The good news about turning the page on a new year is that you can leave the vestiges of the old one behind. So, for anyone who felt that 2013 didn’t quite measure up, a new year waits to unfold, fuelling us to get reinvigorated and ready for the challenges at hand.

For hotel operators who have been stuck in a rut for the past four years as the economy has puttered, it’s time to take stock of your product offering and ask a few honest questions. Is your hotel where it needs to be to take advantage of new opportunities? Are you as an operator going after the right client mix for your market? Is your marketing team working smartly to attract the most business possible? Are there other profit centres you should be exploring? And, are your associates in tune with the hotel’s service philosophy, always putting their best foot forward?

These are only a few of the questions hoteliers should be asking themselves over the next few weeks while they have time to plan. Of course, these days most business leaders don’t have enough time to devote to brainstorming and innovating, while giving staff the rightful attention they deserve. In the hurly burly world of hotels, more often than not, hoteliers are forced to be reactive rather than proactive. But why not make 2014 the year you change that reality?

Why not start with three key industry issues — branding, rates and technology — all of which are covered in this month’s editorial lineup. In recent years, we’ve heard ad nauseum from industry pundits that room rates are not where they need to be — and while everyone knows it’s true, few are willing to do anything about it. But, if you’re not increasing rates to the best level, then you’re leaving money on the table. Can you afford to do that? PKF’s David Larone doesn’t think so.

In recent years, technology has become one of the industry’s biggest trends. And, there’s no reason to believe it will slow down anytime soon. While today’s customers are driven to various hotels for different reasons, they all want to tap into the tech trend, creating undue pressure on operators to ensure they’re delivering what customers want.  

Last, but not least, as hotel brands proliferate at a breakneck pace, ensuring yours is top of mind requires painstaking work and a ton of creativity. Now, more than ever, hoteliers need to differentiate their brands from the rest of the pack, and, more importantly, ensure they deliver on their brand promise — whatever that promise may be.

Here’s to a promising 2014.


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