HITEC 2015: A New Hope

HITEC 2015: A New Hope

With a new Star Wars movie opening this Christmas, it seems only fitting that we borrow the original 1977 film’s subtitle to describe the state of affairs at this year’s HITEC in Austin, Texas. The weather outside was sweltering with rolling thunderstorms, sheets of rain and tornado warnings, yet the mood inside the Austin Convention(…)

In Search of Hotel Excellence: The Langham Auckland

In Search of Hotel Excellence: The Langham Auckland

As I sit down for afternoon tea in Palm Court, the lobby lounge at The Langham Auckland, I’m astounded by the immaculate presentation, the flawless service and the attention to detail in every corner at this incredible New Zealand hotel. It’s a luxury property that feels quintessentially European and yet is about as far away(…)

Marketing Wellness to the Unenlightened

Marketing Wellness to the Unenlightened

A spa or wellness center can be a tremendous profit maker for a hotel or resort property. Indeed, various estimates put wellness tourism in or around half a trillion US dollars worldwide, more than one-seventh of all travel bucks spent. Hardly a loss leader, but I nonetheless ask: how can wellness tap into the other(…)

HITEC 2015: Lessons for You as an Exhibitor

HITEC 2015: Lessons for You as an Exhibitor

Okay, this is my last article on this year’s HITEC, I swear! Superior booth design is worth addressing much like my diatribe on e-blasts because with hundreds of exhibitors on the convention floor it is still hard to get attendees to notice you. While this may not concern many of you as hoteliers, nonetheless there(…)

HITEC 2015: Lessons for Your Outbound E-Marketing Efforts

HITEC 2015: Lessons for Your Outbound E-Marketing Efforts

Attending HITEC as a member of the press, I was bombarded with e-blasts and emails from vendor representatives vying for me to drop by their booths or set up a meeting. All together, I received close to five hundred emails in the month leading up to and during the week that was the tradeshow. That’s(…)

HITEC: Why You Must Go

HITEC: Why You Must Go

Full disclosure: I love tradeshows. The exhibitors bring the excitement while the throngs of attendees build the energy to a fever pitch. I marvel at the glossy displays and all the fascinating new products ready for sampling. Yet, despite encouragement from me – the-ultimate fan-of-tradeshows fan – I was saddened that very few of my(…)

Predicting Next Year’s Food Trends from The Ex

Predicting Next Year’s Food Trends from The Ex

Gourmet burgers are soooo 2013. Tacos? I thought they peaked last summer. What’s next year’s hot dish going to be? When will our current bacon craze go belly up? (pun intended) Important to us hoteliers, if we have a vague semblance of where food trends are headed, then we can plan menus accordingly and harness(…)

Recapping HITEC 2015

Recapping HITEC 2015

Last month’s HITEC tradeshow was a revelation – not so much that every exhibitor or presenter was right on the leading edge, but just the fact that for the first time in a long while, there was so much optimism on the future of the hospitality industry. Putting aside most of the excellent educational seminars,(…)

Summer Holiday Week and Beyond

Summer Holiday Week and Beyond

Can you believe that it’s already the end of June? Time flies when you’re putting in 12-hour days at the office, doesn’t it? Given the timing with which I’m writing today’s article, there’s an elephant in the room besides the impending high tide of summer travel – the rogue wave that is the holiday week(…)

Putting on the Ritz in the Kitchen

Putting on the Ritz in the Kitchen

When you think of upscale dining at hotel brands such as St. Regis, Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton, do you think about wearing formal or semiformal attire? For most, tradition dictates that a five-star hotel naturally comes with an uber-luxury restaurant accompaniment. This dining establishment would typically feature high priced menu items, often themed, and(…)

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