Booking.com reports on US traveler demands

Report on more than 800,000 US traveler reviews confirms hotel marketers’ beliefs about what guests value.

Booking.com recently released a report on the demands of US travelers, mined from over 800,000 reviews, and claim that their feedback, “will certainly surprise industry insiders.” Frankly, this claim is designed to capture media attention and drive eyeballs to the booking.com website. It isn’t going to surprise any savvy hotel marketer that I know.

That doesn’t make the findings any less interesting or valuable, and the site has produced a brilliant map of touchpoints that add to, or detract from, the guest’s experience. (click image for a larger view)

Guest experience map from booking.com

To read the press release and main conclusions of the report see the article on the booking.com website here.

Why hotels are competing to attract customers who may never check in

Adding ‘life in the lobby’ to ‘putting heads on beds.’

Catching on to the trend set by boutique hotels, mainstream media has picked up on the fact that hotels aren’t just for travelers anymore.

This Boston Globe “Style” article shows some examples of how hotels are hosting events to attract local customers.
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Useful links F&B: May 5 – 11, 2013

8 Lessons For Innovation And Success – via Fast Company.
A quick digest of lessons from restaurateur and chef Mario Batali, founder of Babbo, Mozza Restaurant Group and Eataly. Web page contains a video of the interview.

Tim Hortons first LEED® certified Restaurant – via Yahoo! Finance.
Restaurants have an environmental impact on their communities and investing into sustainable design is needed, commendable even, but is LEED® certification meaningful? Is this a trend that designers should watch, or a trial balloon by Tim Hortons to see whether it has any traction with customers?

Operators talk about food-truck business – via Philly.com.
A little insight into the food truck business. Wouldn’t it be great to have some innovative food trucks in Hong Kong?

The World's Most Innovative Restaurant Interiors – via Fast Company Design.
Restaurant design inspiration – a review of the book, Eat Out! Restaurant Design and Food Experiences in Fast Company Design. I love the rustic feel and illustrated meat charts at Fette Sau in Brooklyn as well as the whimsical birdcage illustrations and green wall at Village Green Marquee in Melbourne.

…and finally

An Overlooked Key To Innovation: The Right Sacrifices – via Fast Company Design.
An in-depth review of how Michelin 2-star restaurant, Noma’s devotion to the total customer experience prevents it from achieving the coveted third Michelin Star.

Commissioning photography: comparing apples..

Comparing apples - copyright 2013 Scott Brooks | Imagennix

Photographs often are commodities…

As a former management consultant, I participated in countless competitive bids over the course of 25 years. The norm in our business was to submit a proposal in response to a detailed RFP (request for proposals) that set out the client’s requirements, timing and expected deliverables. These projects spanned many months and often were at the core of company strategy, so there was a lot of attention paid to every detail.

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Useful Links Marketing: 28th – 30th April 2013

Ernst & Young on social media and mobile technology trends in hospitality - particularly interesting are the sections on the power of TripAdvisor and increasing usage of mobile devices to enhance the guest experience. (article contains link to the full report)

Leading Hotels revamps website - responding to these same trends, LHW has revamped its website, to reach consumers across multiple touch points, including social and online media, and increase the functionality of the mobile site and applications.