Tag Archives: Hotel News

It’s Emotion And Not Price That Keeps Customers Coming Back!

I recently interviewed Adel Gutman, VP of Sales and Marketing with HKHotels & Hospitality and was impressed, to say the least, how she and her staff emotionally immerse themselves in their clientele.

Look at their reviews and you’ll agree that emotional “connection” is not lip service.

Holding on to a new customer has never been harder than before…or more important. Research shows that the key to attracting customers isn’t price. It’s emotion.  People stay faithful to brands that earn both their rational trust and their deeply felt affection.

One of my favorite hotels hardly advertise, rarely tweets on Twitter, posts on Facebook or has a rewards programs.

When I book with them I receive a personalized email, not a canned one, that welcomes me back and suggests that they look forward to my return.  At check in an additional hotel representative often comes to the front desk to greet me.  When I arrive at my room there’s a welcome message from housekeeping informing me that they are available whenever I need them.  Guest room rate…$129.00.

Frederick F. Reichheld, author of the widely read The Loyalty Effect: The Hidden Force Behind Growth, Profits and Lasting Value, showed that making loyalists out of just 5% more customers would lead, on average, to an increase in profit per customer of between 25% and 100%.

Is it safe then to assume that no matter how hip your hotel or how comfortable your bed, the key is to emotionally engage your customers?

I visited a new concept restaurant a couple of weeks ago and ordered a meal to go.  When I got home and opened the container I found that it didn’t contain the meal I ordered.  I was not a happy camper, especially since my last meal was a bowl of oatmeal.

I hopped into my car, headed back to the restaurant, and marched up to the check-out counter to make things right.  The cashier looked at my receipt, looked up and called me by name, calmly apologized for the inconvenience that they had caused me, and asked me if I would like the kitchen to prepare the correct order.

My blood pressure subsided slightly, my to go box came out quickly, and I was presented with a $25 gift certificate for my troubles.  In addition, the cashier asked for my telephone number, and shortly after I returned home I received a call from the floor manager apologizing for the mishap and invited me to enjoy a complimentary cocktail upon my return.

How could I possibly write this off as a bad experience when now I am emotionally bound to give them another chance?

So what are your thoughts about emotion vs. price?

Tom Costello is the CEO, Partner & Co-Founder of Groups International, a company that provides marketing, consultative services, and technology solutions to the group and leisure travel markets.  Connect with him on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter or contact him by email.

Starwood Execs Packing For China

How cool would it be if you were a Starwood exec?

Well Starwood announced that it will move its top execs to China for a month so they can immerse themselves in Chinese culture and their ways of doing business.

This announcement also stated that Starwood has more hotels outside of the U.S. than inside and 80 percent of the hotels it plans to open will b outside of North America.

“Starwood is no longer an American company that happens to run some hotels overseas,” CEO Frits van Paasschen said in a statement. “Today, we’re a global company that happens to be based in New York.”

China is Starwood’s fastest-growing market and its largest outside the U.S. The company said it has more than 70 hotels in China with plans for 90 more.

Van Paasschen and seven other top executives will spend June 8 to July 11 in Shanghai. The company said it expects to try similar programs each year in other fast-growing markets, including Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and India.


Two D.C. Hotels Give Maids Panic Buttons

In the wake of two high profile sexual assault cases involving New York City hotel housekeepers, at least two Washington hotels are issuing their housekeeping staffs individual panic buttons.

The Carlyle Suites in Dupont Circle, and the Savoy Suites in Glover Park, both operated by management company Best Addresses, will provide all maids with Wi-Fi badges the size and shape of typical ID badges. If activated, they not only alert hotel security of a potential problem, but pin-point the employee’s location within the hotel.

The move follows a similar decision by two New York hotels where high profile attacks were reported last month, the Pierre hotel, where Egyptian businessman Mahmoud Abdel Salam is accused of assaulting a house keeper, and the Sofitel New York, where IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was accused of attempted sexual assault.

Marriott Sees Business And Leisure Travel Increasing

Marriott Hotels & Resorts

Hotel room rates have risen in the last year but they are still down 10 percent from before the 2008 economic downturn, Arne Sorenson, president of Marriott International, told CNBC Thursday.

Now, however, he sees business and leisure travel increasing at all Marriott’s brands, including its luxury Ritz-Carlton and its Courtyard motels for business travelers.

He said Marriott expects to spin off its time-share business in October or November.

Best U.S. Family Beaches

If you’re looking for vacation ideas, there’s always the classic American getaway: the beach vacation. And fortunately for Americans, some of the world’s best beaches are well within reach. Whether it’s the cool shores of Malibu, the dramatic sands of Hawaii or the festive spots in the east coast, these U.S. beach destinations will not disappoint.

Kihei Beach Maui

Maui – While cost is a barrier for any family beach vacation, it’s an especially large barrier in Hawaii. Still, Maui contains some of the most abundant and exotic family beach attractions in the United States. Writers especially recommend spending at least a day along and around the famed Road to Hana, as well as enjoying a hike along the beaches of Waianapanapa State Park. The beaches on the island’s southwest side are usually the calmest. Children will also enjoy the Maui Ocean Center to see the underwater creatures that populate the Pacific.

North Carolina’s Outer Banks – North Carolina’s Outer Banks has a wide array of large beaches that are especially prized for their consistent, but manageable, waves and for great summer weather. Most families rent a house or condominium near the water. The area is also home to Kitty Hawk, the site of the Wright Brother’s First Flight, which is appealing to both adults and children.

San Diego – San Diego remains a top-ranked family beach destination for its access to calm and lifeguard-patrolled beaches and its proximity to adult-friendly and child-friendly attractions. San Diego contains one of the most well-reviewed beaches in the United States: La Jolla Beach, commonly known as the “Pacific Riviera,” is considered one of the best beaches on the West Coast for its access to calm water and its general cleanliness. The beaches at La Jolla and elsewhere throughout San Diego are also situated near some of the most family-friendly attractions in the United States, most famously SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo.

Myrtle Beach – The oceanfront at Myrtle Beach is famous for attracting families to sunbathe and swim on the East Coast. But writers and travelers always give the same advice: Wear plenty of sunblock, as the South Carolina sun can be unforgiving.

Ft. Lauderdale – Like Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale has the reputation for rowdiness. But beyond that veneer lies a quality family getaway. Family venues are located throughout the area, especially along the canal, where you can find exciting family-friendly restaurants. The resorts along the beach also contain many child-friendly amenities, including large kids’ clubs, pools and playgrounds.

U.S. Virgin Islands – One of the most affordable and accessible Caribbean destinations (and one of the few eligible for “American” status), the US Virgin Islands contains a welcoming host of beaches, family-friendly hotels and genuinely interesting historic attractions. The Virgin Islands National Park provides accessible hiking trails for family excursions, and many resorts and hotels are renowned for their hospitality toward families.

South Padre Island – When it’s not hosting Spring Break, South Padre Island makes a great beach getaway for you and the kids. The calm waters of Laguna Madre are perfect for young swimmers, while opportunities to kiteboard, dive and surf will keep the more adventurous teens occupied. When they tire of the beach, take your family to Sea Turtle, Inc. to learn about local wildlife or to Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark for a splashing good time.