Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Virtual Reality Tech For Hotels

A technology once largely embraced by gamers only, is now being adopted by businesses in a variety of ways. The hotel industry is beginning to implement VR (virtual reality) technology in a number of innovative ways, particularly for marketing purposes. Being a visual experience, VR is a natural fit and offers hotels as well as chains the opportunity to present their properties in a new and exciting format.  

Virtual reality is a visual, interactive simulation which is three-dimensional and in real-time. The technology utilizes various input devices to help create the simulation including headsets, wands or game controllers. With these devices motion is tracked and translated into the virtual actions within the created setting. The result is an extremely immersive experience for the user, which renders them a feeling of actually being in the virtual world.

Virtual Reality Hotel Marketing

Marketing hotels through the use of virtual reality technology is the perfect stage, with the right audience, from which hoteliers can showcase the richly luxurious nature of their properties. Potential future guests can be completely immersed in the experiences the hotel brand has to offer them, before they ever arrive. The guest may take virtual tours of room accommodations and hotel amenities, potentially driving revenue through not only bookings, but upgrades as well. In keeping with the more personalized hotel experience being offered by hoteliers, virtual reality is capable of giving users a true sense of having visited a place they have never physically been.

Although virtual reality is in its infancy, the future holds much promise for the technology as it develops further. The advent of 360-degree videos on both YouTube and Facebook are examples of the technology’s direction. Eventually, virtual reality will be viewable via web browsers and mobile apps through the WebVR standard which is to come in the very near future. The ability to seamlessly connect mobile devices and desktop computers to this technology will greatly expand its acceptance throughout society in time. Virtual reality will then become as ubiquitous as a smartphone is currently. Forward-thinking hoteliers are acknowledging this fact and are now beginning to adopt virtual reality tech to remain ahead of the technology curve.

Virtual reality provides a greatly enhanced means of visually communicating the brand message of hotels to its potential guests. This highly engaging platform will prove itself of great value to hotels that incorporate the technology into their overall marketing strategy.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Hospitality News For The Week Of 9/22/17

Hurricane Irma slammed the State of Florida over the weekend beginning September 9, ultimately causing billions of dollars of damage across most of the peninsula. While the rebuilding is ongoing, the hospitality industry is springing back to life and encouraging tourists to come and enjoy all the Sunshine State has to offer. Traditional tourism hotspots, such as Miami and Orlando, are very much open for business. Harder hit areas like the Keys and Southwest Florida will take a bit longer, but many hotels expect to welcome tourists soon. Full Story Here:

3 things to know about the US leisure traveler

Research recently revealed by Phocuswright puts together a picture of the average U.S. leisure traveler. During a webinar, Phocuswright provided details of their research which indicates the typical U.S. leisure traveler is young, affluent and a super-consumer. They are on average aged 18 to 34, earn $75,000 a year and 84 percent of them own a smartphone. The average U.S. leisure traveler is a super-consumer because they are not averse to using their discretionary spending on hotels, fashion, accessories and entertainment. Full Story Here:

New TravelClick Study And Data Project 2017 As A Record Year For GDS Hotel Bookings

A study conducted by TravelClick and Phoenix Marketing International is reporting that travel agents around the globe are using Global Distribution Systems (GDS) at a record pace to make hotel reservations. According to the 2017 Global Travel Agent GDS study 68 million reservations will be made utilizing GDS, making 2017 a record year for GDS bookings with an increase of over 2 million compared to 2016. The research also indicates 50 percent of travel agents are using GDS more than a year ago. FullStory Here:

STR: U.S. hotel results for week ending 16 September

Positive performance figures were posted by the U.S. hotel industry for the week of 10-16 September 2017, according to STR. When compared to the same week in 2016, industry-wide occupancy was up by +0.5 percent at 72.2 percent for the week. Average daily rate rose by 1.4 percent to finish the week at $131.50. Revenue per available room was 1.8 percent higher, ending the week at $94.97. Full Story Here:

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Creating A Personalized Hotel Stay For Guests - Part 3

In efforts to bring personalization into the guest experience during the stay, the hotel property itself is where technology can truly shine for hoteliers. Traditionally, the hospitality industry has been slow to adopt many of the new and innovative technologies available. Lack of funding is most often cited as the reason for this situation. However, the implementation of room technology can raise the hotel guest experience to new heights and improve hotel efficiency in the process.

