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December 19, 2014 / HMG Hotels

Effective Hotel Marketing In Four Easy Steps

Hotel Marketing 2015Marketing Strategies for Independent Hotels

In order to be successful, independent hotels must have a solid marketing strategy in place. Imagine a scenario where a person needs a hotel room and there are at least a dozen hotels in the general area where they could stay. The individual could pick one at random and hope for the best, or they could do a little research online and find a hotel that fits their budget, offers the amenities they want, and has supportive reviews. Ask yourself: does my independent hotel have an online presence?

If that potential paying customer did not make a reservation, but sees several hotels along main street, which hotel are they most likely to stop at first? Chances are they are going to stop at a familiar brand like a Holiday Inn, Hilton, Marriott or Best Western. Choosing an unfamiliar independent hotel would probably not be their first choice, unless there is a particularly original theme that sets it apart. For starters, a hotel owner or sales manager can ask, does my independent hotel have curb appeal?

Major hotel chains spend millions of dollars each year to market their hotels. Competition for the paying guest is fierce and it is crucial for a hotel to develop its own identity. As the owner of an independent hotel, you may not have the resources to spend what the competition spends, but you still need to mount a campaign that separates you from the competition.

How to Create a Marketing Plan That Can Help Your Hotel: Four Easy Steps

1. Build Awareness – You can tell the world, or at least plenty of people, that you exist. As an independent hotel, you do not have the same name recognition as the bigger hotel chains. You can build brand awareness in many ways.

• Invest in signage that displays your hotel’s name so it can easily be seen from the road. The signs should be on your property as well as on roads leading to your hotel.

• Participate in community events and causes.

• Within your budget, advertise in print, on TV, or on radio.

• Take advantage of the power of the Internet. Social media is the most inexpensive and often most effective way of getting your name known.

2. Create an Image – Image is important because it helps define your hotel to the public. No hotel can be all things to all people. There is a reason why hotel accommodations range in categories from budget to luxury. Do you want to cater to family travelers, business travelers, or millennials? You can choose to be the trendiest hotel in town, or the best-value hotel, the most eco-friendly hotel, or the hotel that has the best free breakfast.

3. Develop Your Customer Base – It is always good news when a guest checks in to your hotel, but even better news when they like it so much that they come back again and again. By always providing great service with a big smile, you can develop a loyal customer base. Develop your customer base by building a mailing list. Then, use that mailing list to send thank-you notes to the people who stayed at your hotel. In the thank-you message, direct them to your website and ask them if they would like to receive your hotel’s newsletter. Entice them by offering a special rate on their next visit.

4. Use Powerful Advertising Messages – All hotels are expected to have clean rooms, comfortable beds, and ice machines on every floor. You want to set your hotel apart from the competition. The best way to do that is to emphasize what you do better than anyone else. Do you have an indoor swimming pool? Does your hotel have direct access to the beach? Does your hotel use non-toxic soaps and practice a user-friendly recycling program? Point it out, use your assets to your advantage!

Implementing Your Hotel’s New Marketing Plan

It is one thing to recognize that you need to have a better marketing plan than the one you currently have, it is an entirely different thing to know how to implement a better and more effective plan. Consider these suggestions for implementing a new plan:

1. Your Marketing Budget – It would be nice to have unlimited funds to create an outstanding marketing plan, but that is not always the reality for most independent hotel owners. Responsibly determine how much you can spend each year, or each month, and then decide how to allocate those funds.

2. Identify Your Target Market – Do some research and try to determine the audience that you are trying to reach. A scattered and disorganized approach is usually more expensive and less effective than focusing in on a group that is most likely to become a customer.

3. Choosing a Marketing Mix – You have limited funds, so you want to spend those in the most cost-effective way. You have many choices including newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, flyers, and direct mail. While those traditional methods still have some value, you get the biggest bang for the buck by creating a marketing mix that includes social media, videos and mobile marketing. You can reach more people for less money on Facebook or Twitter than with a slick brochure or a magazine ad. Remember also that by advertising online, you are saving trees by not printing on paper – point this out in your professionally designed online ad!

4. Stay within your Marketing Budget – It may be tempting to borrow money from some other sector of your hotel’s operations budget, but try not to. Never neglect pressing needs. Try simply to spend the money you originally budgeted for marketing more wisely.

5. Professional Help – Marketing is what brings customers through your hotel’s front door. Guests do not just show up by accident. If you or your staff does not have the required marketing skills, you are probably better off using your marketing budget to hire a professional marketing team.

A Few More Practical Tips

Research and study the latest trends in hotel marketing. You do not want to model your marketing campaign on programs that worked 20 years ago, but are no longer relevant today. Doing business with a smile, however, is a constant that never goes out of style.

