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Phocuswright Battleground: 16 of Travel's Most Innovative Companies Compete in One-Day Event

Phocuswright 25 July 2017
Phocuswright Innovation PlatformBattleground: The AmericasSeptember 12, 2017The Plug and Play CenterSunnyvale, CASunnyvale, CA -- Phocuswright has created a stand-alone Battleground event. Debuting September 12 at the Plug and Play Tech Center, the world's largest startup accelerator, 16 finalists will compete for a chance to take the stage at the annual Phocuswright Conference in November.Battleground will feature the most innovative early-stage travel startups from North, Central and South America. This one-day event is dedicated to bringing promising travel innovators into the limelight to demonstrate fresh ideas in front of potential investors and partners.Attendees will have an unprecedented chance to see the industry's youngest innovators live for an entry fee of just $199."We will showcase for our first-time attendees the next market-changing innovations, fresh ideas, new partners and investment opportunities," said Simon Lehmann, Phocuswright President. "With this expansion we give more members of our industry a chance to see the future on stage and get excited about the amazing possibilities for the future of the travel industry."The event will feature a keynote from Sam Shank, CEO & Co-Founder of HotelTonight, a panel conversation state of innovation and investment in travel, and a Phocuswright research presentation of insights from the upcoming The State of Startups 2005-2017 report series.During the Battleground, participants have six minutes each to demonstrate their innovations to a panel of sometimes ruthless and uncensored judges. The top two companies will move on to present at Summit during The Phocuswright Conference among 1,800 of the most influential leaders in travel.Plug and Play Tech Center in Silicon Valley is a venture fund, innovation platform, startup accelerator, and corporate innovation consultancy.For those interested in applying, applications close on July 31 - and this year, there is no fee to apply or demonstrate. Eligible applicants will be part of a startup company 4 years or younger, based in North America, Central America or South America, have $2M or less in funding and pass a rigorous Phocuswright screening.Attendee registration is also open.

HFTP and OpenTravel - Announce Newest Partnership in Systems Standards Horizon

HFTP 25 July 2017
The nonprofit groups, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) and Open Travel Alliance (OpenTravel) have announced a partnership to accelerate the support of travel industry distribution standards, as well as the creation and adoption of hospitality technology standards across the entire spectrum of the global consumer travel experience. Of top priority to both organizations are mobile standards for use within the industry, which are first on the work list.To facilitate the intended projects, OpenTravel will co-locate its corporate office with HFTP Global headquarters in Austin, Texas, USA, starting in August 2017. The move will enable the organizations to combine resources to help develop standards that ease communications between disparate technology systems, enabling stakeholders to conduct business more efficiently.More than 25 years ago, HFTP was given a mandate by its members to lead in establishing information processing practices and standards explains Frank Wolfe, CEO for HFTP. He said, "HFTP represents stakeholders from the cruise line to the casino, fairway to foodservice, the motel to the midway, and the resort to recreation, across the globe. OpenTravel also represents every one of these verticals, and by partnering on this objective, both of our organizations will better serve our stakeholders."Individually, the two organizations represent stakeholders that do not fully overlap; but combined, there are no other groups that encompass this broad horizontal reach. OpenTravel represents the enterprise and HFTP represents individual professionals, together they represent the full consumer experience."OpenTravel's 1.0 XML Messaging Standards are paramount among the travel standards and our new 2.0 Object Model will positively impact the consumer experience for years to come," said Mike Tinkey, CEO for OpenTravel. "OpenTravel continues to enable the future for the connected consumer end to end with their business and leisure travel across all aspects of travel including, but not limited to, airlines, lodging of all types, cruise lines, car rental firms, railways, ground transportation, leisure suppliers, solutions providers, service providers, travel agencies, tour operators, technology companies and distributors, and events of all types. HFTP's resources will allow us to accelerate standards awareness, adoption and utilization."Both HFTP and OpenTravel are in the process of planning upcoming events in Orlando, Florida USA. Visit the organizations' respective websites for the latest updates at www.opentravel.org and www.hftp.org.About OpenTravelOpenTravel is a global not-for-profit trade association founded in 1999 by travel companies across all travel verticals, with a primary focus on the creation of electronic message structures to facilitate communication between disparate systems in the travel industry. OpenTravel is the source of the most adopted cross industry technology standards that enable business and leisure solutions driven by the travel industry. For more information on OpenTravel membership, please email: info@opentravel.org.About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website. Read industry updates on the suite of HFTP hospitality news sites: HITEC Bytes, Club Bytes, Finance Bytes and HFTP News.

Here's Why You Should Not Miss the Skift Global Forum in NYC

Hospitality Net 21 July 2017
The Skift Global Forum in NYC is one of the most anticipated events of the year for travel and hospitality professionals and time is running out for those who want to plan a business trip to attend.With a stellar roster of speakers, the conference promises to bring great value to the attendees. Personalities like Stephen Kaufer (CEO TripAdvisor), Edward H. Bastian (CEO Delta Airlines), Dara Khosrowshahi (CEO Expedia), Glenn Fogel (CEO The Priceline Group), and Richard D. Fain (CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.) among several others will take the stage to deliver what the audience expects to be the "TED Talks of travel.""Take a day or two out, come, sit back, and listen, and we will promise you the best creative brainfood for the year," wrote Skift's CEO and Founder Rafat Ali in an article introducing the Skift Global Forum 2016. You can expect this promise to hold for the fourth edition of the conference in 2017 too.The speakers are the main reason for you to plan a trip to New York City this September. The early bird tickets already sold out, and the organizers expect more than 1000 travel professionals from across all industry sectors to attend the Skift Global Forum 2017. The venue chosen for the event is the Frederick P. Rose Hall at the Jazz at Lincoln Center performing arts complex.The conference is just three months away, and a full access ticket costs $ 3495. Thanks to a partnership between Skift, HospitalityNet, Travel Daily USA, Travel+SocialGood, Priority Pass, and Wanderful you now have a chance to attend the forum for free if you enter this giveaway. If you are lucky you will win a round-trip flight to New York City, a two-night stay at The Empire Hotel, a Skift Global Forum Priority Pass Standard Membership ticket, and four airport lounge visits.Hsyndicate.org CEO and Founder Henri Roelings encourages you to enter the giveaway for a chance to meet in person: "Make sure to grab your chance to win the ultimate Skift Global Forum package... and maybe we will meet in NYC in September 26-27."ENTER TO WINThe Skift Global Forum is "designed to inspire travel professionals about the business and creative potential of the world's largest industry," according to its organizers. More than a conference, it is an event where you can meet like-minded professionals, learn about the latest industry trends and forecasts, and even form new partnerships.

Travel Industry Must Overcome Economic and Political Disruption to Harness Future Growth

Amadeus 21 July 2017
New report from A.T. Kearney, 'What if? Imagining the future of the travel industry', identifies trends of personalization and seamless travel as key drivers of success in the next five to seven yearsReport also outlines four different world scenarios of the future, and warns that the emergence of protectionism and populism could hinder future commercial opportunities across the industryThe travel industry must be better prepared for economic and political disruption if it is to make the most of future economic growth, a new report from A.T. Kearney outlines today. Whilst the sharing economy, virtual reality and the Internet of Things are all improving the traveler experience, international geo-political, social and economic developments are disrupting and polarizing the world as we know it, limiting the industry's potential for future prosperity unless companies act now the report says.Against this backdrop, A.T. Kearney highlights two key trends that are changing the travel industry landscape, and driving future success:Personalized travel experiences versus mass market. Technology enables the aggregation of consumer data and the use of Artificial Intelligence to learn about traveler behavior. In addition, it may help to meet individual needs, instead of a more traditional one-size-fits-all approach.Seamless travel versus fragmentation. Truly seamless travel will require governmental cooperation and data sharing between businesses: from airports and airlines to destination services such as hotels, restaurants, and ground transportation.Based on these two key trends, Amadeus and A.T. Kearney have identified four future-looking world scenarios that travel companies need to prepare for today, if they are to maximize future growth and success tomorrow:The Picasso scenario is built on a fragmented world marked by the rise of populism and by heightened security concerns. This has the effect of making more travel destinations off-limits. Even so, most parts of the world enjoy economic growth. Companies invest in innovation to reach more customers through mobile channels, and this interaction enables businesses to provide more sophisticated personalized offers.The Dali scenario assumes that both social attitudes and economic prosperity create a more favorable environment towards sharing data. This brings about more relaxed privacy laws and lighter regulation, which allows for greater personalization of travel. Living in the Dali scenario, travel becomes faster, cheaper, and safer. People benefit from less security controls at borders and have real-time information about unexpected events such as flight delays.In the Bosch scenario, business costs rise across the industry as companies struggle to comply with a mosaic of different legal, tax, labor and data protection laws. We are confronting a fragmented world based on protectionism and distrust. Facing Bosch's political environment, travelers seek comfort in trusted brands and book directly with well-known travel providers.The Warhol scenario is characterized by seamless and not personalized travel that considers the implications of strong economic growth in Asia, giving rise to a large middle class with more disposable income for travel and leisure. Travelers would rather go for low cost, mass-market travel instead of having personalized options even in a world free of barriers."Technology has never held more promise for the travel industry," says Alex Luzarraga, Vice President Corporate Strategy of Amadeus IT Group. "But the status quo is being turned on its head. There is widespread mistrust and populism. Things we used to take for granted, such as the right to travel across Europe without passports, for example, may be less likely in the future. It is important to evaluate and understand, in partnership with A.T. Kearney, those issues that will continue to confront and disrupt the industry in the coming five to seven years, so we can as an industry be better prepared to deal with those issues, and also stimulate economic growth and success as a result.""The report is based on the perspectives of a broad range of stakeholders from across the travel and technology worlds. It illustrates a broad view of the future, which allows companies to uncover their organizational blind spots. Moreover, the study tests existing plans against industry outlooks, and helps us understand 'no regret' moves and imperatives in company strategy. This paper will provide an interesting perspective to the businesses that wish to prosper in the travel industry in the coming years," says Yelena Ageyeva-Furman, Principal, London, at A.T. Kearney.Commissioned by Amadeus, the study was based on a series of industry workshops and interviews from across the technology and travel industries. To learn more about the research and to download the What if? Imagining the future of the travel industry report, please click here.A.T. KearneyA.T. Kearney is a leading global management consulting firm with offices in more than 40 countries. Since 1926, we have been trusted advisors to the world's foremost organizations. A.T. Kearney is a partner-owned firm, committed to helping clients achieve immediate impact and growing advantage on their most mission-critical issues. For more information, visit www.atkearney.com.

NH Digital Transformation Day 2017, face time with the Executive Committee

NH Hoteles 19 July 2017
The Group is offering a unique opportunity launching a global call to digitalisation or technology-based companies with solutions ready to be implemented into the hospitality industryThe aim of the initiative is to identify solutions that contribute to improving the guest experience, driving revenue growth or enhancing the Group's productivityThe companies selected will be given the chance to exclusively present their products or services to the chief decision-makers at one of the world's largest hospitality groupsThe initiative is part of the Group's strategy for accelerating its digital evolution, having profoundly transformed its systems and infrastructure in recent yearsNH Hotel Group has launched NH Digital Transformation Day, an original initiative under which any company with a digital or technology proposals with solutions applicable to the hospitality industry will be offered the chance to showcase, without filters, their product or service credentials before the multinational's highest executive management.To this end, the Company has issued a global call to which enterprises whose solutions are ready for implementation and applicable to the hotel sector can respond. The Company is particularly interested in the following areas of application: improving the guest experience, driving revenue growth or boosting the Group's productivity.Of all the proposals received, a maximum of 25 companies will be selected and given the chance to make their pitches in 15 minutes to the Company's highest decision-making body. NH's Executive Committee is made up of senior executives with expertise in a range of areas such as resource management, hotel operations, finance, revenue management, sales and marketing, among others.From today, and until 4 August, any technology or digital company, regardless of its size, whether it is a start-up or a major multinational, can send NH Hotel Group its proposal, describing its solution and the associated benefits and costs.The initiative is part of the NH Hotel Group's strategy for accelerating its transformation, a process that is giving the Company a unique and cross-cutting vision of the business, generating process efficiencies along its entire value chain, making the most of the economies of scale to be unlocked at a company of its size and improving the guest experience. "We have overhauled our systems and currently boast a 100% integrated digital platform that is enabling us to adopt and adapt any technological development of importance to our business far more efficiently and speedily than before" said Rufino Perez, Chief Operating Officer & Executive Managing Director of Resources NH Hotel Group.The challenge which is currently facing NH Hotel Group is to be able to make smart and nimble choices when selecting and implementing the solutions that will enable it to reinforce its sector leadership. The vertiginous speed at which digital formats and technological innovation are advancing has prompted the Company to create NH Digital Transformation Day, an event at which its top executives and finest technology experts will have the chance to assess the most innovative solutions of interest to the Company directly with their creators, without intermediaries.By launching this debut edition of this initiative, the Group hopes to deliver two goals: on the one hand, to learn about new products and services of interest to the Company; on the other, to send the message to the international technology community that once again NH Hotel Group is open to innovative projects and solutions with the potential to positively impact the business and its guest relations.From 15 July until 4 August, interested companies can send in their proposals, in English or in Spanish, to the following dedicated e-mail address: digitaltransformationday@nh-hotels.com(link sends e-mail)TERMS AND CONDITIONSTo be eligible to have the opportunity to present your product or service:Prepare a one page description* of your product or service, explaining in detail the benefits and costsSend the document written in English or Spanish before August 4th 2017 to: digitaltransformationday@nh-hotels.com(link sends e-mail)No matter your company's size if you a have a promising and developed project. Keep in mind that this initiative is not an incubator for projects or ideas. The technological / digital solution must be already developed, applicable to the hospitality industry and ready to implementProducts / services not implemented in hotel competitors will be positively valued25 companies will be selected and will be able to make their presentation face to face for 15 minutes to the Executive Committee of NH Hotel Group in October 2017* The application will be limited to a single page document written in English or Spanish with Times New Roman Font (minimum size 11 points and single spacing) with an extension of no more than 4,000 characters (with spaces). Links to vides or photos of the solutions will be accepted as complementary documentation, although such links must be included on the application page, not as the object of the application. The page must describe the solution, its benefits for the company and implementation costs. Applications that do not meet these conditions will not be attended. Participation in this process is not a contract in any case, nor a commitment to purchase by NH Hotel Group.

HSMAI Washington DC Announces State of the Industry Program

HSMAI 18 July 2017
The annual State of the Industry program, sponsored by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International's Washington, D.C., chapter to help area hospitality sales, marketing and revenue-management professionals prepare their plans and budgets for 2018, will be held Aug. 17 in McLean, Virginia.The program will feature Mark Carrier, president of B.F. Saul Company, Bethesda, Maryland; Veronica Andrews, director of active data, STR, Hendersonville, Tennessee; Elliott Ferguson, president & CEO, Destination DC, Washington; Barry Biggar, president & CEO, Visit Fairfax, Virginia; and John Hach, senior industry analyst, TravelClick, New York.The Aug. 17 event will be hosted by The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean, Virginia, and cosponsored by TravelClick. Registration and a networking reception will begin at 4 p.m. There is no charge for HSMAI members and a $60 fee for nonmembers. Click HERE to register."Our panelists will present the facts, figures and insights that hospitality professionals need to prepare plans and budgets for 2018," said Jennifer Hill, HSMAI Washington DC Chapter chair and Highgate regional director, revenue & distribution. "The State of the Industry is our most popular program of the year and my personal favorite. I encourage all area hospitality executives to join us for this valuable event."About HSMAI Washington DC ChapterHSMAI Washington DC Chapter is an affiliate of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, an individual membership organization based in McLean, Virginia, composed of more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. HSMAI is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners and is the industry's leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing and optimize revenue through programs including the Adrian Awards and Revenue Optimization Conference. Click here to join HSMAI. For more information, go to www.hsmaidc.org.

