Friday, January 29, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 1/29/16

5 important US hotel and travel trends with the power to shape 2016

With the beginning of a new year in mind, SiteMinder and the California Hotel and Lodging Association jointly identified five trends which could shape the hospitality industry in the U.S. during 2016. Americans receiving increased time for paid vacations by their employers should give hotels a boost. Mobile will continue to play a growing role in hotel bookings. Hotels will increasingly share their facilities, such as spas and golf courses, with Airbnb guests. World travel is becoming more accessible with countries like Cuba opening to Americans. Online hotel room distribution will continue to grow as well. Full Story Here:


Hotel Market Hits Its Peak

The Americas Lodging Investment Summit is being held in Los Angeles this week. The summit opened with a panel of industry experts stating that the hotel market has hit its peak, but should remain there through this coming year. Several factors, including the volatile economy worldwide, however give reason for caution. While growth will continue, the rate of it is slowing. Full Story Here:


US Hotel Occupancy Drops 1.9 Percent To 56.2 Percent Week Ending January 23rd - 2016

According to figures published by STR, Inc. the U.S. hotel industry put up mixed performance numbers for the week of 17-23 January 2016. As compared to the same time frame last year, industry wide occupancy was down 1.9 percent to 56.2 percent. However, average daily rate climbed by 2.5 percent to $116.51. Revenue per available room was up by 0.5 percent, attaining $65.51 by week’s end. Full Story Here:


Hotels Start 2016 Strong, Led By Increase In New Group Business

The new year of 2016 has begun for hoteliers with strong growth in hotel bookings. This surge has been experienced by 76 percent of North America’s top 25 markets. While business demand has slowed, leisure and wholesale bookings are up. With the decreased number of business hotel bookings hoteliers are forced to concentrate on other market segments with lower average daily rates. Full Story Here:


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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Content Marketing For Hotels - Blogging

One of the foundations of content marketing for hoteliers is keeping up with a hotel blog. A blog, posted on a consistently regular basis, will drive repeat online traffic resulting in increased direct bookings. It also should give the hotel’s website a SEO boost as well. A well written, informative hotel blog needs to be much more than merely self-serving. It must reflect a degree of empathy with its audience, hotel customers and prospects - travelers, and share the kind of information they would seek regarding the hotel and its surroundings. With that in mind, here are a number of suggested hotel blog topics.


  1. Local Area

The possibilities available for blog subject matter are only limited by the local region surrounding the hotel. Blogs about local restaurants, attractions, and culture for example would be most useful to travelers to the hotel’s area. Other local topics to blog about could include upcoming or ongoing events such as sports, concerts, or civic activities like parades. Activities the locale is known for, such as skiing in the mountains for example, can blogged about to inform guests and maybe even entice them to join in the fun. Blogs about the hotel’s local area as a destination can lead to direct bookings if persuasively written.


     2.  Travel Tips

Since travel is at the center of a hotel’s business, hoteliers have intimate knowledge regarding the pitfalls facing travelers that lead to stress. Trip planning, packing tips, and a checklist of things to bring along on a trip to the hotel are good examples of this type of blog post. Both past guests and future prospects alike will greatly appreciate posts such as these, since they can help prevent future headaches for the traveler. The appreciation can result directly in hotel bookings when the blog posts are perceived by the audience as truly helpful.


     3.  Hotel Itself

There probably is much more to blog about regarding the hotel itself than may be readily apparent. Go beyond the subject of the hotel’s features, amenities and services, to writing about the staff, maybe even tied in with an employee incentive program. Special events hosted on hotel property make interesting subjects as well. Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the hotel could lead to a whole series of blog posts. Inviting happy guests to share their experiences, and photographs, in the form of customer testimonials can be very compelling to readers especially in light of the public’s interest in reading reviews. Other blog subject possibilities might include guest  surveys, contest giveaways, and promotional events. Just be careful to limit the frequency of promotions so as to not appear too spammy and self-promotive.

