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The underappreciated city of Minneapolis served as host for the 2019 edition of HITEC (produced by HFTP) which wrapped up its most recent four-day run on June 20, 2019. In the days and weeks leading up to the event, meeting solicitations and party invites filled my inbox at a growth rate any VC or entrepreneur would envy. As a first-timer to this international hospitality technology behemoth, it became apparent that HITEC actually begins a few weeks prior to when that first request or invitation lands in your over-stuffed inbox.

Time is limited. Once it’s gone, you can’t gain it back. Similarly, once a room goes unsold for a night, it will go unsold forever. There’s no way to recover that loss, because there’s no way to go back in time.
 
Many hotels fight this limitation by trying to sell as many rooms as possible. If all the rooms are completely booked, time no longer becomes a factor. But most don’t have the luxury of being at-capacity every single night. That’s why last-minute booking apps are growing in popularity in the industry, where hotels can make the most of each day. These apps specifically target guests who don’t plan far in advance, seeking accommodations from one week to one minute later.
 
There are several different ways your hotel can benefit from using last-minute booking apps in your business strategy.

IoT is Coming, Jon Snow…
Posted: 05/21/2019

Hospitality is prime for the coming advent of the various devices that make up the Internet of Things. Estimates show the industry now represents 17.5 million rooms worldwide and savvy guests are demanding more personalization and an overall improved guest experience along their connected travel journey and belief is that IoT can bring this to reality. 

The forces driving local search rankings are constantly changing. But recent studies suggest that in 2019, four key factors make up the local search algorithm. 
 
The most significant factor is Google My Business (GMB). If you’re not on it, get on it now.

The robotic revolution in the hospitality industry might seem to have taken a step back. This January, the famously quirky Henn-Na Hotel in Japan fired half of its 243 robot staff. The robotic workforce reportedly irritated guests and frequently broke down.



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Online Journey of Today’s Traveler

04/11/2017

To understand what decisions today’s travelers, especially millennials, are making, we need to dissect, appreciate and understand each step of the journey made before making their booking decisions. Understanding the mindset and decision making factors that guests make will help hoteliers and their web designers create content that is not only relevant, but financially sound.

First and foremost, accept the fact that more than 90 percent of millennials make a majority of their booking decisions from family and friend generated user content. Social media user generated content overpowers brand messages. This means the guests that check in to hotels from Facebook and snap photos of their fun experiences on Snapchat and Instagram are huge deciding factors for whether a hotel or any business makes the cut. We can use this information to help push customers in the right direction. If they are already on all social media outlets anyway, then hoteliers need to be there too posting pictures, advertising specials, events and basically posting anything that will attract guests to look further.

For an avid traveler, my go-to decision making factor starts off with the pictures of the property. Bright, vibrant, contemporary looking properties will always be on the menu; if not on yours, then perhaps at someone else’s. Make sure that the pictures you have of your lobby, guestrooms and any other public area of interest are professionally taken and will reflect your best side. Dark and drab rooms will only get a quick “next” from customers looking for their perfect guest experience.

Websites with just one or two dropdowns cramping all the information in small areas is unappealing to the eye. It may be a cheaper option when you are originally designing your site, but you will end up losing potential customers that are accustomed to sites with links that showcase everything the hotel has to offer and is readily available at a property a few doors down. An ideal website should have separate dropdowns for categories such as: About us, Guest Rooms, Amenities, Dining and Entertainment, etc., that lets customers see easily the many options your hotels have to offer.

When asking your web designer to create your site, do some research first. Look at other hotel sites that you like and jot down what exactly made you like the property and the website. Was it the reviews that lets guest see and even hear guest testimonials, or the glossy pictures, could it be the layout of the site that is visually appealing or perhaps it’s the showcased amenities that are generally a priority for many travelers. In order to attract a customer, we must act like a customer and take the journey with them.

About The Author
Nimesh Dinubhai
President
Websrefresh


Nimesh Dinubhai completed his studies in 2003 and launched Websrefresh to help businesses grow their ROI. He also owns two Arizona hotels, one of which earned the Historical Hotel Award in 2014.

 
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