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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