Eco-Friendly Practices
Tina Stehle
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Going Green: How Document Management Saves Time, Money and the Environment
  • In the current economy, hospitality providers are increasingly seeking ways to boost productivity and streamline operations. At the same time, they are trying to become more environmentally responsible. A document management system can help hotels achieve all of these goals and more. Best of all, most hotels that implement a document management solution realize a fast return on investment due to both direct and indirect cost savings. If you're still using a traditional paper-based filing system, it's time to consider the transition to electronic document management. Following are six top reasons to implement a paperless solution at your property. Read on...

Jim Poad
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Energy Policy and Your Business: Prepare Now for Change
  • National climate and energy policy has been batted around for the last several years. In 2009, Obama introduced a plan to cap carbon emissions and spend $15 billion on R&D in the clean energy space, but it was met with heated resistance. In early 2010 legislators went back to the drawing board, and created a new draft of an energy bill. Very little has been disclosed about the contents of the bill. However, we do know that it aims for a 17 percent reduction of 2005's levels of climate-altering gases by 2020. So why should hoteliers prepare themselves for effects of climate legislation? Read on...

Arthur Weissman
Sam Small
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Designing and Building Big with Sustainable, Code-Certified, Structural Bamboo
  • Bamboo is one of, if not the fastest growing plant on earth and wherever it grows it's been used as building material for as long as humans have been building. But now that it's been certified that properly treated Structural Bamboo meets international building codes, bamboo has become one of the fastest growing structural building materials in the worldwide sustainable construction industry. The largest modern bamboo building built so far: 55,200 Sq Ft. The International Code Council (ICC) certified in 2004 that Structural Bamboo Poles produced by Hawaii-based Bamboo Technologies comply with International Building Code (IBC), International residential Code (IRC) and Uniform Building Code (UBC) standards and since then over 100 building-code compliant bamboo structures used as homes and vacation resorts have been pre-fabricated and shipped from the BT factory in Viet Nam to be re-assembled on sites all around the world. Read on...

Roger G. Hill
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • A New Era of Eco-mmodations - The Business Case for Going Green
  • After inconveniently learning a few truths and watching celebrities roll up to red carpets in fuel-efficient hybrids, it seems everyone is going green these days. But some of the best and most effective environmental efforts are being embraced by the hotel and lodging industries. Not only do hotels feel the pressure to implement eco-friendly steps that go beyond simply allowing guests the option of reusing their linens and towels, it's apparent they must take measures to accommodate more and more guests who are specifically seeking out the hotels that have gone green. Some celebrities - from Andy Dick to Woody Harrelson - have even designed their own eco-friendly suites. And some hotels, such as 70 Park Avenue in New York City, are even starting to implement their own eco-concierge, on hand to recommend eco-friendly ways of getting around the city or give directions to the local organic restaurant. Read on...

Arthur Weissman
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Sustainable Pest Management
  • Every property has to control pests such as insects or rodents, but you want to do so in a way that doesn't compromise the health and aesthetic quality of the environment you create for the benefit of your guests. In particular, the concern is that potent, toxic chemical pesticides may very well eliminate a pest problem but create a human health or environmental problem. Having your guests become ill - or suspect that they may - is not a good alternative to their finding a roach in their rooms. On the other hand, you want to ensure that pests are not part of your guest experience, so you must find an effective as well as safe way of controlling or eliminating them. The environmentally preferred way is through Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which is offered by some major hotel service providers. This article will describe the fundamentals of IPM and what to specify from your service provider. Read on...

Steve Kiesner
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Taking the Energy Star Challenge
  • You know that getting more value from your energy dollar is always important. The lodging industry spends over $5.5 billion per year on energy. That is a lot room for potential savings. And greater profitability. The need to improve your electric energy efficiency is especially important. Electricity is an amazing energy source, and demand for it today is at record levels. Looking ahead 25 years, the nation's population is anticipated to grow by 23 percent. The country's GDP is projected to double in that time. And both events lead experts to predict that electricity use will grow 40 percent by 2030. One way that hotels can improve their overall energy efficiency is by taking the ENERGY STAR Challenge Read on...

