Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sustainability For Hotels - Part 1

The global community is increasingly embracing a philosophy of care and concern, followed by action, regarding the Earth and its environment. Green initiatives and their implementation are becoming the anticipated standard for hotels worldwide. The expectation of the traveling public is for hoteliers to conserve precious natural resources, while leaving behind a minimal footprint, and being responsible corporate citizens of our planet. Data from many sources; including TripAdvisor,, and PhoCusWright; overwhelmingly demonstrate this to be a reality.

Attitudes regarding sustainability among travelers are being transformed, as awareness increases of the impact we humans have on the changing climate of our planet. Younger Millennial Generation travelers in particular are demanding sustainable accommodations from the hotels in which they stay. Millennials more than any other generation lead the way in eco-consciousness and will enthusiastically support, with their growing spending power, brands who operate in a sustainable manner.

Hotel guests who have made lifestyle choices based on green practices at home demand continuity when they travel. They are not willing to compromise the values, which have infused their lives. This applies to all travel segments, including luxury travelers. In the past, luxury travel could quite often become an exercise in overindulgence. The prevailing view being that luxury and sustainability cannot possibly co-exist. But, today’s luxury traveler is in many ways re-defining the meaning of traveling in style. Closely linked to the wellness travel movement, sustainable luxury is now reflected in the evolution of resorts sometimes featuring smaller accommodations in spectacularly pristine locations, surrounded by the natural environment.

Hotels, which adopt sustainable practices going forward, will also benefit in a number ways beyond satisfying the demands of customers. Hotel operation costs can be reduced significantly by cutting waste through the lowering of consumption of energy and precious water resources, for example. Sustainable hotel operational practices can also encourage customer loyalty by improving the overall guest experience, thereby reinvigorating the hotel brand.

In part two we will take a closer look at the specific measures hoteliers can implement in order to create a more sustainable hotel experience for their guests.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Hotels And The Wellness Traveler - Part 3

Health And Fitness

Many people are now making their physical health, fitness and state of mental well-being the central focus of their lives. They are seeking to live a healthier existence in a number of ways, including how they eat and by maintaining a regular exercise routine, even when they travel. These shifting lifestyle priorities among travelers and consumers at large are beginning to be reflected in changes to the amenities offered and services provided by hotels.

A recent development being added to some hotels is the “healthy hotel room” concept. For a number of years now hotels have been expanding the size and scope of their on-property fitness facilities, including 24-hour availability. Equipment available to guests in some hotel properties rivals the best of commercial gyms. However, many in the traveling public have made such a tremendous commitment to their daily health and wellness routines that they expect more, and are willing to pay for it. This even includes in some hotel properties in-room fitness equipment. But the healthy hotel room is much more than exercise equipment.

These healthy rooms infuse wellness design elements, with guest personalization technology to create accommodations with the guest’s well being at its essence. Incorporating technologies including, customizable special lighting and air purification systems, with aromatherapy and therapeutic spa-like bathtubs for example. Some healthy hotel rooms also feature ergonomic furniture, built-in physical training equipment, and circadian lighting. The last feature is designed to influence melatonin levels in the brain in order to assist guests with jet-lag recovery and any other sleep issues they may be experiencing.

A pivotal tenet of the wellness movement is the dietary requirements of healthy eating on a daily basis. The demand for freshly prepared organic food, combined with the necessity for some individuals to have very particular diets such as, gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan, has driven many hotels to make restaurant menu changes. Hoteliers are taking a cue from their customer’s expectations and changing menus to include healthier food choices, or in some cases completely eliminating unhealthy food from the premises. Any hotels with hopes of leveraging the healthy eating habits of their guests can begin by sourcing locally produced culinary specialties, which celebrate their locale.

The best way for hotels to capitalize on the wellness traveler is to provide guests what they are increasingly demanding, an opportunity to continue practicing the health-conscious lifestyle choices they have made in their lives when they travel.  

Monday, May 14, 2018

Hotels And The Wellness Traveler - Part 2

The Wellness Experience

The global travel phenomenon of wellness tourism is tailor-made for the luxury hotel segment and the growing emphasis by hoteliers on bringing their guests authentic experiences. Although wellness travel has been around for some time, an emerging trend among a number of innovative luxury hotels is to create a completely immersive wellness experience.

