This Week in Hospitality Marketing Live Show 283 Transcripts (English U.S.)
[00:00:17.210] – Loren
Hello, everyone, and welcome.
[00:00:21.650] – Loren
All right, we want to welcome to this week Inhospitality Marketing, live show number two hundred and eighty three, as you can see, motley crew and characters of which notably Mr. Ben, who came from the dead set to go.
[00:00:36.230] – Loren
We just went through the. Yeah, we’re just catching up on that. Mr. Smith, obviously, from his cabinet minister to marketing. Well, from aspiring British marketing, Mr. Ben Henley from three six marketing over across the pond and locked down, locked and sealed and everything.
[00:00:52.970] – Loren
And then the star of the show today, the brains and the beauty behind all that fuel travel in the Philippines do as well as the guy who was going to inspire us with amazing.
[00:01:04.610] – Loren
But I’ve been I’ve been I’ve been quoting you now since the survey gone out literally every day, every one of my conversations as well.
[00:01:15.320] – Loren
So with that in mind, with the book thing, please, by all means, share with us all this cool stuff that just with the last server that you all done has pointed out to us, it’s all yours. And I though.
[00:01:28.160] – Loren
Oh, well, for anybody who hasn’t been around to see the last ten versions of our survey, they’re all up on the field travel website. But this is number 11. We took a bit of a break because our database was quite fatigued and well, we just needed a break. So our last survey had gone out in September and then this one launched in between Thanksgiving and Christmas that would be here in the US. For those of us celebrating Thanksgiving and happy to say we got more than two thousand responses on this one.
[00:01:59.870] – Loren
So that was very encouraging that people are responding again. And we asked a boatload of questions about all things related to vaccines and how that’s going to impact travel and we’re just going to roll with it. So what we did want to ask again, which we asked the last round, was how many people have actually traveled since the pandemic started? And as a percentage, that number did not change. Since September, we’re still at fifty three percent. That said yes.
Forty seven percent that said no. So I was surprised to see that number had not increased over time, given the fact that, again, we had just past Thanksgiving here in the US and doesn’t look like that, that really impacted the percentage of people that traveled. But we also asked how many trips people have taken if they did travel since the 15th, and that did have quite a substantial change versus September. Most popular answer was still just one trip, but it was only thirty four percent of those people who have traveled, meaning that nearly 70 percent have traveled at least twice since the pandemic started.
So the percentage of people traveling, no change, number of trips per person traveling substantially increased since September. So that was interesting to see.
We asked of people travel over the Thanksgiving holiday and a whopping nope is coming back up, 82 percent said they had not traveled over Thanksgiving.
And we also asked if they had planned on traveling over the Christmas holiday. And basically the same response was nothing new. Eighty four percent said they were not planning on traveling over the Christmas holiday. So I was a little, again, surprised to see that. And I sometimes wonder about our survey results versus what you actually see in the wild.
But I did wonder about that because I heard on the news about how there were so many travelers. The news kept talking about record travelers over the holidays, I guess.
So I was a little surprised by these numbers, honestly. And maybe more so, I mean, to be honest, the database is skewed towards older people and that may be obviously a big influence on these numbers, but. I was still surprised. So getting past that stuff, getting into all the vaccination things we asked, plain and simple, do you plan on getting a vaccination once it’s available? Sixty four percent said yes.
I think I would have liked to have seen that number a little higher myself, but 64 percent said yes. And we did look at this. We broke this down by an age breakdown and income comparison just to see those differences. Not surprisingly, the younger group, so under 40, only fifty one percent said yes versus sixty five percent over forty saying yes. So a marked difference in that. Demographic looking at income, so we looked at three income brackets, those households making under fifty thousand a year, fifty to one hundred thousand, and then over one hundred thousand a year.
And for those in the lower bracket, we had fifty five percent that responded yes. Versus sixty five in the fifty to one hundred thousand and seventy one for those making more than one hundred thousand. I thought that was more interesting than anything else on this question, was to see that disparity by income. Any thoughts on that, because I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I know that recently I was watching the news and they were talking about they were interviewing a hospital administrator, I believe, and said, oh, we’ve been hearing that not all the medical staff are taking the vaccine. And the first thing she said was, well, not everybody are the doctors and nurses. We have sanitation and people of lower income and of not as high in the communities that don’t have the same level of trust.
And unfortunately, that’s that’s what’s represented in the people who are declining. So I think that that kind of backs up what you’re saying. I was going to jump in on another, but I want to break the roll on what we’re talking about. It was interesting that the survey reflected that so many people said they weren’t going to travel during vacation yet in the news and news, hypes and amplifies, obviously, was the conversation about how many have been traveling during our holiday cycles, which leads itself that there’s probably two categories of people in my mind.
Again, just from just generalization of your information.
And this is supposition is those that felt that they needed to, because of their love of their family relationships, are just inpatients of and then those who don’t give a rat’s butt. And we know that the rest of the people have been around since it all started. So that’s kind of like a baseline. You know, there’s always going these people that don’t really care or feel like that they’re not a part of this program. But I think there was also and when you start looking at the economic divide to this, I can say first hand a lot of my friends here in southwest Florida who are retired, they feel stole it time.
They have less time in their lives and their time is being stolen and they can’t do what they anticipated to be doing. And that is also the fact that their family, as you get older, it becomes the central part of your existence, know your grandchildren, children and so forth. And to them at some point, was that a cognitive decision? I know for people that I know this, that I got to go see them. And they went through what they felt was all the safety protocols that they could imagine between the requirements of their family themselves to make that happen.
But they still had to go. I think also in reverse, those people that have older family realize that time was short and that they also made those choices to say, I got it. When when they interview people on the news, usually with somebody saying, I got to go see my family, I got to go do this. So, you know, I think at that point, those are the people that came through, I don’t think to keep you on.
The survey has indicated to that. But it does show I think in economics, I think the people that can travel that, you know, said, look, I can do this, I can do this safely, whatever I did. And I think the other ones that said I have to because I don’t have much time to make other choices did also. But I think there’s that margin of gap that you’re showing in the other aspects and says, wait until it’s safe.
We’re not going to be making messes like this yet. So that’s my thing I would add to that is I just pulled up the TSA throughput numbers by day over the last six weeks and traveled during during Christmas week was high relative to what it has been this year.
It’s you know, if you look on average this week, we’re down about 40 percent, between 35 and 40 percent on average each day. Excuse me, we are at thirty five to 40 percent of last year’s numbers year on year. And if you look Christmas week, it’s around 50 percent, which is obviously in relative terms low, but is dramatically higher than what we’ve seen in the weeks leading up to Christmas and what we’re seeing in the weeks since Christmas.
So, you know, it could just be that this skewed perspective that there was a lot of travel relative to what we’ve been seeing all year and that there was a lot of travel relative to what we needed to see. You know, but the SDR numbers are the lowest weekending December, 26 percent for the year. Our numbers are the lowest that they’ve been since May in terms of occupancy. So. People aren’t traveling. I mean, it shouldn’t come as a huge shock, at least in the numbers we need them to be.
So it actually kind of aligns more some more with what your survey is showing in terms of the actuals. Right. Obviously, I think what’s getting reported in the mainstream media is probably just, oh, my gosh, look at all the people traveling compared to where we probably ought to be, given the fact that we’re going to.
Call me crazy global pandemic, right? Yeah, I think probably not one of them never said this. That came in late.
But it’s very clear to me because of the way that number’s been staying, pretty static about who has traveled since May, since March 15th, that either you’re traveling or you’re not. And at this point, people have kind of decided what camp they’re in. And if you are a traveler, you have no problem traveling, because once you’ve traveled once over 70 percent of the people that have traveled once traveled more than once.
So it’s right. Well, and I think I think the you all know, I you work with the Conference Board. The Conference Board tracks the consumer confidence index. They track a lot of economic research and the like. And, you know, they have been talking all year, as others have, about these so-called k shaped recovery. I think there is also a financial piece of this. There are people who are doing very well and there are people are doing very poorly.
You know, in relative terms, unemployment numbers came out today. They want to use a technical term. They’re Shinsho. They’re really, really bad. However, there are pockets where the numbers are actually pretty good. So, I mean, if you fall into certain categories of the economy, you can travel, you like to travel, you have the money to travel.
You’ve seen no ill consequence of travel. And if you’re the rest of the people or you don’t have the money and you’re scared of getting sick. Right, and I think there’s a lot of question that illustrates that really well, so I forget what number it was. Melissa can pull it up, but we asked, do you intend to spend more or less all the same in twenty, twenty one on vacation as you did in twenty nineteen? And then we ask you, you intend to spend longer shoulder and not total number of days?
And it looks like that case because about 50 percent of people are saying we’re going to do what we did in twenty nineteen. But then there’s equal numbers of people to say I’m going to spend more versus I’m going to spend less. Right. Which which really reinforces what you’re saying about this case saying recovery. There’s this there’s a band of middle class and upper class people that their income wasn’t disrupted, you know, and they haven’t been spending as much money because they’ve never restricted, you know.
So a lot of people I know are in that position where they have more money in the bank. The saving rates are up higher than they’ve been in a very long time in the US, people who have disposable income. And then there’s more money coming from the government which people are more likely to. Those groups of people are more likely to spend on travel this year.
First, I’d like to point out, Tim, we like to use the technical term Puppis Maximus. We go Latin when we say that we’re OK.
And the second way then probably several years ago, the queen always does a queen speech on Christmas Day at noon.
And and there was a year that was pretty bad in the royal family and just in Britain in general.
And she called it an annus horribilis for funding poor people. I that I was but to a nice rallying cry to all of this. And I use a metaphor from lowering morale, but unfortunately, that is had a bad metaphor. Now, is the idea that those middle income people that are still been persistent in their their incomes and workloads and so forth, we keep thinking about the aspirational bucket list traveler concept in some ways, like, oh my gosh, when we do bust out, we are going to do the thing that we always wanted to do because God knows we have been able to do it.
There is a financial limitation to something, even with the financial capability of others is the temperament, the tone of let’s just maybe take a road trip here or let’s just do something domestic or something that is a little less of I got to go to Venice and buy everything on the menu and stay at the biggest hotel. There is going to be scalability to people’s perception of what they think they’re going to do for their initial travel plans. It doesn’t mean they might not grow, but I think there is going to be a temperament to it because I really look optimistically at the report you all created as being a pivot point this month.
Great. Now to change the tone of what you’re projecting in marketing, this is an opportunity to really take advantage of the amplification of people’s aspirational conversion to to actual bookings with Dale, not to lose the advantages of the rates and the cancellation policies and the inventory availability and all the things that usually are prohibitive for these larger things. So that’s I was very excited about that aspect of it. You know, I would go out right now and my my husband actually keeps saying to me, oh, this deal on the region is so amazing, let’s go Buckett.
I mean, I might say I’m not doing anything until I see how this roll out of the vaccine is, because knowing that just a couple of million shots have been given while we’ve had. Well, more than 10 million vaccine doses distributed and they’re just sitting there somewhere lost in some level of bureaucracy or disorganization. And so it makes me think, well, I can’t count on this partner or cannot I mean, I hope I can count on this summer.
I really want to have a great time this summer. I have tons of pent up demand right here. And and I and I’m just in a wait and see that you want to tell people what not to do.
So you want to talk about groups who have really dropped the ball on vaccine, on the vaccine out, you know, to stand up and talk about it every every day and pops on the TV and goes on. I got two million a day. It’s pretty amazing. I can’t wait.
And the secretary and his advisers are so squirming going on now.
We’ve got the army, we’ve got the logistical core of the army who restructure the and what vaccine should be an arms not on shelves.
My team will get to do it. And everybody is now talking about rolling vaccination centers up and down the country. Like yesterday, we got the second highest number of deaths since it began, like it is out of control in the massive conflict in declared an to the emergency that the city is talking about having mandated masks outside.
Now, just walking around City Square miles, the two points I want to bring up regarding the vaccine is what to do about it so quickly.
In the UK, there is this sort of anecdotal evidence of the older generation.
So the people who are more risk with refusing the Phizer vaccine and waiting for the British will. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m as patriotic as anybody who had a and said the queen, everything. There’s a lot of things about in other countries, but just take the damn vaccine like 95 percent effective compared to the Oxford AstraZeneca, where really sixty sixty five percent tested on vaccine. That’s something we’ve got to plan for. Is that going to be a sort of vaccine snobbery like eventually Gates is going to come out where one may pull ahead from the other?
