Technology
Tina Stehle
  • Technology
  • Next-Generation Property Management Solutions Deliver Results for Hotels and Guests
  • Property management systems have come a long way since hotels began implementing them in the 1970's and 1980's. At that time, the primary goal of a PMS was to automate basic processes such as housekeeping and reservations. Now, as we approach 2010, new architecture makes PMS integration with other systems easier than ever, and guest-centric functionality is moving property management solutions from static entities that merely track reservations and perform check-in and check-out to dynamic systems that enable hoteliers to predict guest behavior and realize a competitive advantage. What, exactly, do these next-generation property management solutions have to offer? Read on...

Kristi White
  • Technology
  • Travel 2.0: Power Tools to Build Your Business
  • Travel 2.0 means business. It is not like Web 2.0, which is primarily defined by social networking sites like YouTube, Facebook and Flickr. In Travel 2.0, additional sites such as TripAdvisor, Google Maps, Virtual Tourist, and TravelPost empower consumers with interactive tools to research hotels and plan their trips, comment on their recent stays, and interact with other like-minded consumers. Savvy hospitality operators are embracing all aspects of Travel 2.0 - and beyond - because of its ability to drive business, build community, and empower guests. What are the best ways to leverage it? Here are five strategies... Read on...

Paul West
  • Technology
  • Technology Choices That Can Impact the Bottom Line
  • We are well into 2010 and perhaps still facing many decisions on whether or not to pull the trigger on possible technology purchases. So, if technology purchases of any kind can be made, then it is more important than ever that hotel companies make sensible choices with these purchases while still keeping a close eye on the bottom line. Therefore, what should be the guideline for selecting technology that is right for the times? Once that is determined, then the next question to answer is "What would be those best types of technology choices that are most likely to impact the bottom line and thereby influence a more positive cash flow for an operation?" Read on...

Sanjay Nijhawan
  • Technology
  • Meeting the Growing Technology Needs of Guests
  • All of us who work in the hospitality industry are aware that the needs and expectations of guests are ever increasing and changing. Guests are our job and as companies we need to adapt to ensure we are offering the best level of service and keep guests coming back. An area that has seen the biggest and speediest change in the last ten years in my opinion is that of the technological needs and expectations of the guests. Ten years ago it was enough to offer in-room movies and a small business centre with internet access. Now that offering sounds possibly dinosaur. In a bid to 'keep up' and be a market leader, hotels especially within the premium sector, have fallen over themselves to shout about their building wide Wi-Fi, i-pod docking stations as standard in all rooms and automated check in services. In reality many are merely paying lip service to having these amenities and don't actually have the systems in place to support guests' requirements. Read on...

Roger G. Hill
  • Technology
  • Technology That Creates Luxury
  • Traditionally, we define luxury hotels as five-star resorts with sleek design, top-notch amenities, and expensive accommodations. At the most basic level, a hotel or resort experience is most luxurious when it offers indulgences and unexpected touches, and hotels often create lavish environments with sumptuous d'ecor and attentive service. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, technology, if properly applied, can help a hotel owner take both d'ecor and service to the next level. Every hotel, from an exclusive beachfront resort to a country bed and breakfast can use technology to create luxury. Read on...

Tina Stehle
  • Technology
  • Next Generation Property Management Systems
  • Thirty years ago many hotels were implementing their first Property Management Systems (PMS). Its main role at the time was to automate processes that had been handled manually. As the PMS has evolved, hotels have utilized these systems' capabilities to increase efficiency and maximize profits. Initially, this was accomplished primarily through interfacing and more recently, via integration and seamless communication. The complexity of our systems has increased and tech-savvy consumers are driving development. So, now that the PMS has evolved beyond merely managing our information, what will the Property Management System of tomorrow look like? Read on...

Maurice Martin
  • Technology
  • Adopting Rich Internet Applications: What it is and how your hotels can use it
  • Most hoteliers realize the importance of their Web face to their customers and the extent to which customers interact with the brand through that medium; therefore, we should always invest in the best possible experience for our visitors. Rich Internet Applications provide the potential to take that experience to the next level. The best way to decide if Rich Internet Applications are right for you is to recognize your current Web site's unique problems and identify optimum opportunities for improvement. Read on...

Mike Stacy
  • Technology
  • Most Popular Destinations by Group Type
  • There are many elements that go into planning a group getaway; whether it's a group business trip, a family reunion, a friend's getaway or a destination wedding. For each of these groups the questions of where to stay and what to do will vary. What is the anatomy of a great destination for a group trip? The answer is simple, the right city for the right group of people. Equally important is the right accommodation and service for the group. Some of the most popular types of traveling groups are Corporate, Family Reunions, Friends Getaways, and Destination Weddings. The following is an exploration into these groups and some of their top destinations. Read on...

Tina Stehle
  • Technology
  • Hotels Can Benefit From Self-Service Kiosks
  • Enhanced customer service, reduction to staffing costs, and a better utilization of hotel resources are just some of the hotel benefits obtained by successfully implementing self-service kiosks. Many customers are already accustomed to using self-service alternatives for airline check-in, rental cars and supermarket check-out. Today, customers are demanding the same convenience and ease of use in the hotel check-in process. Read on...

Mark Tapling
  • Technology
  • The Hospitality Divide: How New Technology Is Making It Bigger
  • Why has guest experience accelerated in importance over the past several years? Some say it's the build out of local markets where location and price have reached their zenith. Oversaturation is the death knell for many an operation. But there are still others that realize a focus on guest service and the guest experience has the potential to negate many of the affects of competition, location and price. In fact, many are finding that they can significantly increase revenue by focusing on guest service. Read on...

Tina Stehle
  • Technology
  • Improving the Bottom Line with a Document Management Solution
  • Success in hotel operations means reducing costs and improving operational efficiencies while enhancing guest satisfaction. The most visible benefit of deploying a document management solution is an immediate reduction in manual processes and volumes of paper. Companies that choose to deploy a document management solution gain a rapid return on investment. The costs savings are easy to see: dramatic decreases in the time and labor required to search for and retrieve documents, increases in work capacity and productivity and reduced physical space demands for filing paper copies of documents in offices and off-site warehouses. Read on...

Jacki Kelley
  • Technology
  • Changes in Consumer Media Consumption
  • We all know the Internet has changed the way people consume media. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who would dispute this. But lately, the conversation has evolved to include Web 2.0 - a second-generation of Internet-based services that let people collaborate and share information online in new ways. But to understand the true value of this shift, let's talk about Consumer 2.0 - at the heart of Web 2.0. Read on...

Hilary Murphy
  • Technology
  • Optimizing the Use of New Technology
  • The challenge of optimizing IT investment is relentless for the hospitality sector. This article reviews some of the salient issues that impact on optimizing new technologies by revisiting the determinants of technology adoption and then by sharing some of my research into Strategic Technology Relationships in the Hotel Sector, conducted earlier this year with the hospitality technology managers (CIOs and IT Directors) in the major European hotels. Finally, some suggestions are proposed for the future optimization of technology in the hospitality sector. Read on...

David Chin
  • Technology
  • The Bottom Line of Next Generation Technology in Hotel Rooms Today
  • Historically, the hospitality industry hasn't exactly been the leading hotbed of technology. Earlier this millennium, the best you'd usually find was billing and room reservation systems linked using the room TV as a display. And guest services tended to be centralized with terminals at reception and in restaurants. Now, IT is everywhere. In-room mini-bars are connected to IP networks that add purchases to the bill 30 seconds after a cold beverage is lifted from the fridge. The flat screen TV offers streaming music services with soothing screensaver photos. Even the room key has become part of a technology link that allows guests to buy food in restaurants and access voice mail and wireless Internet portals. And a new generation of gadget-minded and gear-toting business and leisure guests are forcing hotel operators to continuously -- and at warp speeds -- adopt new information and entertainment technology systems. Read on...

Jacki Kelley
  • Technology
  • Leveraging the Internet to Drive Key Objectives
  • The Internet has revolutionized the way consumers make travel purchasing decisions. In fact, according to a recent comScore Media Metrix study, more than 55 million consumers used web searches to research travel throughout the month of July 2006 alone. Moreover, the majority of those who conducted a web search booked travel online. According to Forrester Research, the Internet makes up one quarter of all travel sales today and is projected to grow to just under 50 percent by 2010, making Travel second only to computer software and hardware when it comes to overall category growth. Lodging companies have made significant strides in harnessing the Internet to leverage distribution and make it easy for consumers to research, compare and buy from their desktops; however, when it comes to building brands on the Internet, opportunity exists. With broadband penetration projected to reach 83 percent of U.S. households by 2008, the opportunities to leverage the medium, engage consumers, drive preference and manage channel distribution has never been greater. Read on...

MARCH: Human Resources: Inspiring a Journey of Success

Sandy Asch

Baby boomers, Gen Xers, and especially Millennials, who now make up more than 50 percent of the workforce, want a sense of purpose at work. It’s clear that today’s workforce is increasingly concerned with doing good. People are tired of just showing up every day to perform a job. They want lasting fulfillment at home and at work. In his book, Drive, Daniel H. Pink suggests that we are in a time where individual desire to have a positive impact in the world often ranks higher than pay scale when selecting a job. Millennials, in particular, want to feel like their work has real purpose, and they want to be home for dinner. Read on...

Whitney Martin

As new properties explode on the scene and traveler choices abound, hotels know they have to pull out all the stops to make every guest experience a positive one. Are staff friendly are courteous? Are rooms clean? Are meals excellent? Are bills accurate? We rely on our employees to execute their jobs, not just correctly, but with enthusiasm. And, if they don’t, business suffers. We do our best to hire good people (in a competitive market), we give them a little training, and then we HOPE they create raving fans. Ever heard the expression “hope is not a strategy”? Read on...

Joyce Gioia

Worldwide, the hospitality industry is going through a transformation. In response to workforce shortages, many employers have looked for---and found---ways to reduce staff by using automation. Despite this trend, there are continuing shortages of skilled workers from front line housekeepers to general managers. Hospitality leaders are looking for and finding innovative ways to find the talent. This article will give you an overview of what’s working for general managers and their human resource professionals to find the people they need to staff their properties. Read on...

Paul Feeney

A recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that close to 3 million people voluntarily quit their jobs a couple of years ago, a 17% increase from the previous year, proving that opportunities for employees are abundant and we have shifted back to a candidate-driven marketplace. Why is this important? Employee retention should always be of utmost importance, but requires awareness as to why employees leave to begin with. Numerous statistics show that the #1 reason people quit their jobs is a disconnect or poor relationship with their boss or immediate supervisor or manager. This shows that turnover of staff is mostly a manager issue. Read on...

Coming Up In The April Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Guest Service: The Personalized Experience
In the not-too-distant future, when guests arrive at a hotel, they will check themselves in using a kiosk in the lobby, by- passing a stop at the front desk. When they call room service to order food, it will be from a hotel mobile tablet, practically eliminating any contact with friendly service people. Though these inevitable developments will likely result in delivered to their door by a robot. When they visit a restaurant, their orders will be placed and the bill will be paid some staff reduction, there is a silver lining – all the remaining hotel staff can be laser-focused on providing guests with the best possible service available. And for most guests, that means being the beneficiary of a personalized experience from the hotel. According to a recent Yahoo survey, 78 percent of hotel guests expressed a desire for some kind of personalization. They are seeking services that not only make them feel welcomed, but valued, and cause them to feel good about themselves. Hotels must strive to establish an emotional bond with their guests, the kind of bond that creates guest loyalty and brings them back time and again. But providing personalized service is more than knowing your guests by name. It’s leaving a bottle of wine in the room of a couple celebrating their anniversary, or knowing which guest enjoys having a fresh cup of coffee brought to their room as part of a wake-up call. It’s the small, thoughtful, personal gestures that matter most and produce the greatest effect. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.