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New Radisson RED Hotel Employs ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access as Key Part of Dedicated Hotel App

ASSA ABLOY Hospitality ·6h
Stockholm - Radisson RED, a new hotel concept focused on the millennial mind-set through art, music and fashion, is maximizing efficiency and boosting guest experiences at its Brussels and Minneapolis properties with the implementation of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access into the brand's hotel app for keyless guestroom entry. Along with the installation of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality's VingCard RFID door locks, ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access, via Radisson RED's hotel app, provides unmatched security as well as improved processes and convenience for guests. With so many of today's travelers being part of the always on, always connected millennial generation, it was important to the Radisson RED leadership team to create a dedicated hotel app that would enable all guests to manage their bookings and hotel stays from start to finish in the most seamless way possible. It is fitting for this new-age, cutting-edge hotel brand to provide a tool that allows guests to travel light and use their own devices to interact with reservations and access guestrooms. The RED app centralizes everything a guest might need before, during and after their stay on a single platform."The new Radisson RED hotel concept is very focused on using technology that makes life easier for our guests," said Christel Cabanier, Radisson RED Curator. "Our aim through our mobile app was to provide our guests with an omnipresent digital approach that fits our guests' wants and needs when it comes to available technology."Operating with secure Seos technology, ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access delivers unparalleled security, working within the RED app to assign guestrooms and generate encrypted digital keys. These keys are securely delivered to guests' smartphones where they are placed in a secure digital key vault within the app. When presented to the appropriate lock, the app then transmits the encrypted key over a secure communication channel using the device's integrated Bluetooth. This protocol ensures that only users with authorized access to a specific guestroom are able to receive digital key information to unlock the door.The VingCard RFID door locks also offer state-of-the-art security technologies with powerful and innovative anti-cloning features that prevent unauthorized access to guestrooms and unauthorized duplication of keys. Compatible with ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access, these door locks are an added feature creating ease of use with the keyless entry.For more information on ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access and other ASSA ABLOY Hospitality products, please click here.

Corporations saving on hotel rooms in volatile 2017 hotel market

BCD Travel 8 December 2016
Corporations taking advantage of current market conditions, including a slower third quarter at many hotel chains, can cash in on a favorable pricing leverage, according to an analysis by hotel-rate-auditing technology TRIPBAMtm and global travel management company BCD Travel. The opportunity comes amid the annual hotel rate negotiation season and with an increased focus on lodging spend by many CFOs.With hotels becoming increasingly sophisticated in revenue management, and online travel agencies like booking.com and Expedia pursuing aggressive pricing strategies, corporate travel programs have opportunities to keep hotel costs down. BCD and TRIPBAM found that despite hotel-rate volatility, corporate travel buyers can save on hotels by focusing on three key areas:Providing access to great hotel content through their corporate booking optionsManaging hotel spend dynamically throughout the yearRebooking hotel rooms when rates fall"The current hotel pricing environment provides great opportunity for savings for corporations that creatively seek them out," said April Bridgeman, senior vice president of strategic marketing at BCD Travel. "Rebooking hotel rooms when rates fall is a critical component. We're seeing a growing number of success stories among clients using our Hotel Price Assurance offering, powered by TRIPBAMtm."BCD Travel's Hotel Price Assurance helps companies take advantage of fluctuating hotel rates to secure savings. The service uses newly enhanced automation to continue shopping for lower hotel rates after travelers have booked their rooms.Tales of Corporate Hotel SavingsAbercrombie & Fitch , the prominent clothing retailer, uses Hotel Price Assurance to shop and secure lower hotel rates at the traveler's booked hotel. The company saves, on average, more than $60 per night when savings are found, and the program successfully re-books travelers at the lower rate more than 70 percent of the time."The incremental hotel savings we're seeing makes a notable impact on my program's overall performance," said David Buchholz, travel and expense manager for Abercrombie & Fitch. "The ROI on this service makes it a no-brainer."American Cancer Society, a non-profit, tightly manages its travel budget due to its due diligence of donor dollars. The Hotel Price Assurance service has driven an increasing rate of hotel savings for ACS since its launch in May. ACS worked with BCD on an innovative campaign to educate travelers and travel arrangers on the benefits of the TRIPBAM-powered service, helping drive these positive results."When we've secured a lower rate, we've seen average nightly savings triple over the course of the past four months," said Terri Clay, vice president of nationwide meeting and travel management for ACS. "This type of creative savings is vital to our mission, helping us see maximum value for our lodging spend."TRIPBAM's unique feature set - built to handle the complexity of managed travel hotel programs - offers corporations new tools that not only lower hotel costs but spur increased usage of preferred properties and chains. TRIPBAM's patent-pending "cluster" shopping processes let BCD clients seek preferred, in-program hotel alternatives when non-preferred hotels are booked by the traveler.About BCD TravelBCD Travel helps companies make the most of what they spend on travel. For travelers, this means keeping them safe and productive, and equipping them to make good choices on the road. For travel and procurement managers, it means advising them on how to grow the value of their travel program. In short, we help our clients travel smart and achieve more. We make this happen in more than 100 countries with more than 12,000 creative, committed and experienced people. And it's how we maintain an industry-leading client-retention rate of 97%, with 2015 sales of US$23.8 billion. For more information, visit www.bcdtravel.com.About BCD GroupBCD Group is a market leader in the travel industry. The privately owned company was founded in 1975 by John Fentener van Vlissingen and consists of BCD Travel (global corporate travel management), Travix (online travel: CheapTickets, Vliegwinkel, BudgetAir, Flugladen and Vayama), Park 'N Fly (off-airport parking) and joint ventures Parkmobile International (mobile parking applications) and AERTrade International (consolidating and fulfillment). BCD Group employs over 13,000 people and operates in 100+ countries with total sales of US$25.4 billion, including US$10 billion partner sales. For more information, visit www.bcdgroup.comAbout TRIPBAMtmDallas-based TRIPBAM is a new hotel shopping service used by corporations, hotels, travel agencies and travelers. TRIPBAM uses patent-pending "cluster" shopping processes to find savings on more than 60 percent of hotel groups searched, with average savings of more than $100 per trip. Launched in April 2013, TRIPBAM earned GBTA's Spotlight on Transformation awardand recognition from leading corporate travel publications in the United Kingdom and the United States. For more information about the service, go to www.tripbam.com.

Big data and big trends mean big opportunity for revenue managers in 2017

The Rainmaker Group By Tammy Farley
Looking to 2017, Rainmaker's Tammy Farley explores some of the more significant and current disruptive trends that will affect the hotel industry, and what savvy revenue managers will need to be taking from, and doing with, the big data they are gathering about each segment of their market, in order to make it actionable.

Boosting direct hotel bookings with personalization as the solution

Hotelchamp By Kristian Valk
In the past few years, we have seen an increasing effort by hotels to improve their direct channels so as to reduce their dependence on online travel agencies (OTAs). Hotelchamp's Kristian Valk writes that hotels should not get rid of OTAs and third parties but aim for a better balance to manage control over their own distribution.
Article by Paul Breslin

Time, Talent and Technology to Win in 2017

Horwath 8 December 2016
Just like the media business, when things are hopping, it's good for the hotel business. The travel industry thrives on change, action and excitement. If you follow the top level results of Google Analytics - it reads like a hotel marketing plan. The bigger the news the more viewers / readers - the bigger the events, conventions, deals, or attendance the more hotel guests.We need action and people on the move and 2017 promises to have "huge" events, changes, challenges, and opportunities.The pundits are focused on the percentage of change in occupancy and RevPAR, and they are right. This matters a lot when we want to understand growth. My good friend Mark Woodworth, Executive Vice President with CBRE tells us, "Flat is the new normal." I agree, however, that is not so bad if we are in our down cycle. What if this is the worst it will get? What if the optimists are right and we are going to have a great year?Well, the truth is we really don't know. What we do know is that action creates demand and that means room nights. We know 2017 is going to be a year full of people on the move and that means heads in beds.When planning the strategies to capture the most demand possible, think like the disruptors. The founders of Airbnb did not create demand; they used talent to figure out how to anticipate the needs of the traveling public. The challenge is to THINK about the customer solution, KNOW who your target market is and what they DESIRE, and perfect your message and methods to connect with that specific market. Find your "point of difference" and use that to attract the new buyers.This may sound like a Marketing 101class (I do teach Hotel Management at Georgia State University), so forgive sounding like your former college professor with this basic message. However, don't dismiss it. We can all use a bit of spring training and a refresher. Don't look at the cycle to solve your problem or serve as your excuse. You have heard that with new demand comes new supply and it is confirmed the new supply is coming. So stay away from the cycle discussion to gain market share. Rather, focus on what you can control. Set your resources and goals to find a way to "steal" or earn that market share, that will have a meaningful impact and create the win.What if you challenged your team to enable innovation and creativity as the keys to your plan for 2017? Assume that the demand for next year is there and that it's going to be very strong. Ask the team to find a way to beat the competition and uncover the opportunities We know others have done it; the take is there. Demand is booming for those who seek it.The challenge is being the leader to make it happen. My prediction for 2017 is those who focus on TIME, TALENT and TECHNOLOGY will win. So be the one who has the strategic plan centered on building talent, using your time wisely and optimizing technology to meet your goals. You will come out on top. It may be a good thing to be the disruptor if it will encourage innovation and achieve new results. Explore the opportunities and look for the market that is not being served (or served well) and set a new level of excellence.

The what, why and how of blockchain in travel

Tnooz 7 December 2016
Blockchain technology is in its infancy, but it's clear that it will change many industries in radical ways. The most brilliant minds of our time are trying to understand all the implications, but it will take some time.As with many other technologies, startups will play the key role in this process by testing these ideas in the wild and trying different approaches. We'll surely see some big wins and we've already seen disasters, such as The DAO.

New York City's Historic Sohotel Chooses ALICE for Guest and Staff Communications

ALICE 7 December 2016
New York, NY -- Hotel operations platform ALICE announces New York City's historic Sohotel has adopted its ALICE Suite solution to power staff communication and improve guest engagement with the hotel.When the 100-room landmark hotel was undergoing its most recent reinvention - a hotel has been operating continuously at the site of the current Sohotel since at least 1805 - the owners learned the building could not support telephone lines to each guest room, and needed to find another way to communicate with guests. They soon discovered ALICE could not only supply Sohotel with a modern guest engagement solution, but could also improve internal communication for staff.Before ALICE, Sohotel's staff relied on paper notes and emails, which can be unreliable. With ALICE Suite, Sohotel's guests can now submit requests through Sohotel's website, app or via SMS. Meanwhile, Sohotel's staff can respond and fulfill guest requests on-the-go and in real-time with the unified ALICE platform, which connects all the departments of the hotel for streamlined task management and communication. ALICE is proving particularly useful for staff as the hotel finishes its renovation. Staff are setting up "construction alerts" in ALICE so that all teams (regardless of shift) know where in the hotel and when the renovation is occurring. This helps hotel teams with room assignment, moving traffic safely through the building, and in delivering consistently excellent service to guests.Alain H. Derderian, Sohotel's General Manager says his staff has quickly seen the value of the ALICE platform: "The first thing my staff asks one another when a request is mentioned is 'Did you put it in ALICE?'. ALICE has eliminated most of the paper at my front desk and with it, brought a lot of efficiency to our operations. It's also been very necessary as we wrap up these renovations - internal communication and communication with our guests about the construction has been critical."Added Justin Effron, ALICE's co-founder and CEO: "We're really pleased our partnership with Sohotel has allowed the hotel to continue its legacy of service and hospitality with a toolset that delights both its staff and its guests. Sohotel is a great example of how combining the traditional and the new can drive a truly unique hospitality offering and we're honored they chose the ALICE platform to make this change."ALICE offers a multi-tiered suite of solutions for hotels:ALICE Suite - an end-to-end system that allows hotels to run on one platform, connecting guests with the hotel, and all service departments within the hotel to one another - fully incorporating all of the individual ALICE solutions listed below.ALICE Staff - a complete, easy to use request management software that connects front-desk, housekeeping, maintenance and F&B teams in real-time, providing quick and simple ticket management, monitoring for completion time, and real-time mobile app for service staff on the move.ALICE Concierge - a tool to keep the concierge team organized and to connect the concierge and the guest instantly and seamlessly, providing guests with instant responses to requests - and saving the concierge time and effort in meeting those requests.ALICE Guest - innovative guest facing Mobile, Web and SMS tools, integrated to allow a full range of guest communication and functionality, pre-arrival and on property - including ordering services, real-time chat, and upselling.ALICE's solutions are in place in hundreds of hotels across the U.S., and have been recognized for innovation in enabling multiple departments in a hotel to respond to guests' requests quickly and easily.
Article by Dr. Michael Arner

iBeacons? Eddystone? How Do You Choose Which Beacons to Have Faith In?

RoamingAround 7 December 2016
Having learned dutifully that "hardware sales are a race to the bottom," I was surprised when I first got into the business of location-based services to find so many startups that merely cobbled together a Content Management System and then tried to make their mark in the space by selling beacons: buying from China for $8-$12 each, marking them somewhere between $40 and $80, and then insisting that the customer purchase enough of them to blanket their space every few square meters.It's been less surprising to see how many of these "solutions" have fallen by the wayside in the last 18 months. There's nothing particularly special about most beacons. The Bluetooth Low Energy Specification provides for beacons that transmit thermometer or barometer or moisture-meter or other sensor data, receive packets from phones or other beacons, detect motion, light, or sound. But for the lion's share of the solutions out there, a beacon is simply a low-cost radio-transmitter that sends out a tiny packet of identification information every few seconds or milliseconds and then counts on the wizardry of your mobile device to do everything else. If you're a beacon merchant, I suppose it's great to have clients that are willing to shackle themselves to your super-special hardware, but if you're the consumer, it's usually best to avoid doing so when you can.There is a perception out there (let's go ahead and assume that it's brilliant marketing over at Apple) that if you want to use the popular iBeacon protocol, you will need an Apple device. Some folks have heard of Eddystone, which is Google's version. In reality, iOS and Android devices can both speak to both protocols and there are very few reasons why you shouldn't be choosing a solution that's beacon agnostic.What about security? The truth is, the cost benefit of hacking (making it seem like a beacon isn't there when it is) or spoofing a single beacon (making it seem like it's somewhere it isn't) is pretty low given that attack vectors we're currently seeing in the field. If you do have special concerns, 99 percent of the time they are better solved with good software--which can do a much more holistic version of noticing when beacons are transmitting from places they shouldn't be. For example, the GPS or WiFi signature doesn't match or they have stopped transmitting from somewhere they should (this happens when nearby beacons are often detected normally but the beacon in question is never detected at all). There exist beacons which maintain proprietary end-to-end encryption, and these should be purchased, in the very rare case they're needed from a large and stable provider. Therefore, you will still want to rely on a framework that brings flexibility to your custom implementation.But aren't there other reasons to prefer one beacon vendor over another? Yes, but they're not the ones you think. For each model, they'll publish a maximum range under "ideal conditions" (which, as far as I can tell, means "in outer space," for even at maximum transmission strength and minimal interference, this number is rarely even approximated with any consistency). They'll also "estimated battery life" -- which is often longer than the company selling the thing has even been in operation. It's important to note that some interesting things are being done with beacons that use non-battery power sources (USB, electrical outlets, lightbulb sockets, solar). If your space is outdoors, you will of course want a weather-resistant model; trilateration technology will let you turn the transmission strength up and purchase fewer beacons while proximity beacons will have you buying many more and then turning them down. These things matter model to model of course, but in general, you will always want to multiply-source your vendors and then you'll discover that the decisive factor ends up being not the device stats but the customer service.Will the vendor pre-configure device identifiers for you? And, if not, how hard is it to do yourself? A vendor I quite like once published an update to their configuration software that had a glitch in it which took long enough to rectify that we had to quickly shift to Vendor B to make an installation deadline. Will they label the devices with removable stickers that have the identifiers on them (this is hugely helpful)? Will they camouflage them for you? What's the defect rate and how efficiently can they turn those around? Do big batch orders ship with or without batteries included? And, do they arrive quickly?For some installations, GPS and WiFi alone may provide the precision you need to geolocate without using beacons at all. There is also a new WiFi technology available from Mist, that will create "Virtual BLE," giving outstanding precision and flexibility for large deployments. Some providers are beginning to provide beacons along with their Access Points, making it easier to combine technologies These solutions, of course, will also be subject to the same needs for a powerful, flexible, software platform.In short, beacons are primarily dumb infrastructure meant to support smart software. If your solution provider can't tell they don't work with everything--even with a mix of everything--they'd better be prepared to tell you why.

Mobile Payment Apps Help Offset the Casual Dining Recession

Hospitality Technology Magazine 7 December 2016
After a decade of fighting traffic declines, full-service casual-dining chains are discovering mobile payment apps to be the Holy Grail they have been searching for. In this article, MyCheck LLC will discuss the benefits a mobile payment app could provide restaurants that are looking to increase revenue and regain lost business.

Duetto and TravelClick Launch Automated Demand360-Driven Revenue Strategy with KSL Resorts

Duetto Research Blog 7 December 2016
KSL Resorts, manager of nine world-renowned recreational resorts, is the first Duetto hotel partner to receive automated pricing recommendations enhanced by TravelClick's future-looking Demand360(r) competitor data - at the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, Calif. Through a seamless integration between TravelClick and Duetto, KSL can now make optimal pricing decisions with a holistic view into future market demand.

How self-service technology is enhancing the guest experience

JLLH 7 December 2016
At hotels around the world, the friendly face of a concierge who remembers your name could soon be replaced by technology that aims to do just the same.When it comes to a great hotel stay, that personalized touch is often the defining feature. At the Aloft hotels in Boston and Santa Clara, guests can perfect their room's temperature not by ringing down to housekeeping, but by telling the in-room iPad to "cool the room".When it launches next summer, the Hilton Group's Tru brand will similarly target tech-savvy, millennial travellers, who can check-in by app, collect a virtual key on their smartphones and let themselves into their rooms by waving their phones at Bluetooth-enabled locks."Customers are increasingly demanding this kind of technology. We are living in a self-service world where you can buy groceries and check-in for flights without interacting with a single person," says Richard Pemberton, Hospitality Consultant at Avenue9, part of JLL Group.Starting at check-inWhether a hotel is a high-end boutique or a budget-friendly micro-hotel, self-service technology is increasingly impacting the hotel experience from check in to check out."Reservations and check-in are probably the best implemented self-service features at the moment," Pemberton says.Denmark's budget WakeUpCopenhagen, for example, lets guests check in and out minus humans, while London's Edwardian Hotels uses mobile and online check-in where guests can select in-room amenities or specific floors.Keyless entry is also on the rise - visitors to certain Hilton, Starwood and Marriott Hotels can collect digital room keys and check-in via apps, removing the hassle of (not losing) a room key.The rise in in-room technologyWhere once part of the appeal of staying in a hotel was its vast catalogue of movies on-demand, the arrival of super-fast Wifi, Netflix and iTunes has changed all that. "Many travellers own more up-to-date tech than you can actually get in hotel bedrooms," says Pemberton.As a result, many hotels - from higher-end properties like the Irvine in California and lower-cost Dutch-based CitizenM - are eschewing media channels for in-room tech that lets guests stream their own movies and music to widescreen TVs and Bluetooth speaker systems."Hotels have always aimed to be a home away from home," says Dale Nix, Hospitality Consultant at Avenue9. "Now, that means evolving to include the tablets and smart tech that are part of everyday life."That includes building apps to enable guests to order what they want when they want it as part of the self-service trend. Conrad Concierge, for example, lets guests book spa treatments and airport transfers at 20 boutique properties, while the younger-facing W Hotels Worldwide has a dedicated app for ordering room service, checking out the local weather and streaming W-style music - even when guests are at home.The highs and lows of hotel techIt's not just guests who are benefitting from evolving tech; maintenance staff are too.Seattle's Hotel 1000 has rooms with sensors that detect body heat so housekeeping knows not to enter when the room is occupied. Other hotels are experimenting with robots who do everything from deliver luggage to check guests in and answer questions."As the technology has matured, we're seeing better cost efficiency and a smoother overall experience for both hotels and guests," Pemberton says.For hotel operators, features such as self-check-in and room service apps can also save costs by reducing the need for staff. "Anecdotal evidence indicates that investing in technology ups in-room sales revenue by 20 percent," Nix adds.Yet as these features become more widespread, research suggests that self-service has a way to go before it is fully embraced by guests."In a hotel with both check-in counter and self-check-in kiosk, guests will often look at the kiosk and go to the counter," Nix says. "Many hotels may be throwing money into a pit because they haven't asked - nor understood - what their guests want."Guests need to have a choice, he says: "Do they want to check-in themselves, or be helped by a person?"Physical plan Bs are necessary in case of internet failures or lost phones, while security remains a challenge. "You can imagine the bad press for hotel brands if someone was able to hack the Bluetooth room locks," Pemberton says.The hotel of the future"Down the line, my ideal hotel bedroom would recognize who I am when I enter the building," Nix says, "and set my preferences for lighting and TV stations and draw the blinds, so when I get there it's my home from home."That could soon be possible, as hotel groups such as Starwood are experimenting with Bluetooth sensors that would connect to guests' phones as they approach, displaying their names and room preferences to reception.While budget hotels of the future are likely to look to keyless entry and self-check-in to cut costs, higher-end hotels will focus using technology to recreate all the comforts of home - your music, movies and TV, the way you like the lights, the ability to order food from your iPad. In other words, the feeling of personalization which once upon a time was fulfilled by the perfectly mannered concierge.

Duetto and TravelClick Launch Automated Demand360-Driven Revenue Strategy with KSL Resorts

Duetto 7 December 2016
San Francisco -- KSL Resorts, manager of nine world-renowned recreational resorts, is the first Duetto hotel partner to receive automated pricing recommendations enhanced by TravelClick's future-looking Demand360(r) competitor data - at the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, Calif. Through a seamless integration between TravelClick and Duetto, KSL can now make optimal pricing decisions with a holistic view into future market demand.Demand360 for Duetto combines the exclusive future-looking market data of TravelClick's Demand360 with GameChanger's revolutionary Open Pricing, allowing hotels to optimize their pricing strategy against competitors for every channel and market segment. With 22,000+ properties globally contributing future and historical reservation data, Demand360 gives customers a comprehensive view of the competitiveness in their market."With Demand360 and Duetto data integrated, we can now make automated updates to our pricing strategies," said Ian Pullan, General Manager at Monarch Beach Resort. "In today's increasingly complex and competitive landscape, it is crucial to have not only the insights but also the ability to take action in real time. With this integration, we can now always stay one step ahead of our competition."Through Demand360 for Duetto, KSL can use house- and segment-level demand data to build custom price rules and adjust pricing strategies for each channel independently in real time. Personalized rate recommendations, reporting, daily performance visualizations and pricing rules will include complete visibility into future-looking market conditions."As the most comprehensive future-looking competitive market intelligence product available to the hospitality industry, Demand360 data powers the RevPAR strategies for brands and independent hotels across the globe," said Greg Sheppard, Senior Vice President, Business Intelligence Products at TravelClick. "By seamlessly integrating our Demand360 data into GameChanger, shared customers will gain access to improved pricing algorithms and another way to drive their competitiveness in the marketplace."Key benefits of the integration include:Duetto will ingest an individual hotel's aggregated comp-set demand data, identify opportunities and deliver automatic enhanced rate recommendations by segment and channel based on Demand360 insights.Demand360 is fully incorporated into Duetto's ScoreBoard, which features a custom report builder so that hotels can analyze Demand360 house- and segment-level data alongside key hotel performance metrics.Operators can see how their hotels are performing against the competition, allowing them to visualize trends and changes over time at both the whole house and segment level."Demand360 provides powerful future-looking data," said Marco Benvenuti, Duetto Co-Founder and Chief Product & Analytics Officer. "When the data is integrated with a revenue management system, especially one with the ability to dynamically price by segment and channel, it becomes more valuable."With Demand360 for Duetto, new future-looking data points can be correlated and analyzed with Duetto's full slate of forward-looking data sets, including web shopping activity and flight demand. forecasts. This gives hoteliers the most holistic view of the future and the ability to confidently make the best pricing decisions.TravelClick and Duetto hold confidentiality and security with the highest regard. Hoteliers will only have access to data for their own properties and an aggregated view of their competitive sets.About KSL ResortsFounded in 1992, KSL Resorts manages nine time-honored resorts with outstanding recreational amenities including spa, golf, tennis and ski. Each is refined yet unpretentious, rich in legacy and genuine in service. Meetings at KSL Resorts are distinguished by state-of-the-art flexible function space, expert conference services, outstanding cuisine and are known to increase conference productivity and leave attendees feeling rejuvenated.About TravelClick, Inc.TravelClick offers innovative, cloud-based and data-driven solutions for hotels around the globe to maximize revenue. TravelClick enables over 38,000 hoteliers to drive better business decisions and know, acquire, convert and retain guests. The Company's interconnected suite of solutions includes Business Intelligence, Reservations & Booking Engine, Media, Web & Video and Guest Management. As a trusted hotel partner with more than 30 years of industry experience, TravelClick operates in 176 countries, with local experts in 39 countries and 14 offices in New York, Atlanta, Bucharest, Chicago, Barcelona, Dubai, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Myrtle Beach, Orlando, Ottawa, Paris, Shanghai and Singapore. Additionally, the Company fosters more than 600 travel-focused partnerships for hotels to leverage. Follow TravelClick on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.About Demand360Demand360 is TravelClick's most comprehensive market intelligence product and the only product that provides near real-time insights into demand and selling rates of hotels on market-by-market basis. Today, Demand360 contains detailed multi-channel booking data for 22,000+ properties which account for nearly $100 billion in annual room revenue. TravelClick aggregates and normalizes booking data from hundreds of sources daily which in turn provides sophisticated competitive market intelligence.About DuettoDuetto delivers the most powerful Revenue Strategy solutions to the world's leading hotels and casinos, allowing them to better manage pricing, revenue and business-mix decisions with superior, actionable data.The unique combination of hospitality experience and technology leadership enables Duetto to provide new insights on pricing and demand as a true cloud-based software-as-a-service. With Revenue Strategy and Revenue Intelligence solutions that address the challenges of today's hospitality industry, Duetto helps hotels and casinos optimize profits and guest loyalty.Thanks to rapid marketplace adoption, Duetto is expanding in key markets throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. More than 1,200 hotel and casino properties in more than 60 countries have partnered to use Duetto's Revenue Strategy and Revenue Intelligence platforms.
  • John Cahill Memorial Reception - HITEC 2016
  • HITEC 2015 Exhibit Hall
  • HFTP Sydney Summit 2016
  • Thursday Education 02
  • Thursday Education 01
  • HFTP Sydney Summit 2016
  • 2015 Hall of Fame inductee Scot Campbell, CHTP at HITEC 2015 in Austin, Texas USA
  • HITEC 2016 Exhibit Hall
  • John Cahill Memorial Reception - HITEC 2016
  • HFTP_WED_CS5_8676
Article by Evelyne Oreskovich

Seven 7-Word Phrases to Avoid

Hospitality eResources, LLC 7 December 2016
Did you ever have a conversation with a boss, client or team member and their response to a discussion leaves you looking like a confused puppy? Your mind is thinking - "Did he just really say that?"You're left to wonder whether the person genuinely doesn't understand what they are talking about, willfully ignores the benefits of a proposed idea, or is too embarrassed to admit they are uninformed about the topic. Sometimes, though, they are so confident about their convictions, that they close their minds to anything that would contradict them.(I'm going to date myself now...)Back in the 1990's while attending a brand regional conference about technology, we were talking about implementing voicemail (it was a new thing then) at all our properties. One of the GMs said to usOur guests won't want that. They want the personal touch of the operator taking a message and having it delivered to their rooms.Never mind that 1 - he was deciding what the guest wanted rather than asking them and 2 - most of our guests were foreigners and our operators rarely spoke, not to mention write, anything other than their native languages and therefore often got the messages wrongNeedless to say, he lost his battle and went through the implementation, complaining all the way. The results of course included better, faster message delivery and happier guests.To remind us to keep an open mind and increase our willingness to try new things ... I propose to banish certain phrases that we hear all too often in an effort to improve innovation and potential for success. Here are my seven 7 word phrases that I try to avoid:1. We have always done it this way.There's an old saying - "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." That's true enough. But we should always be on the lookout for new ways to do things better, faster, cheaper. Just because you've always done it a certain way doesn't mean you can't improve on a system or method. Not considering other ways of doing something may prevent you from making great strides. It may also simply verify that your way is best, but how will you know if you don't at least consider alternatives?2. Good idea but we have no budget.Before dismissing a good idea because you have no money in the budget - it's always worth considering whether the ROI will justify the added expense... If that good idea will generate more income than the expense, you're just plain foolish for not taking the leap. And don't forget that NOT doing it sometimes ends up costing more than doing it ... weigh carefully the cost of not doing something! Retrofitting after-the-fact is always an expensive proposition.3. We have to do more with less.We've grown tired of hearing this mantra. The recent recession have been rough on all of us. Layoffs indeed required us to tighten our belts and take on more responsibilities. This time period has allowed many of us to learn new skills and see how valuable and adaptable we can be. However, things are now turning around! While we are not seeing the staffing levels back to what it was pre-recession, and it is true that we have all been able to maintain service levels with near skeleton staff levels, piling on more work than we're already doing is never going to achieve the results of a full staff. Most people I know are stretched, and stressed, to the limits. So when management wants to take on new projects and try new things, it deserves consideration to either hire outside help or start staffing up to handle the new reality.4. Training is not a revenue generating activity.This is an often used mantra that comes in a variety of flavors...We can't afford training.Training takes staff away from their jobs. (particularly considering item 3 above)Time is better used doing something more productive.My answer is this... if you don't train your staff to do their jobs properly, it will cost you more in the long run. More in dissatisfied guests who won't come back and will spread the word about their dissatisfaction. More in liabilities as they potentially jeopardize safe practices. The list goes on.Also, don't forget that you risk more in staff turnover because employees who feel their employers don't give them the tools they need to do their job properly will inevitably look for employment elsewhere. The fact is that well trained staff increases job satisfaction which in turn decreases turnover, which goes right to the bottom line. Not to mention happy staff interact with guests and customers in a way that is proven to increase brand value.5. Don't worry about the details, just sell.When I was in sales, it used to make me crazy to have to sell a product that I didn't fully understand or that was still in development. I felt like I wasn't equipped to explain the benefits to the client. Nor did I enjoy selling "vaporware" that may or may not be ready for use when I was promising it to the client. Really, folks!When you are trying something new, launching a new product or making improvements on a popular service, details matter. Especially in hospitality, details are crucial! Why should I buy from you rather than our competition? How is this improvement going to make my life/experience/job/business better? Why is it more expensive?Put yourself in the client's position and take the time to invest in training your team to answer every possible question or scenario that a client might potentially throw at you. Details matter in the selling process.6. We tried that once, it didn't work.Did you ever hear the old proverb "If at once you don't succeed, try, try again."? Well, keep that in mind. Just because you tried something once, or even twice, and didn't get the results you wanted, doesn't mean you shelf the idea for good. Learn from the results. See how others might have implemented the same idea and give it another try. If others are succeeding where you are not, it probably just needs a little tweak... It could also be true that you missed the window of opportunity because you practice items 1, 2 or 3 above. But it's far more likely that you just need to make some adjustments to the method, implementation or measurement of your goal.7. Social Media advertising wastes valuable marketing funds.The people who say this are often the same ones who spend $50,000 on a print ad in Conde Nast Traveler magazine where you can't measure ROI. With Social Media, you can measure your visibility, track where your target audience goes, how many stops they make and where they go online before and after visiting you, you can customize their experience when the ad has brought them to you (via landing pages and special booking offers), you can engage in a real dialogue with the target customer. With the print magazine ad you can... (see my articles on attribution challenge)Keeping an open mind requires leadership. How do you lead?Share with us which phrases you try to avoid or that make your blood boil ... 7 words or otherwise!

Hotels and the digital marketplace

By Cindy Estis Green
In the years ahead, hotels that can successfully differentiate both the purchase and the stay experience will be the winners, writes Cindy Estis Green of Kalibri - in spite of the gatekeeper power asserted by OTAs and third parties.
Article by By Mariana Safer and Carmine Fischetti

How to Jumpstart Your Hotel's Direct Bookings through Search Engine Marketing

HeBS Digital 7 December 2016
More than 25% of direct online revenue for hotels comes directly through Search Engine Marketing (SEM) initiatives, making these paid placements in the search engines an especially critical piece of a property's digital marketing budget. With 61% of leisure travelers saying they use a search engine for planning travel online (Google), and hotel SEM campaigns typically reaching people closer to the "I want to book it" phase of their travel planning journey, allocating the right amount of budget and resources to SEM is important for getting in front of the right travel consumers, at the moment they are ready to book.As we continue to see an acceleration of travel and hotel queries on Google (20% YoY in July 2016), there's never been a better time to jumpstart your hotel's direct bookings through SEM. Here are our recommendations on how to get started.1. Take advantage of the newest ad formats available to ensure your strongest marketing messages are presented to travel consumers.With the character limitations of traditional SEM ads, it can be challenging to craft marketing messages that communicate a hotel's value proposition while also prompting a sense of urgency. To help marketers overcome this, Google has introduced a new version or Ad copy format. This new form of expanded text ads displays two headlines that are both 5 characters longer than traditional headlines. This format allows hoteliers to not only promote their brand name, but also include a focused call to action. The level of potential engagement also increases, especially because of the larger, single-description field. These additional 10 characters provide more real estate to describe the property without having to be hyperaware of sentence breaks.According to Google, Expanded Text Ads drastically outperformed the standard ads' CTR by 47%. This type of engagement boost with no additional investment needed will soon become the norm as the industry migrates towards longer-form copy. If you haven't started yet, begin transitioning copy now to prepare for a total transformation in 2017.2. Understand the big picture by tracking behavior across devices AND channels.Mobile activity has been on the rise, and more than half (52%) of total travel bookings in the U.S. involve either mobile or multiple devices (Google). Providing an optimized mobile booking experience is key in securing critical revenue, and properly tracking results can help alleviate unwarranted decisions to pause ads or lower budget spend that might be driving a significant share of revenue through the voice channel.Regardless of the user experience on mobile, some travelers prefer to make the actual booking over the phone. Part of this is due to lack of easy mobile payment options, and slower adoption of mobile ecommerce by some demographics (ex. baby boomers). In a recent case study conducted with the reservations sales experts at NAVIS, we were able to demonstrate the 'big picture' and show that an additional 32% of booking revenues from SEM campaigns actually came from the voice channel.There are many tools in our search arsenal to help drive call-in activity, but the ability to track the outcome of this activity is paramount. Having full tracking coverage for all your efforts can make a true difference in allocating the appropriate amount of funds to your SEM campaigns.3. Deliver a consistent message along the travel consumer's planning and purchasing journey.According to Google, every travel booking is influenced by over 19 digital touchpoints, up from 9.2 touchpoints in 2015. This means that travel consumers may come in contact with your hotel brand's website and marketing messages multiple times throughout their travel planning journey.It is important to ensure that at each time your brand is exposed to the user that they are met with the same consistent message. Your website, SEM ads and digital marketing messages across campaigns should be personalized to the user as much as possible and also align with one another. Having a singular brand voice keep your message focused while reaching a wide audience.SEM Ad promoting the 'Extra Day Away' message:Banner ad with aligned marketing messaging:4. Listen to your guests to align your marketing messages with the travel consumer's perception of your property.Search can be one of the most eye-opening information sources for a hotel. Listening to what terms your customers use to look for a property like yours can speak volumes as to how you are failing or succeeding in promoting your brand. You should optimize and evolve your search program based on the volume of traffic coming into your website and the performance of certain search queries. Changes, upgrades and overall improvements should be continuous for your account, and should be shaped and influenced entirely by what your potential guests and current guests are saying.You may want to be viewed as a 'chic' hotel, but if a more common way to describe your property (in reviews for instance) is 'family-friendly', don't fight against their perception of your property. You may want to distance yourself from the negative connotation of "cheap", but if that is what users are searching you may just be distancing yourself from revenue. Search can be extremely profitable as long as you are staying true to your brand in the eyes of travel consumers.5. With stiff competition from the Online Travel Agencies, budget appropriately and prioritize direct bookings.Competition is pretty fierce in the hospitality space, and with supply predicted to exceed demand next year, increasing direct bookings and lowering distribution costs will be the key to saving your property's bottom line in 2017.The OTAs, especially after Google phased out text ads from the right side of its desktop search results, have invested millions of dollars in their own SEM campaigns. The result is increased cost per clicks and lower profits. A recent report by Oppenheimer Equity Research, based on data from Kenshoo, demonstrated that year-over-year the removal of Google's right rail of AdWords listings did impact performance for many advertisers.The decreased number of listings boosted CTR (+38% YoY), and more than made up for the decrease in impressions (-19% YoY), driving clicks +11% Y/Y. However, due to the drastic decrease in AdWords "real estate" of over 66%, CPC's skyrocketed which means that for the same amount of SEM budget, many advertisers are seeing less clicks due to the higher cost per click and faster budget depletions. The only beneficiaries are the OTAs who are bidding aggressively and have huge SEM budgets at their disposal.Hotels need to budget appropriately for SEM, strictly monitor rate parity, and strongly communicate the value of booking direct across the property website and throughout all digital marketing initiatives.6. Use the tools available to communicate your value proposition and stand out from the crowd.Travel consumers in general are very price-conscious, and coupled with a competitive landscape in the hospitality industry there is often a sense of urgency among hoteliers to lower rate in order to secure a booking. With this mindset, it can be easy to lose sight of the true value your property offers which leads to failure in communicating its value proposition. If you have unmatched, top-tier suites or if the experience you provide is extraordinary, why keep that information hidden and only promote the lowest-quality inventory? Price extensions in ads help communicate a variety of different price points and value-adds, and speak to your different audiences in the same ad.Price extensions give hotel marketers the ability to promote and highlight several, if not all, different room types. This is a great way to differentiate a property's room types and drive higher revenue with no additional investment needed.7. Capitalize on opportunities to talk to existing guests AND new potential guests.Reaching users though paid search is a highly qualified form of advertising. If set up properly, a hotel's SEM ads can engage a property's most loyal audiences and engage new ones by balancing past-guest data with Intent data or in other words, through Smart Data Marketing.By starting with the information, you already have about their guests, hotel marketers can take their guest profiles and purchase history (CRM data), or even just data on their website visitors, and combine this data with Google's targeting capabilities. This includes reaching targeted users on the Search Network, Gmail Ads, and YouTube Trueview. Adwords' Customer Match lets hotel marketers show ads based on data about guests they share with Google - truly allowing them to reach the right person, on the right device, at the right time to secure the booking.Hoteliers should relay specific messages for returning visitors as opposed to new unique users by using remarketing lists (according to Google, after visiting your website, returning visitors are 58% more likely to click on your ad). With a similar user's audience being built based on key traits of their frequent site visitors, marketers can then filter users who are still in the early stages of a sale, but are more likely to convert due to the traits they share with ideal customers. This audience overlay adds an extra layer of qualification and ensures impressions and clicks, which in turn provides a more promising opportunity for conversion.When bidding on non-branded terms, hoteliers are reaching out to users who are interested although most likely farther up the sales funnel and not likely to convert yet. The cost and competition of these terms tend to be high and the return is generally a bit low. One must maintain a delicate balance by driving more branded material volume to put users into the search funnel, while also maintaining spending to reach more qualified users. Many hoteliers rely on their branded terms to drive revenue, and often underestimate the power of non-branded keyword terms due to the lack of a solid attribution model to show how those terms eventually led to a booking.Utilizing these advanced targeting methods, coupled with a strategy targeting in-market audiences (people that are actively considering a hotel in your destination), will be essential to remaining competitive and seeing high returns in 2017.8. Think Inside the InBox with Gmail AdsEmail targeting is a great way to take advantage of Google's targeting options and to attract new potential guests. From targeting users on the Google Display Network (GDN) who are signed into their Gmail accounts to targeting users on Gmail based on their email content, Google uses valuable data to identify your key target audiences. This different, yet complimentary way of thinking provides a new outlet to increase volume.Email targeting provides the opportunity to capitalize on an existing email database by following up with each user as they navigate through the GDN, which will increase the chances of an eventual conversion. Additionally, the inverse works as well. Hotel marketers can target users through their interests and activities across the GDN as well as their email content, and send engaging visual ads directly to their Gmail inbox.Gmail Ad for The Watergate Hotel, targeting people traveling to Washington D.C.9. A picture is worth 1,000 wordsIn the ever-advancing digital age, we are seeing a progression towards more engaging and elaborate ad formats. This is no different within the SEM space. In a channel that has historically been centered around brief text-based ads on a results page, we are beginning to see a rise in SEM ads with accompanying images. Google has already started integrating this change by including images in all text-based Display ads. Now, text ads on the GDN will pull from a supply of images to display when your ad appears. Despite still being in its early stages, we are already seeing positive results with increased CTR and higher potential for initiated bookings.Google is not the only search engine on the imagery kick. Bing has also taken great strides towards accompanying visuals with their new image extensions. This new tool allows advertisers to increase clicks and grab attention by adding up to 6 images to appear alongside ad copy and any other extension. Incorporating these types of extensions can attract 94 percent more views than a piece of content with text only. The addition of images can really make the difference in performance.10. Keep your strategy fluid and prepare for the unknownLastly, but certainly not least - it's important to keep your strategy dynamic and be able to quickly adapt to the changing digital marketing landscape. Paid Search is a constantly evolving channel. As customer interests and views change, so do search queries and available advertising tools and methods. This should be accounted for in planning your budget. Having dollars set aside to execute new ideas or pursue new potential guests can give you the breathing room needed to maintain a strong flow of bookings while still optimizing and growing direct website bookings.About the Authors and HeBS DigitalMariana Safer is SVP, Marketing and Carmine Fischetti is Manager, SEM Dept. at HeBS Digital. Founded in 2001, HeBS Digital helps hoteliers around the globe drastically increase direct bookings and lower overall distribution costs by deploying industry best-of-breed digital technology, consulting and marketing (www.hebsdigital.com). The firm is headquartered in New York City and has offices in Las Vegas, Europe, and Asia Pacific. HeBS Digital's technology, website design and digital marketing services have won more than 400 prestigious industry awards, including World Travel Awards, HSMAI Adrian Awards, Stevie Awards (American Business Awards), W3 Awards, WebAwards, Travel Weekly's Magellan Awards, Summit International Awards, Interactive Media Awards, and IAC Awards. A diverse client portfolio of top-tier major luxury and boutique hotel chains, independent hotels, resorts and casinos, franchised properties and hotel management companies, convention centers, spas, restaurants and bars, DMO and tourist offices across the globe are all benefiting from HeBS Digital's direct online channel strategy and digital marketing expertise. The HeBS Digital team is comprised of thought leaders, a truly diverse team of experts comprised of over 33 nationalities speaking over 22 languages. The team's singular focus has always been and still is to help hoteliers maximize revenues from the Direct Online Channel - the most profitable channel for hoteliers today. Contact HeBS Digital's consultants at 1 (800) 649-5076 (North America), +64 (0) 9 889 8489 (APAC), or success@hebsdigital.com.

Hotel software systems need some big picture thinking to move forward

eHotelier.com 6 December 2016
World Travel Market London is more than just an exhibition. It is the must-go event for everyone who wants to stay ahead of the industry and in tune with all the latest top destinations, technology innovations, market forecasts and customer behaviour predictions. If you want to know where the industry is heading to and to catch the spirit of its future, WTM London is the place to go. So we did.

Doing More with Less: The Hotel Technology Challenge

The Ruckus Room (By Ruckus Wirelesstm) 6 December 2016
Throughout my many years supporting the hospitality industry - several of them while at Ruckus - I have always been amazed at the technology demands in hotels. The push for more cost-effective services that positively impact guest satisfaction with proven ROI for the hotelier is a huge challenge. Plus, hoteliers have to do this across a range of brands, properties and budgets. The tech-savvy traveler has higher expectations that start with hotel IP Edge Networking, it is the on-ramp to the hotel technology services and the Internet. Ruckus Wireless has been a leader in hospitality due to our superior Wi-Fi (Beamflex+ antenna system providing coverage and performance in guest rooms), next-gen purpose build wallplate APs, first/fast to market 11ac W2 portfolio, flexible WLAN Controller options and now powerful ICX Switch Line from Brocade. We are excited about our support of the industry and our continued role in technology for hotel.

Give Guests the Gift of Better Communication in 2017 with TV Messaging Via vuTyme by ADB

ADB SA 6 December 2016
Denver, Colo. -- A recent study asked travelers what they expect from a hotel's In-Room Entertainment (IRE) experience. Their answer wasn't surprising. Travelers said they expect the interactive TV platform to provide them with the types of information they want to know, and they want information delivered directly to them that they need to know relevant to their stay. In today's instant-information age, that seems like a pretty reasonable expectation. That's why ADB built in-room messaging into its new cloud-based IRE platform, vuTyme. While there are several dedicated messaging systems on the market, few (if any) of the IRE providers are enabling hoteliers to use the TV for direct-to-guest messaging.The "2016 In-Room Entertainment Preference Study" revealed that "Guest Messaging" is an emerging technology that guests find especially important in impacting their stay. In particular, the survey explored guest perceptions about feedback on service requests and the ability for a meeting planner to send targeted messages to their group members only. Respondents overwhelmingly said they want to be contacted. The preferred contact medium, especially for Millennials, was the hotel room TV."Guests have a variety of information needs during their stay," said Chris Dinallo, ADB CTO of Business TV. "Sure, there is probably a dedicated TV channel allocated for folio review and a list of hotel services, but it requires guests to search for it and then extract the information that is relevant to them in that moment. Having a dedicated channel is good, but offering a direct messaging platform via the in-room TV is far better. Via vuTyme, front desk staff can message a guest individually, a group of guests, all guests, or even guests staying at 20 different properties within the same enterprise or theme park."In a dynamic hotel environment, things are always changing," he said. "Perhaps management needs to add a last-minute food and beverage special to recoup dwindling sales, maybe seats just opened up for a previously sold-out entertainment venue, or the shuttle bus just broke down and guests with prior transportation reservations will now need to take a taxi to the airport instead. vuTyme enables front desk staff to type a personalized message to one guest or a generalized message to all guests that scrolls across the top of the TV in real time and in a large font to grab their attention. In this way, the hotel is giving guests exactly what they asked for: information that they want to know and need to know relevant to their stay."Consider these scenarios:The hotel pool will be closed from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for routine maintenance. A guest would prefer to learn of the closing on their in-room TV prior to changing clothes and walking down to the pool.There is an annual meeting at your convention hotel that spans the entire property. A guest rather learn that the Opening General Session has moved from Ballroom A on the north side of the facility to Ballroom D on the south side of the facility before she shows up with just minutes to spare.A guest is waiting for an important package to arrive. Instead of calling the front desk repeatedly to inquire on the delivery status, he would prefer to see a message pop up on the TV while readying for the day.With vuTyme by ADB, front desk staff upload the message and they also control the frequency for all configurable text. For example, communication can be set to scroll every two minutes and display for 30 seconds or in any time intervals they select."Hotels that are not driving guest messaging to the in-room TV are doing the industry a disservice," Dinallo said. "vuTyme was designed to integrate all service that today's travelers demand into one system."vuTyme is a 4th generation end-to-end, managed-services iTV solution for hotels. It delivers a complete set of services like live TV, VOD, PPV, concierge, digital signage and targeted advertisements PLUS it offers exciting features such as Searchable Interactive Program Guide (IPG), Over-the-Top (OTT) services access like Screencasting from BYOD, direct-to-guest messaging through the TV, local attractions map with QR Code, Pause/Rewind/Fast-Forward LIVE TV, and much more. vuTyme is offered as a managed service to hotels using the global cloud infrastructure or cable company central office. ADB offers 24/7 monitoring to ensure reliability and delivery of service.

Occupancy and revenue increases at Lindeth Howe Hotel

Guestline 6 December 2016
Lindeth Howe Hotel, a luxury country hotel overlooking Lake Windermere is the latest hotel to see an increase in their revenue and occupancy as a result of using Guestline's cloud hosted solutions.Opting for Guestline's multi-functional Rezlynx PMS, the 4-star hotel have seen occupancy rise by 11% and room revenue up by an average of 22% than on their previous system. The boost in room sales and upsells can be attributed to the ease of setting up new promotions and accessing more channels. There is more flexibility to open and close channels depending on performance and as the systems operate in real time, the hotel can sell down to the last available room.The hotel, that offers 52 rooms, an indoor swimming pool and a newly refurbished restaurant and bar, now also saves 1 -2 man hours per day. Previously manually updating over thirteen separate channels such as Booking.com and Expedia,the hotel's rates and room availability are now automatically distributed to all online travel agents.Alison Magee-Barker, General Manager said, "We have a close working relationship with the team at Guestline who continually help us and make sure we get the most out of our system. The system itself is multi-functional and has helped us improve the way we do things and the time they take. This has resulted in significant business improvements and revenue gains which we hope to continually take advantage of."Like many hoteliers, Lindeth Howe needed a provider that could offer support that would ensure they were never too far away from a helping hand. They wanted reassurance if they ever needed additional assistance, they could call someone in the UK during hotel working hours. Guestline's support team provide comprehensive technical help and support for all the software solutions, 365 days a year from the UK head office in Shrewsbury.Historically taking too long to process a booking, the team are delighted with the new streamlined process which means it now only takes 5 minutes to take a booking, process the deposit payment and send out a booking confirmation. By using the email templates, guest confirmation emails are sent out automatically once a booking has been made.Rupert Gutteridge, Sales and Marketing Director at Guestline added "The systems we develop are continually updated with new features, and are fully integrated and updated in real-time. Our solutions are fully PCI compliant, so the hotel no longer needs to store credit card details on site and can take advanced payments safely and securely, both online and over the phone - previously the hotel was taking manual payments through their PDQ machines and balancing them afterwards. By having one supplier, Lindeth Howe Hotel have a single contact who is fully accountable for all processes."To arrange a demonstration of Guestline solutions please click here.

[SlideShare] 6 Ways Revenue Managers Use Data

Net Affinity | Conversion Optimisation for Savvy Hoteliers 6 December 2016
What should revenue managers base their decisions on? At the core, Revenue managers must base their decisions on data.Potential guests are easily overwhelmed when they're visiting dozens of websites and looking at hundreds of hotels. When they get to your website, ensure that it's different. Make your website a haven of carefully-selected images, content and rate plans.

A lesson in dealing with decreasing RevPAR

Hotelier Middle East (BOH) 6 December 2016
Here in the UAE we have seen a growth in occupancy and rates over the past few months. Having previously experienced occupancy numbers of below 80%, recent estimations from market analysts suggest that 70-75% occupancy is likely to be the 'new norm' for this industry. The average occupancy in the UAE is the highest in the Middle East, with both Dubai and Abu Dhabi performing at 80% in Q2 of 2016, but the big challenge now is dealing with the decrease in RevPAR.

Choosing The Right Hotel Tech: Why You Need an Open Stack Solution | snapshot.travel

Snapshot GmbH 6 December 2016
The amount of software that hotels use is increasing every year. Not all of it is necessary, but some of these tools are of course extremely useful. And as the industry continues to utilize more digital tools and the internet, those who don't adopt the major tools or channels will get left in the dust. To stay competitive hotels need more tools to better understand their guests and improve service. Today it's a competitive advantage, tomorrow, not having them is a disadvantage.

OPTii is Honored with "Champion" and 'Trend Setter" Status by Info-Tech

Optii 6 December 2016
LAS VEGAS -- Confirming its position as provider of the world's most innovative housekeeping management solution, OPTii has been recognized as both a "Champion" and "Trend Setter" in the latest housekeeping automation vendor comparison report by Info-Tech, a leading research and advisory firm focused on the gaming and hospitality industry.Noting that Optii offers "an intuitive and modern automated housekeeping solution that delivers a spectrum of advanced features and predictive cleaning capabilities," Info-Tech recognized OPTii with its absolutely highest ranking, Champion.The Info-Tech report also named OPTii as the sole recipient of its "Trend Setter Award," concluding that the OPTii Keeper product provides "all functional components of the automated housekeeping solution within a single application. Optii's innovative proprietary algorithm provides predictive cleaning times and enables balanced workload management while optimizing real-time cleaning routes and assignments," according to Info-Tech's detailed analysis.OPTii Keeper delivers the most predictable return on investment when compared against all of its market competitors, minimizing labor costs, maximizing employee morale, and enhancing the guest experience. The higher standard of service enabled by OPTii Keeper empowers housekeeping staffs to serve as more knowledgeable ambassadors for their hotels, and ultimately drives more repeat customer business.With the cloud-based OPTii Keeper, housekeeping operations can dispense altogether with the traditional and cumbersome room assignment clipboard in favor of digital devices, in order to achieve specific and measurable improvements including:Room attendants' efficiency increased by 10-20%3 hours per day saved in management reporting and planning3 hours per day of coordination time eliminated4-5 minutes saved for every room cleanedIllustrating the power of OPTii Keeper, In a recent deployment at Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Maryland, an innovative new system featured in a May 3, 2016 article in eWeek, room cleaning labor costs have been reduced by a remarkable 25%. "We're proud to receive Info-Tech's highest award as a 'Champion' in our field and especially grateful to be the sole recipient of the Trend Setter trophy," said Daniel Ives, Chief Executive Officer of OPTii. "Setting the industry standard for innovation and providing our customers with rapid return on investment drives us forward every day at OPTii."

Parity Performance November 2016. Where does your city stand? - APAC

RateGain Blog 6 December 2016
The degree of rate parity observed for hotels in APAC between brand websites and the OTAs clearly depict a stark variation by location, in the November 2016 report.

What is the optimal occupancy for hotels, with respect to profitability?

hotelmarketing.com 6 December 2016
At a certain occupancy, profit margins are not likely to be improved without increasing average rates. Operators would be better served to achieve a high level of occupancy, and then increase rates to further boost their bottom line at higher margins.In 2015, hotel occupancies were at all-time highs throughout the industry. Since most hotels are still not struggling to fill rooms in 2016, we wondered: What is the optimal occupancy for hotels, with respect to profitability? Obviously, there is no magic occupancy for every hotel, but we can look at profitability for similar hotel segments at differing levels of occupancy using 2015 HOST data.

10 new technologies for modern hotel rooms

hotelmarketing.com 6 December 2016
Hotel rooms are changing. New technology for the global hotel industry has debuted at a staggering rate, and experts say they expect many of the new devices created in the past decade to be standard soon.Here's a brief rundown of 10 somewhat new technologies and why they matter to hotel owners.

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