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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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What Helps Hotel Websites Have the Best Visiting Experience?

It is true that reviews on TripAdvisor, OTAs and social media play a role in helping leisure travelers make a purchase decision, but a large majority of these travelers still visit the hotel website to learn more about the hotel they are going to book. This means it is important to design a convincing and effective website, but exactly what do hotel website visitors want to see in a website? Do you really understand what makes the difference between bouncing and booking for visitors to your hotel website? If you ensure that your website has the following elements it will work just fine.

1. They want to see hotel insider pictures: The statistics show that hotel websites with over 100 photos may increase the likelihood of booking enquiries by 238 percent compared with hotels that have no photos on their websites. Be sure to add clear descriptions of each room along with high quality photos of different areas in the rooms to help make it easier for your guests to create a perfect visual in their mind. Don't forget to share other insider pictures – show them what the breakfast area is like, or how the front porch looks. Consider the selling points of your hotel to find unique features to display. Always include consistent imaging from your hotel website through the booking process.

2. They want to see the hotel prices/tariff: Be as explicit as possible about your prices and tariff. You have to take guesswork out of the picture by clearly mentioning what you charge for different rooms and what is included in the package. Don't forget to mention if you charge per person or per room. Clarify if the guests will have to pay any reservation fee. Tell them if taxes are included in the price or not. Be sure to make your promotional offers as visible as possible. Creating discounts for longer stays, especially in the off-season, is a great way to maximize your revenue. Make it easy for groups to find tariff details about accommodations and specials for retreats, meetings and weddings.

3. They want to see an easy booking process: Even if you've drawn the customer in through photos, descriptions and prices, you may lose them if they find it difficult to complete the booking process. A complex and distracting booking engine will lead to confused and frustrated guests. A booking engine with simple grid display, coupled with a few click booking processes will enable visitors to book instantly. Make sure the booking engine displays important information about rooms. The booking engine should work seamlessly on mobile devices and should give your potential guests some info about additional services such as Wi-Fi, family rooms, airport pick-up and more.

4. They want to know about your location and what makes it special: Fill your guests in on your location and the logistics of getting to wherever they want to go. Explain what type of experience they will have in and around the area. What opportunities will await them when they leave your hotel in the morning? Write about your location in relation to all the fun things a traveler would want to enjoy in your area. This may include museums, restaurants, wineries, universities, golf courses, natural wonders, airports, conference centers and more. Visitors come for different reasons, so be sure to paint a picture of all things they could be doing while staying at your hotel.

5. They want to know about the best events in and around your location: You can entice your guests and even make them stay longer by including a calendar of activities on your hotel website. Tell them everything about shows, concerts, antique car shows, athletic events and anything else that you think your guests would want to know about. Help them decide exactly when they want to come to your hotel to enjoy certain events.

6. They want you to be approachable with quick contact details: Giving your guests easy access to your support department will help get more bookings. Be clear about your contact details – this gives credibility to your hotel website and allows people to contact you to clarify any confusions they may have about making a reservation.

Always bear in mind that several website design components have the potential to convert site lookers into room bookers. Your website is usually the first opportunity for a potential guest to learn about your property. Grab this engagement opportunity with both hands and be sure to take advantage of everything that would give your potential guests the best visiting experience.

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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