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Driftwood Hospitality Management Debuts First-Ever Quarterly Trend Report Findings

Thursday, September 19, 2013
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Hospitality Management

Driftwood Hospitality Management (www.TheDriftwoodDifference.com) today announced the results of the company’s first-ever Quarterly Trend Report. Driftwood surveyed each property in the portfolio on a variety of topics, from the needs of millennials (those generally born in the 1980s to the early 2000s) to new food and beverage initiatives. More than 80 percent of the company’s general managers responded; 45 percent hail from urban hotels and 33 percent from interstate properties. More than half of the responses came from full-service hotels, with the remaining split between focus service and extended stay.

“After implementing this new survey process, we are now better able to gauge where our portfolio stands collectively and ensure we remain at the forefront of the industry when it comes to anticipating emerging business trends,” said Brian Quinn, Driftwood’s EVP of Development.

Why is ‘Going Green’ so Important?
• Nearly 64 percent of general managers polled have embraced green programs this year, indicating this is “Very Important”
• 53 percent agree it’s important for a hotel to go green in order to be more environmentally conscious and make a positive impact
• Nearly 27 percent of respondents indicated their desire to go green is based on reducing costs and creating operational efficiencies
Healthier Menu Options Taking Precedent in F&B
• 73 percent of respondents indicated their F&B department has made an effort to incorporate healthier menu offerings in 2013
• The top two healthy efforts listed include “adding healthy snacks” and “adding new or additional gluten-free items”
• More than 63 percent of respondents have added locally sourced and organic options to their menus in 2013, indicating a focus in this area
One Driftwood property, The Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa in Costa Rica, has taken this concept even further. General Manager Donovan Garcia said, “we have built our own sustainable farm and are now producing 20 different products that we serve in our restaurant. Sustainability and local fare are very important to our guests.”

Online Review Sites and Social Media Remain Important
Another hot industry topic has been the importance of online review sites like TripAdvisor, as well as social media. Based on the responses from Driftwood general managers, the value of these online platforms is now understood and embraced.
• 85 percent believe online review sites and social media are “Very Important” as part of a marketing and guest relations strategy
• All Driftwood hotels polled are using Facebook to interact with consumers, with 57 percent currently using Twitter and 30 percent using FourSquare
• 50 percent of properties surveyed indicated that the general manager responds personally to online comments; one-third have appointed a full-time employee to manage the process
What do Millennial Travelers Expect from Today’s Hotels?
Driftwood asked general managers what they believe millennials want, based on customer comments and reviews, when traveling for leisure versus traveling for business.
• Much focus has been put on amenities by the brands, but 43 percent of Driftwood general managers believe price is the #1 concern of millennial travelers when choosing where to stay for leisure travel; fast and free Wi-Fi is still important, with 20 percent listing it as the top concern
• 40 percent believe the #1 consideration for millennial travelers traveling on business is the hotel’s loyalty program; nearly 27 percent of respondents indicated fast and free Wi-Fi remained the top concern
2013 Trends
Going green, wellness-oriented F&B programs, social media and millennial travelers continue to be trends of interest in the hospitality industry. Driftwood general managers repeatedly indicated the availability of free, fast Wi-Fi throughout the property remains a matter of high importance. However, Driftwood’s general manager population identified three distinct trends that could become more prevalent in the year to come.
• Increased engagement through various social media platforms, boosting guest and hotel communications, as well as customer service satisfaction
• Shorter booking windows
• An increasing number of guests per room due to the emergence family/multi-generational travel

About Driftwood Hospitality Management
Based in North Palm Beach, Fla., Driftwood Hospitality Management, LLC is a leader in providing solutions-based services for the domestic and international hotel industry. Guided by The Driftwood Difference – Flexibility, Diversity, Integrity, Accessibility, Originality, the company covers the full spectrum of lodging business needs. From full-service, upscale and upper-upscale hotels to mid-size extended-stay, select and limited-service properties, Driftwood’s portfolio represents virtually every segment of the hospitality industry. Focused on strategic acquisition, development, third-party management, asset management and receivership, Driftwood has extensive management experience and relationships with most major brands, including Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Hilton Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group, Inc., Carlson, Choice Hotels International, Inc. and Wyndham Worldwide. With offices in Costa Rica, Scottsdale, Ariz. and Miami, Fla., the company and its hotels have received more than 20 industry awards in the past three years.
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