Online Booking Engines Come of Age

Online Booking Engines Come of Age

I recall a conversation with an owner of a Relais & Chateau affiliated property in the early days of the Internet. He questioned the need for a web site and proclaimed to all, “no one I know will book my property over the Internet.” The first Internet booking engines were somewhat crude, clunky and expensive.(…)




HKHotels: Value-added charm, real luxury and TripAdvisor gold

HKHotels: Value-added charm, real luxury and TripAdvisor gold

A recent trip to New York City demanded a change. Based upon impressive TripAdvisor scores, I decided to eschew my traditional stay in one of the larger, well-known properties. TripAdvisor’s ratings have consistently ranked HKHotels’ four Midtown boutique-style Manhattan properties among its top 10 locally. This feat is somewhat daunting, in particular given the hundreds(…)




Four Examples of Service Excellence

Four Examples of Service Excellence

Here are four examples of service above and beyond the ordinary. I present them here as “GOLD” award winners, something that all hoteliers can aspire to. Hotel Im Palais Schwarzenberg, Vienna, Austria: Several years ago, I had the pleasure of spending several nights at this magnificent property. While the hotel is now closed, the service was(…)




A Survey Of How Early Career Business Travellers Select Their Hotels

A Survey Of How Early Career Business Travellers Select Their Hotels

A recently completed survey (Summer 2011) of hotel purchase behavior indicates some potentially troubling news for hoteliers. In particular, this research reveals a significant weakness in hotel brand recognition. About the Survey When I started my business career, travel arrangements were regimented.  All requests went through the office travel department – our own in-house travel(…)




Would you spend $189 to improve productivity by 15%?

Would you spend $189 to improve productivity by 15%?

Okay, I’m a little bit of a technology geek. I have a pretty fast laptop, tablet and smartphone, all from the same manufacturer, whose shares are well above US$500 each. And while I can’t fully keep pace with all of the twenty-somethings in my office, I’m reasonably good at most programs and Internet-related activities. Yet,(…)




Looking for Mister Goodbar: The search for the ideal director of marketing

Looking for Mister Goodbar: The search for the ideal director of marketing

In 30 years of being the “outside-agency-consultant-guy” to literally hundreds of GMs and directors of marketing, I’ve seen everything from gifted marketers to the much less so. Our team has served almost every form of relationship, from being the acting marketing head to (quite literally) a supplier of paper or electronic goods/services. It has and(…)




O Canada, True North Strong, But Not Free

O Canada, True North Strong, But Not Free

I admit it. I am a proud Canadian. Sorry to offend those who think we’re the 51st state up here. Except for those in Quebec, Canadians speak the same language as our U.S. counterparts, albeit with a different accent. We shop at the same stores — the Gap, Wal-Mart, Old Navy — and we are(…)




The Year Of The Tablet

The Year Of The Tablet

Why it’s important to integrate computer tablets into your hotel operation You know a lot about them. You might even have one. They’re popular for business and leisure and satisfy the trendy factor consumers seek, but are they right for your property? When it comes to tablets the answer is yes. The real question for(…)




Jump On and Off the Brand Bandwagon

Jump On and Off the Brand Bandwagon

It seems like the distant past, but every time I read an article in the press about hotel brands or branding, it reminds me of my old days in Procter & Gamble’s brand department. Yes, it was called the BRAND department, not advertising or marketing. Why? As BRAND managers, our responsibility was to manage the(…)




What’s the Most Important Aspect of a Marketing Plan?

What’s the Most Important Aspect of a Marketing Plan?

A clear and actionable strategy for long-term success. Though its easy to say, it is hard to actually implement. Most GMs and directors of marketing are compelled – whether by the owners or through their own virtue – to produce on a quarter-by-quarter basis, but if this is the only purpose, then inevitably, you’ll reach a(…)




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