Technology
Drew Patterson
  • Technology
  • App-ocalypse: How Hotels Can Thrive in the Post-App Economy
  • Literally millions of mobile apps compete for consumers’ time, attention and phone space. Hotel apps are largely unsuccessful in breaking through the noise and engaging with guests in an authentic way; yet, hotel brands continue to spend excessive budget and effort on creating newer, flashier mobile apps in the hopes of sparking customer interest. A new paradigm - one where hotels create mobile solutions aligned with how travelers actually use their mobile devices - provides an alternative. Welcome to the post-app economy: it’s simpler, smarter and more effective guest communication. Read on...

Scott  Morrison
  • Technology
  • Why You Need a Managed Network Services Provider
  • From guest services and operations to conference space and poolside dining, the need for a complex, connected and dependable network is critical to the success of any hotel. But without the proper planning, installation and maintenance, your network may be underperforming and not capable of handling the demand that is increasing exponentially by the day. In this article we explain why hiring a managed network services provider with certified project managers for your technology installation can help control costs, mitigate future risk and alleviate the burden of managing multiple vendors so you can open with confidence. Read on...

Peter  Torbet
  • Technology
  • Every Guest Brings a Screen
  • In hotel rooms guests are using the smart TV screen for so many different reasons- from practicing presentations, streaming Netflix and listening to favorite music. The trick to keeping all your guests happy relies on having the technology that seamlessly allows all of their screens to talk to each other. Read on...

Bernard Ellis
  • Technology
  • Predictions for Hospitality Technology in 2016
  • What a difference a year made in hospitality technology. For Americans, Chip-and-PIN/EMV appears to be the new Y2K – those who prepared are feeling terribly anti-climactic, and those who ostriched, so far, haven’t felt much pain. It did, however, provide more widespread awareness of the need for credit card tokenization, and data security in general. People who previously hadn’t moved to the cloud out of fear of losing data security, now started doing so to actually increase it. Read on...

Rahul Razdan
  • Technology
  • Mining Data and Making Social Media More Sociable
  • Data and social media are the twin forces of change within the hospitality industry. Maximizing the power of these tools – for the good of workers and guests alike – is (or must be) a hotel executive’s principal responsibility. Of equal importance is the democratization of these commodities: The accessibility, and increased affordability, of online marketing and promotions to a diversity of travelers. With the help of the right experts, and with an uncompromising eye toward quality and excellence, hotel executives can benefit from the application of data and social media. Now is the time to seize this opportunity of technological significance and business success. Read on...

Brandon Dennis
  • Technology
  • How to Make a Hotel Website with Wordpress
  • Teaser: There are countless website solutions out there these days. You could go the SaaS route and pay a monthly subscription for your website, or you can hire an agency to make a website for your hotel. Both have their pros and cons. There are some hoteliers, however, who want to make, host, and publish their own websites by hand. And for them, there is no argument--the best tool to use is Wordpress. With this 7-step guide, I will show you how to make a basic but fully functional hotel website with Wordpress. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, then I suggest purchasing a website subscription. But, if you like to fiddle with things and learn as you go, keep reading. Read on...

Amy Hutchins
  • Technology
  • Tech Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2016
  • Remember when free Wi-Fi was considered cutting-edge? Now, of course, most hotel guests expect it—if not in their room, then certainly in the common areas of the property. Hotel technology is evolving rapidly. Digital solutions are becoming the norm for solving common pain points in accommodation management. In particular, mobile technology and cloud-based software services are revolutionizing both the guest experience and the job of the hotelier. That will continue to be true in 2016. The year ahead promises to bring more developments in mobile and digital solutions for hospitality, as well as continued emphasis on the direct channel. Read on...

Jeff  Catlin
  • Technology
  • Common Mistakes in Text Analytics of Consumer Reviews
  • This article lists the top mistakes that we’ve seen people make when attempting to implement and use automated text analytics of consumer reviews. More importantly, this article gives advice as to how to proceed methodically thus avoiding most of the minefield, and getting the most value for dollar out of your automated review analysis. From “starting from the question” to “don’t think too small,” we’ll cover the top nine mistakes and corresponding fixes. Read on...

Steven Ferry
  • Technology
  • Would You like Your Service Today Live or Programmed, Madam?
  • In the 1990’s, I interviewed several futurists who, amongst other predictions, anticipated the omnipresence of robots in the workforce. In 2001 (unrelated to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey), I spoke at a butler convention about a convergence of “hominids” (humans) and robots: the robots becoming more human and the humans becoming more robotic—and warned that this did not augur (signal) well for humans who preferred superior service. Hospitality, basic definition is friendly, which comes from an Indo-European root word meaning love. Met any friendly robots recently, ones who expressed their heartfelt love? Or for that matter, from staff who lack passion for service? Read on...

Karim Meghji
  • Technology
  • How to Succeed in Creating a Successful Product in the Hospitality Industry
  • There’s a lot more to building a new product than just the technical aspect. Sure, you’ve got to have excellent design and execution, whether we’re talking about blue jeans or cloud-based software solutions. Before you get to that stage, though, there’s some important soul-searching that needs to happen. Approaching the planning stages with a healthy dose of critical thinking and honesty leads to the best product possible. And that’s what everybody wants, from the business to the consumer. Read on...

Abi Mandelbaum
  • Technology
  • Everything Hotels Need to Know about Virtual Reality Marketing
  • Virtual reality is on the cusp of significantly transforming the way people interact and engage with brands. It is expected to grow into a $60 billion industry within the next 10 years. But what are hoteliers to do with the emerging tech today? More importantly, what do you need to know about virtual reality to decide whether it’s right for your hotel? This primer will get you up to speed with this fast-moving technology, detailing virtual reality’s past and present, as well as detailed ways innovative companies—both inside and outside the travel industry—are already using virtual reality to drive results. Read on...

Eric  Presworsky
  • Technology
  • Fiber Networks Are the Foundation to Securing Digital Data in Hospitality
  • Industry experts agree – networks built with a Passive Optical LAN (POL) are much more secure than those built with traditional copper switching networks. That is because fiber transmits light, not electrical signals like copper, which means hackers cannot listen to signal emissions. Passive Optical LAN technology addresses the hotel industry’s primary concerns; security, cost, space savings, low power utilization and equipment. With old and new infrastructures, the technology can be powered through wireless or over existing Ethernet ports. Imagine adding one more room on each floor because you can eliminate a wiring closet by using fiber-optic technology versus copper. Read on...

Saeed Kazmi
  • Technology
  • Unique Ways Hotel Business Centers Keep Tech-Savvy Guests Plugged In
  • Hotel business centers are changing because hotel guests are changing – and the result is that hotels are finding creative new ways for their on-the-go guests to stay plugged in. According to industry trends and surveys, today’s guests can be classified into three broad categories – Boomers; Generation Xers; and Generation Y travelers, or millennials. They think differently and they travel differently. For hotels to properly serve these three groups, hoteliers must properly understand who they are and what they want. This column examines the differences between Boomers, Xers, and millennials – their characteristics, their preferences, and especially their technological expectations. Read on...

Ashish Gambhir
  • Technology
  • Understanding the New Hotel Performance Dashboard
  • Understanding what guests are saying about their stay at your hotel and what is influencing their perspective enables your marketing and operational executives to determine what steps need to be taken to ensure the best experience possible. Mining and analyzing online feedback and summarizing massive amounts of raw text via an intuitive dashboard alerts your executives to operational and marketing strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities per every hotel, region and brand. At a glance, these real-time summary views provide a strategic look at where you are now, where you need to be going, and what needs to be done to get there. Read on...

Paolo Boni
  • Technology
  • Online Merchandising: Steps to Capitalizing on Travel Websites
  • Today's travelers are choosing hotels that inspire them and effectively articulate why their rooms and amenities are 'worth' the price. But hotel listings on travel sites are typically lackluster and undifferentiated with unclear value propositions. The challenge for hoteliers is this: successfully conveying their hotel's unique value on the sites travel shoppers use to research and compare hotels online. Hoteliers can capitalize on their presence on travel websites by applying online merchandising techniques and using visual content to their advantage. 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.