Friday, April 27, 2018

Hospitality News For The Week Of 4/27/18

Strong outbound tourism demand from traditional and emerging markets in 2017

According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, the top 25 source markets increased spending on international tourism during 2017. The growth was lead by the United States, which spent $12 billion more on international travel over the previous year. China spent $8 billion more, while the Russian Federation increased foreign travel spending by $7 billion, followed by Brazil with $5 billion more than the previous year. China is the leader in international travel spending with a total of $258 billion spent on international travel. Full Story Here:

Hackers can turn room cards into untraceable master keys

Researchers announced this week that they have uncovered a major security issue involving hotel room key cards and the ability of hackers to compromise them. Last year Finnish researchers for F-Secure discovered the issue and reported it to the Swedish security firm Assa Abloy regarding their Vision by Vingcard system. This system is used by thousands of hotels worldwide. Hackers were able to access any hotel room with a old card, essentially creating a master key. Full Story Here:

U.S. News & World Report Ranks This Year’s Best Summer Vacations

With the 2018 summer vacation season approaching, U.S. News & World Report published their latest rankings of the world’s best summer vacation spots. For the U.S., Boston took the top spot because of it providing living history and is the hometown of the most famous baseball team, the Red Sox. In second place was the family-friendly beach town of Seaside, Oregon. In third place was Steamboat Springs, Colorado that offers many outdoor activities. Internationally, Paris was number one with its many iconic sights, followed by Florence, Italy and Boston again at number three in the world. Full Story Here:

US Hotel Occupancy Up 3.1 Percent To 70.1 Percent - Week Ending April 21st - 2018

Compared to the same period last year, the U.S. hotel industry posted positive performance figures for the week of 15-21 April 2018. According to data published by STR, industry-wide occupancy was up by +3.1 percent to 70.1 percent. Average daily rate climbed +5.4 percent higher to finish the week at $131.15. Revenue per available room rose up by +8.7 percent to $91.89 by week’s end. Full Story Here:

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Hotels And The Solo Traveler - Part 2

The emerging trend of solo travel around the globe is increasing in awareness by the hospitality industry regarding this unique traveler segment. Not as commonly seen even just a few years ago, the growth in the numbers of solo travelers are largely the result of life-style changes and demographic shifts. The solo traveler is clearly here to stay and their numbers will only expand over time. For hotels looking to leverage this increasingly valuable traveler, hoteliers must reach out and meet the solo traveler at a number of key points.

Make Them Feel Welcome

Giving solo travelers a welcome feeling can begin with hotel marketing content, specifically visual imagery. On the hotel’s website and social media platforms for example, there are probably images of couples and families enjoying their stay. But be sure to also include some images of solo travelers experiencing the hotel property, its amenities and local area as a destination as well.

Many solo travelers are not seeking complete solitude during their trip, just freedom. Hotels can hold occasional on-property events and informal receptions for solo travelers. Also, the property itself can be made welcoming to solo travelers seeking social interaction. Comfortable and open common areas, lounges, bars and restaurants in the hotel can encourage socializing. In addition, just like other traveler segments today, solo travelers are seeking authentic experiences in the destinations they travel. By making the hotel property equally welcoming to locals, guests can be given some degree of immersion into the cultural flavor of the hotel’s locale.

A large number of solo travelers are also a big part of another current travel trend, health and wellness. Many are in the midst of transformational, life-changing moments and solo travel is but one part of this experience for them. Offering healthy dining options, fitness and yoga facilities, and even instructional classes are further ways to appeal to the solo traveler seeking a healthier life.

Offer A Promotion

Solo travel has long been hampered by the financial penalties imposed on lone travelers. The “single supplement” often demanded by travel-related companies, including some hotels could be prohibitive. The policies regarding single-occupancy, which can impact the solo traveler, are beginning to loosen however. Going forward, the shear numbers involved in solo travel will hasten even more changes. Hoteliers can get ahead of the trend however by offering special promotional rates for solo travelers.

Safety And Security

For many solo travelers, particularly with the majority of them being women, safety and security are top priorities. And so it should be for the hotel as well and plainly apparent to all, which will provide these travelers and others a more secure feeling during their stay.

The rapid growth in recent years of the solo travel trend makes this segment an important one for hoteliers to consider in their marketing efforts going forward.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Hospitality News For The Week Of 4/20/18

STR: US hotels set Q1 performance record

According to data published by STR, the U.S. hotel industry set a new record for first quarter performance in 2018. The three key industry performance figures were the highest ever recorded for a Q1 since STR began keeping track. Compared to the first quarter of 2017, industry-wide occupancy was +0.9 percent higher at 61.6 percent. Average daily rate was up by +2.5 percent to $127.37. Revenue per available room rose by +3.5 percent to $78.46. Supply and demand set new records as well. On the supply side, 460 million room nights were available, while demand resulted in more than 285 million room nights sold. Demand grew at a higher rate,+3.0 percent, than supply at +2.0 percent. Full Story Here:

Majority of global online travel buyers visit TripAdvisor before booking a hotel or flight

TripAdvisor published the results of their “Path to Purchase” study of how travel is researched and booked online by consumers. The research, conducted by comScore, found that during the second and third quarters of 2017 TripAdvisor reached 60 percent of all travelers globally, while for the U.S. alone the figure was 67 percent. The study also found that on average travelers take a month or more to plan and book their travel. During the travel planning period the most visited site by consumers is TripAdvisor, followed in order by, Trivago, and Expedia. Full Story Here:

U.S. Hotels Operating at Highest Level of Efficiency Since 1960

For the eighth consecutive year the U.S. hotel industry experienced increased profits in 2017. This coming despite slowed revenue growth, according to the 2018 Trends in the Hotel Industry published by CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research. In the survey, total operating revenue rose by 2.0 percent for the average hotel in 2017. Properties in the survey saw their gross operating profits increase by 2.2 percent by limiting the growth in operating expenses to only 1.9 percent. Full Story Here:

US Hotel Occupancy Up 6.1 Percent To 68.1 Percent - Week Ending April 14th - 2018

Positive performance figures were posted by the U.S. hotel industry for the week of 8-14 April 2018, according to data published by STR. Compared to the same period last year, industry-wide occupancy was +6.1 percent higher at 68.1 percent. Average daily rate climbed up +5.8 percent to end the week at $130.57. Revenue per available room jumped +12.2 percent higher to reach $88.95 by week’s end. Full Story Here:

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hotels And The Solo Traveler - Part 1

The solo traveler is beginning to receive some acknowledgement from the travel industry. Whether by life status or choice, in the last few years the number of people who travel alone has grown tremendously. The solo travel segment is even creating some industry buzz just by the numbers involved in the trend. Although solo travel is by no means new, it has become increasingly mainstream, partly because of shifting demographics in addition to a number of other factors.

In the U.S. alone, single people now makeup the majority of the adult population. The fact is many people are either waiting to marry later in life, divorced, or lost their spouse due to death. But people of all age groups, marital statuses, and nationalities are solo traveling now. Because of the internet people are much more informed about the world around them, both near and far, than in previous decades. This gives them the confidence needed to get on a plane and fly around the world or across country alone. And with the world waiting for their personal exploration, many individuals have no intention of missing out on what the Internet has to offer them.

What is really driving this trend forward currently is the number of women, particularly those over 50 years old, who are solo traveling in ever-growing numbers. These female solo travelers are seeking the freedom to explore, without having to compromise their dreams because of friends, family or partners. And this segment is not limited to single, divorced or widowed women only. Many women who have partners at home are now choosing to take vacations apart from their significant others and are traveling solo as well. Whatever their motivations and inspirations for traveling solo, there is a significant number of women with the inclination and financial means to travel the world on their own terms.

The trending solo travel market represents a substantial portion of both today’s hotel revenue and tomorrow’s, as the segment continues to grow. Hoteliers should leverage the solo traveler by reaching out to meet their travel needs. We will explore those needs and how hotels can best capitalize on this important travel development in Part Two of this series.   

Monday, April 16, 2018

Generational Travel For Hotels - Part 4

Generation Z

With the oldest members of this generation just entering into adulthood, Generation Z truly represents the future of travel. But their influence has already been and continues to be felt across all segments of the travel industry. Many people mistakenly think of them as Millennials, a potential problem for hoteliers who may make that oversight. Generation Z is fundamentally different in a number of distinctive ways.

Comprised of young people born between the late 1990s and the 2010s, Generation Z as a group has no memory of a world, which is not digitally connected by the Internet and social media. This fact is at the core of their upbringing and has profoundly impacted their short life experience so far. Equally significant in shaping this generation has been the reality of growing up and approaching their adulthood in the aftermath of the Great Recession. This has made Gen Z particularly budget-conscious. Also, because they are so young and new to the workplace, they have not reached their prime earning potential yet. Research from Expedia Media Solutions has found that over 80 percent of Gen Z takes budgetary constraints into consideration when planning travel, with over 90 percent seeking the best deals possible.

Gen Zers have been influencing the travel and vacation plans of their parents, who are largely Gen Xers, for quite some time now. Many of this generation still travel on their parents’ dime, but directly impact the travel decisions of their families. Generation Z itself is also the most social media-influenced generation of all with nearly 90 percent stating so, according to Expedia. In this generation’s experience, rather than becoming electronically connected at an early age, Gen Zers have always been connected.

This makes technology truly a part of the Gen Z makeup, rather than merely a nice convenience. They trust the information they gather across social media and make their decisions accordingly. Therefore, since they are the most likely of generations to seek travel information online, it is imperative for hoteliers to reach out to Generation Z in this manner. Preferred social channels for this generation are Snapchat and Instagram since they mostly view Facebook as being for older folks. But more importantly for hotels, their social network choices are an indication of what motivates them, visual stimuli. Travel for Gen Zers offers exciting possibilities to capture and share unique moments and experiences through images.

Generation Z is truly committed to traveling and seeing the world around them. Despite their young age, only Millennials spend more days per year traveling than Generation Z. Like other generations of travelers, they are seeking authentic experiences. But Generation Z does so with an unmatched sense of adventure maybe, in the end, due to their youth.

Hospitality News For The Week Of 4/13/18

Trump Economy Driving Profit Growth at Hotels Across the U.S. in 2017

The hotel benchmark service, HotStats, has published the results of their “Profit Matters: U.S. Annual Hotel Performance Tracker 2018” report. According to the publication’s findings, U.S. hotels experienced an increase in profitability during 2017, following along with the general economic growth seen in the nation last year. The report states that there was a 2.9 percent increase in profit per room in 2017 for full-service U.S. hotels. This growth is attributed to 2.3 percent increase in GDP, year-over-year, experienced by the U.S. economy in 2017. Full Story Here:

Hoteliers share insights on the industry’s future

A panel of hotel industry experts recently spoke at the Hunter Hotel Conference in Atlanta about the future of the industry, reporting the industry is currently experiencing a period of dynamic change. Important takeaways include the continued growth in technological innovation across the industry. The industry’s further move toward guest personalization through technology and the increasing utilization of data to drive marketing decisions. Full Story Here:

Hotel’s technology now a factor in AAA ratings

The guidelines used by hotel evaluation inspectors for the AAA has been updated. 27,000 hotels are inspected and approved by AAA across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The changes now include taking into account the degree of connectivity of each evaluated hotel. A score for “connective “technology”, including free WiFi, availability of USB ports, mobile apps, mobile key technology, kiosks and digital messaging services. Full Story Here:

US Hotel Occupancy Drops 2.7 Percent To 68.3 Percent - Week Ending April 7th - 2018

According to published data from STR, the U.S. hotel industry posted mostly negative performance figures for the week of 1-7 April 2018. Compared to the same period last year, industry-wide occupancy dropped -2.7 percent to 68.3 percent for the week. Average daily rate was up +0.7 percent however, finishing the week at $128.84. Revenue per available room fell by -2.0 percent to finish the week at $88.03. Full Story Here:

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Generational Travel For Hotels - Part 3

The Millennial Generation

The largest generation currently is the Millennial Generation and accordingly they have become the most influential in brand marketing efforts. Consisting of people born between the early 80’s and mid 90’s, Millennials were largely raised by the Baby Boomers and early Gen Xers. Sometimes referred to as Generation “Y”, Millennials are, significantly the first generation to grow up with Internet technology as an intimate part of their daily lives. Digital technology is second nature to Millennials and is considered a necessity, rather than a convenience to them, in direct contrast to most members of the generations before them.

Millennials garner much attention from hospitality industry marketers for a number of reasons vital to revenue growth of hotels. Besides being the largest generation, they love to travel and consider it a much greater priority in their lives than the gathering of material possessions. Even better for hoteliers, when Millennials travel they tend to stay longer, and like to spend money on extras. And those extras are all about finding authentic experiences, which is the driving force behind Millennial Generation travel. They are not looking to bring souvenirs home with them, just treasured memories they can share across their social networks.

Although there is a trend across all travel segments toward seeking authentic experiences, in no other generation of travelers is it so profound. Millennials generally do not go on vacation to relax poolside, they go in order to expand their cultural horizons and gain from finding other perspectives. Therefore, hotel location is crucial to Gen Y in making their travel booking decisions since they prefer to be right in the center of things, as opposed to in a more remote spot. Additionally, hotels would be wise to provide Millennial travelers with as much relevant information regarding the locale as possible since it is expected.

