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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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How Changing your Hotel's Website Content and Aesthetics in Different Seasons Brings More Bookings

Different seasons bring different opportunities–if we understand that from the get-go, things are going to go smoothly for our hotel. We cannot treat every season the same; each one of them has its own characteristics and elements, so it’s paramount we use that for our advantage. Below are some tips that are going to help you to improve your hotel’s website content as the seasons roll by:

Upload Some Of The Hotel’s Photos According To The Season
This works in all seasons, but especially in the case of summer and winter. Take pictures of your hotel during those months and upload them to your website so that people can have a look at how your hotel looks during that particular season.

For example, you could add photos from the hotel’s entrance or the areas surrounding it in winter, which is the season with the most changes. You could post some pictures of the trees during summer and fall. Add some variety to your gallery every season in order to get the attention of potential guests. We often react to pictures a lot quicker than we do with content.

These photos can accomplish two goals in one effort: it can add some degree of variety to your website and it can also give some insight to your potential clients about how the hotel looks at the time.

Make Special Offers According To The Season
Loving fall? Then why not add a special drink or offer at your hotel’s bar during that season? Or if it is winter, why not add special dinners, drinks and even entertainment, considering that people are going to have a harder time leaving the hotel to walk around the city?

You could add a 5 percent discount to all services at the hotel in winter; you could offer special drinks, dinners and even special entertainment during the fall or the summer. You could also offer special promotions in your website; make people feel drawn to your hotel by giving them special discounts if they make a reservation in a certain amount of time.

The possibility of special offers is an enticing one because it can draw people in a quick manner. Another great example would be adding a discount during summer vacation, when people are much more prone to travel and tourism–this is a great chance for special offers and hotels should use the seasons to do so.
Add all this on your hotel’s website, so that people can have a look at it and make up their minds; it’s important to know what’s on display from the get-go. Today, most people make their reservations online.

Seize the Holidays in Those Seasons
The proverbial example of this is Christmas. Winter tends to happen during the month of December in most countries, so this is a great opportunity for you to create a thematic design for your website. You could add a Christmas tree here and there, snow flakes and all those little details that give more of a holiday aesthetic to your site.

Another example depends mostly on the country’s culture. It’s not the same to manage a hotel in South America than managing one in the United States or in Europe–they all have different celebrations and holidays, so that is a big deal when it comes to adapting to the seasons (especially when considering that some countries have the same kind of weather throughout the year).

You should use the holidays as a way to improve your website as the year rolls by and to use every single one of them as part of the site’s decoration–this would transmit the holidays’ vibes to the viewer in an almost instant manner.
Make Promotional Videos Introducing The Seasons
Remember what we said about special offers according to the season? Well, this is your chance to introduce said offers in each season. Make use of videos as a way to create a special bond with the viewer and thus develop an interest from them to visit your hotel and stay there for a while.

For example, let’s say that it is fall and you have special entertainment for the people staying in your hotel (they could be bands, comedians, you name it). Well, why not make a video promoting these acts during the season? Upload it in the main page of the site and make sure that people have a look at it; you could add some of the acts’ material so that people could have a bigger grasp of what they are going to get.

As in the case of entertainment in general, you could promote them in the same manner. Make sure that you upload videos at constant intervals because that way people would get used to it and they’d be looking forward to each new video.

Videos on websites are getting much more common as time goes by–you have to ride this wave in your favor in order to get better results.

Show The Client’s Feedback
This is something you can add to your website content once you highlight a few seasons applying the advice above. Allow some of your guests to offer their feedback about the experience they had and how much they enjoyed it–this is a great way to show people how guests enjoy going to your hotel in all these different seasons. Sell the guest experience; let people know what you are offering.

Let’s be honest here: people are always a bit cautious when making reservations, especially considering all the information they may find on a specific season. That’s why you should be adamant in adding positive reviews and feedback from your past clients; this is proof of how successful your property is and a great help to expand your brand.

Comments are great, but they are far from perfect. Go a step further and add videos from people offering their own testimonials about what they thought of the whole experience. This is something worth considering because you are using a natural scenario (the seasons) to enhance your site’s content and image.

Use SEO Content Depending on The Season
It’s not the same to look on the internet for a hotel in the summer than it is in the winter. That is why it is important to update your SEO content with some of the keywords that people may use to look for a hotel on the internet. Change these keywords each season to keep the site updated and get much more traffic.

To make this happen, you should study the market. Research the words people use the most on the internet when looking for a hotel; that way, you can adapt these to your own SEO content and seize this opportunity to establish yourself as a leading guest choice.

SEO content can vary and change as time goes by, so take that into consideration when you manage your hotel’s website.

Set Up Your Site’s Content
This idea might be different than those we just mentioned, but it could be just as important. Instead of constantly changing your website’s offers and prices, why not set up the content to show all the options available in the spring, summer, fall and winter?

This obviously has a clear advantage: we don’t have to change our content with each season. It could also help project a more professional image, because you are presenting all the possible scenarios and dates for the client–something most people find useful.

The only drawback is that it takes time and planning to create the content, especially all the offers and pricing. Be that as it may, it’s a great chance to show all your cards at once and let people know what you have to offer.
Different seasons bring different opportunities. While it’s challenging at first when you don’t have a clear idea of what to do, with effort and dedication, and by presenting new opportunities and offers at your hotel to potential guests on your site, your property will be successful in securing more room nights and improving the guest experience.

It’s all about getting started and taking that first step.

About The Author
Nimesh Dinubhai

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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