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Posts Tagged ‘hotels’

Websites: The Curse of Stale Content

In General on September 23, 2010 at 21:30

Websites: The Curse of Stale ContentOne of the first things that I try to persuade clients about is the need to be able to update their website themselves — there’s no point having to send changes to a webmaster or agency, something that could take days.

Most clients see the value in this, but keeping the content fresh, that’s a different matter.

Why is fresh content important? Read the rest of this entry »

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Social Media Panel at Serviced Apartments Asia

In General on September 21, 2010 at 08:27

Serviced Apartments AsiaLast week i had the privilege of being on a panel at Serviced Apartments Asia in Singapore, discussing Social Media, and the opportunities it presented for the industry. A review of this is available in a post i wrote on the Keen site.

Anthony Green – September 2010

Hotel Minibar: Go Ahead Punk, Make My Day

In General on September 15, 2010 at 18:01

Dirty HarryChecking into a hotel yesterday, the guy on the desk informed me that the minibar was “pressure-sensitive“, so if you took something out and then put it back, you’d still be charged. I mean, what next, you open the door and the minibar points a Magnum in your face, saying “Go Ahead Punk, Make My Day” in its best Dirty Harry voice? I understand that they want to maximise revenue, and people regularly use the minibar and refill at 7-11, but surely it’s not come to this? Remember, before wifi became the number one gripe for travelers, minibars were the topic of the day. Innovative hotels, mostly in the USA, were even emptying their minibars so that guests could chill their own drinks. In the end i was too scared to open the door (although the tariff sheet was enough to scare me off).

Anyone seen this before?

Tips for iPad Presentations

In General on August 28, 2010 at 16:39

Keynote on iPadSince the iPad came out, it’s become a must-have for hoteliers. Seduced by the wow-factor, they saw instantly how they could use it as a marquee item in their properties.

Sales teams and managers also saw how they could be used as tool for presentations: have you been to a conference recently and not seen lots of people armed with iPads? Thought not.
Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid on your Hotel Website

In General on August 22, 2010 at 14:39

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid on your Hotel WebsiteAs someone who has been building hotel websites for the last 10 years, i’ve seen my fair share of mistakes — i may even have made some of them in the past! Avoid these issues, and you’ll be on your way to an effective website that persuades visitors to become bookers.

Mistake 1: No Balance
Some sites are all images; other sites are all text with lousy images. Try to strike a balance — visitors have different drivers, needs, and motivations: some will be won over by great images; others may not care, they want the facts. A well balanced site should cater to both of these needs, and appeal to both user groups. Read the rest of this entry »

Is there ANY Loyalty to Hotel Booking Sites?

In General on August 18, 2010 at 06:15

Is there ANY Loyalty to Hotel Booking Sites?In Asia, we have a less developed online travel market than in Europe and the US. This means there are no dominant players like Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, and Priceline.

The nearest we get to that is Zuji, which is the Asian offshoot of Travelocity. However, this serves limited markets, and under different brands, which doesn’t give it the mindshare of the 4 dominant players in the US and Europe. Priceline has Agoda, but apparently, it contributes only 3% of Priceline’s turnover. (Interestingly, Priceline has Booking.com as well as Agoda, what’s the story with the branding there?) Ctrip is big in China, has a very innovative business model (users can book online but pay offline, which gets round low credit card penetration, and a historical reluctance about online payments), but it has very little reach outside China.

Read the rest of this entry »

Top 100 Hotels: 30% Don’t Use a Booking Engine!

In General on August 15, 2010 at 11:59

Tourists In The World by Francesco MarinoI’m fascinated by booking engines. A few years back i was involved in a large project to build a booking engine for Accor in Asia Pacific, and through all the pain of building a usable, profitable solution from this maze of rates and allocations, with availability stretching 700+ days into the future for 200+ hotels, i was captivated by the complexity and challenge of it. It’s also given me an insight into the crucial role of booking engines in an effective online presence for hotels. Read the rest of this entry »

An email solution for hotels that won’t fail

In General on August 12, 2010 at 20:57

EmailToo often, setting up and maintaining email is a burden for hotels. Small and even large chains struggle to provide reliable email (it’s not unheard of even for large chains to have email problems that last several days). Even when email is available, spam filtering can be difficult to control — either too much spam (does the world really need so much Vi@gra?) — or too little (customers unable to contact you, agents forced to reach for the fax machine!).

Read the rest of this entry »

Opening new markets — should i translate my hotel website?

In General on August 10, 2010 at 18:30

Opening new markets -- should i translate my hotel website?This is a common one. I’ve been building hotel websites for clients for 10 years now, and a common request is to make them multilingual. However, there are 2 particular issues you need to look out for.

Firstly, have you thought about how much it costs to create the copy in a 2nd language? Were you thinking about freelancing it, or getting a member of staff who speaks the language to translate it? Think again. Consider how long you agonised over every single word in English, to get exactly the right copy, the right persuasive tone, that would bring you more bookings. Are you going to get the same perfect, persuasive text in a second language? It costs money to do the job right! Think copywriting in the 2nd language, not just translation. Read the rest of this entry »

What to look for in a hotel booking engine?

In General on August 4, 2010 at 20:57

What to look for in a hotel Booking EngineMost hotels need to make a choice about a 3rd-party booking engine at some stage, unless they’re part of a medium to large chain: most users expect to be able to make a booking online in realtime, so having a contact form is often not enough. There is so much choice in 3rd-party booking engines, not just in functionality, but also in business model. Clients often ask for advice in this crucial area. Here are a few considerations.

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