Is it going to be that kind of a shortage of vaccines that people want you to take? Because the first and the second thing we’ve always spoken this show and it has been a it’s been a while since I’ve sat and talked to you guys.
I’m glad to be back. We’ve always talked to the show about revenge and nobody can come up with a better name for it. No, I. I brainstorm some puns, but I’m stuck. What I can solve using a Segway, what client we have is very heavily to weddings, that they have a lot of wedding business, they have their most successful move in their history in December, making over three million pounds of future bookings now.
I was just just to qualify, my apologies for getting up and qualifying our future bookings, not consumed bookings, no future bookings with deposits, paid deposits, paid extra cash in the bank for all the cash ever. So we talk about revenge, trouble. And I wanted to get this done and I got to do this a time, my life, etc.. So this idea, this is going to be eventful or people that sort of tiptoe back into the waters, like I don’t want to read too much into it.
I thought you can read too much into it.
But the fact that people just next year I’m I’m banking on so that I’m banking on June, July, August and September and I’m ready to put some money down because I’ve, you know, could have gone on nearly a year soon. It’ll be a year. I’ll be like, happy birthday to you. And I think people just getting frustrated about this. And I think I fingers crossed, arms crossed. We’re going to see the revenge trouble we wanted once the vaccinations to the most vulnerable in society, that the deaths and the cases come down and we start to mitigate that.
We start to the risk becomes lower and everyone has this sort of.
So the emergence of hibernation sort of safe to go out now that vaccines. Dastagir? No. Really, we’re hoping we do see to. I really believe we’re going to see a tidal wave of demand unprecedented and we saw a microcosm of that back in certain destinations like Panama City and Myrtle Beach back in May of last year, right after there was the initial really strict restrictions and then they kind of loosened them. The areas that did open up sort of stuff I’ve never seen in 20 years.
We literally had hotels that were sitting at 20 percent occupancy coming on a Thursday, coming into the weekend. Through the weekend, it was 20 percent. And within 24 hours they were booked solid. And this wasn’t just about properties. This was an entire destination. It was just a tidal wave of demand, like beyond any kind of thing we’ve seen from the major sales we’ve done on Black Friday and Cyber Monday these days in the summer.
And also like to raise a hand to some segments that we have we haven’t really talked about, but are potentially there. And I don’t know whether the survey would reflect this process except for age segmentation and income, perhaps. But you have a lot of young single people that have been taken out of their social norms.
And because of that, they’re having harder times to engage. Now, you’ve taken them out of the social context of their work environment, which was also a way of gathering and communicating and so forth. And that’s going to be a more permanent aspect to their lifecycle than other things. Yes, we have social media for interactions and swipe left and all this other stuff. But there’s going to be this interesting surge of I want to meet people, I want to go meet other people.
I want to go and see what other people in the world and now more than ever, with this residual feeling gone through, having gone through all this, the interest and desire of being with people, you know, and that’s going to require a whole nother level of travel for people to do this. If you’re in destinations that promote that, resorts that are, you know, Jamaica and all this other stuff, you’re going to have this whole interesting boy.
We’re going to have lots of people show up kind of thing because it’s like the chance to go out and be with other people. And I’m being very polite about all this.
So I’m going to be the I’m going to be the guy who dumps cold water on this. And I want to be really and I want to be really fair. I want to be really fair. First of all, I agree with everything everyone said. I completely and totally agree.
And I am cautiously optimistic about this cautiously. I think we also have to recognize that we are doing a disservice to our audience, to hotels and the like. If we’re saying if we’re not saying, you also have to be prepared for this to drag on longer than we would like. Yes, at the current rate, we would currently vaccinate about one point four million people. And I apologize then specifically if anyone who’s watching the show, who’s outside the US, I was just working on a project for clients.
I was just running these numbers for North America. We’re currently running at about one point four million vaccinations per week. Now, Dr. Foushee has said there is no reason we cannot vaccinate one million people per day. So if we start vaccinating one million people per day today, we get to 50 percent vaccination rate at the end of June and so summer, maybe July or August. I’m not hopeful we should have the week.
We want to make sure we’re doing all the right things. We should hope for the best plan for the best. We should also plan for the worst so that we’re not setting ourselves up for what we’re going to have come Memorial Day, you know. So that’s the only reason I want to go there.
Cautiously optimistic. I don’t want to be the bad guy. I want to say we have a plan for both eventualities.
But I also think we need to be realistic in that, you know, people are talking about 70 percent, 80 percent or 50 is understandable. People are saying we need to get to 70 to 80 percent to herd immunity. And that’s not really the number we need to worry about. What the number we need to worry about is the death rate and hospitalization, correct? That is correct, because that’s that’s the thing right now that’s crippling us.
And certainly, especially if you look in California right now where they literally having to decide whether or not to bring someone in or to resuscitate or to take them off of equipment if there’s the probability is lesser than the person who was vaccinated, the at risk population, that number is going to decrease tremendously because it’s the at risk population that are filling up those hospital beds.
So once we can get the hospitals under control, it’s going to change the restrictions and is going to change the mentality.
I think I’ll start I, I hope you aren’t too worried about what this is going to do to them.
What you’re saying. And I think we should be hopeful about this. I think you’re exactly right. I think we should be also, if we are not setting ourselves up to be agile and be nimble as the circumstances change, cause that’s that’s the only thing I want to make sure we’re saying and say it’s all going to be hunky dory in three or four.
Yeah, it is a good thing. It’s not a no, we’re not with some medical animals. But to that end, for those of us like for me in particular, and I would much rather if some economists, Hillary Clinton on the list and get and get you vaccinated. My first reaction, and I’m not trying to sound noble by this, is all the first responders or those that need it covered. First, I’d much rather have a doctor covered.
So if I need the doctor, they’re healthy than I am for me, who I can have a lifestyle that makes me go from my apartment or my condo to my office and that can avoid people. And I have the income capability going over and a truck and getting groceries and the things that make me safe. I miss my friends. I miss doing stuff, but I don’t miss them in deference to the fact that there is a need of officers not getting sick or something like that.
So I think for people like me, I’m with in Stewart, I’m August, September. You know, I want it to be that much safer before I start figuring out that the number has to be realistically that by the same contrast, there’s other people that are just chillin at the starting line, waiting for it to be OK, enough prove OK, it’s OK.
And you, like you said, you already use a perfectly worded problem. So you said the perfect word. I mean, it comes down to trust. It comes down to when do people trust that they will be safe when they travel. And there are people who trust that they will be safe today. And there are people who will trust that they won’t be safe, you know, a year from now. Right.
So much more easily. That’s right. Because you’ve got you’ve got people that are worried about themselves, but then you’ve got people that are trying to protect others. Like if I use a sample size of one of myself, I have in-laws that live with me that are very high risk. So that prevents me from traveling. If I didn’t have that, I would be traveling a lot more because I’m not too worried about what it’s going to do to me.
I mean, I don’t want to get sick and I would use protection. I wouldn’t be reckless, but I’m being more cautious with my travel planning because of them. Once they’re once they’re taking care of that completely changes to that. The dynamic of my family and I think a lot of people are in that kind of position where they try to protect themselves or someone else. And once they feel like that’s done, then it’s it’s no holds barred for people who already travel with Richard.
It’s rightly asking us to get back to Melisa’s because I think we’re all safe.
We are prepared for the worst and hope for the best. That’s what you suggested. The only difference between this summer, last summer is this so the hotels know is coming. If you’ve survived the first round with it, the hotels, it couldn’t survive the first half winter, if you will, that they have to close the doors and the wounds become nimble. It understand how to get to the different little seasons of the year by pitting their offer, pivoting any kind of, you know, extra, extra, take you off.
The one thing I would say this is the same, but different. Yeah, I will.
This clip there, hotelier’s, they are just hanging on waiting for relief to come. And, you know, if you’re losing. A million dollars a month, that can’t go on forever unless you’re a huge company and those you know, those people work their whole lives to accomplish what they did and and and they can’t hang on forever. And they may not I mean, many have not already done that by this point. So every every month is really meaningful to saving these businesses and all the employees that they hire.
Yeah, I mean, it’s a similar situation to what we were talking about earlier with the caché recovery of the consumer, right. The same things happening with hotels there.
There are hotels like you’re describing that are in horrific places, but there are also equal numbers of properties that had a booming summer last year and didn’t end up too bad from a PNL perspective because people were traveling to certain types of destination. Those folks, their biggest worry right now is how they stop for the summer because they’re waiting for this demand, but they can’t get the people to come and work that they don’t have the foreign students coming over like they would normally get.
So there’s going to be this weird dichotomy going on in the industry where some people are really struggling to get business and others are struggling to get get personnel. So, Melissa, what’s the next question on the list? Oh, it’s staying on the vaccine train and looking at how it’s going to impact planning and booking and actual travel. We did ask, assuming cases are dropping and assuming that vaccines are being distributed, when are you likely to begin planning your next trip?
And more people said January twenty twenty one, which is today than any other month. And in general, the first quarter of twenty twenty one was about forty five percent of respondents. So that sort of goes in line with what we’ve all just been saying. And it was basically the same trend when asking when you were likely to book your trip. Again, January, this is we’re in hot times right now and I don’t want to distort it because it’s still less than 20 percent over the course of the year.
But it was the most popular answer. And again, like forty five percent within the first quarter and then looking at most likely to travel. So when are they actually leaving their house? Not surprising. You see summer months as being most popular. So planning now, looking now, traveling in summer, spring, summer, going back to the survey of one, literally translated the conversation.
My wife and I’ve always had a bucket list wanting to go down the Danube during Christmas to the little Christmas places on the boat. The riverboat thing, wicked expensive, most expensive thing you could do on a river boat ever, anywhere, God forbid, even if you try to get a suite rather than a little cubby in the middle of the boat. And it’s like the prices of the deals have always been.
We keep an eye on them, you know, because it’s something we were interested in doing. And we have missing our family in Holland. We want to see we’re actually looking to translate that into let’s book it. I mean, the rates are absolutely freaking amazing right now. The the opportunity to upgrade to a suite, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Let’s pick the first two weeks in Christmas while we still have the chance to take advantage of what what everybody’s offering to generate business, which says we have to cancel for not feeling safe by that point.
Got it. But at least let’s put it from aspirational to conversion. Let’s buy a book. Let’s put the money down and worry about it later if we still get to go. So I’m a fanboy of the January thing. I’m like, yeah, yeah, that’s right.
It’s at rock bottom. And as demand increases, that price is going to go up and down. If we look at every other downturn in the economy that’s devastated travel, 2001, 2009, it’s bounced back higher than it was before fairly quickly. And this is unprecedented in terms of the reasons we talked earlier. Some people have more disposable income. There’s going to be this revenge travel phenomenon, most likely that we’ve already saw some last year. These prices are going to go up quick.
So so I think hotels can capitalize on that. They know that there’s this this rising intent to book. They need to be going out now with, you know, the types of compelling offers to get people to book now with with the caveat that people may want to have the risk mitigation of free cancellations and things like that moving their dates. Yes. Start I, I don’t mean to push back on this too hard. I don’t know why I’m being the negative one today.
What are you looking at in what’s first of all?
First of all, I, I do believe there’s a lot of demand. I mean, I think your data backs that up. I completely agree with that. I also want people to be prepared to Adel’s hanging on by a thread. You need to prepare for both eventualities. Right.
911 air travel didn’t recover for roughly forty three months. ADR took thirty six months to recover fully. Part started in a meaningful way about twelve months after 9/11, twenty two thousand nine ADR took about fifty four months to fully recover. Rep growth started in a meaningful way. Around eighteen months later, SaaS was relatively quick. It was months, not years, to invest in human illness and largely geographically isolated.
So. So, you know, we need to be prepared.
I think there’s a lot of demand. I think people will travel when they trust to travel. I think we also need to say, let’s hope for a really great summer. Let’s be prepared for a really great summer. And also let’s make sure we’re making plans so that if it isn’t a great summer, for whatever reason, you know, the economy is crap. Death deaths are still high, case loads are still high, etc. People aren’t extending themselves excessively.
And I think what you said is one hundred percent correct that that, you know, the the hospitality economy is very much a regional thing. It is very much a market by market thing. There are going to be markets. We’re going to have the best year they ever have this summer. They’re going to be markets who are going to be crushed this summer. Right. Because that’s this is going to be a normal recession recovery in all likelihood compared to twenty twenty nine.
Twenty two thousand nine was a very. Yeard recession, because normally we’ve all been in the industry a long time. You have markets that are booming and you have markets that are bust all at the same time. In 2008, 2009, because of what happened to the economy overall, every place was depressed, which is not normal at all. That’s one thing that’s you’re pushing back.
I’m going to push back on your push back. OK, so there I agree with I’m going to also Tim, I agree with some of your stuff, but I’m going to screw the other, too. OK, so here’s the thing. Every quote that you just made about that is because of confidence issue with the consumer. It wasn’t because they were told, I can’t travel. Ben can’t get out of his house now because his wife has locked the door like she usually does is because he can’t get out of his house.
OK, we are being told there is a list going on that is the government saying it’s OK.
Now, of course, here in Florida, it’s OK all the time because we have that kind of governor. But for the most part, it is a flip switch for some people, like it will be lights on. So to your point of regionality, absolutely true. To your point of some people, boom or bust because of seasonality. I don’t want to sweat my butt hotkeys off in the middle of summer and a hot place.
I want to sweat your what else it said go back.
That is more so than any other time in our history. It’s not about just sentiment of the consumer, which every example you just gave is sentiment of the consumer. Well, no, no, no, no, no, no.
The numbers I gave were what the actual numbers were. But what is it? Because they can’t travel right now.
Those numbers were they were based on the consumer sentiment or confidence to safety or all those things. There was a perception of ability to do so. There is a legal lack of ability in a lot of circumstances right now. There is a definitive on or off switch on things, greed. That’s mean. And this is the part I agree with you. Sentiment isn’t also a factor, but there is a definitive open the door or closed the door thing to go.
And that is and yes, we have to play for both.
But I’m sorry, from a business perspective, I’m going to be banking business for the people that can pay me for it. And those that can’t I can’t really be worried about right now. Don’t know.
And I do. It’s a truthful thing. I actually agree with that.
What I’m saying is if you’re a hotel that is, you know, living hand-to-mouth right now and you think, well, you know what, I’m going to invest in this over here right now because I know I’m going to make it up in the summer, that may not be the wisest decision. I’m also I’m saying you have you as a hotel, you’re a hotel owner who is watching the show. You have to look at your numbers. You have to look at your trends.
You have to look at are you getting demand on the books?
Are people paying deposit that are right. Right.
It’s one of those things of we are doing a disservice to people if we say, boy, there’s all this demand out there, March 1st, everything’s going to be spectacular April 1st on this.
And he’s right to push back on me because our perspective is very one dimensional in that most the vast majority of our clients, the boss, Jared, the data we’re collecting is looking at a certain type of travel. It’s looking at leisure travel primarily to resort destinations, primarily drive destinations. So our perspective is a little warped. But that’s that’s why we sound optimistic, because a lot of our clients had a really good year last year relative to the industry.
And I have and I have three buckets of clients personally right now. I have clients who had a solid, if not good year, you know, and a couple had a very good year. But generally speaking, I’ve got clients who had a solid if OK, OK, to solid the good year. I had the clients who are getting by. But but it’s tight. And I have a couple of people who I’m working with who candidly and I’m not going to help them specifically, but I’m working with Grothus because I believe in the product.
I believe in who they are. I’m trying to help them out. They’ve been clients for a long time.
Who who knows?
Right. Well, but I want to be really clear. We have to recognize that there are people in all of these different segments, and it’s our job to try to help all of them as best as we are able to. And if you are somebody who is sitting there trying to figure out which build do I pay next week to keep the lights on, you need to be prepared for the fact that they may still be true for a while.
And if you’re back in August or September, excuse me, June, July, August, to save you, you need to be prepared for the fact that that may or may not be true based on reality, to look at your numbers regularly.
Even back in the day when I had a restaurant, you had to plan for being slammed and also plan for the fact that nobody walked in or that someone is struggling right now.
There’s a lot of people who are like, do you all know about the Stockdale paradox, the stock of Admiral James Stockdale? He was Admiral James thought that was the highest ranking military officer P0. During Vietnam right back. Oh, yeah, and it’s normal, right? And I’ll do this really quick. He basically said the people who survived the abuse were the people who both had hope and understood the reality. And that’s the only thing I’m trying to say is we want to have hope.
I don’t want anybody to hear anything I’m saying and think I’m saying don’t have hope. You absolutely must have hope. And you also must say, what is the reality of our situation and how do we contend with that? And that’s the only point I’m trying to make. So what’s the question?
I’m going to jump a little bit for those following at home. I’m going to number 13 on the survey, still talking about the vaccine. I thought this was a really interesting question. So we asked on a scale of zero to five with zero being no impact in five being a dramatically increase, how will the following vaccination scenarios increase your likelihood of booking a vacation within the next six months? So our three scenarios were once you have been vaccinated, once all at risk, people have been vaccinated or once.
At least 80 percent of the population has been vaccinated. Three scenarios, zero to five. The most popular answer on all three scenarios was zero. No impact, but we’re talking about 30 to 40 percent of people that said it would have no impact, which means that about 60 percent at least would say it’s going to have some impact. Second most popular was a five.
So it was zero or five times being in the twenty to twenty five percent range of responses on all three categories.
Melissa, you know, what we should do with that question is we should break that down between the people that have and have not traveled with the CDC, but the people that have traveled are in the in the ones and the people that have not traveled to more Implats.
Yeah, a question nonetheless, I thought that was a great indication, those really, really excellent questions, that obviously it was a Melyssa question that came up now to Stewart to say their own militated.
I thought it was interesting to look at these three categories. And between the three, the break out of the responses is very similar. Like it doesn’t matter whether it’s you that’s being vaccinated, it’s at risk people or if it’s 80 percent, it’s basically the same distribution of responses. Yeah, I think we could slice and dice that a little more and see where the overlaps are between those three.
And, you know, look at that age wise, income wise and whether or not you travel. So maybe we’ll report on that in the next week or two.
Quick question for Ben. Does this seem reflective of what you’re feeling from a country perspective from your side? I mean, this is our domestic US we’re dealing with. Is that feeling like kind of what you think Edwards is doing over there, too, or no?
So largely no. I’m not trying to make you know, I’m not here to push back against. The situation is getting a little bit nineteen eighty four. So I think I don’t think people are thinking about this yet. For example, this morning one of the police forces tweeted the report, a snowball fight at 11:00 o’clock. If you do this, you’ll basically get a fine snowball fight without reason to leave your house. The police now have powers to physically force people back into homes.
The police, they are playing what the police are looking to get Powerset into people’s homes to check if there’s a party going on, if they’re breaching each of things. The country is not really in a state that many people are still reeling from this national lockdown a few days ago. The country’s not in a state of planning for the holidays, vacations yet. Obviously, everything shops, hotels, shops, everything’s shops. It’s just not on the agenda and on people’s minds.
I think in December, like November, December, before we start to skyrocket, I think you’re probably going to be in a similar position. But it’s changed so rapidly in the last week. It really has. All the thinking now is how can I hold to my children? I’ll still do my job at the same time. And spoiler it’s pretty hard. Yeah.
And I mean, it’s a good point because there’s a chance that that happens in the US again, you know, with a new administration that’s already indicating they’re going to have some going back down for a three week period once they get an organ that I mean, we could see a massive shift in the psychology of the country. Yeah, well, that goes back to one of our earlier points of conversation, the acceleration of vaccinations as well to how much will are now centralized federal government, influence the state governments and help organize or facilitate or intervene in the right of distribution of vaccinations in a way that would be productive.
Let’s see what I heard. And one of the things that really slows down the process is that the vaccines are put in such so many doses in each container that, you know, giving a container to a clinic. Some clinics like I have no way of distributing all of these before they spoil. And in Israel, who where they are doing a reasonably quick job and are committed to doing a very quick job of getting it, they broke all the containers down into smaller parts so that, you know, reasonable portions can go to each place that they have the capacity to actually distribute.
And also, you know, everybody’s been in the army, so there is an undisciplined country, but they know how to get to discipline when they need to work for it.
Once you’ve had that vaccine, are you considered safe? And what I mean by that really good example, there’s a nursing home in Stanton, Nebraska, a little town in the middle of nowhere. Everybody was vaccinated. And then they announced to everybody saying, OK, we’ve had vaccinations. We’re now in condition green, meaning everybody can come visit us. I just thought, OK, wait a minute, we just wait and see how this works out for a few weeks until they’ve had their second dose.
They have not, no. Yeah. So you’re not you know, you’re not immune until it’s some days after the second shot is true and true.
Sure. You do not live in Florida. Our governor said one dose is enough and just come on down to Fort Myers. And if you’re 80 years old, you sit on your lawn chair and wait in the long list to see whether you’re going to get your shot, that they have not come back.
What the hospital I the CDC said that even after you get that, you should still be social distancing and still them that well, they’re putting these symptomatic if they’re saying that over fifty six percent of the distribution of covid is a symptomatic distribution.
So, again, we’re walking around saying because of or I have or don’t have doesn’t mean you can’t care. And they also are saying now nicely that that the COBRA vaccination looks strong for at least eight months.
OK, so is this a perpetual vaccination cycle that we have to go through? Like other thing, it’s certainly like one point. It is such an unknown entity is what makes us feel safe enough to make the travel decisions. Where at what point do we say, I feel like I’m in a position that this is an a factor of my decision process, that I can feel comfortable doing this? Because the one thing that sticks out to me by your survey, Melissa and Stuart, I know I give you great is safety the big word, safety in the middle of it all the time, safety that has never gone away.
You know, it’s changed in size sometimes, but it’s never gone away.
Much has been the biggest. Yeah. Yeah. So it is to Tim’s point, as much as I love disagreeing with him, that he pulls out his didn’t red.
But any other tip as Melissa, that you thought that was kind of interesting looking besides all of it. All right.
I’m working backwards now. Again, I’m going from 12, 11 and 10 am grouping all these three questions together, because we’re talking about we talked about one of these already, but it’s about travel budgets and travel time and number of trips that people are planning on taking in twenty twenty one versus last year.
So, yeah, this is twenty, twenty, twenty.
So we asked, do you expect to take more or fewer or the same number of vacation days than you took in. Twenty, nineteen and about fifty percent said it’s going to stay the same, but thirty three percent said they’re likely to take more. Thirty three percent said they’re likely to take more. And in terms of taking the number of troops. Twenty nine percent likely to take more. Forty four percent about the same. And the that we’ve already talked about was the travel budget.
Twenty eight percent likely to spend more. Fifty percent spending about the same versus last year. So I just want to reiterate that clearly to these people that we surveyed. People are already like they’re like, I am ready for some time off, I need to break out of my house and get me out of here.
That, I think it’s one of those was equal to or greater than 20, 19, right? Yes, that’s a positive sign. And I’m starting to see conferences as well. For example, is talking about having a real live in-person conference in May knock on wood.
I hope they do. I hope we can. I don’t know if that will happen yet, but, boy, it would be great to see those come back. And I’m sorry. Go ahead. No, no, go ahead, please.
Just sticking on the budget question itself. It’s the only one that I have any data comparison for from previous surveys. So we ask this in our very first survey in March when we were asking people how is your travel budget going to change comparatively? And at that point, sixty percent said their budgets would be unchanged and 30 percent said they would be spending less. So now we’re down to 50 percent saying the same and only twenty two percent saying that they would be spending less.
So I thought that that was very interesting to me. The other thing. The other thing is it that makes sense.
Sorry, this goes back to the sheep recovery thing on one level, but it also goes back to, you know, what I’ve seen I’m sure you all have seen over the years that there’s lots of data that supports this, that different segments, different chain scales recover at very different rates.
Luxury always comes back for straight people with more money. Travel Soder. So folks who have, you know, the money to spend and I’m sure they’re willing to spend as much or more, whereas folks who are, you know, either lower income or more concerned about their income or from other folks were saying that it makes sense to me, just logically, as you hear what the answers are, that seems to fit with what we’ve seen.
And also, even if you were in bad circumstances, if you have money saved in the stock market, you may be better off than what you made in your job.
Now, I know we’ve been talking a lot about the larger impact of all this. I like to switch a little bit to your point of conference, a conference attending. And I have a question. So, you know, I’m a bit of a geek. I like technology and we’ve been very confined resumes.
I know it’s a surprising statement to make for me, but I decide to admit it. It’s kind of like Alan.
It’s like I to buy your last day of the week.
OK, so with that in mind, we’re going to be merging in conferences, potentially all willing. Now, as we scale up in businesses, we know that there is going to be a huge requirement as a hospitality industry begins to revive. Will our industry look to I need to train my people on what is now the new norm, not new.
Norm is bad where I hate that word, the new world that we are in and what technologies or methodologies or things and considerations that we have grown into because of the pandemic that we thought we were going through.
Or is it like, hey, I can’t stand, I can’t do? It’s going to be at least a year before I start sending anybody to learn the newer stuff. I just need warm bodies to do what I need them to do. What we have is what they got and no training, no conferences, no high tech, no HSM, i.e. no Algeri, no A you know, I’m just work, OK, work, get a big paycheck, do the work.
Next year we’ll worry about whether we have to teach you what the new thing is. What do you think? Well, history shows that to me well, you know what I mean. We’ve all been in the industry for a long time and you’re going to get a bifurcation like you always do. There will be some who who would best and do those things. There will be lots to do and for all kinds of reasons. But I mean, historically, that stuff tends to come back later.
Right? People invest it when they are more comfortable with where they are in terms of the business.
So would it be safe to say that the bloated rates that most of these these profiteering conferences for generating would perhaps be scaled down to a more realistic rate, knowing that they may have to blend a virtual audience for those that may not be financially able to attend to a physical audience, to those who could attend. But the rates have to be reflective of more realistic participation costs compared to the I can profit largely off of doing this by keep constantly growing the rates.
We’ll wait and see if it’s going to be interesting.
Right. Because the whole group and event space is going to be really weird because there’s so many organizations that depend on their annual biannual conference, some kind of physical meeting for their revenue that is being completely decimated for the last 12 months. And they’re going to want to get back to that as quickly as possible because it’s a major revenue stream. So we’re going to see this massive compression where there’s a ton of demand trying to squeeze in. So to a probably a fairly small Calenda time period.
But at the same time, I feel like there’s going to be so much competition in a limited amount of demand for traveling to these conferences that a lot of them may not make it, you know, so it could be that the hard days are ahead for some of these people that on.
Well, and I want to take that a step further. First of all, Stuart, I completely agree. I just want to build on that is you said something really important a moment ago of the conferences that depend on this for their annual revenue. There’s a lot of conferences. There are a lot if it goes Cisco, I think of big tech conferences and the like where it’s not really core to what those companies do at all and they are finding other ways to achieve the same business outcomes that they want without having those events.
So there’s a there’s a bunch of events. I’m not making any predictions about Cisco live specifically, but things like that that just may not come back in the way that they used to exist for the near term. So some of some of the conference and events space is going to look very different for for some period of time.
You know, for me, the progression, how I thought before covid was because people were being given so many options to so many things, there was a kind of aggregation of conferences. People begin to piggyback on each other, combine themselves saying, rather than having fragmented conferences, that there was a lot of abilities to attend. They’re saying, hey, look, since you’re getting an audience for yours, that I can get wrong. Yeah, right.
Yeah. Let’s put them together so that we give them a reason to make us a choice rather than the 15 other conferences that could go together in the same weekend window or that day window because so many were in the market. Now, as you pointed out, is we’re emerging from this. Maybe there’s an affordability of saying, hey, look, I don’t have to drag everybody to Peoria here. I can bring people online, which means I have to charge them a certain price because obviously there’s there’s less of a cost to this.
But then again, I also have to make it competitive for the people that actually physically are showing up to the conference that it’s a worthwhile networking value for them to be there. Now, there’s a new hybrid to this model as to combining the reason to go versus the reason to just simply virtually it’s end. Is that the content or is it the networking? And that’s going to create, I think, a divergence of how these conferences are presented into what you say is a short window of opportunity to think about your other revenue stream of those conferences.
And that is the vendors. The vendors are paying a lot of money to get there in front of people. If I’m a vendor and there’s no people at the conference, then what is my return on that? How do I justify spending the money on that?
Well, speaking as a vendor, you know, advertising budget cut significantly for the next month, months, where a lot of vendors know we’re not going to be doing very many sponsorships. Any events. It’s hard.
I do I do work with a couple of software companies outside the hospitality industry, and I can speak in the large about that. A that’s true. The they’re finding that there are there are things that they used to get out of the conferences that they’re getting through alternative means that they continue to pay for as a as a for instance.
So that’s this is less of a hospitality, but just as a way of how some people are thinking about this, you know, content distribution that you get around the conference is actually super valuable. You know, folks are finding where they’re starting to say maybe the benefit wasn’t the conference in the first place, but the.
That was the content distribution that the conference had because they had a list, so it’s it’s changing some mindsets in some boardrooms of a number of companies, at least that I’m aware of.
And I say this from a hoteliers point of view of conference attendance and the segmentation it provides and the way of scaling your forecasting associated with who should we expect when somebody announces they’re going to use our conference facility and or in our market for SITILIDES and everything else, how much should we think is physically going to be there? I mean, just every couple of experts will tell you to bring the whole world and reality. They bring a few hundred, you know, so it’s it’s how do they balance that and what the relationship value is for those when they give them the rates and the packages and what have you.
So that’s why I was bringing it up, is that really impacts those things to us again and again in terms of planning for the worst and hope the best.
You know, if you’re a business, if you’re a business hotel, if you’re a conference hotel, you know, you need to be thinking about what is the right way for you to address, probably reduce demand for some time. You know, it wouldn’t make a huge difference. You know, I don’t have the number in front of me right at the moment. But if conference demand came back to 90 percent of what it was, you know, a 10 percent decline permanently is a big number is a superPAC number, right.
Many, many tens, if not hundreds of billions of dollars a year in revenue to the hospitality industry. So you need to be thinking about what does that look like if we get 90 percent back?
That sounds really great, except for the fact that that’s still a huge number that you might be losing out on, particularly if 50 percent of your business is CityCenter.
I think on the short term, I think a lot of people are going to want to go to a conference because the human factor just got I got to go see people. You know, I think it’s going to be that aspect to it of like, yeah, I probably could do it online, but not I just want to go over and get a big benefit, go hug, you know.
I mean, do they do they have the resources to do it? And can they convince their boss that that’s a good use of this, their return?
Is there a return? Right. So, Melissa, I’m sorry.
I just it was a tangent off of the leisure conversation, but I want to make sure I throw it in the report.
I am moving on to question number 14, which we’ve asked on every round of this survey, and that is to pick the top three reasons that prevent me from saying a hotel right now. The reason I’m bringing this up again, this conversation is to show what has changed and surprisingly, what hasn’t changed since our last survey. So at the top, as it has been since the beginning, is fear of interactions with other guests in the number one spot forever hasn’t changed.
What’s in the number two spot is nothing. Nothing’s preventing me. Now, that was in the number two spot on our last story as well. So in September and now that is unchanged. What’s also interesting, though, is fear of Ibin fear. The common areas is down at number five, where those two used to be fairly common area. And fear of interaction with other guests used to be neck and neck. And now common areas have dropped pretty substantially, so I thought that that was an interesting shift, maybe not surprising, but still want to point out, looking at the income comparison on this one, clearly those people making less money had more budget concerns.
So those under the fifty thousand dollar mark budget concerns was the number one reason, and that was that 40 percent. So pretty substantial difference there versus twenty four percent in the 50 to 100 thousand group and then 12 percent for the greater than a hundred thousand.
So you think the common area thing I was trying to kind of neutral this and try to figure out just come up with a hypothesis. My my personal opinion has shifted in terms of how this disease is contracted is I’ve read more about it. It seems to me that the conventional wisdom is that it’s less likely you’re going to contract it from heart services through direct contact than we thought several months ago. At one point, we thought we could contract it from touching something to someone else and touch it recently, like a doorknob.
It doesn’t seem like that’s the main cause of transmission. It seems like it’s more, you know, through air drop, water vapor and water droplets in the air. So my my fear personally of common areas has decreased considerably compared to where it was like six months ago. I don’t know if everyone else feels like that, but that could be a potential explanation. I think that’s right.
It is a version of the virus, you know, that is so much more contagious. You know, I wonder if that those rules still apply. I, I must say that unlike at the beginning, you know, unlike March and April, where I was Lysol everything, you know, multiple times a day, and I never scrub my hands so much and everything.
But now now truly it I can say that the masking in the social distancing and just not not getting myself into a group of people is really where I think it’s all about. But now I wonder about that. The new variant.
And I think that thing that I had hoped would have had a more profound impact than it hasn’t is as we were so polarized into those that didn’t mask and those who did. And I have seen that more people have sort of just out of resignation, decided to start masking, realizing that it does have a positive impact. Just thankfully, it dealt that down to a point of not being a positive political thing. For some, the impact of getting to know where people are like, well, do you know anybody that has covid?
Everybody pretty much I know can say, yes, I do. And unfortunately, some of us unfortunately can say we know somebody we lost from covid.
And I would hope that we have been a bit of a bigger impact because, yeah, it’s just it’s sad that it didn’t that it didn’t hit home for some people, you know, that this is killing people a lot. It happens to them. Yeah.
There’s a Facebook community for the county that I now live in in South Carolina. And I can tell you I am slack jawed when I read the comments of people who are still kind of deniers.
They’ll stay in denial until it personally affects them or someone they love. And I’ve seen so many people because I’m in South Carolina, too, and there’s a lot of people I have one person telling me, aren’t you seeing this theory? Because at the quantum level, everything vibrates. The whole universe. Everything’s made up of vibrating particles. If you have a different vibration frequency than the then the coronavirus, then you can’t catch it. That was one theory for one second.
I have to go slam my head into the wall for people to know that person had had a family member that contracted it and was very sick and almost died in the hospital and they completely changed their tune and realized that they were an idiot. So. I hear your father would know if their frequency was different. I don’t know. Well, that’s what it tells them, that, yeah, you look bad, but you put the little for the hat on, OK?
And you talk to the dead feragut and he tells you it’s that’s a second grade.
But tell me tell me how I know if I’m safe and easy. If the dresses gold.
You’re in one frequency dress elevated now.
Sorry, it is true in that sense, but it’s much as we sadly have to refer to it in these terms. It is a matter of perception. I mean, of everything that you’re putting up, it is a matter of how do we see it, what level? Because two to that point, Neal, I do I wipe things as much. I still do certain things, like when I get the groceries thrown into the trunk, I still wipe everything down because I know that the interacted with the people, am I?
So I was a militant, but am I so worried about it when I walk outside like I used to and walk back in and I’m wiping the door handles and stuff down, you know, and it just you just get used to patterns that you feel are making you safe in some ways. But yeah, the mask in the distance, I’m sad. That is because I walk between my my condo in my office. That is, we see people on the sidewalks as we go through the downtown area.
We’re like we treat them like the plague. Oh, walk this way.
You know, and it’s sad because I mean, one of my neighbors, he’s a renter, one of our condos, and he’s saying, hey. And I’m like, hey, you want to come over? Like, No, I’ve been saying this for months.
And I’m not the only person who said, you know, I’m I’m a an extrovert. I’m a gregarious person. You know, a lot of my favorite things to do with nobody. Sit at the bar, just strike up conversations with random folks and stuff. Obviously, I miss my friends. Obviously, I miss my family, strangers like I. This just random encounters of, you know, sit next to somebody on a plane. That’s what they do.
Or sitting in bar hearing what they do and talking on and stuff.
It’s you know, this is something that’s going to take us, all of us and kids who are in school sitting at home, you know, all the different changes we’ve been living through. This is going to shape people’s behaviors for years. And if you’re young enough, you know, start if I if I can put you on the spot. You and I were having a conversation about this a few weeks back. You know, my dad is a child of the Depression.
He’s eighty nine years old and he lives his life today because of things that shaped him in the 30s. And, you know, there are going to be people you know, we look at the way consumers do things and the way guests do things. Ten years from now, I’m not telling you what it’s going to be. It’s going to be different than the way people behaved in twenty nineteen because they grew up with a different reality. And that’s something that’s going to be fascinating to watch and try to, you know, try to project as we get this behind us.
But yeah, it’s going to be a different world because it’s going to be a different world. Yeah.
This is a generational defining event for sure. Like other things have been like 9/11, for example, like the Great Depression, for example, this is going to be a defining event that those kids that are at a certain age where this is really solidifying where their brain ends up as their brains are developing, it gets to a point where it’s not as elastic as it was. If you’re in that age range right now, this will have a lifelong impact on how you behave, how you interact, how you see the world, how you view threats, everything you know, to be a little personal for a second.
My mother had OCD before it was even called OCD. And I learned as a child, unfortunately, what it meant to what was touch versus what was touch, which I have to give her credit, helped me with through this process of keeping track of what did I touch knowing what’s supposed to happen. Stuff unfortunately killed her. And because of that, I know that that made a definition of my life as to what people will do. And I know that now people living through this, I’m understanding my kids.
But people me through this, when you go into an airplane now, you’ll see what people touch. You’ll see what you you see what is being done, you know, because we have been put through that process. Now, it will take time for some of us who were not normal with this to live through this and go back to where we’re not so concerned about it. But for those, as you pointed out, that made it find different picture people that already had issues with this.
And that’s why I brought the OCD. This is hell. This is absolute hell. Now, this is going to change whether they even travel, because this validates everything that causes the paranoia’s, everything that causes their worries has been proven true. I can’t go out because if I do, this can happen and nobody can plan this in this happened. So, you know, we have we then go back to something. You know, I always now supervise special needs travelers or special needs travelers in any aspect.
We have to begin to read the. Find some of the things that we need to be sensitive to, of what people’s requirements are for travel period. This isn’t just inconvenience. This is the need for people to understand that if I’m going to give them a room and they are super worried about this, I need to satisfy their questions. I need to give them content that makes them help make the decision no matter what the level is, politics aside, and that goes for everything.
Medical and also mental. Mental is as medical as anything else. And these things people are worried about. Depression is real. These things are real. These things are people, decision processes, and we have to be sensitive to those. And not just, well, that’s what we do or that’s policy. I know I went to a I’ve been going to doctors a little bit and went to the ante and I told the doctor things looked at. I mean, you have a big sense there’s no mass mandated while I’m sitting in your lobby and one of your patients walk in Noma’s stepped in challenge.
That’s the same stuff that had the below the nose goes in the room. I was just in, comes back out, goes back outside, comes back in after smoking a cigarette. Still no mask, still no challenge. It’s like, dude, you’re a sinus doctor. If anybody knows how this stuff works, you do OK. Maybe if you put the sign up, you mean it. If not, I mean, I’ll make the choice if you don’t want to enforce it, I just don’t have to have as my doctor, I’m cool off it.
It does. But do what you say you’re going to do. Just don’t put it up because it’s supposed to be something you do. These are impacts are going to last for us in hotels as well.
If we put a sign up that says master mandated, we have to enforce it because it would be people like me the walking on my one wearing a mask, because if nobody sort of masks, it’s no good for me to wear a mask.
So I was told to add this week about his experience. Universal. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So I wish he was on the show to talk about this, but I’ll do my best to kind of summarize it. But it’s really interesting because if you’ve been to one of the parks or Disney or Universal, they’re approaching this very differently, like Disney’s approach to masks has been. There’s a couple of signs up. They’re not really enforcing it that much.
And in fact, if you’re on a ride where you don’t wearing a mask, what they do is they use an automated algorithm to show the photo that it takes off of you wearing a mask because they don’t want to sell photos, the souvenir photos to people if they’re not wearing a mask. Right. So they’re digitally adding masks on people. Right. So that’s that’s the Disney approach. And folks of varying degrees have said, you know, it’s working, is not working.
Universal taken the complete opposite approach. And it just went last week and he said there was zero non-compliance because there were signs up. You were getting checked on as you were lining up on every ride. This signs that literally say if you aren’t wearing it appropriately, you will be ejected. Not that will warn you. Not that will ask you to pull it up, will be ejected on every ride. It’s just clear signage in every seat that says you are under constant surveillance and you must wear your mask like they’re going hardcore.
And he said everyone he didn’t see one person in the whole day not wearing the mask properly. Yeah, enforcement is critical. I want to I want to hear Melissa’s next question.
I do want to say one thing or to something you said a moment ago, and I want to one eighty four being like the Cassandra at the beginning of the show for a second is I am cautiously optimistic about where we will end up post pandemic just because, you know, you look at the 1918 1919 flu and all that. We followed it with the Roaring Twenties and so it’s entirely possible we have another Roaring Twenties in our future.
Hopefully we just need to get there first. But but if we can get there, maybe we’re in for some really good presidents. And I thought, let’s say you have another we’ll move on to question number 15 and 16 with some big caveats on these answers are in my mind there caveats.
Stuart King, which, by the way, we could Melissa’s last name is Caviare Kavanagh’s.
And we have a caveat. We should make a new podcast, another one. We have to have an on to caveat.
So one of these questions, again, that we’ve asked on every survey since the beginning, and how likely are you to book a trip in the next 30, 60, 90 days, six months or a year? Now, this round we had thirty one percent of respondents that answered at least maybe or higher in the next 30 days. Now, compared to our last survey, we are way down. We are fifty five percent. That said, maybe you’re higher in September.
But here’s my caveat. I wonder again. So this was asked in mid December, and I just wonder if this is just correlation of seasonality. I wonder that we’re coming into winter. This database of people we already established are not skiers. So I just I have a strong feeling that this is more than 100 percent I agree with that anything.
So I put the data out there. But just saying that’s my. One of those wants to watch as we get closer to this, I think that will be interesting data point. I thought the same thing with the unemployment numbers came out this morning about the hospitality industry. Unemployment numbers were terrible, but not bad compared to, say, restaurants. Restaurants just absolutely got massacred in the most recent numbers. And I think some of that is just seasonality. And some of that is we’re off such a low base already.
Yeah, like, there’s always so much you can cut it not. I think it’s like ninety thousand. I don’t want to make that out to be a small number, but when you have three hundred seventy five thousand restaurant employees out of work, that’s what’s in the most office.
So moving on to the next question was asking how soon will you be willing to make the following trips and this time away from your house, one hour, two hours, three hours, etc.? We’re continuing to see that one to three. Our market is by far the most popular. But again, within the one month range, all these numbers have dropped substantially since the last survey. But again, still chalking that up to seasonality.
But yeah, but relatively, they haven’t really shifted that much. Correct. You’re still seeing people are very cautious about going too far afield, certainly not traveling abroad, planes or internationally too much.
Which of the following would most likely persuade you to book a future vacation during the coronavirus outbreak? Check all that apply. And this really hasn’t changed a whole lot and all flexibility to change my dates without penalty. Still, at the top of the list, I could not be persuaded to travel. Now, is it about twenty five percent? Again, that is a bit up from our last survey. But again, I, I got to put some seasonality into that.
So we’re just going to keep on moving confidence in terms of cleaning protocols and staying in the property, leaving the room vacant for twenty four hours. Nothing is changed. All the things the same thing.
I mean, that’s probably what’s probably worth going over that one, because it’s it’s been a while and not everyone in the audience has probably seen that data the first time around.
So the big the big win is something called a deep cleaning between guests. You get to decide what that means.
But fifty five percent said that that would greatly increase their confidence in staying at a property, which is the big winner over all the other things, most closely followed by placing the remote in a sanitized, sealed bag, which was it, 50 percent, which just goes to show the psychology of this.
Right, because you are really fighting the physical disease that’s caused by the coronavirus and the horrific impact it has. But we’re also creating this psychological warfare narrative about what people perceive and what their fears are. And so when you say to someone, OK, we can do something tangible that you can actually understand, like keeping a room open for twenty four or forty eight hours between. Yes. Or we can quote unquote, deep clean for whatever reason, psychologically deep clean has has a massive impact, even though what it means to me, what it means to you is completely different from.
So just leaving the room vacant for twenty four hours versus forty hours, almost no difference between the two. I think this is where marketing comes in, right? It’s you’ve got to do a job as a hotel, first and foremost, to keep your staff and your your your guests safe like that. That’s a given. So I’m not saying anything other than keep people physically safe. But beyond that, there’s this persuasion that you can do through psychology. We see this certain hacks in in any kind of conversion funnel network, things like social proof.
When you show that other people have done something before, you people are more likely to do it right. When you anchorite, like psychologically, it has an impact. Same with this thing. If we know there’s a fear and you can mitigate that fear by saying things like we deep clean between guests stays, and that just means you do some extra things and maybe somewhere on your site in the small print, you’ll find out what those things are. It’s less important what those things are than that the message is coming through to the person from a marriage.
That is a great point. Stewart is a great, great I mean, we are storytellers and we need to be telling the right story right now to help build that trust. We have to do the right things first, obviously, on how we message that is incredibly important.
I got to tell you that there’s also a subculture of people that are going to come through this more militant perhaps, than they need to be, but also a welcome sight for just the fact that there’s a validation of this. There is a whole conversation on Facebook because it follows so many different chapters of things, somebody running around with a chem test strip and they’re literally going and chasing down people at hotels that are doing their aspirations, bringing that spray and putting the sample in front of a court to see if there’s actually chemicals in because there’s concern that they’re just putting water in to give the sort of look of cleaning things.
And of course, they report if they say there’s no chemical in this stuff and think and I’m like, oh, my God, we got to deal with this now. But it’s true in some degrees. If you’re going to do it, do it right. Just don’t do it to make it look like it’s right.
Exactly. Exactly. And that’s why it’s so painful to read some of the reviews that are happening now. I read one just this morning where a lady was saying it, the room well, actually a different review, said the room wasn’t cleaned properly. You can see it. So saying it and telling the story about it isn’t as meaningful as actually doing and and actually inspiring your team to want to do it because they care so much about the guest. But also a lady said, you know, I was told there was going to be they were going to be temperature checks and there weren’t any.
And I got a whole team of people in the restaurant setting up tables, not wearing masks and not socially tested.
And hard to my horror, the the the the manager wrote back saying, well, you know, as you see, we do have a temperature check machine, so we’re doing our part.
And, you know, as as you know, we have a policy that get at our staff has to wear masks.
But, you know, how do you expect them to set up the tables, you know, without being so and be so sure that this is the same time, despite the fact just said that they not one of them was right.
They deserved that review, if you review. That’s exactly right. Yeah. But it didn’t get into the point of going through and doing it for the right reasons, not doing it for the wrong reasons. And we have to change our messaging, our content to it, to maybe we’re the ones to put a chemistry. And I’m being metaphorical, but maybe realistic. I don’t know, putting the as he looks, he we really do use spray. Yes, I know you did it for the video.
Whatever. There’s always going to be a conspiracy theory that you’re always doing it, but for a different reason. But the idea of it is that if you to your point, though, if the team buys into that, it’s the reason why you do it, not the excuse of why it’s done, then you’re going to get the quality of it, that they’re going to make sure because these machines little nuts. Did I know until I had to start pulling the videos down for a client, there’s a lot of maintenance with these damn things.
I mean, nozzle cleaning, chemical checks, sanitations pershing’s. Seriously, there’s a lot of like you just don’t run around with the machine and it just works every day. You’ve got to there’s a there’s a maintenance program to these things for them to work correctly. And if the hotel isn’t even doing that, the machine is literally walking around doing nothing, because if you don’t keep it clean and you don’t keep it sanitized, you don’t keep it properly mixed, it doesn’t do what it was built to do.
These are all things I know.
It sounds really weird, like why would we talk about this? But for the people that were looking for that safety margin that they’re looking for, these are the assurances.
As for some, that potentially would be valuable to them, whether you use the thing like every property and every manager has to make their own determination for their property about what is appropriate in terms of preventing the spread of this and protecting this stuff. And I guess whatever it is you determine it is whether you’re using these these strips or not. But you’re doing a deep cleaning or not. What are you doing? Temperature checks or not? It doesn’t matter what you ultimately decide.
You’re. Going to do right that that’s up to you. What matters is if you tell your consumer you’re going to do something that you do it like, that’s that’s right. That’s right. Yeah.
This is a check machine that is not being used.
It’s not doing temperature checks, not maintenance. Right. There’s there’s this this is this is a soapbox of mine. For years, I mean, I’ve been working for twenty five years. You know, that there’s this bad reputation marketers get in many cases because some companies and some marketers believe it is our job to lie to our customers. You know, our job is to go and put a happy face on a pile of crap or something. And that’s not it at all.
Not at hard.
Our job is to shine a light on the things that we do well and direct people to do things we do well and maybe don’t talk about the things you don’t do. Well, let’s say you try to put a happy face a little, maybe you don’t address know, but if you are what you are, what you are and highlight that the people who work that will find that the people who want that will seek you out. It is not to lie to people.
And that drives me 100 percent.
We always are. The marketing is an amplifier that requires what you do well and what you do badly. So we can use marketing as a form of input to understand where we’re not performing the way we could and use that to improve. But one of the things we do a fuel and this is why fuel, again, don’t think the same way as we do at orientation at the beginning when we talk about certain personas in our stakeholder personas are primarily we got a couple of different types of client, you know, the ones that are you’re a mom and pop and the ones that are more like a high end, sophisticated marketer and in a management company or group.
But we also talk about one of our core stakeholders is the consumer of our customer. All right. So the guest of the hotel and we talk about, you know, in a lot of cases with some of our client clients that consumers scrimp and save all year long, that they have one annual vacation is the highlight of their year. And we have a responsibility to them to make sure that we are informing them the best we can to make the best, most qualified decision for their family so that they want to come back every year and they have a great time and they never regret the decision they made because of us.
And if we if we approach marketing from that perspective, we’re not trying to trick people on people and educate them and persuade them. But it’s never to the point where you’re trying to trick them into something that you’re not.
That’s right. Tim, how long have you been married? Twenty eight years next month.
See, so for that reason, I can’t buy into the twenty five because you’ve been an expert marketer for twenty eight years.
Put twenty, twenty nine actually if you go back to you it afficionado on the marketing, I mean if anyone can shine on the good and none without that, you know, run and then run I for twenty nine years.
In the meantime you could have just put lipstick on the pig but it wouldn’t have worked the twenty nine years I went to work for twenty nine years. You had to throw that thing every day. By the way Stuart, where did you get those pictures.
Oh wait Melissa please. When we talk about that far right. Just very quickly, we asked what people would like to hear from hotels on the following topics and still what the property’s doing to protect guests. Still, no one more than 50 percent say that’s what they want to hear about, followed by on this round. Yes. Packages and specials, which was just under 50 percent. So not much changed from our last survey, but it still drives home.
People do want to hear what property is doing to protect them.
Why don’t you look at this one, too? They want to hear a lot about a lot of things, even though there’s a number one and two, there’s a high percentage of people want to hear about a lot of the other stuff, too, like the local area and the ordinances and things like that.
So being informative is very critical right now to that end or the fact that we’re in a gap point right now, we know that the health inspectors come in to restaurants and check the salinities or the chemicals within cleaning products for when you’re washing glasses. We know that they check the rats and the things and whether you’re keeping proper temperatures or we know also that a lot of the infrastructure has not caught up with the requirements of covid as to whether they are putting chemicals in sprayers or whether they are wiping.
That’s still a gap point that we have to fill for right now on our content and dialogue of assurances that these things are being done until if ever there’s a need for an effort to come into the normal mainstream of that stuff, too. So, yeah.
So I love telling the story and I will tell it quickly. I have been responsible for redesigns of and stored. You must see the same thing also. You will see the same. You’ve probably seen the same thing, you know, I’ve redesigned Web sites a billion times in all sincerity, literally over the course of my career, many dozens of times and in pre and post surveys that we’ve done a lot of customers across doing this. The number one thing people complain about on most websites most of the time obviously get some outliers for various reasons.
But the number one thing is I couldn’t find the information I was looking for is the number one challenge that they had and post post launching the website. The number one challenge they have is I couldn’t find the information I was looking for. Right, because there’s so many different questions that people have had, so many different things that matter to them based on where they are, the buyer’s journey, based on where they are in their life, based on what the purpose of the trip is, et cetera, that they have so many different questions.
So that’s why I always ask why content is so important. Why you have to have this content is because people are looking for it. Right. It’s why we’re Adel does was so important because user generated content plays an enormous role in helping answer those questions.
But you need to make sure that they are for folks because they want to know and attack and that’s what they want to project as to their comments, it’s not everybody’s being truthful what they say. Sometimes it has a biased tone to it.
So, yeah, well, I think the mistake people make when they’re doing that is that they may look at their analytics and say, OK, these are the pages that are most popular on our site because, you know, the accommodation page is 20 percent of the traffic. It’s the number one visitor page or whatever it is. So that needs to be the content that goes front and center. And so, yes, you’re right, it’s the most popular.
But if it’s only 20 percent, that means 80 percent of people. That isn’t what they’re looking for. So one of the things the head scratcher for me and even with our own clients, we have a hard time convincing them of this.
You know, everyone’s used to having a search widget on the hotel website for or reservation.
Right. A database. Very few hotels put a keyword search on that on their website. But the ones that do it, you glean so much insight because not only can you find what’s important to people, but you can identify where there’s gaps in information. And it’s really, really useful for the consumer. And this is where Tim steps in and does a shameless fit for one of his partners.
Well, we I work with a company where we make a search engine and we make a search engine analytics tool, because the other thing that’s great about it is Google increasingly is holding back the data you get about what people search for. This is your own data. This is your own customers telling you the things that are important to them.
They’re literally asking you if you think about how Google knows so much about what guess what, so much about what consumers want. It’s because literally their main product is a box that people type what it is they’re looking for, what it is they’re asking.
Why would I literally. And it’s very famous story about Google.
And I apologize. I mean, to give a quick little trigger word in all sincerity, in all sincerity, because this is kind of a moving story and I can understand how it looks like people. But in the early days of Google, they used to have a big screen where they would have a tag cloud that would light up based on what people were searching for, in his terms were more popular. They would get bigger as they would get less search warrants.
And, you know, and obviously these days they can’t do that because the volumes are so high.
Three million searches. But what they saw on the screen, the lot of engineers working in their office late one night towards Christmas and all of a sudden one term started getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger.
And it was suicide prevention. Hot, right? Yeah. Now, obviously, your website is not going to be Google, right. But this was a this was a telling moment for the company because they came to understand people are telling us precisely what they need. We’re not we’re not we’re not marketing something. We’re not advertising something. We are solving people’s problems. And they are reaching out to us and asking for help, literally. In this specific case, obviously, your website, you’re not going to get those kinds of searches, but people are saying, I have a question, I need help, help me.
Why wouldn’t all that information right. As you heard so much about what you need to do better, you will learn so much about what it is people are asking for. You will learn so much about what it is that you can see it.
If I may add to the list earlier this coming to this year from a technical perspective for although not what it’s going to end up being, but what it’s going to be transitioning with is going to strongly influence how much we understand and who we rely upon for certain data points. Why wouldn’t we want some way of determining interaction with your own website to know what it is that of that usage for your website, what people are interested in because keyword usage could.
Tracking is really a reason not to do it at this point, at least no one’s articulated a reason to me.
But the the only the only thing you will see is, is the search terms. You tend to get on hotel websites and it varies based on whether you are an individual hotel. And you guys know this. I’m not telling you anything about the things you see on hotel websites is going to vary based on whether you are a an individual hotel, whether you are a management company, whether you are a brand, you’re going to see types of searches skew differently based on what customers expect they’re going to get there.
We we actually launched that on some Windom sites a long time ago as a passed. And we ended up killing it because at the time we couldn’t afford to do certain things. We wanted to add the number one searches tended to be the destinations where we have properties in San Diego, Orlando, etc. So they were doing the same thing, search in our regular booking widget on individual hotels. That tends not to be the case friendly and Wi-Fi. Pet friendly advice.
Yeah, totally hoping to get a lot accessibilities, another one and going back to Lauren’s conversation earlier about like providing value to to people that may have special needs. One of the most overlooked things related to ADA compliance with WCG. You know, people focus on the the Web standards, which is basically making sure that the screen is readable and like the technical stuff is done for media. But one of the most overlooked and where there’s an increasing number of lawsuits and we’ve had a few clients get caught up in this, too, is not providing information about the things you do on property or accessibility.
And so putting that in your footage should be a prerequisite, but also putting it in research so people can find things related to their special needs.
Is really that box that you put on your website in your book engine can be very informative as to what you need to adapt. And a lot of times, you know, they you can tell that they you’re not really giving a really clear description of the differences between different groups or they don’t understand when you mean to bad.
Did you mean to think it’s two queen beds or two twin beds? Sometimes in the word twin is used when it isn’t actually right.
If there’s only a looking into that, was ADA compliant and have one, you know. But but to that end, also don’t believe your own smell in the sense that if you’re only targeting certain audiences, you’re only getting trapped in certain places. You’re going to be self-fulfilling your own strategies, because that’s another thing that I’m afraid with Ghafour that’s going to come through is as we lose some of the traditional ways we have tried to perceive data flow through our sites, we’re going to self fulfill what we think we’re targeting as being the only targeting to do.
I’ve had these conversations with many clients was like, this is our audience. Yes, but is there another audience? The world’s changed, as are other people that would like what you have, but you just never have talked to them or back in the day there wasn’t enough to talk to you. But now this is today compared to then. And maybe they do want what you have. I mean, there’s clients I have that are in relatively remote locations and now all of a sudden that has a whole different value proposition than before where the people wanted to go to the big resorts with lots of people.
Now people are like, show me a place that I can go to where there’s not a lot of people. And so the metrics have changed in that sense. At the very same time that how we define the metrics is being changed.
So just the thought and if you want a crash course on GAFOOR, there’s this podcast that I’ve heard of.
It’s our audience podcast because I only work when they just come out and it was a very long time ago.
And what you need to know is it all someone, by the way, I have a quick I have a quick question since we’re talking about analytics and I apologize. And quick question. Are you using anyone using Microsoft clarity with any of their.
Yeah, I’ve got one I’ve got one hotel using it and I don’t have a lot of data yet because it’s fairly new for the hotel. I mean, I know it’s been around for.
But I have. It’s it’s the right thing for us, for some clients.
It’s interesting, but I always I always take heat maps with a grain of salt. I don’t believe all the data that comes from heat maps. The recordings are interesting to watch if you’ve got time to sift through them. But again, just taking everything with a grain of salt and, you know, pop ups on screens make things hard to see in these records. It’s just it’s free. And it’s interesting.
Maybe if you’ve got time, we have a lot of value in what we’re playing with.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, I’ve been out, by the way. Oh, sorry, go ahead, go ahead, please. Go ahead, Melissa. I was just going to say, since the beginning of my time fuel, I can’t tell you the number of clients that have asked about heat maps. And every time we look at a heat map, I just smack my head against the desk because it looks like you’re on the home page and like the logo is the most click thing.
Like, I don’t think this date is right. And most heat maps to see if links.
You have curser latency, you have cursor default locations. They screw up things like you said, overlays and heat map scrolling headliners. All this creates strange little like why is there a hotspot in the middle of what it’s like?
You find out it’s a scrolling button for your your headline or hotlink that you have on what headline or image that you didn’t have on another one.
So it’s like, what do you do with the information that is actionable information?
I mean, oh we learned that the further to the top and to the left that things are, the more they get click OK. OK, one thing that I got out of heat maps that you want to make your address more prominent than in the photo on the bottom. That’s the best thing I got out of a map is like, wow, you know, the Christabella.
And the other thing you’ll find from heat maps is that contrast maddis things of different colors. They stand out more and tell us that probably not.
But, you know, there is a God this an ancient piece on going back years now. But there’s an old Yakob Nielsen piece about doing heuristics with, you know, five to seven people. And it’s amazing how much you get out of taking five to seven people and just watching them navigate the site, whether you like testing dot com, whether you actually get some people in to do it the like, there’s ways to do it.
But it’s worth checking out what is turning into actionable things because you can get in. We use user testing all the time when we do a redesign and, you know, we share some of that. We used to share the whole videos with our clients and we stopped doing that because what would happen is one person would say something and they think that that was representative of everyone.
And I said, you’ve got to be really careful when you’re the reason I’m laughing about that story is I did a redesign of Windham’s websites, which were ascendence websites. I want to be fair. This is probably 2002, 2003, and we did an enormous amount of ethnographic research where we put into people’s homes and offices and in usability labs and watch them. We we watched 48 people use the sites, which is a huge number, and it was hysterical.
After the first five, we were taking copious notes about two things that we had to fix, and it was hysterical.
Watch people do it because they would do a search for Orlando, Florida, or San Diego, California.
We bring back 20 hotels or something. And literally to a person, the first five people all did precisely the same thing. We saw almost every do it, but within three or four people were like, oh, this is a real problem. And it told us something about our analytics was, you have to remember 2002, 2003, they’d get us they’d get a list of properties back.
And the very first thing everybody would do was lean in real close to look at the photos.
And that’s the second thing they would do was they would click on the photo and the time clicking on the photo didn’t do anything. So, of course, our analytics didn’t track that because analytics don’t track what happens when you don’t click and track what happens, what they do click.
Right. So it was this interesting thing and we were immediately like, must make photos larger, must make photos clickable.
So anyway, I apologize. I need to drop unfortunately.
Real quick before you go though, and I know I don’t want to come out, so I want to make sure I got to ask everyone, what is your New Year’s resolution for this year from an industry perspective?
Tim, I don’t have any resolutions, my resolutions are to stop having resolutions when they need help.
In all sincerity, my focus this year is, is how do we make sure our clients take the lessons that they’ve learned in the last year and apply the most effectively without overloading them, without working too hard in one direction or Idelson feel another way and they don’t want to get those computers back home.
Peter, Peter on Twitter today, Peter, just about every place else on social, but that’s how I get to use it.
Now, when you go to Tic-Tac, don’t look for Lauren Grey because she’s a really cute girl with five million followers. And let’s not make anything.
You got to go look for them, Peter, because.
Tim, thank you. Good seeing you, Melissa. Great stuff as ever. As always. Also like. Some of those. What are we missing? We got like two questions left, we can bring it to the very last actual question that I’m going over is the following the next time you travel, which of the following would you want the the property to communicate to you prior to your stay? So I’m thinking like pre-arrival kind of emails still at the top, local requirements over 70 percent and really closely followed by updated cleaning protocols at the property, also right in line with that open status of local restaurants.
So we’ve got two safety things. And then what the heck is going on that I can actually go to that is outside of your property and keep you along those lines? The local status of attractions and activities is substantially up compared to where it was on our last survey. So we were at fifty eight percent last time, were sixty four percent on local attractions. So reiterating what I’ve said, every time we’ve asked this question that people need to know outside of the four walls of their room, what else can they do?
And it is upon the hotelier’s responsibility to help people decide that. And we added a new response to this one, and that was vaccine requirements. And we had forty five percent said that they wanted to hear about a vaccine requirement for all the things. The more the better. Tell them as much as you can, but do it in a way that’s digestible. Inappropriate. You know, almost everything was over 60 percent, 60 to 70 percent of all the things that they want to hear about.
So, Adele, let me ask you something real quick. You’re more involved with team engagement and team responses to corporate ethics or management ethics. How do you think it’ll resonate if an employer hotel manager owner tells their team, in order for you to work here, I need you to take a backseat. There is death. I mean, if if the hospital can’t get all of their people to take a vaccine, it’s it’s it’s hard to imagine how a hotel room and that one.
I know, I know, because I know that I need medical people that are saying, you know, I don’t want to go through, had to make it as a joke, but I’m like, guys, I mean, you know, and then you do defer because if people are in the military, people defer to us, hey, you know, hospitality or, hey, you know this because you’re in the space. And I don’t I don’t know everything.
I you know, I have an opinion too soon, but, you know, then I have to look at the medical people the same way we all have it.
And if they have a personal perspective, not necessarily professional one I would love of a hotel said, hey, it really works here, has a vaccine. I would love that.
But I also, from a personal perspective, go I really can’t terminate somebody having been in that role, terminated somebody by telling them, I’m not going to force you to do something that medically or physically to fix your body, because I don’t want to do that in this country.
Are you going to get lawsuits? I just personally have an issue of forcing somebody. I’m sorry. I want you to go over and take it something that you don’t feel comfortable doing, because I think everyone should get a vaccine.
Absolutely. I think we should be educated and educate ourselves from multiple information sources and not just follow what the rhetoric that we used to following and really make an educated decision. And obviously, this this compelling evidence that vaccines in general work and that this one seems the efficacy seems to be high on the side. Effects seem to be minimal. I do believe everyone should. But when you, especially in America with civil liberty, is such a big thing to to tell people they have to do something, I, I don’t I don’t mean uproar about telling employers, telling their employees that they had to follow a particular political affiliation.
That’s just an opinion forcing gosh knows what it’s like to go over and tell somebody, I want you to inject your body with something that you don’t want to do.
I just it’s not going to happen does not agree with you. I encourage it. Just like we have fuel every year. We encourage our employees to get the flu vaccines out. You know, health insurance just makes it free for people. At one point, we used to have someone come in and do it for the most convenient, but not everyone would do it, you know? So what can you do?
Yeah, I just I completely agree with you. I want everybody to have to say I’m a person. I’m going to take a vaccine, whatever vaccine comes up that I’m first of all, before I’m in line.
And we need to set an example in the hospitality industry. We need it. It’s the only path towards recovery is successful vaccination and getting consumer confidence back. So we recognize about political opinions or medical opinions. We need to really do as much research as we can to make sure we’re educated and not just doing things based on our own crackpot theories. And then if we make that decision to get vaccinated, we need to tell everyone that we’re doing it and show everyone can be a beacon of light that spreads and encourage people to do it.
And I think it’s going to give me a superpower because my nano quantum harmonics are right ready for this if we start seeing the results to right.
So we start seeing line graphs, people getting the vaccines goes up and we start seeing graphs, people dying from coronavirus goes down. I think at some point that becomes.
Well, it’s a marketing thing, right? This is what we do every day, right? This is creating a narrative that compels people to do is persuading people to do something through narrative, which is now new nickname.
Did the computers express to merit pay?
To be fair. I think it’s him and you and me can can all stay married for as long as we have learned. And I think I think there’s this hope for medication.
I’m I could take that little pill every morning here. Honey, please. The wives deserve medals, that is. Oh yes, by far. Anyway, sorry, Melissa, you said there was two questions for us to go through.
And we just have the two word clouds that we haven’t talked about yet, although we did talk about one of them briefly. And that is what do I feel like now about travel? And I will feel I will travel when and as we said before, these clouds just really haven’t changed virtually at all. Safety bill, number one on what do you think about right now? We do have excited. We do have fun. We do have a couple of other fun things on what people are thinking about now.
But in general, it’s still safety restrictions, cautious, dangerous, scared, careful, etc.. And then in terms of looking forward, it’s still when I feel safe, that’s when I’m going to travel. I probably won’t add to the one thing that you guys have been instrumental on from this survey and also something we’ve talked about because of this survey many times over. Ask your guests why we still have this audience engagement of this as we go through this tragedy we’re going through of what are you looking forward to doing?
You know, going back to the old questions, it’s not just about I know you want to hear about what we’re doing for safety, should you when you choose to travel, that’s what you want to know about. Got that. Are you going to go skiing? Are you going to go surfboarding and whatever, you just begin to ask, what are the nuances of what’s of interest to you that we can provide you so that you feel that when you do make that choice, that we are giving you all the information that you need to make that choice with us.
I mean, you know, and continue the service process, continue to continue the engagement process with to remind more people don’t do that.
And it really does, like we talked earlier about what people can put the search on their website. They absolutely should do that. So that’s one thing that’s one takeaway from this episode. The other one is communication isn’t one way. It’s not just sending out emails to people. It’s asking for information back. We, we feel, could not have done the job we did this year for our clients. Have we not been asking these questions in these surveys?
And there’s nothing stopping in every hotel in the world from doing this. Every email you send out put a one or two questions on, you know, have people respond, you’re going to get inside, you’re going to learn and it will inform your decisions down the road. This is crazy to me that no one does that. Can you make your logo smaller, tardily?
Overline my logo on your survey when I send it out, just some saying, can you make a little I’ll send you the raw data if you want.
I am more than proud to point out I know these people because it’s one one 30.
I want I wanted to talk about your wallet. You know, I was just very fascinated by the whole travel and meter buying out from Wyndham Vacations.
And it just so happens that someone I went to school with thirty five years ago at the Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management in Houston was intimately involved with that.
And by the way, now he is actually an employee of Travel and Leisure. And I said, you know, why did they do it? Is it because they want to have a really good vehicle in which to advertise?
And and he said that isn’t what it was about. And I it was I was very fascinated. First of all, I didn’t realize that the Hilton Wyndham Hotels and the Wyndham destinations or vacations, what is completely two separate, publicly traded company based political beliefs, then.
Yeah, and they bought travel and leisure for Meredith, but then they gave them back an exclusive license to do the magazine so that it’s staying the same. I’m sure it might have some you know, there might be some implications later. But what it was really about was that they wanted to expand the timeshare area and open up new divisions, new verticals. They call them, for example, having a travel and leisure ottey or a travel and leisure travel club or even something.
The way it was described to me sounds a bit like a wholesaler where they may buy up a group of rooms from a hotel and sell them under the travel and leisure agency.
So basically buying the consumer of travel and leisure so that they can sell their other stuff to them.
And they got the content and the data. Yeah. So, yeah, the first thing with this is like the government buying our newspaper. But but now I think that the plan is a little bit different. So it’ll be exciting to see what happens. And they said that it started before the pandemic. This wasn’t a purchase. I you know, when I watched the purchases, for example, Red Lion by Cinespia, I always think, oh, everybody must be in a tough spot.
Maybe that’s why people are buying hotels left and right or acquiring them into their company.
But it seems like this was just a plan for growth that started before.
That makes a lot of sense. I mean, strategically, you know, data to Moisés data is the crown jewels. I think first party data is going to be the differentiator that helps people navigate this, whether that’s insight from your website or consumer information content, information, having data right now is the one thing you can do that gives you a competitive advantage against everyone else.
I’m trying not to be pessimistic about the DJ for transition, but it just lends itself that I’m going to think it’s going to take a decade before it’s. The majority of people use anger, I’m not saying that it’s not, but I also think, well, we probably said the same thing before the technology, before covid as well. But I’m just thinking that to me, it’s creating more reliance on Geia to tell you or Google to tell you what’s going on, because we were less informed as to what we can look at in hard data because it’s now all interpreted before we see it in a lot of ways.
And I think that that’s going to be a negative in the long haul, because then we’re just being told what we want to be, what they decide to tell us based on the data that they see, not what we see. So I’m trying to be optimistic that there’s more improvements to it. But in all honesty, I feel it’s just a deterioration of of going to our data.
You’re right, because they always vayle that the actions behind, quote unquote, privacy and consumer privacy when really if you look at most of the decisions they make, it means you have to pay them more money to get more insight or access, pay them to get access to consumers. So, yeah, I mean, it’s everything they’re doing. It is is more reinforcement that you should be investing heavily in your own CRM systems and your own acquisition of data, your own data policies, your own data plan like data is really where you need to be focused.
Your infrastructure right now, what are you collecting? You collect where you collect from and then what are you doing?
That and to Adel’s point to, I’m hoping because I went through the process of the reorganization of ownership’s after 9/11 and there was a lot of companies that didn’t give a rat’s bit about what they bought. They just wanted to monetize it and squeeze it for every penny they could and let it fall off the vine afterwards. And there’s been a lot of shifting, moving in a different landscape. And the reason why I brought up the conferencing and the value proposition of it is there’s a lot of people coming back into market that have been kind of vital to the side and may not have been so in tune with all the transitions of something as simplistic as technologies and or as complex as who owns them now.
And there is a different landscape to all of these things. And they’re going to come back with what they thought they knew back when they first left it to a whole new landscape of what they’re now facing. And there’s different players, different people that you didn’t think were important are now very important. So messed.
Well, hello. From fifty eight to there are going to be twelve hundred, but it’s a game to be unbelievable.
Yeah. So I don’t think we’re done right. I think we’re going to see a lot more shifting. We see a lot more consolidation and acquisition in the next 12 months I think. Yeah. Yeah.
I remember the price for getting adding nine what’s it. Nine hundred hotels.
But I mean that can’t really be I mean we can’t I mean that can’t really be actually owning the hotels.
Right. It’s the same thing as you saw in that in New York where they were buying percentages against debt. Note it’s not really a lot of money moving. It’s a lot of our take on assumed value and also obligation. It’s not like I’m having to spend a lot of money at it and it’s a leverage loss. And it just the finances are amazing to watch how these places did. This stuff is vultures in New York right now. They’re buying hotels that are worth a hundred twenty million that were bought by another company.
I mean, that they bought it for like sixty nine million and they picked up the note for less than two million. It’s crazy stuff that they did. And in some cases the same individuals were behind both deal. Right.
They just renegotiated. What they had is exposure. That’s what they did.
It’s and it’s just mind blowing how they can figure that all out. Now, banks will allow them. But I did want to make sure that we didn’t miss and I know I had already got to ask him this, but being that this is our first grouping of the New Year stuff and we’ve gone through some interesting things these past few days, I didn’t know. And I thought I’d just, you know, what is your New Year’s resolution business wise that you would think that twenty, twenty one represents for you?
