Posted in Tips and Ideas

Top 3 Ways Inaccurate Business Listings Hurt Hotels

Today’s digital marketing activities are a necessity when it comes to making a difference in the competitive hotel industry. The accuracy of business listings, information, and directories are sometimes forgotten in the clutter of other problems to solve when it comes to hotels. You could be missing out on potential clients because somewhere online, your address and phone number are entirely inaccurate.

Here are the top 3 ways having wrong business information will hurt your hotel:

Potential Clients Lose Trust

Imagine planning a getaway. You decide to drive down to Florida for some solitude. It’s time to search for a hotel. You search through Google, find the hotel you are particularly interested in, and decide to book it. Before you call, you want to visit the website and see where it’s located. Google shows you one address, but the website states a different address. You try to call the hotel to speak with an employee but, “The number you have dialed is unavailable….”  Do you continue your search for this hotel or abandon it to check out other locations? BrightLocal states, “80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details or business names online.” Now imagine how many times this might happen a day, a week, or even in one year. Not only was a potential client lost, but they also won’t consider you for their next getaway because they have lost trust in your business.

Low Ranking in Google Listings

If you ever need to search for anything whether it is recipes, new cars, best pasta in town, Friday night activities, etc. Google is one of the significant search engines out there. But, do you ever wonder how it ranks individual listings over others. One of the critical factors is NAP: Name, Address, Phone Number. Google feeds and receives this information from the top data aggregators Localeze, Neustar, Infogroup, and Factual. These data aggregators are the gatekeepers. Think of them as your online search engine bureau. They make sure that the information that is received and sent out is accurate. Now if your listing is wrong, it could potentially overwrite CORRECT details about your business listing. Such as the name of a company that used to be at your location. It’s still listed as “Grey’s Papaya” instead of the hotel’s correct business name. If Google detects any inaccuracies, your listing will get demoted. If no changes are made to correct the information, it continues to demote the hotel’s business listing. This happens until it reaches a particular page or level that your listing is worthy of. Don’t let your hotel sink in rankings because of inaccurate information. Address the situation before you get buried on the second page.

The Competitor Wins

A potential client has one foot in the door. They see how amazing your reviews are. They love the location since it is a short distance from home. They love the look of the hotel, but there’s no information about the surrounding area, such as restaurants and activities. They go to visit your hotel to see how the surrounding neighborhood looks like, and your hotel is nowhere to be found. The address that was provided to them by the search engine is inaccurate. Completely upset with the time they spent searching they decide to book somewhere else, and it’s your direct competitor. The Local Citations Trust Report from BrightLocal states, “30% of consumers would go to a competitor if they couldn’t locate a business because of incorrect information found online.” Another potential client is lost because your address was incorrect when displaying in the search engine.

There are plenty of resources and tools to help you manage your business listings. It’s up to you to be on top of it, or we can help you. Check out how we can help you increase your leads and correct your business listings throughout the internet in places you would have never thought of searching. Put yourself in your client’s shoes. Would you stay at a hotel that had inaccurate information online?

If you are in search of best guest manager app then please contact us and know more details about it.

Posted in Hotels and Resorts

3 Qualities Every Hotel Website Should Have

It is essential to hoteliers that customers have an enjoyable guest experience, not only at the hotel but online. You want to provide the best guest experience even before they set foot in your hotel. It all begins with their experience online. Here are three qualities your website should have to ensure a smooth yet fantastic guest experience.

Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly

With today’s advanced technological advances, researching a hotel before booking is as standard as scratching an itch. You can learn so much from a hotel just by visiting their website. But what if you’re not at the office or in front of a desktop. The percentage of travelers that are using mobile devices in comparison to an actual personal computerwill continue to increase. With a large number travelers adjusting to their smartphones and tablets to hop on the internet, it is crucial to have a mobile-friendly website. If you’re a hotel, your website should be mobile-friendly all across the board. Responsive navigation bars and images, as well as fast loading times. You want your potential guests to have all the information they need in the palm of their hand before making a decision.

Be Active On Social Media

Hoteliers who are not logging in daily on social media are missing one of the largest target audiences. Social media tends to be a hub of information and inspiration for travelers. With the hotel in mind, it is important that all the information on the website and social media channels are accurate and consistent. This creates a sense of trust. When a guest visits a different search engine or directory on the internet with your hotel business name on it, they’ll know it’s reliable information. Make sure you have someone answering any instant messages you might receive. Missing a single communication could be the difference between having a stay and giving it to your competitors. Treat your potential guests as if they have already booked at your hotel. Customer service is critical in the decision-making process, and it shouldn’t stop on social media.

