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Revinate Joins SiteMinder Exchange

Revinate, Inc. 5h
Through the connection, Revinate can now broaden its addressable market, expedite its speed to market and increase adoption of its Marketing service among hotels globally.According to Dan Hang, Chief Product Officer at Revinate, "This partnership with SiteMinder enables thousands of hotels to more easily take advantage of our Marketing service, thereby driving more direct revenue."SiteMinder's SVP global partnerships, Dai Williams, adds, "We are excited to partner with Revinate, a brand known and trusted by hoteliers all around the world. Through SiteMinder Exchange, many more hotels can now use Revinate's proven solution to access the guest data they need for today's sophisticated marketing programs and, in turn, drive revenue from targeted email campaigns."SiteMinder Exchange has attracted nearly 100 publisher (PMS) and hotel application partners since its launch in June, with dozens more in development. Designed to address the historical connectivity challenge for developers of hospitality systems, SiteMinder Exchange acts as a data layer that sits between and connects hotel PMSs and applications, which range from CRMs to upselling tools, revenue management systems and guest messaging.For more information, please contact:Ivan Carballidom: +34 687 902 673ivan@revinate.comRevinate.com | Twitter | Facebook | Blog
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Vizergy Digital Marketing Named 10 Fastest Growing Google Solution Provider of 2018

Vizergy 7h
Vizergy, the hospitality industry's leading provider of digital marketing software and services, has been named one of the 10 Fastest Growing Google Solution Providers of 2018, according to Silicon Valley Review. This recognition not only reaffirms Vizergy's success in strategic vision and product development but also solidifies its market position as the best technology platform for the hospitality industry. The announcement of this prestigious award follows CIO Review naming Vizergy one of the 20 Most Promising Web Development & Marketing Platforms in 2017.The company, based in Jacksonville, FL, attributes its success to a number of different factors. Vizergy's CEO, Joe Hyman, says, "Vizergy has always put technology at the heart of our value proposition. We have invested heavily in our platform, a SaaS system for many years and that investment is paying off. Having an updated, state of the art technology platform is the foundation for great online results. Hoteliers today need to use many systems to help them make better data-based decisions, reach better customers, and drive better profits. The Vizergy Marketing System (VMS) brings this all together."As digital marketing trends continue to evolve, so does Vizergy. They are constantly enhancing and upgrading their technology platforms to keep clients ahead of the competitive market. In addition to recent upgrades of their platform, the Vizergy Marketing System (VMS), features several new enhancements, including integration with the Google Ads platform, they have also introduced additional integrations with Google My Business (GMB). The new GMB integration allows clients to see performance data and reviews and respond from the VMS directly to GMB.In March, Vizergy released a new platform called TargetingHub. The data marketing and workflow platform helps clients understand existing data assets to find more customers by interfacing with PMS systems to set a direction for marketing campaigns. TargetingHub helps marketers understand when and where to spend their marketing dollars to convert at a higher rate.Vizergy's Vice President of Information Technology, Addams England, says, "Our achievements this year are a direct result of our listening to our clients. We've built great tools and continued to provide the great service and creativity serving some of the most recognizable brands in the industry. Our continued investment in the VMS and our momentum around the TargetingHub is strong as clients look for smarter ways to deploy advertising resources to capture new guests in today's hyper-competitive business environment."
Article by Lauren Hall

CEO of iVvy Lauren Hall Talks Groups and Event Technology and Making the RFP a Thing of the Past

