Technology
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...

Naseem Javed
  • Technology
  • Why Not Brand For An Entire Century?
  • Now a new routine emerges as savvy marketers enjoy Cyber-Branding using Network Solution's latest offer of $1000 USD to secure a domain name for an entire century. Wow, it's a bargain of the century...it's only 3 cents per day. Right now, it's the cheapest license in the world, providing the registration rights to your URL, the only gateway to your websites and the only key to your cyber-branding in this global e-commerce. Right now, the global cyber-branding is the only game in town when it comes to global marketing. Is there a catch? Yes, right here. If you are only spending only three pennies a day on a URL but thousands on promotional branding each day, then the question is; how good is your domain name? How does it fit your marketing and PR strategy? How is it building your corporate image? Do you really know where you will end up on this long 100-year journey? Is there a plan, or just blind chasing blind? Is your team mentally prepared for this long marathon? In short, it shouldn't be a wild goose chase, rather a proper road map. Read on...

Mark Holzberg
  • Technology
  • Converged Networks in Hotels: A Cost Effective Solution to In-Demand Guest Needs
  • In this increasingly competitive industry, a critical point of differentiation in guest services is technology. Are you able to offer the types of digital, Internet protocol-based services that your guests want, including wired and wireless high speed Internet access (HSIA), telephone service, HD TV/video service, and a variety of room controls? There is a cost-effective solution to providing what guests want today and also accommodating needs that will likely arise in the future. It's called a converged network. Read on...

Tina Stehle
  • Technology
  • Self-Service Opportunities: Six Rules for Maximizing Kiosk Value
  • Self-service technology continues to evolve and play a larger role in everyday life. Consumers routinely purchase airline tickets, buy groceries and scan bar codes using self-service technology. Guests also increasingly use self-service kiosks to check into hotel rooms around the world. There's little doubt that consumers are comfortable with the technology. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Self-Service World revealed that less than 1 percent of respondents scored themselves 'low' regarding comfort level with self-service options. And the self-service trend is predicted to continue. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk
  • Technology
  • Why Investing in Hospitality Technology is Investing in Good Business
  • As the wider hospitality industry continues to face a slow recovery, savvy hotel owners and managers should be looking inwards during this time with a view to ensuring that the technology they use to help run their facilities are best suited for the roles they have to perform. Whilst many international hotel organizations have used the economic downturn to adequately plan for the future through improved levels of technology and staff investment, many others are not heeding the warning signs and are instead shedding costs wherever possible - which can lead to disastrous consequences. Read on...

Robert  King
  • Technology
  • Going Digital: A Marketing Platform That Makes Sense
  • Today's quickly-changing marketing environment turns traditional approaches on their ear, with guests calling the shots, dictating the timing and preferences for communications and engagement. For marketers, this customer-driven, fast-paced environment mandates a new approach to optimize engagement - the points of contact with the brand - and maximize the guest's lifetime value. But most traditional database-driven marketing solutions fall far short of these goals. That's why savvy marketers are turning to sophisticated relationship marketing.but no relationship marketing strategy will work without the right digital marketing system. Read on...

Donald R. Smith
  • Technology
  • Internet Marketing Overview: Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) versus Cost Per Click (CPC)
  • Many hotel companies prefer a CPA model since it can be tracked to an actual stay; thus, the individual hotels pay for actual business received. CPA is a lower-risk option than CPC and much easier to manage, however, both have benefits depending on the needs of the company. Regardless of the distribution model used, it is important for hotel/hotel groups to carefully analyze the ROI before and during each campaign. Within the next five years, online advertising will take the majority the advertising budget so the pressure is on now to figure out which distribution model works best. When deciding, a key success factor will be working with online companies that understand each model and have experience successfully implementing them. Read on...

Maurice Martin
  • Technology
  • Thinking About Global Sourcing? 5 Steps that can Bring it all Together
  • Today's savvy consumers not only compare your brand and your online offerings with your competitors; they compare you against every other site on the Internet. New capabilities are emerging every day on the big consumer sites that the hospitality industry will soon have to emulate. Hotel brands must produce and maintain an integrated offering that neatly presents all properties and services, while providing a best-in-class user experience. Customers expect that offering to include advanced features: online reservations, loyalty program redemption, local restaurant recommendations, tickets to attractions, smart profiles and much more. The demands on IT organizations are rising dramatically yet few hoteliers maintain the internal resources to stay competitive on a rapidly changing e-commerce playing field. In fact, many IT budgets remain flat or are in decline, forcing companies to turn to lower cost delivery models like offshore development as a cost-effective way to augment staff. But is this model really viable? Read on...

Naseem Javed
  • Technology
  • Avoiding Cyber Oblivion
  • Today, there is a major shift in thinking on how to build a major corporate personality. To play the game, one must clearly figure out the secret powers of e-commerce and the role of new technologies in contrast to traditional print and old-fashioned, mass-advertising driven models. During the last century, mega corporations throughout the world followed the prime rules of building corporate image and name identity in the strictest sense. Their goal was simply to achieve an elite, world-class image by having their name and logo brightly displayed on skyscrapers in every city. They ran massive advertising campaigns to promote their identity and claimed ownership to specific colors and designs, all in an effort to create a single visual global icon. They used every opportunity, from naming stadiums to sponsoring parades.The objective was simple: to demonstrate their exclusive power and their domination by big image. Read on...

Didi Lutz
  • Technology
  • Hotel Hi-Tech Evolution: Will it Pass or Pass By?
  • Clearly, we all take for granted the immediate access to information with just the click of a mouse. Email has replaced snail mail, most face-to-face contact, and it is beginning to substitute voicemail. "Google" has become an action verb synonymous to finding instantaneous information. Nowadays, dinner can be ordered without picking up the phone. Anything from theatre and baseball tickets, to golf clubs and contact lenses, even groceries are available to purchase via the Internet. Essentially, everything has been converted for online use. There are many interesting theories on the evolution of technology and the socioeconomic impact it has to nearly every industry. Hoteliers read and analyze opinions and case studies to help them make the appropriate technology decisions for their property, whether it involves installing a complicated Wi-Fi system, an innovative computer in the business center, or just a simple guestroom analog phone. It pays to be ahead of the game. 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.