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Bonnie Knutson

Eleven years from now the U.S. population will reach a tipping point. The year 2030 will mark the moment when all baby boomers will be at least 65 years of age; in other words, 20 percent of our population will be of retirement age. Jonathan Vespa, a U.S. demographer, puts it this way: "The aging of baby boomers means that within just a couple decades, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history. By 2035, there will be 78 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.7 million under the age of 18." So, what does this have to do with hotels? A lot. In this article, you read about two unique opportunities for your hotel to take advantage of the longevity trend. Read on...

Javier Coll

As hotel owners and investors discuss strategies for success in the coming year, a careful review of current market conditions is imperative. While supply in the international hotel market remains growing and strong, room rates are beginning to soften, and smart owners should now consider a brand conversion strategy to stay ahead of the curve. In this article, Javier Coll, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Apple Leisure Group, shares why a conversion, with the right brand partner, is key to beating out the competition in a potentially oversaturated market. Read on...

Brett Tabano

Consumers are spending increasing amounts of time on mobile devices, forcing brands to rely more heavily than ever on digital marketing to drive bookings and boost revenue. Unfortunately, the ever-changing digital landscape is becoming more difficult to navigate and control, often resulting in brand safety issues. From ensuring that ads don't run next to damaging content to preventing competitors and other nefarious "squatters" from exploiting the awareness you've built, marketers must take proactive measures to protect the value of their brand. As a scalable, efficient solution, a growing number of marketers are shifting to a real-time, programmatic, platform-based strategy. Here's why. Read on...

David Allison

The Lodging industry in all price categories is going through a period of disruption, with huge forces at play. New technologies, mergers, acquisitions, online competition, Airbnb, new travel behaviours, new types of travelers: these are not small adjustments to an ecosystem. In the midst of that chaos it's valuable to step back and ask our consumers, directly, what they value, want, need and expect. And that's where the 75,000 surveys in the Valuegraphics Database come in. We've done that work of asking hotel guests those questions for you. Read on...

David Bilicic

Research firm Magid digs into the opportunities and challenges presented by subscriptions in the hospitality industry, especially among loyalty program members. Magid found that travelers who already belong to a loyalty program are much more likely to be interested in a subscription program offering than those who are not part of loyalty programs. This research, which was conducted through an online study of 3,000 individuals who have an active subscription within one of 14 business verticals (Including meal kits, fitness, music, beauty, clothing and more), also delves into other consumer perceptions around subscription programs including price, offerings and "must-haves." Read on...

Shannon Colbert

What separates the good hotels from the great? The vice president of sales and marketing at Endeavor Hospitality Group, Shannon Colbert, explains that it comes down to one business element: your people. To be successful in the competitive and ever-evolving hotel space whilst providing consistent, yet fresh and memorable guest stays, it all starts with cultivating a fulfilled, resilient and productive team that is inspired to deliver on your hotel's promise. Read more about Shannon's six tips for making new employees feel at-home and satisfied in their hospitality career. Read on...

Brian Wise

Hospitality marketers are currently facing a more challenging landscape than ever when it comes to attracting and appealing to millennials. The methods used for generations past are proving to be irrelevant for this current audience, not just in where they are going, but why. And with the generation on track to make up 75 percent of all hotel guests by 2020, hospitality industry professionals should start to learn what amenities make them tick – and why they all point to Vegas. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

Generation Z is actually known by several names. But whatever it is called, this generation is the one that follows the infamous Millennials.. Typically, demographers and researchers classify iGens as those born between 1995 to 2005, putting them still in school with leading edge finishing up their college years. Although this cohort is still relatively young, they influence about $600 Billion of what and where their family spends its time and money – i.e. that's about 70% of their parents' spending. Already they are swaying their family's travel decisions. By 2020 – that's less than two short years from now - they will represent 40% of the world's consumers. In this article, you learn more about this up and coming generation and how your hotel can attract their business. Read on...

Lisa Ross

Learn why integrated marketing communications is essential to your hotel's success. The essence of integrated marketing is to meld consistent brand messages across all channels to provide a seamless experience for consumers to interact with your brand. As new marketing strategies and digital platforms have evolved and launched over the past decade from Google, Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest, it has never been more important to have effective integration of brand messages and channels. This article will review what integrated marketing means and share how to create a multi-platform and cross-channel marketing program… Read on...

Leora Halpern Lanz

The number of customer touchpoints between a hotel and its guests only continue to increase. In reviewing some of those touchpoints, one better understands the expertise needed to manage those moments and how hotel brands use varying methods to bring together skills sets for optimal (digital) customer experiences. How brands determine to manage the increasing touchpoints for optimal connection, will help distinguish them from the competition as they strive for continued excellence in customer contact. Read on...

Brett Tabano

Once summer ends, travelers start researching and booking flights and hotel rooms for holiday travel, an ideal time for brands to step up their digital marketing strategy and utilize new ways to increase sales. Programmatic performance marketing with a strong emphasis in native search enables advertisers to make smarter bidding decisions and allows brands to transform into digital publishers by selling comparison search ads to competitors. In this piece, Brett Tabano, MediaAlpha Senior Vice President of Marketing, will explore native advertising from the advertiser's and publisher's perspective, as an organic way for hotel brands to become more efficient and profitable. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

WT is a term that encompasses all electronics that can be worn on the body. It can be an accessory, such as a smartwatch, or it can be a sensor embedded into clothing that can tract motion, time, and even location. The key benefit of wearable technology is that it connects to the Internet so that the information collected can be sent to a network, stored, exchanged, analyzed and acted upon. Businesses are finding that IoT is offering them new insights into how to increase efficiency, how to better engage employees and customers, and how to develop new revenue stream opportunities. Can the hotel industry be far behind? Read on...

Margaret Rogers

Ever since the statistic from reputation management company Podium that customers would pay more for a better experience was revealed, leaders have been scrambling for ways to improve their customer experience across industries, hospitality included. To compete with Airbnb and increase customer retention, some hotels have even created robotic bellhops or allowed guests to stay in their rooms by the minute. But going deeper than the tactics themselves, there's one underlying factor that makes these strategies effective and empowers a hotel to truly appeal to customers: the ability to be agile. Read on...

Brett Tabano

Native advertising is not a fresh idea in the marketing space today. Native search however, may be. Native search is the search functionality inside different platforms or websites. It is used for top-of-the-funnel initiatives, often with the goal of increasing brand awareness. In this piece, I will explore what native advertising and native search is, as well as why every hotel brand should invest in it today. From enhancing the user experience, to generating a new revenue stream, to bidding on other hotel brand’s sites as a new traffic source, brands that invest in native search will see unparalleled results. Read on...

Trish Donnally

The hospitality industry is experiencing a sea change, thanks to several brand disruptors at work. Think about the sharing economy, leading fashion designers entering the hospitality arena to extend their brands, including Karl Lagerfeld, the emergence of "boutique hostels," Airbnb and its upstart emulators, mega mergers, and the rise of hyper-local, micro-boutique hotels. And that's not all. Communal ironing rooms, triple-tall bunk rooms and 24-hour text service to stay in touch with the reception staff in place of a phone in the room, are among the features stirring the pot in the hospitality world as well. Read more... Read on...

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.