Saturday, June 20, 2015

Efforts of Minimizing Waster: A Case of New Zealand

Earlier this month, I attended the 13th APacCHRIE (Asia-Pacific Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education) Conference in Auckland, New Zealand. I was impressed with the country's effort of minimizing waste. As shown in my discussion on MultiBrief.com, I listed three examples I witnessed during the trip, including:
  • The bio loo (toilet) that collects, stores, and compost human waste. 
  • The "Make a Green Choice" program at the Rydges Hotel Auckland.
  • The two-button water-flush system in the city of Auckland. 
Interested in the pictures I took about the bio loo during this trip? Check out the photo album on my Facebook page.

sustainability, tourism, travel, New Zealand, bio loo, sustainable

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Travelers are now taking more short road trips

More travelers are taking more short road trips. Would you agree? There are good reasons behind that, as what I suggested in my recent discussion on MiltiBriefs
  • It becomes more troublesome and more expensive in air travel. 
  • Gas price is getting cheaper this summer.   
  • The green trend of #staycations and #staylocal continues to grow. 

In addition, my friends added the following explanations of this trend:

  • Americans are using less vacation time for real vacations. Instead, they use the vacation time for other things, such as the school events for kids, doctor's appointments, home improvement, etc. 
  • It is getting more expensive to take a long vacation, and the middle class is shrinking in the U.S. 

Do you see this trend coming? If so, what are your explanations? 

#Summer #Travel #Tourism #Trend #RoadTrips

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Finding a Dream Job = Dating for the Perfect Match

Finding a dream job is not about what others tell you what is the best for you. It is all about "fit." If you find a perfect-match (employer), you and your employer will be happy, and you will be successful in what you are doing at work. So, forget about the stereotypes others put on you. For example, just because somebody else has a good experience with an employer, or because an employer is perceived to be "superior" (e.g. a luxury hotel chain vs. a limited service hotel chain), it does not necessarily mean you will be happy working for this particular employer. 

Imagine if you were a vegetarian and forced to eat a filet mignon or a lobster tail. No matter how tasty everybody else tells you, would you be happy and able to finish the meats on the plate? Likewise, if you were a meat lover, would you be happy to eat veggie meals for the rest of your life? 

Visit http://bit.ly/lk052115 for the full discussion. 

#JobSearch #Career #Advice #PersonalityFit

Friday, May 15, 2015

Is Your Hotel Taking the Water Sense H2Otel Challenge? (By Karen Valeria Sandoval)




From 2011 to 2014, Californians can see how drastic the severe drought our planet has been facing is. Before Governor Brown declared in 2015 the Drought State of Emergency California was in, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) commenced the WaterSense H2Otel Challenge in the month of February of 2014. The principle of this challenge is to motivate all hotels to “ACT: Assess, Change, and Track.”. Since the last time I personally stayed at a hotel, I remember how water captivated an elegance on the premises. On the other hand, water isn’t only used as a decoration, but for different departments and functions in a hotel. Some of the biggest uses for water within these departments are kitchen/dishwashing, pools, cooling/heating, laundry, and landscaping. Unfortunately, during these past 10 years, the cost of water has increased and the 15% of total water that is used within these institutional facilities would have to begin undergoing water-efficient techniques for the variety of water needs hotels encounter. As WaterSense teamed up with EPA in this H2Otel Challenge, many hotels across the United States have been informed, challenged, and signed up for the pledge to “ACT”. Yet, hotels need to prove if WaterSense can have an effective influence on them and if facilities can promote these water-efficient changes and new techniques.

The challenge at work

WaterSense emphasizes that anyone, from an employee to a facility manager, can practice water-efficiency management for the better interest of the hotel. Many times, hotels do not have the control of how much water guests use within their rooms. A hotel cannot put a limit to the amount of water consumed by the guest for this will not solve the issue or spread awareness. An effective way to undergo this investigation is by following “ACT”.  What can be done first is an effective plan of “assess” and communication between the hotel and its guests regarding the water management goals. The key here is goals, not limits. This sets a clear line between what is to be achieved within the hotel with every guests stay without making them feel restrained from the consumption of water. After the hotel accepts the challenge to conserve water and be well informed of this monitor on water-use, the next step is to locate any equipment or water use/systems that pull large amounts of water consumption and commence some “changes” to lessen the intake on water. Next, monitor or “track” the process. Previous water bills can reveal if changes have been either effective or ineffective. To receive more feedback or a different point of view for new improvements, consider interviewing personnel, touring the facility, or checklists can help obtain more accurate calculations on the use of water intake.

One example of challenge participants 

From the many H2Otel Challenge Participants that pledged and were recorded as of April 15, 2015, one in particular has proven effective techniques and results for saving water. Kalaloch Lodge, located in Washington State, receives approximately 40,000 overnight guests each year. With that amount of guests, the lodge decided to get staff, guests, and WaterSense working together for a water conservation strategy that became a success for the hotel and a fun experience for the guests. The fun 5-minute shower challenge, timed with an egg timer and showerheads labeled with WaterSense, saved more than 1.37 million gallons of water, resulting in approximately $47,000 saved in water and sewer costs each year. Promotion of this conservation continues to expand towards the guests as Kalaloch Lodge tags in-room materials with slogans as “Water is Vital. Please Conserve.” to encourage and remind guests of the importance of water and its place at the lodge. With strategies like this, both guests and employees may express enjoyment and become educated while water consumption will reduce and the lodge finds pleasure in seeing the results environmentally, economically, and professionally. Hotel functions benefit from the water-saving ideas at Washington State.

Will you begin the challenge?

Many might not consider a change or different perspective on the use of water during the stay at a hotel. If the hotel makes this water crisis visible for the guests and is able to provide fun strategic ideas to captivate the guests’ interest, then there is a much higher chance of awareness for water conservation to take place that will benefit everyone. As simple as getting informed, any hotel can sign up to be a part of this H2Otel Challenge. “ACT” helps hotels to plan an effective connection between them and their guests about this subject. It is up to the hotels to demonstrate the work they put into the challenge, the effective changes that are made, and to track the results from the water-efficient techniques. Keep in mind, the goal is to guide and educate guests using creative ideas during the process. How will your hotel promote this WaterSense Challenge to your guests? 

About the author
Karen Valeria Sandoval

My name is Karen Valeria Sandoval and I am 19 years of age. I was born and raised in the city of Loma Linda, California. Two years ago, I decided to further my education in Hospitality Management at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California. With my HRT degree in hand one day, I wish to work in a luxury resort either out of state or in San Diego with intentions of becoming a manager. Currently, I am working as a waitress for special events at different reception halls for my parents’ family owned business. On time off from school and work, I enjoy traveling, taking photographs, surfing, and snowboarding. One day I hope to own a house near the beach and own a blue-eyed Siberian husky.

References

"EPA WaterSense | Commercial Water Use & Conservation | Tools & Training." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency. Web. 4 May 2015.
"The WaterSense Current Summer 2013." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency. Web. 4 May 2015.
"Top Story: State Urban Water Users Exceed 20 Percent Conservation Goal For December." California Drought. Web. 4 May 2015.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

NEWH and the Future of Tourism Design (by Talia Shapiro)


In January, I had the honor of representing the students of the Los Angeles Founding Chapter of NEWH (Network of Executive Women in Hospitality) in Dallas, Texas for its biannual national conference. NEWH is an organization committed to the future of the hospitality industry. The members are primarily in the design sector of the industry. I had the opportunity to meet with designers, production managers, suppliers, and many more interesting people. Within the context of the conference, I attended workshops addressing the future of the industry (primarily from a design standpoint). Professional panelists discussed the upcoming trends and ways for companies to be ahead of the game.

The panelists expressed that the industry is moving toward more modern design. In both hotels and restaurants, the future trends will ensure more space for the guests. Designers are aiming to make the space feel as big as possible rather than as full as possible. Through furniture, designers are doing this is by using large windows in hotel guest rooms and spacing out tables in restaurants.  Patterns also must be selected carefully to make the space feel open. For example, rather than using small circles on the walls, large circles are used on the walls or carpets. Finally, colors are chosen to brighten the space. Designers lean to a combination of pale colors such as white and light blue, with chocolate brown. In comparison to using combinations of dark colors and complex patterns, the simple patters and pale colors prove more modern and inviting.

I found these topics particularly interesting because my place of work, the Kellogg West Conference Center and Hotel, has been undergoing renovations spaced out over the past two years. The plans are to complete renovations in fall of 2015. In addition, the Renaissance LAX and the Sheraton Downtown Los Angeles are currently finishing up renovation projects. It is the time for change for many local hotels and it is very exciting. With California (Los Angeles specifically) being a top tourist destination in the United States, it is imperative that hotels are keeping up with the latest trends to attract guests.

Now, what is the importance of renovations in hotels from a guest perspective? Let’s take for example the Kellogg West. The hotel has taken quite some time to go through renovations. In the past, the organization has received negative feedback of the room designs. The current room design makes the guest rooms feel dark and cramped. The rooms have long sinks, and are home to a great deal of bulky furniture. The guest rooms have dark colored carpets and comforters. Finally, the lighting is quite dim. Combined, these design points make the room feel small and aged. However, renovation plans include adding lighting fixtures and using brighter bulbs. The carpets and bedding will be white. The accent colors in the room will be brown and light green. The sinks will be taken in and the furniture will be replaced with modern and less bulky pieces. These choices will brighten the room. They will also make it feel more inviting and comfortable for the guest. I anticipate that guest satisfaction will skyrocket upon the completion of the project.  

Talia Shapiro
I found it interesting that the current design plans for the Kellogg West seem to mirror what was spoken about at the NEWH conference. I imagine that the professionals are correct and through modernizing, guests will feel more comfortable. This is especially true with the targeting of the millennial. As a millennial myself, I argue that millennials generally prefer modern spaces with up-to-date gadgets in the rooms and everything within arms-length. Millennials, similar to many other travelers, want to experience an escape within the hotel room. We prefer something more extravagant than our bedrooms. With that in mind, how important is the design aspect of a hotel room? What is missing in hotel rooms that could improve guest experience and overall room sales?

About the author
Talia Shapiro is a student at the Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona. She is in her last quarter and will be graduating in June of 2015. She is taking Dr. Kwok’s class to learn about trends within the tourism industry. Talia is currently working as a Front Desk Supervisor at Kellogg West Conference Center and Hotel. She is an active student member of NEWH.

Monday, May 11, 2015

New Indoor Water Park Opens in Pennsylvania: More Success for the Area? (by Emmanuel Hernandez)

The Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Water Park opened on May 1st, 2015, in Tannersville, Pennsylvania. This water-park is considered as the largest indoor water-park in the Northeast. Personally, I have never been to an indoor water-park before, but I am very intrigued and inclined to visit one. This new water-park and hotel will be a great tourist attraction for vacation goers and leisure travelers. It offers 453 guest rooms and suites with plenty of options to choose from. Not only will this attraction be successful, but it can potentially give Tannersville, Pennsylvania more recognition and success for other businesses around the area. For example, nearby restaurants or museums will generate more business.
The Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Water-Park offers many activities for the whole family like water slides, swimming pools, hot tubs, and other non water activities such as an arcade, rock climbing, spas, and fitness centers. In essence, this water-park has activities for the whole family to enjoy and for all ages. There is also a restaurant where guests can enjoy a delicious meal. In addition to all those great things, the place also has space to rent for conventions or parties. This place is truly an all-in-one type deal. The good thing about having an indoor water-park is that the air temperature is controlled. For example, even during the winter, this hotel and water-park can generate sales because the temperature inside could be warm, even though the outside temperature is cold. Overall, this new attraction has me inclined to take a nice vacation with my family any time of the year. I am sure this will give the travel and tourism industry (as well as the hospitality industry in general) great success.
Another great win for residents in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, is that this new indoor water-park and hotel will give residents more opportunities for employment. It will have a great impact on the travel and tourism industry because it will generate even more sales than it already has. The travel and tourism industry also employs billions of people around the world. The industry is expanding and will continue to expand and grow in success.
Do you think this new hotel and indoor water-park will succeed or fail? Why? If you ever been to an indoor water-park, what was your experience like? If you haven’t been to an indoor water-park, are you inclined to visit one after hearing what they have to offer?

References:
N/A. “The $163 Million 453key Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Water Park Opens in the Pocono Mountains.” Business Wire. 01 May, 2015. Web.

About the Author
Emmanuel Hernandez is currently attending California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, pursing a degree in hospitality management. The hospitality industry first appealed to him in high school where he took a restaurant management class and was asked to compete in the ProStart Cup 2013. He and his team managed to win the third place in the management competition and was awarded scholarships to different culinary schools in America. Since then, he knew he wanted to pursue a career in hospitality management.  Emmanuel also hopes to get a minor in English, due to his love for literature and writing. He hopes he will one day manage a successful hotel or restaurant while becoming the next bestselling author.