Technology
Paul Lachance
  • Technology
  • As Hotel Brands Go Digital, Asset Management Must Not be Overlooked
  • Hotel executives are starting to catch on to digital technology as they strive for better customer experiences across the board. With powerhouses like Hilton and Marriott leading the charge, competitive hotel brands are raising the standard for guest experiences in the digital age. A recent study by Hospitality Technology found 57 percent of hotels plan to spend more on technology across the board in 2017 than they did in 2016. And while improving customer engagement and enhancing payment and data security stood out as the top priorities for many hospitality industry decision-makers, it appears far fewer are considering a critical investment: Enterprise Asset Management (EAM). Read on...

Benjamin Jost
  • Technology
  • Learning About APIs
  • The technology ecosystem in the hotel space is changing at a rapid pace. In some cases, companies seem to be appearing from nowhere, offering a brand new solution that solves a problem many hotels didn’t know that they had. In other cases, companies with extensive track records in other markets are performing pivots, taking everything that they’ve learned in their history and trying to apply best practices to the travel industry. Read on...

Matt Naeger
  • Technology
  • Five Tips for Driving More Digital Bookings
  • Travel industry marketers are setting their sites on the customer, following in the steps of other industries such as retail and using digital platforms to strategically target and message across the customer journey. The advances in customer experience we see today are the result of platform and technology availability. Knowing customers like to be treated as individuals is not a new concept in customer service. Not long ago personalized treatment was reserved for face-to-face conversations and luxury experiences. Digital has evolved, but the concept remains the same. Read on...

Mark  Heymann
  • Technology
  • How Mobile Technology is Changing the Hotel Business
  • Mobile technology has pervaded virtually every aspect of our lives, and travel is no exception. As people turn to their mobile devices for assistance with an increasing number of daily activities, the hotel industry has responded with apps designed to streamline processes from checking in to accessing one’s room. Starwood Hotels & Resorts pioneered mobile room keys with its SPG Keyless product in 2014 and since then several other major brands have followed suit. There are also apps today that enable SMS two-way communications between guests and hotel staff, facilitating a wide range of interactions, including late check-out requests, room service orders, and restaurant recommendations. Read on...

Allison Ferguson
  • Technology
  • Win the Connected Traveler with Connected Loyalty Strategies
  • Travel today is a highly aspirational, emotional, and educational experience. However, today’s experience is largely a digital one, which is evolving our roles as hoteliers and marketers at the very pace of innovation. We must constantly use people-based marketing to re-imagine how we connect with travelers and inspire them to connect in return. Here's some very effective tips... Read on...

Matt Schvimmer
  • Technology
  • Texting Makes Real-Time CRM a Reality for Hotels
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a tried and true method of connecting with guests and customers across a number of platforms including websites, social media, apps, live chat, email and phone. Selecting a CRM software solution is notoriously laborious and the software itself has the reputation of being expensive and hard to implement. Hotels and hospitality organizations who operate at a local level, and thrive on the relationships they have in the community, need a nimble, real-time CRM solution to engage with their guests and be responsive to their service needs. Although mobile technology has certainly equipped hospitality teams with more on-the-go solutions such as apps and responsive websites, customer relationship solutions that are truly real-time for both the organization and the guest, have not been available. The widespread adoption of texting and ubiquity of mobile devices has now made real-time CRM a possibility. Read on...

Jeff Navach
  • Technology
  • Leveraging Vertical Search to Go Direct
  • Hotels find themselves in an uphill battle as they seek to increase loyalty to their own brands and recapture market share from OTAs. Many hotels are increasingly embracing digital advertising, recognizing it as a critical channel to acquire consumers directly and compete more effectively with OTAs. But as hotels expand their digital marketing presence and ramp up advertising budgets, they would do well to consider some creative approaches that can help level the playing field and turn the tide in their favor. Read on...