The Smart Hotel Room

The new smart hotel room experience begins when the guest arrives at the door to their accommodations. By eliminating room keys, which can be easily lost or forgotten, hoteliers can allow customized room access to guests via an app on their smartphones. Keyless hotel room entry offers guests a greater level of security as well. Upon entry the guest may even continue using their phone to turn on and adjust the lighting and temperature in their accommodations. The same technology that provides guests more direct control of the climate in their room, grants hotels a greater degree of automated control once the guest leaves the room or checks out. Having this capability can raise hotel energy efficiency standards dramatically for hoteliers.

Consumers are increasingly embracing voice control technology within their homes. This offers another personalization opportunity for hotels, but which has seen limited implementation to date. This is probably because the learning curve in the beginning for users can be rather steep. If guests have trouble using such a system they will either abandon it or be making calls for the assistance to hotel staff, defeating the purpose. However, as voice command technology improves and becomes more ubiquitous, many hotels will be compelled to get onboard.

The traveler of today expects the same standards of digital accessibility found in their homes, available to them when they travel and stay in a hotel. The smart hotel room provides guests the ability to fully and seamlessly utilize all the capabilities of their various mobile and online devices during their stay, as if they are at home. High-Speed Internet access in smart hotel accommodations, in addition to common areas of the hotel, is a top priority for travelers and a necessary requirement for them to access streamed entertainment.

Travelers are now bringing their own entertainment content with them on their mobile devices. What they need is television access to their various streaming content services, such as Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix. This has created the necessity of truly high-speed Internet in every room. Smart televisions provided in-room would enable hotel guests to entertain themselves on their own terms. The days of hotel rooms merely offering cable TV to their guests is now in the past. The added benefits for hoteliers for smart televisions is that they offer the elimination of external cable or satellite boxes and greater control for the hotel of content they provide.

Affording a greater degree of control to the guest over every aspect of their hotel experience is the key to creating a more personalized experience for them.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Hospitality News For The Week Of 9/1/17

Harvey hits Texas: Hotel tax suspended, hoteliers take action

Hurricane Harvey inundated Southeast Texas and Louisiana with over 50 inches of rain, causing the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, to suspend all state and local taxes on hotels in a thirty county disaster area. In response to the catastrophe, hoteliers have been offering shelter at reduced rates to those in need, first responders and relief-effort personnel as much as possible. Full Story Here:

Hurricane Harvey Will Send Ripples Through U.S. Hotel Industry

During this week’s Southern Lodging Summit in Memphis, TN hospitality experts were predicting that Hurricane Harvey would have a lasting impact on the U.S. hotel industry. STR, which had projected a 2.1 percent increase in room supply and a 2.3 percent rise in revenue per room for 2018, is now going to be revising those figures based on Harvey’s influence on the industry. A result of the disaster will be the relocation of many conventions while Houston area hotels recover and rebuild. Full Story Here:

U.S. Hotel Demand Hits an All-Time High

According to data published by CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research, demand for U.S. hotels has just reached an all-time high. This is an indication of business conditions being currently favorable, despite weak growth in Gross Domestic Product not only in the U.S. but the rest of the world. A number of reasons are given for the rapid growth in hotel demand including shifting demographics, the influence of online bookings, and budget airlines offering affordable travel. Full Story Here:

US Hotel Occupancy Up 3.0 Percent To 69.5 Percent - Week Ending August 26th - 2017

According to performance data published by STR, the U.S. hotel industry posted positive results during the week of 20-26 August 2017. Compared to the same period last year, industry-wide occupancy was up by +3.0 percent to reach 69.5 percent by the end of the week. Average daily rate rose by 3.2 percent to $125.57 by week’s end. Revenue per available room climbed 6.3 percent higher to finish the week at $87.28. Full Story Here: