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Wooing Those Travel Bloggers

If you haven’t already realized, there’s a very eager and knowledgeable community of writers ready to spread the good word about your hotel.  The concept of the travel blogger is yet another to evolve from the Internet, and I’ve witnessed their numbers grow leaps and bounds within the travel world.  If you look at how well they leverage the web and social media, you’ll quickly grasp how making friends within this cluster can be beneficial. Yet opinions on their true influence seem to be greatly divided.  Many traditionalists adhere to courting only those writers who represent a major publication with sizeable reach.  On the other hand, I’ve known hoteliers who hold them to the same esteem as journalists for prominent magazines replete with comped rooms and free meals.  So, which stance is right?  Are travel bloggers just your typical guests or write about their journeys or from time to time, …

Larry MogelonskyWooing Those Travel Bloggers
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The Avari Towers’ 5@5 Cleanliness Approach

Not too long ago, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) published a very damning report about germ concentrations and cleanliness in some of Canada’s top hotels in the three largest cities of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Given that the CBC is national television provider, I’m sure you can imagine the impact such a testimony from a credible source would have on these properties’ reputations. Visit their fully interactive website here. This report serves a chilling reminder that cleanliness is godliness. Guests expect celestially pristine rooms or they’d take their frustration out on you with bad word of mouth and negative comments in the online realm. There’s no cutting corners on this one. Housekeeping is thus integral to a quality experience and overall guest satisfaction. Obviously, the call to action here is to take steps which ensure your cleaning services are topnotch and continually improving. The CBC hired private investigators to spruce …

Larry MogelonskyThe Avari Towers’ 5@5 Cleanliness Approach

Tips on booking a hotel stay

By Necee Regis |  GLOBE CORRESPONDENT     NOVEMBER 25, 2012 Twenty years ago, Larry Mogelonsky formed LMA Communications Inc., a full-service marketing communications agency with a roster of clients in the hospitality and tourism industry (www.lma.ca). Mogelonsky writes daily columns in six publications worldwide and has recently published “Are You an Ostrich or a Llama? Essays in Hospitality Marketing and Management.” He spends roughly half of his time “on property” at hotels across the globe. We caught up with him by telephone at his home in Toronto. Q. What can consumers do to ensure the hotel they are going to is the right one for them? A. When using Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz — all the big sites, including bookings.com — always check the reviews on the site before booking. They are the most reliable because they require proof you’ve stayed there. And don’t just look at one review. Look …

Larry MogelonskyTips on booking a hotel stay
meeting_room

Levering Leisure Channel Acumen for Your Group/Convention Business

  Online travel agencies are primarily geared towards FITs and leisure travel, but such websites do not intrinsically broach the meetings and events marketplace. That’s where companies like Cvent (www.cvent.com) and other similarly-designed electronic platforms are making strong inroads. Like everything else, the meetings segment has been turned upside-down amidst the digital revolution. Meeting planners and salespeople now rely, to a great extent, on e-RFPs to govern their transactions and the use of this electronic conduit is bound to take over the lion’s share in quick order. In the past, I interviewed Cvent’s Founder and CEO, Reggie Aggarwal, and gleaned some astounding statics. The company’s sales are growing exponentially with 2012’s final cume at over $7 billion in e-RFPs booked through the Cvent Suppler Network, as tabulated from guestroom sales and ancillary charges (87% of RFPs include sleeping rooms). Cvent is engaged with 43,000 unique organizations and they project $9 …

Larry MogelonskyLevering Leisure Channel Acumen for Your Group/Convention Business
housekeeping_cart

Hotel Germ Spotlight

Here in Canada, our government-based TV network is the CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and our counterpart to the U.K.’s BBC. The network treads in a more Canada-centric fare than others which lean towards syndication of US programming. I say this because a program recently aired on the CBC focusing on ‘dirty’ Canadian hotels, a subject not likely to raise many eyebrows south of the border. The CBC even made their own interactive website to restate their findings. The long and the short of it is that CBC, a national broadcaster renowned for its highly credible reporting, has produced a show potentially sullying the reputation of some of the country’s finest hotels – six major chains and 54 rooms in the heart of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. CBC beams into every Canadian home and they’ve now made it a recurrent, primetime habit to disparage leading downtown properties with actual photographic …

