Thursday, December 29, 2016

Business Travel Tips Part 2

Here in part two of our business travel tips blog, we will examine some more ways to make travel less stressful and go more smoothly.

Bring hand sanitizer - Bacteria and viruses may be everywhere, however in airplanes, hotels and restaurants you are especially vulnerable because of the tight spaces and lots of people passing through. Wash your hands often and keep them away from your face as well as use hand sanitizer.

Join a rewards program - The benefits of joining a rewards program for both airlines and hotels are enormous. From no blackout dates and earning miles for free flights from airlines, to room upgrades and free room stays from hotels, joining a rewards program clearly has its benefits.

Fly with the same airline - Even if you do not travel enough to benefit from a rewards program, flying with the same airline does show the airline that you are a loyal customer.  A benefit to this is that the experience will be familiar and you will know what to expect, making travel less stressful.

Try to beat the jet lag - Jet lag is hard to avoid, but you can take some steps to lessen its effects, such as get plenty of rest before you leave home. On the plane, take sleep aids, stay hydrated, and avoid alcohol.

Hopefully, by taking action with some of these tips, business travel can be a lot less stressful. 

Visit us at aboveproperty.com


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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Hotel Brand Loyalty - Part 3

The ongoing struggle for booking supremacy between hotels and the online travel agencies is forcing hoteliers to reevaluate their loyalty rewards programs. The points-based rewards offered by hotels are no longer adequate enough to earn the continuous brand loyalty of their guests. To gain and keep the traveling public’s loyalty, hoteliers must be more innovative in their approach with an emphasis on relationship building. Successfully transforming a customer into a brand advocate, one who will encourage others to stay with a particular hotel, requires going further than offers of a free night stay.

 

Customer Relationship Building 

The economic benefits for travelers of free giveaways and discounts from hotels cannot be denied. Particularly in regards to newer loyalty program members, financial rewards do effectively begin the relationship building process. New guests have trust in the brand and commitment to the program instilled in them through financial rewards. However, creating a true relationship, one which will result in sustained brand advocacy, demands making each and every guest feel uniquely special in the eyes of the hotel.

To instill those emotions in their guests, hoteliers should focus their efforts on perks that will feel inclusive. Generate enthusiasm among guests with offers as simple as Wi-Fi, movies, or even room upgrades when availability allows. Guests also love to be rewarded with the gift of complimentary services such as salon or spa treatments. Some hotels are now even trading unforgettable experiences for the brand devotion of their guests. Hotels can partner with local area venues for sports, concerts, or excursions. Memories of amazing experiences will last much longer than the memory of a free room night. 

Hotels can do much to make loyalty club members feel welcome before, during, and after their stay. Invite all first time guests to join the hotel’s loyalty program in advance of their stay, along with an invitation to the hotel’s online social channels. Encourage participation in feedback to the hotel at any time during or after their experience. Upon arrival, members should be welcomed with expedited check-in or even extended check-out times as well.

In the end, the most effective hotel rewards programs offer a well balanced approach composed of both financial benefits and customer relationship building measures. Both of which will develop true hotel brand advocates out of guests. These guests will both sustain and grow the hotel’s reputation into the future.  

 

Visit us at aboveproperty.com

 


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Friday, December 23, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 12/23/16

Hotel Industry On The Right Path To Full Accessibility 

The Open Doors Organization has released the results of a two-year study of hotel access for travelers with disabilities and is reporting great improvement in that regards. In 2015, 46 percent of hotel guests reported major obstacles, this represents a 23 percent decrease since the last survey in 2005 documented a 60 percent finding. Other significant findings include: difficulty with doors reduced by 50 percent and inadequate bathroom space reduced by 55 percent. Full Story Here:

 

STR: US hotel performance for November 2016

Compared to November 2015, the U.S. hotel industry reported positive performance numbers for the month of November 2016. Industry-wide occupancy was 2.5 percent higher for the month, rising to 60.7 percent. Average daily rate saw 3.4 percent of growth, climbing to $119.71 by the end of November. This resulted in a 5.9 percent increase in revenue per available room to end the month at $72.68. Revenue per available room has now grown year-to-year for the 81 consecutive months. Full Story Here:

 

STR: US hotel results for week ending 17 December

The U.S. hotel industry saw increases in all three performance yardsticks for the week of 11-17 December 2016. Compare to the same time period last year, industry-wide occupancy climbed 4.7 percent to reach 54 percent for the week. Average daily rate was higher by 4.8 percent, ending up at $111.59 by week’s end. Revenue per available room jumped up by 9.7 percent to finish at $60.31 by the end of the week. Full Story Here:

 

4 Best Practices to Protect Guest Data

The holidays are a particularly vulnerable time for travelers, especially in regards to connectivity with unknown wireless networks. The convenience of our 24-7 connected world comes with considerable security risks. Hoteliers can protect their guests in a variety of ways including conducting regular audits of a hotel’s wireless space and keeping up with the latest industry standards and practices. Full Story Here:

 


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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Business Travel Tips Part 1

Traveling for business can be both hectic and stressful. Keeping a positive attitude can be hard, especially when flights are delayed or cancelled, or the car rental company charges you for the wrong car. That said, there are ways to minimize inconveniences and make business trips more tolerable and less stressful. Here are a few tips:

Be Prepared - Carefully plan every detail of your business trip as far out in advance of the trip as you can. Double check all dates and times on flights and your hotel check in. Map out the best routes to all of the places that you will be visiting while on the trip. Always try to stay ahead of the game and think about what could go wrong with your current plans.

Pack Light - Only take what you absolutely need for the trip. Try to fit everything in a carry-on so that you do not have to check your luggage at the airport. This will ensure that your luggage does not get lost. It will save you time and you will have everything that you need with you at all times.

Good Hotels - Choosing the right hotel can make all of the difference in the world. Try to pick a hotel that has great service, a close location to where you are going to be most of the time for your meetings, and has great facilities, such as comfortable beds and clean showers.

Eat Healthy - It is very easy to eat unhealthy while on a business trip. You are always on the go and need something fast. There are temptations everywhere, even that pastry tray in the meeting room! Slowdown and take a few minutes to choose more healthy alternatives like salads, lean meats, vegetables, and drink plenty of water.

Have Fun - If you get any free time, get out and have some fun. This will relieve stress and take some pressure off of you. Take advantage of being in a new place and play tourist for a while by going to see some local landmarks, restaurants, tourist attractions, or museums.  


In part 2 of this series we look at more ways to make your business trips go as smooth as possible. 

Visit us at aboveproperty.com

 


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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Hotel Brand Loyalty - Part 2

Gaining the brand loyalty of hotel guests is one of the most pressing issues for hoteliers in recent years. With such intense competition between hotel chains as well as online travel agencies all vying for the hotel guest dollar, loyalty is of vital importance. Today’s hotel guest books their stay with high expectations. The conveniences offered by technology in our everyday lives have built up the anticipation that this will carry over when we travel. Travelers now expect and demand a hotel experience customized to their individual needs and tastes.

Mobile technology grants hoteliers an exciting means to meet the expectations of their guests with an unprecedented level of exceptional personalized service. Gaining the brand loyalty of guests requires a commitment on the part of hotels to invest in their customers through the provision of these technologies. Hotel guests are seeking greater control over their hotel guest experience every at step of the way. Hotel provided mobile apps empower them to do so.

With a hotel app downloaded to their smartphone or tablet, customers can chose from among common variables such as, room size and bed type, to customizing the room temperature and even selecting food and drinks for the mini-bar. All of these selections may be made in prior to their arrival, from any mobile device armed with an app from the hotel. Also, these settings may be retained and be waiting for the guest upon their next arrival, either at that location or another property in the case of a chain.

Considering how pervasive mobile devices have become and the resultant expectations of the public, the minimum standard for all hotels should be a website optimized for mobile. Those hotels and chains that choose to go the extra mile for their customers with a user-friendly and free mobile app will reap the rewards of improved brand loyalty, resulting in increased hotel bookings. The traveling public now seems more than willing to dream about, plan the details, and make all the arrangements for their travel via mobile devices. This includes actually paying for and booking the hotel. Giving customers an in-house mobile app that they feel comfortable with seems to make sense for hotel brands with the desire to win over their customer’s loyalty.

In part 3 of this series we will see how the hotel rewards program is experiencing innovative upgrades in the process of earning brand loyalty. 