Hold meetings with your staff and encourage them to share thoughts they may have about new ways to market your hotel. Make sure that everyone understands their role in carrying out whatever marketing plan you decide to use, for example being active in positive constructive ways on social networks.

Check-out the competition to see how they are marketing their brand.

Your new marketing plan may not produce noticeable improvements in revenues in the very first month or two that it is implemented. Be sure to record your monthly revenues when your new plan begins. Then, keep records and measure your occupancy and daily room rates each month. If the plan is good, you should see a marked improvement in your numbers.

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December 5, 2014 / HMG Hotels

New 2015 Hotel Brands Are Designed to Fulfill the Wishes of Today’s Travelers

Take a look at the U.S. hotel industry over the past few years and you will see that by almost every measure the industry is performing well. Occupancy rates are up. ADR is higher and RevPAR continues to climb. The hotel industry has benefited from the improving economy, but there is another reason why more people are traveling and staying in hotels. Hotel groups have been developing new brands that better meet the wants and needs of today’s travelers.

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Millennial Traveler-

In recent years, many of the major hotel groups have felt a sense of urgency to introduce new brands to appeal to different segments of the market. Looking back over the last decade or so, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. launched their Aloft lifestyle brand and eco-friendly Element hotel brand. IHG introduced its EVEN hotel brand for the active and health-conscious traveler. Global Hyatt Corporation launched Hyatt Place to meet the demands of today’s sophisticated traveler.

Since 2013, the number of new brands being introduced and developed has been on the rise. Discriminating travelers will have even more choices of places to stay. Hotel executives are anxious and excited to roll-out their new brands. If you are planning a vacation or a business trip, one of these new hotel brands may be the perfect fit.

AC Hotels

Already doing well in European cities like Barcelona, Milan, and Paris, Marriott is bringing the AC Hotel brand to the United States. The boutique-style hotel aims to target the millennial business traveler. In the parent company’s annual report, CEO Ann Sorenson describes the new AC brand as “a design-focused brand inspired by the fashion houses of Europe that appeals to younger business travelers.”

The very first AC Hotel in the United States just opened in New Orleans. The 8-floor, 220-room property occupies the former Cotton Exchange Building, and is just steps from the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. Plans are in place to build and develop 33 hotels in the United states over the next few years. The Miami Beach AC, at 2912 Collins Avenue, is set to open toward the end of 2014. Other locations that will be up and running in early 2015 include Kansas City, Asheville, Chicago, and JFK Airport.

All AC Hotels will take advantage of technology to improve guest experiences. Guests will be able to use a mobile check-in service to save time. The hotels have been designed with an RFID-enabled locking system that will eventually allow AC to offer keyless entry to the guest rooms. Of course there is free Wi-Fi throughout each property and USB charging ports to keep those mobile devices running.

In the food and beverage area, the trend among the younger business traveler is toward more snacking, bold and innovative flavors, and healthy eating. Each AC Hotel will have 24-hour snack-stocked lounges, and depending upon location, popular native dishes (Cuban coffee in Miami Beach, Gumbo in New Orleans etc.).

The AC hotel brand aims to build customer loyalty among the millennial traveler. Currently, millennials account for about a third of all business travelers. According to the Boston Consulting Group, by 2020, millenials will represent almost 50 percent of all business travelers.

1 Hotels & Resorts

Barry Sternlicht, the CEO of Starwood Capital Group, based in Greenwich, Connecticut, is the driving force behind a highly anticipated new lifestyle brand hotel that is designed to be one with nature. Sternlicht, who served as the Chairman and CEO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts for 10 years, divested his interests in the major hotel group to pursue other interests in the hospitality industry. As the head of Starwood Capital Group, his interest has turned to developing two new hotel brands: 1 Hotels & Resorts & Baccarat Hotels & Resorts. SH Group, an affiliate of the global real estate investment group Starwood Capital, will be managing the new brand.

A total of three, nature-inspired, 1 Hotels & Resorts are scheduled to launch in 2015. Both the South Beach, FL and Central Park, NY locations are expected to open in March of 2015. The Brooklyn Bridge Park location should open a few months later. Careful deliberation went into the selection of each 1 Hotel & Resort location. The brand will focus on sustainability, environment, local communities and doing all that is possible to become one with nature.

Each 1 Hotel will be unique and will feature open spaces bathed in natural light, organic and locally-sourced food, and rely on recycled wood and other materials. 1 Hotels & Resorts will incorporate socially responsible design and architecture with outstanding comfort and unparalleled service.

Baccarat Hotels & Resorts

Midtown Manhattan is the location for the first Baccarat Hotel & Resort that is set to open in early 2015. Starwood Capital Group is paying careful attention to every detail to make this ultra-luxury hotel and residence the most sought after address in New York City. Located on 53rd Street, just off of 5th Avenue, the 50-story building is a true standout.

