Tag Archives: Online Branding

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

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

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “Hoteliers Need to Own Their Property Website”

While low cost and minimal fees are an appealing draw, rental websites are a classic example of a scenario in which one gets what one pays for, but in this case, possibly even less since the ownership of the site and what hoteliers are putting funds toward is not theirs at the end of the day.hotel website This doesn’t even take into account the additional shortcomings seen from rented hotel websites such as no search engine optimization, little service or support following the initial set-up, a limited number of site pages, photos or content and so on.

The hospitality industry has seen a number of agencies offering hoteliers a low-cost, low-budget website that they can rent. It has been widely noted that these agencies, which promise all of the bells and whistles associated with investing thousands of dollars and development resources, often leave hoteliers in the lurch after the deal is done.

Why? A number of reasons, but perhaps the most important is that agencies that rent hotel websites do not provide hoteliers with true ownership of their content which becomes problematic as explained below.

It should come as no surprise that a hotel’s digital assets should be owned by the property, however, the subject of digital ownership seems to be overlooked by hoteliers doing business with rental agencies. Hoteliers’ ownership should reach past the physical ownership of their property to include their digital content and here is why:

For more: http://bit.ly/1FoRs6F

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “3 Ways the Hotel Industry is Changing”

“We’re under attack right now,” he said. “We’re under direct attack. We’ve got Expedia and Orbitz planning a merger. They have 75% of the online marketplace. This is like the Klingons and Romulans teaming up together.”3 ways hotel industry changing…David Kong, president and CEO of Best Western International, said he is not surprised to see consolidation among online travel agencies considering that some hotel companies are consolidating, too.

J. Allen Smith has a problem.

“I keep feeling: ‘What should I be worried about?’” the president and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts said Tuesday during a general session “The leaders forum” panel at the 37th annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference.

“You’re mindful of a plethora of risks. None of them seems to be materializing in a way that seems to be disrupting anything, but you have to be mindful of them,” he said

Smith’s comment succinctly summed up the sentiment on Day Two of the NYU Conference. With the industry hitting on all cylinders, it can be difficult to find things to be concerned about.

Difficult, but not impossible it turns out, as top leaders from around the industry discussed their biggest concerns in this part of the cycle. One of the recurring themes throughout the three-hour long series of morning general sessions had to do with how the hotel industry itself is in transition.

For more: http://bit.ly/1MsNG1s

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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

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Hospitality Industry Conference Update: “California Hotel Owner Conference”

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Come out and see Brad Durbin from Petra Risk Solutions in the educational session:

Hotel Cyber Liability:  Claim Trends & Cost Analysis

 

Last year’s Hotel Owner Conference was a huge success!  So back by popular demand, join the California Hotel & Lodging Association, June 11-12, 2015 at the historic, state-of-the-art Silverado Resort & Spa, in the world-famous Napa Valley. The conference will bring together hotel owners, brands, brokers, CEO’s and other hotel industry experts for a conference all about networking, deal-making and high-level education.

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

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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

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Attract Millennials With Millennials”

“I see folks around me in the hotel industry, and they’re bouncing between jobs.… When we are bringing on this staff, it’s important to show them there is this upward mobilityInforgraphic Attract millennials and there is a reason you should be here for more than two years,” he said. “I think that’s important and maybe this whole jumping around between jobs is getting a bad rap about loyalty.”

Front-desk associate or freestyle rapper? The two need not be mutually exclusive—particularly as operators seek “rock stars” to provide a more authentic level of service to guests who increasingly want that real experience.

Who better to know about what millennial guests, in particular, want than hoteliers who belong to that generation?

“I always harp on with my corporate staff, I want people at the front desk who have a rock-star personality,” said Ravi Patel, the 29-year-old president of Hawkeye Hotels.

He has just that in Del, a front-desk associate at one of Hawkeye’s hotels who dabbles in freestyle rap on his off days. Working alongside Del is another double-duty performer who spends part of his time as a bartender.

“These guys know exactly what it is to be really engaged with your audience,” Patel said. “So now whenever I see the surveys come in from that hotel, it literally names off, ‘Oh yeah, I talked to Del, and he told me what he does in Des Moines.’ It’s really capturing a different kind of associate as well and getting them to work for you.”

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