How technology is helping restaurants connect with guests - JLL Real Views

JLLH 18 July 2017
From touch-screen tables to chatbots taking orders, food retailers are experimenting with technology to attract customers.Domino's is trialing delivery by drone in Australia, while restaurant chains including Itsu, Bill's and the Cheesecake Factory are letting customers pay via their mobile phones.Such innovations enhance the dining experience while boosting convenience for guests and delivering a wealth of insight on customers' habits that help brands further refine their offerings."Technology is a game-changer, both as an enabler and a disruptor," says Adam Griffin, Director of Foodservice Consulting at JLL. "Well-conceived and executed technology is generally enhancing operational efficiency, and consumer engagement."Digital evolution, real-world changesNowhere has technology had a more profound impact on the food retail industry than in the development of on-demand delivery apps."Around the world, the biggest technology trend in food has been in building that connection between restaurants and guests," says Griffin. "Apps like Deliveroo and UberEats have been able to connect the desire for restaurant-quality food with the capability to deliver it."For restaurants, the change is significant: On-demand delivery apps significantly increase the amount of food orders but restaurants don't need the manpower nor space to cater for more guests."This is an inspired business model - businesses may pay 20 percent of profits to an on-demand delivery app, but they increase their customers by 30 percent without needing to pay for the real estate for those customers," Griffin says.Yet the growing popularity of food-to-go apps comes with challenges, especially for shopping centres which usually lease spaces to restaurants based on turnover. Because the additional turnover afforded by on-demand delivery doesn't go through the physical space, restaurants don't pay more on their lease, but the shopping centres must deal with the additional load of the turnover - for example, the extra waste generated, or the traffic of couriers coming to pick up orders.It will fall to restaurants to adapt, Griffin believes. "Restaurateurs absolutely must redesign their spaces to accommodate the rising use of on-demand delivery apps," he says.For example, a restaurant could designate a service entrance and make a couple of new hires especially for packaging food-to-go. For shopping centers, a service bay would allow couriers to park their motorbikes. Major on-demand delivery companies might even invest in their own branded service area."There's a lot of growing up around technology in food retail that needs to happen," Griffin says.The power of getting personalOther food retailers are making use of technology to fine-tune how they attract guests. In London, Maxwell's Bar invested in making itself a location in Pokemon Go, increasing revenues by 26 percent. Paris's Wall Street Bar plays to its finance-centric demographic by updating the price of drinks every 100 seconds.For shopping centres, fast, consistent Wi-Fi is the backbone of modernizing retail spaces. "Constant connectivity allows retailers to build digital connections with guests - in other words a relationship," Griffin says.Not only does solid Wi-Fi boost convenience for customers, connecting to customers' smartphones as soon as they enter the mall delivers a wealth of insight to improve offerings - from understanding where shoppers may bottleneck, to streamlining visitors to food and beverage outlets.For example, shopping centres might design an app that lets visitors virtually join queues at their restaurants, or push personalised discounts to their smartphones to direct the flow of diners. Specific restaurants could, like Restaurant Tang in Stockholm, have apps that let customers see meals before ordering them.The risks of high-tech improvementsTechnology can increase retailers' potential - but as Griffin notes, it also increases their potential to fail.Hyper-personalization of offers that turns out to be inaccurate can be irritating, and even deter guests from logging into networks or using apps. As well, making too much available - such as information about menu items - could end up drowning guests in unnecessary detail."The biggest risk is that technology makes a promise, but the physical world prevents the promise being kept," Griffin says. A guest may be happy to wait 45 minutes, but not when an arrival time of 15 minutes has been promised.Food's future technologyYet tech has a key role to play in the future of food retail. From self-ordering to automated serving to 3D printed food, fast-food restaurants are a good barometer of where technology can take food retail. Wendy's and Panera are rolling self-service kiosks where customers can order and pay - with zero human interaction.Self-service kiosks are now in use at every one of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. locations - and even the deep-frying of its French fries is controlled entirely by automaton."The innovations that seem fun or unique now - like ordering from iPad, robotics, drone delivery - will become the dividing line between two types of restaurants: those that are more experiential, and lower-end restaurants whose service is fully automated," says Griffin.Rising labor wages mean that for fast-service restaurants to stay cheap, automated processes that replace human staff are likely to be adopted. Higher-end restaurants will therefore evolve to focus more sharply on an experience: from highly trained waiter service to sleek apps and virtual reality technology, all designed to enhance the on- and offline richness of a meal."The thing about technology is that it is inherently unpredictable but there's no doubt that in 10 or even five years' time, the physical and digital worlds will be much more intertwined than they are now," Griffin says. "And food is as susceptible to advances in technology, and the structural change it brings as any other industry."Download Report

Accenture Interactive, Marriott International and 1776 Launch the Travel Experience Incubator

Marriott 18 July 2017
Accenture Interactive, Marriott International, and 1776 , a leading global incubator and network for startups, today announced the launch of the Travel Experience Incubator, a new program designed to discover and foster startups working on innovative technologies and solutions to improve the travel experience. The incubator will bring together the hospitality industry expertise of one of the world's most innovative companies, Marriott International, and its official Travel Experience Incubator partner, Accenture Interactive, along with participating startups, to co-create unique and inventive new experiences for travelers.Startups are invited to immediately apply to The Travel Experience Incubator Challenge. Selected startups will be invited to participate in The Travel Experience Incubator, a three-month, travel industry focused program with opportunities for paid piloting and investment at the program's conclusion. The incubator will kick off in September 2017 at 1776's Crystal City Campus in Arlington, Virginia.The selected participants will receive a dedicated curriculum, drawing on the hospitality expertise of Marriott leadership, Accenture experts and the 1776 global mentor network. Through the program, startups will develop, validate, and test travel solutions using data and technology, with the goal to increase customer connectedness and enhance travel experiences.Marriott will draw on its deep experience in the hospitality business, supporting the incubator with its data-rich knowledge of customers as well as mentors from its executive team to coach the startups. Accenture will provide resources focused on human-centered design and digital technologies, as well as proprietary tools to help accelerate and scale real-time solutions. Startups will also will have access to Accenture's deep industry expertise in hospitality to lend additional mentorship and insight throughout the program. Accenture has proven experience working with the startup community through Accenture Ventures, which partners with and invests in growth-stage companies that create innovative enterprise technologies using an open innovation approach."Now, more than ever, people want their travel to be tailored, hyper-personalized and connected," said Julie Sweet, Accenture's Chief Executive Officer - North America. "As the official Travel Experience Incubator partner with Marriott, we are uniquely positioned to collaborate and scale innovation across the startup community to create new experiences for travelers.""We see The Travel Experience Incubator as a terrific opportunity to fuel promising startups focused on game-changing innovation for the lodging industry. We look forward to collaborating with these independent visionaries to reveal new business opportunities and enhanced guest experiences," said Stephanie Linnartz, Global Chief Commercial Officer, Marriott International. "Continuously innovating the guest experience from design to technology is a centerpiece of Marriott's culture and competitive advantage.""We've seen the success that is possible when startups and corporations work together to find better technological solutions, and the Travel Experience Incubator is an exciting opportunity to accomplish that in an established and global industry," said Evan Burfield, co-founder and CEO at 1776. "Large, forward-thinking companies, like Accenture and Marriott, are engaging successfully with startups, looking at startups as discovery arms and co-collaborators for innovation."More information about the Travel Experience Incubator Challenge, including the related application, is available on the 1776 website, click here.About Accenture InteractiveAccenture Interactive, part of Accenture Digital, helps the world's leading brands transform their customer experiences across the entire customer journey. Through our connected offerings in design, marketing, content and commerce, we create new ways to win in today's experience-led economy. Accenture Interactive was ranked the world's largest digital agency in the latest Ad Age Agency Report. To learn more follow us @accentureACTIVE and visit www.accentureinteractive.com.About AccentureAccenture (NYSE: ACN) is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions - underpinned by the world's largest delivery network - Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 411,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.About 17761776 is a public benefit corporation that empowers startup ecosystems around the world to solve complex challenges. To accomplish this, the company leverages its digital startup network, UNION; physical campuses in Washington, D.C., New York City, San Francisco and Dubai; a global startup pitch competition, Challenge Cup; and deep staff expertise in regulatory issues. 1776 accelerates connections and outcomes among startups, corporations, and public institutions. For more information, please visit www.1776.vc and follow @1776 on Twitterand @1776vc on Instagram.

New HEDNA White Paper Tackles Key Payment Challenges

HEDNA 10 July 2017
HEDNA (the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) today released its newest white paper - Payment Trends and Future Best Practices in the Hotel Sector - a work product of HEDNA's Global Hospitality Payment Working Group, co-chaired by Mike Carlo (Onyx CenterSource) and Pascal Burg (Edgar, Dunn & Company).The white paper is based on the findings of the payment working group, representing more than 50 hotel, technology and payment companies' input over the past 18 months. Its objective was to gain a better understanding of the current situation related to payments in the hospitality sector, access available solutions that would address the key challenges, and recommend future best practices in three key areas: guest-centric payments; B2B payments; and commissions.Payment processing for the hotel industry has become increasingly complex with the advance of technology and rising demand from customers in today's digital world. HEDNA's Global Hospitality Payment Working Group was formed to help provide clarity on options, design and best practices for the entire stream of payment processing in the hotel industry."The primary intent for the Working Group and the payment trends and future best practices white paper is to review the payment process and infrastructure existing today, compare and learn from other industries and to identify a vision of where hotels can and should be in the near term," explains Carlo, co-chair of the working group.Among the key findings:Payment strategies will become guest-centric and move away from legacy property-based payment offerings.Conventional wisdoms need to be revisited. Prepaid does not necessarily equal discounted (e.g. first class plane tickets).Payment processing for cross border guests can move from a cost-center to a profit center with consideration of FX conversion and Alternate Forms of Payment.Payments from third parties and brands will be far more efficient with an industry recommended integrated payment manager technology solution.Commission payments will function increasingly efficiently and transparently over the coming years.HEDNA's Payment Trends and Future Best Practices in the Hotel Sector white paper and all HEDNA-produced publications can be found on HEDNA's website in the 'What We Do' section here. For the next step in the industry's effort to create Future Best Practices, please join the HEDNA Open Payment Alliance and the Third-Party Commission working groups.

