WHOIS is a Crucial Internet Term for Hotel Owners and Operators

  Imagine losing your website and your email. Imagine having to pay a ransom to a mysterious hijacker to recover your prized URL. Both scenarios are almost unthinkable yet in recent months, our consultancy has had to deal with three separate instances of grief caused by simple ignorance of each property’s general manager. In all cases, the issue could have been simply avoided, with no cost, by simply looking up the WHOIS for the respective properties’ websites. WHOIS is the quick search designation for who owns a particular site. To start, go to any WHOIS engine such as www.networksolutions.com or www.godaddy.com (there are many others by the way). Enter your URL and see what the results are. The data shown will provide you with your expiration date (also your renewal date), the administrative and technical contacts, and importantly their email information. Screen capture this information and print. Most of you now will want to …

Larry MogelonskyWHOIS is a Crucial Internet Term for Hotel Owners and Operators

What’s Important to Today’s C-Suite Traveler

Beyond a quiet, comfortable night’s sleep, what does the senior business executive traveler need? We asked this question to hundreds of CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CMOs and CIOs in a recent survey. The results are straightforward, and provide a heads up for any hotelier wishing to adequately cater to this demographic. The Methodology We used a mailed survey with the selection of candidates chosen from directories of corporations with sales in excess of $100 million. The survey was conducted in the first quarter of 2011 and was distributed amongst C-suite holders in North America (78% of those polled resided in the USA; 22% were Canadian), asking only of their requirements for domestic travel only. Inferences about overseas travel or European/Asian travel habits should not be implied. Respondents who completed the survey received a financial donation to their specified charity with no additional compensation. A 30% response rate was received equating to …

Larry MogelonskyWhat’s Important to Today’s C-Suite Traveler

ResortsAndLodges.com Website Re-Launch

  With TripAdvisor represented as the goliath of the social travel industry, the battle of the online travel sites is finding itself delving into more and more creative grounds. One such participant is www.ResortsAndLodges.com; not an OTA per se, but rather a website that colorfully displays hotel listings then allows for reservations directly through a property’s website or over the phone. With over 60 million individuals using the site to plan their vacations, it’s estimated from usage and click-through statistics that they’ve rendered nearly $1 billion in bookings across North American, Mexico and the Caribbean. Of particular interest to me is that ResortsAndLodges.com has just released its first major update for 2012 with several interesting features that could set it apart. Founded in 1998 as one of the first online leisure travel directories, the company is no stranger to the online hotel business. In the past, they’ve focused on delivering a …

Larry MogelonskyResortsAndLodges.com Website Re-Launch

Enter Kimpton’s New Lobby Tablets

I’m a big proponent of tablets – both for heightening interaction with guests and for back of house use with departmental staff. That’s why I was especially excited to get in touch with some of the top people at Ascension Software (www.ascensionsoftware.com) to talk about their latest creation. Using part ORION system and part third party XML feeds, they’ve launched a new iPad application designed for kiosk stations in hotel lobbies, and this app is already being put to the test at all Kimpton hotels (www.kimptonhotels.com). Discussing with me as to why this software is so successful are Joe Adkisson, President, and Rich Sipe, VP of Mobile Technology. But let’s backtrack and talk first about the evolution of this company’s tablet technology. Ascension Software, formerly GBCblue, started in 2003 with the intent of putting computers in hotel rooms for guests to use. But with the rapidly escalating proliferation of laptops, what they found …

Larry MogelonskyEnter Kimpton’s New Lobby Tablets

Free Wi-Fi: Learn from the airports!

I read a lot of online hotel reviews for properties all over. My goal is to try to figure out what simple things can improve the reviews. So, is it fair that people are dishing out one-out-of-five-star reviews and the sole reason given is a lack of free Wi-Fi? No, but that’s just the way it is. Free Wi-Fi is an easy excuse for online ridicule, but it’s also an easy problem to fix. And in terms of remedying the problem, hotels can learn quite a lot from how airport lounges and waiting areas are coping with the same situation. The most widely adopted of these is the advertisement-supported free Internet service model. Make people watch a 30-second ad clip in exchange for 30 minutes of free Internet, then make them watch another ad for each subsequent half-hour chunk. It’s reasonable, and many people only need about half an hour …

Larry MogelonskyFree Wi-Fi: Learn from the airports!

LMA Launches 3 New Mobile Sites in 1 Week. Are You M-Ready?

This week we proudly launched mobile sites for Oceancrest Spa, Chandler’s Coastal Regional Cuisine and Cranberry Golf Resort. Users can now book rooms online, browse amenities and read menus from the phones or tablets. With more people than ever before accessing websites from their mobile devices, it’s becoming essential that your website be mobile-ready. Since 2007 the number of users who access the Internet on a mobile device have gone from 400 million to 1.2 billion. In fact, it is expected that the number of mobile Internet users will pass desktop Internet users in the next few years. To that end, care was taken to create the best browsing experience possible for a mobile device while still offering all of the features any user would need as well as full social media integration. If you are interested in launching your mobile site, make sure to choose someone that can help …

Jerry GrymekLMA Launches 3 New Mobile Sites in 1 Week. Are You M-Ready?

First Assurances

The front desk is the nexus of any hotel. They manage guest requests, coordinate incoming calls and help with reservations. Above all, they handle check-ins and, apart from bell staff, are thus the most likely point of first contact between guests and staff. You know how they say first impressions are everything? Well, it’s true. Guests will often make snap decisions about your property based on what could only amount to a five to ten minute encounter upon arrival. This is your time to shine, and I would say you cannot underestimate just how important the check-in process is. Think of the first impression you make on a guest at check-in as your first opportunity to assure them of your brand quality and the satisfying experience that awaits. And this ‘first assurance’ boils down to the caliber of your front desk team. Mark my words: the front desk is not …

Larry MogelonskyFirst Assurances

Hearts of Montage – Charity Done Right

This isn’t anything revolutionary, but it’s executed to perfection. Montage Hotels & Resorts’ Hearts of Montage package is a quintessential example of how to incorporate philanthropic ventures into your overall revenue stream. The offer is simple for the guest to appreciate: book with Montage and 10% of the room rate fee is donated to charity. And simplicity is what’s on full display here. Hearts of Montage, the company’s associate volunteer program, has an earnest and catchy name. The package itself is straightforward, providing daily breakfasts and complimentary parking – nothing esoteric or extraneous. And no extra work is required from the buyer; the donation is already a part of the bill. As well, the organization’s website (www.heartsofmontage.com) has a crisp design that clearly spells out exactly what the program is about, with projects both local and abroad. All said, this is a fluid extension of the Montage brand and a …

Larry MogelonskyHearts of Montage – Charity Done Right

Planning a Meeting and Points Don’t Mix

Recently, I came across an offer by a major hotel chain aimed at meeting planners and companies looking for a meeting location. The promotion offers triple the quantity of loyalty reward points if you book your meeting at one of their hotels during a two month period at the end of the year. It’s simple: give perks to secure more meetings business. On the surface, this seems like a crafty way to create an edge in the RFP marketplace without spending any real money to do so. The points cost little, but they’re worth little as well. In fact, I beg the question: does anybody care about points when it comes to meetings? What are they really good for? To fully answer this question, you have to first look at who benefits from receiving such points. In the case of meeting planners, their contracts very often stipulate that they cannot …

Larry MogelonskyPlanning a Meeting and Points Don’t Mix