In one form of wellness experience provided by hotels, guests progress through a series of interconnected chapters and stories. These become stepping stones along a transformative wellness journey for the traveler comprising an amalgam of art, music, performance and literature all in concert with wellness classes, fitness training and spa treatments. In some examples, the journey even involves a progression through different properties. The key in these wellness treatments is to create a sense of transformation toward well-being in the traveler’s journey. This is in contrast to many wellness programs which can sometimes feel a bit disjointed to the participant.  

Empowerment Through Wellness For Women

There is a movement of empowerment for women through wellness which is running parallel with what has become known as the fourth wave of feminism. Women’s wellness travel is prescient in that it has grown in the light of developments in our global community at large. As a result, a number of for-women, by-women wellness travel and tourism related businesses have been established in recent years. Luxury hotels in particular could build mutually beneficial partnerships with these companies in harmony with the movement.

The Science Of Happiness

Another facet of wellness tourism, which is gaining traction, is in response to the analysis of the level of happiness found in an individual, or even an entire nation. Destinations offering travelers an opportunity to digitally disconnect with the world, while building true social connection, are springing up. These destinations are proudly providing no Wi-Fi, but do provide their guests the chance to escape the cares of everyday life and reconnect with nature and their inner-self. As a result of the published results of the annual World Happiness Report, there is also growing interest in the philosophies of the nations which rise to the top of the report on a regular basis. For example, the Danish philosophy of “hygge” which is loosely translated as a feeling of coziness and contentment.

In part three we will continue examining the wellness tourism movement by looking at the health and fitness aspects of wellness travel.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Hospitality News For The Week Of 5/11/18

Consumers spend $5.2 billion annually in fraudulent and misleading hotel booking transactions

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) has published the results of a new survey conducted with Morning Consult which reports 23 percent of consumers have been mislead by third-party travel resellers. This has resulted in 28.5 million hotel stays being impacted and $5.2 billion in fraudulent hotel bookings during 2017, according to the study of 2,201 adults conducted online February 26-28, 2018. The AHLA is urging consumers to be cautious because 39 percent of travelers report they book hotel stays through third-party websites.Full Story Here:

Travel Trends Index: International Sector Powers Strong Overall Finish to Q1

According to the U.S. Travel Association’s Travel Trends Index (TTI), travel within and to the United States rose by 3.4 percent year-over-year in March. Growth in international inbound travel lead the way with an impressive 11 percent surge in international visitors in March 2018. Domestic travel grew at a more modest level of 2.6 percent for the month. The TTI is projecting overall U.S. travel to rise by 2.2 percent through September 2018. During that period the international sector is forecast to grow by three percent. Full Story Here:

Study: U.S. Vacation Days Hit a Seven-Year Peak

New research published by Project: Time Off has found U.S. workers are increasing their usage of vacation days. According to the study, 17.2 vacation days on average were taken per worker in the U.S. during 2017. This amounts to an increase of nearly half a day (0.4 days) over 2016. Vacation usage is at its highest level since 2010, when it was at 17.5 days of vacation taken per worker, on average. Full Story Here:

STR: US hotel results for week ending 5 May

STR has reported that the U.S. hotel industry posted positive performance figures for the week of 29 April through 5 May 2018. Compared to the same period last year, industry-wide occupancy was +0.5 percent higher at 68.2 percent for the week. Average daily rate rose by +2.7 percent to end the week at $130.14. Revenue per available room was up +3.3 percent, finishing the week at $88.77. Full Story Here:

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Hotels And The Wellness Traveler - Part 1

A growing number of people around the world are making lifestyle changes, choosing to focus on improving and maintaining their health as well as comprehensive wellness. Of course they take their lifestyle choices with them when traveling, creating in the process one of the most important of travel trends, the wellness traveler. While this trend is not new by any means, it is gaining momentum, with some travel industry experts predicting as many as one in five travelers will book a wellness trip during 2018. Accordingly, any hotels that are looking to best leverage the wellness traveler must realize it will require more than a small but nicely equipped gym and a sauna.


Spas have been a popular amenity, and great revenue generator for the hotels that provide them for their guests. As the wellness trend has grown it has resulted in larger numbers of people seeking health and wellness solutions in every aspect of their lives, including hotel stays, and this has brought hotel spas into even greater prominence. Driven by the stress of their lives, many of these hotel customers are looking for much more from the hotels they stay with. These travelers are increasingly planning their entire trip around staying at hotels that offer spas, well-equipped gyms, and healthy food choices as members of this relatively new traveler segment.

