Friday, November 17, 2017

Hospitality News For The Week Of 11/17/17

Nearly 51 Million Americans to Travel This Thanksgiving, Highest Volume in a Dozen Years

According to projections by AAA, 50.9 million Americans will be traveling at least 50 miles or more for this Thanksgiving. This amounts to the highest Thanksgiving travel volume the nation has seen since 2005. Compared to last year, AAA predicts 1.6 million more people will be traveling for the holiday in 2017. The overwhelming majority, 89 percent (45.5 million) of holiday travelers, will be on the roads for their travel. Full Story Here:

U.S. Hotel Industry Grows at Half the Rate of U.S. Economy

As stated in Hotel Industry Pulse (HIP) indicator, the U.S. hotel industry is growing but only at half the rate of the overall U.S. economy. During the period September 2016 to September 2017 the U.S. economy, measured by GDP, rose by 2.2 percent. During the same period, the U.S. hotel industry experienced growth rate of just one percent. The HIP index measures a combination of three key demand and supply indicators industry-wide. Full Story Here:

STR, Tourism Economics update US growth forecast

STR and Tourism Economics have published their final forecast of 2017 for the U.S. hotel industry. As reported by STR, the U.S. hotel industry will post stronger-than-expected growth numbers for 2017. For the total year, U.S. hotels will see a 0.5 percent increase in occupancy, 2.1 percent rise in average daily rate to $126.66 leading to a 2.5 percent rise in revenue per available room at $83.23. 2018 projections are for industry-wide occupancy to edge up 0.2 percent to 65.6 percent, with a 2.4 percent increase in ADR to $129.64 and revenue per available room rising 2.2 percent to $85.06. Full Story Here:

US Hotel Occupancy Up 4.9 Percent To 68.5 Percent - Week Ending November 11th - 2017

In data published by STR, the U.S. hotel industry recorded positive performance figures during the week of 5-11 November 2017. When compared to the same week last year, industry-wide occupancy was 4.9 percent higher at 68.5 percent by the end of the week. Average daily rate was up by 4.8 percent to reach $128.92 for the week. Revenue per available room was 10.0 percent higher as well, finishing the week at $88.26. Full Story Here:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Robotics And The Future Of Hospitality - Part 2

Hotels are now among the leading innovators concerning the adoption of robotics technology. Hoteliers are discovering groundbreaking applications for this technology, which are uniquely tailored to the service-oriented nature of the hospitality industry. Robots are now performing a number of labor-intensive and physically taxing or dangerous jobs formerly carried out by hotel staff. The front desk, room service, concierge, and even housekeeping and maintenance positions are being at least partially performed at many hotels around the world. It is only a matter of time before they are a common sight in most hotels.

Front Desk

The first impressions of a newly arrived hotel guest are usually formed right at the front desk, making this a critical point in the guest experience. For many guests it is important for them to be properly greeted and welcomed with a truly smiling face upon arrival at a hotel property. However, for certain guests this is of less importance. These are the guests who seek automation before they even arrive on the property in the form of mobile check-in. Robots could possibly provide those guests a much faster option for check-in. A likely future scenario is for the front desk role to be shared by humans and androids, much like most of the implementation of robotics technology will be throughout hotel property.

Room Service

Room service delivery is a hotel service that is being readily automated with robots, with the technology becoming commonplace in the near future. At the moment, carrying capacity is the only limiter, but this will change as larger robots are developed. The technology merely makes room service more efficient and does not replace humans who are still needed to fill and empty the robots. The automation makes it possible for related hotel staff to be available for more complex duties and to provide guests with personalized service in refreshingly new ways.  

Concierge Services

The impersonal nature of robotics may limit the usefulness of the technology in the role of concierge. However, there are a number of advantages for guests to receive recommendations from a robot with instant access to all their personal preferences. As the technology moves forward, the robots will learn from each guest interaction and offer increasingly relevant choices over time.

