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Few issues frustrate hotel technologists more than interfaces.

The importance of sharing data across multiple systems in hotels grows every year. Yet some of the most common complaints I heard thirty years ago are still around today, maybe just a little less common. We still hear “my vendor doesn’t have the interface I need” or “we bought the interfaces from both vendors to connect their systems, but they just don’t work together the way we expected.” Closely related is “our vendors interface with each other, but one of them wants to charge us $10,000 and we can’t afford that.”

Water has become a major challenge for hotels, both in terms of cost and as one aspect of sustainability programs. Reducing water usage is smart from both a financial and environmental perspective. On the cost side, water accounts for about 10% of hotel utility bills. And while the cost of water varies substantially depending on location, it is increasing faster than inflation. Data on 30 U.S. cities from Circle of Blue showed about a 53% price increase from 2010 to 2019, with many drought-parched locations significantly higher.

The hospitality industry has always faced a unique challenge that most other industries don’t have: Repeat customers are hard to come by. Studies show that around 90% of all hotel guests never return for a second stay. Some of the reasoning for this is understandable — many guests are visiting from far away, and people often like seeing new places when they travel. However, times are changing. In the post-pandemic world, many people are opting to return to familiar places that they trust.

There are three main reasons why hotels solicit feedback from guests. The first is simply to get a “report card” of how your hotel is doing vs. competitors or other hotels in the same brand or management group. This is interesting information and may help make or break someone’s management career, but otherwise is not very actionable. The second is to identify ways to channel capital funds or operating expenses to projects that will have the greatest impact on overall guest satisfaction and, through it, revenue and profit. The last is to get insights into what specific guests liked or disliked about your hotel so that their next-stay experience will be better, increasing their preference for your hotel.

Today’s hotel operators are on the move more than ever and many are challenged with not enough time or staff to manage operations in this new landscape. Hoteliers are telling us they need more mobility for remote staff, on-the-go users, and guest self-serve environments, which is why more properties are taking command of their property using Web browser-based systems. These platforms give operators the freedom to control their properties from anywhere and use a variety of devices, something that has become a necessity due to limitations on available labor and the growing need for operational flexibility.
 



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Articles tagged as: hotels

Is your hotel’s data protected? What if your hotel lost access to its data overnight? A situation like this would be more than an inconvenience, it would threaten your hotel’s operations and negatively impact your business in a myriad of ways. Loss of access to data could be the result of an on-premises system crash, which will be inconvenient, but which can be brought back into operation reasonably quickly with the help of your PMS and IT teams. The more serious threat to hoteliers is ransomware attacks, and unfortunately, thanks to their rising prevalence, should be a real concern to hoteliers.

A Flurry of Hotel Tech Company Mergers and Acquisitions Marks the End of 2021
Posted: 12/01/2021 by Fran Worrall, Hospitality Upgrade Editor

Since early 2020, the hospitality sector has witnessed a sea change. The worldwide disruption triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic forced almost every technology company in the industry to review their portfolios, reassess their strategies and redirect resources into areas with the greatest growth potential. Some businesses became targets for opportunistic deals, while others struggled to operate in ‘new normal’ mode.

Black Friday has surged in popularity over the past decade, and it has become the most important day for hotels to capture online bookings. Many travelers wait specifically for Black Friday to book their travel for the year, and most hotels cannot afford to miss out on this huge share of the business. Of course, creating an enticing sale offer is the first step to beating the competition and guaranteeing conversions. From discounted rates to special inclusions, there are many ways that hoteliers can tempt potential guests and encourage them to book a stay. 

Finding ways to justify the cost of new technology can be a challenge in today’s current environment, but many hoteliers are relying on it throughout the pandemic to improve operations, interact with guests, train workers, and increase revenue. With 2022 in sight, the rest of the industry is taking stock of the most valuable technology innovations that were successfully put-to-use this year. One big hurdle remains: the hotel property-management system.

The Single Best Summary of HITEC 2021
Posted: 11/02/2021 by Lyle Worthington

It felt so good to be back in the real world. I suppose that is the single best summary of HITEC 2021 I can come up with. There are quite a few recaps out there on the education and vendors – so I want to focus first on the human side of HITEC. After two years of virtual meetings, video chats, and home offices, we were once again able to walk a convention floor, shake hands, hug, and celebrate in person. Despite the need to wear masks and the extra-wide spacing between chairs and booths, it felt like a normal HITEC: a large convention floor, big vendor events, and a full education program. Certainly, there were fewer people this year, but at some of the events and in some of the sessions you couldn’t tell. Many of the education sessions were standing room only - even the Monday morning sessions. 

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