green lodging news · 9 May
MARKHAM, ONT.--Green practices and environmental responsibility are growing property prerequisites for many travelers. Maestro's most recent property
Magnolia CMS · 9 May
Planning the perfect vacation isn't easy. From choosing a destination to weighing various resort benefits, the process becomes so overwhelming that even simple factors can sway potential visitors. Hotels and travel-related businesses know this - and they're turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to tip the scale in their favor.
ALICE · 9 May
The competition is at an all-time high for hotels to earn guests' loyalty and many have turned to the latest technology to help them do so, whether it's Japan's hotel staffed entirely by robots or the new FlyZoo hotel using facial recognition in lieu of room keys. While these flashy tech initiatives are trending among media headlines, they don't always align directly with customer satisfaction. Hoteliers today need to find the right balance of technology and hospitality to cater to what their guests want.
PhocusWire · 9 May
In Igualada, a small town near Barcelona,Airbnbheld its firstNew Destinations Summit- an event about building sustainable tourism in locations with f
Click by booking.com · 9 May
Reappearing in both luxury and tech-driven hotels, contemporary vending machines can help to grow brand profiles, increase sustainability, delight gu
PhocusWire · 9 May
Wireless connectivity has trumped every other amenity when it comes to what hotel patrons desire most, according to the latest from Forrester Researc
4hoteliers.com · 8 May
From smart mirrors to holodecks, premium hotels are poised to take guests boldly where no guests have gone before
Martello Technologies Blog · 8 May
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is a British international hotel management company offering luxury hotels, resorts and residences in Asia, Europe and
Whatever it is, Hotel guests want it at the touch of a button. A study by research firm YouGov that was commissioned by ALICE a Hotel operation platf
Nor1 · 7 May
When those in the hotel industry talk about selling hotel rooms, the conversation frequently turns to a diatribe on direct bookings—the great need for them, how to get them, how much money to spend on them, and how to keep them. If this industry is to evolve, the direct-booking debate also must change. Brands now dedicate substantial marketing budgets to this effort, and in general, the results have been flat. In 2018, 67% of guests booked via the brand channel. In 2015, it was 68%, according to the annual J.D. Power & Associates North American Hotel Guest Satisfaction Survey (Skift). This two-decade-old conversation has run its course, and now channel strategies that support direct bookings are firmly incorporated into every revenue management and marketing strategy.
Lodging Magazine · 7 May
Set within Dallas' Arts and Business District, the Sheraton Dallas Hotel wanted its most recent transformation to reflect the city's 10-year redevelo
Hospitality Technology Magazine · 7 May
A startup based in Arizona has developed a customer rating kiosk that is helping restaurants get unprecedented amounts of customer feedback while als
Technology-based self-service is everywhere these days enabling users to accomplish a wide range of tasks - from banking, to ordering pizza, checking
PhocusWire · 6 May
With destinations as intriguing and diverse as Machu Picchu, Patagonia, the Amazon rainforest and the Galapagos Islands to vibrant cities such as Rio
The expectation for a travel experience to mimic at-home smart capabilities is coming fast, and it's only a matter of time before all hotel guests ex
Go Moment · 2 May
For nearly a half-decade now, the hotel industry has buzzed about "authentic guest experiences." It was its reaction to the growing success of Airbnb and its ability to deliver upon the theme of "Belong Anywhere," where travelers who wanted to be insiders could engage with people and culture. But should hotels be trying to replicate an Airbnb experience? Are hotel guests also really looking for "authentic" experiences, or do they come with a different set of expectations in mind?
StayNTouch Inc. · 2 May
Brands today have reached a rather exciting crossroad within this digital age. On the one hand, consumers have expressed an undeniable demand for an increase in their digital experience that perpetuates a culture of convenience and instant gratification. However, on the other hand, there still exists a need for human touch across various touch-points within the consumer experience. So, the modern dilemma becomes, how does the human role fit into the rapidly evolving digital revolution? How can brands effectively utilize new-age technology to empower the consumer experience without losing grasp of certain integral human elements? Does a perfect balance of high-tech and high-touch service exist? If so, how does that look? Hospitality professionals are especially tuned in to this conversation, as we work to piece together a blueprint of the optimal guest experience. After all, in such a tech-driven world, it's hard to beat the convenience and simplicity of one-click, self-service digital connections and touch-points. But as brick and mortar hospitality is rooted in the traditional provision of a high-touch guest experience and accommodations, we can't neglect the timeless desire for an older, vintage tech - humans. A 2017 research report revealed that many companies across industries had placed too much reliance on digital technology in recent years while neglecting the more traditional service model. According to the report, companies need to develop experiences that allow their customers to easily move between digital and human interactions so that they can get the experience and service they want. It was also revealed that 77% of surveyed individuals crave human interaction when they need guidance. In fact, studies indicate that while 62% of consumers are in favor of using self-serve technologies (such as kiosks) to improve the in-store shopping experience, 78% are in favor of giving technology to sales associates to enhance their shopping experience instead. Not only that, but 68% of consumers had not yet used chatbots to get in touch with a brand, largely due to their desire to engage with real people when accessing services. So, what does this all mean? Hoteliers should use technology to enhance, not replace, the human element within the guest experience. When we consider the current, dominant trends shaping the modern guest experience, the topic of hyper-personalization is undeniably top of mind. Studies show that more than 55% of business travelers want customized offers for loyalty program credits and 84% of travelers think that a personalized hotel experience is "somewhat" or "very" important. Fortunately, technology empowers hoteliers to curate a more personalized experience that would otherwise be extremely difficult to achieve. With the help of artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), machine learning, and new-age platforms driven by actionable data, hoteliers can finally gain access to a more holistic view of each guest and their expectations. Further, with the use of these platforms, hotels can offer self-service options (such as mobile check-in/out, keyless entry, mobile concierge, self-service kiosks and more) to inspire a more efficient and convenient operational model. This all sounds fantastic, wouldn't you say? Of course, this brings us back to the original dilemma. If hotels are implementing new-age PMS and CRM systems that aggregate data to streamline previously manual touch-points, is that technology replacing the human touch? Not at all. While this technology surely inspires a more hands-off (or low-touch) service model for those guests who would prefer to interact with technology rather than staff, it ultimately implores guests to choose their desired service model. The inclusion of self-service, one-click technology that boasts a fast, frictionless experience is not meant to replace the traditional touch-points of interpersonal interaction with staff and high-touch attention - it's meant to complement it. When a hotel's operational structure is no longer overwhelmed with long-established frustrations (front desk lines and unnecessary delays), staff are finally empowered to interact with guests more freely, and in a more personalized and genuine manner. Not only does this pave the way to improved connections with guests, but with the actionable insights, prompts and upsell suggestions from intuitive PMS platforms, staff can truly personalize each interaction. Ultimately, guests are free to choose the path to service that best serves them at any given moment of their travel experience. Wherever a digital or self-service option exists, there also exists the choice to interact with a hotel staff member. It's this seamless transition from online to offline interactions that allows hotels to marry the perfect balance of high-tech and high-touch guest service. Ultimately, the need for technological investment and on-going digital reform is undeniable, but the dedication to a service model that is both accessible and personable remains paramount.. For the modern guest, convenience and choice are synonymous concepts - the more choice you provide each guest grants them access to a more personalized, seamless experience. Your new-age PMS or CRM platform is not the guest experience; instead, it contributes to the overall guest experience. Also, catering to what guests want? That's a value proposition with studies showing that more than half of shoppers are willing to pay a higher price for the customer experiences they value most. When considering your current operational ecosystem and the technology you have in place to capitalize on this blend of high-tech and high-touch service, consider the following: - Is the platform available in the cloud, accessible on any device and does it empower your staff to work from anywhere? - Whether guest-facing or staff-facing, is the platform straightforward and intuitive allowing consistent ease of use and increased efficiency? - Does it empower your guests with 'choice of service' to select the service model that best serves them (i.e., help from staff or a self-service kiosk) - Does it pull data from various sources to provide actionable insights for each guest, and equip your staff with targeted upsell offers to serve guests in a more personalized manner? - Does it enable mobile connectivity (smartphone, tablet, desktop, etc.) to establish instant connections with your guests via their mobile devices? If your current stack of hospitality platforms fails to deliver these primary features and allow you to bridge the gap between high-tech and human touch guest service, it might be time for an upgrade. Click here to learn more.
Triptease Blog · 2 May
The Direct Booking Summit: EMEA 2019 will be touching down in Paris on June 12-13. In anticipation of what we expect to be the biggest Summit to date
IDS Softwares · 1 May
The hotel industry has always tried to embrace change, whether it be technological, environmental or operational. However, the implementation of a new property management system or any new product into a hotel's operational ecosystem can be an incredibly painful experience. It can be time-consuming, distracting and hotels can lose employees during the switch from one system to another as the processes may change because many people tend to dislike change.
