Friday, March 30, 2018

Hospitality News For The Week Of 3/30/18



Top destinations around the world in 2018

The winners of the 2018 Travelers’ Choice awards for destinations were announced by TripAdvisor. The awards are given in recognition of the favorite places for travelers to visit around the globe. Paris took the top spot globally and New York City is once again the number one U.S. destination for the 8th time in a row. Globally London came in second place, followed in order by Rome, Bali and Crete rounding out the top five. In the U.S. Maui, Las Vegas, Oahu and Orlando followed New York in order for the top five. Full Story Here:


Spring Hotel Outlook Shows Stability and Consistency in North American Markets

According to TravelClick’s March 2018 North American Hospitality Review (NAHR), hotels in North America are continuing growth in all travel segments. Published data from the company indicates that across all travel segments average daily rate is up by 0.7 percent and bookings have risen by 1.7 percent in the first quarter of 2018. Since the beginning of the year a positive growth trend has been ongoing. Growth in the transient segment has been particularly solid with bookings up by 2.2 percent overall and revenue per available room up 3.3 percent. Full Story Here:


U.S. Families Spend the Most Time Together on Vacation

In a study of the amount of quality time U.S. families spend together released by Visit Anaheim, 60 percent of U.S. parents describe their everyday life as hectic and they see the limited vacation time they spend with their family as essential. 65 percent of parents of school-aged (4-18) children spend more quality time on vacation with their children. Knowing there is entertainment for their kids motivates 67 percent of those parents as to the destination for their vacations. Full Story Here:


STR: US hotel results for the week ending 24 March

In year-over-year comparison the U.S. hotel industry posted positive performance figures during the week of 18-24 March 2018, according to STR. Industry-wide occupancy rose up by +1.0 percent to 69.4 percent. Average daily rate was +4.4 percent higher, ending the week at $133.42. Revenue per available room went up by +5.4 percent to reach $92.53 by the end of the week. Full Story Here:

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Generational Travel For Hotels - Part 1



One of the driving forces of change, as we go forward through the 21st Century, has been the notion that none of us should be limited or defined by pre-conceived ideas from the past. This has been as true in travel as in any other aspect of our society. While the different generations have their distinctive characteristics, no one really wants to be put into a box and labeled. Conceivably, it could be the rapidly expanding technology linking us all together, but the generational lines have become increasingly indistinct. Yet concurrently, it is only natural for there to be differences between the generations. It is imperative for hoteliers to recognize the need for authentic experiences, a common thread, and how it impacts the lives of travelers of all ages.

Baby Boomers

The youngest of this generation are turning 54 during 2018, making these travelers largely “seniors” now. Yet don’t tell them, since they like to think they are young, at least in heart and spirit. Recent research conducted by Phocuswright indicates, although Boomers travel less than younger people, they go all out when they travel, spending much more per trip than others. Accordingly, and of note for hoteliers, they are more likely to make their travel accommodations with 3 and 4 star hotels.

Of further significance for hoteliers, Baby Boomers are the most brand loyal of all age groups. They actively participate in hotel loyalty programs and prefer to book directly through them. Although Boomers are skeptical of advertising, once a brand has earned their trust they are exceedingly loyal to that company. Baby Boomers express their loyalty through their wallets in the form of repeated patronage. Since indications are that Baby Boomers will also be the fastest growing travel segment going forward, this makes Boomers extremely vital to future hotel revenues.

Baby Boomer travel is largely centered on visits to family and friends, a factor driving their destination choices to a degree. Subsequently, Boomers are the least likely age group to book international travel. They also appreciate re-visiting favorite places they have been and enjoyed earlier in their lives. Furthermore, Boomers truly relish experiencing the locale of their travel destinations and all they have to offer. This includes the local culture and culinary delights as well. Baby Boomers enjoy youthful behavior and seek activities which will stimulate both their mind and body.

Since they have grown up alongside many significant technological developments, technology plays an important role in their lives, but not to the extend of younger generations. Hoteliers should bear in mind when reaching out electronically to this travel segment that, although Baby Boomers are very comfortable with technology, they prefer their devices, apps, and web pages to be highly user-friendly and intuitive.

In part two of this series we will look into the travel motivations of Generation X.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Hospitality News For The Week Of 3/23/18



Orbitz: Data breach affects 880,000 payment cards

The Expedia-owned travel website operator, Orbitz, announced that it discovered a data security breach on March 1. The breach may have exposed information from 880,000 payment cards and the data of thousands of customers. The company stated that an older website and an unmanned business partner were affected by the breach, which happened between October and December of 2017. The Expedia platform itself was not compromised in the breach, according to Expedia. Full Story Here:


Top 10 Most Booked Destinations by U.S. Travelers in 2018

Travelers Leaders Group recently published their 2018 Travel Trends Survey and released a list of the most booked vacations for U.S. travelers during 2018. Alaska cruises jumped up to the number one ranked vacation, rising from number five last year. The rest of the top five, in order, consists of Orlando, FL; Las Vegas, NV; Maui, Hawaii; and New York City. Top international destinations for U.S. travelers are Caribbean Cruises at number one, Cancun; Mexico at number two and European river cruises at number three. Full Story Here:


March Online Room Rates Are Down 2.0% From A Year Ago

According to data from e-forecasting.com, compared to March of last year, the average U.S. online room rate is down by -2.0 percent in the top-25 most popular destinations. The average online room rate is $247.08 in March 2018, up however from the previous month’s figure of $213.85 in February. The company e-forecasting.com estimates that in 2018 about three-quarters of all reservations are completed online, either on brand websites or travel agent merchant websites. Full Story Here:


STR: US hotel results for week ending 17 March

According to published data from STR, the U.S. hotel industry posted positive performance figures for the week of 11-17 March 2018. Compared to the same period last year, industry-wide occupancy went up by +1 percent to 70.7 percent for the week. Average daily rate rose by +2.8 percent to close the week at $133.76. Revenue per available room climbed +3.9 percent higher to end the week at $94.55. Full Story Here:

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Hotels And The Bleisure Traveler - Part 3



Offer Flexibility And Value

A clear focus by hoteliers on a hotel property’s location as a desirable destination is critical to effectively capitalizing on the bleisure (business travelers extending their stay to include leisure time) trend. But there is much more hotels can offer to their business guests in order to convert them into a stay-extending, bleisure guest. A recent survey study by Colloquy of the factors driving the growing bleisure trend, among other travel habits, found that 76 percent of business travelers would extend their stay for leisure time if hotels would offer them discounted rates for friends or family. This amounts to a significant travel market opportunity for hotels not so already engaged.

Since the vast majority of bleisure travelers are staying on their dime once their business in town is finished, offering corporate rates to business travelers who extend their stays beyond work commitments is one way to leverage this trend. While doing so results in reduced revenue, occupancy is maintained with less guest turnaround. Alternatively, discounts can be creatively packaged within required weekend stay over nights or progressively discounting additional nights up to a limit, for example.

Since the bleisure traveler often does so with family, providing a family-friendly stay is crucial in order to successfully leverage this segment. Hoteliers could partner with local businesses to offer guests value packages, including discounted admissions to area attractions, tours, or entertainment which are appealing to families. For couples, a spa package for example could inspire a business traveler to extend their stay with their significant other.

Don’t Forget Why They Are There

Business travelers naturally form the basis of the bleisure trend and so hoteliers should never lose sight of why they are staying in the beginning. Make sure all their primary business needs are met first and provide a fast, reliable and safe Wi-Fi network with a comfortable workspace area in the room accommodations. Offering flexible check-in and check-out options are always important to the business traveler. Business meeting spaces should be not only comfortable, but meet all equipment needs as well.

Targeting the business traveler with email offers for extending their stay for leisure may entice them to do so. Make the offers well in advance of business travel whenever possible. Raise awareness with business guests of extended stay options the hotel may offer, both during and following their stay. This can be accomplished both through electronic means and printed matter left in guest rooms as well.

For hotels eager to increase occupancy and the resultant revenues, the bleisure traveler literally offers hoteliers the best of both worlds. Fully leveraging this trend in travel should be a priority for much of the hospitality industry.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Hotels And The Bleisure Traveler - Part 2




The rapidly growing travel trend of combining a business trip with some leisure time has created a new category of traveler, the bleisure traveler. The trend is one which is proving to be highly profitable for hoteliers. Expedia has reported, in a study conducted in concert with Luth Research, that 43 percent of all trips today are business and leisure combined. Furthermore, the online travel agency has reported, more than 70 percent of business travelers have added a leisure component to their business travel. This makes the bleisure traveler an extremely important segment for the future revenue growth of hotels.

Of course, the location of the hotel and the surrounding area as a destination plays a critical role in determining whether a business traveler will extend their hotel stay. According to the study, 66 percent of those surveyed stated as much. However, there are a number ways in which hotels can entice business travelers to extend their trips to afford them some leisure time at, or near, their business destinations. This is crucial for hoteliers in order to leverage the maximum revenue from the bleisure traveler trend. The Expedia research states that the average length of stay jumps up from two nights for the business traveler to six nights for the bleisure traveler, highlighting the importance of this segment.

Focus On The Destination

If a business traveler has chosen to extend their trip they are most likely interested in enjoying the surrounding area and destination where the hotel is located. Make that enjoyment as pleasant and carefree as possible by shifting focus from the needs of a business traveler to the leisure traveler. By providing guests with helpful information links on the hotel website or app, business travelers can make a smoother transition to leisure time and make the most of what may be limited time for them.

