Posts

Can Airbnb help hotels increase revenue?

Image
It is commonly believed that the growth of Airbnb has made a significant negative impact on the hotel business. There are also empirical studies that have documented Airbnb's negative impacts on hotels. That makes sense. As a substitute of the traditional lodging products — hotel rooms— every transaction on Airbnb means a loss of revenue for hotels or online travel agents (OTAs), such as Expedia and Priceline, which also sell hotel rooms. Thus, it is not surprising to see hotels, Airbnb and OTAs are firing up for a new war. Hotels, for example, are finding every possible way to stop the growth of Airbnb, even though hotels' book-direct strategy might push OTAs to work closely with Airbnb. Meanwhile, Airbnb is aiming big and wants to become a full-service travel company to compete with both OTAs and hotels. So, it is really not a question of whether Airbnb has become a big threat to local hotels or OTAs. The question is: In what way does Airbnb make a negative impact on the tra…

Travel is good for us, but do we need scientists to tell us so?

Image
Among all the articles I shared on my Facebook page last week, one of them received substantially more attention than the rest from my network. This post reached three times more audience than the "least popular" update of the week. So, what was this popular article about? It was a post published by Jordan Bishop on Forbes' website, entitled "Science Says Travel Makes You Smarter." In his discussion, Bishop summarized a few research studies and concluded "travel may actually make us smarter." When I first read his discussion, I thought, "This seems like an interesting topic. Let me share it and see what people in my network think." I guess I had made the right decision if my goal was to get people's attention. Yet, after I put more thought into the topic, I began to wonder why we need anyone to tell us (or to confirm for us) that travel is good for us. Let's see what Bishop summarized for us from three different studies: Travel makes …

The unemployment rate is going down and the minimum wage is on the rise --- A blessing or a curse?

Image
Impeccable service can only be delivered by a well-trained, friendly staff. Accordingly, the service industry is labor-intensive and employs a large number of skilled and unskilled workers. The recent employment report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also suggests that food services and drinking places (or restaurants), professional and business services, and healthcare are the three key sectors that contribute to the employment growth in July. Yet, what may seem to be an exciting update for the labor market turns out to be concerning.Some critics pointed out that the job market was unhealthy because "too many" people were working in restaurants (the number increased by 53,000 in July 2017). The leisure and hospitality industry, which includes restaurants, added 62,000 jobs in July and a total of 313,000 over the year. What are the concerns?Restaurant jobs are growing at a faster pace than healthcare, manufacturing or construction jobs.For decades, restaurants …

Hotels, OTAs and Airbnb are firing up for a new war

Image
By the time I finished writing the article, "Expedia, Priceline join battle against Airbnb," hotel giants Marriott and Wyndham announced bold new strategic moves: Marriott is going to team up with Alibaba to serve Chinese tourists abroad. The deal will enable Chinese travelers to book a Marriott hotel on Alibaba's travel service platform, Fliggy, and to process payments with Alipay, Alibaba's online payment platform. Wyndham purchased Love Home Swap for $53 million, a startup that allows people to swap homes. Moreover, Wyndham is going to consolidate its timeshare business and turn its hotel unit into a new publicly traded company. Hotels, online travel agents (OTAs) and Airbnb are basically competing for the same type of business — accommodations for travelers who are away from home. As the competition heats up, does it mean hotels, OTAs and Airbnb are now at war against one another? Let's check out what they do when facing stiff competition.
Hotels — the long-time…

Expedia, Priceline join battle against Airbnb

Image
The growth of Airbnb has made a significant negative impact on hotel business, even though the hotel industry has also been enjoying a steady long-time growth since 2009, as measured in almost all performance indicators including occupancy, average daily rate, revenue per available rooms and number of new hotels open for business.

For hotels, it is a loss of revenue (or uncaptured income) when a traveler chooses to stay in an Airbnb listing rather than a hotel room. Hotels have been trying hard to fight with Airbnb, but it does not seem any of their strategies can actually stop the growth of the room-sharing website. Besides hotels, Airbnb also makes a negative impact on online travel agents (OTAs), such as Expedia and Priceline, especially when Airbnb is aiming to become a true full-service travel enterprise. Because a large portion of OTAs' revenue comes from the commissions on hotel sales, it is also a loss of revenue for OTAs when a traveler books a room elsewhere, either on Air…

Staying Prosperous Year Round (by Victoria Alahuzos)

Image
Many restaurants that are located in tourist and college towns usually shut down during their slow months, but is it possible to run a successful restaurant business year round? Jay Khan and Rob Longstreet, who are both restaurant owners, stated that: Yes, it is achievable to continue the business during the off seasons in the article --- "11 Ways to Survive the Slow Season" (Barrett, 2017). Khan is the owner of RJ Mexican Cuisine in Dallas, Texas, and Longstreet owns the Craft Public House in Athens, Georgia. Both run successful restaurants year round as each owner follows the 11 simple steps to stay profitable, including:

1. Start planning early
2. Involve your vendors
3. Meet your neighbors
4. Run contests
5. Enlist outside help
6. Test new specials
7. Have a party
8. Hold a pop-up event
9. Spread the word
10. Follow up with previous guests
11. Trim operating costs (Barrett, 2017)

These recommendations may appear simple and common sense, but in reality, many owners may not…

7 technologies that will transform the hospitality industry by 2025

Image
I was in Baltimore last week for the annual iCHRIE (International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education) Conference, where hospitality professors and graduate students got together to showcase their research work and network with one another. Additionally, selected executives in major hospitality firms were invited to share their perspectives about the industry and their views on the future trends. For example, Mike Webster, the senior vice president and general manager at Oracle Retail & Oracle Hospitality, spoke in the opening general session at the conference. He believed that by 2025, the following technologies would make transformational changes to the hospitality industry: 1. Wearables Smartwatch sales in the global market hit a record high in the last quarter of 2016, at 8.2 million for the quarter and 21.1 million for the calendar year. Experts predict wearable tech will make transformational changes in the sport and fitness sector. Will wearable tech als…