mark lewis-brown

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mark lewis-brown

Millennial Marketing Woes: SOLVED

Vertical Booking USA | July 23, 2019

By Mark Lewis-Brown, CEO & President at Vertical Booking USA As we all now know, the Millennials are the largest generation in history (92 million potential guests!) AND have an overwhelming desire to travel so they are a (potentially) hugely profitable demographic for all hotels – if they can get their bookings. As you also know (and probably struggle with on a daily basis) Millennials + the Internet has changed the travel industry significantly (especially when it comes to booking), leaving many hoteliers – especially those who haven’t jumped onboard the operational technology bandwagon - wondering: “How can I increase ...

Hotel Expiration Dates: Fact or Fiction?

Vertical Booking USA | May 22, 2019

By Mark Lewis-Brown, CEO & President at Vertical Booking USA Expiration dates: they're super common in some industries – they are regularly seen on consumer-packaged goods, food and drinks, medicine, etc. – but the idea of an expiration date isn't often applied to the hotel industry. But, in my opinion, it should be. Here's a little known/rarely considered fact: an empty room is an expired one. Just like with milk or medication, hotels' rooms also have expiration dates, after which the empty room becomes a liability, rather than an asset. Think about it… like milk, a hotel room is a perishable product; unfortunate...

Give Yourself a Round of Applause…

Vertical Booking | April 18, 2019

By Mark Lewis-Brown, CEO & President of Vertical Booking USA It's an exciting time for you, as a hotelier. Why, you ask? Because hotels are making huge leaps in taking back bookings from the OTAs. According to Phocuswright, "direct bookings accounted for around 49% of U.S. hotel and lodging online gross bookings, versus OTAs at 51%" last year. And here's some even better news… Phocuswright predicts that direct bookings will increase to a 50% share by 2022! Can you imagine that?! For the first time, possibly ever (since the invention of the Internet), hotels will have greater control over their own bookings and revenues. And h...

Metasearch, Managed

Vertical Booking | March 12, 2019

By Mark Lewis-Brown, CEO & President at Vertical Booking USA Travelers love the metasearch channels; they pull all of the available prices from the different online sites into a single list of search results, easily sorted and easily booked. They spend less time searching and are more likely to find the best possible rate for their stay. What's not to love?! While I know hotels appreciate the bookings that they can get through the metasearch sites, the channel can create lots of headaches for a hotel's staff, especially those on the reservations team. Even still, metasearch is a very important channel for all hotels – no matte...

When Does the Guest Experience Start?

Vertical Booking | January 23, 2019

By Mark Lewis-Brown, President & CEO of Vertical Booking USA Think back to your last trip and the happiness, excitement and anticipation that you felt about it… Now think about when those happy feelings started. Was it as you sat at the airport, waiting for your flight? Or was it the moment that you landed on the tarmac in your destination? Or was it when you arrived at your hotel, credit card in hand, ready to check-in to your room? Or, maybe, was it the minute that you decided to take a trip… even before you decided where you'd go… or when you'd go on the trip… or what you'd do while you were there? ...

Are Loyalty Programs the Most Effective Way to Drive Bookings in 2018?

Vertical Booking | October 11, 2018

By Mark Lewis-Brown, CEO & President at Vertical Booking USA Do you remember, back in the day, when customers booked with certain hotels because they were loyal to the brand or because they just wanted to earn points? (I'm showing my age here!) Most hotels do too, which is why loyalty programs have been such a priority for hotel marketers - who have been relying on these programs to increase customer loyalty, boost direct bookings and create long-standing relationships with guests - in the past decade (give or take a few years). Unfortunately, those days are LONG gone. An article by Google offered a great deal of insight into the w...

Hospitality Industry Amateur Hour: Hotel & Resort Fees

Vertical Booking | August 1, 2018

By Mark Lewis-Brown, CEO & President at Vertical Booking USA After you've been in the hospitality industry for as many years as I have (more than 30 years… how time flies when you're having fun!), you get used to seeing human error manifest in so many truly unfortunate instances: from putting the decimal point in the wrong spot (hello, $10 rooms!) or using overbooking as a revenue management strategy, I've seen it all. While these types of mistakes may make the front page (of our favorite hotel trade publications), there are also a HUGE number of mistakes caused by human error in all types of operational processes that are (a...

Discounting is for Dummies – Part Three

Vertical Booking | July 3, 2018

Drive More Direct Bookings Without Sacrificing Your Bottom Line By Mark Lewis-Brown, CEO & President at Vertical Booking USA One of the best – and worst – things about the hospitality industry is how much most hotels have in common: they're offering relatively similar products and have a great deal of competition within their immediate marketplace - other hotels, alternative accommodations and the OTAs - which, in most cases, leaves hoteliers waging an uphill battle to profitability. But instead of thinking outside of the box when it comes to boosting direct bookings, decreasing the cost of acquisition and increasing ove...

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