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TravelClick launches new messenger feature with Guest Management Solutions

eHotelier.com·3h
In an increasingly digital and mobile world where consumers rely heavily on their smartphones, TravelClick, a global provider of innovative, cloud-based and data-driven solutions for hotels to maximize revenue, has launched a new Guest Messenger feature, which is integrated into TravelClick's Guest Management Solutions (GMS). With this innovative tool, hoteliers can have text conversations with guests before, during and after stays to not only further engage guests and personalize the guest experience but also build loyalty.
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Corigin Real Estate Group Selects Operations Platform ALICE to Deliver Hospitality and Convenience to their Tenants and Staff

ALICE ·4h
New York, NY -- Corigin Real Estate Group, a preeminent developer, owner and operator of New York City real estate, has partnered with ALICE to improve its resident experience and staff operations at eight New York City properties. Corigin selected ALICE, which powers operations and guest engagement at hundreds of hotels and luxury residences in the United States and around the world, to elevate its tenant offering and improve property management and service delivery across its portfolio.Corigin, which launched with ALICE in November of last year, is using ALICE to power its white-label mobile app for their residents. The app allows their residents to pay rent, submit maintenance requests, receive building information and communicate with staff, all through a convenient and intuitive user interface.The company is also using ALICE's staff-side mobile application to organize its employees, who provide services across their portfolio. Prior to ALICE, employees relied on emails and phone calls to communicate maintenance requests. Without ALICE's task management toolset, they often lost time shuttling between properties unnecessarily. Now, maintenance workers and porters log into ALICE in the morning and have easy and immediate access to their daily schedule. The app also allows employees to communicate directly with their residents, which saves time and improves the level of service Corigin offers its residents.ALICE is also providing building managers with tools to better manage their staff and gain insights to their property operations. With ALICE, managers can designate and delegate tasks to different employees, see how fast staff members are responding to work orders and how quick they are completing daily assignments. Managers can also use ALICE to request feedback from tenants and find opportunities for improvement via the system's analytics and reports.Corigin Real Estate Group had been looking to build their own tenant app and staff dispatch system in-house. But, when they came across ALICE, adopting the technology was an easy decision. It's been made even easier by the successful partnership the two companies have had since November, working together to forge a solution customized to the real estate group's requirements: "The ALICE team has been exceptionally easy to work with. The system is already very customizable, but ALICE worked closely with us to deliver a system that adapted exactly to our needs. The final result is an improvement in property management efficiency and the standard of hospitality we are offering our residents," said Corigin's Managing Director Christopher Jett about his company's selection of the ALICE platform."We're excited our partnership with Corigin is proving so successful for both their staff and their residents," says ALICE co-founder and CEO Justin Effron. "Luxury residential is a natural extension of our work with hotels, and we're delighted Corigin shares our vision of elevated hospitality through technology and efficiencies won through a platform approach."To learn more about ALICE's products for both hotels and luxury real estate, please get in touch.ABOUT CORIGIN: Corigin is a private holding company specializing in real estate and venture capital through Corigin Real Estate Group and Corigin Ventures, respectively. Corigin is based in New York and is led by Ryan Freedman, its Chairman & Chief Executive Officer.Corigin's Real Estate Group is a preeminent developer, owner and operator of New York City real estate. The Group's platforms span development, multi-family rental apartments, student housing, property management and lending. Each platform operates under a culture based on innovation and excellence focused on delivering the highest standards within their respective asset classes. The execution of these standards is driven by the experienced, dedicated and impactful individuals that make Corigin great at what they do.Corigin Ventures is an early-stage investor of capital and support to tech-enabled startups in high-growth markets led by inspirational teams. Founded on our deep desire to innovate the real estate space, Corigin Ventures leverages operational expertise and cross-industry relationships to deliver on its mandate. Free of limited partners or sector constraints, Corigin Ventures focuses on Seed and Series A investments.ABOUT ALICE: By joining all the departments of your hotel onto a single operations platform for internal communication and task management, ALICE helps your staff act as a team to provide consistently excellent service. ALICE's main product - ALICE Suite - brings together your front office, concierge, housekeeping, and maintenance teams, and connects your guests to your hotel with our app and SMS tools. The ALICE platform is also available as specialized software and mobile applications for your staff (ALICE Staff), your concierge (ALICE Concierge) and your guests (ALICE Guest). Each module is fully integratable with PMS, POS, and all other third party management systems. ALICEs partners include 3-5 independent and managed hotels, hotel groups, residential condominiums, serviced apartments, vacation rental companies, and concierge companies looking to provide exceptional service through mobile staff technology and guest communication channels. Third-party service providers also leverage the ALICE API. ALICE was founded in 2013 by Justin Effron, Alex Shashou, and Dmitry Koltunov, and has raised $13.5M to date.

HSMAI accepting nominations for the Revenue Management Professional of the Year Award and the Vanguard Award for Lifetime Achievement in Revenue Management

HSMAI 27 February 2017
HSMAI is accepting nominations for the Revenue Management Professional of the Year Award and the Vanguard Award for Lifetime Achievement in Revenue Management. Nominations for both awards are due by Friday, March 31, 2017. Honorees will be recognized at HSMAI's Revenue Optimization Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (June 28, 2017).Revenue Management Professionals of the YearThese awards, co-presented by HSMAI and Rainmaker, recognize and promote excellence in the field of revenue management in hotels.Nominees for the Property / Multi-Unit award must:Currently serve in an on-property or regional revenue management role for a brand, management company, ownership group, or independent property.Have more than 75% of their responsibilities specific to the day-to-day management of revenue optimization for the property(s).Demonstrate excellence in all of the following areas: Lifelong Learning; Innovative Leadership; Cross-Discipline Collaboration; Talent Development; and Advancement of the Discipline.Nominees for the Corporate award must:Currently serve in an above-property Regional or Corporate revenue management role for a brand, management company, or ownership group.Have more than 50% of their responsibilities specific to the oversight of revenue managers or directors, and not in the performance of daily revenue management tasks.Demonstrate excellence in all of the following areas: Lifelong Learning; Innovative Leadership; Cross-Discipline Collaboration; Talent Development; and Advancement of the Discipline.Click here to nominate a deserving colleague, customer, fellow chapter member, or friend by March 31, 2017.Vanguard Award for Lifetime Achievement in Revenue ManagementHSMAI annually honors a revenue management professional who has left an indelible mark on the field of pricing and revenue optimization in the hospitality industry.The award recognizes individuals who have spent a major portion of their careers in the revenue management profession and have contributed to the betterment of the industry in a significant and lasting way, over an extended period of time.To qualify for the award, a nominee must have:Noteworthy and outstanding contributions to the hospitality industry, and the revenue management discipline, during a career spanning at least 20 years; Accomplishments that are truly extraordinary, widely recognized as such, and of positive and lasting quality; Exhibited leadership and provided inspiration to others in the sector; and, The highest regard and respect of their peers. Click here to nominate a mentor, industry icon, or friend by March 31, 2017.For questions and additional information, please contact Juli Jones atjjones@hsmai.org or 703-506-3276.
Article by Cindy Heo

