Rack Brochure: Rest in Peace

Rack Brochure: Rest in Peace

I remember my first ad agency assignment in hospitality, some 30 years ago, to design and produce a ‘rack brochure’ for the Inn on the Park Hotel in Toronto. At the time, the project was considered the quintessential component of their marketing plan, requiring both significant design effort and budget given the substantial print runs.(…)




Is Room Key the Game Changer We’ve Been Waiting For?

Is Room Key the Game Changer We’ve Been Waiting For?

January 2012 has already been marked by the launch of what has been touted as the panacea for our industry – a rebuttal to the online travel agency onslaught that has so dramatically shifted the hospitality power structure. I am referring of course to Room Key, the new (supposed) OTA managed by the hotels.  My(…)




Jumping Jack Flash: Pros and Cons of Flash Sales for 2012

Jumping Jack Flash: Pros and Cons of Flash Sales for 2012

You see them on sites like Jetsetters, Living Social Escapes, Hotel Tonight, Groupon and several others: “Deluxe Vacation in Paradise, Regularly $2,000, Book Now for Only $1,000, Save 50%.” The promotional text is crisp; the offers relatively straightforward. The question is, should you as a hotelier participate in these programs? And importantly, what role will(…)




In Search of Hotel Excellence: True Blue Bay Resort, Grenada

In Search of Hotel Excellence: True Blue Bay Resort, Grenada

Do you really need a beach? That was the first question I asked Russ Fielden, owner and operator of True Blue Bay Resort in Grenada while on a recent visit. In the past 14 years, Russ, along with his wife Magdalena, have proven that a successful Caribbean resort need not have the classic sand beach(…)




Congee: Breakfast of Champions

Congee: Breakfast of Champions

It’s a given that there can be vast cultural differences between East and West, North and South, or between any other national divide. These range from the grand-scale like architectural patterns to the miniscule nuances of daily interactions. When people travel to a foreign location, they are indeed yearning for that localized, authentic experience, but(…)




Is There a Villa in Your Future? An Interview with Debbie Misajon of Epic Hideaways

Is There a Villa in Your Future?  An Interview with Debbie Misajon of Epic Hideaways

Debbie Misajon is the founder and managing director of Epic Hideaways – a villa rental company specializing in destination luxury properties.  She brings over 25 years of experience and a passion for traveling the world to every location offered and personal recommendation.  I had the opportunity to interview Debbie over the holiday break and ask(…)




Mini-Bar, Maxi-Profits

Mini-Bar, Maxi-Profits

One aspect of a hotel room that definitely merits more discussion from a profitability and customer satisfaction standpoint is the minibar. Truth be told, I seldom use the minibar when I travel.  I like to eat out and experience the city that I’m in, plus there’s the stigma of having to pay exorbitant fees for(…)




Group Sales Automation Tools Hit Critical Mass

Group Sales Automation Tools Hit Critical Mass

Reggie Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of Cvent, speaks in a slow deliberate fashion. When asked to describe his approach to business, he replied, “Running scared always, and the paranoid survive.” Perhaps those hotel managers who do not embrace his computerized group RFP system are the ones who should be scared. In 2008, Cvent solicited about(…)




Hotel Predictions for 2012

Hotel Predictions for 2012

There are probably as many predictions for 2012 as there are pundits in the media. All doomsday forecasts aside, let me throw my hat in the ring with my own hotel predictions for the New Year. The rise of the OTAs will accelerate. If you think that the statistic of 10% of total rooms booked(…)




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