The good, the bad and the ugly

The good, the bad and the ugly

I want to use this blog to link you to some interesting trends and unusual stories happening around the hotel industry.

The good: A few hotel companies are now offering booking functionality on Facebook. It is becoming about more than just friends and fans. In fact, the conversion rate on Facebook has shown up higher than on travel sites such as TripAdvisor, according research firm PhoCusWright. Take a look at the Hyatt Regency Irvine’s fan page with a booking option that hits you smack in the face. Now that is what I call a no-nonsense approach that can work. Take note.

The bad: Gas prices, oy! This summer is going to see very high gas prices along with increasing air fares. I am afraid to estimate the negative impact on summer travel. It begs for more “staycation” promotions and gas rebate deals. But let me sprinkle some good news on top of this, as I don’t want you to panic: Global hotel rates climbed in February according to data released last week by Pegasus Solutions. Business travel rates rose a remarkable 7% over February 2010, and leisure rates increased 3.6% over the same period.

The ugly: I have been reading over the past few months about the strange case of John Q. Hammons, who has been in a care facility for months now with no access to many of his long-time friends and business associates. You can read the latest here. It has gotten to the point where those who have been denied access are so worried about him that they have petitioned the court  to appoint a guardian to intervene. John Q. is an industry legend, and I know many of us want to know what is happening. The industry misses him.