Back view of man presenting to students at a lecture theatre

A Hotel School That Supports Alternate Lodging Providers?

When asked to name a hotel school, what immediately comes to mind? Perhaps your thoughts run to the prestigious École Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland or the stateside Cornell University School of Hotel Administration (now a part of The SC Johnson College of Business). Ranking fourth in the QS 2017 World University Rankings for Hospitality and Leisure Management is Les Roches Global Hospitality Education with over 3,000 students spread across three campuses, tremendous global diversification in that no single country claims more than 10% of the student population and a very entrepreneurial outlook. Nicolas Graf David Fudge This is a hotel school advocating that its students learn and embrace everything there is to know about alternate lodging providers and all the various ways in which the sharing economy might disrupt the hospitality industry. To elucidate why this is the case and what established hoteliers can glean from this shift in …

lmaadminA Hotel School That Supports Alternate Lodging Providers?
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Leveling the Sharing Economy Playing Field

I attended an interesting travel panel earlier this month in my hometown of Toronto. The topic was the leisure segment, with the panelists all senior members of tourism bureaus and hotel organizations, while their presentations quoted the usual ream of statistical gobbledegook. The mood was rosy as Canadian travel statistics have never been better with the nation approaching its 150th anniversary. The ebullience in the room was so thick that I felt that it couldn’t be cut with even the finest Japanese samurai sword. Bu then I asked the question with a somewhat naïve tone, “Have you seen any impact on the hotel sector from alternate lodgings?” The responses revealed a sharp dichotomy. Those representing the tourism sector clearly want more accommodations, with Airbnb and the like fitting that bill to a tee. A hotel can take several years to build while Airbnb rooms can be added almost instantaneously. Contrarily, those …

lmaadminLeveling the Sharing Economy Playing Field
Charts and analytical data on the tablet screen with a cup of coffee on a wooden vintage table.

The Downward Spiral of SEO and SEM

Want to hold the top spot on Google for everyone searching an accommodation in your area? I am sure that this is the dream of every hotelier on earth. Somehow, there would be a magic potion or genius company that could drive us to the top of the listings for both the lower funnel (branded terms) as well the top of funnel (broader travel terms). Deep down, though, we all know that this is pretty much impossible all the while Google (traded under its parent company’s name, Alphabet) is showing record profits and commensurate share prices. But does this all make sense? Why is it that our budgets for this activity are constantly growing yet we don’t seem to be making any real progress in this regard? Our industry spends billions of dollars, not just on these so-called ads but we also employ a cadre of internal experts both and …

lmaadminThe Downward Spiral of SEO and SEM
Chiang Mai, Thailand - April 26, 2016: man hand holding screen shot of Uber application showing on Asus Zenfone 2 mobile phone. Uber is an American multinational online transportation network company.

How the Sharing Economy Impacts Select-Service Hotels

Outer space may be the only place to escape the onslaught of the newly famous cadre of alternative lodging companies categorized as a part of the sharing economy, including but not limited to HomeAway (owned by Expedia), HomeToGo, Vacation Rentals By Owner (otherwise known as VRBO), Couchsurfing, onefinestay (recently acquired by Accor), FlipKey (owned by TripAdvisor) and, of course, the behemoth that is Airbnb. Even those select service, limited service and all other hotels that primarily cater to the business crowd have largely escaped the direct impact on their occupancies and ADRs from this rapidly burgeoning section, it is only a matter of time before the alternative lodging industry starts to influence every hospitality establishment in every corner of the earth and becomes a direct competitor for your property. On its most fundamental level, the sharing economy is changing the way consumers think about travel and how to go about …

lmaadminHow the Sharing Economy Impacts Select-Service Hotels
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

Is Your Hotel Advertising During Rio 2016?

With the television landscape becoming increasingly fragmented by cable, satellite, social media and internet streaming options, reaching many people at once via traditional, 20th century media placement methods comes with its fair dose of anxiety. One interesting effect of this channel nichification is that large-scale events and compressions are now all the more precious. Think nationwide and world-sweeping live broadcasts like FIFA, the Super Bowl, the Oscars and, as the title suggests, the Olympics. These annual, biannual or quadrennial events get a lot of attention and a lot of hype, and therefore present a lucrative short run marketing opportunity. As any economist will tell you, though, with a limited supply and demand on the upswing, the advertising price is bound to increase with each passing year. In fact, NBC owns the national coverage rights for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics and has already sold over $1 billion in commercial …

lmaadminIs Your Hotel Advertising During Rio 2016?
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Photobomb Marketing

For those living under a rock, a photobomb is when photograph is ruined by someone unexpectedly appearing in the background, distracting from what was originally intended for the image’s framing. Typically, photobombs occur in crowded areas frequented by oblivious or harried passersby, or interlopers commonly spoil pictures as a practical joke. Definitions aside, photobombs seem like something for drunken college students. What do they have to do with hotels? Photobomb marketing is a very niche tactic housed under the greater banner of experiential marketing, and it harks back to the relationship between the onsite experience and social media usage. The primary goal of this enterprise is to generate positive electronic word of mouth (word of mouse) in order to obtain strong third-party approval for your hotel with heightened brand awareness and new customers as outcomes. With smartphones inseparable from their users nowadays, it’s easy to presume that while guests are …

lmaadminPhotobomb Marketing

Specific Tips to Attract Travelers from China

To many in the Western World, cracking the Chinese travel market is a frustrating enigma. There are over a billion souls living in this over-six-thousand-years-old nation with a voraciously widening middle class, and yet a combination of language, cultural and governmental barriers intimidate us away from launching full-fledged awareness campaigns in this market. But this shouldn’t be the case, and it’s why I’ve been ever curious these past few years, seeking out individuals who have insights as to how hotels can breach this gap. I had the chance recently to interview Evan Saunders, the CEO of Attract China, with regard to the expectations of Chinese outbound travelers as well as a few simple tips that hotels can implement to better accommodate members of this group. And to clue you in on the gravitas of this situation, it’s estimated that by 2018 China will be the number one nation in terms …

lmaadminSpecific Tips to Attract Travelers from China

Enhancing A Loyalty Program With Gamification

The Web and software world has embraced “gamification” during the past few years as websites and mobile apps find ever-craftier ways to incorporate gaming mechanics into their platforms. The goal is simple: heighten consumer interaction by making the platform more exciting. It’s something video games do especially well. By capitalizing upon our desire for instant gratification, these systems can go from amusing to addictive. When was the last time you heard a loyalty program described as addictive? Certainly, in the hotel industry, probably never. Most of the time, these programs are supplemental to emotional consumer drivers: Guests select a hotel brand with the loyalty program seldom acting as the primary reason for continued brand affinity. In this sense, they are afterthoughts and rarely take center stage with the product. Part of the problem is that the hotel landscape is saturated with loyalty programs; it’s almost mandatory that every property be …

Larry MogelonskyEnhancing A Loyalty Program With Gamification

The Slush-pile Approach to Content Marketing

Content marketing took the Internet by storm in 2013, and now that it’s 2014 everyone is aware of this near-compulsory activity, both for sustaining an adequate rank in search results as well as for generating a devoted fan base. But most of the articles I read are focused more on sound methods of content distribution via social media networks, websites, e-blasts and so on. With so much emphasis on the sharing, we neglect to tackle the content itself. You can have all the necessary distribution channels in place and automated, but if your content is no more than a weather update alongside images of passing scenery, then you’re fighting a losing battle. It’s a war between quality and quantity; too much of the latter without a sizeable dose of the former is a recipe for crickets, wasted resources and, ultimately, massive audience desertion. Hence, the most important aspect of content …

Larry MogelonskyThe Slush-pile Approach to Content Marketing