Revenue management: Capturing untapped potential

27 February 2017
Industry practitioners and revenue management (RM) educators, meeting recently in Orlando in the U.S., are in agreement: there is a great shortage of well-qualified revenue managers. Competent revenue managers should be not only able to use data analytics to predict customer behavior and proactively formulate RM and pricing strategy, but they should also possess the necessary communication, decision-making and leadership skills required to help companies to maximize revenue.The list of corporates taking part in the Orlando RevMe workshop was impressive: Disney; SeaWorld Parks; IDeaS Revenue Solutions; Delaware North; STR; and Hard Rock International. Among the items on the agenda: dynamic pricing; bridging the gap between technology and people; and education, skills and behavioral traits that make great revenue managers.Today's RM practice is evolving from the traditional rooms-revenue model towards a total revenue management approach. Under the traditional model, hotel revenue management has focused largely on rooms. However, revenue management principles can be applied to operational areas beyond just rooms. At its core, total hotel revenue management brings together and optimizes all revenue streams, as opposed to thinking of each department separately. Thus, a more holistic approach to revenue management is needed to identify revenue-generating opportunities, and optimize revenue and profit generation.The move to total revenue management involves a shift from a tactical, short-term focus to a more strategic, long-term view. Total revenue management relates to capturing mostly untapped revenue and profit potential, associated with hotels' non-room revenue-generating centers. Some hotel chains are already expanding revenue management practices to F&B outlets and/or the function rooms.As for 'integrated' hotel resorts, the casino industry also offers specialized hotel room rates, based on the guests' 'value', by analyzing their gaming and spending behavior.While the evolution of revenue management presents many opportunities for today's revenue leaders, it will also bring many challenges. Industry practitioners recognize the importance of utilizing a total revenue management approach and conclude that talented personnel, combined with the right technology are the keys to success for total revenue management strategies.Technology providers have also begun to deliver solutions that address these areas as well, from robust F&B reports that transform point-of-sale or POS data into actionable insights, or into forecasting and optimization solutions for alternative revenue sources such as meeting space.However, technology is still one of the key barriers to practicing total revenue management. The data and technology required to support the successful implementation of total revenue management is not readily available to most companies. When different departments collaborate, they typically operate on multiple software applications. Companies, however, more often than not acquire different systems at different times from different vendors, but the systems need to be interconnected. Therefore, it is a challenge for companies to interlink their different systems, so that they can work together and allow for the seamless transfer of data.For total revenue management to become a reality, the revenue manager should be able to manage demand and profitability for every revenue stream in the hotel. One of the core components of a total revenue management program is increased involvement by the revenue manager in optimizing all revenue streams, and so have both tactical and strategic influence on other revenue centers.In addition, one of the keys to successful total revenue management is to have it embedded in the organization's culture and an integrated approach is needed to analyze the decisions of sales departments so that they can be aligned with the revenue and profit objectives of all the revenue centers.Therefore, a key quality of effective revenue leaders is that they must not only be good with analytics, they must also be effective influencers in sales, marketing and operations. With automated revenue management systems in place, revenue managers can reduce their workload in terms of 'number-crunching' and spend more time on analyzing data and making better and more strategic decisions for the hotel.Revenue managers should be corporate leaders who guide sales and marketing teams in the most effective positioning of their selling strategies and campaigns, and lead the overall strategic direction of a property.Future revenue managers will have to develop far beyond the current, stereotypical number-crunching, often believed to the revenue management role, as the key competency of revenue maximization is becoming more strategic.Every decision a revenue manager makes affects a company's profitability and, because of this, the role requires a professional competent in their abilities to manage both people as well as revenue. Top revenue managers should be visionaries and corporate change agents who rely on innovative thinking to develop and build a total revenue strategy to increase a company's profitability for both the short and long term.Revenue managers in future should not only be tactical, but also have the right skill sets to be the strategic revenue leaders that companies need.Dr. Cindy (Yoonjoung) Heo is an assistant professor in revenue management at EHL. Dr. Heo will be one of the team of professors on the school's new MBA in Hospitality program which is scheduled to start in September 2017.Discover EHL's online module Driving Hotel Revenues.

True cost of acquisition metric a long way off for hotels

Tnooz27 February 2017
There is a belief by some that hotels should be able to select their distribution channels easily.A hotel owner or the channel manager wonks at chain level can measure which one performs well and then pick accordingly.Factors such as time, inventory, target audience and room rate come into play, obviously, but a few swishes of the abacus and it all miraculously falls into place.
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INTEREL wins multiple gulf sustainability and CSR awards for best innovation in clean, green & sustainable technology

