How Hotels Should Respond To The Growth Of Vacation Rental Market

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With the number of travelers continuing to increase yearly, hotels have consequently been experiencing growth in sales for the past decade. However, with the home or vacation rental market also expanding, the hotel industry is coming up against an unprecedented threat.

According to global market research firm Euromonitor International, rental business pioneer Airbnb will drive in more or less $40 billion in short-term rental sales by 2020. That projection would be higher than the sales of other hospitality companies except for the Marriott-Starwood group.

Hotels have responded to the rise of the rental market in various ways, with some of them in the extremes, such as denial that the likes of Airbnb and HomeAway cater to a different, distinct market segment. The best way to respond is to adapt to them and treat them as competition, since every business has to deal with a myriad of challenges, anyway. And competitors of any form is just one of them.

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Hotels need to continuously improve their amenities and services to keep up with the vacation rental market. Most hotels are already in prime locations, one of the most important factors for travelers when choosing accommodation. But they should also go to great, reasonable lengths, to meet customer demands and provide them a positive customer experience, one that would push them to revisit the hotel or refer the place to other people.

Hotels also have to fight back in the marketing arena, which has been one of the fortes of vacation rental market sites or apps. Investing in relevant marketing channels can help up drive up sales or revenue.

For more than four decades, John Jefferis has been in the hotel and resort development industry, which you can read more about by visiting this blog.

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How To Handle Unreasonable Hotel Customers

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The hospitality industry revolves around excellent service and impeccable relations with customers. But from time to time, hotels and other accommodations encounter unreasonable customers with big demands. It could be that they had a long flight or have been stressed all day long. For whatever reason, customers should be treated with dignity and respect. Here are some ways to handle unreasonable customers.

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Arguing with customers may resolve issues, but it does nothing to de-escalate the situation. If a mistake was made by either party, do not argue with the customer even if you have a sound logical argument. Offer the best service available to help them feel better.

Listen to your customer and find out what they need as opposed to what they want. If they are checking in in the middle of the night and there are disputes regarding their reservations, make them as comfortable as possible while the issue is being addressed. Offer them coffee or tea, comfortable seats, anything that can remove some of their stress.

If a customer loses their temper and starts shouting, remain calm and polite. Keep in mind that this is not an attack on you. Find ways to calm them down first. Think of a solution that is fair to both parties. If their demands are unreasonable and hotel policies do not allow their request, express sympathy before informing them of the decision.

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John Jefferis is famous for his hands-on approach in managing his businesses. His strong involvement in the various aspects of his business from conceptualization to logistics is one of the qualities that he is truly admired for, and also the reason. Visit this blog for more insightful reads about the hospitality industry.

Hotel Sleeping Strategies For Travelers

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There are just some people who can’t seem to sleep comfortably when they are not in their own beds. For travelers, this can be incredibly disappointing especially while battling jetlag and other inconveniences. Here are some sleeping strategies to help the restless traveler wind down:

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Ask for a quiet room: When booking a hotel room, a guest can ask for one that is far from the hotel’s special amenities. For example, travelers who need quiet should book rooms two or three floors above banquet halls and pools. Light-sleeping guests should also ask for rooms far from laundry areas and elevators.

Use dark curtains: Dark curtains are truly helpful in keeping the lights out. This is especially important for guests who came from red-eye flights and want to catch up on a few hours of sleep.

Avoid smoking rooms: Some guests aren’t aware that they have booked smoking rooms. Non-smoking guests and even those with asthma and allergies should make sure to get non-smoking rooms to prevent further discomfort.

Take a warm bath: A warm bath before bed helps the body temperature drop especially after long hours of traveling. Feeling clean and fresh can also help a person feel more relaxed.

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Bring sleeping aids: A comfy blanket, a trusted pillow, lavender mist, and other sleeping aids should be brought to help a person feel rested and at home even while staying at a hotel. In other places, guests can ask for sleeping masks and earplugs so that they won’t have to deal with distractions while getting their precious slumber.

John Jefferis is a Bermuda-based hotelier most recognized as the chairman and sole shareholder of Coco Reef Resort located in Bermuda and Tobago. Visit this blog to know more about the hotel industry.

 

Learning a New Language: A Huge Plus For Hotel Industry Workers

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Ask any hotel owner, manager, or supervisor, and they’ll be quick to tell you that customer service is one of, if not, the biggest and most crucial part of the business. And a huge part of customer service is communication, specifically, how well hotel employees communicate with guests.

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While most of the reputable hotels in the world have English as their staple language, many of the guests who come in either don’t speak English or prefer to converse in their native tongue. This is precisely why it’s a huge plus for hotel employees to learn a second (and maybe even a third) language especially if the hotel or resort normally takes in a huge number of foreign guests. And everyone knows that the more a guest feels comfortable in a hotel or resort, the bigger the chance that they’ll come back.

But the advantages of learning a second language or having bilingual employees in a hotel or resort goes beyond customer service. Hotel management can use employees who can speak multiple languages in negotiations and marketing with the locals if the hotel is located in a foreign country. It will be easier to gain the trust (and fairest prices) of suppliers.

Perhaps the bottom line is having employees that are bilingual boosts the hotel’s overall reputation, seeing as it caters not just to a single community, but to the world.

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John Jefferis is the current chairman and sole shareholder of the Palm Reed Hotel Development Company Limited and Island Resorts International Limited. Learn more about John’s career by visiting this Facebook page.

Understanding what guests really want out of their accommodations

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In the hospitality industry, the guest is king. However, many hotels and accommodations fail to realize what their clients really want. Despite the countless surveys and questioning, many still fail to give their best to the people who avail of their services. They may not always say it but here are the things guests want from their accommodations:

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Cleanliness

Cleanliness goes beyond sweeping, buffing, and changing the sheets. What guests really want is a room that smells and feels clean. Unfortunately, many hotel rooms smell and feel stuffy. For this problem, it is vital that rooms are cleaned and checked regularly, including all air conditioning units and other ventilation systems to get rid of allergens and unwanted smell.

Comfort

Modern hotels try to improve their visuals to impress their guests. Especially in this social media era, a nice photo could garner interest from a person’s network. But this tactic can only go so far because, at the end of the day, people will still choose comfort over looks. Despite the trends, guests still want plush pillows and breathable sheets on beds that won’t strain their backs. Having an assortment of refreshing teas and freshly-brewed coffee would also be a nice touch to make them feel at home.

Connectivity

A slow Wi-Fi connection could ruin the guest experience. These days, a high-speed internet connection is important to get things done. Most hotels offer a limited connection to guests that is barely enough to send an email but will grant them better connectivity for a price. Guests these days prefer hotels that won’t charge them extra for better connectivity.

On top of the trends and innovations, guests still prioritize their basic needs. In the quest to be the best, hotels should consider these three factors to provide excellent guest experience.

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Bermuda-based hotelier John Jefferis is the chairman and sole shareholder of Coco Reef Resort located in Bermuda and Tobago. Mr. Jefferis has been working in the hotel industry since the 60’s and is responsible for developing and acquiring some of the famous hotels, resorts, and restaurants in Caribbean region. Visit this blog for more information.

Get On Board These Four Hotel Interior Design Trends

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Hotel owners and interior designers are always updated when it comes to trends. These days, many are letting go of the uniform and minimalist style to embrace a lively and traveler-friendly concept. Here are four interior design trends guests might notice on their next hotel stay:

1. The “home away from home” vibe

Gone are the days when people would associate the pristine white walls and plain furniture with their hotel rooms for a business trip. These days, hoteliers want their guests to feel more at home by making the rooms more colorful and comfy. Brighter lights, cozy couches, kitchenettes, indoor plants, and other little details will make the weary traveler feel right at home while on holiday.

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2. Nature-focused

Hotel interior designers are becoming braver when it comes to incorporating nature and nomadic elements not only in the rooms but in the lobby and other areas. Plants and wood-based fixtures, floral, and beach prints will be part of the design. Hotels that are near mountains or beaches will make visitors feel closer to these places by using artworks, pieces, and other features that will make them excited to explore the outdoors.

3. Artsy lighting

Hotels want their facilities to be Instagram-worthy. This is why many designers have focused on working on lighting that will create the perfect mood and will create a flattering image for their guests. Warm lighting can also make visitors feel rested especially after getting used to sitting under white fluorescent lights on most days.

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4. Incorporating smart technology

Since hoteliers are keen on letting guests take control of their accommodations, it is only right to install smart features in the rooms. Smart televisions, tablets, speakers, air-conditioners, and other appliances will make moving around the room more convenient. Gone are the days of multiple remote controls that no one really knows how to use. With a swipe or with voice command, guests will be able to take control of the gadgets in their room.

John Jefferis is a multi-awarded personality in the hotel industry, receiving the prestigious recognitions Caribbean Hotelier of the Year in 1990 and Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000. Visit this blog for more articles on the hospitality business.

The Impact Of Ai Technology On Hotels

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A hotel’s long-term success hinges on its ability to bring in new customers and gain their loyalty. However, with the increasing demand for exceptional customer service, abundance of information online, and a multitude of options and competitors, it has become more challenging for hotels to meet customer requirements.

But with the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, hoteliers can receive a helping hand, particularly in three areas.

Big data

Data and analytics are the trends nowadays because they provide businesses the means to gain all the information they need about their target market. But with so much data available, crunching these numbers can be time-consuming and is prone to human error. AI can automate the processes involved in collection and analysis of data, making it more efficient and allowing hoteliers to come up with strategic choices as quickly as possible.

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Booking

Currently, most hotel bookings are driven by a cookie-cutter approach, too formulaic and lacking individuality. However, making it more personal will likely compromise efficiency. An AI technology can solve this dilemma, as not only can it book guests in an efficient manner, interaction with would-be customers can also be personalized. This can lead to better online experiences, which can, subsequently, result in better client loyalty.

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Operations

AI can also be implemented in the hotel’s other operations. At present, some hotels already use AI-powered concierge or front desk, such as Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Hilton Worldwide, and Edwardian Hotels. There is also the potential for AI to improve other aspects of hospitality, including room service, valet, housekeeping, and more.

John Jefferis is a multi-awarded hotelier with more than 40 years of experience in hotel and resort development. If you want to learn more about the industry, subscribe to this blog.

Caribbean Travel And Tourism After The Hurricanes

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The hurricane season in the Caribbean had been less than unforgiving, with Hurricanes Irma and Maria delivering a major blow to the region in August and September last year. In the harder-hit islands, such as Dominica, Saint Martin, and Puerto Rico, a humanitarian crisis emerged where residents were confronted with no running water or electricity for months.

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The Caribbean Tourism Organization noted that tourism is the most important economic driver for the region. But while many nations escaped the worst of the damage, tourist perceptions of destruction are affecting problems for some island nations where tourism is a main source of income. In fact, relief efforts amid medical and power crises remained the priority in many of these areas.
Puerto Rico was relatively unscathed after Irma hit, but it was massively affected by Maria, which knocked out 90 percent of its power. Capital city San Juan, however, opened to tourism months after devastation and still operates many of its popular hotels and destinations. The U.S. Virgin Islands was hit by both hurricanes and faces severe damage, and some major tourism hotspots such as St. John and St. Thomas require millions of dollars for repair. The Bahamas were struck by the destructive weather by sustained minimal damage.

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Optimism prevails in many of these areas, and hotels are at a fever pitch offering welcoming beds and hospitality to tourists. In the face of natural disaster, resilience reigns in the spirit of local communities that depend on tourist satisfaction and happiness to live.

John Jefferis is most recognized as the owner of Coco Reef Resort located in Bermuda and Tobago, and the one responsible for acquiring and developing several hotels, resorts, and restaurants that are popular among tourists in Bermuda and the Caribbean. Visit this page to learn more.

A Source Of Massive Food Wastage, Hotels Strategize To Bridle Buffet Tables

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A study commissioned to approximately quantify the amount of food actually consumed vis-à-vis what is disposed as waste in buffet services reveals several shocking truths. One is that the entire guests manage to eat only fifty per cent of the total food items served. Second, a more unfortunate fact, is that only 10% of the leftovers could qualify for donation or reuse in consideration of safety and health regulations. Thus, the 90%, or almost half of the contents of the buffet tables go down the drain, not to mention the whopping contribution of coffee, juices and other liquids, that usually end up half-finished, to this extravagance.

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A 2016 report by ReFED, a US-based non-profit organization of businesses, placed the value of food wastage in the country alone in the amount of $218 billion annually, a resource that could have fed an entire small developing nation within that same period. Of this enormous figure, the group extrapolated that about 40% is being contributed by companies involved in food service, major players of which are those from the hospitality industry.

Thus, hotels are the most appropriate locales to promote consciousness of the folly of reckless eating norms and to influence changes on these undesirable demeanors towards more judicious, responsible food consumption. The challenge to the industry, therefore, is how to restrain careless feasting without compromising the guest’s satisfaction, especially as hotels wouldn’t want to disappoint their clients.

This obsession for customer satisfaction is largely responsible for the excesses in food served during buffets. The fear that the table would run empty and disconcert patrons drives hotel management to bloat expected head counts to allay any crisis. On the consumers’ side, meanwhile, guests tend to fill their plates to the brim, anxious that the dishes would be cleaned out before they come back for seconds.

Some hotels have practiced conservation such as presenting only sample plates of meats and cheese while guests can just order them from the servers, decreasing portion sizes, or serving finger pastries instead of whole cakes and pies. Another good strategy is to secure a thorough dietary preferences of guests that would guide chefs and buffet planners in producing accurate portions of dishes to serve.

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The hospitality industry has to address this problem of food wastage without compromising their high level of service quality.

John Jefferis’ career started with an internship at the Savory Hotel in London. The things he had learned there fueled his interest in the field of hotel and resort management, resulting in successful resorts today such as the Coco Reef Resort. For more updates on the hospitality industry, visit this Facebook page.

From nature to culture: Top things to do in Bermuda

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The mid-Atlantic island of Bermuda, a British overseas territory ringed by reefs, brims with endless promises for fun and recreation. Beyond the pink sand beaches and top-notch diving sites, it has a range of persuasions that is all its own.

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Beach, sailing, and diving

Couples, families, and friends can set out for a day of fun on the water. The endless array of choices ranges from sailing and jet skiing to snorkeling and shipwreck diving. Kids can also enjoy swimming with dolphins, as well as helmet diving for an unforgettable undersea walk and delightful exploration of Bermuda’s rich sea life and pristine waters.

Nature and natural wonders

Eco tourism is at its best in this part of the world, where one can tour the ocean on a kayak or rent a bike to journey through the Old Bermuda trail. From humpback whales to exotic birds and ancient caves, Bermuda teems with natural wonders both big and small.

Arts and culture

Be in awe of the historic village of St. George, one of the first English towns established in North America and where the Unfinished Church dazzles with Gothic architecture and a serene uphill environment. Have a picturesque break from the beach life with a sightseeing tour of the Royal Naval Dockyard, the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo, and modern arts and theater gems.

Dining and nightlife

Bermuda offers a range of gastronomic options and a bustling nightlife scene filled with upscale bars, sports bars, and clubs and lounges for the free spirit. It’s live jazz, reggae, and calypso year-round.

Sports and recreation

Take in some fresh air and unleash your competitive side at one of Bermuda’s six golf courses, or go for an invigorating hike, bike, or rock-climbing session on coastal cliffs. Simply find the serenity you are looking for at the subterranean limestone cavern where spa treatments also await.

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John Jefferis is an award-winning hotelier with more than four decades of experience in the hospitality industry. He is known as the owner of Coco Reef Resorts in Bermuda and Tobago. Visit this blog for more Caribbean adventure.