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3 Essential Components of Hotel CRM - Cendyn

Cendyntm 28 April 2017
Cendyn's Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Tim Sullivan on the three essential components of true hotel CRM. Cendyn's CRM platform is designed specifically for hotels and resorts. Discover the three core components of true hotel CRM and how these features address the unique challenges and opportunities within the hospitality industry.

Infor Hospitality Announces New Integration with CeloPay

Infor 27 April 2017
NEW YORK -- Infor, a leading provider of beautiful business applications specialized by industry and built for the cloud, today announced a new collaboration with CeloPay. As international standards continue to increase for payment processing, Infor Hospitality now integrates with CeloPay, a leading global payments solutions provider, to offer current and future customers a solution that will help mitigate guests' risk of card-not-present fraud losses. Infor Hospitality offers a fully integrated suite of operational and financial applications, for every area of the hospitality enterprise, from the front desk to the back office."We take the security of data very seriously at CeloPay, but we do not believe that security and compliance should make things more difficult. We created CeloPay to be securely used anytime, anywhere with a seamless emphasis on data protection and compliance," said Jason Harper, CEO of CeloPay. "The relationship we have with Infor Hospitality is extremely beneficial for customers, who can now experience an easier way to collect payment information. It's rare to find a company that aligns so well with your own, but that is what we have found in Infor, and we are excited to continue growing the relationship."Infor's strategic relationship with CeloPay will enable Infor Hospitality customers to procure CeloPay to manage these payment collection processes in a secure, streamlined and efficient manner. Security and compliance are at the core of the CeloPay product that is built to be easy to use and flexible. CeloPay facilitates the secure submission and processing of information so that information is safely processed without the need for email or fax."Unfortunately, data breaches are still a serious, top of mind issue for the hospitality industry, and collaborating with CeloPay to provide an enhanced security solution will help keep Infor's customers modern and competitive, while still providing an exceptional guest experience," said Stewart Applbaum, senior vice president and general manager, Infor Hospitality. "We want our Hospitality customers to have the best experiences with our products and will continue to provide them new and enhanced ways in which to transform their businesses." About InforInfor builds business software for specific industries in the cloud. With 15,000 employees and over 90,000 customers in more than 170 countries, Infor software is designed for progress. To learn more, please visit www.infor.com.

Scandic Hotels Introduces IDeaS G3 RMS Across its Estate of European Hotels

IDeaS 27 April 2017
STOCKHOLM -- IDeaS Revenue Solutions is pleased to announce it has expanded its long-standing partnership with Scandic Hotels with the planned implementation of IDeaS flagship G3 Revenue Management System (IDeaS G3 RMS) across its estate of more than 200 properties.IDeaS' technology will help Scandic futurecast demand for more than 40,000 rooms across seven European countries, creating tangible business results with advanced revenue management tools and expert resources."The hospitality sector is becoming increasingly sophisticated, so it's important we invest in technology like IDeaS that delivers a competitive advantage and business results. Maximising revenue remains one of our key strategies to drive growth and deliver even better shareholder returns," said Jan Lundborg, Vice President of Revenue Management and Distribution for Scandic Hotels. "Using IDeaS G3 RMS allows us to leverage its sophisticated futurecasting analytics, interactive dashboards and reporting tools to capture and analyse transactional data - and we can use those insights to make informed decisions for the future."Powered by advanced SAS(r) Analytics and IDeaS' nearly three decades of industry innovation, Scandic Hotels' entire portfolio will utilise IDeaS automated revenue management tools to make more strategic decisions for its properties. IDeaS G3 RMS offers the industry's most comprehensive pricing and inventory decisions, intuitive dashboards and reporting tools that deliver maximum revenue and occupancy impacts."Our partnership with Scandic exemplifies IDeaS' commitment to revenue management excellence and innovation, and we are eager to see how our premier revenue management system will drive their business forward," said Fabian Specht, EMEA managing director for IDeaS. "Hoteliers today are faced with a multitude of business challenges, and we believe our tools and industry expertise will serve up the actionable insights hotels need to make fully informed business decisions with confidence."Tweet: @IDeaS_RevOpt partners with @ScandicGlobal to implement #RevenueManagement tool in over 200 hotels across Europe http://ideas.com/about/news/ About Scandic HotelsScandic is the largest hotel company in the Nordic region with 14,400 team members and a network of close to 230 hotels with about 44,000 hotel rooms in operation and under development. Alongside hotels in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, the company also has a presence northern Europe, with hotels in Belgium, Germany and Poland.Scandic has annual sales of SEK 13.1bn and listed on Nasdaq Stockholm in 2015. For more information, visit www.scandichotelsgroup.com.

Now Available for Download: HeBStrategy Q2 2017 Hotel Marketing, Technology, and Trends Whitepaper

HeBS Digital 27 April 2017
Download the HeBStrategy Q2 2017 whitepaper to learn about:What's Trending in Hospitality: Stay up-to-date on what will affect hoteliers over the next few months, including the massive booking traffic coming from brand loyalty program members, the need to stay cautious of your hotel's ads appearing on pages with offensive and extremist content, and the busy summer season hoteliers should begin planning for.Guest Recognition Programs: Regardless of budget, hoteliers should implement a guest recognition program to give travelers access to exclusive perks and rates, which can help you "own" your guest. Find out how tools such as Reservation Abandonment Applications and Facebook Lead Ads can help you strengthen loyalty amongst past, present, and future guests.Industry Insights You May Have Missed: Catch up on the highlights and takeaways from Q1 by looking through our recent articles, blog posts, and press releases.Metrics that Matter: Dive into the key findings derived from our portfolio of thousands of hotel properties to see how yours compares. We'll give you the scoop on important trends and the best practices that will help you capitalize on them, from secure payment guarantees to Google Display Network campaigns.A Look Outside the Industry: Sometimes all you need is a fresh perspective. HeBS Digital gathered unique campaigns and initiatives from industries outside of hospitality and broke down what exactly made them pop. Be inspired and create engaging new content that will put "heads in beds".Access these insights and more when you download HeBS Digital's Q2 2017 HeBStrategy whitepaper.

Why Do IoT Companies Keep Building Devices with Huge Security Flaws?

harvardbusiness.org 27 April 2017
Earlier this year an alarming story hit the news: Hackers had taken over the electronic key system at a luxury hotel in Austria, locking guests out of their rooms until the hotel paid a ransom. It was alarming, of course, for the guests and for anyone who ever stays at a hotel. But it came as no surprise to cybersecurity experts, who have been increasingly focused on the many ways in which physical devices connected to the internet, collectively known as the internet of things (IoT), can be hacked and manipulated. (The hotel has since announced that it is returning to using physical keys.)
Article by Prachi Gupta

How LBS technology can revive the dying hotel loyalty programs

July Systems 27 April 2017
The typical loyalty offer from a 5-star hotel was something like this:Stay a minimum of 6 times in a year and your 7th night is on us.For hotel guests, it's a wonderful prospect, isn't it? They travel. They enjoy the amenities and the service is exceptional. Why not take advantage of it? This loyalty program doesn't cost them anything.Then a couple of years later, when guests start looking through their account for their next free night, they notice that the requirements have changed. Now it's going to take them 12 stays to get that one free night.Suddenly, they don't care as much about it. It's too much, will take too long, and there are, after all, plenty of other high-quality establishments out there.Most loyalty programs come with too many fine prints. The points can expire after just a year of inactivity, or rooms at higher end hotels require a large number of points or reservations cannot be made against blackout dates. All these reasons are disappointing guests far too often.Customers Are Giving UpHotel guests throughout the world have been discovering the shrinking value of loyalty programs. It is primarily due to consolidation in the marketplace and attempts by brands to increase their profitability. But the truth is - these devaluations aren't going down well with customers and they are giving up. With the advent of apps and other easy-to-use programs and websites that find the best deals and offers, there's far less incentive for customers to remain loyal. Moreover, disruptive new competitors like Airbnb and HomeAway are also testing the loyalty of hotel guests.Hotels need to understand that the explosion of digital and the rate of innovation is having a great effect on customer expectations. They value the 'total experience' a brand delivers and not just irrelevant discounts and offers. They expect hotels to know and address their individual needs. Not just their present needs, but brands are also expected to proactively address their future needs while personalizing their experiences.The obvious question: What's a hotel supposed to do about it? Scrapping the loyalty program is not a good idea. The key is to find an innovative solution.Shifting Gears and Rethinking Loyalty ProgramsSuccess in business is all about innovation, spotting trends early, and boarding the train before it leaves the station. Running to catch a moving and accelerating vehicle rarely ever works out for the ones left behind, and the same holds true for hotel managers, owners, and representatives.Loyalty programs, without a doubt, are a great idea. It draws in thousands of highly loyal customers. It created what marketers would call a "barrier to exit". But now it's time to think forward.It's time to see what's coming next, how consumers will respond and react best to incentivizing programs. Loyalty isn't dead. It is merely in the process of evolving. The shift is leading the industry to a more individualized, focused loyalty program.Imagine how customers feel when the hotels they do business with know their needs, wishes, and desires!Imagine how guests would feel when the next trip they take, they are greeted by their name; their favorite beverage is waiting for them in their room with compliments from the management; they are sent personalized offers in the city they're visiting. Wouldn't they feel that they are getting a lot of value for every dollar that they are paying?But How to Reward Genuine LoyaltyTechnology today makes it possible to discover what your customers enjoy, what they prefer, and how to reward them. The data that is collected by tracking the behavior of hotel guests provides clear and amazing insights, which can be used to improve loyalty programs, in-room guest experiences, and overall customer service.Online social networking and new age LBS technology have the potential to inject new life into loyalty programs. It also provides plenty of opportunities to capitalize on true, genuine loyalty. For instance, if it is found that a particular guest dines at the restaurant each time he stays at the hotel, he could be sent a personalized dinner recommendation. Or if there's a guest who uses the gym at every visit, it would be great to stock his fridge with sugar-free drinks and gluten-free snacks.The personalized attention that the loyalty members receive will be sincerely appreciated. It will leave them more inspired to want to go back and use that brand again and, almost more importantly, to share their experiences with friends and family.Use Data to Create a Sense of MomentumThere are always some guests who do not claim all the privileges they are entitled to. And others, who are stuck at a certain tier of the loyalty program. It is possible that since they have not made much progress, the rewards and the benefits seem too distant to be realized.This is where data collected through LBS technologies can be used to give a slight nudge, to get things moving. For example, after a hospitality chain learned that Platinum loyalty business travelers used the gym most often between 4 PM to 6 PM, they were able to offer member-exclusive fitness classes at that time. Location data insights like this provide valuable knowledge that hotel managers could not have discovered otherwise.Bring the Value Back90% of social media comments about loyalty programs is negative. That's not exactly reassuring for hotel companies seeking to improve loyalty.But no, loyalty programs are not dead yet and they're not fading into that long sunset, but there is a shift happening and for those establishments looking for the competitive edge, they would do well to pay attention to the shifting winds of customer loyalty.Analytics, following latest trends and capitalizing on the power of social media, reviews, and more are fundamental keys for the hospitality industry to move their loyalty programs away from a generic point-based system to something much more personal.
Article by Benjamin Jost

Learning About APIs

TrustYou 27 April 2017
The technology ecosystem in the hotel space is changing at a rapid pace. In some cases, companies seem to be appearing from nowhere, offering a brand new solution that solves a problem many hotels didn't know that they had. In other cases, companies with extensive track records in other markets are performing pivots, taking everything that they've learned in their history and trying to apply best practices to the travel industry.While there's often far more noise than signal, there is a swath of companies, startups and incumbents alike, that are finding ways to help hotels improve their customer experiences. The ones that are most effective understand the tech stack in a hotel ecosystem, and are using APIs to seamlessly connect their offerings to the day-to-day operations of their hotel partners.Introducing APIsAn API (Application Program Interface), is simply a set of rules and protocols that establish how applications should interact with each other. Said differently, APIs are the pipes that connect applications across the internet, allowing secure passage of data between companies. Customers don't see APIs, but APIs are the means by which data is shared. Using an example to crystalize this concept, many hotel websites will incorporate Google Maps into each of the pages dedicated to their properties. This is one basic use of an API. Another common use of APIs has to do with social media. Companies like Hootsuite, which connect various social accounts for organizations, use APIs in order to foster those connections.Not all API uses are to share data that is customer facing. In many cases, hotels will use APIs to connect the various systems that keep a hotel up and running. For instance, many hotels will connect their data sources, like PMS, CRM or OTA. This can mean collecting data from a guest that booked using an OTA and using that data to remarket to that guest after their stay. We needn't go too deep down the rabbit hole of APIs, since as an executive, you've likely built a quality team of folks who can handle the nitty gritty details; your concern is likely more about whether things work, not necessarily about how they work. The important thing to understand is that if a data sharing process is automated, there's an excellent chance it's using an API.Using APIs to Improve the Guest ExperienceHotels can use APIs to improve their guest experiences in a variety of ways. One critical approach is collecting data across systems to make it available, and ultimately actionable. For instance, we know that guests will often provide feedback about their hotel experiences. This can come from post-stay surveys, be found on various websites and message boards, or show up in the form of a tweet, Tripadvisor review or Facebook post. Taken as individual pieces of information, or in the aggregate, this data can help hotels inform a variety of decisions. Does most feedback highlight friendly service? Perhaps hotel leadership should take a moment to praise the customer facing members of their teams. Is there a common thread that displays disappointment in the cleanliness of rooms? If so, perhaps it's time to enact new cleaning procedures (or consider changes to the staff, including hiring more people to get the job done).There is a variety of ways that hotels can gain access to this information. They can try to collect it on one-off basis or work with companies that offer solutions to connect to various networks or aggregate data. For the latter approach, there may be a multitude of APIs in use.Once the data is collected, hotel leaders can turn the information into actionable insights from first-hand customer insights that have been collected. Can a marketing department or campaign capitalize on the friendly service that has been discussed by guests? Is there a way to compare guest feedback to that of competing hotels to really differentiate in the booking process? The data collected through APIs doesn't have to be limited to individual properties either. Large chains can glean insights about how consumers perceive their brand based on this type of information.Regardless of hotel size, hotel leaders must recognize that guest reviews are an incredibly important part of the booking experience; our data shows that the only factor that has more impact than reviews is price. Finding ways to understand what's being said is critical to success, and APIs are often the easiest way to achieve this. .External APIsMany of the examples of APIs thus far have shown how companies can use APIs to learn about and improve various internal processes. This addresses about half of the use cases for APIs. Again, the most obvious use of an API in the travel industry is how hotels connect their PMS to OTAs in order to allow bookings, but there are many other use cases.Many hotels are using APIs to create a pipeline of information that can be shared with their business partners (such as OTAs). For instance, a hotel that gathers post-stay guest feedback can then seamlessly send that information to the pages that their guests are viewing before they make a booking decision. Again, feedback is a powerful tool; more than 90% of booking decisions are informed by the online reviews that potential guests see.Furthermore, hotels that solicit post-stay feedback can generally anticipate that the results of their surveys will be more positive than feedback that's left online; scoring based on survey results tends to be around 10% higher than those based on general online feedback. Piping this information to to booking engines and other partners allows hotels to put their best foot forward, and improve the chance of securing a guest's visit.In late 2016, we launched our own integration solution, TrustYou Connect, to do exactly that. Companies such as FASTBOOKING, Cloudbeds and eRevMax were among the first 20+ companies to take advantage of the offering, which connected guest feedback with guest information. These companies were, in turn, able to help their hotel customers influence every step of a guest journey. Shortly after its launch, we expanded the program through a partnership with hotel marketing platform, Leonardo. All of this was accomplished using APIs.How APIs Add Value to HardwareSomething that may be less intuitive, when discussing APIs, is how they can be used to decrease the total cost of ownership for hotel technology. Technology changes rapidly, but not every hotel has the financial wherewithal (to say nothing of the appetite) to do semi-annual technology refreshes to keep up. This is where APIs can play a critical role for hotels. A well written API will allow a hotel to extend the use of their core systems; it will be easy for new technology to "talk to" core systems through APIs.In practical terms, let's say a hotel wants to switch its choice of CRM platform. In doing so, they need to make a few considerations.How easy will it be to move data from an outgoing system to an incoming system (is it a matter of downloading from an old system, and then uploading to the new one)?How will the hotel continue adding new information to the new system (is there a way to automate the process)?For the latter consideration, it's possible that the new CRM system will be able to incorporate data from the hotel's PMS, meaning that the process can be automated and the most up-to-date information about individual guests is available in one location.APIs can be complex in nature, and for anyone outside of programmers, can be intimidating to consider. This article isn't meant to advocate for one API over another, nor is it meant to spark hotel leadership into having their tech teams open up their systems to connect to any website or service with an API.It is, however, meant to show hotel executives that there are options available that can open up a wide range of possibilities. While most hotel executives would agree that placing a spotlight on positive reviews is a good idea, many would be hard pressed to provide guidance on how to make that happen, or even how to start thinking about making that happen. Ideally, having read this primer, you'll be able to frame the discussion with your technology team; rather than asking them how to get more value out of Twitter data, you may be able to ask 'how can we use Twitter's API to gain actionable data?'.This article was reprinted with permission from Hotel Business Review.

Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino Cashes in on Total Guest Value with Profit Optimization Solution from The Rainmaker Group

The Rainmaker Group 27 April 2017
ALPHARETTA, GA -- Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino (Downtown Grand), a newly renovated urban resort located in the heart of downtown Las Vegas, has bolstered its revenue management processes and profitability through the successful implementation of The Rainmaker Group's (Rainmaker) guestrev(r) solution. Downtown Grand recently deployed guestrev(r) to more accurately and strategically set rates and pricing for various guest and player segments, by analyzing total guest value to the property. guestrev(r) is built on Rainmaker's total guest valuation methodology, that analyzes guest spend for the entire property or enterprise, including room, gaming, entertainment, F&B, spa, retail, etc. guestrev(r) ensures that room rates reflect not just a guest's expected room revenue, but also the total profitability of each guest segment, including various player levels in the casino. Sophisticated optimization algorithms factor-in both revenues and costs, resulting in top- and bottom-line growth and rapid ROI after implementation.When the Downtown Grand's revenue management team first began the process of selecting a revenue management technology provider, they focused on finding an all-encompassing solution that would not only aid in yielding rates, but one that could also easily integrate with the property's existing casino management system and PMS. This was a major focus for the property, as its primary need was to implement a solution that could integrate data from both systems to provide a comprehensive view and understanding of guest value, by segment and individual spend."Originally, we were using manual revenue management and pricing strategies, which proved to be tedious and time consuming," said Alex Kadota, director of revenue management at Downtown Grand. "The ability to implement price changes effectively comes from having a deep understanding of the market. We needed to gain a clear view into the science behind yielding and this called for a system that could help us lay out all of the varying, multi-dimensional sets of data, to allow us to understand them on a deeper level."After looking into a competing platform, the Downtown Grand turned to Rainmaker for several reasons. Most importantly, the Rainmaker team was able to create a seamless integration between guestrev(r), Downtown Grand's PMS, and its gaming system. In addition, Rainmaker's impressive track record throughout nearly two decades in business and the level of customer service and support that was provided during the entire process were of equal importance for the Downtown Grand team."Rainmaker has an impeccable reputation in the industry, and we wanted to work with someone who has had marked success at various other gaming properties with similar needs and challenges to our own," adds Kadota. "Additionally, a great deal of attention and care was given to us during the implementation process, and the Rainmaker team maintained a complete understanding of exactly what we needed from start to finish to make this effort successful and profitable."Since its initial implementation in Q1 2017, guestrev(r) has already proven effective in helping the Downtown Grand team identify the specific revenue management strategy and pricing challenges that needed to be addressed. In addition to immediately increasing overall property profitability, the solution has also generated cost savings by reducing on the time it takes to analyze multiple data streams, including data that shows where guests are spending their money. This allows properties such as Downtown Grand to create pricing strategies specifically targeted to certain guest segments and based on total guest value.For more information on guestrev(r) and Rainmaker's additional revenue management and business intelligence solutions, visit: http://www.letitrain.com/

The Science Behind Vizlly and How to Drive More Bookings at a Lower Cost

Vizlly by Leonardo Blog 26 April 2017
At the center of Vizlly’s digital marketing solution is a website designed to increase bookings at a lower cost. Our product team takes a scientific approach to designing each website theme in order to guide travel shoppers to your booking engine, reduce booking abandonment and increase revenue. Here’s how:

Revenue Recognition: Comments Due June 1, 2017 on Implementation Issues Facing the Airlines, Gaming, Hospitality and Timeshare Industries

HFTP Connect 26 April 2017
Since 2002, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) have been working together to bring the guidance provided in the United States General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in closer alignment. Historically, the U.S. GAAP provided complex transaction and industry specific revenue recognition guidance. For example, U.S. GAAP consisted of various revenue recognition requirements for specific transactions and industries which resulted in differing revenue recognition practices for similar transactions.

Connections, codeshares, oh my! This is O&D revenue management control

Sabre Corporation Blog 26 April 2017
This article explores the methodology and reasoning behind the advantages of O&D-based revenue management control. Featured in this article are connections, codeshares, and responsibilities of other departments in an O&D environment. Revenue management is a critical factor for the profitability of any carrier, and the methods of revenue-management control are therefore also critical.

Get Ready for the Rise of AI in Events

EventManagerBlog.com 26 April 2017
With technology advancing rapidly, a new age of artificial intelligence is upon us. Are eventprofs ready for the rise of AI in events? AI (artificial intelligence) has arrived and in some capacity, you’re probably already using it. Whether you’re asking Siri to play your favorite songs or simply using your satnav, AI is there in the background, thinking about things so that you don’t have to.
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What to do when being an astronaut is not an option any more

By Jens Lapinski
Helping tech entrepreneurs is a way to influence the future, says Techstars' Jens Lipinski. He explains how he got started in the start-up business. Jens is the Managing Director of the METRO Accelerator in Berlin. He set up Techstars Berlin and co-managed Techstars London for one program.

Booking partnerships, Google and chatbots will define the future

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration 26 April 2017
Attendees at Day 2 of EyeforTravel’s San Francisco conference got a solid history lesson, a peak into the future, and some practical advice for creating happy holidaymakers. Derek Water reports The travel industry’s work must continue as the quiet conquest undertaken by Google, which has slowly amassed a formidable presence with new travel initiatives, continues.

Revenue Management Lessons in Singapore's Changing Hotel Market

Duetto Research Blog 26 April 2017
Singapore’s visitor profiles are changing, and hotels are taking note. Once the frequent travel stop for bigwigs in the financial and oil industries, Singapore these days attracts more millennial executives from the pharmaceutical and technology trades.

Is your independent hotel following the right pricing strategy?

Hotelogix Blog 26 April 2017
To a hotel guest, it may be surprising to see that the same room categories may charge different rates on different dates and days. Or why even similar category hotels may have variation in their room rates. Well, it’s not something that hotel’s do randomly but a well thought out strategy. There are several factors that come into play, affecting the pricing of a room and hotels need to consider them all before arriving at a fair price structure.

ERP Career Options : Which One Is Right For You?

EDUCBA 26 April 2017
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is multi-layered software that integrates all the different functions within an organization. Once deployed only in large firms and establishments with mainframe servers, ERP solutions have now become common place as special packages have been developed for small and medium enterprises (SMB).
Article by Mike Murray

The Mobile Journey: A New Perspective on Mobile Hospitality

TripCraft LLC 25 April 2017
When mobile technology became a reality for hotels almost a decade ago, hotels rallied their budgets around a few specific capabilities--mobile websites, then mobile apps, then SMS marketing, followed by social media initiatives, and so forth. The marketing team would put a check mark in the right box (mobile website: done and check), implement some SEO, and move along. Each bit of mobile was treated as a singular destination. A place that could be arrived at and then departed.It has been ten years, and it's time that we adopt a new perspective on mobile hospitality--seeing it as a journey, a process. There are now hundreds of capabilities, none of which stand alone, all dependent on one another and on legacy systems. Mobile hospitality is an evolving platform of increasingly important stature. It is an essential aspect of delivering reservations, marketing, and guest service, and hotels benefit from treating it as such.When we evolve from viewing mobile hospitality as a destination and, instead, see it as a process designed to deliver a specific level of guest engagement, our needs change. Here is a handy breakdown of what mobile hospitality looks like when we shift perspective.DestinationCookie cutter, off-the-shelf toolsSingle purpose products = product obsolescenceRelies on dominant technologies (static)JourneyFeatures customized to hotel's guest needsSoftware as a Service (SaaS) = evolving capabilitiesEmerging technologies (innovation)Integrates various components of mobile (and beyond) into a device-agnostic guest-engagement platform.While the "destination" approach may at first seem more attainable (and plenty of firms will sell it as such because it's profitable to sell off-the-shelf products), without a holistic strategy that considers integration flexibility, and customization, hotels are destined to be forever re-doing bits and pieces as they become obsolete or out of sync with one another.Adopting the "journey," on the other hand, creates a stable and innovative foundation that can be tailored to a hotel's exacting specifications. TripCraft uses a combination of Engines and Toolkits available in our platform along with customization to deliver mobile solutions that can evolve along with a hotel's strategy. Many times this approach allows a hotel to do something that's never been done before.When The Standard Hotel Group sought to create a mobile application that would give guests the opportunity to book and check-in at any time of the day or night along with a one-touch payment solution, it was evident they wanted to take mobile hospitality to a new level. This project could never have seen fruition with a cookie-cutter app. Instead, we used our Booking Engine and Integration Engine as the foundations. Then, from our Toolkits, we added Mobile Payments, Rate/Inventory Caching, and Content Management. After those had been implemented, we engineered a system that would allow guests to book after midnight. Using availability from the previous day's inventory image, we overcame the limitations of typical CRS/PMS that require booking lead-times and are unavailable during the nightly audit process.On the consumer side, this appears to be an application, but on the hotel side, it is an innovative booking and marketing solution that has increased RevPAR by 3 points and is integrated with critical brand systems. Further, it takes guest service to a wholly new place by giving guests unrestricted access to bookings any time of day or night.The One Night Standard app was in direct response to patterns in traveler adoption of mobile. Mobile bookings across devices comprise nearly 30% of online travel bookings, showing growth of 13% from 2015 to 2016. More importantly, 40% of respondents to a Criteo survey said they use a smartphone when they are already traveling, often making bookings for the same or next day (Skift).These statistics shouldn't come as a surprise. What should come as a surprise is that hotels are so far behind the curve when it comes to accommodating travelers' desires for total and complete technological freedom. According to a report by ESSEC Business School Professor Peter O'Connor, when asked what technology the hotel industry will by using in 2020, hoteliers continue to focus on the same systems (revenue management, CRM, and so forth) as a decade ago (HospitalityNet).Viewing mobile hospitality as a core function of both guest service and operations is the first step toward meeting travelers where they want to be reached. The second is to eschew the "set and forget" attitude that has created so many disparate mobile tools. Hotels can no longer afford to believe that once a mobile website is live or their chatbot has been implemented, they can dust their hands on their slacks and move on. We must create symbiotic systems that move away from the idea that the destination is the endpoint and toward the principle that mobile hospitality is a journey that requires a foundation as well as regular tending.

Fairmont Hotel Macdonald Preserves Classic Style While Enhancing Security with Installation of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality's Innovative Locking Solutions

ASSA ABLOY Hospitality 25 April 2017
Stockholm -- Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, an iconic four diamond luxury hotel located in the heart of downtown Edmonton, Alberta, announces the successful installation of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality's VingCard Classic RFID door locks and Visionline locking solution. Known for its state-of-the-art guestroom amenities, Fairmont Hotel Macdonald selected ASSA ABLOY Hospitality's innovative locking solutions to enhance overall security for its guests, while blending with the property's traditional decor.Prior to the implementation of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality's locking solutions, Fairmont Hotel Macdonald was using a competing locking system that had become obsolete. After considering another competitor to replace the original locking system, Fairmont Hotel Macdonald ultimately turned to ASSA ABLOY Hospitality to update the hotel's security abilities with the VingCard Classic RFID door locks."Our staff knew that to keep up with industry trends while preserving the classic look of our guestrooms, we needed to install locking technologies that were not only innovative and secure, but also visually appealing," said Alex Saenz, director of housekeeping at Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. "ASSA ABLOY Hospitality has been a trusted brand in the hotel security industry for years, and with that status in mind we knew its business goals tied in well with what we're hoping to achieve with our hotel."The management team at Fairmont Hotel Macdonald chose to work with ASSA ABLOY Hospitality based on its ability to meet the hotel's specific needs, including superior service and reliability. ASSA ABLOY Hospitality's status as a corporate-approved vendor and its compatibility with the hotel's soon-to-be installed communications system were also among the top reasons for the hotel's decision.Additionally, the installation of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality's Visionline will work in tandem with the Classic RFID locks to allow hotel staff to see which guests have used their key to enter certain areas of the hotel and when. By enabling this capability, the hotel can now effectively monitor entry into certain sections and areas of the property. Any time a keycard is suspected of being stolen or used inappropriately, hotel staff can instantly deactivate that card from one central location to prevent any future unauthorized entry, further increasing the hotel's security protocol."We have already noticed significant benefits since completing the installation," adds Saenz. "The seamless integration between our property management system and Visionline creates a far more effortless process for keycard creation and guestroom allocation. We are also saving time on a number of regular tasks and processes, such as creating automatic set times for certain doors to open and resolving any issues guests may have with their keycards."For more information on ASSA ABLOY Hospitality and its comprehensive line of locking solutions, please visit www.assaabloyhospitality.com.
Article by Jos Schaap

Move Over Information Age - This is the Age of Experience

StayNTouch Inc. 25 April 2017
Looking back, the agricultural and industrial ages both ended and were replaced by the information age. They will always be present, we will continue to need agricultural, industry and information but we are now seeing a new phase. Thanks to mobile screens, virtual reality, wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT) advancements, it seems we have shifted into what is being commonly referred to as the experience age. This phase combines not only the digital age but also the experiential age. In a TechCrunch article published in May of 2016 written by Mike Wadhera, the founder of Teleport, he stated that "Thanks to mobile screens and Internet everywhere, we're now entering what I call the Experience Age." The Experience Age refers not to the information we're so rapidly consuming, but how we choose to consume this information.In the 1990's we developed software to help with operations and to collect data that would help us run our companies more effectively. The problem was that most businesses really didn't know how to use this data. We would collect incredible amounts of information, store it in data warehouses, and then try to decipher the insights into buckets that we could then act on. It just wasn't as easy as we thought it would be. Now we have amazing new technologies such as fast search and digital devices that allow users to gain insights from the information that was previously stored behind closed doors.Combining digital with experiential, we have come up with some rather innovative solutions not only for the hotel industry, but for all people. The introduction of self-driving cars, the broad use of a cell phone to be so much more than just a phone and IBM's Watson, that yes, uses crazy amounts of data to deliver its results but the delivery mechanism is whatever IBM can think up. Never before have we had connected devices of all sorts uploading data and/or communicating machine to machine as we do today and there is a shift underway which prioritizes data over technology.In the travel and hotel space, we can now use different devices to check in, check out, order room service, or when on a plane, order onboard amenities. All the time we are doing this, the information is being collected to deliver the next experience we have that is catered to our likes and wants versus a generic one-way communications environment. Without even realizing this, we can now use this information to provide better service using digital devices with access to information. We are creating a digital personalization age that focuses on experiences and the delivery of these experiences.There indeed has been a change and there are three hallmarks of this shift from information to digital personalization and an experienced-based age.The massive growth of self-service online shoppingOur phones are now our windows into the worldOur expectations of "service" have changedWhen you look at the winners and losers as we transform into a new age, the winners are the companies that had the vision to see the change coming. The winners include brands like Netflix, Accenture, McDonald's, Spotify, Amazon, Apple, HomeAway, SnapChat, Visit Las Vegas, Virgin Atlantic, Marriott and Uber. The losers could not move as quickly and adapt to the massive change in consumer interaction like Blockbuster, Radio Shack, Sony Ericsson, US Airways, Howard Johnson, and yes, the Taxi trade.The hotel industry can learn from the winners noted above. We need to be as innovative and proactive as the best companies in the world. The hotel industry has, at times, been slow to embrace technological change - but things are moving so quickly these days that there is little choice but to change with a vengeance in order to keep up with the "new guest" and their ever-evolving expectations.

Kube Systems Creates Frictionless Shopping Experience for Hoteliers with New Website

Kube Systems 25 April 2017
With hoteliers flocking to www.KubeSystems.com, the manufacturer of multi-device charging solutions with portability, streaming audio playback and time keeping, the redesigned site is making it easier for hoteliers to select the right solution for their propertyJericho, NY -- Giving guests a frictionless experience is top of mind for hoteliers today. Kube Systems, the designer and manufacturer of multi-device charging solutions with portability, streaming audio playback and time keeping, is ensuring a frictionless online shopping experience for hoteliers with the redesign of its website www.KubeSystems.com. With demand for mobile device charging solutions growing daily, Kube Systems redesigned its site to offer quick and easy access to essential information, features and benefits.2017 is shaping up to be an amazing year for Kube Systems," said Dave Weinstein, Kube Systems Vice President. "Interest in our Kube Audio Clock and Kube 5 Portable is off the charts. To ensure that we are retaining the new customers we are attracting with these in-demand guest-charging solutions, we needed a site that delivers a seamless interactive experience - and one that complements hoteliers' buying preferences and habits. We are pleased to reveal a new, clean and uncluttered design of our website that is easier to navigate and offers quick and easy access to our solutions. We believe this redesign will allow visitors to have a very informative experience as we continue to grow and increase our market presence."Product DebutMaking its debut on the new site is Kube Systems' newest solution, Kube Essentials. It is a more affordable unit that packs a punch with unmatched charging capabilities, versatility, and engaging design. Kube Essentials charges ALL mobile electronics, including laptops with an AC power outlet. The option of a wireless charging pad accessory - which can be purchased at any time - enables guests to "drop and charge" smartphones."The market-ready solution can be seen for the first time in the Americas, June 26 to 29 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Booth #2435," Weinstein said. "Hoteliers should check out our website and pre-schedule an appointment to meet with us at HITEC to see our full product offering."Kube System's new website will be updated on a regular basis with news of product launches, business activity, corporate milestones and more.

Mastering Sell Limits: Why Your Demand Strategy Depends on It

Driving Top-line Revenues | By Sceptre Hospitality Resources 25 April 2017
To understand how to use sell limits to their best advantage, it’s important to first fully understand what they are and why we use them. The concept of a sell limit is common in the hospitality industry and revolves around the selling of a limited number of rooms in a combination of room/date at a certain rate. It can be a single rate or a rate group. In a rate group, every rate that is contained within that rate group will contribute to reaching that sell limit. For example, you might say “I will only sell 10 rooms at this rate,” or “I will only sell 10 rooms in this rate group.” Whatever way you choose, whenever you reach the limit on that rate or rate group, then inventory is no longer sent out through your distribution channels. That rate and/or rate group has been exhausted and will stop selling automatically. Because they allow a great amount of control for ADR, sell limits are a crucial part of every hotel’s demand strategy.

3 online travel industry essentials: data, AI and the human touch

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration 25 April 2017
Derek Walter rounds up Day 1 of the San Francisco Summit where the talk of the town has focused on innovation for a mobile and digital world Creating the ideal travel experience requires both a radical devotion to technological innovation and a reliance on traditional, shared interactions that so many travellers are after. This balancing act is a challenge, with swift changes happening all the time in technology and customer expectations. But there was plenty of practical advice and industry expertise for attendees of the EyeforTravel San Francisco Summit with executives from companies sharing their advice on how brands can stand out in a digital and mobile world.

Online reputation management: To 2017 and beyond

By Daniel E. Craig
After over a decade of social media in the mainstream, the online reputation management function has reached a maturity level in the hotel industry, writes Daniel E. Craig, founder of Reknown. As we look ahead to 2017 and beyond, he shows how we can draw from past experience to fine-tune our reputation management strategies going forward.

Travel Industry Struggling with Attribution

EyeforTravel 25 April 2017
Attribution continues to be an issue for the travel and tourism industry as travellers hop across devices and sites during their journey according to EyeforTravel's State of Data and Analytics in Travel Report 2017. Of the marketing professionals surveyed, 54.3% reporting that they could either track users to a limited degree (24.5%), just on their own domains (16%) or not at all (13.8%).For those companies that report that they can track users in some detail, a quarter say they can track them across most devices and touchpoints. A further 20.7% report that they can track users across touchpoints but not across devices, illustrating that it is the cross-device behaviours prevalent in travel that are the main challenge."I think attribution will be one of the big focuses for travel brands over the medium-term," said Alex Hadwick, Head of Research at EyeforTravel. "Our consumer-focused research shows that travellers are increasing their usage of mobile, especially in Asia-Pacific markets, but huge numbers of consumers switch devices during their journey with desktop still the main channel globally in terms of spending. With personalisation the primary stated goal of the industry, brands will need to be able to track users more effectively as they switch across sites but particularly across devices if they want to truly understand the journey."The survey also found that out of the more than 450 travel data professionals surveyed, just 30.9% are gathering geo-spatial and geographic data and 30.6% are looking at mobile app data to get insight into customers. This further supports the need for the industry to expand its efforts into multi-channel data gathering. Investment into systems and skills to do this should be forthcoming, as the report notes that three quarters believe that their department will receive budget increases in 2017 against 4% who expect a decrease.Click here to download the full report for free now. Or to learn the best data and revenue management strategies directly, why not attend EyeforTravel Europe on May 3-4?

Use smart data marketing to maximise your hotel bookings

Hotelogix 24 April 2017
Many a times hotel target past guests with direct marketing mailers and waste time on guests who haven't been in touch with them since their stay. Smart data marketing can help hotels identify new potential guests and close the deal with them. It also helps hotels target the guests in real time by reaching out to them moments after they have searched a particular property or even flights to a particular destination. The possibility of converting these guests from lookers to bookers is extremely high.How can hotels use smart data marketing to maximize their bookings?Use existing customer data: Hotels should initially analyze the existing data that is available to them. They need to identify the percentage of existing guests as compared to first-timers, the demographics of their guest profiles and so on. This can help hotels target the right customer base for their property.Target the right customers in real time - with the right data, hotels can know where they need to target their model customers and create a look-alike target audience. Hotels can capture the guests during the micro-moments when they are most likely to convert by sending personalized messages or offering special tariffs for the guests required dates.Optimize targeting and creative in real time based on campaign conversions and who is actually booking- with intent data targeting, hoteliers can use direct marketing campaigns and dynamic rate marketing to target the guests who are researching their destination plans. By flashing the hotel's details across the various search options that a client uses with relevant data, a guest is more likely to choose that property over another. With smart data marketing, a hotel is repetitively reinforcing their brand to their future clients and creating a strong recall value.Use the collected data for all future campaigns - Hotels shouldn't be content with strong conversions on a one-off basis, this is a continuous cycle. Hotels need to collate the tactics that work and didn't work and use them for all future campaigns. Also, remember demographics or focus audiences can change as per different months or seasons, thus smart data marketing is ideal since it takes all these factors into consideration.Opt for a powerful cloud PMS that supports your smart marketing strategies. Opt for Hotelogix !now

Duetto to Provide Revenue Strategy Solutions for First Central Hotel Suites, Dubai

Duetto Research Blog 24 April 2017
Duetto, the market leader in hotel profit optimization technology, announced today that it will implement its cloud-based Revenue Strategy application, GameChanger, and Revenue Intelligence solution, ScoreBoard, for First Central Hotel Suites, a leading hotel in the heart of Dubai. Under the agreement, Duetto will provide the property with unprecedented market intelligence, the benefits of Open Pricing, and the ability to fully optimize revenue and easily analyze property performance. The partnership is Duetto’s first in the vibrant Dubai hospitality market and in the Middle East.

Diversification Is a Key to Improving Hotel Distribution

Duetto Research Blog 24 April 2017
Finding the right distribution formula occupies a lot of time and brainpower for revenue managers. During a recent webinar, distribution experts defined three approaches to “righting” your distribution ship:

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