Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 39

"Everything they do is centered around serving the customer
who goes onto their channel. In order to do that, they have
tried to optimize the user experience," he says.
Today's customers want to be treated right and have the
best experience at the lowest price, he says. OTAs have that
in mind and address those points in their business model.
But how can hotels emulate that?
Engels says it starts with offering a reasonable price with
the least amount of friction possible. For instance, hotels can
offer free cancellation to make bookings with as few pain
points as possible. They can also offer certain amenities that
will appeal to their target guests.
"Sometimes hotels think too much about revenue that creates barriers that scare guests away," Engels says.
For example, OTAs are all about flexibility because they
realize people don't always plan trips in advance. Sometimes
consumers don't make a decision until the day of arrival, and
OTAs capitalize on those last-minute bookings, Engels says.
There is also no friction because, unlike many hotels, there
is no fee to cancel a booking should consumers change their
minds after booking.
Peter agrees that OTAs are focusing on the customer, as
these intermediaries are beginning to realize that organic
growth is coming to an end. Instead, OTAs are growing by
connecting with customers at several other touch points.
"OTAs are looking to connect directly with guests and get
more data around the guest experience on the value chain.
We're seeing moves into the on-property experience, largely
from mobile," Peter says. "There's value in connecting with
customers at those steps, and OTAs recognize that."
Additionally, Engels says OTAs build their business models
on transparency, always showing full reviews and pricing
information. He says hotels should always strive to be more
transparent in order to build trust and encourage consumers to book.
Personalization is also a key lesson from OTAs, Engels says.
Many of these third parties are implementing membership
schemes and offering guests something they specifically want
that tailors to their needs and interests.
"The hotels are more still thinking of traditional segments,"
he says. "That's another big learning point from OTAs; they
know those traditional segments don't exist anymore. It's
not always business, leisure, corporate or group. One person

could be traveling during the week as a corporate guest but
staying overnight as a leisure guest."
Finally, Peter says OTAs recognize that content is king, and
they are investing heavily in it.
"They understand how important content is to answering
guest questions," he says. "We need to do a better job with
content marketing and how we support the guest throughout
the journey with the right content."
Peter says when it comes to content, it's important to work
with the brand and then put a supplemental plan in place.
"It's not an 'us versus them' mentality. It's how you supplement, because the brands will struggle with content down to
the local level," he says, adding that hoteliers should think
about what types of content they can provide about restaurants, events, concerts and the like in their markets.
"Put content in front of guests at different touch points that
sells your value proposition more effectively," Peter says. That
might include triggered email campaigns, which might rely
on the brand to help get those emails to certain segments
of guests.
"Can you work with your chain and its data to create a more
targeted offering?" he says.
Not only is content important for targeted marketing efforts,
but it's also critical for appearing in online search results,
Peter adds.
"If you don't have any content, people won't find you. It's
critical for how you tell your story and how to get guests to tell
your story," he says. "There's a reason why you're important,
even as a chain property."

DESIGN'S COLLABORATIVE CREATIVITY
Design is an integral part of the hotel industry, yet hoteliers can learn a lot from a
designer's process that can translate
into ownership and operational success.
Daniel Welborn, principal of strategy
and design at The Gettys Group, says
hoteliers can take away some key insights
from a designer's research process.
"We rely on research as a basis for everything we do. That includes really getting to
know the existing building or piece of property being developed, its history and place
within the context to the region or state," he says.
Welborn says designers look at the competitive set through
two lenses: both the economic and design aspects. It's important for hoteliers not to just get caught up in the
economic side of the comp set, he adds.
"If I'm a hotel that is maybe going for boutique
status, I might not have any true competitors
in market. I might have hotels selling for the
same price, but they might not be competing for
same target market," he says. "I may want to look
at an aspirational comp set in different markets,
TODAYSHOTELIER.COM | APRIL 2018 | 39


http://www.TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Today's Hotelier - April 2018

Letter From the Chairman
Letter From the President & CEO
Government Affairs & Advocacy
The C-Suite
Common Ground
Summer Season Offers Opportunities to Drive Business
Maximizing Your Experiential Travel Potential
What Can Hoteliers Learn From Other Industries?
Trends to Watch
Finance
Operations
Marketing
Small Business
Spotlight
Q&A
Perspectives
Travel
Leadership
Strategy
Design
Guest Experience
Food & Beverage
Technology
Operations
HR & Employee Relations
AAHOA Club Blue, Platinum, Gold & Silver Members
AAHOA @ Industry Events
Classifieds
Advertiser Index
Back of the House
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Intro
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover1
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover2
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - insert1
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - insert2
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 3
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 4
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 5
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 6
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 7
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 8
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 9
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 10
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 11
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Letter From the Chairman
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 13
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Letter From the President & CEO
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 15
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Government Affairs & Advocacy
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 17
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 18
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 19
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - The C-Suite
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 21
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Common Ground
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 23
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Summer Season Offers Opportunities to Drive Business
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 25
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 26
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 27
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 28
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 29
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Maximizing Your Experiential Travel Potential
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 31
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 32
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 33
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 34
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 35
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - What Can Hoteliers Learn From Other Industries?
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 37
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 38
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 39
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 40
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 41
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Trends to Watch
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 43
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 44
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 45
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Finance
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 47
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 48
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 49
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Operations
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 51
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 52
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 53
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Marketing
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 55
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 56
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 57
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Small Business
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 59
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Spotlight
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 61
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Q&A
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 63
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 64
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 65
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Perspectives
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 67
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 68
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 69
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Travel
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 71
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 72
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 73
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 74
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 75
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Leadership
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 77
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 78
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 79
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 80
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 81
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Strategy
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 83
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 84
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 85
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Design
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 87
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 88
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 89
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Guest Experience
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 91
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 92
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 93
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 94
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 95
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Food & Beverage
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 97
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 98
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 99
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 100
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 101
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Technology
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 103
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 104
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 105
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Operations
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 107
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 108
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 109
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 110
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 111
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - HR & Employee Relations
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 113
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 114
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 115
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 116
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 117
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - AAHOA Club Blue, Platinum, Gold & Silver Members
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 119
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - AAHOA @ Industry Events
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 121
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 122
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Classifieds
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 124
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 125
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 126
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 127
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 128
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 129
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 130
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 131
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 132
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Advertiser Index
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 134
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 135
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Back of the House
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 137
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 138
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover3
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover4
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