Technology Integrates Operations, Loyalty Programs, Guest Experience to Create Profits and Memories that Last a Lifetime.
BENTONVILLE, AR – August 23, 2018 – Softscribe Inc., a leading hotel tech PR firm, attended the 10th annual Hotel Data Conference (HDC) this month in Nashville, TN with top industry leaders and technology providers. Smith Travel Research (STR) hosted 675 attendees, with 71 on the waitlist, at the Omni Nashville for a 3-day deep dive into data, performance, and trends for the global hospitality industry.
Softscribe Inc. CEO, Julie Keyser Squires, attended on behalf of the company’s PR clients.
Top Quotes from Hotel Industry Leaders A series of panels, breakout tracks and plenary sessions featured leaders from the global hotel industry. Speakers shared insights about trends, market changes, and actionable scenarios. Here are Softscribe Inc.’s top quotes from conference leaders.
- “We’re in the best demand environment we’ve ever seen in the industry. It’s not been this strong since 1994, when the industry was 40% smaller than today. Occupancy remains at record highs. It could go for another two years.” – Isaac Collazo, Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts (IHG)
- “What could end the current cycle? a. The economy. b. Over building. c. Unpredictable demand. d. Oil/energy price increase. e. Asset price bubble.” – Mark Woodworth, CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research
- “It takes the industry 1 ½ to 2 ½ years to recover from Black Swan events.” (Editor’s note: Like Superstorm Sandy) – Robin Rossman, STR
- “Growth rates on labor expenses are higher than revenue and profits.” – Amanda Hite, President & CEO, STR
- “In non-union hotels, 32% goes to labor costs. In union hotels, 40% goes to labor.” – Jan Freitag, SVP Lodging Insights, STR
- Alternative Accommodations: Are They Really Alternative?
“It is a growing, morphing space. There will be fallouts, consolidations and consistencies. Look for a partner.” – Jon Wohlfert, Co-CEO and Founding Partner, RESIDE Worldwide
“Embrace it.” – Andrew Kitchell, CEO, Lyric
“The customers have spoken. Figure out how to make it fit your business.” – Steve Caron, VP, Head of Vacation Rentals, Choice Hotels International
- “Customer experience is integral. Use your data better. We created a program two years ago that lets guests choose a third party perk: Starbucks, Uber, Avis, etc.” – Jamie Russo, VP Loyalty Programs & Customer Engagement, Choice Hotels Int’l
- “Your highest loyal guest still delivers your highest, most profitable revenue stream. We have to evolve those experiences.” -Sloan Dean, COO, Remington Hotels
- “84% of U.S. travelers took part in an in-destination activity during their last leisure trip.” – Lorraine Sileo, SVP Research and Business Operations, Phocuswright, Inc.
- “Guest satisfaction. We are focused on experiences. Engage the customer. Show them the value of creating memories that will last a lifetime.” – Nicole Lundin, Head of Loyalty & Social Engagement. Viceroy Hotel Group
- Beers with the Bosses Panel.
“Be aggressive. Continue to move forward. We’ve never had this demand from all directions.” – Jim Chu, Global Head of Development & Owner Relations, Hyatt Hotels Corp.
“We should not refer to each other as competitors. Help each other. Take care of each other.” – Rob Palleschi, CEO, G6 Hospitality
“This is a sustainable industry, a growing industry. More and more people are traveling.” – Mitch Patel, President & CEO, Founder of Vision Hospitality Group, Inc.
“The conference is terrific this year. My single biggest concern – and I’m surprised what it is – is the possibility of tariffs. A trade war could be a problem for our industry.” – Randy Smith, Chairman and Co-Founder, Smith Travel Research
- “Room demand is coming mainly from upper and upper midscale in urban areas.” – Jan Freitag, SVP Lodging Insights, STR
The 2019 Hotel Data Conference will be held August 14 to 16, 2019, at the new JW Marriott Nashville. Watch for details at www.hoteldataconference.com.
Tech Companies, do you want to increase sales and influence? Call or email Michael Squires, President of Softscribe Inc., at 404-256-5512 or mbs(at)softscribeinc.com to set up a discovery meeting and brainstorm a few PR and marketing ideas.