Through all these blog posts be sure to always include plenty of images and even video when possible. This will help search engines find the hotel’s blog and give it the ranking it needs, while drawing the reader’s attention with visual material. A hotel blog can and should perform a public service by being helpful and informative for travelers, while simultaneously promoting the hotel. 

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 1/22/16

Survey finds Americans see big savings in loyalty programs, but struggle to take advantage

According to a study by the Wyndham Rewards program, hotel loyalty programs are too complicated for American travelers to leverage in their travels. Yet despite this, a large majority at 77 percent, clearly see the advantages offered by such programs. The attitude towards travel and the economy has seen improvement, but fully 71 percent of U.S. travelers claim to be “cost-conscious”. A clear majority, at 53 percent, plan on traveling more in 2016 than they did last year. Full Story Here:


US Hotel Occupancy Up 0.8 percent To 53.0 Percent For December 2015

For the month of December 2015 the U.S. hotel industry was higher in the three most important measurement figures, in year-to-year comparison. According to figures from STR, Inc., occupancy was up by 0.8 percent, rising to 53.0 percent for the month. Average daily rate climbed 2.4 percent to reach $115.81, when compared to the same month the year before. And, revenue per available room rose by 3.2 percent to attain $61.41 last month. Full Story Here:                                                                                                                                                                              


STR: US results for week ending 16 January

Despite a drop in occupancy for the week, the U.S. hotel industry saw higher performance figures for the week of 10-16 January 2016. This is as compared to the same time frame last year. Occupancy was down by 0.7 percent, ending at 57.2 percent. Average daily rate was higher by 3.5 percent for the week, to reach $118.64 by week’s end. Revenue per available room increased by 2.8 percent, ending at $67.90 for the week. Full Story Here:


Hotel stocks hit by market turbulence

The recent volatility in the stock market has not left hotel stocks alone in its 2016 tumble. 2015 was difficult for hotel stocks, despite the industry putting up great fundamental figures during last year. The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index declined 20 percent in the course of 2015. This trend has continued recently, mostly as a result of the difficulties experienced by the Chinese economy among other factors. Full Story Here:


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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Content Marketing For Hotels - Contests

A highly effective tool for hospitality content marketing is the contest. Contests can drive user generated content for hotels while building trust with consumers in the process. They can also easily enable the collection of customer and future prospect information while simultaneously expanding the hotel’s fan base. A hotel contest will additionally increase website and social media traffic, resulting in higher numbers of direct bookings.  In contrast to other industries, a promotional contest offered by a hotel can appear more attractive to the public due to the nature of hospitality and travel.

Facebook, due to its ubiquity, is clearly the best platform for running a hotel contest. The social media giant also offers many apps suitable for running and managing the contest. A few things to consider in this regard include making sure the app used is optimized for mobile and offers fraud protection to filter out scammers. This way the fans recruited through the promotion really are true fans. Also, be sure the app allows embedding in your website for cross connection of your fan base. One of the most important purposes of any hotel promotional campaign is the gathering of fan information, so the app must collect the email addresses and other identifying information as well.

The use of hashtags will ensure the contest will have a much more successful outcome. Allowing users the ability to attach unique and cleverly phrased hashtags to their uploaded content will build an audience for their submissions. This spreads the hotel’s brand beyond the confines of it’s own page, raising awareness in doing so. This technique is most effective on Instagram, which adds the simplified functionality for users of posting directly to their account and entering the contest by adding hashtags provided by the hotel.

Given the visual nature of hospitality, photo or video contests with customer submitted content is ideal for a Facebook hotel content marketing campaign. This is a perfect engagement tool and also provides user-generated content for the hotel’s page at the same time. Guests will enjoy sharing photos of their stay with other fans, in addition to their friends and family. A hotel marketing photo contest will drive the word of mouth nature of social media interaction, as guests enthusiastically share their experiences at your hotel and its surrounding destination area with others. Judging the winner can either be left up to the hotel or even be accomplished through fan voting, which would power up even more brand engagement and awareness. Also, it is helpful if the app allows the moderation of images submitted by fans to avoid any inappropriateness ahead of time.

A Facebook photo contest is a powerful way for hotels to draw in their most passionate fans and gain their continued loyalty, while showcasing the hotel property and it’s destination in the best light. 

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Friday, January 8, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 1/8/16

STR: US results for week ending 2 January

The US hotel industry had a positive week of 27 December 2015 through 2 January 2016, compared to the same period last year. According to figures from STR, Inc. industry wide occupancy rose by 5.5 percent to 54.7 percent. Average daily rate climbed 3.2 percent to reach $128.90 by week’s end. And revenue per available room was 8.9 percent higher at $70.52. Full Story Here:


January Profits Per Room Fall 0.3% For US Hoteliers

The leading indicator for hoteliers making decisions regarding the future, profits per room was down by 0.3 percent for this January. Additionally, has the unit (per room) cost index higher by 3.6 percent. In the U.S. market, profit margins were down by 2.7 percent last month in December. Full Story Here:


Hoteliers Increasing Marketing Budgets in 2016, with Heavy Emphasis on Mobile

A newly released survey completed by TravelClick indicates the majority of hoteliers will be allocating more funding for marketing in their budgets. The increased marketing budgets come with a surge in spending on mobile for most. The report states over 57 percent of hoteliers will be increasing marketing budgets for 2016. The research also importantly indicates one third of respondents, who are increasing their mobile spending, are doing so because they doing so because of their mobile growth trend experience. Full Story Here:


6 Travel Trends For 2016

TripAdvisorhas released its latest Trip Barometer study which points out trends to watch for in the coming year 2016. A few takeaways include the fact of an increasing desire by travelers to seek all new experiences in travel. Including adventure travel, cruising, and solo travel. Most plan to spend more on travel and destination travel is at the top of their list in their pursuit of culture. Full Story Here:


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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Content Marketing For Hotels - Images & Videos - Part 2


Video content marketing offers such tremendous potential for hoteliers. Video is crucial to any hotel’s marketing efforts because of a number of factors. Most importantly, video will become the predominant form of digital content on the Internet in the next few years. It is projected that over three quarters of all online content will consist of video in less than three years. YouTube, featuring the second largest search engine after parent Google, hosts vast numbers of videos worldwide.

Video garners engagement levels beyond anything written in text and posted, either on social media or a hotel website. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but video takes online interaction between hotel brands and potential guests a step further. Here are a few ways to best leverage video marketing for any hotel.


Local Area

Any hotel is of course part of a larger community and its surrounding area. Videos highlighting the local area as a destination and the hotel’s place in it are appropriate, particularly to leisure travelers. All travelers, even those traveling for business, appreciate information regarding things to do when staying in any location. A video would be even more compelling and can sell the hotel in the context of a destination. Also, local events such as concerts, festivals, or exhibitions, for example, are other possible video subjects.


Property Tours

Video can make a great presentation of a hotel’s property. Virtual tours of the guest rooms, common areas, and hotel amenities will give potential guests a glimpse of how it will be when they stay at the hotel. Video provides a means to bring emotion into the hotel’s content and make them feel more relaxed upon their first visit on the property. Anytime the hotel is upgraded or receives anything new that would be of interest to guests, a video should be produced to showcase it. If at all possible, include shots of hotel guests enjoying the new additions.


User Content

The hotel guest can also become a regular contributor of flash video content for both the website and social media platforms. Guests should be encouraged to share their videos of themselves enjoying the hotel and its surroundings on their social media networks. Contests or giveaways are effective methods in the encouragement. Asking them to tag the hotel, the videos can go even further to reach a wider audience. User content offers potential guests positive reinforcement by people just like them having a great time at the hotel. Also, having access to a steady supply of low cost video content is extremely valuable for hoteliers.

Video content can truly transport potential hotel customers right onto the property so they can envision themselves there. It is a powerful content tool, if leveraged properly.                                                                                                     

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