Provide Helpful Information to Tourists and Newcomers

Where there’s a hotel, there’s a tourist. If a hotel does not have traveler information such as trying to get there from the airport or a guide to the surrounding neighborhood, say bye-bye to those potential guests. It helps to have city guides, maps, and brochures of all places in the local area. The guides could also include ways to get around the area. They can consist of distances of specific attractions/restaurants from the hotel and a weather forecast so that they will be aware of the weather conditions during their stay. Significant events should always be mentioned in case they’re looking to make plans or do something special during the trip. Get in touch with the professional mobile app development company and get best hotel mobile app for boosting the profit of your business.

Posted in Uncategorized

Hospitality Industry Dominates Today’s Consumer Spending According to New Research

Millennials seek nearby staycation resorts over house-sharing, most travelers react to slogans that speak to value and cleanliness, and “bleisure” (mix of business and pleasure travel) is a growing trend in the evolving and strongly performing world of tourism.

These and other key findings can be found in The “2019 Southwest Hospitality Marketing Report,” developed and commissioned by LAVIDGE, a leading marketing services agency with over 35 years of experience in the travel and hotel industry. The report reveals insights around consumer preferences including: vacationers strongly resonate with ads containing practical words such as “affordable,” rely on referrals and are motivated by slogans that convey convenience.

What’s more, consumers are spending generously on getaways and trips. STR and Tourism Economics, the hotel market data leader, predicts vigorous financial growth through 2020 for the nearly $70 billion industry.

“Our hospitality research pinpoints the specific types of messages that resonate with today’s travel-minded consumers,” said David Nobs, managing director, business development at LAVIDGE. “Understanding what motivates consumers into action is critical for hospitality marketers in this competitive arena.”

Hospitality is getting more sophisticated 

Technology has also impacted how people travel, thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence like digital check-in and face-recognition systems. Future trends predict travelers seeking hospitality on-the-go and the introduction of mobile suites, and more adults-only travel.

Indeed, hoteliers are exploring adaptations of the Airbnb boom. Some now offer home sharing (as a concierge service) for travelers to go offsite for smaller trips during their stay.

The Research

WestGroup Research surveyed 450 adult consumers working and living in the Southwest United States to provide fresh insights for major hospitality marketing executives, travel professionals, meeting planners and business and leisure guests about specific phrases and tactics to market their products and services successfully.

Do you want to know more details about guest manager app then please contact us.

Posted in Hotels and Resorts

How Can The Hospitality Industry Ride The Wave Of The Experience Economy?

A recent study by McKinsey and Company showed that global spending on experiences like concerts, amusement parks, eating out, and traveling has grown more than 1.5 times faster than spending on personal consumption, and about four times faster than spending on goods. This emergence of the experience economy is a trend that hotels and other hospitality businesses should leverage for higher revenue and improved brand loyalty by providing exceptional experiences. 

In the last year, India had about 10.56 million foreign tourists, and reported about 1.68 billion domestic travelers in 2017. The largest growing segment of these travelers are millennials, and that is because of a few different reasons. In comparison to previous generations, millennials tend to have a much larger overall awareness of the world and a much higher disposable income as well. More so, millennials are much more likely to spend on experiences over basic services.

Guests are constantly seeking great experiences with every hospitality brand they interact with on their travels.. Participants in the hospitality industry that fail to design and provide engaging guest experiences won’t be able to measure up to modern guests’ expectations.

In order to design and create such experiences, hotels and other hospitality participants will have to embrace and implement new and innovative technology platforms that will allow them to manage and create end-to-end experiences for guests. More so, these experiences will need to be comprehensive and tailored to the specific travel intent of each guest.

Even with the disruption of OTAs, hotels are still a space where guests still expect the hotel to act as the service provider and personalize their journey and experience. Hotels should take advantage of the ability to establish direct relationships with guests in a market where in addition to OTAs, Google and Amazon are becoming increasingly interested.

Hotels need to constantly improve and reinvent their core offerings and identify possible reasons if and why their guest experiences are not matching up to expectations. In order to stand out in the experience economy, hospitality businesses need to ensure the highest possible levels of guest satisfaction and embrace technology for personalization and constant analysis of guest reviews and feedback.

Some experiences can only be had in certain destinations. A traveler can only experience Oktoberfest in Germany, or can only take a picture in front of the Eiffel Tower in France. Hospitality businesses need to explore ways to ensure that guests have the serendipity of discovering these new experiences, all while keeping them engaged on their platform without them having to search for those experiences elsewhere. Hotels need to help their guests with area advice, available excursions and events in the area by partnering with non-competing travel operators to be the single source of guest experiences and add ancillary revenue while beefing up the guest experience.

Travelers have now started creating their own travel experience instead of being passive consumers. Consequently, hospitality businesses need to provide guests with platforms that serve hyper-personalized options for guests to create their experience from. These platforms will allow for delight in the guest journey, and will ultimately build brand loyalty and add revenue to hotels.

From tailored guest-centric experience packages, access to mobile concierges or in-room smart technology, hotels need to create experiences for guests that supercede mere service, or a product like a comfortable room.

Guests are constantly searching for new places and platforms that will allow them to have memorable and unique experiences they can share with friends and family. Not paying attention to rising trends in this new experience economy could prove to be the downfall of many hospitality businesses, unless new technology and innovative guest experiences become a core part of guest management.

Develop your hotel mobile app to delight your guest quick and easy. It helps you empower your sales team to sell immediately.

Posted in Tips and Ideas

Unique Ways Hotels are Redefining Luxury Amenities for Their Guests

Imagine you’re an avid traveler, who is no stranger to luxury perks. With a passport that boasts stamps from destinations around the world, you’ve found yourself making a temporary home at countless hotels, each with their own unique appeal.

On a leisure trip to the Palms Resorts Casino, you check into the Empathy Suite; a room which, by any measure, marks the very epitome of luxury. The villa is recently redesigned, featuring sharks suspended in formaldehyde, a salt relaxation room, butler service and even a cantilevered outdoor pool, set across 9,000 square feet of prime resort real estate. The biggest perk of all? You’ve been granted a $10,000 credit to spend at the hotel just for being a VIP guest.

If this paints a rather far-fetched picture, it’s likely because the luxury described here comes at a cost. A steep one, at that. While the suite is surely a worthy backdrop to the ultimate Las Vegas dream vacation, it is currently the most expensive hotel suite in the world. $100,000 per night, to be exact.

Of course, extreme luxury offerings aren’t a new concept to hotels around the globe. From fragrance or soap butlers to personalized firework displays, private helicopter rides, or even access to a Rolls-Royce Ghost for a day, luxury perks are meant to truly ‘wow’ guests. However, in many cases, these luxuries are more of a costly add-on than a built-in amenity and, therefore, represent an experience that, although exceptional, may be largely inaccessible for many. With this in mind, modern luxury has become a redefined concept, especially as of late. After all, shouldn’t ‘luxury’ or rather, ‘share-worthy’ experiences be more accessible to all guests?

So, how can hoteliers redefine luxury experiences for the modern traveler? What high-touch services or amenities are accessible and easy to implement, but are still representative of exceptional, stand out service?

Unique and Personalized Service

Over the past few years, the demand for luxury has steadily shifted away from goods to favor experiences, instead. This, coupled with the subsequent rise in demand for personalization, has created a hospitality landscape in which those properties are offering inherently unique services and enhanced personalization.

At the beginning of this year, an op-ed was published to Business Insider titled, “Luxury travelers want more than ever before, and hotels are borrowing a tactic used by Netflix and Amazon to keep up.” The article spoke to how rather simple personalization tactics commonly utilized by services such as Netflix and Amazon, can be replicated at hotels to delight guests. Much like Netflix takes note of what we watched last and crafts suggestions according to that information, hotels should make a note of guest preferences and act on them accordingly with personalized amenities or offers. This can be achieved in many ways, ranging from in-room settings (including pre-set temperature, lighting, entertainment and more) or complimentary services, to a chilled glass of a guest’s favorite wine, ready upon check-in, via Plum.

The Alfond Inn at Rollins, which was recently singled out as a top hotel in the Condé Nast Traveler 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards, has made a name for itself through the delivery of unique, memorable, guest-centric service. With the addition of in-room, on-demand wine for their guests, they can provide a unique, hyper-convenient luxury amenity with ease. The St. Regis hotel in Washington, DC has seen similar success, with their Director of Operations sharing that “The positive feedback we’ve received from guests since we first introduced Plum has been amazing.” Not only does this aim to delight new travelers, but it is also a service which can be leveraged to recognize and celebrate loyal, VIP guests.

In many cases, it’s the simple but meaningful gestures and amenities such as in-room wine and personalized touches, which help to bring special attention to each guest amongst a sea of travelers. This, in itself, is modern, tangible luxury. Ultimately, a hotel doesn’t have to go to extremes to differentiate their service. Instead, it’s about going the extra mile to get to know guests, recognize their preferences and provide them with a home away from home.

Tapping Into Authentic, Local Experiences

Guests today have a noted penchant for local experiences, often seeking out opportunities, amenities, and services which allow them to get closer to the culture of the area which they are visiting. Guests want to experience the world through a local perspective, in ways that aren’t to be defined as the status quo. To answer this demand, many hotels around the globe offer their guests in-depth destination guides or host their own locally-led tours and experiences.

