Eco-Friendly Practices
Ken Hutcheson
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Preparing Your Hotel Landscaping for Spring
  • As temperatures start to warm up and thawing begins, many hoteliers across the country are thrilled to say goodbye to winter. In some regions, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest, this winter proved to be a hotelier’s worst nightmare. With above freezing temperatures and blizzard-like conditions, it was difficult for some guests to even travel to their destinations. Keeping entranceways, parking lots and sidewalks clean and safe was another challenge many hotel owners and managers faced this winter. Now that winter has officially come to an end, it’s time to prepare your landscapes for spring. Read on...

Joseph Ricci
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Lessons in Water Conservation: A West Coast Perspective
  • The four-year drought in the western United States has caused businesses and the public to find new and innovate ways to conserve and reuse water. And despite the promise of eased drought conditions this winter, recent reports from California have the state’s snowpack at below-average levels, prompting state officials to call for additional and more restrictive water conservation efforts – a trend likely to be mirrored elsewhere. As a major consumer of water within the American business landscape, the hotel industry is both a large water user and a leading voice in the water conservation movement. In this article we’ll explore major steps taken by industry leaders as well as trends shaping the future of hotel water usage and conservation. Read on...

Ronald Harrison
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Bed Bugs Have Not and Will Not Win the War
  • After reemerging unexpectedly in the early 2000s, and despite enormous research and development efforts to defeat them, bed bugs continue to plague homes and businesses all over the country. And they do it almost effortlessly. As a hotel professional, you know that no industry has been more affected by these resilient and pernicious pests than yours. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Exploring the Lifecycle of Your Landscape
  • To keep up with brand standards, hoteliers know they need to invest in renovating their hotel’s interior every two years. Just as a hotel’s interior features begin to age, the landscape also begins to show signs of aging and looks tired overtime. One of the biggest mistakes hotel property owners and managers make, however, is investing an immense amount of time and money into a lifeless landscape. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Landscaping During a Drought
  • To help decrease the drought in California, the state has required that all agricultural suppliers be in compliance with the 2015 agricultural water management plan (AWMP) guidebook. But even with the new regulations and management practices in place, drought continues to harm those living on the West Coast. According to a 2014 study from the University of California-Davis, last year’s drought was likely to inflict $2.2 billion in losses on the agricultural industry. Harsh drought seasons have led to habitat destruction, wildfires, and have also caused entire landscapes to change. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Preparing for Winter
  • The 2014-2015 winter season impacted thousands of people nation-wide. While those in the Northeast were hit with snowstorm after snowstorm (or blizzard after blizzard if you lived in Boston) and below average temperatures, folks in the South (i.e. Atlanta) found themselves in a state of emergency. If The Old Farmer’s Almanac 2015-2016 prediction mirrors last year’s forecasts, hoteliers must be ready for anything that winter throws at them. Whether it’s winterizing your hotel’s irrigation systems, fertilizing your landscape for spring, creating a snow and ice management plan, or getting your hotel ready for the holidays, there’s much work to be done before the end of the year. Read on...

Ronald Harrison
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • An Increase in Occupancy Rates Can Also Increase Pest Pressures
  • The U.S. hotel industry has seen an increase in occupancy rates over the past few months. According to the latest report from STR, April 2015 saw the highest occupancy (66.8 percent) and the highest room demand (99.4 million rooms) ever. While the industry is ecstatic that these numbers have grown from past years, there may be obstacles hotels will need to overcome due to the busy activity – one of those obstacles being unwanted pests. Read on...

Carl Kish
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Avoiding Greenwashing While Making Authentic Advances in Sustainability
  • At the Sustainable Brands Conference in San Diego in June, Kate Heiny, Director of Sustainability for Target took the stage and said “When the CEO of Target is talking about the importance of sustainability in everything Target does, sustainability has officially become mainstream”. She’s right. Not only is sustainability now a mainstream business imperative, the hospitality industry is being told it needs to make sustainability changes to survive. Deloitte’s 2015 Hospitality report Game Changers or Spectators was anything but ambiguous in its assessment that “Sustainability will become a defining issue for the industry in 2015 and beyond … sustainability will need to be embedded within all facets of the industry, rather than regarded as a stand alone issue”. Read on...

Zia Siddiqi
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Embrace Pest Management with Sustainable Practices
  • Dr. Zia Siddiqi, director of quality systems for Orkin, discusses sustainable pest management practices in the hotel industry. Prospective guests now consider a hotel’s green initiatives prior to booking travel. Additionally, guests have a zero tolerance for pest sightings, therefore, it’s important to take an environmentally responsible approach when it comes to pest management. Learn how you can incorporate pest management into your sustainable practices with Dr. Siddiqui’s six steps to prevent and help manage pests in your hotel. Read on...

Larry  Gillanders
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Conserve Water at the Source: Repair and Protect Pipes from Leaks
  • We have seen it all over the Internet and the news stations: California is facing its fourth year in a drought, and it is affecting every resident and every business in the state. The economic and financial consequences could be disastrous if water conservation strategies are not implemented immediately, and the state has promptly mandated that everyone do so. The hotel industry is one of the country’s biggest users of clean water, out of all types of commercial and institutional facilities, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Unsurprisingly, most water is used for bathrooms, laundry, landscaping and kitchens. This is the perfect opportunity to take heed of the moment and reduce your property’s water usage. Read on...