What does technology mean for the future of business travel? - information-age.com

information-age.com 6 July 2017
Business travel is often thought of as solely a necessity for getting from one meeting to another, yet it drives the success of every business in the world.A recent report from the World Travel and Tourism Council and Travelport revealed that business travel accounts for $1.3 trillion of global travel spending annually, and is set to rise at 3.7% per annum over the next ten years. One key reason for this impressive growth has been the industry's adoption of pioneering technology.

Future Traveller Tribes 2030, Understanding Tomorrow's Traveller - An Amadeus Report

Amadeus 6 July 2017
For several decades now, the notion of differentiation between groups of consumers on the basis that they have different characteristics that make them suitable for different products, services and marketing messages has been a well-accepted part of marketing practice. Such groups, which can be referred to as 'segments' or 'tribes', can be differentiated on features such as geographical location, product needs, demographics, product consumption occasions, and others.In recent years, much has been written in the marketing trade press about the latest 'segment of one'. This refers to the idea that modern consumers increasingly demand the kind of personalization in delivery of products and services that successfully treats each consumer as an individual. We believe that considering types of customers is still a valid exercise, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.Back in 2006, Amadeus looked ahead to the world of 2020 and developed Traveller Tribes 2020, a report in which 4 travel groups were designed. Those types of tourist were built largely from functional building blocks such as demographics, nationality and travel behaviour (business versus leisure). Over the past ten years we have seen considerable evolution in societies and technologies, and an increasing awareness of complexity. We occupy multiple roles in our lives, each carrying different responsibilities and requiring different forms of support from brands. Fast-forwarding now to 2015 and the fast-evolving world of technology around us, we believe a new approach is needed.We are now looking at the year 2030 and we have tried to anticipate the types of travellers who will be relevant 15 years from now and we have built our new tribes on the basis of more fundamental and relevant building blocks: we have taken a "psychographic" approach, forming new sets of travellers on the basis of their broadly similar outlooks on, expectations of and objectives for their travel. The traveller tribes are placed within the demographic, consumer and technological contexts that will shape the travel landscape up to 2030.Find in this travel research report the features, behaviours, values and needs of the 6 travel groups that will travel in 2030: Simplicity Searchers, Reward Hunters, Social Capital Seekers, Cultural Purists, Ethical Travellers and Obligation Meeters.

RG Hotels Boosts Revenue At Magnuson Hotels' Memphis Property By 400% In 6 Months

RG Hotels 3 July 2017
Miami, FL -- Since mid-January 2017, RG HOTELS, the industry-leading hotel management company, has boosted revenue at the Magnuson Grand Memphis Airport Hotel, one of the 1000 Magnuson Hotels properties around the world, by 400%. RG HOTELS was chosen to manage the hotel because of the company's dedication to revamping hotels' revenue and profitability, two key performance-related factors that has made Magnuson Hotels one of the largest hotel groups in the world.Like in the case of the Magnuson Grand Memphis Airport Hotel, many hotel managers miss valuable opportunities in their day-to-day operations, which eventually results in millions of dollars of lost revenue. Using RG HOTELS' more than nine years combined experience in boosting bookings, optimizing operational processes and increasing revenue for their hundreds of hotel clients worldwide, the company is able to correct these small mistakes (including eliminating costly human error!), update the property's management processes to better suit the preferences of today's travelers and automate and integrate all internal solutions using algorithmic technology; as a result, RG HOTELS' clients go from significant deficits of money every month, to making huge profits - even upwards of 400% improvements on previous all-time best metrics."Because of our recent alliance with our new global partners (Louvre Hotels Group and Jin Jiang hotels), our company has become even more focused on providing the best possible stay to guests, while maintaining optimal profitability across all of our 1,000 hotels across three continents," said Thomas Magnuson, CEO of Magnuson Hotels. "With this property, we needed a hotel management company with a very innovative approach and that was focused specifically on driving revenue. RG HOTELS has definitely come through on their promises, with an overall boost of more than 400% in the property's revenue in six months.""We are very proud to be working with one of the largest hotel groups in the world, as they are well-known for commitment to providing guests with the best possible stay and, as such, they have strong brand awareness with consumers both domestically and internationally," said Jean Francois Mourier, CEO of RG HOTELS. "We know that both Magnuson Hotels' executives and the Memphis property's management team are very pleased with the results that the hotel has experienced to date and, eventually, RG HOTELS looks forward to working with Magnuson's other properties all around the world."To find out more about the impressive results that RG HOTELS' innovative hotel management practices and technology have achieved for the Magnuson Grand Memphis Airport Hotel or to arrange an interview, please contact Jennifer Nagy at jenn@jlnpr.com or +1.786.420.1160.About Magnuson HotelsSince its launch thirteen years ago, Magnuson Hotels has become America's fastest growing hotel brand and a top 15 global chain, marketing over 1,000 hotels across six countries and three continents. Magnuson Hotels' newly formed distribution partnership with Chinese operator Jin Jiang Hotels and Europe's Louvre Hotels is the world's largest hotel alliance, forming a consortium of over 8,000 hotels and 800,000 rooms worldwide, equal to the size of a top 2 global hotel chain. For more information, visit magnusonworldwide.com or email info@magnusonhotels.com.About the Magnuson Grand Memphis Airport Hotel The Magnuson Grand Memphis Airport is conveniently located two miles from the airport, eight miles to downtown Memphis and minutes from other local attractions. Graceland Mansion, Memphis Zoo, and the Historic Beale Street District are all near the Magnuson Grand. Along with a great location, the pet-friendly Magnuson Grand offers spacious rooms and amenities that offer comfort and convenience at an affordable price. All 240 newly redecorated rooms provide guests with the comforts of home. Standard amenities in all rooms include free high-speed internet access, free local calls, in-room microwaves and mini fridges. For more information, visit the hotel's website.

Louvre Hotels Group is the 1st hotel group to enable its clients to open their 1- to 5-star rooms with their smartphones

Louvre Hotels Group 3 July 2017
It is the very first group in the industry to offer this service for all its hotels regardless of brand, from budget to 5-star hotels.This exclusive innovation meets new consumer demand for a more seamless stay and a new kind of experience. After booking online-anywhere, anytime-clients can now skip check-in and go straight to their room, open the door with their smartphone and take full advantage of their stay until check-out. This system is the latest move in Louvre Hotels Group's continuing drive to digitalise its guest experience."Digitalisation is a way for us to focus on our core profession: hospitality. As a hotel company, we have to rethink the entire client experience value chain. This innovation enables us to reduce the "disturbance zones" related to the arrival and departure stages. As for our employees, they can devote more time welcoming clients and making their stay in one of our hotels even more agreeable." Pierre-Frederic Roulot, CEO Louvre Hotels Group.This innovation integrates three strong trends:Clients want simplified booking and payment processesSeamless check-in and check-out service is a key criteria for client satisfactionNew generations are looking for a human experience with hotel staff as opposed to strictly administrative exchanges.After a positive test phase in two Premiere Classe and Golden Tulip brand hotels, the measure will be extended to some thirty hotels of all different brands, before being gradually rolled out across the Group's entire network."By offering this high-end service, even in budget hotels, Louvre Hotels Group participates in renewing hotel standards and providing a concrete response to changes in consumer modes generated by a native digital population and by codes established by tourism industry newcomers." Francoise Houdebine, VP Marketing Louvre Hotels Group.To take advantage of this service, clients must select this option when booking online. They then download the HotelForYou application and are ready for their 100% digital experience. By improving its HotelForYou services-the hotel industry's first mobile app- Louvre Hotels Group positions itself once more as a pioneer in terms of digital innovation.