Michael Coughlin
  • Technology
  • Using Paid Search Engines to Maximize Returns
  • Since its infancy in the late 90s and early 2000s, paid search has been a highly effective tactic for capturing would-be travelers that are actively exploring travel options. There’s seemingly no better way to attain a new hotel guest than by delivering an ad promoting your hotel when someone is searching for “hotels” in your market area. For instance, if you are promoting hotel rooms in Las Vegas, you would likely deliver relevant ads to people searching for keywords such as “Las Vegas hotel,” “Las Vegas hotels,” and “Vegas hotel reviews. ”According to Prognosis Digital, 79% of people that book hotels online search for that particular hotel on a search engine before buying. Thus, having a presence on search engines is essential for any hotel. Read on...

Katarina  Puckett
  • Technology
  • How to Improve Hotel Bookings with Local SEO
  • In the drive to increase bookings, hotel owners sometimes overlook a key component that can have a dramatic impact on their online visibility: local SEO. Search engines rely on a variety of signals when determining your hotel website’s position and visibility in search results. Local SEO strategies cover three of the top web ranking signals that Google and the other search engines consider: on-page signals, citations from well-established, respected local directories, and reputable backlinks. When you correctly and proactively apply these local SEO strategies, you strengthen your hotel’s business profile and help establish your website domain authority. Read on...

Michael Coughlin
  • Technology
  • Video Content: A Crucial Enhancement for Your Future Marketing Success
  • With rapid advancements in technology, video content is taking over the internet. Whether it’s through social media platforms, apps, or news publications, companies can miss out on valuable branding opportunities without a high quality video narrative to leverage on these networks. In an industry where building human relationships is of utmost importance, hotels must adapt to this growing medium. Well-produced videos help brands connect with consumers emotionally thus creating genuine brand loyalty. In the offline history of advertising, we’ve seen media consumers migrate in large droves from reading newspapers in dull black and white text, to reading magazines and newspapers in full and vibrant color, to consuming radio and TV advertising that bring brands to life. Read on...

Katarina  Puckett
  • Technology
  • How to Create an Effective Hotel Web Design to Boost Direct Bookings
  • Hotels now face stiff competition from the OTAs as well as from other hotels. To succeed in this challenging environment, hoteliers need to develop an effective hotel website that blends the latest design trends and online marketing strategies to appeal to prospective guests. By incorporating essential hotel design, functionality, and reservation features such as SEO strategies, incentivizing pricing strategies, and web analytics, hotels can use their websites to gain the competitive edge. Discover everything you need to know to create a highly effective hotel website design, so you can successfully increase direct bookings and regain control of your hotel brand. Read on...

Bernard Ellis
  • Technology
  • Hey, You, Get Off of My Cloud!
  • After cautiously testing the cloud computing waters for almost twenty years, the hospitality industry has been diving in head first lately, and for the most part, made nice, controlled entries with minimal splash. And for the majority, the dive was followed by a graceful, controlled float to the top. Others, however, found themselves disoriented, bumping into other swimmers, and gasping for breath. The cloud is indeed like a community pool in many ways, but after reading this article, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to quickly find your lane and swim faster laps than ever. Read on...

Tammy Farley
  • Technology
  • The Democratization of Sophistication in Hotel Technology
  • Data is more plentiful and available than at any time in history, yet some of the most crucial information for hotel operators has been accessible only to large organizations with deep pockets. Today, however, new technologies are disrupting established markets with analytical solutions that are more affordable and flexible, offering excellent capabilities to hoteliers who could previously only access such tools through their parent brands. This article takes a look at key qualities of some of the data and analytics tools that make the technology more approachable than ever. Read on...

Matt Naeger
  • Technology
  • 5 Tips for Driving More Digital Bookings
  • Travel industry marketers are setting their sites on the customer, following in the steps of other industries such as retail and using digital platforms to strategically target and message across the customer journey. The advances in customer experience we see today are the result of platform and technology availability. Knowing customers like to be treated as individuals is not a new concept in customer service. Not long ago personalized treatment was reserved for face-to-face conversations and luxury experiences. Digital has evolved, but the concept remains the same. To both the traveler and the marketer, customer experience is differentiation, timing, relevancy. Read on...

