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  • Next Event

    HITEC EUROPE 2019

    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

    April 10–11, 2019
    Palau de Congressos
    Palma, Mallorca - Spain

  • Upcoming Event

    HITEC MINNEAPOLIS

    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

    Minneapolis Convention Center

    June 17-20, 2019

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    HITEC DUBAI

    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

    November 12 - 13, 2019
    Festival Arena
    Dubai, UAE

Article by Kacey Bradley

5 Trends Shaping Your Hotel-Casino Revenue Strategy

The Drifter Collective 5 March 2019
For guests with extra funds and time, hotel-casinos are a lucrative attraction, and the destination appeal of casinos is profitable for tourism. As the hospitality industry incorporates more casinos, the reach of this entertainment form will grow.Developments in consumer habits, marketing strategies and competition can influence your short- and long-term plan of action. A unified revenue strategy across sections of a hotel can target valuable customers and maximize your overall gain.Understanding your guests and the current trends is crucial for continued healthy growth and performance. Here are five trends shaping your hotel-casino revenue strategy.1. Marketing to a Younger AudienceThe marketing focus of hotel-casinos is moving from baby boomers to younger generations, which requires a fresh mindset and the implementation of different strategies.Marketing messages are capitalizing on images and simplified text to stick with the younger audience. Some casinos are also trying to partner with social media influencers to bridge the gap between this leisure activity and millennials. This promotional effort aims to stay relevant and personal.Strategies for younger generations rightly include social engagement. Casinos are highlighting group games over isolated ones to give a richer layout, which is complementing tourism and hospitality practices.2. Increase in Frequency, but Decrease in SpendingThe popularity of casino gaming has grown, and experts project the global casino gaming market will reach $191 billion by 2022. Frequency in gaming is a significant part of this surge in occupancy. As more people fill casino rooms and try their hand at table games, it's possible that will result in an influx of returners or a higher level of new players. However, there's a disconnect in the spending and occupancy levels.The experience of a casino still draws many visitors, because the ambiance is unique. Although visitors are ready to enjoy the venue, they aren't as willing to part with their money. This trend is especially true for millennials, who are conserving their funds for refreshments and less risky entertainment.With customers spreading out their money for a higher number of trips, it's essential to ensure these visitors come back to your facility. Although there's currently a reduction in spending, these trends may even each other out.3. Shift to Online Gambling and AppsNow that most people have smartphones and mobile devices, gambling online has intensified. Virtual casinos can prevent visitors from attending physical locations to gamble. Some casinos are combining location-based gambling and digital platforms to revamp tourism.Mobile apps for the lottery are useful for keeping track of tickets and promotions. They also direct players to physical retail locations in their areas. Hotel-casinos are encouraging mobile engagement to benefit from the interest in technology-based gambling.Both the hospitality and casino industries are extending their services through mobile apps. Apps are acting as a tool to connect to customers and streamline wagering.4. Change in Reward StrategyLoyalty pricing for hotel-casinos is an untapped area with potential. Worthwhile rewards spanning both the hotel amenities and the casino services are set to bring a better public cash rate.Hotel-casinos are restructuring their policies for reinvestment based on customer value. Although the qualifications are changing, customer loyalty possibilities within these facilities are widening.Private accounts allow hotels to offer personalized rates for rooms based on data rather than a fixed rate. Retaining guests with segmentation in an advanced reward system is a rising trend in hotels with casinos.5. Elevation in CompetitionExpanding gaming venues put casinos in a highly competitive atmosphere. Regional development has put further strain on available discretionary income, so each establishment is fighting for guests.Hotel-casinos are contending in this niche market to provide the best restaurants, amenities, gambling options and accommodations possible. As they try to harness the disposable income of visitors, other tourist enterprises are vying for customer attention, too.Refine Your Revenue StrategyWith these emerging trends, hotel-casinos must form a specialized approach to build and maintain customer relationships. Implementing a promising plan of action can put your hotel-casino in a profitable position. Construct an effective revenue strategy to keep up with the evolving market.
Article by David Millili

Different Travelers Want Different Things - So How Do You Know What Hotel Technology You Need?

runtriztm 5 March 2019
For the average hotel, not built around any particular generation, there are even more considerations than just generational differences, of course. The traditional categories still apply, including independent solo travelers, families, couples, empty nesters, business travelers, and so forth. But each of these categories is influenced by where they fall generationally. So how do hotels know how to prioritize the digital experience when it comes to ensuring they're all getting what they want?First, you can't exactly. To cover all the bases and do it well will likely take more than a 4% increase in technology budget. (Most hotels fall in the 1-9% range currently, and that's not all for guest-facing technology, of course). And though most technology will increase efficiencies, implementation and integration must be managed, which requires resources. As hotels seek to build out their guest-facing digital offerings, part of the step-by-step process must necessarily be to drill down to which guests matter most to the bottom line and then determine priorities based on what you know about them.Only one all-around must-have affects every single hotel at the bottom line, and that's mobile friendliness. Most travelers, despite their age or type, expect not just Wi-Fi but also a reliable connection and good bandwidth--and for free. Even though the speed and breadth of use vary considerably across generations, life behind a mobile device is ubiquitous now. According to Benbria, 55% of baby boomers say a smartphone is essential for traveling, and only 1 in 5 use offline means to book travel. But what matters to different travelers in terms of the mobile experience that can help hotels prioritize technology?Families (Gen X & Gen Y) Traveling with children, no matter their age, is one of life's greatest joys, and it's hard. The more underage travelers, the more crankiness and the greater the variety of wants and needs. And this is one of those categories that spans multiple generations. The savviest hotel would include the children in their digital considerations. What most parents are looking for is anything that will make it easier. Mobile check-in is a must because getting straight to the room in the shortest amount of time with children in tow is essential. Waiting in a line is a no-go. In-room capabilities are essential to this segment because they will likely rely on the hotel more than other groups. Children need naps and snacks, and they go to bed early. Two-way chat makes it easier for parents to communicate their many needs, whether to housekeeping or the front desk, and ordering room service via mobile device is a must.Couples Millennials are waiting later to have children, so they make up a good bit of couples travelling these days, with Gen X using couples travel to escape for short trips away from the family. This time is precious--for millennials because it's an investment and for Gen X because it's so difficult to steal away time from responsibilities. This means everything must be seamless. No waiting times, everything available digitally so that while lounging in bed in the morning, the day can be planned, tickets purchased, and restaurant reservations made without ever speaking to anyone. At least one of the two in the couple will be willing to download a hotel app and will use it to its fullest. MarketingSherpa notes that 27% of millennial travelers will also opt-in to receive text messages, so push notifications with offers around the restaurant, cocktails, or spa aren't just nice, they're welcome.Business travelersMany business travelers are millennials now, but this also spans several generations. The thing about millennials, though, is they like to travel for work. Eighty-one percent (81%) associate business travel with job satisfaction, says Forbes. Hotels that want this lucrative business will need to up their digital game to keep millennial business travelers happy. We know that they want mobile check-in and, ideally, mobile keys. That said, many of them prefer doing business in person (hence the travel), and they still want a front desk that can handle complications or for when it seems easier to drop by on the way out the door. And don't toss out your room service, yet. Expedia reports that 37% of millennial business travelers spend more on room service when the company is buying, as opposed to only 21% of travelers between 45 and 65.This is a mobile app using group. They travel frequently and understand the nuances of what a hotel app can provide. The more robust the app, the better for those room service orders, for instance, and messaging capabilities as well as digital concierge service and ancillary offers (because this group is more inclined to combine business travel with leisure).Independent SoloSolo travelers tend to travel for a reason--to see family, to meet friends who live in another city, or to explore. They are the least likely to be hanging around their guestrooms for leisure. They are very likely to use mobile for comparisons, like which restaurant is best for a group of girlfriends who want Italian food in the center of the city or where good shopping/museums/etc. are. Any mobile offerings that help streamline this are valuable. Solo travelers also tend to have the most flexibility with their time, so push notifications about spa reservations or tee times can be very effective.Retirees/Empty Nesters/Baby Boomers While this segment of travelers may not be as comfortable with mobile technology as millennials and their younger cohorts, they are increasingly using their mobile devices for mapping technology, payments, and many of them love to use texting and chat. Mostly, they see mobile as a convenience more than a lifestyle so giving them convenience via mobile is the best way to strategize. Baby boomers will use mobile for booking, check-in, and room keys. In fact, Trivago reports that over half of travelers expect to use their mobile device as a room key and a payment device. However, baby boomers want all the traditional bits too. Clearly, some of these technologies will serve many travelers across all categories, mobile apps with mobile check-in, checkout, and keys among them. However, when mapping out guest-facing digital strategies, it makes sense to look closely at how your top two or three target guest segments use devices while traveling. Combine that consideration with what your hotel's opportunity is to either increase efficiencies or generate revenue from the technology and set about prioritizing the rollout of the capabilities, both in implementation as well as marketing to guests.Heading to ITB in Berlin and want to meet up? Contact me on LinkedIn.
Article by Alan Young

