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April 15, 2014 / HMG Hotels

Hotel Amenities That Increase Revenue

Hotels Increase Their Revenue with High-Tech 3D TV

Women watching 3D TV

People are constantly on the move, and competition among hotels for their patronage is fierce. Whether individuals are traveling for business or pleasure, certain basic amenities are required for repeat business. Other features are for the more discerning visitor who is looking for high-tech gadgets, energy-efficiency or a unique experience. Hoteliers who want to increase their reservations need to stay abreast of the latest trends.

Necessities for booking more rooms

  • Travelers prefer hotels with a restaurant, complimentary breakfast and coffee service in the lobby. Many visitors arrive tired and hungry, and they don’t want to go out to search for refreshment after they check-in. Likewise, they may be rushing in the morning to catch a flight, attend a meeting or to get on the road and continue their trip. Breakfast and coffee are a welcome feature.
  • A pool and a fitness room help many weary visitors unwind after a long day of business meetings or sightseeing. Swimming is also a great way for the younger ones to burn off excess energy and get a good night’s sleep in a strange environment.
  • International travelers are often on a different internal clock than the locals and may require services in the middle of the night. In addition, emergencies can arise at any time of the day or night. For these reasons, a 24-hour front desk is a necessity.
  • Free high-speed Wi-Fi is mandatory. Everyone from great-grandparents to preschoolers wants to stay connected.
  • Not so long ago, people asked to reserve a smoke-free room. Now, increasing numbers require a smoke-free hotel. Business people are accustomed to smoke-free offices and demand the same conditions in their lodgings.
  • Pets are members of the family too, and pet-friendly hotels have a devoted following. Free pet beds and treats are a nice touch, and dog-walking services allow the guests to spend the day at meetings or touring the city without worrying about their furry friends.
  • First impressions are critical, and the lobby must look modern. Rooms have to be welcoming and clean. Dirty carpets, peeling wallpaper and poor service will quickly drive people away. In today’s world, guests can instantaneously post negative reviews on the Internet that have a disastrous effect on the business. Likewise, positive reviews attract guests and increase revenues.

High-Tech will be a good return on investment – ROI

  • Surround Sound, 3D TVs and game consoles keep the millennials entertained while they relax in their room. Some hotels also offer virtual golf courses and bowling alleys in selected suites.
  • Guests like to travel light and appreciate a hotel that offers a computer and printer in the room.
  • Customizable light and climate controls are a welcome addition to any room. Dimming a light can quickly take a mood from casual to romantic and that’s usually a nice addition to any stay.
  • Some hotels present arriving guests with an iPad to use during their stay. This device allows the tech-savvy visitor to easily control the room’s environment, read a complimentary newspaper, make dinner reservations and surf the web.
  • For guests who want to watch TV while they brush their teeth or shave, some facilities have bathroom mirrors that include an integrated flat screen with heaters to prevent the glass from fogging.

Go Green it’s a good way to have more revenues

  • Electric automobiles are experiencing an increasing presence in the fleets of rental cars, and many individuals use trips as an opportunity to try out these unfamiliar models. Consequently, hotels that are equipped with charging stations attract business while providing a valuable service to these guests.
  • Growing numbers of hotels offer free bicycles to visitors who wish to tour the surrounding area in an eco-friendly style.
  • Energy-conscious travelers seek out hotels that are interested in using natural resources in a thoughtful and productive manner. Many conservationists patronize establishments that use solar panels and wind turbines to power their operations.

Remarkable Amenities will boast your reservations

  • For some guests, the ultimate luxury is having a butler available to draw a bath, iron clothes or show them how to use a new electronic device.
  • Some upscale hotels provide fast, expensive cars to preferred customers. Available models may include Lamborghinis, Porsches and Ferraris.
  • Individuals who want to cover more territory in a shorter amount of time choose hotels with helicopter service. Some establishments may even offer private jets for those travelers who anticipate longer regional flights during their stay. For those visitors who can afford it, private flights are a wonderful way to become familiar with an area within a short period of time.

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Articles/Photos/Graphics Copyright ©2014 – All Rights Reserved Hotel Managers Group
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April 9, 2014 / HMG Hotels

Tooele’s Comfort Inn & Suites Wins Award and Top Ranking

Tooele, Utah’s Comfort Inn & Suites gained two important commendations in early 2014. The lodging establishment was recognized for its outstanding commitment to guest satisfaction. It achieved this with the help of a proficient workforce, top-notch amenities and the wise administrative guidance of Hotel Managers Group. The inn’s entire staff is delighted with this extraordinary accomplishment.

