Monday, February 29, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 2/26/16

STR: US results for the week ending 20 February

Industrywide performance measurements were all higher the week of 14-20 February 2016, when compared to the same time period last year. Occupancy rose by 0.6 percent, to reach 64.3 percent for the week. The average daily rate climbed 2.1 percent to attain $120.04 by week’s end. And revenue per available room was up 2.7 percent, rounding out the week at $77.17. Full Story Here:

 

Fast-forward to 2017: What will the global hotel industry look like?

Phocuswright in conjunction with SiteMinder recently released the results of their Independent Lodging Market Report. This report includes hospitality projections by industry experts. The U.S. market is predicted to grow 6.8 percent by 2017. Chains in Europe will see three times the growth of chains over independents during that time period. Online booking is projected to makeup 39 percent of total sales in Europe by then. The majority of the U.S. market will be comprised of online travel agencies, at 52 percent. Full Story Here:                                                                                                                    

The Hotel Yearbook 2036 Breaks New Ground, Looks 20 Years Into The Future

Published by the Swiss publisher, Wade & Co. The Hotel Yearbook 2036 takes a longer view of the hospitality industry across the next 20 years. Fictitious in nature, the Yearbook looks at possible future outcomes and end results, based on developments today. With so many rapid changes taking place industrywide, this is important considering twenty years ago no one saw OTA’s and WiFi connectivity for guests on the horizon. Full Story Here:

 

How Hotel, Airbnb Rates Compare Around the World

A study published by the bus travel booking website Busbud, compares rates between hotels and their Airbnb competition. The site examined 220,000 hotel and Airbnb listings in their compilation of 22 major world cities. Major takeaway was the cheaper rates found in 16 of the 22 cities. In North America mainly in the South, hotel’s edge out Airbnb by as much as $126.24 for example in Austin, Texas. Full Story Here:

 

 


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Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Hotel CRS Of The Future Is DRS?

The future of the entire hospitality industry is being shaped by, largely external, disruptively transformative forces. The explosion of online travel agencies, social media, and travel review websites has had a profound and ongoing influence on the future of hotels. All of which, to the betterment of the industry, has made for an increasingly transparent guest experience. Pricing is available at all times and via multiple channels/devices to all customers. Mobile technology is driving the industry into improved guest relations through such concepts as “virtual’ concierge services and mobile check-in for example. Hotel guests fully expect to have the ability to book their stays on their smartphones and tablets from anywhere. Hotels, whose websites are not designed responsively, can expect their customers to either book through an outside channel or in the worst scenario go elsewhere.

It is with those very websites that hoteliers can begin to wrest control of their industry from outside forces. The industry, generally speaking, is holding on to antiquated legacy central reservation systems and still relying on locally stored data infrastructures, with their associated high costs in hardware, maintenance, and staff. Cloud-based systems, featuring all the functionality required by hotels to successfully operate are available to the industry at present and going forward. These systems are hosted entirely in the cloud and require very little in the way of dedicated hardware. They also feature lightning fast response times while offering immense scalability.

Above Property, based in Naples, FL, is one of those on the leading edge of hospitality technology companies moving the industry forward. We have taken the traditional monolithic central reservation system and have distributed it across multiple data centers as well as cloud providers.  The Above Property platform is a multi-cloud always-on distributed reservation system.  The result of this innovation is a platform of unparalleled speed, scalability, and cost savings.  The requirement of third party license fees, traditional disaster recovery, and owned data centers are no longer required. The platform also has modern features such as real-time revenue management, dashboard, alerts, and notifications. A mobile-first approach that includes responsive design allows for productive access on any device at any time. As hotels accept and adopt this technology, their focus can be on their business versus being held captive by today’s 25 year old to over 50 year old technology.

Our DRS® is the new CRS.
The Distributed Reservation System module is a revolutionary technological breakthrough for the hospitality industry. Today’s legacy central reservation systems are constrained by managing one data store in one physical location. Above Property has developed a multi-datacenter solution that manages single image inventory across the globe with sub-second speed. The scale and speed of this foundational module allows business rules to be executed with every transaction. Operating in a fully distributed cloud environment, the Above Property Distributed Reservation System module can integrate with existing systems as well as take advantage of the full suite of complementary modules within the Above Property Travel Platform.

