News Briefs

  • 4/14/2024

    Cloudbeds Observes Shift Towards Longer Stays

    Hospitality management platform Cloudbeds has observed a moderate (1%) uptick in medium-term stays globally in 2023, accompanied by a slight decline of 2% in short stays.

    The findings come from Cloudbeds’ 2024 ‘State of Independent Lodging Report’, which suggests the surge in three to four-night stays may be an indication of the rising popularity of “bleisure” or blended travel, as more travelers take advantage of the flexibility of remote work to extend their stays.

    The technology provider says the return of international tourism could also play a role in the shift towards longer stays, as inbound tourists tend to stay longer and spend as much as 90% more than domestic travelers.

    Adam Harris, co-founder and CEO of Cloudbeds, said: “Longer stays are a boon for hoteliers. When guests stay longer, they’re more likely to spend on additional experiences and services. By increasing revenue per guest, boosting occupancy rate, and reducing room turnover costs, hoteliers benefit. But this isn’t just about the bottom line. When travelers stay longer, they foster deeper relationships with the staff and have a better guest experience because of it, contributing to the hotel's long-term success.”

    Overall, the data reveals average length of stay patterns in 2023 showed relative consistency with previous years. Almost three-quarters of bookings at independent hotels were for stays of one to four nights, with 43% of booked room nights being one or two- night stays and 30% being three or four nights.

    Cloudbeds’ findings are grounded in data from a sample of 10,000+ independent properties, encompassing boutique hotels and guest houses, B&Bs, and hotel groups in over 100 countries across North America, Latin America, Europe, and the APAC region. For comprehensive global insights into the independent lodging landscape in 2024, download a free copy of Cloudbeds’ annual ‘State of Independent Lodging Report’ at

  • 4/15/2024

    Experiences and eCommerce Demand Increase Q1 2024 Hotel Revenue logo

    Seamless digital transactions available at all hours, paired with the desire for memorable in-person interactions and experiences, has seen hotels boost the value of their online bookings, according to Journey.

    Providing guests with an all-in-one digital retail booking experience has led to Journey’s hotel clients increasing their average order value by 10.33% in Q1 2024, compared to the same time last year.

    By facilitating easy purchasing, Journey’s revolutionary ecommerce platform - recently shortlisted in the 2024 Information Technology Awards’ ‘Innovative Software Development’ category - drove an overall 118.9% increase in revenue for their clients in the first quarter of 2024. Hotels using Journey’s ecommerce platform also experienced improved conversion on their direct booking websites, with an average conversion rate of 4.14% in Q1 2024 - significantly higher than the industry average of 3%.

    Simon Bullingham, CEO and Founder of Journey, said: “Half of our hotel clients’ bookings are made outside the traditional business hours of 9am to 5pm. People crave convenience so using a holistic ecommerce platform to ensure potential guests can access a hotel’s full range of facilities and services when booking is without doubt the best way to secure bookings and capture incremental revenue.

    “Cross-selling at check-out is long-established in physical stores with items placed near the queues and tills, while online retailers promote personalized ‘recommended’ extras, but the hospitality industry has been slow to adopt retail practices. For hoteliers, Journey’s ecommerce platform is the best-in-class way of showcasing everything a hotel has to offer and making it instantly bookable, transforming a hotel booking into an online retail experience.”

    Furthering their commitment to help hoteliers maximize commercial performance, Journey has combined their strategists, analysts and client account teams into a new Performance Hub, led by Performance Director Susanne Williams.

    The Hub’s digital marketing experts drove a Return On Advertising Spend (ROAS) of 13 to 1 across the quarter, well above the hotel and travel industry benchmark range of 5-10, completing a circle of support to the UK’s leading luxury independent hotels and resorts.

    Said Williams: “The digital landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace. For a hotel to not only be competitive but to succeed requires expertise and an army of support - something independent and boutique hotels can’t afford to hire in-house. By pooling Journey’s expertise together under our new Performance Hub, we’re able to enhance our already exceptional results for our clients and help them continue to grow their direct business and increase profitability.”

    Data from Journey’s 750 clients also highlighted Mondays as the peak day to make luxury hotel bookings, and 8pm to 9pm as the busiest hour.

    Further social behavioral changes were reflected in devices used to book: mobile remains the primary device (54.81% of traffic) but experienced a 6.9% fall, offset by a 9.95% increase in desktop and a 6.45% increase in tablet bookings.

    Based in Cheltenham, the company has grown from 59 staff in Q1 2023 to 147 in Q1 2024, reflecting the increased demand for their ecommerce and experience technology platforms, alongside their performance services.

  • 4/15/2024

    Beverly Wilshire Introduces Live Beam Holograms into the Hotel’s Penthouse & Presidential Suites

    Proto M in Four Seasons Hotel Guestroom

    Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel is elevating the next generation of travel by incorporating hologram technology into the Hotel’s Penthouse & Presidential Suites. This legendary property is the first in the industry to incorporate such technology into the guest room to provide exemplary and anticipatory customer service. 

    The M is a portable, tabletop holographic communications device from Los Angeles-based Proto, the world’s first and only holographic communications platform. The device allows for the Hotel’s exceptional Guest Experience team, who specialize in providing bespoke and memorable experiences for guests, to live beam directly into the room. 

    “We are elated to provide our guests with yet another way to communicate with us. Based on the guest preference, we can communicate in person, through the Four Seasons Chat, text, a call and now by beaming via hologram into their room” says Director of Guest Experience Serge Sturbois. Whether guests want to connect from the comfort of the Penthouse’s state-of-the-art media room, while enjoying breakfast in the Beverly Presidential’s dining room, or relaxing in the Wilshire Presidential’s spacious living room, the Proto device is sized to fit the guest’s lifestyle. 

    Guests will designate a time in which a Guest Experience team member will live beam into the room. From there, both the Beverly Wilshire staff and guest will be able to see each other and communicate in real time to review the day’s itinerary, capabilities within the suite and so much more. Proto Hologram communication is in use by Fortune 500 companies, top universities and Hollywood studios already – and has been shown to increase the quality of conversation significantly over flat screen video solutions. 

    Known as a Beverly Hills hotel with a robust history, Beverly Wilshire has never strayed away from offering new and exciting advancements to its discerning travelers. 

    “That’s why so many guests stay with us. They know we provide our guests with the latest in technology, experiences and design” says Reed Kandalaft, Regional Vice President and General Manager.  “Introducing The Proto M is yet another way we continue to pioneer in this ever-evolving landscape!” 

  • 4/15/2024

    Mews Stacks Transforms the Way Hoteliers Build Tech Ecosystems

    mews logo

    Mews, a hospitality cloud PMS, announced Mews Stacks, a series of curated tech ecosystems to help hoteliers adopt industry-leading cloud solutions.

    Mews Stacks groups key hospitality technologies into recommended packages that are suited for specific regions and property types. Each stack consists of several best-in-class solutions that have been carefully chosen for their proven performance, and that can be connected to quickly and securely through Mews Marketplace.

    “We have over a decade of experience working with the best specialist hospitality solutions across a vast range of customers,” said Matt Welle, CEO at Mews. “Choosing from over a thousand integrations can be daunting, so we’ve used our in-depth knowledge to simplify the decision-making process for hoteliers.”

    According to a Hotel Tech Report study, hotels use an average of 20 software applications. The need and desire to build a bespoke ecosystem is clear, as every hospitality brand operates with different goals and challenges.

    Mews Stacks empowers hospitality teams of all shapes and sizes to drive operational efficiency, boost revenue and delight guests. A large, multi-property group has different needs to a small boutique hotel, and this variance is reflected in the selected partners in each tailored ecosystem.

    Steve Shotsberger, Principal at Evolve Hospitality Group commented, “As an adviser to properties around the world, it’s clear that hoteliers looking to implement or upgrade their technology have an increasing number of solutions to choose from. Every hotel or group has different needs and challenges so building a tech ecosystem that perfectly suits their needs is crucial. It’s great to work alongside Mews who integrate with so many fantastic solutions and can support hoteliers to build the right tech stack to complement their goals.”

    Mews Stacks are already available for key regions including North America, the UK and APAC, with more to follow in 2024.

  • 4/14/2024

    East Coast Wings + Grill Hires New VP of Marketing: Ashley Mitchell

    Ashley Mitchell East Coast Wings

    As part of their deliberate development strategy, East Coast Wings + Grill (ECW+G), a casual dining restaurant franchise, has taken the next step in their growth with the hiring of Ashley Mitchell as Vice President of Marketing. With decades of consumer marketing experience with world-class brands such as The Walt Disney Company along with franchise industry giants like Goldfish Swim School, Soccer Shots and Streamline Brands, Mitchell will help drive the new and updated 5-year growth strategy while continuing to elevate brand awareness, local store marketing and lead generation.

    Mitchell brings with her an extensive background in marketing and communication – having held several positions where she was responsible for creating and driving marketing strategy, overseeing the growth of the business through consumer marketing and communication, contributing to overall strategic planning as part of company executive leadership teams, and executing high-profile events. Her experience with The Walt Disney Company and several franchises in industries including youth enrichment, home services, beauty concepts, QSR and B2B services led to recognition as a leader in the franchise industry, most recently as a Top Franchise Influencer and Top 50 Franchise CMO Gamechanger.

    "Over the past few years, we have been meticulous, patient, and laser-focused on creating a multi-brand strategy within our ecosystem within our brand to attract new talent and drive our growth," said Sam Ballas, CEO & Founder of ECW+G. "Bringing on a heavy hitter like Ashley is the talent reboot we have been preparing for. Our plan is all coming together at this moment, and it is the perfect partnership to throttle ECW+G into the next gear. We are thrilled to have Ashley's level of talent on board and it will be exciting to watch what she will do."

    Mitchell's efforts will support the company's long-term growth plans to sign an additional ten locations this year while opening another four across the country by year's end. In addition, Mitchell will be focused on bringing meaning and connection to the East Coast Wings + Grill brand and telling its story while building and developing her marketing team to be the best in the industry.

    In addition to Mitchell's hiring, ECW+G also hired a multi-unit manager for the brand's corporate locations and a franchise business coach with 32 years of experience in the field.

    "For years, I've admired what Sam and the team have built at ECW+G," said Mitchell. "I'm thrilled to join the brand as we head into this next level of growth. We have a strong foundation and reputation in the communities we serve, and I look forward to continuing to elevate that in the years to come."

  • 4/14/2024

    Concord Hospitality Appoints Marsha Ray As New EVP Of Operations

    marsha ray concord hospitality

    Concord Hospitality, a hotel management and development company currently operating more than 140 hotels across North America, welcomes Marsha Ray as its new Executive Vice President of Operations. In preparation for further expansion, Concord Hospitality is proactively enhancing its executive team to better address the unique requirements of its individual properties.

    As a collaborative and results-oriented leader, Ray brings over three decades of invaluable hospitality experience to her latest endeavor. Her extensive background spans various hospitality sectors, including branded and independent hotels, luxury resorts, lifestyle accommodations, convention centers, city hubs and airport facilities. With an extensive background serving both the Canadian and U.S. hospitality markets, Ray boasts comprehensive expertise in all operational aspects, from food and beverage management to front office pre-openings, transitions, conversions, and beyond.

    Ray will oversee the opening and expansion of Concord’s newest full-service hotels and resorts across North America, while focusing on brand and owner relations, financial oversight, and talent management to ensure each asset aligns with its strategic objectives.

    “I'm thrilled to bring my expertise in organizational leadership and my passion for hospitality to the remarkable team Concord Hospitality has assembled,” says Marsha Ray, executive vice president of operations. “With a foundation built on collaboration and a relentless pursuit of results, I am committed to expanding our footprint and furthering Concord’s culture of excellence.”

    “Marsha’s exemplary reputation and tenacity make her the ideal leader to propel Concord Hospitality to the next level as we aim to expand our portfolio even further,” explains President & Chief Executive Officer, Mark Laport. “With exceptional industry experience, specifically in the luxury markets in both Canada and the U.S., Marsha will be an integral part of our ever-growing team.”

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