Hotel Online  Special Report

A Difference of Opinion: Who Are
Your Most Important Guests? 
By: Neil Salerno, Hotel Marketing Coach, March 2005

When I first read the article “Most Hotel Reservations are Decided and Made by (Fill in the Blank)" by Emmanuel Gardinier, I thought it was interesting. When I read it again on another news wire, it brought me back more than twenty years to a time when the industry was abuzz with the same issue. Allow me a different opinion.

At that time, several large franchisors devoted considerable funds to explore this possibility. At that time, female travelers had begun to explode onto the travel scene and hotels, always eager to find a new niche, huddled in their board rooms to discuss ways to tap into this new emerging market.

Companies like Marriott, Holiday Inn, and Hyatt, always quick to invent, came up with many of the suggestions in Mr. Gardinier’s article. We were excited by this new prospect. After all, this could be the magic panacea to solve the huge occupancy problems of the early 80’s. To this writer, the 80’s inflicted far worse occupancy damage than today’s position.

I remember cute little bud vases, cheesy paper slippers, and other such items bursting into our new “female” traveler rooms. My gosh, we used shower caps for years until finally deleting them.  Hotels hustled to get pastel colored robes and special make-up mirrors to lure this new market to choose our hotels. The result was that the more we tried to differentiate between male and female travelers, the more it turned off one or the other.

The conclusion…

We discovered that security was the driving issue for female travelers and many women did not want to be treated any differently than male travelers. Female travelers and female hotel shoppers have the same concerns as male travelers. The more we “catered” to females, the more we turned them off with this special treatment. 

All the items mentioned by Mr. Gardinier are more or less standard to all hotel guests, today. This resulted from much research and consumer focus groups representing all travelers.

Mr. Gardinier mentioned some very important issues in his article and I don’t want to diminish that. I guess my concern lies with the advice to concentrate on female travelers and female shoppers as if they are that much different from their male counterparts. In fact they are not. 

The primary concern by all travelers today is security, comfort, and cleanliness not trinkets or anything having to do with specific female-oriented items. Concentrating on those things and making them female issues could cause a hotel to lose focus on those things which all travelers seek. Frankly, many of the standard amenities used by most hotels are those which both sexes enjoy. We’ve come a long way, baby. 



Neil L. Salerno, CHME, CHA
The Hotel Marketing Coach

Also See: New Consumer Hotel Booking Preferences - They Love the Internet…Now What? / Neil Salerno / March 2005
Who Would Have Thought - Today's Hotel Marketing Necessity Is Also its Best Value / March 2005
Time For a Hotel Web Site “Make-Over”? Methods for Building a Successful Web Site Change / Neil Salerno / March 2005
Create Impact by Developing a Link Strategy For Your Hotel Web Site / Neil Salerno / February 2005
Steps to Develop Your Hotel's Presence on the Web / Neil Salerno / February 2005
Five Hotel Internet Marketing Myths - Busted!/ Neil Salerno / January 2005
How Does Your Hotel Web Site Measure-Up? 2005 Will Be the Internet’s Most Productive Year so Far / Neil Salerno / January 2005
Are You Being Out-Hustled By Your Competition? How to Dominate Your Hotel's Market Set / Neil Salerno / December 2004
Why Are Some Hotel Companies Plagued By Management Turnover? Is This Systematic of Poor Performance? / Neil Salerno / December 2004
Basic Components of a Hotel Website: Current Weather, Flash Animation, and Virtual Tours?? Plain Talk About Internet Sales / Neil Salerno / February 2004
Don’t Compromise Your Goals In 2004; Five New Year’s Resolutions You Will Want To Keep / Neil Salerno / January 2004
No More Whining About Third-Party Suppliers; You Control Your Own Fate On The Net / Neil Salerno / December 2003
Six 'Maxi’s' Guaranteed To Boost Hotel Sales / Neil Salerno / November 2003
It’s Time To Take Back Control Of Rates & Rooms - But Is The Enemy...Us? / Neil Salerno / November 2003
Booking Engines Are Like A Box of Chocolates...You Never Know What You’re Gonna Get! / Neil Salerno / October 2003
Hotel Web Site & Search Engine Optimization; Always A Work In Progress / Neil L. Salerno / October 2003
Hotel Budgets and Marketing Plans; Oh No, Is It That Time Again? / Neil L. Salerno / September 2003
Increasing Hotel Internet Sales Is Not Rocket Science...And It Doesn’t Have To Be Costly Either / Neil L. Salerno / September 2003
Are You Treating Third Party eWholesalers As Competititon Or a Valuable Marketing Partner? / Neil L. Salerno / August 2003
How Often Have You Heard, 'I could have gotten a better rate but the client saw our rates on the Internet' ? It’s Time To Get Back To Selling Location, Facilities, and Services / Neil L. Salerno / August 2003
Before You Begin that Marketing Plan Challenge Your Sales Team; Expect More and Get More / Neil L. Salerno / July 2003
Jump Up and Shout Yes - Delivering Best Online Customer Experience, Nice Job Vividence! / Neil L. Salerno / July 2003
Is The Internet Delivering On Its Promise? Well, It Depends on How you Look at It / Neil L. Salerno / June 2003
Coaching and Mentoring, Sometimes A New Paradigm Can Go A Long Way / Neil L. Salerno / June 2003
Sales Training Works Well, But Sales Mentoring Makes It More Effective; Mentoring Lasts a Lifetime / Neil L. Salerno / May 2003
Is It Time For A Sales Tune-up? How Healthy Was Your Last Forecast? / Neil L. Salerno / May 2003
Hotel Web Sites; Want it Creative or Effective? / Neil L. Salerno / May 2003
If You Always Do What You Have Always Done.... You’ll Always Get What You Always Got! Hotelier’s Mantra... Thinking Outside The Box / Neil L. Salerno / April 2003
Good Sales Planning - The Basics Still Work / Neil L. Salerno / April 2003

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