Tag Archives: Hotel Reviews

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “How to Use Reviews to Size Up the Competition”

One of my panelists (he who cannot be named) brought up an interesting tactic to help hoteliers size up the competition and see how they’re delivering on the guest experience.hotel website Have you ever thought about really digging into TripAdvisor’s “star” reviewers’ reviews? That’s a mouthful. But it’s an interesting way to look at what your hotel might be missing the mark on.

As our readers might know, Hotel News Now is deep in the throes of the beast that is the Hotel Data Conference. Leading up to the event, which kicked off last night, we pulled the data, assigned stories and called our panelists. (Shameless self-promotion: Hear me moderate the panel titled “Online, offline: Keeping your reputation intact”).

While this is only my second time moderating a panel, I have to say I’m really excited about this one. Why, you ask? Well, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with each one of my panelists via phone about how the discussion will go. Let’s just say we’re all on the same page when it comes to giving you some concrete examples of how your hotel can better manage its reputation.

I don’t want to spoil all the fun, but I wanted to give you all a preview of what to expect during the panel, which will take place right before lunch on Thursday, 6 August. OK, enough of the self-promotion. Hopefully I’ve already wooed you.

For more: http://bit.ly/1T3M9kT

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Social Media, Technology

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “Company Uses Technology to Reduce Hotel Noise”

Given that studies have shown an increase in a hotel rating can correlate to an increase in the all-important average daily rate for a property,hotel noiseit’s no wonder why the hotel industry is trying to find ways to anticipate guests’ needs before they have time to bring it to the attention of hotel staff.

In a busy, bustling world, noise can be a problem for both hotel guests and hoteliers.

One company, Quietyme, has set out to reduce noise and cut down disturbances with the help of advanced technology.

Quietyme — founded in 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin — uses sensors to pick up the decibel levels of locations. Sensors can be placed in individual rooms and are connected via an electronic network. The sensors not only pick up the origin of high noise levels, but also indicate which particular rooms within a property are affected, based on each room’s decibel level. Reports are then sent to hotel staff either via mobile device or through the main hotel system.

Huey Zoroufy, COO of Quietyme, said the technology was originally designed for apartment managers, who used it to both monitor noise levels and curb property damage associated with high noise levels.

For more: http://bit.ly/1IeSGGy

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Technology

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “How Hotels Can Engage Guests Through Social Media”

As hotel guests continue to turn to social media as their primary source for information gathering and remote communication,SocialMedia hoteliers will be presented with numerous opportunities to create engagement among their guests via social media. If they succeed at connecting with guests on a social level, they can remain at the forefront of those customers’ minds when they book their next trip.

It’s no secret that social media plays a major role in the way the hospitality industry connects with customers. There are, however, more ways for hotels to use social media than to just attract guests before they book. With creativity and ingenuity, hotels can use this medium as a powerful marketing channel to build brand affinity and loyalty by engaging guests in conversations during their stays.

Below are simple but innovative ways a few major hotels are already using social media to create memorable guest experiences:

Installing Social Walls
The desire to connect with and meet new people is one that is shared by nearly all of mankind, but compelling any person to actively make connections with other guests during a hotel stay can be tricky. The Four Seasons Dallas, however, came up with a brilliant tactic to overcome this obstacle. During the Fourth of July holiday in 2013, the hotel unveiled “social walls” in its lobby. The walls consisted of screens that showed social posts of people staying at the hotel.

For more: http://bit.ly/1KcyOG4

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Issues, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Social Media, Technology

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “5 Ways to Improve Responses on TripAdvisor”

Leisman cited data form a Phocuswright poll of the TripAdvisor community of travelers that found 84% of U.S. users agreed that an appropriate managementonline engagement response to a bad review “improves my impression of the hotel.” Six of 10 users (62%) said seeing hotel management responses to reviews generally “makes me more likely to book it (versus a comparable hotel that didn’t respond to travelers).”

It’s funny observing the disparate number of policies hoteliers employ regarding reviews on TripAdvisor. Company A insists on responding to every comment, while Company B tells its managers to reply only to the bad. Company C takes a different tact entirely: It doesn’t respond to any.

Those are the broad buckets. Nuances and further variation exist at each stage along the spectrum. And each company that employs them insists theirs is the only and obvious approach.

Some variety might be warranted. One hotel is often not like the other, so I understand a degree of unique plans that appeal to unique bases of demand, product offerings and location types.

But clearly there are some hoteliers who, despite their best intentions, are engaging with guests on TripAdvisor in a manner that could prove potentially harmful to further review rankings and thus future bookings.

