Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference
November 14–15, 2017
Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference
April 11–13, 2018
RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre
Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference
June 26-29, 2018
Sabre 11 August 2017
BLOCKCHAIN BASICSBlockchain is self-descriptive: blocks of data are sequentially added to a chain of similar blocks. All blocks in a chain must follow the same set of rules, established from the first block. As each new block of information is added, the entire chain is tested to make sure nothing is out of place. Chains are unbreakable or "immutable"-once a block is in place, it can't be moved or changed without taking the whole chain apart. At its core:Blockchain is a framework optimized for immutable, distributed, public ledgers. It allows the direct transfer of value between parties without requiring those parties to trust each other. The value can be any digital record--currency, property, identity, loyalty, votes, media, etc.Blockchain is not a single thing; it's a set of ideas. Blockchain protocols (like those defined by Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger, etc.) are essentially programming languages-- each has various strengths and weaknesses.Blockchain is nascent in its development. At an MIT-hosted conference on blockchain in April, blockchain was compared to the 1989-1990 Internet--a time when today's protocols (like HTML) were still being figured out. This comparison suggests: 1) blockchain could have a powerful and widespread future; 2) blockchain still has a very long way to go; and 3) blockchain is ripe for experimentation.Gartner Inc. has placed blockchain on their Hype Cycle near the "peak of inflated expectations." According to their model, this means blockchain may slide into the "trough of disillusionment" for a period of years before it comes into its own and has a transformative and lasting impact.GLOBAL IMPACTThe number of companies working on blockchain is increasing exponentially. The Ethereum protocol alone has over 500 decentralized applications live or under way, and new blockchains are being launched weekly. At present, an array of governments, businesses, non-profits and ad hoc collectives are using blockchains in a breadth of ways hinting at its future potential.Businesses are committed to and experimenting with blockchain platforms and protocols. The two most significant concentrations are around the open-source Hyperledger project and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.Blockchain-based currencies have the potential to bring the entire world into a digital economy.Governments, banks and non-profits are testing blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, with the potential to bring digital financial services to everyone, including 2 billion people in developing nations who have never had access to a bank or credit card.Every good--physical or digital--can have a unique permanent record (a 'passport') stored in blockchain. Outside finance, the hottest growth area for blockchain seems to be transforming supply chains to better track goods between businesses and across borders, helping guarantee authenticity and eliminate counterfeiting.Blockchain has the potential to change the shape of public information. Blockchain-powered projects providing services similar to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and countless other major platforms are proposed or in development with the goal to return ownership of assets to the individual and assure freedom from censorship.TRUST ISSUESBlockchains are being hyped as the end to silos, corruption, lack of transparency and insecurity. But in taking a wider look at the tech landscape, it's still unclear in which cases blockchains will offer a favorable value proposition over other kinds of ledgers, including traditional databases.The touted immutability of blockchains is both a pro and a con. If the data is correct and the protocol is secure, then immutability is a tremendous benefit. But whenever something is recorded incorrectly, or a loophole is found and exploited in the original protocol of the blockchain, those problems are very difficult to resolve. With nodes as partners, there is no "higher authority" to appeal to if/when something goes wrong.Private blockchains "solve" the higher authority issue, since every node within a blockchain is controlled by a business, coalition or government. But in many of these cases, it's unclear why blockchain is necessary. Existing database solutions can be built with most of the same features as blockchain and can often be implemented at lower costs with existing infrastructure.Since the rules for a blockchain are established from the first block, what effectively occurs in a public blockchain is a shift in trust: instead of trusting an institution to create and maintain data records, participants are asked to trust that whatever entity creates the initial block does so in a clear and secure way, that data is then entered correctly, and that the majority of nodes remain committed to the original goals of the system. In a private blockchain, trust is similar to today: you trust whatever entity (or entities) controls the network.TRAVEL RELEVANCEBlockchain appears to excel when you need a clear and immutable record of any type of information (such as location or ownership) to be accessible to multiple parties who may not trust one another. We're beginning to see blockchain prototypes emerging in the travel space:Webjet is piloting hotel room inventory on blockchain, to collect exponentially more data with each booking and ensure prompt and complete payment to all parties.Startups are eyeing digital identity management on blockchain. Combining biometric identification with blockchain may provide more secure digital proof of identity, over traditional identity measures like a passport.Hotel and airline loyalty programs may transition to blockchain to help streamline tracking of loyalty points and simplify conversion and redemption across all players.Airbus has brainstormed blockchain possibilities, and is part of the Hyperledger blockchain consortium; their test project is to use blockchain to create industry-wide tracking of pilot diplomas, certifications and qualifications.Moog Aircraft group is using blockchain for parts tracking, as well as to digitally authenticate and provide rights management for 3D printed airplane parts.Even the most bullish blockchain proponents acknowledge the need for some centralized or trusted authorities within complex business systems. In travel, centralized players are necessary to help ensure proper identity, policy compliance, reporting and security. The cost and potential regulatory liability of moving billions of transactions to a new and barely-tested ecosystem is extremely prohibitive, as is the challenge of consensus around a new platform.This is not to say that travel distribution functions will never be provided via a blockchain. But when these develop, they will most likely be on a private blockchains, and implemented only after extensive testing and validation of the security and safety of the platform. And there would still be a central, trusted authority, helping manage compatibility and compliance within the blockchain system.Regardless of which projects get off the ground, blockchain looks to have significant long term impact inside and outside the travel industry.
Sabre 22 March 2017
Sabre Hospitality Solutions has collaborated with Phocuswright on a new research report that evaluates channel optimization in the hospitality industry, identifying the critical elements of an effective, future-ready channel strategy that will maximize the ROI of both direct and indirect channels.This new report, "Channel Optimization in Hospitality: Secrets of Data-Driven Hoteliers," will help hoteliers make well-informed, data-driven decisions about their channel strategies and offers insights on consumer trends, along with data analysis, infographics and clear recommendations that hoteliers can put into action right now.Challenges in Today's Distribution LandscapeThe fragmented nature of today's hospitality industry creates a complex distribution landscape and unique challenges that hoteliers must overcome in order to maximize revenue:Traditional segmentation isn't enough. Hoteliers need to identify the unique behaviors of shoppers and group those common behaviors together with a targeted approach. Regional variations in consumer behaviors as well as widespread adoption of consumer technologies and services drive additional complexity and must be addressed.OTAs and metasearch engines are investing heavily in advertising and sophisticated technology platforms to capture more traffic and hotel bookings.Many hotels continue to rely on legacy technology systems that are not equipped to handle today's diverse distribution strategies, which call for pricing and product strategies that can change rapidly and easily.Consumers & Technology Increase Complexity in Channel StrategyAdvances in technology have dramatically changed how consumers shop, which in turn affects how hoteliers must market to them. Today's hotel guests command greater control over their personal travel decisions, thanks to the number of shopping and booking channels and the fact that travelers now use an array of devices to research, shop and book any given trip.What's more, research shows that there are wide variations in shopping and booking channel preferences based on geography. The report analyzes shopping and booking trends by channel in the US, the UK, China, Brazil, France and other countries, and finds that a customer's purchase channel does not always correlate with shopping channel preferences."Mastering distribution is a bridge to transforming the guest experience and an opportunity to build familiarity and loyalty with the guest before they ever walk onto the property," said Alex Alt, president of Sabre Hospitality Solutions. "Today's distribution landscape is highly complex and that will only increase in the future. No matter the size or location of the property or chain, every hotel needs to have a well-defined distribution strategy - informed by data and analytics - for how they can successfully attract guests across all channels."Three Key Steps to Developing the Right Channel Mix The report discusses three critical takeaways for hoteliers who want to master distribution and overcome market complexities:Get Your Data House in Order - With the right analytics, hoteliers can better engage with guests as individuals based on explicit and implicit signals shoppers give during the shopping experience.Leverage Persona-Based Motivation to Understand Behavior - By combining traffic and conversion statistics with consumer trends and regional differences, hoteliers can take a strategic look at their target customers and develop a channel mix that fits their brand.Assess Channel Risk and Return - Channel optimization is not a "set it and forget it" proposition. Hoteliers must consistently monitor and evaluate their channel strategy to more efficiently acquire traffic, then convert that traffic into profitable transactions."The investments that hotels make in their channel optimization and distribution strategies will define the next generation of winners in hospitality," Alt said. "With this report, we share insights and takeaways that will help hotels maximize revenue through distribution."About Sabre CorporationSabre Corporation is the leading technology provider to the global travel industry. Sabre's software, data, mobile and distribution solutions are used by hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotel properties to manage critical operations, including passenger and guest reservations, revenue management, flight, network and crew management. Sabre also operates a leading global travel marketplace, which processes more than US$120 billion of global travel spend annually by connecting travel buyers and suppliers. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world.About PhocuswrightPhocuswright is the travel industry research authority on how travelers, suppliers and intermediaries connect. Independent, rigorous and unbiased, Phocuswright fosters smart strategic planning, tactical decision-making and organization effectiveness. The company is headquartered in the United States with Asia Pacific operations based in India and local analysts on five continents. Phocuswright is a wholly owned subsidiary of Northstar Travel Media, LLC.
Sabre 7 February 2017
Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world's largest alliance of independent hotel brands, has selected Sabre Hospitality Solutions as an alternative distribution provider for its members. Under the landmark agreement, GHA's 35 hotel brands, representing over 550 hotels, resorts, palaces and spas, now have the option to choose the Sabre SynXis Central Reservations (CR) as their distribution solution while still enjoying the benefits of GHA's multi-brand DISCOVERY loyalty program."Similar to the airline alliance model, GHA offers independent and privately-owned hotel brands the opportunity to increase their customer reach globally, through a shared loyalty platform; and to create cost efficiencies based on scale and collaborative products and services," said Christopher Hartley, CEO of Global Hotel Alliance. "GHA looks to its technology partners to provide hotels the ability to instantly recognize customers across all of our member brands, thus enhancing the guest experience. Eight of our member brands already use the Sabre SynXis CR, and so it was a natural step to add Sabre as one of our preferred technology partners.""The complexity and competition in the hospitality space is growing at an unprecedented rate. To win, hotels need to master distribution - and master it fast," said Alex Alt, president of Sabre Hospitality Solutions. "As the leader in this space, we look forward to helping GHA member brands and individual hotels grow their revenue and bookings in every channel from OTAs to GDS to direct."The SynXis CR provides distribution of rates and inventory through all online and offline distribution channels; connectivity to global distribution systems, online travel agents, website and mobile booking engines; and seamless integration of critical property, revenue management, loyalty and content systems, providing holistic views of hotel guests and revenue. Sabre's central reservation system is powered by the SynXis Enterprise Platform, an open architecture platform that integrates critical hospitality systems to optimize distribution, operations, retailing and guest experience.About Global Hotel Alliance (GHA)Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) is the world's largest alliance of independent hotel brands, bringing together 35 brands with 550 hotels in 76 countries. GHA uses a shared technology platform to drive incremental revenues and create cost savings for its member brands. GHA's award-winning loyalty programme, DISCOVERY, provides nearly 10 million members exclusive opportunities to immerse themselves in local culture wherever they travel. GHA's hotel brands currently include: Alila, Anantara, Art Series, Atura, AVANI, Corinthia, Doyle, Elewana, First, GLO, Kempinski, Leela, Lungarno, Marco Polo, Meritage, Meydan, Mokara, Niccolo, NUO, Omni, Outrigger, Pan Pacific, PARKROYAL, PER AQUUM, QT, Rixos, Rydges, Shaza, Tangram, Thon, Tivoli, Ultratravel Collection and Viceroy. For more information, visit gha.com
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group selects Sabre's digital platform to accelerate its technology transformation and global expansion plans
Sabre 1 February 2017
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world's largest and most dynamic hotel groups, has taken an important step in its global expansion plans by signing a new agreement with leading technology provider Sabre Hospitality Solutions.Carlson Rezidor tapped Sabre Hospitality Solutions to develop and implement a global digital platform to power its ecommerce business for all of its brands including: Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu(r), Radisson(r), Radisson RED, Park Plaza(r), Park Inn(r) by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM to improve online brand performance and drive significant incremental revenue via direct channels. The agreement is one step in a multi-phased business transformation enabled by technology to position the hotelier for long-term growth and improved performance."We continually strive to improve performance and enhance our guests' experience through technology, and we are committed to investing in technology to enable that transformation," said Kevin Carl, executive vice president & global chief information technology officer, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. "Sabre's proven ability as an industry innovator to support transformation for global brands like ours and to consistently deliver world-class, innovative solutions makes them the right partner for this important initiative."Carlson Rezidor will deploy Sabre's digital platform, providing consistency, speed and scale to its approximately 1,400 existing properties and expand that to new properties over the next five years."Sabre's ability to quickly deploy globally-scalable solutions is one of many critical capabilities we deliver to customers like Carlson Rezidor," said Alex Alt, president of Sabre Hospitality Solutions. "Relying on our deep-rooted culture of innovation, aggressive technology investments and unrivaled team of experts, we are proud to be one of the only technology providers able to rapidly implement solutions that meet the needs of the largest, most complex hospitality brands in the world."About Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the world's largest and most dynamic hotel companies and includes 1,400 locations in operation and under development with more than 220,000 rooms and a footprint spanning 115 countries and territories. The Carlson Rezidor portfolio includes a powerful set of global brands: Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu(r), Radisson(r), Radisson RED, Park Plaza(r), Park Inn(r)by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM. Guests can benefit from Club CarlsonSM, a program that redefines hotel rewards with a collection of exceptional benefits, services, and privileges at more than 1,000 hotels worldwide. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and its brands employ 90,000 people systemwide and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Singapore, and Brussels. For more information, visit www.carlsonrezidor.com and follow on Twitter @carlsonrezidor.
Sabre 18 January 2016
So, in the hospitality industry, was 2015 the year of Millennials? The year of mobile? The year of mergers? What about high ADR? Global expansion? Or all of the above?As we start 2016 all refreshed, setting our resolutions with big ambitions, hospitality-industry leaders have to set clear and achievable goals. Nobody wants to set resolutions that fail just three weeks in to the New Year. Setting goals means reflecting on the past year and what made it great. For hoteliers, now is the time to look at your hotel's past - data - and reflect on what worked and what did not.A key mission of hospitality is to provide unique, distinct, unforgettable experiences. Sounds easy enough, right? But while we know there is a lot that hoteliers have to do in order to provide the best experience to guests, how can hoteliers know what guests want and expect? What factors will make them feel they've had the best experience starting with booking our hotel all the way to their stay?To answer those questions, resolve in 2016 to start with what you have - guest data. Now more than ever before, consumers say they are willing to provide more personal information - especially if they're getting special offers in return. According to a recent study conducted by Forrester Consulting1, 51% of travelers are willing to provide personal information in exchange for relevant offers. And they are also more open to telling you what they expect from your hotel in advance: the same study found that 79% and 75% of travelers, respectively, stated they would be willing to provide their room location preferences and room type preferences in return for a more personalized hotel experience.Guest ExperienceAgain, it's one thing to know these facts, and another to be able to embrace that influx of data and insights and to elevate the guest experience. Here are four New Year's resolutions that will guide your hotels in delivering the best possible guest experience, so that the guests you attract in 2016 will keep coming back year after year.Establish a clear data architecture - To have a chance of sorting, analyzing and taking action on guest data, hoteliers must have the right infrastructure and data warehouse platform that allows them to make proactive decisions. Your hotels may already be generating accurate and insightful information about your guests, but ensuring access to this data for analysis and goal-setting, is also critical.Better insights, not more data - In this case, more is not always better. If your properties aren't currently utilizing guest data, it's best to start small and focus on understanding your data - and, of course, you must know how to act on it. Once you have a solid data reporting platform, analyze your customer base in order to understand who they are and how they shop. For instance, what age groups are visiting your website most often? Are these visitors the ones booking the most room nights? Which segments are booking through which channels? Are Millennials booking on your mobile site? What are the most popular rooms being purchased by specific segments? Also, use data-driven insights to understand who is booking your most expensive rooms, and who is spending the most on property. Clear, focused questions will guide your data analysis and, in turn, will give you better insights, allowing you to prioritize your marketing spend and target the right customers with the right message.The emotional side of data - Emotion plays a big role in how hotel guests form loyalty: according to a Forrester Consulting study2, how an experience makes a customer feel trumps both utility and ease, and has the greatest influence on loyalty for a hotel guest. To get the full picture, hoteliers must leverage data beyond the traditional sources. Gather insights from as many channels as possible to get a complete view of your guests and see how you can better connect with customer's emotions. One single channel cannot provide the whole picture. Look not only at your website's analytics, but at booking trends, call center production, and social media channels and conversations - and don't forget to obtain insights from your staff on-property, too.Embrace the openness of data sharing - As consumers' attitudes toward data sharing evolve, every hotelier needs to have a plan in place for managing that influx of data. How will you create engaging experiences for customers based on the data they are providing you? If they trust you with their data, make sure you are able to deliver value in exchange.Imagine having the ability to deliver a seamless experience to your guests at every step of their journey. Today's data platforms allow hoteliers to embrace and analyze data better than ever before, which means we can thank established customers for their trust and loyalty, and build better relationships with new customers by continuing to surprise and delight them.For additional recommendations on how your hotels can embrace data and elevate the guest experience, review this recent Forrester study with key insights on travelers' trends. Cheers to a successful 2016!
Sabre 15 January 2016
A new generation of travel technology spearheaded by the sharing economy, and, more specifically, Airbnb is going beyond changing traveler behavior to disrupting an entire industry, which is why it was named by Inc. as the 2014 Company of the Year. What has propelled Airbnb's success, however, isn't merely that it has created a marketplace for property owners to offer one-of-a-kind personal accommodations to travelers. It's that the company has altered travel behaviors with an experience that offers a clever use of technology, a better perceived value for travel dollars and an individualized travel experience for travelers. There's no reason hotels can't provide travelers the same level of convenience and many are leading the charge already. Here are three opportunities to learn from Airbnb's model.Use of TechnologyAs Fast Company reports, at the end of 2014, Airbnb revamped its mobile experience to reach the 20 percent of customers booking on a mobile device and to grow that number. A recent survey by online travel insurance company Allianz Global Assistance shows that 60 percent of millennials trust the sharing economy, which includes companies such as Airbnb, Uber and Lyft. That's a huge generational shift in traveler behavior. To cater to this audience, hotels can leverage similar personal technologies used by Airbnb to cater to traveler desires and offer users a superior mobile experience.For example, Hilton Worldwide unveiled a mobile app that allows its HHonors members to select their own rooms when booking, giving the traveler more power in the decision-making process. The app also allows users to digitally check-in, bypassing the front desk, and in 2016, the app will include a digital key that'll give guests direct entry into their rooms and hotel amenities, like the gym or pool. The mobile technology provides the user with a seamless experience similar, from booking to arrival, and Hilton reports that 93 percent of app users are satisfied or extremely satisfied with the results.Better Perceived Value for Travel DollarsBusiness Insider notes that a recently study from Morgan Stanley shows that 55 percent who use Airbnb do so for the cheaper price. There is some debate about what's actually cheaper, but a better way to compare is with value. Airbnb offers a variety of options depending on who happens to be offering accommodations, ranging from entire houses to single rooms, and the feeling that you are contributing to the sharing economy. The value there is in giving travelers options for exactly what they want in unique spaces, from people just like them. Conversely, the perception is that a large hotel chains offers a more standardized approach for travelers. But the value for guests at a hotel comes through consistency, security and reliability, things that Airbnb can't necessarily promise across the board. Hotels can use their perceived value as distinctive experiences to bring themselves closer to the forefront and show that they offer the full package, in order to influence traveler behavior.Hyatt Centric launched in 2015 as a new direction for the brand, offering a more eclectic boutique rooming experience. As Skift reports, Hyatt Centric, is a full-service hotel, but also a lifestyle brand offering special amenities. Hotels are pet-friendly and offer a corner lounge space, a health studio and a rooftop bar. Each hotel is centrally located in the city to offer travelers easy access to major destinations. Hyatt Centric is providing guests something special, so although it's still a large hotel chain, the unique quality and the value of the stay gives travelers many of the things they seek from Airbnb.Individualized Travel ExperienceMillennials would rather spend their money on experiences than things, as Marketing Week notes, and Airbnb offers a chance to create an individual and personal experience for any traveler. A study conducted by Yahoo, in fact, showed that 78 percent of customers are looking for more personalization in their consumption. This isn't about chocolates on pillows, but rather making an emotional connection with guests. One way hotels can build this is to create and maintain a human connection with customers through social media. A hotel that can provide a personal experience from start to finish will earn its guests' loyalty.Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media channels provide a direct connection to travelers and offer immediate feedback. As Conde Nast Traveler reports, Loews Hotel Group now allows bookings using a hashtag on Twitter. Not only that, but Ad Week notes that they used real Instagram photos from visitors in a recent advertising campaign. The company is connecting with its customers in a real way to make them feel like valued members of the community, creating an authentic experience and earning that brand loyalty. Hotels that train staff to direct guests toward restaurants and other establishments not on the tourist circuit can use data from social media connections to make thoughtful, personalized recommendations throughout their travelers' journeys.
Sabre 11 November 2015
If you're into hiking, there are some basic rules that are important to ensure a safe journey. Without following them, you can end up in quite a mess. The rules are simple; know the general direction you're going, remember major landmarks you pass and most importantly, don't wander off the trail. In most cases, those will keep you from getting lost and help you find your way back.You might ask, what does that have to do with optimizing my booking engine? Believe it or not, it's the simple rules you need to follow that allow you to get the most from it. The infographic below covers ten things to consider to optimize your booking engine. Much like staying on the hiking path, following these simple recommendations will make sure your guests don't get off the booking path.
Sabre 16 September 2015
Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, announced that its customers, including airlines, hotels and travel management companies, will send more than one billion targeted messages to travelers this year through the TripCase open messaging platform.By accessing the TripCase platform, travel agencies and suppliers can build brand loyalty with on-the-go travelers, merchandise travel services and provide better service beyond the booking. The TripCase platform allows partners to target travelers with the right message at the right time by segmenting more than 200 different variables, including itinerary elements, traveler location and time. This capability allows for travel agent and supplier brand building and unique services to travelers."Our open approach to the TripCase platform delivers innovative messaging services for travel companies and helps them differentiate their products and services," said John Samuel, senior vice president of Sabre Design. "The messaging platform is a powerful, customer-centric solution for travel suppliers who want to stay connected with travelers before and during their trip, and it extends the value of travel suppliers' investments in the Sabre travel marketplace."More than 40 airlines and more than one hundred thousand travel agents are already using the TripCase open messaging platform to stay connected with their customers. Later this year, TripCase will launch its open messaging platform to hotel customers to help them connect with their travelers in the post-booking and during-trip windows."This is just the beginning of what we can do for travel suppliers through TripCase," continued Samuel. "The TripCase platform will allow us to develop robust report capabilities providing agents and suppliers valuable insight into their customers' behavior and integrate important functionalities such as check-in, loyalty program features or booking into TripCase. And by allowing third party developers to build applications on top of the TripCase platform, we'll accelerate innovation and provide unparalleled services to allow suppliers and travel agents to work together more effectively to serve travelers."One of the fastest growing mobile travel apps, TripCase gives travelers a single place to manage and organize their trips. TripCase managed more than 30 million trips for travelers in 2014 and it continues to see significant growth. In the first half of 2015, trips managed have grown 50 percent year over year and new users are up 43 percent for the same time period.