Hotel Owners Have All the Juice

Puzzle Partner Ltd. 5 March 2019
As any good salesperson knows, selling a product (or service) is as much about describing the features and benefits of product itself, as it is being able to effectively sell to the potential buyer. It's a dance, one in which an in-depth understanding of the buyer's unique expectations and values will (more often than not) be the key to making that sale. And of course, the key to appealing to buyers directly begins with understanding who holds the buying power.When it comes to the hospitality industry and the purchase of hotel technology, most B2B tech vendors believe that the hotel brands themselves are the focal point for the purchase decision making process. After all, big brands represent huge potential business, and with the hotel landscape being multi-layered (owners, management companies, advisors etc.) shouldn't the sales focus appeal to the brand's top-line? In fact, this can often be a flawed approach to selling B2B hospitality technology. But if that's the case, who really has all the juice when it comes to either persuading the brands about what technology purchases make sense, or making the buying decision themselves? To better understand a more effective approach, we need to take a closer look at the infrastructure which supports hotel properties, and those coinciding authorities. Larger hotel brands with properties across the globe can dictate certain aspects of the hospitality experience within each property agreement. After all, if a prospective hotel owner is buying into an established hotel brand and all of the associated marketing and sales benefits, it becomes imperative that certain segments of that 'brand' are consistent across all properties. This includes things such as the CRS, mattresses, labour standards, etc.; however - and perhaps surprisingly - hotel brands often have difficulties dictating the purchase of specific hotel technologies. Ultimately, it is often the hotel owners who carry the most power when it comes to technology purchase decisions and initiatives. Traditionally, hotel brand giants (such as Marriott or Hilton etc.) have been popularly viewed by technology vendors as the 'Golden Goose' or, in other words, the gateway to success. Why? Because a large brand with countless properties and owners represents an exciting (and extensive) business opportunity, right? While this is true in a sense, it is extremely unlikely that the brand itself will mandate some tech solutions down to franchisees or owners that is outside of the reservations control environment.Let's put this theory to work by considering the following scenario: Independent hotel A would like to become part of a larger, flagged hotel company. When the transition occurs, Hotel A may already have a PMS, POS, Sales and Catering solution, etc. in place. The likelihood of the owner of Hotel A swapping out all (or some) of these systems in order to comply with the brand standard is somewhat unlikely. If their PMS can connect with the brand's CRS and some other reporting standard solutions, the other systems could remain in place for quite some time. As such, ancillary technologies such as text messaging solutions, mobile check-in and out platforms and many other will be decided by ownership, not the brand.With this in mind, knocking on the door of the brand itself should never be the first step. In fact, gaining the approval of the brand in most cases essentially just grants a green light to then approach individual owners, leaving technology vendors no closer to the desired finish line of making any actual sales. You've been granted access to the building, sure, but you've yet to infiltrate any of the offices, so to speak. Rather than approaching the brand, technology vendors should seek out opportunities to connect with small or medium size ownership companies. These companies will often have multiple flags and, once a sale has been made, word of that technology upgrade or new solution can percolate upstream with much more ease than if it were a mandate trickling downstream. In that same breath, the more hotels an ownership group has, the higher the likelihood they have to make (positive) noise and garner attention from the brand itself, in which case the brand will often do whatever the owner considers to be the best decision for the property. Not only that, but it's the hotel owners who will have a more intimate grasp on the demands directly associated with their specific property, and will therefore have a stronger opinion regarding appropriate tech solutions. The business focal points, concerns and long-term goals may be different depending on who you ask (brands vs. owners) and, thus, it's important for technology vendors to go right to the source and deliver their proposal head-on. Hotel brands and hotel owners have a symbolic and co-dependent relationship, but it's not without its unique dynamic. It's important to recognize the increased autonomy which owners have when it comes to tech-related decisions for the long-term success of their property. While the larger hotel brand has a pre-established image that current and prospective travelers are likely familiar with, it's ultimately up to the hotel owners to identify the tools and resources their property needs to succeed and remain competitive. Ultimately, when it comes to moving the dial for their flag, hotel owners occupy the power position.
Article by Kacey Bradley

How Hoteliers Can Benefit From Last-Minute Booking Apps

The Drifter Collective 5 March 2019
Guests have many spontaneous accommodation needs, and mobile apps are ready to meet them. It's becoming increasingly common to finalize plans on-the-go, as 31 percent of leisure travelers and 53 percent of business travelers have booked on a smartphone.Mobile booking isn't just a perk for customers -- hoteliers can flourish when partnering with last-minute booking apps, too.When the night winds down and there are empty rooms, hotels lose an opportunity. You can't always attract a full house of customers, and you miss out on the potential sale. What if there was a way to get the word out about your extra space?Last-minute booking apps can make the most of the mobile habits of consumers and your fluctuating occupancy rate. Down to the last minute, you can get rid of spare rooms and bring in a profit rather than leaving vacant spaces. Check out these eight specific ways hoteliers can benefit from final booking apps.1. Get Closer to 100 PercentIn 2018, the annual occupancy rate of the U.S. hotel industry was at 66.2 percent. It's typical to run at partial capacity, but hotels are more likely to operate efficiently when they offer last-minute lodging.You can boost your occupancy rate by joining mobile apps so customers can find a place until the eleventh hour. Even offering lower prices to customers is better than squandering a significant portion of rooms. Get nearer to full capacity by listing your extra rooms.2. Reach a Wider AudienceAs travelers search for any available rooming, they go beyond their typical hotel picks. Listing on last-minute booking apps brings you visibility with customers you may not have reached before.With a wider customer base, you can attract and retain loyal guests for your hotel. Branch out from your standard target audience to engage new customers.3. Track Customer DataCultivating your hotel or resort for the best guest experience requires data, and mobile apps give you more insight and access to your visitors.You need to keep up with customer preferences and practices to shape your business plans. Collect customer information on these platforms to direct your next steps for improvement.4. Develop Brand AwarenessTo promote your hotel brand, you need to bring attention to it. However, competition is fierce in the hospitality industry. You can encourage exposure for your brand on last-minute booking apps, though.Mobile apps can complement your marketing strategies, and you can help customers recognize your brand by getting your name and deals out there.5. Streamline the Booking ProcessIn the booking process, both the customer and the hotel can have many hoops to jump through. If it's down to the wire, there's no time for lots of steps. Mobile booking can facilitate a clear process, boosting customer satisfaction.With apps like HotelTonight, you can effortlessly display your rooms for last-minute guests. These services make it simple for you to show your inventory and receive payments.6. Gain Reviews and FeedbackOnline feedback on a visit influences travelers' lodging decisions. Gaining reviews on the last-minute booking apps can drive future sales.Forming a positive reputation on these mobile apps can recommend you to users. Increase your chances for an advantageous online presence by taking advantage of these apps.7. Match Property and PreferencesIf you have a specialty lodging facility, you can find an app that specifically services you. Whether you operate a luxury resort or a charming bed-and-breakfast, you can partner with an app that suits your style and services.Several apps divide hotel listings into categories to house a variety of types. Customers can then narrow down their search to match with your business.8. Thrive MutuallySnagging a final deal is beneficial to customers and hoteliers, and you can share a rewarding exchange. Last-minute booking apps save each party time and money.Maximizing the common good creates a valuable arrangement. When everyone is thriving, you can see this as an all-around win for your business.Partner With a Last-Minute Booking AppSelling as many rooms as possible is ideal for your hotel and travelers in need of lodging. With a range of benefits, you can enhance your occupancy, reputation, booking process and customer satisfaction. Unite with last-minute booking apps to strengthen your hotel.

How to Optimize Your Site for Voice Search: A Comprehensive Guide | Infographic

MarketingProfs·Requires Registration 4 March 2019
Voice search is changing how users search for information—and, more important for marketers and businesses, how websites provide that information in order to be featured in voice search results.

B2B Tech Marketing in 2019: Budget, Content, and Strategy Trends

MarketingProfs·Requires Registration 4 March 2019
Most marketers who work for B2B technology firms expect their budgets to grow or stay the same this year, according to recent research from Spiceworks.
Article by Stuart Pallister

Data protection rules, one year on: Anticipating a second wave - HITEC Europe Preview

Hospitality Net 4 March 2019
Over the past year, many of us have been bombarded with emails from companies virtually begging us to allow them to keep our personal details on file.That was due to the introduction of new regulations in Europe which imposed -- in theory at least -- substantial penalties on any firm breaching the rules. And the penalties were harsh -- up to four percent of annual global revenues or 20 million euros, whichever figure is greater.According to Timo Kettern, director of information technology at Event Hotels and a member of the HITEC Europe Advisory Council, although the constant bombardment proved somewhat annoying to consumers - Kettern uses a more forthright term - companies were running scared as they realized they did not have the consent needed to handle our personal data.Kettern was part of a HFTP working group preparing for the introduction of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation and co-produced a couple of papers to help hoteliers come to terms with the GDPR rules, outlining the steps they would need to take in order to comply. The papers were presented at HITEC Amsterdam a year ago, and this year the conference on the Spanish island of Mallorca will review the progress made.Speaking specifically about the German market, Kettern says that since May last year, authorities have focused on educating businesses and the consumer about data protection rather than enforcement. Consequently, the impact so far has not been as severe as had been anticipated."I've not seen any fines for larger organizations," he says, adding that several smaller firms had been fined around 20-25,000 euros. Nevertheless, he is now expecting the data protection authorities in Germany to begin looking into complaints.Kettern says that in his own organization, he had previously struggled to convince the leadership team of the importance of data protection or of the need to increase training budgets. "GDPR has changed that. Data protection now has visibility at the C-level and GDPR has helped people like myself to get budgets approved and get working parties started, together with HR for training and for the practical changes we had to make in our operations. So that, for me, was the biggest impact."Had companies overreacted to the introduction of the new digital privacy rules? Although there may be certain parallels with the way in which companies had handled the Y2K 'non-event' nearly two decades ago, Kettern does not believe companies had overreacted, saying that the GDPR had raised awareness in the industry and given professionals like him "the budgets, the freedom and the support needed to deal with the issue because at the end of the day, it's kind of a risk exercise. How much are you prepared to spend to minimize the risk?"As to the action hoteliers should be taking now, Kettern advises they should make staff training a priority, in addition to making sure they update passwords and have firewalls in place. "It's one thing to have the procedures documented and your systems in place, but it's people who need to make those processes work.""It's very simple for someone at the reception desk to leave a guest registration card lying around or spin the (computer) monitor around so that someone else can see the data."'So, what we're doing, we're attacking this on several levels. First of all, data protection is part of the employment contract. It's also about the consent that we, as an employer, can hold the data." Staff also need to acknowledge formally, as part of the employment contract, that they aware of the guidelines.One complication though is posed by the franchise model in the hospitality industry. This means franchisees have to conduct training and self-audits, in conjunction with a data protection officer who should be part of the HR team.Kettern (pictured right) says one of the major challenges faced in running franchises in Europe for major hotel chains in the US and Canada is that "by default we are exporting guest data to North America." In terms of the GDPR, he says, this is critical.As a hotel operator working with US-based hotel chains such as Marriott and Hilton, "it's our obligation to make sure we get confirmation from the brands that they're dealing with the data in North America in the same way we deal with it in Europe. They're all giving us that (assurance) but we can't control that."As the tension rises again, a second wave will come"We've changed some - not all - of the processes because we always took data protection seriously.""We're in an acceptable position but I think we can still improve." For companies to know whether they are on the right path, they may, however, have to wait for the first court rulings with judges giving their interpretation of the regulations. These rulings will, Kettern says, "influence our future and how we're going to change things in the future for sure."The first wave of activity (and anxiety) has 'calmed down', Kettern says, but with the possibility of the authorities pursuing potential breaches, "the tension will increase again and there will come a second wave."'Networking, education and finding new things'On HITEC Europe, April 9-11 in Mallorca, Spain, Kettern says: "The networking aspect is very important as I'll be catching up with colleagues. So too are the educational sessions, to see what the trends are. There are lots of subjects around digitalization, robotics, artificial intelligence, as well as to overcome one of the challenges we face in hotel operations which is finding appropriate staff."Kettern says he'll be taking a look at the new technologies on offer and will be meeting suppliers on the exhibition floor, and not just the central aisles as those on the edges can be interesting."So, it's networking, education and finding new things ... It's going to be fun."

Getting Smart: New Tech Provides Conveniences for Guests, But What are the Risks?

mycloud HOSPITALITY 3 March 2019
I travel frequently throughout the country for both business and pleasure. At every hotel, the rooms get smarter and smarter with each visit. Just a short time ago, free, fast Wi-Fi was considered a must for the digital age. Now, the digital boundaries seem to be endless.

How to Improve the Guest Experience by Investing in Tech That Saves Power and Money

Hotel Business Review by hotelexecutive.com 3 March 2019
As smart home technology continues to permeate households across North America, consumers are growing accustomed to automation and voice-activated controls to adjust their interior environment. It's no surprise that consumers are looking more and more for hospitality settings to mirror these conveniences for a top-of-the-line guest experience.
Article by Eric Bracht

There is No How-To Book for AV Services, But There is AVaStar

Electro-Media Design, Ltd. 28 February 2019
What's missing amongst all this "stuff" is an AV Operations Manual to tell staff - historically someone in the catering or events department - what to do with it all, and how to do it. Don't panic! There's a new support platform for hotels that easily manages a hotel's AV operations and it can digitally replace any "How to Provide AV Services" book if one existed, which it doesn't.Called AVaStar, the new platform is based on an AV as a Service (AVaaS) model and supported by AV industry professionals with deep experience in the hospitality industry. Far more than just a software package, AVaStar is ideal for any property self-managing AV and looking for ways to enhance profits and the guest experience -- especially new construction hotels. It is designed to support hotel personnel with little to no experience managing, monitoring and measuring key AV performance indicators while providing tools that an AV team will appreciate, such as revenue and cost accounting and tracking the required service and preventive maintenance. AVaStar enables hotels to provide self-operated AV services with confidence.Whether you work in the executive office, sales, catering, event services, maintenance or IT, chances are high that you've asked yourself these questions:Who decided that we need all this equipment?What is it for? Where did it come from? How much did it cost? What does all this stuff do and how does it work?Who will train us on how to sell and operate it?Was this equipment installed properly? Are we sure?Can't someone else just manage this mess without taking the majority of the revenue?While General Managers are always looking for ways to drive more revenues to the bottom line, AV Services is an area where money is often left on the table. That's a shame, because when properly run, AV can generate one of the highest profit margins in a hotel.AVaStar is the only solution of its kind on the market, and it answers all a hotelier's questions about the property's event technologies plus it provides an actionable account of every piece of equipment in the hotel. Even before the hotel opens (in a new build scenario), the AVaStar team can ensure that all installed equipment is working properly. The team will train staff on how to use, manage, monitor and maintain the equipment, how to track expenses and measure revenues. This isn't a one-and-done service. Too often we hear about inadequate training from installation contractors by simply grabbing the first person they find and giving him or her a quick "how-it-works" tutorial, whether they were prepared for it or not. Since the contractors typically do not have hotel experience, they cannot provide guidance on how to use the systems to meet customer needs, ergo the "missing manual." The AVaStar platform is always available to support staff with resources, solutions and industry best practices.The AVaStar platform monitors, manages and measures all AV Services provided with both built-in and portable equipment. That includes tracking:When equipment was purchased, for how much, and from whomIf the equipment is under warranty, who holds the service contract, how often it has been repaired and by whomHow often equipment fails and what it cost to repairWhere equipment is stored and how often is it usedHow much revenue each piece of equipment is generatingWhat the labor cost was for staff to manage the equipment and how much labor was paid to offsite providers to run more advanced systems that were rented as neededHow much it cost to rent advanced systems like rigging, Internet, or electric servicesIf the hotel can reduce its expenses if equipment is purchased vs. rentedStop using sticky-notes, index cards, white boards, and excel spreadsheets to answer these questions. AVaStar exists to give operators an at-a-glance synopsis of each piece of equipment in micro detail, enabling sales, catering and operational staff to ensure equipment works each time, every time.Additionally, the software can be configured to provide scripted sales guides for non-technical staff. Venue-specific service packages are created and customized to drive sales and eliminate errors and omissions in equipment orders. This decision-tree process prompts staff to ask specific questions based on service-oriented results, not pieces of equipment. Depending on the customers' answers, the sales person then moves on to the next question. It's an easy-to-use analytical tool that builds a billable package of AV technologies. It is designed to make hoteliers more efficient with their spending. It identifies top-line revenues and bottom-line costs quickly. And it helps ensure that all AV related costs are allocated properly, not falling into the "Banquet-Other" category by mistake.While outsourcing to a third-party provider is one way to provide AV Services, it is not the right fit for everyone. Consolidation of these companies is beginning to monopolize the market, and self-managing AV can be a far more affordable and profitable alternative with AVaStar, especially in small to mid-sized properties with limited need for advanced services. Not only will this program help hoteliers to keep equipment and expenses in line but allows them to retain complete control of their guests' experience rather than relying on others.So, stop looking for the missing AV Operations Manual; it's not lost - it never existed. Instead, there's AVaStar - a better, more comprehensive and profitable solution that will help hoteliers self-manage event technology services and deliver professional AV services with efficiency and confidence. And if you have questions, you won't be left stranded. Help is just a click or a phone call away.

What You Need to Know About GDPR and Data Privacy: Lisa Loftis of SAS Talks to Marketing Smarts [Podcast]

MarketingProfs·Requires Registration 28 February 2019
On May 25, 2018, the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) took effect. Some companies ignored it and now need to know how to proceed. Others worked quickly to come into compliance with GDPR's stringent rules about data collection and privacy; those companies are now finding ways to benefit from their status as GDPR-compliant. Whichever group you're in, you might be wondering how GDPR has changed our industry.
Article by Antoine Aubrun

Chinese travellers: why they're the guests French hotels can't afford to ignore

SiteMinder 28 February 2019
The list is endless. Indeed, a lot is said about the Chinese traveller market, perhaps so much so that those of us who operate within the hospitality and travel scene have become somewhat indifferent to the value those travellers now bring to our economies.This couldn't be truer than in Europe and especially in France, the third-most popular destination in the EU for Chinese travellers, and a country renowned for offering one thing many Chinese travellers enjoy - luxury. In 2016, almost 15% of overnight stays by Chinese tourists in Europe were in French hotels. It's hardly surprising, then, that in our list this year of the top 12 hotel booking revenue makers in France, China's largest OTA, Ctrip, ranks among the top ten.It begs the question: just how many business opportunities are French hotels missing by not tapping into the lucrative Chinese traveller market?Chinese OTAs are keyThe question of missed opportunities, it seems, is one finally being asked by politicians across the country. In June last year, the president of Ile-de-France, Valerie Pecresse, made a monumental visit to Beijing and Hangzhou to sign a partnership agreement with Fliggy, part of the Alibaba Group, to improve the visibility of France on the Chinese booking website through the creation of a Paris region portal. Speaking on the fact that of the 135 million Chinese who have travelled the world in 2017, only 2 million came to France, Pecresse said, "The reception of Chinese tourists is under potential."Pecresse's trip signals a positive future for France's hotels, which have arguably overlooked the importance of being seen on Chinese booking channels such as Fliggy, Ctrip and Qunar, and settled merely for visibility on the Chinese language websites of global giants such as TripAdvisor and Booking.com. Of course, a hotel listing on these channels is of great value, but is it value matched by visibility on some of the most widely-used apps by Chinese travellers, such as Mafengwo or Qyer?As a hotel, it's crucial to be seen where your guests are - and, according to EyeforTravel, seven out of 10 Chinese travel consumers booking through OTAs. They aren't your typical OTAs either; they are websites literally built for mobile. As Lee McCabe, VP, North America for Alibaba Group, puts it: "In the U.S., we went from bricks and mortar to desktop to laptop to mobile. In China, they went from undeveloped bricks-and-mortar landscape straight to mobile. For most Chinese consumers, mobile is the internet, and the internet is mobile to them."In less than 20 years, China has overtaken the U.S. to become the world's most powerful outbound market.How well does your hotel lend itself to attracting, reaching and converting this unstoppable and highly-profitable group? Have you highlighted, through your chosen hotel marketing channels, the incredible food, sightseeing and shopping options around you?Just as you've looked to showcase your hotel property on Facebook and Instagram, have you thought to make it visible, too, on WeChat and Weibo?Perhaps, like France's leaders, it's time your hotel begins considering which booking channels are key to getting one of the many million Chinese tourists through your front door.
Article by David Millili