London-based hotel, Leman Locke, does this especially well, offering guests a 5K running club every Wednesday that involves a scenic jog through the city led by the hotel’s running coach. Not only that, but guests can join a Saturday morning yoga club hosted by local yoga coaches Sabi and Danielle, and an atmospheric dawn tour of East London with London-based photographer Anthony Epes.

Many hotels are also relying on their F&B program to achieve this effect, with the help of locally-inspired dining and beverage menus. Even going beyond on-property restaurants and bars, The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills now offers guests in-room wine from the award-winning, local winery, J. Lohr and Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay. This allows guests to get a taste of premium, California wine culture without having to buy a whole bottle, and within the comfort of their hotel room.

‘Wow’ Them with Wellness Initiatives

Wellness enclaves are becoming relatively common across luxury hotels, as travelers express a growing desire for health-conscious programs and services. Hotels around the world are now finding creative ways to integrate wellness into their service model, from property design and amenities to daily operations.

The Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., took note of the rise in wellness travel and decided to cater to their prospective health-conscious guests with the creation of 13 new ‘Wellness Rooms.’ Each room is focused on one of the three elements of wellness: comfort, relaxation, and fitness, including amenities such as aromatherapy bath salts, showerheads delivering water infused with Vitamin C, desk wellness balls, yoga mats, sound + sleep machines, air purifiers, and more. These rooms are also conveniently located near the hotel’s recently renovated fitness center which features state of the art equipment and a full-service spa. While this may seem like a rather lofty investment into the wellness segment, consider this: The Global Wellness Institute calculated the global spend on wellness tourism at $639.4 billion in 2017 alone.

Of course, not every wellness program will require extensive renovations. Many hotels are tapping into this new kind of luxury by offering their guests health-focused dining options, saline swimming pools, fitness centers or incentives for local fitness offerings, in-room exercise or meditation guides via a Smart TV, bike-share programs, and so much more.

While certain extravagance and grandeur will always have its place in hospitality, many travelers are interested in a different kind of luxury today. For them, high-end service is not necessarily found in the Penthouse Suite, but can instead be accomplished through unique and personalized service, local experiences and wellness-focused amenities. Fortunately for hoteliers, luxury service doesn’t always need to be a far-fetched or costly concept. It can be achieved with something as simple as a personal gesture or touch in a hotel room, a fully stocked fitness center or, perhaps, a chilled glass of in-room wine. Here are many other ways to improve the guest experience and increase the direct bookings for hotels through apps like personal concierge app.

Posted in Tips and Ideas

Look beyond the locally available PMS to run a successful hotel business

Comfort is a tricky thing. It allows you to feel safe and it gives you the assurance that everything is as it should be. Whether the assurance is real or fake, it is assuring alright! But every visionary who has dared to dream big, has insisted on giving up the need to always feel safe and vouched for the power of stepping away from and being cautious of the “comfort zone’.

“If you opt for a safe life, you will never know what it’s like to win.”
Richard Branson

Why am I telling you all this? Because in today’s digital age, it is fairly common for tech-solution providers to come across prospective clients who are sold on everything they provide, except for the fact that they are headquartered in a place that is not their own.

We are talking about those hotel owners who’d rather invest in an average local tech solution provider than in a world-class one that operates from another corner of the world. This preference is rooted in fears which are valid (to an extent) and multiple, like:

What if there are issues with the system?
What if their support isn’t good enough?

What if they hold hands till the implementation and then go missing in action?

What if they don’t cater to the geo-specific needs of my business?

What if…

The Decision to invest in the right PMS is not an easy one… and rightly so, considering how many options there are in the market today, and how not all of them will cater to your specific business requirements. So, to make the right decision you need to ask the right questions and consider all the factors that will impact your business.

Therefore, it is crucial for you to get a deeper understanding of all the available options, whether local or global, before you settle for the easiest one. After all, successful businesses aren’t always run on convenience. So, find out everything you need to know about a PMS and understand the key factors that you need to consider before investing in one, regardless of whether it is locally based or not.

Note: If you are in the process of selecting a PMS, make sure you understand how to go about making the decision of choosing the right PMS for your hotel business.

But here’s a quick look at the most important factors you need to consider before investing in a Cloud PMS:

  • Implementation – A good cloud-based PMS provider should help you with an easy and quick implementation process, not taking more than a month. Smooth and thorough implementation takes time, so watch out for any system that claims otherwise!
  • Data-security – Cloud-based PMSs are hosted on the cloud, as the name suggests. That means that you no longer have to worry about downtimes, loss of data, etc. Consider which cloud-based server the PMS provider works with and take a call accordingly. Some of the best cloud servers are Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.
  • Integrations – Your PMS provider needs to empower you to integrate with the powerful third-party solutions to manage other areas of your hotel business like channel management, revenue management, accounting, business intelligence, reputation management, etc.
  • Distribution – It doesn’t matter how many channels a PMS claims to connect with, hotels only connect with the ones that make most sense to them. So, go for a PMS provider who connects with Channel Managers/OTAs who cater to your target audience. Don’t get carried away by the sheer number of channels the system connects with.

