hotel management system
As travelers seek new adventures and experiences, the lodging industry will continue to evolve and introduce new products to satisfy their desires.  The latest industry trend is home-sharing experiences where consumers opt to rent privately-owned apartments, or just space on a living room couch, rather than book hotel rooms.  To indulge in these experiences, travelers are turning to services like Airbnb and HomeAway to book their accommodations, so the hotel industry at-large is taking notice.

However, even with this bubbling trend, hoteliers should view this an opportunity to identify what sets their properties apart from this new wave of alternative lodging and what enhancements they can make to withstand this challenge to their long-term success.  As a partner of independent hotels owners and operators across North America, innRoad believes that utilizing advanced technology to manage operations is the key to keeping the competitive advantage tilted in favor of hoteliers. With our cloud-based hotel management system powering operations, hoteliers are able to deliver a level of service and comfort that will always go unmatched by alternative lodging providers.

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cloud-based hotel reservation software

“Millennials” is the hottest buzz word and most intriguing traveler segment in the hotel industry today.  Identified as adults aged 18 to 35, it’s currently the largest traveler segment and arguably the most influential.  Almost daily, articles and research studies are published with data aimed to help hotel owners and operators better understand who these travelers are, what they desire and how much they are willing to spend.

As noted by Hotel News Now, millennials spent 20% more on travel in 2013 than in the previous year – the largest year-over-year increase since prior to the recession.  Among the four traveler categories studied by MMGY Global, millennials spent the second most on vacations last year and this trend is expected to repeat itself in 2014.  With these findings, as well as many other surveys and studies, showing that young adults are spending their disposable income on travel, the hotel industry is betting on today’s millennials to continue traveling and increase their spending as they mature.

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cloud-based hotel PMSHotels operate on a true 24 hours a day, 7 days a week business cycle.  Travelers expect their needs to be met around the clock, both on-property and online, so operators must be equipped to handle this responsibility.  Many independent hoteliers have adapted to routinely finessing and resolving daily challenges, but know their margin for error is very slim.  To protect the long-term health of their operations, hoteliers must find a sustainable solution for delivering exceptional hospitality to their guests while managing a business that requires around-the-clock attention.

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datasecurityIn continuing our conversation about the key features of innRoad’s hotel property management system, we want to dedicate special attention to the importance of data security.  As businesses utilize technology to improve their operations and increase profits, cyber criminals are working feverishly to exploit weaknesses in their data security strategies.  Many of the widely reported cyber-attacks are on large corporations, but this does not rule out smaller businesses, like independent hotels, as targets.  To ensure the long-term security of their business and loyalty of their guests, hoteliers must establish the proper controls to protect their most sensitive data.

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Key features of a hotel pms

3FeaturesIn partnering with independent hoteliers across North America to manage over 15,000 rooms, innRoad understands that successfully operating a hotel requires the continuous and consistent execution of many routine, but important, daily tasks.  Additionally, operators must coordinate the multi-functional roles and responsibilities of team members, so having the proper structure and system in place to manage hotel operations and deliver memorable experiences for their guests is critical.

As the leading provider of cloud-based hotel property management software, we have designed our core technology solutions to support hoteliers’ most important requirements.  Our Property Manager, Booking Engine, Global Distribution and Hotel Revenue Manager provide operators with the tools to attract guests and take care of their every need, as well as ensure their hotel is optimized for maximum performance and profitability.  Complementing our core technologies are a host of built-in and optional features within our hotel property management system that allow operators to manage their properties with reduced effort and in less time, but while still achieving outstanding results.

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global-distribution-software-for-hotelsIn continuing our conversation about how hoteliers can leverage global distribution software to connect with millennials and other tech-savvy travelers, we want to take a closer look how innRoad helps operators achieve this goal.  With these traveler segments growing and strengthening their influence upon the travel industry, operators must stay in-tune with shifts in consumer behavior to ensure their property continues to attract guests and generate profits for the long-term.

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holidayWith fall officially here, hotel operators should begin shifting their marketing efforts to focus on the upcoming holiday travel period.  With families crisscrossing the country for celebrations and business travelers wrapping up annual projects, hoteliers will have ample opportunities to capture end-of-year bookings.  However, if operators want to ensure their property stands out from the competition during this ultra-competitive time of year, they should coordinate and execute a simple, yet effective, holiday season marketing plan.

A holiday marketing plan does not need to be complex or expensive, but it does need to provide convincing reasons for travelers to book rooms at one hotel versus another.  Here are some easily executable ideas that operators can employ to increase occupancy and maximize profitability during the busy holiday season.

Attractions and events
Festive events, such as tree lightings, theater performances and community celebrations, attract travelers from far and near, so hoteliers should identify which attractions draw the largest crowds and work to develop partnerships with the event organizers.  Partnerships allow operators to cross market their properties with holiday attractions and leverage their popularity to fill rooms.  By negotiating a discounted bulk purchase of admission tickets, hotels can then offer special room packages that include event tickets as incentives for potential guests.

Restaurants
During the holiday season, restaurants are looking to sell gift cards and fill tables, so building relationships with local restaurateurs will create mutually beneficial revenue generating opportunities.  Similar to partnerships with events and attractions, hoteliers should negotiate a discounted bulk purchase of restaurant gift cards and then create special packages to entice out-of-town travelers with a “free” dinner included with their stay.  This simple add-on is a great value for guests who wish to enjoy a delicious meal along with their relaxing stay.

In-house opportunities
The holiday season provides great opportunities to influence future, repeat visits and plant the seeds for long-term guest loyalty.  By creating reservation packages, like “15% off or free room upgrade during next visit with a 3-day reservation,” hotels can incentivize guests to make a return visit.  With each future visit, hoteliers have an opportunity to continue delivering warm hospitality and developing relationships that have the potential to generate revenue for the long-term.

Though these holiday marketing ideas are easy to coordinate, there is one final component needed to execute them successfully.  Hotel operators must have the proper tools to promote their special packages and, in turn, capture the resulting reservations.  As a solution for independent hoteliers, innRoad’s cloud-based hotel PMS features a website Booking Engine and connectivity to Global Distribution channels, like Expedia and Travelocity, through which rooms and special packages can be marketed to travelers who are looking to book their next trip.  And with innRoad’s Property Manager and Revenue Manager, operators are able to manage every aspect of their on-property experience and ensure their hotel capitalizing on every opportunity to increase revenue and profits.

innRoad’s fully integrated, cloud-based hotel PMS provides operators with all the tools needed for complete hotel management.  To provide hoteliers with a hands-on experience, we are offering a free, 14-day trial of our cloud-based hotel PMS.  Click here to register today or contact us at info@innroad.com or 1.855.innroad.

loyalIn the Top 10 Hospitality Best Practices You Need to Know whitepaper published by SmartBrief Media Services and The Wall Street Journal, 61% of travelers said that personal experiences at a specific hotel represent the biggest factor in building guest loyalty.  With other factors such as the hotel brand and loyalty brand each only resonating with 14% of travelers and 12% of respondents only booking based on price, it’s clear that the guest experience is what keeps travelers loyal to a particular hotel.

With this information in mind, independent hoteliers should regularly ask themselves, “What am I doing to keep my guests loyal?”  Operators who consistently focus on delivering memorable experiences understand that there isn’t one simple solution for keeping their guests satisfied.  Every guest touch point, from the reservation booking experience and check in/check-out process to guestroom presentation and on-site amenities, provides an opportunity to enhance the guest experience, so operators must understand that excellent hotel operations are the key to developing long-term guest loyalty.

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driverSTR, the hotel industry’s leading performance data gathering and reporting agency, released its August 2014 U.S. hotel industry report with impressive year-over-year results across key performance areas:

•    Occupancy: 3.8% increase to 71.6%
•    Average Daily Rate (ADR): 5.4% increase to $118.49
•    Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR): 9.4% increase to $84.90
•    Demand: 4.8%, or 5 million rooms, increase
•    Supply Growth: 1% increase
•    Group Occupancy: 2.9% increase

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business partnerWhen selecting a hotel property management system (PMS), one of the most important decisions hoteliers must make is who will be the technology vendor that provides their new PMS technology.  Many factors will contribute to their final selection, but operators should seek a vendor that understands the daily challenges faced by hotel operators and is willing to work alongside them to ensure their long-term goals are achieved.

An excellent method for unveiling a vendor’s short-term and long-range intentions is to investigate their technical support, system installation and ongoing training program.  The program structure and associated costs will provide excellent insight on partners who are interested in developing lasting relationships.

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