Weaving Your Way Through Vendor Madness: What Should the Perfect Hotel Tech Partner Look Like?

runtriztm 27 February 2019
There's some truth to the increasingly ubiquitous saying that all companies are technology companies now. Certainly some more than others, but I'd say hotels have officially waded into--or, perhaps, been shoved in--to tech waters so deep that it's an apt notion worth considering every time a new technology vendor is up for consideration. Look at the numbers. Hotel technology budgets have been on the rise for many years, and 2019 is no different. While 38% are satisfied with where the technology budget currently stands (or have no choice but to keep it, as is, which is more likely the case), 54% are increasing budgets, some as much as 10%.While it certainly points to opportunities for new, innovative technologies for hotels, a concern follows it. The same 2019 technology study showed that across guest-facing tech, hotels are on the move to either upgrade, change suppliers, or find a supplier for the first time in a category. Instant messaging (13%), voice-enabled devices (13%), chatbots (10%), and customer mobile apps (8%) are among the popular categories where hotels are looking for a first-time vendor. And the waters are full of companies wanting to jump in and deliver. So how do hotels find the right partners when the tech landscape is madness? Coming up with a list of qualified vendors isn't the problem. The problem is that the market runs over with opportunities. Here are the ways to narrow your considerations to select a technology provider that will not only produce revenue for your property, but will also serve as a true business partner.Don't Overlook the 'About Us' SectionThe About Us section of most websites gets glossed over quite a bit, but this should be one of your first stops when considering a technology vendor. Of course, you want your tech provider to be hotel-focused because no one understands the complicated tech stack and integration issues inherent to hotels like a company that focuses solely on hospitality. Go a step further and read through the bios. Look for a healthy combination of technology experience, specifically hotel technology, and at least some amount of on-site hotel experience among the company's leadership team. When hoteliers go on to work for technology companies, it is because they have experienced first-hand the gaping holes in the hotel technology ecosystems and are driven to repair them. They also understand revenue considerations, limitations, and the big picture of guest experience needs.Tomayto Tomahto: Partner Versus VendorSome in the industry like to talk about the difference between a partner and a vendor. A partner, they say, stands by your side, evolves as you evolve. A vendor sells a product, and, theoretically walks away. It's all semantics and it only sort-of matters. Hotels don't need every tech provider to be a long-term partner, but in most cases, it doesn't hurt. This is one of the things hotels must decide early on in the process. (For X piece of technology, we need Y level of provider.) Depending on the technology gap that's being filled, sometimes an off-the-shelf solution is called for - one that doesn't require a lot of back and forth. One implementation, one integration. For the most part, however, the tech stack is complex, and many technologies will require thoughtful consideration about how the pieces all work together. How do the PMS and the distribution software work with the mobile app or mobile check-in feature, for instance? In these cases, hotels must look for a knowledgeable partner who not only "gets it" but has also positioned themselves as available to assist, advocate, problem solve, and strategize regularly and with ease. All providers should be invested in the hotel's overall revenue and guest-experience success. That said, long-term contracts can be confining for hotels that need to keep their options open. Be wary of getting locked in. With a technology partner that performs, this shouldn't be necessary.Adjectives: Nimble, Adaptive, FlexibleMost hoteliers have, no doubt, been presented with a "first to market" product, at some point. This means little. First to market is only first to market, not necessarily progressive and adaptable. What hotels need that is harder to quantify is a nimble tech partner, one that doesn't insist on one way but instead surveys what's in front of the hotel and what's ahead for the industry and is willing and able to adapt to changing conditions. An ideal partner demonstrates a willingness to work with your existing systems as much as possible and leads with robust, thoughtful technology solutions.Revenue Generating and/or Operating EfficiencyThis year, the hotel industry is expected to continue to see record occupancy, but with a saturation in supply, the big challenge is building RevPAR. Technology partners need to prove they can do one of two things very well: either create new revenue streams or produce a surplus in operating expenses. Guest experience is essential, no doubt, but this can't be the only upside because it's not always an immediate revenue generator. Many hotels are realizing that in-room technology bells and whistles that are fun and good for marketing aren't always where revenue lies. A seamless interactive experience at their fingertips, however, is.An Inside JobWhile this falls outside the realm of how to choose a partner, it will affect a hotel's ability to do so with security and ease. Ensure there is a point person who is well-versed in technology systems that can manage or consult on every partner selection. Of course, specific departments must be involved: rooms and front desk for mobile check-in, marketing for CRM or digital offers, and so forth. However, selecting a company that will serve as a long-term partner requires a deep understanding of the technology landscape that should be coordinated property-wide. You don't want a cloud-based technology in one department and a legacy system in another. You want your systems to integrate as much as is humanly possible, and if you leave it to individual departments to have wholesale decision-making power, some of the core issues around the big picture technology landscape may get overlooked.By 2020, 85% of correspondences with businesses will not require human interaction, according to Gartner (Inc). This isn't just about chatbots, but about a wholesale shift in the way companies respond to customers' needs. Guests are saying they want technology at their fingertips, yet many hotels have been slow to respond. Understandably. Operating a property is paramount to managing a small city, and sometimes technology innovations are swept away by unavoidable operational needs. But this shift in cultural communication must be considered an operational necessity for hotels to stand out in a market overrun with supply. Honing in on technology partners that can meet your property where it is, even if this requires incremental technology implementations, will be essential to raising the bar for guests and profits.
Article by Elizabeth Martyn and Chris Anderson

Customer Satisfaction through Service Excellence: The Importance of Focused Training

CHR 27 February 2019
Technology has shifted the dynamics of guest interactions in the hospitality industry. Two key elements of this shift are that service providers now have fewer opportunities for direct interaction with guests, and interactions may often be the result of service failures. In these face-to-face encounters, employees' ability to effectively manage the emotional components of the guest interaction can make a major contribution to a guest's satisfaction with the outcome. Intrinsic employee behaviors, namely, employee engagement, communication, and attitude (that is, the "how" in the delivery of service) influence guest's perceptions of service outcomes. In a preliminary study, relatively intense training of hotel front-desk employees, using a blend of online and face-to-face training, changed employee behaviors in a way that guests reported an improvement in staff helpfulness. This study employed modules of the Cornell University Service Excellence On- Demand Training as a tool for improving the work of front-line service providers. Such training can foster improved handling of guest interactions, thereby offering a substantial opportunity for improved guest satisfaction.Click here to download the report

Smartphones and Voice-Assisted Devices Create Opportunities for Modern Customer Experiences

Hotelier Middle East 27 February 2019
Anyone who uses a smartphone can attest to the incredible power of real-time, in-the-moment discovery that leads to decisions and outcomes. But, now in an age of voice-assisted devices, we are further empowered to command information or purchase on-demand. “OK Google, Alexa, Hey Siri, what are the best bluetooth headphones for me?” Or, “Please reorder groceries from last week for delivery tomorrow afternoon.” Like mobile shopping, voice-assisted behavior is also becoming second-nature. Brands must now reimagine the customer journey and design for always-on, continuous and assistive engagement…dedicated for voice and mobile screens.
Article by Mike Chuma

Revenue Science 101: A Better Way to Revenue

IDeaS 27 February 2019
Class is in session. Welcome to Revenue Science 101. Today we'll start with the basics: how do we define "revenue science" and how does it go beyond typical revenue management practices and revenue optimization strategies to deliver next-level profitability and productivity? To answer that, let's take a trip back in time...The year is 1989. Shoulder pads are big, hair is bigger, and IDeaS' data-science founders are busy at work testing and proving new theories of opportunity cost and quantitative data analysis. They're boiling algorithms and complex equations down to simplified decision outputs and pioneering what would become the founding principles of IDeaS' Revenue Science: the discipline of infusing sophisticated mathematics with industry expertise to transform data into accurate, automated, and actionable revenue-enhancing decisions.And IDeaS has continued to blaze new trails ever since, from airlines to hotels to parking and beyond, our revenue science solutions of today are built upon decades of scientific innovation, discovery and trial-and-error refinement. All this history, industry leadership, and client success gives us full confidence in the ability of our solutions to provide our users with precise decisions they can trust instead of just hopeful recommendations and a roll of the dice.The key word here is "science," and we stake our claim on it. Our methods and applications have been tested and proven, time and again, and get better with each iteration to maintain the world's most finely-tuned system of revenue optimization knowledge and decision empowerment.The past 30 years have been a period of ceaseless evolution and reinvention at IDeaS, driven by curious minds and passionate people. From deep machine learning to artificial intelligence to world-renowned SAS analytics, we've introduced the most advanced technologies into our software to continuously push the limits and invent the future, one industry after the next.Discover how IDeaS uses revenue science to deliver results and transform revenue across the planet.
Article by Patrick Landman