Support – This is an underrated feature that not many PMS providers like to focus on. What you need is a PMS provider who is willing you to go all the way to provide you with round-the-clock support to address any issue in real-time.

Note: Yes, it is psychologically a feel-good factor to have a person come in personally, talk to you and address your issues. But, in the hotel business, time is money and so responses like, “We’ll send in our customer success representative by Monday” will not do. Dedicated Account Managers and round-the-clock support is what will work. Data and Insights: You need a PMS that will arm you with all the data you need to run a successful and sustainable business. Hotelogix PMS gives you access to over 100 reports that brings you up to speed on all the insights you need, across all functions, so you can be informed about every aspect of your business, no matter where you are.

Note: A PMS’s job isn’t just to help with reservations and online distribution. In fact, those are the fundamentals. A good PMS should enable you to manage all aspects of your business under one roof – end-to-end, that is.

The Do’s and Don’ts of the decision:

Dos:

1. List out your criteria before setting out to explore the options. Set your expectations right, lay out your goals in as much detail as possible and establish a clear output that you wish to achieve from the investment. What works for one hotel need not always work for the other.

2. Invest time in thoroughly evaluating at least a couple of PMS providers before taking the plunge. You don’t want to regret making the wrong choice within a month or two of investing in a system.

3. Look for automation of daily tasks which will help you increase staff productivity, staff efficiency, save numerous man-hours, improve guest experience and thereby your online reputation and your revenue.

4. Keep yourself updated when it comes to hospitality technology. No matter what challenge you are presented with, there is a tool out there to help you overcome it! A good PMS provider will accommodate integration requests as far as possible and make sure your business doesn’t suffer.

Don’ts:

1. Do not get carried away by familiarity. In this day and age, it shouldn’t matter to you where the provider sits out of, as long as the product is powerful, dynamic and efficient. Get out of your comfort zone and see what the world has to offer you in terms of tech solutions- you’ll be amazed!

2. Do not confuse a basic system for an easy-to-use system. Go for a system that will make your staff’s lives easier, while at the same time deliver on its promise of improving your hotel business. A basic system can be easy to use but can never give you elaborate results. Whereas, a robust system can be both easy-to use and efficient.

3. Do not settle. Ever. You have every chance in the world to build a thriving hotel business with technology on your side. If you don’t strike gold with whatever system you opted for, remember that there are other world-class players out there who could give you that extra push and put you back on track. But don’t ever settle for a sub-standard PMS or choose to run operations manually because that is a much worse problem to have!

4. Do not invest in a system before doing a thorough research of customer reviews. Read customer success stories or case studies and user-generated content/reviews on as many platforms as you can, as these are things that will give you the real feel of what you are signing up for.

“Coming out of your comfort zone is tough in the beginning, chaotic in the middle, and awesome in the end…because in the end, it shows you a whole new world !
Make an attempt.”

We get it. We’ve been around for well over a decade and we cater to big and small hotels across a hundred countries. In fact, we are familiar with most of these fears since we have ourselves helped several hoteliers overcome these fears and seek value in our product successfully. And, we are here to address this pressing issue for you and all other hoteliers like you, who are skeptical to be associated with a global PMS provider. If you are in search of best concierge app for hotels, then please contact us and know more details about it.

Posted in Hotels and Resorts

Where will hotel guests in the United States travel to in 2019?

Each year new trends emerge that can change the fortunes of global hoteliers very quickly. Just like clothes, music, and art, certain destinations can go in and out of style – and in again – over time. Travellers discover a new ‘it’ destination or follow gradual societal shifts and all of a sudden some places are more popular than ever while others are wondering why results have dipped.

Trip Advisor always has its finger on the pulse when it comes to traveller behaviour and has identified what the preferences for travellers to the US will be in 2019. While the following destinations may not receive the highest volume of travellers, they’re the locations TripAdvisor expects will be heavily on the rise next year.

Here’s the top five.

1. Kapaa, Hawaii

Meaning ‘solid’ in Hawaiian, Kapaa is a small town nestled at the base of Nounou Mountain on Kauai Island. It’s very tourist friendly with a diverse array of hotels, shopping centers, and restaurants. The Kinipopo Shopping Village is a favorite for its fun eateries and small keepsake shops.

