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APRIL: Guest Service: Customer Service is a Key Business Differentiator

Lonnie   Mayne

Guest expectations are changing. Not only do they want a good price, they also want to feel valued. They want to know their opinion matters and can positively affect your business. But this isn’t information you can learn from data and numbers—it comes from the stories they share. The key is learning to listen to your guests’ individual stories, understand what they are telling you, and then internalize their advice in ways that make a real difference to both your business and your relationship with your guests. READ MORE

Holly Stiel

Consistently high occupancy rates, rave reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor, and guests who make a pilgrimage to your property year after year. What is their secret? Interestingly, this highly rated destination isn’t a hotel or a city that‘s known to attract tourists en masse. Believe it or not, it’s an animal sanctuary in Kanab—a small town in a remote corner of Southwest Utah. READ MORE

Pamela Barnhill

As independent hotel owner, operator, founder of InnDependent Boutique Collection and entrepreneur, Pamela Barnhill aims to stimulate dialogue about independent hotels. While independents – which by nature have more personality and distinctiveness than corporate hotels – represent half of the world’s lodging stock, Barnhill believes they are underserved. IBC and its corporate sibling, InnSuites Hospitality Trust, aim to expand the branding of independents through marketing and trademark services. In this column, Barnhill shows us why striking the balance between rapidly changing, ever more affordable lodging technology and the human touch that still counts so much is key to an independent hotel’s success. That balance is within reach. READ MORE

Simon Hudson

A major cause of poorly perceived service is the difference between what a firm promises about a service, and what it actually delivers. To avoid broken promises companies must manage all communications to customers, so that inflated promises do not lead to overly high expectations. With hospitality examples from all over the world, this article discusses four strategies that are effective in managing service promises: creating effective services advertising; coordinating external communication; making realistic promises; and offering service guarantees. READ MORE

Coming Up In The May Online Hotel Business Review


Feature Focus
Hotel Sustainable Development: Responsible Decision-Making for the Near and Long-term
The subject of sustainability has gained considerable momentum in recent years. There has been an increasing awareness among hotel owners and investors regarding the environmental impacts of hotel development and operations, such that sustainability issues have now permeated nearly every aspect of the industry. Despite the lack of clear metrics which makes the issue difficult to quantify, there is a growing consensus about the definition of what sustainability is, and its essential importance in the everyday, decision-making process. Simply put, sustainability seeks to balance financial, social and environmental factors to facilitate responsible business decision-making over the near and long term. How those factors are balanced may differ from company to company, but there are several fundamental issues about which there is little dispute. First, sustainability has become an important factor when customers make a hotel selection. According to a recent TripAdvisor survey, 71% of travelers reported that they planned to choose hotels based on sustainability over the next year. Thus, hotels that are managed and operating sustainably have a considerable advantage over their competitors. Secondly, sustainability can be a profit center. The main emission sources of carbon footprint in the hotel industry are energy, heating and water. Thus, the reduction in consumption of those elements means that both the size of their carbon footprint and their costs go down, so it is a true win-win for both businesses and the environment. These are just some of the issues that will be examined in the May issue of the Hotel Business Review, which will report on how some hotels are integrating sustainability practices into their operations, and how their businesses are benefiting from them.