RLHC Updates Rewards App and Adds In-Room Apple TV Experience

Red Lion 29 June 2017
New features powered by the Monscierge hospitality platformSPOKANE, Wash. -- RLHC (Red Lion Hotels Corporation) (NYSE:RLH) today is launching a series of new technology initiatives aimed at enhancing the guest experience throughout hotels within its brands, including a new in-room Apple TV experience and updated Hello Rewards app with new check-in/check-out and digital room key features. These new experiences are powered by the Monscierge Connect platform integrated with the hotel's property management system."These are our next steps in the ongoing evolution of developing emerging technology to reduce friction for our guests," said RLHC CEO Greg Mount. "Streamlining guest interactions and improving daily operational efficiencies that translate into fewer overall guest inconveniences remain our focus at RLHC."Apple TV In-Room ExperienceRLHC is beginning deployment of Apple TV throughout hotels within its Hotel RL brand. The Apple TVs will deliver a seamless in-room television experience via a number of different RLHC apps, incorporating aspects of the properties' local free-to-guest TV offering DirectTV, device management and iTunes user security. The app will also feature content from the Hotel RL Living Stage, which highlights local talent and artists performing live onsite across the Hotel RL brand.With Apple TV, RLHC connects the in-room experience to the complete guest journey offered to its guests. That journey begins pre-arrival with SMS messaging between the hotel and guest, then prompts the user to download the Hello Rewards application. Once the guests have arrived onsite, this enhanced journey continues with self-serve check-in options, digital mobile keys, communication and requests from guests to staff, and additional onsite touch-points such as digital signage displaying local recommendations and travel information."Exceeding the expectations of our guests through technology innovation is central to the RLHC mission," said RLHC Chief Information Officer John Edwards. "The new Hotel RL in-room experience on Apple TV will provide our guests with a rich, engaging and personal experience, putting them in control of their stay. The app is also tailored to deliver exclusive content and conveniences that will make our guests' stay even more unique."Updated Hello Rewards AppRLHC's Hello Rewards App for iOS now gives guests the ability to conveniently check in and check out right from their iPhone, as well as manage their loyalty membership account and redeem rewards. RLHC is also introducing digital keys for the first time in the Hello Rewards app, allowing guests to completely bypass the registration desk and use their iPhone to unlock their door. The digital key feature will be available throughout Hotel RL properties."We are constantly looking at ways to service guests with tailored experiences," said Edwards. "We understand that sometimes guests don't prefer engaging with people during travel, so we created a way for people to arrive, check in, proceed directly to their room, and even check out. We want to accommodate them in every way that we can, and our updated Hello Rewards app with new check-in and check-out features, plus digital room keys, deliver on that promise."Apple Watch Valet & iPad Self-Service KiosksTwo frictionless hospitality solutions that RLHC and Monscierge are also rolling out include arming valet staff with Apple Watch and introducing self-service iPad kiosks for lobby areas. Using the Monscierge Connect Staff app, valet staff can manage and action car retrieval requests from their hotel-issued Apple Watch without physically being present at the hotel's valet stand. It's equally convenient for the guest, reducing the potential waiting period for the car return.New self-service iPad kiosks will be available for guests at the Hotel RL brand to use for quick and convenient check-in, especially if there are lines at registration. Guests can also contact customer support from the iPad if they have questions, need assistance, or want to submit a room upgrade request."I see many hotel mobile strategies that haven't yet realized the scope of possibilities at play. It's bigger than just having an app and being able to text a guest - RLHC not only understands this mindset but is defining best practices for brands and owners to transform experiences with technology throughout the entire guest journey. It's changing the relationships with their guests, throughout their entire trip," says Marcus Robinson, CEO, Monscierge.To learn more about RLHC and these new technology initiatives, please visit RLHCo.com.About MonsciergeMonscierge is a global software company specializing in innovative hospitality solutions for properties, owners, and brands. The Monscierge product line, Connect, enhances communication and the relationship between hotel guest and staff through mobile, tablet, large-format touch-screen devices, and a central web-based platform that manages property content. With installations in over 60 countries and multilingual capabilities, Monscierge is dedicated to improving guest experiences and hotel staff efficiency throughout all hospitality service tiers. Monscierge is proud to be an Apple mobility partner. www.monscierge.com

Paymentwall opens $524 billion market for the travel industry

28 June 2017
HITEC Conference, Toronto, Canada -- Paymentwall announced today that every hotel, booking engine, cruise, car and boat rental business owner from United States and Canada will now be able to get instant access to untapped markets in Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America."We solved a major problem that most travellers face every day: If you don't have a credit or debit card, how do you book a hotel or international trip?" says Pelin Dede, Paymentwall's Head of Travel. "We've discovered that more than 40 percent of people worldwide don't have credit or debit cards, creating $524 billion untapped market for the travel industry".Paymentwall's research shows that only 45 percent of people worldwide prefer to use credit cards to complete online purchases, with almost 55 percent catering to alternative payment methods, such as ewallets, cash, bank transfers, prepaid cards and mobile payments.Paymentwall makes it possible for travellers to use over 150 local payment methods, such as Sofort in Germany, iDeal in Netherlands, Qiwi in Russia, Mercadopago in Brazil, or Alipay in China, making it the most global payment provider for the travel industry.Paymentwall surpasses current offerings on the market with a full suite of included features, including dispute resolution, PCI DSS certification, 24/7 customer support & fraud prevention teams, machine learning algorithms, in-depth analytics, customizable checkout and localization services.

Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC)

HSMAI 28 June 2017
Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, ON, CanadaFor fourteen years, HSMAI's Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC) has been the place where hotel revenue leaders unite for education, collaboration, and innovation. Annually, this conference delivers the most compelling and comprehensive revenue management event for the hotel industry, and convenes more than 600 key stakeholders to address the most critical trends affecting revenue management in hotels today. With powerful educational and networking opportunities, this is the can't-miss conference of the year for learning and engagement.It's where senior leaders in hotel revenue management connect and engage in meaningful, thought-provoking conversations about the most important strategic issues facing the business today.Hear what industry leaders have to say about the conference:QUICK LINKSWhat's Not to Miss in 2017RegistrationScheduleEducationPre-ROC OpportunitiesHousingSponsorshipIn 2017, the program will focus on helping you adapt to and manage the rapid changes happening around you, and stay relevant in turbulent times. At the end of the day, you'll walk away with specific, practical recommendations to sharpen your action plan and thought-provoking, challenging ideas to guide your strategy for tomorrow - all aimed at navigating the forces influencing and impacting revenue management.The conference is organized by HSMAI's Revenue Management Advisory Board.What's Not to Miss in 2017ROC will be in Canada for the first timeFor those non-Canadians attending, now is the time to get your passport and make sure it does not expire within 6 months of your travel dates.Tuesday is filled with opportunities to learn and network9 afternoon workshops to choose from (included in your ROC registration)Give-back volunteer opportunity to benefit our host city while giving you the chance to connect with other attendees (included in your ROC registration)1-hour research presentation session on emerging issues in RM and Marketing, followed by a reception (included in your ROC registration)CRME Review Course & Exam (separate fee required)CHDM Review Course & Exam (separate fee required)Twelve breakout session organized in 3 tracksThree options will be offered during each block of breakout sessions and will be organized into Data & Analytics, Leadership & Influence, and Environmental Factors tracks.Access to HITEC exhibit hall...and general sessionsFor qualified ROC registrants, HITEC will provide one complimentary, non-transferable registration which entitles the recipient to three days of the exposition, access to exhibitor tutorials, TechTalks, and the HITEC keynote sessions. Comp registrations are only available to qualified hotel buyers and cannot be used by suppliers or vendors, consultants, nor personnel, dealers, distributors, subsidiaries, investors, partners/associates or family members of exhibiting companies.AwardsThe awards ceremony will shine the spotlight on the incredible talent and accomplishments of revenue management leaders. We will honor the Vanguard Award honoree for lifetime achievement in revenue management, the Revenue Management Professionals of the Year, and the Certified Revenue Management Executives (CRMEs) in attendance.Opportunity to Engage Online Before, During, and After ROCThe new conference app will be a place to stay in touch with fellow conference attendees through the year and take part in discussions around conference topics. More information will be available on this within three weeks of ROC.Toronto!For the first time, ROC will be in Toronto - an international center of business, finance, arts, and culture widely recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.HOUSINGAs part of HSMAI's partnership with HITEC, all ROC attendees may book rooms via the HITEC Housing Bureau. The deadline for reservations is May 26, 2017.See the HITEC Hotel & Travel page for complete details.CONFIDENTIALITY & ANTITRUST GUIDELINESThe Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International is committed to sponsoring face-to-face meetings and events where all participants can comfortably engage with their peers while protecting the confidentiality of their employers and abiding by antitrust rules. Specific details are outlined in HSMAI's Confidentiality & Antitrust Guidelines for all Meetings and Events (PDF).

How Monscierge and Accor Hotels Increased Revenue and Guest Satisfaction Scores

Monscierge 27 June 2017
We at Monscierge couldn't agree more. Over the last ten years, I've been privileged to work with some of the world's brightest hospitality minds. Our mission? To kill the cheeseplate.The only way to get there was to start with a complete, unified work of technology that allowed hotels to connect and communicate with guests throughout the entire journey. Most industries had this technology years ago, and have set the bar high for user expectations with regard to what a platform like that can do, especially in hospitality, an industry whose very foundation is service.Monscierge worked closely with AccorHotels to understand the impact on both guest satisfaction and operational efficiency when empowering hotel staff with mobile technology. AccorHotels deployed Connect Staff - our product for staff communication, workflow management, and data analytics - to their hotel employees across a number of brands in the UK to digitize workflow management, improve response times and increase service levels. The rapid, low impact deployment yielded immediate improvements in labor efficiency. Data from 100 properties showed that within 6 months, hotels' average guest satisfaction scores had increased by 5 points over the control group who hadn't deployed the product.Furthermore, the usage data generated by Connect Staff across these properties in 2016 showed a clear correlation between lower incidences of guest complaints and refunds when product engagement was highest.Didier Louis, Technical Services Manager UK & Ireland, Accor Group, said, "The Connect Staff platform has digitized our entire workflow management process. The business data and analytical insights we now have access to via Monscierge means we can make impactful, real-time decisions and adjustments at an associate, departmental, hotel, regional and brand level. In today's data-driven hospitality world, the ability to access, analyze and apply this sort of data is critical for organizations to compete successfully."This is the beginning of not only predictive maintenance for hotels, but also intelligent recommendations for guests based on their data captured by the Connect platform. We are killing the cheeseplate - please join us.

HFTP Announces Blockchain Technology Task Force

HFTP 26 June 2017
Toronto, Ont. Canada -- Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) announced today that it is organizing a Blockchain Technology Task Force to prepare for the technology's future impact on hospitality. The task force will be chaired by Lyle Worthington, CHTP, CIO of The Student Hotel and the 2017 HFTP Global President."Blockchain technology has been predicted to have the greatest impact on the future of the world economy," said Frank Wolfe, CEO of HFTP. "As the industry's nonprofit brain trust on finance and technology, it is incumbent on us to address the issue before blockchain reaches maturity and assembling a task force is the first step."This week HFTP is hosting the 45th HITEC(r) (Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference - #HITECTor) at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario Canada, where the topic will be extensively covered in the education program. First an introduction to the technology will be given in the Tuesday, June 26 keynote: The Blockchain Revolution presented by Alex Tapscott. Tapscott is a founding member at IMF's High Level Advisory Group on Fintech, as well as the co-author of the critically acclaimed best-seller "Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money Business and the World."Following up this session on Wednesday, June 28 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. is the concurrent session Demystifying Blockchain Technology, where speaker Andrew Sanders will specifically address how blockchain technology positively addresses pain points that impact hotel companies and travelers. Sanders held executive and sales leadership positions at global companies specializing in enterprise hospitality technology solutions for over 20 years.Members of the industry who would like to be considered for the task force should send an e-mail to Blockchain@hftp.org.

HSMAI Foundation Emphasizing Innovative Knowledge Exchange in 2017

HSMAI 24 June 2017
The Foundation of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is focusing on several impactful initiatives this year.With the goal of developing knowledge and insights for the future to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue, the HSMAI Foundation's 2017 initiatives include the following:Releasing the 2016 Adrian Awards Case Study videos, highlighting honorees for Advertising "Best of Show," Digital Marketing "Best of Show," Public Relations "Best of Show," and the winner of the Leader in Sustainable Tourism Award, presented by HSMAI and National Geographic Traveler.Publication of Demystifying the Digital Marketplace: Spotlight on the Hospitality Industry, produced by Kalibri Labs through the AH&LA Consumer Innovation Forum.Release of HSMAI Foundation Leadership Insights in conjunction with HSMAI Executive Roundtables, including the latest issue: HSMAI Foundation Leadership Insights: 2017 Chief Marketing Officers.Thanks to the generous support of IHG, an HSMAI Foundation Platinum benefactor grant has been established for the HSMAI Student Leadership Scholarship Program for 2017, providing scholarships in the form of registration and travel stipends for HSMAI signature educational events including the HSMAI Adrian Awards, the Digital Marketing Strategy Conference, and the HSMAI Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC) Americas.EXECUTIVE COMMITTEEChair: John Fareed, CHME, ISHC, Managing Director, Horwath HTLImmediate Past Chair: Vail Brown, SVP, Global Business Development & Marketing, STRTreasurer: Christine Hight, Senior Director, Market Research, Hilton WorldwideSecretary: Cathy Hartman, Vice President, Consumer Insights & Advisory Services, Marketing + Digital, Marriott InternationalBOARD MEMBERSDouglas Abbott, Director, Sales Effectiveness, Worldwide Sales, Intercontinental Hotels GroupDorothy Dowling, Chief Marketing Officer, Best Western Hotels & ResortsRick Garlick, Global Travel and Hospitality practice lead, J.D. PowerAmy Huff, Executive Director of Sales, Bellagio, MGM Resorts InternationalDana McIntire, Senior Director, Market Research & Customer Insights, Wyndham Hotel GroupMark Theis, Vice President of Sales Operations - Americas, Hyatt Hotels CorporationElizabeth Randall Winkle, Chief Strategy Officer, STR"I'm very proud of the knowledge and actionable insights the HSMAI Foundation brings to the hospitality industry each year," said John Fareed, Chairman of the HSMAI Foundation. "We appreciate the generous assistance of our partners and sponsors, so that the HSMAI Foundation can develop resources, awards, and scholarships that support educational programming targeted to hospitality sales and marketing professionals."ABOUT HSMAI FOUNDATION Established in 1983 to serve as the research and educational arm of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, the HSMAI Foundation's mission is to develop knowledge and insights for the future to fuel sales, inspire marketing and optimize revenue. For more information on the HSMAI Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) organization, visit http://www.hsmaifoundation.org.

HTNG Introduces API Registry to Connect Businesses and Technical Partners

HTNG 23 June 2017
In advance of HITEC 2017, HTNG opens registration for the industry's first API Registry. HTNG's API Registry Workgroup has created this registry to address the number of inefficiencies in the hospitality solution space, including the difficulty of finding potential technology partners whose products and/or services could add value to a hotelier's offerings. By making it easier for businesses to connect to technical partners via a registry, the workgroup aims to facilitate the first step in building connected solutions.The workgroup was formed this past March, with the mission to streamline how hospitality business systems communicate with each other and to make them more efficient and less complex. The API Registry is the first component in a series of planned API-related projects, each advancing communication and integration between products to create value in ways not currently possible. The workgroup is co-chaired by Martin Zam, CIO of Impulsify, a retail technology and data analytics company, and by Dmitry Koltunov, CTO of ALICE, an operations and guest engagement platform for the hospitality industry.The group will have a working prototype of the API Registry by Q4 of 2017 and is actively seeking listings. All hospitality technology solutions can request to be listed (companies do not need to be HTNG members). HTNG members will be recognized in the registry and receive expedited processing for publishing. API solutions will be listed in the registry by category, vendor, product and API details. Users will be able to search for listings that satisfy specific criteria, and subscribe to updates to any attribute. Products will include all successfully implemented third-party integration to provide a gauge of integration experience."The hospitality industry, despite its best intentions to provide the ultimate guest experience, often falls short of meeting guest expectations because of outdated technology infrastructure," said Zam. "By updating how hospitality business systems integrate and communicate with each other, hotels will be able to operate with greater efficiency and please their guests in ways that aren't possible today.""The API Registry is a big step toward empowering innovation in our industry," said Koltunov. "Hotels need to have their technology well-integrated, which is a difficult task logistically. Information about APIs for most products is not available on Google. There is no categorized listing of APIs and no accessible information about who is responsible in each product. This lack of transparency causes significant delays in projects and limits creative solutions. There is an African saying 'if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go with others.' This registry is the first step in encouraging an open and collaborative environment for hospitality, which will help the industry continually evolve."To participate in the registry, please fill out the form. Stop by HTNG's booth (#2302) at HITEC to learn more about the registry and the workgroup.

OpenTravel Alliance Publishes Ground Transportation 2.0 Standard

OpenTravel Alliance 22 June 2017
OpenTravel Alliance publishes Ground Transportation 2.0 Standard to enable connectivity as it continues to provide standards and tools to enable seamless end-to-end consumer experiences.Susanne Auinger of Deutsche Bahn shared, "Ground Transportation 2.0 was designed by OpenTravel Alliance members and industry partners from all over the world with the goal of improving travelers' encounters with ground transportation."The 2.0 model is an open source messaging standard that bridges the distribution gap and creates more opportunities for bookings. It automatically generates both XML and JSON messaging, which provides the ability to implement both robust applications and lightweight messaging for mobile capability. The 2.0 standard was built to propel the 1.0 technology to the next level and continue to meet user needs.The Ground Transportation 2.0 Standard was commissioned for development by a group of companies who will also be some of the first adopters. This dynamic group made up the Project Team who represents various parts of the transit, ground passenger transportation, travel, tourism and leisure industries and includes companies such as Amadeus, City Rama, Deutsche Bahn, LinksRez, M2C Masai, SuperShuttle, Travelport and TTI."Ground Transportation is the second new 2.0 standard from OpenTravel Alliance in 2017, and we have more planned for the year," explained Sandy Angel, Specifications Manager for OpenTravel Alliance. "We are continuing to develop standards that work across multiple sectors so companies have the best tools possible to meet their business objectives and serve their customers. We invite hospitality and travel industry partners to join OpenTravel Alliance and its members to create and implement standards to increase distribution and meet the needs of today's tech-savvy consumers."In addition to publishing Golf and Ground Transportation 2.0 Standards in 2017, OpenTravel Alliance met earlier this month to work on the development and launch of its Hotel 2.0 Standard. The meeting was attended by member companies including Ajontech, Best Western, Disney, IHG, Hyatt, Marriott and Travelport, and took place in Washington D.C. from May 31 to June 2."We had a great turnout and there was strong engagement from our peers in the industry," stated Lorie Grant from InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). "The team completed the data libraries specific to hotel stays, which is the key piece for the hospitality vertical to use the 2.0 specifications. I am excited to announce the 2.0 specifications will publish later this year, and for how we can use them to drive efficiencies with our OpenTravel Alliance and GDS partners."For more information on OpenTravel Alliance's 2.0 Standards, please contact Sandy Angel (Sandy.Angel@Opentravel.org) of OpenTravel Alliance.

HITEC Toronto Entrepreneur 20X Judges and Mentors Announced

HFTP 21 June 2017
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)), producer of the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC(r)), is pleased to announce the expert judges' panel and industry mentors that will offer their time and expertise in the Toronto version of Entrepreneur 20X (E20X). All registered HITEC attendees and exhibitors, including Exhibits Only registrants, are welcome to attend the action-packed pitch competition that will take place on Monday, June 26 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at HITEC Toronto."HFTP, with the help of Somers Communications, works hard each year to bring together experienced industry veterans and top up-and-coming startups," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE. "Back by popular demand, this will be the second year the mentoring sessions are available to E20X contestants. Both the selected mentors and judges will provide quality advice that each entrepreneur can carry with them throughout their careers."The 2017 E20X Toronto expert judges' panel includes:Carson Booth, CHTP, technology startup consultant.Christina Cornwell, vice president, IT Field Services, Asia Pacific at Hilton Worldwide.Jeff Lapin, angel investor and president at Tech Coast Angels-Los Angeles.Henri Roelings, founder and CEO at Hsyndicate.Jules Sieburgh, CHTP+, former hospitality CIO and HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame Award recipient.Previous to the pitch competition, participants had access to expert mentors to help the competitors prepare for the main event. The volunteer mentoring/coaching team is assigned to review competitors' presentations and provide feedback and includes:John Burns, president at Hospitality Technology Consulting.Prakash Shukla, managing partner at WayfareVC.Lyle Worthington, CHTP, CIO at The Student Hotel and 2016-2017 HFTP International President.The 2017 onsite mentoring team will be available for short meetups with entrepreneurs immediately prior to the E20X competition. The experience is similar to round-robin dating--startups circulate the room making connections with the purposefully built mentor team who have a great deal of hospitality industry knowledge, expertise and experiences to share. This will provide a great forum to inspire and educate the E20X participants, and will also give them connections at HITEC Toronto and into the future. Onsite mentor team includes:Mike Dickersbach, CHTP, MCP, NICE, Thayer Ventures.Steve D'Erasmo, CHTP, director, technology planning and POS systems at Hilton.Diane Estner, president and CEO at DANNI Enterprises.Jai Govindani, CTO at Red Planet Hotels.Rod Jimenez, CEO at SHR.Steve Marino, vice president, information technology at Marriott International.Douglas Rice, managing director at Hospitality Technology Network LLC.Robert Rippee, director, hospitality lab at UNLV.Mike Schmitt, CEO at Clairvoyix.Luis Segredo, entrepreneur and investor.Richard Siegel, president and publisher at Hospitality Upgrade.Ron Tarro, vice president at Broadsoft, Inc.Alan Young, president and co-founder at Puzzle Partner.This year's larger North American event HITEC Toronto will take place from June 26-29 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario Canada. HITEC Dubai, the third and final HITEC of 2017, will take place from November 14-15 at the Conrad Dubai in Dubai, UAE in partnership with Naseba. In 2018, HFTP will bring back HITEC Amsterdam on April 11-14 in addition to HITEC Houston on June 26-29.For more information about E20X, email e20x@hftp.org or charlotte@somerscommunications.com, or visit booth K13 in the E20X Pavilion on the HITEC show floor. For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec/. Stay updated with HFTP and HITEC on social media for conference updates: HFTP Connect; HITEC Bytes; HFTP Club Bytes; HFTP Finance Bytes; HFTP News; Facebook; LinkedIn; Twitter; Instagram; YouTube; Flickr.About HITEC HITEC is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education, and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place. The unparalleled event offers attendees essential education, access to top hospitality technology industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines. Combined with the intimate opportunities to connect with fellow professionals, HITEC has everything to enhance your career.Historically hosted annually in a different city throughout the United States, HFTP decided to break tradition in 2017 by hosting three HITEC events all taking place outside of U.S. borders- in Toronto, Amsterdam and Dubai. This will be the first time the global association's largest HITEC event - featuring thousands of hospitality professionals from around the world - will take place outside of the U.S. In 2017, HFTP is producing its larger HITEC Toronto as well as two additional, inaugural HITEC events: HITEC Amsterdam and HITEC Dubai. For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec. Download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is an international, nonprofit hospitality association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, that uniquely understands the industry's problems. HFTP has members and stakeholders across the globe. HFTP assists its members in finding solutions to industry problems more efficiently than any organization via its expert networks, research, conferences such as HITEC and certification programs. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segment of the hospitality industry. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website.

Magnuson Hotels & RG Hotel Management deliver Memphis hotel 400% revenue increase

Magnuson 20 June 2017
London UK / Florida USA -- Magnuson Hotels, America's fastest growing hotel brand and RG Hotels, the leading hotel management company today announced that the Magnuson Grand Memphis Airport Hotel, in just a few months has seen revenue increases in excess of 400%.Jean Francois Mourier CEO & Co-Founder of RG Hotels stated, "We are incredibly pleased with the quick turnaround for Magnuson Grand Memphis Airport Hotel since we took over management in January 2017. Our ability to work with Magnuson Hotels, using their infrastructure to take the owners vision and apply it to operations and revenue management has been invaluable to delivering such strong first and second quarter results''.Thomas Magnuson, CEO of Magnuson Hotels commented, "It's been a real pleasure working with a management company such as RG Hotels who are truly focused on driving real bottom line growth".Both companies attribute the strong performance to the creation of new revenue streams using comprehensive revenue optimization and strategy management, innovative smart pricing RMS software and the continued expansion of the Magnuson brand's consumer awareness both internationally and domestically.Some of the highest performing branded hotels in 2017 include; Magnuson Grand Memphis Airport TN, Magnuson Convention Center Hotel NYC, and Magnuson Hotel Clearwater Central FL.