TripAdvisor recommends travellers visit:

  • Kauai Path
  • Sleeping Giant Trail
  • Kauai’s Hindu Monastery

2. Waco, Texas

Waco was settled along the Brazos River, halfway between Dallas and Austin. Only the 22nd most populous city in the state, it has many charms for the visiting tourist.

TripAdvisor recommends:

  • Waco Mammoth National Monument
  • Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Magnolia Market at the Silos

3. Wilmington, North Carolina

Wilmington is a beautiful port city in southeastern North Carolina. Established along the Cape Fear River, it’s also minutes away from nearby beaches. With an historic downtown riverwalk, there’s a lot to love.

TripAdvisor recommends:

  • Airlie Gardens
  • Historic District
  • Riverwalk

4. Bend, Oregon

Only 21 miles from RDM airport, Bend is a natural playground for families and adventure travellers. Hiking and fishing along the Deschutes river, mountain biking and skiing at Mt. Bachelor are among the favourite activities.

TripAdvisor recommends:

  • High Desert Museum
  • Newberry National Volcanic Monument
  • Deschutes Brewery

5. Boulder, Colorado

Situated a short distance northwest of Denver, Boulder is a city that sits in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, 1655m above sea level.

Boulder is famous for its association with American frontier history and for being the home of the main campus of the University of Colorado, the state’s largest university.

If you’re a hotelier in these regions, now is the time to ensure your distribution strategy is optimised to capitalise on the increased traffic from interstate and international travellers. Market on as many online travel agents as you can and run promotions and packages on your website around the most popular attractions and sights.

A concierge service app is a software product which serves as a personal assistant app in hospitality industries if you want to know more details please contact us.

Posted in Tips and Ideas

10 mistakes that may sabotage your hotel business

Everyone, by virtue of being human, makes mistakes.

Some mistakes have worse consequences than others and depending on the industry, backlash can range from minor to cataclysmic. The type of mistake you make will also have an impact on this. Did it just affect you, or did it also affect your customers?

In the hospitality industry almost everything revolves around the customer, and they’re the quickest party to point out any flaws. There’s also plenty of times where you might simply self-sabotage and fail to get the most out of your business.

Human fallibility prevents us from eliminating all our mistakes, but you can certainly look out for the some common errors to avoid. Here’s our top 10.

1. Failing to provide basic contact information

A beautiful looking website with a fancy design and stunning features means nothing to the customer if they can’t find your address or phone number on the homepage. The basics are something every hotel must get right before anything else.

Travellers have all kinds of queries and many of them want to call to get instant clarification, and often people will be calling to make a booking so your phone number is an absolutely essential piece of information.

2. Website scarecrows – autoplay videos and music

Many people book holidays between the hours of 9am – 5pm, i.e work hours. The last thing they need is for their computer to start blasting commercials or ditties around the office. The first thing they’ll do is close your website and it’s unlikely they’ll return.

3. Incorrect use of social media

It’s great to use social media as a marketing avenue but it’s important you use it in the right way. You want traffic to be directed to your website and booking pages, not away from them. A common mistake hoteliers make is sending website visitors away to their social media channels immediately after a visitor has landed on the homepage.

How many people are going to be coming back once they’ve been redirected to YouTube for instance?

4. Poor quality photos

There’s really no point in investing in a great website design if the photos you integrate into the theme are lacking quality. Travellers want to see what they’re paying for and if what they see is a grainy, blurry, or poorly framed image they won’t be racing to open their wallets.

Paying for high quality photography is worth every penny and you should update your images every couple of years, or every time you refurbish.

5. Downloads for simple information

Does anyone actually enjoy downloading a PDF to their phone or computer? The answer is probably no so why would you make a prospective guest do this? If a traveller wants to view the menu of your hotel restaurant for example, they should be able to do it on your website. Making them download documents is a conversion killer.

6. Connecting to the wrong distribution channels

When you connect to online travel agents manually or via a channel manager, it’s still important to do some research. You have to look beyond the four or five biggest channels and find partners that most suit your target market.

7. Ignoring the potential of the local area

Guests are simply buying a hotel room when they come to stay at your hotel. For them, they’re paying for an experience delivered by the destination. It would be silly for you not to take advantage of this.

Make sure you partner with local businesses and run promotions and packages around local events and attractions.

8. Closing your ears (and mouth) to feedback

Reviews are one of the most important aspects to get right for your hotel. Customer satisfaction and brand reputation are vital if you want to keep the bookings coming in.

The worst thing you can do is stay silent online when people leave reviews and feedback on sites like TripAdvisor or your social media pages. You need to respond diligently to both positive and negative reviews.