Visit us at aboveproperty.com

 


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Friday, December 16, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 12/16/16

Hoteliers planned for interest-rate rise, see benefits
The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.25% this week, but hoteliers see the increase as a positive move. Hotels view the interest rate hike as an inevitable necessity that is not surprising. The increase was the first since December of 2015 and is not expected to have a widespread or deep impact on the hospitality industry. Many hoteliers have already included the higher rates into their upcoming budgets in advance of the move. Full Story Here:

US Hotel Occupancy Up 1.7 Percent To 59.2 Percent - Week Ending December 10th - 2016
Hotels across the U.S. posted positive performance numbers for the week of 4-10 December 2016. According to data published by STR, industry-wide occupancy was higher by 1.7 percent when compared to the same period last year. Average daily rate increased by 3.9 percent to reach $120.12 for the week. Revenue per available room saw an increase of 5.7 percent to attain $71.08 by the end of the week. Full Story Here:

3 Hospitality Trends to Look for in 2017
As the year comes to a close, the hospitality industry should see three trends have an impact during 2017. Increasing brand loyalty through guest feedback is near the top on the list, particularly in regards to business travelers. Guest personalization will continue its preeminence for hotels in 2017. Also, hotels are expected to increase their targeting of Millennial Generation travelers as well. Full Story Here:

2016 see sharp rise in buyers using sharing economy suppliers
Business travel saw an astronomical rise in the utilization of sharing economy travel suppliers during the year of 2016. Travel managers have increased inclusion of sharing economy providers such as Airbnb and Uber in their travel policies, with more than 28 percent doing so. This represents an astounding 250 percent increase over the only 8 percent in 2015. These figures come from the Business Travel Show poll of 178 European travel managers. Full Story Here:


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Monday, December 12, 2016

Hotel Brand Loyalty - Part 1

There has been much talk and effort within the hospitality industry during the course of 2016 around fostering hotel brand loyalty among guests. As hoteliers head into 2017, customer loyalty is likely to only increase in significance to the industry as the new year progresses. Hotels are building brand loyalty in a number of ways, some of which have been in use for a long time, such as providing guests with exceptional service. Others, including customer personalization, are a bit more recent and unconventional. Even the time tested technique of a reward programs are being implemented with new innovations.  

 

Guest Personalization

The effort to personalize the hotel guest experience has been mounting in recent years. Once reserved solely for luxury hotel guests, all hotels are discovering the benefits of customer personalization. Hotel guest personalization has become a powerful tool for hoteliers to build brand loyalty and garner increased direct bookings. Through such methods as dynamic content personalization, hotels can create individualized marketing messages based on past guest information and current interests.

The user’s past viewing history, both on the hotel website and elsewhere on the Internet, is tracked. This can include past online purchases and any reviews which may have been written by the user, combined with demographic and purchase information available from any past hotel stays. Even the geographic location of the user is taken into account. Taken together, this data can result in a truly customized website experience for users.

In another way, guest personalization is allowing hoteliers to utilize their customer data to create individualized room rates. This is called personalized loyalty pricing. The hotel tracks how frequently the guest stays and how much they spend while on-property and uses that information to arrive at a specific rate for each individual guest. Of course, the rates are within the agreed upon rate parity structure. However, the guest will see the consistently lower rates offered by the hotel’s brand website and be compelled to always book directly. This instills in hotel customers a feeling of being truly valued by the hotel brands they stay with, resulting in true loyalty.  

Emerging technologies offer exciting possibilities for hoteliers to make their guests feel uniquely special. In part 2 of this series we’ll examine how mobile technology is transforming the guest experience and in turn winning the brand loyalty of hotel guests. 

 

Visit us at aboveproperty.com


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Friday, December 9, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 12/9/16

Survey Reveals Americans Are Willing To Spend More And Prioritize Travel In 2017

Americans expect to significantly increase their travel budgets in 2017, according to the annual traveler survey published by Choice Hotels International. The increased spending comes despite American travelers feeling too busy for all the trips they would like to make in the coming year. Budgets for leisure travel in 2017 are 42 percent higher than in 2016. The top domestic destinations are Florida and California at 56 percent. Australia is the leading international destination with 63 percent. Full Story Here:

 

Legal landscape shifting for sharing-economy lodging

Recently settled lawsuits between Airbnb and large metropolitan areas have resulting in a shifting focus for state and local regulators. The City of New York and the State of New York recently settled with the website and agreed to shift their law enforcement efforts towards owners running illegal hotels, rather than the site. San Francisco is being sued by Airbnb in order to prevent the city from fining the site $1000.00 for each illegal listing. Full Story Here:

 

STR: US hotel results for week ending 3 December

The U.S. hotel industry posted mostly negative performance results for the week of 27 November through 3 December 2016, according to published data from STR. Compared to the same time period last year, industry-wide occupancy dropped 1.5 percent to 56.0 percent for the week. Average daily rate however climbed 0.5 percent higher, ending the week at $117.31. Revenue per available room saw a decline of 1.0 percent to finish the week at $65.65. Full Story Here:

 

Expedia Releases American Bleisure Traveler Study

The online travel agency Expedia has released its study of business travelers called Profile of the American Bleisure Traveler. The survey results state for example, 43 percent of all business trips blend in pleasure with business. The “bleisure” traveler tends to be a frequent traveler, with 32 percent traveling at least once or twice a month. The trips are two or three nights in length at least 71 percent of the time. Since the bleisure travelers are saving money on their leisure travel, 66 percent of them spend more money on leisure activities during their trip. Full Story Here:

 


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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hotel Point Of Sale Security - Part 2

Hotel customers usually seek overnight accommodations either to escape their everyday lives and find solace in vacation time, or for the necessity of travel for work. Whatever their reason for travel, the uncertainty of the hotel’s security of their personal information is the last worry they need to face when they are away from home. Hoteliers must protect the private information which has been entrusted to them by those from whom they derive their livelihood.

 

End-To End Encryption

Hackers never cease in their effort to develop malware designed to steal POS (Point of Sale) data. However, that data is completely useless to them if it is merely nothing more than encrypted information. By totally encrypting the credit card data in every step of the payments’ history, especially the instant the card is swiped, the data is significantly more secure.

Another method of data protection, called tokenization, involves creating a unique digital placeholder or token to represent the credit card data. Both techniques may be used together in a coordinated effort to mutually ensure data security.

 

Regular Testing

The assumption on the part of hoteliers, when they invest hard-earned revenue in new point-of-sale equipment, is that the hardware will perform its intended purpose in a highly secure manner. Hotels further assume the level of security is measured against the product’s adherence to payment industry standards. But, in this expectation hotels are terribly mistaken.

Many providers and installers of POS systems are not in fact security experts. Often times the systems may be incorrectly installed, opening the door to cyber criminals. To remain ahead of the hackers as much as is feasible, hoteliers are advised to have their POS systems pitted against the most up to date testing available. Security specialists can uncover vulnerabilities with the proper implementation.

Without the proper security steps in place, the one thing hotels can assume regarding their point-of-sale systems is the fact they have vulnerabilities that either are or will become breaches. However, as we have seen, all is not lost and this crime is largely preventable. 

 

Visit us at aboveproperty.com


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Friday, December 2, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 12/2/16

8 Big Travel Predictions for 2017

The online travel booking website, Booking.com has released the results of a study of travelers in ten markets, indicating future developments in travel during the coming year. The research points to eight key predictions for the state of travel in 2017. Among the findings, the technology-fueled impatience of travelers, the dissolving boundaries between business and leisure travel, and the drive to discover new destinations are at the top of the list. Full Story Here:

 

Hospitality meeting trends for 2017 revealed from fifth annual ‘State of the Meetings Industry’ Survey

The results of the fifth annual “State of the Meetings Industry” survey were published this week by Destination Hotels, part of Two Roads Hospitality. The survey uncovered expected trends in meetings during the upcoming year of 2017. Findings include; the changing age demographics of meeting attendees, the mixing of business and pleasure, and desire for flexibility and multi functionality of the host property spaces. Also of paramount importance is the on-site technology availability at host properties. Full Story Here:  

 

More and More Hotels Are Getting Rid of These Amenities

The American Hotel & Lodging Association has released a new survey, of over 8,000 hotels nationwide, asking them about the amenities they offer their guests. The results indicate that a number of common amenities are being offered less commonly now. Since the last survey in 2014, the number of hotels offering outdoor pools has dropped by five percent. And indoor pools are only provided at 36 percent of hotels now. Also, only five percent of hotels currently have an on-site spa. However, 85 percent now offer a gym or exercise room, a small increase over the previous survey. Full Story Here:

