robert@hotelreviewscotland.com

The latest hotel and hospitality news for hotels and accommodation providers in Scotland

Scottish Hotel News, Views and Reviews

Get all the very latest hotel and hospitality news and latest articles from some of the key respected hospitality cunsultants and commentators in the hotel industry worldwide. Links to these, updated daily, are bnelow for your convenience. Read published artcviles by Innfinite anhd others which we feel are most relevant to hotels and hospitality businesses in Scotland. Enjoy!

Want to become a contributor to the news and views page? – contact robert@innfinite.co.uk to find out how

Articles/thoughts of the week - -  

Hoteliers must distance themselves from the utterly despicable practice of landlords organising and operating 'umregulated hotels' through Airbnb -  this is totally against the principles of any decent hotelier and the hotel industry must treat it with the utmost contempt.

A room sold on Airbnb is not necessarily a room lost by a hotel  - far from it -  so beware the many exaggerated media claims out there about the effect of Airbnb on the hotel industry

Consumers Risk Their Vacations When Relying on Online Travel Reviews

Booking.com:  improving conversion with best practice persuasive design

Get the latest from Search Engine Land

Get the latest from Hospitalitynet

Get the latest from Search Engine Watch

Get the latest from Social Media Examiner

Get the latest from HospitalityEBusiness Digital Blog

Get the latest from HotelMarketing.com

Get the latest from HotelNewsNow

29th September 2011

Hotel on line distribution

In Defense of OTAs - Why the OTAs and Online Distribution Platforms are Critical for Hotels, Especially Independent and Boutique Hotels | By Carol Verret

OTA bashing is a fashionable sport – they only want low rates, they charge too much commission, they have too much power in how hotels manage inventory and rates (did I miss any?)– the list goes on and on. It is a situation where you don't want to live with them BUT you can't live without them.

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30th September 2011

Hotel web site conversions

Two essential home page web site messages to increase direct sales

If you look at the home pages of most hotel websites, they are more often than not characterised by ‘woffle’, which is really not relevant to most travel shoppers wishing to book that property at any given time,

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30th September 2011

Destination marketing in Scotland

Destination marketing – a real dilemma for many Scottish hotels and accommodation providers

The general standard of destination marketing in Scotland, including the country itself, is nothing short of pathetic (with a few exceptions) Destination marketing on the whole does not give potential visitors what they want to hear, it is far too much about the destination rather than the visitor Some marketing ‘destinations’ are simply wrong – Ayrshire and Arran is a great example, two destinations with nothing in common

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1 October 2011

meetings, conferences and events in Scotland

How the right venue can add value to a successful conference or meeting

How often have you organised, or attended as a delegate or guest at a conference or corporate meeting or event where the venue has not met, or, more importantly, exceeded your expectations?

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7 October 2011

On line reputation management

Best Practices for Responding to Online Hotel Reviews, Part I

Daniel Edward Craig is a former general manager turned consultant specializing in online marketing, social media strategy and reputation management. Visit www.danieledwardcraig.com.

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7 October 2011

On line reputation management

Best Practices for Responding to Online Hotel Reviews, Part 2

Daniel Edward Craig is a former general manager turned consultant specializing in online marketing, social media strategy and reputation management. Visit www.danieledwardcraig.com.

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7 October 2011

Daily deals and voucher sites

Pros and cons of deals sites

Hospitality industry veteran Madigan Pratt has spent more than 25 years providing strategic counsel to independent hotels, luxury resorts and some of the Caribbean’s top destinations and tourism boards. More at www.madiganpratt.com

READ MORE >>>
8 octobef 2011

On line travel agents and distribution

No defence for OTA's - Innfinite's view

If the OTA's customer is not your customer, then hoteliers, Trip Advisor reviews by these customers are not allowed. Hooray!! .................But

READ MORE >>>
14 October 2011

Free wi fi internet access in hotels

Hotels with free wi fi - what's all the fuss?

Richard Segel kindly allowed us to reproduce his thoughts - we thought they were really interesting

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14 October 2011

Google Analytics

The new EU opt in directive for cookies - what does the future hold for Google Analytics after May 2012?

On May 25 next year, the new EU directive on opt in for cookies may become mandatory in the UK. What does this mean for UK hotels dependent on Google Analytics for site performance assessment and action plans

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23 October 2011

Reputation management for hotels

On line reputation management for hotels - some thoughts

We are constantly amazed by the lack of seriousness by which hotels, whether brands or independents, take online reputation management.

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23 October 2011

Hotel yield and revenue management

The end of hotel yield management?

Southwest Airline’s new pricing structure offers three fares that never change: the usual advanced discount fare, the regular fare and the premium fare with an early boarding group and drink coupons. Could the same work for the hotel industry?

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14 November 2011

Hotel product and service

Where has the product and service disappeared out of hospitality?

I am in my fortieth year of ‘experience’ in the UK hotel industry, and never at any point, even in my earliest days, have i see an industry in such disarray and far as the product and service, and the control of it, is concerned

READ MORE >>>
21 November 2011

Google+ for hotels

The List of Hotels on Google+

Today, Google+ already has more than 25 million users. A few days ago, Google+ opened up business pages. Some hotels are already taking advantage of this to engage with customers and build relationships between business and people.

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21 November 2011

Effective landing pages

ION Interactive's R.E.A.D.Y approach to great landing pages

Get R.E.A.D.Y. for better landing pages. A guide to higher online conversion rates.

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22 November 2011

Rate parity

In Europe, hotel rate parity is for OTAs not hotels

Based on new data from RateGain, a maximum of 1 in five hotels in major cities in Europe have introduced a rate parity based rate strategy for the coming three month. Even worse, for the vast majority of hotels, prices on OTA sites were lower than on their own website.

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22 November 2011

Rate parity

Innfinite comment on 'In Europe, hotel rate parity is for OTAs not hotels

This study is music to our ears. Why? - becasue rate parity is a farce, alwasy has been, and always will be. I once read - · Rate Parity - yes, same rates, and same conditions on all public channels… but don’t let yourself be boxed in by this. It is a general strategy, not a law. And honestly we are not in rate parity for the consumer’s sake.

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25 November 2011

Hotel rate parity

Rate parity - or not

Elsewhere I have posted my thoughts on rate parity. Those of you who know me know that it is one of my pet hates. Well here are some more thoughts, and facts

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28 November 2011

Third party commissions paid by hotels

The true cost of OTA commission (rarely drawn to the attention of the hotel!)

To many this may be obvious, but my experience tells me it isn’t. It came to my attention again most recently on a daily deals issue very topical these days). Here’s the scenario:- Intermediairs such as OTA’as, daily deals sites, GDS &c charge commission on the AT inclusive value of a booking. That effectively means they are charging commission on VAT.

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13 December 2011

On line travel company commissions

Expedia: Commissions are ‘absolutely’ fair

Expedia is making significant investments to better its relationships with supplier partners—including a new-found attitude check—but don’t expect a narrowing of commission margins, executives said last week at Expedia’s Global Partner Services convention.

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20 December 2011

Google+ for hotels

Can your hotel afford to ignore Google+ by Madigan Pratt

Earlier this summer when Google launched Google+, its social networking site, it was only open to individuals. Last month Google+ announced it was available to businesses and brands are beginning to embrace it.

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22 December 2011

Hotel sales

Solving the Problem with Resolutions | 5 Simple Hotel Sales Resolutions You Can Keep! | By Carol Verret

In this is week before the holiday (and the week after the holiday) when the sales world has gone dead, the time is ripe to formulate resolutions for 2012 to make sales and revenue management activity more effective and efficient. The problem is that we tend to overcomplicate these instead of keeping them really simple.

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27 December 2011

Mobile web design, SEO and marketing for hotels

Search will outpaces apps for dominance In mobile marketing in 2012

Innfinite's revolutionary mbile /smartphone web site amd integrated booking engine for hotels will be publicly released on 4th January 2012, and will give a competitive edge in the mobile space to both Innfinite and Navarino Services hotel clients.

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7 January 2012

Mobile web design

Innfinite's exciting new mobile website for hotels is launched

Innfinite’s exciting and revolutionary mobile/smartphone integrated web site and room booking solution for hotels launches 4 January 2012.

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8 January 2011

Revenue management

The Resolution Solution – 5 Simple Revenue Management Resolutions for 2012 - By Carol Verret

We all have things that we have been wanting to do, intending to do, etc. but for whatever reason didn’t do in 2011. It is way too easy to get caught up in the minutiae of the revenue management process. Opening and closing rates, inventory etc., and not pay attention to the trends in the discipline of hotel revenue management.

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10 January 2012

Creating value, and added value

Creating value the new-fashioned way

I took a “Class 4/5” white-water-rafting trip recently. I loved the adventure and thrill, and while I was holding on for dear life, I realized that the last few years in our business have been a “Class 5” ride. And, I’m not certain I enjoyed those “adventures” and “thrills” at all.

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11 January 2012

Hotel USP's

What in Hell is the U.S.P.? And Why Do You Need One? - by Madigan Pratt

So what exactly is a U.S.P.? In reality it is a way to get leverage for your hotel over competition and to let targeted consumers know you represent the superior choice. A strong and clearly articulated U.S.P. well executed throughout all aspects of marketing and communications will lead to above average occupancy and revenue.

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22 January 2012

Direct sales

Direct Sales: Give 'em the old razzle dazzle, Razzle Dazzle 'em | By Brenda Fields

What has happened to direct sales in the hospitality industry? Once a discipline of an enviable combination of great social skills, good business judgment, and powers of persuasion, direct sales was many times the starting point for learning the business of hotels. A knowledgeable sales person understood how each piece of business or account had an impact on revenues in all areas not just limited to rooms and not just for the short but the long term as well. In addition, the successful sales person forged relationships with clients based on trust, which was the result of rich personal interactions.

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22 January 2012

Google plus and SEO

Smart Hoteliers Are Embracing Google Plus For SEO - By Madigan Pratt

Last month my blog post – Can Your Hotel Afford to Ignore Google?” speculated that it was only a matter of time before Google started incorporating Google+ social signals into website rankings. That time arrived quicker than I thought. Starting now smart hoteliers need to begin embracing Google+ as a major component of their Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Those who move quickly will have a significant competitive advantage over the laggards.

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23 January 2012

Hotel marketing trends 2012

Top hotel marketing trends for 2012 - by Josiah Mackenzie

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26 January 2012

Social media and travel/hotels

Balancing social media and sales - by Madigan Pratt

Social media is becoming increasingly important in the hospitality industry. All the thought leaders in Internet marketing are pushing it and hotels are scrambling to adapt to the new social reality. Hoteliers need to step up social media efforts to master at least the key media – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and now Google+.

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27 January 2012

Social media for hotels

Behind Social Media: Social Hospitality Principles Defined and Explained by Chris Brogan and The Roger Smith Hotel

Chris Brogan recently found himself exploring Oslo, Norway after a conference. He wanted to buy some gifts for his children back home, but didn’t know where to shop. So he spent much of the afternoon walking by store after store, not sure where to find the perfect item (and spend his money). Finally, one shopkeeper came out of her boutique, began talking with him, and introduced some of the things she made and was selling. That store got his business.

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31 January 2012

Google Analytics

Why Google Analytics Should Be Outlawed In The Travel Industry by Ryan Bifulco

Over my 20-year career in the travel and Internet industry, I have come across hundreds of cases where a travel client has used Google Analytics (GA) to track their clicks from their online advertising and seen major discrepancies on the clicks and conversions. We should all agree as an industry to put this behind us and not use GA to track clicks and bookings.

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3 February 2012

Social media 'experts'

Commentary: Be wary of hiring social media 'experts'

I just have to get this off my chest. It's seems that at least once or twice a month I hear that so-and-so has decided to open their own business as a Social Media

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7 February 2012

Social media for hotels

Exposing Five Popular Myths of Social Media | By Madigan Pratt

Over the past few weeks Joe Buhler and I have been having numerous Google+ conversations concerning the effectiveness of social media. Joe is a principal of buhlerworks, an expert in development and execution of social web marketing strategies. Several conversations dealt with the many myths surrounding social media so I asked Joe to write a guest column on the subject for Hospitality Marketing Blog. For hoteliers simply dabbling in social media, here is your wake-up call. Let us know what you think.

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5 March 2012

Google+

Google+ for hotels - quick guide

When Google, arguably the world’s most powerful internet company – and a company legendary for hiring the smartest engineers in the world – launches its own social network, you’d think the hotel marketing community would immediately jump on the bandwagon. We did take notice. There were only two problems:

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19 March 2012

Mobile and smart phone web sites and commerce for UK hotels

The mobile hotelier in 2012 - who is right?

Innfinite are now very much key players in the mobile space with our revolutionary, affordable mobile website for hotels. As suche we are getting much useful first hand info, stats and feedback about market behaviour, and great pointers to present and future strategy. Imagine my dismay when i read this - from PhocusWright -

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2 April 2012

Flash selling sites and Groupon

Hotels should not indulge in deep discount flash selling – that’s final!

A recent survey by Travelclick conducted amongst almost 400 chain and independent properties in mainland Europe and the UK, revealed five main reasons why hotels were unhappy with the group sale experience. These were:

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5 April 2012

Hotel website SEO

Tune-Up Your Website for Peak SEO Performance | By Madigan Pratt

No one can guarantee your hotel will show up on the first page of a Google search for hotels in your destination, but that's the goal every hotel must strive for. Why? Because research shows that if your hotel doesn't appear on page 1 or 2, it is practically invisible. Few people look beyond the first two pages when doing a search.

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17 April 2012

Pinterest

Is Pinterest Just Latest 'shiny New Toy' or Will It Have Staying Power? - By Carol Verret

In February Pinterest drove more traffic to websites than Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn (LNKD), and YouTube combined. (HotelMarketing.com, 3/26/12). Couple that statistic with the fact that 93% of its users are females, and you have a powerful tool for the leisure and social market. It only took 9 months for Pinterest to go from 50,000 users to 17 million – it took Facebook 16 months. (commsource)

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15 May 2012

Email marketing

Madigan Pratt on email marketing

Email marketing, when executed well, is one of the most powerful sales media a small luxury hotel has in its marketing toolbox. The problem is, not that many hotels do it well and as a result fail to realize its full revenue generating potential.

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16 May 2012

Social media for hotels

Mark Ritson on the hype of social media - the myth

We continue to espouse the myth of social media without adhering to the critical approach and return on investment principles that are meant to be our disciplinary watchwords. Better to ride along with the bullshit wagon that portrays social media as helping us design hot new products, conduct innovative research and craft amazing campaigns. Just don’t let reality get in the way.

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12 June 2012

Web search and traffic

The Web's Hot in Europe According to the IAB Europe

According to the IAB Europe study from Mediascope Europe, 426.9 million Europeans go online every week with 37% accessing the Internet using more than one device. 64% of people access the web via a computer, 415.7 million people, and 21% use the Internet on their mobile phone (139.2m).

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11 July 2012

Social media for hotels

Innfinite's take on social media at 11 June 2012

Never trust an agency to talk about

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18 August 2012

Social media and hotels

Social Media: Damned If You Do. Damned If You Don’t - By Madigan Pratt

There they were, two articles one right on top of the other in the very same enewsletter, each espousing a polar opposite point-of-view on social media. There they were, two articles one right on top of the other in the very same enewsletter, each espousing a polar opposite point-of-view on social media.

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2 January 2013

Brand v Independent UK Hotels

E and M commerce considerations and decisions - brand v independent UK hotels

In this lengthy post, we’ll feature some key considerations to have in mind when making a decision brand v independent from an ecommerce point of view, and then going on to select your ecommerce partner assuming that you have a choice in that regard. Please note that ecommerce doesn’t just refer to the website booking engine, it covers the whole on line ‘central reservation system’ (CRS), importantly including IDs, GDS, and channel management and channel connect considerations.

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9 January 2013

Hotels, Booking.com and OTA's

Skoosh.com's reply to us on the Booking.com saga

We really had to publish this, there’s so much evidence of strong feelings on this topic, about which we featured our own thoughts on http://ukhotelexperts.co.uk/2012/booking-com-why-we-detest-this-apparent-necessary-evil-in-hotel-distribution - and those of George Panyotis at http://ukhotelexperts.co.uk/2012/booking-com-the-sequel

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24 July 2013

On line travel companies and channel shift

Increase Direct Bookings and Keep Your OTA Happy? Yes, It's Possible

Hotel operators were thrilled when OTAs like Priceline, Orbitz and Hotels.com first emerged in the hotel industry. These online companies helped fill vacant rooms and brought in extra revenue that hotel operators otherwise would never have seen. Unfortunately, OTAs have done such a good job branding that customers believe these third-party websites always offer the best price. Why should they shop anywhere else?

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25 September 2013

Hotel reviews

Warning to hotels : don't post fake reviews - by Madigan Pratt

Review sites like Google, Yelp, Citysearch and even TripAdvisor have taken a huge hit recently in the media for publishing fake reviews. So have a number of so-called reputation management companies for helping foster the practice.

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8 November 2013

Social media marketing for hotels

Email vs. Social Media – Which One Deserves Your Marketing Dollar?

Ever hear the one about the hotelier who had too much money to spend on marketing? Neither have I. Financial constraints on marketing budgets are all too common in the hospitality industry. As a result hoteliers are constantly evaluating and balancing budgets in an effort to generate the greatest proven return on investment while at the same time trying to stay current with the ever-changing media landscape.

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20 November 2013

Hotels and OTA's

Monopolies are made and Unmade

This is a fantastic must read for all hotels having serious aspirations to be in control of their own destiny

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5 Feb 2015

Trip Advisor business listings

TripAdvisor Business Listings For Life? - probably not at these prices

Last week we posted an article about how hotels have been hit with TripAdvisor sticker shock when it came time to renew their Business Listing. They are seeing renewal costs double and triple over what they paid the previous year.

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20 April 2015

Channel shift from OTA's and on line marchants

Hotel guests 'are being fleeced by online agents'

HOTELIERS SAY THEY ARE FORCED TO HIKE PRICES TO COVER 25% COMMISSION TAKEN BY WEBSITES

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