The architecture of the Baccarat Hotel & Resort can best be described as the meeting between modern architecture and traditional, grandiose design. The facade of the building is all glass and, just like fine Baccarat Crystal, it sparkles. Luxurious and elegant are just two of the adjectives that can be used to describe the traditional French interior features and design. Whether you are walking in common areas or are relaxing in one of the 114 guest rooms (or 61 residences), you will be impressed by the soaring archways, French moldings, marble floors, and, of course the vast array of Baccarat Crystal.

Guests have quite a few options when selecting their accommodations. You can be quite content in a Classic King Suite, or you can opt for more space by selecting one of several different types of suites. For the tops in luxury, reserve the Baccarat Suite. All rooms and suites have floor-to-ceiling windows, sitting areas, premium bedding and other outstanding features one would expect in a luxury hotel.

Outstanding is the best way to describe The Restaurant. Executive Chef Shea Gallante prepares French cuisine that matches the finest restaurant in Paris. The Grand Salon is a great spot to relax and have a cocktail.

With a highly-trained and professional staff, every guest is treated like French Royalty. The concierge service aims to be the best in the city and does everything in their power to meet your needs and make sure that you have a memorable experience when you stay at the Baccarat Hotel & Resort.
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Differentiating Your Hotel from the Crowd

In the ultra-competitive hotel industry, the hardest thing to do is to differentiate your hotel from the competition. With so many hotel chains and hotel groups competing for a finite number of paying customers, having a strong brand that appeals to a targeted audience, can make your hotel stand-out from all the rest. New brands can appeal to specific groups on a number of different levels including value, luxury, and lifestyle.

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Canopy

Canopy by Hilton is a new hotel brand that is seeking to attract travelers by offering bold and unique design, expanded common areas that encourage social interaction, and the latest in technology. Hilton Worldwide CEO Christopher Nassetta described the thinking behind Canopy by saying “We saw an opportunity to not only enter the lifestyle space by developing a new brand, but also to redefine this category by creating a more accessible lifestyle brand.”

Hilton has already secured 10 U.S. locations (and one in London) for the new brand. Canopy by Hilton is headed to Miami, San Diego, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, Savannah, Portland, OR, Ithaca, Washington D.C., and Charlotte. The new hotels will either be built from the ground-up or through the conversion of existing buildings.

The promise of this new Hilton brand is to create unique experiences in a place that does not look like every other hotel you have visited. Lobbies will feel more welcoming and be conducive to social conversations. Healthy breakfasts will be served with such culinary delights like smoked salmon and quiche. Every hotel will be located in, and become part of, a vibrant neighborhood. You’ll be able to check-out a complimentary bike to explore the neighborhood and every guest will receive a welcome gift that reflects the best of the local region.

Hilton recognizes the importance of the millennial traveler but is not aiming the Canopy hotel solely at that demographic group. The hotel is open to anyone who does not like the feel of a chain hotel and would rather have a unique experience in a unique neighborhood.

Curio

Attaching the name Hilton to any independent hotel automatically gives that hotel more credibility and status. Hilton is joining forces with a number of established four and five star hotels to create a new brand called Curio. Many in the industry consider Hilton’s move to be in response to the recent introductions of Marriott’s Autograph Collection and Starwood’s Luxury Collection of hotels. The move allows Hilton to reach travelers who want a more individualized hotel experience but also want the assurance of quality, comfort, and consistency that is at the core of every Hilton brand. Partner hotels will continue to manage daily operations and retain an identity that is unique from other Hilton branded properties.

Letters of intent have been signed with the SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV; the Sam Houston Hotel in Houston, TX; Hotel Alex Johnson in Rapid City, SD; the Franklin Hotel in Chapel Hill, NC; and a soon to be named hotel in Portland, OR. The first Curio hotels in the U.S. will open in 2015.

Hotel RL

Red Lion Hotels Corporation is planning a new upscale hotel brand called Hotel RL. Incorporating the vibrant spirit of the Pacific Northwest while stressing community, environment, and unique experiences, Hotel RL is targeted for 80 locations in 80 U.S. urban markets. The design of the lobby features elevated seating areas (Called Steps and sort of like a sunken living room) where guests can congregate and socialize. The lobby area is designed like a coffee house (think Starbucks) and rooms will be designed to provide free Wi-Fi and other services that are in demand by millennial travelers. Rather than building cookie-cutter hotels that all look alike, existing property conversions will drive the new Hotel RL brand.