Steven Ferry
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • News Alert: Riding the Codex Wave
  • Kiss goodbye to the products your spa sells, or even vitamins from the supermarket. Codex Alimentarius is Latin for "laws governing what people may put down their throats" - and by extension, manufacture, sell, discuss, and possess on the subject. The requirements of Codex Alimentarius will come into full force worldwide on 31 December, 2009. Each country involved in a trade dispute under the aegis of the World Trade Organizaton, will automatically lose its case if it is not compliant with Codex Alimentarius, irrespective of the merits of the case it is disputing. This is forcing every country to align its national/state laws with Codex. Read on...

Steve Kiesner
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Voluntary Actions, Not Mandatory Caps Needed for Climate Change Issue
  • With the U.S. Senate expected to consider the 'Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act of 2005' and other bills this summer that address the global climate change issue, every hotel executive should be paying attention. The 'Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act', being offered by Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Lieberman (D-CT), would cap the nation's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at year 2000 levels by 2010. To do that, it would impose limits on how much CO2 the economy could produce in activities such as generating electricity, refining and importing transportation fuels, and manufacturing. Putting a mandatory cap on the country's CO2 emissions would lead to higher energy bills for you, and it would also most likely put a cap on the economy as a whole, which would slow down your guest traffic as well. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), here's what could happen if the McCain/Lieberman bill was passed... Read on...

Mike Sawchuk
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Avian Flu: What we have learned from SARS
  • In November 1997, a terrorist attack in the ancient city of Luxor, Egypt, took the lives of sixty-eight people and left scores more injured. However, the deaths and injuries caused by the attack were just the beginning of the problems it caused Egypt. Tourism, the lifeblood of the country, went into a tailspin, resulting in mass numbers of hotel- and restaurant-related workers losing their jobs in a country that already has chronic high unemployment. A few months later, realizing just how much the incident was affecting business and the economy, Egypt started a $4 billion marketing campaign to woo visitors back. In addition, they dramatically stepped up security throughout the most visited sections of the country. In effect, the country is still reeling from the incident and its impact on the tourist industry. Just imagine what would happen if something even more serious were to happen in Egypt or any other country in the world-such as the spread of H5N1 avian flu. Read on...

Steve Kiesner
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Time for Energy Efficiency to Take Center Stage
  • The country's steadily growing demand for energy will continue to present challenges for legislators, both at the federal and state levels. Two energy-related issues in particular-rising prices and global climate change-will demand innovative and bipartisan solutions. The nation's electric utilities believe that a key component of these solutions will be an expanded commitment to energy efficiency. We are working with the new Congress and with state legislators and regulators to broaden the role that energy efficiency plays in addressing these issues. We are encouraging the hotel industry, and all sectors of the economy, to join in this effort. Read on...

Bruce Fears
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • It's Easy Being Green: Choices Expand for Environmentally Friendly Meetings
  • As "green" options in the meeting and conference industry expand, environmentally conscious event planners, organizers and companies are finding that going "green" not only helps save the planet and resources, but also offers a wealth of other benefits and advantages. If you've ever considered having a "green meeting," or pondered the advantages of holding a conference or training session at an environmentally conscious conference center, there are a few things to consider before going "green." As the following questions and answers demonstrate, green meetings can help save the planet and yield real rewards for your attendees and your budget. Read on...

Mike Sawchuk
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Trends in Carpet Cleaning Chemicals
  • When it comes to most facilities, including hotel properties, hard surface floors and carpets can make a first-and lasting-impression. Glistening floors and clean and spotless carpets tell the visitor and hotel guest that this is a clean, well-maintained property. And when it comes to carpet cleaning, this can be more complicated because there are so many different methods to clean carpets, types of soils and fibers, an entire spectrum of carpet cleaning machines and extractors, as well as cleaning chemicals. A first step in clearing the confusion usually starts with a better understanding of the different types of chemicals now available for cleaning carpets and how to properly use them. Read on...

Steve Kiesner
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • One New Year's Resolution That Always Makes Sense
  • With the price of natural gas predicted to be lower this winter than last year, you may be tempted to take your eye off the energy bill for a moment. Don't. The smart hotel executive knows that the search for ways to get more value from every dollar spent on energy-both natural gas and electricity-never takes a break. For the New Year, dedicate one of your resolutions to becoming more energy efficient. You'll find the payoff to be greater profitability for your company all year round. Read on...

