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Many larger or luxury and 5 star properties have rigid customer service standards that are made primarily possible by having appropriate staffing. The guest to staff ratios on these properties help to ensure that the staff has ample time to address each guest’s request or needs without losing the quality of the service.
In any industry, a lack of competition can come with a decline in innovation and an increase in price. Without a larger field of competitor there is nothing to incentivize OTAs to keep commission rates low or introduce new products and services to the market. With only two major players left in the OTA space, Expedia and Priceline can make and play by their own rules.
For most hotels, cutting all ties with the OTAs isn’t feasible. Their reservations make up a sizable portion of a hotel’s business mix and without them many properties wouldn’t stay open. Coming off the heels of their Travelocity acquisition in January, Expedia has purchased Orbitz for an estimated $1.3 Billion.
With more hotels adopting mobile and self check in kiosks the front desk experience is rapidly changing. One of the biggest concerns about automating the check in process is that it can diminish the experience for some hotel guests. Without the interaction between staff and guests, there are less opportunities to exceed guest expectations and prevent potential issues.
Recently the FCC has put their foot down on the fight over WiFi Blocking in hotels. They have ruled that commercial establishments cannot restrict consumers from using their personal Wi-Fi hotspots. With how important internet access is for travelers these days, hotels caught doing this are subject not only to fines, but also open themselves up to negative reviews and a tarnished public image.
A recent article posted on HotelSpeak highlighted Shrine Hotel’s new strategy for keeping potential guests on their website. They are experimenting with displaying their rates with the OTA offerings. The idea behind displaying this information is that it will keep the guest from leaving the site to compare OTA prices. Provided the property has rate parity most guests will choose to book direct.
For a lot of travelers, after a guest checks in they may not have an interaction with the hotel staff until they check out. This could potentially lead to the guest’s expectations to go unmet and may result in negative reviews or requests for reimbursement. To help combat this, Expedia is launching a new Real Time Feedback system for their hotel partners.
It seems that with every new release, smartphones are changing everything. They have had a significant impact on the travel industry over the last few years, and this trend doesn’t seem to be stopping. A lot of the larger hotel chains have developed stand alone apps to try and gain better control over the guest experience.
Traveling can be a stressful time. With unpredictable weather and delayed flights, it’s not uncommon for travelers to cancel their plans all together. Unfortunately in today’s industry this isn’t always possible. Cheaper, non-refundable rates are an attractive offer for travelers looking to save some money, but their savings are quickly lost when it comes time to cancel.
One thing all hoteliers have in common is the desire to sell rooms. All of their marketing efforts are aimed at putting heads in beds and growing their revenue because room nights are a perishable commodity- every unoccupied room is revenue that cannot be made back. Even with enough reservations to fill a hotel, there are always last-minute cancellations or no-shows.
Hoteliers operating smaller properties often don’t have the support they need to spend time developing a proper promotional strategy. Because of this, many hotels constantly run the same promotions or a“Manager’s Special.” But how special are these deals if they run 365 days a year? Time sensitive promotions help to keep a hotel current and can provide fresh content for their w ...
A recent study by The University of Minnesota took a look at how shoppers perceive discounts and value added items when shopping. The study found that shoppers prefer to get more for their money than to receive a flat discount. But when presented with both options they will often choose the discount.
Any new OTA player is a blessing and a curse for hotel. Each new channel can greatly increase exposure, but at the same time can be very expensive. Amazon has recently taken their first steps into the travel industry by approaching several hotels in select US markets about listing their inventories and rates on Amazon.
Self Service Technology has been around for a while. Airports have been using kiosks to limit lines and improve customer service. These advances are beginning to find their way into hotels and with each new advancement comes something else for hoteliers to consider. Some of the branded hotels have already begun using “Self Check In” services allowing guests to bypass the tradit ...
The travel industry is changing faster than ever. It seems like every week there is a new buyout, partnership or start up that is changing the way guests shop for hotels. This week is no different with some interesting news from Hipmunk and TripAdvisor.+ Hipmunk is another meta search engine growing in popularity.
With every new iPhone release we see a variety of new technologies brought into the mainstream. With the release of the iPhone 6 models, NFC (near field communication) has finally been brought into the spotlight. Apple isn’t the first company to incorporate NFC into their phones, companies have been doing it since 2006.
With all the constant changes in online marketing, it can be difficult to keep up. Trends are constantly shifting, and your marketing approach needs to do the same. A recent study shows that almost 60% of travelers watch online videos about their destination. Of the travelers surveyed, 50% of them preferred to watch these videos on the hotel’s website and away from traditional ...
Guests are quick to incorporate the newest technologies and gadgets into their day to day lives and expect your property to be compatible. The common thread between most new gadgets is their need for internet connectivity, typically through WiFi. WiFi availability is consistently rated as a top factor in the decisions making process when booking a hotel.
The majority of hotels have focused their efforts into providing an efficient and hassle free booking process. Modern website design and booking engine functionality has made booking with hotel a much easier process and while this is always a smart approach, some guests are looking for more. With the recent release of TripAdvisor September TripBarometer, it was found that 54% o ...
For smaller properties, General Managers have so many responsibilities that they can’t focus their attention for too long on any one aspect of their property. Typically they are the ones to cover shifts when their desk staff calls out, or the one running to the hardware store to pick up maintenance supplies.