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In-Hotel Sales: How to increase your Revenue & Guests’ Satisfaction using modern technology*

Hotel Sales is always the number one topic for Hoteliers, who are always looking for new methods to increase their total revenue. Since most hotels are well experienced in sales strategy methods about online and offline bookings, hoteliers now focus more on finding new revenue streams that will boost their profit. And, as it is…

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In-Hotel Sales: How to increase your Revenue & Guests’ Satisfaction using modern technology*

Hotel Sales is always the number one topic for Hoteliers, who are always looking for new methods to increase their total revenue. Since most hotels are well experienced in sales strategy methods about online and offline bookings, hoteliers now focus more on finding new revenue streams that will boost their profit. And, as it is only natural, there is no better pool for new sales, than the current Hotel Guests.
As soon as travellers arrive in a hotel, one of the first things they do is to try and organize their in-destination experience. Evidently, the reference point of their whole trip becomes the hotel itself. This is the place that constitutes their current home and the place they know and trust the more in the destination. This immediately opens up a unique opportunity not only to come closer to your guests by increasing their satisfaction, but also to boost your in-hotel service and outlet sales, like the Spa, the Restaurants, and more. However, in order to achieve a successful in-hotel communication that will guarantee better reviews and more sales, the need for Technology implementation is crucial. As discussed several times, the Hotel Staff is the most important factor that influences the hotel guests, however, the properties do need to ensure that their guests will be able not only to easily access the information they want anytime they want it, but also be aware of all the experiences that have been designed just for them.
In order to help hoteliers improve their in-hotel communication with their guests and thus enhance their overall revenue, we have picked and present useful tips regarding the use and implementation of modern technologies around the several spots and areas of the property.
Invest in making your Check-in Procedure a Unique Digital ExperienceThe Check-in procedure is the most important step for building a perfect relationship with your hotel guests, greatly affecting their spending attitude. Even though most hoteliers believe that the check-in procedure starts and ends at the Reception, we are here to say that this is a mistake. Especially when the hotel offers transfer services, the “check-in” experience starts upon the guests’ entrance to the vehicle that will take them to the hotel. After all, this is their actual first impression of the hotel! Additional to the car and driver’s high quality, technology, and more specifically in-car mobile Wi-Fi, is a great add-on that will instantly make your guests happier, allowing them to connect with the Online and Social Media world. Also, the hotels can provide to their guests smart devices that can use during the transfer, like tablets and mobile phones. These devices can be loaded with information about the area and the hotel, but also give the opportunity to fill in the needed info for the check-in and save time for the customer when they finally get to the hotel.
Apart from this, online forms at the Reception can make the guests’ experience more modern, ensure that the right information is always given, and save precious time from the hotel staff. Moreover, it is vital to install clever and engaging digital signage spots around the reception desk, that will trigger the travellers’ interest and excitement. And finally, clever Welcome messages on the in-room TV sets can enhance the guests’ satisfaction and lead to better engagement from the very first moment.
To Sum Up:

Offer in-car mobile Wi-Fi & special tablets loaded with useful info, during transfers
Use online forms for the check-in procedure & smart digital signage at the reception
Display clever Welcome Messages on the room TVs

Build a Contemporary in-room Experience, increase your guests’ comfort and boost the hotel guest satisfactionTravellers usually spend a big part of their trip within their Hotel Room, exploring all of its spots as if it was their home. A common habit is to go through the printed material found in the room, in an effort to discover more things to do in and around the hotel. A modern and eco-friendly way that replaces all this “paperwork”, is the Digital Guest Directory. Loaded in a special tablet, all the necessary information about the hotel and the area is provided to the guests in a more contemporary and fresh way. Moreover, in certain ‘smart’ hotels, the guests can use the same tablets to control all the functions in their room, such as the lights, the TV, the curtains, and the temperature, and even contact Room Service for their requests or orders. Naturally, this not only makes the guests’ stay more pleasant and fun, but also simplifies the hotel operation procedures.
A piece of technology with great potentials that exists in almost every hotel room in the world, is the TV. Modern TV devices, are no longer used just for broadcasting channels and news. In addition to the ‘smart TV’ possibilities that the devices have out-of-the-box, contemporary infotainment systems can transform them into an additional and very powerful tool for Guest Communication & Satisfaction. Through the TV sets, the hotel can promote in- and out- of hotel activities and services via impressive videos, send personalized messages to the guests, and even allow travellers to order room service or book a spa treatment, right from their television! Bigger monitors make images more impressive, so, in addition to choosing big screens for the rooms, the hoteliers should pay attention in creating impressive visual material, through which they can promote their property’s signature experiences with strategically specified messages.
To Sum Up:

Build an in-room Digital Guest Directory with things to do in and out of the hotel.
Provide the possibility for Room control and communication with the hotel through Smart Devices
Transform your TVs into a dynamic and interactive communication channel

Turn your Guests’ Mobile Devices into their live Hotel Experience Advisors, effectively promoting your F&B and Spa OutletsOne of the most powerful ways to communicate with your hotel guests is through their own mobile devices. The easiest and most common way to achieve this, is via your hotel’s Wi-Fi Network. The vast majority of your guests will connect to your network during their stay, and through the use of modern software, you will be able to interact with them with notifications and messages. Hoteliers can use this feature to promote special offers for their restaurants, their spa, or even a coming event. In addition, the Hotel can have an official App or an equivalent BYOD service (Bring Your Own Device — a modern way of using an app without the need of downloading it), that can be a really helpful tool for the travellers in order to organize their stay, decide what to do or ask the hotel for special services.
At any case, the rich and carefully designed content is a factor that greatly affects the hotel guests and their choices. But we mustn’t forget the importance of direct, human communication. Taking advantage of modern texting apps, like WhatsApp and Viber, you can gather your current guests into chat groups and help them meet with each other, socialize, and connect. In addition to creating happy and excited guests, this practice can lead to astonishing results for your F&B outlets — after all, who wouldn’t want to share a meal with their new friends?
To Sum Up:

Make use of direct Wi-Fi Messages and build promotional campaigns through your local network
Create a Hotel App or BYOD that will allow your guests to easily explore the various things to do in your hotel
Use WhatsApp or Viber and create chat groups with your current guests, boosting satisfaction and socialization.

Make your Hotel’s Common Spaces look smarter & transform your Hotel Lobby into an interactive Concierge SpotHotel common spaces gain more and more added value, therefore contemporary hoteliers tend to invest more in transforming them into an important part of their guests’ experience. To start with, both larger and smaller hotels use their common spaces, like corridors or elevators, as spots where they can promote various events and activities — usually with low-quality printed material. The use of interactive digital signs at the same spots, can enhance the way hoteliers communicate with their guests, pass the required messages more easily and more effectively, and evidently make the overall guest experience more fun and interesting. For example, while promoting a restaurant, use a clever graph with a funny character asking “Are you Hungry?”, or use a smart quote that will offer a visual experience and effectively promote the service.
On the other hand, the Hotel Lobby is probably the most dynamic common area within a property, where communication with the guests is not only frequent, but also anticipated. Therefore, the Hotel Lobby forms an excellent setting for promoting your concierge services, ideally through interactive touch-screens and virtual assistants. Just imagine your guests’ surprise and excitement, as they use these technologies but also share their experience with their friends and family.
To Sum Up:

Use interactive digital signs around the Hotel, developing a continuous communication with your guests
Pay particular attention to the Hotel Lobby, as it becomes the meeting point for all the hotel guests
Keep in mind that the use of modern and innovative technologies is a beloved topic for Instagram and the other Social Media, therefore it is highly possible that your excited guests will want to share their experience

ConclusionModern technologies offer a great deal of new possibilities and features, that hotels can take advantage of in order to enhance their sales and their guests’ satisfaction. However, you must always make sure to make the proper implementation and use the right technology in each case, in order to shape a fresh character and image for your hotel, without suffocating your guests with complex and difficult to use procedures and devices. After all, an upgraded hotel experience is all about convenience — and modern technologies can help you achieve this in much more ways that you can think of!
* Article published in Hotelier Academy.

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New Celestyal Experience ship to debut March 2021

Celestyal Cruises, the award-winning, number one choice for cruise travelers to the Greek Islands and the Eastern Mediterranean, announces its new flagship, the Celestyal Experience. The ship’s first sailing of the 2021 season will be on March 06, with the seven-night “Three Continents” itinerary calling on Greece (Athens and Rhodes), Turkey (Kusadasi), Israel (Ashdod), Egypt…

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New Celestyal Experience ship to debut March 2021

Celestyal Cruises, the award-winning, number one choice for cruise travelers to the Greek Islands and the Eastern Mediterranean, announces its new flagship, the Celestyal Experience. The ship’s first sailing of the 2021 season will be on March 06, with the seven-night “Three Continents” itinerary calling on Greece (Athens and Rhodes), Turkey (Kusadasi), Israel (Ashdod), Egypt (Port Said) and Cyprus (Limassol).Beginning on April 03, 2021 the Celestyal Experience will set sail on the seven-night “Idyllic Aegean” itinerary visiting Athens, Rhodes, Crete (Agios Nikolaos), Santorini, Milos, Mykonos and Kusadasi (Ephesus).Later in the season, the Celestyal Experience will operate the “Eclectic Aegean” itinerary, a seven-night voyage which introduces the historical city of Thessaloniki, the gateway to the land of Alexander the Great, as a new embarkation port. In addition to the highlights of an overnight stay in Istanbul and the breathtaking ‘hanging monasteries’ of Meteora this exclusive itinerary also includes a visit to the site of Ancient Troy.The Celestyal Experience has a capacity of up to 1,800-guests in 789 staterooms, 166 of which feature balconies, sea terraces and bridge-view verandas. The Celestyal Experience which has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment will offer an intimate onboard guest experience with all the warmth of traditional Greek hospitality. The ship is also well-suited for visiting smaller ports, a key differentiator for Celestyal, with destinations that remain off-limits to larger vessels.“This has been a challenging year for everyone. However, we are extremely optimistic about the future of travel and, especially of cruising. We are delighted with the addition of the Celestyal Experience to our fleet. This ship will be a game-changer for us, and we can’t wait to introduce her to our guests. The Celestyal Experience embodies Celestyal Cruises’ ’commitment to an intimate, authentically Greek experience onboard a contemporary, well-appointed, mid-sized cruise vessel. She will undoubtedly be instrumental in driving our continued growth,” said Celestyal Cruises’ CEO, Chris Theophilides.The Celestyal Experience features a range of experiences for guests of all ages including four restaurants, seven bars and lounges, two pools, two Jacuzzis, a beach club, sundeck and jogging track. Rounding out the Celestyal Experience will be nightly entertainment, a casino, library, meeting rooms, and onboard boutiques, all topped off with a unique, specialty wine and cheese bar that will serve as a tribute to Mediterranean wines and cheeses.Outstanding Panoramic Thalassotherapy SpaOne of the outstanding features of the Celestyal Experience is its expansive 47,300 square-foot panoramic spa spread across two decks, complete with a fully-equipped gym offering ocean views, thalassotherapy baths, massage rooms, saunas and a range of thermal suites. The impressive spa also includes a Japanese style tea parlor, which will feature a wide variety of rare teas including local remedial herb and mountain teas.A Suite ExperienceWith more suites onboard than the line’s other ships, the Celestyal Experience provides even the most discerning guests with a range of premium accommodation options. The ship features 166 suite category staterooms, 132 of which are junior suites, all with balconies, and 34 Suites, including 22 with balconies; six with bridge-view verandas and six Grand Suites boasting large sea terraces. Guests booking suites higher than junior suite categories on the Celestyal Experience will have access to the Celestyal Cruises Suite Concierge service, which features a dedicated priority check-in counter, expedited embarkation, an exclusive dining area onboard, and express luggage delivery service including assistance with unpacking. A dedicated Celestyal Cruises Suite Concierge is also available to assist guests with specific tailored service requests.Introducing A New Class of ‘Wellness’ StateroomsA Celestyal first, is the introduction of four new ’Wellness Spa’ stateroom categories with a variety of spacious balcony, sea terrace and veranda suite accommodation. Exclusive use of Deck 14 ensures the most serene and tranquil area of the ship. Complimentary and unlimited access to the wellness and spa area is included featuring relaxation options, most notably the thalassotherapy baths and thermal suites. The Wellness staterooms will also ensure priority access to specialty dining experiences and a new, exclusive Beach Club concept.New Island-Inspired Beach ClubThis adults-only outdoor area, dedicated to ’Suite’ and ‘Wellness’ class guests offers a tranquil atmosphere which can only be found at the best Greek island chill-out beach clubs. The Beach Club boasts attentive guest service all in the comfort of premium sunbeds and cabanas. It features a Jacuzzi perched on the stern with endless views across the ocean.The Mediterranean DietCelestyal is known for its locally-inspired and sourced cuisine created according to the Mediterranean Diet, acclaimed by global chefs, leading nutritionists and scientists alike. This will be a special highlight onboard the Celestyal Experience. Among the new dining venues will be a Greek grill & deli, featuring local favorites. Casual food featuring traditional recipes and locally-inspired pizzas prepared in an authentic wood-burning oven will also be on the ship’s menu. Premium tasting experiences featuring acclaimed Mediterranean wines, olive oils, cheeses and other featured specialties will be just one of the new concepts.Further innovative ‘experiential concepts’ on board, as well as special Launch Offers will be announced shortly, along with more insight behind the branding evolution and how the “Celestyal Experience” comes alive for guests both onboard and onshore.

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Austin Adventures adds lineup of top Western guest ranch vacations

BILLINGS, MT – Challenging times call for creative solutions. Looking to expand its award-winning portfolio of naturally self-distancing, nature-based, small group vacations for adults and families, Austin Adventures only needed to look to its own backyard for the perfect solution – the Western guest ranch vacation.In partnership with Best Ranches in the West, Austin Adventures…

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Austin Adventures adds lineup of top Western guest ranch vacations

BILLINGS, MT – Challenging times call for creative solutions. Looking to expand its award-winning portfolio of naturally self-distancing, nature-based, small group vacations for adults and families, Austin Adventures only needed to look to its own backyard for the perfect solution – the Western guest ranch vacation.In partnership with Best Ranches in the West, Austin Adventures has added 14 first- class guest ranches to their lineup of offerings. Founder and President Dan Austin and his Montana-based team drew from their personal knowledge and regional experience having hosted and operated adventures throughout the West for the past 40 years. With careful vetting and personal experience, they have bestowed their highest mark of approval on each property in this exclusive group of all-inclusive guest ranches situated in some of the most spectacular settings in the West.In 2020, many North American guest ranches saw a surge of bookings from families needing to come up with safe alternatives to their cancelled cruise and international vacation plans. Austin recognized this trend early and in January began the steps to include ranch vacations in its 2021 line-up. It was, “a long overdue addition” in Austin’s words.Knowing safety will be top priority to today’s traveler, Austin emphasizes the natural and healthy style of this type of vacation alternative that also embraces carefully planned and recently enacted COVID-19 mitigation protocols:All are in wilderness-adjacent locations that are isolated and remoteChef-prepared, fresh and locally sourced foods and wines of the regionOpportunities to indulge in a variety of outdoor recreational activitiesThe natural social-distancing that horseback riding providesAdhering to the highest standards of housekeeping, service and maintenanceA rare feeling of exclusivity with VIP pampering, service and experiencesThe ability to combine a ranch stay with a road-trip to avoid flying Austin Adventures’ Guest Ranch Collection for 2021 will include these highly coveted ranch properties across the West: Tanque Verde Ranch – Tucson, AZWhite Stallion Ranch – Tucson, AZTombstone Monument Ranch – Tombstone, AZ Rancho de la Osa – Sasabe, AZKay El Bar Ranch – Wickenburg, AZLatigo Guest Ranch – Kremmling, COSylvan Dale Guest Ranch – Loveland COWestern Pleasure Guest Ranch – Sandpoint, IDRunning Y Ranch Resort – Klamath Falls, ORZion Mountain Ranch – Zion National Park, UTSpring Creek Ranch – Jackson, WYBrush Creek Luxury Ranch Collection – Saratoga, WYThe Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch – Shell, WYParadise Guest Ranch – Buffalo, WY “We look forward in the months ahead to welcoming to our portfolio other outstanding properties that meet our criteria,” Austin adds. The Guest Ranch Collection is expected to grow with the addition of one or two new offerings a year.

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IEG, the Palacongressi di Rimini successfully carries off the first fully in-person event

RIMINI – As is customary, participants arrived from all over Italy, as well as some from abroad. They were all certainly very happy to finally be able to meet up in person. The Grand Lodge 2020 meeting of the Grand Orient of Italy, held from 11-13 September at IEG’s Palacongressi di Rimini was proof that…

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IEG, the Palacongressi di Rimini successfully carries off the first fully in-person event

RIMINI – As is customary, participants arrived from all over Italy, as well as some from abroad. They were all certainly very happy to finally be able to meet up in person. The Grand Lodge 2020 meeting of the Grand Orient of Italy, held from 11-13 September at IEG’s Palacongressi di Rimini was proof that it could be done: getting back to “normal” for in-person conferences and events, respecting the Covid19 safety measures and precautions, which have by now become daily practice in our lives.The event that took place, for the 20th consecutive year at the Palacongressi in Rimini, was in complete attendance without having to resort to hybrid formulas, and recorded numbers not very far off past years – about 1,500 participants – and was organised without significant changes to the usual format. The Sala della Piazza was set up as per usual to host the Temple of the Grand Lodge, with a rich programme of conferences, and cultural events such as exhibitions and book presentations. The traditional socialising lunches and dinners were also confirmed.Italian Exhibition Group, with the fundamental collaboration of its catering partner Summertrade, confirmed its signature professionalism and experience when faced with even the most complex challenges, responding to customer needs and requests. The location of the Palacongressi, with its flexibility, large open spaces and advanced technological equipment, guaranteed immediate answers, which would not have been possible elsewhere.”The synergy between our structure and the GOI – explains Director of the IEG Event & Conference division, Fabio De Santis – in applying all the association rules and institutional protocols on Covid19, was fundamental and guaranteed an event in total safety, demonstrating with facts and figures that conferences and events can be held in the presence of more than a thousand people, without mass gatherings”.

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