Who Should Go To Hospitality Tradeshows?

Hotel tradeshows and conventions are an excellent opportunity to keep pace with all the latest products, news and concepts in our ever-evolving industry. There are many such events happening on a year-round timetable and all around the world, so much so that you could hypothetically spend every week in another city and at another hospitality conference or symposium. Practically, though, you hardly have the time to attend more than five of these events each year, and a ‘divide and conquer’ approach would work even better. That is, by sending various associates and senior executive team members in your place, the learnings and career development is spread across the entirety of your team so that you can all grow together as a pseudo-familial and highly ingenuous unit. And in the modern workplace, team engagement and ongoing training is a tremendous factor towards keeping your brightest employees from jumping ship, thus leaving …

lmaadminWho Should Go To Hospitality Tradeshows?
Bangkok, Thailand - June 6, 2016 : Apple iPhone5s showing its screen with popular travel applications.

Real Data Validates Home Sharing Segment Impact on Hotels

Much has been said about the impact of the sharing economy and the proliferation of alternate lodgings on the hotel industry, but there hasn’t been much concrete evidence to directly and undeniably support this claim. This evidence has mostly been tangential and more based on consumer behavior theory than on showing an immutable link between the growth of one and losses for the other. Recent data, however, is sobering. Bank of America Consumer Spending Snapshot tracks the utilization of 40 million credit and debit card users, sorted by industry (SIC code). By examining longer term data – in this case seven continuous quarters – we can start to visualize trends that properly illustrate the causality we hoteliers have long purported. Below are four charts revealing slightly different perspectives on the same comparison. This first chart looks at the change in expenditures for the home sharing and hotel segments. As you …

lmaadminReal Data Validates Home Sharing Segment Impact on Hotels
Closeup of a tablet is connected to a smart TV.

Guestroom TVs are Only the Beginning for Electronic Displays

It’s going to take a long time to dispel our belief that televisions are meant solely for a viewing experience while situated on a comfortable chair, sofa or bed, but the seeds are indeed already well-planted. The TV that is front and center in every guestroom is due for a ‘smart’ upgrade, but that’s not the becoming for how screens can serve to heighten the guest experience. In fact, the future of screen technology is everywhere, pervading every point of interaction that a consumer has with your hotel. And the more you work to undo the antiquated notion that TVs are only for bedrooms, you will end up discovering new opportunities right under your nose to enhance the guest experience and drive revenues. To help our grasp of what this future means for your hotel, I interviewed Fred Crespo, Director of Technology & Business Development at Samsung Electronics. Before we …

lmaadminGuestroom TVs are Only the Beginning for Electronic Displays

In Search of Hotel Excellence: The St. Regis Princeville Resort

In the 1949 Rogers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific, a mystical island that’s visible but not reachable is referred to as Bali Ha’i. In the 1958 movie adaptation, they filmed on the breathtaking north shore of Kauai – Hawaii’s fourth largest island – with Mount Makana used as a substitute for Bali Ha’i. This jaw-dropping view sets the stage for the St. Regis Princeville Resort, and I was fortunate enough to sample this utopian setting for two nights while touring the 50th state. There’s trouble in paradise, however, or at least the potential for it. At first glance, you’d think this property’s occupancy would teeter on triple digits year-round for now until the end of time. But the reality is a Hawaiian resort of this celestial caliber requires a perfectly oiled machine to stay afloat. For the rate they command, expectations are likewise through the roof, and the competition is …

lmaadminIn Search of Hotel Excellence: The St. Regis Princeville Resort
Couple with a map

Authenticity Training: A Team Building Opportunity

By now, the phrase ‘local authentic experience’ has been tattooed on every hotelier’s back ever since it started to trend some five to ten years ago. And yet, even to this day many properties have some serious shortcomings in this area, either through a lack of attention to detail when it comes to soft goods and decor items with local flair, or associates’ lack of knowledge regarding the immediate neighborhood. True, we have brand standards to abide by, but that shouldn’t stop you from engaging in small acts of regional expressionism, especially when you already know that it is such a strong determining factor for returning guests these days. Moreover, there’s no excuse for your staff to not be thoroughly versed in all local happenings and places of interest. Given how slow it is been for many of us to fully embrace what this phrase implies, it is as if …

lmaadminAuthenticity Training: A Team Building Opportunity
Unrecognizable young man in a wine shop choosing a wine

In Vino Veritas LIV – Don’t Judge A Wine By Its Bottle

A riff on the classical adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” let’s first examine this more common expression a bit closer to see how it applies to wine, spirits and the pursuit of restaurant profits. We are told not to base our opinions or conclusions about objects and individuals solely on their outward appearance because there is often far more happening beneath the surface worthy of our consideration, if you were only to give said object or person a chance. It’s a valuable piece of advice, hence why it sticks. But its popularity, aside from its terse and catchy qualities, can be attributed to the fact that we humans are hardwired to make snap judgments based entirely on superficial qualities. The phrase has near-universal applicability because we are genetically programmed to make shortcuts in our decision-making mental processes – a trait that is favorable when, say, debating whether …

lmaadminIn Vino Veritas LIV – Don’t Judge A Wine By Its Bottle
Heavy Vibration roller compactor at asphalt pavement works for road repairing

How Hotels Can Survive A Flattening Of Pace

During the 2008-2009 economic downturn, even though the future of most hotels was uncertain, the corrective actions for such times of hardship were not. Properties across the board responded to the lower occupancies and tightening of travelers’ purse strings by cutting costs in whichever way would balance the budget. Now, however, it would seem as though we are confronted with a mercurial problem, that of a flattening of pace. Whereas the calamitous events of just shy of a decade ago hit us like an exploding hot lava volcano, this present day ‘flattening of pace’ is not nearly as visceral. Most hotels, corporations and even free independent travelers don’t want a repeat of the Great Recession by being left vulnerable or overexposed, and are thus proceeding almost too conservatively with any hospitality-related expenditures. When taken under a macro-lens, this amounts to market contractions with a slow but gradual increase in supply …

lmaadminHow Hotels Can Survive A Flattening Of Pace
Smoothie bowl with chia seeds, muesli, strawberries, banana slices and coconut flakes

Answer the Call for Healthier Desserts

It’s 2017; people are drinking less alcohol, renouncing cigarettes, exercising more often and eating healthier. If you’re smart, you’ll get with the program. Many other articles, especially those under the purview of New Year’s resolutions, will cover methods and choice tips by which to give your mains and appetizers the health kick they need to keep drawing in patrons with increasingly esoteric dietary restrictions. One nutritional piece of advice around this time of the year that can be quite damaging to our restaurants, however, is to cut out desserts entirely as a means of weight loss, unclogging arteries or mood elevation. While there will always be a market for the uber-indulgent and ever-inventive confectionary creations of your pastry chef, nowadays if you only offer decadent desserts, you run the risk of alienating many with this compelled-to-stay-perfectly-thin mentality and crippling your chances at getting a few extra dollars from every table. …

lmaadminAnswer the Call for Healthier Desserts
Singapore, Singapore - February 29, 2016: Fullerton hotel building at Marina Bay in Singapore at night. It is illuminated with light and reflected in the water.

Finding Your Flag

Flag selection is one of the most critical decision you have to make when building a new hotel or rebranding, outside of location and financing. It can have sweeping impacts on just about every operation, and yet there are few guides available, apart from speaking to each firm’s sales folks and eliminating those brands in immediate geographic conflict. Accordingly, I’ve arranged a panel discussion with four individuals representing a broad range of experience in flag selection. Below their brief profiles are eight questions I posed to them during the confab. Rupesh Patel (info@smartguests.com), CEO of 3Hospitality. Rupesh is an owner/operator of several Dayton Beach properties. Michael Pleninger (mlp@nhghotels.com), Chairman of Newport Hospitality Group. Michael’s team manages over 40 branded properties primarily in the Mid-Atlantic United States. Vikram Sood (vikram.sood@sbcglobal.net), Principal of Nupala Hospitality Development. Vikram manages critical hospitality projects for owners/operators, primarily in Southern California. Anil Taneja (anil@palm-holdings.com), President of …

lmaadminFinding Your Flag
Festive place setting for Valentines day

Valentine’s Day Only A Month Away

For hotel directors of sales and marketing, Valentine’s Day is less about romance or showing one’s affection and more about delivering some semblance of occupancy during the traditionally low-revenue winter months (outside of the ‘sun destinations’). Most plans are ideated and drawn out in broad strokes in late fall or prior to the holiday season, with tactical execution beginning in earnest once all the holiday season hoopla dies down in the first week of January. With Valentine’s Day falling a month and a day from this writing, if you haven’t already started acting on your plan, realistically you are only two weeks behind most of your competitors, so there’s still time to attract guests. Below are some ideas to help you do just that. And even if you have kicked your Valentine’s plans into gear, perhaps there’s one that you can tack on to enhance your offerings. 1. Valentine’s Day …

lmaadminValentine’s Day Only A Month Away