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Vizergy Introduces TargetingHub - An innovative new platform that identifies your target customer and deploys smarter marketing campaigns

Vizergy ·25m
JACKSONVILLE, FL. -- Vizergy, the developer of award winning booking and marketing solutions for the hospitality industry, has launched a one of a kind data-driven intelligence tool, TargetingHub, as part of the company's continuing efforts to bring sophisticated, seamless, and innovative solutions to its customers. Using the TargetingHub is simple. Users connect their customer data to the Vizergy Marketing System, either through an interface or a data upload app and in 24 hours the data is analyzed and appended, providing a complete analysis of your most profitable customers' attributes, buying habits, location and persona.Customers can use TargetingHub insights to launch smarter, more integrated marketing campaigns. With over 140 pre-defined campaign ideas tailored to the hospitality industry, customers can quickly plan an omni-channel marketing strategy and save each idea to their content marketing calendar for future deployment. The system also features robust tracking functionality and analytics, with ROI for each campaign launched with the click of a mouse.Solving the Problem of Big Data UsabilityData is no longer hard to gather but businesses struggle to keep up or make good marketing decisions quickly. Many platforms house data but none offer a simplistic analysis of who your customers are until today. More impressively, TargetingHub is the only solution available to hospitality marketers that leverages a full range of messaging channels including media, social, website personalization, email and more. TargetingHub pulls all of these marketing tactics together seamlessly, allowing marketers to understand how these channels work in concert with one another.TargetingHub enhances the already superior functionality of the Vizergy Marketing System and provides clear, actionable insights into your best customers and the customers you want to attract. TargetingHub is a new customer acquisition engine.Joe Hyman, Vizergy's Founder and CEO, says "Marketers need an uncomplicated way to create omnichannel marketing strategies using data to drive seamless experiences - one that doesn't require thousands of dollars in new funding, multiple resources, and months to years to realize. Hyman continues, "We set out to build something that simplified marketers' jobs and provided real, actionable insights that they could use to drive revenue - not just with e-mail - but using all of the marketing channels available today."Learn how the TargetingHub can work for you by requesting a FREE demo. www.targetinghub.com
Article by Larry Mogelonsky

Hotel Trends in Technology for 2018

Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited ·2h
1. Wielding Your CRMIt's been a long road from simply trying to comprehend what a CRM is to full data terminal integration and leveraging the inferences based from these interconnections. In 2018, those ambitious hoteliers who have fought to amalgamate all their hotels' various guest profile databases into one unified system will now see the fruits of their labor. With a rich CRM you can drill down to craft highly targeted and overly effective promotional offers. You can also design better onsite programs to capture more ancillary revenue. Above all, knowing guest preferences lets you build a more bespoke experience. I will admit, though, that attaining a unified CRM amongst all of a hotel's databases is a bit like pulling teeth, but it's a necessary evil nonetheless.2. Smart TVs Become a RealityThe epitome underlying any technological democratization is the gradual lowering of prices so that the new toys become more accessible to the masses. While smart televisions were fun to demo at past conventions, many of us never really gave them much thought beyond that. Now, however, with sticker shock waning, a bulk order of new in-room wall monitors may be just the ticket for your 2018 upgrade budget. Further, the table name electronic brands like Samsung have built the latest iterations of these devices with greater degrees of compatibility than ever before so that they have significantly less depreciation and more utility over the long-term, especially for when you eventually decide to upgrade to a smart thermostat, digital door signage, bathroom wall displays or any other component that can integrate directly into the television.3. Casting as ExpectationAs streaming services like Amazon and Hulu usurp traditional broadcast as the primary medium for television consumption and cord-cutting becomes ever more prevalent across all demographics, having casting technology in the guestroom is likewise moving from a value-add to an expectation. Put another way, if you can't facilitate a proper connection between guests' phones and the in-room televisions so they can stream off their own stored profiles, you risk making the overall experience feel dated and mediocre at best. In tandem with the spread of smart TVs, the good news is that there's also democratization at work here, meaning that this tech is now cheaper and simpler. Not only are casting boxes provided by companies like SONIFI easy to install and use, but televisions are also more amenable to these kinds of software and hardware connections.4. Digital ArtIt's time to think of screens as more than just mediums by which to watch sports or scroll through endless movie options on Netflix. When you consider a public space, screens have the potential to display whatever programs they are instructed to run. While you can start small by playing around with cool new electronic corridor signage that helps to evoke the core of your brand, you can also make quite a splash by recruiting an interior designer to transform a series of parallel monitors into a lattice of locomotive yet eloquent artwork. With OLEDs drastically cutting the energy cost and new screens built specifically for outdoor durability, digital art will soon see wide deployment to increase the allure of hotel lobbies or other public areas. If you're interested in pursuing something down this road, your first action should be to recruit an art consultant to help you source the people and develop the theme.5. Training Goes TechIn search of new and creative ways to cut costs, hoteliers are now looking for technology to solve their staffing woes. Building a mobile app for associates to learn the fundamentals of their job responsibilities like what's offered by HubEngage represents the base level for this, as it can sharply reduce a supervisor's time spent on job shadowing as well as a manager's time on one-to-many communication bulletins. Looking beyond mere cost savings, though, harnessing the power of tech for training can heighten team accountability, eliminate legacy issues and boost overall morale which in turn translates to less employee turnover and absenteeism. The pinnacle for this silo is Novility which teaches SOPs as well as corrective exercises through a motion-sensor training station. In short, training hardware and software helps to enrich your team so guest service delivery is never compromised.6. ...And Wellness for AllTwo population trends are contributing to the rise of wellness programs at hotels such as Hilton's Five Feet to Fitness or throughout any of IHG's EVEN properties. First is the overall aging of the Western World, which will inexorably lead to an increased demand for care products, of which tech can play a role in helping to facilitate this demographic's extended independence. Meanwhile, millennials and the iGeneration have largely been raised under the belief that diet and exercise are essential for one's health, and these digital natives are always on the lookout for brands that can motivate them in this regard. Whether it's apps that track their daily movement patterns or interactive tools to stimulate them to fit in a workout whenever its possible, this health consciousness can mean big business for any hotel brand that wishes to capitalize upon it by using tech to help get people moving.

The hotel that talks back is the future

EyeforTravel ·2h
The hotel of the future might become an interlinked artificial intelligence that can speak back to the guest through speakers and chatbots to suggest activities to the guest, answer their queries and solve their complaints says the report. Using AI-powered voice and chat capabilities to do these tasks provides more convenient channels for guest interactions that can not only improve satisfaction with their stay but also drive revenues.Both chatbots and voice systems working through smart speakers can be integrated into a whole system, recording all requests and integrated into a Property Management System (PMS). Largely these early investigations into interactive AI are as smart concierges for hotels, with both big and independent chains deploying the tech."We created a conversation concierge so that people can get all of their informational experience through channels they are more used to operating. It delivers specific responses very quickly. It positions the hotel as a trusted advisor," says Charles Cadbury, Co-Founder of Dazzle Technology, a start-up that implements and operates smart speakers for the hospitality industry."Hotels are able to listen to what the guests want and get real time data of who is asking for what and when. Then they can make real time adjustments to their product or services to cater to those requests."The other benefit of offering these services out to guests through voice or chat interfaces is that hotels staff are alleviated of a lot of mundane tasks and can really focus on delivering a high quality of service to guests.Jeffrey Parker, Vice President of Hospitality Systems, Red Lion Hotels Corporation, says that, according to experts, between 50-75% of guest questions can be responded to by a Bot. "This can relieve questions to the desk staff and other departments. The appropriate way to do it is to also link to your service app infrastructure and have a warm hand-off to a real person.""Conversation allows you to ask very specific answers in a type of communication you are most comfortable with," says Cadbury. "And because it's not a live conversation, you're not tying up staff on the phone."However, Parker has a warning: "Don't ever let your app pretend to be a real person. Be transparent with your guests." (For more on chatbots click here for our free report).The human element is also still highly relevant in creating the background that can make these interactive AIs possible. Humans are necessary to create a culture of recording and measuring guest interactions and building up the background data. IHG used their customer service call centres to help build up their Alexa offering, for example."The best way to build a picture of the guest is to leverage the hotel's greatest assets, their people, to capture every seemingly relevant detail humans need to build personal relationships," says Armand Rabinowitz, Senior Director of Strategy and Workgroups at Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG).Similar to putting a data strategy in place, hotels need to think about the individual guest when implementing voice and chat functions. Hotels can't just charge in and introduce voice to every room and client, privacy issues are at play too. "We need to take clues from the guest and offer services based on what profile we think they are, but not to the extent we ruin that relationship," says Parker. Hotels need to offer guests the choice and respect their decision if they ask for connected devices to be removed. Chains such as Marriott and IHG are working closely with Amazon to develop solutions that provide the guests with a seamless experience while also protecting their privacy. Data collection and privacy issues will only be highlighted as the EU's GDPR regulation comes into force warns the report.To download The Future of In-Stay Technology report for free, click here.We have also covered voice technology and its implications for travel in a dedicated new report on the topic, which is free to download now here, as well as chatbots, which can be downloaded here.
Article by

5 Ways Platforms Can Transform Your Hotel Operations

When it comes to hotel management, there are so many demands starving for a slice of your fiscal pie that it can become overwhelming to figure out where funds can be utilized most effectively. But surprisingly, the most important concern of guests is something hotels can drastically improve upon. "Staff Service" was found to be the top guest complaint found in online reviews, according to a survey of attendees at last year's Revenue Strategy Summit (RSS). Although resolving this issue may seem like a daunting task, it is actually very simple thanks to today's technology.In the 2016 book, Platform Revolution, a platform is defined as a business model that "uses technology to connect people, organizations, and resources in an interactive ecosystem in which amazing amounts of value can be created and exchanged."This immediate value includes impressive time-saving and revenue-generating benefits, which make platforms the best use of budget funds.Here are five reasons why you should budget for a hotel platform in 2018:1. Businesses Embracing Platform Strategies Are Thriving (And Vice-Versa)From Airbnb and Uber to Amazon and Netflix, businesses utilizing platforms are shaking up industries. This new model resolves issues of communication gaps that have been plaguing hotels for centuries, as platforms allow hotels to consolidate their front desk, concierge, maintenance, housekeeping, and operations departments with guests and vendor relations, which has proven imperative for hotels to compete with lodging service. Seamless communication through platforms leads to accountability and efficiency, and enables hotels to adapt to the fast-changing demands of guests expectations. But that's only the beginning. Even better platforms have an advanced open Application Programming Interface (API) that connects hotels with other systems that may be currently in place, including PMS, POS, and third-party management systems. When combined with the wealth of data stored on times, costs, and ratings, the platform is able to reveal valuable data for GMs to gain insight into what are the most cost-effective options.2. Guests are Getting the MessageFor today's tech-savvy consumer, customization and instant gratification aren't an added perk. They're a way of life. Text messaging has become the favored means of communication due to its ease of use and convenience, and has exploded in recent years as the engagement channel of choice at hotels, and not just among Millennials. Pew Research reveals that 99% of text messages are read by recipients and 90% read within three minutes of delivery - it's no wonder texting is replacing the traditional means of communicating with guests. By allowing guests to request services more easily and using guest activity to personalize messages, texting also increases engagement and drives guest loyalty.The best hospitality platforms funnel text messages into the same integrated back-end to create an organized text trail that neither phone nor in-person conversations provide. Keeping guests happy has never been more of a priority before due to the increased impact of online reviews on revenue, as today's guests have easy and instant access to write about their experience on their mobile phones and in real-time across multiple channels. The challenge for most hotels is that there is no system of accountability to find out how long housekeeping is taking to deliver pillows, or for maintenance to fix a broken A/C, so many hotels are discovering their issues the worst way possible - reading about them in online reviews. The right hotel platform offers a more proactive approach through data reporting, and fixes issues before they become widespread or even before they happen to begin with.3. The Best Way to Improve Performance Is to Measure ItWhile most hotels rely on radios to communicate with staff, radios don't offer systems to track fulfillment, make note of issues, or allow guests to voice a complaint if a service didn't meet their expectations. These interactions have no traceability, using paper records are difficult to coordinate, and guest requests are not captured in a searchable place so hotels can't learn about guest habits over time. Hotels using analog tools have no idea what their issues are, so they can't fix them. Not only does a shared platform enable staff and guests to communicate together to know when things are going right or wrong, it also provides a trackable system of metrics for management to know how long services are taking and where things can be improved.4. Easy Set Up and Quick Learning CurveMost GMs are so consumed with putting out fires, they feel that they don't have time to invest in long-term solutions that will prevent all those problems to begin with. Successful leaders are those that take measures to prevent problems from returning. The reality is, not only is the pain of upgrading short, it's not even as painful or time-consuming as most GMs assume. In fact, most hotels making the switch to hospitality solutions can start with a slow roll in a matter of weeks and are fully converted within a couple months or less. Another worry is whether consumers really be embracing new technologies quickly enough to make the investment worthwhile. Executives at Blockbuster had asked the same question when they had an opportunity to buy Netflix for $50 million back in 2000. Sure, that's a different industry, but where are all the hotels these days without irons, key cards, and WIFI? Hotels who adopt technology early and implement platforms to ease customer communication will come out on top with the new generation of travelers.5. You Can't Put a Price Tag on SecurityWhether caused by nature, machinery, or man, life-threatening emergencies do happen. When they do, it becomes extremely important to have the most streamlined method of communications available. A platform integrated with security systems can assess the situation and go on lock-down if necessary and can send an emergency message to all staff and guests immediately at the touch of a button. The right platform can not only offer data to help make security assessments, but can also help you manage them if they're already in progress.

DataArt Joins HEDNA to Champion Technology Innovation and Collaboration

DataArt ·2h
New York, London, Munich - January 16, 2018 - DataArt, the global technology consultancy that designs, develops and supports unique software solutions, today announced it has joined the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA).As a member of HEDNA, DataArt joins hundreds of the most influential companies in the hospitality industry focused on accelerating innovation and advancing the hotel distribution landscape through strategic collaboration and knowledge sharing. DataArt's Travel and Hospitality team helps navigate the complicated, domain-specific systems and inner workings of the travel industry, having designed and delivered end-to-end solutions in and around GDS, CRS, PMS, RMS, IBE, TMC, CRM, CMS and POS systems in travel and hospitality.According to Andrew Sanders, VP of DataArt's Travel and Hospitality Practice, "Becoming a member of HEDNA is a testament to the company's ongoing and long-term commitment to supporting and advancing the hotel and travel industry. We look forward to becoming actively involved with HEDNA and its members as both attendees at the upcoming HEDNA Conference in Austin and supporting the Working Groups."Over the past few years, DataArt has become one of the most widely recognized and important technology consultancies in the world. It has been included in the Inc. 5000 List of the fastest-growing private U.S. companies for seven consecutive years, posting record revenue and consistent annual growth of over 30% during that time, on track to repeat this stellar performance in 2018. DataArt is also a member of HTNG, HSMAI, and OpenTravel and plans to expand involvement in the future, engaging with the community on a deeper level."We are thrilled to welcome DataArt as a new member," said Sarah Fults, President of HEDNA. "It is imperative to include development and design companies as part of our organization due to their agnostic approach and domain expertise. Bringing together the best professional minds from such a diverse membership base makes for a better association."To learn more about DataArt's travel solutions, visit dataart.com.About DataArt DataArt is a global technology consultancy that designs, develops and supports unique software solutions, helping clients take their businesses forward. Recognized for their deep domain expertise and superior technical talent, DataArt teams create new products and modernize complex legacy systems that affect technology transformation in select industries.DataArt has earned the trust of some of the world's leading brands and most discerning clients, including Nasdaq, S&P, Travelport, Ocado, artnet, Betfair, and Apple Leisure Group among others. Organized as a global network of technology services firms, DataArt brings together expertise of over 2,500 professionals in 20 locations in the US, Europe, and Latin America.www.dataart.comTwitter: @dataartMedia Contacts:U.S. & Americas : Vica Miller +1 (212)378-4108 x 4014+44 (0) 2070-999464 x 4014 vica@dataart.comUK & Europe : Lief Anya Schneider +44 (0) 7971 950 899+44 (0) 2071 04 2213 lief@sbc.londonAbout Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA)HEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from the most influential companies in the hospitality industry. Founded in 1991, HEDNA's mission is to be the leading global forum for advancing hospitality distribution through collaboration and knowledge sharing. Its vision calls for HEDNA to be known for creating an environment that fosters strategic collaboration toward business development in the global hospitality industry. For more, visit www.HEDNA.org.

Best GDS nine years in a row - Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards

Sabre Corporation Blog 17 January 2018
For the 9th year in a row, Sabre was voted Best GDS by Travel Weekly readers in North America. These awards honor the best of the best in the travel business, from airlines, hotels, cruise lines, destinations, tour operators and more, and are chosen through a 2-phase voting process with Travel Weekly readers. Award winners represent a who’s who of the travel industry.

2018 Hotel Connectivity Predictions

Eleven Blog 17 January 2018
As a follow-up to our recent article in Hospitality Upgrade, “The Future of Hotel Wi-Fi”, we have pulled together our insights plus thoughts from some of the industry’s best and brightest to present you with our top six predictions for hotel connectivity in 2018.

Cool Roofs - Saving Hoteliers Energy Costs!

Hotels University 17 January 2018
Hoteliers in warm and sunny climate zones often face the challenge of high monthly cooling expenses. After publishing a series on energy efficient hotel solutions, I received some questions about how a cool roof could be used in a hotel application. Cool roofs are a roofing that reflects sunlight and heat away from a building to reduce roof temperatures and the corresponding heat entering a building.

4 Reasons to Implement a Chatbot on Your Hotel Website

ICE portal 17 January 2018
Hotel chatbots are gaining popularity as they serve a number of purposes and simplify processes for both the hotel and guest. If you are considering or are on the fence about implementing a chatbot on your website, read further to learn about how they can benefit your hotel:

Is Your Company's Data Actually Valuable in the AI Era?

harvardbusiness.org 17 January 2018
jan18_16_688576276Carmen Martínez Torrón /Hayon Thapaliya/Getty Images AI is coming. That is what we heard throughout 2017 and will likely continue to hear throughout this year. For established businesses that are not Google or Facebook, a natural question to ask is: What have we got that is going to allow us to survive this transition? In our experience, when business leaders ask this with respect to AI, the answer they are given is 'data.' This view is confirmed by the business press. There are hundreds of articles claiming that 'data is the new oil' - by which they mean it is a fuel that will drive the AI economy. If that is the case, then your company can consider itself lucky. You collected all this data, and then it turned out you were sitting on an oil reserve when AI happened to show up. But when you have that sort of luck, it is probably a good idea to ask 'Are we really that lucky?' The 'data is oil' analogy does have some truth to it. Like internal combus

Employees Swipe Right to Personal Tech in the Workplace

PR 2.0 | By Brian Solis 17 January 2018
The consumerization of IT has been long in the making. While it’s nothing new, the employee-driven trends of social media, BYOD (bring your own device) and BYOA (apps) in the workplace are only accelerating and proliferating. In addition to managing enterprise technology infrastructure and digital transformation roadmaps, IT must now balance the sanctioning and connectivity of new technologies while also managing and mitigating costs, compliance, security and data risks.
Article by L. Aruna Dhir

Red Flags to watch out for to save your Business and Reputation!

L. Aruna Dhir 17 January 2018
Business is built on trust inculcated in the customer for the products the businesses sell. The success factor of any business depends on the brand value that the Business promises to deliver to the guest. This value is always defined from the perspective of the guest. The smooth running and profitability of any business is based on the efficient, hitch free movement of the supply chain taken care of by capable and diligent employees who own their roles and embody the essence of the brand principles. It is employees, who aim to raise their own standard of work and attitude to the level of an exemplary Brand Ambassador, that are the treasured lot upholding the Brand reputation and ensuring a healthy bottom-line.When these Brand Ambassadors do not uphold the brand flag and become less than competent and conscientious, the Brand value of the business, the Brand promise to the guest, Brand loyalty from the guests and Brand reputation in the minds of all stakeholders take a nosedive.So what are the prime factors that are bound to put you on a downward escalator making the climb back even more arduous and painful than when you started out!Nonchalant Staff that is ill-trained and lacks service orientationWhen we go out to work - in any job or industry - we cannot afford to be uncaring, perfunctory and uninvolved. It is a moral binding that we bring ourselves fully to our positions regardless of internal irritants that exist or imagined issues that we wrestle with.And when we are in the hospitality industry - a show business of providing experiential service to guests who come and spend their top dollar with us - such dismal disregard is completely inappropriate and unbecoming.In the Front of the House areas I find Reception Desks, Mise-en-place stations and Micros centres to be such terrible breeding grounds for overly germ-y behaviour that I dread being seated anywhere close to those.We recently went out for Dinner to a popular Italian Restaurant run by a celebrated City Chef. Unfortunately, the layout of this restaurant was perhaps such that you were always at an arm's length from those chit-chat coves. This evening, we had staff joking around, gossiping and doing anything but work at those hubs in a near empty restaurant.This behaviour pattern is such a dead giveaway for bad training, lack of interest in one's job and lack of respect both for the Company and the guests. The smirking and the smart alec-y attitude does more long term harm than can be envisaged and undone.The Missing 'Attention to detail'Paying attention to detail is a valuable trait in any profession. But in the hospitality industry it assumes far greater significance because there are so many levels of product and sub-product presentations and so many strata of service delivery opportunities.Dropping the ball even in the smallest of tasks in any section of the hotel can have a direct repercussion on the guest experience or an indirect one in terms of Brand delivery and reputation.When we walked into the above-mentioned spiffy restaurant, we were showed to a table that was not clean. Even a Fast Food restaurant with a packed house, pick-eat-go nature of service and fast turnaround cannot afford to seat guests at tables that have not been wiped; this place certainly had no excuse for that.We were seated on a table that was not ready - missing napkins and sundry other things. Soiled mats is never a good way of showcasing a restaurant and you do make matters worse when simple additions of EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar are missing from the table of an Italian restaurant.The lighting of the place was abysmally low making it difficult to read the menu. Poor lighting is an oft-repeated mistake committed the world over, in the name of ambience and mood.How can restaurants miss the basics while planning the structure? Hotels and restaurants have to have a 360 degree view of issues: - light - natural and artificial, temperature control, noise, location, pollution, traffic, accessibility amongst a host of other pertinent aspects.My biggest woe, however, at any restaurant is their complete negligence of cleanliness - telling-tales in the tines of forks, stain marks on glassware, napkins with stubborn reminders of rather sharp gravy, staff uniforms that bear the stench of climate and callousness.There are scores of restaurants - stand-alone and those in the confines of glitzy Five Stars - that kill guest satisfaction with their indifferent service and sub-standard offerings.Technologically challenged Staff, also not in step with the latest adventsTechnology, as is the human need, is evolving every nano second. A new gizmo is being invented or an old gadget updated at lightning speed for our ease, efficiency and convenience. So it is in our own interest that we stay on top of it, unlearn and relearn so as to give our optimal output.Many chains and independent hotels and restaurants invest sizeable energy and budget to systems and devices upgradation and to training their workforce in it. At a Bistro in a well-known hotel, a steward thrust a Tablet in front of me for feedback, not knowing how to operate it himself. When asked to return to a previous page he said resignedly in Hindi "woh toh chale gaya. Ab nahin milega. (The page is gone. I cannot retrieve it)."The steward erred grossly on two counts - first, he resorted to colloquial language while conversing with a guest when he should have stuck to the formal language of communication. Secondly, he or his establishment had failed to provide him with the requisite training. I felt like leaving the same sentence and sentiment as our comment on the contraption!The Heart of the Matter is not in its placeAt places with ill-trained staff, the food and atmosphere can be a great saviour. Suffice it to say that at our ill-fated outing at this 'all shine - no substance' Italian place we were denied even that. The pizza was most ordinary. Domino's does far better. The little accoutrements weremissing, the breads were far from fresh - yes all three, the Parmesan was floor dust massed-up in little balls and not freshly grated. And the tomato and basil spaghetti from the eponymous restaurant left a lot to be desired - the sauce was a thick, over stirred mass, overly salty and robbing the pasta of any taste or flavour, the spaghetti was not quite al dente. If you get your two basic dishes so wrong, how would you instil confidence in the customer to try out your trumped up menu that is heavy on the design value and comes out as a piece of literary fiction because your heart is not in its place!I once had this well-established and feared food critic share her exasperation on how the Doormen made her feel small each time she came to the hotel in a tuk-tuk / auto rickshaw. The disdainful behaviour of one team member made her feel spiteful of the hotel at large.On the other hand, I fondly recall the spotlessly liveried Doorman of The Pierre (a Four Seasons Hotel at the time of my visit) who was such a joy to have the first interface with as I got down from a public transport that was carrying me from around Newark Airport to the heart of Manhattan. The wise, well-behaved, thoroughly groomed Gent set the tone for one of the best hotel stays in my life.When up-selling leads to short-sellingSpaghetti Kitchen, the Italian Restaurant, we have been talking about in this article messed up so badly on staff that were not only ill-trained but also wrongly trained.Now, we know that all hotel staff is tutored to up sell - from the Sales & Marketing representatives and Front Office folks to the Food & Beverage personnel. But up-selling is an art form and a fine-tuned strategy. Its art lies in making subliminal suggestions to the guests who then think that it is either their own choice or have been done a favour by being sold a higher priced service / product.The good fellas at Spaghetti Kitchen were appallingly trained to be pushy and aggressive about all that up-selling they unleashed on us and other guests - from pushing heavily taxed bottled water to diners who do not drink water with their meals, to openly snickering at our small two-course order for the late, late-night quick meal we went for, to pushing desserts to a table that was disinclined towards them, to at least try to shove overrated coffee to the couple that wished to finish the meal with a simple tiramisu - these Brand Anti-Ambassadors managed to short sell their reputation and image, pushing the guests even farther from their brand.Failing to close the loop on a Guest IssueHotels and restaurants, since they are a people centric industry - by the people and for the people - fall open to a multitude of issues and crises that revolve around the troika of human ability, attitude and emotion. Nobody likes to be short-changed in their service expectation and product usage. In technological things, one can still blame the science or physics but in the service industry it is thinking, rational and able people who are at the centre of it and cannot get away by saying that the hardware malfunctioned or there was a systems error.In the case of the Italian Restaurant we have been referring to, we let our displeasure known several times during the evening. Our complaints seemed to be falling on uncaring, unwilling ears. It was only when we let the strange people at Spaghetti Kitchen know that we were "industry folk," that some sense of respect was brought forward and the erring waiter quickly replaced by the Manager and the Maitre'd. This sort of knee-jerk reaction leaves a lot to be desired and robs the guest of any confidence he may have in your brand.Since there were a plethora of issues we faced on that fateful "so-called" fine-dining dinner, we scaled up the matter to the Company's Image managers. The PR Reps., who call themselves PR Pundits, picked up our rant on the Food Forum and came back with too little, too late and too dispassionately. I gave the PR lady a reminder (reminders are sacrilege in the PR world of work); she gave me a passing apology perhaps only to go back to write her nth note to the restaurant management. The Management eventually wrote to me with the standard invite to 'come try them again "on the house"' without realizing that faith is never won with a free meal.In our line of business, there are warning signs that flag out much before they become crises for the guests. We must learn to read them in time and draw out our plan of action to keep our SOPs well-oiled much before we are coerced to get into the battle zone to do the damage control.
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SiteMinder partnership showcases authentic Italian experiences for travellers

SiteMinder 17 January 2018
The global hotel industry's leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, has partnered with one of Italy's longest-standing hotel booking providers and consultancies, Charming Italy, to provide travellers "a truly authentic Italian experience".Beginning in 1974 as a tour operator in Sardinia before launching a collection of regional hotel booking websites - CharmingSardinia.com, CharmingPuglia.com, CharmingCampania.com, CharmingSicily.com and CharmingTuscany.com - and finally CharmingItaly.com in 2010, Charming Italy today showcases the country's most luxurious hotels as bases for creating unforgettable local experiences."Many travellers today are quite savvy, so they already have a preconceived notion of what is 'standard' and standard, to them, isn't okay anymore. They are looking for something more personal and tailored. If they come to Italy, they want to live like an Italian. They want to experience something authentically and that's what Charming Italy offers. Where previously the hotel was the destination, itself, hotels are now simply an important starting point for many travellers," says Gianluca Atzeri, General Manager of Charming Italy.Among those hotels is Locanda Gulfi in Sicily's countryside, which has been listed on Charming Italy for many years.Locanda Gulfi's managing director, Carmelo Floridia, says, "The integration between SiteMinder and Charming Hotel has definitely made our lives easier. Not only has it saved us significant costs and time; it has optimised our booking and inventory management process to enable more bookings."Charming Italy features a curated list of nearly 500 boutique and luxury hotels that are 'Made in Italy' and personify Italian hospitality. Each property is selected for its uniqueness as well as its proximity to the country's best food and wine, design, traditions, fashion and lifestyle.According to Italy's national tourism agency, Enit, Italy is the most desired tourism destination in the world. Its tourism industry is worth more than EUR70 billion to represent over four percent of the country's GDP. The country was also recently named the most Instagrammed country of all time, with more than 50 million posts."SiteMinder is pleased to partner with Charming Italy, an esteemed brand for hoteliers and travellers alike, and a wonderful advocate for true Italian hospitality," says Simona Melone, Country Manager - Italy at SiteMinder.About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder's products include The Channel Manager, the industry's leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world's major global distribution systems. With more than 27,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry's top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.About Charming ItalyUsers of Charming Italy don't settle for common tips; they look for travel professionals and experts of the Italian hospitality. The Atzeri Family, active in the travel industry since 1975, selects only the best of the 'Made in Italy' hospitality. They constantly search for exclusive accommodations, where charm does not necessary means opulence. The accommodations are chosen for two reasons: they represent a true piece of Italy, and they give travellers the keys to enter and to discover it first-hand.For more information, visit www.charmingitaly.com.

EyeforTravel have an attendee list for the data travel elite that they think you need to see!

EyeforTravel 17 January 2018
With more travelers turning to the internet and mobile to get ideas, inspiration, and options for their trips. There's more data on each customer from their searches, saved preferences and previous travels. This event covers data analytics, revenue management, marketing analytics and artificial intelligence and personlizartion. Data is where it's all at - see how you can leverage data to get up close and personal with your customer.EyeforTravel are excited about this shift towards smart data and have positioned their EyeForTravel Smart Travel Data Summit (Feb 27-28, Miami) to focus on just that, and are even offering a sneak peak of their attendee list early.The event will have 130+ travel data decision makers to help brands identify the data, technology, partners and strategies that you need to grow revenues in the mobile-first world!To shed light on who will be at the event, Tim Gunstone the Managing Director for EyeforTravel said " "We're excited to be welcoming back executives from Southwest Airlines, Wyndham, AirBnb, Booking.com, Hilton Hotels, the Travel Corporation, Allegiant, Priceline, Winding Tree and a lot more"He went onto to say, "We don't usually release our delegate list this early but we want to shout about this event, we have over 90 people in, and thought we should share it, to give others the chance to book in early and manage their meetings too!"Need a bit more convincing?Look who you could meet and learn from: Airbnb, Amazon, Air Canada, Hilton, Delta Airlines, Mozio, HQ Revenue, Southwest Airlines, Priceline, McKinsey, Amperity, Lufthansa and moreTest your data strategy with insights from across the travel market to discuss everything from personalization, artificial intelligence, revenue analytics, blockchain, GDPR, data talent acquisition, data integration, marketing analytics to enhance the customer experience and so much more!Get your data and commercial teams talking to see your analytics insights take off. Reach those new levels of personalization and discuss the best attribution models on market today!Learn more about who is attending the Smart Travel Data 2018 event in sunny Miami here: http://events.eyefortravel.com/smart-travel-data-summit-north-america/If you are a hotel - cruise or airline - contact the team for discountsContact the team directly at - shreya@eyefortravel.com

A hotel technology acquisition checklist

Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited By Larry Mogelonsky
Nowadays, hoteliers are so inundated with technology that the tasks of prioritization and selection have become far more than just daunting; research and procurement are practically a job title unto themselves. Unless you have specific objectives with a firm plan and budget in mind, you'll easily be intimidated by the sheer volume of options for consideration. With this in mind, Larry Mogelonsky simplifies the journey through this process by defining hospitality technology according to four checklist categories - so you can keep an eye on the bigger picture.

FireKeepers Casino Hotel Rely on RFID Technology to Control Uniform Inventory and Employee Assignments

InvoTech 17 January 2018
InvoTech Systems is the leading provider of advanced Linen Management, Laundry and Uniform Systems that integrate the latest RFID technology to increase profitability for hotels, resorts, casino operators, sports arenas, convention centers and theme parks. The InvoTech System installed at FireKeepers Casino Hotel manages the Uniform inventory for 1,750 employees. FireKeepers joined MGM Entertainment, Caesars, and Harrah's as a part of InvoTech's extensive client portfolio of Casinos worldwide. Click here for more information on InvoTech's Linen, Laundry and Uniform Systems.InvoTech's Uniform System establishes a perpetual uniform inventory and has extensive reporting capabilities to determine and forecast appropriate uniform purchases. The system tracks uniform inventory without manually sorting and hand-counting. Uniform cleaning costs are entered into InvoTech and reports may be quickly generated to audit laundry expenses to update budgets. The improved processes and information provided translates to significant cost saving benefits by eliminating losses, reducing purchases, and lowering laundry expenses and labor costs."The InvoTech Uniform System has saved us an evident amount of labor costs for over a year and a half now and has provided valuable accountability" said Christine Pelton, Wardrobe Manager at FireKeepers Casino Hotel. "The InvoTech team is very knowledgeable and they have a great support and training team."The InvoTech UHF-RFID Uniform System tracks and provides automated reports on uniforms for approximately 1,500 team members. FireKeepers Casino Hotel uses a conveyor system that automatically delivers the correct clean uniform items to staff. InvoTech communicates with the delivery system to simplify and automate each property's operation by tracking when staff members retrieve their uniform with their employee ID card. The efficient process means the casino uniform accounting is accurate without the added expense of manual processes and recordkeeping. The InvoTech Uniform System is a paperless "green" system. The System includes an electronic signature capture terminal that records employee signatures when uniforms are assigned, which eliminates the need to print reports to obtain signatures. In addition, all system reports can be viewed on the screen or generated to PDF files to be easily viewed or shared."The InvoTech Uniform System manages all aspects of uniform operations. It monitors employee use and typically delivers an average of 25% savings in labor costs and a 5% reduction in on-going purchases", said Oswald Lares, Director of Sales & Marketing at InvoTech Systems, Inc.InvoTech has over 500 of satisfied clients worldwide in more than 30 countries, including hotels, resorts, casinos, theme parks, stadiums, arenas, convention centers, medical centers, cleanrooms, and laundries. Why InvoTech? Because major brands like Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Hilton, MGM International, Wynn Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, Universal Studios, LEGOLAND, Intel, Pfizer, Madison Square Garden, and Staples Center rely on InvoTech Systems to provide operational efficiency, full-accountability, and turn-key solutions for laundry, linen and uniform management. See what our clients are saying about us. About InvoTech SystemsInvoTech Systems provides the most advanced inventory management systems for uniforms, linens, and laundry operations. Our very reliable and easy-to-use systems integrate the latest RFID technology to significantly improve operational efficiencies to eliminate losses, reduce purchases, cut labor costs, and lower laundry expenses. InvoTech provides solutions for hospitality, healthcare, cleanrooms, stadiums and arenas, theme parks, commercial laundries, and many other industries worldwide. With over 20 years of experience providing inventory management systems, InvoTech is known for our expertise and reliable solutions tailored to our client needs and outstanding customer support. Visit our website to find out more.About FireKeepers CasinoFireKeepers Casino Hotel, owned and operated by the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, is located in Battle Creek, MI and has been named Best Casino by audiences in Western Michigan and Northern Indiana, plus earned 9 first place awards in the Casino Player Magazine Best of Gaming Native Midwest category, including Best Overall Gaming Resort. FireKeepers was also selected one of the Best Casinos to Work For by Casino Player Magazine. Our signature restaurant, Nibi, is a multiple recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. The property features 2,900 slot machines, 70 table games, a live poker room and bingo room. FireKeepers offers a AAA-rated Four Diamond resort-style hotel with 243 rooms, a functional multi-purpose event center, six distinctive dining destinations, and multiple lounges. FireKeepers is the title sponsor of the FireKeepers Casino 400, a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway, and host of the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship a Symetra Tour-Road to the LPGA golf event. For more information visit www.FireKeepersCasinoHotel.com

Hey Siri, can voice technology really change the travel industry?

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration 17 January 2018
A new report from EyeforTravel takes a look at the state of play and finds that travel brands need to tune into personalisation When you have the biggest names in tech battling it out to shout the loudest about development in voice, then maybe, just maybe it’s time to listen. Yes, we are talking Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and we are talking soaring sales too. By some accounts 24 million speakers were shipped in 2017, a 300% rise on the previous year. Amazon led the pack with Echo Dot being its top-selling product, sell-out product for two years in a row.

Tech and the transforming vacation rental industry

PhocusWire 17 January 2018
The vacation rental industry, a once sleepy and highly fragmented niche segment of travel, is rapidly being transformed from the “mom and pop” operations epitomized by T-shirts and flip-flops to slick operations drawing the interest of equity firms wearing suits and penny loafers.

Softscribe Inc. Lists Top 5 Press Releases in 2017

Softscribe 16 January 2018
BENTONVILLE, AR -- Softscribe Inc., a leading hotel tech PR agency, announced its top 5 press releases from 2017 that address hoteliers' operational challenges. Ranking is based on the number of reads and press release-generated clicks backs to clients' websites.The top 5 B2B public relations press releases are: Sir Adam Amsterdam Installs dormakaba Saflok RFID Electronic Door Locks."Sir Adam is known for its edgy, Euro-chic architecture, guest rooms, and public spaces," said dormakaba's Alastair Cush, SVP Global Business Owner, Lodging Systems. dormakaba matched the property's energetic design with its latest mobile-ready Quantum RFID electronic door locks with custom powder coated Gala levers. "This is a complete dormakaba property solution that gives guests secure access to public spaces and lifts in the tower with their RFID guest room key," Cush said. Please click here to read the full story.Honeywell's Hotel Guestroom System Upgrades Southern Hospitality at Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead. In a city known for its southern hospitality, Honeywell (NYSE: HON) is helping one Atlanta hotel virtually eliminate temperature-related guest complaints using the latest in connected technology. Honeywell installed its INNCOM guestroom automation and energy management system in January 2017 at Grand Hyatt Atlanta in the Buckhead district, operated by Hyatt Hotels Corporation and owned by Host Hotels, which has already made a significant impact. Please click here to read the full story. The Cliffs Resort Unifies Full-Service Property Operations with Maestro PMS for Greater Efficiency and Real-time Direct Booking. Ocean Front Spa Resort Integrates Operations on Maestro PMS On-premise Version with Remote Management Option via Web Browser. Please click here to read the full story.Lightstone Installs Aptech's Execuvue Business IntelligenceDeveloper Implemented Hosted Enterprise BI to Gather and Analyze Performance Data from Hilton, Marriott and IHG Properties; Provide Asset Performance Reporting to Investors and Management. Please click here to read the full story.InterContinental Malta Implements Guestware to Personalize the Guest Experience Guestware Guest Response Solution Streamlines Request Fulfillment; Helps Anticipate Guest Preferences. Please click here to read the full story.About Softscribe Inc. Achieves Significant Business Growth for B2B Tech Clients in the Hospitality Industry.Softscribe Inc. is an award-winning hotel tech public relations agency that specializes in B2B public relations, branding and market consulting. We are the best in the industry at achieving significant business growth for technology companies. Our clients deliver enterprise solutions to the hotel market and related industries. Generates the Right Client Messages 100% of the Time. Our PR services focus on marketing content, search, and social media. We generate the right messages for client audiences 100% of the time. This is essential to close sales.Tech Companies, do you want to increase sales and influence? Call or email Michael Squires, President of Softscribe Inc., at 404-256-5512 or mbs(at)softscribeinc.com to set up a discovery meeting and brainstorm a few marketing and PR ideas.Please give us a shout now, or visit www.softscribeinc.com.

Bartech Appoints Peter Kuzyk as Director of Sales in Support of Growth in North American Hospitality Market

Bartech Systems International Inc. 16 January 2018
Las Vegas -- Bartech, a world leader in profit-generating automatic minibar solutions for the hospitality industry, has announced the appointment of Peter Kuzyk as director of sales. Based in Montreal, Canada, Kuzyk is tasked with leading Bartech sales team efforts and ensuring that the company's ongoing market growth continues throughout the North American region.With automated minibar technology continuing to gain widespread interest due to its ability of serving as an in-room revenue stream while dramatically reducing operational and labor-related costs, Bartech has experienced increased demand for its solutions, allowing it to solidify the company's position as hospitality's leading automatic minibar provider. With his extensive expertise in both the hospitality market and in business-to-business sales, Kuzyk is set to grow Bartech's market share even further, while ensuring that the company's clients receive the highest standard in service and satisfaction. In his new position, Kuzyk's responsibilities include: key account management, sales team strategy coordination, contract negotiations and new business development."Having spent the vast majority of my career in the hospitality industry, I am honored to join a company that leads the way in maximizing in-room hotel profits and ensuring that guests are fully satisfied with their guestroom experience," said Kuzyk. "Bartech's ingenuity in creating advanced minibar solutions that cater to every property need is something that I very much want to be a part of, and I look forward to using my experience to ensure that hoteliers throughout the region are able to access the most advanced technology."Prior to joining Bartech, Kuzyk served in several notable roles including senior national sales manager for the lodging division of Dometic, where he was employed for almost 30 years. Kuzyk is a graduate of Concordia University, where he received a bachelor's degree in economics. He also attended McGill University, where he was awarded with a graduate diploma in management and marketing.To learn more about automated minibar technology and Bartech's latest solutions, please visit www.bartech.com.

The Belvedere Hotel Trusts IDeaS' Advanced Technology to Optimize Revenue Strategy, Increase ADR

IDeaS 16 January 2018
Step into the 1920s at this art-deco styled, independent property in New York City - The Belvedere Hotel. This non-traditional boutique hotel, accommodating an impressive 355 guestrooms, is within a block and a half of Times Square, yet offers guests a quiet residential feel. The Belvedere sought to upgrade its revenue strategy solution in order to keep up with their fast-paced competitive market.With a majority of double occupancy rooms, IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (IDeaS G3 RMS), built on powerful SAS analytics, allows The Belvedere Hotel to manage rates more effectively by room type, a need their previous technology couldn't accomplish. "We were pleasantly surprised with how the system quickly reacts to demand by room type, driving the price and getting the bookings with IDeaS' automated decisions. We're now able to respond to that demand with a solution that gives us confidence in its pricing and inventory controls," explained Michael Link, general manager of The Belvedere.Using continuous pricing - one of the flexible pricing options offered by IDeaS' Ideal Pricing - The Belvedere Hotel has experienced a notable increase in ADR since implementation. Continuous pricing, together with IDeaS' powerful overbooking and Last Room Value controls, provides an analytical, ongoing optimization of business that drives optimal revenue. With this property in close proximity to high-demand attractions like Times Square, the ability to account for special events - whereby the system automatically adapts to the demand and produces rates accordingly - The Belvedere Hotel has experienced significant improvements in key performance indicators.The Belvedere Hotel is leveraging IDeaS G3 RMS' powerful group displacement feature, which is an important part of the hotel's overall revenue strategy. "Our hotel is getting better direction on quoting group prices with the group pricing tool from IDeaS. The system is helping us better understand the pricing strategy and has already boosted our numbers in group sales," said Link."The Belvedere Hotel is a shining example of how hotels today can't stand still and need to constantly evaluate their competitive environment, revenue strategy and technology platforms. By recognizing early what changes needed to be made and taking action quickly, The Belvedere Hotel is now seeing great performance improvements. IDeaS is pleased to be the revenue strategy partner with such a thriving New York City independent hotel," said Jane Stampe, managing director at IDeaS."We are already seeing rate increases over last year, and we really owe that success to IDeaS. When you're able to trust the system and let it run its course, we have been amazed with the successful decisions," said Link. "We have trust and confidence with IDeaS' technology and believe we are going to see a lot more success throughout this partnership."About The Belvedere HotelThe Belvedere Hotel in New York City is a premier lodging destination for travelers around the world. Located on West 48th Street in the midst of the city's theater district, The Belvedere Hotel is marked by elegantly appointed interiors, stunning architectural characteristics that are reminiscent of 1920s Art Deco design, and unparalleled service. Whether you're visiting The Belvedere Hotel for business or pleasure, you'll find that the conveniently located Midtown Manhattan hotel offers the sophistication of an urban oasis and the modern comforts of home. For more information, visit www.belvederehotelnyc.com.About IDeaS With more than 1.6 million rooms priced daily on its advanced systems, IDeaS Revenue Solutions leads the industry with the latest revenue management software solutions and advisory services. Powered by SAS and with nearly three decades of experience, IDeaS proudly supports over 10,000 clients in 111 countries and is relentless about providing hoteliers with insightful ways to manage the data behind hotel pricing.IDeaS empowers clients to build and maintain revenue management cultures - from single entities to world-renowned estates - by focusing on a simple promise: Driving Better Revenue.IDeaS has the knowledge, expertise and maturity to build upon proven revenue management principles with next-generation analytics for more user-friendly, insightful and profitable revenue opportunities - not just for rooms, but across the entire hotel enterprise. For more information, visit www.ideas.com.

TrustYou Launches the First All-In-One Guest Feedback Platform with New Review Marketing and Guest Messaging Features

TrustYou 16 January 2018
Benjamin Jost, CEO and co-founder of TrustYou, says: "Our platform is the only all-in-one guest feedback solution that helps hotels to capture, analyze, and market reviews, surveys and messages on every channel: on their own website, on platforms like Google, Tripadvisor, Booking.com or Facebook Messenger. This update brings us one step closer to the ultimate goal of providing the best and most personalized experience for travelers while offering hotels a one-stop-shop solution when it comes to managing, reporting and responding to guest communication and feedback."Additionally, TrustYou expanded its solutions that help hotels utilize reviews to market their hotel. This includes both new and existing review widgets to enable hoteliers to prominently display TrustYou's ratings and reviews on their own website in order to increase direct bookings and across the web. One recent addition includes a Facebook widget that allows hotels to showcase their review content on the third most visited site when searching for a hotel. Targeted review marketing, on channels like Facebook or the hundreds of travel sites that showcase TrustYou reviews, helps hotels to drive direct bookings, boost channel conversions, and lower distribution costs.The platform upgrade also brings valuable additions to TrustYou's guest messaging solution. The new live webchat widget can easily be integrated into a hotel's website, wifi login page, or any other website. This allows travelers to directly contact the hotel additionally to the existing SMS or Facebook messaging features which improves the overall guest experience. All incoming messages are displayed in one single messaging inbox and can be addressed simultaneously with all other incoming guest requests, whether sent via email, SMS, or Facebook.To learn more about TrustYou's all-in-one solution, visit www.trustyou.com

