Monday, June 27, 2016

Adopting Technology For Hotels With Mobile

The hospitality industry has been cautiously conservative in regards to the adoption of new technologies. In fact, when compared to many other industries, hoteliers are quite a bit behind in bringing exciting technological innovations to their customers. A variety of reasons are often given for this situation including, budget constraints, staff redundancies, and the necessity of the return on investment being clearly measurable. However, a number of hotels and chains are beginning to transform this scenario in the face of ever-rising customer expectations.

With the ubiquity of mobile technology, hoteliers can assume their guests are traveling with some form of smart device. It can be either a phone, tablet, or even both, but this situation has created expectations on the part of hotel guests. Consumers expect to seamlessly connect with the world wherever they go, on any device they may have in hand. They demand user-friendly hotel apps which empower them to compare prices, plan, and book their hotel accommodations.

One means for hotels to offer what the traveling public is seeking is to offer a mobile website with a booking engine. All functionality available to web desktop users should be offered on the mobile site as well. This includes checking rates, viewing room accommodations, booking, paying for and confirming reservations. Some hotels are utilizing mobile technology to take their guest’s experience to new heights. Mobile apps, for example, give hotels the opportunity to interact with their guests and offer services directly through their devices.

Hotel guests want greater control of every facet of their hotel guest experience and hotel mobile apps enable them to do so. With a hotel app downloaded to their smartphone or tablet, guests can select from among commonly variable choices such as, room size and bed type, to customizing the room temperature and even selecting food and drinks for the mini-bar; all in advance of their stay if desired from a mobile device armed with an app from the hotel. Guests can even skip the lines and go straight to their room with mobile check-in and mobile room keys. 

Today’s traveler now expects and demands a hotel experience customized to their needs, tastes and convenience. Mobile technology offers hoteliers an exciting means to meet and exceed the expectations of their guests with a level of highly personalized service and convenience previously not available. Mobile technology does however require a commitment on the part of hotels to invest in their customers through truly adopting of these technologies. 

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 6/24/16

 STR: What the Brexit Referendum could mean for hotels


The United Kingdom vote to leave the European Union has created much uncertainty in markets in Britain, Europe and around the globe. STR, Inc. has predicted that in the short-term the impact upon hoteliers will be negative due to travel uncertainty. In the long-term, STR expects mostly negative effects including lowered investment in hospitality and an increasingly anemic exchange rate. One bright spot might be that the hotel industry in Britain will become more affordable to travelers. Full Story Here:


Consumers Don’t Want To Give Up Personal Data


Boxever, the data science and omnichannel marketing personalization provider, has released the results of a survey of over 500 consumers which indicates their distrust of brands regarding personal data. The survey found that over 50 percent of consumers do not want companies to have their personal information. 95 percent of respondents think brands are failing at retargeting ads, particularly the travel industry with only 27 percent believing travel brands use their data properly to improve their customer experience. Full Story Here:


Survey reveals what families are looking for when traveling


In a study of Canadian travelers conducted by Choice Hotels Canada, 89 percent of travelers are planning a trip within the next two years. The number jumps to 92 percent for families with children. Travelers don’t like to travel alone according to the survey with 87 percent preferring to travel with either family or friends. Nearly 75 percent prefer traveling to destinations that they have never been before. Important considerations in choosing a hotel include value for money (97 percent), cleanliness (86 percent), and safety (64 percent). Full Story Here:


STR: US hotel results for week ending 18 June


The U.S. hotel industry reported mostly positive numbers for the week of 12-18 June 2016. When compared to the same time period last year, industry wide occupancy was almost unchanged, -0.1 percent to 74.6 percent for the week. However, average daily rate was up by 3.5 percent to reach $126.89 by week’s end. And revenue per available room increased 3.3 percent to attain $94.62 at the end of the week. Full Story Here:


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Monday, June 20, 2016

Adopting Technology For Hotels With Cloud Computing

The concept of cloud computing is often misunderstood within the hospitality industry, however the technology is garnering some degree of acceptance with hoteliers. Adoption of cloud-based data management has been slow, lagging behind other industries. Cost concerns and a general resistance to change are largely driving this lag, but the future of data management lies in the cloud. Hoteliers have much to gain and little risk in adopting cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) computing solutions, which offer access from any authorized device.

Cloud based SaaS platforms are extremely cost effective as cloud providers, like Amazon Web Services and Google Compute Engine, are responsible for the server maintenance and data backups. SaaS platform services are usually provided on an as-needed basis, without costly equipment, resulting in lower initial investments and reduced costs over time. Only the required amount of power and storage need be paid for by the hotel or chain. Another advantage 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.