Steve Kiesner
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Government Takeovers of Local Power Companies: Better Service for the Hotel Industry?
  • An issue of interest to the nation's hotel industry-chains as well as independents-is appearing on ballots in a number of city elections this year: Who should be the electricity provider-the existing electric utility or a newly created city department? Iowa is one state where a number of local ballot initiatives are asking residents if their city should municipalize, or more accurately, takeover the role of electricity provider. California is another. And in recent years the question has come up in Florida, Nevada, and New York and elsewhere. The bait is typically lower prices and greater reliability. But government takeovers can't guarantee either. To make improvements here, we must look beyond local control issues and address the national issues that are affecting the country's electricity system. And this can only be accomplished through comprehensive national energy legislation. Read on...

JUNE: Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?

Emanuel Baudart

Social media opens the doors to conversations about experiences – good or bad. Twitter gives hotel guests the option to air their grievances while Instagram gives them the bragging rights on their best days. Customers are giving out their feedback and it’s up to the industry to take it seriously in how hotels engage with their guests. A guest’s social media is an opportunity for hotels to work better and more efficiently to target and enhance the guest experience. Coupling the data that guests give through social media with the data we have from years of growing AccorHotels, we are focusing on using the right tools to best access the guest. At AccorHotels, we are moving away from the transactional model of hospitality and focusing on building relationships through social engagement and bolstering the benefits of our loyalty program. In order to do both, we’ve invested in building better tools for our hotels to succeed on the promise of hospitality – great service, attention and comfort. Read on...

Wendy Blaney

In a world where almost everything is done digitally, it is important to remember how impactful a two-way conversation can be for consumers interested in booking travel. There is no denying that it has become easier and easier to plan trips online, and purchase products almost instantly – yet there are still many customers who want the personal touch and assurance that they truly understand what it is that they are buying. They want someone to provide direction, answer questions, and give them “insider” information. This is especially true for a dynamic destination like Atlantis where there are an abundance of options. Our guests aren’t just interested in a resort, they are seeking a coveted, catered experience. Read on...

Mustafa Menekse

Though it seems that online travel agencies have been a part of the hotel booking landscape for eons, the reality is that just 25 years ago, brick and mortar travel agencies were the norm. Travelers would visit an agency for trip planning advice, printed brochures, and to speak with actual travel agents to assist in booking airfare, hotel accommodations and rental cars. Travel agencies had the knowledge and information about the destination and, of course, the tools and connections to book hotels and flights to begin with. The support these agencies provided put traveler’s minds at ease, especially for international trips. This was the foundation of why OTAs are in existence. Read on...

Scott Weiler

A guest of a hotel or chain books with an OTA. Terrific for everyone, right? The OTA is grateful for the transaction, and hopes to get a nice share of that customer’s travel bookings for years to come. The hotel is happy to get a (let’s say) first time guest. Sure, they paid a commission for that booking, but the GM and their team is ready to do their stuff. Which is to say – deliver a great stay experience. Now what? Now it’s a battle of the marketers! Read on...

Coming Up In The July Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Spa: Measuring the Results
As the Hotel Spa and Wellness Movement continues to flourish, spa operations are seeking new and innovative ways to expand their menu of services to attract even more people to their facilities, and to and measure the results of spa treatments. Whether it’s spa, fitness, wellness meet guest expectations. Among new developments, there seems to be a growing emphasis on science to define or beauty services, guests are becoming increasingly careful about what they ingest, inhale or put on their skin, and they are requesting scientific data on the treatments they receive. They are open to exploring the benefits of alternative therapies – like brain fitness exercises, electro-magnetic treatments, and chromotherapy – but only if they have been validated scientifically. Similarly, some spas are integrating select medical services and procedures into their operations, continuing the convergence of hotel spas with the medical world. Parents are also increasingly concerned about the health and well-being of their children and are willing to devote time and money to overcome their poor diets, constant stress, and hours spent hunched over computer, tablet and smartphone screens. Parents are investing in wellness-centric family vacations; yoga and massage for kids; mindfulness and meditation classes; and healthy, locally sourced, organic food. For hotel spas, this trend represents a significant area for future growth. Other trends include the proliferation of Wellness Festivals which celebrate health and well-being, and position hotel spas front and center. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.