iVvy 8h
The events and meeting segment of the hospitality industry has come a long way in the last few years. With the rapid progression and disruption of mobile and consumer-centric technology changing the way in which hotels approach their business, the rise of group booking technology appears to be the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place. And if there is anyone who knows a thing (or many) about the long-awaited revolution of the events booking process, it's Lauren Hall, the CEO of iVvy. Hall began her journey into entrepreneurship with a background in programming, accounting, marketing and business management with expertise spanning manufacturing, retail, advertising and technology across multiple industries. With accolades such as 'Innovator of the Year 2016', 'Silver Stevie Awards for Entrepreneur of the Year Globally 2016' attached to her name, it's no surprise that she has become a widely respected voice of innovation and technological reform amongst hospitality leaders and technology vendors alike. Hall co-founded iVvy in 2009 with the intention to finally empower a process that, despite offering a wealth of revenue opportunity for hotels, had been largely neglected and restricted within broken, manual legacy systems. After identifying the problem, Hall and her co-founder James Greig had a clear vision for the solution. A solution which allowed hotels and event planners alike to ditch the spreadsheets and manual processes, for something efficient and concurrent with industry demand. "When I started iVvy, I did not have a background in events or in IT. However, what I had was an awful experience trying to book an events space, a process that took six weeks, only to be later told it wasn't available." Making RFPs a Thing of the Past Through iVvy, Hall has created the world's only fully integrated platform to help manage, search, compare, book and pay for your events in real time, from anywhere, on any device.Today, iVvy is already loved by thousands of users, including Shangri-La, Pan Pacific, Fairfax Media, Mantra, Choice Hotels and many more. "You don't have to work as an event planner to know that the process of securing a venue and solidifying event details can be dubious -- especially under the fast-paced time restraints created by eager, last-minute clients or company demands." Hall explains, "And yet, up until recently, the process was broken. Sales Managers within hotels and restaurants were constantly inundated with largely unqualified RFPs, spending the bulk of their time simply trying to catch up on emails, rather than actually effectively selling venue space. Individual travelers were no longer faced with these kinds of booking aggravations and delays, so why should the group booking segment be any different? I was determined to make RFPs a thing of the past." Breaking free from the confines of manual processes and email follow-up, the iVvy platform allows hotels to distribute their (live) inventory and availability, optimize their sales activity and enable real-time bookings. This means instant quotes and contracts, easy booking and resource management, instant payments, reports on trends and performance, mobile access to the platform and so much more. Why is this so important? Because finally, hotels have access to a tool which allows them to effectively sell a segment of their business that boasts so much revenue potential, while better empowering their staff to do their jobs. Keeping Pace With Technological Demands Technology today is moving faster than ever before, and if you ask Hall -- you can either get ahead of it or be left behind. This shouldn't be seen as a threat to the industry and the way things have always been done, but rather, as an opportunity to transform antiquated processes and optimize revenue potential with next-gen technology. After all, with the increased adoption of mobile functionality, AI technology, virtual reality and more, the future of the events segment looks more exciting than ever before. "If you're not keeping up with the trends of future buyers, if you're not visible, you're invisible. Our generation and industry have become more dependent on mobile with a greater demand for instant gratification and digital convenience. Event organizers, potential travelers, etc., they aren't willing to be limited when the technology exists that eliminates those restrictions to their experience. The opportunity at hand is to monetize the services and assets in the meetings and events industry, much like all other industries such as e-commerce who can offer their products at all times." With improved group booking management comes increased customer retention, lower costs of acquisition, better customer experience, the ability to manage return on investment, and the opportunity to connect directly with qualified planners that are ready and willing to confirm their reservation. "We have finally transformed the event planning process in a way that benefits everyone. With a digital booking entity intact, hotels can attract a whole new level of meetings and events to their property."

Creating Smart Cities for Innovative Tourism Experiences

UNWTO 8h
The conference brought together tourism leaders from the public and private sectors to analyse how to respond to the growing trend of city breaks as leisure experiences. They concluded that public-private partnerships, the inclusion of local communities and the creation of smart destinations are crucial for urban destinations to gain the knowledge and define the policies they need in order to respond to the new demands of hyper-connected and hyper-informed tourists."We must understand the evolution of tourists towards greater sustainability and inclusiveness, using new technological tools," said Jaime Cabal, Deputy Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). "Creativity and innovation are needed when designing the experiences they are increasingly demanding."The Councillor for Culture and Tourism of Valladolid, Ana Maria Redondo, echoed this call, adding: "We need a better understanding of the fundamentals behind the current demand for city break experiences. Smart destination tools are our means to obtain this knowledge."The Deputy Director-General for Tourism Development and Sustainability of the Ministry of Tourism of Spain, Ruben Lopez Pulido, suggested that cities and all destinations change their models of tourism development to respond not only the most demanding tourists, but also to the rise of the digital and knowledge economy. "Being a smart destination is not just a label, but a process towards the comprehensive transformation of destinations, while always aiming at the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals," he said.Speakers at the conference included Dieter Hardt-Stremayr, President of European Cities Marketing and CEO of the Graz Tourism Office in Austria, who described what he considered key challenges for the growth of city breaks: transportation issues, seasonality, and the dispersion of tourism demand within a city and over time. "Our main challenge is to attract visitors to come right at this moment. To overcome it destination managers should focus on parts of the tourism offer that are 'temporary'," he concluded.The main conclusions of the conference referred to urban tourism governance models. Participants highlighted that, with the growth of high-speed, low-cost transportation links that provide more and more visitors with access to city breaks, city destinations must respond by prioritizing investments that benefit residents and tourists alike.They also concluded that with the technological advances that allow the creation of smart destinations, destination management organizations must shift their focus from only promoting the experiences available for tourists in cities, to managing urban tourism in all its complexity. For their part, tourism policy makers should use smart destination tools to study the impact of tourism on the profitability and sustainability of a city, and place the destination at the centre of policy changes. These conclusions will be taken into account in the UNWTO work plan on urban tourism.The Conference was organized by the UNWTO in collaboration with the City Council of Valladolid and the marketing agency MADISON, an Affiliate Member of the UNWTO. Other speakers included representatives from Madrid Destino, San Sebastian Turismo & Convention Bureau, Ljubljana Tourist Board, Turin Convention Bureau, Lisbon Tourism Observatory, Municipality of Alba lulia (Romania), Google, TripAdvisor, Basque Culinary Center, World Heritage Cities of Spain, AMFHORT, European Historical Association of Thermal Cities, Innova Tax Free, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Thinking Heads, Segittur, Civitatis, Authenticitys and Amadeus, as well as journalists Xavier Canalis of Hosteltur and Paco Nadal of El Viajero (El Pais newspaper).Useful links:Conference website and programmeUNWTO report: 'Overtourism'? Understanding and managing urban tourism growth beyond perceptions'UNWTO urban tourism website
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Volara Adds Accuracy Engine To Better Interpret Hotel Guest Requests Of Alexa

