luxury hotel bedroom with nice decoration

Airbnb Call of Duty

In early December 2015, I had the pleasure of attending BTO2015, which (for those of us here in North America) is basically the Italian version of HiTec. One of the more interesting speakers was a member of the Airbnb’s European senior management team. His presentation was awe-inspiring. I think the conference delegates were in shock, or at least I hope they were. It is time for the hotel world to awaken to the new reality that Airbnb is the largest and quite possibly the best accommodations company in the world. Here’s why: Airbnb has a better website. It is better in the way it displays product and local area attractions. Significantly, Airbnb engages both guests and the property holders to rate and provide feedback on each other, akin to how TripAdvisor operates. Airbnb is one unified brand. They waste little time in trying to create nuances between sub-brands or even …

lmaadminAirbnb Call of Duty
Taste cup of coffee with roasted grains

Cinemagraphs: The Future of Food Menus

With the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) currently underway in Las Vegas, it’s time for a tech talk. I’m sure we’ll have a lot to discuss once the convention wraps, but in the meantime I’d like to formally introduce a topic and word that has been on my mind for quite some time (and indeed if you’ve gotten me over the phone anytime recently then you’ve likely heard me blab about this!). For our purposes as hoteliers, cinemagraphs are essentially a form of animated GIF with a short, repetitive action to give the appearance of continuous movement. With smartphone cameras getting better and better with each year’s iteration in addition to improved animated GIF software features, cinemagraphs are no longer exclusive to the professionals. On the other end of the spectrum, tablets are becoming cheaper and more widespread, and both desktop and mobile browsers are now far more accommodating to such …

lmaadminCinemagraphs: The Future of Food Menus

Believe It Or Not, Hotels Can Learn From Playboy’s Big Move

Playboy threw us all a curveball this quarter when they announced that they would be ceasing to publish full nude photography in their magazines. The rationale makes sense: these days free pornography is just a mouse click away and Playboy doesn’t stand a chance at competing. Instead, the company is pivoting to focus on more urbane content and thought leadership to drive worldwide merchandising sales. In retrospect, this move makes perfect sense. Free pornography has been the scourge of the internet for well over a decade, and undoubtedly the Playboy top brass has been wrestling with this problem ever since it started encroaching on magazine and subscription sales. The rabbit ears logo is, however, one of the most recognizable brand images on the planet, and the company is now poised to leverage its iconography as a means of transforming an ancillary revenue stream into its bread and butter. A desperate …

lmaadminBelieve It Or Not, Hotels Can Learn From Playboy’s Big Move
Chalets, during a snowstorm, in Mals, Northern Italy

Thinking of the Low Season

The period running from January through to Spring Break is traditionally a bane for hotels in the Northern Hemisphere – unpleasant weather, low occupancies, depressed ancillary capture and fewer events to drive group business. This nadir, this ‘low season’, is also a constant puzzle for marketers, many vying for ever-creative tactics to stir up reservations while others write it off entirely and pray that the high tides of summer will compensate. Alas, coping with the commercial pits of winter is not a modern phenomenon, and it is something that hoteliers have had to contend with since the dawn of our industry. As an interesting aside, the early Greeks and Romans didn’t even consider January and February worthy of being called months. They simply called this period the ‘Intercalaris’ – meaning the time between the calendar year – a period to batten down and simply endure the cold. Life for them …

lmaadminThinking of the Low Season

Back to the Hotel Future

We recently passed the much-hyped October 21, 2015 date from the 1989 movie Back to the Future Part II. While they certainly came close with many of its predictions, the Chicago Cubs did not win the World Series and we are not driving in flying cars. Nevertheless, it’s a fun movie and one that I am sure you all remember fondly. And, as the movie correctly foresaw, we now have another epic Star Wars film out in theaters. While I failed to capitalize on the media sensation of publishing BTTF-related articles in and around the October 21st anniversary, any dose of time travel fiction is still worthy of mention. As it relates to the plot of this classic film franchise, if we were to project another 30 years into the future, what do you think our industry will look like? Start by thinking about it looked 30 years ago; no …

lmaadminBack to the Hotel Future
Group Of Mature Friends Enjoying Meal At Home Together

Gray is the New Green Part 13: Boomer Entitlement

Consider how bad a rap Millennials have gotten from employers these days. They are often described as selfish, narcissistic, needy, lazy, tardy, prone to complaining, hedonistic and a slew of other negative attributors. The fashionable umbrella term for all this is ‘entitlement’. Many of us in senior positions hold the perspective that millennial workers feel as if they are entitled to bypass the perfunctory, stripe-earning phase of their careers and that certain liberties apply to them because they ostensibly fluent with modern technology. The entitlement of the millennial workforce is a hot topic, but does it also work the other way around? That is to say, just because you are older, does that automatically bestow upon you certain privileges? Many boomers would like to think so! But alas, age does not directly correlate with wisdom. When it comes to running a hotel, managing operations and adeptly marketing your inventory to …

lmaadminGray is the New Green Part 13: Boomer Entitlement