Since Millennials have used technology and the Internet as long as they can remember, they really have no need for travel agents. They much prefer to do all the online research themselves and using a booking engine is second nature to them. Another expectation of this generation is a mobile device friendly website, at minimum. Offering hotel apps for the mobile devices is another step forward for hotels in targeting this market segment. Mobile check-ins, virtual concierge services, and the selection and ordering of various hotel amenity services are all further possibilities available to hoteliers, which Millennials will also find highly endearing.

Hotels which meet the Millennial traveler at their points of need and respond affirmatively to their desires will reap rich dividends. The payoff for hotels, which follow through, is the Millennial Generation’s inclination to enthusiastically refer and review the brands they love, not only in person but also across social media.

In part four we will take a look at the youngest generation of travelers, Generation Z.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Hospitality News For The Week Of 4/6/18

Temkin Group Releases 2018 Hotel Customer Experience Ratings

Tempkin Group has published the results of their 2018 Tempkin Experience Ratings. Based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers, the ratings are an evaluation of customer experiences across 20 industries, including hotels. The rating for the hotel industry as a whole was 70 percent, putting hotels in seventh place of the twenty industries rated. At the top of the hotel ratings are both Holiday Inn Express and Marriott, tied with a 78 percent rating. Rounding out the top three was Hampton Inn with a 76 percent rating. Full Story Here:

Food & beverage trends in the lodging industry

The Lodging Food & Beverage Outlook report was released by Avendra. The report projects demand for hotel food & beverages over the next few years, while measuring current performance of the segment. The report expects food and beverage to be a growth area for hotels, with about 60 percent of hotel industry respondents stating so. The report also found that the biggest area of future food & beverage investment is event catering and in-room minibars and chain restaurant concepts are on the decline. Full Story Here:

TrustYou Study Emphasizes Importance Of Online Feedback Management And Review Collection For Accommodations

A study on the importance of collecting and managing hotel guest feedback was published this week by TrustYou. Key findings included that the majority of hotel guests, 54 percent, have written and submitted at least one review in the previous twelve months. 95 percent of reviews from travelers are positive, with 93 percent stating their most recent review was positive. When the provider of their accommodation requests a review, the guest is 3.6 times more likely to leave one. Full Story Here:

STR: US hotel results for week ending 31 March

Mixed results were reported by the U.S. hotel industry for the week of 25-31 March 2018, according to data published by STR. Compared to the same period last year, industry-wide occupancy declined by -2.8 percent to 66.4 percent for the week. Average daily rate was +3.6 percent higher, ending the week at $130.81. Revenue per available room went up by +0.7 percent to finish the week at $86.90. Full Story Here:

Monday, April 2, 2018

Generational Travel For Hotels - Part 2

Generation X

This generation is not the largest demographic group and is often passed by in the business marketing efforts of some industries. Sandwiched in age between two large and influential generations, Baby Boomers and Millennials, Gen Xers are frequently “forgotten” as in one of their nicknames. This is unfortunate, as the so-called “lost” generation is in the prime of their adult earning lives. The majority of Gen Xers are raising families and travel with them for vacations whenever possible. This fact makes them less likely to make spontaneous travel decisions to international destinations, for example, and more likely to drive on a family vacation to a domestic destination.

Because they are largely in their child-rearing years and facing those responsibilities, Generation X tends to be budget conscious as well. Additionally, they travel the least compared to other generations. As a result, they seek the best travel deals and will extensively research to find them, often through online travel agencies. Despite their frugality, Gen Xers do enjoy activities and are willing to set aside a portion of their budget for tours and excursions when they travel. Importantly for hoteliers, a number of research studies have found Generation X spends the most of all generations during their trips.

Generation X looks to social media for travel inspiration, but does so differently than younger generations. Unlike Generations Y and Z, Facebook and Pinterest are the most often used social networks by Gen Xers looking for vacation ideas. Like all generations, they are seeking genuine experiences in their travel. They also prefer the experience be immersive and offer them connection with the destination. Physical activity in some manner, combined with cultural and culinary encounters with the locale are the vacation favorites of Generation X.

Loyalty levels to brands by Gen Xers tend to be rather low since they express loyalty differently. Research has shown the loyalties of this generation are more towards individuals rather than entities. Therefore, other deciding factors drive their booking decisions. Location, convenience of the hotel, price and quality are most important when a Gen Xer books a hotel, with good reviews being of utmost importance to them overall. They also rely heavily on the recommendations of their friends as well.

In part three of this series we will take a look at the travel motivations of the largest generation currently, the Millennials. Otherwise known as Generation Y.