Friday, 14 June 2019
CLOUD-BASED HOTEL SOFTWARE IS CHANGING THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY
Through the emergence of cloud-based hotel software solutions , the hospitality industry has undergone a transformation in the last decade. With cloud-based property management software only gaining in popularity , the way hoteliers do business has been changed forever.
Transitioning to a cloud-based hotel software solution can seem like a daunting task at first , which may be the reason why some property owners in the hotel industry have been slow to adopt this new technology . But hoteliers are increasingly looking for better service and more integrated technology options and factors like these are just some of the benefits that cloud-based software can provide . In fact that in the next two or three years hoteliers are expected to invest seven to eight percent more on cloud technology and it’s easy to see that the future will lead to the majority of hoteliers adopting new technology.
This hotel software will change the hospitality industry with revolutionary features . It can provide updated data in reall time. Additionally , increased accessibility , greater profitability and user-friendly dashboards make this software enticing for hoteliers.
HOW HAS COUD-BASED HOTEL SOFTWARE IMPACTED THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY?
For starters , cloud-based hotel software has the ability to host a property management system (PMS) from a remote location .It allows hoteliers to access their property data from anywhere in the world with aninternet connection.
This feature is unique to software and eliminates the need for hoteliers to be physically present at their property to be able to check in on daily management operations.
Unlike locally installed hospitality software , cloud-based systems are hosted by a vendor’s server and give hoteliers a single system that’s flexible and easily updated. These are just a few of the reasons the hospitality industry is approaching a turning point in terms of cloud technology adoption.
Furthermore , cloud-based hotel system allows property owners and managers to :
Eliminate the need for manual data sharing and processing
Give staff more mobility and accessibility around the property(staff can view and update housekeeping status in real time)
Take advantage of frequent software updates and enhancements instead of waiting to download and install new versions of their software.
Accelerate hotel check-in / out
Easily integrate their PMS software with third-party tools and services
BENEFITS OF CLOUD-BASED HOTEL SOFTWARE
Cloud-based hotel software has been shown to boost productivity , efficiency and cost-effectiveness. By automating daily tasks ,staff can spend more time attending to guests.
Additonally , hoteliers can eliminate the need for on-premise servers at each property. This can mean a tremendous amount of savings on maintenance costs. In fact, the hotel group ,Triple C Hotels and Resorts reported a 60%savings on software costs when they switched to cloud-based hospitality software.
CLOUD-BASED HOTEL SOFTWARE AND DATA SECURITY
Cyber attacks and tighter regulations on privacy policies have made the need to protect guests information more important than ever. This topic is a main concern for those considering switching to a cloud-based PMS system . Thankfully , these systems undergo frequent security updates to guard against cyber attacks and reduce liability risk.
The high-level security standards followed by cloud-based hotel software is due in part to its rigid compliance with PCI requirements. For example, HOTEL RACE hospitality software implements periodic auto-logoff features . Hoteliers with cloud-based hotel software can feel secure . They feel their data and that of their guest is safe .
PREPARING FOR FUTURE GROWTH
Unlike locally installed software , one of the more attractive elements of using this hotel software system is the ability to adapt , grow with future trends. In an industry that is always changing , this kind of flexibility is priceless. Flexible software options mean that changes can be made across multiple properties . It allows you market-leading innovations to be faster for operations , online bookings and customer services.
INCREASE YOUR RETURN ON INVESTMENT
In the simplest terms , cloud-based hotel software cuts costs for properties in order to help gain revenue.
Unlike convential hotel software models that require hoteliers to purchase licenses and hardware . Cloud-based hotel software is sold as a service . It enables clients to add on as many or as few tools and features as needed. This makes it customizable with seamless integration for client and saves money.
In fact . a study by Frost and Sullivan showed that business can cut IT costs in half by implementing cloud-based computing solutions to customer support.
With cloud-based hotel software , hoteliers can say goodbye to traditional cost burdens.
Monday, 10 June 2019
Distribution management remains one of the most important things a property has to oversee in 2017. While we believe a good distribution strategy is a healthy mix of third-party distribution partners, we want to focus on how properties can win more direct bookings. Depending on your property, you may have varying opinions about direct bookings strategies and their importance to your revenue and brand.
Regardless of your property type, direct bookings (should) offer higher profit margins and an opportunity to connect with your guests.
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT DIRECT BOOKINGS
There are an endless amount of reasons why you should care about direct bookings, but we’ll outline a few of the most important ones. OTAs are great in many ways, but in others, they infringe on your business.
Creating a healthy distribution mix is a never-ending battle .You should revisit your distribution management strategy on a regular basis.
When guests book direct, you and your property are able to control the guest’s experience in its entirety. If a guest books on an OTA, the OTA in large part is controlling the pre-arrival process. The OTA sends the booking confirmation, and if it’s a large OTA, they will continue to try and cross-sell the guest until long after their trip is over (i.e. car rentals, activities, guides, future trips etc.).
If the guest books direct , the only communications they’ll receive about their stay is from you. This allows you to maintain a stronger hold on your brand and messaging . You know more about your property and destination than any OTA and you can use that to your advantage.
As the property owner or manager , you have the ability to offer insider information and better travelling advice. An OTA can offer cookie-cutter information based on location and simple demographic data . But you understand the nuances of your location more deeply.
In today’s market , we see consumers becoming brand loyal to OTAs like Expedia and Booking.com . With ‘member-only’ pricing and branded loyalty programs ,it’s not surprising that travelers turn to OTAs when researching and booking travel.
Your property can combat this by creating your own loyalty program and offering direct booking perks, like including breakfast or another extra amenity. OTAs have large and intense marketing campaigns to target people during every stage of their booking process. An independent property doesn’t have the time or resources to operate at the same scale. But you can have an easy-to-use website, blog posts and active media to strengthen your online presence.
An obvious reason to focus on direct bookings is because they’re commission-free. Depending on the OTA, the commission charge could be above 20% or it could be as low as Airbnb’s 3%. Recently, an article called OTA fees the steal of the century infavor of the OTA. The argument is that the commission fees are used to directly market properties.
It was an interesting take on how the commission fees are actually used. But, for any property, if you’re comparing the same exact reservation, you’d rather it was booked direct rather than on an OTA. Direct bookings = more money.
However, the benefit of an OTA is discovery and bring properties reservations they may not have received without the added distribution. As we’ve mentioned before, a healthy distribution mix is necessary, but you need to put yourself in the best position possible when a guest visits your website.
HOW TO GET DIRECT BOOKINGS IN 2019
Gaining more direct bookings in 2018 isn’t much different than getting them in 2019. The internet remains the most powerful and efficient way to obtain new bookings and that’s not changing. The “too long; don’t read” version of this would be to get a good looking and easy to use website, fill it with content and post it to social media. But, if you’re interested in more of the details, continue reading.
A SOLID ONLINE PRESENCE
No matter where a guest is in their travel journey, whether it’s dreaming, planning, booking, experiencing, or sharing, you want to make sure their online experience is strong. This means having a beautiful website that’s easy to navigate and understand. Don’t hide important information like room types, amenities, and most importantly the book now button. It should be painfully obvious how and where to check availability and book a stay.
Keep your website updated with regular content on a blog. As you probably know by now, Google and other search engines prioritize sites that are updated regularly. New content gains attention from search engines and boosts the entire website’s performance.
Blog-like content can also help convince travelers to stay at your property. Content can often help paint a complete picture of what your property has to offer. On an OTA, your property’s listing will look like every other listing.
One of the major advantages of being an independent property is that you and your staff are extremely knowledge about your property and usually travel in general. Big, branded hotels have employees who are passionate about travel and know a lot, but we find there’s a different level of passion with independent hoteliers and property owners. Translate that knowledge and passion into shareable content. It will pay off in the long run.
UTILIZE RETARGETING ADS
Retargeting ads are one of the OTAs most widely-used marketing tactics. Follow their lead and make sure you create your own retargeting campaigns to remain competitive.
There are several ad distribution companies that you can use to essentially ” follow ” your customers around the web. You can install a few lines of code on your website that will then track all the people who visit . Then it will display your ads to those same people on different websites around the web and keep your property top of mind.
Facebook also allows you to do this with their pixel. You can advertise to people who visit your website and track those who booked because of it with their conversion-based ads. During the dreaming and planning stage of travel , potential guests will visit several different websites and likely check out many different options . Retargeting ads allow you showcase your property.
These ads will help increase direct bookings because they link directly to your website or proprietary booking engine. You never want a guest to visit your website and end up booking offer is more attractive , retargeting ads help seal the deal.
Thursday, 30 May 2019
WHAT IT IS FOR AND WHY YOUR PROPERTY NEED IT
We’re in a Golden Age of hospitality technology. Independent properties and hospitality professionals have an opportunity to elevate their brands . They will do this giving their guests a more personalized experience. From check-out to post-stay, independent properties should harness technology to create this connection and sense of trust with their guests.
One such technology is a point-of-sale (POS) system. In short , POS is a broad term for a terminal that accepts payments from customers. It can be physical, such as at a hotel restaurant where cards are processed in-person. Or can be virtual, like a front desk taking an off-site guest’s payment details over the phone.
In this article , we’re going to spotlight on POS Tech . We’ll explore the benefits of a physical POS for independent hotels , hostels and bed & breakfast . Even small properties can take advantage of simple technological upgrades like adding a POS to their property . Here’s how .
THE BENEFITS OF A POS FOR HOTELS
Firstly, spotlight on POS Tech gives us opportunity to learn the benefits.Any property that has food and beverage operations, a spa, or even a concierge selling in-destination activities, needs a system to sell these items to guests. To clarify , in the past staff would have to add on-property charges by hand to a guest’s folio. These manual methods took up valuable staff time and left room for error. On the other hands ,these manual entries also prevented management from capturing data around guest spending patterns.
Today, a hotels’ POS should directly connect to your property management system. This provides some clear benefits for hotels :
A seamless guest experience. No matter the size of your property, you can offer your guest the convenience of a seamless experience. After all, today’s guest expects it! Most importantly , a POS automatically adds room service, restaurant bills, bar tabs, spa expenditures, and other on-property expenses to a single folio. The guest then pays only once, at check-out.
Expanded service opportunities. With a mobile-friendly POS, your staff can take orders anywhere: by the pool, in the lobby, at the spa. Wherever guests are, your staff can clinch incremental revenue.
Better billing. Manual reconciliation of on-property expenses creates room for error. A POS reduces the possibility of human errors and improves guest satisfaction by providing faster service and more accurate billing.
Useful reports. A standalone POS surfaces new insights about guest behavior. Since you can view all of a guest’s spending on a single folio, you can determine which profiles of guests are the most lucrative. Do certain channels deliver higher-spending guests? What are your seasonal trends? Do certain guests over-index on F&B spending? Many new questions can be asked, answered . And acted upon to better match supply to demand.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A POS FOR YOUR PROPERT
In addition to inventory and staff management functionality, here’s what to look for when searching for the best POS for your independent property:
Integration. That is to say , the last thing you want to do is add another manual task to your workload. Firstly, eliminate any POS that doesn’t integrate seamlessly with your existing property management system. It’s this integration that simplifies billing for both yourself and the guest, as well as creating a single profile that enables proper personalization. Moreover , processing payments in two separate systems and isolating guest information silos are not beneficial to your hotel’s operation.
Mobile capability. If you’re chosen POS doesn’t provide a full-featured mobile experience, you’ll limit your future options. It may not always be realistic or feasible to install a tablet terminal; a mobile POS gives your employees flexibility in how they serve guests.
Cloud-based. You want a cloud-based POS for the same reasons you want a cloud-based PMS: The noteworthy point, it’s a lot cheaper and more reliable than on-premises systems that require steep upfront investments and ongoing maintenance.
Pricing. Exorbitant fees are never welcome. Moreover ,your chosen POS vendor should be your ally, not your enemy. Don’t settle for anything less than fair and transparent pricing that reflects the features and functionality you actually need.
Loyalty. Some independent properties attract a sizable local crowd. To clarify ,whether it’s a freelancer friendly lobby or a lively happy hour. Some properties may benefit from a POS with built-in loyalty. Locals may not be staying overnight . But it pays to encourage them to return regularly.
Smaller properties don’t always have access to the deep pockets that fund the latest hospitality technology. So spotlight on POS Tech is very crucial. Therefore , investing in a modern point-of-sale empowers your staff to deliver a seamless experience on par with much larger properties. In addition , you’ll also gain operational precision, an improved guests experience and make more accurate data-backed decisions. In conclusion , it’s a win all around for properties that sell more than just room to guests.
Monday, 27 May 2019
SELL FASTER , DO BETTER , ACHIEVE MORE
Hoteliers who came of age in the 20th century can remember a time when the year 2020 once seemed very far away. By then, people would be making payments on flying cars. We would send hologram messages, like in early Star Wars films. Whatever the world looked like, it would be drastically different. Arthur C. Clarke, the British science fiction writer, predicted the Internet in 1964 with startling accuracy. But at that time, flying cars and holidays to the moon sounded equally plausible. Myriad point of view have mentioned what successful hotels will like in 2020 . Nowadays it is popular question.Successful hotels will like in 2020 magnificent part of the world .
Now that 2020 is right around the corner, we can safely say that Internet is the single greater driver of change for any industry you care to mention — including hotels. The way we promote ourselves and compete with other properties has been transformed by online booking and OTAs. Online reviews give individual guests the ability to affect a hotel’s reputation and inventory. Reliable Wi-Fi and charge points are now as vital to guests as hot water and clean sheets.
Given the blinding pace of change, you’d think hoteliers simply would not have time to rest on their laurels and breathe easy. Unfortunately, our foray into science fiction has some distance yet to cover. Here are some key developments we can expect by 2020.
Artificial intelligence will show its strengths and limitations
Artificial intelligence has been creeping into our lives for while now, with giants like Amazon and Google aggressively pushing devices that answer questions and do shopping for you. Sophisticated chatbots and voice command software will continue to be an area of interest for hoteliers . Because we find the appropriate balance between personal warmth and digital convenience. In other words , more assertive forms of A.I. are already being explored. Robotic luggage handlers (no tipping required, even in America) are already operational in several hotels, as well as the Yobot Hotel in New York City. In Japan, you can stay at a hotel where cyborgs check you in.
Advanced in-room controls will be the norm
The Peninsula Shanghai is one of many properties now offering digital touch panels for in-room controls. For examples, such as the ARIA in Las Vegas, of smart-entry capabilities. Three simple things happen when the guest enters the room: the lights turn on, the HVAC system starts running, the curtains open. It sounds basic. But it has the power to surprise and delight — and that’s what creating a better guest experience is all about.
It’s worth mentioning also that “the internet of things” is quickly becoming more ubiquitous in people’s homes. By 2020, devices that were installed in hotels “back in 2017” might seem dated. The question hoteliers face is whether to invest in high-tech infrastructure now, or wait for that infrastructure to evolve. It’s even possible that custom-built apps will dominate the market for in-room controls, allowing guests to access everything from their own devices.
Bigger bathrooms, smaller guestrooms, optical illusions
Traditional wisdom on guestroom dimensions has been up for review since millennials started pouring into the workforce, leaving countless ping-pong tables and treadmill desks in their wake. But it’s not just millennials who have inspired a new look at how guestrooms are laid out. It’s a decreasing amount of urban space and a shifting sense of what’s important.
Larger bathrooms are commonly seen as a benchmark of luxury in hotels. Obviously building a bigger bathroom will decrease your dimensions for living and sleeping . But what if you trade those bulky, enclosed closets for open storage solutions? What if you add foldaway workstations and tables? By 2020, more hotel renovations and new hotel developments will be following these space-saving and optical trends. Wall-sized screens that mimic forests and deserts might also solve a spatial problem or two — but that might be something we commonly see by 2025.
Hotels will design with social media in mind
Guest reviews will continue to be an important driver of success in 2020. Because the guests reviews will establish what successful hotels like in 2020. In particular, activity on photo sites like Instagram, Pinterest and whatever comes next will be a more powerful channel for hotels. If a property can design a guest room, amenity, or common area that inspires delighted Instagram posts and shares . They will have harnessed the best type of publicity. Negative posts, on the other hand, will become ipso facto negative reviews.
Personal interactions will continue to define the guest experience
Finding ways to invest and adapt to the times, while remaining flexible and ready for new changes, remains one of the great challenges of our profession. But no matter how much the hotel of the future looks like a science fiction story. Personal interactions will remain important. They will continue to endow the guest experience with something no device ever can. The warmth and personality of human connections. It doesn’t matter what successful hotels will like in 2020, the noteworthy point is that personal interactions. If you are not convinced, just ask Siri.
Friday, 24 May 2019
The 8th meeting of Uludag Economic Summit was held in Bursa (Turkey) on March 22-23, organized by magazines Capital and Economist, and global startup competition Stars of Region was organized as part of this event.
The Uludag Economic Summit, which has been held since 2012, is one of the most important events in the business and economy of Turkey. The annual event is attended by representatives of government agencies, the private sector and investors from Turkey and around the world.
According to the terms of the global startup competition Stars of Region, the startups, which have qualified for the final stage (top 10) are permitted to present their products and solutions before investors in the summit, and startups that are included in the top 3 have an opportunity to get investment.
Relevant work was carried out by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies for participation of startups in our country in the competition and over 30 startup projects were registered for participation in the competition.
The startup Hotel Race, which is a participant in the Innovative Business Program of the State Fund for Development of Information Technologies under the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, selected from among more than two thousand startups participating in the international competition, has presented its products and solutions to investors at the final stage.
The main goal of the startup Hotel Race is to develop innovative management and analytical solutions for hotels using information technologies.
The competition jury has determined the winners of the first, second and third places from among the startups that reached the final stage.
Projects Tion (Turkey), Hotel Race (Azerbaijan), Sonaris (Israel) took the first, second and third places, respectively. At the end of the event, the winners were awarded cash prizes by organizers and partners. The winners of the competition were negotiated to make investments in order to provide them with access to the global market.
It should be noted that a representative of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies was represented on the jury of the international startup competition for the first time.
Thus, acting executive director of the State Fund for Development of Information Technologies Azer Bayramov was elected to the jury of a startup competition by the organizers of the Uludag Economic Summit.
Wednesday, 22 May 2019
ABOUT GUESTS REVIEWS
I’d like to point out the importance of guests reviews . Having many positive reviews is incredibly important for any hotel and correct way to gain more bookings. Replying to reviews – especially to negative ones – is paramount to convincing potential bookers that you are in control and will motivate them to complete their reservation.
But you must put some thought behind your replies when answering reviews!
You can send a special thank ,by this way you can encourage others to leave reviews themselves .It shows your compassion for hotel guests. Alternatively, if you’re copy and pasting replies to negative reviews, that will reflect how much you care! Here are 7 best practices you should always keep in mind when replying to your guests reviews:
1. BE POLITE
Being thoughtful and polite can go a long way, with minimum effort. A quick thank you. Show of appreciation can reflect your brand’s values and professionalism. Whether the review is positive or negative, opening with a ‘thank you’ shows the reviewer that you care about their opinion. It allows for the possibility of a more open dialogue.
2. BE PERSONAL
Nowadays personalization is a key player in the hospitality business. Especially as new trends are imposed by the travellers! Because it’s very easy to have templates and just re-use them and it might work when replying to positive comments. But when replying to negative comments, let the review drive your response. Concentrate on the main issue. Discuss your actions to resolve it, whilst avoiding becoming defensive. A negative review may feel like a personal insult. But take a breath and respond rather than react.
3. BE TIMELY AND KEEP IT SHORT
The general rule of thumb is to respond to guest reviews within 72 hours . Firstly ,we’d suggest prioritizing negative reviews . If they are not answered within this time frame, it starts to look like you don’t care. To clarify ,keep it short and sweet.
Reassurance is one of the best things you can offer to an unsatisfied customer. By suggesting a few potential solutions or a plan of action to resolve the issue, the guest may give your hotel a second chance. In worst case scenarios offer a refund, a discount or anything else which you consider to be appropriate. Always remember to give a choice to the customer wherever possible.
5.APOLOGIZE WHEN RELEVANT
Customer satisfaction should always come first. In other words ,if you have a disgruntled reviewer, then take the time to apologise. When necessary and acknowledge that you care how they feel. Thank the guest for taking the time to share their experience. Acknowledge their issue and show empathy. Being humble can reconcile the reviewer and keep you from appearing defensive. In short, remember to remain professional throughout.
6.DO NOT PROMOTE OTHER PRODUCTS OR RESELL
Avoid upselling and promoting your products when replying to negative reviews. It’s a sure fire way to get them even more agitated! Use other channels to promote hotel services. Reviews aren’t the right platform.
7.REREAD BEFORE SENDING
It seems like thinking before speaking . Good grammar and spelling goes a long way. Also reflects on your brand. Therefore , check the review through before posting. Responding to hotel guests reviews is considered how the message might sound internationally. After all it may be read by millions of people!