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April 25, 2012News for hotel and lodging professionals

  Front Desk 
  • Disney aims to regain market share through amenity upgrades
    Walt Disney World is adding amenities such as free Wi-Fi access and extra mattresses to its hotel rooms in an attempt to lift its sluggish occupancy growth. "With the economy the way it is, you drop back to the basics: 'How can we steal business from our competitors because our hotels aren't full?' One of the things you can do is lower your rate, which is not smart. But the other thing you can do is offer things that people see value in," said Scott Smith of the University of Central Florida. Disney says it is heeding the results of research that listed the top amenities that guests want in their rooms. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (4/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Business Update 
  • Hotel investors are looking farther inland
    More hotel deals are taking place away from familiar coast cities and farther into the U.S. heartland, LW Hospitality Advisors reports in its analysis of hotel transactions data for the first quarter of 2012. "There are tremendous opportunities in the middle of the country," said Dan Lesser, president and CEO of LW Hospitality. (4/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Hotel revPAR growth dips slightly in Q1
    Data by STR show a 7.9% rise in revenue per available room for the hotel industry in the first quarter, compared with 8.2% for 2011. RevPAR increased the most in New Orleans, Nashville, Tenn., and Oahu, Hawaii, rising between 16% and 18%, this feature says. Travel Weekly (4/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Market Trends 
  • 2 NYC boroughs are becoming hotel hotspots
    A hotel building boom in the New York boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens are helping to drive the strong growth that the city's hotel industry has been enjoying the past few years, this feature says. Properties in these hotel hotspots are attempting to draw guests with stylish amenities at lower rates as well as inviting skyline views. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (4/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. is on track for tourism growth, Commerce Department says
    The U.S. can expect annual tourism growth of up to 5% over the next five years, the Commerce Department says. In 2012, the department predicts 65.4 million foreign tourists will visit. "Today's forecast is a positive sign that the travel and tourism industry -- our No. 1 services export -- is growing stronger," said U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson. TravelPulse (4/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Report: Hotels are pushing for more personalization
    Personalization is receiving greater focus from the hotel industry as new practices and technology allow hotels to match their offerings with an individual's preferences, Market Metrix reports. In its Hospitality Trends and Opportunities study for 2012, the group says hotels are bringing this new level of customization to their marketing efforts and guest amenities. Hospitality Net (4/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Sponsored Content 

  Spotlight on Technology 
  • New discount hotel-booking site has its limits, reviewer says
    Its limited hotel choices could mean that new hotel-booking website Guestmob will not always give the best deal compared with offers on competing discount websites such as Travelocity or, this feature says. However, the site's appealing layout and quick results can still draw travelers looking for a hassle-free way to get discounted rooms. USA TODAY (4/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • Column: Social media allow managers to help with brand-building
    Managers can make personal contributions to their hotel's networking and reputation management efforts by interacting with people through social media, writes Larry Mogelonsky, president and founder of LMA Communications. "Whenever, or wherever, you can get your guests to 'meet the managers,' you're not only giving your hotel a real face, but drastically enhancing client retention," Mogelonsky writes. Hotel Interactive (4/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Hotel expansion in UAE continues to flourish
    Hotel chains are flocking to the United Arab Emirates, drawn by its relative immunity to the Arab Spring uprisings, this feature says. Data by STR set the country's pipeline at 44,886 rooms, adding to the 88,622 rooms in the existing supply. (4/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Government Affairs 
  • Fla. counties will appeal hotel-tax ruling
    A group of 17 Florida counties and four county tax collectors will challenge a judge's ruling on hotel taxes that sided with Expedia and a number of online travel agencies. The 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee, Fla., will hear the case. The case centers on whether OTAs should pay taxes on what they pay for a room or what they charge customers for it. CBS News/The Associated Press (4/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AH&LA News 
  • Don't fall for it
    If one hotel is the target of a scam, chances are the incident will repeat itself. Visit the industry scam update page in AH&LA's members-only section to learn about scams across the country. By being aware of the fraudulent behavior, you can ensure it doesn't happen to your property. To report a scam, contact Kathryn Potter at LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • National mentor program needs seasoned professionals
    Ever wish you could go back and give a younger you some good advice? That may not be possible, but you could let one hard-working industry newcomer benefit from your years of knowledge. Through the AH&LA Mentorship Program, you can effect positive change. The time commitment is flexible, and you may learn something as well! For more information, contact Christa Boatman. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
--Thomas Edison,
American inventor

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