Well, I think last year I was just saying I don’t want to approach anybody. I’m just going to let people get to know me, but I’m not going to approach anybody because everybody is in too much of their own mess right now and have their own challenges. But I’m not going to be like that anymore. Now I’m going to step out there and be more proactive. That’s my goal. That’s my resolution.
Mr. Dean, that’s a trick question, because if there’s anything I’ve learned of being in hospitality technology for many years now, is that when you ask that question of where do you see yourself five years from now, even a year from now, you’re probably wrong.
He brought him back. It’s just the truth.
So I would have to say that the answer is to be adept and nimble.
Mr. Stewart. Yeah, I mean, I don’t really have a business resolution, I think from a personal perspective, I’m definitely recommitting to health and fitness. I think. You know, I started out the year telling my staff, hey, we’ve got to be mentally and physically fit to get through this marathon, and that was on the back of a literal marathon there, Melissa and I did. And it was great. But I think as the as the year wore on, for me personally, it just got to me, man, psychologically, I just haven’t been myself.
And it’s been a struggle. And so I’m really in the last couple of weeks, recommitted to how I sleep, how I exercise mindfulness meditation again and the lights come back on. It’s crazy what a difference it makes in terms of my energy levels, my focus, my ability to think. And, you know, I think from a business perspective, building onto that, you know, we’ve got to be in the right spot because the one thing through life, through this whole year of what defines success for people and it’s a fine line between being the the type of company that’s going to.
Side versus scraping by in maybe not quite making it at the final hurdle and losing everything is agility. You’ve got to be agile and the only way you can be agile in business right now is through information. You’ve got to be paying attention to what’s happening in real time. And you’ve got to be willing to develop systems internally that are so flexible that you can you can change them. And that doesn’t mean just like going erratically. You have to have a guiding North Star.
So you’re directionally moving somewhere, but you’ve got to be ready to to pivot on a dime if you need to, based on information that is solid, not based on emotion, but based on data. So that’s just kind of mine as being mentally strong enough and prepared enough to be agile and strong enough to get through the next. And Tim’s right. It could be longer than we think it’s going to be. It could be another six months before we’re out of this in a meaningful way.
So we’ve got to we’ve got to be able to be there at the end of it. That’s the most important thing.
Well, speaking of being agile, as much as I have a love hate relationship with Google and all things my my goal for the years at least, have an implementation plan for GE for for not only our clients, but for the fuel booking engine, because we put analytics first on our booking engine and fourth rate so that you people who actually use our software can track all the things. So it’s going to be a big undertaking, but I’m excited about it and I’m a little bit more sublime.
But I find to me it’s it’s personally important. First off, Stuart, I completely empathize what you’re saying. I’m actually going through what you’re mentally going through right now, which is, you know, the physicalities of being better at sleeping better, eating better, exercising better, all that comfort, because to your point, it’s amazing the energy difference of being focused on those things versus not being focused on those things. But to me, mind’s a little bit of less the exclamations.
And what I mean is I use awesome too much. Awesome is an awesome, awesome, good, OK. And sometimes it’s great, but it’s not awesome. OK, and 15 exclamation points. I had only 15 exclamation points. I need maybe one and even then maybe not. You know, to be honest with from a marketing perspective, we seem to always have to push that edge.
Oh, it’s awesome. No, it’s not. It’s good. Well, it’s only good. Yeah, good means good, you know.
And no one I have to say, hey, fifteen isolation points. No, I you know, I think that it’s an inherent of what we’ve been going through that we always feel we have to push that. If I’m not saying awesome, then it’s not as good as you think. I’m trying to tell you like, oh, what you’re doing is awesome. No, no, it’s unbelievable. If it’s unbelievable, why am I believing it? I just I want to kind of knock my own.
Dial’s down a little bit, going, you know what? It’s good. It’s great, you know, but I haven’t had an awesome adventure recently. I’ve had good ones. I’ve had a great one. But it’s just still for me mentally to dial down.
We’ve kind of run this ramp and recent daily events have even brought that to even more of a highlight in my mind, that we just need to just sit back a little bit more in the saddle and not be so pushy on the terms and plus emails about and just be a little bit more like school and not take it that I’m insulting by saying it’s good, you know, it’s good to learn.
Were you one of my favorite people in this world? And one of the reasons is that you just make me happy. You bring the light into the room whenever you’re there. Right. And so I would say you certainly have an opportunity to not tell us that every single app that you download from your Krak website is amazing.
Oh, I’m going through therapy on now, but.
But if enthusiasm is down, that’s what you see there from 11 to attend, but don’t don’t go to Enron. I’ll still be excited to belong as much. I won’t use the overuse of superlatives, the saturation of Cipro. I will be excited about stuff. But I’m not dialing down my enthusiasm. I’m just that the superlatives that I think everybody has just gotten used to, that we’ve numbed up the awesome used to be beyond it used to be played in the world of baseball.
It was ludicrous. You know, now everybody’s going ludicrous speed. It’s like, well, what’s ludicrous? You know, I just want to bring it down to warp drive. It’s like, you know what? We don’t have to go to work ten on this one, go to work one and just be a little bit more accurate with the superlatives than that. But I still will be happy about a lot of stuff.
I love that. And dial down on the negative stuff. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
We don’t have to be as polarizing, but a lot of stuff and be a little more tolerant. And hopefully as we get past these things chronologically, that will happen in society in general anyway, that we’re less having to identify ourselves by flags in our front yard.
We’ve all got to be more tolerant. I have to give that lesson to my kids. This week there was a situation where when someone that is an influence to him and an adult that leads the group that he’s in was at the Capitol this week and had extreme views. And, you know, I personally don’t agree with everything he agrees with. But what I saw was a group of children, 14 year old children who attend this group where this gentleman is a leader and a mentor.
We’re all kind of imploding and saying, I can’t believe it. I’m not going back anymore like this. And then on the other side, people were supporting him. And it was just this conflict between 14 year olds that would have been whipped out of nothing. And so I set my kid down. And you got to understand that if you’re intolerant of his beliefs, you know better than the thing you’re intolerant of. You know, we’ve all got to learn to love each other.
We’ve all got to learn to accept each other and communicate with each other and not not with the intent of changing their mind because that people don’t change their mind overnight from one conversation. Let’s have a position of understanding with everyone because you you buy by vilifying or hating whoever that is. I know better than that person. So lovely. Well, to quote one of your favorite people, spirit of this still in absolutes.
I’m sorry I interrupted you.
Go ahead. I know you’re spot on with you. You said that. But we don’t have to agree with each other, and that’s OK.
Yeah, well, with that. Melissa, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I mean, Stuart probably has a small piece of this, something minor like just happened to be here on the show.
I don’t know. But no, it’s really the data. And believe me, when I first started looking at the information, I was like, I seriously want every client. I’m like, look, guys, this this is why I’m telling you we need to be doing this right now. I do believe it’s later than than just the consensus of what the report has. But I do believe this is an optimistic way of looking at the data. It is a growth potential.
It is opportunity. How soon that is is relative and of course, our potential where it lands. But there is going to be a tsunami in some aspect for regionality for businesses as those people that they cater to come out of what they wanted to do for travel. So to me, it was a wonderful representation of that. And thank you for that data and the details to it.
There was a lot of optimism and that was I screw this up last week when I said at the Churchill once said this may not be the beginning of the beginning of the end, but it’s the end of the beginning. So we we’ve got like there in front of us. And so there’s a lot to be hopeful for. But to Tim’s point, you’ve got to be really paying attention to the reality of living, and that’s the nature of our industry, is hope for the best and for the worst.
That’s what we do. You have to be scaled and scheduled for what we’re doing.
So all up to that, to that that we just don’t know quite yet.
Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
To Adell, if people know what you do where you got your podcast, just hang the hospitality reputation marketing podcast. It’s great reviews. I see. I had a great interview with Chef Hiken and one with the number three rated restaurant in the country on TripAdvisor. And I have a few in the bank coming up soon that are going to be really wonderful as well.
So including one with Sarah Dandachi. I’m sorry. Sorry I struggled with that one. Sarah Dandachi of the the concierge, I can’t remember now that I can’t remember, ask a concierge that’s the name of her company. It’s a new book coming out as well.
So the podcast makes me smile. I mean, this is like, yeah, that makes sense. And what website, website, website aspire reputation.
Marketing. You mean your podcast. New York, huh. Didn’t think of that where they can find you. Can find at metasearch marketing, dot com or base camp BET.com, speaking of podcast. We do have the heavy metal podcast. The most recent, one of which actually was kind of inspired by an article that I posted from two years ago, is actually talking about how the metasearch manager within an organization is driving a lot of the digital marketing in the future because of all of the aspects that come into metasearch.
You’ve got to learn about connectivity. You got to learn about certain marketing. You got learned about remarketing. You got to learn about pixels and URLs and all of those different things. So we’ve got a great podcast, actually, that was just put out on that topic. We’ll listen to that subscribe. We’ve got a great webinar series talking about all of those different things. So if you want to learn how to do all those different things, we’ve got a great one about that.
And last but not least, if you are that small who are still struggling to get onto Google Meta, we can make that happen for you. So we don’t care what we know. Listen, if they want to know about fuel, travel, Melissa, and all the cool stuff in your award winning podcast, that you are instrumentally keynoted as being the person that makes it all happen, where they can find the podcast and, of course, the survey and everything else.
And you have something about bookings and I’m not sure fuzzy on that one.
All those things and more can be found. Travel comingling are here and looking into in the podcast, all of the survey results are all there. And if you would like to connect with me personally, I’m more than happy to connect on LinkedIn to another.
I’m able to call you. But if they did, where would they find you here every Friday? Most weeks don’t get you a way to know your travel. Dotcom, like Melissa said, if you want to hit me up as your butler, Stewart is the correct way. And I’m not Stuart M. Butler on Twitter. Although people mistake me for him, who is a right wing conservative guy who likes to talk a lot about policies that, you know, probably aren’t in line with my opinions.
So don’t be stupid and Elsasser mystery.
You do downplay some of those things, but you’re still probably Salmiya. You still are doing tremendous stuff in Myrtle Beach, you know, and all compliments. I mean, everything that fuel travel has lived through and grown from have been amazing examples to a lot of companies. Should be an example to me that I just have the privilege of giving the good smile to the audience. But it’s the team behind the scenes as folks like Melissa and Phil and all that old gang that make the magic happen every day.
So very, very blessed to have a great team of people.
You know, now it’s it’s truly awesome. And then thank you all very, very much for the time today and for everyone else to join us in the conversations and on the other channels as well.
Again, as always, the show will recast at eleven thirty Sydney time on Wednesday this week, as well as I’m thirty London time. We thank for those who had to leave earlier. Ben Hendley with three and six marketing computer with Computer Associates. And who is them as having somebody miss somebody. One of the missing customers that miss somebody Lauren Lauren with and anybody for this show and our previous two hour and eighty two episodes.
Oh, we have a special guest host next week as well with more details to come on. That will put that into the email send as well. But if you want to get this show an opportunity to go to hospitality, digital marketing dot com for such live, there’s links for all of that. We do roll over the archive. So when you go there, you won’t see this long scrolling list of shows of the year because I got pushed into the twenty twenty archive.
So there’s that and also the podcast, which what we do in the new INTUITY three today that will recap the show as well. But the podcast as well at Hospitality doesn’t begin to account for sports podcast. I need to be talking to all of you because I want to use a platform that I’ve talked to Dean about already, called er me to do a product showcase free for everybody, free for participation, free for people to join, just to being the fact that people may have to start planning for what they need to start doing, kind of like a chance for everybody, kind of come in and sit down with Adele and talk about what reputation management can do for Dean for metasearch fieldtrip, if you guys want to.
I know it might be, obviously, but it’s just something that people can come in and sit down at the table and talk and then there will be feature ability. And just again, it’s not monetization. It’s a chance to get data out there for people that might have a more reasonable reason to sit down and spend a little bit longer time that we don’t give each of ourselves on the show here to learn more about what each of us do. So and everyone beyond those in the show will accept all comers to that.
We’ll make as many tables as people want to show up for. So that’s to come for when we see that schedule.
So with that in mind, thank you all. Next show to our lady for guest host. I think Stephanie, who is bringing her, is going to be with us as well from global marketing. So we’ll have more people on that as well. So thank you, everyone. Thanks for your time today. Melissa, again, thank you for the detailed information, as always. Good for everybody.
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