9. Not paying close attention to seasonality

The price people are prepared to pay for the hotels room will depend on the supply and demand trends over time. Seasonality matters, and you’ll have to change rates a number of times during the year to reflect buying behavior and market conditions. This, together with the date and timing release of packages and promotions forms an integral part of your sales and marketing plan.

10. Lacking attention to detail in housekeeping

One of the most common complaints from guests is about dirty rooms or general uncleanliness of the hotel. There should never be any shortcutting when it comes to housekeeping and cleaning. Not only is it a healthy and safety issue, but you open yourself up to a flood of negative reviews.

Of course, there are plenty of other pitfalls that could hit your hotel so you have to be constantly diligent and find ways to optimise your processes, reducing the risk of mistakes that could cost you money.

Develop your hotel mobile app to delight your guest quick and easy. It helps you empower your sales team to sell immediately.

Posted in Hotels and Resorts

10 Hotel Tips No One Taught You

I’ve lost count how many hotels I’ve stayed in. Hundreds, for sure, and on every continent except Antarctica. From beach-side resorts in St. Kitts to a grand, soaring high-rise in Tokyo, to a castle-adjacent treehouse on the north coast of Scotland, I’ve stayed in some truly lovely places. I’ve also stayed at dilapidated dives in Vegas with rusty faucets and rugs so thin you could see the concrete underneath. The memory of the latter still makes me itch.

Over the years I’ve come up with a set of tips and tricks I use in every hotel, from 5-star to wear-your-shoes-in-the-bathroom-star. They range from a little peace of mind and a reduction of annoyance to maintaining a bit of safety and health while traveling. Starting with …

What is touched by everyone but rarely cleaned? A quick swipe with some baby wipes or a damp (not wet) hand towel should help a bit.

Need to set the thermostat in your room anywhere outside the US? Twenty degrees is a good place to start.

Generally, drinking glasses are cleaned after every guest. Generally. If there’s no on-site restaurant, though, how are they cleaned? By hand presumably, but how well? Give them a rinse and a sniff, at least.

Bed bugs are gross little vampires. Like mosquitoes, but worse. Putting your luggage on the bed can give them a free ride to your next location … like your house. The luggage rack might not be a good option either, since it’s usually close to the bed. Your best bet is to put your luggage in the bathroom and then give the bed, rack, and chair/sofa a close look. Also, don’t assume that just because hotel is super posh it won’t have bed bugs. They might have more means to get rid of the problem, but it can happen anywhere.

As the number of devices needing to charge increases, the number of outlets available in hotel rooms … stays the same. I’ve stayed in new hotels with zero easily-accessible plugs. Mind blowing. Wirecutter, the New York Times company that reviews products, has options for long Micro-USB, Lightning, and USB-C cables so you can plug in and still, hopefully, use your phone from the bed. They also have a pick for a travel power strips so you can plug multiple devices into that one outlet you found behind the bed.

Some hotels give the remaining soaps to charities like Clean the World. It’s worth checking if they do, as perhaps that’s a better use of the remaining soap than getting lost in your luggage or forgotten in your home medicine cabinet. Many hotels are moving toward large-bottle dispensers, both as a cost- and Earth-saving measure.

Housekeeping comes early. Exactly 100 percent of the time I’ve wanted to sleep in and forgot to put out the sign, housekeeping wakes me up. In how many languages do you know how to say “come back later, please?” For me, when woken from a deep slumber, a croaky none.

Enabling the safety latch also lets you open the door to see if it really is management knocking while preventing said knocker from unexpectedly opening the door fully. Exceptionally unlikely, sure, but why take the chance?

Even if you just use your birthday or something memorable in the moment, take a picture of the number you program into the safe.

I travel for months at a time. I do laundry about once a week. At an expensive laundromat in Paris I paid 7 euros, or about $10, for a load of all my clothes. While trapped at a hotel in Fiji during a typhoon I paid $10 for each pair of underwear.

You should definitely pack light enough that you’ll need to do laundry on any trip longer than a week. Some hotels, and nearly all hostels, have inexpensive laundry facilities on-site or nearby. The staff will usually help you find a place. There’s always washing in the sink too, which is free if you have the time.

I’ve spent the majority of nights during my extended travels of the last 5 years in hostels. Hotels can be great, but they’re invariably expensive. Hostels probably aren’t what you think, and can be a great way to save money and meet new people.

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Posted in Hotels and Resorts

An Art Museum in Your Hotel Lobby

Forget those predictable poster reprints. Some properties have begun to push the boundaries of what it means to be a hotel with great art.

Procuring and exhibiting art in all forms has been synonymous with the hotel experience for several decades now, with both luxury and midlevel brands highlighting local artwork and museum-quality pieces rather than predictable poster reprints.

