Technology
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...

Tina Stehle
  • Technology
  • Five Smart Technology Purchases
  • The economy is finally showing signs of recovery. And while that gives hoteliers good reason to be optimistic, it's still critical that they make smart technology purchases, choosing solutions that will help decrease costs (or at least keep them in line), streamline efficiency and enable the property to realize a competitive advantage. Some of the newest technology has a big 'wow' factor, but the return on investment may not justify the expense. Fortunately, there are exciting software selections that can help position your hotel for success and provide a fast ROI. Following are five technology purchases that can help your property stay ahead of the competition in 2011 and beyond. Read on...

APRIL: Guest Service: The Personalized Experience

Shayne Paddock

In the past year I’ve traveled to New York City on several business trips usually staying at the same hotel every time. I did that in part to learn how the hotel would interact with me on each repeat stay. Would they treat me differently? Would they recognize me on my fourth stay? Would they remember my name? Each time the reservation staff warmly greeted me but always asked “Have you stayed with us before”. Upon arriving in my room there would always be a hand written letter from the GM welcoming me to the hotel. Read on...

Adrian Kurre

Today’s hotel guests have embraced the convenience of mobile and digital technology that facilitates everything from booking specific rooms online to checking in and using Digital Key on their smartphones. This proliferation of technology combined with excellent hospitality ensures that guests’ needs continue to be met or exceeded. At the end of the day, like we say at Hilton, we are a business of people serving people. The key is to offer guests the technological innovations they want – and some they haven’t even imagined yet – while utilizing these advances to automate basic transactions. This process allows our Team Members to focus more time on delivering exceptional experiences at every hotel to every guest. Read on...

Robert  Habeeb

There are growing numbers of quasi-service hotels that are carving out a new niche between select-service and full-service properties. Select-service hotels have been a hot hotel industry segment for several years now. From new concepts to new developments, it has established itself as a clear front-runner in the hotel category horse race. That being said, a recent uptick in full service hotel development clearly shows that segment remains vibrant, as well. Read on...

Gary Isenberg

By now, nearly every type of traveler prepping for a journey scans TripAdvisor for reviews of hotels in their destination city prior to securing a reservation. By perusing prior guest comments, consumers receive unfiltered and unbiased perceptions of specific properties. Travelers want to know before they book for instance if: Are the rooms clean? Is the service top-notch? Most importantly, does a hotel deliver value for the price? Read on...

Coming Up In The May Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Eco-Friendly Practices: The Value of Sustainability
The hotel industry continues to make remarkable progress in implementing sustainability policies and procedures in their properties throughout the world. As a result, they continue to reap the benefits of increased profitability, enhanced guest experiences, and improved community relations. In addition, as industry standards are codified and adopted worldwide, hotels can now compare how their operations measure up against their competitors in terms of sustainable practices and accomplishments. This capacity to publicly compare and contrast is spurring competition and driving innovation as hotels do not wish to be left behind in this area. Water management and conservation is still a primary issue as population growth, urbanization, pollution and wasteful consumption patterns place increasing demands on freshwater supply. Water recycling; installing low-flow fixtures; using digital sensors to control water usage; and even harvesting rainwater are just a few things that some hotels are doing to preserve this precious resource. Waste management is another major concern. Through policies of reduce, reuse and recycle, some hotels are implementing “zero-waste” programs with the goal of substantially reducing their landfill waste which produces carbon dioxide and methane gases. Other hotels have established comprehensive training programs that reinforce the value of sustainability. There is employee engagement through posters and quizzes, and even contests are held to increase innovation, sensitivity and environmental awareness. Some hotels are also monitoring a guest’s energy usage and rewarding those who consumed less energy with gifts and incentives. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document how some hotels are integrating eco-friendly practices into their operations and how they and the environment are benefiting from them.