Volara 9h
New York -- October 16, 2018 -- Volara - the voice hub for the hotel industry - has developed a patent-pending technology that will help Amazon's Alexa excel in the complex hotel environment. As hotel guests bring their own colloquialisms, accents, and verbally convey their intents to hotels in a myriad of ways, Volara's new Accuracy Engine enables Alexa to satisfy their commands appropriately and with greater precision. Volara's Accuracy Engine leverages robust data sets, contextual awareness, AI and Machine Learning to sharply reduce errors and increase guest satisfaction."Volara's technology does not process what a guest says. Volara interprets what Alexa hears," said David Berger, CEO of Volara. "For example, our data shows that Alexa sometimes hears the word 'shuttle' as 'shudder' or even 'should hill'. With our Accuracy Engine, 'shudder' will trigger the appropriate action or integration, like calling the hotel shuttle. Volara's Accuracy Engine provides a translation layer between what Alexa hears and what action a guest is asking of our client hotels."Volara's software benefits from what it calls SmartSlots - which represent common terms used across hotels (e.g., in-room dining, dental kit, valet). The data on what Alexa hears when a guest uses one of these terms informs and improves the SmartSlots across all properties in each portfolio."Volara's Accuracy Engine with SmartSlots is ideal for hotels that are part of a larger brand or portfolio," Berger said. "When a SmartSlot is updated at one hotel, the interaction models driving the conversations will be updated across all hotels within that group or brand. As Volara's client base continues to grow, so will the frequency and granularity of these updates, thereby improving the likelihood that a guest will be well satisfied by his or her interaction with Alexa."Boosting Guest SatisfactionBerger explained that Alexa users in the home train themselves to speak with Alexa in a way that minimizes disappointing responses, such as "Sorry, I don't know that one." "Hmmm, I don't know that." "Sorry, I'm not sure." Or worse, the dreaded blue ring silent treatment."Hotel guests tend to have less patience and expect technology to adapt to them rather than the other way around," Berger said. "Hoteliers are even less patient, especially when Alexa's failure to understand voice commands can cause lost revenue, complaints, and overall customer dissatisfaction. That's why Volara developed its Accuracy Engine. Volara ensures that no matter how a hotel is using voice technology - whether it's for service requests, concierge recommendations, personal greetings, compendium information, loyalty programs or a host of other applications - the spoken word is being recognized and translated accurately."Volara is the leader in voice technology for the hospitality industry, with deployments in properties such as the Westin Buffalo, Thompson Seattle, Motif Seattle, Best Western Hawthorne Terrace, Aloft Hotel Dublin Pleasanton, The Edwin by Marriott's Autograph Collection, and EMC2 by Marriott's Autograph Collection, among its satisfied customers. In September, Marriott International named Volara its official and exclusive partner for its pilots of voice technologies. Volara is the only company to achieve the Alexa for Business Solution Service Delivery Designation and to be named a launch partner for Alexa for Hospitality.
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Hotel Budget Season: Design Your Most Profitable Channel Mix Strategy in 2019

The Rainmaker Group 9h
Travel customers have an unprecedented number of options to shop and book hotels, with new competitors constantly jumping into the distribution channel pool. Determining what inventory to sell through which channels has become a critical component in operating a profitable hotel. The industry is seeing online travel agencies (OTAs) with market values higher than many hotel brands and commissions rising at twice the rate of revenue growth.1 Despite these intimidating numbers, intermediary distribution channels should not be looked upon with enmity, but rather as key players in your unique channel mix strategy - designed to bring you greater success and profitability in 2019.KNOW YOUR GUESTS & WHERE THEY SHOPBefore you can determine the optimal channel mix strategy for your hotel, you must identify your ideal business mix. Perform a thorough analysis of your current customer segments, including demographics, source markets, the purpose for visiting, length of stay, and of course, which channels they're using to shop for hotels. In particular, you want to understand the total guest value of each customer segment, moving beyond revenue per available room (RevPAR) or even net revenue per available room (NetRevPAR) - which accounts for acquisition costs. In addition, consider guest spend on ancillaries such as food & beverage, recreation, spa services, and merchandise. With this information at your fingertips, you can plan which higher-value customer segments you want to target in 2019, and through which channels you can best reach them.DO YOUR DATA & INSIGHTS MEASURE UP?With the current influx of big data, hotels are hit with a literal firehose of information to sort through. To create an intelligent channel mix strategy for 2019, you need more than just data - you need insights. The right technology and tools help you perform an accurate assessment of your performance in light of the overall business available in your market, allowing you to zero in on the actions necessary for achieving your channel optimization goal.Channel ProfitabilityAcquisition costs have risen to up to 25 percent of guest paid revenue,2 and include commissions, transaction fees, and loyalty program costs, as well as property-level or franchisor sales and marketing costs. It's important not only to evaluate each channel's top-line revenue but also track the costs necessary to secure the revenue. Additionally, evaluate your proprietary website (brand.com) just as you would a third-party partner. Finally, you need to clearly understand which channels your highest-value guests are booking through in order to adequately value the ROI of each channel.Attribution & Campaign TaggingIt's important to track visitor statistics, hotel website navigation paths, and sales transactions from your booking engine. However, a guest's purchase channel doesn't always correlate with their shopping channel.3 In China, for example, despite high shopping activity on brand.com websites, more hotel bookings occur through OTAs. More than 40 percent of travelers say they bounce back and forth4 between exploring the details for one destination and then zooming out to reconsider all their options again. To address the challenge of accurately attributing credit to the myriad actions that result in conversion, a newer tracking tool known as "campaign tagging" identifies website traffic by source as well as by the promotional campaign and distribution channel that triggered their visit.Ancillary SpendEach channel's ancillary revenue contribution must also be factored into the equation.5 On the surface, it may appear as if a specific hotel is gaining more business through a certain OTA versus direct. However, a deeper analysis may reveal that the brand.com customer is spending more than double in ancillary revenue and room rates than the OTA channel customer, while also maintaining longer lengths of stay and higher retention rates.Marketing ResultsEvaluate your marketing spend by channel6 to see if you're getting enough return on your investment. Some channels may bring in better results during specific weekdays or seasons. Analyze different combinations in order to allocate your marketing resources to the right channels at the right time.In-depth analysis of these factors, in light of your target business mix and KPIs will reveal your most profitable distribution channels in the truest sense. However, this is not a "one and done" scenario. Hotels must consistently monitor and reevaluate their channel strategy, determining ways to efficiently gain the optimal mix of traffic, and convert the traffic into the highest profitable transactions.OPTIMIZE YOUR CHANNEL MIX FOR REVENUES AND ROIIn the past, when it came to managing channel mix, hotels rarely looked beyond revenues and occasionally costs. By only considering these metrics, you may believe it's in your best interests to fill your rooms purely through direct channels. However, the goal is not to eliminate intermediary channels, it's about creating your most profitable mix. And most hotels need a blend of demand from multiple channels.7With so many channel options available, sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees. Just because a particular channel is popular,8 or is working well for a market leader, doesn't mean it's ideal for you. It's about strategy. Use your own data and be realistic in terms of your specific market demand drivers, location, and costs.Set clear goals by channel, by day of week, and by season. Build your strategy, which may involve reducing or eliminating participation in some channels, while stimulating greater flow into others. The channel mix that brings you the greatest profitability is going to be unique to your hotel, involving an effective balance between direct, indirect, online, and offline channels.Direct OnlineYour proprietary website and Internet booking engine, outshines the results of OTA bookings9 in terms of guest loyalty, rates, frequency, and length of stay.Optimize it: With 40 percent of U.S. travel site visits coming from mobile,10 make certain your website is mobile-friendly. Take advantage of upsell and cross-sell opportunities, and build relationships to gain lucrative repeat business. Use market intelligence to create targeted promotional campaigns that are likely to convert.Direct OfflineVoice is a particularly effective offline channel, with average rates and length of stay trending higher than many other channels,11 and even scoring points with Millennials.12 Optimize it: Like its online sister, offline direct channels also provide opportunities to upsell and offer revenue-maximizing add-ons. Make things easy for guests by incorporating seamless click-to-call capability.OTAs & MetasearchIn 2017, Phocuswright reported that approximately 22 percent of hotel gross bookings occur through OTAs.13 And while the Billboard Effect may be dead,14 clearly, OTAs and metasearch sites remain an important part of your distribution channel toolkit. Their advertising budget affords them a much larger reach into emerging markets individual hotels can never hope to duplicate. This creates exposure to your brand you wouldn't be able to achieve on your own. Optimize it: Develop a strategy to capture email addresses for OTA guests at check-in. Acquiring the email addresses of those who booked through an OTA will give you the ability to market to those guests in the future. Hopefully, you will be able to convert those customers from an OTA loyal customer to a "your brand" loyal customerGDSThe Global Distribution System exposes your hotel to millions of travel agents around the world. It is estimated that greater than 55% of the business that books via the GDS is managed business. However, with annual worldwide hotel room revenue production estimated at $8.5 billion dollars, there is still a significant amount of business you can influence.15Optimize it: Work with your GDS connectivity provider to make sure your listing is optimized. Consider GDS advertising or even possibly placement programs.Wholesalers (Offline & Online)While this business tends to be more influential in gateway cities and destination markets, it can bring valuable guests to hotels. These guests will likely be from markets many hotels do not have the ability to reach on their own. Additionally, this segment tends to have a longer length of stay which benefits the hotel's bottom line.Optimize it: Make sure your profiles are consistent and accurate, filled with engaging descriptions and images designed to attract your target audience.Competition is fierce in this hybrid-channel marketplace. And as the distribution landscape evolves in complexity, hotels must take a comprehensive approach to developing their channel optimization strategy. One that's rooted in a solid foundation of analytics combined with accurate tracking of the right performance metrics. Your channel mix is crucial to your property's ability to grow and achieve financial success. Once you've developed your strategy, you must continuously monitor and refine it - always keeping the goal of maximizing your profit potential top of mind. Hotels that create an optimal channel mix strategy, and pair it with the power of top-line technology, will find themselves well along the path to long-term profitability.Kristi White will be hosting a webinar on the topic of "Are You Ready for 2019?" on 10/30 at 2 PM EST. Click here to register.

