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The Internet: Something We Cannot Live Without

Yesterday, students in the hotel operations class and I toured the Embassy Suites (ES) Hotel in East Syracuse. Thanks to Mr. Thomas Olsen, the General Manager, and other executive members of the hotel, we got a chance to observe and hear some great ideas of hotel operations. Some highlights include:

1. It is not exaggerated to state that a hotel cannot operate without the Internet. ES is ahead of the game in terms of using iPhone apps and social media (we discussed this trend, e.g. on Jan 21st in this blog). Internet plays an important role in sales and marketing at the ES East Syracuse, which agrees to the industry trend. In 2009, a survey of the top 30 hotel brands suggested that every reservation channel is declining except for Internet. In 2010, 45% of hotel reservations are expected to come from the Internet.

2. In today’s economy, “adding value” is the way to survive. Guests at ES pay one price for the room but can enjoy complimentary cook-to-order hot breakfast and manager receptions. HHonor members also have free Internet access in the hotel. We discussed the free Internet trend in full service hotel before. I just received an e-mail from Marriott yesterday, telling me they are not going to charge me Internet fees if I earn my status to a silver member or above. I expect more and more hotels will provide free Internet service to repeat guests.

3. We have to love this business in order to stay in the industry. I saw people hate it and never want to come back, but I know more who love this industry. Everyone we met at ES is enthusiastic about their jobs. I can tell they are passionate about the business. Hospitality is a fun business, but it is not for everyone.

4. We know the ADR has not bounced back yet (e.g. Mar 8th discussion). However, it seems like the industry is picking up some business in the first quarter of 2010.

It was such a thorough and wonderful tour. If you were in the tour, do you have other “take-away” ideas you would like to share with us? Or, if you work in the hospitality industry yourself, do you have other ideas that may help us survive in this industry?

References:
Hospitality Net: http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/154000320/4045702.html
Picture was copied from: http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok03102010P

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