YOTEL Launches YOTELPAD - A Smarter Way of Living

YOTEL 16 January 2018
Five new YOTELPAD deals mark YOTEL's arrival in the extended stay segment reinforcing the brand's ability to optimise space through clever design and smart technology.YOTEL today announced their foray into the extended stay segment with the launch of the new YOTELPAD brand. Building on the clever design principles of YOTEL and YOTELAIR cabins, YOTELPAD translates the essence of luxury serviced apartments into purposefully designed compact homes, known as 'PADs', fulfilling the requirements of the global citizen at an affordable price."Following the successful roll out of YOTELAIR and YOTEL, we saw a natural opportunity to rethink the traditional extended stay segment in the same fashion we disrupted conventional hotel models," said Hubert Viriot - YOTEL CEO.YOTELPAD offers perfectly designed living solutions by optimising space and technology. Standard PADs will start from 20 sqm (215 sqft), but larger PADs will also be available and will feature YOTEL's adjustable SmartBeds, comfortable work and relaxing areas, luxury en-suite bathrooms, fully equipped kitchenettes and ample storage space. YOTEL's signature Technowall will enable PAD guests to easily connect and personalise the space to create a homely atmosphere.Commenting, Jo Berrington - VP Brand said, "YOTELPAD will transcend traditional boundaries with a blend of hotel-quality standards and home-like comforts, all achieved through our signature design DNA making the most out of compact spaces. Not only does this allow each guest or owner to have a fully functional private PAD, but with the added benefit to work, connect, relax and socialise in multifunctional and fun spaces, creating a strong sense of community," continued Berrington.Communal areas and amenities will be programmed to the local environment and can include 24/7 gyms, bike and gear storage, Amazon lockers, laundry, home cinema and library as well as YOTEL's signature Club Lounge, ideal for co-working, meetings and entertaining friends or colleagues."True to the YOTEL brand, PAD will be underpinned by our passion for technology and innovation; our seamless digital guest experience delivered via the YOTELPAD app. In addition to the obvious app functionality of booking and checking in and out, our app will be your digital key and a go to place for ordering amenities and 'food-to-go'. Acting as a pocket size virtual concierge, the app will connect you directly to a range of services and experiences in the local community," continued Berrington.YOTELPAD will launch globally with the five projects already confirmed in North America, Europe and the Middle East. The first two YOTELPADs to be announced are in Park City (Utah) and Downtown Miami. YOTELPADPark City is located at Park City Mountain, the largest ski resort in the US and will be developed by Replay Destinations, one of the most innovative developer of destination resort projects in North America. The second is in Downtown Miami and will form part of a mixed-use development including 250 YOTEL cabins and 208 PADs by the Aria Development Group who focuses on building and acquiring premier residential and mixed-use properties."The added benefit of introducing YOTELPAD to our portfolio, is that it not only allows us to enter a new market segment, but also enables us to operate in new locations, not naturally suited to our YOTEL and YOTELAIRbrands. Our recent partnership with REPLAY has been extraordinary - realizing just how much potential there is for our new brand in the destination resort market. We are confident that YOTELPAD Park City will be a tremendous success and we are now looking at multiple opportunities with REPLAY," said Hubert Viriot, YOTEL CEO.YOTELPAD Park City and Miami will be followed closely by two YOTELPADs in the Geneva Lake region to be developed by M3 Real Estate and YOTEL Dubai in Business Bay, will also feature YOTELPADs as part of their developments."Alongside our existing brands, we see huge potential for the development of YOTELPAD globally. YOTELPADs can be stand-alone or form part of a mixed-use development including a YOTEL. Each PAD will be operated by YOTEL and can be owned by individual or institutional investors," concluded Viriot.For more Information: http://www.yotelpad.com

Mobile services in the hotel business

DeskBell 16 January 2018
Very few people can imagine their daily life without digital gadgets, which have already turned into the best friends and have become absolutely irreplaceable. People are used to comfort and expect to find it wherever they are. That is why hotels and hostels try to keep up with modern Internet technologies and meet the needs of their guests. Mobile services - that's what is relevant for the hotel business as never before.Many world-famous websites have already acquired mobile applications that are convenient and useful not only for tourists, but also for hotels and hostels. For example, the TripAdvisor, service that is probably was used by everyone who has ever planned his vacation. It cooperates with tourist centers, restaurants, and hotels, so the application contains the latest and up-to-date information. In addition to booking and buying tickets, finding places of interest, viewing photos, forecasting weather and exchange rates, the service offers the access to reviews of more than seven million objects around the world. People who have been to the hotel can leave a positive feedback about the service, describing their impressions, which, undoubtedly, will increase the interest and desire of other tourists to stay there!Booking.com is another, no less famous tourist service - the world leader in the online booking of hotel rooms. That is a kind of intermediary between the tourist and the hotel. At this site, the hotel has the opportunity to tell you about itself in detail and explain to the tourist why he should choose it. By registering the hotel on Booking.com, you can easily attract guests and increase revenue. Your accommodation will be shown to a large audience of travelers around the world all year round. You can add information about new facilities or tell about the surrounding area at any time after registration. What's more, 24/7 support, no fees for the service for guests and free promotion on partner sites.The newest application DeskBell is another service, which is gaining popularity, will be indispensable in the hotel business. The hotel has the opportunity to tell about itself in considerable detail. The guest is on the doorstep of the hotel, and the application has already determined the location of the hotel. The main task of DeskBell is to orient a person in his native language in any hotel in the world, giving him the most detailed and up-to-date information about all services of the hotel. What restaurants and bars are there in the hotel and what menu do they offer? Are there any entertaining activities expected in the near future? Is there a swimming pool in this hotel? How can I contact the administrator or hotel manager? DeskBell will answer absolutely all these and many other questions. In addition, the chat, built into this application, allows guests to communicate with each other, as well as communicate with the hotel manager for any questions. The advantages are obvious: the more the guest is aware of the hotel service, the more he uses the services, which means that the hotel's profit also increases. In addition, using DeskBell, guests will feel more comfortable and confident, which, of course, will affect their impression of the hotel.The undoubted advantage of each of these applications is a clear and accessible interface. Anyone can quickly and easily find the information he needs, using these mobile services. TripAdvisor will tell you about the hotel through the feedbacks of those who have already been there; Booking.com will provide the tourist with detailed information and beautiful photos, as well as giving the opportunity to book a room immediately; DeskBell welcomes its guests right on the doorstep of the hotel and becomes their personal guide throughout their stay. Pros for both tourists and hoteliers are obvious. It remains only to realize the need for mobile services in the hotel business and start applying them in your hotel!
Article by David Lund

Hospitality Financial Leadership - Recording Average Length of Stay

The Hotel Financial Coach 16 January 2018
The one thing I see time and time again with clients is just how poorly their financial statements are set up. The statements almost always lack basic information that is readily available and is critical information for maximizing profitability: poor design and missing features. If they were a car, I would want to call them a Lada. My apologies to any Russian readers.The flip side of this challenge is all the information that is needed to fix this reporting problem is at your fingertips. No new software is required. No real investment. Your team just needs to use what they already have and put it to work.Typical stumbling blocks to creating better more useful reporting are twofoldBefore I get into the two areas that typically hold us back from creating better reporting, let us remind ourselves why we are interested in having good and complete financials at our hotels. The reason we want to have great financial statements is that we want to use these instruments to make better decisions today for tomorrow's financial performance. If you cannot see the results of a certain critical aspect of your business, then how are you ever going to improve it? How will that ever translate into increased efficiency and profits? It always comes down to this simple reality: What you can't see you can't measure. What you can't measure, you can't improve.Imagine if you drove a car without a speedometer, and you kept getting speeding tickets.... The financial statement at your hotel is exactly the same.If it is not hooked up and working properly you have no idea how fast you are really going. Or better still, how fast you could be going.Back to the two stumbling blocksThe hotel business is more like the art world than real hardcore business. At least that is my take on it over the last 35 years. What I mean by that is most of our senior operational leaders are not financial people.They typically come from sales or operations and they have little formal training on the financial piece. This is not a slight to their experience or impact--it is just a fact.They are not programmed or predisposed to getting in the middle of the financial engine and ripping it apart, let alone asking or mandating reporting changes.Their modus operandi is the glitz, the spit and polish, the fun stuff, the art.They love this part and they dig in and put on the show. The show is what they get paid for, or at least that is what most leaders believe. So, they do not usually have any ideas or designs of the financial reporting piece.They take what is given and hope no one asks too many in-depth, detailed questions about the numbers.They are typically handicapped on the financials and they rely on a strong financial manager to make up for their lack of knowledge and experience with the presentation and breadth of the financial statement. This is a big mistake because getting comfy with the financials is not difficult. Once we are comfortable with what we have, we almost always see a way to get more.The second stumbling block is the somewhat typical financial leader who is not really interested in making their day or their job any more elongated or complicated: The fewer interruptions the better.They are already busy enough. Doesn't anyone know how busy I am?They want fewer questions--not more--and they certainly do not want people asking them to add more information to their financial statements.Why? Why is this the case more often than not? Again, I am not trying to paint the entire field of hotel financial leaders with the same brush. I am trying to make the point that most will not take it upon themselves to add financial statement features, or reporting statistics with an eye to having the best financial statements.Why is this the case? Well, I think it comes down to two elements: One, they usually have the attitude that operations people do not know what they need when it comes to the financials. Two, it is in their mind that it is just way too much work to stop the machine, pull out the gears, insert the new gizmo feature, re-boot and see what comes out the other end in the form of a change to the financials.In most hotels, it takes an act of Congress to make changes to the financial statements. Paramount to parting the Black Sea, it seems. But it does not need to be this way and it is certainly not complicated or expensive to make this happen. It is what I call evolution. We never really stand still. We are either hopefully moving ahead or we find ourselves silently moving backward.Back to the title of this piece: Recording average length of stayWhy would you want to have this in your financial statements? What purpose would it serve and exactly how do you calculate this statistic?The reason why you want to know the average length of stay for your hotel as a whole--and let's take it one step further, by major market segment--is to understand your different customers, their stay behavior and to ultimately maximize the average length of stay. Fewer arrivals and longer stays equal lots of good things for your hotel operation and profit.Fewer arrivals and a longer length of stay "usually" equalLess wear and tear in your lobby, hallways and room productLower labor costs at the front, in housekeeping and with your room attendantsLower amenity costsLower laundry costsLower linen replacement costsLower guest supplies costLower energy costsFewer guest requestsBetter capture ratios in your restaurants and barsLess congestion at peak times in your lobbyA better opportunity to capture a return guestLower online travel agency feesMore time to make a lasting positive relationship with every customerDon't forget for a moment that the hotel business is a game of inches. There is no holy grail waiting to be discovered that will save your way to prosperity. We are a high-volume transaction-based retail business. If your hotel has 250 rooms and you run 75 percent occupancy, you sell 69,000 rooms each year. How can you save just a little on each item on my list times 69,000? That is a nice number. Flip it around and ask how much inefficiency you can create and multiply that by the same number. That is kinda scary.Calculating the average length of stay could not be much more straightforward. You only need two numbers: room nights and arrivals. In this example last month, the hotel had 8,900 room nights (rooms sold) and 5,500 arrivals. Both numbers are readily available from your property management system or, heaven forbid, your daily reports. Just dig a little and you will find it.(8900/5500) = 1.62 nights as the average length of stay for the entire hotel last month.If understanding and maximizing the average length of stay is important to you then you will want to take it one step further and measure it by major market segment. In this example, we will use just three major segments. In your hotel, it might look different: tours, crew, sports teams, etc. If it does just pull the numbers apart so you can isolate the activity in the segment you want to measure.Transient, 2300 rooms sold and 1600 arrivals (2300/1600) = 1.44 nights - average length of stayCorporate, 3200 rooms sold and 2700 arrivals (3200/2700) = 1.19 nightsGroup, 3400 rooms sold and 1200 arrivals (3400/1200) = 2.83 nightsIncluding these statistics on financial statements is rather straightforward. You create a stat account in each department of your general ledger and an overall stat plug to zero out the P&L effect. If you do not know what this means, ask your financial leader. If they do not know or say they do not know, then get some help. Having these numbers magically appear on your financials requires a mildly skilled person to go under the hood and add the formula to your reporting application.Again, ask your finance person to just get it done!You will also want these stats in your daily reporting, so you can see in the month how things are developing. Another key aspect is including this information with your rooms forecast. This provides your operations people valuable information for their expense and labor forecasting.The last and equally important aspect of capturing the average length of stay by customer segment is how it should affect your marketing and sales plan.How can you design your M&S efforts to go after the most profitable business from an operations angle as well as wear and tear on your asset?What's the right balance between the different segments mid-week and on the weekends?How does seasonality play into this?How does demand in these segments affect this?These questions lack a definitive black and white answer. However, your ability to answer the questions better will be greatly enhanced with reporting on the average length of stay by segment in your hotel.What are you waiting for?Unlocking this information in your hotel is this simple. Go on, and get on with it already!If you would like a copy of any of the following send me an email at david@hotelfinancialcoach.comEFTE and Productivity ExerciseHotel Financial Policy Manual - Inventory of "Sections"Hotel Financial Coach "Services Sheet"F&B Productivity SpreadsheetRooms Productivity SpreadsheetFinancial Leadership Recipe F TAR WHotel Financial Coach - "Speaking Sheet"Flow Thru Cheat Sheet - EnhancedVisit my website today for a copy of my FREE guidebookThe Seven Secrets to Create a Financially Engaged Leadership Team in Your Hotelwww.hotelfinancialcoach.comCall or write today and arrange for a complimentary discussion on howyou can create more profit in your hotel.

SALTO Hospitality website redesign spotlights AElement Fusion

SALTO Systems 16 January 2018
"SALTO's redesigned Hospitality website reflects the personal touch you expect when visiting a hotel or lodging property," said Borja Ganzarain, SALTO Systems Marketing. "The updated Hospitality website is now easier to navigate. The homepage offers the complete value proposition that enables users to find solutions fast with suggested pages. The visual design layout makes the site more user-friendly, resulting in simple menus with slick icons."One essential part of the new site is the updated Hotel electronic locks page, which includes every type of solution for any kind of door need and type. The site's imagery continues this guest experience-centered trend: many of the images throughout the site are photographs of real SALTO Hospitality projects, demonstrating SALTO's reliability.The new SALTO Hospitality product page features a simple, elegant layout that presents important information in a way that's easily digestible, even for visitors who aren't familiar with more complex electronic locking solutions for hospitality or security.

Nor1 Deploys CheckIn Merchandising at Foxwoods Resort Casino, Expanding Adoption of the Nor1 Pricing & Merchandising Intelligence Platform

Nor1 16 January 2018
Santa Clara, CA -- Foxwoods Resort Casino, the largest resort casino in North America, capped a successful 2017 by launching Nor1's CheckIn Merchandising resort-wide at its four towers. CheckIn Merchandising puts machine learning and predictive analytics at Foxwoods front-desk agents' fingertips, and empowers them to merchandise premium inventory upon arrival to enhance their guests' stays."We are extremely honored to have such an enthusiastic and forward-thinking partner in Foxwoods Resort Casino," said Pavan Kapur, Senior Vice President, Global Gaming, at Nor1. "We expect CheckIn Merchandising to generate considerable demand for premium inventory at the front desk to bolster their already successful eStandby Upgrade program.""We launched CheckIn Merchandising nearly thirty days ago, and in a short time have seen amazing results," stated Nick Meier, Director of Revenue Management at Foxwoods Resort Casino. "The program has created operational efficiencies for our team, and our agents have seized the opportunity to generate additional revenue for our resort while providing an even more personalized check-in experience."The Nor1 Pricing & Merchandising Intelligence Platform provides solutions at every stage of the reservation lifecycle that enable hospitality companies to create more meaningful interactions with their guests, building loyalty and driving long-term revenue.About Nor1, Inc. Nor1, Inc. is the leader in hospitality merchandising technology. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Nor1 provides data-driven pricing and merchandising solutions to maximize incremental revenues for hotels and resorts worldwide such as Hilton, IHG, Carlson Rezidor, Accor, and Wyndham. Nor1's patented, dynamic decisions intelligence engine PRiME, powers Nor1's Pricing & Merchandising Intelligence Platform including its signature eStandby Upgrade, eXpress Upgrade, CheckIn Merchandising, and eReach products.Nor1 is creating the fusion between technology and guest experience. It's that combination of expertise and skill that have set Nor1 apart and continues to attract technology's most distinguished investors such as SAP, Goldman Sachs and Accel Partners. For more information, please visit www.nor1.com.About Foxwoods Resort CasinoSince 1992, Foxwoods Resort Casino has offered guests The Wonder Of It All as the premier resort destination in the Northeast. As the largest resort casino in North America, Foxwoods offers a vast array of gaming in six casinos; AAA Four-Diamond hotels, restaurants from gourmet to quick service, world-renowned spas, award-winning golf, state-of-the-art theaters, exclusive retailers and free-to-play online casino games at FoxwoodsONLINE.com. Perfect for both recreation and business, Foxwoods provides modern and versatile convention and meeting space to infuse new life into any meeting or event. Foxwoods Resort Casino is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. For a comprehensive look at Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation visit Foxwoods.com.

Attracting the frictionless consumer

By Michael Schubach
For hoteliers, the rapid ascent of OTAs and sharing economy models threaten to dilute even the strongest brands. But the rapid technology evolution doesn't have to leave brand loyalty behind, writes Infor's Michael Schubach. One need only look at the immediacy and convenience of making an Amazon purchase to see why today's consumers are expecting that same personalized experience from all of their buying transactions. By embracing digital disruption, he says, hoteliers can lead the way, even in the age of Amazon.

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