travel background, woman tourist walking with suitcase on the street in european city, tourism in Europe

Building Summer Occupancy for City Hotels

Temperatures rise. Humidity creeps up. Sounds like time to pack up and head to the nearest beach. While your team may be thinking ‘vacation’, you should be thinking ‘revenue’ when it comes to your leisure segment. Every resort owner knows that the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is peak. The kids are out of school by mid-to-late June, making it family time. For a moment, though, let’s focus on city properties. Bricks and mortar are depreciated all 12 months of the year. There are no summer breaks in your debt service even as the meetings and conference segment wanes. You need a plan to cover your business through a quarter that will see limited, if any, group activity. So, let’s examine the fundamentals of a solid leisure plan. Know and be a part of your market. Product knowledge is essential. Look beyond your property’s walls to see what is …

lmaadminBuilding Summer Occupancy for City Hotels
Symbol of Canada

The Sesquicentennial Sojourn

A long word for something so simple! Canada is gearing up for its 150th anniversary as a nation, being celebrated from coast to coast on July 1st. Leading up to this date, hotels across the country are expecting record numbers that will last throughout the summer. Rather than regurgitate a litany of positive statistics, though, there are a few good takeaways for hoteliers around the world to note. I was inspired to write on this subject after attending the 11th annual Leisure Travel Summit held earlier this June in downtown Toronto and hosted by Best Western. The five-person panel – comprised of all women I might add, and something we should be seeing more often – noted that now more than ever is time to explore the Great White North and that this sort of influx of visitors haven’t been seen since the Expo ’67 days. Rather than proscribing this …

lmaadminThe Sesquicentennial Sojourn
Folded umbrellas on the beach before the storm on the coast of Greek , pefkohori.

Goal for 2018 – No More Offseason

Consider this your quarterly performance audit, but thinking a bit more ambitiously, it is already time to look ahead to 2018! Now that we have gone through three whole months of 2017, it’s the perfect time to reevaluate the goal we proclaimed at the beginning of January, but there’s also enough time to plan something bold for next year. A major issue that many hotels confront is the cyclical nature of their revenues and occupancies. Although seasonality affects resorts and rural properties more so than urban hotels, the latter can also suffer from week-to-week or intra-week fluctuations due to their targeting of primarily the corporate and groups segment. Even though most of these suggestions pertain to the leisure segment where the highs and lows are more pronounced, making weekend traffic at business-catering urban hotels should still be a foremost initiative. In fact, regardless of your particular situation and however much …

lmaadminGoal for 2018 – No More Offseason
Group of green sprouts growing out from soil

Spring Is Here! What Are You Doing About It?

With daylight savings flipping our clocks an hour forward on the 12th and with the sun crossing the equator this past weekend during the March equinox, we are now officially into spring. This stretch of time can be quite variable for the books so it is deserving of particular attention so that you can set a precedent for recurrent stability and healthy occupancy. While corporate and groups are perennially strong during this time with the zenith of group activity coming only after the schools have resumed the tail end of their semesters, the season can be meddlesome for the leisure front excluding any spring break family or college student getaways. Still, though, there is much that can be done to drum up sales between now and Memorial Day which traditionally marks the beginning of summer and the peak travel period. First off, there aren’t many ‘rallying points’ during this stretch …

lmaadminSpring Is Here! What Are You Doing About It?
Statue of Bacchus the Roman god of agriculture and wine, similar to the Greek Dionysus

In Vino Veritas LVI: Happy Liberalia

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This is something I extol with a grain of salt as today’s holiday, which is supposed to be a heartfelt celebration of Irish history and culture, has been somewhat hijacked in recent years by rowdy revelers and college kids in search of their next excuse for intoxication. There is, however, a defunct Roman holiday – the Liberalia – which also occurs on this day. While the modern leprechaun is keen on beer, the Roman counterpart upheld wine as its hallowed libation, and therein lies a profound takeaway by contrasting the two occasions and their beverage of choice. Without going into specifics about the weird and hypersexualized rituals that the ancient Italians had for the Liberalia, what’s interesting is that it was not just a celebration to honor the god of viticulture – that is, Liber Pater, but not Bacchus or Dionysus who were the Roman gods …

lmaadminIn Vino Veritas LVI: Happy Liberalia
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
happy father's day in vintage wood letterpress printing blocks with a cup of coffee

What Do Hotels And Holidays Have In Common?

The answer: planning with care. Which is different than careful planning, but we’ll get to that. With Father’s Day now behind us, I am going to start this article off by describing what my son had in store for me. And in case you are wondering why this isn’t a surprise, he told me in advance so I wouldn’t skip town on business. (For this instance, had he not told me in advance, I probably would’ve booked a flight out that Sunday night to New Orleans to catch the opening of HITEC which coincided with Father’s Day this year.) My son and daughter know that during the mere weeks of summer warmth that we get here in Toronto I like to maximize my time outdoors – in other words, barbecued dinners savored on the backyard terrace. So they have planned out an assortment of marinated meats for the grill along with fresh …

lmaadminWhat Do Hotels And Holidays Have In Common?
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

A Very TV Christmas

The holidays are a season of family get-togethers, sumptuous feasts and, increasingly, binge-watching your favorite TV shows. Yes, it’s a great time to cozy up in your sweats and get swept away in hours upon hours of DVR, Netflix, Hulu, HBO or Amazon Prime, all but forgetting the world outside exists until the inevitable return to work come January. Binge-watching, streaming and cord cutting are trends that are here to stay. It’s a new way of absorbing the medium where viewers watch what they want, when they want it, and with the ability to pause and resume at any point. We live in an era of media access, not media ownership, after all, and streaming videos of any kind is an incredibly easy task nowadays. Indeed, filmmakers have even adjusted the way they tell stories through heightened serialization to accommodate this behavioral progression. But this mostly affects the home front; …

lmaadminA Very TV Christmas
Roasted turkey with vegs and greenery

Thanksgiving Special 2015

The shopping spree that is Black Friday is a fascinating beast, and it’s a fun study, as its trends and dollar figures change dramatically year-over-year. The Cyber Week – as it is often called these days – for 2015 nonetheless stands as a good opportunity for you to help a few more rooms directly from your website, even if electronic goods and retail are top of mind for this spending period. Hopefully by writing this early in the month there is enough time for you to act. The big question on my mind is: has the fad faded? As mentioned in the previous paragraph, Black Friday is now synonymous with Cyber Week – ‘cyber’ because of the rampant increases in online sales versus in-person, and ‘week’ because of how marketers have stretched the savings from one 24-hour period to a whole seven days. There’s Cyber Monday, Green Monday and even …

lmaadminThanksgiving Special 2015