Top Five Revenue Management & Distribution Tips For 2019

Xotels 26 February 2019
In his book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell popularized what became known as the 10,000-hour rule, by documenting the lives of successful people such as Bill Gates, Mozart and the Beatles. "Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness", he wrote, inspired by the work of Daniel Levitin, the neurologist who scientifically proved that "10,000 hours of practice are required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert in anything". The theory is fascinating, though, not always reliable, especially in our field of hotel revenue management and distribution, where adjectives such as disruptive are frequently (over)used and success is measured more on innovation rather than consolidation. A defining factor here is the ability to adapt and evolve!As Marty McFly (from Back to The Future, a movie the more seasoned hoteliers amongst use watched in their younger years) once wisely said, "I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it". So, what exactly are our kids going to love when it comes to hotel distribution and revenue management? Here are my Fab Four tips for 2019. No buzzwords, no hype. Just pragmatism.#1. GET MORE RIGID WITH CANCELLATION POLICIES AND FOCUS ON PACKAGESAs revenue managers know way too well, high cancellation rates mean worst forecasting and, ultimately, less profit. According to several studies, Booking.com has over 100% more cancellation than hotel official website, so hoteliers should limit the phenomenon by creating more rigid cancellation policies or prefer Not Refundable Rates over BARs. Make sure to have a solid rate strategy in place and avoid last-minute-panic-prices (often the main reason for last-minute cancellations).According to a recent Expedia survey, "package travelers typically book further in advance, stay longer and are less likely to cancel due to the non-refundable flight element, which helps revenue managers to take more balanced and far-sighted decisions and forecast with higher accuracy. On average, customers who purchase vacation packages book more than 2 times longer than customers who purchase hotel only, they stay on average 2 times longer and cancel at 1/3 the rate as a standalone booker". So make sure to integrate package rates in your revenue strategy. But better make d.mn sure to price them well, so you don't erode you revenue potential ...#2. IF YOU CANNOT PROTECT FROM BRANDJACKING, MAKE SURE HAVE A STRONG GOOGLE HOTEL ADS PRESENCEYou may have heard about the recent Google ads trademarks policy update. Up until last October, hotels could file a complaint with Google for trademark infringement, as I explained in this article. Unfortunately, Google now allows virtually any advertiser to bid on your hotel name. At this link, in fact, you can read that "Advertisers may use a trademark term in ad text if they are a reseller of, offer compatible components or parts for, or provide information about the goods and services related to the trademarked term". How to fight back? You can, of course, invest in brand protection on the main search engines, but a more effective strategy may be to strengthen your presence on the Google metasearch engine. By connecting your booking engine directly on the Google Hotel Ads program, you will be able to sell your rooms directly, undercutting intermediaries. Google offers different price models: commission, ROI, or bid, so it is a virtually risk-free investment. Moreover, Google uses machine learning to maximize ROI, so the human factor involved is very limited. Make sure that your IBE supports GHA at this link and get some direct revenue back!#3. FACILITATED IS THE NEW DIRECTYou're very likely familiar with TripAdvisor' Instant Booking, but what about BoG? BoG (short for Book on Google) allows internet users to book a hotel without leaving the SERP. The concept of facilitated booking is nothing new, but when the booking is facilitated by Google, there are good chances that it will be an Industry game-changer. Until last year, BoG was only available in a few markets (US, UK, Australia and New Zealand), but it has now rolled out in over a dozen European Countries as well. Reducing the friction during the booking process is a problem that our Industry has been trying to solve for over a decade, with little to no success. It's indicative that Google decided to integrate Hotel Ads directly in the Google Ad (former Adwords), and in a future not so far away (summer?), you would be able to cross-advertise between the two channels, improving ROI and ad pertinency.#4. GET HELP FOR DECISION MAKING: REVENUE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMSDue to the ever-increasing complexity of hotel distribution, pretending to keep working without some level of automation or data aggregation is nuts. With micro-service systems on the rise, agile PMS and inexpensive cloud-native technology, 2019 will be the year virtually any property will be able to implement some kind of Revenue Management System. Remember when we had to aggregate tons of data and create NASA-engineer-level-of-complexity formulas on Excel sheets? Thank God, we survived the 90's, so machines can now do it for us. Modern RMS, in fact, are designed to optimize performances and help your daily sales strategies, providing easy-to-read reports/dashboards and suggestions about rate, inventory and distribution strategy in real-time, without the burden of manual data aggregation. RMS are great for both GMs of small properties in need of simple, low BS indications on what prices to upload and for geeky cluster revenue manager in love with advanced data and segmentation. With algorithm getting more sophisticated by the day (Moore's Law anyone?) and AI cutting down pretty much all the data noise, RMS are way more than a simple Industry buzzword.#5. WORK WITH OTAs, NOT AGAINST THEMEven though it seems like hotel distribution is an ever-moving target, there are clear patterns and trends. According to Phocuswright, for example, 2016 was "the first year when OTA lodging bookings in the U.S. exceeded total hotel website gross bookings". On Forecasts expect OTAs to reach over 40% market share by next year, meaning that, despite above-the-line marketing, targeted discounts and revamped loyalty programmes, consumers are not shifting to direct as their primary booking option as intensely as we all hoped for. Moreover, OTA distribution is basically a duopoly: even though there's still (a little) space for local OTAs, Booking.com and Expedia remain the most solid and reliable distribution channels for any kind of property.Having that in mind, hotels should start reconsidering their relationships with them: embracing OTAs does not mean dropping all direct booking strategies. Hotels need to understand the intrinsic characteristics of each distributor, moreover, in an age where OTAs and wholesalers flex their rates across metasearch engines or marketplaces, it is very unlikely that users will simply "stop clicking around". Leverage the OTA in your advantage, use them to get reach and exposure for your hotel. And create direct sales spin-off. This is what is working for us at Xotels ...THE FINAL WORDWork with OTAs, review your cancellation policies, advertise on GHA and keep an eye on facilitated bookings. Pursue a holistic approach, don't focus on just one single element. Otherwise you will sell yourself short ...
Article by Martin Soler

Food for thought: Loyalty is this better? personalization a pipe dream?

Soler & Associates 26 February 2019
It has shipped! Tell Trends report has finally been printed and shipped. It started as a crazy idea last summer, the conclusion that there just isn't really any big picture report on the trends in the industry. Between "breaking news", sponsored posts and advertorials it is hard to see the forest from all the trees. We decided to bring together independent writers who didn't have any particular company line to tow and take a bird's eye view of the trends. And it worked!!! We shipped the first edition which is great (for those who haven't experienced startup life - shipping has a very special feeling that comes with it.) You can get your copy, there are still some left. Unlike software products, this has a limited supply. Buy yours here: TellTrends.com Best, Martin.Food for thought.Loyalty Schemes, is this better?Last week was an interesting time for Loyalty schemes. Marriott launched their ad campaign for the oddly named Bonvoy program and Accor launched ALL. Both chose high profile football (soccer for some) teams to launch the campaigns. I posted a quick overview of these that you can read in the link below. Overall the system is growing, at least Accor seems to want to grow beyond the hotel rewards system which is interesting. But none of these systems have yet found that large friction/pain point that they need to remove in order to make them great. In a story about the hugely successful Amazon Prime they only did it to solve something people hated with a passion, shipping costs. By giving free shipping it changed the way people shopped. Could hospitality find such a pain-point to remove? BONVOY AND ACCOR ALL COMMENTSPersonalization, Segmentation of One etcI had the honor of being invited to speak on a panel at Opportunity2019 in London recently. It's one of the better conferences in hospitality. Still comprised of a lot of hoteliers and not just a large amount of sales pitches from vendors. A recurring theme at the conference was personalization. The topic is broad, complicated and not always practical. While there is great progress to be done for OTAs and large hotel chains, at a hotel level there are still too few players really trying, at the conference it seemed to be summed up to Avvio and Oaky (I'm sure I've forgotten some). After a great 1 hour panel we could summarize the key takeaways for hoteliers to A) Work out what you're really good at as a hotel and make sure that's the main thing you're promoting. It's really old-school but that's still the best way to "personalize" for your guests because you sell what you do well. B) a large part of the real (sales and marketing) personalization will happen on platforms outside the hotel, get ready for them by preparing your data, your hotel's attributes and search for providers who can help future-proof your IT.GET READY FOR OPPORTUNITY2020Tech in hotels should bring more humansThe eternal debate about technology in hotels taking away the human touch is more about scrambling to find an excuse than a real problem. Nobody loves to stand in line and way to check-in. Nobody enjoys having to wait behind 5 other anxious guests, anxious about having to haggle over the final invoice. The transactional interactions to discuss money and pay are not fun. Part of what Uber and Airbnb great is they completely removed them from the equation. Few hotels are getting this right, Raffles Singapore is converting the front desk team into butlers which makes a lot more sense. Adding technology to the front desk should be about adding people who can service guests. It's not about saving costs - it's about raising quality. NO MORE FRONT OFFICEAmazon in travel, welcome, but...Amazon has made multiple tries into travel. So far nothing major has stuck, save probably for their advertising channel which is not very deep nor particularly travel focused. Travel is one of the few industries that has shifted almost entirely to digital for sales and marketing. Amazon are the undisputed leaders in everything e-commerce. And I'm sure many would welcome a third player (we could argue that Google is already that). But on the other hand, here's a company that has grown to large and so widespread, which is known to slash their own profit in the name of taking market share. It isn't totally clear what it would do to the industry. PS: If hotels are concerned about 20% commission to OTAs, consider 40% to sell on Amazon.A SERIOUS LOOK INTO AMAZON AND ANTITRUSTTell Trends: Order nowAs I mentioned above, independent and knowledgeable source of information in the industry is quite limited. Those who seem to be quite independent aren't that knowledgeable and those who are knowledgable aren't independent. Tell Trends is a rare mix of both. Get your copy today.SECURE YOUR COPY TODAY
Article by Lauren Hall

