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Guest Relations

Redefining The Value Chain in Tourism: Lessons From Thomas Cook’s Demise

Achim Schmitt | October 25, 2019

By Achim Schmitt Thomas Cook: An Industry Perspective On September 23rd, 2019, Thomas Cook – one of the world’s oldest travel companies – declared bankruptcy. The 178-year old travel firm was forced to indefinitely suspend its operations after failing to secure £200 million in emergency funding, despite having already reached an agreement for a £900 million rescue deal. But this wasn’t the first time that Thomas Cook rifled with financial struggles. The company almost went under in 2011 when its debt reached £1.24 billion – but narrowly avoided it by securing an emergency loan of £100 million. Now, 8 years later,...

3 Ways Your Hotel May Be Losing Money From Online Reviews (And What to Do About It) / Brad Plothow

Brad Plothow | October 24, 2019

By Brad Plothow October 24, 2019 -- It’s no secret that the internet has completely changed how people find and book hotels. These days, half of all lodging is booked online, online travel agencies’ market share now exceeds that of direct bookings, and 96% of TripAdvisor travelers report that online reviews are a critical factor in where they decide to stay. Hotels and motels are inherently local companies, but in today’s digital economy, even physical businesses need a healthy online presence to get found and chosen by customers. So, that got us thinking, how do online reviews impact revenue at American lodging businesses? Not ju...

5 Ways to Deliver Better Service Just in Time for National Customer Service Week

Shep Hyken | September 27, 2019

By Shep Hyken National Customer Service Week is coming up soon. Every year it is the first full week in October. This is a week to celebrate and appreciate not only our customers, but also the people who make our customers happy. In fact, the original intent was to focus more on employees than customers, but I’m happy to celebrate both. In customer service, there are so many ways to do things right. In my speeches, I talk about the right way to manage first impressions, demonstrate knowledge, build rapport, ask the right questions and much, much more. I thought it would be fun to create a list of a few things that everyone should do r...

That “Something Extra” You Offer to Make Customers Love You

Shep Hyken | September 12, 2019

In the realm of business—and especially customer service—we often talk about how to differentiate yourself from your competition. It’s those companies that manage to stand out from the crowd that end up being successful. When I work with companies, I urge them to find what makes them unique and use it as a competitive advantage. It’s always a treat when I meet people who not only agree with my philosophies but take them a step further. That’s where Rodney Gaddis comes in. I met Rodney at a conference where I was speaking about customer service. Rodney is in the very competitive field of lawn care as a Spring-Green franchisee, and...

Hoteliers, Are You Offering the Highest Level of Service?

Karen O'Neill | September 12, 2019

By Karen O'Neill, President-Americas at Knowcross In this time, better known as the ‘Age of the Customer,’ what differentiates companies like Apple, Amazon, Zappos from the rest? The simple answer would be their never-ending efforts to exceed customer service expectations and create memorable, ever-lasting experiences. When it comes to the hospitality industry, while there is no shortage of sentiments that should guide a hotelier’s approach to success, there is one which arguably stands above the rest: great hospitality is defined by exceptional service. A recent Walker study, states that by the year 2020, customer experience will...

Choice Hotels Breach a Good Reminder of Data Security Best Practices

Hospitality Upgrade | August 22, 2019

HU talks with Bob Diachenko, the cybersecurity expert who discovered the breach, about steps hotels can take to prevent data incidents  By Fran Worrall, Hospitality Upgrade Another data breach has hit the hospitality industry, this time affecting approximately 700,000 records belonging to lodging industry giant Choice Hotels International. The Maryland-based company franchises and handles bookings for more than 7,000 properties around the globe, including such brands as Ascend Hotel Collection, Cambria Hotels, Clarion, Comfort, Econo Lodge, MainStay Suites, Roadway Inn, Sleep Inn and Woodspring Suites. According to a statement relea...

Omni Hotels and Resorts Partners With IDeaS to Transform Total Property Revenue Performance

IDeaS | March 21, 2019

Omni will implement revenue science to strategically enhance portfolio-wide profits encompassing more than 21,000 guest rooms and nearly two million square feet of event space Tweet This: @OmniHotels will roll out @IDeaS_RevOpt G3 RMS to make automated pricing decisions for over 21,000 guest rooms and @IDeaS_RevOpt Smart Space to optimize nearly 2 million sq. ft. of event space www.ideas.com/news #RevenueScience MINNEAPOLIS—March 21, 2019—Omni Hotels and Resorts will roll out both IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (RMS) and IDeaS Smart Space, a cloud-based meetings and events strategy application, across its portfolio of 6...

Hilton Launches New Brand, Signia Hilton, Focused on Meetings and Events

Signia Hilton | February 22, 2019

MCLEAN, Va. - Hilton (NYSE: HLT) today announced the launch of Signia Hilton, its dynamic, new meetings-and-events-focused brand. The portfolio of hotels is setting out to transform the industry for meeting professionals and sophisticated business travelers by infusing state-of-the-art technology and design into every aspect of the guest experience. The brand further reinforces Hilton's commitment to innovation that meets the evolving needs of today's travelers and will bring premium experiences to top urban and resort destinations around the world. "In our 100th year of hospitality, we are more focused than ever on providing exceptiona...

iVvy Expands Global Presence to Drive Continued Market Demand and Growth

iVvy | February 11, 2019

Leading new generation venue management technology innovator expands executive team to broaden reach in North America New York, NY and Queensland, Australia - (February 11, 2019) - iVvy Inc., the award-winning global Venue Management Software company, today announced the addition of two new executives to their executive team. Daniel Melnyk has been appointed to VP Sales for Canada and USA, Kristi White has joined the company as SVP of Operations, representing the Americas. With offices in the UK, New Zealand, Australia and the United States, the expansion emphasizes iVvy's commitment to providing its game-changing technology and support...

3 Steps to Successfully Move Your Small Group Bookings Online

Amadeus | November 8, 2018

By John-Michael Jenkins There is a valuable customer demographic that is often overlooked by many in the hospitality industry – Small meetings. Small meetings are often single day events for 25 people or less that may or may not have guestrooms. If properly cultivated, this customer base offers a low risk, high reward for your property. These groups, which make up 50% of the market, pose a unique opportunity to secure repeat business, fill need periods and generate steady revenue. A key to landing and expanding small group business is to start offering these groups online bookings. The advancement of technology in the hospitality ...

Benchmark Resorts & Hotels® Takes Top Honors in 2018 Stella Awards

Northstar Meetings Group | November 6, 2018

Meetings Professionals Name the "Best Overall Boutique & Lifestyle Hotel Brand" The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, November 6, 2018… BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company, announces its signature brand, Benchmark Resorts & Hotels®, has taken top honors in Northstar Meetings Group's prestigious 2018 Stella Awards. Meetings and events professionals and a panel of judges named it the Best Overall Boutique & Lifestyle Hotel Brand. The distinguished brand portfolio of BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company, Benchmark Resorts & Hotels spans 26 distinguished properties in unique domestic and international d...

iVvy Partners With IDeaS to Help Meetings and Event Venues Maximize Revenue

IDeaS | October 8, 2018

NEW YORK, NY (October 8 , 2018) ─ iVvy Inc., the award-winning global Venue Management software company, has joined forces with IDeaS Revenue Solutions, the leading provider of revenue software and advisory services, to bring powerful meetings and events revenue management capabilities to iVvy clients. Through the strategic integration between iVvy's end-to-end groups and events management technology and the Smart Space by IDeaS strategy tool, hotels and groups using the iVvy platform will have unparalleled visibility into group business trend data, business performance, and competitive positioning trends. Smart Space creates a connec...

Groups and Events: Disruption Is on the Agenda for Hotels in 2019

Lauren Hall | September 25, 2018

By Lauren Hall The emergence and subsequent evolution of transformative, industry-shaping technology cannot happen without some disruption. It's a now-familiar scenario, when we reference the likes of Uber and Airbnb, in which a brave new player comes into the mix to offer a service or product that does things in a way that no one else has (successfully) attempted. Disruptive innovation within industries is often what keeps them alive, bringing forth new ideas and processes that allow companies to continuously cater to modern consumers. The hospitality realm is admittedly notorious for lagging behind other industries in terms of adoptin...

How to Play (and Win) the Long Game in Group Sales

Groups360 | September 24, 2018

Meeting planners don't want to work with a salesperson. They want a reliable, long-term partner in planning. Someone who can brainstorm ideas, come up with realistic solutions, and bring value to the table event after event. Delivering lasting value is vital to building this type of relationship. However, most group sales managers wait until they're actively wooing the client to be helpful - within their proposal, during the site inspection or at the negotiating table. Instead, offer value for the long haul, not for quick conversions. Begin right at the beginning of the sourcing journey, then continue long after the event is ove...

Planners: Collaborate With Suppliers to Wow Your Attendees

Lynne Wellish | August 6, 2018

By Lynne Wellish When starting out in the industry and learning to source and procure, I made the mistake of always asking how much things were—often overlooking other factors. I played a tug of war with all my suppliers, forgetting we had the same goal, a happy client and repeat business. Then one day it hit me, I had a budget and its purpose was to craft the event and communicate a message to the participants. Those tools are used to reach the goals and objective and to show an ROI. Sitting down with your AV team and other suppliers not only expands your options and creativity, but creates great synergy. Case Study: The Event Ca...

The National Conference Center Wins Two Prestigious Awards

The National Conference Center | June 28, 2018

Distinguished Partner of the Year, Best of the Best Conference Center Leesburg, Virginia, June 2018 … The National Conference Center, the award-winning property in Leesburg, Virginia, recently won the "Distinguished Partner of the Year Award" presented by Visit Loudoun, the destination marketing organization for Loudoun County, Virginia, and the "Best of the Best Reader's Choice Award for Brilliant Places for Conference Centers", also known as the Smart Stars award from Smart Meetings magazine. Distinguished Partner of the Year Award The National Conference Center received the Distinguished Partner of the Year award during the Vi...

Teneo Hospitality Group Polls Leading Meeting Planners On Emerging Trends in 2018

Teneo Hospitality Group | June 26, 2018

Experts Cite Growing Concerns Re. Cost Control, Reliable Technology, Data Security, Costly and Complex Dietary Demands Eden Prairie (Minneapolis), MN, June 2018 … Budgets, greater quality control, cost and reliability of AV and technical services, security of content and the challenges of meeting the increasingly complex dietary demands of a more diverse demographic: these are among the major concerns of the nation's meeting planners. Teneo Hospitality Group, the premier group representation firm, gathered observations from top meeting planners to determine their most pressing issues and concerns. They represent a spectrum of the...

HSMAI Recognises Tech Innovation of Smart Space by IDeaS

HSMAI Europe | May 16, 2018

- HSMAI Region Europe Awards recognises Smart Space by IDeaS - Industry's leading solution helps hoteliers make informed decisions about M&E business LONDON, May 16, 2018 – Smart Space by IDeaS was honoured by HSMAI, the world's leading hospitality sales and marketing association, for its innovative role in allowing hoteliers to analyse the trends and performance of their meetings and events (M&E) space. April's HSMAI Europe's Best Tech Innovator of the Year awards recognised Smart Space, with the judging panel acknowledging the platform's role in connecting revenue managers and event sales managers with unprecedented vis...

5 Top Problems With Un-Managed AV Services

Jeff Loether | May 8, 2018

A new hybrid SaaS solution is coming that will serve as the next generation of managed AV services By Jeff Loether Technology is driving all aspects of our lives. In the meetings environment, it is playing a role more important than ever before. Just look at AAA's new Diamond Rating Guidelines for Lodging; the better the event technology, the higher the Diamond Rating AAA will bestow. To be ranked as a four diamond "Refined" hotel, a property must have an "ample variety of meeting rooms" with the "latest technology." To receive a five diamond "Ultimate Luxury" designation, the criteria isn't much different for the event space – th...

Three Ways to Create a Unique Learning Experience

The National Conference Center | May 7, 2018

Announcing The National Conference Center's "Learning Experience Package" Leesburg, Virginia, May 2018 … The National Conference Center, the largest conference center on the East Coast, is a leader and enabler in learning, development and training meetings. The National enhances the learning experience by offering value-add amenities to meetings held on any of the following Learning Experience HOT dates, for the day or the week of: June 3 | July 8 | August 5 | September 5 The National's "Learning Experience Package" includes the Complete Meeting Package (CMP), an inclusive per person charge for the critical components of meeting ...

The National Conference Center Celebrates Earth Day

The Black Olive atThe National Conference Center | April 17, 2018

Announces Partnership with Four Local Farms Leesburg, Virginia, April 2018 … For the past 20 years, The National Conference Center has been fully committed to creating and implementing policies that minimize its impact on the environment. New this year and in time to celebrate Earth Day, April 22, The National is proud to enhance its food and beverage program by partnering with four local Virginia farms. "There continues to be a demand for farm-to-table cuisine, but The National is taking things one step further and going 'hyperlocal' working with as many local farmers as possible to source the food,' says Executive Chef Todd Gol...

Talent and Technology Go Hand-in-Hand in Contact Centers

JLL Real Views | April 16, 2018

Technology is transforming the way organizations interact with customers—but even the most promising digital tools still work best when paired with skilled humans. High-tech solutions like blockchain and automation will unquestionably reshape the contact center industry in the coming years. Yet this digital disruption is not expected to replace people entirely. Instead, contact center operators are seeking tech-savvy, customer service-oriented talent to work alongside robots. This dual focus on talent and digital strategy is fueling momentum in the U.S. contact center sector, where growth is currently outpacing the global industry...

Knowland Acquires Competitive Marketing Exchange (CMX)

Knowland | February 7, 2018

Rosslyn, VA February 7, 2018 —Knowland announced today that it has acquired Competitive Marketing Exchange (CMX) effective February 1, 2018. Knowland is a globally recognized provider of meeting and group data that offers extensive insight into market analytics, group industry trends, and powerful benchmarking tools. The company is headquartered in Rosslyn, Virginia, right outside the nation's capital. CMX was founded in 1991 by Guy DiCara. Headquartered in Chicago, CMX has grown to be a leader in supplying competitive group and meeting data to hotels across several markets. Tracking the meeting and catering activities of business...

It’s Time for Hotel Brands to Wake Up and Re-Evaluate Their Voice Channel

Robert Post | December 19, 2017

By Robert Post The voice channel delivers from 20 to 50% of bookings for hotel brands. So why has the Contact Center become such an overlooked hospitality distribution channel? In my opinion, our industry has forgotten the impact of this valuable asset, its power to generate revenue, and the customer service it can provide to satisfy the demands of today's busy traveler. In a recent survey, we discovered a startling fact - Contact Centers are an increasingly poorly managed channel. In fact, we learned that a surprising number of organizations did not have a handle on their voice revenue conversion. And even when they had these numbers, ...

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