Last week, we attended the Northern CH&LA Conference in San Francisco to talk with our peers and clients about hot topics in the hospitality industry. The educational sessions focused on legal issues, offline marketing tactics, Google’s Panda update, Bed Bug control, and more. The buzz on the trade show floor was definitely centered on some of these topics, so if you weren’t able to take the day off to attend, we’d like to share what our major takeaways were:
- Bed Bugs: A hot topic this year among many hoteliers and an educational session focused on the truths and myths around these pests and options for treatment. This got us thinking about how to treat online reviews that may come up for hotels that get reviewed as having Bed Bugs. We recommend reviewing your procedure with your staff when it comes to reports of pests from a guest to be proactive and responsive if the time ever arises. If a guest does go onto a site, such as TripAdvisor, to post about a Bed Bug issue, we suggest thanking them for informing you of the problem, review with the guest what was done during their stay to solve the issue, such as refunds or moving them to a new hotel. Then, follow up saying that your property has been treated by pest control or is scheduled to. Finally, provide information to the guest that Bed Bugs are a travel-related pest and are not signs of a hotel’s lack of cleanliness or housekeeping staff. Keep to the facts about Bed Bugs and it’ll increase your credibility on the subject.
- NAP: No, we’re not referring to how many naps your guests enjoy at your hotel, but we’re referring to your online presence. NAP is becoming increasingly important as it stands for your name, address, phone number. It’s essential that your NAP is consistent across all platforms, from your website to local listings; your NAP should match and be identical wherever online visitors find you.
- Dot-com or dot-hotel? Another trending topic was the release of .hotel domain names. While it does sound fun to snag one, is it really going to affect your website and its traffic? Probably not. Our recommendation is to continue using your .com domain that Google has a history of indexing instead of adding an additional .hotel that would most likely be redirected to your original site.
Thanks to the California Hotel & Lodging Association for hosting this conference, we’re already looking forward to 2015! Let us know what you think of these topics as it relates to the hospitality industry in the comments section below.