In cases such as these, I find it’s best to go straight to the source for the prescribed best practices. In this case, that would be TripAdvisor—or more specifically, Heather Leisman, business VP of industry marketing.

This topic was top of mind for her. TripAdvisor recently released a report which examined why travelers write reviews. The top reason? “To share useful information with others” and because “they find reviews helpful, so they want to give back.” (Who knew the TripAdvisor online community was so altruistic?)

For more: http://bit.ly/1cgseQT

2 Comments

Filed under Employee Practices, Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Social Media

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Hotels’ Lessons For Marketing to Multi-Generational Travelers”

“The marketing world is getting older and younger all at the same time but not in all the same places. The demographic picture is like a two-humped camel: a large group of Boomers (born 1946-1964)IMG_4934 and Millennials (born 1982-2000). The big opportunity for brands is strategically managing both of these groups at the same time. That applies to any number of stay occasions, including multi-generational trips together.

As summer inches closer in the U.S. so do the waves of grandparents and their families ready to relax and flex their spending power on vacations.

Multi-generational travel already has a strong showing at hotels and destinations around the world and if the 80 million people who will be considered older Americans by 2020 are any indication, this market will undoubtedly continue to flourish.

One Hotel’s Strategy 

Preferred Hotels and Resorts, previously Preferred Hotel Group, released the results of its national survey in December on U.S. multi-generational travelers. The findings emphasize that even though hotels need to think of this market holistically, the way properties communicate with the various generations should be differentiated.

“Millennials, for example, don’t want to feel like they’re being specifically marketed to,” said Lindsey Ueberroth, president and CEO of Preferred Hotels and Resorts. “This market stays longer and spends more. Grandparents are the ones who are paying for these vacations but it’s the millennials who are influencing where they’re going.”

For more: http://bit.ly/1yOELpK

Leave a comment

Filed under Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Social Media

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Issues Loom For Keyless Entry in Hotels”

“At the moment, the complications might be magnified for multi-brand, multi-property operators piloting more than one keyless system from morekeyless-entry than one brand/vendor, but sources said that this somewhat disjointed approach may actually be preferable to a universal solution; at least until keyless tech is a little further along in its development cycle.”

As hotel companies across the industry begin to embrace keyless entry technology, they will also need to work out the challenges that go hand in hand with such integration.

Major conglomerates such as Hilton Worldwide Holdings and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide are continuing to conduct pilot testing across multiple properties and brands. Starwood is backing up the technology with a $15-million investment. After launching its SPG Keyless solution at select properties (Aloft Beijing; Aloft Cancun; Aloft Cupertino; Aloft Harlem; W Doha; W Hollywood; W Hong Kong; W New York-Downtown; W Singapore; and Element Times Square), the company is now installing SPG Keyless in 30,000 doors at all of its 150 global W, Aloft and Element hotels.

In the meantime, Hilton is pilot testing its own mobile-enabled room key technology at 10 U.S. properties. By year’s end, the company expects to offer the digital amenity at all U.S. properties of four brands: Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Canopy by Hilton. Looking ahead to 2016, Hilton will then deploy the technology at scale across 11 brands globally. Similar to the SPG Keyless solution, Hilton’s keyless entry platform is driven by the company’s branded mobile app. Hilton hopes the keyless system will drive usage of the app, which hoteliers can then use to drive incremental revenue through mobile devices. It’s a potentially major revenue source to sway hoteliers who might still be on the fence.

For more: http://bit.ly/1Fusi7x

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Technology

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “The Threat Most Hoteliers are Ignoring”

“That’s particularly true when hoteliers begin marking their competitive differentiation on price20150327_AirbnbNYC—the average price of an Airbnb listing in NYC hovers slightly above $200/night and is well below the average cost of a hotel room in, say, Manhattan.”

“Is anyone worried about Airbnb?”

Nary a hand was raised when Mark Woodworth asked that question from the main stage at the Hunter Hotel Conference. The head of PKF Hospitality Research had to peer into the sea of some 1,200 attendees, hand above his squinted eyes like a sailor gazing into a foggy horizon, to find any. There were maybe five in all.

“Well, I’m going to talk about it anyway,” Woodworth said.

He was right to do so. The peer-to-peer accommodations platform is a threat to both demand and rate. We’ve documented that fact time and time again. Hoteliers just don’t want to hear it.

This dismissive attitude is based on the fact that it takes a lot of Airbnb supply to truly steal share. To reach that mass, Airbnb needs a strong concentration of willing hosts in high-demand markets such as New York City and San Francisco.

For more: http://bit.ly/1CNEnao

Leave a comment

Filed under Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management