Plum · 30 Apr
Our world, and how we interact with it, is primarily defined by the digital transformation that constantly unfolds across industries and consumer touch-points. The 'hot' new product of two years ago, might no longer be available today. The traditional cassette tape player and Walkman were replaced by the once revolutionary iPod shuffle, which has since been replaced with iPhones brimming with complex capabilities. Blockbusters - once the highlight of Friday nights across many households - are now a distant, nostalgic memory. We accept food from 'strangers' in the form of Uber Eats drivers, and we ride with those same strangers when we hop in an Uber to get across a bustling city. We can shop at stores using mobile, hands-free checkout, and we can place an order without even lifting a finger by speaking to our voice-activated home assistant. From a consumer standpoint, a hyper-personalized experience has become the anticipated norm across industries. Consumers don't simply make purchases. They expect to engage and connect with brands in a way that wasn't previously possible. Times are constantly changing in this modern era. And yet, there exist a select few industries, platforms and processes that seem overtly resistant to the progressive trends that continuously transform everything else around us. This becomes especially apparent as we look to the hospitality realm, an industry which has commonly shied away from much-needed reform. For years, the guest experience was needlessly limited by legacy technology and traditional processes that merely failed to keep pace with evolving guest expectations. Fortunately, those days of drastically outdated platforms and processes seem to be (mostly) behind us, as hoteliers finally embrace a future of hospitality. A future which promises a more personalized, guest-centric, and ultimately frictionless experience. However, there still exists one exception to this rule - the arguably archaic (but seemingly unshakeable), the hotel mini-bar. You know - that cumbersome hunk of technology that often hums and purrs loudly from the corner of your hotel room, offering up a selection of $6 water bottles, $10 chocolate bars, and grossly overpriced beer, wine and liquor. It's become something of a sad hospitality staple, one which may only tempt indulgence at 2 am after a long night out that exceeded the operational hours of corner stores and local food establishments. Since it's global emergence in the mid-70s, hotel rooms ranging from luxury to family-friendly have included a stocked mini-bar as part of their offering. Amidst the many updates that have taken the hospitality industry and, respectively, the guest experience by storm, you might wonder - what is the mini-bar still doing here? Is it truly a revenue-generating proposition for hotels, and one which generates guest approval and satisfaction? Or is there a better way to appeal to guests' desire for instant gratification and 24/7 access? Basically, if the hotel mini-bar is the iPod shuffle of the hospitality industry, how does the new iPhone look? Identifying the Problem The hotel mini-bar wasn't always viewed with the modern apprehension it receives today. In 1974, the Hong Kong Hilton became the first hotel to include a "liquor-stocked" mini-bar in each of its 840 rooms, and it proved to be lucrative. In-room drink sales skyrocketed 500%, and the company's overall revenue rose by 5%. By 1980, mini-bars had been solidified as an industry norm across 4 and 5-star properties, seemingly peaking in their perceived popularity across guests and hoteliers alike. So, where did things take a turn for the worse? Not long after their initial adoption and surge in popularity, it became apparent to hoteliers that mini-bars invite several problems into a hotel's operational model. These problems include, but aren't limited to: - High labor demand/costs - Overstocking of goods which results in spoilage - Guest disputes or wrongful charges - High installation/removal costs - On-going maintenance of both automated and non-automated units Now, hoteliers are faced with the reality that mini-bars offer exceedingly low capture rates, making it hard to justify the cost to maintain them. In fact, in a 2012 survey, nearly 500 hotel owners unanimously agreed that re-stocking mini-bars was a "nightmare," and 84% reported they'd had guests dodge bills by stealing items and replacing them with inferior goods. Further, in a 2013 consumer study that surveyed some 20,000 travelers, the mini-bar was ranked as the "least important" amenity in a hotel room, with only 21% of respondents desiring one. This brings us to our current dilemma - If mini-bars have become such a tiny fraction of hotel revenue, commanding so much up-keep and trouble, are they worth the bother?
Nor1 · 30 Apr
Amazon frequently receives credit for successfully employing machine learning to engage consumers and drive sales with its well-known recommendation engine, which generates 35% of the company's revenue, according to McKinsey. However, competitor Walmart has a surprising amount of machine learning activity going on behind the scenes. For instance, Walmart created a facial recognition system that allowed the company to pinpoint customers who were unhappy about waiting in line. The system alerted sales associates that new lanes needed to be opened, which increased customer satisfaction and helped the retailer to manage employee workflow more efficiently. While hotels are, in some ways, worlds away from retailers in terms of the scope of operations and product, the hospitality industry can learn from the experience of retailers when it comes to machine learning, positive customer service, and merchandising.
green lodging news · 29 Apr
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities announced that the New York City Council has passed a suite of measures to reduce greenhouse gases released from build
Xotels · 29 Apr
Total Revenue Management is a much-discussed concept in hospitality, but in reality it has produced a great deal of confusion. Put simply, it is the revenue management of all revenue sources in a hotel. From your RevPAR and GOPPAR to the hotel restaurant, and from the bar, spa and gym to activities and excursions, it encompasses every single hotel income stream.
pickSaaS.com · 29 Apr
Today's hotelier's work means operating a variety of online tasks. With more than 65% of reservations made online, so many channels available to distribute your hotel services, and online aggregators, it's especially important to monitor and manage your hotel or resort's online presence.
green lodging news · 29 Apr
Hotels, motels and other lodging facilities frequently wash thousands of pounds of sheets, towels, pillow cases and other linens each day. While just
The Rainmaker Group · 29 Apr
I recently read a piece about an international resort company that introduced a Revenue Management System (RMS) within the last five years. Like many resort properties around the world, their hotels have a high degree of dependence on contracted tour business and other leisure-oriented distribution channels. Because of the long lead-time associated with forming these contracts, "timing" is a very important focus of Revenue Management as missing a contract season means missing out on bookings that are essential to their performance.