Shaking Up Your Marketing Strategy: How Millennials Are Shaping the Way Hotels Operate

iVvy 25 February 2019
As a hotelier, the process of (effectively) marketing to millennials might have initially presented itself as a rather daunting task. Just how much buying power and influence do millennials have? And how does that impact the hospitality industry? What are their travel behaviors and preferences? How can hotels readily appeal to the millennial generation without compromising their relationship with travelers of previous generations? Who and what should be the priority? More specifically, when addressing the group hospitality segment -- what do millennials expect from meetings and events in 2019 (and beyond)? What do millennial planners require from hotels to effectively vet and book venue space in a timely manner, and curate the perfect event? With small group business alone representing 30% of hotel business and the demand for meetings and events projected to rise 5-10% in demand, this consideration should be mulling in the mind of all hoteliers. By 2020, millennial travelers will reportedly make up more than 50% of all hotel guests worldwide. Further, the 2018 Travelport U.S. Vacation Survey of approximately 1,500 U.S. residents shows that millennials (ages 18-34 years old) are most likely to spend more money on their upcoming vacations than other age groups, with one out of three millennials willing to spend $5,000 or more on their vacations. Not only that, but 56% of millennials plan to travel more this summer compared to summer 2017, in contrast to 35% of Gen X respondents (ages 35-54 years old) and 22% of Baby Boomers (ages 55+). So, if there was ever a time to re-focus and refine your millennial marketing strategy -- it's right now. Addressing the Group Booking Demand Likely influenced by the influx of millennial travelers, the demand for group and event venue space continues to outpace the supply of eligible hotels. Or, perhaps, the supply does exist but simply hasn't been effectively realized or maximized due to limited booking infrastructure. If hotels are still allocating a largely manual process to their group segment, they likely can't meet encroaching demand of prospective millennial planners. When it comes to event planning timeframes and the unique demands of small or robust group bookings, millennial planners do not want to be restricted by the limiting nature of manual forms/RFPs, emails and phone calls. Rather, they expect an online group booking process that mimics that which is available for transient travel -- live availability, easy mobile booking tools, 3D virtual tours, online invoices/payments and more. After all, millennials are cited as more likely to book through a mobile app with customized notifications, when available. Further, 81% of organizers desire real-time inventory and pricing and 83% want self-service. It's no surprise, really, as millennial planners were brought up in the age of digital media -- meaning they crave (better yet, they demand) a more innovative and digital-savvy process from the venues they work with. With increased demand for meetings/events and the promise of higher group rates, millennial planners will likely look to book venue space further in advance. In order to effectively manage this shift, hotels should look to employ group booking technology that allows them to segment business intelligently (with insight-driven demand forecasts), prioritize leads effectively and streamline communications and marketing efforts. With the right tools in place to empower their sales team, hotels can finally adequately address and maximize the group booking demand and satisfy the booking expectations of millennial planners. If you don't offer the capacity to answer the demand, however, millennial planners will likely take their business elsewhere. In fact, millennials are reportedly 37% less likely to source directly through a venue when compared to their older generation industry peers, indicating that the new generation of meeting planners value the convenience and simplicity of an event management platform during the process. Selling the Experience Millennials are notoriously interested in experiences over material goods, which gives way to an exciting opportunity for hotels to capitalize on experience-based travel or, in this case, experiential meetings and events. If millennial planners are responsible for curating buzz-worthy, shareable moments within each meeting/event, how can your venue space best help them achieve that effect? Packages that include station-style food and beverages to encourage networking/attendee engagement, interactive components and/or local experiences are sure to be well received by millennial planners. Generally speaking, millennial attendees aren't interested in sitting through long, boring meetings or event presentations -- rather, they want to feel engaged in a unique experience that is worth talking about (or sharing to social media). Venue elements/features could include Artificial Intelligence or Virtual Reality, a unique seating or room setup, local recommendations, improved amenities or experiential packages that cater to the millennial desire for a share-worthy experience. With the needs of the millennial attendee in mind, your hotel can best market its venue space as an exciting event concept to prospective millennial planners. Ultimately, millennial planners are looking to create exceptionally unique experiences for their attendees meaning that every aspect of the venue space should offer its own unique personality or draw. Further, millennials are a generation of travelers decidedly influenced by social reputation and online clout. Millennial planners, specifically, are 50% more likely to say social media and blogs are highly influential when it comes to evaluating a venue compared to older generations. This means that online reviews/ratings and influencer recommendations are more important than ever. So, with this in mind, what's the best way to attract millennial planners? The answer is to closely monitor your online reputation and offer a buzz-worthy, FOMO (fear of missing out) inducing venue space that, ideally, already has people buzzing. Tech-Savvy and Personable, All in One Millennials crave face-to-face, personalized communications -- both when it comes to the brands they support, but also in their event expectations. Hotels that curate more organic opportunities for networking and genuine engagement are sure to thrive in the modern group booking environment. With this in mind, hotels can leverage lobbies, rooftops and other communal areas for networking-specific events (or as smaller segments of a larger event). Further, when engaging with millennial planners, it's important to maximize the resources saved from the self-service aspects of an online booking experience and reinvest them back in a high-touch relationship. By this, we mean that millennial planners still have high expectations for a personalized experience with hotel sales teams. Sure, they require the convenience of online booking, but once they fulfill the self-service segment of their booking journey, you need to personalize communications with high-touch, responsive service. Not only that, but while face-to-face connection is exceedingly valuable to the millennial crowd, they consider the availability of digital-focused interfaces and conveniences with equal precedent. Think charging stations, free (and high quality) Wi-Fi, social media walls or aesthetically-influenced installations for social media sharing, mobile communications and check-in/out and so much more. Ideally, the physical elements of any event/space should interact seamlessly with the digital elements, allowing millennials to enjoy a unique experience that is memorable as it is convenient and hyper-connected. With the millennial masses seemingly taking the hospitality industry by storm, it's never been more important for hotels to shape their offering and marketing strategies accordingly. By tapping into the potential of millennial group bookings, hoteliers put themselves in prime position to optimize revenue consistently throughout the year and foster a strong connection with this profitable crop of travelers.

Unlocking the value of IoT data with the artificial intelligence of things

mycloud HOSPITALITY 25 February 2019
There will be more than 55 billion IoT devices by 2025 – more than four devices for every person on earth. That means that big data is only getting bigger. All of that high frequency, high velocity data from connecting the physical world to the digital world is available, and not analysing it effectively is a missed opportunity for better business outcomes.

Being a Smart Buyer When Purchasing Hotel Technology

Hotel Business Review by hotelexecutive.com 24 February 2019
Technology is significantly impacting nearly every area of hospitality. This includes obvious ones like brand and property web sites; guest reservation and communication systems; revenue management systems; and in-room Internet and entertainment as well as others that are less obvious to the average guest.
Article by Jeff Zabin