 

US Hotel Occupancy Up 2.7 Percent To 50.7 Percent - Week Ending November 26th - 2016

Positive performance results were posted by the U.S. hotel industry during the week of 20-26 November 2016, according to figures from STR. Compared to the same week last year, industry-wide occupancy was up by 2.7 percent to 50.7 percent for the week. Average daily rate climbed higher by 2.8 percent, to reach $107.66 at the end of the week. Revenue per available room rose by 5.5 percent, to attain $54.62 by week’s end. Full Story Here:

Visit us at aboveproperty.com

 

 


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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 11/18/16

15-year survey reveals F&B decline in hotels, but potential remains

The hospitality intelligence firm, HotStats, just released the results of a 15-year study of hotel food and beverage departments and their revenue performance across a nearly 45,000 room sample. The research found that UK hotels studied, food and beverage accounted for only 34.3 percent of hotel revenue. In the city of London it was even less at just 22 percent. HotStats attributes the findings to the growing cost of labor, which rose by 11.8 percent during the years studied. Growth in food and beverage revenue has lagged well behind the growth in room revenue during same time period. Full Story Here:

 

Moderate Growth Projected For The U.S. Hotel Industry In Final STR/Tourism Economics U.S. Forecast Of 2016

According to the last projections of 2016 released by STR and Tourism Economics, the U.S. hotel industry should see continued but muted performance growth in 2017. The predictions for the total year 2016 amount to flat occupancy at 65.4 percent, average daily rate up by 3.1 percent to $124.10 and revenue per available room increasing by 3.1 percent to reach $81.18 for the year. 2017 is predicted to bring occupancy levels lower by 0.5 percent to 65.1 percent, but average daily rate and revenue per available should climb by 2.8 percent and 2.3 percent respectively. Full Story Here:

 

Google says US hotel-related searches are up 25% in the US

Google has reported that hotel searches on the search engine rose by 25 percent between July 2015 and July 2016. This report comes as Google is in the midst of updating its Hotel Ads website. The changes enable hotel managers to filter language and pricing, while allowing under some pricing models, to delay payment until after a guest stays with the hotel. Full Story Here:

 

STR: US hotel results for week ending 12 November

Positive performance results were reported in the U.S. hotel industry for the week of 6-12 November 2016, according to data published by STR. Compared to the same time period last year, occupancy was up by 1.6 percent to 65.3 percent. Average daily rate climbed up 3.3 percent, to reach $122.70 for the week. And revenue per available room saw 5.0 percent of growth to end the week at $80.16. Full Story Here:

 

Visit us at aboveproperty.com


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Hotel Point Of Sale Security - Part 1

Over the course of the last few years hospitality has become one the most frequently targeted industries for cybercrime. This is due to a number of factors, including the very nature of hotels being so highly personal. Hotels maintain vast amounts of confidential information from their customers and hackers have uncovered ways to access a number of them. In the majority of hacking instances however, the point-of-sale (POS) system is the target of their attacks.

The consequences of security breaches of hotel customer credit card data go beyond mere embarrassment. The costs to hotels can be astronomical, both directly financial and in terms of reputation damage to the brand. If travelers don’t feel as if their private information is safe, they will simply book their stay somewhere else. Hotel guests should feel confident in the hotel’s data security measures.

The transience of the hospitality industry, with new guests arriving everyday at hotels bearing their fresh personal and credit card data, ensures a steady stream of potential victims for cyber thieves. These criminals utilize malware, software designed to access all the customer’s credit card information through any payment system. This includes not only the numbers and expiration dates, but the verification codes as well. Nevertheless, there are a growing number of solutions available to hoteliers, in order to remain a step ahead of the hackers’ schemes.

 

Chip and Pin POS System

Amazingly, some merchants have not yet implemented Chip and PIN technology, making them the most vulnerable to hacking. Hoteliers must install the most up to date and secure chip-based technology, if they haven’t already, in order to safeguard the credit card information of their guests. Hotel staff must also be fully trained with strict protocol put in place for them to follow, in regards to handling credit card information.

For example, eliminate default passwords and give each staff member a unique log-in. absolutely no shared passwords under any circumstances. Also, ensure the POS system is always fully compliant with the strict PCI standards. The POS system must be isolated from all other in-house networks as well.

 

Monitor Access Services

The remote payment processing service is a point of extreme vulnerability to the spread of malware and often goes completely undetected. Frequently, these services have incorporated weak passwords which can open up the gates to literally thousands of POS machines. Monitoring tools are available to enable hoteliers to detect any malicious actions. Additionally, hotels should implement two-step authentication protocols as well.

In part two of this series we will examine further steps which hoteliers can take to ensure complete security of their POS systems.  

Visit us at aboveproperty.com


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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Small Data For Hotels - Part 2

Marketing Personalization

Hoteliers are continually striving to more effectively reach their customers with their brand’s marketing messaging. Small Data offers hotels an opportunity to craft customized marketing messages for their customers on a unique basis. Small Data is the information regarding individual guests or small, distinct segments of customers, and readily available to hoteliers in the form of data created whenever they interact with the hotel in any way. In this manner, hotel marketing personalization is a powerful tool for hoteliers to build brand loyalty and garner increased direct bookings.

Small Data furnishes the information necessary in order to create content personalization. This is found in the data that hotels already have on hand and then compiles it to create individualized marketing messages based on past guest information; their current interests and hotel loyalty program information. This data, when combined with the online user data, gives hotels a powerful advantage over the competing online travel agencies and metasearch engines for booking customers directly.

Personalized content appears to website users when the website recognizes a past site visitor, and then tailors the web pages to them. In this way, the website user finds information which is highly relevant for them. This in turn leads to a higher degree of conversions of visitors into directly booking on the hotel’s website.

 

Some examples of marketing content personalization:

  • Recognizing the user’s IP address and adjust the website language for visitors from another part of the globe. Also specific promotions and offers can be tailored to an international audience.
  • Based on data available to the hotel, the website may detect that a website visitor is a business traveler. In which case they would see content specifically geared to that travel demographic. Hotel amenities such as on-property meeting facilities and the free high speed Wi-Fi connection would appear, for example.
  • In the case of the website recognizing a leisure traveler, the content displayed might include stunning visuals of the local surrounding area and the hotel’s place in the context of a destination. Offers accentuating the pleasurable relaxation available to hotel guests through the hotel’s spa and the delightful dining possibilities that await them are examples of content customized for a specific demographic segment. 

Small Data puts a highly personal and interactive face on the gathering of vast amounts of Big Data by hoteliers. The hospitality industry, by its personalized nature, can certainly profit in its effective utilization.  

 

Visit AboveProperty.com


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Monday, November 21, 2016

Last Class A building rising at Kraft Office Center

The groundbreaking ceremony was held on November 17th for the last Class A building to be constructed on the Kraft Office Center property, located just off Pine Ridge Road near I-75. Although the building development was postponed by the Great Recession; the developer, Fred Pezeshkan, believed that demand for a Class A building near I-75 would eventually see the project ultimately completed. The property was purchased by Pezeshkan and his partners in 2005, but were stymied by the complete collapse of the building market in the later portion of the last decade. The building is being completed by Manhattan Construction and is expected to be finished in September 2017.

 

The future tenant of the fourth floor of the new building will be the Naples-based software solution business, Above Property. The company’s expanding operations demand the space afforded by the entire fourth floor of the new Kraft Office Center building. Full Story Here:  

 

Above Property® is a cloud-based, social-enabled, travel software company, with deep knowledge of hotel technologies. Above Property was formed in 2013 to create the new standard for speed, flexibility and stability for hospitality CRS (Central Reservation System) solutions.


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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 11/18/16

15-year survey reveals F&B decline in hotels, but potential remains 

The hospitality intelligence firm, HotStats, just released the results of a 15-year study of hotel food and beverage departments and their revenue performance across a nearly 45,000 room sample. The research found that UK hotels studied, food and beverage accounted for only 34.3 percent of hotel revenue. In the city of London it was even less at just 22 percent. HotStats attributes the findings to the growing cost of labor, which rose by 11.8 percent during the years studied. Growth in food and beverage revenue has lagged well behind the growth in room revenue during same time period. Full Story Here:

 

Moderate Growth Projected For The U.S. Hotel Industry In Final STR/Tourism Economics U.S. Forecast Of 2016

According to the last projections of 2016 released by STR and Tourism Economics, the U.S. hotel industry should see continued but muted performance growth in 2017. The predictions for the total year 2016 amount to flat occupancy at 65.4 percent, average daily rate up by 3.1 percent to $124.10 and revenue per available room increasing by 3.1 percent to reach $81.18 for the year. 2017 is predicted to bring occupancy levels lower by 0.5 percent to 65.1 percent, but average daily rate and revenue per available should climb by 2.8 percent and 2.3 percent respectively. Full Story Here:

 

Google says US hotel-related searches are up 25% in the US

Google has reported that hotel searches on the search engine rose by 25 percent between July 2015 and July 2016. This report comes as Google is in the midst of updating its Hotel Ads website. The changes enable hotel managers to filter language and pricing, while allowing under some pricing models, to delay payment until after a guest stays with the hotel. Full Story Here:

 

STR: US hotel results for week ending 12 November

Positive performance results were reported in the U.S. hotel industry for the week of 6-12 November 2016, according to data published by STR. Compared to the same time period last year, occupancy was up by 1.6 percent to 65.3 percent. Average daily rate climbed up 3.3 percent, to reach $122.70 for the week. And revenue per available room saw 5.0 percent of growth to end the week at $80.16. Full Story Here:

 

 

 


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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Small Data For Hotels - Part 1

There is much hospitality industry buzz about Big Data, and rightfully so. But much less focus and attention on something called Small Data. Small Data can be viewed and understood as the people-oriented details of which Big Data is composed. It comes in actionable amounts which are highly manageable for even one marketer, when compared to the overwhelming quantities of information involved in Big Data. Small Data is very specific in nature as well.

While Big Data involves trends, patterns and how they are associated with large numbers of people, Small Data is linked to unique individuals or distinct segments of people. By using Small Data information regarding an individual guest, hotels can tailor marketing, promotions and services directly to the customer’s point of need. Small Data is readily available to hoteliers; customers create it whenever they interact with a hotel in any manner. Everything before, during and after their hotel stay creates actionable Small Data that can be utilized for both marketing purposes and improving the guest experience.  

 

Guest Personalization

Today’s traveler wants greater control of their hotel guest experience from start to finish and hotels which offer mobile apps enable them to do so. These same mobile apps provide hotels with the Small Data which they need to shape the hotel experience around the customer. Every preference given, service requested, or purchase made on the app by the hotel guest provides invaluable, personalized information to the hotel. Of course such personalized service and convenience comes at a price to the customer, in the form of personal information disclosure. Customers have been balancing the benefits against the risks. Hotel guests don’t mind as long as something is to be gained for them.

The world of today’s traveler has become evermore dependent on social media. The expectation of hotel guests is for continuity with their connected everyday lives when traveling. 21st century consumers have also become accustomed to a certain level of personalized service from brands in order to gain their loyalty. This requires a degree of empathy on the part of hotels. By furnishing a seamless online experience for their guests, hoteliers can better gather useful Small Data details from customers’ online connections with their brand. In this way, the brand can gain understanding and insight into their hotel guests and in doing so, better prepare the hotel to anticipate their wishes in advance upon their next stay.

In part two we will look into how Small Data can more effectively deliver personalized marketing messaging to hotel customers.

Visit AboveProperty.com

 


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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

CRM For Hotels Is Now SRM

Hospitality by its very nature is highly social, much more in fact than many other industries. The traveling public has adopted social media and its associated technology, namely mobile, in an unprecedented way. It would make sense if hotels lead the way for other businesses in harnessing the power of social media marketing and customer relationship management. Unfortunately for hoteliers, this is not the case at all. In fact, the hospitality industry is a bit behind others in this regard.

It’s essential for any successful social media marketing campaign to be properly managed in order to cultivate customer satisfaction and loyalty. The role of traditional customer relationship management has now become real-time and highly social. Such technology can assist hoteliers in carrying out the tasks of online interaction and feedback reactions. The key to building success with any campaign is continued engagement and interaction. The hotel’s reputation must also be protected continuously and bolstered whenever possible. Any online negativity, in any manner of comments or feedback, regarding the hotel must be dealt with swiftly. These all take valuable time and resources to accomplish.

Social media marketing can be extremely time-consuming, and in the case of an independent hotel, may be performed by one person who has much on their plate already. Moreover, social media networks and social behavior are continually evolving, making it difficult to stay ahead of the curve. Hoteliers need a tool to assist in their social media marketing efforts, so they can concentrate on what they do best - Making their guests feel at home.

 

Social Relationship Management

 

All-In-One Social Marketing Solution

An effective social media strategy is a core component in today’s “voice of the customer” world. The Above Property Social Relationship Management module lets you control and monitor your messaging within the Above Property Travel Platform. Dynamically execute marketing campaigns tied to inventory or occupancy controls. Easy-to-use, the Social Relationship Management module integrates several essential online marketing tools.

Operating in a fully distributed cloud environment, the Above Property Social CRM module can integrate with existing systems as well as take advantage of the full suite of complementary modules within the Above Property Travel Platform.

 

SRM KEY FEATURES 

  • Blogs and press releases
  • Social network channels
  • Marketing writing assistant
  • Coupon creation and distribution
  • Web analytics  

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 11/11/16

Election itself not likely to move economic needles

Despite much anxiety and dire predictions to the contrary, STR predicts there will be no lasting negative impacts from the 2016 presidential election. STR has found, in studies of the last seven elections, that presidents inherit the economy of their predecessor. Elections do not, in and of themselves, impact the hospitality industry in any way. Ultimately the industry conditions reflect the policies implemented during each administration. Full Story Here:

 

Close to one billion international tourists in the first nine months of 2016 

The first nine months of 2016 saw a surge in international tourism of 4 percent, compared to the same time period in 2015. 956 million tourists traveled internationally between January and September 2016, an increase of 34 million over the previous year. According to the UNWTO, tourism is extremely sensitive to outside forces and perceptions. Governments must work together with the travel industry to minimize the negative impacts from global threats to the safety and security of travelers. Full Story Here:

 

Tourism On Growth Path Despite Terror

The 24th World Travel Monitor Forum was recently held in Pisa, Italy. Reports from the forum indicate that the worldwide travel industry remains on path of growth, despite challenges from terrorism and political unrest. Outbound travel rose by 3.9 percent during the first 8 months of the year. The predictions for 2017 are extremely positive as well. Worldwide travel is expected to experience a growth level of between 4 to 5 percent next year. Full Story Here:

 

STR: US hotel results for week ending 5 November

The U.S. hospitality industry experienced mixed results during the week of 30 October through 5 November 2016, as compared to the same period last year. According to STR, industry-wide occupancy dropped by 3.5 percent to 64 percent for the week. Average daily rate, however, saw an increase of 1.6 percent by the end of the week. At week’s end revenue per available room fell 1.9 percent to end up at $78.82. Full Story Here:

 

Visit AbovePropert.com


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Friday, November 4, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 11/4/16

Paris Hotels Report A Staggering 15.1% Decline In RevPAR Through The First Three Quarters Of 2016

Hotels in Paris, France are experiencing an astounding drop in revenue per available room across the first three quarters of 2016. France is still reeling from the effects of a series of terrorist attacks this year. Paris hotels have seen a decline in RevPAR of 15.1 percent in 2016 so far. In France as a whole, RevPAR has fallen by 11.0 percent during the same time period. This is according to figures published by STR, which projects performance to recover in the second half of 2017 barring future attacks. Full Story Here:

 

Tech is enhancing travel experiences: CTA survey

A new study released by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has found that nearly all travelers who own a smartphone are now using them to enhance their travel experience. The survey points out how travelers utilize their devices for information access, contact their people back home and record their travel experiences through photos and video. Smartphones are most commonly used (64 percent), but digital cameras (61 percent), tablets (27 percent) and laptops (17 percent) are used as well. Full Story Here:

 

Survey Reveals Latest U.S. Hotel Trends

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) has published its 2016 Lodging Survey, conducted by STR. Key findings uncovered in the survey indicate how the hospitality industry is moving forward in a number of areas. Hoteliers are continually striving to improve the guest experience and provide a better value to their customers, while becoming a better global neighbor. Hotels are advancing through investments in technology, sustainability and charitable giving for example. Full Story Here:

 

STR: US hotel results for week ending 29 October

During the week of 23-29 October 2016, STR reports the U.S. hotel industry recorded positive performance figures. Compared to the same time period last year, industry-wide occupancy was up by 8.1 percent to 67.2 percent for the week. Average daily rate climbed 4.3 percent to finish at $125.98 by the end of the week. Revenue per available room rose 12.7 percent to attain $84.62 by week’s end. Full Story Here:

 

Visit us at www.aboveproperty.com 


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Friday, October 28, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 10/28/16

A hotelier’s guide to the 2016 presidential election

With the upcoming 2016 presidential election, STR has published an informative infographic explaining the candidates’ positions on a number of issues of importance to the hospitality industry. This election will potentially have far reaching impact for hoteliers. The sluggish economic recovery, immigration, health care costs and tax policy are all critical issues for hotels. Full Story Here:

 

$50 million in hotel room revenue lost during Hurricane Matthew

Hotels in the states impacted by the recent Hurricane Matthew saw a net negative loss in revenue amounting to approximately $50 million, in the time leading up to and immediately following the storm. Hoteliers in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia suffered losses due to extensive damage to hotels in the storm’s path. This is in addition to the loss of hotel demand and rates from forced closures. Full Story Here:

 

New York outs Airbnb

The State of New York has signed a bill into law which makes it illegal for homeowners to rent out their residences for a period of 30 days. The new law comes with penalties of up to $7,500 for violations. The legislation is aimed primarily at Airbnb which generated $1 billion in revenue in New York City rentals alone last year. Full Story Here:

 

STR: US hotel results for week ending 22 October

According to figures published by STR, the U.S. hotel industry saw gains in the three most important performance measurement figures during the week of 16-22 October 2016. Compared to the same week last year, industry-wide occupancy gained 2.6 percent to 72.3 percent for the week. The average daily rate climbed 3.2 percent to reach $129.03 by week’s end. Revenue per available room ended the week with an increase of 5.8 percent to $93.26. Full Story Here:

 

 


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Thursday, October 27, 2016

How Big Data Will Transform Hospitality - Part 3

Revenue Management

 

Hoteliers have practiced revenue management in the quest to provide the right room at the right rate to their customers for decades. However, access to Big Data in making these pricing calculations going forward offers hotels much greater opportunity to fully leverage their inventory and maximize revenues. Today’s best hospitality revenue management tools provide the required information to empower hotel managers to make informed decisions regarding their room rate structure, at any given time. Time is of course one of the crucial pieces in the hotel rate decision making process, along with information regarding the individual hotel guest and a number of other variables as well.

Traditional hotel revenue management software lacks the real-time data necessary in order to keep rates optimized at any given moment. These legacy systems simply cannot keep up with the ever-shifting market condition realities of the 21st century. The number of factors that need to be taken into account within the revenue management equation has grown exponentially as well. The influence of social media and online reviews, local weather, flight information, and individual customer segmentation are only a few examples among the plethora of complex data sets which must be effectively compiled. This vast amount of data must then be analyzed against complicated formulas to extract the maximum rate possible for a given customer, on any given day, with both speed and scalability.

What is truly needed by the hospitality industry is a revenue management optimization tool designed for the ever-changing challenges faced by today’s hoteliers. One that provides big data; gathered, delivered, and analyzed in real-time. A solution that offers hospitality revenue managers the information needed to offer hotel inventory at the optimal rate possible at any given moment.

The advanced always-on multi-cloud global travel solution, Above Property arms hoteliers with the timely delivered, big data answers they require to effectively maximize their revenue strategy.

 

Inline Revenue Management®


The Above Property Inline Revenue Management® module allows real-time pricing and availability adjustments based on occupancy, seasonal trends, forecast, weather, booking pace and competitive data. Each transaction is processed in real-time through the Above Property proprietary pricing engine. Maximizing your revenue through careful management of forecasting, availability controls, groups, and distribution is crucial in today’s hospitality marketplace. The Above Property Inline Revenue Management® system gives you all the tools necessary to put your revenue management techniques and strategies to work. Operating in a fully distributed cloud environment, the Above Property Inline Revenue Management module 


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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

How Big Data Will Transform Hospitality - Part 2

Hotel Operations

The information provided hoteliers by Big Data could immensely improve the efficiency of day-to-day hotel operations. As we have seen, hotel staffs are empowered with this information to provide guests with greater and more personalized customer service. They can therefore better anticipate the needs and desires of the guests. Access to Big Data can transform hotel operations, behind the scenes in ways the guests cannot see, and can make the hotel property eminently more profitable.

A number of hotel chains are now leveraging aggregate data to improve utility efficiency at their properties. For example, numerous sources may be mined in combination to reduce energy consumption at their hotels. Local climate and weather data, past energy consumption histories, and fluctuations in electric rates can be compiled and analyzed.  In this way, energy profiles of each building can be created and future projections may be effectively formulated. Because of the nature of the hospitality industry, hotels also tend to be energy wasters. Energy consumption is largely out of the control of hoteliers when guests are physically in their rooms, however, Big Data enabled technology can return systems to their most efficient levels in their absence.

Effective data utilization can also increase service efficiency. This is achieved by analyzing trends of which hotel services guests are utilizing as well as which ones they are not. Used in this way, precious hotel resources may be accurately employed and not squandered on ill-used services.  Additionally, hotel marketing is being revolutionized in this manner with Big Data. It is vitally important for any hotel to truly know and understand their guest’s preferences. Big Data can help hotel marketers identify which customers offer hotels the highest long-term value. Marketing messages must then be created and reach the right customers in a timely fashion.

Knowledge of customer behavior is extremely empowering for hoteliers and can assist them in setting room rates and prices accordingly. This we shall examine further in the last part of this series. 

Visit Above Property


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Friday, October 21, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 10/21/16

Shifts in Hotel Revenues Reflect Changes in Development and Guest Preferences

CBRE Hotels has released their Americas Research, Trends in the Hotel Industry report showing a compound annual growth rate of 4.2 percent between the years 1977 through 2015. The survey indicates a shift in guest preferences over the years resulting in increasing rooms revenue figures, while other revenue sources have experienced slower growth. For example, food and beverage revenue growth has slowed significantly, resulting in some hotels reducing or eliminating room service and/or restaurants. Full Story Here:

 

STR: US hotel performance for September 2016

The month of September 2016 saw positive performance numbers for the U.S. hotel industry, according to figures from STR. For the month, industry-wide occupancy climbed 1.6 percent to reach 68.8 percent compared to the same month last year. Average daily rate rose by 3.9 percent to finish the month at $127.07. Revenue per available room increased by 5.6 percent, attaining $87.40 for the month. STR reports that September was the best month of 2016, so far, in terms of revenue per available room growth rate. Full Story Here:

 

Global Travel Trends Report For December Holidays Already Starting To Surprise 

The latest Global Travel Insights Report has been published by Sojern, which looks forward to Q4 and makes projections for the holiday travel season of 2016. The report indicates several changing patterns in holiday travel. North American travelers are seeking departure days later in the month of December than has been the case in the past. Also, North American travelers are searching for flights that travel further, on average 3,177 miles in December 2016. Full Story Here:

 

STR: US hotel results for the week ending 15 October

According to performance figures from STR, the U.S. hotel industry saw the three most important metrics drop during the week of 9-15 October 2016. Compared to the same week last year, industry-wide occupancy was down by 1.4 percent to 70.7 percent for the week. Average daily rate was almost unchanged at -0.2 percent, ending the week at $123.84. Revenue per available room was 1.6 percent lower, to finish the week at $87.57. Full Story Here:

 


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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

How Big Data Will Transform Hospitality - Part 1

The hospitality industry has regular access to customer information which would make many other industries extremely envious. Since hotels are in the business of making people feel welcome and comfortable, they have knowledge of what it takes to make each individual customer’s experience special and unique. Big Data is the collection and analysis of consumer search and buying information; macro analysis that drives next level guest personalization.

The collection of Big Data on customers is not an issue for hotels. However, analyzing and effectively leveraging that data as part of their marketing strategy is a struggle for many. This leaves high value information to hotels critically under utilized. Big Data will in time transform much more than the marketing efforts of the hospitality industry. Customer service through guest personalization, hotel operations, and revenue management are other areas in which hoteliers will benefit from Big Data analytics.

 

Guest Personalization

The information gleaned about guest preferences through Big Data is precious gold for hoteliers and can give them a clearer understanding of their guests. Hotels can then tailor fit their properties and services to meet and exceed the expectations of hotel customers. In this way, hotels are given a valuable opportunity for honest self-evaluation and the chance to improve any shortcomings. Needless effort is not wasted guessing and trying to anticipate what the hotel’s guests will need or expect.

Much of the data can be collected and instantly analyzed in real time as well. This is where a local hotel property really excels. This data may include their room preferences and upgrade requests, dining selections as well as any special services such as spa treatments the customer may have requested while on-property. The data may be gathered through any direct contact between the hotel and the customer, by means of face to face conversation, phone conversations, or the hotel website.

Customer information garnered on the hotel’s website will include valuable demographics and location data as well. The one-on-one interaction, outside the digital realm, between hotel staff and guests is the most powerful. This information can have a tremendous impact in driving up direct bookings, since OTAs never have such immediate contact with their customers. Mobile hotel apps is another tool hotels have at their disposal to gather guest preference data as well. These hotel apps offer guests many more ways to engage with hotels and can provide them instant gratification when on the hotel property, while furnishing indispensable data for hoteliers.


In part 2 of this series we will examine ways in which hoteliers can streamline hotel operations with Big Data.

Visit Above Property

 


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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Advantages Of A SaaS Hotel PMS

The future of hospitality data management is undoubtedly in the cloud, however a number of misconceptions remain in the minds of some hoteliers. In truth, a Software as a Service (SaaS) based Property Management System (PMS) offers hotels a multitude of advantages and improvements over traditional legacy premise-based systems. The SaaS cloud-based model in fact transcends mere benefits and offers hoteliers a genuine edge over their competition.                                                     

 

Security

The SaaS model does require a whole new mindset from its customers. No extensive on-site hardware is required as all the data is stored remotely in the cloud. The most secure encryption is utilized with built in redundancy and automatic backups. Data is always securely transferred between systems with strict encryption protocols. All data is continually protected from damage and loss, either physically or electronically. The multitude of secure servers across the cloud ensure unimpeded service at all times.

 

Ease Of Use

Compared to a cloud-driven, SaaS based PMS; traditional property-based legacy systems are cumbersome to both use and maintain. These old systems are in dire need of replacement. They quite often require hotel staff to navigate complex menus and wade through irrelevant options just to retrieve information which should be readily available with a minimum of clicks. Additionally, new roll outs and modernizations come at a very steep cost to hotels in terms of valuable time and personnel. SaaS updates are completed remotely, resulting in a much higher degree of efficiency and greatly improved functionality.

Another major advantage of these systems is that users can access cloud software from anywhere, using any device with an Internet connection, including mobile phone, tablet, or a laptop. Cloud software is designed entirely with the end-user and their skill level in mind. This frees up data to be utilized by any authorized person, regardless of their technical proficiency.

 

Cost 

Cloud-based SaaS PMS platforms are extremely cost effective versus today’s premise-based systems. SaaS platform services are usually provided on an as-needed basis, without costly equipment, resulting in lower initial investments and reduced costs over time. Storing, maintaining, and accessing data through SaaS offers hoteliers significant savings while improving the levels of customer service offered to their guests.

The significantly lowered costs and increased efficiency offered by the SaaS model will ultimately drive the hospitality migration to SaaS and cloud technology. Once hotels and hoteliers become more comfortable with the concept in practical application, the hospitality industry will embrace Software as a Service that is hosted in the cloud.

The Above Property Property Management module recognizes the multiple roles today’s front desk personnel are required to perform. Our familiar User Interface leverages Above Property’s vast library of open API’s to deliver real-time information in a clear and efficient design. The Property Management module is a cloud-based HTML5 web application that includes offline capabilities through a small on-property appliance. Operating in a fully distributed cloud environment, the Above Property Property Management module can integrate with existing systems as well as take advantage of the full suite of complementary modules within the Above Property Travel Platform.

Above Property Web Services (APWS) – design and control your own User Interface/User Experience by leveraging Above Property’s library of APIs. Above Property’s web services are just an API call away. APWS allows advanced users an alternative way to experience the full power of the Above Property Travel Platform.

 

 

 

 

Above Property PMS KEY FEATURES

 

  • Intuitive control of your property
  • Leverage cloud technology
  • Front Desk, Housekeeping, Maintenance
  • Extensive Group functionality
  • Contextually edit Folio capabilities
  • Reporting and Analytics available in real time
  • Architected for seamless integration with all reservation systems

 

Visit us at AboveProperty.com

 


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Friday, October 7, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 10/7/16

CEOs expect technology to drive loyalty, distribution

The International Society of Hospitality Consultants held its annual convention recently at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle. CEO guest speakers at the convention stressed the importance of technology to hospitality’s future and the need for complete systems integration. According to the speakers, industry-wide technology adoption must take place in order to empower hotel staff to drive up guest loyalty and improve distribution channels. Full Story Here:

 

Travel Drives Millennials in the Workforce

Flexjobs.com has released the results of their study of workers which found the Millennial generation is highly motivated by travel. In the survey, seventy percent of Millennials identified travel as second only to the need for basic necessities in their motivation to work. With Millennials now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, these results have tremendous implications for U.S. employers and the travel industry. Full Story Here:

 

5 signs point to cycle’s grand finale in mid-2017

The U.S.hotel industry has been enjoying over seven years of growth in revenue per available room, but the cycle is showing signs that the end is coming soon. If the growth lasts through November 2016, it will then become the longest growth period in hospitality history and will end at some point. Rates are stagnating, while supply is growing. The merger and acquisition trend will also continue and create further consolidation within the industry as well. Full Story Here:

 

US Hotel Occupancy Up 1.8 Percent To 70.0 Percent - Week Ending October 1st - 2016

In the three most significant performance measurements, the U.S. hotel industry posted positive numbers during the week of 25 September through 1 October 2016. When compared to the same time period last year, industry-wide occupancy rose by 1.8 percent to reach a flat 70 percent for the week. Average daily rate climbed 1.3 percent to $126.95 for the week. And revenue per available room saw an increase of 3.2 percent to attain $88.83 by week’s end. Full Story Here:

 


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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Familiar and Unfamiliar Hospitality Terminology and Acronyms

Last year, we did a blog with a list of hospitality acronyms and their definitions. We’ve gathered some new ones and some common hospitality terminology.  With all of the hospitality terms and acronyms out there, and new ones being created, we thought it was time to add to the list.  So below are some terms you might already know, but just need to brush up on, along with some not so well known.

 

  • POS (Point of Sale) - Is location where a retail transaction is completed. Typically this is at a cash register in a retail location or in a restaurant at the server’s station.  Goods or services are also typically paid for at these locations.  POS is also known as the point of service because it’s also a point of return or customer order.  Many POS systems include other functionality, such as customer relationship management, financial options, and inventory management.
  • BRG (Best Rate Guarantee) - Is a product promise made by hotels or OTAs that they will offer the best rates on their site compared to any other website.
  • Channel Management - A centralized way of controlling hotel inventory across multiple channels, such as websites, the GDSs, and other third parties.
  • Demand Based Pricing - Using revenue management techniques, hotels can increase or decrease rates based on demand in the marketplace.
  • Dynamic Packaging - Is a method or solution to enable consumers to select in real-time their own package of airline flights, hotel accommodations, car rentals and/or ancillary products or services instead of purchasing a traditional pre-defined package.
  • RevPAR (Revenue per Available Room) - In the hotel industry, this is calculated by dividing a hotel’s total guest room revenue by the room count along with the number of days in the period of time being measured.
  • CTA (Closed to Arrival) - A function that controls room inventory by preventing reservations from arriving on a specific day. The reservations can typically stay through the date.
  • CTD (Close to Departure) - Restrictions placed by the hotel to restrict check outs on a specific day.
  • MLOS (Minimum Length of Stay) - A hotel inventory availability restriction placed on a guest’s reservation requiring them to stay at least a specific number of nights. Hotels sometimes put this restriction in place during periods of high occupancy demand.
  • MAXLOS (Maximum Length of Stay) - A hotel inventory availability restriction that limits the number of nights that a guest can stay when they’re arriving on a certain date. This restriction can be put in place when hotel’s anticipate selling out rooms at a higher rate.
  • NOTLOS (Not Length of Stay) -  Used in high demand periods to ensure the hotel does not have gap days, say over a weekend.
  • Sell Through - A restriction that lifts some other restrictions (such as CLOSE or MLOS), as long as the guest meets certain criteria, such as a loyalty level (i.e. ultra-super-diamond members get a room no matter what).
  • Stay Through - A restriction that ensures the guest stays a long enough time period regardless of their day of arrival.  Stay through restrictions are valid for any day during the stay. 