Rahul Razdan
  • Technology
  • The Big Data Revolution Within the Hospitality Industry
  • Big Data will provide a complete "digital profile" of current and prospective guests, enabling hotel executives to create more effective marketing and communications campaigns. This opportunity, available for all and affordable to all, will transform the way hoteliers interact with travelers; it will revolutionize this relationship for the better by making outreach more direct, personal and relevant. Thus, these benefits are too important to ignore - they are too substantial to dismiss - since the result will be a more intimate and gracious expression of loyalty from hotel executives on behalf of their most loyal supporters. Welcome to the big dividends of Big Data. Read on...

AUGUST: Food & Beverage: Multiplicity and Diversity are Key

Larry Steinberg

The foodservice industry is one of the oldest and most important. Consumers from all demographics rely on it virtually every day for sustenance. In fact, in the U.S. alone, it’s a nearly $800 billion industry that’s extremely competitive, with hundreds of new establishments popping up every year, and much of this new business is the result of increased consumer demand. Consumers want more options. For every practiced chef, there is a collective of guests eager to spend their hard-earned dollars on something exotic and different. They want to experience a bit of culture by way of their next meal, and they want to find it using the latest technology. Read on...

Frank Sanchez

About two years ago, I started my career at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. I came from San Diego, California, the apparent capital of farmer’s markets. When I moved to Chicago in late-October, the number of farmer’s markets had already begun to taper off and all that was left of the hotel’s rooftop garden was the sad remnants of a summer full of bounty. However, I was in for a pleasant surprise. The Chicago Marriott Downtown operates a year-round experience to create food from scratch that gives customers fresh and nutritional options. I was thrilled to join a team that can tell a customer that the very greens on their plate were grown just floors above them. Read on...

Thomas  McKeown

To serve today’s eclectic, socially engaged and sophisticated guests, hotels and chefs need to get creative, change their thinking and push back some walls – sometimes literally. The fun thing about meetings hotels is that they are a different place just about every week. One week we’re hosting a bridge tournament, the next a corporate sales team, or a dentists’ conference, or sci-fi fans in costumes, or cheerleaders jumping for joy. You name the group, and our hotel has probably welcomed them. Read on...

Elizabeth  Blau

Over the past several years, many of us have watched with excitement and interest as the fast-casual restaurant segment has continued to boom. More and more, talented chefs with fine dining pedigrees are bringing their skills, creativity, and experience to concepts built around speed, approachability, and volume. Right now, the ability to offer a gourmet experience at all price points is as compelling to restaurateurs and diners alike. Read on...

Coming Up In The September Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings: Blue Skies Ahead
After a decade of sacrifice and struggle, it seems that hotels and meeting planners have every reason to be optimistic about the group meeting business going forward. By every industry benchmark and measure, 2017 is shaping up to be a record year, which means more meetings in more locations for more attendees. And though no one in the industry is complaining about this rosy outlook, the strong demand is increasing competition among meeting planners across the board – for the most desirable locations, for the best hotels, for the most creative experiences, for the most talented chefs, and for the best technology available. Because of this robust demand, hotels are in the driver’s seat and they are flexing their collective muscles. Even though over 100,000 new rooms were added last year, hotel rates are expected to rise by a minimum of 4.0%, and they are also charging fees on amenities that were often gratis in the past. In addition, hotels are offering shorter lead times on booking commitments, forcing planners to sign contracts earlier than in past years. Planners are having to work more quickly and to commit farther in advance to secure key properties. Planners are also having to meet increased attendee expectations. They no longer are content with a trade show and a few dinners; they want an experience. Planners need to find ways to create a meaningful experience to ensure that attendees walk away with an impactful memory. This kind of experiential learning can generate a deeper emotional connection, which can ultimately result in increased brand recognition, client retention, and incremental sales. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group business and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.