INTEREL 27 February 2017
Dubai, UAE. 27 February 2017: INTEREL, the world's leading provider of integrated guestroom control and energy management systems for the hospitality industry, has been recognised as the winner of the Clean Technology, Green Building and Innovation in Sustainable Technologies categories at the Gulf Sustainability and CSR Awards earlier this month.Presented by Eng. Mohamed Al Hosani, MD of Tandeef, the awards provide recognition for companies and individuals implementing outstanding sustainability and CSR initiatives across the region and aim to support organizations and businesses as a vehicle for sharing best practice and for promoting continuous improvement, learning and personal development.Focused on enhancing the hotel guest experience and optimising an operator's energy consumption, INTEREL's system philosophy is driven by their social responsibility towards the environment - seeking to deliver greener and more sustainable operations by building on the efforts of hoteliers who are focused on reducing their properties' energy consumption and costs."INTEREL is delighted to be recognised and awarded for our leadership in sustainability in the Gulf region," said Florian Kriechbaumer, INTEREL's Director of Operations & Development, in accepting the award. "Through our revolutionary online Water Management System, a hotel is able to save up to 30 percent of water every year while improving the guest experience."Mark Hamill, Managing Director of Awards International, said: "We felt extremely privileged to have so many of the top companies in Sustainability and CSR participating in the inaugural awards. The judges had a very difficult time in choosing the winners, showing just how close the competition was. We launched this awards programme on the back of the success of the Sustainability and CSR categories at the International Business Excellence Awards, and we are delighted to have been able to provide the platform for leading companies to tell their stories. Congratulations to all of those involved."INTEREL's Water Management System allows guests to have instant control over the water flow and temperature in their room. This means they can select personal water preferences with the simple touch of a button, instead of adjusting unknown basin and shower faucets to achieve a preferred temperature."In the UAE, the average water consumption per person per day is 550L, whereas tourists reach a staggering 679L with the main share of this consumption happening in the hotel room. Through INTEREL's online guest room water management solution, a hotel will be able to achieve digital guest controls, cost and consumption reduction through leveraging the benefits of IoT and Big Data - all while saving substantial amounts of water, decreasing overheads and enhancing guests' comfort and experience," Kriechbaumer added.Hotels benefit from significant OPEX savings through reduced water and energy consumption, access to online real time water consumption and usage data, with the ability to adjust the system accordingly, as well as fewer leaks and a longer life for the property's plumbing infrastructure, as pipes within the room are no longer required to be under pressure. Along with these advantages comes a major CAPEX saving on the plumbing infrastructure of each room, as the innovative solution replaces the two traditional hot and cold pipes with one blended guest room water pipe system during the construction of the hotel.Photo caption: At the awards ceremony, from left: Brijesh Dhruve, Chief Environment Officer, ENOC; Florian Kriechbaumer, INTEREL's Director, Operations & Development; Eng. Mohamed Al Hosani, MD of Tandeef; and Mark Hamill, Managing Director of Awards International.
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Stand Apart from the Rest - Help Your Hotel Guests Make Lasting Memories (Hotel Guest ...

Oracle Hospitality Check-In27 February 2017
Ensuring your guests walk away with lasting memories that make them want to return is every hotel's goal. You can achieve that goal by better utilizing a resource you already have onsite - the concierge. According to recent research that asked guests about ways to improve their hotel experiences, we found that more than 60% of guests used alternative means (mostly internet searches) to make reservations and find local recommendations. But interestingly, that's exactly the type of information a majority of respondents said they were 'very interested' in receiving directly from hotels. We also found that guests were comfortable disclosing food/allergy information and sharing preferences about entertainment. What does this mean for you? By better utilizing the concierge and your hotel PMS to collect guest preferences and create guest profiles, your concierge can make helpful recommendations and reservations for guests. This value-add service helps ensure guests have a wonderful stay, make

Understanding the EMV Fraud Liability Shift

Hotel Business Review by hotelexecutive.com27 February 2017
Even though it's been almost 18 months since the U.S. migrated to EMV smart-chip based payment technology, many businesses - for various reasons - are still hesitant to get on board. Many hotel property management system products don't support EMV acceptance, even though almost 80 percent of credit cards are now issued with smart chips. In fact, credit card issuers prioritized which cards were issued with chips first, which included high-limit international or travel cards - the types of cards being used often in hotels. Without the ability to accept EMV transactions, business owners - including hoteliers like you - are seeing liability shift chargebacks for which there is no defense.By David Hogan, Executive Director of Major Accounts, Heartland Payment Systems
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Tips for Designing a Reliable Wi-Fi Network Guests and Staff Can Rely On

Hosp. Tech Matters - A Blog by Alice27 February 2017
These days, access to the internet is as essential to the hospitality industry as providing comfortable beds. Yet, unreliable Wi-Fi remains one of the most common complaints guests have when they walk away from a hotel experience. But, connectivity isn't only an issue for guests. A faulty connection can impede everything from internal staff communications to hosted events, making it a fundamental utility for staff and guests alike. A few simple infrastructure considerations made at the get-go can make a world of difference to the guests' and staff's Wi-Fi experience down the line.
Article by Tim Sullivan

Creating the Right Connection for Conversion and Engagement on Social Media

Cendyntm 24 February 2017
As hoteliers' key audiences spend less time on the Web and more time on their smartphones' social apps, it is crucial for hotels to have a digital engagement strategy that creates meaningful interactions on social channels. Desktop still converts higher, but the path to a booking is a journey full of touch points across social. Now that social media platforms are maturing, hotels can go beyond targeting their own guests to discovering new profitable audiences. They can reach and drive sales for all sides of the business: leisure, corporate and group sales. However, before hoteliers think about social engagement, they need to cover the basics of personalization and one-to-one marketing.Planning Your TeamSocial media is hungry for content. Every day, there will be an expectation that a bevy of fresh, entertaining and engaging content will be live on your sites. That means you'll need content creators, people to write and edit posts, take photos, curate infographics and shoot video. Your content creators will also need to establish a tone of voice for your hotel brand. Will it be fun and casual? Will it be more sophisticated and buttoned-up? It is important to create a tone that is in line with your brand's essence. Since social is about a two-way conversation, you will also need individuals to monitor your channel for comments, likes and dislikes, and respond in a timely and professional manner.Monitoring should include customer service needs, as hotel guests are more likely to post their feedback on social than send you an email or make a phone call. Keep in mind that robot-like responses won't do, so staff should be trained and empowered to speak naturally on social when they are addressing a comment whether it be positive or negative. Next, your team should be built with staff who will analyze your channel for effectiveness, noticing trends in follower growth, which posts are resonating, which aren't and spikes in engagement based on the time of day, the day of the week or other factors. In social media, it is important as well that all of the information gained amongst the team should be shared collectively in a continuous feedback loop. So, that way, content creators know the performance of creative and can take this into consideration when planning the next batch of content. Or, monitoring staff can be on the watch for spikes in engagement when new creative drops.Social Media's Place in the Marketing FunnelAs you plan social content, keep in mind you will have visitors across the buying process spectrum interacting with your hotel's brand. There could be prospects just encountering your hotel, people who have been watching your brand for a while and customers who love your hotel all there at the same time. So, your content needs to provide merit and appeal to all sides of the equation. Create buyers' personas and a path for how you would want a customer to move through your marketing funnel or circle. This could look something like Strangers, Visitors, Leads, Customers, Promoters. When content planning, ensure you have something that appeals to each of these groups who will be visiting your social media channels.Curate Your Social Content Before Engaging.To be effective, you must know your audience, offer great content and post material that relates. The most common pitfalls of social media marketing are engaging with a guest you don't know and posting the wrong assets, posting content that's not professional enough or posting content that simply does not resonate. In fact, engaging the guest at the wrong moment with the wrong content can backfire and lead to damage control.However, this is something that can be easily avoided. Nowadays, you can use the guest profiles stored in your CRM to segment your social audiences and build the right interactions on these channels. A true hotel CRM centralizes data from multiple systems, stitching all your disparate data silos together in a central location to provide a Single Version of Truth. This means including guest history, value, preferences, behavior, satisfaction and intent. This data can predict what your best guests look like. This kind of modeling can lead to "drip" marketing campaigns that both prospect and nurture guests in a way that generate significant results. Another benefit is that with those insights you can design effective interactions pre-stay, on-property and post stay without any risk to communicate to the wrong guest. With this guest intelligence, you won't send a promotion on Facebook to a guest who is already on property.Equipped with your increased understanding of who your guests are, you can now curate your social content to appeal to their travel lifestyle. One of the upsides of communicating on social channels is that it offers so many ways to reach and engage audiences through a wide array of media and interaction points.Authenticity and Storytelling: The Secret SauceDoes your hotel have awesome staff? Social media is the place to showcase your top talent. These are the opportunities to showcase your brand in action and give guests a taste of the wonderful experience they will have on site. Highlight an interesting bartender making a cocktail in a short video for Instagram. Interview your concierge in the lobby and post a quick Q and A on Facebook. Live stream the pool crew staff preparing the area for the day, setting up and speaking about the steps they take to create a relaxing environment for guests. This way, it's not just one voice talking about the value your hotel offers, it's the many individuals who make up your service team. Guests enjoy getting to know the people behind your brand. Try to re-create the experience guests will have once they check in to your hotel on social.Reach Your Audience with Targeted Social AdvertisingWhen it comes to social advertising, Facebook has become the most popular option, in part due to its 1 billion user reach. The platform offers very powerful targeting capabilities, allowing hotels to develop custom audiences from their CRM for remarketing and look-alike modeling. The Facebook platform is also rich in ad styles with options like the Right Rail Ads, Newsfeed and Carousel Ads. Traditionally used to reach the leisure guest traveler, it is under-utilized when it comes to Meeting and Event planners. This may change as you can even target a business-focused audience using Facebook's new Lead Ads, which include an RFP form directly within the unit, making it great for meeting and wedding campaigns.Do a search on LinkedIn for meeting planners and you'll find over 15,000 of them on LinkedIn. Event planners? Over 95,000! Immense targeting capabilities abound for the platform's InMail as well as Sponsored Posts and banner placements. You can target by industry, groups users are following, job, company and more. One caveat is that creative options are limited for ad lay out.Pinterest is a great place to reach brides and grooms looking for venues to host their wedding, as this is the platform of choice for inspirational searches on this topic. Ads within Pinterest look just like a Standard pin, so you'll want to use attractive imagery that compels a user to click. You can target ads by interests, behavior, location and device, in addition to CRM list, lookalike lists and Web site remarketing.To reach the tech-savvy traveler market, Twitter is your best bet. Ads are "promoted posts," confined by the 140-character mark limit, and can be targeted by hash tags, by followers, following and more. Twitter ads are great for advertisers looking to keep a lock on important keywords related to their property. Sponsoring a tweet helps your content rise above the noise on Twitter when someone performs a search related to your hotel or keywords associated with it. You can even target followers of your competition!Because of its visual nature, Instagram is a perfect match for hotels. Stunning property shots, photos of staff and guests and food/beverage shots: they all do well here. Instagram ads are built in Facebook's Ad Manager and can align with your Facebook campaigns, so there's a lot of synergy between these two platforms. Ads are "native style," appearing in the feed, so, your ads should be beautiful with the best photos of your property, rooms and suites. Or, try another method of running ads created from user-generated content (guests who stay at your property, take a picture and @tag your brand). With proper attribution, the photos turned ads convey an authentic nature that connects emotionally with audiences.Consider your engagement goals and your audience when deciding on a campaign. Are you looking to gain web site traffic, increase engagement, loyalty, make a guest or group booking? All those things are possible if you communicate to the right audience at the right time with the right message.Top Takeaways:CRM is your roadmap for engaging with guests on social media.Know your audience, offer great content and post material that relates.Prospect and re-market to guests through targeted social media advertising.Reprinted from the Hotel Business Review with permission from www.HotelExecutive.com.
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Who Cares About Revenue Management?

Duetto Research Blog24 February 2017
Nearly 30 years after its debut, we can now safely say that revenue management is an important hospitality discipline. Brands, owners, asset managers and technology suppliers -- from entry-level staff to C-level executives -- have all joined operators in understanding the importance of pricing your perishable inventory right to meet demand.

Augmented reality and virtual reality: New realities in digital marketing

By Alex Gibson
Following many false dawns, it seems as if augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are finally making their way onto the agendas of digital marketing executives, says Alex Gibson of the Dublin Institute of Technology.

