Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Creating A Personalized Hotel Stay For Guests - Part 2

The explosion in popularity of mobile devices should lead all hoteliers to assume their guests are traveling with them. Research studies overwhelming support this assumption. The pervasive presence of smart devices has simultaneously created an expectation on the part of the traveling public to be seamlessly connected with the world wherever their travel may take them.


Given this reality, hotels have another tool at their disposal to create a more personalized hotel guest experience with mobile technology. Whether guests are using a phone, tablet or even the increasing popular wearables, hotels have an opportunity with mobile to build loyalty with their guests. One means for hotels to offer what the traveling public is seeking, is to provide 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 however are utilizing mobile technology to take their guest’s experience to new heights. Mobile apps, for example, give hotels a platform from which to interact in fresh ways with their guests and offer services directly through their devices. When guests enable Bluetooth on those devices, hoteliers can communicate directly through location-based beacons. Pioneered largely by the retail industry, this technology permits hotels to broadcast promotional offers, and also can facilitate convenience in a variety of services such as housekeeping.

Hotel guests want to manage every aspect of their stay experience and hotel mobile apps empower 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 bypass the lines at the front desk and go straight to their accommodations with mobile check-in and mobile room keys.

Today’s tech-savvy traveler now expects and demands a hotel experience customized to their individual needs, tastes, and conveniences. Mobile technology provides hoteliers with an exciting instrument from which to meet and exceed the expectations of their guests with a level of highly personalized service previously not possible.

In the last part of this series we will see what the 21st Century smart hotel room looks like.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Hospitality News For The Week Of 8/25/17

Solar Eclipse 2017: Hotels in Path of Phenomenon Ready to Cash in

This past week’s total eclipse of the sun had a positive impact upon hotels located in its direct path. Travelers seeking a glimpse of the rare astronomical event drove up revenues for hoteliers in a pathway extending diagonally across the U.S., beginning in Oregon and ending in South Carolina. In South Carolina for example, some hotels experienced new property records in terms of average daily rate. Many creative hoteliers across the area of totality fully leveraged the event by hosting viewing parties. FullStory Here:

The U.S. Hotel Industry Modest RevPAR Growth [+0.8%] In July

The U.S. hotel industry experienced mixed performance during the month of July 2017, according to figures published by STR. Industry-wide occupancy was down slightly at -0.5 percent to finish the month at 73.8 percent. Average daily rate was higher by +1.4 percent for the month, ending up at $130.85 for the month of July. As a result of supply growth near 2 percent, revenue per available room saw its lowest growth figure in over 7 years, finishing the month up only +0.8 percent at $96.62. Full Story Here:

CBRE: Hotel industry outlook remains positive

According to a new report published by CBRE Hotels America Research, the U.S. hotel industry should see continued growth in performance measurements during 2018 but at a reduced growth rate. CBRE recently released its Hotel Horizons report which forecasts a 0.1 percent increase in occupancy industry-wide, with a projected 2.3 percent increase in average daily rate. CBRE expects revenue per available room to also rise by 2.4 percent during 2018. Full Story Here:

STR: U.S. hotel results for week ending 19 August

The U.S. hotel industry reported increases in all three of the key measurements of hotel performance during the week of 13-19 August 2017, according to STR. Compared to the same time period last year, industry-wide occupancy rose +1.4 percent to reach 72.3 percent by the end of the week. Average daily rate climbed up by +2.1 percent to finish at $127.12 for the week. Revenue per available room jumped up +3.5 percent for the week at $91.85. Full Story Here:

Monday, August 21, 2017

Creating A Personalized Hotel Stay For Guests - Part 1

Hoteliers naturally focus significant effort on successfully converting potential guests into actual hotel stays. But with the intense level of competition, both within in the hospitality industry and from alternative lodging accommodations, hoteliers must strive to gain the loyalty of repeat guests. Concurrently, the twenty-first century traveler comes to any hotel with certain expectations which must be met. Hotel guests demand a highly personalized guest experience from the beginning to the end of their stay.

The days of every guest being greeted by front desk staff upon check-in with the question, “Is this your first stay with us?” are hopefully in the past. Guests want to be acknowledged upon arrival, not treated like just another reservation number checking in. Through their stay and beyond, they desire a level of customization not available before, yet readily possible through the implementation of cloud-based PMS (Property Management System) technology by hotels.

21st Century Property Management System

It is absolutely vital for hoteliers to have ready access to as many data points as possible in order to treat every guest as the individual they truly are. A cloud-driven PMS system will give hoteliers the flexibility they need to create effective guest profiles. A data-rich guest profile is necessary in order to deliver a truly personal guest experience. First time guests should be contacted in advance and offered the opportunity to provide any specific requests or preferences they may have. Repeat guests should have all previous stays well documented within their profiles including room and F&B preferences, special dates (e.g. anniversary) and any individualized notations deemed relevant.

This seems as if it would be extremely labor intensive to effectively maintain all of this data, however it is not. With the PMS hosted in the cloud and fully integrated with all other hotel systems, much of this information is automated and shared in real time. Only a few brief manually entered data points are necessary on occasion. Hotel staff have access to the guest’s entire history with that individual hotel property and, if part of a chain, the brand. Each time the guest checks in, the hotel gains opportunities to build a greater degree of personalized experience for them. The key is for hoteliers to act on those opportunities.

In part two of this series we will explore more tools available for hoteliers to provide a personalized stay for their guests.

Be a Property Management Superstar

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 integration with all reservation systems  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Hotel Call Center In The Cloud

Hoteliers are continually striving to increase direct bookings with their properties. To that end, industry measures to implement special rates for loyalty members have placed a renewed emphasis on the importance of the voice channel and hotel call centers. In recent years the sales model of hotels has relied heavily upon online channels, via both brand websites and OTAs. However, the voice channel is in the midst of a resurgence for hotels trying to take back some of the revenue which they have been giving up to the OTAs. A number of sources estimate that as much as 75 to 80 percent of hotel revenue may be the product of the voice channel, particularly in the case of independent and higher end chain properties. The hotel call center can provide a much more personal and efficient link between the brand’s website and the customer.

The adoption of cloud technology central reservation (CRS) and property management (PMS) systems, which are completely integrated with a cloud-based call center software module, will provide the catalyst needed to effectively leverage the voice channel. Many businesses, including hotels, are implementing remote call center agents into their business models. Seamless access by call center agents, wherever they may be, to hotel inventory and rates, combined with Big Data customer analytics in real-time, can produce dynamic results in direct booking.  

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 software 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.