ADA Compliance
Kathleen Pohlid
  • ADA Compliance
  • ADA Compliancy Toward Accommodating Blind & Low Vision Guests
  • Is your establishment doing all it can to accommodate guests with disabilities who are blind or have low vision? If not, a significant sector of your potential business is being ignored, not to mention the perils that may arise from potential disability discrimination or physical injury claims. It makes good sense to implement or enhance measures that go a long way toward making guests with vision loss feel welcome. Read on...

Soy Williams
  • ADA Compliance
  • New ADA Compliance on Reservations Services
  • Have you ever found yourself in a hotel room with grab bars, a roll-in shower and a fire alarm strobe? More than once while traveling with people with disabilities I have swapped rooms with someone who reserved but was not rented an accessible room. Among friends and colleagues creative thinking, a shake of the head and good-natured chuckles solve the problem. The fact that certain members of the traveling public are unable to obtain lodging meeting their needs is no laughing matter, and the U.S. Department of Justice has intervened to improve the travel experience for individuals with disabilities. Read on...

Lesley Pate Marlin
  • ADA Compliance
  • The New ADA: Hotels face new compliance challenges regarding disability-related issues and accommodation requests
  • With the enactment of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”) and the corresponding regulations recently promulgated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the legal landscape under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) has changed dramatically and will continue to do so with court decisions interpreting and applying the amended law. As a result, employers face new compliance challenges and must re-examine how they address disability-related issues and accommodation requests in order to minimize the risk of enforcement actions and/or litigation. Read on...

Kathleen Pohlid
  • ADA Compliance
  • New Regulations on Service Animals in the Hotel Industry
  • A guest with a dog under leash asks hotel reception for a room. Since the guest does not appear to be disabled and the dog has no service animal marking, reception advises, "pets are not allowed." When the guest informs the dog is a disability service animal, reception politely inquires as to the guest's disability and the animal's certification. Is this a problem? Yes, it is. This scenario illustrates the importance of developing policies and staff training on the recent amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act to promote compliance under the ADA and foster exceptional guest relations. Read on...

Soy Williams
  • ADA Compliance
  • ADA Compliance: New Regulations Affect Vacation Ownership Properties
  • Twenty years have passed since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became the law of the land. Before then, the federal Fair Housing Amendments Act was passed in 1988. Yet many still question whether their timeshare, condo-hotel, or other similar vacation ownership properties are required to comply with one or both. Owners and operators become aware of a problem only after a guest with a disability complains, a lawsuit is filed, or the U.S. Department of Justice begins an investigation. Recent changes to the ADA regulations promise to reinvigorate the continuing debate on providing compliant lodging facilities. Read on...

Kathleen Pohlid
  • ADA Compliance
  • Making Your Guest Rooms ADA Compliant
  • Hotel guest rooms are a critical area of focus under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Do not incorrectly assume your hotels are ADA compliant because they have designated "handicap accessible" rooms on a low floor with accessible showers. The standards for guest rooms are detailed and rooms that were formerly ADA compliant may have been rendered inaccessible due to alterations and renovations. Additionally, the new 2010 ADA regulations and standards impose significant requirements affecting guest rooms. Are your hotel rooms accessible and ADA compliant? Read on...

Kathleen Pohlid
  • ADA Compliance
  • New Disability Access Rules for Hotel Recreational Facilities
  • Recent changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations require many hotels and resorts to make significant changes to their recreational facilities by 2012. The new ADA rules include specifications for recreational boating areas, exercise machines, golf facilities, play areas, swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms, and court sports facilities. Legal compliance is not the only reason to take note of these new rules. Since one out of every ten persons today has a disability, these accommodations make business sense, providing an opportunity to increase sales and services by expanding the hospitality market to travelers with disabilities and their companions. Read on...

Ellen L. Shackelford
  • ADA Compliance
  • People with Disabilities: How is your Customer Service?
  • Adults with disabilities travel often and enjoy staying in hotels/motels which cater to their unique and specific needs. They are seeking exceptional customer service as all guests hope to acquire. These questions on how to assist should be no different on how to address the concerns of any other guest intent on having a comfortable and memorable stay. People with disabilities desire the same products and service as other persons and deserve to be treated as viable consumers. Read on...

Ellen L. Shackelford
  • ADA Compliance
  • Hotel Guest Service: Six Best Practices for People with Disabilities
  • Every person who patronizes a hotel is looking for exceptional customer service and deserves accommodations when needed. Often there may be some questions in guest services on how to appropriately offer dignified services to patrons, who may have unique needs. Those needs are individualized and should be taken into account when preparing your services accordingly. Let me start by telling you a story which will shed some light on how to approach the issue in a practical way. Read on...

Ellen L. Shackelford
  • ADA Compliance
  • People with Disabilities: Understanding & Embracing the Hotel Guest
  • It is thought to be a normal human behavior to be kind, sensitive, caring, and helpful, which is what we have all learned in grade school. However, since there are such a multitude of different people in this country with all types of behaviors and attitudes, it's difficult to become accustomed to all of them. What's even worse is when people of differences have disabilities. There are an estimated 54 million people living in this country with a disability, and unfortunately this number will rise daily, as people experience all types of things which cause them to be diagnosed with having a disability; whether it's through accident, injury, disease or birth. Read on...

