As a hotel manager, you know the cardinal rule: your guests come first.
The upside of this philosophy is that your hospitality is legendary. The downside is that you have little time to brush up on the latest news and practices in your industry.
Great for your guests, but not so much for you if you want to grow as a hotelier.
In fact, this leaves you at a major disadvantage. New trends and management practices are popping up left and right, giving the attentive an edge when it comes to satisfying guests and ensuring future returns. Not to mention, they make use of the array of hotel software and social tools that are transforming your management landscape.
So how do you stay on top of all things hotel management while you’re busy managing your guest experience?
I’ve got you covered.
Below are the most essential hotel management resources out there, ranging from blogs to podcasts, and even educational resources so you can learn more tools of the trade.
Let’s get started.
No one wants a legal disaster on their hands, particularly in hospitality, where guest experience and reputation is integral to survival. But with Converge, you can stay a step ahead of the curve by learning from others’ mistakes as well as how seemingly irrelevant laws, like Texas’ open carry law, are actually applicable to the industry.
This blog is excellent at providing a daily feed of the latest in hospitality, covering the industry at your new preferences, whether you’re more global or regional. Hospitality Net also advertises product features, industry events, webinars, and schools, making this blog any hotelier’s go-to stop for updates and information.
Sometimes owning a smaller hotel or BnB in an industry full of hospitality giants can seem daunting, but Little Hotelier provides these petite players tips and tricks to maximize proficiency and make your little hotel the next big thing. Aside from advice like how to craft the perfect website or how to master social media, Little Hotelier gives marketing advice on Millennial outreach and cashing in on weddings.
We live in a connected world and this site understands that social media and hospitality go hand in hand. From covering emerging hotel tech trends to what social media changes mean for hotel marketing, this site should be any hotelier’s premier destination for insights into the intersection between social outreach and hotels.
Xotels offers a refreshing perspective in the world of hospitality blogs, posting everything from industry career advice to hotel site selection and writing persuasive hotel business plans. This site also hosts a free revenue management book as well as a revenue management glossary so you can understand new hotelier lingo and terminology in this evolving industry.
Boutique Hotel News caters to the more pint-sized portion of the industry, covering the boom in boutique hotels and the challenges of their unique design plans. Boutique Hotel News also posts features with movers and shakers in the boutique industry, proving that something small can mean big business.
This site’s streamlined appeal is matched only by its crisp writing. As one of the largest mass media companies in the world, you shouldn’t expect any less from Condé Nast Traveler, which posts both trends and opinion pieces, in additional to thoughtful analysis on industry news. You can subscribe to the site’s print or tablet format for a steal at $6 for sixth months.
Staying up to date on technology can be overwhelming, especially when you’re unsure what it means for your hotel. This is where Hospitality Technology comes in. Apart from covering emerging tech trends, this publication also tells you how things like mobile tech can alter and improve your management proficiency, not to mention your guest experience.
The news is great, but sometimes you need to stay on top of the latest trends to give your hotel that cutting edge. From the impact of social (if any, according to one of their latest articles) to your guest’s hotel booking behaviors, Hospitality Trends’ name suggests exactly what it does: focused analysis of hotel trends and forecasting what the future holds for hospitality.
If you want something more managerial-specific, Hotel Management provides insight into everything from hotel investment and operations, to tech and sales/marketing. Hotel Management also hosts its own research, including whitepapers and webinars, but also offers something more with videos of roundtable discussions and original surveys published throughout the year on industry segments.
Published eight times a year, this magazine began in 1989 and has since become one of the most authoritative sources in the industry. Aside from publishing bread-and-butter industry news and interviews, Hotelier also delves into hotel interior design as well as hotel equipment and technology. This publication is available in print, online, and through their new iPad App for a subscription between $25.00–$60.00 depending on the length and your location.
Where else to go for all things hotel than the very magazine that proclaims it in all capital letters?
Established in 1966, this monthly publication (and its online counterpart) have a current reach of 90,000 hotel professionals in more than 160 countries. Online access to their site requires a subscription, but it’s a fair tradeoff for access to posts from leaders in the hotel industry.
For over 40 years, the official publication of the American Hotel and Lodging Association offers something beyond topical news and trends in the hotel industry. In addition to its interviews and features, Lodging also delves into business management and strategies. Lodging also provides special reports on industry-specific topics like hotel security, so you can understand what these industry changes mean for your hotel.
Conferences and events seem to indulge the larger players in the industry, but the Boutique and Lifestyle Hotel Summit caters to the smaller side. This summit attracts more than 250 delegates and influential speakers, including Alejandro Garcia Andrade of Luxury Hotels Group, Catherine Martin of Sleeper, and Cheryl Rosner of Stayful. The 2015 agenda explored sustainability for boutique hotels, the rise of trendy and social communal spaces, as well as the role of general managers.
Technology is becoming an essential tool for any successful hotel, and this conference is a must for any manager looking to learn the importance of tech in hospitality. The 2016 schedule hasn’t been posted yet, but sessions from 2015’s conference examined the industry’s relationship to big data marketing, mobile technology, and physical security.
Forty thousand hotels are represented at the Lodging Conference, a hotel networking extravaganza that’s been around for more than 20 years. Aside from sessions that cover topics like how leading companies are changing the field, to the evolution of the extended stay, past attendees have raved about the connections they’ve made and insight they’ve gained from panelists. Speakers from the 2015 conference included executives from TripAdvisor, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, and Marriott International.