Larry MogelonskyHotel Germ Spotlight
red_wine_pouring

In Vino Veritas Part VII – Australian Wines

Now that we’re well into autumn here in the North America, or the Northern Hemisphere for that matter, it’s time to turn our oenophilic gaze on our southern neighborhoods where things are just heating up, literally. That’s right; as our leaves shrivel and fall, and the snow soon cakes our once verdant northeastern seaboard yards, we know that there’s still plenty to look forward to. And chief amongst the southern producers is Australia; a country and a continent, as well as the world’s seventh largest wine producer and remarkably, now the fourth largest wine exporter. The Aussie wine story is also fairly peculiar as their ecosystem had no native grape stocks prior to the British infusion beginning en masse in the early 19th century. Even then, the continent’s climate is widely erratic, capable of going from drought to flood and back all within a single decade – not the best …

Larry MogelonskyIn Vino Veritas Part VII – Australian Wines
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The R Word and What It Means for Hotel Managers

This short note is for general managers and other senior managers over 50. If you do not meet these two criteria, please discontinue reading right now. On second thought, this serves as a great head’s up for anyone of any age in the business. Having reached the prime age of 60 last month, I am told by many that ‘60 is the new 40′ or ‘60 is the new 50′. Not very reassuring, as the aches and pains of every sport injury of my youth reacquaint themselves with my joints. Many friends of mine have retired and are urging me in this direction.  Still others have left their employers of many years and are starting new businesses or consultancies with a vim and vigor that defies their age. These folks are passionate about their new work, their clients and their relationships, and are determined to do great work. It used …

Larry MogelonskyThe R Word and What It Means for Hotel Managers
visit_philadelphia

Expect the Unexpected in Philadelphia

It was a full house on Monday, November 12th, as top media from across Toronto gathered at The Hazelton Hotel to ‘Discover the Unexpected in Philadelphia,’ This was a profile  media event arranged by LMA Communications Inc. as the Canadian representatives of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC). With special guests from GPTMC in attendance, the group dined on a delicious three-course breakfast provided by ONE Restaurant (recently named one of the 100 Best Hotel Restaurants in the World).  Meryl Levitz, GPTMC president & CEO who talked about the tourism highlights, and Gary Steuer, Chief Cultural Officer for the City of Philadelphia lead the media through the cultural and arts scene in Philadelphia. Media guests were sent home with a newfound interest and appreciation for the City of Philadelphia. They spoke about the city’s incredible fine arts scene, music and endless dining options, plus many other alluring aspects. Also …

PRExpect the Unexpected in Philadelphia
bathrooms

Bathrooms Make or Break

Grievances with a guest room’s physical space can include nearly anything and the onslaught of online reviews has certainly helped broadcast our pratfalls no matter how subjective or esoteric. Sometimes they’re complaints about issues you simply cannot fix without a bulky capital infusion. Other times these pesky problems are the elusive obvious, staring right back at us through the mirror. Today, I want to address the bathroom. It’s a private, personal space, and therefore, its design can evince a highly emotional response. Given this parameter, there are dozens of reasons, whether cognizant or blindly irrational, where you can go awry and hamper a guest’s overall experience. Some of these are blatantly simple, snap-your-fingers fixable. Others should be tallied and red-starred onto your long-term renovation slate. Either way, by impeding a pleasurable bathroom experience, you’re embargoing return visits and positive word-of-mouth. For starters, let’s talk cleanliness. If a guest is going …

Larry MogelonskyBathrooms Make or Break
miami-florida

Cooperation at the Top Tourism Destination in the World

Florida knows tourism. Aside from international trade, farming (think oranges!), the space industry, services and a myriad of universities and tech firms, tourism continually reels in well over 70 million wayfarers and $50 billion year after year. Boasting itself as the top tourism destination in the world is an easy claim for this seaside state.   With this precedent, attending a recent VISIT FLORIDA symposium is ‘kind of' a big deal, if you catch my drift. This is especially true when it's symbolically held in Orlando, a million-plus city built from the ground up by the idealism of American resort travel and the ever-ostentatious Walt Disney. The event itself was a who's who of the industry and thoroughly inspirational.    Staying at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld (www.renaissanceseaworldorlando.com/), I was treated to a topnotch and totally inclusive experience as the hotel is directly connected to the theme park and its …

Larry MogelonskyCooperation at the Top Tourism Destination in the World