Busy Days for 2018

As the peak season for 2018 comes to a close, we take a look back at our work. It has been a really busy 2018 for BOCO Boutique hotel (Cospicua) and Lemon Tree Bed & Breakfast (Zabbar).

In June we marked the first anniversary for both properties and by that time we were already in full swing; welcoming more guests that the previous year. In fact during the first 12 months of operations we have hosted over 1000 guests spending over 2500 bed nights in one of our rooms.

From the looks of it, the second year will exceed our own targets and expectations and as we prepare to open our 3rd property – Pjazza Suites Boutique Hotel – we thank our committed staff and trustworthy partners for their focus and dedication.

Do you own a property that you wish to convert into a boutique hotel? Do you need someone to manage your guesthouse? Give us a call on 00356 79470791 (Anson) for a quick chat on the potential returns on your investment.

Lemon Tree Bed and Breakfast – a sneak preview

After 9 months of hard work, the almost derelict village home in Zabbar has been transformed into a welcoming Mediterranean Bed & Breakfast surrounding a sun-kissed court yard.

Today we want to share with you a sneak preview as we start setting up the rooms.

Managing Guest Expectations

A recent infographic published by Red Lion Hotels Corporation undertook the difficult task to analyse the shift in mindset of a modern traveller.

As they admit,

In recent years, hotel guests’ expectations have shifted. As generations begin traveling, their preferences become more defined and they want more options.This modern mindset seeks out convenience, innovation and personalization.

However, addressing only this shift would mean that your hospitality is focused only on Millennials, risking to loose out on business from anyone over 35 years of age!

These new expectations are challenging the hospitality industry to rethink the entire guest journey, including pre-stay and post-stay, amenities, services and experiences.

Rethinking might not be enough! What is perhaps more effective is a holistic approach to guest expectations’ management. Now that we “know” what each age group predominantly expects, we can tailor our service to meet such expectations.


The chart above indicates, according to RLHC, what each age group expects out of a hospitality establishment for each part of their stay. The column on the left refers to Baby Boomers (aged 52+), the middle column refers to Generation X guests (aged between 36 and 51) and the right-most column lists the expectations of Millenials (18-35 year olds).

Therefore, unless you are operating an establishment exclusively targeted at one of these age groups, you need to find a great compromise between these expectations.

This will become your Guest Expectations Strategy.

Top Travel Trends for 2016

TripAdvisor recently polled more than 44,000 travelers and hoteliers about their plans for 2016.Why will people travel in 2016? How will these travelers decide what to do and where to stay? Will they spend more or less than they did in 2015? And what impact are their choices having on the travel industry as a whole?

Trend #1 – Seeking new experiences

In the coming year, travelers of all ages will seek out things they haven’t tried before, from cruises to solo travel and more.

  • Globally, 69% of travelers plan to try something new in 2016.
  • 1 in 5 global travelers said they would try a cruise for the first time next year.
  • 17% will try solo travel for the first time in 2016; 15% will try adventure travel for the first time.

Trend #2 – Spending more because it’s “worth it”

Worldwide, travelers are open to spending more in 2016 than they have in the past—and not just because of rising costs.

  • 1 in 3 travelers (33%) are planning to spend more on travel in 2016 than they did the previous year.
  • Among those who plan to increase their travel budget, 49% said they will do so because “because I or my family deserve it.”
  • 31% said they would spend more on travel because “it’s important for my health and well-being.”

Trend #3 – Choosing destinations based on culture, special offers

Today’s travelers choose destinations for a number of reasons, including special offers from accommodations.

  • Globally, 47% of travelers say they have visited a destination because of the culture and people of the specific country.
  • 1 in 5 travelers (21%) have chosen a destination because a hotel had a special offer or package.
  • “TV tourism” is on the rise: 1 in 5 global travelers have visited a destination because they saw it on a TV show.

Trend #4 – Staying cool and connected

Among the amenities that travelers will look for when they book an accommodation in 2016, air conditioning and WiFi stand out.

  • Globally, 63% of travelers said air conditioning is a must-have when choosing a place to stay. That makes it more of a deal-breaker than breakfast (40%) or a swimming pool (26%).
  • 46% said free in-room WiFi is a must-have amenity—meaning that, if an accommodation did not provide it, they would look elsewhere.
  • 26% of travelers said that they require an accommodation that has super-fast WiFi; 11% are willing to pay extra for this service.

Trend #5 – Rising room rates (and optimism)

Many accommodations plan to raise their room rates next year, while the majority of hoteliers say they’re optimistic about profitability in 2016.

  • Nearly half of hoteliers globally plan to increase room rates in 2016 (47%).
  • Most accommodations are increasing rates to compensate for increased overhead costs (65%), although more than a third are increasing rates because of recently completed renovations (37%) or because of increased demand (35%).
  • 3 in 4 business owners are optimistic about profitability in 2016. The majority of those who are optimistic say it’s because of local events and conferences taking place in their markets next year (65%).
  • 91% of hoteliers see increasing direct bookings as key for the future of their business.

Trend #6 – Managing reputations online

Online presence remains important: In 2016, businesses will be keeping a close eye on what people are saying about them on the web.

  • 93% of hoteliers said that online traveler reviews are important for the future of their business.
  • Online reputation management is still the biggest area of investment for accommodation owners in 2016, with 59% investing more in this area than they did the previous year.

Conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor by independent research firm Ipsos, TripBarometer is the world’s largest traveler and accommodation survey, analyzing more than 44,000 responses from travelers and hoteliers around the globe. Download the full report here.

UBER: A Small Island’s Traffic Solution?

The Maltese Chamber for Small and Medium Enterprises (GRTU) has recently voiced it’s opinion towards a possible solution to the island’s traffic congestion problem.

Through it’s VP, Marcel Mizzi, the Chamber asked a very pertinent question:

Could UBER be part of a solution for our traffic problems ?

Their short answer is YES… “applied to the Malta scenario UBER could definitely work. Distances are short and there should be no shortage of drivers.”

Mizzi proceeds to giving an example where as a commuter you would need to run an errand in the Capital, Valletta. “Using your car will mean the cost of the fuel which can be substantial if you include the extra fuel that you waste looking for parking. Most likely you will also end up having to either pay for your parking or at least for CVA*”.

“With UBER, the costs incurred by the driver will only be the fuel costs from your location to Valletta and most likely, if the system is well known he would very likely pick another passenger from Valletta on his way back.”

Finally we have a business body that is looking at UBER as the ultimate evil but as a plausible solution to a growing concern. Kudos to that!

Read the full article here.


*CVA is equivalent to a Congestion Fee and is levied to all vehicles driving through and parking in Vallette

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