Technology
Mike Kistner
  • Technology
  • Hotel IT Departments Fight for Relevance
  • I recently had to give a prediction for the future of IT in the next five years to Computerworld magazine for their list of premier leaders in IT. They asked me to offer my boldest, most out-on-a-limb prediction. Mine was that the traditional IT department operating in a specific industry will cease to exist as IT will continue to migrate towards the community model. If you work for a major hotel company in an IT position, the nature of your job will change, period. Read on...

Michael S. Wasik
  • Technology
  • Guest Habits Change
  • In the sixth century BC, Greek philosopher Heraclitus observed "Everything changes but change itself." Twenty-six centuries later, it's still just as true. It certainly applies to today's hotel customers. Travelers, whether business road warriors or families on vacation, are more selective, value conscious and well-informed than ever before. They also have a whole new set of expectations. Hotels have a unique opportunity now to embrace and benefit from this new customer reality. Read this article to learn how you can capitalize on it in ways that will differentiate your property's brand, rise above the competition and increase customer loyalty. Read on...

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...

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.