InterContinental London - The O2 increases spa booking value 38%

Integrated systems has rejuvenated business and replaced slow manual tasks with smooth digital experiences for staff and guests.

InterContinental London - The O2 has increased the performance of its spa by improving its digital booking system with the integration of Premier Software and onejourney.

Since implementing the new booking flow, the hotel has seen a 30% increase in average products per booking, 38% increase in appointment value with a 60% increase in package deposits over six months.

Within walking distance of one of London’s top entertainment venues, the InterContinental London - The O2 is a destination hotel and spa on the River Thames. Its luxurious spa includes swimming pools, sauna, steam room and a relaxation room, alongside a wide range of wellness and beauty treatments and spa packages.

In a competitive market such as London, the spa team needed to boost efficiency in the back office and allow its reception and therapist teams to focus on enhancing the five-star luxury spa experience for its visitors.

With the Premier spa system encoded in the hotel’s DNA, the marketing team was focused on driving increased numbers of bookings for their luxurious packages and treatments. It was important to remove the friction in booking which was a slow, manual task for both the customer and reception team.

In October 2022, the hotel installed a new booking flow to make it easier for guests,  “With onejourney, booking is much easier, it flows,” said Stephanie Romero, Marketing Executive, InterContinental London (The O2); citing improvements to the customer booking experience and overall customer journey since installing the booking platform.

The integration of online retail platform onejourney with its existing Premier Software makes it simple for the spa’s team to create new packages or treatments, including easy ordering display to prioritise what is shown to online users and support the business’ need periods. With 60% of bookings now via mobile website it has helped the booking experience.

Said Romero: “Premier Software and onejourney’s direct connection is amazing. The systems’ integration has massively improved our operations and customer service. Premier also integrates easily with our PMS, providing a wide range of reports which we can adapt to any of our departmental needs.”  

Continued Romero: “It’s made our life much easier. It’s good to understand how the numbers are going, what packages are popular, booking behaviours - this information helps us support the business and understand where to focus for improvement.” 

For the spa at InterContinental London - The O2, the improved technology stack is helping it maximise its understanding of spa users, streamline booking and administrative processes, and rejuvenating its business by freeing the team to focus on in-person engagement, maximising revenue from each booking, and sourcing new clientele.


A NEW AUDIOVISUAL LICENCE GIVES ACCOMMODATION PROVIDERS PEACE OF MIND

Most operators of the hospitality sector struggle to navigate through the complex world of copyright. Failing to get the necessary licences could lead to higher costs or even legal action. A ground-breaking solution is about to be launched and will make it easy for accommodation providers to clear the rights to show a myriad of TV contents in their premises. The AVLA licence helps businesses to comply with their obligations and protect them from the risk of legal action for copyright infringement. In parallel, AVLA ensures that creatives receive a fair remuneration for the use of their works.  This innovative centralised licence is good news for both the hospitality sector and the Creative Industries.

The AVLA licence will start on January 1. It will be for hotels, hostels, B&Bs, guesthouses and other accommodation providers. The new permit will enable establishments to legally show in public TV channels containing works form AVLA’s immense repertoire. It covers TVs in bedrooms, as well as in public areas of the premises, such as for example, at a hotel’s bar, restaurant, lobby or fitness areas.

The not-for-profit association behind the new licence is Audiovisual Licensing Alliance (AVLA) Limited, a new collective management organisation established and run by the UK community of creators of audiovisual works (films, series, documentaries, cartoons and other TV contents). AVLA represents tens of thousands of creatives, comprising: producers, authors, actors & other performers, directors and visual artists. They joined forces to offer a centralised solution to clearing the rights to about a million titles and to the different categories of creators, all at once. The fees collected by AVLA will be distributed almost entirely to the respective rightsholders.

Thanks to this integrated licensing system, hospitality businesses will be able to comply with legal requirements in a simple and centralised manner, relieving them of the burden of dealing individually with the multiple entities englobed under the AVLA umbrella, meaning less onerous work for proprietors. AVLA is an official new licensor recognised and monitored by the UK government. For the sake of clarity, the AVLA licence does not replace other existing licences and vice-versa.

Hospitality businesses providing accommodation get added value and benefit from offering TV channels to their guests. Access to watch TV networks makes a big difference to travellers. Guests who can watch TV get a more satisfactory experience from their stay. Their appreciation of the establishment is also higher.

UK and international law recognise that the creators of copyright-protected audiovisual works should be fairly compensated when their works are communicated to the public.

Establishments that make available to their guests TV channels that contain the AVLA repertoire (independently of whether they are free to air or pay TV networks, or whether they are accessed via satellite, cable or other electronic means, such as internet or mobile) are then requested by law to take the AVLA licence. Otherwise, they would be infringing the intellectual property rights of AVLA’s rightsholders.

The tariffs of AVLA have been specially designed to be simple, accessible, easy to understand and transparent. In addition, AVLA also offers various cumulative discounts, with special attention to small businesses. Operators who take the AVLA licence in early 2024 will benefit for special rates.

By taking the AVLA licence, hospitality operators support tens of thousands of artists and SMEs, helping financing new titles and fostering talent and the economy. This will help ensure that the talent required for British content remains in the industry and can continue to make a significant contribution to the UK economy.

Maxwell William Rumney, Co-chair of AVLA, said, "The birth of AVLA represents a significant moment for the UK's audiovisual creative community. In an industry that often operates on a project-driven basis, AVLA’s formation stands out as a singular collective initiative that integrates tens of thousands of individuals and SMEs from throughout the UK, a unified sectorbased response that puts the talent at the centre and aims to provide a practical and fair solution to an intricate matter. "

Richard Combes, Co-chair of AVLA, continued, "AVLA brings together the largest and broadest community of audiovisual creatives in the UK and beyond, comprising over 16,000 producers, 115,000 authors, 8,000 directors, around 30,000 performers and a myriad of visual artists. Because we represent so many rightsholders, we can offer the most comprehensive audiovisual licence by far. The AVLA licence makes it easier for businesses to comply with obligations, and protects them from the risk of legal action for copyright infringement.”

 

About AVLA: 

Audiovisual Licensing Alliance (AVLA) Limited is a not-for-profit collective management organisation recognised as official licensor by the UK government. AVLA was founded by and represents the broadest and most varied community of audiovisual creators, comprising producers, authors, performers, directors and visual artists. The mission of AVLA is to ensure that creatives are fairly rewarded for the use of their works. 

AVLA offers a centralised and simple licence to facilitate the clearing of rights to an immense repertoire of audiovisual works (films, series, documentaries, cartoons and other TV programmes) and multiple categories of rightsholders, at once. The AVLA licence enables businesses and organisations to legally show in public at their premises TV channels containing titles of its vast repertoire. 

 

To learn more about AVLA or to get the AVLA Licence, please visit www.avla.uk

 


Less is More this Christmas

Delving into festive hospitality trends with Nick Smith, Vice President of Food & Beverage at Shangri-La.

As winter unfolds, a transformation begins in the hospitality industry, marked by the arrival of Christmas trees in hotel lobbies worldwide. These trees are more than festive symbols; they represent a global trend of integrating local culture into holiday celebrations. At Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, this trend is embraced with unique flair. Nick Smith, Vice President of Food & Beverage at Shangri-La, explains, “The arrival of the Christmas trees at our properties is more than a tradition; it’s the beginning of a festive narrative, weaving together global trends and local cultures.”

These trees are not mere decorations; they are storytellers, draped with ornaments that reflect both the local culture and universal festive spirit. They invite guests into a world where tradition meets innovation. “Each tree tells a story, a story that is unique to its location yet universally appealing,” adds Smith. “Reflecting the latest trends, this year's trees might be sparsely decorated, emphasizing this year’s 'less is more' approach. Look out for tree collars instead of more traditional skirts, and trees dressed in ethereal blues and silvers, or blush pink and gold, to create a modern twist on the more traditional red and green festive colours. There’s also an element of a Barbie-esque nod to the 'Pretty in Pink' blockbuster earlier this year, though with an overarching serene aesthetic that swaps out the ornate in favour of natural elements,” he continues.

 


Eleventh-hour Christmas shoppers are driving a boom in hotel gift card sales, according to insights from Sabre

Hoteliers using Sabre technology to sell gift cards and experiences have their biggest shopping moment of the year in the hour before midnight on Christmas Eve, according to insights from Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry.

The hotel gift card industry is burgeoning; currently worth around $60bn, and growing year-on-year at an average rate of 14%. And, the most popular shopping hour of the year, Sabre has revealed, is from 11pm to Midnight on Christmas Eve as last-minute shoppers snap up experiences rather than physical goods for loved ones. Hotel gift cards are also gaining in popularity among the corporate market, with businesses choosing to select a gift card for team members, stakeholders, and valued customers rather than traditional Christmas hampers.

“Post-pandemic, many of us have re-evaluated what is most important in life, and people across the world are now prioritizing their gift-giving to give experiences and memories rather than physical presents,” said Amy Read, Vice President, Strategy, Sabre Hospitality. “The beauty of providing the gift of an experience is that it can be provided in digital rather than physical form, so gift-givers can give a very thoughtful experience right up to the very last minute before Christmas.

“The busiest time of the year for our hotelier partners when it comes to retailing gift cards and vouchers for experiences,” she added, “is the last hour of Christmas Eve, and there are still a large number of sales that come through on Christmas Day, from people who have forgotten to buy a gift, don’t feel like they have given enough, or are taking advantage of Christmas Day sales.”

Sabre Hospitality is enabling hoteliers to advance their retailing strategy, following the acquisition earlier this year of hospitality e-commerce provider Techsembly, which offers a fully automated ecommerce solution for hotel retailing. Through this integration, Sabre Hospitality is now offering highly advanced and configurable capabilities for the selling and fulfilment of gift cards.   While previously, hotels have focused on creating revenue around a room, this technology is enabling them to enhance revenue opportunities by retailing everything from 3rd party services to physical merchandise and experiences. Adding gift cards to their retailing capabilities enables hoteliers to turn guests into hotel ambassadors who want to give the gift of a hotel experience, while also attracting new guests. It is a highly effective way to create additional revenue, with 72% of guests spending more than the value of the gift card they receive.

“The gift card industry is not only growing, but it is evolving,” added Amy Read. “While previously it was about simply selecting a monetary value to give, it is now about choosing packages and experiences such as dining or spa days to personalize the gift for the recipient. It’s a win-win-win for gift givers who get to give a special experience, for recipients who get to create special memories, and for hotels who can drive significant incremental revenue opportunities that go beyond the room.”

# # #

About Sabre Corporation

Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveller experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre’s technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information visit www.sabre.com.

 


111SKIN PARTNERS WITH FOUR SEASONS HOTEL HAMPSHIRE

Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire announces a new partnership with pioneering luxury skincare brand 111SKIN, bringing its acclaimed treatment range to the Spa.

Set in a restored 18th-century manor in the English countryside, just 40 minutes away from London, Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire welcomes guests into a tranquil retreat. Whether immersing in wellness or embracing inner balance, the distinctive Spa offers a revitalisation of mind and body as breath-taking as the lush green surroundings of British nature.

The space includes loungers, bubble seats and beds to recline, as well as a relaxation room and treatment rooms. New to 2023 guests can also enjoy a choice of spa days, designed to meet every guest’s individual needs, from bespoke signature massages to nourishing, country-fresh food.

"At Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire we believe in the seamless fusion of luxury, science, and heritage," explains Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire Spa Director Courtney Cuningham. "Our partnership with 111SKIN is a testament to our commitment to delivering exceptional, results driven experiences to rejuvenate our guests."

Founded by US and European board-certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Yannis Alexandrides and CEO Eva Alexandridis, 111SKIN is the culmination of more than 30 years of surgical knowledge, innovative ingredients, and medically inspired delivery methods. 111SKIN creates precision skincare backed by the most advanced medical skin science to elevate skin health for visible, targeted, and empowering results.

111SKIN’s products complement and are inspired by the dramatic results of Dr. Yannis’ Harley St. clinic’s aesthetic treatments and will be implemented at Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, bringing an in-clinic experience to the property’s acclaimed Spa.

The advanced medical formulations in the products drive precision results, which can be seen both immediately and in the long-term. 111SKIN SPA/CLINIC disrupts the industry standard of spa treatments with a luxurious yet results-driven approach. 111SKIN utilises technology and treatments to achieve similar results to 111 Harley St. in a luxurious and sensorial manner.

On 111SKIN’s arrival at Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, Founder of 111SKIN Dr. Yannis Alexandrides comments, "We are honoured to announce our partnership with Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, a renowned luxury destination. Together, we are committed to providing a world-class spa experience that combines 111 Harley St. expertise and medically inspired innovation with the unmatched hospitality of Four Seasons. Our collaboration promises to redefine wellness and relaxation for our guests, ensuring a harmonious blend of opulence and rejuvenation."

111SKIN’s iconic facial treatment is a special addition to the spa menu:

Signature Harley Street Facial: Restore, Fortify, Heal - A high-performance facial formulated to calm and soothe damaged, inflamed, and irritated skin.  Using a combination of restorative ingredients from the Reparative Collection, the facial also targets simple skin issues such as dryness, dehydration, sensitivity, and rosacea for skin that feels and looks truly comforted. 50 minutes

For bookings, click here.


Jump into Ginuary With Hand Picked Hotels’ Top-Notch Gin Recipes  

This New Year, say goodbye to ‘Dry January’ and hello to ‘Ginuary’, as Hand Picked Hotels’ Head of Wine and expert sommelier, Louise Gordon, shares her top gin tips and cocktail recipes to spice up the first month of the year.  

An ode to January’s dark and frosty winter nights, Louise’s recipes work perfectly with Hand Picked Hotels’ very own Rhinefield Gin. A delicious botanical gin, it is created by the on-site distillery, Hawkridge Distillers at Rhinefield House Hotel – part of the Hand Picked Hotels collection. Steeped in natural beauty and hidden deep within the New Forest National Park, Hawkridge and the Hand Picked team use local, seasonal ingredients as the inspiration behind its unique flavours.  

Louise’s recipes closely echo the botanicals in the gin and include twists on classic cocktails which can easily be recreated at home with your favourite tipple. Alternatively, you can even make your own perfect bottle of flavoured gin with Louise’s guidance.  

With a wealth of knowledge and experience from over 20+ years of working in the industry, Louise has garnered expertise developing delectable gin-based drinks and cocktails, alongside her role as an expert sommelier. She won the coveted Conde Nast Johanssons Best Overall Wine List of the Year Award in 2015 and 2016, and Most Innovative List Award in 2017.  

 

Fruity Fizz G+T 

Lighter on the alcohol – a twist on a Gin Fizz 

1.      45ml Rhinefield Gin 

2.      25ml Lemon Juice 

3.      10ml Honey 

4.      Soda Top up 

5.      Slice of grapefruit to garnish 

INSTRUCTIONS 

1.      Place the gin, honey and lemon juice in a shaker and shake! 

2.      Pour into a hi-ball and add ice 

3.      Top up with the soda 

4.      Add a slice of grapefruit to garnish 

 

Spiced Seasonal G+T  

For those chilly nights – a sweet & spicy twist on a G&T 

1.      1 orange – sliced into rounds 

2.      4 sprigs fresh rosemary 

3.      1/2 tsp chilli infused Honey* 

4.      50ml Gin 

5.      Tonic water to top up 

INSTRUCTIONS 

1.      Heat a pan over a medium high heat. Char the orange slices for 2 to 4 minutes per side. Alternately you can grill them. 

2.      Toss the rosemary sprig in the same pan until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 

3.      Muddle 1 orange slice and a bit of rosemary. 

4.      Add one or two cubes of ice, the honey and the gin and top up with tonic. Stir long enough to dissolve the honey.  

5.      Add more ice and garnish with a fresh charred orange slice and toasted rosemary sprig. 

*For the chilli honey simply place a few slices of fresh chilli in a runny honey and leave to infuse for a few days – adjust according to how much spice you like! 

 

Making your own flavoured Gin 

This is a brilliant use of leftover Christmas ingredients and makes excellent gifts for family and friends! You can very easily make your own flavoured gin at home by keeping a Kilner jar of gin handy.  

Simply add the peel or skin of an orange (or lemon or lime or anything else) after you eat it or use it in a recipe and keep the jar topped up with skin and gin. Keep it in a cupboard and shake it once a week. A brilliant flavour is clementine (from discarded skins) with a bay leaf or 2 added. Also, ginger is great – simply use the bit you would normally throw away. Experimentation is encouraged, beetroot and chilli gin is a must try! 

Bottle in sterilised jam jars for a nod to moonshine, or sterilised used wine and spirit bottles then hand write labels to tie around the neck with string. 


Eden Hotel Collection - Green Tourism

A boutique hotel group in the UK has been recognised for its green credentials after achieving Green Tourism accreditation at all five of its hotels.

 

The Eden Hotel Collection has attained a ‘Silver’ award at Bovey Castle in Devon alongside ‘Bronze' awards for The Greenway Hotel and Spa in Cheltenham, Mallory Court Country House Hotel and Spa in Leamington, The Arden Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Brockencote Hall Hotel in Kidderminster.

 

The certification recognises the commitment of tourism businesses which are working to become more sustainable and are acknowledged worldwide as an indicator of strong environmentally friendly practices.

 

All hotels within Eden have this year introduced ‘Green Champions’ to lead on sustainability initiatives which make positive changes in their place of work.

 

Some of the enhancements already introduced include using more energy-efficient light bulbs, prioritising local produce in the kitchens, reducing the amount of paper printed in reception by moving to digital only, and collaborating with the local community in mutually beneficial projects.

 

Jayne O’Malley, Group Operations Director, said: “I am immensely proud having guided and supported our hotel-based Green Champions during the past year in building the foundations and advocating the development of green initiatives to achieve four Bronze awards and one Silver award with the highly-coveted Green Tourism accreditation.

 

“For our five hotels to achieve these awards within our first year of increased focus is extremely commendable, and a recognition of our Green Champion’s extensive efforts, along with their teams within their hotels.

 

“They should all be very proud of what they have achieved so far.

 

“We look forward as a group to enhancing our green practices and evolving procedures, while contributing to providing a cleaner, safer and healthier environment for all.”


For more sustainability in the hotel industry

The Kapellerput Hotel sets an exemplary standard with its commitment to maintaining a clean environment, supported by strong partnerships.

With exclusive fragrances and formulations, ADA Cosmetics has been pampering millions of guests for over 40 years and making a tangible contribution to more sustainable travel. The company consistently assists its hotel partners in implementing sustainable measures, extending support beyond the furnishing of hotel bathrooms, as illustrated by the example of the Kapellerput Hotel in Heeze, the Netherlands. These partnerships demonstrate how sustainability, and a carefree guest experience can be realised at a high level. Upon ADA Cosmetic's recommendation, the environmentally conscious hotel has forged a partnership with Clean the World, an organization that redefines recycling in the hospitality industry and repurposes supposed waste in meaningful ways.  

Sustainability down to the last detail

Sustainability is at the core of the Kapellerput Hotel, where a dedication to an environmentally conscious approach is intricately woven into the hotel's ethos. With a focus on recycling, waste minimisation, energy efficiency and ethical sourcing, the Kapellerput sets a high standard for the hospitality industry. An example of this commitment is seen in the hotel's treatment of products left behind by guests, such as accessories and cosmetics. Rather than discarding these high-quality items, the hotel refrains from wasteful practices, recognizing the inappropriateness, especially in light of global resource concerns. To address this, the hotel collaborates with Clean the World, a successful non-profit organization supported by ADA Cosmetics. In their shared commitment, the partners not only complement but also inspire each other, always striving to create a healthy environment that encourages exploration and travel.

Clean The World: Opened hotel amenities for a good purpose

In order to enhance the experience for the growing number of conscientious travelers, ADA Cosmetics actively encourages all its hotel partners to engage in Clean the World's Global Hospitality Program. This initiative transforms used soap bars, dispensers, and bottles into vital, life-saving supplies for communities in need worldwide. With every soap or accessory donated, Clean the World helps to reduce the impact of pollution and improve the lives of people around the globe. Since its inception in 2009, more than 8,000 participants worldwide have participated in the Global Hospitality Recycling Programme, diverting more than 11 tonnes of waste while donating more than 80 millions bars of soap.

Sustainably certified hotel cosmetics

As a leading global provider of premium hotel cosmetics and innovative dispenser solutions, ADA Cosmetics is equally committed to providing a sustainable and environmentally friendly experience for all hotel guests. When it came to fitting out their bathrooms, it’s no surprise that the Kapellerput Hotel was in favour of the company. The user-friendly dispenser systems used in the modern bathrooms are all Fair Trade and certified with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel. As an expert in skincare with its own research department, ADA Cosmetics puts great importance to the safety of its products: The high-quality, nourishing contents of the soaps and lotions are vegan and pH skin-neutral as well as 100% free from harmful substances. The entire product range is also Cradle to Cradle Certified® Silver certified.

"Hoteliers can contribute to environmentally conscious travel"

Lutz Hübner, CEO of ADA Cosmetics, emphasises the importance of sustainability in the hotel industry: "True to our credo 'Conscious Choices - trip by trip', we would like to win over more partners for our sustainable mission. By supporting outstanding initiatives such as Clean the World, and choosing sustainable hotel cosmetics, hoteliers can contribute significantly to environmentally conscious travel.”

ADA Cosmetics has long been taking concrete steps to achieve clear and measurable goals to minimise its environmental impact. Demonstrating transparent adherence to ethical principles and responsible sourcing of skincare ingredients, coupled with advanced and resource-saving dispensing solutions, the company is at the forefront of sustainable practices. Notably, this year, it achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first company in the industry to voluntarily publish a CSR report. ADA Cosmetics is also the only hotel cosmetics manufacturer in the world to be Cradle to Cradle Certified® Silver.

For more information about ADA Cosmetics, please visit ada-cosmetics.com.


Chilling drinks just got cooler (and greener)

By Colin Rodgers, director, V-Tex.

Hotels, bars, and restaurants will soon be able to serve chilled drinks more sustainably, thanks to pioneering ‘rapid chill’ technology coming to market. Currently, a huge amount of water and energy is wasted by the hospitality sector, and a repeat offender is drinks refrigeration. This is something UK Hospitality has pledged to tackle as part of its net zero by 2040 pledge made in October 2022.

The pressure is on, as carbon emissions from refrigeration in the overall food industry stands at 3.2% of total UK emissions, according to the latest industry research.

How can we permanently change the way drinks are chilled, and rein in costs while saving enormous amounts of water and energy worldwide? What exactly is possible today?

Rapid chilling as a new alternative

Traditional refrigeration methods in hotels and restaurants often involve continuous operation of large-scale refrigeration units, leading to substantial energy consumption. With bills escalating for businesses, this is far from ideal, coupled with the harmful carbon emissions generated. Britain suffered a net decline of 4,593 licensed premises in the year to March 2023, according to the Hospitality Market Monitor from CGA by NIQ and AlixPartners. Although the rate of closures has since slowed, there’s no denying businesses are being pushed to their limits in the current economic climate.

Teamed with other business improvements, rapid chilling technology can help. It employs advanced cooling mechanisms that chill beverages in a fraction of the time required by conventional methods. By significantly reducing the duration of refrigeration, establishments can curtail their energy consumption, resulting in lower utility bills and a direct, positive impact on the bottom line, and Scope 1 GHG emissions. Additional benefits are that fewer chiller cabinets are needed, while more space is freed up, which could be more profitably utilised.

Tailored beverage chilling

Furthermore, the energy efficiency of rapid chilling technology can be attributed to its ability to maintain precise temperature control. Unlike traditional systems that often operate at a constant temperature, rapid chilling technology adapts to the specific cooling requirements of each bottle or can, improving the customer experience, while optimising energy usage and minimising waste.

A quality Chablis will need to be served at a different temperature to a can of ginger beer, for instance. Rapid chill units can also help hotel staff become more efficient and streamline their processes – able to chill on demand according to customer preferences, and in line with real-time demand. On a wet Wednesday in November when hotel diners are scarce, having hundreds of bottles of wines and beer sitting ready chilled in a large refrigerator is not a sustainable way to operate. With a small rapid-cooling unit, wine, beer, and mixers can be chilled to order, as and when required.

Technology supporting ‘chill then go’ service

New rapid cooling solutions being patented today harness the latest technology. For instance, in the case of a V-Tex drink-chilling unit, a ‘Rankine vortex’ is deployed. This is a mathematical model of a vortex in a viscous fluid. Drinks are placed in a unique gripper and subjected to ‘forced convection,’ as opposed to the natural convection of existing equipment. Drinks are chilled in minutes, offering energy savings of 50-90%. This system also eliminates the need for commonly-used chemicals and glycol, adding to the environmental benefits.