Why So Many Hoteliers are Upgrading Their Property Management Systems This Year

Starfleet Research 22 February 2019
This article is adopted from The 2019 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems, which is now available for complimentary download, and reprinted here with permission.Guests have always expected star treatment. They have always wanted to be treated like celebrities. This is particularly true of hotels and resorts in upscale categories. Today those guest expectations are through the roof. Guests now expect superior service, frictionless interactions, and personalized experiences throughout their stay, and anything less with simply not do.For hoteliers, this means, in part, streamlining operations, from check-in to housekeeping, and delivering fast and accurate responses to guest inquiries. It means ensuring that requests for service -- when guests place an order with room service, for example, or book a reservation through the concierge -- are immediately fulfilled. It means ensuring that every guest receives the hotel's undivided attention, no matter that the guest may be one of hundreds staying at the hotel.At the same time, guests are becoming accustomed to self-service options through mobile apps, kiosks, voice-activated chatbots, in-room digital displays and other devices that leverage big data and artifical intelligence to address their needs. Hoteliers need to give guests control of services and information -- far beyond just being able to check in and check out via their smartphones.With such high guest expectations, coupled with the need to continuously improve operational efficiencies and optimize revenue performance, hoteliers are under more pressure than ever to leverage the right set of enabling technologies to their advantage. First and foremost among these technologies is an advanced property management system (PMS).The PMS is engineered to automate operations across all hotel functions, all departments and all parts of the property while improving the quality of the guest experience through faster, better, more accurate and more personalized guest engagement. This helps explain why so many hoteliers today are parting ways with their legacy systems.In fact, according to research conducted for The 2019 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems, nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of hoteliers who have not upgraded their PMS within the past 3 years plan to do so in the next 12 months. According to another survey, 87 percent of hoteliers at large and full-service hotels indicate that recent upgrades to their technology capabilities have enabled them to be either "successful" or "very successful" in improving the overall quality of the guest experience.The leading systems on the market today have evolved at lightning speed in recent years. Beyond developments in various areas of technology innovation, including areas related to technology interoperability, mobility, personalization, performance reporting, business intelligence and predictive analytics, the advances are reflected in the expanded scope of capabilities previously handled either semi-manually or by standalone software programs.Seamless data integration is driving force in this evolution. Just as the smartphone has evolved to incorporate countless standalone utilities, from the clock, calendar and camera to the video player, voice recorder and music player, to name just a few, the PMS has evolved to incorporate multiple standalone, function-specific software programs and platform capabilities to create an integrated, end-to-end system.Needless to say, there is much value to be had in a system in which all component parts centrally connect, with no need to manually import data (or, even worse, re-key information), and which offers a unified view of both hotel operations and guest relationships. A fully integrated PMS serves as a perfect example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.While all hoteliers are bound to benefit from some of the latest developments -- PMS interface access from a tablet or other mobile device being a good example -- other features and functionality of a next-generation PMS are going to be of greater value to some hoteliers than to others. After all, different hotels have differing technology requirements.A full-service hotel will likely require a far more robust, sophisticated and comprehensive system than a small, limited-service or budget hotel, which may need only to streamline basic functions like guest bookings, housekeeping, guest charges and maintenance management. A full-service hotel will likely have complex reservation, group scheduling and inventory requirements. It may also need to manage concierge and function space operations as well as golf, spa and other facilities, with a host of guest-facing features essential to facilitating exceptional guest service.A small, limited-service hotel may have none of these requirements. It may need nothing more than bare-bones platform for managing front office, bookings and reservations functions, from assigning guests to rooms and maintaining guest folios to coordinating profile changes, posting room charges and maintaining housekeeping status.In all cases, the PMS needs to support all hotel functions, no matter how extensive or limited these may be. This can be done either through built-in capabilities or by allowing seamless integration with add-on modules and/or third-party software solutions. Given the ability to add any combination of modules, with minimal integration hassle, hoteliers can readily create a property- or chain-wide system.Many systems readily integrate with guest response programs, accounting software, keycard and access control systems, self-service kiosks, internet and telephone systems, in-room refreshment (minibar) and entertainment applications -- and even, in some cases, dry cleaning and transportation shuttles. Increasingly, hoteliers are testing the waters with AI-enabled smart devices, including voice-activated chatbots. Some major brands are dipping their toes into Internet of Things (IoT) "connected room" technologies that include sensor-activated thermostats, digital room keys, and in-room streaming/casting services.Hoteliers are acutely aware of the need for mobile access, technology interoperability, data integration, operational efficiency, guest personalization, etc., even if they haven't yet transitioned to a next-generation PMS that provides these platform capabilities. They are also acutely aware of the fact that their competitors have likely already upgraded their capabilities, or are currently in the process of doing so, and that waiting too long may mean missing the boat. The 2019 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems is now available for complimentary download (click here to access).
Article by Raj Singh

Top 3 Technology Trends Casinos Should Watch for at 2019 Oi Summit

Go Moment 22 February 2019
In Las Vegas today, only 34% of casino revenue comes from gaming. Taking a cue from these Vegas figures, casinos everywhere are looking for diversification beyond the gaming floor. They quest to convert non-gaming amenities like hotel room stays into profitable revenue streams. They compete for entertainment dollars. They want to offer the ultimate guest/player experience -- one that is exciting and seamless -- so guests keep coming back. They can do this by leveraging the latest technologies, on and off the gaming floor.To prepare for this kind of diversified revenue future, here are three top technology trends attendees at the upcoming 2019 Oi Summit -- the operational intelligence conference for gaming operators -- should dial into:Omnichannel communications access for the guestToday's casino guests have more touchpoints than ever: emails, phone calls, concierge desks, and member services, for instance. And yet, casinos haven't had much luck achieving utilization of their own apps. Data shows that 80% of players likely won't ever download a casino-branded app, and of those who download these apps, as many as 50% don't even ever activate it by logging in. To accommodate evermore curious, demanding, and impatient guests, casinos need to make communications easier. They need to have download-free solutions that bring all forms of communications into one simple and seamless two-way platform.This two-way platform both answers guest questions like daily earnings, real-time players' club point balances, and common guest services, but can also offer up services like effortless entry into new drawings or booking dining or ticket reservations. Players on a winning streak don't need to leave their seat to receive services or check on their room status. This kind of simple, omnichannel communication improves the guest's overall experience and encourages loyalty and repeat visits.Hyper-personalizationWe are now living in a world where we are targeted online based upon our searches and browsing behavior. While this form of targeting is supposed to personalize and improve the user experience, it often misses the mark. Consumers feel stalked and often complain about irrelevant ads or suggestions. Casinos are fortunate: they have had an opportunity to course correct the failings of mistargeting. Why? Because they have far more customer interactions -- touchpoints -- with guests who also spend more time with the casino than nearly all other kinds of businesses. These touchpoints allow casinos to collect data that they can, in turn, use to their benefit with a solution called hyper-personalization.Hyper-personalization utilizes the combination of technology and human interaction to refine and improve upon the guest experience. Smart, AI-powered technology can learn from and customize each subsequent guest interaction for particulars like language, dining preferences, housekeeping requirements, special occasion desires, reminders and alerts, spa and other entertainment bookings, and methods of communication. It can do this at scale, concurrently managing individual and groups, while interfacing with many PMS and rapid response systems.Until recently, the notion of managing tens of thousands, even millions, of hyper-personalized guest interactions simultaneously and in less than one-second would have seemed impossible. Today, powered by technology, this is absolutely possible. In fact, before 2019 concludes, the number of these interactions may even exceed one billion.Business intelligence for operations managementThe shifting casino revenue mix presents a data challenge. How is the casino to know what's working and what's not working among its clientele when the clientele and their motivations for visiting vary so vastly? Casinos have multiple data sources feeding their intelligence: gaming tables and machines, players club activity, hotel and resort, food and beverage, as well as other transactions. If casino resorts now earn more than 60% of their revenues from non-gambling activities, it's more crucial than ever that they analyze their businesses holistically. The solution lies in having and employing real-time intelligent insights. Insights provided by technology.Today, many of the new technology solutions that offer deep business intelligence are driven by machine learning which means each prior interaction informs and improves future responses. The heavy lifting of data science and analysis has been made easier by this machine learning, but it's hard for big operations to pivot away from decades-old legacy systems. The pressure of this change creates friction, and for this reason, expect the topic of how to extract and leverage business intelligence to improve and optimize total casino operations management to be an important one in this and future years ahead.Much like the entire hotel industry, the casino industry cannot avoid the marching drum of disruption. Diversification of revenue, the connected consumer, and big data all play a part, and casinos will feel challenged at an ever-faster rate. I'm betting that the house will win.Go Moment is a proud sponsor of the OI Summit and I will be presenting on Tuesday, March 5th at 3:15 pm during the Mobile Apps, Artificial Intelligence, and Guest Experience panel, as well as at the 4:15 pm Gaming Operations & Technology track.If you are heading to the OI Summit event and want to meet up, send me a message and let me know.
Article by Ahmed Mahmoud