The helpful information can be as simple as a travel guide or sightseeing maps of the area around the hotel. Tips and recommendations regarding local cuisine and restaurants, attractions, entertainment, or sporting events in the region are also valuable for guests. Taking it a step further, hoteliers could establish mutually beneficial partnerships with these local businesses which tourists may frequent in order to entice extended hotel stays from business travelers.

In part three we will highlight several more ways in which hotels could convert business travelers into bleisure guests.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Hospitality News For The Week Of 3/16/18




U.S. Families Plan to Take More Trips in 2018

AAA Travel has released the results of a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults regarding their travel plans in 2018. According to the research, 88 million Americans are planning on taking a family vacation this year. Younger families are driving these numbers with 44 percent of Millennials and 39 percent of Generation X taking a family getaway. Increasingly these families are taking more than one trip each year, with more than one in four taking over three vacations in the next 12 months. Full StoryHere:


US hotel deals bounce back in 2017 after 2016 dip

STR has published their annual report of hotel asset trades, the Hotel Transaction Almanac. According to the Transaction Almanac during 2017, there were 567 individual hotel transactions and 35 portfolios sales completed. The activity represented a 59 percent growth in transactions, following a dip in transactions during 2016, and a 27 percent increases in transaction volume, reaching $20.1 billion. Projections for 2018 are for similar figures of hotel transactions volume. Full Story Here:


Millennial and GenZ travelers spending more, experiencing life as a local

The World Youth and Student Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation has released the results of their New Horizons Survey. Approximately 57,000 travelers between the ages of 18 and 35 were surveyed in the study. Since the survey was first conducted in 2002, the average amount sent per trip by young travelers has more than doubled. The WYSE Travel Confederation estimates that $280 billion was generated in youth travel during 2016. The research indicates young travelers spend more and stay longer than the typical traditional tourist. Full Story Here:


US Hotel Occupancy Up 1.1 Percent To 68.1 Percent - Week Ending March 10th - 2018

According to published data by STR, the U.S. hotel industry posted positive performance figures for the week of 4-10 March 2018. Compared to the same period last year, industry-wide occupancy went up by +1.1 percent to 68.1 percent for the week. The average daily rate rose by +2.0 percent to end the week at $131.46. Revenue per available room was +3.1 percent higher, finishing the week at $89.53. Full Story Here:

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hotels And The Bleisure Traveler - Part 1



The business traveler mixing in a little leisure time on a trip for work is nothing new. However, it is a trend which is really building some recent momentum. So much so that combining a business trip with some leisure time is now termed a “bleisure” trip. Bleisure travelers have now become a legitimately mainstream travel segment for which hoteliers must be prepared in order to effectively leverage them.  

A number of factors are driving this particularly significant travel trend. In general, there is a growing movement in which the boundaries between work and life are becoming less defined. For some people, their work is taking up portions of their leisure time and so they are more inclined to mix the two in their daily lives and when they travel as well. In response, companies on the other side of this trend are making the workplace a much more pleasurable place for their workers to spend time in the office and are including many perks for their personnel.

And this extends to many of the business travel arrangements made for employees as well. Allowing employees to extend their business trips or even bring along their significant others can also be beneficial to the company in a number of ways. Airline ticket prices have lowered significantly, reducing the cost. Extending the trip over a Saturday actually reduces costs further.

Generational change is another factor, possibly most importantly, creating the bleisure travel trend. The Millennial Generation is having a profound influence on travel and they tend to balance their work and personal time in non-traditional ways. For many young people who are driven to get ahead in their professional lives, they find tradition vacations a waste of their valuable time. Bleisure travel allows them the freedom to enjoy their personal life while moving forward professionally.

Another factor which, has been instrumental in the growth of bleisure travel, has been the destination itself. Some business destinations are more obviously conducive to mixing business and leisure together than others. Research has shown distance and length of the business trip are contributing factors as well. Some locations simply provide more opportunity and incentives for business travelers to become bleisure travelers.

In part two we will examine ways in which hoteliers can maximize the revenue potential to be gained by converting the business traveler into a bleisure traveler.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Hospitality News For The Week Of 3/9/18



What U.S. Travelers Are Looking for When Reading Online Reviews

The importance of guest reviews for hotels was highlighted by the results of a recently published survey of nearly 1,000 U.S. travelers conducted by Mattress Advisor. According to the survey results 93 percent of U.S. travelers check user reviews beefier bookings a hotel. Furthermore, the survey reports what aspects of a hotel stay are of the highest priority to travelers when making their hotel booking decisions. The number one item, at 35 percent, most important for travelers was cleanliness. Second most important was room comfort at 12 percent. Full Story Here:


Rate and Bookings Growth Continue Positive Trend for Hoteliers in Early 2018

New data from TravelClick’s February 2018 North American Hospitality Review (NAHR) indicates a continued positive growth trend for hotels in the early portion of 2018. According to the published data, averaged daily rates are up by 0.6 percent and bookings have risen by 1.3 percent across all travel segments in the first quarter. For Q1 transient bookings have shown strength in particular, rising by 1.9 percent. Revenue per available room has climbed 2.7 percent higher as well for the transient sector. Full Story Here:


What’s Missing From Hotel Reservation Systems?

