words of vikram
A Hotel Guide for Avoiding OTA Panic and Rate Parity Games
Vikram Singh | January 24, 2023
By Vikram Singh OTAs are a fact of life in our industry. But there are so many negative feelings about them, constantly being stoked by hotel media, that it becomes difficult for hotels to form calm, cohesive OTA and rate-setting strategies. OTA-bashing articles surface every few months, no matter what cycle the travel business is in. These articles usually involve screenshots of OTA rates being lower than the hotel’s direct rates, leading to complete disgust and a ton of hate reading. Other times, these feelings of fear and loathing towards OTAs are triggered at conferences by speakers going for some cheap applause. I would like t...
Meetings: The Black Hole of Hotel Revenue and Productivity
Vikram Singh | August 15, 2022
Meetings are the black hole of productivity. I’m not saying this just to be dramatic. There is plenty of evidence coming your way. Keep reading! I have been attending corporate meetings since my early days in the industry, so we’re talking about two decades now. However, things have recently gotten worse. During the pandemic, the number of meetings we all had to attend sharply increased. A Microsoft Study highlighted a 250% increase in meetings compared with what employees had to deal with before the pandemic. Those who know me know exactly how I feel about meetings. When I get stuck on a long call, I catch myself internally chant...
The Post-Pandemic Hard Reset
Vikram Singh | July 13, 2021
By Vikram Singh I wrote two articles during the pandemic, one around the beginning and one in the middle. It’s time to complete the trilogy. Our industry has been given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to fundamentally change itself. How we market, price and operate hotel assets needs to evolve to meet the changing market landscape. Here are my thoughts on how to make real changes in order to embrace the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead. Embrace the Hard Reset The hotel and travel industry was ground zero for the impact of global lockdowns: the hard reset button on the entire industry was pressed. A hard reset on an electronic ...
Hotel Marketing and Revenue Management in the Time of Pandemic
Vikram Singh | April 13, 2020
By Vikram Singh As I write my first article during a global pandemic, my title inspiration comes from the Columbian literary superstar, Gabriel García Márquez. COVID-19 has rapidly decimated the industry I have worked in for over 20 years. There have been hardships before, but this one seems darker and more insidious than anything we have seen before. Nobody knows exactly what lies ahead, but the current reality is that thousands of our hospitality industry colleagues – many in my own personal network – have lost their livelihood or taken huge cutbacks in compensation and benefits. March was a month filled with bad news that was s...
Hotel and Travel Conferences Need an Upgrade
Vikram Singh | August 28, 2019
By Vikram Singh When it comes to hotel conferences and trade shows, I will go ahead and show my age by saying I have been to almost all of them. During the earlier part of my career, I was an attendee; later I became a speaker. After I received hotel revenue optimization enlightenment, I took it upon myself to go out and educate an industry that seemed perpetually stuck. Several hundred conferences later, a clear pattern has emerged. However, this pattern will need to change if events are to become truly relevant to the industry they serve. Below are some of my observations, and they might sound very familiar to you. Here is a walk down...
How Google Reviews Is Crushing TripAdvisor
Vikram Singh | April 9, 2019
By Vikram Singh An interesting trend has been brewing in the travel business. Quietly but surely, Google Reviews has been expanding their online review market share for brick and mortar businesses. Since hotels, inns and B&Bs are a 100% location-driven business, this change directly impacts both their revenue and branding. Online reviews left by strangers have become almost as trusted as personal recommendations. However, placing this much trust in reviews requires the user to be able to filter real reviews from fake ones. This sorting process can be extremely frustrating, especially on websites like TripAdvisor where everything is ...
The Ultimate Guide to TripAdvisor for Hotels
Vikram Singh | September 4, 2018
By Vikram Singh When TripAdvisor was founded in February 2000 in a small office above Kostas Pizza on 315 Chestnut Street in Needham, Massachusetts, I don't think anyone could have predicted the amount of time and energy it would consume, and the strong emotions it would conjure. Since I started my blog in 2013, I have consistently fielded questions about TripAdvisor. Looking back at the sheer volume of time I spent answering these complex emails, I think it's time to for me aggregate my knowledge, experience and advice in one place. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions, along with my responses. Is my competition trying ...
Is Your Hotel Booking Engine Destroying Your Profitability?
Vikram Singh | April 16, 2018
By Vikram Singh Almost every other day, I see a headline about the latest trend that is going to have a massive impact on hotels and travel. Some might even be worth exploring. However, the fact remains that if your hotel booking engine is hard to use, none of the trends will have any impact on your net operating income and profits. Having worked in hotels most of my adult life, and having traveled extensively, I have vast experience booking rooms every way possible: using phones, travel agents (yes, I am that old), OTAs, and directly from apps. The one consistent problem I find on hotel websites is a disregard for the basic usability p...
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