Slashing rates towards a modern day hospitality industry

eHotelier.com24 February 2017
The Fair Work Commission's (FWC) decision to reform Sunday and Public Holiday penalty rates is a first step towards a modern hospitality industry, the Australian Hotels Association said.
  • Speaker Lyle Worthington, CHAE at HITEC 2015 in Austin, Texas USA
  • Entrepreneur 20X at HITEC 2016
  • HITEC 2016 Exhibit Hall
  • Leadership Breakfast 04
  • Thursday Keynote 03
  • HFTP Sydney Summit 2016
  • Entrepreneur 20X at HITEC 2016
  • 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee Prakash Shukla
  • John Cahill Memorial Reception - HITEC 2016
  • HFTP_WED_CS5_8657
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The Hotel Technology Revolution We've All Been Waiting For

Snapshot Blog23 February 2017
Ask hoteliers about their biggest pain points, and technology integration will invariably be among them. Hotels require a complex array of software and data sets to operate, and most of them still operate in silos. This makes data inaccessible and difficult to analyze.
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Hospitality Revenue: 5 Things That Break a Demand Forecast

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog23 February 2017
In a previous blog post ("Revenue Management Forecasting: Outrun Your Pace Group"), I talked about the differences between Business Forecasts and Revenue Management Forecasts. This blog post digs a little deeper into Demand Forecasts, one of the cornerstones of revenue management. It is critical for revenue managers to understand future demand in order to project occupancy, revenue, and operational needs.
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Groupize Integrates With Concur to Deliver End to End Enterprise Meetings Management

Groupize, Inc. 23 February 2017
Groupize, the award-winning provider of innovative, simple meeting solutions today announced the integration of Groupize Meetings with Concur(r), the leading provider of spend management solutions and services. Now available in the Concur App Center, Groupize will provide Concur clients with an enterprise-wide solution for travel arrangers, admins and occasional planners to manage all their meetings and the associated travel needs.The Groupize Meetings solution was built from the ground up to leverage Concur Travel data to deliver a seamless meetings management experience. Using the latest technologies and the Concur Travel Profile 2.0 API, Groupize delivers a two-way integrated meetings management platform which enables travel managers and agencies to take control of their simple meetings - which represent up to 80% of a company's overall meetings spend, and in some cases, the largest area of unmanaged travel and risk.The Concur integrated Groupize Meetings solutions offers additional functionality such as:Ability for admins and planners to log all their meetings for a holistic view of 100% of the meetings in a corporationSend RSVPs to Concur users for meetings or create mobile responsive registration websites and event apps sites in just 15 minutesManage room blocks and push to Concur itinerariesAllows attendees to book their air and hotel in Concur at any timeCommunicate and manage attendees, rooming lists, flight manifest, surveys and ordersAggregated meeting and spend data from Groupize and ConcurGroupize Meetings fills the gap between transient and large meetings and allows corporations and agencies to finally take control of their simple meetings such as internal meetings, speaker series, RSVPs, breakfast events, seminars, training, store openings, recruiting, project teams, field force, board meetings and more.Groupize's self-service solutions and disruptive pricing model allows Groupize Meetings to be easily deployed as an enterprise-wide solution whether a company only has three meetings a year, or if they have 1,000 unmanaged meetings per year. Until now, other solutions have focused solely on large events, resulting in over- engineered and cost prohibitive products. This explains why the most sophisticated Strategic Meetings Management Program only captures 20% of overall meetings."Concur is the perfect home and partner for the Groupize Simple Meetings solutions," says Charles de Gaspe Beaubien, President, and CEO of Groupize. "In terms of joint functionality, we can deliver a shared value proposition to mutual agencies and corporations. Today, simple meetings are decentralized and are mostly organized by travel arrangers and executive admins without tools, support, policies or oversight, exposing corporations to significant and unnecessary risk. Our solution is a natural add-on to Concur Travel and allows agencies and travel managers to maximize their investment in their Concur programs to finally bridge the gap between transient and meetings."Groupize Meetings combined with the Groupize Sourcing app offers an end to end solutionBooking Engine for 1-9 roomsEbids for sourcing meetingsApprovals and centralized contract signatureBudget, spend and saving reportsGroupize Meetings is now available in the Concur App Center. Offering apps with streamlined integration with Concur Travel, Expense and Invoice products, the Concur App Center delivers innovative functionality in key categories such as finance, regulatory compliance, enterprise identity, traveler productivity, travel management and much more.For more information, visit Groupize in the Concur App Center.
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RoamBOOST Helping Right Cellular Wrongs

RoamingAround 23 February 2017
Boston, Mass. -- Hotel IT departments are getting a lot of attention this year. According a recent industry study, hotels plan to spend more money on technology in 2017 than in previous years; hoteliers report that 21% of their IT budgets will be spent on improving their networks and connectivity, with 47% of hotels focused on upgrading their guest WiFi. While ongoing IT investment is important to maintaining guest satisfaction and loyalty, RoamBOOST is advising hotels to manage their expectations and understand where their budget dollars are actually going. Just because a hotel spends big bucks on WiFi doesn't mean that guests will be able to use their many mobile devices with better speed or efficiency. For that to happen, the facility needs to strike a balance between its WiFi network and the cellular network. If that's difficult, adding a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) can help."Hoteliers are often confused about the differences between WiFi and Cellular," said RoamBOOST SVP of Operations Pam Angelucci. "We want to help make sense of the confusion, so we are identifying the top 5 misperceptions. As an industry leading DAS integrator, we often have to wear a lot of hats, and serving as a consultant is one of them. We hope hoteliers who are having problems in any of these areas will come to us for guidance."RoamBOOST Identifies 5 Common Cellular Misperceptions My WiFi Network and Cellular Network are the Same Thing, Right?Wrong. When guests and staff rely solely on the hotel's WiFi to power all of their mobile devices and applications for operations efficiencies, ordering, streaming, purchasing, socially connecting etc., it's going to quickly drain the hotel connectivity speeds. Instead of providing High-Speed Internet Access, the hotel is offering low-speed to no-speed service. Hotels looking to invest in a new WiFi infrastructure to better attract mobile-dependent guests need to re-route traffic away from WiFi and onto a 3G or 4G/LTE data and voice network (in other words - a cellular network). To get guests to stop gobbling up your bandwidth, the hotel must balance WiFi and cellular. The best way to strike that balance is by installing a scalable DAS.Guests Prefer a Landline vs. a Cell Phone to Dial 911, Right?Wrong. According to FacilityExecutive.com, 70% of 911 calls today are taking place over the cellular network, and 64% of 911 calls are placed indoors. Perhaps that's because do to the mere nature of a mobile device, a call can be placed from virtually any location or position in a room rather than needing to be in close proximity to a landline. After all, guests are now being conditioned to use the TV, tablet or smartphone to order roomservice, arrange for dry cleaning pick up, schedule wake-up calls, request forgotten items, and even call their friend in the room next door. In this world of connectivity, cellular is simply more convenient. Therefore, there is no better reason to ensure that a hotel has a strong cellular network by implementing a DAS.Great Cell Coverage Yesterday Means Good Cell Coverage Today, Right?Wrong. Just because a hotel invested in a cellular network in the past doesn't mean the coverage is still viable today. Take a look outside. Trees are taller, new building may have been erected, a recent renovation may have added reflective glass to your hotel's exterior, etc. Each of these things can impede a cell signal. With a modular DAS in place, hotels can adjust for their needs inside by adding a carrier, expanding to other areas of the building or moving donor antenna locations to accommodate for changes outside.DAS Providers are One Size Fits All, Right?Wrong. As a DAS integrator, RoamBOOST rarely uses the same equipment across the board. This means we not only install cellular infrastructures, but we provide full consulting services to explore various system options and ensure your property receives a custom solution that meets your coverage and budgetary requirements. When it comes to DAS,one size never fits all. My DAS is Automatically Fire/Life Safety Code Compliant, Right?Wrong. In the case of an emergency, it is crucial that all hotels support radio communications for first responders, such as the police and fire department. The International Fire Code requires full indoor coverage for public safety in all buildings, new or existing, and FCC regulations require commercial buildings to reduce interference of Radio Frequency signals to ensure open channel communications in public safety situations. A DAS provider needs to supplement its infrastructure with code-compliant public safety wireless solutions to help the hotel meet rigorous municipal requirements for building occupancy. In certain juristictions, cellular and public safety can be run over the same infrastructure, whereas others require parallel networks. Adding the local spectrum repeater equipment can help make it possible for first responders and guests to have clear communications each time, every time."Hoteliers know they need solid cellular service to meet the expectations of their guests," Angelucci said. "What they don't know is that a DAS integrator can help them do everything from a site assessment, design, carrier and public safety coordination, installation, commissioning and maintenance. RoamBOOST has the knowledge and the wide-reaching relationships hoteliers need to deliver exceptional cellular service that keep both guests and staff happy. Anyone who would like a better understanding about WiFi, cellular networks and DAS in general should give us a call today."For more information about the RoamBOOST DAS, call (978) 777-8787 or email info@roamboost.com. For media inquiries, contact RoamingAround PR Agent Barb Worcester at (440) 930-5770 or emailbarbw@prproconsulting.com.
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Guestline taps into the Hostel markeplace at STAY WYSE in Amsterdam

Guestline 23 February 2017
With the Hostel market blooming and savvy millennial travellers opting to explore the world and use hostels as a cost-effective alternative to hotels, there has never been a better time for hostel owners and operators to fine tune their offering.Recently Guestline attended STAY WYSE, the industry-leading event dedicated to the sector. Now in its second year, the conference has rapidly established itself as the place to meet with new trading partners: from buyers, to operators, investors and suppliers. Guestline attended as an opportunity to showcase their cloud hosted solutions to a wide range of successful hostel operators.Flying the Guestline flag was Alex Wigmore - Strategic Sales Consultant at Guestline - who has spent many years in the hospitality industry providing property management solutions to independent and group properties throughout Europe, including hotels, hostels and student accommodation.Due to the fantastic organisation of the event by the STAY WYSE team, Alex was able to have 25 meetings all in one day! Held in the historic stock exchange building in central Amsterdam, the day could only be described as a roaring success.With attendees from across the globe, there was a clear vision of how important the use of social media is for the sector. Youth travellers are incredibly 'social' and therefore one of the best ways to entice and introduce them to hostel brands is via those very channels. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Blogs are a brilliant way to connect with potential guests and extremely helpful in encouraging repeat bookings by keeping them engaged in hostel brands long after they have 'checked out'.It is refreshing to see operators, particularly at the event, understanding the value of investing in not just a quality property management system but also in their company and the people behind it.Price is not necessarily the main driver anymore for hostel companies to consider - product quality and guest experience delivery, plus supplier support and development are key to helping businesses grow.Investors are looking for a 'partnership' rather than a traditional B2B transaction which is something Guestline are very proud of being recognised for.The importance of a solution provider that can offer a "one-stop solution" was also recognised. Guestline's product suite ranges from cloud hosted PMS, Distribution and EPoS all the way to website and blog design and implementation.Guestline are really excited to be working with operators in the hostel marketplace and will be sharing the very latest product enhancement and development plans in the coming weeks.Click here to arrange a demonstration of Guestline solutions with Alex.

HEDNA Announces New Leadership

HEDNA 23 February 2017
HEDNA (the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) announced its 2017 Board of Directors and new members of the Executive Committee at its recent Global Distribution Conference in San Diego, California.The HEDNA membership elected Mike Carlo, Global Head of Travel, Transpay; David Chestler, Executive Vice President, Global Enterprise Sales & Business Development, SiteMinder; and Jodie Gibson, Manager, Strategic Accounts, DerbySoft, to serve two-year terms on the HEDNA Board of Directors.In addition, the Board of Directors elected Sarah Fults, Vice President, Distribution, MGM Resorts International, to serve a two-year term as President of HEDNA; and Anne Cole, Vice President, Content, DHISCO, to serve a two-year term as Vice President. David Cabreza, Director, International Distribution Services, Hilton Worldwide, retains his position as Secretary, and Pam Woodman, Director of eDistribution Services, Marriott International, retains her role as Treasurer.Rounding out the Board are Doug Carr, Executive Director Distribution, AccorHotels; Sydney Goodwin, Director, Automated Distribution, Omni Hotels & Resorts; Sandra Langley, Vice President, Distribution, Intercontinental Hotels Group; Sebastien Leitner, Director Hotel Connectivity, Expedia, Inc.; Rajesh Vohra, Director, Sarova Hotels; and Clive Wood.Fults takes over the position as President from Rajesh Vohra, who served two terms from 2013 to 2016. "I am honored to follow in the footsteps of those who have led this association so well and to continue their work," said Fults. "I look forward to working with the HEDNA membership to keep HEDNA current and relevant to all members. As I take over the reins from Rajesh, my focus will be to continue to move the association forward in the ever-evolving landscape of hospitality distribution."
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Old, Closed-Off IT Systems Won't Fly in Modern Hotel Industry

Duetto Research Blog23 February 2017
Every so often, we're reminded that hotel companies have a lot in common with the airlines, and United CEO Oscar Munoz made that clear, candidly laying out just how hard it is to modernize technology across an entire industry. "It's a little bit like using an eight-track tape player base as your infrastructure, trying to communicate with an iPhone," he said, according to a recent story by Skift. "The work that has to be done to connect those things is involved, costly and not always entirely reliable. [It's also] fraught with potential human error."
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dormakaba completes acquisition of Mechanical Security businesses from Stanley Black & Decker

Kaba Hospitality 23 February 2017
Reamstown, PA -- dormakaba has completed the acquisition of certain Mechanical Security businesses from Stanley Black & Decker and has closed the transaction effective February 22, 2017, following satisfaction of customary closing conditions including the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals. The transaction was first announced on December 21, 2016.With this acquisition, dormakaba gains substantial scale in line with its stated strategy, evolving from a distant four to a strong number three player in the attractive North American market that can offer the full portfolio of door hardware and access control solutions to customers. In addition, the acquisition significantly enhances dormakaba's prospects for further profitable growth, mainly through:A large installed base across North America, with currently hundreds of thousands of end-user sites across North America, providing dormakaba with an attractive and stable repeat business and opportunities for future upgrades;Strengthened market position with the addition of the well-recognized industry brands including "BEST" and "PHI";Improved position in growing verticals such as education and healthcare, complementing dormakaba's strong position in hospitality, multi-housing and government;Established specification writing capabilities, allowing dormakaba to compete in additional construction bids;Enhanced product breadth with a broad range of mechanical security solutions as well as wireless and cloud-based electronic locks.As previously announced, the transaction encompasses Stanley Commercial Hardware based mainly across North America and a production facility in Taiwan, as well as GMT in China. Full operational integration is expected to take up to three years. The dormakaba post-merger integration process in North America and in Asia is well advanced, thereby allowing for a successful integration of this important strategic acquisition.With the closing of the transaction, Philip Bradney will join dormakaba and will take over managing responsibility for the acquired businesses in North America (his CV is available on www.dormakaba.com). Philip Bradney has decades-long experience in the industry. For over twenty years he held senior management positions at BEST Access Systems and then Stanley, guiding the company's integration into Stanley Black & Decker until 2006. COO Access Solutions Americas Michael Kincaid: "We are pleased that Philip Bradney is joining our Americas team and are convinced that his extensive industry knowledge and integration experience will be a valuable asset for grasping the opportunities presented by this acquisition."The transaction is expected to be neutral to EBITDA margin of dormakaba from closing and accretive from full year 2019/2020 onwards, and immediately accretive to earnings per share. The acquisition implies a pre- synergies EV/EBITDA multiple of 13.8x on a 2016E basis (9x multiple post expected revenue and cost synergies to be achieved within four years, and tax benefits). The acquisition is fully debt financed by an increase in the existing syndicated bank credit facility.dormakaba Group is one of the top three companies in the global market for access and security solutions. With strong brands such as Dorma and Kaba in our portfolio, we are a single source for products, solutions, and services related to doors and secure access to buildings and rooms. With around 18,000 employees and numerous cooperation partners, we are active in over 130 countries. dormakaba Group is headquartered in Rumlang (Zurich / Switzerland) and generates an annual turnover of over CHF 2.5 billion.SIX Swiss Exchange: DOKA (formerly: KABN / KABNE) Further information at www.dormakaba.com
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Five Things for Hotel Revenue Managers' Checklist in 2017 - II

eRevMax Blog23 February 2017
In Five Things for Hotel Revenue Managers' Checklist in 2017 - PartI; we identified what hotels need to capitalize on for stronger performance in the coming months. Here we present to you the second part of this series - read on!
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Webiner: Hotel Revenue Management: Challenges and Solutions

Hotelogix Blog23 February 2017
In today's highly fragmented marketplace, competition is intense and hoteliers are constantly on the lookout for better ways to optimize their revenue. With OTA dominance continuing to grow, revenue management offers properties the opportunity to take control of their profitability.Maximizing your hotel's earnings isn't a matter of simply focusing on selling out all room in your property - those days are long gone! In today's highly competitive marketplace, strategizing to maximize occupancy over revenue could actually be detrimental to your bottom-line. Indeed, hotels that undercut their prices to sell out could actually be earning less than similar properties that employ revenue management strategies.

The content conundrum: Finding a way to describe your hotel successfully

Content is more important than ever. As John Burns, President of Hospitality Technology Consulting, writes, if we choose to use content proficiently, it can cement our competitive advantage, not only against other hotels in our competitive set, but also against the OTAs that are everywhere on the Web.
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Webinar: Hotel Revenue Management: Challenges and Solutions

Hotelogix Blog23 February 2017
In today's highly fragmented marketplace, competition is intense and hoteliers are constantly on the lookout for better ways to optimize their revenue. With OTA dominance continuing to grow, revenue management offers properties the opportunity to take control of their profitability.Maximizing your hotel's earnings isn't a matter of simply focusing on selling out all room in your property - those days are long gone! In today's highly competitive marketplace, strategizing to maximize occupancy over revenue could actually be detrimental to your bottom-line. Indeed, hotels that undercut their prices to sell out could actually be earning less than similar properties that employ revenue management strategies.
Article by Kiran Sunny

Getting started with revenue management - managing your hotel room rates

Hotelogix 22 February 2017
It's easy for businesses to plateau in such a setting - occupancy alone can only take hotels so far. With so many accommodation providers and distributors for travelers to choose from, properties need to ensure that they're deriving maximum value from every booking they receive.Enter revenue management. The process is not new - larger hotel chains have been implementing these pricing strategies since the 90s, tweaking room rates to maximize profits. Today however, with the onset of cloud computing and SaaS companies, small and mid-sized properties can also leverage these solutions to optimize their pricing. With competition intensifying so rapidly, revenue management provides hoteliers with an opportunity to make the most of their inventory.With the wide array of tools available to property owners, the process has also become less complex. However, considering the number of variables involved when estimating demand, it's important to remember that it will still take some trial-and-error before owners stumble upon the perfect formula for their specific hotel.Here are a few important things to keep in mind while managing your room pricing - Understand when to prioritize occupancy: Occupancy is important - it's where the money comes from. However, investing all your efforts into solely driving higher occupancy can be counterproductive. This is best illustrated with an example. Consider a 10 room hotel in two scenarios. In the first instance, the manager is focused on driving occupancy and prices rooms to sell out. He ends up selling all 10 rooms for $90 each, earning the hotel $900. In the second instance, he focuses on revenue management and ends up selling only 9 rooms for $100 each. This also earns him $900. It's apparent that considering all the additional costs incurred by housekeeping and maintenance, the second instance is more profitable. Revenue managers should focus on attaining maximum value from each room night, rather than selling as many rooms as possible in order to add more to the bottom-line.Implement a reliable tool: In order to properly optimize revenue, hotels need to compile as much relevant data as possible. Information about competitor pricing and local demand can be invaluable for revenue managers. Since there are so many variables involved in accurately estimating demand, it can be hard for hoteliers to collect enough data. Modern revenue management tools however, source information directly from global OTAs. Booking.com's tool. Revenue managers can use this information on the Rate Intelligence tool to get an idea about demand and pricing in the region for the time.It's important that any revenue management tool has access to a credible database or it can wreak havoc on the entire pricing strategy.Find the right blend of distribution channels: Every hoteliers would agree that direct bookings are the way to go when it comes to maximizing profitability. However, this isn't entirely true. While the direct booking themselves are pure profit, setting up the hotel website with the necessary optimizations and booking engine can be an expensive process. If you spend $500 on monthly SEO and website hosting fees, and attract 20 direct bookings, the cost per acquisition becomes $25. Register only 5 direct bookings and this cost quickly escalates to a massive $100 per customer. Remember that rooms being allocated to OTAs and other channels are not considering while evaluating the efficiency of your booking engine. Finding the right blend of room sales on your website, OTAs and other channels is critical in order to improve your earnings.The important thing to keep in mind is, revenue management is both - and art as well as a science. While the data, facts and figures can help, it's up to the manager to interpret this information and make an educated projection regarding future occupancy. It may take several attempts of trial-and-error before you discover the right strategy for your hotel. However, revenue management is a long term play and the stability it provides your property - even in the off-peak season - is certainly worth it!
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Maestro PMS Cloud Hosted Option Frees Full Service Independent Operators to be Hoteliers Again

NORTHWIND-Maestro 22 February 2017
"Columbia Hospitality took its first property to the cloud on Maestro PMS hotel management software in 2008. We migrated to the cloud system because we are a hospitality company, not a technology outfit," said Columbia Hospitality Director of Operations Alan Stephens. "That first property was our Talaris Conference Center that uses the integrated Maestro Front Office and Sales & Catering. Today we have five properties on Maestro's Cloud platform." Maestro PMS is the preferred hotel management software system provider for leading independent resorts, hotels, condos, and multi-property groups. All the Maestro PMS on premise capabilities and functionality, including mobile guest engagement tools, are available in the Cloud-based system.Maestro lets managers access property performance anywhere"Maestro PMS supports our systems and protects our data. A big advantage of our cloud platform is that I can access all of my property operations and their performance information remotely from my laptop or tablet, all through a simple web browser secure login. This is huge. Maestro cloud support has been 100% reliable and the system is easy to use," Stephens said. Maestro in the Cloud eliminates the need to recruit IT staff and simplifies credit card PCI requirements so operators can focus on their guests. Single or multi-property operators access the hotel management system from a secure browser connection and property data is safely housed off-property in a PCI compliant environment.Warren Dehan, Maestro PMS President said, "Many independent operators are opting for Maestro's cloud property management deployment option because it reduces system hardware costs and increases data security. Credit card protection is important today. Maestro Cloud simplifies PCI security compliance for independent operators. The system is easy to set up and access remotely for better management controls since all a property needs is an internet connection to use Maestro Cloud." Dehan noted that new hires are productive quickly because they can train from any browser at any time. Maestro performs data backups at its secure hosting facility to protect property data.Maestro Cloud operates behind UVA firewallThe University of Virginia's 177-room Inn at Darden went live on Maestro's Cloud PMS in 2013. Eric Branch, Director of Sales & Marketing for the UVA Inn at Darden, said, "Because we are on the University of Virginia's campus network we have special security requirements and a solid firewall. Maestro worked with us to meet our system requirements while maintaining our firewall for the Maestro Cloud PMS. The system is very reliable with excellent response time." UVA Inn at Darden hosts a mix of groups with the University's Executive Education programs, as well as many transient visitors here to explore Charlottesville and Monticello.Maestro is recognized for providing the industry's most responsive Diamond Plus Service that goes beyond conventional PMS' to deliver revenue-generating tools and services to increase profitability, drive direct bookings, centralize operations, and provide personalized guest service to keep guests coming back. Click here for more information on how to reserve, engage and socialize with Maestro PMS.About Maestro PMSMaestro is the preferred cloud and on-premise PMS solution for independent hotels, resorts, conference centers, and multi-property groups. This PCI certified and EMV ready enterprise system offers 20+ integrated modules on a single database including web and mobile tools to increase profitability and enable operators to engage guests with a personalized experience. For over 35 years Maestro's Diamond Plus Service has provided unparalleled 24/7 North American based support and education services to keep hospitality groups operational and productive. Click here for more information on Maestro PMS.
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If occupancy is up in APAC, why is ADR down?

Duetto Research Blog22 February 2017
Seven trending hotel news stories that will impact your hotel Revenue Strategy.

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