Aerial Photography For Your Property

The saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Now imagine what a video says! Last year, some 750,000 drones – known to the professional industry as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and abbreviated as UAVs – were sold through big box retailers, with a forecast of over a million transactions this year. In parallel are frequent stories on the evening news recanting tales of UAVs making close contact with commercial aircraft in tandem with the fitting calls for regulation of this fast-growing, seemingly recreational activity. If you own or operate a large resort, golf course or rural property, aerial photography seems like a natural enhancement for your website or other digital marketing purposes such as sales videos. What would once have been an expensive, helicopter-based photo session can now be delivered cost-effectively through the use of UAVs. But before you ask your neighbor’s kid to pop his GoPro camera onto …

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Anticipating the Need for Change at a Successful Hotel Restaurant

Picture yourself as the manager at one of the finest hotels in the city, a property that is immediately recognized for five-star service, amenities, facilities and F&B. Your numbers haven’t just been consistently healthy for the past half decade, they’ve been superb with occupancy and guest satisfactions both holding steady as you increase ADR. With your business and operations in such a secure position, what are your steps? Anyone who has read more than one management textbook will tell you that nothing stays the same. While in this industry we pride ourselves on our hospitality traditions, we must nevertheless continue to try new features, adapt and implement fascinating new services if we are to stay afloat. In this particular case where the grass is already a shimmering verdant green, you must anticipate the need for change as a means to stave off the inevitable. This was the situation facing Todd …

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Healthy Foods as a Wellness Trend for Any Hotel

I remember my early post-college days working for a Fortune 50 firm where there was limited regard for one’s health. Meetings held in a haze of tobacco smoke; cholesterol and calories were mere words undeserving of their accounting ledger; and trans-fats weren’t even known let alone demonized. We’ve learned quite a lot in the past few decades when it comes to health and wellbeing. Science has illuminated a better way of living while society has in turn become more receptive to these findings. In other words, there is now a growing and mainstream demand for products and services that will increase one’s vitality. This is doubly true now that boomers are beyond their prime and are looking for every means possible to live to their fullest. As a member of this demographic, I too can attest that once you hit a certain sexagenarian age, money becomes far less important than …

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What Screens May Come

Five hundred years from now when historians look back at the early modern era, they’ll likely identify the advent of the screen-based technologies – that is, the still camera, the motion picture projector, the cathode ray tube and so on – as one of the most important discoveries right alongside the transistor, nuclear power and the theory of relativity. Understanding how humans lived prior to these inventions helps gives us some perspective. A friend of mine used to glibly remark, “A fire is nothing more than a caveman’s TV,” as we huddled together around a blazing pit late at night while up at the cottage. He couldn’t be more right. Prior to the mass adoption of home television sets, the fireplace was the centerpiece of a room, and before that innovation (yes, even the chimney wasn’t a household commodity until the Renaissance), most families used to sleep together in a …

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Don’t Fall This Fall

As has become customary around this time of year, it’s time to wave goodbye to summer and turn our sights on autumn. This year, though, appears to be increasingly lucrative for hotels who have all their ducks in a row. By that I mean, hotel macro-revenues continue to trend upwards year-over-year with no Brexit-sized collapse in the crosshairs and shoulder season travel is likewise increasing. While I can’t conclusively outline a direct causal relationship between the metrics detailing heightened autumn business and leisure trips with any specific customer behavioral pattern, I can speak anecdotally about myself as well as those friends and colleagues who fit into this group. As a member of the baby boomer persuasion, the summer months will always be great for extended weekend getaways, especially those destinations that can be reached by car or to locations otherwise inhospitable outside of this time period. However, staying at home …

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The Power of ‘Sorry’

This is a word you should never have to say, and yet it is one that can have a very powerful effect when used correctly. For most well-run properties, mistakes are a rarity. While this doesn’t preclude them from happening entirely (we are human after all and errors are bound to crop up during transition periods or staff turnover), apologizing is not something we do only when we are at fault. This comes down to a debate between logic and emotions. When a guest comes to you with a grievance or compliant, they are probably not in a purely rational state of mind. Regardless of whether it was an actual error on our part or if the guests have overlooked something, we say that we’re sorry in order to show humility and to empathize with their plight. A good mantra to adhere to in this regard is: “The customer may …

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Indonesia is the Next China for the Hospitality Industry

An Interview with Maria Taylor, Regional Vice President of Southeast Asia at TravelClick Right now, we are all still talking about the rapid growth of China and to a lesser extend India, Russia and Brazil under the collective banner of BRIC. Their evolution into capitalistic territories has presented countless lucrative prospects for hospitality organizations both big and small. But there should be a fifth name in this acronym which is often overshadowed despite what’s happening on the ground and despite it being the fourth most populous country in the world. From what I’ve read of recent, the archipelago nation of Indonesia has as many opportunities for the hotel industry as there are islands (and then some). Then factor in the astounding growth throughout the rest of Southeast Asia and it’s the equivalent of a total paradigm shift in global travel. To help shed some light on the situation so that …

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In Vino Veritas XLIX– Port and Portuguese Wines

Hot off their Euro Cup victory, it would seem only fair that we freshen up on our knowledge of Portugal’s unique contribution to the world of wine. While the coastal nation currently holds the 11th spot in global production – falling a couple hundred thousand tonnes short of Germany which has drastically ramped up production in the past decade – its influence is less so marked by exceptional vintages with prices through the stratosphere like those from Bordeaux, California or the Italian Piedmont and more so by its superb fortified wines. Named after the city of Porto where all barrels were stored prior to dissemination upon the high seas, port wines run the gamut of dry, semi-sweet, sweet, ruby, white, tawny, vintage or late-bottled vintage. Even though port has fallen out of favor in recent years as an aperitif or digestif, it’s comeback is all but unavoidable. But before I …

lmaadminIn Vino Veritas XLIX– Port and Portuguese Wines
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How the Hotel Industry is Cutting Out the Mid-Tier

At the present, many hotels around the world are under intense pressure for profits. No single factor can account for this, but the broad response has been a tightening of budgets as well as a proliferation of new brands with a focus on lifestyle to target the emerging millennial audience. While it’s laudable to see a bolstering of the full-service spectrum of hospitality, this move lacks strategic substance because it fails to address the two key considerations of most hotel purchases – location and price. Instead, we are going to witness a depletion of hotels in mid-tiers with luxury properties thriving on emotional drivers and true branding while all others slowly shift towards a no-frills model. Echoing the Airlines The airlines faced a similar situation several decades ago. For those old enough to remember, mainstream airlines were rocked by upstart no-frills carriers such as Southwest Airlines that found an underserviced …

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The Integral Link Between Hotels, Real Estate and Proper Airbnb Regulation

Airbnb is a game changer for the hotel industry with many citing it as having dire effects on a property’s long-term revenues and overall asset value. While government agencies have been slow to react to the appeals of hospitality lobbyist groups, they have acted far less sluggish with regard to the impact of these alternate lodging providers on the housing market. As a legislative body’s primary mandate is to get re-elected, the last thing any regulatory agency would want to do is (excuse the expression) piss-off its constituents – that is, the voters who might be negatively affected by unregulated Airbnb lodging usage. The city of San Francisco offers a clear example where rampant Airbnb hosting combined with a huge demand for short-term leases in and around Silicon Valley has caused rapid inflation of both average monthly rent and average house price. Normally increases in these two metrics would be …

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