DRS® Key Features


  • The Fastest DRS on the planet


  • Leverages cloud technology
  • Real-time analytics, metrics, and feedback


  • Makes user interface device agnostic

  • Works with existing systems

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 2/19/16

Super Bowl 50 Scores Highest Weekend Hotel Rate of Any of the Past Six Super Bowl Host Markets

According to a report last week by STR Inc., Super Bowl 50 scored the highest weekend hotel rate, compared to the past six Super Bowl host markets. The San Francisco and San Jose markets combined had an average daily rate of US$402.60 for February 5-7th. In 2013 New Orleans ADR reached US$393.04 for Super Bowl weekend. Full story here:

  

Marriott International Q4 2015 Net Income Up 3 Percent 

Marriott International, Inc. reported yesterday their 4th quarter net income for 2015 was $202 million, which was an increase of 3 percent over their 2014 fourth quarter. Their fourth quarter diluted earnings per share (EPS) totaled $0.77, which is a 13 percent increase over diluted EPS in the last quarter of 2014. Full story here:

   

Wyndham Development Update Latin America And The Caribbean

Wyndham Hotel Group has announced outstanding growth for 2015.   The company opened 38 hotels and an addition of 5,089 rooms in Latin America and the Caribbean, which is a 90% increase over 2014. Wyndham has expanded in this region to more than 18,917 rooms at 157 properties. Full story here:

 

Google Explains Local Search Results: What Hotels Need to Know to Improve Rankings

When most travelers start their travel planning most of them begin searching on Google. Click through rates are influenced by where a hotel will show up in the rankings. Google shared a blog last week which provided information into how it calculates local search rankings. They noted that a business’s relevance, distance, and prominence primarily influence local results. Full story here:

 


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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Future Of Hotel RMO Is Now

From its tentative beginnings in the hospitality industry over twenty years ago, revenue management for hotels has always been about data. This data provides the information necessary for hotel managers to make informed decisions regarding their room rate structure, at any given time. Time is of course, another crucial piece in the hotel rate decision making process, along with information regarding the individual hotel guest.

 

Taken down to its most basic levels, these are the components, which make up the revenue management optimization equation. Effectively compiling and analyzing large amounts of data against complicated formulas to extract the maximum rate possible for a given customer, on any given day, which requires both speed and scalability. Traditional hotel revenue management software, in the form of the first-generation systems and the second-generation systems, has provided the answers to the equation for hoteliers. These solutions, while each groundbreaking at their introduction, are becoming inefficient due to the inability to react to changing market conditions inside a 24-hour period.

 

What is truly needed by the hospitality industry is a revenue management optimization tool designed for the ever-changing challenges faced by 21st century 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 leverage their available property.

 

Inline Revenue Management®

 

RMO was never this cool!

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 can integrate with existing systems as well as take advantage of the full suite of complementary modules within the Above Property Travel Platform.

 

Key Features Of Above Property’s Inline Revenue Management®

  • Real-time revenue optimizations
  • Delivers personalized responses by channel
  • Leverages Above Property’s proprietary pricing engine 
  • Real-time analytics, metrics, and feedback
  • Works with existing systems


TheAbove Property travel solution set features the fastest, most reliable, and easiest to use DRS on the planet. And is also both modular and compatible with all existing Property Management Systems and Central Reservation Systems. 


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Friday, February 12, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 2/12/16

US Hotel Industry Recession Risk Remains Low

The measure of hotel business activity, e-forecasting.com’s Hotel Industry’s Pulse (HIP), was just recently released. The predictive analytic rose by 0.4 percent in January. This followed a 0.2 percent rise in December. The six-month growth rate stood at 2.8 percent, which had followed a 2.5 percent rate in December. The analytics further indicates no sign of recession. Full Story Here:

 

Top CEOs: Both good, bad signs for hotels

The recent 2016 Americas Lodging Investment Summit featured a “View from the Boardroom” meeting of some of the industry’s top CEOs. Ultimately there was a wide range of opinions, with both positive and negative points espoused. This resulted in a variety of conflicting conclusions being drawn at the end of the meeting. Full Story Here:

 

STR: Airbnb has no ‘material’ impact on Manhattan’s room demand

According to a report issued last week by STR, Airbnb has not had a negative impact on the Manhattan hotel industry. The report states that the 9 percent of Manhattan’s 92,000 total lodging units comprised of Airbnb units account for only 3.5 percent of the total revenue from lodging in the borough. Airbnb has much lower occupancy rates than hotels, while rates are about $100 less per night compared with hotels as well. Full Story Here:

