Beautifully multicolored decorated catering banquet table with different food snacks and appetizers with sandwich, caviar, fresh fruits on corporate party event or wedding celebration.

No-Holds-Barred Catering

Events that showcase on-property chefs are not on every hotelier’s calendar, most likely because they typically deliver an expense line well above operating revenues. However, they provide significant value in several indirect ways. First, events like this allow a hotel to demonstrate unbridled culinary excellence. Next, they allow your chefs to demonstrate creativity. Thirdly, they afford your public relations team with great fodder for continued media interest. There’s a powerful fourth attribute that I’ll get to in a moment. Oh, and did I also mention that these events can be a lot of fun? This past July, I had the opportunity to attend the Park City Food & Wine Classic in scorching hot Utah. While there, we attended several wine seminars and dinners, with the signature launch event held at Montage Deer Valley, an ultraluxury property nearby. The 400- attendee, outdoor terrace affair was comprised of a series of four …

lmaadminNo-Holds-Barred Catering
Bangkok, Thailand - June 6, 2016 : Apple iPhone5s showing its screen with popular travel applications.

HAC on the Attack

Anyone who has read my columns on the topic of alternate lodging providers knows that I have my qualms with Airbnb. While I have the utmost respect for this organization and am in awe of its marketing prowess, I am increasingly concerned that its rapid growth is occurring at the expense of the more traditional accommodations industry. Not to be a luddite insofar as stubbornly standing in the way of logical industry disruptors and the inevitability of technological progress, my anxiety stems from the fact that most hoteliers are less worried than I am about the company that just may be the harbinger of their own demise. No matter how much I express concerns regarding Airbnb, in the back of my head it is particularly amusing as I appear to be more apprehensive for the future of the hospitality sector than those individuals who are actually responsible for generating room …

lmaadminHAC on the Attack
Cancel Button - Enter Key

Thoughts on the Major Chains’ Cancellation Policy Change

The slew of recent announcements that major chains including Marriott, Hilton and IHG will now require a minimum notice (48 hours for the first two and 24 hours for the other) to cancel a reservation and avoid a penalty should come as no surprise to anyone. There are a few exceptions to this rule, of course, but overall the policy is fair and appropriate given the current business landscape and the ever-vital need to maximize revenue. Taken together, these three chains dominate the largest segments of the hospitality marketplace and one should anticipate that many additional hotel companies operating in other niches will soon follow suit. And for good reason, too! But first, you must understand why policies have been undertaken at this particular moment in time rather than, say, ten years ago or even five decades ago when they were equally applicable. It all has to do with the …

lmaadminThoughts on the Major Chains’ Cancellation Policy Change
hitec2017

HITEC 2017: A Show About Integration

For those who did not attend the 2017 edition of HITEC, held in Toronto this time around, you may be wondering what you missed. Frankly, the same question may be posed by those who attended as well! Putting aside the exceptional educational seminars, the exhibition show floor now resembles a miniature version of the world’s largest technology trade fair, the annual Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas each January. Some of the HITEC supplier booths have even gone to great lengths to replicate hotel facilities in order to elicit the same levels of customer excitement generated at CES. Most also have ample space for lively conversations and intimate customer presentations. Spending as much as is humanly possible of 15 hours of allotted open time on the actual exhibit floor, I ended up speaking with dozens of vendors. Walking every aisle, I attempted to absorb all the various product and …

lmaadminHITEC 2017: A Show About Integration
Vancouver, Canada - December 11, 2011: The starship Enterprise from the Star Trek television franchise, against a black background. The model was made by Micro Machines, from Galoob.

Lessons for Hotels from the Final Frontier

Beam me up, Scotty! The original television series Star Trek ran 79 episodes in the late 1960s. After being canceled due to poor ratings, it was revived and has since spawned a slew of popular TV shows coupled with 13 high-budget movies as well as a barrage of novels, comics and other ancillary IP. To this day, thousands call themselves ‘Trekkies’ with the remarkable ability to regurgitate every line from those original episodes. Most everyone, Trekkie or not, knows Captain James T. Kirk, the fearless leader of the Starship Enterprise. Played by William Shatner, Captain Kirk was known for his remarkable capability of keeping the ship and its seemingly hundreds of crew members safe as the ship hurtled through the galaxy and faced impossible odds. To me as a pre-teen, this was heady stuff! But what does this have to do with the world of hospitality? And what can we …

lmaadminLessons for Hotels from the Final Frontier

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
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
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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 …

lmaadminIndonesia is the Next China for the Hospitality Industry
Interior design: Big modern Bedroom. 3D render

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 …

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