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Friday, September 30, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 9/30/16

US Hotel Occupancy Up 2.6 Percent to 72.0 Percent - Week Ending September 24th - 2016

During the week of 18-24 of September 2016, the U.S. hotel industry recorded positive year over year results in three performance metrics, according to STR data.  STR analysts feel the week’s results were affected primarily by a Yom Kippur, which was on the 23 of September 2015 and Eid al-Adha on the 24 of September 2015 calendar shift and a Group segment performance jump. Full Story Here:

Canadian Hotel Occupancy Up 2.2 Percent to 79.4 Percent For Week Ending 24 September 2016

During the week of 18-24 of September 2016, the Canadian hotel industry recorded positive results in three performance metrics, according to STR data.  The country’s year-over-year occupancy increased by 2.2% to 79.4%.  Their average daily rate was up 7.3% for the week to CAD161.68. RevPAR was up 9.6% to CAD128.36. Full Story Here:

Hotel Industry Commends Congressional Action on Zika Funding, House Passage of 6-Month Overtime Rule Delay

To fight the Zika virus, the American Hotel and Lodging Association commended Congressional action to pass funding of $1.1 billion to battle and combat the virus. Both the hotel and travel industries have been working together to get Congress to pass emergency funding to fight Zika. Full Story Here:

More than 50 hotel giants planned for USA - New mega project in Las Vegas

The USA is quite undefeated in regards to hotel development. As told by TOPHOTELPROJECTS, at the moment 1189 hotels projects with more than 230,000 rooms are currently in the works in the United States. Especially the preferred tourism states, such as Florida, which has 168 projects, California with 134 projects, and New York has 112 projects. They’re all looking to up their tourist numbers. Full Story Here:

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Hotel PMS Interfaces - Part 3

Continuing with the end of the hotel PMS interface series, featuring a few more external interface possibilities for hotel property management systems.

 

Digital Marketing

Digital and online marketing have become absolutely essential to the hospitality industry. Hotels and chains of all sizes have to keep in touch electronically with their customers, or risk losing them. This can be a big undertaking without automation, and a PMS directly interfaced with software created to handle digital marketing chores will streamline the task considerably. All digital communications between guest and hotel can be completely automated in this manner, including post-stay questionnaires and future special offers.

 

Phone & Voice Mail System

All phone and voicemail communications, internally within the hotel, can be controlled and completely automated when integrated with a PMS interface. Guest room check-in & out phone activations and deactivations can be completed automatically through the hotel PMS. Voice mail messages can be cleared after guest check-out as well.

 

Payments

Guest credit card payments are much more efficiently managed by the hotel PMS, rather than through credit card terminals. Potential errors are minimized and check-in and out procedures are also greatly streamlined.

 

Channel Management

Channel management is another vital function which hoteliers must perform. Online distribution from GDS and OTA’s is better managed from the hotel’s PMS, directly integrated with channel manager software. Interfacing in this manner enables the PMS to automatically update channels with current availability and rates, in real-time if hosted in the cloud. Conversely, channels update the PMS with new reservations as they are booked. This eliminates the necessity of manual reservation updates between the different systems, a tremendous time saver.

 

Channel Management System - CHMS

The Above Property Channel Management module enables full control of rate and inventory distribution. OTA, GDS, Wholesalers, Metasearch, and Yourhotel.com are controlled within the Above Property Travel Platform. Maximize revenue by seamlessly managing rates and inventory while recognizing your most valuable channels. Operating in a fully distributed cloud environment, the Above Property Property Channel Management module can integrate with existing systems as well as take advantage of the full suite of complementary modules within the Above Property Travel Platform.

  

CHMS KEY FEATURES

  • Full distribution channel control
  • Centralized pricing and inventory controls by channel
  • Real-time optimizations with Inline Revenue Management®
  • Analytics, metrics, and feedback available in real time
  • Works with existing systems

 


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Friday, September 23, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 9/23/16

Path to Purchase: Travel Report shows consumers are open to persuasion

A recently published study, conducted by NewsMediaWorks in collaboration with Research Now, found that three out of five consumers are open to persuasion during the process of making their travel plans. According to the study, 60 percent of travelers say they heard or saw a specific travel advertisement early on in the travel planning process. But, 38 percent say they began by planning to travel somewhere specific. The research also found nearly 60 percent of the surveyed travelers motivated by price most importantly. Full Story Here:

 

4 Things You Need To Know To Market To North American Travelers - By Catlyn Origitano

The 2016 North American Travel Trend Report, published by Sojern, highlights the facts needed to more effectively market to American and Canadian travelers. Insights include, U.S.travelers search for trips averaging seven days in length. While Canadians, with more government mandated time off, search for eleven days on average. In the U.S., there are clear differences in the length of the travel planning stage. For example, Georgia and Florida travelers plan on average 52 days out and California travelers begin planning 65 days out. Full Story Here:

 

US Hotel Occupancy Down Slightly (0.4 Percent) To 70.2 Percent In August 2016

According to data from STR, the U.S. hotel industry posted largely positive results in the month of August 2016. Compared to the same month last year, industry wide occupancy was down slightly by 0.4 percent to 70.2 percent for the month. Average daily rate rose by 2.5 percent to reach $125.42 by the month’s end. And revenue per available room gained 2.1 percent, attaining $88.10 by month’s end, Full Story Here:

 

STR: US hotel results for the week ending 17 September

Positive performance results were recorded by the U.S. hotel industry for the week of 11-17 September 2016. When compared to the same time frame last year, industry wide occupancy was up by 0.2 percent to 72.0 percent. Average daily rate climbed 4.1 percent, reaching $129.37 for the week. Revenue per available room rose by 4.3 percent, to attain $93.13 by week’s end. Full Story Here:  

 


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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hotel PMS Interfaces - Part 2

Hotel Property Management Systems (PMS) of today are designed to interface with a number of outside vendor systems, in addition to coordinating in-house departmental functions. In this continuation of the series we will examine several more external interfaces for hotel PMS.

 

Revenue Management

The process of compiling and analyzing the huge amounts of data necessary to extract the optimal rate for any given customer, at any given time has been greatly simplified and made more efficient by cloud-based revenue management optimization tools now available to hoteliers. Directly integrating RMO with the PMS can provide those optimized rates in a timely fashion to hotel staff and their customers.

 

Electronic Locking Systems

Whether provided through key cards, or mobile technology, guest room access can be controlled and managed by hotel staff directly through the PMS. Interfacing the hotel’s electronic locking system with it’s PMS streamlines the process via the automatic sharing of guest room numbers and length of a guest’s stay, between the two systems.

 

Reputation Management

Review websites and social media are absolutely essential to thelong-term survival of any hotel. It is also vital for hotel guests to receive timely requests to express their opinions of their stay through these sites. Reputation management systems also monitor online channels for mentions of the hotel property, providing the hotel opportunity for prompt responses. This task can be largely automated with a PMS interface with the reputation management system.

 

Energy Management

An energy management system in direct interaction with a hotel’s PMS enables guest rooms to be pre-set to the individual preferences of each guest before they arrive. The PMS tracks these preferences for the guests and shares that information with energy-saving technology, which then returns the temperature and lighting to more energy efficient settings upon guest check-out.

 

Guest Room Entertainment

All guest room entertainment charges, such as pay-per-view TV or Internet access, may be more efficiently accounted for and properly billed with a PMS integration. This keeps improper billing and disputes to a minimum. The charges are instantly tracked as they are incurred, making manual entries unnecessary.

PMS interfaces provide hotel staff and management the opportunity to concentrate more on what is truly their responsibility, exceptional customer service. In the last part of this series we will examine a few more external interface possibilities for hotel property management systems. 


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Monday, September 19, 2016

Hotel PMS Interfaces - Part 1

At the heart of all hotel data management systems is the PMS or Property Management System. Essential to the daily operations of all hotels, the PMS is a truly indispensable piece of any hotel management software suite. The complex legacy PMS systems are now being replaced in the industry by highly efficient and cost-effective hotel software that is hosted in the cloud. The PMS is mainly tasked with converging data from the individual hotel departments into a centralized control system.

