Eco-Friendly Practices
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...

Bill Meade
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Introducing Tools for Energy Sustainability in Indonesian Hotels
  • Until recently, Indonesian hotels lacked the ability to measure their energy performance. With funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development, Tetra Tech designed and implemented a pilot program for 30 hotels in three destination: Jakarta, Jogjakarta and Bali. The program consisted of an energy benchmarking tool, energy intensity indices, energy assessments of the hotel facilities, energy monitoring software program, training for hotel engineers, and a guidebook for energy management linked to national “green hotel awards”. This article provides an overview of the approach taken, the results of the pilot program, and the expectations for Indonesian hotels to embrace energy efficiency Read on...

Faith Taylor
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Building Trust Through Transparency and Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting in the Hospitality Industry
  • The “Internet of Everything” is the networked connection of people, data, processes and things. Twenty years ago, how broadly the internet would change our lives and grow in ubiquity was unimagined. Today, our connection to each other via the internet is fundamental to how we interact and how we run our businesses. For example, currently the majority of customers in the hospitality industry use the internet to research and/or book their stays - whether it is for hotels, timeshares or short-term rentals. Many people base their decisions on feedback and reviews found on major Online Travel Agency (OTA) sites with hundreds of million unique users every month. Read on...

JANUARY: Mobile Technology: A Permanent Sense of Immediacy

Alastair Cush

A growing number of properties are implementing mobile access guest room locking systems and the apps that support them. Many chain standards mandate mobile access and independents are joining the trend. What few operators understand is that mobile access implementation has changed not only every aspect of hotel door locks but also many other areas of hospitality operations. More people are actively involved in the decision making process for hotel locks than before. Mobile access has integrated the lock process with numerous property and chain departments from sales to guest loyalty and brand marketing. The original purpose of improving guest door locks was exclusively loss prevention and security. Read on...

Jim Vandevender

Meeting data and technology have evolved considerably since the days of the bulky ,expensive mail ordered meeting planner guides and hotel catalogues. The ways in which hotels find and book groups is far different than the antiquated methods of not so long ago. As better technology surrounding meetings and events becomes available , hotels appetites for group business seems to also increase at a parallel pace making the need to keep the related technology evolving even more paramount. The companies that provide hotels with this meeting intelligence are continually developing new and more advanced methods of gathering this sought after data to keep up pace with the demand. Read on...

Dave Weinstein

As with so many industries, the smartphone has transformed how organizations interact with their customers. Look at the automotive industry, the airline industry, and of course, the hospitality industry. You start your car’s engine and set the climate control to the desired temperature, buy airline tickets and check-in on your flight and do the same with your hotel room, all from your phone. There is a slew of services that traditionally are offered by hotels via the “book” on the desk. The book is still there, but some hotels allow you to order via the television while others offer integrated tablets. Read on...

Kacey Butcher

Can you imagine your bank choosing not to provide a way to check account status and transactions outside of your monthly paper statement? Can you further imagine a popular franchise restaurant only having paper take-out menus? You would be forced to contemplate what other aspects internally within the organization would make doing business with them complicated and archaic. There you find your own personal underlying immediate expectation of baseline service and operational procedures, where a decision is often made instantly to move onto the next provider. A decision to choose another provider that seemingly knows how to service customers with the utmost up-to-date standards. Read on...

Coming Up In The February Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Social Media: Interacting with the Hotel Customer
Consider these astonishing numbers: 1.49 billion active monthly Facebook users. 1.1 billion active monthly YouTube users. 320 million active monthly Twitter users and nearly 400 million registered users on LinkedIn. 400 million active monthly Instagram users and 200 million active Google+ users. The power and reach of social media is an awesome force and it has transformed how hotels interact with their customers. In the past year, social media advertising spending increased 33.5% to nearly $24 billion dollars. Social networks are being utilized by hotels to reach more visitors, expand brand awareness, enhance brand reputation and to establish more direct and personal communication with their customers. Savvy hotel operators are adopting a comprehensive social media strategy, and there are several emerging trends to note. Video continues to be a powerful and influential element in social media marketing, with 70% of companies saying that it is their most effective marketing tool. Video generates a 62% higher engagement rate than photographs alone, and with new social sites like Meerkat and Periscope which offer live video streaming, those numbers will only increase. Sponsored content is another growing trend. Though advertorials have been around for decades, hotels are finding new ways to maximize the visibility of their content. Some are placing sponsored content on Facebook, or on influencer blogs. Another trend is the integration of a “Buy Now” button into social media websites. Customers will be able to make purchases without ever having to leave their favorite social sites. This development is a major convenience for customers and should also be an additional revenue source for hotels. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.