 

AH&LA Applauds Bipartisan Bill To Protect Consumers from Online Hotel Booking Scams

Representing all the segments of the U.S. lodging industry, The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), announced its support for a bipartisan bill introduced in Congress. The bill is designed to protect American consumers from the approximately 15 million hotel booking scams each year.  Fraudulent websites, posing as hotel sites, are stealing money from both the public and hoteliers. The bill would put specific safeguards in place while also taking corrective action as well. Full Story Here:

 


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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hotel Marketing With Instagram - Part 2

Instagram Best Practices For Hoteliers

The rapidly growing social media network, Instagram, is a great platform for the visual marketing of any hotel. For hoteliers considering using Instagram, here are some best practices and ideas for leveraging the social network.

 

Photos

Posting photos and brief videos is the purpose of Instagram, putting the social network in alignment with the visual content marketing goals of hoteliers. Instagram is perfect for telling a hotel’s story through images. Whatever unique features, amenities, or services, which set a hotel apart, should be showcased in high quality images. Be sure to include compelling photos and videos highlighting the hotel’s surrounding destination as well. The people who make up the hotel’s staff also make wonderful subject matter. Travelers today also want to fully experience the cuisine at a destination, enticing food photos make excellent Instagram hotel content. The intent should be with all image selections is to give potential guests some idea, visually, what awaits them upon arrival on the hotel property.

 

Hashtags

The use of hashtags is essential to promoting any hotel on Instagram. This is because both users and brands can easily find photos with them, on account of the fact that links cannot be added to posts on Instagram. Additionally, they are a great tool for stirring up engagement on the platform. The hotel should create its own unique hashtag as well. It should always be short, straightforward and directly to the point. Branded hashtags empower hotel customers to act as ambassadors, promoting the hotel to others. The use of hashtags however should be limited to three or four per post, so as to not appear like spam.

 

Captions 

Considering that text is minimal on Instagram, captions can be critical to successfully telling your hotel’s story. Be sure to use tags within the captions to better connect the stories and pictures to other related posts, both by the hotel and others. Also, it is extremely important considering the industry for hotels to use location tags within the captions as well. This is the only way for Instagram users to find the hotel’s posts within the context of location. Sharing the content of guests and featuring pictures of them is also imperative. Doing so plants the thought of booking the hotel in the heads of prospects because they can picture themselves in the images enjoying their stay. Additionally, user generated content builds the relationship between the hotel and its guests.

Instagram offers hoteliers a social media platform well suited to the visual nature of hotels and the hospitality industry. Promoting a hotel with pictures and videos on Instagram is both foresighted and fruitful for hoteliers worldwide. 


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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Hotel Marketing With Instagram - Part 1

Why Instagram?

 

The social media network Instagram is a natural fit for the online marketing efforts of most hotels. Because of the highly visual nature of the hospitality industry, combined with the photo and video sharing platform’s popularity with Millennial Generation travelers, Instagram marketing holds great potential for hoteliers. However, the majority of hotels have not incorporated Instagram into their marketing campaigns. With over 400 million worldwide users now, this social media network should not be ignored by hoteliers. The young and mobile user base, rapid growth, and high levels of engagement make this platform highly lucrative for hotels.

The visual orientation and simplicity of Instagram has directly led to its incredible growth. Figures published by MDG Advertising, over 80 million photos are shared on Instagram each day. Studies have repeatedly indicated that the clear majority of people learn and retain information visually through images, rather than through reading in text form. This explains the appeal of the network. Hotels can capitalize by showing off their brand through posting compelling images and short videos, accompanied by brief captions.

Instagram has captivated younger users to an amazing extent, many of whom feel that other social networks are more attuned to older generations. Millennials make up most of Instagram’s user base. According to figures from Sprout Social, 53 percent of the network’s users are between 18-29 years of age. Furthermore, 62 percent of 12-17 year olds are Instagram users. Teens may not represent a hotel’s targeted audience, but the network is expanding in popularity among older users. Also, this very large population segment represents the future of the hospitality industry.

Younger consumers naturally prefer brands to be present on their social networks of choice and seek connection with their favorites through social channels. Instagram has extremely high engagement levels due to the passionate nature of its users. Hotels, which build a connection with this user base, will benefit from the many shares and likes.

