Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hotel Social Relationship Management

Social media has revolutionized the way brands interact with their customers in the last decade. This has been especially true in the case of travel and hospitality companies. The public generally tends to be passionate about their vacations and the travel industry itself is extremely opinion-driven. This has necessitated a social media presence for nearly all hotels.


An effective social relationship marketing campaign will entail much more than merely maintaining a Facebook page, although the largest social network is essential to hotels. Social media and online review engagement, along with a hotel blog are fundamental pieces of the social marketing puzzle for hoteliers. Another is to have a clear strategy which defines success in the efforts. The key to building success with any campaign is continued engagement and interaction. The hotel’s reputation must also be protected continuously and built up whenever possible. Any online negativity, in the form 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. Concurrently, 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.




  • Blogs and press releases


  • Social network channels


  • Marketing writing assistant


  • Coupon creation and distribution


  • Web analytics

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Hospitality News For The Week Of 3/25/16

Phoenix Report Reveals 85% of Airbnb Operators Listed Properties for Rent More than 30 Days, Bringing in $41 Million in Profits

There is mounting evidence to suggest that there is a growing trend in commercial operators running illegal hotels utilizing the short-term rental website, Airbnb. The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) released the results of a study focusing on commercial activity in the Phoenix area involving Airbnb. The research shows that properties listed more than 30 days per year make up 85% of the listings on the website. This accounts for $41 million dollars in revenue for Airbnb in the Phoenix area. Full story here:

US Hotel Occupancy Up 1.9 Percent To &0.5 Percent Week Ending March 19th - 2016

According to data from STR, the U.S. hotel industry showed positive numbers in the three performance measurements the week of 13-19 March 2016. Occupancy was up by 1.9 percent, when compared to the same time period last year, reaching 70.5 percent for the week. Average daily rate climbed 4.2 percent to $127.72 by week’s end. Revenue per available room rose by 6.2 percent to finish the week at $90.04. Full story here:

TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice awards ranks world’s top destinations

TripAdvisor has released the results of its annual Traveler’s Choice awards, ranking the favorite destinations around the world. The top three in order are London, United Kingdom; Istanbul, Turkey; and Marrakech, Morocco. The results were compiled with an algorithm which took into account both quality and quantity of reviews and ratings of hotels, restaurants and attractions worldwide. Full story here:

Luxury wellness travel and the millennial generation

SpaFinder Wellness released the results of their survey of 200 travel agents across North America and Europe regarding wellness travel. The study examined the demographics of those travelers who are largely motivated to book travel around the availability of wellness facilities and amenities such as spas. Leading this travel segment are people aged 46 to 55. However, Millennials are fast becoming the core of this segment. Full story here:

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hotel Channel Management

Hotels today must continually perform a complicated balancing act in the process of distributing their room inventory successfully. Online distribution from a myriad of sources has led to hotels receiving differing post commission rates, and the resultant varying revenue for the same hotel room. A multi-channel strategy is imperative for hotels of any size, chain or independent, in order to remain competitive. Because each channel has specific costs built-in which must be incurred by the hotel, effective channel management is essential in order for a property to meet its revenue goals.


It is also vitally important for any hotel to know its customers, this is especially true for an independent hotel. Valuable resources must be allocated to the proper channels, whether direct or indirect, and at the right time. Hoteliers should inquire how each of its guests were inspired to book their hotel stays, and then concentrate the hotel’s efforts on the best yielding channels.


With such a wide range of distribution points, hoteliers require a tool to assist in keeping track of and to maximize the revenue available from any given hotel room. Avoiding overbooking is an important facet as well, given all the possible sales outlets. Inventory can be updated immediately by an automated channel manager. Channel management software can simplify and restore some degree of control over hotel rates to hoteliers, where it belongs. An effective channel manager will also report what channels yield the best results and reveal which channels fall short of expectations.


Channel Management System - CHMS


You won’t switch this channel

The Above Property Channel Management module enables full control of rate and inventory distribution. OTA, GDS, Wholesalers, Metasearch, and 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.



  • 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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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Liberating Hotel IBE

Travelers are now making the overwhelming majority of their travel decisions online, many via mobile devices. But whether the booking decision is made on a desktop computer at home, or on-the-go via smartphone, these transactions have one thing in common - a website Internet Booking Engine (IBE). All hotels must offer their customers a viable online booking alternative to the online travel agencies. Antiquated websites that are nothing more than travel brochures, featuring poor quality images and lacking a direct booking option, are not going to help hotels keep pace when Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) are vying for every booking dollar.


Any hotel website without an IBE leaves their hard-earned website traffic no choice but to go elsewhere to make a reservation. If such a hotel is lucky, the potential guest will call the hotel on the phone to book their stay. However, the much more likely scenario is that the customer will go through an online travel agency or other third party, with the resultant commissions paid by the hotel. That is why it is a requirement for successful hotel websites to offer an Internet Booking Engine to their site visitors. The IBE must be simple, straightforward and extremely user-friendly. Steps in the booking process should be kept to a minimum in order to keep the potential customer from having a change of heart or mind.


Nothing should obstruct the pathway for future guests to book their hotel stay directly. The user must have the ability to not only book on the website, but make changes to their itinerary or cancel all together as well. It is also equally vital for an independent hotel to maintain strict rate parity across all online channels and between their website and on the property. It is acceptable to offer channel specific promotions, but extremely important to identify them as such. If the potential hotel guests find a rate disparity they will book elsewhere, and maybe never book at that hotel again.


We put the IBE in liberating

The Above Property Internet Booking Engine module enables the direct channel booking that is so crucial in today’s distribution strategy. Understanding that one size does not fit all, accordingly the Above Property IBE offers flexibility and customization that is unmatched. Implementing is simple as you leverage the inventory and content within the DRS (Distributed Reservation System). Our IBE leverages the full capabilities of the Above Property DRS including all pricing features, restrictions, policies, payment methods, yielding, add ons, groups, and packages. Operating in a fully distributed cloud environment, the Above Property Internet Booking Engine module can integrate with existing systems as well as take advantage of the full suite of complementary modules within the Above Property Travel Platform.



Our IBE leverages the full capacity of the Above Property DRS including:

      • Room or rate centric                            
      • Minimal steps to booking    
      • Special requests                                  
      • Full hotel content   
      • Property images and video                  
      • Room images                                       
      • Room floor plan                                   
      • Availability calendar                             
      • Amenity filters  
      • Price filters                                           
      • Add ons                                                 
      • Prior search history                              
      • Room upgrades                                   
      • Driving directions
      • Property maps
      • Support for multiple languages
      • Multi currency 
      • Multi room capability (with different room types) 
      • Optimized booking path
      • Real time dashboard analytics
      • Google analytics support
      • Confirmation emails
      • Pre stay (reminder) emails
      • Post stay emails
      • Book, cancel, or modify a reservation
      • Social login functionality
      • Complete API for custom development










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Friday, March 18, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 3/18/16

Hotel tech execs: Buy-in, legacy systems still issues

During the recent 2016 HTNG North American Conference a panel of top technology experts, from within the hospitality industry, spoke of the industry wide resistance to change regarding technology. The integration of new technologies with existing legacy systems is an ongoing struggle for hotel IT leaders. Among the reasons given for such these obstacles include funding for implementing such changes and understanding their value to the company. Full Story Here:


Lodging Drives Steady Growth in U.S. Travel Market - Phocuswright Research

The lodging sector of the U.S. travel market has largely driven the sector’s growth of the last few years. This is according to the latest edition of Phocuswright’s U.S. Online Travel Overview Fifteenth Edition. Hotels continue as the main source of revenue for online travel agencies. 6 percent growth is projected for the U.S. travel market during 2016. The record average daily rates and continued high demand pushed lodging ahead of air travel in 2015. In the process, lodging became the largest segment in the U.S. travel market. Full Story Here:


PWC Consumer Intelligence - What’s Driving Customer Loyalty For Today’s Hotel Brands?

PwC conducted a study of 1,026 leisure and business travelers to gain an understanding of their motivations regarding hotel loyalty programs. Significant takeaways include uncovering the similarities between age groups and the need for hotels to prioritize in regards to their loyalty programs. Hotels should also tailor the programs and their benefits to leisure and business travelers separately. Full Story Here:


US Hotel Occupancy Down 1.5 Percent To 66.9 Percent Week Ending March 12th - 2016 

The three key performance measurements showed mixed results the week of 6-12 March 2016. According to STR, in year-to-year measurements, occupancy fell 1.5 percent to 66.9 percent for the week. Average daily rate however was 2.6 percent higher than the previous year at $123.28. Revenue per available room rose as well, reaching $82.51, a 1.1 percent increase over the same time period last year. Full Story Here:


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Thursday, March 17, 2016

How Hotel PMS Is Done Today

At the center of all hotel technology is the Property Management System, or PMS. Vital to the day-to-day operations of any hotel, the PMS is a completely essential piece of the hotel management software suite. Through the utilization of cloud-based technology, this critical tool is now available to hotels of all sizes in a highly cost efficient, yet scalable manner. Even the smallest of hotels would greatly benefit from a PMS hosted in the cloud, rather than on property. And the savings to large hotels and chains is rather compelling as well.

Traditional property-based, on premise PMS systems are extremely difficult to maintain and upgrade. New roll outs and modernizations come at a very dear price in valuable time and personnel. In a cloud-based PMS system such updates which need to be performed are completed remotely, resulting in much increased efficiency and improved functionality. Additionally, when offline operations become necessary, a small on-property appliance is available. This appliance will automatically sync up upon the re-establishment of connectivity.


This is not your Grandfather’s 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 APIs 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.



  • 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

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Call Center Management For Hotels

The modern hotel sales model relies heavily upon online sales via either the hotel website, at best, or online travel agencies at worst. The hotel reservation call center has clearly become de-emphasized in favor of this indirect, hands-off approach. Hoteliers increasingly focus on expanded distribution and outbound marketing to gain reservations, at the expense of a dedicated call center.


This is an unfortunate situation because many revenue dollars are left on the table in the form of OTA fees and booking abandonment. It is true that call volume is down due to the rise in online sales sources. However, a wide number of sources estimate that as much as 75 to 80 percent of a hotel’s revenue may still be produced by the voice channel. Many of these calls are generated via mobile, by way of the click-to-call feature. Additional sources include callers who are confused and having trouble booking on the website. Many are deal-driven and are trying to beat the rates offered by online travel agencies. Whatever their motivation for calling, these callers must be converted efficiently and cost effectively.


The Above Property Call Center module allows agents to be more productive and provide the highest level of customer service by combining workflow efficiency with visual communication. The module takes full advantage of Above Property’s Distributed Reservation System or your existing reservation system to allow agents to efficiently sell, as well as up-sell revenue generating products.


Through our extensive information data store, agents have full access to rates, inventory, points of interest, and mapping to ensure the highest level of customer interaction. Operating in a fully distributed cloud environment, the Above Property Call Center module can integrate with existing systems as well as take advantage of the full suite of complementary modules within the Above Property Travel Platform.




  • Visually communicative
  • Access anywhere
  • Workflow optimized
  • Analytics, metrics, and feedback available in real time 
  • Works with existing systems  


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Friday, March 11, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 3/11/16

US national occupancy reaches new high while local levels begin to decline


CBRE Hotel’s Americas Research has published their March to May 2016 edition of Hotel Horizons, and has forecast the U.S. lodging industry will set another all-time record for occupancy by year’s end. U.S. hotels in 2016 are projected to reach an occupancy level of 65.7 percent, higher even than the previous record set in 2015. The report cautions however that occupancy levels may decline locally. Full Story Here:


Instagram Now one of the Top-Five Travel Marketing Channels


According to new research published by EyeforTravel, Instagram is now the fifth leading social media marketing channel for travel companies. Over 61 percent of travel marketers are actively using Instagram in their marketing efforts. Only Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn are used more by travel companies. Instagram has grown to more than 400 million users, up from 100 million in 2015. The extensive use of Instagram is attributed to the visual nature of travel marketing. Full Story Here:


What the Erin Andrews lawsuit means for hoteliers


The recent jury decision in the Erin Andrews civil suit against her stalker and the hotel in which he secretly videotaped her, has extensive and long-lasting implications for the hospitality industry. A jury awarded sportscaster Erin Andrews $55 million in finding Michael David Barrett responsible, along with the hotel’s owners and management. The lawsuit’s outcome stresses the importance of proper policies and training of staff in regards to privacy issues. Full Story Here:


US Hotel Occupancy Down 1.0 Percent To 63.7 Percent Week Ending March 5th - 2016


Mixed performance results were reported by the U.S. hotel industry the week of 28 February through 5 March 2016, according to figures from STR. Compared to the same time period last year, occupancy dropped by 1.0 percent to 63.7 percent for the week. However, average daily rate increased by 3.3 percent to reach $120.62. While revenue per available room climbed by 2.3 percent to attain $76.89 by week’s end. Full Story Here:




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Friday, March 4, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 3/4/16

Record 23.7 billion Euros spent on hotels in 2015 as transactions reach highest level ever

Investment on future hotel development reached its all time highest point in 2015. This is according to the European Hotel Transaction Report recently published by HVS. 23.7 billion Euros was spent by investors who were impressed by continued growth in revenue per available room on the continent. The United Kingdom leads the way, accounting for 48 percent of the growth in 2015. Full Story Here:


U.S. Travelers Willing To Spend A Little More On Domestic Hotel Rooms has released the results of their latest Hotel Price Index (HPI) which indicated that the focus of American travel in 2015 was largely on domestic destinations. This is despite increases in prices paid for accommodations in many locations. The most popular destination in America was Las Vegas, with visitors continuing to flock there. In North America hotel prices rose by 3 percent, leading all worldwide markets. Full Story Here:


STR: US hotel results for week ending 27 February 

Hotel industrywide occupancy in the U.S. was almost flat for the week of 21-27 February 2016, as compared to the same time period last year. Occupancy was down by -0.2 percent to 64.2 percent for the week. Average daily rate was up 3.3 percent to reach $119.50. Revenue per available room climbed 3.1 percent to attain $76.76 by week’s end. Full Story Here:


Small hotels get more direct bookings: research 

According to a study of small lodgings (under 40 rooms) by Little Hotelier, direct phone calls, emails, and walk-ins account for at least one third of all reservations at small hotels. The study points out the diversified sources which make up the hotel bookings taken by smaller hotel properties. Online travel agencies and direct hotel websites make up the remaining two thirds of the total bookings for small hotels. Full Story Here:


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