Technology
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...

Kristi White
  • Technology
  • Sink or Sail? Moving from instinct to data-driven decisions
  • For years, making decisions in revenue management and, to some extent, hotel management has been ruled by gut instinct. Revenue managers and hotel operations executives frequently justify their rate setting decisions by saying, "I have a feel for the market" or "I know what the market will do." Yet when asked for a concrete example of how they knew this, they usually have no answer. Smooth economic times are behind us and while their return is inevitable, today we must navigate challenging waters. How can you make the move from instinct-driven to data-driven business decisions? Here is a proven a six-step process... Read on...

Hillary S. Bressler
  • Technology
  • Five Steps in Utilizing Google Earth for Your Website SEO
  • Since Google Earth launched, millions of Internet users have traveled the globe in search of everything from Mount Kilimanjaro to their childhood homes, all from the comfort of their own computers. But, this popular satellite-based application is far more than a way to pass the time at work. When integrated into a website, Google Earth is a powerful tool that can boost Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and support the overall marketing strategy. Read on...

Rob Kall
  • Technology
  • The Upside and Pitfalls of User Reviews on Your Own Website
  • Online travel reviews are nothing new; they have existed in one way or another for over 10 years. Sites without user reviews may become less common over the next few years, as consumers rely more heavily on others' experiences before making a decision. So how can hoteliers take advantage of this growing trend to bring in more business to their property? Easy, include customer reviews directly on your site. This article explains and analyzes the pros and cons of posting consumers' reviews of your property on your own website. Read on...

Drew Rosser
  • Technology
  • Next Generation Technology: Trendy term or actual practice?
  • Next Generation Technology: Trendy Term or Actual Practice? Well, it is a trendy term like most trendy marketing terms it is being used to sell something rather than to identify actual practice. Is there Next Generation technology development going on? Absolutely. However, you wont hear too much about it until it's being pushed out in user testing or Beta versions. Anything that is out there now isn't Next Generation it's Now. Make sure you do your due diligence when in the market for technology. Don't get sold on trendy titles. Read on...

Pedro  Colaco
  • Technology
  • Three Key Success Factors for an Independent Hotel's Website
  • Many independent hotel managers are unhappy with the amount of business generated by the websites. This should come as no surprise as only 14% pursue a structured online strategy. Yet, embracing e-commerce is the best opportunity for independent hotels in the downturn of 2009/10 as online bookings continue to grow and travelers show a healthy appetite for booking directly at the hotel's official website. This article tackles the issue of how independent hotels should create a structured online strategy to ensure e-commerce success for their official websites. Read on...

James Filsinger
Tina Stehle
  • Technology
  • Top Five Reasons to Automate Inventory and Procurement
  • In the current economy, it's more important than ever to conserve resources and cut costs. One of the best ways to streamline operations is to automate inventory and procurement. Hotels that do so typically report savings in the range of 5 percent to 15 percent - through efficiencies as well as direct cost savings. The operational benefits of e-procurement are numerous, including reduced inventory levels, improved auditing and financial control, elimination of paperwork, enhanced staff efficiency and shortened delivery time. Today's systems take inventory and procurement to an entirely new level with automated e-mail bids, the ability to route purchase requisitions for approval via e-mail or PDA, electronic invoicing, budget tracking, business intelligence functionality and more. In this article, I outline five top reasons to automate your hotel's inventory and procurement system. Read on...

Mike Kistner
  • Technology
  • Disrupting the Old Order: Five Trends Affecting Travel, the World’s Largest Business
  • Travel is expected to slowly but surely continue on its road to recovery through 2012, shifting gears as it encounters inevitable bumps along the way. Independent hotels, mobile adoption, distribution, hotel merchandising and partnerships/integration/alliances played key roles during 2011. So which trends will help shape travel in 2012? There are many, but the following five are especially important.. Read on...

Kristi White
  • Technology
  • Core Profit Center: Your Website
  • Over the past 10 years, the web has become a powerhouse for growing business. For the hotel industry, it has changed all the ground rules, from how you interact with your customers to how you drive bookings. Ten years ago, hotel chains started investing in online virtual brochures. These sites were designed simply to lay out the product and drive customers to call centers. As the sophistication of the web platforms increased, rudimentary booking engines were laid into the websites. No one anticipated that this electronic brochure would soon be a key business driver. Read on...

Mike Kistner
  • Technology
  • The Top Five Website Failures and How to Fix Them
  • Never before in the history of our industry have hotels had so many opportunities to market and sell their room inventory. Facebook, TripAdvisor, Google, mobile, online, GDS and traditional voice, among countless others, present infinite opportunities to increase exposure for a property on a global level. However, there is one tool that remains crucial regardless of the channel you’re selling through, and that is the hotel website. Many hotels, especially independents, have only scratched the surface with the foundation of their online presence, inadvertently making serious errors that may in fact be hurting their chances to sell. Following are the five website failures hotels make, along with how to fix them. Read on...

Drew Rosser
  • Technology
  • From the Other Side: A look at How Guests View Rate Distribution & Online Experiences with Hotels
  • There is no more important time than now to make sure that your rate distribution and online experience is understandable, uses good imagery and the descriptive terminology speaks to your target audience. Too many hotels use poor images on their booking engines and tend to create rate and room type copy as if they were selling to hoteliers and not to the general public. Look at your online presence from the guest's point of view. Are you really selling yourself the right way online? Read on...

Paolo Boni
  • Technology
  • Improving Conversions Starts with Reaching and Engaging Consumers
  • As travel shopping continues to fragment within the online space to a myriad of channels, devices, and platforms the role of the hotel marketer is becoming increasingly complicated. Today, audiences are jumping from online travel agencies to review sites to social media and so on, using their smartphones, computers and tablets to do so. This makes for a complex web of touch-points for hotel marketers to explore and take advantage of. Success requires balancing a number of priorities and activities that make up a hotel’s greater marketing strategy. Included in this strategy are activities that convert website traffic to bookings on the hotel’s own website and third party websites. Read on...

Daryl Stokes
  • Technology
  • Top Eight Network Technologies to Invest in for “Hotels of the Future”
  • What will the hotel of the future look like? Today, most hotel guests rate connectivity as the most important amenity. But this means more than just Internet access. Hotel guests want to always be connected. Hoteliers are spending a great amount of resources on network technology and applications as they are on other amenities. Hotel customers expect the same online convenience and customization they have in their homes. Nearly every traveler equipped with laptops, iPad and smart phones, they also expect their hotel to be place of ubiquitous connectivity. This "hotel of the future" is as much an information management center as it is a place to have a good night's sleep. Managing that type of critical information flow is not easy. This article will outline seven technologies that will deliver advantages for hotels. Read on...

Ian  Millar
  • Technology
  • The Future Techno Guest: Technology is the Most Demanded Amenity in the Guest Room
  • Technology has reached an evangelical level; a recent documentary by the BBC has shown that some people today react to technology the same way some people react to religion. Seeing photos of apple products or the Google logo activated parts of their brain that is only stimulated by attending church and praying. And people addiction to technology is only growing and very fast. What will be the future technologies that our guests will require, what should we be providing. Will YouTube on the hotel TV be enough? How will guests interact with the hotel, most probably it will all come down to the Smartphone, so what effect will that have on our future operations? Read on...

JUNE: Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?

Emanuel Baudart

Social media opens the doors to conversations about experiences – good or bad. Twitter gives hotel guests the option to air their grievances while Instagram gives them the bragging rights on their best days. Customers are giving out their feedback and it’s up to the industry to take it seriously in how hotels engage with their guests. A guest’s social media is an opportunity for hotels to work better and more efficiently to target and enhance the guest experience. Coupling the data that guests give through social media with the data we have from years of growing AccorHotels, we are focusing on using the right tools to best access the guest. At AccorHotels, we are moving away from the transactional model of hospitality and focusing on building relationships through social engagement and bolstering the benefits of our loyalty program. In order to do both, we’ve invested in building better tools for our hotels to succeed on the promise of hospitality – great service, attention and comfort. Read on...

Wendy Blaney

In a world where almost everything is done digitally, it is important to remember how impactful a two-way conversation can be for consumers interested in booking travel. There is no denying that it has become easier and easier to plan trips online, and purchase products almost instantly – yet there are still many customers who want the personal touch and assurance that they truly understand what it is that they are buying. They want someone to provide direction, answer questions, and give them “insider” information. This is especially true for a dynamic destination like Atlantis where there are an abundance of options. Our guests aren’t just interested in a resort, they are seeking a coveted, catered experience. Read on...

Mustafa Menekse

Though it seems that online travel agencies have been a part of the hotel booking landscape for eons, the reality is that just 25 years ago, brick and mortar travel agencies were the norm. Travelers would visit an agency for trip planning advice, printed brochures, and to speak with actual travel agents to assist in booking airfare, hotel accommodations and rental cars. Travel agencies had the knowledge and information about the destination and, of course, the tools and connections to book hotels and flights to begin with. The support these agencies provided put traveler’s minds at ease, especially for international trips. This was the foundation of why OTAs are in existence. Read on...

Scott Weiler

A guest of a hotel or chain books with an OTA. Terrific for everyone, right? The OTA is grateful for the transaction, and hopes to get a nice share of that customer’s travel bookings for years to come. The hotel is happy to get a (let’s say) first time guest. Sure, they paid a commission for that booking, but the GM and their team is ready to do their stuff. Which is to say – deliver a great stay experience. Now what? Now it’s a battle of the marketers! Read on...

Coming Up In The July Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Spa: Measuring the Results
As the Hotel Spa and Wellness Movement continues to flourish, spa operations are seeking new and innovative ways to expand their menu of services to attract even more people to their facilities, and to and measure the results of spa treatments. Whether it’s spa, fitness, wellness meet guest expectations. Among new developments, there seems to be a growing emphasis on science to define or beauty services, guests are becoming increasingly careful about what they ingest, inhale or put on their skin, and they are requesting scientific data on the treatments they receive. They are open to exploring the benefits of alternative therapies – like brain fitness exercises, electro-magnetic treatments, and chromotherapy – but only if they have been validated scientifically. Similarly, some spas are integrating select medical services and procedures into their operations, continuing the convergence of hotel spas with the medical world. Parents are also increasingly concerned about the health and well-being of their children and are willing to devote time and money to overcome their poor diets, constant stress, and hours spent hunched over computer, tablet and smartphone screens. Parents are investing in wellness-centric family vacations; yoga and massage for kids; mindfulness and meditation classes; and healthy, locally sourced, organic food. For hotel spas, this trend represents a significant area for future growth. Other trends include the proliferation of Wellness Festivals which celebrate health and well-being, and position hotel spas front and center. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.