Housekeeping And Maintenance

Just like other hotel operational departments, robotics technology can greatly assist housekeeping and maintenance staff in completing their tasks in a highly efficient and thorough manner. Allowing robots to perform the hazardous and physically strenuous duties in particular can enhance employee safety. For example, housekeeping personnel can stick to making beds and avoid exposure to toxic cleaning solutions while a robot performs those sanitation tasks. Maintenance teams may be partnered with fault detection automation technology, markedly speeding up the process of tracking various system downtime issues.

As the 21st Century progresses, robotic technology in the hospitality industry’s is clearly present and future.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Robotics And The Future Of Hospitality - Part 1

The idea of robots performing many of the tasks now assigned to hotel staff members may have once seemed like science fiction. This trend is now rapidly becoming reality for the hospitality industry. The hotel industry is a leading robotics innovator and is in fact far ahead of many other industries in this regard. A number of unique and groundbreaking applications of robotic technology have been made at hotels around the world, including an all-robotic staffed hotel in Japan.

Driving this innovation is a variety of factors which are now turning favorable for the widespread adoption of this technology by hotels. The costs associated with investing in robot technology have significantly lowered. It is now less costly to deploy robots to perform certain menial tasks compared to employing humans. The myth of the technology being a jobs killer is invalidated by the experiences of hotels where the technology is in use. The increase in business resulting from the deployment of efficient service robots, leads to the hiring of staff in other positions and the re-training of those displaced by the technology. This gives hotels the opportunity to provide their guests a greater degree of personalized service in alternative, non-traditional ways.

The concept of automation and robots providing a high level of service is becoming increasingly acceptable to the traveling public as well. The public has harbored unfounded fears and distrust of robots in the past, however opinions are beginning to change. Wherever people are exposed to robotic technology and see for themselves it’s beneficial and benign nature, their thinking is transformed. The technology will continue to prove itself valuable to the traveling public over time. Also, as the technology has progressed, the safe use of robots is now ensured. Designers are now creating robots that are specialized for human interaction. The hospitality industry is clearly a leader in this field.

Another advantage of deploying a team of customer service robots is the invaluable customer data that they can collect. As robots preform their services they provide hoteliers with a dual function. The robot stores valuable guest interaction data in the cloud including purchase requests, and levels of customer satisfaction. This makes every hotel robot a mobile big data collection point for hoteliers to leverage further.

In part two we will look at the many innovative ways in which hoteliers are implementing robotics technology.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Hospitality News For The Week Of 11/3/17

Research: Book Direct Campaigns Drive Consumers To Hotel Websites vs. OTAs

A new study published by Kalibri Labs indicates a shift in consumer behavior towards preferring hotel websites over online travel agencies to book their hotel stays. The research points to recent loyalty membership incentives from hotels having a positive impact on direct bookings. The study examined 12,000 hotels and 52 million transactions during an eight-month time period. Over 80 percent of the hotels studied demonstrated net positive revenue outcomes during the time period covered by the research. Full Story Here:

Travel agents or technology? Travelers reveal the one they trust more

The global market research group Mintel has published the results of a survey of the travel preferences of Americans. According to the research, 12 percent of Americans have booked accommodations with a home-share website. This figure rises to 19 percent among 23-40 year-olds. Surprising results include 40 percent of Americans prefer booking through a traditional travel agent. A further 35 percent of consumers booked through online travel agencies. Full Story Here:

Expedia Booking Data Shows Value of International Travelers in U.S.

Online travel agency Expedia has published the results of a yearlong analysis of booking data within the U.S between June 2016 through June 2017. The study reveals the significance of international tourists to the revenues of U.S. hotels. The data show the average daily rate for an international tourist to be 20 percent higher than for a domestic traveler. International travelers also stay longer and their booking window of 45 days versus 15 days for domestics is three times longer. Full Story Here:

US Hotel Occupancy Up 4.0 Percent To 69.8 Percent - Week Ending October 28th - 2017

According to data published by STR, the U.S. hotel industry posted positive performance figures for the week of 22-28 October 2017. Compared to the same period last year, industry-wide occupancy was +4.0 percent higher at 69.8 percent. Average daily rate rose by +2.6 percent to finish the week at $129.44. Revenue per available room climbed up 6.7 percent to end at $90.32 to close out the week. Full Story Here: