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Understanding Titans of the Hotel Industry Throughout History

by
Hotel Tech Report
22 hours ago

What would the hotel industry be without chain hotels? Can you imagine a world without online travel agencies like Expedia? Or what about a world without Airbnb? A few exceptional individuals made contributions to the lodging industry which revolutionized not only our industry, but the world. Thanks to the ideas, leadership, and drive of the 7 titans of the hotel industry, we can travel better today. In this article, we’ll introduce you to seven of the most important figures in the hotel business: Conrad Hilton, J. Willard Marriott, Isadore Sharp, Jay Pritzker, Barry Sternlicht, Brian Chesky, and Rich Barton. You’ll learn about their backgrounds, their career paths, the companies they founded, and how they fit into the evolution of the hotel industry. And you might find the inspiration you need to bring your ideas to life or to start your own company!   The Early Days of the Hotel Industry The concept of a hotel is hardly a new one; boarding houses, inns, caravanserais, and other early lodging types have been in existence for thousands of years. These simple accommodations offered travelers a place to sleep, a hot meal, and stables for their horses. Early “hotels” were family-run and often located in the same building where the family lived. As travel became more common, starting in the 1400s, a few European countries mandated that hotels document their guests. These new laws signaled the beginning of the hotel industry - hoteliers were now running legitimate businesses in the eyes of the local governments. By the 1700s, every city had at least several hotels operating in the center of town to meet the demand for overnight stays. Many hotels became attractions in their own right, like the Le Grand Hôtel Paris and Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, which were famous for beautiful architecture and glamorous clientele.   The Hotel Industry Boom in the United States Until the mid-1900s, nearly all hotels were independently owned and operated. There was also a clear distinction between the stylish, cosmopolitan hotels in city centers and the simple roadside motels in rural areas. Two entrepreneurs on opposite sides of the country saw opportunities to bring a high standard of service to the hotel industry and created the eponymous names that we all know today: Conrad Hilton and J. Willard Marriott. Conrad Hilton entered the hotel industry somewhat accidentally when his plan to purchase a bank fell through; instead, he ended up buying the Mobley Hotel in Cisco, Texas in 1919. Seeing that he could run a hotel successfully, Hilton scouted out promising hotel deals and continued growing his portfolio over the next few decades. Landmark hotels like New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria and the Plaza Hotel became Hilton properties, and the company acquired the Statler Hotel Company in what was the largest real estate transaction of its time. Hilton is not only credited with building a global hotel empire, but also with popularizing the star rating system and combining hotels, restaurants, and casinos. Like Hilton, J. Willard Marriott didn’t plan on becoming a hotel magnate. He got his start in the hospitality business by running A&W Root Beer shops in the Washington, D.C. area, and built a sizable restaurant and foodservice business. When it came time for his next venture, Marriott opened a motel in Arlington, Virginia with great results. Marriott became known for his hands-on leadership style and perfectionist mindset, and as the Marriott company grew, he continued to stay in the middle of the action. In fact, he never retired from Marriott, even after his son Bill took over as CEO. Under their leadership, Marriott became the largest hotel company in the world with over 30 brands under its umbrella. In addition to Hilton and Marriott, numerous hotel brands popped up in the mid-20th century, like Holiday Inn and Motel 6. These brands could offer quality and consistency to travelers who didn’t want to risk a sub-par experience at an independent property. Remember, back then, there was no Tripadvisor, so brands offered an appealing solution.   The Rise of Hotel Brands Speaking of brands, Marriott and Hilton are only two of the great hotel brands that shaped the industry. While Hilton and Marriott were building their companies, another entrepreneur saw an opportunity to create a new type of hotel: Jay Pritzker. Already an established businessman, Pritzker was on a business trip to Los Angeles in 1957 when he noticed a lack of high-quality hotels located near airports. He didn’t think travelers should have to choose between nice downtown hotels and seedy airport motels, so he launched the Hyatt brand, which focused on upscale hotels near airports. Hyatt Hotels eventually branched out to urban hotels, notably when the company launched the Hyatt Regency brand, which is known for its signature atrium design. But Pritzker wasn’t the only one to realize that architecture can be an asset to a hotel brand; as a trained builder, Isadore Sharp knew architecture would always be a pillar of his Four Seasons hotel brand. He opened the first Four Seasons hotel in Toronto in 1961, and guests appreciated the innovative courtyard design that allowed them some relief from city sights and noise. Sharp grew the Four Seasons brand to become a globally known icon of service and luxury, and the company now manages over 100 hotels in cities like Paris and far-flung destinations like Bora Bora. Sharp wasn’t alone in grabbing an opportunity to appeal to affluent travelers. Barry Sternlicht, the founder of Starwood Capital and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, also noticed a gap in the luxury hotel market when he launched the W brand in 1998. In contrast to the pretentious, stuffy luxury hotels that were the norm, W hotels offered a playful, youthful version of luxury. The W brand is considered the first “lifestyle” hotel brand, a trend which is still popular today. Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ portfolio also included brands like Westin and Sheraton, and in 2016 Marriott purchased Starwood and formed the largest hotel company in the world.   Lodging in the Digital Age By the 1990s, hotels had taken over the world. You could book a Marriott or Four Seasons on six continents and dozens of countries. But how would you actually make that booking? Most travelers relied on travel agents to secure reservations, or you could call the 1-800 number for a chain line Hilton or Hyatt. That all changed when Rich Barton, a product manager at Microsoft, came up with the idea for Expedia in 1994. He saw how the power of the internet could put travel booking into the travelers hands - he just had to create a platform to house all the data. By the time Expedia went public in 1999, it was far from the only digital booking platform, or online travel agency. Competitors like Booking.com, Priceline, Orbitz, and Travelocity gave consumers access to good rates and information about hotels around the globe. The popularity of brick-and-mortar travel agencies declined as online travel agencies took off. Two decades later, the OTA space is dominated by two big players who now own the majority of brands: Expedia Group and Booking Holdings. But Expedia and Booking.com aren’t the only sites where you can book a place to stay. In fact, hotels are no longer your only option. Just as Uber disrupted the taxi industry, Airbnb offers a new type of accommodation for travelers seeing local experiences or apartment-style short-term rentals. Founded by Brian Chesky in 2009, Airbnb has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Chesky and his two roommates had the idea to rent out a few air mattresses in their apartment during a busy conference in San Francisco, and a few years later their company became a Silicon Valley “unicorn” with a valuation over $1B. Airbnb has grown to over six million listings and is planning an IPO in late 2020. What can we expect for the future of the hotel industry? The industry’s pioneers are probably already hard at work building something that will further change how we travel and experience hospitality.   -- Brian Chesky illustration by mikenudelman.com

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58 Tourism Industry Statistics that Show the Devastating Impact of Coronavirus

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 days ago

There’s no question that the coronavirus has deeply impacted the tourism industry. As the pandemic continues to evolve, however, what’s difficult to discern is the breadth and depth of its impact in both the short and long term. We’re still facing the repercussions of intermittent lockdowns, border closings, and economic stress, but these 50 statistics show the initial and ongoing impact of coronavirus on the tourism industry. We’ve broken these data points out into the following areas:  Global Impact: 2020 and Beyond Air Travel and Transportation Hotels and Accommodation Food and Beverage Tours and Attractions Business Travel The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global travel is not black and white.  Some tourism business' like smaller California wine country hotels and hotels adjacent to national parks have achieved record numbers despite a near complete shutdown of inbound tourism and international travel.  Domestic tourism has been far from safe in the global pandemic with economic development initiatives supporting hotels, tour operators and other travel companies support their workers via aid programs like America's PPP (paycheck protection program).  Global tourism will rebound from this the same way it did from the 9/11 terrorist attacks but experts uninanimously agree that it will take longer.  The hotel industry has been devastated by low levels of international visitors as tourism demand dropped to all time lows with tourism destinations even turning potential travelers away. Read on for some of the most remarkable numbers showing the widespread impact of COVID-19.   Global Impact: 2020 and Beyond The tourism industry worldwide is impacted by coronavirus – so much so that global GDP is expected to shrink dramatically and unemployment to skyrocket. Here are a few stats that show how tourism worldwide has been decimated. 1. Global revenue for travel and tourism is estimated to decrease by 34.7% to an estimated $447.4 billion. The original 2020 forecast was $712 billion in revenue. 2. European tourism is expected to take the biggest hit from COVID-19: revenue for the travel and tourism industry in Europe will decrease from $211.97 billion in 2019 to roughly $124 billion in 2020. 3. The tourism industry lost 1.5% of global gross domestic product after four months of being shut down, reported the UN Conference on Trade and Development. 4. If international tourism remains shut down over 12 months, the UN predicts a loss of 4.2% global GDP ($3.3 trillion). 5. The World Travel and Tourism Council predicts that 121 million of the 330 million jobs tied to tourism around the world will be lost in 2020. 6. Tourism is going to take a while to recover, says McKinsey. The consulting firm predicts that international tourist arrivals will decrease 60 - 80% in 2020, and tourism spending is not likely to return to pre-crisis levels until 2024. 7. Not only are consumers traveling less, but they’re also dining out less. Statista reports that the “year-over-year decline of seated diners in restaurants worldwide was a staggering 41.36% on August 23, 2020.”   Tourism in the US In the US, the economic effects of a slowdown in tourism are expected to be on par with many so-called “developing countries.” In addition, the impact of a decline in tourism will have wide-reaching effects on many other parts of the economy. 8. The travel industry says it accounts for 15.8 million American jobs—that’s employment for one in every 10 Americans. That means the economic impact of coronavirus could have a major impact on the US unemployment rate. 9. Some reports predicted that the loss in travel-related jobs caused the U.S. unemployment rate to double from 3.5% in February to 7.1% in March/April. 10. Based on current trends, experts predict that the United States will lose far more than any other country in dollar terms and nearly double that of China.  (Source) 11. In April, when many states encouraged or mandated that residents stay home, tourist arrivals in Hawaii fell 99.5%. Tourism accounts for 21% of Hawaii’s economy. 12. Florida also faced a drop in tourism, with their tourism sector declining 10.7% in the first quarter of 2020. The state reports that tourism has an economic impact of $67 billion on Florida's economy 13. On April 11, 2020, only 3% of hotels in Austin, Texas were occupied: 342 rooms were booked, compared to 10,777 in 2019. 14. Statista predicts a drop in spending of $355 billion in 2020 in the US, a decrease of 31%.   Air Travel Consumers are not interested in boarding an airplane anytime soon, due partially to border closures as well as safety concerns and high ticket prices. Air travel is predicted to be depressed for a long time. 15. Travel restrictions at borders impacted air travel and other forms of transportation. There were four categories of restrictions impacting a total of 217 destinations: 16. 45% of destinations (97 countries) implemented total or partial border closures; 17. 30% of destinations (65 countries) suspended flights totally or partially; 18. 18% of destinations (39 countries) enforced border closures aimed at a specific group of destinations; 19. 7% of destinations (16 countries) required visitors to quarantine or implemented similar measures. (Source) 20. Data from Flightradar24 showed that the average number of commercial flights per day fell from 100,000+ in January and February 2020 to around 78,500 in March and 29,400 in April. 21. Despite many governments providing aid to the airline industry, passenger revenue is estimated to drop by $314 billion in 2020 — a 55% decrease from 2019, according to the International Air Transport Association. 22. As of May 4, 2020, international flights had decreased by 80% as compared to 2019. Many airports were closed and flights banned due to border closings. 23. IATA, the International Air Transport Association, reported in June, 2020 that coronavirus would account for a net loss of $84.3 billion for all airlines, worse than the $30 billion loss in 2008. Income is projected to remain negative through 2021.   (Source)   24. IATA also predicts that plane ticket prices will increase, especially if airlines are mandated to comply with social distancing measures. Ticket prices may rise by as much as 50%, according to Alexandre de Juniac, the head of IATA. 25. One company tracking ticket prices during the height of COVID-19 found that fares through April 13 and May 4 rose 13.7% and 10.9% year over year, respectively.   Hotels & Accomodations Sector Travelers are unlikely to feel comfortable staying at hotels in the near future, meaning low-occupancy rates will impact the hospitality industry for years to come. 26. Since mid-February, hotels in the US have lost more than $46 billion in room revenue, according to the AHLA. The industry expert expects hotels to lose up to $400 million in room revenue per day based on current occupancy rates and revenue trends. 27. In the US, AHLA found that individual hotels and major operators are projecting occupancies below 20%. For many occupancies, a rate of 35% or lower makes it impossible to stay open  – and many accommodations are closing altogether.   (Source)   28. McKinsey predicts that COVID-19 is likely to accelerate the shift to digital. Travelers will be looking for flexibility and be willing to make last-minute bookings as the situation evolves. Case-in-point: more than 90% of recent trips in China were booked within seven days of the trip itself. 29. The consulting firm also ran a few different scenarios to see how hotel RevPAR would be impacted: 30. In the worst-case scenario, RevPAR will be down 20% by 2023. 31. RevPAR of luxury rooms is the slowest to recover due to their higher variable and semi-fixed costs.   (Source)   32. A July 2020 Ipsos survey found that 51% of Americans are willing to stay at a hotel, the same percentage as the month before. Attitudes toward frequenting hotels seem to be improving or staying the same. 33. US travelers have certain expectations of the tourism industry. The Tourism Crisis Management Initiative at the University of Florida found that airports, accomodations, and attractions must take the following initiatives to communicate safety protocols:   (Source)   34. Airbnb is not faring any better than traditional accommodation options. The platform, which relies on hosts, have seen 64% of guests cancelling or planning to cancel their bookings since the pandemic began. In addition: 35. 47% of hosts don't feel safe renting to guests 36. 70% of guests are fearful to stay at an Airbnb 37. Hosts anticipate a 44% decrease in revenue for June through August 38. Daily rates have dropped as much as $90 (on average). 39. Hyatt reported a $236 million second-quarter loss, a 376% drop in income since the same quarter in 2019. RevPAR was down nearly 90%.   Food & Beverage Many restaurants and bars all over the world have had to close due to coronavirus and social distancing measures. 40. In the US, full-service restaurant reservations dropped starting in March – visits were down by 41% across the country.   (Source) 41. The scheduling tool Homebase reported that the number of hours worked at local restaurants and bars dropped 40% by March 17, while the number of hourly workers overall declined 45%. 42. Restaurant workers have been hit hard by the pandemic. The National Restaurant Association reports that two out of three restaurant employees have lost their jobs. 43. Industry advocacy group James Beard Foundation found that restaurants, on average, laid off 91% of their hourly workforce and 70% of salaried employees due to COVID-19 and closures resulting from the pandemic. 44. The National Restaurant Association expects that the dining industry will lose up to $240 billion by the end of 2020. 45. What will it take for restaurants to reopen? A lot, according to the James Beard Foundation. Restaurant owners report that these are the biggest obstacles to reopening again successfully: 41% say the slow return of customers, 35% say they need cash to pay vendors, 16% would need to rehire staff, 3% would need to retrain staff, 2% are worried about health inspections. 46. In-person dining may be off limits, but in one survey, 33% of consumers said they’re getting more takeout than before the pandemic.    Tours & Attractions Historic sites, theme parks, cruises and museums were shut down for the majority of this year. Here’s how the tour and attraction sector fared during COVID-19. 47. UNESCO reported on International Museum Day that nearly 90% of cultural institutions had to close their doors during the pandemic; almost 13% may never reopen. 48. The New York Metropolitan Opera had to cancel its season by the end of March, and expects to lose $60 million in revenue. 49. Safari bookings, according to one survey, are down by 75% or more, jeopardizing the tourism industry in countries that need internationla visitors badly to support their economy.    (Source)   51. The CDC issued a no-sail order for cruise ships, finding in their study that 80% of ships within U.S. jurisdiction had cases of COVID-19 on board during March - July. 52. Mastercard recorded a 45% drop in travel-related transactions as compared to the same period last year. The credit card company looked at cross-border transaction volume processed in three months ending June 30. 53. In March, 77% of members of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), an organization for travel agencies, predicted they would be out of business in six months or less. 54. The Walt Disney Co. lost nearly $5 billion in April, May and June, due to its theme parks being closed: Disney World, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, plus the brand’s resorts and cruise operations   Business Travel 55. The pandemic has deeply impacted business travel: this sector is predicted to lose $810.7 billion in revenue this year. 56. China is expected to see the biggest loss in business travel from COVID-19, where spending is expected to decrease by a total of $404.1 billion. 57. Experts are predicting that 5 - 10% of business travel will be permanently lost, due in part to remote working tools that enable virtual meetings. 58. Business travel declined 89% as a result of COVID-19, more than the Great Recession and 9/11 losses combined. PwC reports that almost half of all businesses canceled corporate travel during this pandemic.   (Source)  

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What is an Occupancy Rate? Real Estate's Core KPI Explained

by
Hotel Tech Report
2 weeks ago

Percent occupancy is a key concept and KPI used in real estate businesses as a that shows how much available space there is in a building relative to space that is leased or rented. Simple, right? Wrong.  Occupancy rate has a ton of nuance and is massively important to real estate businesses so the broader concept requires a fundamental understanding of what occupancy says about a property, how to compare it to other businesses and how it ties to other metrics like length of stay, RevPAR, ADR, NOI (net operating income) and cash flows. In this article we'll dive into hotels occupancy rate but the concepts we cover are very similar across other real estate businesses like apartments, vacation rental units, retail and office buildings.  Occupancy is one of the most important metrics for revenue management teams to track. Many travelers have been shocked to see that despite up to 90% drops in occupancy due to the coronavirus pandemic, rates haven't fallen nearly as much.  In this article we'll start to explore why that might be and more. If you’re new to the hotel industry or looking for a refresher on some common metrics, you may be wondering: what is an occupancy rate? Why is occupancy rate important to hotels? In this article, we’ll explain exactly what the occupancy rate represents, how to calculate it, and why it’s a crucial part of measuring hotel performance. By the end of the article, you’ll be able to calculate occupancy rates (and RevPAR!) and think about the ideal occupancy rate for your hotel.   What is the Definition of Occupancy Rate? (+Formula) In the hotel industry, the occupancy rate represents the share of occupied rooms during a certain time period. Occupancy Rate is usually expressed as a percentage. Occupancy Rate (%) = Number of Booked Rooms / Total Number of Rooms Let’s look at an example: If Hotel A has 83 rooms, and 70 of them are booked tonight, then tonight’s occupancy rate is 84%. Hotel A’s Occupancy Rate = 70 / 83 = 0.84337, or 83% You can calculate occupancy rate for any time period by dividing the total number of booked rooms in that period by the total number of available rooms in that period. If some rooms at your hotel are out of order (for maintenance, renovation, etc.), it’s customary to subtract those rooms from the “total number of rooms” to maintain a more favorable occupancy rate. Fun fact: In the airline industry, the “occupancy rate” of an airplane is called “load factor.”   What is a Good Occupancy Rate for Hotels? If you think about a good occupancy rate for hotels, the logical answer is 100%. Of course, you would think every hotelier wants their hotel to be completely full every night. But a 100% occupancy rate may in fact not be the most profitable way to run your hotel. For many hotels, an ideal occupancy rate is between 70% and 95% - though the sweet spot depends on the number of rooms, location, type of hotel, target guests, and more. If you’ve booked every room, you might have left money on the table by not selling higher rates, and your costs can increase when every room is booked. The ideal occupancy rate for your hotel is one that allows you to maximize revenues and minimize costs. Luxury hotels will also want to deliver exceptional service to every guest, a task which becomes more difficult as the number of guests rises. For example, if your hotel is selling out every day - with reservations booked well in advance - there’s probably an opportunity to increase your rates. Of course, you’ll likely have a few sold-out nights here and there, like during holiday periods or special events, but if your hotel has 100% occupancy every night, then there is enough demand to support a rate increase. Besides the revenue component, a 100% occupancy rate can mean an increase in costs. If you have 95 rooms, for example, and each housekeeper can clean 10 rooms per day, it may be in your best interest to book up to 90 rooms each night so you don’t need to hire an additional housekeeper. Or perhaps a guest isn’t happy with their room; with a full house, you would have no alternate room to offer the guest, so you might need to offer a discount or another type of service recovery.   How Do Hotels Increase Occupancy Rate? Many hotels, however, don’t struggle with a 100% occupancy rate every night. Many hotels actively try to increase occupancy, since a high occupancy rate comes with many benefits - compared to a low occupancy rate, that is. When your hotel has higher occupancy, you have more guests in-house, which means potential for higher revenues at your F&B outlets, spa, shops, or other outlets, plus a greater opportunity to spread awareness of your brand and build guest loyalty. In order to increase your occupancy rate, your hotel needs to book more reservations and room nights. A hotel can increase the number of reservations - and therefore, occupancy - through several tactics: Selling lower rates (especially through promotions and discounts) Offering incentives for longer stays Running marketing campaigns Partnering with online travel agencies (OTAs) and travel agents Targeting specific types of guests who stay longer Discouraging cancellations by selling non-refundable rates If your hotel is trying to increase occupancy but still not hitting the 90% range, remember that globally, the average occupancy rates for hotels range from 65% to 80%.   Why Do Hotels Track Occupancy Rate? Occupancy is a great benchmark to assess a hotel’s position against its competitors and its own historical data. Knowing how your hotel is doing compared to other hotels in the market and previous years can help you set rates, predict stay patterns, schedule staff, and plan renovations or maintenance. If you know a certain weekend will have high occupancy, based on your historical data, then you can schedule enough staff and not plan a renovation over those dates. Hotel owners and operators often set occupancy rate, ADR, and RevPAR goals, so occupancy rate is a major component in measuring the hotel’s overall performance. Occupancy rates can therefore impact future capital expenditures, employee salaries and bonuses and brand relationships. Occupancy rates vary dramatically by market segment based on number of units or chainscale and even for different types of hotel rooms within the same hotel.   What is the Relationship Between Occupancy Rate and RevPAR? RevPAR, or Revenue Per Available Room, is a metric that takes into account both occupancy rate and ADR (Average Daily Rate). RevPAR is like a weighted version of ADR; it distributes the ADR equally across all available rooms - not just the booked ones. Like occupancy rate itself, RevPAR is used as a performance metric to determine how a hotel is performing. RevPAR is expressed in currency units, just like ADR. RevPAR is calculated by multiplying ADR by the occupancy rate. ADR is simply the average room rate booked for a given date or time period. RevPAR = ADR x Occupancy Rate Let’s say Hotel A’s ADR was $98 on the night when occupancy was 84%. Hotel A’s RevPAR is then $82.32. Hotel A’s RevPAR = $98 x 0.84 = $82.32 Overall, occupancy rate is a key indicator of a hotel’s historical, real-time, and future performance. Many stakeholders - from owners to housekeeping staff - use occupancy rate to shape their decisions. Did we miss any tips or tricks related to occupancy rate? Let us know!  

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What is Preventive Maintenance? Definition, Examples & Tech Tips

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 weeks ago

There are two paths to improving your hotel’s profitability: increase revenue and/or cut costs. All things equal, it's best to focus on increasing revenue because it's additive; more revenue means that your business is growing. However, when there's a downturn, and revenue is harder to come by, controlling costs becomes even more important for the bottom line.  With hotel maintenance technicians earning around $42,000 (or $15 to $20 per hour according to data from Hcareers) in the US -- and that’s before any outsourced repair costs -- property maintenance can be a significant cost for hotels. While it's tempting to reduce budgets and defer maintenance, the shortsightedness may leave a financial burden in the not-too-distant future. Here's what you need to know about preventive maintenance, its role in your hotel’s overall profitability and how to successfully implement it at your hotel.   What is Preventive Maintenance? As a long-term cost control measure, preventive maintenance is the proactive scheduling of maintenance before things go wrong, rather than reactively respond with repairs as needed. One research study of hotels in Hong Kong found that hotels spent 48% more on corrective maintenance than preventive maintenance, a reactive reality that often results in overspending on maintenance. To achieve the right level of spending, hotels must determine the optimal maintenance zone. This is where the financial and reputational benefit of fixing it before it breaks (preventive) outweighs the financial and reputational costs of fixing it after the fact (corrective).     Preventive maintenance programs help asset owners avoid downtime by systematically scheduling work orders and checks before equipment failures occur.  Preventative maintenance ultimately increases the life of any piece of equipment  or critical assets relative to reactive maintenance which occurs after equipment already has issues that need to be fixed.  Preventive maintenance plans are mostly developed and executed by maintenance teams in any organization and help to reduce maintenance costs in the same way that preventive healthcare saves on long term medical expenses.  For certain assets like a hotel air conditioning unit in peak summer, unplanned downtime can lead to lost revenue.  Throughout the lifecycle of critical equipment, engineering and maintenance personnel must perform condition monitoring checks.   Preventive Maintenance Examples Much of the most valuable preventive maintenance centers around electrical and mechanical systems, which have a relatively high cost for replacement compared with its ongoing maintenance. But there are plenty of areas in your property that could benefit from regular preventive maintenance, some of which have a direct impact on the guest experience should they stop functioning. Some other examples of preventive maintenance in properties with high traffic, such as hotel properties, retail establishments, transportation hubs and office buildings, include: Plumbing and sewer systems Hot water heaters Pool pumps Electrical systems On-premise computers and software Refrigeration in your kitchen, restaurant and bar Espresso machines in your lobby cafe Grease traps and floor drains Carpets in hallways and guest rooms Pest control  Trimming branches and other potentially damaging landscaping Changing filters on water systems and drinking fountains Cleaning gutters Inspecting roofs Emergency sprinkler systems    Each of these items has a useful life that spans a range of years. By scheduling regular inspections and streamlining your hotel’s maintenance, you’ll get more out of your investments and keep using these assets towards the upper range of their usefulness.   Preventive Maintenance Checklist There are four types of actions on any preventive maintenance checklist: inspection, detection, correction, and protection. Inspection detects any potential emerging issues so they can be corrected as soon as necessary. Prevention prevents problems in the first place, such as cleaning laundry lint filters to prevent fire risk and reduce energy usage.  Tasks on a preventive maintenance checklist can be time-based (eg. cleaning lint filters every Monday) or usage-based (cleaning the filters after 1,000 loads of laundry). For hotels, it's often much easier to do calendar-based inspections, which reduces confusion and increases consistency. Otherwise, staff may not really know where they are on a usage-based checklist and thus feel less urgency without a time-based deadline. A few notable exceptions are any vehicles or equipment with built-in usage tracking.  High-traffic properties share some common items that absolutely must be on the preventive maintenance checklist. Here's a sample checklist for your hotel, broken down by focus area and including some overlap between major “deep cleaning” tasks that also function as preventive maintenance.  GUEST ROOMS [MONTHLY] Bathroom Inspect faucets and showerheads for leaks and water pressure Inspect toilet and toilet tank Inspect walls and shower curtain for mold Check ventilation fan HVAC Change filters Check thermostat Check blower Clean ducts  Other Check door locks Check sprinklers Check baseboards for pest intrusion Replace light bulbs Test iron, TV, coffee maker, etc Test all electrical outlets and light switches Check remote control and replace battery Test all smart room functions (curtains, tablet controls, etc)  PROPERTY-WIDE HVAC [2x per year] Change filters Check coolant levels Clean ducts Check heat pumps Inspect rooftop condensers Plumbing [2x per year] Check water heaters Verify water pressure to identify potential issues Video inspection as needed  Common areas [1x per year] Repaint walls Repair furniture Clean carpets Replace light bulbs Clean outside storm drains  Inspect parking lot   Check all outdoor lighting Amenities [MONTHLY] Inspect/test gym equipment Check business center computers/printer Check water fountains FOOD & BEVERAGE Clean grease traps [monthly] Check refrigeration for proper cooling to legally-mandated temps [quarterly] Maintain espresso and other drink machines [quarterly] Clean ventilation hood filters [weekly] Check and clean floor drains [weekly] BACK-OF-THE-HOUSE Maintain laundry equipment Clean lint traps  Inspect electrical mains    Every property is unique. So, in addition to these standard preventive maintenance items, grab your management team and walk the property. Carefully document anything that you see that could benefit from ongoing maintenance. Look not just for the obvious but also for things that have a direct impact on the guest experience. Regardless of whether these things are visible to the average guest, Your goal should be to develop a comprehensive list of everything that must be maintained property-wide.   Next, take that list and combine it with the recommended maintenance windows for all mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Finally, develop your preventive maintenance schedule based on both the recommended maintenance schedule and guest visibility. Items that could potentially jeopardize your reputation should be prioritized over others that are less visible and/or less impactful to normal operations.   What is CMMS Software? Preventive maintenance activities and PM programs are nearly impossible to carry out without software in complex assets like hotels.  Who could possibly remember all of the different checks necessary to ensure healthy equipment?  CMMS stands for 'computerized maintenance management system' and while the term is a bit dated since all systems are computerized today - the term has stuck in many industries with CMMS software rising in popularity in businesses ranging from apartments to hotels and even factories.  Maintenance planning team members use software to get a real-time view into asset health without all the time-consuming tasks needed to do so.   For example, previously a hotel engineer would need to keep a detailed log of HVAC unit purchase dates and issues.  Today, software does all that for them where they load each new unit into the system and software then monitors average health to give automated alerts. Effective asset management and preventing asset failure / equipment downtime can be huge drivers of profitability so investments in CMMS and preventive maintenance software tend to provide  very strong ROIs.  There's nothing worse than having critical equipment breakdown when it's needed most.   Best Preventive Maintenance Software for Hotels At this point, you'll have quite a long list of things to maintain. In most cases, it's actually quite surprising how many things need to be taken care of. Once you add in each item’s recommended maintenance frequency, it can get impossibly complicated to manage.  While you could certainly put everything into a calendar and manage manually, that makes it much easier t get off track. Even the smallest amount of slippage can lead to outsized consequences. One day here, a few days there…and eventually, your preventive maintenance schedule no longer reflects maintenance best practices or recommended time frames. Since your schedule is no longer accurate, then you stop using it. And all of that work goes to waste! To prevent slippage and stay on track, many hotels use preventive maintenance software. As the GM or lead engineer, you can stay on track thanks to this software that makes sure everyone is on the same page with both the schedule and the sub-tasks required for each maintenance item. The software will automatically assign scheduled tasks (and sub-task checklists) based on your chosen time intervals and then track progress towards completion in a centralized dashboard.  An automated preventive maintenance workflow from Upkeep   These automated workflows can be enhanced with what's called prescriptive maintenance. This is where the system analyzes usage and surfaces potential maintenance issues before they occur.  Prescriptive maintenance is especially powerful in peak season, with higher-than-usual traffic. As hotel managers, we know what happens when things get busy: maintenance schedules don't always adjust and systems break -- inevitably at the worst time! The best maintenance management software leverages smart analysis to prevent these nightmare scenarios. Two other help features to look for are integration with your guest messaging platform so urgent repairs are quickly routed to the right person and an asset library that centralizes manuals and training associated with your property systems.  Here are the top five software tools for hotel preventive maintenance, as rated by verified HTR users: Hotelkit Facility Management ALICE Maintenance Quore Engineering  Lodgistics Preventive Maintenance Flexkeeping Maintenance  

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What is a Room Type? (+20 Types of Hotel Rooms)

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 weeks ago

We've previously covered the different types of hotels and hotel room types can be just as confusing.  Hotel rooms come in all shapes, sizes – and titles. Hotels label their rooms by the size bed, the number of beds in the room, as well as the furnishings, interior design, and additional amenities. Guest rooms classified as "singles", for instance, can indicate a smaller room, a twin bed, the number of occupants for which there is space, or all of the above. Room type definitions are complex and go well beyond whether the sleeping area has a single bed or queen-size, or whether it's a smoking room or not. These room type distinctions can be confusing for guests who are just seeking to understand what, exactly, it is for which they are paying. This guide seeks to help guests understand what the different types of hotel rooms are, as well as build justification for pricing your property's rooms on a certain scale.   Room Types by Occupancy It’s common for hotels to list their rooms based on how many people the room is equipped to handle. Here’s what you can expect when you see rooms labeled in this way. Single room: these rooms are assigned to one person or a couple. It may have one or more beds, but the size of the bed depends on the hotel. Some single rooms have a twin bed, most will have a double, few will have a queen bed. Double room: double rooms are assigned to two people; expect one double bed, or two twin beds depending on the hotel. Triple room: as the name might suggest, this room is equipped for three people to stay. The room will have a combination of either three twin beds, one double bed and a twin, or two double beds. Quad room: a quad room is set up for four people to stay comfortably. This means the room will have two double beds. Some, however, may be set up dormitory-style with bunks or twins, so check with the property to make sure.   Quad room   Hotel Rooms by Bed Some hotels classify rooms by the number or size of the beds in the room. However, guests should note that hotels still have restrictions on how many guests are allowed per room. Just because there’s a king bed in a room, doesn’t mean you can invite 15 people to stay. Occupancy limitations make this a liability for the hotel. Many hotels will charge more for extra guests (to a certain limit) or allow for you to add a cot to a room with an odd number of people. Here are some room types determined by bed availability. Queen: a room with a queen-sized bed.  King: a room with a king-sized bed. Twin: a room with two twin-sized beds. Hollywood twin: Hollywood twin rooms have two twin beds that are joined by the same headboard. Double-double: these rooms have two double beds (sometimes two queen beds) and are meant to accommodate two to four people, especially families traveling with young kids. Studio: this type of room has a studio bed, e.g. a couch that can be converted into a bed. Some studios come with additional beds. Others come with more space: a studio room can be like a fully-furnished apartment, meaning it will have a small kitchenette. Check with the hotel to learn more about their studio rooms.   Double-double room   Hotel Rooms by Layout There are some rooms designated a certain price according to the layout – how big the rooms are, if there’s an adjoining second bedroom, or if there is a kitchen area and living space (making the room a suite). These titles can also tell travelers which rooms are handicapped accessible or suitable for business travelers. Some of these classifications are quite common, others may require a little more research and clarification by the traveler before booking. Standard room: a standard room is likely the same as a queen or a single room, great for a solo traveler or a couple. Expect a double bed.  Deluxe room: these rooms might be a bit bigger with slightly upgraded amenities or a nicer view. These rooms are typically equipped for groups who need more space, like a couple or small family.  Joint room: a joint room, sometimes called an adjoining room, refers to two rooms that share a common wall but no connecting door. Joint rooms are meant for families with younger children who may be old enough to stay in their own space, but not too far from their parents. Connecting room: these rooms have a connecting door between them, as well as individual doors to get to the outside. Great for families or groups who don’t want to have to walk through the hallway to move between rooms. Suite: suites come in a few different sizes. A basic suite or executive suite comes with a separate living space connected to one or more bedrooms. This set up is sometimes also called a master suite. A mini-suite or junior suite refers to a single room with a bed and sitting area. Some suites also come with kitchenettes. The presidential suite, as the name would suggest, is usually the most expensive room provided by a hotel. It will have one or more bedrooms, a living space, and impressive amenities, decoration, and tailor-made services.  Apartment-style: aparthotels are offering these types of rooms, but they can also be found at other traditional hotel chains. These rooms target long stay guests with full kitchens, laundry, and other amenities that make it possible to live comfortably. Housekeeping services are limited to once or twice a week.  Accessible room: hotels are required by law to provide a certain number of handicapped-accessible rooms. These rooms will have space for a wheelchair to move easily, and a bathroom outfitted for a disabled person.   Presidential suite   Hotel Rooms by Amenities Some rooms don’t fit easily into any category because they are entirely unique.  Perhaps a room has certain hotel amenities like access to a club lounge with breakfast and an afternoon wine hour. Cabana: cabana rooms open out onto the swimming pool or have a private pool attached to the room. This room type is more common in boutique hotels. Villa: most villas can be found at resorts. These kinds of rooms are actually stand-alone houses that have extra space and privacy. Villas typically come equipped with multiple bedrooms, a living room, a swimming pool, and a balcony. Penthouse: not all hotels offer penthouse suites, but these rooms are high-end, big rooms – sometimes taking up the entire top floor of a hotel – and come with the ultimate luxury amenities.   Penthouse room   Make sure to clearly explain things to guests that may seem obvious to you. To guest "adjacent rooms" may seem like a suite with living room and bedroom separate but it actually refers to separate rooms next to each other.  Hoteliers often assume that guests speak the same language but when many hotels classify rooms differently it's critical to clearly explain the number of guests who can be in a room, whether an extra bed can fit and even things like how far the room is from hotel entrance doors.  The better you describe the experience for future guests the lower probability of false expectations which lead to poor guest experiences.  Even go as far as to share the number of rooms for different room types so they can better understand the property as a whole. Hotel guests can often get confused by all these different room types and classifications. Help them discern which room is best for their budget, the size of their party, and their comfort by asking them more about their trip and matching them with a room accordingly. Hotel guests can often get confused by all these different room types and classifications. Help them discern which room is best for their budget, the size of their party, and their comfort by asking them more about their trip and matching them with a room accordingly.  

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Operations Category Press Releases

HelloShift Achieves Level III Global Support Certification

Hotel Tech Report
2 months ago

This week, HelloShift earned Hotel Tech Report’s level III Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) for its investments into tools, processes and strategies to ensure the ongoing success of its customers across the four of the key pillars of the GCSC Rubric including: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching and customer validation. The Hotel Tech Report GCSC certification program analyzes software vendors along critical dimensions of customer support infrastructure in order to help hoteliers minimize risk and maximize positive outcomes when selecting technology partners.  In order to become certified, companies must open their internal systems to Hotel Tech Report for assessment along HTR’s rigorous 34-point GCSC Rubric. “Typically when a company has a high employee-to-user ratio it means a more hands off service and required a more automated approach but in HelloShift's case it's quite the opposite.   The HelloShift team has really focused their support efforts towards white glove service where users have clear and open lines of communication at all times so not only can you get help on-demand, but clients often get responses from the founders which builds unique personal relationships with customers” Hotel Tech Report co-founder Adam Hollander. "As a SAAS (Software As A Service) company, we're in the service business. If our customers aren’t successful with our software, we have failed. We think of our support team as our “success team” --we are only successful when our customers are successful." Sudheer Thakur, Co-Founder @ HelloShift The below GCSC assessment outlines the verified systems and processes that HelloShift has in place to educate, train, retain and support customers.   HelloShift's GCSC Assessment Summary  Rubric Score: 31/34 Certification Level: III Customer Orientation: Customer Focused Recommendation: Highly recommended Support Team Size: 3 Support Team Leaders: Bobbie Devereux, Customer Success Manager Certification Period: February 20, 2020-February 20, 2021 Support Stack: re:Amaze, Close.io, Google Forms, AWS, Sentry, Tutor LMS, HelloShift   GCSC Support Rubric Section I: Pre-Emptive Support  The Pre-Emptive support pillar of the GSCG Scoring Rubric audits the tools and processes the vendor has in place to provide customers with easy access to self-help resources.  These self-help resources serve as a basis to offer easy troubleshooting as well as to preempt answers to product related questions before they arise providing a more intuitive and seamless experience for clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that HelloShift has in place for clients: 1.1 Online knowledge base/help center: Vendor offers a searchable help center for customers to easily find answers to common customer questions. 2.1 Online training videos: Vendor offers pre-recorded videos that clients can access 24/7 for self-teaching and deeper product knowledge. 3.1 In-app guided tours: Vendor offers in-app guided tours that are embedded within their interface to provide coaching and education for users to organically discover and easily access while using the product. 3.2 Tooltips: Vendor offers helpful tips and hints presented when users hover over buttons and UI elements in the interface. (min of 10 in-app tooltips) 4.1 Implementation documentation/roadmap: Vendor offers clients a visual map of the steps, processes and stakeholders upon onboarding to ensure that all stakeholders are aligned to make the implementation process more seamless. 4.2 Proprietary data recommendations: Vendor aggregates product usage data across clients to benchmark performance and provide recommendations to their users to help them learn about best practices, make better decisions and maximize product utilization. GCSC Support Rubric Section II: Reactive Support  The Reactive Support Pillar assesses the company's responsiveness to clients and their ability to resolve issues quickly when they arise ensuring prompt response and service to clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that HelloShift has in place for clients: 1.2 Transparent process: Vendor has opened up their systems to Hotel Tech Report via screen share to verify their tools and processes in place to deliver customer support. 1.3 Email support or phone support: Vendor at least one of the traditional methods of customer support channels, email or phone support (additional channels: phone, chat, email) 1.4 Multi-lingual support: Vendor offers support in the languages where they have active clients 1.5 Purpose built support and ticket management tool: Vendor utilizes professional customer support software that has functionality to effectively manage support tickets, followup, escalations and analytics. 2.2 Live Chat support: Vendor offers website or in-app live chat as an alternative customer support channel. 3.3 Contract SLAs: Vendor has service level agreement (SLA) terms in place in client contracts to guarantee that service levels are upheld. 3.5 Feature request tracking: Vendor offers the ability for clients to easily submit feature requests and has a methodology in place for escalating high priority features. 4.4 24/7 support availability: Vendor offers 24/7 support to clients for around the clock assistance. 4.5 Verified Contract SLA monitoring: Vendor has SLA terms fully integrated into their customer support software that has automatic notifications ensuring that SLA's are monitored and upheld.   GCSC Support Rubric Section III: Customer Success & Coaching While keeping customers happy is commonly thought of by software companies as the top priority, keeping them well informed is of equal importance. The third pillar of the GCSC Rubric identifies the key ways that vendors inform, educate and train their customers to realize successful outcomes with their products.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that HelloShift has in place for clients: 1.7 Customer satisfaction monitoring (ex. NPS surveys, CSAT): Vendor has processes in place to regularly monitor customer satisfaction. 2.3 Product updates/changes (release notes/changelog): Vendor offers easily accessible robust documentation of feature updates and product improvements to educate clients on new ways to maximize usage of the product. 2.4 Quarterly success check ins: Vendor offers [at least] quarterly customer success check ins to review progress, share best practices and ensure that clients are successful and happy with the product or service. 3.6 Performance reporting: Vendor offers reporting and analytics to show clients the value of the product or service. 3.4 Managed Services: Vendor offers additional consulting and managed services to help clients maximize their usage of the product. 4.6 Learning Management System (LMS): Vendo has a Learning Management System in place that offers videos, guided trainings and assessments for customers to be able to expand product knowledge in a structured way over time. 4.9 Dedicated customer success monitoring software: Vendor utilizes dedicated customer success software to monitor product usage and coach users to succeed with the product.   GCSC Support Rubric Section IV: Customer Validation The GCSC’s 34-point rubric and Hotel Tech Report’s verification of internal tools and processes validate the vendor's systems in place; however, the validation of the success of these tools and processes can most significantly be validated by the unbiased perspectives of real hotelier customers.  This pillar looks at unbiased verified client reviews and satisfaction scores to validate that the processes in place are working in the eyes of customers based on their satisfaction ratings. The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that HelloShift has in place for clients: 4.11 Public Feedback Validation: Vendor shows exemplary client relationships and is a top performer on Hotel Tech Report with more than 100+ verified client reviews. 4.12 4.5-star avg. customer support rating: Vendor has outstanding customer support ratings averaging more than 4.5/5 across all client reviews.   About the Hotel Tech Report Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) Support is one of the most critical aspects of the vendor selection process and yet historically there has never been a way to know the quality of a company’s support, until now. Using Hotel Tech Report’s proprietary framework, companies are assessed along four key dimensions: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching/success and client validation to provide hoteliers unprecedented levels of transparency to more easily identify top technology partners. For more information please visit: https://partners.hoteltechreport.com/global-support-certification/

15 Tech Companies Partner to Solve the Hotel Industry’s Billion Dollar Problem

Hotel Tech Report
4 months ago

15 technology companies have come together to create transparency for hotel technology buyers around the world.  The initiative, facilitated by Hotel Tech Report, rates hotel software vendor customer support processes on more than 30 key variables to help buyers make better partner decisions. Each year hotel owners lose billions of dollars due to software downtime and unused features.  By leveraging the new GCSC Global Customer Support Certification, hoteliers can confidently enter new technology partnerships with transparency into the support systems that are in place to mitigate such issues.  Software inevitably goes down and great customer support is the best defense against steep losses. Hoteliers who work with Hotel Tech Report Support Certified vendors also know that those partners have invested in training materials and content to ensure that their teams have everything they need to realize successful outcomes. The certification creates accountability in the vendor community to maintain the highest levels of service for clients through an annual audit by analysts at Hotel Tech Report, the world’s largest technology research platform and online community for the global hotel industry. Leading firms such as Mews Systems, OTA Insight and IDeaS Revenue Solutions have been key supporters of this new industry standard which paves the path for better relationships between technology firms and their hotel clients. “We initially came to Hotel Tech Report with a simple concept.  Our hypothesis was that companies with great customer support would be happy to grant full transparency around their support KPIs with Hotel Tech Report and that companies with subpar support would never give that kind of access.  The team at HTR has brought that concept to life and we’re proud to give full transparency into how we engage, educate and support our customers on a global scale. Ultimately this support certification is an easy way for hoteliers to identify the companies who really treat their clients as partners - it’s a gamechanger for the industry,” says Richard Valtr, Founder of Mews Systems. Decision makers at hotel groups often spend months researching software feature functionality and pricing - but rarely are they able to develop deep insights into how the relationship changes and the level of support their team will receive once the contract is signed. “Hoteliers are constantly rated by parties like JD Power and AAA on the service they deliver to guests which ultimately helps guests find the best hotels.  With this initiative, hoteliers can now benefit from the peace of mind that comes with knowing their future vendors have not only been pre-vetted for professional customer support prior to contract lock-in but they can also easily learn about which tools and processes are most important and which one’s prospective vendors have invested in to help them succeed beyond deal close.” ~Adam Hollander, Hotel Tech Report Poor customer support is incredibly costly for both hotel software buyers and sellers.  For buyers, poor customer support from technology vendors can lead to lost revenue, poor guest satisfaction and weak ROIs on technology spend. “When a booking engine goes down hoteliers can lose thousands of dollars each minute.  What if it takes 24-hours to reach their vendor’s support team and fix the issue? Hoteliers rarely anticipate, let alone, calculate these kinds of costs when signing up with a new vendor because they’re out of sight and out of mind.  Once it happens to them they go into a panic and wish they knew ahead of time,” says Hollander. Another benefit of strong customer engagement processes is maximization of software feature functionality.  A study conducted on 3.8M software users shows that $30B is wasted each year on unused software in the U.S. alone.  Vendors that meet Hotel Tech Report’s support certification have been pre-vetted for the tools and processes necessary to ensure that hotel teams will be properly trained on all feature functionality which ultimately helps them maximize their investments in software and achieve higher ROIs on their software spend.  "45% of software features across the SaaS sector never get used. This is a huge waste. While OTA Insight's usage stats show that the intuitive features in our tools are very well used, we strive for more than just delivering software that works properly; we're committed to ensuring that clients can maximize their investments by ensuring our products and functionality are simple, intuitive and add value. With a heavy focus on customer feedback and input, this informs our ongoing product development," says James Parsons of OTA Insight. Founding members of the GCSC Customer Support Certification rallied across the globe to bring this initiative to life.  Each founding member granted Hotel Tech Report access to their internal systems for the team to rate service delivery with its proprietary support certification framework.     Founding Members of the Global Support Certification include:  Mews Systems (Prague) IDeaS (Minneapolis) OTA Insight (London) TrustYou (Munich) Travel Tripper (New York) Hotelchamp (Amsterdam) Oaky (Amsterdam) Revinate (San Francisco) D-EDGE (Paris) Pace (London) Beekeeper (Zurich) RevControl (Eindhoven) Hotel Effectiveness (Atlanta) GuestRevu (Port Alfred) Stardekk (Brugge) The GCSC Global Customer Support Certification is now live for hotel technology suppliers to apply for certification.  This budget season, for the first time ever, hotel tech buyers can easily vet customer support for future vendors and access support certification details right from company profiles on Hotel Tech Report. Learn more about the certification

Registration is Now Open for the 2020 HotelTechAwards

Hotel Tech Report
1 year ago

Registration is now open for the 2020 HotelTechAwards (www.hoteltechawards.com), the industry's only data driven awards platform that recognizes best of breed hotel technology companies who win in the eyes of the judges that matter most - their customers. 2019 winners of the HotelTechAwards included top hotel technology companies such as TravelClick, Beekeeper, Screen Pilot, Atomize and Oaky. New York based ALICE won "The Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech" edging out runner up Mews Systems (10 Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech). "Revenue generation and operations have become very complex for hotels, threatening profitability and detracting from the customer experience. The answer lies in innovative technology solutions, which can disrupt the disruptors. The HotelTechAwards recognize these technologies and their beneficial impact on the future of our industry." says Marc Heyneker, CEO at Revinate, one of the hotel tech industry's most recognized brands and 2019’s top rated Hotel CRM. Companies are competing for category leadership across marketing, revenue management, guest experience, operations and sales technology. Hotel technology companies ranging from hardware to software and service businesses like digital marketing agencies are eligible for nomination. More than 40 companies around the world have already pre-registered for the competition. Registration closes on September 1st. Voting will take place through December 31, 2019 and winners of the 2020 HotelTechAwards will be announced on January 15, 2020. "As a former hotelier there was ultimately one thing my team wanted to know about prospective technology partners," says Jordan Hollander, co-founder of Hotel Tech Report. "We wanted to know what other hoteliers like us thought about the service providers, that they were tried and true and that the company could deliver on their sales promises. The HotelTechAwards were designed to do exactly that - they help hoteliers see what people like them honestly think about products and services to help them make better decisions for their properties." Learn more about the HotelTechAwards and register now at www.hoteltechawards.com

ALICE Named Top Rated Concierge Software in the 2018 HotelTechAwards

By ALICE Hotel App
1 year ago

February 12, 2018 -  Hotel Tech Report has named ALICE 2018’s top rated Concierge Software, based on data from thousands of hoteliers in more than 40 countries around the world.  Over 100 of the world’s elite hotel technology products competed for a chance to win this prestigious title. The HotelTechAwards platform (by HotelTechReport.com) leverages real customer data to determine best of breed products that help hoteliers grow their bottom lines. “A great concierge has the power to turn an ok vacation or work trip into an incredible one.  Concierge software enables concierges to be more efficient and effective while collaborating across shifts.  Any hotel that still forces their concierge to run on pen and paper is missing a huge opportunity to surprise and delight guests,” says Hotel Tech Report’s Jordan Hollander. ALICE is poised for sustained growth in 2018, after a pivotal year raising $26M in August and acquiring Los Angeles-based GoConcierge. Hoteliers recognized ALICE’s truly world class interface design and usability,with ALICE scoring a perfect 100 on the HT-scale, and exceeding  the category average by 11%. “ALICE provides a seamless connection emphasizing guest loyalty,” says a General Manager of an independent hotel in Santa Barbara, California. To read the full review and more, head to the ALICE Concierge profile

