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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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A Website Audit Could Boost Visits and Bookings – And They Are Free!

10/04/2016
In my last few articles, I have stressed the importance of hotels branching out and creating a custom website that offers guests a brighter picture of their properties and what they offer. But what happens if after your site is up, you are still not able to see the grand results you were expecting? All is not lost! 

For those of you who were smart enough to hire a company and have a professional site designed, congrats! You’re halfway there. That’s right, that’s what I said, halfway there. Having the site is just the first step: The most important part is utilizing all the features and advances in technology that your site should be implemented with in order to attract guests. 

A site is only as good as its features, dropdowns and the information that it is being delivered to your customers. If you are underutilizing your site, then performing an audit is the next step for you.

A website audit by a specialized web design company will help you to see whether you are using all of the feature-rich options that a professional hospitality website should have. It will not only let you know what is working, but most importantly, it will let you know what is not working and what might need to be fixed or updated. You do not want a site with features that you are paying for but are dead weight.
 
So what is an audit, where do you get one, and what will it really tell you?
 
I’ll do my best to outline these answers here to help you make a better decision on whether a site audit is a good decision for you. The first step is to search on Google for web design companies and find a company that is confident enough with its services that it is able to offer you a free website audit. Next comes the understanding that an audit is not and should not be a high-expense gimmick to have someone tell you everything that is going wrong. An audit should provide information to help you use your site to the greatest advantage, so that you are maximizing the number of visits and giving guests the proper tools to book in the most efficient way possible. A well-planned website should do that for you already. 

An effective audit should:

  • Evaluate whether the navigation tools are effortless for guests.
  • Ensure that the onsite booking process is fast and efficient.
  • Confirm that your website is simple, yet designed with a modern and contemporary feel.
  • Evaluate dead-weight content or pages that distract guests from what they really need.
  • Determine that the social media links are effectively placed and used.

There is so much more that can be found in an audit depending on how your site was designed.  Take the time to at least look into an audit. It’s free and could mean the difference between guests booking or flying on to the next hotel website. If you are reading this and wondering why your site is not attracting guests, then pick up the phone, open the yellow pages, or search Google for a web design company to do your site audit now. You have nothing to lose and it is important to be informed. Good luck!

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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