Sales & Marketing
Brenda Fields
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Outsourcing: A Prime Example of 'The Sum of the Parts is Greater than the Whole'
  • Outsourcing over the past several years, has taken on a negative perception in the market place. It has recently been associated with the idea that big businesses outsource some of their support services and functions in foreign countries in order to reduce expenses, and that this is invariably at the expense of customer satisfaction as well as local jobs. An example of outsourcing gone bad is technical support services moved to foreign countries where the technicians who are not fluent in the customer's native language, try to communicate complicated technical information and provide solutions to problem. And, to make matters worse, the service is also priced at a high rate per minute; so inefficient problem solving is very, very costly to the customer. But, in the case of small independent hotels, outsourcing can provide major benefits which would allow these properties to provide specific services and expertise that they would not be able to offer because of the costs associated. As selling rooms is the primary goal, these enhancements only create an opportunity to increase demand for your property. Read on...

Brenda Fields
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Room Configuration - Are Your Rooms Configured for the Best and Highest Use?
  • "Build it and they will come" may work in The Field of Dreams, but in the hotel industry, the more accurate sentiment may be "Build it RIGHT and they will come". To realize the highest room sales potential, it is important for owners and managers to make sure that each room is configured to its highest and best use. Many times, with very little expense, room revenues are significantly impacted through occupancy and/or average rate increases, by making minor adjustments. This is especially true in the case of small, boutique hotels, where each room sold has a significant financial impact. By understanding and implementing a few basic principals, owners and managers can potentially avoid costly miscalculations in revenues and expenses by building it correctly or by reconfiguring an existing property. Read on...

Johnna Freud
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Overview: Qualitative Marketing Research & How it Benefits Your Hotel
  • Have you ever asked yourself, "how do travelers decide where to stay?" Did you ever question how travelers view your hotel, resort, bed & breakfast or inn compared to your competition? If these questions sound familiar, then qualitative marketing research may provide some of the answers you seek. This article is the first in a series about qualitative marketing research. It provides a basic overview about this methodology, especially for those in the hospitality industry who are not fully acquainted with it. Read on...

Todd D. Scholl
  • Sales & Marketing
  • A Hotel Marketing Director's Best Friend... Location, Location, Location!
  • The city is Little Rock, Arkansas. The catalyst for an unprecedented Little Rock tourism boom is a library. Known in Little Rock as the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park. It is an attraction unique to the presidential library system, because it's not an attraction at all; it's a destination. The Peabody Little Rock, which opened a few years before is the bookend to this National Treasure. The meat in this sandwich is the wonderful River Market District, which is very pedestrian friendly and connected by a wonderful trolley system that is a throwback to days gone by. The triple treat of the Peabody Little Rock, William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park and the River Market District have placed "La Petite Roche" in the hearts and minds of both meeting planners and leisure travelers alike signaling a new age of tourism in what is being described as the "New South". Read on...

Bob Dauner
  • Sales & Marketing
  • On Cultural Tourism: How Embracing an Important Market Segment Can Sell More Room Nights
  • As a hospitality industry professional, you recognize the importance of actively engaging your guests, learning more about what brings them to town and what they are doing in your city once they've checked in. Beyond business travel and family vacations, you've probably noticed that an increasing number of your guests are special interest travelers in pursuit of cultural attractions such as the arts, heritage, and other cultural activities. These individuals - known as "cultural travelers" - collectively make up the rapidly growing and lucrative market segment of cultural tourism. Cultural tourism is an emerging market that has appeared on the radar screens, and marketing plans, of travel industry suppliers in recent years. The cultural tourism segment is comprised of a select group of travelers who either plan a trip to attend a cultural activity or who actively participate in cultural activities while on a trip, even if they are traveling for other reasons. Read on...

Alan Villaverde
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Do Hotel Industry Awards Really Matter?: Employee Satisfaction
  • In part one of this series, I discussed the importance of hotel industry awards and why I believe they are of the utmost importance. There was a time when the awards themselves were not too highly regarded because it seemed just about any hotel could get a four-star or four-diamond rating. That was then. It is very, very different now. Today's hotel awards are highly prized and are increasingly difficult to win. They represent an independent, public acknowledgment of our efforts to produce consistent, top-level service across the board, from check-in to check-out. This is how we nurture repeat business. Read on...

Johnna Freud
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Qualitative Research: The Guest's Perception of Your Hotel Restaurant
  • How do consumers think about your hotel's restaurant? Why do people eat there? Is it only a convenience for overnight hotel guests, or is it a destination for non-guests as well? In consumers' minds, what does it compete with, and how does it compare to the competition? Why do some people return after their initial trial, but others do not? Is it the food, ambiance, staff or a completely different reason? What does the restaurant do well? What needs improvement? Qualitative research has been used to answer such questions and gain an in-depth understanding of consumers' attitudes toward restaurants -- elegant, casual, take-out/fast food, independent restaurants and/or chains. Read on...

Edward Donaldson
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Small Luxury Hotels: An Insiders Look Into Maintaining Quality Control
  • In the world of hotel consortiums, a brand is only as good, or in the case of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, as great, as its member hotels. In order to maintain the supreme quality and service that makes a "Small Luxury Hotel stay" an unmatched travel experience, SLH employs stringent processes for evaluating both prospective hotels and existing member hotels. When guests look through the beautiful color directory of our hotels, they expect and deserve a guarantee that all 300 plus properties across the globe will deliver the same high level of service and quality. To that end, the evaluation process for admitting new members involves a deep consideration of how the prospective hotel fits with and enhances the SLH brand. I will take you through the process of becoming a member of one of the elite hotel memberships in the world and provide you with an insight into how we choose our new hotels, as well as ensure that our existing members continue to meet the lofty SLH standards. Read on...

Naseem Javed
  • Sales & Marketing
  • A Five Star Naming Standard.... a Quick Test
  • There are three types of business names, Healthy, Injured or on Life-Support. Corporations must know the hidden the powers of their names. Each business name has several components often invisible to marketing executives and these characteristics and split personalities determine the success or failure of a name. To measure the effectiveness of a name or to see how much extra luggage a name is burdened with, following are the guidelines for a general check up. Read on...

Jed Heller
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Measurable Marketing Strategies for the Small Hotel Owner
  • A well conceived and executed marketing strategy can be the key success factor for small hotel owners, whether the property is privately owned or a small franchise within a large chain. In today's uncertain economy, many hotel owners are rethinking their marketing strategy and re-evaluating the magnitude of their financial investment as they can't afford to waste their limited funds allocated to marketing. But, they can't survive without a marketing investment either. Logic dictates that owners must get the biggest bang for their buck with their marketing spending. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson
  • Sales & Marketing
  • The Going is Tough So Get Ready
  • With the current state of the economy, it is not at all surprising that consumers and hotels alike have developed a frugal mindset. Or as one upscale frequent traveler aptly put it, my wallet is closed! So just what can your hotel do to be tough, be ready, and get going, and still be on-trend with the new luxury consumer? The answer lies in a popular song originally recorded by Billy Ocean in 1985: When the going gets tough, the tough get ready. The operative word is, of course, ready. This article is the second of a two-part series that looks at how lodging properties can take advantage of the paradigm shift between old luxury and new luxury. Read on...

Sandy Heydt
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Hotel Marketing Plans That Mean Business
  • How many of us hotel marketing directors dread the time of year when marketing plans are due? So much work! And for what purpose? When completed, most marketing plans only get placed in a tabbed binder, while the Owner, Management Company and General Manager may or may not even glance at it. Then it goes on a shelf and collects dust. First things first: everyone along the food chain needs to take responsibility for marketing plans that are not meaningful. Sometimes Management Company executives or General Managers just want a plan to look good...i.e. big and thick with lots of graphs. Marketing directors just want to get it done and move on to the next project - like actually selling rooms or putting out the first fire of the day. I can remember that when I was on property I dreaded marketing plan time because I had so many other things to do, and I was also a tad resentful because I knew the plan would really never be read carefully by anyone else. Read on...

Didi Lutz
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Integrated Marketing Communications in Hotels
  • Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is a relatively new concept in the field of Marketing and Public Relations. The idea is to combine all promotional efforts in order to expand the organization's market, explore additional sales possibilities, secure market share, and maximize revenue potential. If practiced properly, Integrated Marketing Communications is a healthy balance that can yield unlimited results beneficial to the organization's goals. Defining IMC has been controversial and has caused a lot of argument among experts, but generally it is described as the mix of all promotional efforts into "whatever works." With that in mind, hotels have begun applying this notion as part of their everyday outreach. Read on...


OCTOBER: Revenue Management: Technology and Big Data

Steve  Van

Do you have a catering assistant whose first question each morning is Did we sell out? or What was our occupancy and ADR last night? What about a front office associate who is so hungry to earn the perfect sell incentive that every time she works the 3:00 to 11:00 shift and the hotel has just a few rooms left to sell, you can count on the fact that you are going to end up with a perfect sell? If so, you may have just found your next revenue manager! Read on...

Will Song

Airbnb is less than a decade old, but it has already begun to make waves in the travel industry. The online marketplace where individuals can list their apartments or rooms for guests to book has been able to secure a surprisingly stable foothold for itself. This has caused some hoteliers to worry that there’s a new competitor in the market with the potential to not only take away market share but drive prices down lower than ever. Let’s take a closer look at how Airbnb fits into the industry right now and then walk through the steps of the ways your hotel revenue management strategy can be adapted to the age of Airbnb. Read on...

Brian Bolf

Revenue management tends to be one of the most challenging hospitality disciplines to define, particularly due to the constant evolution of technology. Advancements in data processing, information technology, and artificial intelligence provide our industry with expanded opportunities to reach, connect, and learn from our guests. Ultimately, the primary goals of revenue management remain constant as the ever-evolving hospitality industry matures. We must keep these fundamentals top of mind, while proactively planning for the tighter targets that lay ahead. That said, how can we embrace these innovations, operate under constricted parameters, and learn from the practices used today to achieve our same goals moving forward? Read on...

Sanjay  Nagalia

Every year, it seems as though the hospitality industry faces more competition, new opportunities to leverage their data, and difficult organizational challenges to overcome to remain competitive in a hypercompetitive marketplace. The popularity of the sharing economy, dominating OTAs and a growing generation of often-puzzling consumers all give pause to hotels as they strategize for a more profitable future. Hotels have been feeling the heat from OTA competition for several years, causing many organizations to double down on their efforts to drive more direct bookings. Revamped loyalty programs, refined marketing campaigns and improvements to brand websites have all become primary focuses for hotel brands looking to turn the tables on their online competition. Read on...

Coming Up In The November Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Architecture & Design: Authentic, Interactive and Immersive
If there is one dominant trend in the field of hotel architecture and design, it’s that travelers are demanding authentic, immersive and interactive experiences. This is especially true for Millennials but Baby Boomers are seeking out meaningful experiences as well. As a result, the development of immersive travel experiences - winery resorts, culinary resorts, resorts geared toward specific sports enthusiasts - will continue to expand. Another kind of immersive experience is an urban resort – one that provides all the elements you'd expect in a luxury resort, but urbanized. The urban resort hotel is designed as a staging area where the city itself provides all the amenities, and the hotel functions as a kind of sophisticated concierge service. Another trend is a re-thinking of the hotel lobby, which has evolved into an active social hub with flexible spaces for work and play, featuring cafe?s, bars, libraries, computer stations, game rooms, and more. The goal is to make this area as interactive as possible and to bring people together, making the space less of a traditional hotel lobby and more of a contemporary gathering place. This emphasis on the lobby has also had an associated effect on the size of hotel rooms – they are getting smaller. Since most activities are designed to take place in the lobby, there is less time spent in rooms which justifies their smaller design. Finally, the wellness and ecology movements are also having a major impact on design. The industry is actively adopting standards so that new structures are not only environmentally sustainable, but also promote optimum health and well- being for the travelers who will inhabit them. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.