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Fulfilment Center Demand Poses Zoning Challenges

In 1997, Washington-based helped pioneer the online home delivery business. In 1999 the company expanded to Oregon, and in 2001 was purchased by Webvan, a California-based company that had just ordered a $1 billion warehouse facility to support what was going to be a new era of online grocery shopping.

By 2007, both companies had filed for bankruptcy.

Part of Webvan’s failure could be attributed to the online bubble bursting. But culture — and consumers’ lack of familiarity with technology — may have played a role as well. According to a Pew survey, in September 2007 just 49% of American adults had ever purchased a product online. The percentage of regular Internet users who had bought an item online was higher — 66% — but e-commerce was far from the norm at the time Webvan folded.

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By 2020, e-commerce was more mainstream — and the sector increased rapidly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a report by internet retailer Digital Commerce 360, approximately $1 in $5 spent on retail purchases came from online orders in the first quarter of 2021.

Oregon is a particularly good state for fulfillment centers, being a midpoint between major metros like Seattle and San Francisco. In June, Amazon paid $27 million for land intended for the I-5 Logistics Center to build a fulfilment center of its own along the I-5 corridor.

A July report from commercial real estate company JLL found more than 70% of logistics experts expected e-commerce to drive the growth of logistics centers by over 5% in the next three years. over a quarter of them expected growth over 20%. When asked to identify the largest constraint facing occupiers, 43% reported lack of available real estate.

“We are running out of industrial land. Developers aren’t having the ability to develop. There’s more demand than we have available land. Will soon run out,” says Tyler Sheils, industrial real estate lead at JLL’s Portland office. “Functionality and location is leading the dance, so to speak.”

Coach Your Team Members

Anyone with experience or credentials can manage a team, but your managerial responsibilities include more than just task delegation and timecard approval. To be a good manager, you must focus on the growth of your team members as well as your company.

The best managers know how to strategically incorporate the strengths of each team member to build a successful organization. According to Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation, good managers use emotional intelligence and soft skills to do this.

“Traditionally, we have been taught to believe that the person with the highest IQ in the room is the smartest,” Sweeney told Business News Daily. “However, science is increasingly proving that individuals with emotional intelligence and its four core skills – which include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management – are actually the top performers within any company.”

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To create a valuable, dedicated team, you’ll have to advocate for them. Like good coaches, bosses should keep employees motivated and passionate about the work they do. This will help your team avoid burnout and enjoy delivering their best work. “Effective managers coach by asking questions, empowering their team members to think deeply, and generate solutions,” said Shtull. “In turn, team members gain confidence and grow, and ultimately become amazing bosses themselves.”

Let employees know you care about their futures and careers. Provide them with the training and knowledge they need to succeed in the workplace. Good managers are not threatened by the growth and success of their employees; instead, they embrace and encourage change.

“I believe a great manager knows how to tap into the strengths of their team members and turn their unique abilities into strong performances,” said Sweeney. “A good manager is not threatened by change in the workplace – whether it’s a change in how certain processes are done or new leadership – and embraces and encourages new ideas and ways of doing things.”

If you mentor your team so they can achieve their full potential, you will also see your organization succeed as a result.

Types Of Content To Consider In Your Strategy Part II

There are several types of content you can incorporate into your content strategy. One isn’t necessarily better than another. Whether it works for you will depend on execution, your audience, the topic and more. Here are a few you should consider using:

User-generated content. By using your customers’ photos, videos or words (testimonials) to talk about their relationship with your business, you put the spotlight on them and reinforce your brand’s credibility.

White papers. White papers break down complicated information, research, or data, providing expert-level information to help audiences make a decision, understand a topic, or solve a problem.

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E-books. Longer than a blog post but shorter than a novel, e-books allow you to explore a topic at length, all while giving your customers the information they need. Some companies use e-books as an incentive when they sign up for a newsletter or service. They can also be featured on your website for anyone to view.

Podcasts. While written content is very effective, some consumers will not have the time to read it. A podcast is a good option for those whom you want to reach but who may not engage with your written content.

Social media. Social media channels make it easy to connect with your audience. It also gives you a way to distribute or repurpose the content that you have created. Whether you use LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you can amplify your message.

Penalties for Violating HOS Rules

If a commercial truck driver violates HOS rules, the FMCSA may place the driver on shutdown at roadside until they accumulate a sufficient number of off-duty hours to become compliant game judi slot. The FMCSA might also levy civil penalties on the driver. Drivers can be charged with federal criminal penalties if they knowingly and willfully violate FMCSA regulations. State and local law enforcement officials can also fine drivers for violating regulations.
Adverse driving conditions
Truck drivers can extend their maximum driving limit by two hours (i.e., from 11 hours to 13 hours for property-carrying drivers, and from 10 hours to 12 hours for passenger-carrying drivers) per shift if they face adverse driving conditions daftar slot online. To qualify for this exemption, the driver could not

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Know there were adverse driving conditions before starting their shift
Anticipate the adverse driving conditions using either common sense or trip planning tools
The adverse driving condition exception does not extend the 14-hour (15-hour) rule for either type of driver. The driver must stop and layover within an 11-hour drive time if it is safe to do so, if they cannot return to their home base within 14 hours (or under the 16-hour exception).

Emergency conditions
Emergency conditions may enable some or all HOS rules to be temporarily lifted. A federal or state institution must declare and acknowledge a state of emergency for this exemption to apply.

The FMCSA can impose civil penalties on the carrier. Fines range from $1,000 to $11,000 per violation depending on the severity of the rule being broken. The agency can downgrade the carrier’s safety rating if there are multiple violations. It can also impose federal criminal penalties against a carrier if they knowingly and willfully allow or require their truck drivers to violate the regulations.

Everything You Need to Know About Digital Nomad Visas

Not too long ago, the concept of catering specifically to digital nomads was too new and strange for most countries to truly understand all of the long-term benefits. It looks like things are going to be making a drastic change soon as countries are starting to open up to the reality of how financially sustainable it is to start attracting digital nomads with specialized visa options.

Tourism has taken a hit all around the world and some countries are pivoting to appeal to digital nomads and remote workers. Since a lot of tourist destinations are either closed or requiring a 14-day quarantine, it’s easy to see why luring in digital nomads for 6-12 months is a win for everyone involved. The new idea of digital nomad visas is gaining a lot of popularity around the world.

Read More: info hp terbaru

It isn’t hard to understand why it has taken this long. Many of us who are digital nomads today have been doing this for over a decade. Throughout this time, it was common for media corporations and research agencies to contact us and ask questions about our lifestyle. When trends are new, it is easy for people (and especially government entities) to be skeptical as to whether or not they will stick around. Now that digital nomads have established ourselves as a sizable chunk of the world’s workforce and are based in all habitable corners of the Earth, remote work visas are becoming much easier to find.

Why get a digital nomad visa?
As a digital nomad, you will constantly be facing immigration bureaucracy in each country that you visit. As those of us who have been doing this for a while know too well, sometimes you just need to have a basecamp that you can depend on for a long-term stay. There are times when traveling and site-seeing can turn a little mundane and you just want to spend a month or two being productive and getting some work done.

In many parts of the world, you will have a hard time securing a visa that is more than 90 days long. In some cases, the maximum visa that you can attain will only be 30 days. As workers that typically enjoy traveling around at a much slower pace than a typical tourist, this amount of time is simply not feasible. This is why the idea of digital nomad visas has been gaining steam in many countries around the world.

2021: Year of the digital nomad visa

As nomads look toward the future, the data is clear that remote workers are not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, digital nomads are growing in numbers every day. Each time somebody picks up a computer and creates a profile on a remote job board, they are adding on to an already-large group of workers around the globe.

Looking toward the future, it’s great to see some countries open up their borders for remote workers by offering digital nomad visas with minimal restrictions. Generally, a little bit of proof that you are who you say you are is all that is needed to gain a long-term stay under remote work visas.

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  1. Estonia
    Estonia was one of the pioneers of the digital nomad visa and paving the way for nomads and entrepreneurs. Being a small country with a rich history (and even free public transportation), there is a wide breadth of culture and sites to see in this country with a minimal budget. To secure a digital nomad visa in this country, you simply need to prove a monthly income of about €3500 to get a long-term stay. If you want a nice gateway to the rest of Europe and a consistent home base on this continent, Estonia might be the best option for you to explore.
  2. Georgia
    Georgia is a bit of a hidden gem. They have their own unique language script, are the inventors of wine, and are creators of breathtaking architecture. Not to mention, some of the best natural views the world has to offer. If you can prove that you have consistent employment and health insurance, you will be able to secure a remote work visa in Georgia.
  3. Barbados
    Barbados provides the mystical Caribbean island setting that many people only dream of visiting for special occasions such as honeymoons or short-term vacations. If you have been dreaming of living the island life in one of the world’s most gorgeous tropical settings, Barbados has it all. If you already make over $50,000USD a year, then you can secure a digital nomad visa in this Caribbean paradise.
  4. Croatia

Croatia is one of the best-kept secrets in Europe and traditionally where digital nomads would go to get out of the Schengen area. With some of the greatest beaches in Europe in towns like Split and the national treasure of Plitvice Lakes National Park, this is a great country to pursue a long-term residence. The exact terms of the visa are still pending, but it’s expected to change quickly in the future.

Are there any other countries considering digital nomad visas?
In addition to the countries listed above, it’s anticipated that more and more countries will jump on the bandwagon of digital nomad visas simply due to the extra income and cultural exchanges that they can provide for the world. Countries like Indonesia are soon to be the next on the list to add a digital nomad visa.

Olúmidé Gbenro has been helping pave the way with a petition for digital nomads to come to Bali and Indonesia and he had this to say: “I’ve been collaborating with Indonesian community like Wahyu Taufiq to make the Digital Nomad visa for Indonesia a reality. We’ve submitted a formal proposal to the President of Indonesia through the Secretariat office in Jakarta and also started a petition that is fast growing and has over 2000 signatures from both Indonesians and remote entrepreneurs from around the world.”

Throughout the past decade, there has been a huge influx of digital nomads and remote workers pursuing a lifestyle of location independence. Now that countries are starting to accept this lifestyle and notice the economic and cultural benefits of helping facilitate this lifestyle, it is only a matter of time. It may very well be common in a decade or so for countries all around the world to have remote work visas. As a result, now is the best opportunity available for anybody still working a desk job to start a new life as a remote worker.

Things That Successful Businesses do to Show Their Employees They Care

Things That Successful Businesses do to Show Their Employees They Care

Business opportunities – As we frequently say, the representatives are the heart or soul of any business. Subsequently, in case you’re focused on building your business and change it into an effective endeavor, at that point representative joy ought to be a first concern. For most business people, this may mean contribution workers a cutthroat advantages bundle, yet others don’t see the need to show their representatives that they esteem them.

There are a few reasons why you should show your representatives that you give it a second thought. First off, when your workers feel esteemed, they will exceed all expectations for your business. Moreover, your representatives will be more joyful with their work. Yet, how would you show your workers that you give it a second thought? Here are five things that best organizations do to show their workers that they give it a second thought.

Train Your Employees

Dedicated workers will in general be driven, skilled, and prepared to learn. In the event that you end up recruiting such a representative, you will not save them for long if your business doesn’t have freedoms to develop and learn. Along these lines, ensure that you give your representatives in-house or re-appropriated mastering freedoms to secure new abilities and become better at what they do.

Draw in with workers at an individual level

Since you’re the business doesn’t imply that you shouldn’t stop for talk with your representatives. A straightforward discussion with your workers can cause them to feel saw and esteemed.

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Innovative Ways Hotels Can Survive the Covid-19 Travel Crunch

Before Covid-19 slammed the breaks on air travel, the revenue forecasts for the global hotel trade were looking rosy. Corporate travel expenditure alone was projected in some forecasts to grow into a $1.7 trillion industry mega-segment by 2023.

But, thanks to coronavirus, instead of harvesting one of the biggest revenue growth-spurts in the history of hotels, hoteliers are facing the toughest time in industry history.

It isn’t all doom and gloom, however. Around the world, travel bubbles and corridors are forming, facilitating new flows of movement and consequently, hotel room occupancy. According to an August 2020 CBRE report on the state of the Australian travel industry, what would have otherwise been international travel has turned inward. Regional travel within Australia is on the rise, with one leading hotel industry publication declaring a ‘renaissance’ in domestic travel. Other’s report the emergence of an Australia-NZ travel bubble which will help sustain the tourism industry in both counties.

This pattern is being followed around the world as governments enter into new agreements, opening borders for business and, after a proven testing period, possible tourism. Until then, tourism and business travel markets everywhere are turning inwards, as people choose domestic destinations for pleasure, and pursue commercial opportunities at home when they can’t be pursued abroad.

While the industry as a whole is known as an early adopter and embracer of digital disruption, many segments of the hotel trade have lagged, either due to having a well-established customer base or brand recognition or simply being lucky enough to be in a highly desirable location with reliable tourism activity.

As someone who’s worked in the hotel and hospitality industry, I empathize deeply with hoteliers, who are experiencing some of the worst of Covid-19’s economic fallout.

These are 7 Innovative, but simple ways hotels can maximize booking at their hotels and access newly emerging domestic markets, and with a healthy dash of good luck, outlast the coronavirus.

  1. Try a chatbot competition
    Successful marketing strategies using chatbots, such as engaging Messenger users with giveaway competitions with the chance to win exciting travel prizes (made even more attractive by the prolonged lock-down) are both simple to set-up and scalable to fit the size of the hotel or campaign. Chatbots like ManyChat leverage the much higher opt-in rates shown for Messenger communications when compared to other formats to drive high digital marketing investment ROI. They also provide hotels with a new a rich source of market data to draw insight from or drive product innovation with – an asset every hotel needs if it wants to remain relevant to its customers and ready to respond nimbly in a volatile market.
  2. Make your hotel shine visually
    Ultimately, hotels are spaces – and being more competitive by offering customers a better pre-inspection experience is an approach dating back to when someone first uploaded (via dial-up) a grainy jpeg of a hotel room, taken on their flashy, new top-of-the-range 4-megapixel camera. Now, the variety of visual experiences hotels can now offer as part of their customer experience range from ultra-zoomable 4K images through to immersive, interactive guest inspections conducted through everyday smartphones. But offering a great visual experience isn’t just about glitz. Travelers are more cautious than ever and having a better pre-arrival viewing option in hotel marketing can soothe a range of guest security and safety concerns – far more prevalent now globally than at any time in recent history. The desire for better viewing experiences at the research and consideration stages of the customer journey is likely to fuel massive innovation in the near future. Expect VR marketing to make a bold reentrance in this space to address these new top-of-mind priorities for hotel guests.
  3. Strategically leverage your email list
    Many established hotels, who have been operating for decades, have developed considerable email lists, but haven’t used them to fuel their social media marketing. Taking the time to clean your email lists (polish-up the excel skills if you must) and uploading them to Facebook (for example) gives a hotel a chance at reconnecting with their previous customers. It’s important to make your recontact count and engagements strategic. Engaging with people about your hotel during a time where some people are in lock-down needs to be done with sensitivity. But silence isn’t a viable option. Markets exist and are waiting to be spoken to about travel options – and who better to start with than people who already know your brand?
  4. Invest in PR
    As the saying goes, a crowd attracts a crowd, and the conversation (or lack of) around a hotel’s brand in social media can make, or break it. Brands are judged by what others say about it – hotels are no exception. As competition grows around a small market suffering a bombardment of marketing messages, they will increasingly rely on social proof to validate their decision making. Strategic investments in PR, through either a digital agency or strategic internal hire, will pay dividends as audiences apply ever-higher levels of scrutiny of brands and their offers by looking at what others say about them on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
  5. Beware of third-party booking sites
    It cannot be overstated how much a bad third-party booking experience can destroy a Hotel’s revenue potential. The ever-present demands for seamlessness, simplicity, and security whenever making a purchase or transaction means if a hotel’s websites link to a slow or less-than-transparent third-party booking site – guests will turn away. It is vital hotels select their booking partners wisely and make sure each step of their potential guest’s journey is smooth and trust-inspiring, especially when they are about to make payment!
  6. Harness the power of data
    It’s so simple, but not enough hotels do it: collect survey data. Once again, Chatbot technology provides hotels with a viable way to carry out reliable surveys and provide accurate customer feedback about their experience throughout their stay. By getting near-real-time insights about guest experiences at key moments, such as after a meal at a restaurant, or using a bookable facility, hotels can pin-point where satisfaction levels are at their highest – and where they need the most help.
  7. Optimize your website
    Unfortunately, most hotels have stuck to the brochure theme with their websites, offering a flat, one-way digital experience to prospective guests. This ‘Brochureware’ approach has been eclipsed by developments in both eCommerce and digital technology. Here, the hotel sector can learn a lot from retail. Retail has matured to the point where even the smallest brands have highly functional eCommerce websites, offering audiences enormous scope for pre-purchase research and play during decision making. Optimizing user experience in ways they are already familiar with will make any brand stand out, and given the low base of hotels in most markets – even more so.

Travel and hotel demand will return
Heart-warming reports of industry growth and the optimistic outlook of some of the world’s largest hotel chains, like the one shared by Saville Group in this most recent quarterly wrap-up, delivered in April this year. While the 2023 target of 1.7 trillion for corporate travel expenditure may be put off for a while due to the unforeseeable speed-bump of 2020, there is broad confidence that a new form of ‘business-as-usual’ will be achieved and economies will be allowed to function normally once again. For most small hotels, though, getting through the next few seasons will be touch-and-go.

Ultimately, the secret to getting through this crisis is for hotels is to adopt the same sort of customer-centric and technology-leveraged approach adopted by other small brands in other sectors. This may force a sharp learning curve, but it’s one that will, in the long-term, improve how hotels are marketed and operated long after 2020 and coronavirus is behind us.

Innovative Ways Hotels Can Use Instagram to Get Travelers Into Bed

To put it mildly, 2020 hasn’t been very kind to the hospitality industry. The economic fallout of Covid-19 travel restrictions has put hotel owners under increased pressure to attract guests and keep the lights on. Though disruption in the sector is hardly new, business owners will need to place their marketing mix under the microscope as lockdowns begin to ease. One thing is for certain, Instagram will always be central to a winning (and cost-effective) social media strategy that drives direct bookings. Here are four ways hotels can leverage the platform to position for revenue recovery and attract guests into bed as domestic and international travel markets start to awaken.

  1. Targeted giveaway campaigns
    Who doesn’t like a freebie? Giveaways are fast and reasonably affordable promotional tools for driving engagement and customer loyalty. In other words, likes, shares, and comments are more important than aimlessly posting the same five photos hoping to generate sales. The more your guests are talking about their stay and sharing their experiences, the better.

Setting up a giveaway on Instagram doesn’t require a great deal of investment or research and the rules are very simple. For example, a hotel could encourage people to tag a friend in the comments to win a free night’s accommodation or receive a discount on their stay. This is a great way to keep users on your profile and entice them into making a booking. By tagging a friend, they keep the conversation going. Use a photo that showcases the offering and consider a carousel post with the instructions contained in an image or short video as well.

A more ambitious approach would be asking past and existing guests to share their own photos with a unique hashtag (more on that later) to win a prize. The photo might be a view from their window or a selfie that includes some of the hotel’s amenities. This is an excellent way to highlight the positive experiences of guests and have them do some of the marketing leg work for your business. And the best part: word of mouth doesn’t cost a thing.

  1. Piggyback on influencers

Influencer marketing has exploded in recent years and can be a useful strategy for hotels with deeper pockets and several locations. Recruiting influencers to promote your hotel on Instagram can certainly have an impact on its brand exposure and sales. Research indicates many businesses are seeing a return of over $5 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing – not a bad return if you’re targeting millennials in particular. So what’s the catch?

Influencer marketing requires extensive planning and research before implementation. The market is quite saturated at all levels, from small-time players with a few thousand followers (micro-influencers) to established individuals commanding millions. Hotel managers need to understand who their guests are and what segment of the market they primarily fit into before reaching out to influencers. Always be wary of scam profiles run by individuals looking for free accommodation or perks without offering so much as a selfie or shout-out in return.

Hotel chains that are famous for adopting influencer marketing strategies include Hilton and Marriott. Hilton enlisted some of Instagram’s most popular travel influencers to create content for its ‘Seven Urban Wonders of the Urban World’ campaign in 2018. The campaign targeted an audience of over 3 million combined followers and received nearly 2,000 comments across various accounts. Marriott is taking a slightly different approach, promoting its Moxy budget hotels to younger travelers by tapping into the mid and micro-influencer market. Micro-influencers tend to have better engagement levels than the big fish with millions of followers and can get people in a particular city or area talking very quickly. In the case of Moxy, hotels continue to pop up around the world and its Instagram profile has over 90,000 followers despite the pandemic.

  1. Boost stories with hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to increase brand visibility and there is definitely a science behind using them. Earlier we looked at unique, promotion-specific hashtags that allow users to generate targeted content for brands, but hashtags on day to day posts and stories need some attention too.

This is where it pays to do a little research and think about who your guests are. Using broad and popular hashtags will certainly increase reach, but your posts may be drowned out in an ocean of similar content. If you don’t receive many international guests, consider using tourism-related hashtags that target local audiences. This is even more helpful in today’s Instagram environment as users can follow hashtags as well as profile.

The same goes for stories. Users often neglect hashtags in stories, but including up to 3 hashtags in each story can help drive traffic to your profile and allow your stories to show up in hashtag-specific searches like any other post. Considering using one hashtag with over a million posts, one with fewer than 500,000 posts and another with fewer than 100,000 seems to be most effective.

If you find hashtags clutter your stories with text, you can get creative and hide them behind stickers or animated gifs. Using relevant hashtags will help Instagram categorize your posts effectively, meaning your hotel will appear in the explore feed.

  1. Make your Instagram feed shoppable
    Instagram boasts over 1 billion active users and is perhaps the most lucrative social media platform for online sales and advertising. While dwarfed by Facebook’s 2.6 billion active users, ever since its inception, it’s been the platform of choice for travelers looking for accommodation options and inspiration. Couple that with Instagram’s enormous average engagement lead over its bigger social media sibling, it would seem that Instagram offers hotels far superior selling opportunities. Yet to-date, hotels have struggled to drive room bookings from audience engagement on Instagram. Enter ‘Shop Now’.

The Shop Now feature is a much needed Instagram advancement, allowing brands of all kinds – hotels included – to transform social media content engagement into revenue gains. In the past, brands such as Conrad Hotels and Starwood developed hotel booking marketing funnels linked to Instagram feeds, but the process was far from seamless. Heeding the industry’s frustrations, Instagram and Shopify have developed and streamlined a range of new action buttons specifically for booking hotel rooms and making other travel reservations.

Powered by its partnership with Shopify, Instagram now enables any hotel to develop seamless checkout experiences. Thankfully, Instagram has simplified the process of adding this feature, making it easier to quickly transform your hotel business profile into a direct-booking funnel, without leaving the app platform. To add booking call-to-action buttons to your hotel business profile, all you need to do is follow six simple steps:

Go to your Instagram business profile ( of course, you’ll need to make sure you’re approved for Instagram shopping)
Tap ‘Edit Profile’
Under Public Business Information, tap Contact Options
Tap the Add Action button
Select the action button you want to be added and tap Next
Enter the hotel website booking page URL and tap Done. It’s that easy.
With any new feature that’s released, there is an opportunity to pioneer a new way and invent a new method and user experience. I believe that in time the Instagram shop now tab will be the Tik Tok disruption for hotels in the future. How are they used currently? Well, there’s not too many hotels using this feature well, so nows a good time to start and be the brand that stands out from the crowd.

No one knows for sure how long and arduous the post-COVID19 road to recovery for the hotel industry will be. Despite the slump, hotels need to start ramping up their investments on Instagram and position themselves to attract guests. But one thing is certain, while people are prevented from traveling, wanderlust grows, and hundreds of millions of users, hungry (perhaps starving) for their next trip away will be daydreaming on Instagram long before their next destination or accommodation choices are made.

Entrepreneurs Who Built Businesses Off Their Love of Travel

Quit your job to travel the world — it’s a reality for some and a pipe dream for others. And still others flip the cliché on its head to turn travel — or the business of travel — into their jobs.

Click through to meet seven entrepreneurs who successfully started their own travel companies, from a college grad who built a business out of emailing flight deals to his friends to a healthcare industry veteran using data science to revolutionize travel planning. They share how they got started, how they made money and what they wish they’d known at the beginning.

Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, What his company does: Scott’s Cheap Flights is an email newsletter with both free and paid subscription options. It alerts subscribers to cheap flight deals in real time and has saved people more than $1,000,000 on travel to date.

How he got his start: “Necessity is the mother of invention,” Keyes says. As a recent college graduate working in journalism, he didn’t have a lot of money, but he wanted to travel. To make it happen, Keyes started immersing himself in guides, video tutorials and message boards on everything from credit card points to cheap flight hacks. It paid off in 2013 when Keyes found the best deal of his life: a nonstop round-trip flight from New York City to Milan for just $130. He remembers his palms sweating and his hands shaking, but he booked the trip before the deal disappeared — then jetted off to explore Milan, ski the Alps and visit Lake Como. Upon his return, Keyes was overwhelmed with colleagues asking him if they could let them in on the next deal he found, so he started an email list to keep his friends informed.

For the first 18 months, it wasn’t a business at all, “just a hobby that I did for fun in my free time,” Keyes says. By summer 2015, that email list had grown large enough that Keyes would need to start paying to send it out via MailChimp. The high level of interest prompted him to gauge how many people would be willing to shell out a couple of bucks for the service. His initial goal was simply to break even on the email-sending cost: Get 25 people to pay $2 a month.

How he turned a profit: The idea of convincing people to pay for something they’re used to getting for free concerned Keyes, so he set an extremely low price point at first with $2 a month. The first week was touch-and-go, but after a few weeks, he had made $100. After a few months, he and his co-founder realized that on $2 a month, “credit card fees are eating you alive,” Keyes says. At a standard 3 percent plus 30 cents per transaction, card companies were earning double-digit percentages on every transaction. They graduated to a longer-term subscription model to save on fees: $15 for three months, $25 for six months or $39 for one year.

His secret to success: “There’s a little bit of an illusion or a story we like to tell ourselves — that as soon as we get things up to a certain point, then we can stop working as hard,” Keyes says. Although that might be true for passive income such as ongoing book sales, it’s not true for business. “The more it grows, the bigger it gets, more people are relying on you,” Keyes says. It’s important to make sure you’re passionate about what you’re building.

What he wishes he’d known: Don’t quit your day job too soon and too early. There’s “real romanticism about the tireless entrepreneur who quits their job and liquidates their bank account” because they worked so hard at their dream, Keyes says — but you don’t hear as much about the startups that don’t work out. He kept in mind the idea that most startups fail in order to stay humble and to remind himself to be smart financially. It wasn’t until six months after Keyes made his first dollar that he stopped taking on freelance writing projects, and although he knew he’d never feel 100 percent ready, he advises gathering enough evidence that there’s a market for your product or service before jumping in with both feet.

Top consumer tip: Keyes says one lesser-known tool is the fact that if you book a flight directly with an airline, you’re entitled by law to a 24-hour no-fee cancellation period (unless the flight departs within a week). If you find a great deal, you can buy the flight, lock in the price for yourself and then decide whether to keep it. “In general, the better the price is, the shorter [the time] it’s going to last,” Keyes says.

Best Ways You Can Use Messenger Chatbots To Create Better Hotel Guest Experiences

The travel and tourism industry has been dramatically affected by Covid-19 and while the world waits to bear the economic toll that is still being tallied, the use of smart technology has paved the way for a new way of operating for hoteliers, restaurants, and travel companies. The use of QR codes, adaptions of technology to alleviate human contact has been fastly deployed. Significant technological advances have taken place in short periods of time. Hotels that have been behind the 8-ball from a technology standpoint are having to play catch up in a world and industry that is ever-changing and rapidly progressing faster than what humans can bare to keep up. There is no doubt that technology is moving fast and as a business, especially a hotel industry, the importance to be tech-friendly and stay ahead of the curve is beginning to become harder.

The hotel industry is influenced by customer service and customers are demanding that Hotels become more efficient through implementing tech-savvy guest experiences to ensure guests’ safety. With Covid-19 the demand for automation and less contact requires hotels to adapt to a more technological way of operating these tech advances are costly and time-consuming. Nonetheless, expectations and demands of hotels adapting a technologically advanced user experience are rising, leaving hotels to feel as if they are being left behind. This process from check-in to check-out and the guest’s experience in between can be largely automated through implementing a feature called messenger chatbots.

How can the travel and tourism industry stay ahead of the tech curve, avoid the crunch of COVID, whilst increasing revenue, but most of all create better guest experiences using Messenger chatbots?

Chatbots, when used correctly, can control all parts of your Hotel’s business, sales, and increasing revenue, saving time on operations and increasing staff efficiency, de-clutter the information desk, save time on answering guest queries through the hotel switchboard, ordering room service, informing the hotel to make up the room, hotel event reminders, direct response marketing, generating 1000’s of 5-star reviews, and more, all whilst creating a seamless user experience, alleviating time-consuming tasks of employees, and delivering on-demand answers to the customer’s queries. Whether its using Manychat, Chatfuel, or any of the other messenger chatbots that are in the market, you won’t be disappointed once you start implementing them into your hotel.

Here are 4 ways to create a guest-friendly customer experience using messenger chatbots.

Reduce no-shows and increase occupancy
Confirmation email open rates have been an issue for Hotels for years. Emails come across as spammy or marketing material. With Manychat a feature is to use the platform to send out a text directly to your guest’s Facebook Messenger app. The result is a 90% open rate. A smarter way to inform your guests when local events are happening such as happy hour/ poolside, to confirm a booking or whatever it may be.

Contactless customer support
Avoid visiting the information desk or phoning the switchboard at the front desk with questions and save having to go back to your room in order to call guest services, reception, etc. After check-in, guests can receive a text from the hotel asking to “opt-in” for room problems, questions, room service, queries, whether you wish to have your room serviced, etc. Manychat has a function that allows Hotels to do the ‘Text us at XXX-XXXX if you are having a problem. Guests can just text the number for faster responses and avoid any unnecessary wait times leaving more time for Pina Coladas at the poolside bar.

Leverage From QR Codes :

If COVID has taught even the least tech-friendly businesses anything it’s that you can point your camera, scan a tiny little barcode, and automatically check-in and open up quick responses. QR codes in the room or in the information book can easily be scanned and will direct the guest to messenger for more information. QR codes can be used for Menus, room service, booking massage or spa treatments

Generate 1000’s of reviews and boost your ranking
I’ve been a marketer and traveler for years now and when my wife and I travel our goto for food, hotels are Tripadvisor. If a hotel or restaurant is ranked in the top 10 we will visit, stay, or dine there. If it’s outside the top 10 then it rarely makes the cut unless we are looking for something more budget-friendly or just a simple layover. Chatfuel has thousands of functions, one that I love is the ability to be able to sequence a series of messages to guests and then use that information and generate thousands of 5-star reviews in very short periods of time.