3 Websites Hotel Pros Should Check Daily

Sites a hotel's director of sales and marketing should check daily
Don’t open Pandora’s box with this search term, read our list instead!

Searching the web is a great way to stay caught up with the news and trends of your industry, but sometimes  frequently it can be overwhelming. Like anyone else, hoteliers need to be able to find great online sources that cut through the clutter.  Here are three  sites hospitality professionals should be checking daily to stay informed!

Hotel Chatter.com

Hotel Chatter’s main strength is it’s quantity of content. It has a ton of stories and is updated frequently by its army of content creators. You will find no shortage of news and information on this site. Hotel Chatter is an exceptional tool for trying to determined the overall pulse of the industry. It’s a great resource for hard news, which includes a master list of hotel openings, as well as the occasional  exclusive look inside of a new property.

HC also offers plenty of editorial content like Where to Buy your Own Hotel Bed and 5 Things Everyone Should do before Checking out of a Hotel. 

Hotel Chatter is our go-to for industry news and is perfect for anyone who wants to become  an instant expert on what’s happening in the world of hospitality

Hotel Marketing.com 

Hotel Marketing.com, as its name implies, gives a much more marketing centered approach to hotel news. Unlike Hotel Chatter this site doesn’t create content but rather curates information from a variety of sources.

The nice thing about Hotel Marketing is that while it does supply news, like Trends that could Shape Hotel Distribution in 2014. It also has plenty of practical information that a hotel marketer or GM could actually apply. The Benefits of Configuring part of your Hotel as ‘Third Space’ and How Hotels can be less Dependent on OTAs in 2014 are a few examples.

Hotel Marketing is a great way to stay up-to-date with marketing specific news and information.

Google Alerts

Okay, while not a website per-se, Google Alerts is too useful to leave off a list like this.

Google Alerts allows users to set up alerts for whenever specific search terms come up in new online content. It’s a great way to monitor what people are saying about your brand or property online.

An especially nice feature of Google Alerts is its high level of customization. Users are able to adjust variables like type of content, from blog posts to news articles, as well as number of results Google gives you.

Google Alerts can be set up to automatically send notifications to an email address on daily, weekly and monthly basis,

Hotel professionals of the world, what sites do you use to stay informed?  Let us know in our comment section below! 

Is 2014 the Year of 24 Hour Hotel Stays?

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A new year, a new way hotels should be doing business.

Every industry has its own standard accepted practices of how a product is priced and sold. We all know that sticker price is not what a car really costs, and tips at a bar or restaurant aren’t really optional. Though it makes perfect sense to be able to pay for just the channels you want, cable companies only sell packages. Sometimes business practices are just done the same way for so long that they stay that way.

The hospitality industry has established very specific rules for what their product is. Hotels usually adhere strictly to the check-in after 3pm and leave before noon rule. Now, compare that with renting a car. Avis and Enterprise will rent you a car for a full 24-hour period, definitely a different concept of renting.

What if hotels adopted the rent-a-car model?  Think about the convenience of not having to worry about checking in and out at specific times.  Just arrive at the hotel whenever you want, and leave sometime in the next 24 hours. Rather than enforcing a strict, and often inconvenient, schedule hotels should be accommodating to travelers. Right?

24 hour stays could be a huge competitive advantage!

Clearly there are some disadvantages to this plan, offering more room time at the same or similar price is a major drawback. Giving guests a  longer period of time  and not knowing when they check out will result in higher operating costs and lower room turnover.

There’s a reason hotels have been so set in their 3pm to noon schedule. It’s easy and cheap.

BUT…

24 hour stays provide such a convenience factor it would have the potential to drastically improve a brands loyalty. It would also bolster a brand’s claim of putting customers first!

Also, brands can get the marketing benefit of 24 hour rooms without actually renting out their rooms for 24-hour chunks. Most people aren’t going to stay from 12pm monday till 11:59 Tuesday. They will come at a convenient time and leave at a convenient time, likely less than a full 24 hour period.

Who knows, maybe we’ve become so conditioned that guests will stick surprisingly close to the 3pm till noon schedule, even though it’s not required.

Testing the Water 

24 hour rooms aren’t a completely theoretical idea, they have been implemented before, but only in small, restricted ways. Starwood has a program based on the concept of 24-hour room options, but it requires a certain level of membership in the Starwood preferred guest program.

Other brands, like  Meritus have used the idea of 24 hour stays as a short term promotional technique.

Unfortunately these examples  miss the true potential of 24-hour stays.

Novelty, or a game-changer? 

Are 24-hour stays a novelty or a gimmick, or could they substantial change the way hotel stays are thought of?

If a brand utilized the idea of 24 hour stay as a core part of their business, and not as a limited promotion, they could really differentiate themselves in a market that sometimes border on commoditization.

The idea has been used, but never to the extent of basing a brand’s identity around it. Maybe an established brand could have a sub-set of properties: Holiday Inn 24. Sheraton 24-hour stay etc. The possibilities are endless.

Though we know it’s unlikely to catch on, we’re hoping somebody will give this idea a shot.

Sometimes it’s just interesting to think about shaking up the status quo. Just because everyone else is things a certain way doesn’t mean that that is the best way. 

What do you think, can 24 hour stays be the way of the future? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Enjoying the atmosphere of the Willard InterContinental

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Account executive Megan is wishing for a trip to the decadent Willard InterContinental In Washington DC. What better place to relax with a good drink?

One of the best (and historic) locations in all of Washington D.C. is the Willard InterContinental. They decorate their lobby with a gorgeous tree and some of the most beautiful decorations I’ve ever seen. Every year they have “Holiday Lobbying” where local vocal ensembles come from the surrounding areas and sing Christmas tunes in the lobby. I’d love to just relax in the lobby, listen to the singing and sip on a Hot Toddy from the Round Robin Bar. Sounds delicious!

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