While low cost and minimal fees are an appealing draw, rental websites are a classic example of a scenario in which one gets what one pays for, but in this case, possibly even less since the ownership of the site and what hoteliers are putting funds toward is not theirs at the end of the day. This doesnâ€™t even take into account the additional shortcomings seen from rented hotel websites such as no search engine optimization, little service or support following the initial set-up, a limited number of site pages, photos or content and so on.
The hospitality industry has seen a number of agencies offering hoteliers a low-cost, low-budget website that they can rent. It has been widely noted that these agencies, which promise all of the bells and whistles associated with investing thousands of dollars and development resources, often leave hoteliers in the lurch after the deal is done.
Why? A number of reasons, but perhaps the most important is that agencies that rent hotel websites do not provide hoteliers with true ownership of their content which becomes problematic as explained below.
It should come as no surprise that a hotelâ€™s digital assets should be owned by the property, however, the subject of digital ownership seems to be overlooked by hoteliers doing business with rental agencies. Hoteliersâ€™ ownership should reach past the physical ownership of their property to include their digital content and here is why:
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Come out and see Brad Durbin from Petra Risk Solutions in the educational session:
Hotel Cyber Liability: Â Claim Trends & Cost Analysis
Last year’s Hotel Owner Conference was a huge success! Â So back by popular demand, join the California Hotel & Lodging Association, June 11-12, 2015 at the historic, state-of-the-art Silverado Resort & Spa, in the world-famous Napa Valley. The conference will bring together hotel owners, brands, brokers, CEO’s and other hotel industry experts for a conference all about networking, deal-making and high-level education.
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“At the moment, the complications might be magnified for multi-brand, multi-property operators piloting more than one keyless system from more 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 yearâ€™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, Hiltonâ€™s keyless entry platform is driven by the companyâ€™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. Itâ€™s a potentially major revenue source to sway hoteliers who might still be on the fence.
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“If you canâ€™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.Â 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 youâ€™ll likely come across include â€œunique,â€ â€œauthentic,â€ â€œartisanal,â€ â€œsense of place,â€ â€œlocal,â€ â€œcraft,â€ â€œexperiential,â€ â€œdiscovery,â€ the latest iterations of â€œboutiqueâ€ and â€œlifestyle,â€ and the single most overly and incorrectly used word in the English language, â€œcurated.â€
Todayâ€™s trend words all have one definitional element in common: They all are somewhat synonymous with â€œdifferentâ€ in one way or another. Guests are looking for different experiences in the different cities they visit, particularly road warriors. â€œDifferentâ€ in that context doesnâ€™t necessarily mean â€œbetter,â€ just not â€œthe same.â€
If this is not your year for a major renovation, and you wonâ€™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.
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