Practical everyday applications for hoteliers of a cloud-driven SaaS platform include enhancing the hotel guest experience through greater personalization of services. The individual preferences of guests, including dietary needs and specific allergies for example, can be more effectively managed in the cloud. A cloud-based SaaS Property Management System (PMS) and Central Reservation System (CRS) can give hotels the real-time flexibility to best leverage today’s travelers who are routinely connected to the Internet. Hoteliers can build and maintain a better connection with their guests, even when they are away from the hotel property, through a variety of hotel services, such as mobile concierge. Also, cloud technology gives hoteliers the capability to effectively establish partnerships with companies that provide peripheral services to guests like transportation, entertainment, and recreation.

Cloud-based SaaS is revolutionizing day-to-day hotel operations as well. Every facet of property management can be monitored and directed from the cloud. Property maintenance, tracking and ordering of hotel supplies inventory, and human resources can all be better administered through cloud technology driven, SaaS platforms. The significantly lowered costs and increased efficiency will ultimately drive the hospitality migration to SaaS and cloud technology. Storing, maintaining, and accessing data through the cloud offers hoteliers significant savings while improving the levels of customer service offered to their guests.  

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 6/17/16

U.S. Hotel Revenue Growing, But Slowing

The U.S. hotel industry has seen significant growth in occupancy, average daily rate and profits over the course of the last five years. According to the Americas Research 2016 edition of CBRE Hotel’s Trends in the Hotel Industry report, growth is continuing but at a much slower rate currently. The report states that Total Operating Revenues were up in 2015 by only 5.3 percent. More troubling for the industry was the 4.7 percent hike in expenses, particularly in light of the insignificant 0.1 percent inflation rate. Full Story Here:


Travel is number one mood booster for Americans: Traveler’s Sweet Spot Survey has published the results of their Traveler’s Sweet Spot Survey, analyzing the preferences of today’s traveler. The survey found that travel enhances the moods of Americans, in fact more than both exercising and shopping. Romantic getaways top the list for both men and women. Closely behind in mood-boosting ability is travel to visit friends or relatives. Priceline conducted an independent survey and found that 51 percent are booking a short-term trip. Also 34 percent book more than five trips per year. Full Story Here:


HITEC 2016

The Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC) will be kicking off in New Orleans, LA next week June 20-23, 2016 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Participating will be over 300 companies, including Above Property. Across over 130,000 square feet will be featured hospitality technology experts presenting the latest products and services to the hospitality industry. Full Story Here:


US Hotel Occupancy Flat At 73.7 Percent Week Ending June 11th - 2016

The week of 5-11 June 2016 saw the U.S. hotel industry post largely positive numbers, according to figures released by STR, Inc. Occupancy was almost flat in year to year figures, rising slightly at 0.2 percent to reach 73.7 percent for the week. Average daily rate climbed up 3.7 percent to $126.14 for the week. And revenue per available room was up by 3.9 percent to $92.97 by week’s end. Full Story Here: 


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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Adopting Technology For Hotels With Room Tech

The hospitality industry has been slow to adopt many of the new and exciting technologies available to hoteliers. Lack of funding is often cited as the main reason for this lag. However, customers’ expectations have been raised by the reality that many guests, for example, check in expecting complete continuity with their connected lives while on hotel property. The hotel guest experience can be raised to new heights with the implementation of room tech. In addition to raising the level of the hotel guest experience, cutting edge guest room technology can improve hotel efficiency as well.


Hotel Wi-Fi

Today’s traveler demands the ability to fully and seamlessly utilize all the capabilities of their various mobile and online devices at hotels. This applies as much to leisure travelers as it does to business travelers. Access to the Internet is seen as a necessity, not a luxury. Hotels need to recognize this fact or suffer the consequences. Quality Wi-Fi in their rooms, in addition to common areas of the hotel, is a top priority for travelers. Many travelers will not book a stay at a hotel without high speed Wi-Fi throughout. This level of connectedness will only become more pronounced as the Millennial Generation makes up an ever-increasing number of the traveling public.


Internet of Things 

The adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) offers hoteliers the opportunity to truly revolutionize how guests experience their stays. IoT can enable guests to control every facet of their room from a hotel provided, multi-purposed tablet or other device. Everything from entertainment, lighting, and environmental controls, to even ordering room service or more towels can be accomplished at the touch of a finger. Guest profile settings may be saved while the guest is in house and then revert back to hotel settings upon checkout. Upon arrival at the hotel for their next stay, a guest preference can be reinstated as well. This can even be taken a step further, with voice and motion activation technology.


