Friday, June 30, 2017

Hospitality News For The Week Of 6/30/17

HITEC’s Canadian Debut Draws Largest Conference Attendance in 45 Year History

The international association, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) held its annual Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) in Toronto, Ontario Canada this week June 26-29 2017. This year’s HITEC drew the highest attendance ever in the conference’s 45-year history to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The event gathered over 6,500 industry professionals from over 65 countries to the floor featuring 366 exhibitors and to hear 130 speakers and four keynote speakers. Full Story Here:

Independents Day: Rise of independent hotels sets off industry fireworks.

Data from both STR and Expedia indicates that independent hotels are experiencing greater growth rates in average daily rate than branded hotel properties. This is a continuation of a trend in recent years, begun in the first quarter of 2014. Additionally, guests at independent properties spend more per night than they do at brand hotels, on average. In the first quarter of 2017 the top earning independent hotel markets were Las Vegas, Manhattan, Miami, Orlando and Los Angeles. Full Story Here:

Stable Rates with Declines in Bookings Continue as Hoteliers Close Out First Half of 2017

As the hospitality industry moves into the second half of the year, hotels in North America are experiencing average daily rates continue to be stable. However, bookings declined in the second quarter of 2017. This is according to TravelClick’s June 2017 North American Hospitality Review (NAHR). While transient leisure travel bookings have been growing, this has been more than offset by declines in both transient business (-1.5 percent) and transient group (-1.6 percent) bookings. Full Story Here:

STR: US hotel results for week ending 24 June

Mixed performance results were reported by the U.S. hotel industry for the week of 18-24 June 2017. According to figures from STR, compared to the same period last year, industry-wide occupancy was down by -1.2 percent at 75.8 percent. Average daily rate however was 1.1 percent higher, finishing the week at $129.73. Revenue per available room was nearly unchanged at -0.1 percent, ending the week at $98.31. Full Story Here:

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Social Media For Hoteliers 2017 - Part 3

Video has become the driving force of social media engagement and smart hoteliers are already sharing relevant videos of their properties across a variety of channels. Relatively new and innovative platforms, such as Facebook Live and Instagram Stories, are now available providing live video possibilities for hotel social media marketing. The concept of live streaming video is a great fit for hotels and other travel related brands. It leverages the visual nature of travel, while having a natural relevancy by being dynamically active.

Facebook Live

With nearly two billion users worldwide, Facebook brings an enormous potential audience for hoteliers to present their messages. The social networking giant has a well established reputation as a favorite for travelers to begin trip planning. Powerfully visual tools such as 360 degree videos and photos can give potential guests the feeling of actually being on a hotel property or in its location. Facebook is completely committed to video and the format is quickly becoming more popular than photos among both brands and followers, generating significantly higher levels of engagement.

Since the introduction of Facebook Live in the first half of 2016, the platform has become even more useful to hotel marketers through a number of enhancements. Facebook now ensures that live broadcasts receive priority in user’s feeds. Also, after the live event is finished, the video will be archived and appear in the feeds of the followers that may have missed the broadcast in real time. Followers of brands are alerted with push notifications of live events as well.

Instagram Stories

Instagram is growing at an astronomical rate. So much so, that in an explosion of growth in the second half of 2016 alone, the network gained 100 million new users. Instagram is immensely popular with younger users, specifically Millennials. The network’s engagement levels are second only to Facebook, which owns the platform. Instagram has been attempting to make the network more friendly for business and marketing purposes, even rolling out profiles and tools for business in 2016.

One of the most exciting developments has been the platform’s recent enablement of the posting of ephemeral videos and photos. Called Instagram Stories, this tool empowers users to post visual material which automatically disappears after 24 hours. This concept originated with Snapchat (now called simply Snap), but Instagram is monetizing this idea in ways more conducive to the purposes of marketers. For example, marketing messages coexist with the video stories posted by the friends of users now.

While still evolving formats, live and ephemeral videos offer hoteliers inspirational potentiality in sharing their properties with new audiences.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Hospitality News For The Week Of 6/23/17

New Data Reveals Overwhelming Majority of Americans Believe Short-Term Rentals Should be Regulated

A new poll conducted by Axis Research and sponsored by AirbnbWATCH has found that the vast majority of Americans believe short-term rentals should be subject to all the same laws and regulations as the lodging industry. According to the research, fully 91 percent of the American public supports the requirement of properties listed on websites such as Airbnb and VRBO to adhere to the local zoning, health and safety regulations. 85 percent support requiring short-term rentals to register with their city and pay taxes as well. Full Story Here:

Branded Full-Service Hotels In The U.S. Recorded A 2.4 Percent Increase In Goppar Year-To-Date April

The monthly hotel profit-and-loss benchmarking service HotStats is now bringing its profitability tracking to analyze the U.S. hotel market. In published results, full-service hotels recorded a 2.4 percent increase in Gross Operating Profit per Available Room, in year-to-date comparison with 2016. Additionally, Total Revenue per Available Room is up by 2.1 percent and revenue per available room is 2.2 percent higher as well. Full Story Here:

Hotels and OTA’s failing to inspire guests

According to a newly published report by TrustYou, opportunities are being missed by both hotels and online travel agencies regarding upselling and ancillary revenues. Both hotels and the OTA’s are not inspiring guests to seek out amenities, property activities, and the local area in the destination. The report states 80 percent of hotel guests are expecting to be contacted by the hotel in advance of their stay. Full Story Here:

STR: US hotel results for week ending 17 June

The U.S. hotel industry posted mixed performance numbers for the week of 11-17 June 2017, according to STR. Industry-wide occupancy dropped by 0.3 percent to finish at 74.3 percent for the week, when compared to the same period last year. Average daily rate however was up by 1.7 percent, reaching $129.32 by the end of the week. Revenue per available room was also higher by 1.4 percent to finish the week at $96.10. Full Story Here:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Social Media For Hoteliers 2017 - Part 2

As the adoption by hotel brands of social media marketing has progressed, a commonly made misstep has been to attempt to build a presence on as many platforms as possible. A more effective strategy is to select the social channels based on which ones will offer the best return for the brand. This would be where the hotel’s customers are present and actively engaged.


Given the highly visual nature of the hospitality industry, current trends in social media marketing are extremely conducive for the promotion of hotels. Video now completely dominates the Internet, thanks to the rise of YouTube and the progression of Facebook. The social media giant now gives priority to video content, over text and still images. Video is a natural fit for hotels, and the possibilities are only limited by the creativity of hoteliers. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but video takes online interaction between hotel brands and potential guests a giant step further.

Local Area

All hotels are of course part of a larger community and its surrounding area. Videos highlighting the local area as a destination as well as the hotel’s place in it are appropriate, particularly to leisure travelers. 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 larger destination, with local events such as concerts, festivals, or exhibitions for example as 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 visually of their stay at the hotel. Video provides a means to showcase 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 the new additions or upgrades. If at all possible, include shots of hotel guests enjoying the new additions as well.

User Content

The hotel guests can become a regular contributor of fresh 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. By asking guests 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 can be a powerful content tool, if leveraged properly. In the last part of this series we will see the innovative directions social media marketing videos are headed with live video via Instagram and Snap.