The rapid and sustained growth of wellness tourism has proven this trend to be much more than a mere passing fad, and a powerful driver of hotel revenues. According to the Global Wellness Institute, in the most recent year for which they have figures, by 2015 the global wellness industry had become a $3.7 trillion business. Wellness tourism also grew at a rate of 6.9 percent between 2013 and 2015, which is twice the rate of overall tourism during the same time period.

The increased level of interest by the traveling public in health and wellness, specifically spas, has made it more profitable for those hotels that have made the investment in facilities and staff. Going forward, the trend should only continue to grow, providing another opportunity for increased revenue and higher profits for hoteliers.

In part two we will continue to examine the wellness tourism phenomenon and how hotels can maximize revenue generation from the wellness traveler.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Hospitality News For The Week Of 5/4/18

North American hoteliers spring into second quarter of 2018 with continued growth

According to data published in TravelClick’s April 2018 North American Hospitality Review (NAHR), hotels in North America have experienced continued growth in the second quarter of 2018. Across all travel segments bookings are 2.7 percent higher, while average daily rates are up by 2.5 percent. Growth is largely being driven by the group travel segment experiencing a 7.5 percent surge in bookings, average daily rate 3.8 percent higher and revenue per available room up by 1.6 percent. Across all segments, revenue per available room is impressively 5.3 percent higher as well. Full Story Here:

Conte Nast Traveler Unveils 2018 Hot List of the World’s Best New Hotels

Conte Nast Traveler has published their list of the hottest new hotels around the globe. The 2018 Hot List recognizes 102 hotel properties around the world, two dozen of which are located in the U.S., as the hottest new hotel openings. The 2018 Hot List is a review and selection by 37 editors of the magazine of their favorite new hotels that have opened during the last year. The competition is among big brands that are matching their new properties to fit the region in which they are located. Full Story Here:

Study shows travel websites should tighten cyber security

The digital security company, Dashlane, has published the results of a study they conducted that analyzed the online security offered to users by the travel industry. The 2018 Travel Website Password Power Rankings is the first for the company and evaluated 55 of the most popular travel-related websites on five key password security measures. The analysis criteria for a perfect score was requiring passwords to be at eight characters long, a combination of different character types, sending activation emails to users and the requirement of two-factor authentication. Full Story Here:

STR: US hotel results for week ending 28 April

Mixed performance results were reported by the U.S. hotel industry for the week of 22-28 April 2018, according to data published by STR. In year-over-year comparison with the same period last year, industry-wide occupancy dropped by -0.6 percent to 69.8 percent for the week. Average daily rate was +2.3 percent higher to finish the week at $130.40. Revenue per available room was up by +1.7 percent, reaching $91.05 by the end of the week. Full Story Here:

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Multi-Generational Travel For Hotels

In the process of sustaining an effective hotel marketing effort, it is vital for hoteliers to take into account the unique differences between generations of travelers. But what about when multiple generations, the parents, their children and the grandparents, choose to travel together as a family? Or maybe even a group of friends of widely spaced ages decide to vacation together. Multi-generational travel, as a category unto itself, has surged in popularity so much in recent years that it has become the fastest growing leisure travel segment.

A central factor driving this trend is the expanding geographic spread of families today. Not just nationally, but globally as well, an extended family can now easily be scattered by career demands for example. When vacation time comes many want to spend that precious time together and traveling as a group opens up greater possibilities for a shared family experience.

The cost of extensive travel, prohibitively expensive for many in the past, has become increasingly affordable to many families. Also, the desire for togetherness is inspiring many of the older and/or more financially secure family members to completely bankroll or significantly subsidize the multi-generational family vacation. As family members age, particularly Baby Boomers, they long to travel to bucket list destinations and share them with the rest of their family, building cherished memories in the process.

There is also a new sub-trend of multi-generational travel that is gaining momentum called “skip-gen” vacations. This is when the parents stay home while the grandparents take their grandchildren on a trip with them. Grandparents may have more time and resources than the parents to invest in travel with the grandkids. This can offer the parents some precious alone time while allowing grandparents to strengthen connections with the grandchildren through shared experiences.

Hoteliers can best leverage the multi-generational travel trend by emphasizing in their marketing efforts the family-friendliness of the hotel accommodations and property. Highlight the diversity of experiences the destination may offer travelers of all ages as well. Additionally, hotels should always strive to build partnerships with local companies that can provide guests with activities such as tours, attractions, and entertainment that are appealing to people of all ages.

Multi-generation travel is a burgeoning trend from which hotels can greatly benefit with a targeted marketing campaign in order to drive increased revenues.