Hotel Efficiency

Every aspect of the physical hotel property can also see improved levels of efficiency and function from the implementation of IoT technology. IoT has the capability to monitor and control building energy consumption, HVAC systems, motorized systems such as elevators, and environmental factors including noise levels for example. Everything mechanical or electrical in any way can become IoT controlled.

Energy management is one facet of the Internet of Things adoption that stands to profit hoteliers the most. An IoT enabled system can control much more than merely turning lights on and off. Because of the nature of the industry, hotels tend to be energy wasters. What guests do while in their room is out of management’s control, but the IoT can sense when they are gone and keep consumption under control when the room is not in use. Additionally, the IoT can monitor electrical outlets and alert hotel staff of any problems.

Adoption of these exciting technologies has the power to transform the hospitality industry. New guest room innovations can greatly enhance the hotel guest experience and vastly improve the efficiency of day-to-day hotel operations.  

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 6/10/16

U.S. Hoteliers on Alert After First Quarter Occupancy Decline 

According to data from STR, Inc. the U.S. hotel market experienced a decline in occupancy of 0.5 percent during the first quarter of 2016. This comes after a record setting occupancy level of 2015. The decline is a cause for concern, but not surprising after the previous five years that the industry enjoyed. Industry wide occupancy is expected to decline in 2016 and 2017 because of increasing supply outpacing demand growth. Full Story Here:


NYU: 5 things to know from hotel CEOs

The 2016 NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference was held this week in New York City. Leading industry CEO’s gathered and shared their assessments of a number of issues facing hotels currently. Important topics discussed included industry threats from the sharing economy, the future role of OTA’s in the hospitality industry, growth opportunities in Cuba, the mergers and acquisitions in the industry, and what affects Chinese investment will have upon the hospitality industry. Full Story Here:


Infographic: Do consumers trust the sharing economy?

Recently a consumer survey by published by Hooyu claims consumers lack trust in the sharing economy and many of its services. The Hooyu Trust & Identity in the Sharing Economy report stated that consumers do not trust renting themselves or renting out to someone else without knowing the host or guest first. Over 68 percent don’t trust renting out part or all of their property. And over 67 percent don’t trust renting from someone else either. Full Story Here:


STR: US hotel results for the week ending 4 June

The week of 29 May through 4 June 2016 was negative for the most part, according to figures from STR, Inc. When compared to the same period last year, industry wide occupancy dropped by 6.8 percent to 64.6 percent. Average daily rate remained flat at $118.45. Revenue per available room fell by 6.8 percent to $76.56 by week’s end. A shift in the Memorial Day on the calendar is cited as having a significant affect on the numbers. Full Story Here:


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Friday, June 3, 2016

Hospitality News For The Week Of 6/3/16

Recession risk for US hoteliers rising says predictive analytics firm

According to’s HIL indicator, future monthly business conditions of the U.S. hotel industry dropped by 0.1 percent in the month of April. The HIL indicator in the past has successfully predicted past economic turns based on its six-month growth rate. The probability of hotel industry recession reached 47.8 percent in April and stood at 39.8 percent in March. If the HIL reaches 50 percent for more than three months, industry wide recession will be the result in the following business cycle. Full Story Here:


A Slow Start, But Will It Continue?

RAR Hospitality has released the results of their Midyear Forecast Update, revising their 2016 RevPAR growth rate down to 3.75 percent. This amounts to a reduction in rate of growth based on the hospitality industry’s poor showing in the first quarter which posted a flat growth rate. A number of law and regulation changes coming in 2017 could hurt the industry, however growth is expected for the remainder of 2016. Full Story Here: Mobile Travel Tracker Study Funds Travelers Prefer Their Device More than Their Loved One published their findings of the Mobil Travel Tracker, a global study of the habits of 9,200 travelers in 31 countries. Important takeaways include 42 percent booking their hotels frequently on mobile devices. The average traveler spends 13 nights staying at hotels each year, across four trips per year. Payment method offerings and genuine guest reviews out weigh price in the minds of today’s travelers. Full Story Here:


STR: US hotel results for week ending 28 May

The U.S. hotel industry posted positive numbers across the board the week of 22-28 May 2016. When compared to the same period last year, occupancy was up by 10.6 percent to 70.1 percent for the week. Average daily rate rose 7.7 percent, reaching $124.08 by week’s end. Revenue per available room climbed 19.1 percent for the week, ending up at $86.95. Full Story Here:


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