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A call for press to attend EyeforTravel North America 2017

EyeforTravel ·20m
With attendees from brands such as Priceline, Lola, IHG, Marriott, Hilton, Expedia, Booking.com, Club Med, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Trivago and many more - this is the perfect opportunity to find out from the decision makers themselves where the industry is headed and what the upcoming trends are before anybody else.The event will be taking place at the Mandalay Bay over 2 days and will cover travel distribution, marketing, data, RM & Pricing as well as technology. On both days, the event will start with keynote presentations until the lunch break, after which the event will split into 2 tracks and attendees will be able to choose the sessions they would most benefit from.Some of the keynotes at the event include:* Prepare for the Next Wave of Disruption: What Will the Industry and Your Business Look Like In 10 Years' Time?Fireside chat: The State of Travel with the Priceline GroupHow is the Macroeconomic Landscape Impacting the Travel Industry?Building Brand Loyalty in an Era of Abundant ChoicePersonalisation to Drive Ancillary Sales, Customer Satisfaction and LoyaltyCreating a Complete Customer Experience Through Smart PartnershipsFireside Presentation & Q&A - Delving into Rise of The Non-Traditional Accommodation ModelPoised for Digital Transformation: How Will AI Revolutionize Travel?Virtual and Augmented Reality: Hype or Hit?Connecting the Data Dots to Build and Create Personalized Interactions using Complete Customer ProfilesThe All-Inclusive Hotel Experience - Creating and Enhancing an Authentic All-Inclusive Guest ExperienceA Mobile-First Mindset: From Search and Inspiration to Traffic and TransactionsSome of the latest speakers announced include:Paul English, CEO, LolaTodd Henrich, SVP - Corporate Development, Priceline Group Noah Brodsky, Senior VP - Worldwide Loyalty & Engagement, Wyndham Hotels Ben Bates, Commercial Excellence Manager, Booking.comMichael Menis, SVP -Digital & Voice Channels, IHGMichael Marino, Senior VP - Loyalty & Digital, Caesars Corporation Michelle Woodley, Executive Vice President, Preferred Hotels and ResortsDan Christian, Chief Digital Officer, The Travel CorporationDr Sascha Meskendahl, Chief Revenue Officer, Blacklane Jay Fluegel, Head of Product - Customer Care, Expedia Parker Stanberry, Co-founder & CEO, Oasis Cliff Johnson, Co-Founder & Chief Development Officer, Vacasa Sam Macdonnell, Chief Technology Officer, Hotel TonightMichael Almeraris, Global Mobile Virtual Reality Partnerships & Strategy, GoogleKevin Froemming, EVP & Chief Marketing Officer, Playa Hotels & ResortsTo attend the event as press, please complete this form:https://goo.gl/forms/PIvDWR7Nu8VJD6eF2For more information, please get in touch with:Nikhil VijayanMarketing ManagerEyeforTravelnikhil@eyefortravel.com+44 (0) 207 375 7165
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Intelity Mobile Messaging System FREE to Qualified Hotels

Intelity ·22m
Orlando, Fla. -- Hotels are realizing the importance of messaging to build loyalty, increase engagement and enhance guest's overall experience. According to Skift, an expected additional 1.1 billion new users are set to adopt messaging by the end of 2018, for a total of 3.6 billion users, making "messaging" the new social media. To help hoteliers stay competitive and communicate with their guests more efficiently, Intelity has designed a new Unified Messaging Portal to enable guests to place requests with hotel staff via the messaging channel of their choice, whether it be SMS text or social media. "Mercury: Messaging" is Intelity's new tool, being offered at ZERO cost for the SMS-only version to qualifying hospitality organizations or upgrade to the full version to include Facebook messaging."If you have a mobile device, then you likely have a messaging app on it," said Gregg Hopkins, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Intelity. "Messaging apps have completely changed the way that people communicate, and they've become ubiquitous in today's world, especially in the travel industry. For hoteliers, a messaging platform will enable guests to access information and basic service offerings quickly and seamlessly. With more and more hotels looking for ways to create personalized experiences for guests, messaging apps are a desired channel for driving two-way communications."Whether the guest is at home, in route to the hotel, or lounging poolside, they will have the messaging tools they need to make requests instantly and efficiently," he said. "Better yet, any company wanting to offer this two-way SMS messaging service to their customers can do so by white-labeling the Mercury technology from Intelity."Consider these statistics:Messaging apps are now 20% bigger than social networks. (Business Insider Intelligence)Studies have found that 36% of consumers using messaging apps are using two or more of them on their phones. The majority (64%) of consumers use at least one messaging app. (Media Kix)Texting is the most widely used and frequently used app on a smartphone, with 97% of Americans using it at least once a day. (Pew Internet)Over 80% of adults text, making it the most common cell phone activity. (Pew Internet)Text messages have a 98% open rate; email has only a 20% open rate. (Mobile Marketing Watch)Text messaging has a 45% response rate, while email only has a 6% response rate. (Velocify)Texting takes up 14.1% of cell phone users' time. (Nielsen)90% of all text messages are read in under 3 minutes. (Connect Mogul)80% of people are currently using texting for business. (eWeek)One in five consumers is just as likely to prefer a text message from a business to a phone call. (ICMI)"Messaging is becoming a big game changer for the hotels," Hopkins said. "Most of the major chains have already begun implementing messaging into their branded apps. While apps are proving to be personalized, adaptive, and responsive, they are also expensive to develop and implement. Intelity created Mercury to collect data from guests (namely buying behaviors and preferences), so hotels could drive target marketing and leverage upsell opportunities." GETTING MERCURYToday, Intelity is offering a single-channel SMS texting service version of Mercury FREE to any qualified hospitality organization. To receive it, hotels simply text their name, company name, and email address to Intelity at (407) 499-4030 to request an invitation to use Mercury. Once approved, Intelity will provide hoteliers with instructions on how to download Mercury. In doing so, hotel guests will have immediate access to a convenient portal to make requests, while hoteliers can use it to push through customer requests in a centralized interface resulting in more efficient hotel operations. UPGRADE TO FULL MERCURYIntelity has also developed a multi-channel version of Mercury that will extend the two-way SMS messaging service to the hotel's social channels. This will enable travelers to communicate directly with the hotel via the hotel's Facebook page, and will soon include Twitter and other means of communication. Mercury will route the message to the hotel and the appropriate staff member will provide a prompt reply."Mercury: Messaging is the perfect complement to any hotel's mobile or digital strategy," Hopkins said. "For those hotels that don't already have the Intelity Guest Service platform, Mercury messaging will extend your hotel's ability to remain in communication with guests beyond their initial stay. For those supplementing ICE: Control Panel with Mercury: Messaging or white labeling it as their stand-alone messaging app, this tool will keep your hotel top-of-mind for guests and engage with them along every step of their journey."For more information about Intelity's solutions for the hospitality industry, click here.
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Angie Hospitality Set to Present Latest Advances in Interactive Guest Room Technology at HTNG North American Insight Summit

Angie Hospitality ·31m
San Jose, Calif. -- Angie Hospitality, creator of the world's first 24-hour interactive guest room assistant, Wi-Fi and room control technology solution purpose-built for hotels and resorts, has been asked to provide insight on its game changing solution at the HTNG North American Insight Summit. The event is scheduled to take place September 26-27 at the Westfields Marriott Hotel in Chantilly, Virginia. Angie Hospitality will present audience members with an informative presentation on Angie's multiple features and benefits at 3:45 p.m. on September 26 in the Lincoln Forum Auditorium. With leading members of the hospitality community expected to attend, valuable details will be provided on how increasing trends in online and voice-activated services can now be leveraged in a way that maximizes guest satisfaction, streamlines hotel operations and provides additional revenue opportunities."It is a true privilege to be able to provide insight on how Angie is filling an industry need that each day becomes more apparent, with hotel guests increasingly demanding greater online connectivity, as well as faster and more personalized service," says Ted Helvey, CEO of Angie Hospitality. "With the growing availability of technologies that address these needs, including voice-activated functionality, it is important for hoteliers to be aware that viable options exist that are tailored specifically for the hospitality environment."Since its launch, Angie has served as the world's first cloud-managed, enterprise-class, voice- and touch- interface based guest room assistant and integrated room control device. With reliable internet service being rated as one of the highest priorities among guests, Angie also serves as a secure, in-room Wi-Fi access point that guarantees a fast and seamless online experience. Equipped with advanced, multilingual voice and high-resolution touch screen interfaces, Angie provides guests with the ability to make requests for services or amenities via simple voice command, or alternatively through Angie's interactive touch screen. Options include the ability to instantly connect multiple guest devices to Wi-Fi, set alarms, play music, make phone calls, and confirm or make reservations.In addition to revolutionizing and maximizing the guest hotel stay experience, Angie also has the ability to allow hoteliers to streamline service, save staff time and expense, and boost revenue. For example, using the latest built-in occupancy sensor technology, Angie can recognize when rooms become unoccupied, and can automatically adjust temperature or lighting in order to minimize utility expenses. As a property's environmental footprint becomes more important to both hoteliers and their guests, this feature can prove vital in meeting sustainability and energy efficiency goals. With hotels seeking to make up for decreasing revenue from in-room sales such as video-on-demand and minibar purchases, Angie's digital display screen can also serve to strengthen profits by promoting on-site amenities including restaurants, spas and retail outlets. Hotels can additionally offer event organizers a way to engage and communicate with conference and meeting attendees, using a new interactive in-room medium.Recently named winner of the prestigious HTNG TechOvation Award during HTNG's HT-NEXT 2017 Conference, Angie is currently being implemented at multiple hotel properties in the U.S. and will be available for general distribution later this year. For more information on Angie's full suite of options and capabilities, please visit www.angie.ai.
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IBC Hospitality Technologies Launches Website Redesign

IBC Hotels ·37m
Phoenix -- Today, IBC Hospitality Technologies, a software company aimed to help independent hoteliers with management and marketing, announced the redesign and relaunch of its website www.ibchospitality.com. IBC Hospitality Technologies is placing increased focus on simplifying solutions for independent hoteliers. The site now features a cleaner and more contemporary design, along with the ability to self-onboard in minutes or receive detailed demostrations. The new website is designed to provide a more engaging user experience for hoteliers and enhance navigation."We want to clearly communicate how simple it is for hoteliers to easily evaluate their business by connecting their systems, receive guest information, and to drive direct bookings through a vanity website with booking engine and demand channels such as meta, as well as marketing support with services such as retargeting to the vanity website," said IBC Hospitality Technologies CEO and Founder Pamela Barnhill. "Hoteliers, especially independents, struggle to find cost-effective solutions like these to drive direct bookings. We want our redesigned website to showcase the accessibility and importance of these strategies."Visitors can now more easily browse IBC Hospitality Technologies solutions, learn about the company, and access industry news, tutorials and insights through the blog. IBC offers CRS, booking engine, digital marketing and integration solutions for independent hoteliers. The new website clearly outlines each of these services and additional solution options for independent hotels and hotel groups.To see the new site visit www.ibchospitality.com.
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Duetto Announces Revenue Strategy Partnership with Jamaica's Half Moon

Duetto ·2h
Montego Bay, Jamaica -- Duetto, the hospitality industry's leader in Revenue Strategy technology, has spread its cloud-based solutions to a key property in the Caribbean, signing an agreement with Jamaica's leading luxury resort, Half Moon."Half Moon is one of the very best resorts the Caribbean has to offer, and we're incredibly proud and excited to partner with this property," said Patrick Bosworth, Co-Founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Duetto. "We are confident that Duetto's data-driven approach to Revenue Strategy and its cloud applications will help Half Moon maximize its potential and sustain its success in leading the hospitality market in Jamaica and the Caribbean."Duetto rapidly expanded its reach in the Caribbean in 2016 by partnering with Sandals Resorts. Its agreement with Half Moon establishes Duetto's flagship application, GameChanger, as the resort's solution for optimizing room pricing and digital distribution.By adopting Open Pricing, the foundation of the GameChanger application, Half Moon will now be able to yield rates more rapidly and with greater flexibility, drawing on web shopping regrets and denials data to better measure price sensitivity.Half Moon will also adopt ScoreBoard, Duetto's intelligent reporting application, and BlockBuster, its application for optimizing contracted and group business. Half Moon's investment in the three cloud-based solutions is part of a multi-year, $75 million overhaul, which will expand the resort's capacity to nearly 240 rooms, said Sandro Fabris, the resort's general manager."Half Moon is pleased to move forward with Duetto as its new Revenue Strategy partner," Fabris said. "Considering Jamaica's diverse seasonality and our unique accommodation offerings, we are looking forward to becoming more flexible with our pricing and meeting our guests' demands more effectively."ScoreBoard will enable Half Moon to compile and centralize up-to-the-minute reports on performance data and forecasts, display custom reports in minutes, and deliver big-picture insights across the entire company with one click.Half Moon is one of the first hotels to deploy BlockBuster, a new solution built to foster collaboration between properties' sales and revenue management departments to yield non-transient business more dynamically.About Half MoonHalf Moon, a 400-acre resort in Jamaica, is considered one of the Caribbean's most iconic destinations. Located 10 minutes away from Montego Bay's Sangster International Airport, the 63-year-old property features two miles of private beachfront and elegantly appointed rooms and suites. The AAA Four-Diamond resort also offers 31 expansive villas (ranging up to 7 bedrooms) all with private pools and personal staff of butler, cook and housekeeper.Half Moon offers guests a wide variety of amenities and activities, including the multi award-winning Fern Tree Spa, the largest spa in the Caribbean, a Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed 18-hole championship golf course with academy, Spinning(r) classes, 11 lit tennis courts, equestrian centre, fitness centre and wellness offerings, a delightful children's village, water sports, and more. Visit www.halfmoon.com.
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Guestline supports growth in revenues and occupancy for Best Western

Guestline ·4h
The company has been working with Best Western Hotels for over a decade and now delivers its PMS to over half of all properties in the UK. Hotels adopting Guestline's Rezlynx PMS and the bespoke Best Western Two-Way PMS interface have reported significant growth in revenues and occupancy rates.Guestline's multi award-winning software for hospitality businesses is cloud-based. The Rezlynx software enables Best Western hoteliers to manage rates, availability, bookings and operations to be not only more efficient, but also more profitable. Following successful results for a number of properties in the UK reporting five figure savings, a growing number of Best Western hoteliers have now selected Guestline.Emma Johnstone, vice president of business development, Guestline, said:"We have a long standing relationship with Best Western and the team remains committed to providing powerful PMS solutions that are effective in supporting their membership's operations and profitability. The growth in our Best Western Hotels' client base is testament to the hard work of our teams and the collaborative relationship they have with Best Western and its members. We look forward to continuing to support further success for Best Western properties in the future."Amy Smith, general manager at Best Western Bell at Driffield adds:"Changing a PMS can be a daunting task and we were apprehensive ahead of starting the process. However, we have been extremely impressed with the expertise and professionalism of the team and with the benefit of hindsight we wish we had decided to make the change earlier. The Guestline Rezlynx solution was not only simple and straightforward to implement but has also paid rich dividends in supporting our growth in revenues and driving efficiencies. I would urge my industry colleagues, whether those operating as individuals or as a group, to follow suit."The team at Guestline will be exhibiting at the Best Western Sales and Marketing Revenue Conference on 21 and 22 September and available to speak to those keen to learn more about the range of solutions available.For more information on Guestline please visit Guestline.com-ends-
Article by Sarah Came

Technology and the luxury guest experience: Interview with Arun Kumar

GuestRevu ·5h
From his first role on the front lines of guest satisfaction as a room service waiter to management positions at four- and five-star InterContinental and Hilton properties, Arun Kumar's impressive hospitality career has taught him a thing or two about keeping guests satisfied.With around two decades of experience in the hospitality industry, Arun is an indisputable thought leader in his field, and has been recognised on "The Brit List" as one of the UK's Top 25 Most Influential & Inspirational Hoteliers and has earned a place on the Boutique Hotelier Power List for 2017.Arun's impressive credentials attracted the attention of Indian luxury hotel group Lalit Suri, which afforded him the opportunity to oversee the redevelopment of a grade II listed building in London into the group's first European hotel, The Lalit London.We asked Arun to share some of his guest experience wisdom, and tell us how technology will influence the management of luxury hotel guest satisfaction in the future.Where did you begin in the hospitality industry?My foundation for a successful hospitality career started with my first role as room service waiter.What's your role now?I am now General Manager for The Lalit London.What would you say are the cornerstones of a luxury hotel experience today?I would say that humility, trust, a good personal rapport and personalised and professional service are essential for creating an excellent luxury guest experience.You were a key part of launching The Lalit London hotel, was there an initial focus on the guest experience and what would make this up?Everything we do here at The Lalit London revolves around our guests, both internal and external. Right from the construction and design stage of the Lalit London, every aspect of this project was focused towards guest experience.Based on your experience, have guest expectations and demands changed with the rise of mobile technology?I think there has been a huge change, the online world is changing how efficient our clients expect a business to be, and with mobile technology there is now an expectation of 24/7 service. Additionally, the word "fast" in the hotel business has been redefined by social media.Does the feedback you get from guests and your online reviews play a role in how the hotel is managed?Client feedback is vital for any organisation's success; a clear sentimental analysis of guest experiences has always helped us to prioritise operational and service improvements.A lot of hotel general managers talk about the importance of using big data in terms of exceeding guest expectations - what does big data mean to you at this point?Big data is invaluable in helping us to provide an exceptional guest experience. It helps uncover a lot of hidden patterns and opens up new opportunities, helping us to design new services and products to present to our clients. It also plays a key role in better and faster decision-making processes.How do you think guest expectations might evolve over the next 5 years?I believe it is clear that guests will want a more personal, connected and informed experience, and technology will be a major brand differentiator. Areas such as virtual experiences will play a major role. At the Lalit London we have already changed the traditional model of hotel check in with our in-room check in.What's the best hotel you've stayed in and why?The Royal Mansour Marrakech - the architecture of the building, service, food everything is perfect.
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Industry Executives Share Tips for Reducing Hotel Costs

HMG Hospitality Blog ·10h
Hotel operators know that there are countless incremental costs that add up to a lot of expenses. Industry executives discussed this topic at length at Hotel ROI Midwest conference, part of the Hotel ROI Series. Here are some of their insights on how reducing hotel costs.
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Top 10 Tips for Successful Hotel Revenue Management

Xotels Blog 19 September 2017
Independent and boutique hotels have the opportunity to capitalise on traveller appetite for unique experiences. Big hotel chains simply can’t compete on this front. And your hotel is also able to completely differentiate itself from other independent hotels. Coupling this with the implementation of hotel revenue management best practices gives your hotel ample opportunity. Read our 10 hotel revenue management tips here to drive the success of your organisation.
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EyeforTravel: Turn Insight into Profit by Driving Innovation in Travel Data

EyeforTravel 18 September 2017
EyeforTravel are excited about this change and have positioned two EyeforTravel events to focus on just this. Their two summits - Smart Travel Data Europe (Amsterdam Nov 29-30) and Smart Travel Analytics North America (February 27-28, Miami) will allow you to turn new data legislations and technology into an advantage and convert your data into pure profit.Head of Research for EyeforTravel - Alex Hadwick had this to say "As travel brands tackle these issues, they do so with the aim of putting their customers first and trying to understand what makes them tick, and that trend is only going to accelerate." He went on to say "More sophisticated systems, increasingly skilled teams, more investment and an exponentially increasing universe of data means that brands will be better placed to reach their customers with targeted products that match their expectations!"These event's will bring together the best brands in travel to focus on how to develop data analytics, artificial intelligence, product development, revenue analytics, to drive loyalty and more personalized experiences.Take the chance to network with decision makers from Accor, Airbnb, KAYAK, Hilton Hotels, Delta Airlines, Amazon, Lastminute.com Vueling Airlines, Marriot, Southwest Airlines, Wyndham Destination Networks, NH Hotels and more, join the events today.Click here to learn more about both events:If Europe is your area of focus: http://events.eyefortravel.com/smart-travel-data-summit/ (event location: Amsterdam)If USA is your area of focus: http://events.eyefortravel.com/smart-travel-data-summit-north-america/ (event location: Miami)If you would like more information on attending contact Leo (Project Director) - leo@eyefortravel.comIf your company would like to make the most of limited branding and exhibition opportunities at these events, reach out to Shreya (Head of Partnerships and Sales) shreya@eyefortravel.com or call them on + 44 20 7375 7150Eyefortravel is a community of commercial, marketing, digital and data experts that are evolving how travel is sold and customers life time value increased. Our mission is to help the travel industry deliver a winning customer experience that tackles commoditisation, differentiates the brand and drives loyalty.####
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Beyond the Roulette Wheel: Revenue Generation for the New Casino

Driving Top-line Revenues | By Sceptre Hospitality Resources 18 September 2017
The Casino model that naturally revolved around gambling revenue is changing. For the first time in history, room profits are outpacing gambling profits in Las Vegas. In Macau, the traditionally easy flow of gaming revenue has been steadily falling for at least the past two years. Though these trends might seem to mark the end of an era to some, for the savvy casino owner, they are indicators of the beginning of a more sustainable, room-centric casino business—one that becomes more possible with the right booking technology used to its best advantage.
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How far do hotel guests book in advance?

SiteMinder Blog 18 September 2017
Many reports in recent years have suggested hotel booking lead times are getting shorter, even though the overall path-to-purchase may be increasing. A recent report from online travel agent Agoda has served to accentuate these trends. It reveals the time between booking and check-in of guests can be as low as 12 days on average. Here are the key findings:
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Article by Helena Rowe

Meeting Internal Challenges For Revenue Management

Net Affinity 18 September 2017
It's challenging being a Revenue Manager! Whether you're in a large city-centre hotel, or a small countryside hotel, Revenue Managers face similar challenges & stresses. Too much to do, too little time, being number one! Many of these challenges come from client demands, but in this piece, we're discussing the internal challenges faced by Revenue Manager, or the member of staff with responsibility for Revenue Management. These are generally a little easier to fix than external factors and can have a big impact on a Revenue Managers efficacy and efficiency.Organisational CultureFirstly, we need to look from the top down, as this is where most of the work culture in business organisations come from - General Managers, we're looking at you! It's imperative that the Revenue Manager has the support of the GM in the hotel for them to do their job effectively and efficiently. The GM needs to instill the culture throughout the entire hotel that everybody has a role to play and responsibility for room sales in supporting the RM.Communication between DepartmentsIt's important that all HODs, as well as their teams, understand the Revenue Strategy and what the GM & RM are looking to achieve this month and this year. Especially important is the communication between the sales team and RM as they should be working together for the same goals, but equally for the Front Desk & Reservations team to know why rates have increased or dropped, why an incentive is being offered to encourage guests to book on your own site or over the phone and to encourage OTA guests to book direct next time.Ensure that the most current forecast is shared with all departments - this has a symbiotic function - to help all teams drive sales, but also help other departments with forecasting their sales and staffing.Food & Beverage allocations can be a thorn in a RMs side, so open dialogue as to why these need to be decreased or increased needs to take place - especially if the hotel is looking to offer an incentive such as Free Breakfast if the guest books direct.Another specific example of communication issues are over-bookings - Night Managers are often terrified of this word! Again, communication is the key, the RM should collate stats on No-show rates, prove what is achievable through overbooking and work with the Front Desk team to have a plan in place for the team if things go wrong and they need to book out a guest.Online ReviewsTeam members need to be aware of how their interactions with guests have an impact on room sales. Reviews are often discussed when we speak with clients, especially in highly competitive markets. It's a lot easier for a Revenue Manager to increase rates for a hotel with a 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor than it is a 3.5-star rating. All departments in the hotel play a role in this, as you know from reading TripAdvisor reviews, they can be about any element of the guest's stay - cleanliness of the corridors, to the quality of the food, to the temperature of the jacuzzi in the Leisure Centre.This is not just on TripAdvisor however, it impacts reviews left on OTAs, on your own site and just as importantly, word of mouth. All online reviews should be audited daily and management as a whole take responsibility for improving and maintaining high scores. Issues within departments can then be highlighted to the HOD, to ensure that they are resolved and avoided in future.Training and UpskillingRevenue Management is a relatively new field in Irish Hospitality - there is still a talent gap that needs to be addressed. The RM needs to be allowed both the time & resources to attend conferences, keep up to date with industry newsletters & advice.In addition to this, the rest of the hotel team need to understand the role of the revenue manager. The Revenue Team could hold regular RM workshops with other Heads of Departments & Front Desk staff to ensure that they are trained in the basics of Revenue Management and understand what they can do to assist the RM and bring these techniques into their own roles. This should be done on a 6-monthly or annual basis to allow for staff turnover and refresh the skills of staff.Too often, when speaking with hotels, we are told that the RM is the only person who knows how to use the booking engine or channel manager meaning that when they are not at work, no dates can be closed out, rates can't be optimised and opportunities are missed out on. It's important to ensure that at all times at the hotel, there is someone trained on the systems employed by the hotel and empowered to make decisions on these matters. This will also allow the RM to be able to go offsite for conferences & workshops or run them internally without having to worry about the daily running of the hotel.Technology / EquipmentIf a chef needed an extra mixer in the kitchen to ensure there was enough bread for the day, we suspect the GM would see little issue with making the investment into this equipment. However, it can be a different story for the RM, who may not have the correct tools in place to do their job effectively, and just as importantly, efficiently. The role of an RM is made a lot simpler with the most up-to-date and correct type of software - an up-to-date Property Management System with a solid reporting system, an easy to manage Channel Manager and most importantly, in our eyes, a responsive website with a great user experience with a strong Booking Engine. If the Revenue Manager must spend hours pulling reports before getting to the analysis or update rates on several channels individually, it will mean that they won't have time to delve into other revenue opportunities or even do it at all.As well as ensuring they have the correct software, don't forget about the hardware - a good PC that isn't slow and invest in a second monitor for your PC - it makes the job a lot easier!Workload & a Quiet OfficeEspecially with small properties, it may be difficult to find the time for a RM to focus on the role specifically or have the physical space to give a Revenue Manager their own office. While it is important that they have good communication with the Front Office & Reservations team and understand and supervise their work, it's impossible to concentrate on a good analysis or work on forecasting when you need to regularly drop what you are doing to answer the phone or emails or are sitting at the front desk. The RM needs to have the time to dedicate to Revenue Management as well as somewhere for them to retreat to for these tasks without having to worry about the phones or check-ins, even if it's just a morning scheduled once or twice a week in the GMs office with no interruptions.Once these challenges can be addresses in the hotel, it can make a huge difference in top line sales achieved and also allow the RM to concentrate on channel strategies, impacting the bottom line stats - the profit made per room sale.

Cloud-driven leadership: 5 mandates to grow market share

By Sundar Swaminathan and Dr. Peter Agel
Hotel technology is not about the nuts and bolts; it's about finding ways to apply the nuts and bolts to enhancing guest experiences, improving efficiency and motivating staff. Oracle Hospitality's Sundar Swaminathan and Dr. Peter Agel share some wide-ranging ideas for exploiting the cloud to its fullest.
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Digital Workplace App Beekeeper Launches Inline Translation Feature for Inclusive Collaboration

Beekeeper 18 September 2017
Hospitality, manufacturing, and agriculture industries are especially diverse workplaces that often include 25 or more different languages and dialects. Beekeeper built inline translation into the platform to increase universal comprehension of internal messaging, as well as optimize overall translation costs. The highly anticipated feature will help teams elevate diversity standards, run their businesses with greater agility, and better manage globally dispersed hospitality workforces. Beekeeper CTO Flavio Pfaffhauser stresses that in addition to developing a more inclusive, connected culture, inline translation will yield immense company growth."Our clients have noticed a significant improvement in daily operations and employee engagement by connecting non-desk workers to the entire organization through our communication platform. Inline translation is the next evolution of the application. It is an imperative tool for building an inclusive workplace, granting the essential internal visibility employees need to thrive, grow, and culturally integrate." Pfaffhauser says, "This feature seamlessly integrates within Beekeeper, designed to minimize the employee learning curve and reduce admin overhead."When multiple languages are spoken in the workplace, text translation may be the most reliable form of communication. As a tool specifically designed to thrive in dispersed, fast-paced non-desk work environments, Beekeeper translation is primed to support a complex mosaic of language and culture. To learn more about the feature functions and benefits of inline translation, visit http://www.beekeeper.io.
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Creating Perceived Value to Stimulate Direct Bookings

Tambourine Blog 15 September 2017
One of the more impactful, yet simplest, ways you can convince people to book direct is to create perceived value. OTAs have hundreds of thousands of properties on their websites, they cannot keep up in real time with the perks and inclusions at all of them.
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Mobile innovations that reshape the business travel experience

Sabre Corporation Blog 15 September 2017
Smartphone usage continues to grow at an astounding rate as fast mobile Internet access transforms nearly all facets of life. The boundaries on when, where or how we access information or services no longer stand as a limitation. Just how prevalent have these devices become? Today, roughly three-quarters of Americans (or 77%) now own a smartphone, according to a Pew Research Center study conducted November 2016. Astonishingly, smartphone adoption has more than doubled since the Center began surveying this topic back in 2011. The study also shows that smartphones are nearly ubiquitous among younger adults –– 18- to 29-year-olds –– with 92% owning one. What’s more, Strategy Analytics latest 2017 report from Wireless Smartphone Strategies shows a 44% smartphone penetration rate worldwide, reporting the penetration rate will increase globally to 59% by 2022.
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What's On the Horizon for the Hotel Industry?

Duetto Research Blog 15 September 2017
It wouldn’t be a CEO panel at a hotel conference if the biggest names on the speaker lineup weren’t asked for their predictions on upcoming industry performance. After several years of “enjoy the ride” and then a year or so of “cautious optimism,” hoteliers at last month’s Hotel Data Conference in Nashville were less optimistic. On Day 1 of the conference, STR’s President and CEO Amanda Hite announced the company’s revised forecast, which showed expectations of slower ADR and RevPAR growth than what was previously announced.
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Weekly Reads 15.09.2017

Snapshot Blog 15 September 2017
This week’s reads are divided between a deeper and critical look at PMS technology and suggested marketing improvements for your hotel. A recent study on PMSs, their features, their interoperability and their security has confirmed an underlying trend: we operate on a "do as we have always done" basis. So how should you move your technology into the future? Our Head of Marketing, Margaret Ady has the answer. On the marketing side, we are focusing on 2 different channels this week, SEO and Facebook: 7 ways for your hotel to be found on Google and why hotels need to be on Facebook and what to post. Happy reading!
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NAVIS Adds Two Powerhouse Technology Entrepreneurs to Advisory Board

NAVIS 14 September 2017
As part of the leadership team, Tom and Sanjay will contribute their insights on technology, marketing, and emerging opportunities to further help plot company strategy and accelerate growth. "We are incredibly fortunate to welcome such illustrious visionaries to our Advisory team," said Kyle Buehner, CEO of NAVIS. "They each bring exceptional knowledge and experience that will further strengthen our leadership team. Their commitment to our direction and growth is inspiring, and we are grateful for their counsel."In a joint statement, the new board members expressed why they selected NAVIS. "How lodging providers engage with guests is rapidly changing, and it's crucial that the industry continues to adjust and align their efforts to maximize performance. We've followed NAVIS for some time, and it's clear their innovative approach is reshaping how the hospitality industry connects with travelers, delivers exceptional guest service, and maximizes revenue. We are thrilled to be on the team at such a pivotal time for the company."About Tom GonserTom Gonser is an entrepreneurial executive and investment partner at Seven Peaks Ventures who has played a wide variety of roles in advisory and leadership capacities. He is recognized for his vision and innovation, with more than 15 years' experience participating on boards of directors of fast-growing companies. Tom is the founder and chief strategy officer of DocuSign, the global standard for eSignature. He began his career with innovative companies such as Apple Computer, Wildfire Communications, McCaw Cellular, and AT&T Wireless, then launched and ran several companies focused on SaaS, Financial Services, and GPS Technology. Tom's expertise includes corporate development, raising venture capital, strategic business planning, M&A, international business expansion, and business model development. Learn more and connect with Tom on LinkedIn.About Sanjay DholakiaSanjay Dholakia is a visionary leader who most recently served as Marketo's CMO, spearheading initiatives that expanded the company globally, scaled the business nearly 10-fold, and took the company public. He joined Marketo through the acquisition of social software company Crowd Factory, where he was the CEO. Before joining Crowd Factory, Sanjay was CMO at Lithium Technologies, and SVP and general manager for SumTotal Systems, helping to scale that business over 20-fold from single-digit revenues to a public company. He began his career as an advisor at McKinsey & Company and Andersen Consulting, and holds both a bachelor's degree in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in strategy and marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Learn more and connect with Sanjay on LinkedIn.
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How BI Optimized Software Will Enhance Your Budget Planning

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 14 September 2017
BP1.jpg The hospitality industry is a highly competitive, ever changing market. Consumers have more options today than ever before when choosing a property for business or leisure travel. With so much at stake, budgeting and forecasting methods must be accurate and efficient. However, given that most hospitality budgeting still lives in spreadsheets, there's plenty of room for human error.
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Why Your Hotel Needs Hotel Management Software

SiteMinder Blog 14 September 2017
Technology in the hotel industry continues to advance at a rapid pace and hotel management software (HMS) remains essential for hoteliers looking to improve the running of their business. With software, hotel operators can streamline their administrative processes and improve their overall hotel management system.
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PMS Software Evaluation Scorecard Ensures Hotels Can Find Their Ideal Property Management System

StayNTouch Inc. 14 September 2017
Investing in the right property management system (PMS) will help increase hotel revenue, drive guest engagement, and boost staff efficiencies, but with many options available, what selection criteria should hoteliers use to make the right decision for their unique property? Knowing that not all hotel PMS solutions are created equal, StayNTouch(r) has released a comprehensive PMS Evaluation Scorecard designed to help hotel operators select the right PMS for their needs and budget.The criteria-based approach is created on a quantitative assessment of the PMS in terms of functionality, flexibility, maintainability, and usability. This gives hoteliers a practical insight into how the software is developed, implemented and supported - and any potential technical barriers that prevent scalability or adoption. Hoteliers can use the step-by-step scorecard to determine the total score for each PMS vendor and then consider only the technology providers with the highest grades. By the end of the scoring process, hoteliers will know how to choose the best PMS for their unique goals and needs.The downloadable scorecard and template address the most critical areas that require consideration during the evaluation process including:Defining goalsCreating a list of potential vendors/solutionsAnnual CostsImplementationMobilityIntegrationReporting/InsightsEase of use/User InterfaceAutomationSecurity and ScalabilityService and SupportJos Schaap, hospitality technology industry veteran and founder of StayNtouch explains, "We realize that the selection and evaluation process of a new hotel PMS can seem like a daunting task. But it's worth all of the effort. After all, the system you choose will play a critical role in helping you manage your hotel and grow your business. We've developed this scorecard to help hoteliers understand the ins and outs of what to look for when evaluating new hotel systems and make well-informed decisions when they are ready to take the next steps. "A well thought out hotel PMS strategy coupled with the right technology partner is very powerful. Click here to download the free PMS Software Evaluation Scorecard or visit http://go.stayntouch.com/PMSEvaluationScorecard_ContentLandingpage.html
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Tech That Will Interest Event Planners from the Apple Launch

EventManagerBlog.com 14 September 2017
Apple is taking further steps in carving the future of technology with the launch of three new iPhones. From facial recognition to AR, here are some of the key features and what they could mean for event professionals. On Tuesday, Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook took to the stage for the first time in the Steve Jobs Theater at the new Apple Park campus in California, for the company’s latest Apple event. But what do event planners need to know about Apple’s new releases?

PolyU Study Finds Room Attribute Preferences Vital to Hotel Profit Maximisation

Hong Kong Poly 14 September 2017
Hoteliers are constantly faced with the problem of determining how much more customers might be willing to pay for certain room features, such as being on a higher floor or having a sea view. They can do so through experience or trial and error, the researchers note, but that does not necessarily match customers' valuations.Most customers consider certain attributes, such as "larger room space, free services, a quieter room, etc." as desirable, but knowing just how desirable they are for individual customers is critical. The researchers argue that customers decide how much they are willing to pay for rooms based on "their own unique needs and desires" and only make purchases if they believe the value of a room "matches or exceeds" the price charged.Understanding the real value that customers place on particular room features and services will, according to the researchers, allow hotel managers to set appropriate rate fences and thus maximise revenue and profit. Hence, they set out to measure the perceived marginal utilities of various room attributes in a luxury hotel located in downtown Hong Kong. By offering customers the choice of rooms on different floors, with different views and with access to different services, they aimed to calculate how much customers valued each attribute and the contribution of those valuations to their overall choice of room.The 262-room hotel had facilities such as a harbour view swimming pool, a spa, a health club, three restaurants, a ballroom and conference rooms. Through discussion with the hotel's managers, the researchers drew up a list of seven room attributes that customers would be able to choose in different combinations.The first attribute was price, with five levels from HK$1,600 to HK$3,200 per night. The other attributes included a choice between a city and a harbour view; three choices of floor (10th, 18th or 26th floor); free minibar with or without wine and beer; the use of a smartphone with free calls and data; and refundable or non-refundable cancellation. The seventh attribute was access to the hotel's club, located on the top floor with free breakfast, evening cocktails, exclusive check-in/out facilities and business facilities.In face-to-face interviews, customers were asked to pick between two hypothetical rooms with various combinations of the seven attributes. For example, Room A offered a city view room on the 10th floor, with access to the hotel club, a free minibar with alcohol, no smartphone and free cancellation for HK$1,600. Room B offered a harbour view room on the 26th floor, access to the club, a free minibar with alcohol and free smartphone, but no cancellation, for HK$2,400. As well as making the six choices, the guests provided information about themselves and their current stay.Of the 808 hotel guests interviewed over three months, the majority were on leisure trips and stayed for two nights. The largest group of individual guests was from the UK, followed by Australia and the United States. For their current stay in the hotel, more than half of the guests chose a harbour view and just less than a third chose a room with access to the club. The guests were well satisfied with their stays, giving the hotel an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 for overall quality.The guests paid HK$2,434 per room on average and spent around HK$500 per person each day on hotel facilities, although that amount varied widely. Almost two-thirds of the guests had already visited Hong Kong at least once, reflecting what the researchers describe as the "strategic positioning of Hong Kong as a transport and tourism hub in the Asia-Pacific region".Seeking to understand the guests' choices among the hypothetical room alternatives, the researchers found that the most influential room attribute was a harbour view, with guests willing to pay an additional HK$771 per room per night compared with a room with a city view. As this was considerably higher than the current premium of HK$400, the researchers suggest that the hotel, and by implication any similar hotel, could maximise revenue by charging much higher prices for these rooms. They calculate that charging an additional HK$371 on top of the current rate would increase the hotel's annual profit by HK$7.95 million.Access to the hotel club was the next most highly valued attribute, for which customers were willing to pay an additional HK$437 per night. This, however, was far less than the extra $980 for a room with club access that the hotel was charging, although that figure is not directly comparable because it includes facilities that were not included in the hypothetical rooms. Nevertheless, it seems that the hotel may have over-estimated the value of access to its club and the researchers argue that it could consider reducing the price tag, especially when it needs to fill rooms.Similarly, the guests did not seem to value the option of refundable cancellation as highly as the hotel itself, which charged $960 compared with customers' average valuation of HK$122. This difference could explain why less than a quarter of the customers interviewed had chosen this option for their current booking.The customers also indicated that they were willing to pay an additional HK$220 for a room located 10 floors higher, HK$226 for a mini-bar with alcohol and HK$160 for the free use of a smartphone. Although the hotel did not differentiate prices by floor and all guests had the same minibar and smartphone access, these values should be indicative of what the hotel and establishments like it could charge for such attributes.The researchers also considered whether customers' choices varied depending on if they were business or leisure tourists, and on whether this was their first trip to Hong Kong.The business travellers interviewed were less price sensitive and willing to pay 25% more on average than the leisure travellers. Greater differences were found between first-time and repeat travellers. In particular, first-time visitors were willing to pay 73% more than repeat travellers for a mini-bar with alcohol. The researchers observe that given the relatively low price of alcohol in Hong Kong, guests "may discover the low value" of beer and wine once they become more familiar with the destination. To capitalise on the preferences of first-time customers, they suggest, hotels could offer special deals on features that they value highly such as wine and beer in the minibar and access to the club.Ultimately, the researchers provide hotels with practical guidance on how guests really value the facilities they are offered. By adjusting their prices upwards according to the facilities that are valued more highly - such as a harbour view and a room on a higher floor - and adjusting them downwards for facilities that are valued less highly - such as free cancellation - hotels should be able to offer deals that better match guests' expectations. This would, the researchers conclude, "effectively stimulate room sales".Masiero, Lorenzo, Heo, Cindy Yoonjoung and Pan, Bing. (2015). Determining Guests' Willingness to Pay for Hotel Room Attributes with a Discrete Choice Model. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 49, 117-124.

HFTP Hospitality DPO Task Force Outlines Objectives as Industry Prepares for GDPR May 2018 Deadline

HFTP 14 September 2017
Preparing for the new EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), a framework legislated by all EU member states with a required compliance date of May 25, 2018, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) has taken the initiative to develop hospitality-specific guidelines and a certification for a Hospitality Data Protection Officer (HDPO). The building of these resources is underway by a team of 23 experts, recruited by HFTP to comprise the HFTP Hospitality DPO task force. The task force chair Alvaro Hidalgo, managing partner with FIRSTLOGIC Consulting based in Spain, has outlined the objectives for the group in the months leading up to the May compliance deadline, detailed in the post on the HFTP Connect blog, "HFTP Hospitality DPO Task Force Outlines Objectives as Industry Prepares for GDPR May 2018 Deadline."HFTP chief operations officer Lucinda Hart, CAE, MBA, explained why this initiative is integral to the association's strategic goals. "The GDPR is greatly impacting the hospitality industry and the dedication that HFTP and our members have committed to industry awareness demonstrates HFTP's commitment to assisting our stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization," she said.The HFTP HDPO Task Force held its first meeting July 14-15, 2017 at the Sheraton Amsterdam Airport Hotel and Conference Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands."I am very pleased with the outcome of our first meeting held in Amsterdam this summer," said Hidalgo. "We have identified areas in which specific solutions (registration challenges, integration of DPO, communication with IT providers and others) are being analyzed, and we are confident to bring those solutions to the industry this autumn."When the task force met it set out to address the following:Identify the major challenges for the industry to achieve compliance, as well as the stakeholders involved;Provide guidelines to enable the industry to assess their specific needs to achieve compliance on time;Define the specific features of a Hospitality Data Protection Officer (HDPO) job role, and resulting from this, propose the structure of a HFTP HDPO certification;Establish a communication policy to create awareness within the industry.Hidalgo's post, details how the task force will address each of these areas. Part of the ongoing work for the task force and HFTP will be to continually provide related information to the industry to support compliance preparation. One of the first action items taken was to include a dictionary of terms related to the GDPR on the hospitality-specific site PineappleSearch.com. Referenced from the European Data Protection Supervisor, the glossary will be centralized with a library of hospitality resources.HFTP will host a HDPO education session at its upcoming Annual Convention on October 25-27, 2017. Wrapping up 2017, HFTP will produce its inaugural HITEC Dubai counterpart event, in partnership with Naseba, from November 14-15 - serving as the third, and final, HITEC of the year. In 2018, HFTP will bring back HITEC Amsterdam on April 11-13 in addition to the larger HITEC Houston on June 18-21. For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department ateducation@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec/.For the latest news, follow HFTP/HITEC on HITEC Bytes, PineappleSearch, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube. For more information about HITEC Amsterdam, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org, +1 (512) 249-5333.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website. Read industry updates on the suite of HFTP hospitality news sites: HITEC Bytes, Club Bytes, Finance Bytes and HFTP News.

State of the art in digitization of the hotel industry

By Ralf Denke
With digital services and contents becoming a key success factor for our industry as a whole, more hotels will have to make similar courageous decisions, even if they seem risky and costly at first, writes Ralf Denke of Deutsche Hospitality. But the good thing in the online industry is that everything is measurable - helping hoteliers make informed decisions.
Article by Margaret Ady

How To Keep The Heart Of Your Hotel Beating

Snapshot GmbH 14 September 2017
Technology is the beating heart of the hotel. Without a PMS, how would we even begin to serve guests? Without distribution channels, how would guests book rooms? Without a CRM, how would we create loyalty? Right now, most hotels get away with disorganized technology, because they've had no choice. Legacy systems haven't meshed with new cloud-based systems and a patchwork of different technologies for different purposes have been cobbled together. As with cooking, everything works better when all the moving pieces work together because no one tool does everything on its own.Right now, we have all of these systems--the PMS, CRS, CRM. Then there are the ancillary tools, such as mobile check-in, travel review monitoring, social media tools, distribution tools, forecasting technology, room allocation software, and so forth. Multiply each of these by four or five and maybe, just maybe, you'll get close to the number of different systems that must integrate in order to keep a hotel running. And the biggest problem is that they rely on one another, but they don't play well. They don't integrate, at least not with ease. We have each of these systems with its own data, and one system's data isn't talking to another system's data without complicated intervention. It's a mess. But it doesn't have to be.Instead of this mess, it should be structured and organized, much like Julia Child's peg-board full of organized pots and pans. While organization is useful of course, the key value is having each and every piece of technology integrated. No more missing pieces--data falling off from point A to point B. No more silos, where data from point A can't even get to point B. If A needs B in order to work, it's right there, ready and waiting.The ramifications of a fully integrated tech stack are many. Creating custom applications becomes a possibility because integration is no longer a setback. Guest outreach can be personalized (for real this time). Service levels can be improved--and monetized. Consider if the housekeeping app above speaks automatically to the mobile check-in app, which then triggers a text to a guest with an early check-in option for an additional fee. Or a guest survey app speaks to the email marketing app, which triggers an offer for a guest based on specific keywords the guest used in the survey. Best of all, a fully integrated tech stack allows hotels to compare all data sets and glean truly actionable insights about their guests and their business - insights that can drive more revenue and more efficiencies.Further, the benefits of a tech ecosystem of this nature include consistent data security and faster communication between technologies. As Todd Hotaling of Lodging Hospitality Management said regarding major issues affecting system integration in the hospitality industry, "My priority is how frequent (speed) and seamless our systems interface (direct connect) with the often urgent and significant revenue-impacting decisions being made throughout the day" (Hospitality Technology). Increased frequency of communication (a by-product of integration) between technologies is the foundation for better information, faster solutions, and, most importantly, increased revenue.In the 1940s, the University of Illinois formalized the idea of the "kitchen work triangle," a set of rules that defined the location and distance between the sink, the oven, and the refrigerator for optimal efficiency and use. Most modern kitchens are designed based on this notion that the essential tools of the kitchen work best when they are aligned in a specific way. We are at a critical juncture in the hotel industry, one that requires that our growing number of technologies begin working together seamlessly, that our essential tools are aligned. The beating heart of hotels depends on our redefining the way we organize our technology in a way that we can successfully build upon. It isn't as simple as a triangle, but it is as accessible.

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