News for the Hospitality Executive
|MCLEAN, VA (April 4, 2007) – A growing reliance on digital
technology, consumers who “want it all and want it now,” and the future
of the resort industry fueled the agenda of the 7th Annual Resort Management
Conference, just held at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO.
With a record attendance of 240 professionals from the resort industry at-large, the two-day conference of education, debates and lively discussions was presented by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and the University of Denver’s School of Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management.
“The information presented was the perfect balance of ideas and education, with an overall focus on the most critical issues and ideas facing the resort industry: new technologies, future trends, an evolving marketplace, and the power of the customer,” states Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI.
Following are highlights of the keynote addresses, panel discussions
and breakout sessions.
“We are in the midst of social transformation, led by our growing reliance on digital technology,” stated Tchong. “Instant gratification is now not fast enough, and time is now more valuable than money. A huge new social dialogue is evolving and marketing is going to become entertainment driven – it’s the only way to break through the clutter.”
It is a digital lifestyle, said Tchong, where digital amenities are going to be key. “Internet phones will double the size of Internet use and texting is a new layer in our communication toolbox. The laptop culture is expanding and inserting itself into real-life relationships and mobile phone lifestyle stores are opening.”
Discussing how some of the biggest Ubertrends – society’s “supertrends” – fuel sub-trends and how these affect the travel market, he noted:
“To break through, one needs a new dialogue.” Examples are lifestyle-friendly rooms at Marriott’s Springhill Suites, Hyatt’s blackberry balm hand massage, a Star Wars room at the Ramada Phuket, WiFi in every seat on Virgin Atlantic, and time-compression hotels, where rooms are available in four-hour blocks.
In his keynote address on “Travel Trends in Business and Leisure Travel,” Peter Yesawich, president and CEO of Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell, stated that the business of travel is listing toward leisure, and that in the resort business, we are competing for a share of the consumers’ clock. “Consumers are saying: you want to do business with me, you’ll do business on my terms.” He also noted that as prices become more transparent, brand clarity becomes more important, and the incidence of utilization of the Internet to plan travel is no longer growing.
Yesawich presented highlights from YPB&R’s National Travel Monitor:
Presenting an overview from Smith Travel Research’s latest findings on operating statistics for resorts, Lomanno noted that the psychology of the marketplace is great. But, he questioned how long the prosperity is going to last, citing that the last 12 months mark the first time since 2002-2003 that occupancies are declining on an annualized basis. Demand numbers have slowed somewhat, but ADR is still very strong; 2004-2006 are the highest RevPar numbers ever – it will be hard to keep it that strong.
Other statistics and observations:
Steve Bartolin, president & CEO, The Broadmoor, said: “Without the group business, we’re out of business. Competitive forces are real. We need to take advantage of our strengths – infrastructure and expanded retail. Unique shopping is a driver, and unique dining is a big factor in buying.”
Charles S. Peck, president & CEO, Destination Hotels & Resorts, said: “Brand clarity is very important, and product quality and personalization are crucial to staying competitive. Groups are being defined as smaller and smaller; and men on golf outings and spa and golf for women are very profitable.”
Bob Foster of Lost Valley Ranch added that “controlling cost has been our focus, as well as how to get brand awareness.”
Yesawich noted, “Multigenerational travel is growing substantially, with one-third of active leisure travelers now grandparents, and 40% of them taking vacations with children or grandchildren.”
Trends in Electronic Marketing, Including Search Engine Marketing and More
Frank Fredericks, vice president, sales & marketing, Wild Dunes Resort, moderated a panel that provided insight into new developments in electronic marketing and distribution.
“Online is replacing offline, and branding and strategy are often missing from electronic marketing,” stated Karen Nasuti, president, Nasuti and Hinkle Creative Thinking, adding: “Put branding and strategy first, and implement plans with tailored objectives for electronic marketing. Keep them few and tangible, such as online direct sales.”
Steven V. Seghers, MHS, president, HyperDisk Marketing, said that to leverage beyond the existing plateau, he recommends: “fusion marketing – develop an integrated marketing plan; implement an e-marketing plan focused on branding and revenue generation; leverage top-performing portals to drive revenue fusion marketing, use a plan that leverages both traditional and digital marketing to drive sales.”
How to Survive and Capitalize on Short-Term, Weather-Driven Challenges and Opportunities
In a session moderated by Tjibbe Lambers, marketing & promotions
manager, Hershey Resorts, panelist Mark Glickman, resort director of marketing,
Mauna Lani Resort, suggested getting the word out timely and consistently
about conditions at your property and in the area to consumers and industry
CRM at Its Best
Exploring the new techniques in CRM, including the basics of psychographic
profiling, Tom Littleton, president, LMG Data Mining, moderated a panel
about how marketing can help create relationships, and how those relationships
can attract the right client and build your business.
A panel moderated by John Washko, vice president of sales and marketing,
The Broadmoor, discussed where the future of the group market is headed,
with panelists Peter Shelly, executive vice president, HelmsBriscoe; Lorraine
Sileo, vice president, information services, PhoCusWright, Inc.; and Emily
Malatesta, vice president, Business Development, TIG Global, LLC.
Human Resource Challenges in the Resort Industry
Highlights of the session, moderated by Andria L. Ryan, partner, Fisher & Phillips, LLP, and with panelists Cindy Clark, director of human resources, The Broadmoor, and Tonda Tan, director of human resources, Amelia Island Plantation, include:
Serving the Next Generation Guest, which looked at technology amenities and services required and expected by Gen X and Gen Y guests and was moderated by Daniel Connolly, Ph.D., assistant professor, School of Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver, with panelists Mike Pusateri, principal, Vantage Strategy Consulting and Michael Schubaack, CHTP, vice president of information technology, Pinehurst, LLC.
Generating Ancillary Revenue: Creative Techniques for Expanding Resort Revenue Streams presented highlights of the comprehensive HSMAI Resort Best Practices study on Generating Ancillary Revenue released in December 2006. The session was moderated by Heidi Storm Samore, co-author of the HSMAI report with Cindy Estis Green and senior consultant, The Estis Group, with panelists Jack Case, marketing manager, Kiawah Island Golf Resort; John Bradway, director of innovation management, The Breakers; and Lee Bowden, managing director, The Sagamore.
A session on New Technology Condo/Hotels and Fractional Ownership was moderated by Paul Laesecke, senior lecturer, School of Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver, and included panelists Peter Dann, executive vice president/director of operations, East West Resorts, and Tom Donovan, general manager, Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch.
Resort Executive of the Year
As part of this year’s program, the Resort Executive of the Year award,
sponsored by the University of Denver and Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown &
Russell, was given to Terri Haack, vice president and managing director,
Wild Dunes Resort. “I’m deeply honored and humbled… I love this industry
so much and I thank all of the people who have helped me along the way,”
|Also See:||Recap: 6th Annual Resort Management Conference; Chris von Imhoff, CEO, Alyeska Resort, Named Resort Executive of the Year / April 2006|
|Terri Haack, Managing Director at The Wild Dunes Resort, the Driving Force Behind Resort's Financial Turn Around / November 2003|
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