The Year That Was – Hotel and Travel Industry in 2009

The year 2009 was a year of ups and downs for hotels in particular and the global travel industry in general. There were many events and developments that helped shape the outlook of the hotel industry over the past 12 months. Let us take a look back at 2009 and identify these developments.

Who can forget the global H1N1 virus scare that rocked the world? Some surveys suggest that many travelers will be more concerned about germs and health-related issues in general, thanks to the outbreak of the H1N1 virus. This has thankfully led to more stringent measures and health awareness on the part of the establishments.

The global recession was clearly still in effect the whole year round, and there will even be some repercussions heading into 2010. There are still some significant properties and establishments being shopped and sold. However, it should be noted that, while some companies have been selling their hotels, there are those that are utilizing the sale to expand their core properties. That is a positive sign, showing growth and a willingness to expand despite the continued pinch given by the recession.

In 2009, eco-tourism and eco-friendly destinations started taking the spotlight, as both the travelers and the various establishments have become more and more environmentally conscious. Destinations such as Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland are the top dogs when it comes to eco-friendly places to visit. The hotels in such countries also benefit tremendously because of the influx of travelers, and a lot of them have already adopted an eco-friendly mentality to go with the times.

Of course, there are also many hotel groups-from smaller-scale local establishments to big chains of luxury hotels-who have re-evaluated their business approach and have made changes to their various investment strategies. This is a wise move, still in line with managing the costs and income in an economic landscape that still is not as stable as desired.

Another trend in 2009 was an increased patronage for online travel services, such as booking sites and aggregators that really are a big help to travelers. Still, traditional booking occupies a significant chunk of the pie, even with online services gaining some headway over the past year.

Some establishments, from hotels to apartments to luxury spas, have shown a diminishing level of performance in the middle of the year. The good thing is that some of them have been able to recover quite nicely and gain back some lost ground-and some lost ratings-to get back on track.

There are indications that leisure spending on the side of the travelers will go up in 2010, and that is a definite plus for the hotel industry. More people willing to spend more money translate to more business opportunities for hotels and other members of the hospitality industry.

All in all, it was another year and another step to recovery in 2009. Things are shaping up quite nicely for 2010, and hopefully, hotels and their respective managements learned a lot in the past year and start to apply them in order to flip the script this coming year.

Ways to Find Cheap Hotel Packages

Traveling for work or pleasure can be a worry-free experience especially if you can find cheap hotel packages. Sometimes, travelers are faced with the difficulty of locating cheap hotel packages that is very important especially when on a tight budget. Being able to save on the travel costs and to stay at reasonable priced hotel accommodation can definitely go a long way in making your trip a pleasant one. This allows you to focus budget planning on your trip.

Some people find searching for the best deals to be a frustrating package most especially if they do not know the right place to look considering that there is a mountain of information when searching for the best hotel deals online and offline.

The most ideal place to begin your search is on the internet. You may not know it but it is through the internet where you can find great hotel deals. Various websites online can give you with comprehensive information on the cheap hotel packages within your budget. Many aggregate travel websites online are containing information on hotels due to the links of the partner suppliers to hotels from different parts of the world.

To effectively narrow down your search, you can take advantage of the search and compare options of the website allowing you to compare the different rates of hotels they have in their database that have the same characteristics suitable to your search criteria. This enables you to search easily and compare the rates of hotels in the same are with similar star rating among other criteria you may have in mind when it comes to choosing hotels.

One of the benefits of booking a hotel through aggregate travel website is the presence of the best rate guarantees, discounts and special deals that you may not be available when booking directly through the websites of hotels. But, you have to take note of the fine print before booking as there might be additional charges that are involved.

Interestingly, people are searching for online portals offering cheaper options during peak travel seasons. You may find out that the prices of hotels are generally during peak travel periods including long vacation periods during summer or even during the weekends. This is because most hotels raise their rates generally as there is high demand for it. But you can find some portals online that are specializing at offering cheaper deals during peak travel periods. Therefore it is ideal to book hotels using these websites to ensure that the costs of your accommodation remain to be affordable.

To find cheap hotel packages, it may be a good idea to consider selecting hotels further from the heart of the city. If it is not important to stay in a hotel located in the city centre, you can find inexpensive hotels further away from it. This way, you can find local hotel chains that can give you with comfortable stay but will charge you with lower room rates compared to those located near business districts.

How To Inspire Hotel/Restaurant Employees To Perform Better (Fast!)

