RevPARGrowthSTR, the leading global provider of research to the hotel industry, recently released its U.S. Q3 2014 results and hoteliers nationwide should be extremely pleased with the results.  The industry’s three key performance metrics all reported year-over-year increases.  Occupancy rose 3.8% to 70.3%; average daily rate (ADR) increased 5.2% to $117.91; and revenue per available room (RevPAR) jumped 9.2% to $82.93.  While all of the reported figures are impressive, the RevPAR results definitely stand out from the crowd.

To provide additional context for these historic results, Bobby Bowers, senior VP of operations at STR, noted, “Third-quarter RevPAR growth of 9.2 percent was the highest quarterly growth rate since the first quarter of 2006 and the highest third-quarter growth STR has ever recorded.  The strong RevPAR increase was driven primarily by ADR… STR anticipates full-year 2014 U.S. industry RevPAR growth of around 7 percent.”

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GDSThe United States hotel industry is enjoying well-deserved success after climbing out of an economic sinkhole that placed enormous strain on the business community, both domestically and internationally, over 6 years ago.  Consumers worldwide have regained confidence and are now spending more on travel.  As a result, the U.S. Department of Commerce expects 73.9 million international visitors to stay one or more nights in the U.S. by the end of 2014 – a new record.  The momentum from international tourism is expected to continue over the coming years and ultimately deliver 88.3 million international travelers to the U.S. in 2019.  With this strong travel outlook, U.S. hoteliers stand to benefit greatly from the heightened interest of the international tourist community.

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innroad-clientIn August, the White Hart Inn, situated in picturesque Salisbury, Connecticut, reopened to great fanfare from the local community after shuttering years prior in 2010.  Under new ownership and management, the stately 19th century New England inn, outfitted with elegant rooms, handsome suites and a chef-driven restaurant, aims to reclaim its historic charm as a warm and welcoming retreat where visitors and neighbors can socialize, unwind and rest.  To achieve this goal, the White Hart Inn partnered with innRoad to utilize our cloud-based hospitality management software and share in our team’s wealth of hotel industry knowledge and expertise.

“We are a brand new client and we love it! The innRoad team is wonderful! They have been so helpful throughout this whole process.”

Daniel Winkley, White Hart Inn, Salisbury, CT

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hotel-reservation-management-systemWhen the fourth quarter arrives each year, hoteliers are tasked with two major responsibilities.  First, they must manage a busy holiday travel season.  In 2013, almost 138 million people in the U.S. traveled 50 miles or more during the Thanksgiving and year-end holiday seasons, so with the hotel industry trending positively, opportunities for capturing reservations should be plentiful again this year.  Secondly, they must plan how they will navigate the peaks and valleys of traveler activity that will occur the following year.  Hotel performance is predicted to be strong in 2015, but the industry is naturally volatile, so operators must carefully balance the busy and lean travel periods.

Both responsibilities present challenges for operators, but are far from insurmountable with a solid execution plan and operational management tools.  We recently provided tips for surviving the holiday season, so now we’ll focus on planning for 2015.

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cloud based hotel management softwareThe strong results posted in the latest U.S. hotel industry performance report, as well as the increases predicted for 2015, provide strong evidence that the 2009 economic recession is planted firmly in the past and that much brighter days are on the horizon.  With this surging optimism, hotel companies of all sizes are enhancing their product offerings to ensure they capture a share of the increased reservations and revenue that have returned alongside consumer confidence.  Whether launching a new brand targeting millennials or replacing guest room soft goods, hoteliers are making investments aimed at enhancing the guest experience as performance picks up momentum industry-wide.

With this flurry of experience-enhancing activity, some operators may worry about losing customers to “shiny new” hotels down the road or lacking the resources to make enhancements to attract guests.  As a partner to hotels across North America, our team at innRoad believes that no matter how much is spent building or renovating a property, the quality of the guest experience will always be rooted in the strength of a hotel’s operations.  By providing hoteliers with cloud-based hotel management software specifically designed to enhance the guest experience, operators are able to consistently deliver high-quality hospitality that keeps guests loyal and returning time and time again.

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handsHotels 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.

As part of our ongoing conversation about innRoad, our cloud based hotel PMS, and its suite of advanced hotel management features, we want to introduce more of our operations-enhancing Add-ons that are configured specifically for managing a hotel’s continuous operations.

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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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