A highly informative infographic published by STR showcases the results of a survey, conducted by H2C, of what hoteliers think is missing from their hotel reservation systems. According to the results of the survey, only 14 percent of hotel chains are fully satisfied with their central reservation systems. Items listed as very important or important, but missing from the reservation systems included real-time discounts, real-time packaging and a third-party interface. Full Story Here:


US Hotel Occupancy Up 1.7 Percent To 65.9 Percent - Week Ending March 3rd - 2018

According to data published by STR, the U.S. hotel industry posted positive performance figures for the week of 25 February through 3 March 2018. Compared to the same period last year, industry-wide occupancy rose by +1.7 percent to 65.9 percent at week’s end. Average daily rate climbed up by +2.3 percent to finish at $126.06 for the week. Revenue per available room jumped +4.1 percent higher to reach $83.04 by the end of the week. Full Story Here:


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Hotels And The Bleisure Traveler - Part 1



The business traveler mixing in a little leisure time on a trip for work is nothing new. However, it is a trend which is really building some recent momentum. So much so that combining a business trip with some leisure time is now termed a “bleisure” trip. Bleisure travelers have now become a legitimately mainstream travel segment for which hoteliers must be prepared in order to effectively leverage them.  

A number of factors are driving this particularly significant travel trend. In general, there is a growing movement in which the boundaries between work and life are becoming less defined. For some people, their work is taking up portions of their leisure time and so they are more inclined to mix the two in their daily lives and when they travel as well. In response, companies on the other side of this trend are making the workplace a much more pleasurable place for their workers to spend time in the office and are including many perks for their personnel.

And this extends to many of the business travel arrangements made for employees as well. Allowing employees to extend their business trips or even bring along their significant others can also be beneficial to the company in a number of ways. Airline ticket prices have lowered significantly, reducing the cost. Extending the trip over a Saturday actually reduces costs further.

Generational change is another factor, possibly most importantly, creating the bleisure travel trend. The Millennial Generation is having a profound influence on travel and they tend to balance their work and personal time in non-traditional ways. For many young people who are driven to get ahead in their professional lives, they find tradition vacations a waste of their valuable time. Bleisure travel allows them the freedom to enjoy their personal life while moving forward professionally.

Another factor, which has been instrumental in the growth of bleisure travel, has been the destination itself. Some business destinations are more obviously conducive to mixing business and leisure together than others. Research has shown distance and length of the business trip are contributing factors as well. Some locations simply provide more opportunity and incentives for business travelers to become bleisure travelers.

In part two we will examine ways in which hoteliers can maximize the revenue potential to be gained by converting the business traveler into a bleisure traveler.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Hospitality News For The Week Of 3/2/18





Survey: Majority of Travelers Check Online Reviews Before

The majority of travelers are now using online review sites prior to making their travel booking decisions, according to a study conducted by the ground transportation provider The GO Group LLC. Over three quarters of the 150 people surveyed stated they have used review websites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor before booking. A further 40 percent of survey respondents stated they actually post on review sites at least sometimes. Full Story Here:


Survey shows companies sacrifice mobile security for business reasons

The mobile carrier Verizon has published the results of their 2018 Mobile Security Index which found almost a third (32 percent) of businesses surveyed admit they sacrifice mobile security for the sake of improving business performance. While 93 percent of the respondents acknowledge the serious nature of security threats, only 14 percent state they have put even the most basic cyber security measures in place. Nearly all of those surveyed were in agreement that mobile security must be taken much more seriously. Full Story Here:


Wellness - What’s Next for Hotels?

Recently the Global Wellness Institute published several studies related to wellness and the travel industry. According to the studies produced by the Global Wellness Summit, travelers will spend over $800 billion by 2020 on health and wellness related trips. Hotels and resorts around the globe are capitalizing on this growing trend in excitingly new ways. Destinations are creating experiences which link the physical, emotional and mental well being of guests. Full StoryHere:


US Hotel Occupancy Flat At 65.6 Percent - Week Ending February 24th - 2018

According to data published by STR, the U.S. hotel industry posted positive performance figures for the week of 18-24 February 2018. Compared to the same period last year industry-wide occupancy remained flat at 65.6 percent for the week. Average daily rate was +1.9 percent higher, finishing the week at $127.03. Revenue per available room went up by +2.0 percent to close the week at $83.31. Full Story Here: