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Editor's Weekly Wrap-Up
By Anne Edwards
In the spirit of staying on top of the latest under bragging trend, I expect this weekly editorial to be fairly average. It is not intended to blow your mind with dazzling statistics or thoughtful philosophy but rather, to provide an anchor for the week. In our industry it is easy to lose footing on the ceaseless rollover of the latest thing. At ehotelier.com we are pleased to be able to keep you up to date with the breaking news of the industry and it is also helpful to pause for a moment and take a look at the stories that shaped the week.
Following the presale of the iPhone 5 came the realization for many hoteliers who have invested in providing iPhone docking stations for guests, that this amenity may become useless and require replacement. Apple’s New iPhone Presents Challenge for Tech-Savvy Hotels. The Lightening dock connector required for the iPhone 5 is about 20% the size of that used for previous iPhones. This is an issue for hoteliers because of the sheer number of iPhone users – the iPhone 5 sales more than doubled the iPhone 4 sales in the first 24 hours of its availability and frequent travellers are more likely to own smartphones than those who don’t travel as often.
Makes you wonder what kind of ‘support’ hoteliers are receiving from the computer industry. As major buyers of technology and providers of internet accessibility, where is the heads up that could prevent redundancy on such a large scale? There is no lack of communication between other players – Open Ways, which makes software that allows Smartphones to double as electronic hotel-room keys, said that its Mobile Key product can be used by iPhone 5 owners. In the case of the docking stations, hopefully this time guests will commiserate with hotels and not blame them.
Research suggests that producing and laundering textiles for hotels creates an energy burden second only to food – a fairly sobering fact. Crucial to hotel training procedures is making sure our staff is consistent with listening to what guests are ‘telling’ them when they rehang their towels and not, as happens, replacing them anyway. One of our contributors sent me this fascinating presentation on the world’s water supplies (PowerPoint, 2.7MBytes). You’ll be amazed.
Finally, ehotelier explored Return On Investment this week with two articles — The Staggering Costs to Hotels Managing Leads in an E-RFP Explosion and Beyond Vanity Metrics: Measuring ROI in Social Media. In the first article, Tom Costello calculates the cost of tracking leads from major e-channels and comes up with a cost figure eight to ten times more than a GM’s annual salary. In the example case of Hyatt, converted leads comprise only 6% of Hyatt’s business. Calculate then, the ROI on only 2% of these leads, however, and the cost per sale to a hotel comes out at a healthier 28-36%. Sound more worthwhile?
Daniel Edward Craig looked at the Return On Investment in Social Media. How do we measure significant revenue benefits to social media? Without hard metrics we have no accountability, no understanding of how social impacts business, and little idea of the strategies to pursue and the resources to dedicate. Craig puts forward that there are metrics that indicate our success, and they can be divided into Social, Review and Web Analytics. He advises hoteliers to track these metrics on a weekly basis and compile them into a report to present at monthly reviews and in the annual budget meeting.
So, that’s the weekly wrap-up for now. I hope it has given you something to think about which may translate into an action that moves you forward.
Have an enjoyable weekend,
About Anne Edwards
Anne Edwards combines her love of language, travel, and different cultures as Editor in Chief of ehotelier.com. Prior to this position, Anne lectured in Cross Cultural Studies at the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School in Australia and currently consults to the Australian Federal Government on subjects such as Leadership and Building Productive Partnerships. Anne has travelled and worked internationally for twelve years, holding various positions in the field of education, most notably as linguistic advisor to the Crown Princess of Thailand for two years where she sampled some of the best hotels in the world. Her love for travel spans the freedom of wandering on a shoe-string budget to the finest standards of service in world-class properties. As Editor in Chief of one of the largest hotel news sites in the world, Anne has a birds-eye view of what is happening in the industry internationally.
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