Developing Customer Loyalty – Building a base of loyal customers is certainly one of the most fundamental goals of any hotel operator. It costs a great deal of money to market and attract new customers. When you create a new hotel brand, you have the opportunity, from the start, to make a great first impression when guests “try out” the new place in town. If you do things right and please your guests, you will create brand loyalty. The benefit of creating brand loyalty lies in more future bookings at your hotel and other locations with the same brand.

Pendry

Montage Hotels & Resorts is launching a new lifestyle hotel in San Diego called Pendry Hotels. Currently, the hotel group has upscale properties under the Montage brand in Laguna Beach & Beverly Hills, CA; Deer Park, UT; Maui, HI; and Palmetto Bluff, SC.

Construction on the 317-room, 12-story Pendry Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego began in October of 2014 and the completed property is expected to open in 2016. It will include two restaurants, 22,000 square feet of meeting space, a spa, rooftop pool, beer hall, and a nightclub. The Pendry is aimed at young and hip guests and also hopes to attract locals to its nightclub, beer hall, and restaurants.

Quorvus Collection

In February of 2014, the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group announced that they were creating two new brands – the Quorvus Collection and Radisson Red. Focusing on the Quorvus Collection, a brand of 5-star luxury hotels that will provide a distinct guest experience, the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group plans to have 20 such properties by 2020. All Quorvus Collection hotels will be comprised of six core lifestyle elements – wellness, replenishment, style, inspiration, ambiance, and design – to deliver the type of experience its guests desire. The Quorvus Collection will include historic landmark properties, contemporary residences, classic boutique hotels and urban retreats.

Radisson Red

At the same time that Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group announced the new Quorvus Collection they also announced the launching of a second new brand called Radisson Red. Eadisson Red is self-described as a “Lifestyle Select” category hotel that is upscale, focuses on the smallest details and facilitates personal interaction, personal choice, and the advanced integration of technology into the hotel stay. Guests will be able to use a mobile application to check-in, order food from the deli, arrange for a taxi to the airport, and access many other services through the convenience of their smartphones. Radisson Red is expected to launch in major cities and urban centers of the United States in 2015.
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Freedom to Innovate – A new brand gives a hotel chain the flexibility to inject some personality and do things somewhat differently than how they are done in their other branded hotels. A new brand can still maintain the parent company’s philosophy of providing outstanding service and great value, but it also has the freedom to reach those goals in its own way.
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Tommie

Commune Hotels is introducing a new brand called Tommie that is scheduled to open in 2015. Taking its name from the company’s Thompson Hotels, Tommie is based on a simple and functional concept that appeals to travelers who are free-spirited and want comfortable accommodations without all of the frills. The rooms are described as “space- efficient crash pads” and the property includes public lounges called Reading Rooms and casual communal dining. Tommie hopes to attract the young, savvy, connected, and discerning traveler who values new experiences more than fancy hotel rooms when they travel. The first two Tommie Hotels are being developed on 31st Street in Midtown Manhattan and down in lower Manhattan in the West SoHo neighborhood.

Vib

Best Western is entering the Boutique hotel space in North America and the United States with its new Vib (pronounced Vibe). The hotel is being designed to be a vibrant and dynamic gathering place with different zones for relaxing and working. Guest rooms will be on the smallish size at approximately 200 square feet, but they will contain high-quality furnishings and fixtures such as an LED lit showerhead with mood lighting and a desktop that doubles as a headboard. The Vib revolves around its grand lobby which will include a bar, food service, and plenty of communal seating.

Virgin Hotels

Richard Branson is launching a new lodging concept with Virgin Hotels. Initial plans call for three hotels – one in Chicago (opening in December 2014), one in Nashville (opening in 2016), and one in New York (opening in 2017). By 2020, plans call for as many as 20 new Virgin Hotels.

According to the Virgin Hotel website, rooms will have free Wi-Fi with no bandwidth restrictions, reasonable prices on minibar items, a guestroom that can be divided by a sliding door, and an app that will allow guests to control the environment inside their room.

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One Size Does Not Fit All

It is impossible to please everybody. Even in a five-star hotel there will be people who will complain about the high-price for room service. A new brand can make different segments of the traveling public feel special – a hotel designed just for them. Millennials crave technology. Young families with kids want pools and playgrounds. Older folks want peace and quiet.

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Sustainability is Key

Regardless of the size, location or history of a hotel, savvy hoteliers today are noticing the realizable gains that can be had from being energy efficient, being careful with water consumption and using creative waste management solutions like easy-to-implement recycling as well as composting wet waste to create on-site soil for landscaping. Some hotels even send food waste from the hotel to local farms and ranches to feed animals.
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IHG even rewards its properties, for example the Crowne Plaza Hanalei in San Diego managed by HMG Hotels was honored recently with the IHG Green Engage Environmental Sustainability Award. Tomorrow reaches us every new day, so taking the right steps today to remain in harmony with the local ecosystem and communities not only maximizes investment but is guaranteed to attract a steady stream of new visitors.