Guests like it: In a 2018 survey conducted by the nonprofit organization, Americans for the Arts, 72 percent of respondents said they enjoyed the arts in “non-arts” venues including hotels.

Art-centric hotels are popping up in many cities, including the ART in Denver and the upcoming Hall Arts Hotel in Dallas, hoping to attract a new breed of clients who want to be surrounded by sculptures, video installations, paintings and mixed media.

But of late, some properties have begun to push the boundaries of what it means to be a hotel with great art.

Artists once depended only on galleries to showcase their work and be “discovered,” but more hotels now actively seek and support new talent in that role.

“We didn’t want to commission art merely for the purposes of decoration,” said Carson Glover, vice president of brand marketing at The Peninsula Hotels. The company created the “Art in Resonance” program, highlighting midcareer artists whose works were unveiled at the Hong Kong property in March.

“Nurturing the artist is an aspect that is so often lost in the business,” he added.

For the first installment of “Art in Resonance,” the American sculptor Janet Echelman created a netlike sculpture whose shape constantly changes with the wind. The Australian-born artist Timothy Paul Myers hand-wrapped everyday items like cups, saucers and chairs in red felt, creating a site-specific sculpture called “Alizarin” that stood out in the neutral tones of the lobby. And Shanghai-based MINAX architects created a modern version of the traditional Chinese teahouse using 999 pine and bamboo wooden pieces.

“For over twenty years I found myself making these large environmental installations that I can’t afford to build on my own,” says Mr. Paul Myers. His work and that of the other artists will travel to other Peninsula locations over the next few years, much like a museum exhibit.

Prices start from $650 at the Peninsula Hong Kong per night inclusive of taxes and fees, based on double occupancy.

Two contemporary art collectors, Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, opened The 21c Museum Hotels in 2006 in Louisville, Ky., with a vision to save the downtown.

The hotel has amassed more than 3,000 works, now spread over public areas, lounges and rooms, and exhibits are open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In this aspect, this group of museum hotels — opening its ninth location this year — operates differently than a traditional gallery, which typically has more restricted exhibit hours.

The brand also co-curates exhibitions with museums like the North Carolina Museum of Art with the mind-set that hotel art does not necessarily need to take the place of gallery art.

After the film and video artist Christina Zeidler took over the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, Canada, the 37-room boutique hotel began holding rotating exhibits annually as well as live events. Artists also helped with the interior design of the rooms.

“Artists are given free rein to think about the design of the furniture, window coverings, wallpaper or wall treatment,” said the exhibitions director Lee Petrie, who explains that apart from the permanent room art, the hotel shies away from commissioning anything. They believe continuously changing exhibits are draws for repeat visits.

Room rates at the 21c Louisville property start from $200. Rates at the Gladstone start from around $239 per night with a breakfast discount and free cocktail if you book directly on their site.

Installing murals has become an increasingly popular way for hotels to spice up room design.

In Philadelphia, the artist King Saladeen grew up as a “super inner-city, super low-income kid,” and became the first artist-in-residence at the new Fitler Club, a “work/stay/play” destination. His gym mural is hard to miss; he used house paint, acrylics and spray paint to create “a burst of energy to stay motivated,” he said.

Rates at the Fitler Club start at $450 for a King-size room; there is a monthly membership to use the club and workspaces from $225.

As funding for the arts is always a struggle, some properties have taken to raising contributions in more creative ways.

Saint Kate, the Arts Hotel that opened in Milwaukee, Wis., in July, invited local artists to each design and decorate its “Canvas” rooms. Each Canvas room stay has a percentage of proceeds donated to organizations including The Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Artists Working in Education and even a local radio station.

Rates range from $209-$459 depending on weekday or weekend check-in; choose the room type with study access for breakfast.

Suzi Cordish, who runs more than 70 properties under the Live! Casino & Hotel brand, proudly displays her personal art collection in her hotels. Of late, she’s put her energies into more large-scale installations and supporting emerging and midcareer artists.

She commissioned the Brooklyn-based Chris Doyle to create an animated moving image called “Games of Skill and Chance” on a 9-foot-tall, 40 feet-wide screen at the Maryland Live! property.

Mr. Doyle said that rather than focusing his energies on trying to raise capital, he had peace of mind and free rein working with the hotel. In this instance “the cost of making the video wall was far more expensive than the artist fee,” he said.

The Mexican artist Bosco Sodi created a 16-foot-tall, eight-feet-wide “Blue Pangaea” painting that hangs in the library of Hotel Matilda in San Miguel del Allende.

“If the hotel is a good hotel and you (as an artist) are in a position of putting your conditions with this kind of installation, that helps because a lot of people will see the work,” Mr. Sodi said. Make it easy for your customers to book, make requests, and enjoy their vacation with a user-friendly online concierge app.