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The lowest hotel rate tough to find, but OTAs a good bet - travelweekly.com

travelweekly.com 20 July 2017
Where's the lowest hotel rate? Online shoppers may have to do a lot of research to find it, a Piper Jaffray study indicates. And when they do find it, OTAs and travel search sites will have the lowest rate more often than hotel supplier sites. Piper Jaffray surveyed 1,000 U.S. customers who reserved rooms at 86 chain hotels in the world's largest 25 cities. It found that OTAs and travel search sites had the lowest price 21% of the time, while hotel supplier websites had it 13% of the time. In about two-thirds of the cases, room pricing was the same across distribution channels.

ALICE Continues Its Growth with Announcement of New Senior Sales Executive for the Southeast Region

ALICE 20 July 2017
New York, NY -- ALICE, the operations platform powering the world's best hotels, welcomes hotel technology sales veteran Adam Fractenberg as Senior Sales Executive for the Southeast region.Adam is an experienced hospitality technology sales executive, with a strong track record in many online solutions including CRM, Website Design, Interactive Marketing, Booking Engine, eProposal, Loyalty, Text Marketing, Business Intelligence, Email Marketing, Social Media, Interfacing, and Customer Surveys. He was most recently Director of Sales for North America, Canada, and the Caribbean at TravelClick, where he spearheaded business development for new sales and client retention. He was previously Director of Strategic Sales with Knowland Group, a provider of SaaS solutions for group data and lead generation products and services to the hospitality industry. Adam has also held senior positions in sales and marketing at Cendyn and Open Hospitality. He began his hospitality technology career at Orbitz/Lodging.com, formerly a Cendant company, where he served in several roles, including Director of Strategic Accounts, helping grow the company's annual sales from $18 million to $450 million. A graduate of Michigan State University, where he received a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, Adam also worked on student radio and TV. In addition, Adam moonlights as a professional statistician, working with the NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA, and college sporting events.Adam's hiring occurs as ALICE continues to identify hospitality veterans to help grow their brand and take it to market. Hundreds of hotels across and country and around the world have chosen ALICE for the transformative effect joining all hotel staff departments onto a single platform has for improved task management and employee communication. ALICE's guest engagement toolset is also helping its clients deliver exceptional service with cutting-edge innovations like guest-to-staff texting."Adam is a great fit for ALICE," says Wendy Zapach, ALICE's Director of Sales, North America. His extensive background in the hospitality technology space, combined with his specialization in CRM and guest engagement, align with where we are innovating. One thing we're particularly excited about is Adam's depth of relationships in the industry. We feel like his recent attendance with us at HITEC was a reunion of friends and colleagues."

Cyber experts have warned that the travel industry as a whole is particularly exposed to criminal activity

Guestline Blog 20 July 2017
At a special Travel Weekly summit, a group of travel experts examined the growing threat from cyber criminals and what travel firms can do to protect themselves from attack. We heard from experts in cybercrime and data security. It covered fraud, security, cyber-crime, compliance, payments, data, company structures to cope with all this and disaster recovery. In the hospitality industry, as in the wider travel industry, it has become vital that IT security is given priority focus as firms become increasingly global, embrace new forms of payment, outsource to third-party Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions and move to cloud computing. The threat of cybercrime has never been so acute as some major companies outside of the travel sector have found to their cost. Indeed, most recently here in the UK we have also seen the widespread chaos in the NHS that the huge ransomware attack brought about.

Guestline announce partnership agreement with Digital Alchemy

Guestline Blog 20 July 2017
Guestline and Digital Alchemy, a leading provider of CRM solutions in the hospitality marketplace, are pleased to announce a partnership agreement. Digital Alchemy's team of hospitality veterans create industry-leading CRM solutions for hotels, spas, and resorts. Their passion for the hospitality industry has driven them to develop digital marketing solutions that drive revenue and empower property management teams to raise the bar for guests like never before. Digital Alchemy has a proven solution that, when paired with Guestline solutions, will allow properties to drill down into customer data and ensure every opportunity to drive revenue is optimised. They offer pre- and post-stay targeted email communications, including Confirmation Emails, Pre-Stay Reminder Emails, PostStay surveys, targeted email offers and more. Digital Alchemy’s professionals are dedicated to increasing guest engagement while turning your guests into customers for life.

StayNTouch Releases Eye-Opening Infographic: Keeping Up With Hotel Guest Expectations

StayNTouch Inc. 19 July 2017
StayNTouch(r), the leading innovator in mobile technology and Property Management Systems (PMS) for hotels and lodging, today announced the release of their most inspiring infographic yet - titled Keeping Up With Hotel Guest Expectations. This infographic lays out the trend lines and data points that tell a story about the changing dynamics of guest expectations and how technology has become an essential tool in today's hotel market.To satisfy this enormous appetite for technology, hotel companies of all sizes must be relentless in their efforts to improve experiences at every touchpoint. In fact, two thirds of consumers (68%) say it is somewhat or very important that companies they interact with are seen as a technology leader (Salesforce Mobile Behavior Report 2015) and according to Phocuswright, 64% t of U.S. hotel guests said it is "very or extremely important" for hotels to continue investing in technology to enhance the guest experience. And with the rising mobile adoption, hotel engagement and messaging needs to reach guests on the mobile platforms where they're spending their time.Highlights of the infographic include:The unstoppable rise of mobileImpact of social media and guest reviewsExpectations for messaging, notifications and chatRevenue and service potential of personalized offersWith guest expectations higher than ever due to technology, the pressure is on for hotels to keep up with tech-savvy, always-on consumers--or risk getting trampled by the competition. Hotel brands investing in the latest technologies that enable customization, social engagement and on-the-go access through mobile devices will be able to increase market share, drive more onsite spend and foster good reviews that keep guests coming back.To download the Keeping Up With Hotel Guest Expectations infographic, please click here or visit http://go.stayntouch.com/KeepingupwithHotelGuesttechExpectations_ContentLandingpage.html
Article by Georges Panayotis

Hospitalty Hiring Paradox: Time to take a stand!

Hospitality ON 19 July 2017
All too often, the hotel industry conveys the image of a sector that is ungrateful, has difficult hours, and under-valued careers; but what has truly been done to change that? With its history and that of generations of pigeonholed employees, the world of Hospitality is like a giant cruise ship trying - with great difficulty - to change its course. So it would be best to take the helm quickly. The transformation of concepts goes hand in hand with a return to the drawing board to reexamine the human role in the hotel industry. Traditional functions are exploding in in light of clients' increasing need for autonomy and - paradoxically - a need for more direct and more authentic exchanges with personnel. The jobs, defined in terms of vertical functions that are associated with one another, no longer correspond to the expectations of a more polyvalent, warmer, less technical and more interactive contact.The technological revolution that has taken place at headquarters must now trickle down to each property. This type of consideration of the hotelier's work, from every angle, must not be subject to any taboos. The use of artificial intelligence and different applications makes it possible to give employees new tools to strengthen their abilities to know clients, meet their expectations and control several functions at once, and thus gain in terms of expertise and qualifications.For hotel management, it is also a means of lightening structures, making them flexible again and increasing profitability that may thus result in better wages. There is no reason why the world of tourism and hospitality should be condemned to this image of minimum wages where propel work while they are looking for something better.In hotel groups, each employee had a kind of "passport", a more or less precise road book detailing their experience, training and qualifications. Today, they may be given a professional "toolbox" allowing them to handle any situation. This technical manual grows with the employee's knowledge, experiences, and any information supplied by management. Such software is already available at major industrial firms where it is a kind of "Pilot Book" with descriptions of jobs and and related tutorials to increase polyvalency.Hospitality is a world where start-ups get involved wholeheartedly. While hotel groups may have trouble bringing on this cultural revolution of management on the field, they can rely on the creativity of young people who assist in their metamorphosis, as other sectors have done. Daily management gains in efficiency and reactivity. The much hoped-for loyalty development can be realized when operations are able to give it meaning.The hotel industry needs to strengthen its heart and lungs, its core, in order to nourish a new form of passion and reception and service and breath new life into its trades, which while they are old should not remain antiquated.

A New Solution for Hotel Revenue Managers

Xotels 19 July 2017
There are three main phases a revenue manager needs to go through daily, collecting and aggregating data, analyzing this data to forecast demand as well as performance and finally action the analysis resultsXotels handles the revenue management of over 60 hotels. In our experience, much of a revenue manager's time has always been spent on the tedious collection and aggregation of data and then building the forecast demand and performance. Very little time is usually left to really analyze in-depth this data once collected and aggregated. The only solutions out there to assist you in taking care of these time-consuming tasks are so expensive that it is impossible to purchase them unless you are a global chain.That is why we have developed a new revenue management technology, called HotelScienz. Based on decades of combined revenue management and distribution experience, we created an easy to use hotel revenue management software. It is an affordable demand based system built on best hotel industry practices.The system provides all you need including:Performance dashboard with KPI'sDaily Pick-Up ReportsPast, current and future Performance DataYield algorithms to Highlight Demand TrendsPricing RecommendationDemand ForecastingIntegrated Competitor Rate ShopsOptional Integrated Channel managerRevenue managers save time in daily operations and analysis by using HotelScienz, so they can focus on strategic yield opportunities and grow overall RevPar. Other stakeholders like general managers, asset managers and hotel owners are provided with crucial reporting to gain instant insight into the performance of their hotel portfolio.For more info, go to: www.xotels.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.

The Importance of Rate Parity for Travel Brands

Koddi Blog 19 July 2017
When it comes to pricing, travel brands are currently facing two sets of online competition. The first is fellow travel brands within their competitive set, with whom they’re vying for visibility and popularity among the same group of customers. The second is their own rates, as represented across the rest of the web from other advertisers.

Sometimes 'Small Data' Is Enough to Create Smart Products

harvardbusiness.org 19 July 2017
When thinking about practical applications for artificial intelligence in your business, it’s easy to assume that you need vast amounts of data to get started. AI is fueled by data, and so it only makes sense that the more data you have, the smarter your AI gets, right? Not exactly.

Positive Profit Performance Through Revenue Culture

IDeaS Blog 19 July 2017
As hotels concern themselves more with rising reservation acquisition costs and the need to competitively differentiate through loyalty programs, unique stay experiences and personalized offers, a sound revenue strategy is even more prevalent. They need to provide strong earnings results each quarter that demonstrates their ability to enact a disciplined and agile revenue strategy that increases net income. The post Positive Profit Performance Through Revenue Culture appeared first on IDeaS.

Duetto Brings Revenue Strategy Solutions to Outrigger Hotels and Resorts

Duetto 19 July 2017
San Francisco -- Duetto, the market leader in hotel profit optimization technology, announced today that it has partnered with Outrigger Enterprises Group to implement its cloud-based Revenue Strategy solutions at seven Outrigger hotels, totaling close to 2,800 rooms. The agreement will enable Outrigger hotels to fully optimize revenue and easily analyze company-wide performance with Duetto's GameChanger and ScoreBoard applications."We are very happy to announce this partnership with Outrigger Enterprises Group," said Duetto CEO Patrick Bosworth. "In today's fast-paced and complex marketplace, Duetto's cloud-based Revenue Strategy solutions provide the ability to manage distribution complexity, optimize business mix and ultimately increase revenue. We are excited to partner with a forward-thinking company like Outrigger."By adopting Open Pricing, the core element of Duetto's GameChanger application, Outrigger will now be able yield rates more rapidly and with greater flexibility, drawing on web shopping regrets and denials data to better measure price sensitivity. ScoreBoard, the Revenue Intelligence application, will enable Outrigger to compile and centralize up-to-the-minute reports on performance and forecasts, display advanced data visualizations, and deliver actionable insights across the entire company with one click."We partnered with Duetto to optimize our revenue and business mix, allowing us to compete even more effectively in a highly competitive market," said Paul Richardson, Chief Operating Officer at Outrigger Enterprises Group. "It was important for us to partner with a company that has expansive hotel Revenue Strategy experience and one that positions us for the future. Open Pricing will allow us to get the optimal price to our customers, while ScoreBoard will provide big-picture insights across the entire portfolio."Duetto partners with many of the leading hotels and casino brands around the world. Nearly 2,000 hotels and casinos in more than 60 countries have partnered to use Duetto's applications, including GameChanger and ScoreBoard.About Duetto Duetto delivers the most powerful Revenue Strategy solutions to the world's leading hotels and casinos, allowing them to better manage pricing, revenue and business-mix decisions with superior, actionable data.The unique combination of hospitality experience and technology leadership enables Duetto to provide new insights on pricing and demand as a true cloud-based software-as-a-service. With Revenue Strategy and Revenue Intelligence applications that address the challenges of today's hospitality industry, Duetto helps hotels and casinos optimize profits and guest loyalty.Thanks to rapid marketplace adoption, Duetto is expanding in key markets throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. Nearly 2,000 hotel and casino properties in more than 60 countries have partnered to use Duetto's Revenue Strategy and Revenue Intelligence applications. ABOUT OUTRIGGER HOTELS AND RESORTSOutrigger Hotels and Resorts is a privately held leisure lodging, retail and hospitality company with corporate offices in Hawaii and operating globally in the Asia-Pacific, Oceania and Indian Ocean regions. From its Outrigger Signature Experiences to its Outrigger DISCOVERY loyalty program, the values-based company invites guests to escape ordinary with exceptional hospitality and authentic cultural experiences, incorporating local traditions and customs at each of its properties worldwide. Founded in 1947, Outrigger has grown into a highly successful, multi-branded portfolio of hotels, condominiums and vacation resort properties, including Outrigger(r) Resorts, OHANA Hotels by Outrigger(r), Hawaii Vacation Condos by Outrigger(r), Embassy Suites(r), Holiday Inn(r), Best Western(r), Wyndham Vacation Ownership(r) and Hilton Grand VacationsTM. Outrigger currently operates and/or has under development 37 properties with approximately 6,500 rooms located in Hawaii (Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Hawaii Island), Guam, Fiji, Thailand, Mauritius, and the Maldives. Find Outrigger at: www.outrigger.com or visit @OutriggerResorts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.###

Sam 2.0: Travel-Intelligent "Chatbot" Delivers New Live Chat, Expertise & Services to Travelers

FCM 19 July 2017
New York, NY -- Last July at GBTA clients of FCM met Sam, a travel-intelligent "chatbot" with the expertise of a skilled consultant that delivers invaluable assistance to business travelers' fingertips in the form of an app. One year later, Sam has matured; now Sam 2.0 is available in an android version and to clients of multiple Flight Centre Travel Group brands in the USA, including Corporate Traveler and Campus Travel. Originally launched within the FCM 360 suite of products, Sam, short for "Smart Assistant for Mobile," is available at all times: pre-, during, and post-trip. Later next month, for the first time ever, a live chat integration will be launched within the app, enabling clients to speak with an agent in seconds. Additional enhancements to the updated app that will assist travelers before, during and after the trip include:City guides to 60-plus destinations: More than just a city overview these guides have local maps, all modes of available transportation, helpful hints (how to tip, public Wi-Fi, what converter/plug to use, etc.). There are medical resources and emergency contacts (it's not 911 everywhere), cost of living differences between hometown and current destination (for coffee, a beer, a burger), top three attractions and restaurants and much more.Departure gate and baggage claim information: No searching for screens or straining to hear announcements needed.Improved geo-location directions: Travelers can get around with ease with detailed, accurate instructions in cities they are unfamiliar with.Designed to simplify life for corporate travelers, the anticipatory, travel-savvy "chatbot" will assist with all aspects of travel - itineraries, gate changes, driving directions, weather, restaurant recommendations and reservations. Because no man (or app) is an island, the "call or SMS my consultant" option gets you to a live FCM, Corporate Traveler or Campus Travel consultant 24 hours a day for live assistance on the go.Sam 2.0 is highly interactive and speaks to clients how and on which chat platform they prefer. With the ability to communicate across numerous supported platforms (Facebook Messenger, SMS and more), Sam picks up on cues, such as travel patterns and preferences, and updates travelers accordingly. For example, if it is your first time in a particular city, you will receive more information and recommendations than if it was a standing monthly trip. With rules and settings that can be customized to fit a company's travel guidelines, Sam will, for example, send a reminder to use taxis over other transportation options if company policy so dictates. Sam can send a prompt to submit a lunch receipt thanks to the integration with Certify, an industry-leading travel and expense management solution. Sam is also integrated with Lyft, a national ride sharing service, to easily help travelers book rides.FCM's largest clients put the app to the test with its most frequent travelers challenge Sam to be sure it was smart and anticipatory, without crossing the line and being intrusive with an abundance of notifications. The feedback has been extremely positive, hence the rollout to Corporate Traveler and Campus Travel now.There is a self-booking option that is shaped by corporate travel guidelines and preferred supplier plans. Built with speed in mind, the entire process from search to booking can be completed in less than 10 touches (contract-specific option, not available to all).Other features of Sam include:User-specific customizable profiles that allow for anticipatory, savvy service deliveryInformation-rich itineraries presented in chronological orderGate and flight change notificationsFlight/Trip Change & Cancellation OptionsDestination-specific weather updatesCar rentalOption to speak with an FCM consultant with the touch of a button (SMS option to connect to consultant also available)Communication across multiple platformsLyft capabilities for ride sharing (company-configurable, and can be enabled or disabled upon request)Expense management with Certify integration; Sam's savvy comes into play here as it knows the context of the trip and can prompt to photograph receipt and launch your camera app automatically.Driving directionsRestaurant recommendationsSam is live in the US iTunes App Store (search "FCM") for Apple devices and is also available for Android devices. For more and to download the app visit:http://www.us.fcm.travel/samhttp://www.corporatetraveler.us/samhttp://www.campustravelusa.com/samMedia Contact: Carla Caccavale Reynolds, 914-673-0729, CarlaCaccavalePR@gmail.com

Technology pressures on today's property management systems

StayNTouch Inc. By Jos Schaap
Hotel property management systems (PMS) have been around for a long time. They have evolved over time to become highly sophisticated and impressive business tools. But as Jos Schaap, CEO and Founder of StayNTouch, reminds us, from the days when a System36 with a hard drive the size of a bathroom mirror was the envy of hoteliers around the world to today's cloud solutions, one thing has always remained a constant: the requirement for the PMS to connect seamlessly to as many things as possible technologically.

Revenue management to become profit management finds report

EyeforTravel 19 July 2017
Revenue management is changing to become a more all-encompassing discipline according to EyeforTravel's new Aggregating Data Streams for More Effective Revenue Management report, with 71% of managers believing that the discipline should be recognized as profit management.The report, which is free to download now, notes that a focus on profit will be key in the years to come, with the industry moving emphasis away from the traditional measures of success of Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) and Total Revenue Per Available Room (TRevPAR). Instead, the industry will look at guests in the round and consider the total profitability each can bring and aim to maximize this. The key metric the industry will use in the future Gross Operating Profit Per Available Room (GOPPAR) according to the report, which also notes that Cornell University found GOPPAR is now considered the most important benchmark for the future.Therefore, revenue managers will need to consider all revenue streams and also have a better understanding and inclusion of cost factors than they have in the past. Alongside traditional operating costs of the hotel, revenue managers will need to calculate and include their distribution costs, which the report also found to be a key area of concern for revenue managers.In order to achieve this revenue managers will need to increase their skillsets and also obtain better technology according to the report. It found that 71% of revenue managers felt that they didn't yet have the tools to do their jobs effectively, making technology investment a major area for scrutiny in the next five years.Many of those featured in the report noted technology and automation is needed so that they could free up time to be spent on more important tasks, moving away from data collection and setting restrictions to working on overall strategy, coordination with other departments and guest experiences. This latter element is noted as being key in the report, particularly as guest reviews can have a direct effect on the property's profitability.Click here to download the research now and get the full report, including:The effect of competitors on pricing, how to account for them and what strategies to take to get a competitive edge.Understanding and constructing predictive analytics.Understanding the costs of a business's channel mix and how to win direct bookings.The state of the industry's approach to ancillary revenues.The key metrics every revenue manager should be working toward.The future of a revenue manager's role and the skills they will require.

Booking Ninjas Launches New Property Management System

Booking Ninjas 19 July 2017
The Booking Ninjas PMS system takes the guesswork out of tasks like analyzing your guest data, improving your overall guest experiences, and making everything move faster which greatly benefit hospitality business owners and management companies. Now our clients can save time on repetitive and boring tasks and focus on more important matters like building a better business model, acquiring new hotels or engaging new and your existing customer base. This enterprise application saves you the headaches of overthinking any particular task and provides you the power to multi-task easily handling all aspects of running your business. Bruce Lee once said, "If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done."Booking Ninjas will prevent you from over thinking about what to do next or how to do it, by helping you realize everything you could ever imagine or dream of in a matter of days. Some of our popular integrations available now include:(website) booking systemsfinancial integrationsticketing systemsintegration with phone systemshousekeeping managementchannel managersPOS (point-of-sale) systemsCustom development and other integrations are also available for our clients and are designed to accommodate your unique business procedures. You now have the option to provide new types of capabilities for your company so you can innovate and automate routine procedures with your guests and employees. Our application features automatic upgrades and constant updates that are pushed through routinely so that you always have access to the newest features and capabilities for your business all the time.Booking Ninjas customizes and improves the quality of guest services today and improves staff productivity with its streamlined property management and hospitality operations.Business owners can run their company a lot more simply and much more effective with the Booking Ninjas while increasing your revenue and have more time to spend for other things that matter most.See our process here- http://www.bookingninjas.com/buying-process
Article by Terence Ronson

Cuba - A land that time forgot...

Pertlink Limited 19 July 2017
For a photographer, a voyeur of architecture, a history buff, a 50's car enthusiast, a Rum or cigar lover - this has to be on your list of must see - a bucket list item of the highest magnitude. You require a Visa to enter Cuba. Check the Cuban government's website to locate the nearest city where you can obtain one. Before the plane descends into Havana, the crew will spray the cabin for bugs. And be prepared to wait an hour for your luggage after you de-plane (have water and a fan with you - it's hot!). They x-ray everything and bags come out 1-by-1. The ride into town is about 30 minutes, and after sunset, some of the streets are pitch black and riddled with pot holes. They tell me Cuba is a safe place. And they could be right as I never felt threatened while walking the streets late into the night.Don't expect to go to Cuba to bathe in luxury, or experience haute cuisine either. It just isn't there. On the whole, the people seem friendly - but it's one of the world's cultures that they don't know what they don't know - and if you expect a five-star experience, you will be sadly disappointed - especially when paying five star prices for some things such as internationally publicised accommodations and meals at so-called, top restaurants. Going out for a drink - a Mojito, Daiquiri or Cuba Libre - which one must at least try once when in Havana, can vary in taste from place to place - but the prices are very similar. A meal too can vary tremendously in both quantity and quality - regardless of what you pay. There is often a disconnect between cost and product. Veggie options are available, but don't over expect simply because the raw materials lack in availability and quality. Cabbage, carrots, onions, sweet potato and tomatoes are the staple veggies - and long grain rice (that's not the Asian type). For water drinkers like me, Aqua Panna and San Pellegrino are readily available, as well as a local spring water. Tap water is not potable.If you seek international fast food fare - forget it. It does not exist. None of the names populating the high streets across the globe can be found here. Not even a clone. And if you want to use a public toilet (even in a restaurant), best to take your own tissues and wet wipes with you and be prepared to tip the Attendant.One thing you will find is consistent inconsistencies - one day something will be prepared or cleaned in a certain manner, and the next time, it's very different. Yes, this is a Training and Management issue, but like I said earlier, they don't know what they don't know and the talent pool is very thin.Hotels can perform currency exchange, but it's probably best to go to a money changer - "CADECA". However, be prepared to wait in a queue under the hot sun for possibly 30-60 minutes as they process one by one inside a small shop guarded by a security guard sat on a chair inside a cool room, operating the manual lock. Oh, and did I say, they close for lunch? ATM's are few and far between, and reject most international cards especially if they have a US link. You may be best to warn your bank card provider that you are going to Cuba to let them unblock the card. Phone roaming may also be an issue.There are several wonderful watering holes around. Often Hotel lobbies serve drinks and snacks, and they are sometimes accompanied by live music that can be quite outstanding. If there is anything that marks life in Havana - it's the abundance of amazing musical talent in almost ever bar in the city. "No smoking" areas are limited, and so you will likely be seated adjacent to someone enjoying a Cuban cigar - sold at that establishment, and lit by the Cigar Sommelier. That's an interesting experience since they use wooden spills (made from the box liners - Spanish Cedar) to light the cigar versus a lighter, or heaven forbid, a candle or matches. Prices vary from 10-15 CUC for a decent smoke. There are a few Pastelaria's around town (frequented by locals), and a famous one is close by Hotel Inglaterra where you can find a coffee and Palmier type pastry at a very inexpensive price.Taking a ride around the city in a taxi can be quite a treat! Parked along some central city squares are a wide array of colourful vintage 50's automobiles that operate as taxis to choose from, some with open tops (no Aircon). Or you can simply hail a yellow cab. Be prepared to negotiate before taking off on your journey. The vintage cars could be 30-40 CUC per hour. It would be a shame not to take one of these rides having gone all this way. They are an Instagram dream!Probably best to take an arranged tour to see the places of interest such as Revolution Square, the cemetery, museums, old city, Hemingway's hangouts and the cigar factory etc. These can range from half to full day and with or without lunch. Your Hotel concierge will direct you to the Tour Desk ran by one of the government's agencies like Gaviota. Your guide will speak English, and expect a tip. Take water and a hat. Try and take in a performance at the Opera House - it's a fabulous place with superb performances in a world class setting. Quite an experience!Internet is available in some locations and accessed by a pre-paid card - sometimes issued (free) by your Hotel. You need to sign on using 2 x 12-digit access codes, which you have to key in each time your device shuts down, or when you get thrown off the wifi. The card lasts 72-hours. Speed is acceptable. VPN's work...and may be required for some services like Viber. As I said, a visit to a cigar factory can be arranged - we went to Partagas which is very close to the city centre and not far from the Romeo y Julieta factory and shop. Here you will witness the process of leaf selection, rolling and bundling of cigars as well as labels being attached. What you won't see is the final selection process, and boxing - this is something off limits - and I wonder if that's part of their secret sauce. Cigars can be purchased at the RYJ shop -and expect to find the usual suspects - mostly Robusto sizes, and a very limited selection of upscale brands like Cohiba and Trinidad. You can buy single sticks, variety packs in small cello bags, or boxes. They are all fresh in nature, and most likely best to age them if you can avoid the temptation to light up. No limit as far as I can tell in regards the quantity you can buy. Cigars are touted along the streets, but I was not tempted to purchase what could well have been fakes. If you seek an upscale cigar experience, I recommend the newly opened Cohiba Cigar Atmosphere shop and lounge in the Gran Manzana complex. Here you can enjoy a reasonably priced smoke with a Cuban coffee in air-conditioned surroundings and a very comfy chair. The staff will also perform the lighting ceremony for you. If coffee is not your thing, they have alcohol and cocktails. Don't know if they do snacks. Remember, nearly all businesses are government run - so when you buy something or consume a service, you are invariably supporting the regime - something the current US President is very anti. In fact, apart from souvenirs - hats, t-shirts and cotton shopping bags, rum and cigars, as well as cost of Hotel, travel and dining, there is not much else you can spend your money on. There are no malls, or corner shops. Having said that, a small gallery of boutique shops had just opened at the same Gran Manzana complex, but it's unlikely you will shop there as the selection is limited.Better spend your time walking around Old Havana, enjoying the sights of imposing and impressive buildings and imagine what life must have been in its glory days and listen to the lustful sounds of Cuban music drifting from the bars as you walk along the streets willing you to come in and dance to the irresistible beat of the salsa. Cuba - a must see!

UK Hotels Encouraged To Vary OTA Pricing

Duetto Research Blog 19 July 2017
The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has called upon hoteliers to compete directly with the OTAs on price. The CMA has urged hotels to offer a lower price on other OTAs than on Expedia or Booking.com, and to offer extras in the price, such as breakfast. The call to action came after a recent Europe-wide study of hotel, OTA and metasearch site pricing found that 79% of hotels had not varied the price of rooms across OTA platforms since 2015.

Take TV Beyond the Living Room With a Unified, Multiscreen TV-Delivery Platform.

Adobe Digital Marketing 19 July 2017
In Anytown, USA, a family of four is gathering in the living room to watch some TV, but they’re not all watching the same show. Mom and son are streaming Stranger Things on Netflix, Dad is catching the fifth inning of the Cubs game on his iPad, and their ‘tween daughter is glued to this week’s episode of The Great British Baking Show on her smartphone. And, as Mom heads to the gym and the kids leave to hang out with friends, each of them expects their mobile devices to pick back up right where they left off.

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.

Local Measure Helps Canada's Group Germain Hotels Double Guest Interaction, Personalize Service, And Cut Response Rates During Stays

Local Measure 18 July 2017
New York and Montreal -- Social Intelligence provider Local Measure has helped one of Canada's premier luxury hotel groups double guest interaction during their stays on property and cut response times by more than 80% in less than six months, through the company's proprietary social intelligence platform.For Group Germain Hotels, the impact has been significant as the company builds its capacity for delivering best in class experiences by focusing on each guest's personal preferences and delivering service that consistently surprises and delights.Clarah Germain, who heads social media and content, said, "We are delighted to partner with Local Measure, whose platform enables us to merge local content, social media and mobile technology to reach our guests as they have never been reached before - directly and during their stay, allowing teams to provide even more personalized service and engaging with them in person as well as online.She concluded, "As a result of our collaboration, we have been able to cut guest service response time dramatically, further increase our level of guest interaction, and provide an even more uniquely personalized level of service - all thanks to our online program. Local Measure provides a tool that aligns perfectly with our mission of exceeding our guests' expectations - and we look forward to even better results in the months ahead."Headquartered in Australia, with offices in Singapore, Dubai, London, Miami and Los Angeles, Local Measure has proprietary technology that allows brands and businesses to deliver exceptional service to their customers, engage with them in real-time and build out rich customer profiles on their preferences. It now partners with hotels in more than 500 cities worldwide, including some of the world's most visible and respected brands.Local Measure's CEO and Founder, Jonathan Barouch, said, " We are pleased to share some of the results of our partnership with Group Germain Hotels, whose properties already set new standards of warmth, style and personalized service across Canada. Utilizing our social intelligence platform, properties have been able to take this personalization to a new level, building loyalty and increasing guest satisfaction where it counts - during a guest's stay on property. We look forward to sharing more success stories with the hotel industry as our growth continues."For more detailed information on the Group Germain Hotel's success with Local Measure, please visit https://www.localmeasure.com/resources/case-studies/solution/groupe-germain-hotelsAbout Local MeasureLocal Measure is the leading customer intelligence platform in the tourism and hospitality sectors. Local Measure's clients include many of the world's largest tourism and hospitality brands. The company merges local content, social media and mobile technology, to provide customers with live access to operationalize customer data, rich content and analytics at a local level. For more information about Local Measure, visit our website and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.About Group Germain HotelsGroup Germain Hotels is a family-run business that owns and operates Le Germain Hotels and Alt Hotels across Canada. Ranked as one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies, Group Germain Hotels is renowned for impeccable warmth and style at its hotels. Since opening their first property in 1998, the 1,000 staff members of Group Germain Hotels have welcomed guests totalling nearly 4 million rooms nights. Visit www.groupegermain.com.Contact:Michael Frenkel, MFC PR -Michael@mfcpr.com/201-317-705

Springer-Miller Partners with OpenKey

PAR Springer-Miller 18 July 2017
Springer-Miller Systems (SMS), the leading provider of guest-centric hospitality management systems, today announced its integration with OpenKey, the industry standard for universal mobile key technology in hotels.Properties within Springer-Miller's SMS|Host property management system portfolio will have upgraded access to OpenKey's robust technology solution revolutionizing the hotel guest experience by adding practicality and convenience. The award-winning OpenKey app enables hotel staff to control guest room access remotely and allows guests the ability to use their smartphone for mobile entry to their room.The fully-integrated SMS|Host Hospitality Management System provides core property management tools as well as Point-of-Sale, Owner Management, Online Booking and other key functionality for today's hospitality industry. In addition, SMS|Host interfaces with leading industry systems such as OpenKey to ensure a seamless operating environment for hotels and resorts and the tools to power impeccable guest-centric service."We want our customers to provide an impeccable hospitality experience for their guests by embracing the technology we use every day," said Rob Selwah, President of Springer-Miller Systems. "We're delighted to incorporate the next generation OpenKey experience for our valued customers."The Springer-Miller management system seamlessly interfaces with the OpenKey Front Desk platform allowing reservation information to automatically populate into the hotel receptionist portal, decreasing check-in time and improving overall guest experience."We are thrilled about our partnership with Springer-Miller," said TJ Person, CEO of OpenKey. "Our mutual goal is to grow the integration over time to continue providing SMS customers the most simple, secure mobile key experience while improving guest satisfaction."About OpenKeyFounded in 2014, OpenKey is reinventing the hospitality experience through its mobile access solution. The OpenKey app is the industry standard for universal mobile key technology and works with the majority of digital hotel locks. Hotels and their guests benefit from OpenKey's platform providing efficiency, convenience and cost savings. OpenKey is a privately held company located in Plano, Texas. The company has been funded by several of the largest hotel ownership and management companies in the world. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices. For more information, please visit www.openkey.co.About Springer-Miller SystemsSpringer-Miller Systems provides premier software solutions for the finest hotels, resorts and spas worldwide. Springer-Miller Systems offers the SMS|Host Hospitality Management System, the truly guest-centric and fully-integrated property management system, and SpaSoft(r), a dynamic activities management and scheduling software solution for luxury spas. Visit www.springermiller.com for more information.

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

The future of digital marketing: Change it if you can!

