HTE601 Assessment 2
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Rescooped by Samantha Gandolfo from Geography Education!

Air BnB and the Selling of “Neighborhood”

Air BnB and the Selling of “Neighborhood” | HTE601 Assessment 2 |
Neighborhoods that are perceived by outsiders as economically successful have created a cultural niche that draws in visitors with a mixture of shops and amenities that appeal to a particular demog...


A vibrant cultural ambiance is not just a backdrop for selling commodities in shopping districts.  The feel of a neighborhood and a sense of place can be the commodity as Air BnB is artfully demonstrating. 


Tags: neighborhood, place, culture, economic, planning. 

Via Seth Dixon
Samantha Gandolfo's comment, October 5, 2014 3:33 AM
The video in this article presents some new and fascinating topics and ideas. The first half about 'collaborative consumption' is more relevant to the tourism and hospitality industry than the second half about 'reputation'. I find this concept of 'collaborative consumption’ completely fascinating. The idea of sharing and exchanging assets with complete strangers seems strange but also totally viable and logical. If you're going away and not going to be using your apartment for a few months, why not let someone else use it and make a bit of extra cash?

In the tourism and hospitality industry this concept creates a whole new market that has only been explored on the surface. For starters, it is making accommodation much more accessible for the traveler and providing a much wider range of options at affordable prices while providing an authentic 'neighborhood' experience. While the host is available for you to contact, places booked through sites like Airbnb often will not offer any form of concierge service because they are not formal accommodation businesses. For this reason I believe they will appeal to only a particular section of the tourist market, and that is the Midcentric to Allocentric traveler who is looking for a more authentic, off-the-beaten-track experience. Those looking for the ‘package tour’ will likely not be interested in this type of accommodation and ‘sharing’.

One issue I have with this concept is security. From the property owners point-of-view, in a lot of cases they are allowing a complete stranger full access to their home will all their belongings in it and trusting them to respect their property and privacy. On the other hand, the traveler trusts the property owner to provide a safe space for them to stay in. If issues like this are addressed and regulated, I do think this new style of networking and sharing definitely has a place in the growing and evolving tourism and hospitality industry and sites like Airbnb will only continue to develop and grow in popularity in the future.
Rescooped by Samantha Gandolfo from Resort and Hotel Operations!

Demand for pet friendly hotels | HM – The Business of Accommodation in Asia-Pacific

Demand for pet friendly hotels | HM – The Business of Accommodation in Asia-Pacific | HTE601 Assessment 2 |

As of 2007, 63% of Australian households owned pets. 91% of those people claimed to be very close to their pets (Anon., 2012). So what happens when the family chooses to go on holiday? With the economy being the way it is, families are unable to afford to pay for boarding for their pets. Two hotels in Sydney have set up several rooms to be pet friendly. While holiday house booking website have noticed the increase in popularity in this area. 20% of the 12,000 listed properties now claim to be pet friendly. This can be a very lucrative area. If more hotels or resorts become more pet friendly they can open a massive market for themselves. This potentially is a way for places like this to remain competitive in a tough market.

Via Bernie Nguyen-Huynh
Samantha Gandolfo's comment, October 4, 2014 7:46 AM
Hotels who have adopted this 'pet-friendly' policy are definitely ahead of the game and are likely to benefit from being one of only a few hotels guests can choose from when wanting to travel with their pet. From a hotels point-of-view, pets can help bring in extra revenue and increase internal spending. For example, it is unlikely a guest will take their pet out to dinner with them (mainly because they won't be welcome in most restaurants) which means their alternative is to order from the in-room dining menu for their pet and potentially also for themselves, increasing hotel revenue. If they choose not to order for themselves and go out instead, they may need the pet nannying services, further increasing their spending in the hotel. On the other hand, having pets in the rooms may increase cleaning costs and it is likely specific rooms would need to be set aside as 'pet-friendly rooms' therefore if no one in the hotel is staying with a pet, that room is losing revenue because it is not being used.

I believe in certain hotels, this concept will be extremely successful, for example in hotels close to beaches and parks and family holiday destinations. I do not think this is just a fad but rather, will become more popular as in many cases pets are considered another member of the family and people would love to bring on holiday with them. I think in Australia this is a much more foreign concept than say, in the United States, however once people are aware this is an option I think it will be largely embraced.
Rescooped by Samantha Gandolfo from Resort ops!

Comeback Kids Hyatts healthy kids menu

Comeback Kids Hyatts healthy kids menu | HTE601 Assessment 2 |

Via Lynn Richardson
Samantha Gandolfo's comment, October 5, 2014 5:09 AM
I think this is a great initiative by Hyatt and is right on target for what kids and families want. The fact that kids have helped design the menu is particularly important and fascinating that kids are so invested and interested in what they are offered. My only issue with this is Hyatt must ensure there are still some ‘plain’ options for younger and fussier children or the same issue could occur in reverse- kids are not interested and do not enjoy what is on offer.

All most customers’ want is delicious fresh food prepared well so Hyatt’s strong push for
‘paddock-to-plate’ or locally grown ingredients will definitely be a bonus for many customers. Furthermore, children these days are bombarded with information about becoming sustainable and supporting locals markets so they will notice and appreciate this too. I think many other restaurants and hotels can take a leaf from Hyatt’s book and look to becoming more sustainable and providing fresh, interesting, healthy options for kids as well as adults.
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Guest Surveys In The Hotel Industry - Do Managers Need To Do More? - exploreB2B

Why Do Hotel Managers Continue To Use It?
It is know that in most scenarios, the hotel industry and its business tend to usually make significant operational and strategic decisions based on ...
Samantha Gandolfo's comment, October 5, 2014 7:32 AM
In this article, like many other modern tourism and hospitality issues, the solution to the issue is technology. However, in this case I think we may be over thinking something that could have a very simple and inexpensive solution: customer service. If staff speak to guests throughout their stay and really listen and take on board all the feedback they receive, we do not need to wait until guests check-out to hear they had an issue or complaint. This ECO system suggested in the article still requires guests to take time out of their day to voice their opinion, however a simple conversation between employee and guests is likely to feel less of a chore.

I believe there is still a time and place for the customer feedback survey but guests should also feel they have an outlet to express any concerns during their stay while they can still be attended to. That time and place is a follow up email after the guests has returned home and should provide an incentive for the survey or review to be completed. Many travelers rely on previous customers testimonials and these can be an extremely powerful and cheap marketing tool.
Rescooped by Samantha Gandolfo from HospitalityLaw!

Are Room Service And Hotel Mini Bars Becoming Obsolete? - St. Louis Public Radio

Are Room Service And Hotel Mini Bars Becoming Obsolete? - St. Louis Public Radio | HTE601 Assessment 2 |
Are Room Service And Hotel Mini Bars Becoming Obsolete?
St. Louis Public Radio
But what about mini bars? Are the goodies in hotel room mini fridges as popular as they once were, and are they a profitable business model?

Via alessandrapirasdetorrens
Samantha Gandolfo's comment, October 2, 2014 11:31 PM
It has always been known that hotel mini bars and room service have incredibly high mark-ups and often don't make a considerable profit for the hotel. However, very interesting to see the Hilton New York taking a bold step and removing them all together. Personally, I don't ever order room service but I like the idea that its there. On the other hand, I much prefer having an empty fridge I can store my own items in rather than a fully stocked mini bar. Financially, I think this is a smart move by Hilton and will be interesting to see if any other large chains follow.
Samantha Gandolfo's comment, October 7, 2014 9:29 PM
It has always been known that hotel mini bars and room service have incredibly high mark-ups and often don't make a considerable profit for the hotel. However, very interesting to see the Hilton New York taking a bold step and removing them all together. Personally I think Hilton may suffer by removing room service as even though people often don't use the service, they like to know they have an option. Not having the option may deter people from booking the hotel. With mini bars on the other hand, I think people appreciate having the fridge space to store their own food items. However i also do not think Hilton should remove this all together but maybe have a more limited menu available. Alternatively, the hotel could provide the mini bar service at the front desk. I.e. have all the items available at the front desk instead of in the room so staff do not have to take inventory and restock each individual room. It will be interesting to see how successful this move is and whether any other hotels follow.
Rescooped by Samantha Gandolfo from The Insight Files!

Sustainable hotels earn higher guest ratings

Sustainable hotels earn higher guest ratings | HTE601 Assessment 2 |

"Hotels that have earned the ISO 14001 certification had higher guest satisfaction scores than those with no such certification, according to a study published by the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR)."

Via Tourism Australia
Samantha Gandolfo's comment, October 3, 2014 12:23 AM
This article is extremely relevant to our site visit to Alto Hotel on Bourke as it is a 4-star sustainble, environmentally friendly hotel located in Melbourne CBD. Alto Hotel was the first in Australia to receive the EarthCheck Gold Certification as well as the first city hotel in Australia to offset all calculated carbon output, and therefore be considered carbon neutral. Alto Hotel receives extremely high trip advisor ratings (#6 of 169 hotels in Melbourne) and glowing reviews, the vast majority being 'excellent' or 'very good'. However, it is interesting to note that Alto is very subtle in their approach to sustainability and will not implement a sustainability initiative if it negatively impacts guest comfort. With so many similar hotels in Melbourne to choose from, being sustainable and carbon neutral is definitely giving the Alto a competitive edge and many people will choose to stay at the Alto because of this. However, some people would book for other reasons such as location or price without realising their environmental approach. Because of the way the hotel has implemented sustainability initiatives with guest comfort still as the number one priority, I believe it is possible to go through your stay without even realizing the hotel is carbon neutral. This is likely to be extremely beneficial, as guests can feel good about doing their bit for the environment without losing the feeling of luxury and comfort.
Rescooped by Samantha Gandolfo from Tourism Social Media!

TripAdvisor ratings: '4 out of 5 holidaymakers do not trust user review websites'

TripAdvisor ratings: '4 out of 5 holidaymakers do not trust user review websites' | HTE601 Assessment 2 |
Research suggests that hotel star ratings and user review sites like Trip Advisor might not hold as much sway with travellers as previously thought, with many reporting disappointing experiences.

Via Wendy Forbes
Samantha Gandolfo's comment, October 5, 2014 5:34 AM
This article is contradictory to most articles you read about ratings and reviews. Considering one of the other articles I reviewed was based around the mutual trust of strangers I find this very interesting. I think the way it is at the moment, potential travelers have no real other choice than to trust these reviews as they obviously cannot go and visit and try the accommodation before they book. In saying that, I think you cannot trust just a few reviews but should consider reviews from different types of visitors (i.e. family, solo travelers, etc) as well as people who stayed at different times of year. Furthermore you should always ensure you are reading the most recent reviews as service or facility complaints from seven years ago may no longer be relevant.

I do not think reviews and ratings will ever become unnecessary or irrelevant but they may need to become more regulated in order for people to feel they can rely on them when influencing their travel decisions.
Rescooped by Samantha Gandolfo from Hotel and accommodation trends!

Three Steps to a Better TripAdvisor Rating

Booking a hotel room online requires a strong level of trust on the part of the consumer, because they aren⊃1;t able to see the property until they arrive on their check-in date. This makes sites like TripAdvisor a very valuable tool for consumers. In fact, 86% of respondents to a recent MSNBC survey said that they rely on the reviews that they find on TripAdvisor (or other similar travel sites) before they make a purchasing decision.

According to ehotelier, an increase in your property⊃1;s TripAdvisor rating can have a drastic impact on your revenues. If a hotel increases its TripAdvisor review score by one point, room rates can be increased by 11.2% without a drop in occupancy. A 1% increase in a hotel⊃1;s online reputation score leads to a 0.89% increase in price (as measured by the hotel⊃1;s ADR), up to 0.54% increase of occupancy and up to 1.42% increase in RevPAR.

Via Roland Schegg
Samantha Gandolfo's comment, October 3, 2014 1:48 AM
With technology what it is today, Trip Advisor is an extremely powerful tool for all hotels and tourism operators. In our visits from both Nathan Copesly of Tune Hotels and Joseph Stipo of TFE Hotels, as well as our visit to Alto Hotel on Bourke, Trip Advisor was always mentioned as an extremely powerful tool in promoting and marketing the hotel. All General Managers stated that checking their Trip Advisor rating and reading and replying to reviews was one of the first things they did when they arrived at work in the morning.

According to this article a small increase in a property’s rating can have a significant impact on revenue. This is why it is crucial for hotels to closely monitor their Trip Advisor page.

I recently travelled overseas and did not book a single activity, tour or hotel without first consulting Trip Advisor or a similar forum such as Yelp. For me it is an invaluable tool as the people who write these reviews have experienced the hotel first hand and actually stayed in the hotel rooms. They will have insights that owners, managers and employees are unlikely to have. Furthermore, photos of rooms on hotel websites can often be misleading about size, but Trip Advisor gives reviewers the ability to upload their own traveler photos so potential travelers can see more realistic pictures.

One point I found extremely interesting from this article was the fact that hotels have the chance to remove negative reviews after renovating. I think this is fair as they may no longer be relevant and could be bringing down the hotels overall rating. I think Trip Advisor and similar websites cannot be ignored and will only become more influential in the future. Any hotels that are not monitoring their Trip Advisor reviews and ratings are losing competitiveness and are likely to be left behind.