Web 2.0 Technologies May Put Web Accessibilty at Risk

. October 14, 2008

SEPTEMBER 26, 2006. Brands planning to introduce Web 2.0 technologies into their online strategy need to be aware of accessibility or they may miss out on a market worth over lb50 billion, warned Trenton Moss, director of web usability and accessibility agency Webcredible, at the Accessibility in 2006 conference on 12th September.

Web 2.0 technologies such as AJAX offer brands the ability to create feature-rich, interactive online environments. Websites such as Yahoo Mail, Google Maps, Amazon Diamond Search have introduced Web 2.0 to great effect, producing intuitive, user friendly websites. The rewards for improving usability in this way can be high, with traffic increasing by 150 per cent and sales rates by up to 100 per cent.

However, Moss warns that companies who introduce richer functionality, such as 'on the page' changes to eliminate downloads and video content, should be aware of the risk of compromising web accessibility. The upshot is that brands must develop alternative versions of these features to meet accessibility requirements.

'Web 2.0 offers amazing potential but, for the first time, this could cause a conflict between accessibility and usability. However, developing alternative versions of web pages to address accessibility requirements does not need to be a costly exercise and the benefits far outweigh the effort. There are over 8.6 million registered disabled people in the UK alone, so brands looking at Web 2.0 need to include accessibility into their online strategy in order to tap into this significant market,' said Trenton Moss, director, Webcredible.

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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.