Technology
Mark Ricketts
  • Technology
  • Bridging Today's Technologies to Customer Service Needs
  • In this article, we will discuss some approaches to meeting this challenge of being “technicians with a heart.” The goal is to make good use of these new approaches to operating a hotel, while making sure we provide guests with the meaningful experiences they undeniably crave, as we do ourselves. One is tempted to call them our phantom guests. With today’s technologies, a guest can make a reservation, sign in and, perhaps, check out without talking to or being seen by someone at the front desk. Timed right, a guest may not even interact with maintenance or housekeeping. Read on...

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...

SEPTEMBER: Hotel Group Meetings: Blue Skies Ahead

Jay Spurr

Meeting planners have more than enough to think about when it comes to searching for the perfect venue – and eco-consciousness is increasingly making its way top of mind for many. It is currently estimated that the average hotel guest generates 2.2 pounds of waste each night of their stay. And, with the meetings and event industry recently being deemed as the second most wasteful sector in the United States by the EPA, we at JW Marriott Austin knew we had to go above and beyond to deliver more efficient meetings and events with the lowest possible carbon footprint. Read on...

Del Robinette

Engagement and commitment are at the core of our professional lives in a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week operation. No matter the size or complexity of the box, engagement and our commitments should be a core fundamental that not only surfaces in our every interaction, but guides and directs our proactive decision making and our strategies and executions. Hospitality 101 teaches us as hospitality professionals, to engage with our guests, to make eye contact at 10 feet, to speak within 5, to escort when possible and to use our guests name in conversation. Read on...

Katie  Davis

I had a bit of an “out of body” experience recently. I was attending a corporate meeting, which was held in a hotel meeting room. As usual, I was multi-tasking for most of the meeting. Doing my best to remain engaged with the meeting content, while simultaneously managing an ever-growing email inbox and “To Do” list. During a break, I was pacing outside the meeting room, on the phone with my office, when I noticed some snacks and beverages set-up adjacent to the meeting room entrance. Read on...

Deirdre Martin Yack

Meeting planning in today’s world is more complex than ever. Whether you’re a planner or a supplier, our jobs are now 24/7. We are dealing with shorter lead times than ever, tighter budgets (on both sides), and expectations based on the perfection projected by social media and reality TV. Our job is no longer simply about dates, space, rate – we now need to compete at a world-class level on a daily basis. As a supplier, it takes extreme creativity at the venue level. Starting with the initial design, event space must be as flexible, innovative and as Instagram-worthy as possible. Read on...

Coming Up In The October Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Revenue Management: Technology and Big Data
Like most businesses, hotels are relying on technology and data to drive almost every area of their operations, but perhaps this is especially true for hotel Revenue Managers. There has been an explosion of technology tools which generate a mountain of data – all in an effort to generate profitable pricing strategies. It falls to Revenue Managers to determine which tools best support their operations and then to integrate them efficiently into their existing systems. Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, and Online Reputation Management software are basic tools; others include channel managers, benchmark reports, rate shopping tools and review systems, to name a few. The benefits of technology tools which automate large segments of a Revenue Manager’s business are enormous. Freed from the time-consuming process of manual data entry, and having more accurate data available, allows Revenue Managers to focus on analysis, strategies and longer-term decision-making. Still, for most hotels, the amount of data that these tools generate can be overwhelming and so another challenge is to figure out how to effectively utilize it. Not surprisingly, there are some new tech tools that can help to do exactly that. There are cloud-based analytics tools that provide a comprehensive overview of hotel data on powerful, intuitive dashboards. The goal is to generate a clear picture, at any moment in time, of where your hotel is at in terms of the essentials – from benchmarking to pricing to performance – bringing all the disparate streams of data into one collated dashboard. Another goal is to eliminate any data discrepancies between finance systems, PMS, CRM and forecasting systems. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address all these important developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.