Flexibility is another notable feature, as these units can accommodate any size can, plastic or glass bottle drink from 150ml to two litres. It means vendors can offer customers a wider choice of chilled beverages without the need for large and bulky refrigeration equipment. This also supports upselling opportunities. For example, with the market for low alcohol beverages growing, it becomes possible to offer a far broader drinks menu, without adding hefty refrigerated storage costs. Larger volumes of drinks can also be cooled using fewer refrigerators, a particular advantage for large-scale operators such as contract caterers.

It's time to transition to using less refrigeration

In the foreseeable future, the conventional practice of maintaining 24/7 refrigeration for pre-packaged beverages in commercial settings is likely to undergo a significant transformation. Change can start today. Forward-thinking hotel businesses are already embracing eco-friendly refrigeration solutions, opting to rapidly and flawlessly chill beverages precisely at the point of sale or consumption. Recognising the dual benefits of enhanced business operations and positive environmental impact, these establishments are paving the way for a more sustainable and efficient approach to beverage chilling. I’ll drink to that.


Independent hotels in Europe outpace 2022 performance, according to RoomRaccoon

RoomRaccoon, the leading hotel management system for independent hotels, has released its annual report, RoomRaccoon Report 2023: Unpacking Europe's Independent Hotel Industry Trends. The report analysed hotel performance data from thousands of independent hotels in key source markets in Europe to see how the industry is changing. 

The report reveals that travel demand remains high in 2023, with the average occupancy rate outpacing 2022 levels by 10%. Revenue per available room (RevPAR) in 2023 increased by 20% compared to 2022, growing from €55 to €66. The data reflects a spike in RevPAR over the European summer season, peaking at €98 in August.


Other key findings include:

Peak season is extended: The traditional peak season has seen an extension, with high occupancy rates persisting through September (65%)  and October (58%) in 2023. 

OTA and Direct Bookings have equalised: Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and direct bookings now share an almost equal share of hotel reservations, with OTAs accounting for 49% of hotel bookings. In comparison, direct bookings make up 51%. 

Travellers are holidaying more frequently: Despite a decrease in the average length of stay in 2023, it's a sign of a change in travel patterns rather than a decline in travel. The data indicates that travellers are taking more frequent, shorter trips, which may be attributed to the desire for quick getaways. This is evident in the number of bookings made by domestic travellers in 2023, averaging 43%. 

Hotels are finding new ways to generate revenue: The report highlights that independent hotels have been innovative in diversifying their revenue streams. Beyond traditional room bookings, independent hotels increasingly offer unique experiences, services, and amenities to attract guests. Additionally, many hotels are expanding their event and conference facilities, including upselling parking spaces, to enhance their revenue-generating capabilities.

Commenting on the data, RoomRaccoon’s CEO and Co-Founder, Tymen van Dyl, says: “Independent hotels should be encouraged by the sustained strength of travel intent across European destinations. However, with unpredictable seasonality, relying on historical data could result in hotels underpricing their rooms and missing out on additional revenue. By implementing AI software that can understand supply and demand, hoteliers can have a dynamic pricing strategy that considers fluctuating demand and ensures that they are generating the best possible rates across all sales channels.”

 

Download the RoomRaccoon Report 2023: Unpacking Europe's Independent Hotel Industry Trends to discover key insights and opportunities to inform your hotel business strategy in 2024.

 

About RoomRaccoon
RoomRaccoon is an award-winning Hotel Management System trusted by thousands of independent properties across the globe. RoomRaccoon’s cloud-based platform empowers hoteliers and accommodation providers with a comprehensive range of products and solutions to increase revenue, streamline operations, and enhance the guest experience. And with over 400 integrations, RoomRaccoon is one of the most connected solutions on the market. Founded in 2017 by a hotel owner and tech specialist, RoomRaccoon was awarded the Best Hotel Management System in the World by Hotel Tech Report in 2020 and 2021. 

 

For more information visit roomraccoon.co.uk

 

Press release issued by:

Lindsay Krause, Senior Brand Manager at RoomRaccoon

lindsay.krause@roomraccoon.com