A look at what’s been top of mind for industry experts
 
A look at what’s been top of mind for industry experts
21 DECEMBER 2018 11:10 AM

This roundup of content focuses on issues that were top of mind for industry experts in the last six months, such as Generation Z, 2019 digital trends and revenue management.

REPORT FROM THE U.S.—Hotel News Now’s job is to provide “vital information for hotel decision makers,” which often comes in the form of experts in the industry sharing their thoughts and ideas on certain topics via columns.

 

In this roundup, HNN took a look at important topics written about by columnists over the past six months. Read on for experts’ opinions on topics ranging from Generation Z to digital trends in the new year.

In June, columnist Judy King asked readers if they are ready for Generation Z in the workforce, saying that there’s “a lot of good news about this generation.”

“Gen Z has been compared to the hard-working, reliable post-Depression-era traditionalists,” King writes, and have qualities such as being “part of the most diverse generation in U.S. history” and “have known millennial siblings and friends who have difficulty finding desirable jobs, paying off student debt, living on their own and becoming financially independent.”

Other characteristics to keep in mind about members of Gen Z, according to King, include they value authenticity, are inclusion-oriented and focus on the future.

The industry found out not too long ago that Pebblebrook Hotel Trust finally closed the deal for its purchase of LaSalle Hotel Properties, but back in July, columnist David Loeb wrote, “How does the Pebblebrook-LaSalle takeover end? Most likely with one large public hotel (real estate investment trust) called Pebblebrook.” As it turns out, he was right. 

At that point, Blackstone was still under contract to acquire LaSalle, but Loeb didn’t think that deal would close.

“But don’t shed any tears for Blackstone if their deal doesn’t close, as they will earn a tidy breakup fee, $112 million, if LaSalle enters into a definitive agreement to be acquired by another bidder before its shareholder meeting or within 12 months of termination of the merger agreement following an unfavorable shareholder vote,” Loeb writes.

In August, Forrest Morgeson and A.J. Singh took a look at scores for the hotel industry and major hotel brands in 2017 and 2018 on The American Customer Satisfaction Index

The study shows that guest satisfaction at hotels has been pretty stable for the past two years, “with an average ACSI score of 76 (on a scale of 0 to 100),” according to the columnists.

The highest-scoring companies on the guest satisfaction index were Hilton, Marriott International, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Hyatt Hotels Corporation.

Soft-branded hotels are becoming more prevalent in the industry, and columnist Robert Rauch dove into the differences, impact and growth of soft brands back in September.

Many soft-branded hotels use signage under the big brands, according to Rauch, but are “primarily identified as an independent with a unique name.”

“In the 1990s, one of the hotels we managed was called the San Carlos Hotel in Phoenix. It was affiliated with Historic Hotels of America,” Rauch writes. “One could call that affiliation a form of soft branding as well and naturally, there are other examples like Preferred Hotels, Small Luxury Hotels of the World and Leading Hotels of the World that come to mind. But the real soft-brand kickoff was 10 years ago, when Choice Hotels International founded the Ascend Collection.”

What are two big topics discussed often in the hotel industry? Revenue management and the next downturn. In an October column, Richard Warnick looked into how revenue managers could prepare for the next downturn.

To prepare, Warnick writes that revenue experts need to re-evaluate logic and methods behind pricing strategies and think about the impact of artificial intelligence on how hotels do business.

Speaking of AI, it also plays a role in guest behavior and booking habits, Tim Peter writes in a column on “Digital trends to watch for in 2019.”

“Obviously, technology continues to play a key role in our industry, and it’s important for you to pay attention to how it will change things in the near future,” Peter writes. “Yes, I am the guy who said that digital isn’t about technology.’ And it’s not. But that doesn’t mean we can stick our heads in the sand and completely ignore how some technologies are shaping customer behavior—and how they shape our business over time. It’s equally important that we recognize that in hospitality, tech and experience go hand in hand.”

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