Unfortunately your training employees maybe saying all the right things in front of you and then injecting less than flattering remarks or “pregnant pauses” when you or your managers step away.

Because most employees use their jobs to accomplish other goals, they are less invested with you to begin with and don’t value your business the way that you need them to. When these employees train new people they are quick to point out managerial and operational problems, highlighting everything that may be wrong with your business and sharing with the new employee that they are only at your business in order to get to their end goal, shaking the confidence of the new employee and changing his or her perception that this is not the best place to work.

It is a frustrating scenario for everyone involved and dealing with it myself for several years this is what I came up with and wrote for my fellow managers:

Try telling your hotel or retail employees (Or your entire restaurant FOH staff) “How you train new employees will directly impact your income and how hard you have to work every day. Would you like to correct fewer mistakes, enjoy a fun upbeat team environment, make twice as much money and have a more solid co-workers supporting you 100% of the time? It’s all in how you train your new hires.

Training is everything and the more you train new hires to appreciate your restaurant, hotel or retail business, it’s owner, managers and the existing team, the more you are actually training them to support you, make money FOR you and bolster you when you need help. If you train new employees that yours is an average business, restaurant or hotel with short comings, has short-tempered co-workers, shortsighted managers, bad staff meals, inconsistent or slow kitchen staff, inattentive or micromanaging owners or managers, and ignored equipment repairs, you will actually be doubling your own work load and you don’t even know it. You will actually be training your new team to bring you down when you need to be brought up the most.

If you incorporate eye-rolling or sarcastic remarks in your training you are actually teaching any new hire to work less, feel unenthusiastic, sell less, create short-cuts, look for ways to create smoke or text breaks instead of keeping side-work, customers and sales flowing or ever helping you when you need it.

You will make less money and work harder, longer hours and leave with less energy and enthusiasm for your family and life goals when you train with indifference or disdain.

New hires will be less effective and less effective, less productive and actually cost you time and money when you highlight anything but the very best of the business. You actually control the mood, spirit and income of the entire restaurant or hotel when new employees are in your hands. You should not take this responsibility lightly.

Showing new hires the tricks to check your phone mid-shift, chew gum, be disrespectful to managers, slack off, “cheat the clock” or in restaurants: stand in front of a computer when you have no orders to put in instead of helping to run food or drinks or engage new guests in order to book future reservations speaks volumes to the person you are training and the people watching you. When your new co-workers do these things, they will find themselves in “hot-water,” eventually let-go and you will have to start training someone new all over again which means twice as much work before you to get a team-member up and running and contributing equally. Attitude is everything and if you want the absolute most money (even if you only plan to be in this business for another week, train your new employees to appreciate all of the amazing things about your restaurant or hotel. Train them to constantly look for something to do, restock, run, clear, carry, double check or find customers to engage with and get new reservations from will directly create a path for you to be recognized and promoted, supported and thanked instead of watched, checked and micro-managed which is exhausting. Instead, create an environment of positiveness, support and more sales and your new co-worker will make you more money, give you more energy and more advancement plus guarantee you that you are always are welcome back should you ever decide to leave.

Leave the negativity, the side comments, eye-rolling, time stealing to people of less caliber who may just be on their way “out” but don’t know it and focus on the new way people make more money: by being supportive, collaborative exciting one another and showing leadership skills to help create the absolute best and strongest team, workday and bank account. Isn’t that what you want? To make the most money and have the most energy at the end of the day? Then train your new co-worker that this is the absolute best hotel, restaurant or retail store to work for, these are the best people to work with and the best people to work for. The systems that are in place here make it easy to make money, unlike many businesses, this is a well-oiled machine and when all the parts move together it creates amazing experiences, excitement, money, friendships and more customers plus feeds your future dreams. While other businesses come and go, try and fail, offer discounts and Groupons to get customers through the door, if you all work as a positive, polished, customer service focused team, you will never have to worry about looking for and training somewhere else. They can create an ever growing flow of repeat clientele by engaging customers to return, not taking short cuts, pitching and helping the team be better but that can only happen with your supportive, enthusiastic, high-caliber training. With your training they can create bigger spending, nicer, repeat, regular, effortless, fun customers for your team’s entire future.”

Tell your staff to train for the best, expect the best and be the best. How you do anything is how you do everything and training the people around you to create money, time and wealth for themselves and you is what the smart people do. Not so smart people create animosity, hardship and ill-will for themselves and the people around them and subsequently cost themselves money, energy, time and often their own jobs. Help your employees create the best for themselves by being the best and sharing this with your staff.