In 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.
In 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.
In 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.
With 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.
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.
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 email@example.com or 1.855.innroad.
In 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.
STR, 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
When 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.
“Global distribution” describes the network of channels that connect hotels with travelers and allows them to showcase their available rooms and rates through online travel agents (OTA), such as Hotels.com and Booking.com. Global distribution is essential for hotels that are looking to attract more guests and increase bookings. However, for hotels to maximize these revenue-generating opportunities, they must also have the tools to adjust rates, monitor inventory and analyze performance in real-time.
This why purchasing a fully integrated hotel property management system (PMS) that supplies properties with global distribution services and a revenue management system is important for independent hotel’s looking to position themselves for long-term success.
Purchasing a new hotel property management system (PMS) is a major decision for independent hotel operators. Though a new PMS will allow for streamlined operations, improved financial performance and easier delivery of guest hospitality, modifying existing routines and practices will always cause operators to think long and hard before making a switch. In speaking with hoteliers who are considering upgrading their PMS, we always explain that the goal is not solely to purchase a new system, but for that new PMS to make operating their hotel easier. At innRoad, we believe a hotel PMS should provide hoteliers with the following benefits:
Many hotels are experiencing great financial performances as the industry rebounds from the crippling 2009 economic downturn. But as bookings and revenue have increased over the past several years, new developments in the way personal technology is adapting to fit consumer lifestyles is strongly impacting how consumers think about and act upon traveling for business and leisure. To keep their hotels up-to-date and positioned to thrive, operators must remain engaged with the shifts in consumer behavior that are contributing to the hotel industry’s current recovery and will significantly shape its future.