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HEBS Digital Wins 5 WebAwards for Industry-Leading Technology and Design

HeBS Digital 22 September 2017
New York, NY -- HEBS Digital has won five WebAwards from the Web Marketing Association in the Hotel and Lodging category, including two Hotel and Lodging Standard of Excellence awards and 3 Outstanding Website awards. The firm that provides best-of-class hotel technology and solutions fundamental to engaging and acquiring hotel guests, increasing direct bookings, and lowering acquisition and distribution costs is proud to be included on the list of 2017 WebAward winners.HEBS Digital received the following WebAwards:Outstanding Website - Hotel and Lodging:Atton Hotels - the leading chain of local hotels in Chile, with four properties in Chile, one in Peru, two in Colombia and one in Miami, FloridaPure Salt Luxury Hotels - a collection of luxury hotels located on the island of Mallorca off the coast of Spain, catering to leisure travelers from all over the worldHotel ZaZa - a multi-property brand with a collection of two luxury, Texas boutique hotels, located in Uptown Dallas and Houston Museum DistrictStandard of Excellence - Hotel and Lodging:The Maven - a newly built and unique, independent hotel in Denver's newest micro-district, the Dairy BlockLUMA Hotel Times Square - newly built in the winter of 2017, this upscale boutique hotel is located in the heart of New York CityThe above-mentioned hotel companies appointed HEBS Digital to execute and meet their website and digital marketing goals. All websites are backed by the award-winning smartCMS(r) website technology platform, which provides hoteliers robust merchandising capabilities, the ability to showcase engaging visual and textual content, Smart Personalization capabilities, Reservation Abandonment Applications, and a way to provide an optimum website user experience on all devices."It's an honor to receive these awards on behalf of our clients" said Max Starkov, President & CEO of HEBS Digital. "HEBS Digital is dedicated to helping hoteliers reach travel consumers through every stage of the lifecycle, from the planning and conversion phases, to the pre-stay, in-stay, post-stay and generating loyalty phases. The hotel website plays a very critical role in this journey, as it sets the stage for the guest experience. As a firm that is dedicated to bridging the digital and physical worlds, we are always reaching new heights with the websites we design and develop for our hotel partners."The Web Marketing Association was founded in 1997 to help set a high standard for Internet marketing and development of the best websites on the World Wide Web. Entries from 40 countries were adjudicated in 96 industry categories during this year's competition. Entries were judged on design, copy writing, innovation, content, interactivity, navigation, and use of technology.For more information about HEBS Digital's award-winning CMS technology, website design and Website Revenue Optimization Consulting solutions that resulted in these awards, please visit the company website.

The Definitive Guide to Hotel Blockchain Technology

Duetto 22 September 2017
Despite the hype, it is clear that blockchain and distributed ledger technologies are not fully matured. As a result, we are not quite at the point of widespread adoption just yet. At a recent conference, speakers likened blockchain to the 1989-1990 Internet, a time when the basics were still being figured out. Yet, according to multiple reports, the craze is spreading quickly, with new blockchains being launched weekly in a variety of industries and applications.The time when blockchain becomes relevant to the hotel industry is not far away, and executives in the industry need to pay attention to it, said Patrick Dunphy, CEO of Hospitality Technology Next Generation."We're beyond the point where blockchain is cutting edge, and it's going to pass us by if we don't pay attention," Dunphy said. "Although we're not there yet from a distribution perspective, we shouldn't ignore the underlying technology."In response to the interest in blockchain, the Hospitality Financial Technology Professionals association has formed a task force to study the technology and its future role in hospitality.WHAT IS BLOCKCHAIN?In general, blockchain can be described as an incorruptible, decentralized ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record anything of value, not just financial transactions. Among other things, that could include hotel and other travel bookings.Blockchain first became part of the technology conversation through its role in the development of so-called cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.One significant advantage in deploying blockchain technology is cost savings. All parties can access the blockchain, which updates at specific intervals. Using distributed-ledger technology, blockchain technology removes the middlemen in transactions, such as hotel bookings. The results are lower transaction fees and a more efficient route between supplier (hotel) and end user (guest).WHY DOES IT MATTER FOR HOTELS?While some travel technology companies, especially in the airline and loyalty spaces, have produced blockchain prototypes, real-world hotel distribution and revenue strategy applications are so far few and far between.One of the most aggressive proponents of blockchain in the hotel industry has been TUI Group, a multi-faceted travel group that has 300 hotels in its portfolio, including those in a joint venture with Rui Hotels. The company currently manages an in-house private blockchain to handle internal processes and manage distribution of its hotel inventory and other assets.The company is also working with IBM to create a public blockchain for hotel distribution and has another project in the works, BedSwap, to assist in its revenue management functions. Through BedSwap, TUI intends to connect its revenue management infrastructure to its property management system through blockchain.The system would allow the company to capture guest data from the PMS and feed it into the blockchain, creating a marketing engine that would enable one-to-one marketing to guests. The project is still in test phase, with no announced launch date.Another ambitious blockchain proposal in travel comes from an organization based in Switzerland. Winding Tree says it wants to create blockchain to build a decentralized distribution platform that cuts out online travel agencies in consumer/travel supplier transactions.According to the group's announcements, neither traveler nor hotel would pay commissions on transactions. Instead, the blockchain would impose small transaction fees for every smart-contract executed by the network. So far, the effort appears to be more hype than reality, but it shows the kind of direction the technology could take. It aims to launch a kind of crowdsourced fundraising for the project on November 1.In Australia, online travel agency WebJet recently partnered with Microsoft to create a blockchain online booking platform for airlines, car rental and hotels in parts of Asia. The platform uses a version of blockchain application Ethereum to power the site.Is the hotel industry ready for widespread deployment of blockchain technology? Probably not, but it seems likely a breakthrough could occur shortly, and it will probably center on distribution. The ultimate benefits to hotels with blockchain distribution could be lower costs of acquisition and greater control over the distribution process.Thanks to Khalid Ladha of Duetto Research's Customer Success team for his help in preparing this article.

How To Increase Hotel Bookings And Ancillary Revenue On Mobile

Handy Travel Blog 22 September 2017
Mobile search and direct mobile bookings (especially in-destination bookings) have increased sharply over the past several years and are expected to continue growing. Although consumers still tend to research across devices, and continue to prefer to make bookings on desktop devices, the growing importance of mobile can’t be denied. These trends reveal powerful opportunity to increase direct bookings -- especially from travelers already in-destination.

Why Group Revenue Is Essential: Understanding the Importance of Group Business

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 21 September 2017
Group revenue is one of the most consistent and profitable segments of any property’s overall business. No other segment can be counted on, year over year, for both room and ancillary revenue. In fact, even with record setting occupancy rates, group revenue rates have nearly matched pace with overall growth from the transient sector. The global business travel market is booming, and our current stable global economy means that RevPAR and revenue for group business travel are expected to increase in 2018.

Revenue Technology: Are You Doing It Wrong?

IDeaS Blog 21 September 2017
Recently, I read an article describing the right way to pack liquor in your luggage. And I have to be honest with you…I didn’t know there was a wrong way to pack away booze. Apparently, using a couple of t-shirts and sending up an audible prayer during baggage check-in isn’t everyone else’s go-to strategy.

RateGain Launches Advanced Rate Parity Tool to Empower Hotels with a Faster & Intuitive Rate Parity Platform

RateGain 21 September 2017
London -- RateGain Technologies, one of the leading hospitality and travel technology solutions companies, today announced the launch of its all-new, modern and self-service Rate Parity+ tool for Corporate Chains to combat the growing rate parity issues while being able to establish and maintain guaranteed best rates across all platforms. The one-of-its-kind tool, apart from the exhaustive real time data, enables the corporate with actionable insights and two-way interaction interface that would help fix the problem of eroding revenues.The new age Parity+ tool is a response to the hotel enterprises' growing concern to establish parity in pricing structure for their inventory and to ensure that there is no variance in rates & availability across any of the OTAs & brand site. Integrated with the world-leading technology, this solution efficiently collects aggregates and presents extensive data and insights covering important metrics like parity score, win - loss ratio, severity heat map on region, countries and city level, in an easy to absorb manner. This intelligence would help the industry players take pricing decisions with ease and accuracy.The introduction of the tool is likely to revolutionize the hospitality industry as it aims to eliminate the complexity that arises with manual interpretation of large amounts of data & accountability from multiple hotels. Thus empowering hotels to meet their revenue objectives quickly and efficiently. The tool also provides a two-way interactive reporting platform which would ensure that all the teams across the Hotel are working together to address rate parity.Commenting on the launch, Mr. Bhanu Chopra, CEO, RateGain, said, "We are glad to ship our new Rate Parity tool. In our product research we realized that while Parity is a big concern for corporate chains, the complexity of data and reporting makes it more challenging .And so, we came out with new UX & UI which not only would enable our customers to comprehend the whole scheme of data easily but also act on it quickly and effectively."Adds Bhanu, "RateGain is committed to be a strategic technology provider to the hotels by continuous innovations, and apropos solutions to the changing needs, so that, our customers stay competitive in this fast moving market. As online has emerged as the most powerful medium for reservations in the recent past, maintaining the rate and availability parity ensures brand promise fulfilment & rate integrity which would eventually effect the direct bookings & corporate image."About RateGainFounded in 2004, RateGain is a leading provider of cloud-based innovative solutions for the Travel and Hospitality industry. RateGain's flagship single technology platform to manage Revenue, Reputation and Online distribution is a one-stop shop for Hotels to increase revenue and profitability. With continued innovation and excellence in customer focus, the company proudly serves over 12,000 clients and numerous industry partners globally.For more information, please visit www.rategain.com

The Tragedy Of The Buffet Commons: Reducing Food Waste At Hotels | forbes.com

FORBES 21 September 2017
There is nothing as universal as the quiet excitement travelers feel when hearing the classic closing line to any cheery hotel check-in: "And don't forget--breakfast will be served until 10."Breakfast buffets are one of the most important factors that contribute to a guest's decision to book a room at a particular hotel. Major hotel chains seeking to remain competitive nearly universally offer them, partially out of fear that their absence is more notable than their presence. As a result, guests have grown accustomed to daily smorgasbords that include colorful platters of fruit, sizzling waffle irons and the wafting aroma of freshly crisped bacon.

Whiteboard Session: How Does Blockchain Work?

harvardbusiness.org 20 September 2017
The power of a distributed ledger.
Article by Melissa Magnuson

The 3 tips hoteliers need to know to expand their reach

Magnuson 20 September 2017
Get social - Social media is a proven way to reach out to new customers and stay in their minds. Different platforms give you the ability to reach out to various segments too. If you share the right type of content you have a good chance of your posts being shared, quickly spreading beyond your current influence. Don't forget that as a hotel, you should be showing off visually too, from your own facilities to the surrounding area, which gives your updates a better chance of going viral. Mobile presence - Don't underestimate the importance of mobile accessibility in the modern world. In many countries, portable devices are used more frequently than desktops to access the internet and concerns around placing bookings through smartphones and tablets is going too. A mobile response design will ensure your able to engage with a range of customers and helps to boost your Google ranking too. Join a network - You might be worried about joining a network if you value your individuality but it doesn't have to mean giving up what makes you unique. A network makes it simpler for businesses to access a wider customer base while respecting that what make them different is often what attracts travellers. Hotels in a network benefit from connecting with customers that have stayed at other hotels under the brand, giving them an opportunity to attract new customer groups.

TrustYou's Direct Guest Messaging Tool Enables Compatible Connection With Amazon Echo

TrustYou 20 September 2017
"Direct, fast communication and problem-solving is the key to a satisfied and happy guest, which can, in turn, result in good reviews and a loyal customer. Since our hotel is designed to appeal to a young and tech-savvy clientele, Amazon Echo seemed like the perfect match to receive guest requests from the room. Since we were already using TrustYou's effective messaging tool and dashboard for direct guest communication, the combination of the two was the next logical step", says Jim Harness, General Manager at Acme Hotel.Amazon Echo devices were installed in all rooms at the beginning of 2017 with the help of Volara, a voice-based guest engagement software. This proved to be a successful investment, as guests rate the innovation positively in their post-stay reviews and state that they like this hassle-free possibility of communicating with the hotel. The most frequent questions for "Alexa" revolve around ACME's Free Morning Joe coffee service, setting alarms, as well as information about the weather and traffic. The Acme Hotel reports that the integration of "Alexa" has not lead to more requests or a higher workload, but merely offers the modern guest an additional way to communicate with the staff."We are proud that our tool has all the makings and the necessary technology to bring the hotel's guest communication to the next level. Innovative hotels like the Acme Hotel Company are pioneers for the digitization process and thereby stay ahead of the competition. The combination of Amazon Echo with our messaging feature is a great example of how TrustYou brings flexible and customizable connections to clients and partners to improve the overall guest experience", adds Jennifer Graziano, Head of Sales U.S. at TrustYou.For more information, visit www.trustyou.com

When the big links aren't on the table this is the link building advice you need to read

Builtvisible Blog 20 September 2017
It’s always nice when your content becomes successful and links and traffic flow in just like you’d hoped. But you can’t do “big content” promotion for every client, every time. You might not always feel like you have anything to promote at all. So when the big links aren’t on the table or the ROI just isn’t there or the publishers just don’t want to link to you or you realise building lots of links is different to building the right links, what can you do?

Newest Must-Read hebs Whitepaper: The Smart Hotelier's Guide to 2018 Digital Marketing & Technology Budget Planning

HeBS Digital 20 September 2017
Budgeting season: the time to analyze what initiatives are driving performance, review trends in the industry that should be taken into account when constructing your budget, and start thinking about any major upgrades your property needs to take in its digital technology and marketing strategy.The Smart Hotelier's Guide to 2018 Digital Marketing & Technology Budget Planning whitepaper is created every year to guide hoteliers on the budgeting process by outlining the tools needed to engage, acquire, and covert travel consumers, as well as enhance the on-property guest experience, and inspire guests to book a future stay.Here is a sneak peek of what's included in the whitepaper:Key Industry Factors & Trends to Consider in 2018: an overview of factors that should be considered when finalizing your budget such as the state of the industry, the need to resolve the fragmentation of data and digital marketing strategies, the complexity of the travel planning journey, changes in the Google advertising ecosystem, Airbnb, and more.Action Plan for Creating Your 2018 Budget: HEBS Digital recommends that 3-6% of total room revenue go to the Sales & Marketing line item of the hotel budget. The actual percentage depends on the location of the property, complexity of the business, and ADR. This section also includes recommendations on how to organize the digital technology and marketing part of the overall budget.Breaking Down the Budget: this section takes a deep dive into each digital technology and marketing budget initiative, with updates on the latest developments in each as well as recommendations on what to focus on for 2018.Your 2018 Budget Snapshot: see a breakdown of each line item in the budget and recommendations on what percentage of the budget to allocate for each.The 2018 digital marketing & technology budget should not be looked at as just another expense for the property. This is a direct distribution cost vs. hotel expense, as well as an OTA commission-reducing investment. In this sense, the digital marketing budget provides a dual benefit: it increases direct bookings at the lowest possible distribution cost and it reduces expensive bookings made through the OTAs.With industry forecasts flattening and even decreasing occupancy, and supply outweighing demand in many major markets, the only cost driver hoteliers have any control over is distribution costs. Therefore, increasing direct bookings and lowering acquisition costs is vital to the health of any hotel. A very achievable goal for 2018 should be increasing direct bookings by 15%-25%.Success for hoteliers in 2018 will be based on how much acquisition costs can be lowered and how well they know their guests, along with what actions are taken with that knowledge. Download The Smart Hotelier's Guide to 2018 Digital Marketing B& Technology Budget Planning for your roadmap on how to achieve your property's revenue goals starting now and into 2018.
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Accor: What will be the hotel room of the future?

AccorHotels 20 September 2017
Travel through time with a hotel room and immerse yourself in the Roaring Twenties or in the modern style the future may bring. To every era its own style, to every style its own room. Record player or wireless speaker?Little in common between the twenties shiny rooms and the flashy and geometric style of the sixties! It is not only the design, but also the rooms' equipment that evolved. While the beginning of the century's petroleum lamps were not easy to maintain, today we can turn on the light with a clap of hands. A beep can open the curtains and a snap of the fingers can change the TV channel. This timeline of the past 100 year offers us a glimpse at the numerous transformations one single hotel room went by through the ages.A global perspective In cooperation with Lobke Elbers (Community Manager at TravelNext) and Patrick Kooiman (Writer at interiorator.com), AccorHotels BeNeLux teams are convinced that such original initiative is a great way to display content in a different and interactive way. The goal? Offer a reflection of every era's society through the hotel rooms' evolution... A travel through time that will seduce more than one!Are you not all madly curious about the hotel room of the future? Click here to view the timeline.

The business of housekeeping: Is technology in housekeeping an option or a prerequisite?

By Eric Rogers
Technology has the potential to enhance the guest experience in many ways. One of them, perhaps not immediately recognized by hoteliers, is to automate housekeeping operations, which will not only streamline processes and increase productivity, but give housekeeping staff greater opportunities to interact with guests. Eric Rogers, Vice President EMEA of FCS Computer Systems, explains.

Bookassist CEO Des O'Mahony discusses Cost Per Acquisition

Bookassist 20 September 2017
Bookassist CEO Des O’Mahony discusses the metrics of Cost Per Acquisition, what hotels can do to measure it properly, and how they can leverage the knowledge it brings. In particular, the fact that hotels often hamper their own ability to drive direct business is discussed. The interview is with Stephen Dudley from Fáilte Ireland, Ireland’s National Tourism Development Authority. The interview is a follow up to Bookassist’s contribution to the Fáilte Ireland CPA report released in late 2016.

A call for press to attend EyeforTravel North America 2017

EyeforTravel 19 September 2017
With attendees from brands such as Priceline, Lola, IHG, Marriott, Hilton, Expedia, Booking.com, Club Med, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Trivago and many more - this is the perfect opportunity to find out from the decision makers themselves where the industry is headed and what the upcoming trends are before anybody else.The event will be taking place at the Mandalay Bay over 2 days and will cover travel distribution, marketing, data, RM & Pricing as well as technology. On both days, the event will start with keynote presentations until the lunch break, after which the event will split into 2 tracks and attendees will be able to choose the sessions they would most benefit from.Some of the keynotes at the event include:* Prepare for the Next Wave of Disruption: What Will the Industry and Your Business Look Like In 10 Years' Time?Fireside chat: The State of Travel with the Priceline GroupHow is the Macroeconomic Landscape Impacting the Travel Industry?Building Brand Loyalty in an Era of Abundant ChoicePersonalisation to Drive Ancillary Sales, Customer Satisfaction and LoyaltyCreating a Complete Customer Experience Through Smart PartnershipsFireside Presentation & Q&A - Delving into Rise of The Non-Traditional Accommodation ModelPoised for Digital Transformation: How Will AI Revolutionize Travel?Virtual and Augmented Reality: Hype or Hit?Connecting the Data Dots to Build and Create Personalized Interactions using Complete Customer ProfilesThe All-Inclusive Hotel Experience - Creating and Enhancing an Authentic All-Inclusive Guest ExperienceA Mobile-First Mindset: From Search and Inspiration to Traffic and TransactionsSome of the latest speakers announced include:Paul English, CEO, LolaTodd Henrich, SVP - Corporate Development, Priceline Group Noah Brodsky, Senior VP - Worldwide Loyalty & Engagement, Wyndham Hotels Ben Bates, Commercial Excellence Manager, Booking.comMichael Menis, SVP -Digital & Voice Channels, IHGMichael Marino, Senior VP - Loyalty & Digital, Caesars Corporation Michelle Woodley, Executive Vice President, Preferred Hotels and ResortsDan Christian, Chief Digital Officer, The Travel CorporationDr Sascha Meskendahl, Chief Revenue Officer, Blacklane Jay Fluegel, Head of Product - Customer Care, Expedia Parker Stanberry, Co-founder & CEO, Oasis Cliff Johnson, Co-Founder & Chief Development Officer, Vacasa Sam Macdonnell, Chief Technology Officer, Hotel TonightMichael Almeraris, Global Mobile Virtual Reality Partnerships & Strategy, GoogleKevin Froemming, EVP & Chief Marketing Officer, Playa Hotels & ResortsTo attend the event as press, please complete this form:https://goo.gl/forms/PIvDWR7Nu8VJD6eF2For more information, please get in touch with:Nikhil VijayanMarketing ManagerEyeforTravelnikhil@eyefortravel.com+44 (0) 207 375 7165

Intelity Mobile Messaging System FREE to Qualified Hotels

Intelity 19 September 2017
Orlando, Fla. -- Hotels are realizing the importance of messaging to build loyalty, increase engagement and enhance guest's overall experience. According to Skift, an expected additional 1.1 billion new users are set to adopt messaging by the end of 2018, for a total of 3.6 billion users, making "messaging" the new social media. To help hoteliers stay competitive and communicate with their guests more efficiently, Intelity has designed a new Unified Messaging Portal to enable guests to place requests with hotel staff via the messaging channel of their choice, whether it be SMS text or social media. "Mercury: Messaging" is Intelity's new tool, being offered at ZERO cost for the SMS-only version to qualifying hospitality organizations or upgrade to the full version to include Facebook messaging."If you have a mobile device, then you likely have a messaging app on it," said Gregg Hopkins, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Intelity. "Messaging apps have completely changed the way that people communicate, and they've become ubiquitous in today's world, especially in the travel industry. For hoteliers, a messaging platform will enable guests to access information and basic service offerings quickly and seamlessly. With more and more hotels looking for ways to create personalized experiences for guests, messaging apps are a desired channel for driving two-way communications."Whether the guest is at home, in route to the hotel, or lounging poolside, they will have the messaging tools they need to make requests instantly and efficiently," he said. "Better yet, any company wanting to offer this two-way SMS messaging service to their customers can do so by white-labeling the Mercury technology from Intelity."Consider these statistics:Messaging apps are now 20% bigger than social networks. (Business Insider Intelligence)Studies have found that 36% of consumers using messaging apps are using two or more of them on their phones. The majority (64%) of consumers use at least one messaging app. (Media Kix)Texting is the most widely used and frequently used app on a smartphone, with 97% of Americans using it at least once a day. (Pew Internet)Over 80% of adults text, making it the most common cell phone activity. (Pew Internet)Text messages have a 98% open rate; email has only a 20% open rate. (Mobile Marketing Watch)Text messaging has a 45% response rate, while email only has a 6% response rate. (Velocify)Texting takes up 14.1% of cell phone users' time. (Nielsen)90% of all text messages are read in under 3 minutes. (Connect Mogul)80% of people are currently using texting for business. (eWeek)One in five consumers is just as likely to prefer a text message from a business to a phone call. (ICMI)"Messaging is becoming a big game changer for the hotels," Hopkins said. "Most of the major chains have already begun implementing messaging into their branded apps. While apps are proving to be personalized, adaptive, and responsive, they are also expensive to develop and implement. Intelity created Mercury to collect data from guests (namely buying behaviors and preferences), so hotels could drive target marketing and leverage upsell opportunities." GETTING MERCURYToday, Intelity is offering a single-channel SMS texting service version of Mercury FREE to any qualified hospitality organization. To receive it, hotels simply text their name, company name, and email address to Intelity at (407) 499-4030 to request an invitation to use Mercury. Once approved, Intelity will provide hoteliers with instructions on how to download Mercury. In doing so, hotel guests will have immediate access to a convenient portal to make requests, while hoteliers can use it to push through customer requests in a centralized interface resulting in more efficient hotel operations. UPGRADE TO FULL MERCURYIntelity has also developed a multi-channel version of Mercury that will extend the two-way SMS messaging service to the hotel's social channels. This will enable travelers to communicate directly with the hotel via the hotel's Facebook page, and will soon include Twitter and other means of communication. Mercury will route the message to the hotel and the appropriate staff member will provide a prompt reply."Mercury: Messaging is the perfect complement to any hotel's mobile or digital strategy," Hopkins said. "For those hotels that don't already have the Intelity Guest Service platform, Mercury messaging will extend your hotel's ability to remain in communication with guests beyond their initial stay. For those supplementing ICE: Control Panel with Mercury: Messaging or white labeling it as their stand-alone messaging app, this tool will keep your hotel top-of-mind for guests and engage with them along every step of their journey."For more information about Intelity's solutions for the hospitality industry, click here.

Angie Hospitality Set to Present Latest Advances in Interactive Guest Room Technology at HTNG North American Insight Summit

Angie Hospitality 19 September 2017
San Jose, Calif. -- Angie Hospitality, creator of the world's first 24-hour interactive guest room assistant, Wi-Fi and room control technology solution purpose-built for hotels and resorts, has been asked to provide insight on its game changing solution at the HTNG North American Insight Summit. The event is scheduled to take place September 26-27 at the Westfields Marriott Hotel in Chantilly, Virginia. Angie Hospitality will present audience members with an informative presentation on Angie's multiple features and benefits at 3:45 p.m. on September 26 in the Lincoln Forum Auditorium. With leading members of the hospitality community expected to attend, valuable details will be provided on how increasing trends in online and voice-activated services can now be leveraged in a way that maximizes guest satisfaction, streamlines hotel operations and provides additional revenue opportunities."It is a true privilege to be able to provide insight on how Angie is filling an industry need that each day becomes more apparent, with hotel guests increasingly demanding greater online connectivity, as well as faster and more personalized service," says Ted Helvey, CEO of Angie Hospitality. "With the growing availability of technologies that address these needs, including voice-activated functionality, it is important for hoteliers to be aware that viable options exist that are tailored specifically for the hospitality environment."Since its launch, Angie has served as the world's first cloud-managed, enterprise-class, voice- and touch- interface based guest room assistant and integrated room control device. With reliable internet service being rated as one of the highest priorities among guests, Angie also serves as a secure, in-room Wi-Fi access point that guarantees a fast and seamless online experience. Equipped with advanced, multilingual voice and high-resolution touch screen interfaces, Angie provides guests with the ability to make requests for services or amenities via simple voice command, or alternatively through Angie's interactive touch screen. Options include the ability to instantly connect multiple guest devices to Wi-Fi, set alarms, play music, make phone calls, and confirm or make reservations.In addition to revolutionizing and maximizing the guest hotel stay experience, Angie also has the ability to allow hoteliers to streamline service, save staff time and expense, and boost revenue. For example, using the latest built-in occupancy sensor technology, Angie can recognize when rooms become unoccupied, and can automatically adjust temperature or lighting in order to minimize utility expenses. As a property's environmental footprint becomes more important to both hoteliers and their guests, this feature can prove vital in meeting sustainability and energy efficiency goals. With hotels seeking to make up for decreasing revenue from in-room sales such as video-on-demand and minibar purchases, Angie's digital display screen can also serve to strengthen profits by promoting on-site amenities including restaurants, spas and retail outlets. Hotels can additionally offer event organizers a way to engage and communicate with conference and meeting attendees, using a new interactive in-room medium.Recently named winner of the prestigious HTNG TechOvation Award during HTNG's HT-NEXT 2017 Conference, Angie is currently being implemented at multiple hotel properties in the U.S. and will be available for general distribution later this year. For more information on Angie's full suite of options and capabilities, please visit www.angie.ai.

IBC Hospitality Technologies Launches Website Redesign

IBC Hotels 19 September 2017
Phoenix -- Today, IBC Hospitality Technologies, a software company aimed to help independent hoteliers with management and marketing, announced the redesign and relaunch of its website www.ibchospitality.com. IBC Hospitality Technologies is placing increased focus on simplifying solutions for independent hoteliers. The site now features a cleaner and more contemporary design, along with the ability to self-onboard in minutes or receive detailed demostrations. The new website is designed to provide a more engaging user experience for hoteliers and enhance navigation."We want to clearly communicate how simple it is for hoteliers to easily evaluate their business by connecting their systems, receive guest information, and to drive direct bookings through a vanity website with booking engine and demand channels such as meta, as well as marketing support with services such as retargeting to the vanity website," said IBC Hospitality Technologies CEO and Founder Pamela Barnhill. "Hoteliers, especially independents, struggle to find cost-effective solutions like these to drive direct bookings. We want our redesigned website to showcase the accessibility and importance of these strategies."Visitors can now more easily browse IBC Hospitality Technologies solutions, learn about the company, and access industry news, tutorials and insights through the blog. IBC offers CRS, booking engine, digital marketing and integration solutions for independent hoteliers. The new website clearly outlines each of these services and additional solution options for independent hotels and hotel groups.To see the new site visit www.ibchospitality.com.

Duetto Announces Revenue Strategy Partnership with Jamaica's Half Moon

Duetto 19 September 2017
Montego Bay, Jamaica -- Duetto, the hospitality industry's leader in Revenue Strategy technology, has spread its cloud-based solutions to a key property in the Caribbean, signing an agreement with Jamaica's leading luxury resort, Half Moon."Half Moon is one of the very best resorts the Caribbean has to offer, and we're incredibly proud and excited to partner with this property," said Patrick Bosworth, Co-Founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Duetto. "We are confident that Duetto's data-driven approach to Revenue Strategy and its cloud applications will help Half Moon maximize its potential and sustain its success in leading the hospitality market in Jamaica and the Caribbean."Duetto rapidly expanded its reach in the Caribbean in 2016 by partnering with Sandals Resorts. Its agreement with Half Moon establishes Duetto's flagship application, GameChanger, as the resort's solution for optimizing room pricing and digital distribution.By adopting Open Pricing, the foundation of the GameChanger application, Half Moon will now be able to yield rates more rapidly and with greater flexibility, drawing on web shopping regrets and denials data to better measure price sensitivity.Half Moon will also adopt ScoreBoard, Duetto's intelligent reporting application, and BlockBuster, its application for optimizing contracted and group business. Half Moon's investment in the three cloud-based solutions is part of a multi-year, $75 million overhaul, which will expand the resort's capacity to nearly 240 rooms, said Sandro Fabris, the resort's general manager."Half Moon is pleased to move forward with Duetto as its new Revenue Strategy partner," Fabris said. "Considering Jamaica's diverse seasonality and our unique accommodation offerings, we are looking forward to becoming more flexible with our pricing and meeting our guests' demands more effectively."ScoreBoard will enable Half Moon to compile and centralize up-to-the-minute reports on performance data and forecasts, display custom reports in minutes, and deliver big-picture insights across the entire company with one click.Half Moon is one of the first hotels to deploy BlockBuster, a new solution built to foster collaboration between properties' sales and revenue management departments to yield non-transient business more dynamically.About Half MoonHalf Moon, a 400-acre resort in Jamaica, is considered one of the Caribbean's most iconic destinations. Located 10 minutes away from Montego Bay's Sangster International Airport, the 63-year-old property features two miles of private beachfront and elegantly appointed rooms and suites. The AAA Four-Diamond resort also offers 31 expansive villas (ranging up to 7 bedrooms) all with private pools and personal staff of butler, cook and housekeeper.Half Moon offers guests a wide variety of amenities and activities, including the multi award-winning Fern Tree Spa, the largest spa in the Caribbean, a Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed 18-hole championship golf course with academy, Spinning(r) classes, 11 lit tennis courts, equestrian centre, fitness centre and wellness offerings, a delightful children's village, water sports, and more. Visit www.halfmoon.com.

Guestline supports growth in revenues and occupancy for Best Western

Guestline 19 September 2017
The company has been working with Best Western Hotels for over a decade and now delivers its PMS to over half of all properties in the UK. Hotels adopting Guestline's Rezlynx PMS and the bespoke Best Western Two-Way PMS interface have reported significant growth in revenues and occupancy rates.Guestline's multi award-winning software for hospitality businesses is cloud-based. The Rezlynx software enables Best Western hoteliers to manage rates, availability, bookings and operations to be not only more efficient, but also more profitable. Following successful results for a number of properties in the UK reporting five figure savings, a growing number of Best Western hoteliers have now selected Guestline.Emma Johnstone, vice president of business development, Guestline, said:"We have a long standing relationship with Best Western and the team remains committed to providing powerful PMS solutions that are effective in supporting their membership's operations and profitability. The growth in our Best Western Hotels' client base is testament to the hard work of our teams and the collaborative relationship they have with Best Western and its members. We look forward to continuing to support further success for Best Western properties in the future."Amy Smith, general manager at Best Western Bell at Driffield adds:"Changing a PMS can be a daunting task and we were apprehensive ahead of starting the process. However, we have been extremely impressed with the expertise and professionalism of the team and with the benefit of hindsight we wish we had decided to make the change earlier. The Guestline Rezlynx solution was not only simple and straightforward to implement but has also paid rich dividends in supporting our growth in revenues and driving efficiencies. I would urge my industry colleagues, whether those operating as individuals or as a group, to follow suit."The team at Guestline will be exhibiting at the Best Western Sales and Marketing Revenue Conference on 21 and 22 September and available to speak to those keen to learn more about the range of solutions available.For more information on Guestline please visit Guestline.com-ends-
Article by Sarah Came

Technology and the luxury guest experience: Interview with Arun Kumar

GuestRevu 19 September 2017
From his first role on the front lines of guest satisfaction as a room service waiter to management positions at four- and five-star InterContinental and Hilton properties, Arun Kumar's impressive hospitality career has taught him a thing or two about keeping guests satisfied.With around two decades of experience in the hospitality industry, Arun is an indisputable thought leader in his field, and has been recognised on "The Brit List" as one of the UK's Top 25 Most Influential & Inspirational Hoteliers and has earned a place on the Boutique Hotelier Power List for 2017.Arun's impressive credentials attracted the attention of Indian luxury hotel group Lalit Suri, which afforded him the opportunity to oversee the redevelopment of a grade II listed building in London into the group's first European hotel, The Lalit London.We asked Arun to share some of his guest experience wisdom, and tell us how technology will influence the management of luxury hotel guest satisfaction in the future.Where did you begin in the hospitality industry?My foundation for a successful hospitality career started with my first role as room service waiter.What's your role now?I am now General Manager for The Lalit London.What would you say are the cornerstones of a luxury hotel experience today?I would say that humility, trust, a good personal rapport and personalised and professional service are essential for creating an excellent luxury guest experience.You were a key part of launching The Lalit London hotel, was there an initial focus on the guest experience and what would make this up?Everything we do here at The Lalit London revolves around our guests, both internal and external. Right from the construction and design stage of the Lalit London, every aspect of this project was focused towards guest experience.Based on your experience, have guest expectations and demands changed with the rise of mobile technology?I think there has been a huge change, the online world is changing how efficient our clients expect a business to be, and with mobile technology there is now an expectation of 24/7 service. Additionally, the word "fast" in the hotel business has been redefined by social media.Does the feedback you get from guests and your online reviews play a role in how the hotel is managed?Client feedback is vital for any organisation's success; a clear sentimental analysis of guest experiences has always helped us to prioritise operational and service improvements.A lot of hotel general managers talk about the importance of using big data in terms of exceeding guest expectations - what does big data mean to you at this point?Big data is invaluable in helping us to provide an exceptional guest experience. It helps uncover a lot of hidden patterns and opens up new opportunities, helping us to design new services and products to present to our clients. It also plays a key role in better and faster decision-making processes.How do you think guest expectations might evolve over the next 5 years?I believe it is clear that guests will want a more personal, connected and informed experience, and technology will be a major brand differentiator. Areas such as virtual experiences will play a major role. At the Lalit London we have already changed the traditional model of hotel check in with our in-room check in.What's the best hotel you've stayed in and why?The Royal Mansour Marrakech - the architecture of the building, service, food everything is perfect.

Is This Group Business Good Business?

IDeaS Blog 19 September 2017
Back in my revenue management days I frequently heard the following when it came to group business discussions: “We need the baseline occupancy.” “Let’s quote higher and raise our public rates.” Or my personal favorite, “We’ll be oversold if we take this group but there is always wash.”

Industry Executives Share Tips for Reducing Hotel Costs

HMG Hospitality Blog 19 September 2017
Hotel operators know that there are countless incremental costs that add up to a lot of expenses. Industry executives discussed this topic at length at Hotel ROI Midwest conference, part of the Hotel ROI Series. Here are some of their insights on how reducing hotel costs.

The human side of change

By Colin Abercrombie
Managing change is hard. And thanks to the fact that technology evolves and improves so rapidly, IT managers can find themselves in the middle of large, complex change projects much more frequently than their colleagues working in other areas of a hotel group. Colin Abercrombie, a Dubai-based coach specializing in such projects, reminds us that managing the human side of change is vital to a project's success - and this means managing the emotions of those who have to lead it.

Top 10 Tips for Successful Hotel Revenue Management

Xotels Blog 19 September 2017
Independent and boutique hotels have the opportunity to capitalise on traveller appetite for unique experiences. Big hotel chains simply can’t compete on this front. And your hotel is also able to completely differentiate itself from other independent hotels. Coupling this with the implementation of hotel revenue management best practices gives your hotel ample opportunity. Read our 10 hotel revenue management tips here to drive the success of your organisation.

EyeforTravel: Turn Insight into Profit by Driving Innovation in Travel Data

EyeforTravel 18 September 2017
EyeforTravel are excited about this change and have positioned two EyeforTravel events to focus on just this. Their two summits - Smart Travel Data Europe (Amsterdam Nov 29-30) and Smart Travel Analytics North America (February 27-28, Miami) will allow you to turn new data legislations and technology into an advantage and convert your data into pure profit.Head of Research for EyeforTravel - Alex Hadwick had this to say "As travel brands tackle these issues, they do so with the aim of putting their customers first and trying to understand what makes them tick, and that trend is only going to accelerate." He went on to say "More sophisticated systems, increasingly skilled teams, more investment and an exponentially increasing universe of data means that brands will be better placed to reach their customers with targeted products that match their expectations!"These event's will bring together the best brands in travel to focus on how to develop data analytics, artificial intelligence, product development, revenue analytics, to drive loyalty and more personalized experiences.Take the chance to network with decision makers from Accor, Airbnb, KAYAK, Hilton Hotels, Delta Airlines, Amazon, Lastminute.com Vueling Airlines, Marriot, Southwest Airlines, Wyndham Destination Networks, NH Hotels and more, join the events today.Click here to learn more about both events:If Europe is your area of focus: http://events.eyefortravel.com/smart-travel-data-summit/ (event location: Amsterdam)If USA is your area of focus: http://events.eyefortravel.com/smart-travel-data-summit-north-america/ (event location: Miami)If you would like more information on attending contact Leo (Project Director) - leo@eyefortravel.comIf your company would like to make the most of limited branding and exhibition opportunities at these events, reach out to Shreya (Head of Partnerships and Sales) shreya@eyefortravel.com or call them on + 44 20 7375 7150Eyefortravel is a community of commercial, marketing, digital and data experts that are evolving how travel is sold and customers life time value increased. Our mission is to help the travel industry deliver a winning customer experience that tackles commoditisation, differentiates the brand and drives loyalty.####

Beyond the Roulette Wheel: Revenue Generation for the New Casino

Driving Top-line Revenues | By Sceptre Hospitality Resources 18 September 2017
The Casino model that naturally revolved around gambling revenue is changing. For the first time in history, room profits are outpacing gambling profits in Las Vegas. In Macau, the traditionally easy flow of gaming revenue has been steadily falling for at least the past two years. Though these trends might seem to mark the end of an era to some, for the savvy casino owner, they are indicators of the beginning of a more sustainable, room-centric casino business—one that becomes more possible with the right booking technology used to its best advantage.

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