Instagram recently opened up its functionality for the web by allowing photo sharing from desktop computers. Searching for photos is web-enabled now as well. This makes using the platform simpler for busy hoteliers, but its mobile users positively position Instagram for the future.

In part two, we will examine some best practices for the use of Instagram for hotel marketing purposes. 


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Friday, February 5, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 2/5/16

Forecast continued growth through 2017 for U.S. hotels

STR and Tourism Economic have released their first forecast of 2016 for the U.S. hotel industry. Occupancy is expected to rise for the year at 0.6 percent to reach 65.9 percent, according to STR. Average daily rate should climb by 4.4 percent to $125.30. And revenue per available room is projected to increase to $82.60, representing a rise of 5.0 percent. Full Story Here:

 

Airbnb users spent $2.4 billion on lodging in the U.S. over past year

The alternative lodging site, Airbnb continues its meteoric rise, posing a real threat to the traditional hospitality in key markets. This is according to research analysis by CBRE Hotels. A study was conducted between October 2014 and September 2015, which found that Airbnb generated $2.4 billion in revenue during that period. Over 55 percent of the revenue was generated in only five U.S. cities, representing a sizable piece of the total lodging revenues in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Boston. Full Story Here:

 

In 2016, Average Daily Rate Reluctantly Takes the Driver’s Seat According to Updated Lodging Forecast

PwC US has released the results of their updated U.S. lodging forecast. The recent growth in revenue per available room (RevPar) will extend through the year. Economic warning flags aside, RevPar will see an increase of 5.5 percent. Average daily rate (ADR) has struggled amid ever-rising occupancy rates industry wide, puzzling analysts. Occupancy rates are at their highest level since 1981, driven by continued demand. Full Story Here:

 

STR: US results for wee ending 30 January

All three key performance measurements showed positive numbers industry wide in the U.S. hotel industry, the week of 24-30 January 2016. As measured against the same time period last year, occupancy was up by 2.5 percent, to 57.1 percent. Average daily rate was higher by 2.8 percent, reaching $116.87 for the week. Revenue per available room jumped up 35.5 percent, attaining $66.77 by week’s end. Full Story Here:


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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Content Marketing For Hotels - User Generated Content

Marketing content, generated by a hotel’s customers themselves, can be a highly effective technique for hoteliers to build their brand while engaging with their guests. This content can consist of everything from photos or videos to blog posts and hotel reviews. Anything customers post online in regards to the hotel, on social media or elsewhere, can become a powerful marketing tool to be leveraged by hoteliers.

Particularly on social media, the word of mouth nature of such posts can have a profound effect on hotel bookings. Studies have consistently indicated the elevated level of trust at which consumers hold such content, as opposed to brand-created content. The social media explosion and the proliferation of review sites has made user generated content readily available to hoteliers. Hotels willing to encourage consumers in its creation by providing them the right opportunities will reap the benefits of doing so.

 

Reviews

Reviews of hotels wield tremendous influence and power on the making of travel plans by consumers. Today, there are any number of platforms for hotel guests to share their experiences and opinions with others. On dedicated travel review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor and many social media networks like Facebook and Google , hotel customers should be encouraged to leave their comments and ideas. This goes for both positive and negative commentary. Guests should be encouraged to leave their opinions while currently on property, or at the very least, shortly thereafter.

 

Social Media

Social media networks are fantastic platforms for encouraging guests to share content about their hotel stay. Since travelers are going to be sharing many aspects of their trips on social networks anyway, hoteliers should ask them to tag the hotel with every photo shared or social mention. Hoteliers should ask questions or take informal surveys and post the responses with any related images and videos which are shared by fans. Users can be encouraged to participate with incentives such as free meals or drinks in the hotel’s restaurant/bar, for example.

Hotel social media presence needs to be promoted at all opportunities. This should include all signage, as well as printed material in rooms and handouts. This is in addition to the hotel website and all emails to customers and prospects. The hoteliers should create special hashtags with which to arm their followers in order for the posts of fans to facilitate lead generation across multiple channels. Hotels can further the reach of any related posts by re-sharing the posts and images of their followers, along with great reviews of the hotel property on other outlets online.

User generated content is the finest content for hotels to build brand recognition and loyalty. The experiences of past guests presented in an authentic manner by the hotel should be considered the goal when it comes to user generated content.   


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