Marriott Hotels rallies innovative travel startups to help shape the future of travel

Marriott 15 June 2017
Marriott Hotels, the flagship hotel brand of Marriott International, is searching for the most innovative tech start-ups in to join the 2017 intake of its hugely popular European accelerator programme TestBED and help shape the future travel and hospitality experience. Now in its second year, the programme gives young start-ups the chance to grow through expert guidance and the opportunity to pilot their product within the Marriott Hotels portfolio in Europe.This year, Marriott Hotels, is looking for start-ups in the following areas to help innovate and inspire creative thinking around the entire guest experience:The in-room experienceTransforming the overall guest experience, in and out of the hotelHelping guests find headspace to flourish and stay inspiredAccording to industry insights, now is the time to invest in the future of travel technology. 2016 saw record investment in travel tech (CB Insights) as consumers increasingly look to digital solutions to enhance their experiences. 2016 also saw the launch of Marriott Hotels' first 'live beta' hotel in North Carolina - an incubator and testing ground to trial new concepts and technologies and gain real-time customer feedback. As a company committed to innovation, TestBED is a natural progression and enables Marriott Hotels to have a greater say in the future of travel.Interested start-ups can submit their ideas via MarriottTestBED.com if they are a seed or early stage start-up with developed products or services ready to go to market. The deadline for entries is Friday 7th July 2017 and entrants should be willing to pilot the product within Europe. From here, entrants will be whittled down to a shortlist of eight start-ups invited to pitch to a panel of industry experts, including Georgie Barrat, presenter of The Gadget Show, and senior Marriott figures on 22nd and 23rd August 2017.The three most promising companies will then embark on a ten-week programme in which they will pilot their product or service in a Marriott Hotel in Europe. They will also benefit from a tailored mentoring and training programme provided by industry leaders."Marriott Hotels aims to be at the forefront of innovation and TestBED provides us with the ideal testing ground to find, nurture and test cutting-edge products that have the power to transform the travel and hotel experience," said John Licence, Vice President Premium & Select Brands Europe at Marriott International."TestBED is a powerful platform and proposition that gives start-ups the invaluable opportunity to tap into our operational expertise and test their products in a live hotel environment while exposing us to the creativity and disruptive thinking that lies in the start-up community."Charles Cadbury, CEO of Dazzle, an in-room voice activated personal assistant and one of two winning innovations of TestBED 2016, commented: "We would not be where we are today without TestBED, fact. The speed at which we gained market insight and user feedback would have been very hard and time consuming to achieve had we not had the support of Marriott Hotels. Furthermore, being able to quote the interest Marriott took in Dazzle has validated Dazzle, given us credability and opened many, many doors."Marriott Hotels has spent the last few years upgrading and evolving its product and experiences to lead the future of travel. In doing so, Marriott Hotels has repeatedly engaged the creative community and developed programmes that enable entrepreneurial talent to flourish within its global operations. Marriott TestBED is the latest innovative programme to engage with this community, following CANVAS in 2015, an incubator project that challenged Marriott employees or local entrepreneurs to fill unused space in Marriott city-centre hotels.http://www.marriotttestbed.com/

HTNG Releases 2017 Asia-Pacific Conference Agenda

HTNG 14 June 2017
HTNG announces agenda and highlights topics to be covered at the 2017 Asia-Pacific Conference on 25-27 July in Singapore.HTNG conferences offer programs to keep attendees up-to-date on relevant technology issues inside the hospitality industry. This conference will provide knowledge, collaboration, networking, and business development opportunities with a wide range of industry professionals.Keynote speakers and sessions:Mark McSpadden - Director, Sabre LabsTomorrowland: Technologies Disrupting the Future of Hospitality - Discover the latest technology trends and learn about their use cases throughout the full traveler journey in this exciting look at the future.Tariq Qureishy - Founder & CEO, MAD TalksSeven Secrets to Future-Proofing in the Age of Intelligence - Keynote speaker, Tariq Qureishy will take us on a fun and engaging journey into the future and share his practical secrets on future-proofing in these crazy and exciting times.Other conference speakers include:* Juan Aguirre, iRiS Software Systems* Martin Bookallil, Marriott International* Brian Garavuso, Diamond Resorts International* Jai Govindani, Red Planet Hotels* Ted Helvey, Angie Hospitality* Fraser Hickox, The Conceptual Group* Gregg Hopkins, Intelity* Ted E. Horner, E. Horner & Associations Pty Ltd* Mario Jobbe, Circos VR Studio* Paul Kitamura, M&C REIT Management Limited* Tony Lee, Capitaland Limited* Benjamin Lephilibert, LightBlue Environmental Consulting* Terence Ronson, Pertlink Limited* Rachana Salgia, DigiValetMore session topics include:* Brand and Owner: Is IT Caught in the Middle? - As a hotel IT decision maker, it is easy to feel like you are caught in the middle between owner and brand. This session will explore this complex relationship and discuss ways to work together for everyone's benefit.* Hello Alexa...New Voices in the Guestroom Experience - In this session, Terence Ronson will interview technology providers introducing voice-activated technologies to the guestroom.* IT Leadership Panel - Top-level hotel IT executives will share how they see technology evolving in hotels in the coming years.* Technology & Innovation for Sustainable Operations: Focus on Food Waste - This session will focus on the lodging industry, exploring tangible solutions to a widely-overlooked issue: food waste. * Ted's Fireside Chat - In this session, Ted Horner will sit down one-on-one with Jai Govindani, CTO for Red Planet Hotels, to discuss what we need to change in order to catch-up with our peers in other industries.* Virtual Reality for Hotels: What's Proven and What's Next? - Learn more about the latest VR for hotels, how it relates to augmented and mixed reality, and what's in store in 2018.For a full agenda and up-to-date list of speakers, please visit the HTNG Asia-Pacific Conference page.Conference registration is open to any full-time employee of a company who owns, manages or franchises a hotel. For all other industry participants, HTNG membership is required. Technology providers, consultants and others who are not HTNG members should check with HTNG's membership department to ensure eligibility.

HFTP Announces Planning Underway for HITEC India, HITEC Asia and 2018 Club Engagement Conference

HFTP 13 June 2017
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)), producers of Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC(r)), announced today they are laying the groundwork to further globally expand the HITEC brand by also producing HITEC India and HITEC Asia. These educational events, HITEC India and HITEC Asia, will follow the tremendously successful HITEC brand that launched in North America in 1972. HFTP's North American version HITEC Toronto, the largest HITEC of 2017, will take place from June 26-29 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario Canada."Expanding HITEC to India and Asia has been a goal HFTP has worked towards for several years. It is time that we moved from the goal stage to the planning stage," says HFTP International President Lyle Worthington, CHTP, CIO at The Student Hotel in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. "As a global association with members spanning six continents, we believe that the expansion of HITEC will be an opportunity to build the exchange of information within the hospitality technology community, which has gained immense importance within the industry."After HFTP's strategic planning conference in Amsterdam, HFTP has added many new benefits for its members this year. Expanding its club segment education to include a Club Engagement Conference in March of 2018, a new Hospitality Data Protection Officer program, development of new performance indicators for clubs, new chapters of the association and finalizing a research center located in Dubai, UAE later this month."As a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to improve the industry, HFTP continues to respond to its stakeholder's requests' for meaningful projects that expand the industry" says HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE. "Unlike other educational organizations that operate for-profit, HFTP events are planned by our volunteers and executed by our paid staff. It is this recipe that makes our events so successful. Our education is planned by the industry, for the industry, and the proceeds go back to the industry."Further new plans and programs will be prioritized during the upcoming HFTP Board of Directors meeting held in Toronto following HITEC Toronto. More details will be published late September prior to HFTP's 65th anniversary and 2017 Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida, USA.About HITEC HITEC is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education, and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place. The unparalleled event offers attendees essential education, access to top hospitality technology industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines. Combined with the intimate opportunities to connect with fellow professionals, HITEC has everything to enhance your career.Historically hosted annually in a different city throughout the United States, HFTP decided to break tradition in 2017 by hosting three HITEC events all taking place outside of U.S. borders- in Toronto, Amsterdam and Dubai. This will be the first time the global association's largest HITEC event - featuring thousands of hospitality professionals from around the world - will take place outside of the U.S. In 2017, HFTP is producing its larger HITEC Toronto as well as two additional, inaugural HITEC events: HITEC Amsterdam and HITEC Dubai. For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec. Download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is an international, nonprofit hospitality association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, that uniquely understands the industry's problems. HFTP has members and stakeholders across the globe. HFTP assists its members in finding solutions to industry problems more efficiently than any organization via its expert networks, research, conferences such as HITEC and certification programs. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segment of the hospitality industry. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website.

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