The Future of Revenue Management with the OTA's Part II, Rev+ by Expedia

Revenue Your Hotel 22 February 2019
In our previous article, The Future of Revenue Management with the OTA's we highlight the rules of revenue management, and the professionals who practice it on an almost-continuous basis. The role of OTAs and online distribution in revenue maximization has gained unprecedented importance. Of lately, hotels have started implementing formal revenue management guidelines, roping in committed professionals to sharpen and focus their revenue generation processes and augmenting their profitability. Hotels are using advanced travel technology tools for handling their hotel revenue management.The role of Expedia in Revenue Management System Managing rates and keeping your hotel on top of competitors in the hotel industry is difficult. Rather encouragingly, the OTAs appear to be taking note of this with Expedia the latest to jump on the revenue management tools.As a global business with more than 200 travel-booking sites globally and nearly 385,000 lodging partners worldwide, Expedia has the necessary scale to provide partners with comprehensive and accurate analysis that makes a difference to their business. In 2016 Expedia launched Rev+, a revenue management system allows hotels to gauge their rates against competitors over the course of 90 days, alongside other market factors with A forecasting tool will allow properties to view demand for a market based on data points captured across the portfolio of Expedia Inc. brands, whilst a notification system will alert hotels to changes to rates over the course of the last 24 hours. Along with three great guides to help growing the direct bookings: a cheatsheet with 10 metrics to improve hotel distribution activity, using hotel apps to build loyalty, and an analysis on how to keep the customer at the heart of your business.Rev+ is a revenue management tool designed to provide actionable data and insights to empower partners to make smart decisions to optimize their revenue. Rev+, an essential tool for revenue managers, comes at no additional costs for hotel partners, and does not require additional sign-up.Current features for Rev+ by Expedia includes:Price Calendar: A comprehensive view of a hotel's pricing relative to their competitive set you now have the option to view your property's pricing data by any seven days, a full month or the next 365 days.With more enhancement, Expedia created the 7-Day graph view that makes it easier to follow key pricing and demand metrics, showcased in a graph format. It also enables revenue managers to overlay booking performance on top of the public data displayed to compare how demand and pricing impact performance. The 7-Day view is available for any 7-Day period in the upcoming 12 months, not just preset week views.Price Optimization: With price alerts color-coded, quickly learn which days your price may be too high (orange) or too low (teal) vs. your competitive set.Market Demand Score: Hoteliers can view future demand for their market based on millions data points from the Expedia, Inc. family of websites and it's affiliations.Market Occupancy Forecast: This feature replaced Market Demand Score to provide more information about compression. Expedia data analysis can estimate how many rooms will be sold in a destination, on a specific date, in the future.Daily Market Alerts: An alert system that helps Hotels to find the most recent and relevant changes in their market or it is a notification to the hotels of changes to public prices in their market within the past 24 hours.Alerts: Or Priority Dates , at a quick glance, to know which days have alerts, for example, events you should be aware of which might be in high demand or low demand i.e. new year eve so hotels can take actions for the price strategy .With the alerts for competitive set price changes, market's occupancy and opportunities for optimizing your prices, the alert can be set to receive it inbox by mail at least once a week, you can view alerts in your inbox and decide if you need to login to Rev+ to further analyze your hotel pricing strategy and possibly to take next steps of actions for your hotel pricing strategy.Revenue managers even can decide which alerts they want to receive and how often by customizing the Market Alerts.Daily Snapshot: Additional insights about what is happening on a specific day; including forecasted demand and know events.Average Competitive Set Rate: Or Competitive Price Grid where hotels can know and follow competitive set's rates are low or high and follow the pricing trends for the market over the next 365 days.Market Occupancy Forecast: In Graph view or Heat Map view, see what the market compression or occupancy looks like over the course of the next year.My Property's Rate: See how your daily rate compares to the rates on other days at your property.Price Optimization: A feature that alerts revenue managers when hotel price could be optimized for that day to help improve the revenue performance.Property Analytics: A feature that helping revenue managers to create a more intelligent marketplace by providing relevant data to help better run business from revenue managers point of view. This flexible reporting tool allows monitoring the property's revenue performance in the marketplace and among competitors.Property Analytics evaluates three primary metrics to track and compare revenue performance and suggest actionable items to address concerns: Visibility - to See how your property is showing up on Expedia Group sites and learn about tools to help get seen more often. Conversion - When travelers view your property, make sure they like what they see and want to book a stay. Guest Value - Per guest, revenue varies. Appeal to the highest value travelers with valuable tools and add-ons services.The Rev+ tool continues to become more intuitive with every new enhancement version so revenue managers can better understand and interpret the data being highlighted their property. With the new design, Rev+ it brings focus to features and details that aim to help revenue managers to improve revenue performance in a clear, direct manner. In addition to that, Rev+ now automatically highlights details in the market around occupancy, pricing and events, providing insights into hotel's performance, with more accuracy than ever before, Highly engaged Rev+ users saw an average 10% incremental revenue growth.Although Hotel revenue management is all about supplying and selling the Right Room to the Right Client at the Right Moment at the Right Price, in order to best meet market demand, but hotels have always faced the issue of perishability. An empty room from yesterday cannot be sold today, or an empty room doesn't generate revenue. In addition, with more competitors and channels than ever before, hotel revenue management solutions have never been so important for dealing with increasingly dynamic market conditions.Revenue management helps to predict consumer demand to optimize inventory and price availability in order to maximize revenue growth. The purpose of Revenue Management is not selling a room today at a low price to sell it tomorrow at a higher price. Revenue Management also means selling a room at low price today if you do not expect higher demand. Revenue Management challenges the resources in the importance of gathering information about the market so that you can be proactive and not reactive.By understanding the market and the factors that affect hotel demand forecasting, understanding your hotel booking patterns, your hotel position in the market in relation to your competitors, and future events, you can create your own hotel revenue management strategies for optimizing your performance by increasing revenue, occupancy and your RevPar index.Hoteliers need to remember that OTA's want to increase the number of reservations, room nights and revenue they sell in each market. They want to book more rooms in your hotel than their competitor OTA's which mean a high commission for them.
Article by Trish Leighton

Importance of Local SEO Ranking for Hoteliers

Vizergy 21 February 2019
Any business that has an actual physical location needs to put time into their local SEO. It is imperative, especially in the hospitality industry, for search engines to know where a property is located. There are several things you can do to ensure your property's location is known and that the information provided about it is reliable.1. Make sure the property address is displayed on the website.Is your property's address located in the header or footer of the website? Is there a contact page with the property's information, a map of the location and proximity to local attractions? If someone is searching for a hotel near a certain local attraction, the property's location itself will be the biggest influence for its ranking in the search results.2. Own and manage Google and Bing business listings.Google and Bing both show your business listing when someone searches for you. It's important to make sure that listing is owned and managed internally. These listings allow you to add photos, respond to reviews and edit information to keep it up-to-date. Vizergy allows its clients to manage Google My Business listings from their dashboard in the Vizergy Marketing System (VMS).3. Ensure UNAP is consistent across the Internet.UNAP stands for URL, Name, Address, and Phone Number. It's essentially a property's fingerprint or online identity. Search engines don't just look to your website and business listing for information about your location and services, they also scan hundreds of other sites and directory listings for information.If any of these listings are inconsistent, they don't trust the information and are less likely to show your property in search results. When running scans for clients, we often find incorrect information. It could be something as simple as one listing showing a local phone number and another showing a toll-free number or one listing having an address as Main Street and another as Main Blvd.The search engines have no way to know what is correct and wouldn't want to show searchers incorrect information, so they will just not rank you highly in search results. Keeping up with business listings and checking all online listings can be a full-time job.A good word of advice is to use a service like our Business Listing Lock to find a way to lock down your property's information across sites that search engines use for information. This way, if anything does change such as a domain name, phone number or address, you can change it in one place to push out across the web rather than manually finding and changing every listing.For more tips on how to rank higher on Google, download our Search Engine Optimization Fundamentals Guide here.
Article by Adam Hoydysh

Don't Neglect the Bottom Line: Why Amenities Matter to Your Guests

Plum 21 February 2019
Within the modern hospitality climate, hotels are expected to offer a balance between high-tech and high-touch service, a personalized experience with data-backed insights, a share-worthy property aesthetic, mobile communications, luxury upgrades and so much more. And yet, a quick glance through TripAdvisor reviews will reinforce the understanding that, when it comes to hospitality, the bottom line is just as important as those more obvious elements of a guests' stay. You know what they say; the devil is in the details, and the guest experience is no exception.Gone are the days where travelers are simply looking for a roof over their head and a bed to sleep in. Whether traveling for business or pleasure, guests today crave an enhanced, novel experience that either encompasses all the comforts of home (and more) or allows them to indulge in uncommon luxury. What does this mean? Well, just as hotels need to invest in their property, their staff and their operational technology, they absolutely have to invest in their amenities.In fact, PwC's Consumer Intelligence Series Report on hotel brand loyalty revealed that room quality is the #1 reason both business and leisure travelers choose a hotel.Let's put this theory to work. In the first scenario, imagine you've checked-in to your hotel which features a modern, sprawling lobby, speedy self-service check-in and friendly, thoughtful staff. As you make your way to your room, you take in the surrounding view while a staff member tells you about an incredible restaurant on the property that you must try while visiting. Once you enter your room, you set aside your luggage and scan your surroundings. The room is clean and laid out nicely, but you're disappointed to realize there is no in-room coffee maker. As you make your way to the bathroom, you also notice that you've only been given one small bar of soap to be used between the sink and the shower. You shrug this off, kick off your shoes and take a seat on the bed to turn on the TV. Unfortunately, you only have access to 10 or so channels and none of them seem to be playing anything of interest. Naturally, you turn over to your phone to connect to the hotel Wi-Fi and scroll through social media, but the Wi-Fi seems to be spotty and pages simply aren't loading as quickly as they should. At this point, it's getting late and you realize you haven't eaten since the flight, so you skim through the room service menu and decide on a glass of Cab Merlot, steak and vegetables. Around 20 minutes later, you finally hear a knock at your door and intercept your dinner along with a cling-wrapped glass of wine.Now, let's consider a second scenario. Your check-in process remains the same, only when you arrive at your room you realize it's equipped with an in-room Nespresso as well as an in-room wine appliance. Your bathroom is decked out with high-end shampoo and body wash, and the TV even has complimentary Netflix. The Wi-Fi is free and fast, and you've even been provided with an in-room iPad to control features such as the TV, alarms, lighting and temperature. Even better? Rather than waiting for your glass of wine to arrive with dinner, you're able to serve up a glass immediately, using the in-room wine appliance.While the hotel in both scenarios manages to capitalize on a positive property experience, the first hotel is lacking in terms of in-room amenities. Sure, these might seem like minor details in theory, but let's face it, guests often judge a hotel by the amenities it keeps. Ask yourself -- if you were the guest, which experience would you be more likely to rave about to friends and family, or write a positive review about? Ultimately, those hotels which invest in high-end amenities are making a brand statement that modern guests are extremely receptive to, and which contribute to a memorable stay.After all, in an age where consumer loyalty is especially difficult to earn, it becomes more important than ever before for companies to go above and beyond in their delivery of customer service. For those hotels hoping to curate a more luxurious guest experience, this could mean:Complimentary pick-up/drop-off chauffeur servicePlum in-room wine on demandComplimentary Netflix or streaming service on a SmartTVExtra charging ports and/or an in-room iPadAlexa or Google voice-activated assistantPillow menuUltimately, paying mind to the bottom line to curate a seamless and thoughtful guest experience (throughout every touch-point) allows guests to feel comfortable and at home, while experiencing memorable luxury both in-room and on the property. While this may represent one piece of the guest satisfaction puzzle, amenities represent an important opportunity to invest in an enhanced guest experience and truly differentiate your hotel.

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