Top Hotel Tech Providers Revealed in the 2018 HotelTechAwards

Hotel Tech Report
8 months ago

For the past 3-months, more than one hundred of the hotel industry's top tech firms across 40+ countries have campaigned in the 2018 HotelTechAwards joining in Hotel Tech Report's mission by leveraging customer feedback and transparency to speed up the pace of global innovation. Companies competed for the coveted top spot across 30 critical categories of hotel technology and today, Hotel Tech Report is proud to announce the 2018 winners.  The HotelTechAwards segment top technologies into the following categories: Marketing - technology that attracts new customers Revenue - technology that optimizes distribution and informs business strategy Operations - technology that helps hotels run efficiently Guest Experience - technology that differentiates the guest stay at a hotel Hotel Tech Report's global hotelier community rallied behind participating top vendors by contributing invaluable qualitative product feedback as well as more than 7,500 data points across key metrics including: ease of use, customer service, implementation, ROI and likelihood to recommend (learn more about scoring) to help determine winners. So what is the significance of the HotelTechAwards? "For the first time, hoteliers can reference an unbiased source of information provided by their peers and verified by a 3rd party to help them easily learn about and discover the best technology for their hotels. Hoteliers can often be slow to adopt new technology.  The reality is that they're slow for a reason--the wrong choice in a vendor can risk both their hotel's profitability and even their personal career" says Hotel Tech Report's Adam Hollander. "Whether its lost revenue from a poorly optimized mobile website, a lawsuit from a security system that failed to record or a hit to their P&L from a poorly calibrated revenue management system--hoteliers are justified in being especially cautious during the technology vendor selection process.  The HotelTechAwards serve as a platform to help educate hoteliers and keep their respective hotels competitive in a world where tech giants like Airbnb and Expedia are looking more like their compset than ever." Quantitative data is extremely important for selecting the right technology for any hotel company.  What is the ROI? What’s the uplift in conversion, how does a product improve guest satisfaction scores or decrease service response times? Quantitative data drives the promises made by vendors during the sales process. Subjective data from unbiased customer reviews enables decision makers to see how well vendors deliver on those promises.  The winners of the HotelTechAwards are the companies who have both world class products and incredibly strong relationships with their customers. To all of the companies (view all) who embraced customer feedback and transparency by campaigning in the 2018 HotelTechAwards, we commend you for your service to the industry at large and are now proud to present to you--the winners of the 2018 HotelTechAwards:   Bonus Feature: The 10 Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech

Operations Category Overview

As any hotelier can attest, a modern hotel operation is a tangle of systems and technologies. Navigating the options can be overwhelming and frustrating, mainly because it's impossible to know how reliable the technology is -- or how responsive customer service will be during the inevitable outage. With such high-stakes, it's easy to get caught up in the details or to delay making a final decision. 

“For an industry that’s fundamentally about human interaction, it’s ironic that technology has come to be such a big deal. But in today’s and tomorrow’s world, being strategic about how you allocate your tech investment resources is critical to the hospitality mission.” -Mark Van Amerongen, COO, Prism Hotels & Resorts

 To get to the nirvana of seamless hotel operations, it takes the best technology, customized according to each property’s needs. Irrespective of how long it takes to identify these solutions, the result should be a technology suite that works well together and is adaptable to ever-evolving guest expectations. Security and data protection should also be a priority as a hotel builds out its modern hotel operations tech stack. While your hotel may not need technology from all of these categories, each category has its own merits to carefully consider. Ask tough questions, request introductions to existing customers to prove further, and don’t rush into a decision on your hotel’s operating systems.

Here are some of the key categories to keep in mind when building your hotel operations software tech stack.

A property management system (PMS) is a software suite that property owners use to manage their business by coordinating reservations, availability, payments, and reporting in one central place.  The PMS allows property owners to check-in and check-out guests, see room availability, make adjustments to existing reservations, and schedule housekeeping or maintenance events.  With a central system, hoteliers can better manage and monitor the key metrics needed to run their business (e.g. average daily rate, occupancy, and RevPAR).

Key Features:
  • Easy-to-use interface - Train your staff quickly and can reduce the likelihood of errors.
  • Check-in/check-out guests and modify guest reservations - Keep track of guests and move them around as needed keeps you on top of your reservations and reduces the likelihood of overbookings.
  • Central dashboard - See what is happening, what needs to be done today, and monitor your key metrics.
  • Personalized taxes, fees, and policies - Customize taxes, fees, and cancellation policies in the combination that best suits your business.
  • Government compliance - Comply with local tax reporting requirements and regulations.
  • Guest communication - Improve the guest experience with automated pre and post-stay communications.
  • Reporting suite - Generate detailed production and financial reports to improve business operations.

Key Players:

Staff Collaboration Software is critical to keep your operation running smoothly.  Hotel staff are scattered around time and location -- different shifts, floors, departments, and properties -- and are highly reliant on traditional forms of communication like log books, memos and two-way radios. Staff Collaboration platforms bring everyone on the same page within a digital environment, increasing staff productivity and providing cost savings through operational efficiency. The real-time visibility into hotel operations means no more dropped tasks, miscommunication, or expensive mistakes.

Key Features:
  • Simple Communication - Social media style features like notes, tags, mentions, and comments facilitate quick communication and collaboration among hotel teams. 
  • Task Management - Add accountability and track-ability to ensure timely completion by staff. 
  • Alerts / Notifications - Prevent costly mistakes and missed deadlines. In-App Translation Promote collaboration among multilingual staff. 
  • Checklists - Automatically alert shifts and departments of routine duties to ensure nothing is overlooked. 
  • Reporting - Spot trends and identify opportunities to improve.

Key Players:

Housekeeping management software makes the hardest job on property just a little bit easier. A hotel’s ability to turn over rooms directly impacts profit and housekeeping software is dramatically speeding up that process, leading to lower costs and higher revenues. We have taken all the pieces that make up a day in the life of housekeeping and digitized them. Everything from assignment boards to failed inspection items are now managed on a cloud-based platform, providing users from line-level associates to corporate executives the ability to effortlessly review daily progress as it happens.

The secret to housekeeping is that it is, at its core, the same in all hotels; full service or focused service, 3 star or 5 star, rooms are cleaned and maintained before, during and after a guests’ stay. Because of this, the best software will add value to the process, from the associates cleaning the rooms all the way up to the ownership group’s most senior executives.

Key Features:
  • Customization - Built in ability for hotel managers to edit, change and set preferences that best suit their property on any given day in a user-friendly, flexible manner. 
  • Interdepartmental communication - Bridge the gap between departments (maintenance, management, front desk, reservations, etc.) in an easy to use manner providing faster solutions to raised issues. 
  • Mobile Alerts & Messaging - Deliver real time information between employees and managers or hotel guests and staff to increase efficiency and deliver faster results. 
  • Reporting Tool - Gather and deliver data on employees’ performance using an extensive variety of metrics to gain the most insight into productivity. 
  • Systems Integration - Avoid duplicate data entry, save time and ensure accuracy by integrating directly with other systems at each property.

Key Players:
Quore
RoomChecker
Amadeus HotSOS
OPTii
Aavgo
Flexkeeping

Guest feedback software helps you survey in real time to improve your hotel operation and identify weaknesses. If you are running a hotel today, there is only one thing that truly matters at the end of the day - that your guests are happy and would recommend you to their friends. Accepting that, you have a choice, either: (a) guess how you should operate using your gut feeling and manually figure out how every change affects your guest satisfaction or (b) automate asking your guests for feedback and let the data tell you how you’re doing and what you should improve. The latter, is what Guest Feedback Software is all about; asking for, responding to, sharing and analyzing feedback from your guests in order to improve and achieve higher guest satisfaction.

Key Features
  • Benchmarking: Benchmarking of your guest satisfaction using standardized key values will ensure you truly know how you are standing vs. your competitors. Providing a reference ensures you actually focus on the right issues.
  • Responsive Survey Design: The importance of mobile devices should be obvious and old news in the year 2018. Surveys that look and feel great on your guests mobile devices is simply a necessity to receive feedback today.
  • Import Meta-data from PMS: If a guest for example mentions that the shower head is broken, by knowing the room number the guest stayed in you can immediately fix the problem.
  • Guest Feedback Thread: If this is the 3rd time the guest stays at your hotel and 2nd time they provide feedback, a system that maintains this history about the guest will facilitate a lot more personal communication with the guest. (Beware to do this in compliance with the GDPR though!).
  • Response Management: Often guests will simply hit “reply” on the mail asking for feedback, rather than clicking the link and filling in a survey. Any vendor that sends surveys from a “dont-reply@vendor.com” will miss a lot of important feedback and booking requests.

Key Players: