Hospitality Industry Conference Update: “Northern California Hotel & Lodging Conference”

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CH&LA and AAHOA have once again partnered to present the annual Northern California Hotel & Lodging Conference.  This year the event is moving back to the DoubleTree San Jose.  Each year this event gathers together over 300 hoteliers who enjoy the free educational seminars, updates on industry topics and to attend the trade show.

The show will include the usual abundance of networking opportunities, general session luncheon, and of course the trade show, the largest of its kind in Northern California.  Over 100 vendors will be eager to show off the latest industry products, many who offer special rates and discounts for this conference.  There will also be a reception in the trade show at 4:00 pm, with appetizers, soft drinks, no-host bar and lots of networking.

To get a glimpse inside one of our California Hotel & Lodging Trade Shows, click here.

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Filed under Conferences, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Attract Millennials With Millennials”

“I see folks around me in the hotel industry, and they’re bouncing between jobs.… When we are bringing on this staff, it’s important to show them there is this upward mobilityInforgraphic Attract millennials and there is a reason you should be here for more than two years,” he said. “I think that’s important and maybe this whole jumping around between jobs is getting a bad rap about loyalty.”

Front-desk associate or freestyle rapper? The two need not be mutually exclusive—particularly as operators seek “rock stars” to provide a more authentic level of service to guests who increasingly want that real experience.

Who better to know about what millennial guests, in particular, want than hoteliers who belong to that generation?

“I always harp on with my corporate staff, I want people at the front desk who have a rock-star personality,” said Ravi Patel, the 29-year-old president of Hawkeye Hotels.

He has just that in Del, a front-desk associate at one of Hawkeye’s hotels who dabbles in freestyle rap on his off days. Working alongside Del is another double-duty performer who spends part of his time as a bartender.

“These guys know exactly what it is to be really engaged with your audience,” Patel said. “So now whenever I see the surveys come in from that hotel, it literally names off, ‘Oh yeah, I talked to Del, and he told me what he does in Des Moines.’ It’s really capturing a different kind of associate as well and getting them to work for you.”

For more: http://bit.ly/1b3hlSV

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Filed under Employee Practices, Guest Issues, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Social Media

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Survey Finds Social Media Boosts Hotel Occupancy by 2x”

“The hospitality industry has experienced the impact social media can have on their business, both positive and negative,online engagement but these findings allow properties to quantify the impact of taking action on reviews—and make it easier to justify additional investments in social media engagement,” said Aurelia Setton, Medallia’s general manager for hospitality.

Hotel properties that actively engage with social media reviews grow occupancy at double the rate of properties that don’t, according to a study released by Medallia. The study examines customer and business data from more than 4,400 hotel properties worldwide to understand and quantify the impact of social media engagement on a company’s revenue growth, customer satisfaction, and social reputation.

Results Overview
The study found a direct relationship between responsiveness to social media reviews and occupancy rate. Properties that responded to more than 50 percent of social reviews grew occupancy rates by 6.4 percentage points, more than twice the rate of properties that largely ignored social media reviews. These socially engaged properties also outperformed the hospitality industry as a whole, which achieved a 4.3 percent occupancy growth rate during the same period.

For more: http://bit.ly/1cphmkq

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Filed under Employee Practices, Hotel Industry, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Social Media, Technology

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Issues Loom For Keyless Entry in Hotels”

“At the moment, the complications might be magnified for multi-brand, multi-property operators piloting more than one keyless system from morekeyless-entry than one brand/vendor, but sources said that this somewhat disjointed approach may actually be preferable to a universal solution; at least until keyless tech is a little further along in its development cycle.”

As hotel companies across the industry begin to embrace keyless entry technology, they will also need to work out the challenges that go hand in hand with such integration.

Major conglomerates such as Hilton Worldwide Holdings and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide are continuing to conduct pilot testing across multiple properties and brands. Starwood is backing up the technology with a $15-million investment. After launching its SPG Keyless solution at select properties (Aloft Beijing; Aloft Cancun; Aloft Cupertino; Aloft Harlem; W Doha; W Hollywood; W Hong Kong; W New York-Downtown; W Singapore; and Element Times Square), the company is now installing SPG Keyless in 30,000 doors at all of its 150 global W, Aloft and Element hotels.

In the meantime, Hilton is pilot testing its own mobile-enabled room key technology at 10 U.S. properties. By year’s end, the company expects to offer the digital amenity at all U.S. properties of four brands: Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Canopy by Hilton. Looking ahead to 2016, Hilton will then deploy the technology at scale across 11 brands globally. Similar to the SPG Keyless solution, Hilton’s keyless entry platform is driven by the company’s branded mobile app. Hilton hopes the keyless system will drive usage of the app, which hoteliers can then use to drive incremental revenue through mobile devices. It’s a potentially major revenue source to sway hoteliers who might still be on the fence.

For more: http://bit.ly/1Fusi7x

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Filed under Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Technology

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “Security Flaw In Hotel Wi-Fi Routers Could Put Devices At Risk”

“This is the second time in recent months that security researchers have warned of hotel Wi-Fi networks being a potential vectorWireless data security of attack for cybercriminals, providing a not-so-subtle reminder that individuals must be ever-vigilant regarding the security of their devices and access points.”

Cylance, a security vendor, says that its security researchers at the Sophisticated Penetration Exploitation and Research team (SPEAR) have uncovered a flaw in the InnGate Wi-Fi router commonly used by many hotels that could be placing the devices of guests at risk. According to Wired, the Cylance team reports, the vulnerability could threaten not just guests, but could also spread to the hotels themselves if hackers are able to compromise the router to allow them to access other parts of the hotel network. Cylance says this could potentially impact reservations and billing.

The vulnerability, dubbed CVE-2015-0932 gives an attacker full read and write access to the file system of an ANTLabs’ InnGate device, Cylance reports.  Cyber thieves gain remote access through an unauthenticated rsync daemon running on TCP 873, which then allows them to read and write unrestricted to the file system of the Linux based operating system.

For more: http://bit.ly/1yYJZK7

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Filed under Crime, Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Technology, Theft

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “Exploring The Brave New World of Hotel Tech Amenities”

“The most powerful existing effect of digital technology on design, Jacobs told me, is the feedback loop of websites and social media that plays backtravel&leisure the success or failure of each design choice in real time, making it visible to the guest’s friends, and their friends, and their friends.”

Hotels are my favorite places to think and write, or simply to escape from reality, which is sometimes harsh. The hotels I am grateful for are run by sensitive, thoughtful people who provide the precarious balance of anonymity and personal care that I crave. I want privacy, interesting design, and also a place to be sociable or take a meeting for an hour or two without breaking the spell of being somewhere far away from home. I like camping out alone under the stars, in a nice room with a comfortable bed, a desk, and room service.

As human beings become switching stations for the digital signals coming in and out of our phones, the technological backwardness of so many hotels has become, for me, part of their charm. I take comfort in the fact that hotel rooms often double as museums of Jurassic technologies—the desktop landline that acts as a five-pound free weight, the dedicated button you must push to order room service, the DVD player for which you can rent actual DVDs. Still, the fear that the hotel experience I am dependent on might dissolve into the surrounding digital babble of Big Data and wearable gizmos and giant LCD screens doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable.

For more: http://for.tn/1JopkVV

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Filed under Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Technology

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “4 Ways to Differentiate Your Hotel”

“If you can’t find anything fun that is truly local, then expand the circle of your list to include the county, the state or even the region in which your hotel is located.due diligence Then figure out how to inexpensively incorporate at least three of those items into your property.”

If you spend any time paying attention to trends in our industry, the buzz words you’ll likely come across include “unique,” “authentic,” “artisanal,” “sense of place,” “local,” “craft,” “experiential,” “discovery,” the latest iterations of “boutique” and “lifestyle,” and the single most overly and incorrectly used word in the English language, “curated.”

Today’s trend words all have one definitional element in common: They all are somewhat synonymous with “different” in one way or another. Guests are looking for different experiences in the different cities they visit, particularly road warriors. “Different” in that context doesn’t necessarily mean “better,” just not “the same.”

If this is not your year for a major renovation, and you won’t be turning your lobby into an experiential gathering place or your restaurant into an eclectic journey of discovery, there are still things you can do to be different and successful.

For more: http://bit.ly/1Ph7h84

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Filed under Employee Practices, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Risk Management Update: “Water Shortages Threaten Hotel Industry”

“It’s no wonder then the hotel industry has become a target of well-meaning legislators and bureaucrats looking to save some precious water for the state.pool The California State Water Resources Control Board recently instituted new rules that among other things require foodservice establishments to provide water only to customers who request it and mandate hotels give an option to guests of not having linens and towels laundered daily.”

Let’s face it: The hotel industry in the United States over the past 20 years has mostly been paying lip service to sustainability issues. It’s difficult to blame hotel owners and operators for that attitude because environmental issues are seldom major operational or profitability concerns at most properties.

There are exceptions, of course, but for the owner of a typical mid-market suburban hotel, green issues typically are only seriously addressed for one of two reasons: the vague promise of operating cost savings or the public relations glow generated by being a good and green citizen.

That situation is beginning to change, especially in California and the Southwest. The culprit is water, or the lack thereof.

For more: http://bit.ly/1yPC4Pa

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Filed under Finances, Hotel Industry, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Pool And Spa

Hospitality Industry Risk Update: “L.A. Hotel Fire Kills 1, Injures 15; Some Jump From Windows to Escape”

“Of the 29 people who were staying at the hotel, 15, including a child, were hurt and suffered minor to serious injuries, fire officials said. Most of the injured suffered broken bones from jumping,LA hotel fire fire officials said. Alejandro Lopez, 40, said he was trapped inside his room and the intense flames left him with only one option: Jump out of the window.”

A man was killed and 15 were injured when flames overtook a hotel early Thursday in Wilmington, forcing some people to jump out of windows.

People were trapped by flames inside the two-story Wilmington Hotel at 111 E. C St. shortly after 3 a.m. as firefighters arrived, said Erik Scott, spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Other hotel residents jumped out of windows to escape the flames.

For more: http://lat.ms/1G7cf4F

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Filed under Fire, Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Injuries, Management And Ownership, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “The Threat Most Hoteliers are Ignoring”

“That’s particularly true when hoteliers begin marking their competitive differentiation on price20150327_AirbnbNYC—the average price of an Airbnb listing in NYC hovers slightly above $200/night and is well below the average cost of a hotel room in, say, Manhattan.”

“Is anyone worried about Airbnb?”

Nary a hand was raised when Mark Woodworth asked that question from the main stage at the Hunter Hotel Conference. The head of PKF Hospitality Research had to peer into the sea of some 1,200 attendees, hand above his squinted eyes like a sailor gazing into a foggy horizon, to find any. There were maybe five in all.

“Well, I’m going to talk about it anyway,” Woodworth said.

He was right to do so. The peer-to-peer accommodations platform is a threat to both demand and rate. We’ve documented that fact time and time again. Hoteliers just don’t want to hear it.

This dismissive attitude is based on the fact that it takes a lot of Airbnb supply to truly steal share. To reach that mass, Airbnb needs a strong concentration of willing hosts in high-demand markets such as New York City and San Francisco.

For more: http://bit.ly/1CNEnao

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Filed under Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management