By Sanjay Chib
The digital landscape is changing... and it is changing the hotel business itself. As Les Roches' Sanjay Chib explains, among other big changes ahead is the fact that hotel businesses will incur higher and higher marketing costs as they attempt to capitalize on the digital behavioral profiles of their customers. This could mean, he says, that whole marketing departments would be phased out, morphing into integrated digital teams as organizations undergo digital transformation. A realistic scenario?
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Tips To Operate With Living Wage In The British Hospitality Sector

AETHOS Consulting Group 18 July 2017
On this basis, I sat down with Mark Kuperman, Chief Operating Officer at Revenue Management Solutions (RMS). Mark and his team assist the hospitality industry by providing data-driven solutions to better manage revenues. RMS takes "the guess work out of crucial business decisions while optimizing gross profit and protecting brand value." Mark and I spoke about how a significant number of employees in the UK received their biggest pay rise to date as the National Living Wage leapt to PS7.50 an hour on April 6th, 2017. In line with Chancellor Philip Hammond's Autumn Statement and Spring Budget announcement, more than two million employees over the age of 25 benefited from the 4% increase. Further to this, 21- to 24-year-olds received a rise of 10 pence per hour. This is in a bid to reach the government's target of PS9 per hour by 2020 for over 25s, with further demand to extend this increase to 21- to 24-year-olds. According to Tahola, an industry's leading business analytics provider, this could result in operators facing an annual increase of PS100,912.50. However, it's not just labour costs that will hit operators; planned increases in employer pension contributions from 1% to 3% could elevate the cost to operators to more than PS109,000 by 2020.It is thus quite clear that UK hotel and restaurant operators must become smarter in navigating this challenging business environment, which, in the recent past, has put a lot of pressure on the bottom line. Consensus within the industry is that many restaurant operators will be forced, amongst other operational levers, to raise menu prices, whilst streamlining their staffing structure. However, Mark believes there are other ways to effectively offset rising labour costs -- without the need to cut staff or dramatically increase prices. Here are some of his suggestions.1) Better align staffing needs to optimise labour costs: It may sound obvious; however, it's often something that gets overlooked by operators in search of shrewd ways to offset rising costs. Cutting staff is not the way, as this impacts the overall restaurant experience for customers. The key here is to manage the value equation in the eyes of customers and never consider raising prices, whilst cutting service levels. In fact, there's the saying, "food brings them in and service drives them out." Operators need to better align staffing needs, with consideration given to peak verses off-peak staffing rotas.2) The importance of taking a demand-based approach to pricing: Multi-site operators can go even further. Reviewing item-level data for each restaurant on a site-by-site basis across the estate will reveal which restaurants could be organised into different price bands based on customers' reaction to previous price moves. Taking the customer's willingness to spend into consideration will ensure customers continue to see value for money when visiting the brand. For operators to successfully navigate price barriers, they must first understand a customer's willingness to spend. For many operators, increasing menu prices is inevitable. However, there are certain price barriers consumers are reluctant to cross. Therefore, it is important that operators don't simply go ahead and increase prices, without first analysing customer sensitivity to pricing across all menu items. If done well, an operator can expect higher profits without any signs of customers changing their buying patterns and behaviours.3) Technology is the most powerful tool to let staff "serve up a storm": For the first time ever, technology really is becoming the driving force within hospitality. In such a saturated marketplace, operators are turning to technology, to not only get ahead of the competition, but also to deliver on that all-important customer experience. Think kitchen automation, delivery, online ordering, digital tablet ordering and mobile payments - the list really is endless. The beauty of technology for operators is that it seamlessly steps in as a silent partner to take care of the customer journey, leaving staff to deliver on that all-important experience.4) Get ahead of the times and have a game plan: Unlike increases in food inflation, which are somewhat unpredictable, rises in labour costs can be planned for. As such, operators need to get a long-term plan in place to address these additional costs. In an environment of increasing costs, operators will be in a much stronger position if they make price changes in smaller increments, which are spread over time, not touching the same items in consecutive rounds, rather than implementing them in one hit. The luxury of having time to plan also means that operators can test the water and assess what works best for their business, employees and customers before rolling it out across their entire estate.5) Profit versus efficiencies - spring clean your menu: Streamlining the number of items offered on a menu will help reduce labour costs and indeed improve execution. Chefs should be looking at the operational impact of specific menu items to see if the way certain dishes are prepared impacts profitability or throughput. Operators need to consider whether they have menu items that are profitable, but actually slow down service. To give you an example, a quesadilla could be a profitable menu item, but the resource needed to prepare it could be, in fact, slowing down operations back-of-house. Therefore, operators need to give serious consideration to where there are bottlenecks in delivering operational efficiencies.Mark thus urges the industry to be prepared and consider a variety of mechanisms available in one's tool box to combat the current business environment. Over a recent lunch with Mike Williams, People Director at Byron, Mike and I concurred with Mark's conclusion and recommendation. He said, "When faced with unprecedented operating cost increases, it can put the squeeze on even the best organisation. In the past, I have seen operations cut labour and costs to such a degree that employee engagement and the customer experience were both negatively impacted. Thus, a vicious circle begins... cutting costs because of decreased sales and thereby continuing to negatively affect the customer experience, which, in turn, puts further pressure on sales, resulting in a new round of cost cuttings." Mike continued commenting, "The solution is not so one-dimensional in such a complex and competitive sector. A blend of investment in technology, culture, service and consumer research can give you the best of chances to take advantage of this shift in the sector. While competitors cut costs and deliver less for more, those who invest and who are proactive will gain market share and continued consumer support." A senior industry executive spearheading business operations at another well-recognised casual dining brand added to Mike's comment, saying, "In times like these, characterised by a tight (and tightening) labour market, recruitment and staffing become even more challenging. We have thus re-doubled our efforts in regards to cross-training and building an internal talent pipeline whilst also further fine-tuning our processes and standard operating procedures to identify new best practices. Whilst none of this is revolutionary in itself, or even new, organisations are well advised to use these new market pressures and realities to re-direct and focus their efforts and energy."

The Value of Time for Hotels' Revenue Strategy

Duetto Research Blog 18 July 2017
Hotel revenue managers are tasked with making money, but first they have to make time. Requests for numbers never stop coming in — whether it’s the owners wanting RevPAR performance at a glance or GMs needing an operational forecast — and meeting those needs for reports can take up too much of a revenue leader’s time. But finding ways to automate reports, forecasts, budgets and data visualization gives a hotel company the bandwidth it needs to think more strategically and yield rates intelligently, says Susie Rossi, VP of revenue management and training for Oxford Corporate. She recently led the adoption of ScoreBoard, Duetto’s cloud-based application for forecasting and data reporting, at Oxford’s 18 hotels in Oregon, California, Washington and Idaho.

SnapShot and StayNTouch Partner to Provide Hotels Across the US with a Smarter Analytics Tool

Snapshot GmbH 18 July 2017
Berlin, Germany -- SnapShot, leading provider of fully integrated applications and analytics for the hospitality industry, announced today that it has joined forces with the American hotel property management systems company, StayNTouch. Through this partnership, StayNTouch customers will have complimentary access to SnapShot's trademark Analytics dashboard, which provides hoteliers with in-depth insight into their properties' happenings, on and offline.SnapShot Analytics aggregates pricing, benchmarking and PMS data, as well as TripAdvisor reviews, social media statistics, and Google Analytics, all of which appear on a single, easy-to-use dashboard. Information is updated daily, so hotel managers always have access to the latest data regarding their properties.Furthermore, StayNTouch customers will be able to take advantage of the other applications in the recently released SnapShot Marketplace, a fleet of tools which are fully integrated to each partner PMS's data, so that hoteliers can start using the apps immediately. SnapShot Marketplace tools, designed specifically for the hospitality industry, cater to hoteliers managing single- and multi-property businesses.SnapShot and StayNTouch have been working together over the last few months to help educate hoteliers on how to make the most of the technology available to them. In April, the companies joined Travel Tripper in hosting a webinar on building the perfect hotel tech stack."It has been a pleasure working with StayNTouch, helping hoteliers to better understand the data they have in front of them on a daily basis," said Clive Wood, SnapShot's Vice President of Business Development for the East Coast. "We look forward now to equipping StayNTouch's clients with the tools they need to make better, quicker, and smarter business decisions," Wood continued."The successful hoteliers in today's ultra-competitive hospitality marketplace are looking to understand their customer better in order to provide a differentiated guest experience from pre-purchase to check-out," said, Jos Schaap, CEO and Founder of StayNTouch. "With SnapShot's powerful toolset integrated with their StayNTouch PMS, these hoteliers can now make decisions and take action quickly and effectively."If you are a StayNTouch customer, activate your SnapShot Analytics dashboard here. To find out more about Analytics and Marketplace, visit the SnapShot website.About StayNTouchStayNTouch is a "Software as a Service" hotel property management systems (PMS) company focused on developing solutions that help hotels raise service levels, drive revenues, reduce costs, and ultimately change the way hotels can captivate their guests. Developed with mobility in mind, the pioneering platform enables hotels to create long lasting relationships with their guests by delivering personalized service levels that today's guests require.StayNTouch operates on tablets and smartphones, empowering hotel employees to go above and beyond in exceeding guest expectations at every touch point. Powering over 75,000 rooms globally, our game-changing solution frees hotels from the constraints of legacy or premise systems, dramatically streamlines operations, increases margins, and revolutionizes how front-line staff connect with guests.StayNTouch is a trusted partner to many of the most forward thinking hotels, resorts, casinos and chains in the industry, including Yotel, Zoku Amsterdam, Valencia Hotels, The Freehand Hotels, Modus Hotels and the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. For more information, visit www.stayntouch.com.

Hotels make strides measuring ancillary revenues finds report

EyeforTravel 18 July 2017
As part of the report revenue managers were asked in both 2014 and 2017 "which of the following ancillary revenues can your revenue management system account for?" The findings show that in every single ancillary stream category measurement has risen and the number who reported that their system could not account for any ancillary revenues fell from 22.8% to 16.7%.In 2014, food and beverage was the most measured type of ancillary revenue but that has now been overtaken by room and service upgrades, at 43.8% of respondents, and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) at 45.8%. In both categories the percentage of systems measuring revenues increased by more than 10%. Even more dramatically, the measurement of tours, experiences and packages more than doubled, pointing to this revenue stream being recognized by hotel management as an important revenue stream and service for customers.Overall, every revenue stream was now being measured by revenue management systems to a greater degree than in 2014. The percentage of managers who reported that their system could not account for any of the revenue streams we asked about also fell from 22.8% to 16.7% of respondents, demonstrating substantial progress in monitoring and quantifying ancillary revenues.However, there was no type of ancillary reported as being measured by more than 50% of respondents, pointing to there still being some way to go."It is encouraging that progress is being made but we would probably have expected it to be slightly faster than what we have found," said Alex Hadwick, Head of Research at EyeforTravel. "We also asked revenue managers whether they felt they had the tools to do the job effectively and 71% said they did not, so it seems there are still technical and investment roadblocks. Removing these will be vital to hotels achieving their full potential revenue potential."Click here to download the research now and get the full report, including:The effect of competitors on pricing, how to account for them and what strategies to take to get a competitive edge.Understanding and constructing predictive analytics.Understanding the costs of a business's channel mix and how to win direct bookings.The state of the industry's approach to ancillary revenues.The key metrics every revenue manager should be working toward.The future of a revenue manager's role and the skills they will require.

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