customer interacts with your staff? A recent study I read stated that in a 300-room hotel, there can be up to 5,000 staff-to-customer interactions each day. And that doesn't include the reservations center or your Web site! In this article I discuss how early in my career I realized the importance of experiencing a company's services just like its customers would. READ MORE

John Ely

Realization: Consumers are thrilled with the prospect of anything over and above poor service. From the gas pump to the ATM, we have lost contact with live, personal service. From restaurants to hotels, we find live people imitating automated systems. Consumers are so desperate for good service that their expectations are at an all-time low. What a great opportunity for your business! READ MORE

Jason Ferrara

It takes a lot of people to make a hotel feel like home for its guests. So it's not surprising that the hospitality industry is a major component of the overall U.S. labor force. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the accommodations and food services industry makes up 8.1 percent of all employment. And Americans aren't abandoning their vacations or business outings anytime soon. The hospitality industry is expected to grow 18 percent and add more than 1.6 million new jobs through 2012, according to BLS data. But while we're in the business of making others feel cared for, the labor market won't be very comfortable for hospitality employers in coming years. READ MORE

Jason Ferrara

The hospitality industry is in the business of making people feel at home when they're away from home. The employees decide whether the guests have a positive or negative experience and, either way, those guests will talk about it. That is why it is so critical that hotels and lodging facilities take measures today to ensure that they have those top performers on staff that will provide guests with an optimum experience and keep them coming back. According to a recent nationwide survey from, nearly six-in-ten hospitality workers say they plan to leave their current jobs in pursuit of better opportunities by the end of 2005. To better understand the impetus behind this wake-up call for employers, let's take a closer look at what factors are driving dissatisfaction with their current positions. READ MORE

Jason Ferrara

The US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that hospitality jobs will increase 17 percent through 2012; meanwhile, the industry's turnover rate was nearly twice that of all occupations last month. The magnitude of the industry's turnover is demonstrated by a recent nationwide survey by According to the survey, about 12 percent of hospitality workers plan to leave their jobs in the fourth quarter of 2005. READ MORE

Jason Ferrara

Workplace diversity is hardly a new notion. The push for diversity gained prominence in the 1970s and 1980s as an influx of women entered the workforce. When EEOC reporting requirements emerged in the 1990s, the concept took on even greater importance. Today, embracing diversity means far more than creating more and equal opportunities for black and Hispanic workers. Diversity initiatives also benefit Asians, Native Americans, women, people with disabilities, and gay and lesbian workers. READ MORE

Jeff Guaracino

Manchester Pride, in Manchester, England, is a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender life. Annually, the 10-day festival draws thousands of gay and lesbian tourists from England, Europe and around the globe. Gay tourists come for parties, live music, a parade and a candlelit vigil. Manchester Pride raises more than lb100,000 for HIV/AIDS charities. During Manchester Pride 2009 in August, I interviewed Graham Bradford, Regional General Manager, Malmaison Hotels, Great Britain. Mr. Bradford is responsible for the Malmaison Hotels in Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool, England to discuss his views on how gay and lesbian tourism can build room and food and beverage revenues. READ MORE

Judy Singer

Spa Benchmarking is one of the “hottest” topics in the spa and hospitality industries. It is a relatively new discipline; therefore, it is filled with challenges and opportunities. While spa benchmarking studies are very much needed, not all studies are useful... some can actually be quite damaging and harmful. There are too many studies that lack credibility, integrity, quality and reliability, yet they receive significant press coverage. Poor information, conclusions and recommendations can be very detrimental when a spa relies on this information to make operational, personnel, marketing and investment decisions. READ MORE

Todd Walter

Hotels and spas share many attributes, perhaps none more salient than that both are in the service industry. Whether we're selling rooms for the night or massages for the hour, what differentiates one service provider from the next is the overall guest experience. Frontline employees shape guests' perceptions and make the difference between a "Wow!" experience and just an average one. READ MORE

Tom LaTour

In today's tough economy, customer value and quality service are everything in the luxury resort category. As the industry wades deeper into an uncertain 2009, some fractional resort and luxury hotel developers and operators look startlingly like deer caught in the headlights -- paralyzed by doom-and-gloom news and declining sales reports. Yet high-end property owners and mangers should know that luxury is, and always has been, a cyclical business. So as we wait out this market downturn, let's not hastily cut concierge programs and guest service personnel in a panic to balance the books. READ MORE

Kurt A. Broadhag

For an industry that survives on providing their guests with optimal customer service it always amazes me to see the lack of emphasis placed in the hotel fitness center both in terms of proper planning and the maintaining of the facility. What is even more shocking is seeing neglect in facilities that, at one time, were a proud amenity and focal point of the hotel. The only rationalization I can make for this oversight is the inability of management to both budget and approve the funds needed to maintain these fitness centers. READ MORE

Gini Dietrich

Is the unstable economy throwing shadows over your sunny vacation destinations or business travel hot spots? The current economic climate is undoubtedly influencing the way you do business and like many, you likely are looking for places to cut back. Marketing may seem like the best place to get started, but in tough economic times it is more important that ever to keep the lines of communication open on all fronts. READ MORE

Roger G. Hill

Surely, you know what your company's mission statement is. But, do you have a green mission statement? Sitting down and working through all of the possible intentions and outcomes of a green mission is the first step to setting a green strategy that is authentic. What are you looking to accomplish? Who are you trying to engage with your green message? What does green mean to your company today? What will it mean in 5 years? Use this mission as your "roadmap" to the greening of your company. It will provide an anchor that will keep you on track with your goals - if followed; it will literally show the way as you live your new mission. READ MORE

Brenda Fields

According to Smith Travel Research, “The outlook for 2010 looks slightly better than 2009, but the industry still is expected to end 2010 with decreases in all three key metrics. Occupancy is projected to end 2010 with a 0.6-percent decrease, ADR is forecasted to end the year with a 3.4-percent decrease, and RevPAR is expected to end with a 4.0-percent decline.” Although this outlook is less than optimistic, there are strategies that can be implemented to turn your business around regardless of your base of business. This article will address the key components to put your property(s) on the path to success in this new economy and maintain success regardless of market conditions. READ MORE

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