Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Is it common for large companies with a lot of applicants to ignore a job candidate’s follow up email after an interview if they’ve decided not to proceed with the interview process or job offer?

We do it all the time, and — since there's always a chance we could maybe do something next month or quarter with an applicant we passed on this month or quarter, we always try to avoid committing ourselves to an outright refusal — we're probably doing you a favor when we do.

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(Unless, of course, it's your attitude that you were entitled to that or any other specific job, in which case we don't want you . . .)

Our application forms (the use of which we we require at every level: we don't accept resumes, letter of reference or recommendation, or other instruments of “obfuscation, misinformation or embellishment”) clearly state that your application is merely a unilateral expression of interest by you and does not, by the simple fact of its submission to us by you, make you a candidate. While as a matter of practice we probably will, we don't owe you to even look at it.

What do you think of the following business name: ''Last Room Club'' for a business selling hotel rooms for the same day with significant discount?

It's as good a name as any for something that there's already dozens of out there, and that even hotel operators who deal with them deal with them at all only because they feel like they have to, lack enthusiasm for, and even resent a little. (Actually, I like the name better than many that I've seen for deep discount online travel agencies.)

As names go, worse can be had, I suppose. Most of the ones I can think of for deep discount OTAs aren't suitable for use in polite company.

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A few things that drive us nuts:

We don't like dumping our rooms cheap because we can't find a way to rent them for a decent price. If we can afford not to, we won't. I'd rather let a few $140-per-night rooms stand empty than to rent them to people who, if I let them have it for $75 one time, will get spoiled and never again see them as worth more than $75. Letting you sell our $140 a night rooms for fifty bucks, and making it too easy for too many people to get them at that price, doesn't exactly enhance the perceived value of our product — why should anyone want to pay even a hundred bucks a night for something you can get for fifty bucks? And when we have to because we can't afford not to, it makes us sick. If you're just doing it because you need the money, you may be relieved to getthe money, but it still makes you feel like a loser.

How do you know a hotel will do well in a given location?

I've seen hotels built for the most respectable reasons, after carefully researching a market, the planned location of the hotel, and that area's needs, and what sort of hotel would best answer those needs. I've seen them built for reasons as not-so-respectable as the fact that the owner owned the site and wanted to put a hotel on it (never mind it would be the worst part of town in which to locate a hotel, or that town had less-than-zero need or demand for new hotels at all), or someone had friends, family or a girlfriend living in a certain town; or someone had a relative who needed a job and the owner figured, how hard can running a hotel be? People who can access the resources to build a hotel can put one wherever they can secure a building site, and many do so, shall we say, quite freely.

Here is how I go about it.

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We look at the specific location within a town that we have in mind. Just being in one part of town or another can make quite a difference even in a smaller city. So, you want to sort out your existing hotels in a city by the individual submarkets within that city in which they are located.

HVS divides most larger cities into recognized submarkets, but you can identify them yourself (adequately, if not altogether accurately by HVS's methodology) by bringing up a city in which you're considering a new hotel on Google Maps, searching 'hotels', and noticing in what areas of town that the little red symbols that represent the hotels that come up seem to be clustered on that map. A few isolated properties will occur, but each of these clusters indicates the presence of a separate submarket.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Would you recommend using to book a hotel room? Why or why not?

Never. Call the hotel directly and you can get a better deal.

Online travel agencies charge a commission of 20–25% of the amount you pay. So if you call me, I’d give you a better rate, and still come out better than the net payable to the hotel if you were to call them.

Or call any hotel and do the same trick. AAA and AARP are not ‘publicly available rates’, and while you should be a member, many hotels don’t question it if you ask for them. That gets you ten percent off what you’d pay on most OTA sites, unless they’re handing out deep discounts like candy.

If the hotel agreed to one of those, they deserve exactly what they get.

Originally appeared on Quora

I've heard that hotel staff deliberately disable the keycards of guests they dislike. Can anyone confirm this, or tell of other things hospitality staff do to get back at badly behaved patrons?

Just a little thought at all should tell you that this story is not credible.

If I took a dislike to a guest, the last thing I would want to do is disable his key card, unless there was some business or security related reason I had to, because you know exactly what's going to happen: the guy's not going to be able to get into his room, and he's going to be at the desk, in your face, complaining, and you've got to put up with him, for at least long enough to fix his card.

The same goes for any other juvenile pranks that you might want to do to a guest to get paybacks or make his life miserable. Never mind the guest is unhappy (which is always a very large concern with us), but any employee who enjoys the kind of confrontation that would result from something like that is too sick to have a job.Even if you feel that it's justified in some way, it just doesn't work.

And that's before we even go there about the consequences if the guest complaints to management . . . or even worse, to the franchise organization (who will often comp the room and give him a full refund and a bunch of free coupons to make him feel better about the whole thing, just for showing up and complaining, then bill it all back to your hotel, and you're going to have a very unhappy general manager) . . or the health department.

Why is tourism in Antarctica so expensive? Why don't they expand the tourist industry and decrease the prices?

Find me enough people who want to travel there and spend a few days to keep a 60-to-80 room hotel about 60 to 80% full on a daily basis at $1000–1500 per night (there'd be a lot of logistical factors to think about including snow removal, heat and electricity; none of which will be as attainable or as easy as it would be in a less desolate place with at least some infrastructure; before we even go there about vastly increased construction costs, so I'm not confident we could get the rates down even that low. . .); and perhaps we'll give a little more thought to putting a hotel there.

Until then, we're not making any big plans to go there for the same reason we don't want to build a hotel in Hell, or in some ISIS-controlled area of Syria, or in some small warlord-controlled town in Somalia or drug cartel-controlled village in Honduras, or in the middle of the Sahara Desert . . . because nobody wants to go there and there's no market for it.

Accordingly, anyone who does have a reason to go down there and spend a few days has to be able to bear the entire cost of what is required for them to stay (or survive) there . . .

Originally appeared on Quora

Being a skilled writer, what is the best approach to solicit free stays at the finest bed and breakfasts or resorts in exchange for a detailed and thorough 5-star review of said places?

You're on your own with this one: work it out however you can work it out, with whatever B&B owner.

It may sound like I'm being unhelpful (depending upon what you had in mind, maybe I am — frankly, I’m a little skeptical of your intentions), but I'll help you with this much: hotels get no end of requests such as this (involving either cash payment or comp rooms) from both vendors and from people who think they can provide some 'service' to the hotel having “public relations” value that would have people flocking to us. A hotel manager might probably view even a potentially workable scheme skeptically and with some cynicism.

One of the most annoying things about the “hospitality industry” for people working in it is that everyone has an idea that’ll make a million bucks — so long as it’s someone else’s million bucks. As a matter of policy, we don’t publish our fax numbers, and give them out at all only very selectively; because every month, a tree dies to make enough paper to print out the junk advertising faxes that show up (cheap linens and terry, used furniture, directory listings in hotel directories that no one’s ever heard of, used furniture, secret 5-star review formulae, Nigerian fraud schemes, etc.) at hotels that do. I’ve been able to put up with having the same e-mail address for the last ten years only because I use anti-spam and Gmail filters religiously. And it’s hard for me to be polite to salespeople who call me two or three times a month at random times (usually interrupting something I’m doing) just to “touch base”.