From NYU’s Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, this multi-day conference includes every event’s bare bones of sessions, workshops, and networking events, but it’s this conference’s focus on finance and strategy that sets it apart. Past workshops have included discussions on demographic shifts in hospitality, how design gives a hotel competitive edge, and the future of hotel loyalty programs. Speakers for the 2016 conference have yet to be announced, though keynotes from 2015 included Jonathan M. Tisch of Loews Corporation and Dorothy Jennings, executive vice president of HVS.
Constant education is a necessity in the industry, and this summit enables you to choose from four hospitality tracks (luxury, HR, digital, and wellness) for a more tailored experience. While the 2016 summit is still light years away, scheduled sessions are already available for viewing, and include how to service affluent millennial travelers and the impact of virtual reality on travel. Past speakers include John T.A. Vanderslice of Hilton Worldwide and Allison Sitch of The Ritz Carlton Company.
If you want a taste of how other hotels around the world operate, this is a great conference to network in person with international hotel professionals. Sessions for this year focus on performance practices in Dutch hotel management schools and linking the concepts of service experiences and service expectations. Lee Kitchen (Global Creativity & Innovation Manager, The Walt Disney Company) and Luis del Olmo (Chairman, Idiso Hotel Distribution, Spain) are just a few of the keynotes scheduled for this year’s event.
This national association has been serving the hospitality industry for over a century, providing focused advocacy in Washington, D.C., communications support, and education for its more than 1.9 million members. Membership for AH&LA is available for just $2 per room, but is also available for hospitality students for $45 per year.
Going green is great for your wallet, your reputation, and the environment, of course. But the process of becoming sustainable can be challenging to start, not to mention the upkeep it takes to stay on top of the newest green technologies. However, upon joining the Green Hotels Association, members receive a 157 page packet chock full of ideas, options, and techniques so you can reduce both your carbon footprint and your bill. And if that isn’t incentive enough, this association’s towel and sheet changing cards (which ask guests to use their linens more than once) have saved hotels 5% on utilities with a staggering 70% guest participation. Memberships cost $1 per guestroom and $200 per year for partners. Non-U.S. member also have to pay an additional $25.
This U.K.-based membership body was first established in 1938 and has since gone on to help 10,000 hospitality professionals in more than 100 countries. Members are privy to a variety of services like a free online library catalog with access to educational eBooks, their ‘BusinessHR’ helpline, job vacancy advertising, and networking opportunities organized by the Institute.
As a global, non-profit professional association, ILHA connects 200,000 hotel and travel professionals around the world. In addition to its certifications, whitepapers, and webcasts, membership also grants you exclusive access to ILHA’s job search. Membership is open to luxury hospitality students ($75/year), professionals ($150/year), and vendors ($450/year) worldwide.
With 23 chapters in the United States and Canada, NEWH should be any female hotel manager’s homebase for connecting and networking with other female leaders. From an expansive career network to an array of association events, NEWH goes beyond the regular offerings of an association, giving away a variety of scholarships to further the education of young female hospitaliers. NEWH also has a special sustainability committee dedicated to promoting sustainability education in the hospitality space. Membership cost varies by chapter.
Serving hospitality professionals since 1953, the American Hotel & Lodging Institute is a globally recognized educational resource, offering certification review sessions and workshops as well as recertification and maintenance programs. AHLEI programs include Courseline (a customizable mix of online training products), CyberCinema (access to AHLEI’s video library), and Guest Service Gold, a program designed to teach employees how to engage with their guests to and provide memorable guest service.
This three course (plus capstone) specialization is essential for hotel managers wishing to reinforce their industry knowledge and brush up on current trends. In addition to learning the fundamental of hotel distribution, you can also expect to learn how to market hospitality services effectively while maximizing business revenue. No beginner specialization required. Total cost for the full certificate is $336, though you can also take the specific classes within the specialization for $79 each.
While non-specialized, this graduate-level course enables you to go at your own pace as you conduct research on how customers use and purchase a product. MIT’s OpenCourseware allows you to follow along with six lectures, complete with lecture notes, assignments, and recommended texts. No certificate or credit earned at the end of this course, but it’s free of charge.
This weekly radio program features both analysis of industry news and trends as well as interview spots with industry leaders and players. From exploring new methods of revenue management to the leadership gap in the hotel business, This Week in Hospitality is a great on-the-go resource to catch up on what you’ve missed in the news or for a new perspective on management styles to help craft a reputation of excellence.
Every week, LodgingMetrics founder Jon Albano interviews leaders and professionals in the hotel industry, who offer inspiring advice and insight into hospitality service. Previous guests have included Walter Isenberg, co-founder of Sage Hospitality, and Sterling Stoudenmire, who discusses life and business ethics, mentorship, and appreciating your associates. You can subscribe on iTunes, Android, Stitcher, or via RSS.
Looking for the most popular hospitality property management software? Check out Capterra’s infographic on the top 20 hospitality property management software solutions to quickly find the biggest players in the industry and the right product for your business.
This Capterra directory offers more than 200 reservations software options so you can find the right fit for your hotel. From third-party booking to revenue management, you can tailor your search to explore options based on your hotel’s specific needs and browse through user reviews to see what works for you.
Did I miss a few? Let me know some of your favorite hotel management resources in the comments below.
Header by Rachel Wille
Looking for Hospitality Property Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Hospitality Property Management software solutions.