Comfort Inn & Suites in Tooele as a Platinum Award winner for 2014

Major National Award

Choice Hotels has selected the Comfort Inn & Suites in Tooele as a Platinum Award winner for 2014. The global franchisor presents this commendation to just three out of every 100 establishments in each of its national chains. To reach platinum status, an inn doesn’t only have to surpass local competitors. It needs to outperform hundreds of other hotels throughout the United States.

When it selects Platinum Award winners, Choice Hotels takes several important factors into consideration. A recipient must consistently satisfy customers by delivering exceptional service and maintaining a high level of quality. The franchisor’s judges also look at a hotel’s efforts to reduce energy consumption and minimize its environmental impact.

In recent years, the Comfort Inn & Suites in Tooele has taken many steps to save electricity and water. It obtained numerous programmable thermostats, photovoltaic panels and energy-efficient lights. The inn uses a combination of compact fluorescent bulbs and light-emitting diodes to illuminate the entire property. It has also initiated a highly effective campaign to conserve water.

Top Customer Ranking

Tooele’s Comfort Inn & Suites isn’t only popular among lodging experts and environmentalists. Satisfied customers recently helped it earn the top ranking among Tooele hotels on TripAdvisor. This means that guests rate the Comfort Inn & Suites more favorably than any other lodging establishment in this city. The hotel’s employees and managers are proud to have pleased so many customers.

What makes the Comfort Inn & Suites in Tooele so popular? All of the hotel’s comfortable, well-maintained rooms come with delectable hot breakfasts and high-speed Internet access. Furthermore, the friendly employees treat customers with respect and quickly address any problems they might encounter. Comprehensive staff training and effective management practices have helped to make this possible.

With over 30 years of hospitality leadership experience, Hotel Managers Group knows how to deliver exceptional results. This inn’s Platinum Award and top TripAdvisor ranking highlight the group’s ability to help lodging establishments achieve greater prosperity. Thanks to HMG’s hospitality expertise and attention to detail, many hotels have successfully boosted customer satisfaction to new heights.

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Articles/Photos/Graphics Copyright ©2014 – All Rights Reserved Hotel Managers Group
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March 31, 2014 / HMG Hotels

Increase Your Hotel Revenue with Mobile Marketing

Hotels should leverage mobile technology to boost their profits and better connect with travelers.

Ways to Increase ROI and RevenuesThe hospitality industry has always been about providing an experience. A hotel is designed to be a home away from home. This is why hotels spend so much time creating attractive spaces with functional perks. For most hotels, improvement is about adding upgrades to the facility. Hotel staffs are trained to be friendly and efficient as a means of securing customer loyalty.

While all these things are important, they are surprisingly limited in the evolving modern market. The fact is that there are only so many amenities hotels can add, and a friendly front desk staff can only go so far. While it is important to keep comfort, convenience and customer service at the foreground of everything, these are no longer the last hurdles in ultimate success. The hospitality industry has mastered many things, but there are still things left to learn, especially when it comes to the use of mobile technology.

Mobile technology has revolutionized the way people live and work. Over the last decade, cell phone usage has exploded. People no longer simply have a phone on the go, but they have mobile devices that can make calls, search the Internet and conduct emails. This increased connectivity has altered the way people think about and approach traveling. Even while this fact is nearly indisputable, many hotels are still lagging behind in leveraging this trend.

For hotels to get ahead, it is important to reevaluate their mobile tactics. In order to update any mobile practices, however, it is critical to know what travelers are really looking for in their pursuit of mobile hospitality. Fortunately, a recent study by MCD provides essential insights to the latest trends and wants of travelers in terms of mobile technology.

First Impressions

The need to cater to mobile technology starts before travelers ever leave home. According to the MCD study, 70 percent of travelers use a hotel’s website or mobile app to make a final decision about booking a room. This is well over half of all travelers, which means that websites or apps that are not appealing can actually be a significant deterrent to attracting visitors.

In the past, hotels felt satisfied by merely having an online presence. That is no longer enough, however. To start, searching preferences have increasingly shifted from desktops and laptops to more portable technologies like tablets or smartphones. The up-and-coming generations are more likely to use mobile products according to GlobalWebIndex. This is relevant because websites function differently on mobile devices. A website may look excellent on a desktop, but it may be almost unusable on a mobile device. If this is the case, hotels could be missing out on an important demographic, all because their website does not perform well on the necessary platforms.

In any case, hotels need to develop a quality website and a functional mobile app to make the best impression possible on potential customers. Without a strong mobile presence for booking opportunities, none of the hotel’s efforts in comfort and customer service will make much difference at all.

Hotel Apps For SmartphoneOngoing Connections

When it comes to mobile connections, first impression are good but not enough to truly excel. While more hotels are getting better at facilitating online booking, surprisingly few have further developed their mobile connections for visitors after a reservation is booked. This is increasingly problematic as more people rely on their mobile devices not just before but while they travel.

In the study by MCD, 74 percent of travelers expressed a desire for more connection with their hotel during their visit. That is almost three-quarters of everyone who travels, which is a huge demographic. After all, just think about all the things travelers now do on their smartphones and tablets. Up to 83 percent of family travelers use digital maps while they travel. Other travelers will research movie times, restaurant menus, museum hours and more. When so much can be done on a smartphone, travelers are becoming dissatisfied with how limited hotels actually are. A hotel that can provide such a service will not just be well reviewed but it will be definitively ahead of most other hotels on the market.

One reason many hotels have not continued to develop mobile connections in this way is because it is not as easy as it sounds. However, to get started, there are some interesting ways to go. Hotels could develop mobile technology that allows travelers to:

  • Pay their hotel bills
  • Order room service
  • Purchase extra amenities
  • Book transportation
  • Receive concierge tips
  • Check-in remotely
  • Request late check-out

These features vary in terms of how hard they would be to implement, but large numbers of travelers expressed interest in ongoing connective features like these. While a hotel may not be able to implement all such features right away, starting with one or two would be a good way to start reaching travelers more effectively in the coming years.

Personalization

One of the biggest advantages of utilizing mobile technology to reach travelers is that hotels can now build customized experiences for every traveler. Hotels often offer a one-size-fits-all approach with tiered packages to serve travelers on a number of levels. However, with mobile technology, it is possible to respond to unique needs in a timely and efficient fashion.

This level of personalization is desired by 80 percent of all travelers. People want their hotel stays to be customized, and they do not want to have to work hard to make that happen. With well implemented mobile applications, it could be easier than ever to make that possible.

Just consider some of the preferences that can be set by travelers:

  • Bed and pillow types
  • Newspaper delivery
  • Floor preference
  • Wake-up calls
  • Dietary needs
  • Room size
  • Elevator access
  • Nonsmoking rooms
  • Minibar availability
  • Pet friendly spaces
  • Billing preferences

Customers are willing to share personal information with hotels in exchange for having their needs met. In fact, hotels that offer such personalization are more likely to develop relationships with loyal customers. Not only does this increase customer satisfaction, but it can also streamline hotel operations. If this information is digitized, it is more readily accessible to the staff members who need to know it. This means there are fewer opportunities for the chain of communication to break down, and it is easier to know exactly what the customer wants, which can save time and frustration for both the staff and the travelers.

Getting Down to Business

While there are many tactics that can appeal to a wide base of travelers, there are certain segments of the population that deserve a little extra attention. The MCD study looks at three different types of travelers. These groups are family travelers, leisure travelers and business travelers. While all three types are valuable and worth noting, many hotels crave business travelers. After all, these travelers provide lucrative, consistent income. Family and leisure travel tends to ebb and flow, depending on the time of year or the current economic climate. Business travelers, on the other hand, are often less affected by such changes.

These millennial travelers, however, can be much harder to woo due to their very specific needs. Business travelers are on the road more often, which means they tend to develop more loyalty to certain brands and are more likely to return to the same hotel. Plus, since these travelers are working, they often have more mobile connection needs than other travelers. More than any other group, business travelers want the ability to customize their experience and streamline their stay.

Therefore, implementation of the strategies in this article is more likely to have an impact on these travelers, making such strides even more profitable in the long run.

Proactive Marketing

While much of the MCD study is focused on improving the connection between the hotel and travelers during their stay, it is worth noting that mobile technology also has a wide range of marketing implications. There have been a number of studies conducted that show the positive impact of digital marketing. This type of marketing can include a wide range of things, including social media, blogging, pay-per-click advertising and more. These tactics vary in terms of results and costs, but the ultimate message is clear. Hotels need to shift their thinking and start leveraging the digital realm. From online booking to advanced marketing campaigns, digital technology can give hotels the leverage they need to thrive in coming years.

In conclusion

The MCD study used responses from 1,000 American travelers, but the results speak firmly of the growing shift in traveling preferences. Every hotel wants to give travelers the best experience possible. This goal has not changed, but its implications have certainly evolved. Customers want more than a warm bed at night. They want to travel the same way they live life. Therefore, hotels would be smart to acknowledge this trend and start catering to customers with mobile technologies.

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March 14, 2014 / HMG Hotels

Understanding The Wants And Needs Of The Chinese Traveler

Some Facts you should know before starting a marketing plan to target Asian travelers
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Happy Chinese family with suitcase at the airport - Photo taken in San Diego all rights reserved 2014

Rapidly increasing middle class boosts US visitation numbers

Back in 2004, 29 million Chinese travelers visited foreign countries. In 2013, the number of Chinese travelers who took vacations and trips outside of China had grown to 100 million. According to estimates from the CLSA, a highly respected brokerage and investment group in Asia, that number will double to 200 million by the year 2020.

The rapid expansion of international travel is directly related to the rapidly growing middle class of China. According to CLSA, the key number that will drive this desire to travel abroad is when the per-capita GDP reaches US $8,000, a figure that should be achieved by 2020.

Chinese travelers are looking for unique experiences. As they become wealthier they will travel greater distances to gain those experiences. Currently, their travel preferences lean toward Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore. In 2012, 1.5 million people from China visited the United States and 1.3 million visited France. These “dream” destinations are predicted to become more popular and accessible in the very near future. By the year 2020, it is expected that 5.7 million people will visit the US and 3.9 million will visit France.

Big Boost to US Travel and Tourism

Catering to the tastes of Chinese visitors can pay big dividends for businesses in the travel and tourism industry. Hotels, airlines, restaurants, shops, and attractions are already directing a part of their marketing efforts toward the Chinese travel. In December of 2013, a new non-profit organization called the Visit USA Committee was formed to help promote Chinese tourism to the United States.

The Chinese spend more than US $6,000 per person, about double the amount spent by other international visitors. When the number of visitors doubles in the next few years, the impact on the US economy will be magnified exponentially. Opportunity is just knocking at the door for many businesses to reap the benefits of this major travel trend. Any business that wants to benefit from this once-in-a-generation trend needs to know what the Chinese traveler wants and needs.

Travel preferences depend on age

Traditionally, the Chinese tourist has preferred to travel with family or a group of close friends. Having friends and family along allows them to share their experiences while they are exploring a different culture. They like the security of having a planned itinerary and often choose to be part of a tour group.

Millennials and members of the younger generation are expressing their desire to travel individually or with a few friends/family members. Young, wealthy, and better educated Chinese travelers have more of a sense of adventure. Technologically savvy and active on social media sites, they want to blend in to the foreign city they are visiting and create individual experiences.

Why do Chinese want to travel abroad?

Although there are exceptions to every rule, the majority of Chinese travelers do not look at vacations as a means to relieve the stress in their lives. Unlike Americans who have a sense of entitlement that they deserve a relaxing vacation as a reward for working hard, the Chinese see a foreign vacation as an opportunity to experience different cultures on a first-hand basis and gain an understanding of how other people live.

Planning a vacation

While the Chinese traveler may do some research on the Internet about their upcoming trip, by and large, they do not feel the need to find out everything there is to see and do when they get to their destination. The Chinese spend more of their time in the present and enjoy the moment. They have fun getting a cup of coffee and a donut in the airport and they enjoy the taxi ride to their hotel.

A full cultural experience

Whether traveling in large groups or just with a few family members and close friends, Chinese travelers are anxious to absorb the culture that is all around them. They want to eat pizza and hamburgers (not Chinese food!) when they are in New York or California. They want to go to the beach in San Diego. Little things, like buying a candy bar at a convenience store or watching American TV, mean almost as much as going to Disneyland or visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Shopping

Chinese tourists bring a lot of money to shop. They may buy a few souvenirs from the places they visit, but most of their shopping dollars are directed at upscale goods that they normally do not buy at home. Designer clothing, shoes and accessories are very popular. They want high-end merchandise such as Gucci bags and Prada shoes. They are less interested in hand-crafted items made in the USA than they are in items that are considered status symbols.

The wants and needs of the Chinese traveler are evolving as the middle and upper-class grows larger in China. While traditional values are still most important to the majority of this growing group of world travelers, younger Chinese people, who grew up in the digital age, are venturing out and creating their own personal travel experiences.

What should you consider in your hotel to please Chinese travelers?

How to Please Chinese TravelerAs any good host should know, you should always try to make your guest feel welcome and at home. You want to serve them food that they will like and not discuss subjects that will make them feel ill at ease. When you run a hotel, the best way to assure that your guests will be pleased with their stay, is to find out what they like and what they don’t like.

Chinese people, particularly the younger generation, spend a great deal of time on social media. They share their opinions and experiences with their friends and post online reviews. A hotel manager can get great feedback by having an employee, who is fluent in Mandarin, monitor the popular Chinese travel and social

When tourists or business people from China book a room in your hotel, you should be prepared to give them a proper welcome. While more Chinese travelers are visiting the United States than ever before and becoming familiar with western culture, they still retain strong traditional Chinese values.

A two-stage approach to making your Chinese guests happy

You are never going to please all of the people all of the time, but, you can do things that will get you more favorable comments from your Chinese guests. First, you need to take steps to add the amenities and features that appeal to your Asian visitors. Next, and just as important, you need to avoid doing things that have a negative connotation and may upset your guests.

Symbolism

The Chinese have lucky and unlucky numbers. They believe certain colors are lucky and others will bring bad luck. They attribute certain characteristics to animals and flowers. A hotel that wants to cater to the Chinese traveler should know:

• If you place flowers in a guest room, the color of the container should coordinate with the color of the flowers. Plants are a life force and flowers in bloom should be accompanied by budding flowers that represent the continuous journey through life.

• The most popular Chinese number is 8. In the Mandarin language, “8” sounds like the Chinese word for prosperity. If you can put your Chinese guests in a room on the 8th floor, or give them room 388, hey will consider it good luck. Number “4” is a number that is considered very bad luck. It sounds like the Mandarin word “death” and should be avoided at all costs. In Las Vegas, the Encore Hotel does not have any floors in the 40’s, an obvious accommodation to its Chinese guests.

• Red is considered the luckiest and most popular color. Among the adjectives associated with this color are good luck, celebration, joy, vitality and life. White is often used during times of mourning and is associated with death. Reds, yellows, orange and several other colors are good choices if you decide to decorate a room that will be visually appealing to your Chinese guest.

Which floor is best?

It may seem a little silly, but the Chinese traveler is keenly aware of the particular floor on which his or her room is located. No one wants to be on the 4th floor or on a floor that starts with the number “4” as previously discussed. As a general rule, more status is attributed to a person who is assigned a room on a higher floor rather than a lower one. It can be insulting to the president of a company if he is given a room on the 7th floor and his assistant is given a room on the 18th floor.

Great service is a must

Chinese travelers are sometimes considered to be a bit rude because they harbor the belief that money equals good service. As affluent travelers, they expect to reach into their wallet and someone to almost immediately respond to their want or need. If your hotel has a restaurant and the service is slow, a Chinese diner will think that he or she is being slighted because they are Chinese. Always be extra attentive to your Chinese guests. Even if there is a delay, don’t ignore them. Give them the respect they want by explaining the situation and even apologizing for the delay.

Tea Time

While most Americans can’t go without a cup of coffee to start their day, most Asian people incorporate hot tea into their daily routine. Your hotel should always have hot water in the lobby for tea and it would also be appreciated if the guest rooms had tea kettles and an assortment of different teas.

Complimentary slippers in every room

Another tradition that is followed in the Chinese culture is to remove your shoes before entering a room. Hotels should provide disposable slippers by he bed in each room.

Breakfast menu

Help your Chinese guests get off to a good start each day by offering them some familiar breakfast staples. While Westerners might eat cold cereal and scrambled eggs, Asian tastes may prefer congee (rice porridge) with some hot bean juice. Noodles and dumplings are also favorites from the homeland.

A staff that speaks Mandarin

Being in a foreign land can be intimidating if you do not understand the native language. While some Chinese travelers have a good command of English, others do not. Even if they can speak English, they feel more welcome and comfortable if they can talk and be understood in their native tongue. Your hotel should have at least one, if not several, staff members who can communicate fluently in Mandarin.

Entertain & inform in the Chinese language

Putting up a Chinese version of your hotel’s website is a great way to provide information to your Asian guests. Subscribe to some Chinese language TV stations or have movies with Chinese subtitles. Your hotel can order a daily Chinese-language newspaper and you can have city maps and travel cards printed in Mandarin.

Don’t forget the free toothbrush and toothpaste

Chinese travelers almost never carry their own toothbrushes or toothpaste when they go on vacation. They expect that the hotel will provide those personal items for free. Don’t disappoint them.

Address safety concerns

Every person that travels to a foreign country always has some concerns about their safety and the safety of their money. In surveys, the Chinese express an unusually high concern about safety issues when traveling to the United States. Reassure guests by pointing out the many safety features of your hotel. You may encourage guests to use an in-room safe or leave their valuables in the hotel’s secured storage area.

What else do Chinese travelers want?

• Free WiFi
• At least one Chinese meal a day. It could be breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
• Food that is not too sweet. They prefer fruit and vegetables instead of cake and candy bars.
• Clean guest rooms

Golden Week

The first week of October is known as Golden Week. It is a national holiday period that covers the first seven days of the month. During this time, millions and millions of people take their annual vacations. Most of the popular vacation spots in China become inundated with Chinese travelers. Realizing that the local areas are so crowded, the more affluent Chinese travelers take the opportunity to travel abroad.

Europe, the United States and other international destinations benefit by the surge of international visitors. Every hotel that wants or hopes to develop a relationship with the growing number of Chinese tourists must focus on being ready for Golden

Find more information About marketing on our website

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March 12, 2014 / HMG Hotels

What is a Millennial Traveler – Why are Hotel Owners and Managers so Interested to Them

Do you have what it takes to be a Millennial Traveler?

By HMG Hotels
Women Millennial Traveler at the Beach with a Tablet using internet for her next travel adventure
If you can walk, chew gum, and text, all at the same time, you might be a Millennial. You might be a Millennial if you use your smartphone to book a last minute room on Hotel Tonight. Just as we refer to the Baby Boomer generation or Generation X, the term Millennial refers to the last generation born in the twentieth century.

About the Millennial generation

While the exact number of people counted in the Millennial generation varies by the definition of the length of the generation, there is general consensus that the millennial generation has now surpassed the Baby Boomer generation as the most populous generation in history. Also referred to as “Generation Y” or “Generation Next,” this group will lead us into the future. Rough estimates are that there are 80 million Millennials and 76 million Baby Boomers. Millennials are a significant part of the US economy. In 2013, expenditures on goods and services totaled $600 billion. By 2020, as this generation moves into its prime earning years, spending is expected to increase to $1.4 trillion.

Demographics of the Millennial generation

When the results of a recent Pew Research survey were tabulated, some interesting trends for the millennial generation emerged.

• When asked about trust, only 19% of the respondents said that most people can be trusted.
• Only 26% get married before the age of 32.
• The Millennial generation is the most racially diverse of any generation. 43% identified themselves as non-white, with African American, Hispanic and Asian being among the different ethnicities.
• The median number of Facebook friends was 250.
• 55% have shared a “selfie.”

While it is dangerous to paint any large group with a single swipe of the brush, other surveys and general observations about the Millennial generation suggest that people in this age group are more likely to own a smartphone than have a landline telephone. Reading is done on a computer or other electronic device. Reading an old-fashioned newspaper (and getting ink on your fingers) is practically unheard of for a 20 year-old. Politically, most register as Independents, but tend to vote for the more liberal Democratic candidate. President Obama had overwhelming support from Millenials and that helped him get elected and re-elected.

Clues that suggest you are a true Millennial traveler?

Simply having a smartphone does not qualify you as a Millennial traveler. Anyone from five to ninety-five can have a smartphone. If you have one of these devices and can not do anything but answer or make a call, you are probably either an older Baby Boomer or a senior citizen. You should feel comfortable taking pictures, posting videos, sharing your life with your “friends” on Facebook and texting at least 50 times an hour.

It is not all that hard to identify Millennial travelers. Other than identifying them by age, you can tell much by simply observing their behavior. Men and women in this age group tend to walk briskly and get things done quickly. Not only do they like getting fast service, they demand it.

If you are standing in line at the front desk and a Millennial is in front of you, there will be no fumbling for credit cards or identification. Chances are good that the young person in front of you has used an app like CheckMate to check-in from a remote location. Everything is ready when they arrive at the hotel and they quickly get their room key and head off to their room. There are even some hotels that have systems that allow guests to skip the front desk and unlock the door to their room with a smartphone app.

You are probably a Millennial traveler if the first thing you do when you get into your room is to place your smartphone, tablet and music player on the recharging station. You can’t afford to be without your connections to the world!

Demanding extra from your hotel experience

Based on the apparent life-sustaining force that comes with your propensity to share what the older generations would call trivial nonsense, you must constantly try to find something to share with your friends. You need something that is new, even if it is not particularly exciting or interesting. Why else would you feel the need to post that you are at the Exxon gas station – filling up and getting donuts – and will be in Disneyland in twenty minutes?

Hotel managers may think this kind of behavior is unusual, but nonetheless, if they want to please millennial Travelers, they will do what they can to provide something unusual and interesting at their hotel. Put a red corvette in the lobby and you will see the smartphones come out. A Millennial wants to show-off by sitting in the sports car and taking a “selfie” to share with his friends. Is it showing off? Is it the need to receive praise and recognition from your peers? Whatever it is, millennial do it all of the time.

If your hotel serves a fantastic free breakfast, don’t be surprised if a picture of a scrambled egg platter with bacon and toast is sent to 200 people. You don’t have to understand it, but you do have to realize that your guest is doing you a favor by promoting your hotel.

If you can make your young guests excited about some part of their experience at your hotel, they will share their positive experience with in their social circles. That can lead to more business in the future. Just remember, if a Millennial has a bad experience, (hotel not clean, crack in the wall, hair on the pillow etc…) they will also take bad photos and Tweet those out to their friends.

You don’t like to travel alone

Although there are far more single millennial than married couples, the younger generation does not like to travel alone. According to a 2013 Boston Consulting Group survey, Millennials are more likely to travel for leisure in organized groups (tours), with extended family, or with friends.

More information please

If there is one common thread about millennial travelers, it is that they want quick access to all information. They don’t want to read through the rack of pamphlets to find someplace to go for the day. Your hotel can stand out if you have a comprehensive website with plenty of useful information, not only about your property, but also about the local area. It pays to invest a little time and money developing a list of recommended restaurants, places to shop, and attractions to see.

The Millennial generation has its own way of looking at the world. They rely on technology to help them get things done quicker and more efficiently than earlier generations. They may not know how to calculate the area of a circle, but they can get the answer almost immediately by using the Internet. Millennials will become the dominant generation in the near future, be prepare to the challenge. They will contribute more to the economy and have a major influence on all political issues. Hotels and the travel and tourism industry must understand the wants and needs of this generation if they want to succeed in the future.
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February 25, 2014 / HMG Hotels

10 Tips for a Great Trip to Silicon Valley in 2014

Cheerful finger smileys with colorful holiday travel bubble iconWhen planning a trip to Silicon Valley, it is hard to go wrong. Located just outside the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley is a hub of business, activity and culture. Whether the trip is for business or pleasure, Silicon Valley can be the perfect destination.

However, in order to make the most of the destination, it is important to be properly prepared. If you are planning a trip to this northern California hot spot, consider the following tips.

1. Pick your favorites. When thinking about a trip, start by deciding the things you really want to do. Traveling is always more time-consuming than expected, so it is good to have your favorite activities prioritized in order to make time for them. In fact, it may be helpful to buy tickets in advance to certain venues or performances, just to make sure you make time for them. Decide what day you will go shopping at Westgate Mall in San Jose. Purchase tickets to Raging Waters before you leave. Make reservations at Lightheart Cellars in San Martin.

2. Try something new. Silicon Valley has plenty of recreational and cultural opportunities, so there is always something new to explore. Maybe plan a trip to the South Bay Historical Railroad Society to see the Santa Clara Tower. Visit the Exploration Center at the NASA Ames Research Center, complete with a tour of the wind tunnels. Stop by the infamous HP Garage, where the first HP product was made in 1938. Try a meal at Buck’s of Woodside, where successful ventures like Hotmail, Tesla and more have been developed. Be sure to try at least one new thing.

San Jose in silicon valley3. Get your heart pumping. Lying around the hotel pool may be fun for a respite, but it should always be balanced with a few higher energy activities, too. Getting exercise is not only good for your body, but it can improve your mood and increase your energy level. Fortunately, there are ample opportunities for activity in Silicon Valley. Take a walk on the Bay Area Ridge Trail, which goes around and through the valley. Look for a hike in Big Basin Redwoods State Park or Castle Rock State Park, both in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Stroll through the cities, or go for a bike ride.

4. Maintain a healthy diet. One great thing about traveling is a break from cooking and cleaning. However, while eating out is tasty, it can have an impact on your digestive system and overall health. Eating healthy while away from home can be difficult. Some hotels may have kitchenettes, which allow you to cook for yourself. It is also possible to find healthier options while out and about. Look for health food restaurants. Buy fresh fruit for snacks. Opt for lighter fare when at a restaurant.

5. Keep the budget in mind. With so much to do in Silicon Valley, it can be easy to just let all your responsibilities slide. However, never create more problems on your getaway. To avoid this, be mindful of your budget. Know in advance how much you can afford, and then figure out how much wiggle room you have. Factor in costs for travel, lodging and eating. Then, set aside funds for your favorite activities and for souvenirs. Then you will know how much extra you have to spend.

6. Stay centralized. With so much to do in Silicon Valley, having a plan to get around is essential. There are public transit options, and rental cars are available. However, the best way to maximize your time in the area is to pick a good, centralized hotel. Make sure your hotel is close to your favorite destinations. If you are going to be moving around throughout the valley, opt for a hotel near major roadways in centralized locales. This way it is possible to save time on your daily commute, which can enhance the experience.

7. Be willing to travel. While staying centralized is convenient, never let that limit what you do. There is plenty to do in Silicon Valley, but it is also a great starting point for day trips in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Take a day to go into San Francisco. Plan a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge and spend some time in Sausalito with its good food and amazing art. Push your boundaries on the trip, and you can take your Silicon Valley trip to the next level.

8. Think about the environment. A trip to Silicon Valley is a great chance to get away, but just because you are away from home does not mean you have no responsibilities. California has some of the most spectacular landscapes and cityscapes in the entire country. As a guest in the area, it is important to do your part in preserving that. Some restaurants have environmentally friendly menus. There are businesses that have adopted green practices. Bring reusable bags. Even smaller things, like throwing your trash away and recycling, can go a long way.

9. Have a plan. The best way to get the most out of your trip to Silicon Valley is to have a plan. Know what you want to do and when you want to do it. Have reservations to your hotel, and book your rental car in advance. This way, you can have confidence that you will get to do everything on your list with no compromises. In addition to planning activities, be sure to allot time to rest and relax.

10. Stay open to change. While it is important to have a plan, never be too strict about it. Trips can change in ways you never expect. Do not limit yourself by staying too loyal to plans. If you have something you want to do, make time to do it. If you enjoy a certain area more than expected, clear out other parts of your schedule to make time for more. Your trip is always yours to control, and Silicon Valley can surprise anyone.

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February 25, 2014 / HMG Hotels

Boost Sales in Your Hotel by Creating a Cozy Atmosphere in the Lobby

Cozy Atmosphere in Hotel LobbyWhen you run a hotel you are always looking at different ways to boost sales. Noticing trends and taking advantage of them is crucial to attracting new business and encouraging former guests to return for another stay at your hotel. One of the big trends today is in developing a cozy atmosphere in your hotel. Creating a casual space where guests can congregate and socialize or people can meet and discuss a business deal, makes your hotel more popular.

There are many opportunities to transform your hotel’s public spaces into cozy areas that encourage social conversations and interactions. Take a look at your lobby.

The lobby is the most obvious place to start because every guest passes through there anytime they enter or leave the hotel. You may have a few chairs and a table or two in there now. People may sit in those chairs while their spouse is checking in at the front desk, but they don’t hang out there. One thing you can do is to create group seating areas.

It all depends on the size of your lobby. If you have enough space, use it to encourage people to gather. Make sure you have a WiFi enabled lobby where people can use their electronic devices. You could set up some tables and chairs where people could work while sipping a cup of coffee. Some hotels like the Marriott and Sheraton are improving sales by turning their lobbies into great rooms where they serve wine or local craft beers.

When people feel comfortable, they stay longer and order more drinks or food items. 

Another area that you can turn into a casual meeting space is outside around the pool or patio area. Put up some tables with umbrellas and have a light menu for poolside dining. People like casual places where they don’t have to dress up in a suit and tie.

Your hotel can boost sales by encouraging people who are not hotel guests to come and use some of the facilities. Making some of your public space available to both guests and people who just want a nice place to meet with a friend will improve your hotel’s reputation.

There are many occasions where one might want to meet to discuss business. If, for example, you are a real estate broker and want to talk with a client before looking at houses, it might be convenient to meet in a hotel. The atmosphere in a hotel is different than it is in a restaurant. Create that cozy atmosphere and you will attract more people to your hotel.

When you do something extra like providing a place to gather and socialize, people notice. Guests that visit your hotel will see that you offer something that other hotels do not offer. Hotels are places where people like to feel at home. If your hotel creates a warm and friendly atmosphere, people will tell their friends how nice of a time they had. Word-of-mouth alone can get you more guests in the future.

You always have to make a decision of how to allocate your resources to best improve your hotel. Creating a cozy atmosphere does not have to involve a major renovation. The trend is toward casual and cozy places in hotel lobbies and other spaces. Working to achieve such an atmosphere will pay off in more sales.

A must read from The Washington Post

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