Ellen L. Shackelford
  • ADA Compliance
  • Security & Safety: Recognizing the Needs of People with Disabilities
  • It is human nature to desire to feel secure in the world we live in. This motivational factor has been born in all living beings for centuries; which has become a hierarchy of needs adapted by Abraham Maslow in the 1940's - 1950's. His theory determined Human Beings motivational need for safety was high on his Hierarchy of Needs (Abraham Maslow, 1970). People want to feel safe and secure in their existence and want no reluctance in obtaining it. This factor is a major issue for people with disabilities, especially when they venture out of their comfort zone-home. The thought of staying in a hotel or motel with more than 10 or more floors can make one apprehensive who use adaptive equipment for mobility. Read on...

Ellen L. Shackelford
  • ADA Compliance
  • Is Your Room Service Up to Scratch? - Servicing People with Disabilities
  • Customer service is an essential element of room service; it is what gets counted at the end of a stay and added on the comment cards left in the room on the desk. It's good business practice to assure the service guests receive is exceptional. When people with disabilities travel, it is difficult enough finding a venue which is accommodating and accessible, but when a hotel is located and the individual accepts the accommodations they also want to be assured their service will be what was promised. Read on...

Ellen L. Shackelford
  • ADA Compliance
  • People with Disabilities: Communicating Effectively with Your Hotel Guests
  • Communication is critical in determining how to better serve customers and it serves as a tool to retain customers. It determines what a customer needs in terms of service to enable them to receive the quality of service the hotel/motel can deliver while they are guests. It begins once reservations are made in the initial phone call and the scheduling of a room assignment. The person servicing the phone call has to be able to listen to the potential guest and determine what their unique needs may be. Once a person mentions they have a disability and requires specific accommodations, the reservationists' job is to communicate in such a way as to identify the individuals' unique needs. Read on...

OCTOBER: Revenue Management: Technology and Big Data

Gary Isenberg

Hotel room night inventory is the hotel industry’s most precious commodity. Hotel revenue management has evolved into a complex and fragmented process. Today’s onsite revenue manager is influenced greatly by four competing forces, each armed with their own set of revenue goals and objectives -- as if there are virtually four individual revenue managers, each with its own distinct interests. So many divergent purposes oftentimes leading to conflicts that, if left unchecked, can significantly damper hotel revenues and profits. Read on...

Jon Higbie

For years, hotels have housed their Revenue Management systems on their premises. This was possible because data sets were huge but manageable, and required large but not overwhelming amounts of computing power. However, these on-premise systems are a thing of the past. In the era of Big Data, the cost of building and maintaining an extensive computing infrastructure is incredibly expensive. The solution – cloud computing. The cloud allows hotels to create innovative Revenue Management applications that deliver revenue uplift and customized guest experiences. Without the cloud, hotels risk remaining handcuffed to their current Revenue Management solutions – and falling behind competitors. Read on...

Jenna Smith

You do not have to be a hospitality professional to recognize the influx and impact of new technologies in the hotel industry. Guests are becoming familiar with using virtual room keys on their smartphones to check in, and online resources like review sites and online travel agencies (OTAs) continue to shape the way consumers make decisions and book rooms. Behind the scenes, sales and marketing professionals are using new tools to communicate with guests, enhance operational efficiencies, and improve service by addressing guests’ needs and solving problems quickly and with a minimum of disruption. Read on...

Yatish Nathraj

Technology is becoming an ever more growing part of the hospitality industry and it has helped us increase efficiency for guest check-inn, simplified the night audit process and now has the opportunity to increase our revenue production. These systems need hands on calibration to ensure they are optimized for your operations. As a manager you need to understand how these systems work and what kind of return on investment your business is getting. Although some of these systems maybe mistaken as a “set it and forget it” product, these highly sophisticated tools need local expert like you and your team to analysis the data it gives you and input new data requirements. Read on...

Coming Up In The November Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Architecture & Design: Authentic, Interactive and Immersive
If there is one dominant trend in the field of hotel architecture and design, it’s that travelers are demanding authentic, immersive and interactive experiences. This is especially true for Millennials but Baby Boomers are seeking out meaningful experiences as well. As a result, the development of immersive travel experiences - winery resorts, culinary resorts, resorts geared toward specific sports enthusiasts - will continue to expand. Another kind of immersive experience is an urban resort – one that provides all the elements you'd expect in a luxury resort, but urbanized. The urban resort hotel is designed as a staging area where the city itself provides all the amenities, and the hotel functions as a kind of sophisticated concierge service. Another trend is a re-thinking of the hotel lobby, which has evolved into an active social hub with flexible spaces for work and play, featuring cafe?s, bars, libraries, computer stations, game rooms, and more. The goal is to make this area as interactive as possible and to bring people together, making the space less of a traditional hotel lobby and more of a contemporary gathering place. This emphasis on the lobby has also had an associated effect on the size of hotel rooms – they are getting smaller. Since most activities are designed to take place in the lobby, there is less time spent in rooms which justifies their smaller design. Finally, the wellness and ecology movements are also having a major impact on design. The industry is actively adopting standards so that new structures are not only environmentally sustainable, but also promote optimum health and well- being for the travelers who will inhabit them. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.