Friday, January 19, 2018

Hospitality News For The Week Of 1/19/18's 2017 Guest Review Awards Reveal Preferences For Unique Hospitality Experiences has published the results of their 2017 Guest Review Awards which ranks hospitality properties around the world. The most significant change from previous rankings is the growing shift towards private accommodations and away from traditional hotel properties. The survey was conducted with 19,000 travelers in 26 countries. The results show that one third of respondents would prefer to stay in a holiday rental instead of a hotel during 2018. 40 percent would like to stay in a unique form of accommodation on their next trip. Full Story Here:

UNWTO: Global tourism up in 2017

According to data published by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), tourism on a global level increased by 7 percent during 2017. During 2017, there were a total of 1.3 billion international arrivals. Further growth of between 4 and 5 percent is projected for 2018 by the UNWTO. The figures last year represented the strongest growth in global tourism in seven years. Full StoryHere:

National Geographic Traveler Names U.S. Cities ‘On the Rise’

National Geographic Traveler published its list of the 29 ‘Cities on the Rise’. The list was compiled based on a unique set of metrics and expert picks from its editors. The magazine analyzed millions of consumer ratings and reviews and broke the list down by population sizes. Traveler also worked closely with global destination branding advisors Resonance Consultancy to develop a Small Cities Index. The list includes 10 categories and related features. Full Story Here:

STR: US hotel results for week ending 13 January

In year-over-year comparison the U.S. hotel industry posted positive performance figures for the week of 7-13 January 2018. Industry-wide occupancy was +0.2 percent higher, rising to 56.7 percent for the week. Average daily rate rose by +5.4 percent to finish the week at $129.08. Revenue per available room climbed upward by +5.5 percent to end the week at $73.16. Full Story Here:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Chatbots For Hotels - Part 1

The efforts by hoteliers to elevate the hotel experience for their guests have resulted in a number of transformative innovations across the hospitality industry. Among the innovative technologies adopted by a number of hotels and chains has been instant messaging. Largely implemented via hotel apps and messaging channels using mobile technology, messaging has become another tool through which hotels and their guests can communicate and connect. Messaging is somewhat labor-intensive since it requires a human agent to respond to each interaction with the customer. Chatbots however, offer hotels an automated solution for technologically keeping the lines of communication open with guests, but with a higher degree of efficiency.

Many requests made by hotel guests are of an extremely routine nature. Chatbots have the capability to automate a significant amount of the responses needed by the hotel at any given time. Users always have an opportunity to escalate their request to a live human staff member if they feel they are not being given a satisfactory response from the chatbot. However, in most cases the guest seeking answers to simple questions will find the chatbot more than adequate for their needs. Particularly regarding younger travelers, many 21st Century hotel guests would prefer to make an inquiry of a chatbot as opposed to calling down to the front desk for their request.

The traveling public has grown accustomed to the instant flow of information. Many do not have the inclination to call hotel staff to ask a question, nor the patience to wait for an answer. A hotel chatbot has the capability to give relevant responses to the common questions, comments and requests made by guests. This empowers hotel staff to service face-to-face guest interactions more effectively.

When driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, chatbots can handle more complex tasks, particularly in regards to elevating the guest experience and providing improved customer personalization. Going forward, as AI powered chatbots gain experience through machine learning, this technology offers exciting possibilities for hoteliers and their guests. Yet another technology fueled tool at the disposal of hotels in order to earn and keep continued guest loyalty.

In part 2 we will see more advantages for hoteliers in implementing chatbots, in addition to some best practices for their implementation.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Hospitality News For The Week Of 1/12/18

Google Hotel Ads Poised to Help Big Chains Increase Bookings in 2018

Hospitality industry experts are expecting Google Hotel Ads to play a major role in reshaping the hotel booking marketplace. The ads on and Google Maps are designed to showcase large chain hotel properties, resulting in increased direct bookings for those companies. Google intends to combine the ads with new loyalty member opportunities in order to elevate their value to the major hotel brands. These changes are coming about as corporate hoteliers are striving to compete with the threat of home booking sites such as Airbnb. Full Story Here:

Destinations Are the Top Factor for Turning Business Trips into Leisure Ones

The online travel agency Expedia has published the results of a study regarding the factors which make business travelers willing to mix leisure time into their work-related travel. The research indicates that 43 percent of business trips combine the two and 66 percent of those “bleisure” travelers spend more while at their destination. This behavior is related  the money they saved traveling there and back home. The number one deciding factor for making a trip “bleisure” is how exciting the city/destination is for the traveler. Full Story Here:

PwC: Global economic growth in 2018 on track to be fastest since 2011

In what should be great news for hoteliers and other businesses around the world, PwC is predicting global economic activity to experience its fastest growth rate since 2011. According to PwC’s Global Economy Watch, the world’s economy is projected to grow in terms of purchasing power by nearly 4 percent. This will result in $5 trillion being added to global output as valued currently. Nearly 70 percent of the economic growth will take place between the U.S., emerging Asia, and Europe. Full Story Here:

US Hotel Occupancy Up 3.6 Percent To 48.7 Percent - Week Ending January 6th - 2017

According to data published by STR, the U.S. hotel industry reported positive performance figures for the week of 31 December 2017 through 6 January 2018. When compared to the same period last year, industry-wide occupancy rose by +3.6 percent to 48.7 percent. Average daily rate climbed up by +5.8 percent to reach $124.33. Revenue per available room jumped upward by +9.6 percent to end the week at $60.59. Full Story Here:

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Managing The Hotel Guest Experience - Part 2

Hotels, which are affirmatively responding to the demand by the traveling public for a personalized hotel guest experience, recognize the need for effective management tools in that regard. Guest experience managers can now effectively keep track of how every guest experiences the hotel at each step of their journey, from booking to social media and review commentary post-stay.

The property management system is truly the core of managing the hotel experience of all guests. Particularly on-property, a cloud-based PMS can have a tremendous impact on how the guest perceives their hotel stay. The 21st Century, travelers seek greater control of their own hotel guest experience from beginning to end. The guests expect the technology of their everyday lives will carry over into their experience while at the hotel. Just one example, a mobile app provided by the hotel and driven in the cloud by the hotel’s PMS will empower them to do so. A cloud-based PMS gives hoteliers the freedom and real-time flexibility to leverage mobile technology to the fullest. This is an advantage of cloud-based technology which directly impacts the guests and their perceptions.

For another example, travelers bring their own entertainment content with them on their mobile devices everywhere they go. They desire television access to their various content services such as Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix. Smart televisions provided in-room would give hotel guests the ability to do so, making them feel more at home. The in-room guest experience is being completely transformed. Cloud-based technology enables guests to control, either through their own mobile device or one provided by the hotel, all aspects of their hotel room.

Cloud-driven PMS systems will facilitate hotels in offering unprecedented levels of guest personalization, and do so at a significantly lower cost than legacy systems. With a state-of-the-art PMS, guest experience managers can efficiently keep track of hotel guests at every point of their stay and interaction with the property. At each of these points, data is collected which is stored and compiled, providing managers with guest preferences as well as detailed histories. The PMS, when seamlessly integrated with a similarly cloud-based Customer Relationship Management module, can enable hotel sales and marketing departments to relevantly make future recommendations and offers to each and every guest.

Offering travelers true hospitality is the specialty of hoteliers. The experiences of their guests and perceptions afterwards can be greatly elevated when hotel management and staff are provided the tools necessary to make it a reality.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Hospitality News For The Week Of 1/5/18

Q1 2018: Forecasting US hotel industry performance

The U.S. hotel industry turned out better than predicted performance numbers for 2017. This was the result of a generally more robust economy, decreased unemployment, and a rise in consumer confidence. Industry experts from STR, PwC and CBRE have now published their Q1 2018 projections for the U.S. hotel industry. Predictions for the first quarter of 2018 are optimistic, but cautiously so in light of challenges the industry faces in the coming year. Full Story Here:

Survey: Big Increase in Travel Frequency Expected in 2018

The results of a survey conducted by The GO Group, LLC has been published which indicate a likely increase in both business and leisure travel during 2018. The survey respondents were asked about their trade plans for the year and 27 percent said they plan on more business travel in 2018. Further, 33 percent of those surveyed stated they expected to travel more for leisure during the coming year. Only 6 percent of respondents planned on less business or leisure travel in 2018. Full Story Here:

Travel industry to launch coalition in response to drop in international visits to U.S.

In response to a decline in international tourism to the U.S., according to a report by the National Travel and Tourism Office, the U.S. Travel Assn. is launching a campaign to reverse the downturn. The trade group is forming a coalition with “Visit USA”. The campaign is designed to present a message to the world that the U.S. welcomes international visitors. Full Story Here:

STR: US hotel results for week ending 30 December

Compared to the same period last year, the U.S. hotel industry reported declines in all three key performance figures for the week of 24-30 December 2017. According to data published by STR, industry-wide occupancy fell -5.4 percent to 51.6 percent for the week. Average daily rate dropped -1.4 percent to finish the week at $131.56. Revenue per available room was down by -6.7 percent to end the week at $67.90. The negative performance is attributed to the comparison week in 2016 including New Year’s Eve. Full Story Here: