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What the Hotel World Looks Like in 2020

Robert A. Rauch | April 3, 2019

Bob Rauch and Sarah Andersen Hotel Distribution is arguably the big topic of the near term. Expedia Group and Booking Holdings (previously Priceline) are the two big online travel agencies (OTAs), dominating well over 70% of OTA market share. Now this duopoly faces major disruption by Airbnb, Facebook, and Google. Airbnb just bought HotelTonight, an app-based company that sells last-minute, unused boutique and independent hotel inventory. Meanwhile, SiteMinder's "BookingButton" already integrate into Facebook business pages as a widget, eliminating the need to click away from the site to make a booking. Add in the possibility that Googl...

Flexing Hotel Labor Today

Robert Rauch | March 6, 2019

Bob Rauch and Sarah Anderson It's easy to say, "flex down your labor costs" when revenues drop, but is it easy to do? In a market of uncertainty and seasonal fluctuations, managing hotel property expenses is a challenging job that remains on the forefront of the minds of strategic operators. Hotels that implement a staffing strategy that adapts to these changes will keep operations running smoothly throughout the year and even throughout an economic slowdown. This can be a remarkable way to improve profits when revenues are flat or even down. With a focused attention on payroll, creative training programs, automation, and F&B stream...

A Primer on 2019 in the Lodging Industry: Economy, Loyalty, and Specific Markets

Robert Rauch | February 5, 2019

By Robert Rauch When forecasting what will occur in a given year, I often quote lots of others, which reduces the risk I am taking as a sole prognosticator. Yet having now been around the industry exactly 45 years, I am going to create some predictions of my own. 2019 is the year where supply and demand come in balance, with about two percent growth for each. That means occupancy levels will be flat in the U.S. – though certain markets have some supply growth well beyond that and might see occupancy reductions. Let's begin with the economy, and then move into lodging industry projections. U.S. Economy Stock market volatility won't...

Lodging Forecast 2019: Industry Threats Yet Growth

Robert A. Rauch, CHA | January 3, 2019

By Robert A. Rauch Reading forecast content from the plethora of prognosticators out there can drive one into craziness. Clearly, the current economy has strengths like consumer confidence, employment levels, low oil/gas prices, and purchasing managers sentiments as expressed by the Institute of Supply Management (ISM). Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been growing at a strong 3 percent +/- rate and most pundits expect a 2-3 percent increase in revenue per available room (RevPAR), largely attributed to average daily rates (ADR). But there are warning signs—trade, interest rates, stock market turbulence, cost increases, new supply ...

3 New Technical Strategies to Personalize Your Targeting

Robert A. Rauch, CHA | October 30, 2018

This month's blog post features a guest article written by Meredith Rauch. This article was originally posted on ScreenPilot's website. Earlier this month, we shared four key elements in personalizing ads to increase engagement and bookings. In order to do things like write compelling headlines, choose relevant images, develop enticing offers, and create user-friendly landing pages, you must first be familiar with the data in order to create advertisements that speak to your audience's current interests and needs. For those that are a bit more technical, there are additional elements you can integrate into your campaigns for better perf...

Hotel Industry – Q4 2018 and Beyond

Robert A. Rauch | October 3, 2018

By Robert A. Rauch Many of us who attended The Lodging Conference this past month heard Bernard Baumohl, Chief Economist for the Conference Board, provide his economic forecast. He covered topics in his usual fast, effective and entertaining style. Some interesting takeaways were that business spending is not up much, oil is going to see oversupply and is up markedly due to politics (not the market), and GDP will be up 3 percent this year, 2.2 percent next year and 1.4 percent in 2020, according to the Consensus Forecast. Baumohl's concerns include President Trump, cyber warfare, geopolitical threats and a real need for corporate agilit...

To Q3 and Beyond: Hotel Industry Forecast for San Diego, Arizona, Colorado, and Other U.S. Markets

Robert A. Rauch, CHA | September 6, 2018

By Robert A. Rauch U.S. Economy Companies are reporting solid revenues as well as profits. Q2 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was at 4.2 percent, the best quarter in five years. Business and consumer confidence and spending are strong and future growth for 2019 looks good. Interest rates and inflation have increased modestly, in sync with movements in the economy. Having said that, my favorite index is the Institute for Supply Management's Purchasing Management Index. That index fell to 58.1 in July, 2018 from 60.2 in June, below market expectations of 59.5. The reading pointed to the weakest expansion in the manufacturing sector in three ...

Mid-Year 2018: Brands, OTAs, Marriott, Blockchain, Robotics and Sustainability

Robert A. Rauch | July 10, 2018

By Robert A. Rauch Online travel agencies (OTAs) outspend brands by a wide margin and continue to steal market share from brands. As Marriott is becoming more of a global brand with 30 brands and a home-sharing company in their portfolio, we see a new war developing. Airbnb, a behemoth home-sharing company, is regularly getting beat up by cities who are adding regulations quickly. They will become an OTA by 2020 and begin to compete with Expedia and Booking rather than Marriott, Hilton, and the hotel community. After all, they only charge three percent for their services and could get 10 as an OTA! At the Lodging Industry Investment Cou...

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