Joshua  Zinder, AIA
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Trends in Green Hotels:
  • Sustainable design and practice are no longer optional, as economic and cultural trends suggest their increasing importance. The developer and designer represent a powerful team for communicating the myriad benefits of green building and environmentally responsible practice to both operators and guests. They can demonstrate to operators the reduced costs associated with energy and maintenance as well as the potential for tax incentives, influencing the choice to become a franchisee. They can also demonstrate to guests a corporate commitment to sustainability, engendering brand loyalty and repeat stays. Read on...

Rob  Howell
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Responsibly Incorporating Sustainability Across All Departments
  • When developing new systems, purchasing new equipment, and devising new programs, how can we ensure that we keep an eye to sustainability? Sustainability is here to stay. It is no longer a fad or trend; it has become an integral part of the hospitality industry and an expectation of guests around the world. As operators of hospitality businesses it is important that we acknowledge this new standard. Therefore, integrating sustainable practices into our operation across all departments is vital. Read on...

Andrea Pinabell
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Financing Capital Investments Through Innovative Partnerships
  • As the Vice President of Sustainability at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, I find myself searching for strategic and innovative ways to solve a myriad of challenges across our global portfolio. One challenge owners and managers face is prioritizing and financing capital investments needed to increase the efficiency of operating the asset, meet the company’s aggressive reduction goals, all while improving the guest experience and saving money. One way myself and my Global Sustainability team solve this challenge is through innovative partnerships. Read on...

Nancy Loman Scanlon, Ph.D.
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Sustainability in Lodging: Why Measure Carbon Emissions
  • Driving sustainability practices in lodging companies is the two-fold need to reduce operating costs and the impact of resource use on the communities in which hotels and resorts operate. From Los Angeles to Miami, hotels need to reduce water and energy use. In New York, Chicago and San Francisco city wide efforts to reduce carbon emissions is causing hotels to search for methods to measure and report. The corporate responsibility reports of major lodging companies publish company-wide carbon emissions goals and reductions as well as the results of waste, water and energy conservation. For many hotels and lodging companies measuring carbon emissions can be a new challenge. Read on...

Rebecca  Hawkins
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Hotel Sustainability: Measuring What You Value, Valuing What You Measure
  • For many hotel businesses, measurement of energy, waste and water is a hit and miss affair. Those businesses that have developed effective procedures to ‘hit’ the resource measurement button have found that they can use their knowledge of resource consumption patterns to drive impressive cost and environmental savings. Those that have ‘missed’ have found their organizations mired in targets that cannot be met, staff who are not motivated and customers who are unconvinced by claims of sustainable practice. Read on...

FEBRUARY: Social Media: Interacting with the Hotel Customer

Nisha Thakkar

While social media has become a mainstream marketing channel, there are many variables that hoteliers are not taking advantage of to increase their revenue. Unlike other mainstream marketing avenues, social media is not static, as platforms continuously find ways to increase engagement with both users and advertisers. As social platforms have realized their massive marketing opportunities within their user base, they have increasingly capitalized on their clearly defined users by providing advertisers access to them. Today, the popularity of social channels has created a “pay-to-play” model that leaves many business owners and managers perplexed as to which channels to focus on, and the right budget to allocate in order to maximize return on investment (ROI). Read on...

Cass Bailey

These days, a lot goes into choosing the perfect hotel. Hotel choice no longer depends solely on the location, price, and amenities; it depends on experience. Customers have become more interested in experiential features instead of whether or not the hotel has a five-star review. As the phrase goes, many “do it for the gram.” When looking to book their stay, the Instagram generation is interested in things that are eye-catching and worthy of sharing with their followers. Just searching the hashtag “wanderlust” reveals millions of images of different travel experiences from around the world. Read on...

Tim Sullivan

As hoteliers’ key audiences spend less time on the Web and more time on their smartphones’ social apps, it is crucial for hotels to have a digital engagement strategy that creates meaningful interactions on social channels. Desktop still converts higher, but the path to a booking is a journey full of touch points across social. Now that social media platforms are maturing, hotels can go beyond targeting their own guests to discovering new profitable audiences. They can reach and drive sales for all sides of the business: leisure, corporate and group sales. However, before hoteliers think about social engagement, they need to cover the basics of personalization and one-to-one marketing. Read on...

Chris Teso

Social media has traditionally been approached as a marketing tool for top-of-funnel activities. However, the activities associated with generating awareness, like creating viral posts and taking advantage of real-time marketing moments, are difficult to measure and even harder to link to real business value. Yet, marketers innately know that social media has real opportunity as their audience is there—in volume and in frequency. As a result, a new trend is emerging among hotel marketers that takes distinct advantage of the direct follower model of social networks: the marriage of the loyalty program with social media marketing. Read on...

Coming Up In The March Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Human Resources: Inspiring a Journey of Success
In an increasingly competitive environment where hotels are competing to attract, and more importantly, to keep top talent, Human Resource managers are realizing the need to focus on improving their Employee Experience. Smart managers are embracing the idea of Employee Wellness which translates into a system of physical, mental, emotional, and purposeful well-being. Some organizations are even providing free counseling for their employees and their dependents. The goal is to nurture, support and engage with their employees in a way that increases productivity, improves customer service, enhances loyalty, and creates a more harmonious work environment for all. Along with this development is the need for more effective, ongoing training. Many HR managers rely on external training firms for this, but there is a growing trend which taps the experience and expertise that already exists within the organization. For example, younger employees likely have greater knowledge of social media which an older generation might struggle with. Harnessing this peer-to-peer learning can be an efficient and cost effective way of increasing skills, and as a result, the knowledge transferred is likely to be more acceptable and relevant. Finally, HR managers need to foster an environment that empowers people and taps into their full potential, inspiring a personal journey of success. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the strategies and techniques that human resource directors are currently developing in order to achieve success.