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November 10, 2014 / HMG Hotels

Affordable Baby Shower Venue in San Diego at Mission Valley Resort

Are you looking for an inexpensive place to have a baby shower?

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Baby Shower Graphic/Mix with Mission Valley Resort

Surprise your favorite mom-to-be with a baby shower at one of San Diego’s most affordable — and fun — locations. Experience comfortable accommodations, friendly service, lovely surroundings and low rates when you book one of our well-appointed meeting rooms available in a variety of sizes. We’re conveniently located in Mission Valley Resort on Hotel Circle, making it easy to get everyone together for your event.

When it comes to details, we think of everything! Whether you invite 10 or 100 guests, trust our experienced, attentive staff to provide each and every one with an amazing experience. From planning unique themed events to ensuring that you never run out of snacks or beverages, we’ll make sure your baby shower goes off without a hitch.

We can satisfy any kind of food craving your guest of honor can conjure up, and there’s plenty of delicious food to satisfy the other guests as well. Larger groups can enjoy a variety of dining options, from our brunch buffet to dinner and drinks. We offer a mouthwatering selection of tasty menu items to suit every palate. Themed buffets make for a memorable experience, and our creative staff will be happy to coordinate all the details.

If the mother-to-be has an odd candy craving or you need something for a headache, our on-site convenience store is here to save the day. If you’re planning an early shower but decide to keep the fun going, our Valley Kitchen Restaurant and The Valley Tavern Sports Bar make great places to catch up over food and drinks. Audio-visual equipment is available for music and movies at reasonable rates.

You’ll enjoy a private setting with all the amenities you’d expect from a professionally operated San Diego hotel. Out-of-town guests will love the convenience of staying on-site, and you’ll appreciate having one easy locale to use as a home base for visiting guests and locals who want to spend an extra day or two reconnecting with old friends. Mission Valley Resort offers free parking, including spaces for the disabled, and our large facility is wheelchair-accessible throughout.

Create a fantastic experience filled with wonderful memories for the soon-to-be-mom and her friends and family. Contact Mission Valley Resort today to begin planning an affordable, fun-packed baby shower your guests won’t soon forget — for all the right reasons.

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Articles/Photos/Graphics Copyright ©2014 – All Rights Reserved Hotel Managers Group
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November 4, 2014 / HMG Hotels

A Closer Look at Growth in the Worldwide Hotel Industry 2014

Fall is the time to reflect on the events of the year and to look ahead toward what may occur in the coming year. For many companies, their business year ends as the last quarter of the calendar year begins. As we leave September behind and head into October, let’s take a closer look at the 2014 growth of the worldwide hotel industry and what that growth might look like in 2015.

growth-worldwide-hotel-industry-2014-2015

Growth and performance in the worldwide hotel industry is highly correlated to the health of the economy. When parts of the world are in turmoil (war and political unrest), the industry suffers. During the first nine months of 2014, the world witnessed wars in the Middle East, an outbreak of the Ebola virus in Africa, two Malaysian passenger jet flight tragedies, and many countries reporting weak economies. Despite all of this bleak news, the standard of living is rising in China and India — two of the most populous countries in the world.

In 2014, as the rich got richer and corporate profits were strong, both business and leisure travel grew. Tourism and travel contributed to the growth of GDP in the United States and other countries around the globe. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, in 2014 tourism and travel accounted for 9.6 percent of world GDP. By 2024, it is forecasted that this figure will rise to 10.3 percent.

A Few Words about Business Travel

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has noted that worldwide leisure travel spending generated about 75 percent of global direct travel and tourism GDP, while the remaining 25 percent was attributed to business travel and tourism. According to the Global Business Travel Association, China and the Asia-Pacific region will lead global business spending to an all-time record high in 2014. The forecast is for global business spending to increase by nearly 7 percent over 2013 figures to $1.18 trillion.

Growth Rates: Jan-Aug 2013 vs. Jan-Aug 2014

STR Global provides some of the most current information about the worldwide hotel industry. In their August 2014 Global Performance Report, occupancy, ADR and RevPAR are broken down into four main regions of the world – Asia Pacific, Americas, Europe, and Middle East/Africa. In year-over-year comparisons between the first 8 months of 2013 and the first 8 months of 2014, here are the results:

Asia Pacific

This region includes Central and South Asia, Northeastern Asia, Southeastern Asia, Australia and Oceania. It represents 45 countries and among the group of countries are India, China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. RevPAR was down 1.6 percent, ADR was down 2.4 percent, and occupancy rates managed to post a small gain of 0.8 percent. Pricing pressure was the primary reason for the weaker 2014 y-t-d statistics.

Americas 

This region includes North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Boosted by a stronger U.S. economy and an infusion of visitors to Brazil for the World Cup, the numbers were strong for the first 8 months of 2014. Compared to the same period in 2013, RevPAR in 2014 grew by 7.5 percent, ADR grew by 4.1 percent, and occupancy grew by 3.4 percent.

Europe

This region includes all of the European countries ranging from the Ukraine in Eastern Europe and the United Kingdom in Northern Europe to Italy in Southern Europe and France in Western Europe. Aside from Eastern Europe, which posted negative growth numbers in all three metrics, the rest of Europe did quite well. Even after averaging in struggling Eastern Europe, Europe as a whole reported positive growth in RevPAR of 9.0 percent; a 7.0 percent increase in ADR; and a 1.9 percent increase in occupancy.

Middle East/Africa

This region includes oil-rich countries such as Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia as well as African nations such as Egypt, Libya, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. RevPAR increased by 4.9 percent; ADR was up 2.2 percent; and occupancy was up 2.7 percent.

In looking at all of the regions, RevPAR was highest in the Middle East/Africa region ($102.46) followed by Europe ($97.41), Asia Pacific ($79.31), and the Americas ($77.39). ADR ($163.80) was also highest in the Middle East/Africa region, but occupancy was highest in Europe (68.2 percent).

In the Pipeline

STR Global August 2014 pipeline reports show hotel development projects in various stages of completion. They categorize some of the world’s regions slightly differently than they do RevPAR, ADR and occupancy. Here is a brief summary:

• Caribbean/Mexico – Adding 164 hotels totaling 27,621 rooms
• Central/South America – Adding 429 hotels totaling 70,560 rooms
• United States – 3,246 hotels (new construction & expansion) will be adding 391,402 rooms to inventory
• Asia/Pacific – 2,352 hotels are under contract to provide 528,109 rooms
• Europe – Adding 894 hotels for 142,704 new rooms
• Middle East/Africa – 628 new hotels under contract totaling 147,454 rooms

Growth by Hotel Group

Most of the growth in the worldwide hotel industry in 2014 and beyond will come from major hotel groups. According to MKG Hospitality’s 2014 Global Hotel Rankings, branded hotels grew by 3.2 percent in 2013 while non-branded hotel growth contracted, netting a 1.2 percent overall increase in the global supply of rooms (+200,000). In 2014, most major hotel groups are expected to grow between one and three percent. However, Chinese hotel group Home Inns is projecting growth of close to 20 percent as it capitalizes on the growing wealth of the population and its desire to travel.

• IHG, based in Great Britain, added 95 new hotels in 2014 and has 4,697 properties around the world
• Hilton Worldwide, based in the US grew by 2.8 percent, y-o-y, to have 4,115 properties in 2014
• Marriott International now has 3,783 hotels and 653,719 rooms after growing its inventory by 2.3 percent

Stabilization in Growth Trends Allows for More Environmental Conservation

While hotels have enjoyed strong growth over the past several years, it appears that growth is starting to stabilize. Instead of double-digit growth rates, many of the large hotel groups are now looking at lower single-digit growth in the near future. Growth remains positive and it should be remembered that the worldwide hotel industry is cyclical – some years are better than others. With the growing urgency of environmental protection based on the alarming report that in 40 years over 50% of our world’s wildlife has disappeared, it makes sense for the hospitality industry to protect the properties it owns already and take measures to keep grounds and buildings in harmony with their natural surroundings. Success in the hospitality industry can be measured by ADR and occupancy rates, but also — especially in 2014 — by the extent to which a property improves and preserves the natural communities in which it exists.
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Articles/Photos/Graphics Copyright ©2014  Hotel Managers Group – All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

October 29, 2014 / HMG Hotels

Increase Hotel Profits by Keeping Your Employees Happy

Happy hotel maid - Work in hotel roomThe hospitality industry is thriving, but with that success comes responsibility. Hotel and restaurant owners need good management practices in order to remain relevant and realize sustained profits. Effective management includes overseeing employee satisfaction. Research has shown that there is a direct connection between employee contentment and customer loyalty. This is why it is important to take an interest in each staff member’s happiness.

In an accommodation industry, the key to customer satisfaction is high-quality service. However, employees who are unhappy often lack the motivation to provide such service, which results in disgruntled customers. This trickle-down effect can adversely affect a company’s revenue. Studies have proven that the attitude of an employee is directly related to a customer’s spending. Essentially, happy employees create happy customers.

Online review sites and social networks have made it possible for travelers to instantly research hotels, resorts, restaurants and vacation hot spots. This on-the-spot reviewing can make or break a business. Find enough people ranting about slow, unfriendly or inexperienced staff members, and you will find a company struggling to prosper. The best weapon anyone in the travel industry has is employee engagement.

Encouraging employees to be connected to the process is the first step toward creating a long-lasting relationship between a business and its clientele. Customers seek authenticity, so employees should show genuine concern regarding customer satisfaction. Each team member should also understand the brand and its value. This will make it easier to represent the company on a day-to-day basis.

How can a business owner persuade employees to become engaged and authentic? The trick is to open communications so that team members can candidly discuss their gripes or praises. Managers should make the necessary adjustments to improve employee behavior. This may translate into a better understanding and delivery of the brand value, which can result in overall customer satisfaction.

The employee is the face of the business. With the ultimate goal being financial growth using responsible environmental practices, managers within this industry should focus on the employee-patron relationship. There is no denying that employee attitude, brand knowledge and productivity impact client satisfaction. A happy customer base is the gateway to security and longevity.

Customers often base their spending behaviors solely on their perception of the service. This is particularly true in the travel industry. Quick and efficient check-ins, a welcoming and accommodating staff, honesty and brand reliability are essential. When combined, these ingredients create the ultimate recipe for profitability.

Tourism is booming because it meets a need in society. As long as there is a hunger and need for travel, the hospitality industry will flourish. This does not mean that businesses can rest on their laurels. Competition is tough, and meeting the expectations of the customers is becoming more and more difficult. Hoteliers and other business owners must rely on personnel to provide superior service. The best way to support this goal is to keep staff members motivated, engaged and content.

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Articles/Photos/Graphics Copyright ©2014 – All Rights Reserved Hotel Managers Group
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October 3, 2014 / HMG Hotels

Social Media: Ways to Make Your Hotel’s Mobile Marketing Campaign More Effective

Key of successMarketing matters as much or more than any single factor in determining how successful your hotel can and will be. Everything positive about your hotel, from the actual rooms and amenities to the location and nearby attractions, can be promoted through a well-thought-out and coordinated social media hotel marketing campaign. Your goal should be to maintain an ongoing conversation with your current and potentially future customers.

Are you doing everything right to generate more business and greater returns for your hotel? Almost every hotel’s social media campaign can be improved in some way.

1. Don’t send mixed messages on different social media platforms. It is crucial to stay consistent with the information you provide whether it is on your website, on Facebook, or part of a mobile app on a smartphone.

2. Do make your email marketing catch the attention of every person contacted. When a new person is added to your mailing list, always thank them for signing-up.

3. Don’t make the mistake of using the same images over-and-over again. While it can be tricky to remember what you published three months ago, you can use a site like Dropbox or iPhoto to keep your images organized.

4. Do keep your website current and up-to-date. A hotel’s website is like the entrance to the hotel. Put your best foot forward when guests arrive to either your actual hotel or to your hotel’s website. Regularly review and compare your website to some of your competitors and try to have the best site. Read more.

5. Don’t make changes to your website just for the sake of change. There is a delicate balance between never changing what you do and making constant changes. Don’t confuse visitors by changing the layout, color scheme, and type of information typically provided. Occasional changes can be good, but frequent sweeping changes are usually not advised.

6. Do check and make sure that your online links are not broken before they are published. While it is always possible that a visitor will click on a link and it does not work, if this occurs regularly, it will drive visitors away from your website or social media pages.

7. Don’t disappoint your guests by over-promising. While there is nothing inherently wrong with using flowery language and displaying inviting poolside images to make your hotel appear as attractive as it can be, avoid claims that you have the best breakfast in town when all that is really offered is coffee and donuts. Disappointed guests will tell their friends just how disappointed they were if they have been misled.

8. Do focus on the “Big Three.” Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin should all be platforms in your social media strategy. Facebook reaches the most people, Twitter gives users the most succinct updates, and Linkedin appeals to the business-oriented traveler. You can further extend your reach to a wider audience by also including other popular platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, Tumbler, and Snapchat. Read more.

9. Don’t make grammatical or spelling errors on your website, they come across as unprofessional. Have several pairs of eyes proofread your copy.

10. Do share new blog posts. Google ranks new blog posts higher in searches when they are shared within two hours of being published. Read more.

11. Don’t get lazy. No one will read your blog if you do not keep it fresh and interesting. Your website should provide information about upcoming events and new topics. It takes some effort, but the work will pay off.

12. Do encourage recipients of your emails to open them, read further, and even forward them. Use a catchy headline. Then, when they do click-to-read, feature some photos showing guests enjoying their stay at your hotel.

13. Don’t ignore complaints. Whether it is on an independent site like TripAdvisor or on your own site, when people comment on a negative experience at your hotel, answering their complaints is a good way to show that you are paying attention and actually care about your guests. Read more.

14. Do celebrate and respond to your fans and to those who comment. Take a moment to reply professionally to comments.

15. Don’t overuse hashtags on Twitter. One or two is fine, but a string of five or six is excessive.

16. Do make it easy for your visitor to get the information she or he wants. Instead of sending a follower to the homepage of your hotel’s website and then making them click again to get to the reservations page, send them a link that will take them directly to the reservations page.

17. Don’t buy followers. This can compromise your accounts in more than one way.

18. Do post colorful images. Always choose images that you have the legal right to post and make sure the images are tasteful and consistent with the brand you are promoting.

19. Don’t assume that everyone shares the same religion, especially during holidays.

20. Do be a steward of our planet by seizing every chance to be environmentally conscious and encouraging readers to interact responsibly with our delicate planet at all times.

Lastly, don’t make a person who is using a mobile application go to another website. If you have an app for restaurants in your area, for example, the user should be able to make their reservation for dinner on that app and not have to go to the restaurant site, or call a phone number to secure a table.

Happy social networking and remember that with great power comes great responsibility, so be sure to carefully choose your social networking posts for the longterm success of your company.

Infographic: here is a compelling infographic online by Sam Kucinitz visually illustrating some of the principles outlined here http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/dos-donts-facebook-business-infographic

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Articles/Photos/Graphics Copyright ©2014 – All Rights Reserved Hotel Managers Group
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September 29, 2014 / HMG Hotels

10 Ways to Help an Effective Hotel General Manager

General Manager in LobbyWhen you hire a general manager to run your hotel, you expect them to do everything within their power to make your operation successful. In their role as supervisor, they are responsible for everything that goes on in your hotel. While they may not be the one who failed to fix the air-conditioner in room 201, they need to be aware that there is a problem and resolve it expeditiously. Ultimately, the general manager is held responsible for making sure that every problem, no matter how small or large, is resolved. Here are 10 constructive coaching tips for your new general manager:

1. Be Prepared  GMs should regularly prepare for meetings and be familiar with their clientele, employees and property.

2. Communicate Effectively with Employees – It is imperative that every employee clearly understands what they should be doing. A GM should not hide behind a desk, but instead be visible and available to all employees. It is a good idea to publicly praise an employee for doing a good job and a GM should never criticize an employee in front of others or on a group email thread.

3. Listen to Employees – There is no better feedback about what is really going on in your hotel than what can be heard from the women and men who do the hard work that keeps a hotel running. If a GM discourages employees from bringing up complaints from guests, or from making suggestions on how the hotel can do things better, it makes it harder for a hotel to shine. Employees are a hotel’s greatest asset. Encourage GMs to listen carefully to employees and hotel guests so that every hotel stay is optimized for greatest satisfaction.

4. Management Through Encouragement – Stressing out employees by placing unrealistic demands on them is a sure way to decrease morale and can lead to a high employee turnover rate. When training general managers, be sure to recommend a management style that includes regular positive reinforcement for all employees. Compliments may be delivered in person, on the phone or in a supportive email.

5. Delegate Work – No one can do it all and there are always people who can do a job as well or better than you. Make sure that the GM empowers the entire hospitality team by letting each member shine according to their professional talents.

6. Blaming Weak Top-Line Revenues for Not Making a Profit – A GM who does not take some responsibility for improving sales (top-line revenue), and instead blames the marketing or other departments for not attracting more paying customers, is shirking responsibility.  A well-trained GM should regularly consult with the sales team and the sales team should coordinate efforts with the marketing team. Revenue generation cannot be separated from the role of the GM. When RevPAR and occupancy go up, your GM will take credit. The GM should also accept responsibility when revenues are down and take prompt professional steps to improve sales.

7. Be Decisive – Work with a GM who has no trouble running a team whose principles are transparent, whose operations are consistent, whose communications are positive and prompt, and whose motives are the good of the company where the customer comes first.

8. Always Have the Best Interest of the Hotel in Mind – Work with GMs who believe in the company they work for and who take pride in being a team player for that company at all times.

9. Motivate Employees – Employees can be motivated by kind and supportive words, an increase in pay, a company picnic, emplyee-of-the-month recognition or numerous other rewards that make them feel valued and an important asset to the team.

10. Projecting the Right Image for the Hotel – A friendly and personable GM who regularly walks through the lobby and talks to guests can do wonders for business. In the hospitality industry, friendly smiles and fabulous customer service are everything.

If your GM is excelling at their job and responsibly handles the work that comes with hotel management, then reward them generously with praise and let them know that they are leading by example, making your hotel a success. A confident GM will in turn encourage their own employees and create a hospitality culture of kindness that is contagious and rewarding for all.

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