One of the fundamental functions of PMS systems is also to interface externally with outside vendor systems as well. Every aspect of day-to-day hotel operations, from internal departments such as housekeeping, to external vendors handling POS for example, can be efficiently controlled from a cloud-driven PMS system. In this blog series we will examine the various PMS interfaces, and see how a 21st Century PMS integrates and manages their functionalities.

 

POS Systems

All ancillary charges incurred by hotel guests can be accurately accounted for, in real time, with a cloud-based PMS system. The POS system can access the guest’s account information anytime, via the PMS, in order to maintain the accuracy of all guest charges. The guest’s account can then be charged accordingly.

 

Self-Check-in/Check-out Kiosks

Certain traveler segments demand swift efficiency from the hotels they choose to book their stays. The self-service kiosk is a direct result of those demands. Initially implemented by the airline industry; the terminals empower hotel guests to check themselves in and out, possibly even select their own accommodations, and pay their bill. These kiosks are an extension of the hotel’s PMS, which is designed to interact with guests directly. Once again, made possible by real-time, cloud-driven hotel software technology.

 

Call Accounting Systems

Room charges for telephone services can be automatically attached and billed to the guest. This saves time and confusion for hotel staff later, maintaining accurate billing in the process. The PMS and call accounting systems communicate through direct interface, as guest calls are made from the room. Customer bill accounting is always kept current continuously. 

In part two of this series we will look at a few more areas of PMS external interfaces.


The Above Property PMS

The Above Property Property Management module recognizes the multiple roles today’s front desk personnel are required to perform. Our familiar User Interface leverages Above Property’s vast library of open API’s to deliver real-time information in a clear and efficient design. The Property Management module is a cloud-based HTML5 web application that includes offline capabilities through a small on-property appliance. Operating in a fully distributed cloud environment, the Above Property Property Management module can integrate with existing systems as well as take advantage of the full suite of complementary modules within the Above Property Travel Platform. 

Above Property Web Services (APWS) – design and control your own User Interface/User Experience by leveraging Above Property’s library of APIs. Above Property’s web services are just an API call away. APWS allows advanced users an alternative way to experience the full power of the Above Property Travel Platform.

 

Above Property PMS KEY FEATURES

 

  • Intuitive control of your property
  • Leverage cloud technology
  • Front Desk, Housekeeping, Maintenance
  • Extensive Group functionality
  • Contextually edit Folio capabilities
  • Reporting and Analytics available in real time
  • Architected for seamless integration with all reservation system

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 9/16/16

G6 Hospitality Launches Revolutionary Cloud-Based Revenue Management System For Motel 6 And Studio 6 Properties

The parent company of the hotel brands Motel 6 and Studio 6, G6 Hospitality LLC, has rolled out their G6 Revenue Optimization Workspace to its corporate-owned and franchisee properties. G6 worked closely with Above Property (Naples, FL) in the development of the revolutionary cloud-based revenue management system. The system provides rate and inventory management in near real-time, and does so from any device, anytime. Full Story Here:

 

Fitch: US hotels gain incremental negotiating strength over OTAs.

More favorable commission rates are now being negotiated with online travel agencies by U.S. hospitality companies, according to Fitch Ratings. This has been the result of several factors including a strong industry showing in fundamentals and the ongoing trend toward brand consolidations. Larger brands are, naturally, able to negotiate contract terms more favorable to their hotels. Fitch expects the mergers and acquisitions to continue through the next few years. Full Story Here:

 

US Hotel Occupancy Down 1.4 Percent To 62.8 Percent - Week Ending September 10th - 2016

Mixed results were recorded by the U.S. hotel industry during the week of 4-10 September 2016. According to figures published by STR, when compared to the same time period last year, industry wide occupancy dropped 1.4 percent to settle at 62.8 for the week. Average daily rate however climbed up by 1.8 percent to reach $118. 58 by the end of the week. Revenue per available room was almost unchanged at 0.3 to $74.45 at week’s end. Full Story Here:

 

Scoring the NFL’s impact on the hotel industry

As another NFL season has begun, STR has published the beginning of an on-going series on the impact the NFL has on hotel performance numbers in the various NFL cities throughout America. The study has compiled the stats from local area hotels and matched them to each NFL home game since 2008. Across the time span, the NFL contributed a net impact of $77 million in hotel revenue during the 2015 season. This includes the Super Bowl, Hall of Fame game, and games played in London. Full Story Here:

 

Visit Above Properrty


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Friday, September 9, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 9/9/16

The Impact of Online Reviews on the Hospitality Industry [Infographic]

Online hotel reviews now dominate the travel decision making process of consumers, making them vital to any hotel’s success. This enlightening infographic clearly illustrates that reality. An overwhelming majority of travelers, 97.7 percent of consumers, now read online reviews from their fellow travelers. There are now more than 100 million reviews available online to help consumers make informed choices. A clear majority of travelers (53 percent) will not even consider a hotel which does not have any reviews. Full Story Here:

 

Millennials book for unique experiences, social status

The recently held Southern Lodging Summit in Memphis, Tennessee featured a number of speakers stressing the importance for hoteliers to have an understanding of Millennial travelers. An awareness of what motivates Millennials is crucial to future of the hospitality industry. Innovative technology and excitingly visual content geared toward group travel are highly appealing to this age group between 18 and 35 years old. Full Story Here:

 

Slower growth forecast for U.S. hotels

The 2016 Hotel Data Conference was held this week at the Omni Nashville Hotel with industry experts predicting slow, but continued growth for the hospitality sector through 2017. For the remainder of 2016 occupancy is expected to remain nearly flat at 65.5 percent. However, average daily rate should climb 3.2 percent to reach $124.12. While revenue per available room should be up by 3.2 percent as well at $81.26. Full Story Here:

 

US Hotel Occupancy Up 1.6 Percent To 64.5 Percent - Week Ending September 3rd - 2016

The U.S. hotel industry posted positive results in all three performance measurements for the week of 28 August through 3 September 2016. Compared to the same time period last year, industry wide occupancy was up by 1.6 percent to 64.5 percent. The average daily rate climbed 2.4 percent to reach $118.97 by week’s end. Revenue per available room increased by 4.1 to attain $76.76 for the week. Full Story Here:

 


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Monday, September 5, 2016

The Future Of Hotel Technology

The hotel experience for travelers in the near future will be decidedly different from those of today. The transformation of the hospitality industry will happen gradually over time, some brands faster than others. However, by the 2020’s much of the coming change will most likely have already taken place. This will be particularly true if hotel companies accelerate their pace of adoption of the innovative technologies already available to them.

The entire hospitality industry will be transformed by technologies that include cloud data storage and Software as a Service (SaaS), the Internet of Things (IoT), and a number of exciting mobile technologies. All of these developments of technology are necessary in order for hotel guests to have their expectations met and exceeded. Future realities, such as mobile check-in or personalized room temperature settings for example, will not be possible without them. In this series we will take an overview of where hotel technology is going and where it might be in the next decade.

 

Cloud Data Storage Technology 

The concept of storing data in the cloud is often misunderstood within the hospitality industry, however the technology is gaining traction and garnering some degree of acceptance with hoteliers. Its adoption has been slow, mostly due to cost concerns and a long tradition of resistance to change. But the truth is, the future of data management lies in the cloud. Cost is optimized since cloud-based SaaS platforms lack the presence of on property systems and their associated expense. Company users can access cloud software from anywhere and be accessed using any device with a connection to the Internet. Training for hotel staff is minimal because modern software is designed to be in intuitive for the End-User. 

Cloud technology will empower hoteliers to offer an enhanced level of truly personalized service. Big Data, stored in the cloud, will effectively manage the individual preferences of all hotel guests. A SaaS Property Management System (PMS) and Central Reservation System (CRS) based in the cloud will give hotel companies the real-time flexibility to bring guest personalization into the next decade and beyond. Cloud data storage will revolutionize hotel operations as well. SaaS PMS will direct every facet of hotel management in a highly efficient manner.

The possibilities for significant cost savings and greater all-around operational efficiency will drive hotels to migrate their data storage completely to the cloud in time. The greatly improved customer service offered hotel guests would directly result in increased revenues from satisfied customers as well. 

Visit us at Above Property.


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