The Global Hospitality Advisor® caught up with Smith Travel Research’s Mark Lamanno and posed some “Frequently Asked Questions” or FAQs about the industry’s leading information and data provider.
Advisor: Mark, in a nutshell, what does Smith Travel Research do?
Mark Lamanno: Smith Travel Research (STR) is the lodging industry’s leading information and data provider. STR has the most comprehensive database of hotel performance information ever compiled. Whether you’re a hotel owner or operator, management company, real estate consultant, appraiser, lender or an entrepreneur looking for an investment opportunity, you need reliable, objective and authoritative business intelligence. You need great data. That’s what Smith Travel Research is all about.
Advisor: Where does STR get its data?
Lomanno: Each month STR collects performance data on over 22,000 hotels representing more than 2.7 million rooms. This data comes to us from chain headquarters, management companies, owners and directly from independent hotels. The data is audited for accuracy and checked for adherence to the STR reporting guidelines. We also collect daily performance data from over 18,000 hotels each week. Advisor: What data does STR collect from hotels? Lomanno: STR collects three pieces of data from over 22,000 hotels each month: rooms available for occupancy, rooms sold and room revenue.
Advisor: Can I get an individual hotel’s data?
Lomanno: No. STR takes every precaution to guarantee data confidentiality. Strict controls are maintained in each processing step to ensure that data is handled correctly and responsibly. STR is forbidden to release individual hotel brand or company specific data. By meeting these strict requirements, STR has successfully conducted the STAR program since 1987.
Advisor: How does STR find out about new hotels and changes to existing properties?
Lomanno: STR has a census department that is constantly cleaning and verifying our database. Each hotel in our U.S. census is contacted each year to corroborate information. Each of the lodging companies we have relationships with also informs us of new hotels and conversions in and out of their brand. We also get information from convention and visitors bureaus, periodicals, consultant reviews and other relationships with development organizations.
Advisor: Who buys your data?
Lomanno: Every chain and most major management and owner groups are our clients. In addition we sell our data to consultants, Wall Street bankers and other institutions. We make selected data sets available for free to members of the press and to universities.
Advisor: Where can I find out more?
Lomanno: Please check out our Web site at www.smithtravelresearch.com or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615.824.8664.