Labor, tariffs challenge hotel construction pace

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles ·10h
Speakers at the recent Lodging Conference say a labor-shortage-driven dearth of quality contractors and subcontractors and tariff-induced higher prices for key materials are slowing the rate of construction enough for it to be a concern in the U.S.

Green Lodging News Adds ClearWater Tech Case Study to Website

green lodging news | By Glenn Hasek ·10h
Green Lodging News has added a ClearWater Tech case study to its website. Jim Massey’s Cleaners and Laundry, of Montgomery, Alabama, was looking to eliminate their high costs of hot water and chemicals used in their textile and garment restoration department. John Massey provided proof of the effectiveness and payback by using EcoTex Cold-Water Disinfection Systems on their washers.

McCarren Hotel & Pool debuts OpenKey's mobile key technology

Hotel Management ·12h
McCarren Hotel & Pool in Brooklyn, N.Y., has unveiled keyless room access powered by OpenKey technology. OpenKey will support the McCarren’s efforts in delivering an unparalleled experience to its digital native guests.

Five Luxury Hotel Experts Share Insights on Using Technology and Data

Lodging Magazine 16 October 2018
Guest expectations are higher today than ever before, and technology is a key component in helping the hospitality industry cope with continual change, according to a recently released ebook by Local Measure, a customer intelligence platform for hospitality and tourism. “Technology and the Guest Experience: Views from Five Luxury Hoteliers” draws insights from interviews with senior-level executives at luxury hotels discussing how technology has impacted the guest experience and where the guest experience is moving to in the future.

Her future will be tougher than my past

By Carson Booth
We humans have always dealt with new technologies, and for the most part, we have welcomed them because they have made our lives easier, better, longer, healthier, more enjoyable.... But 17 years into 21st century, the sheer pace of technological change is absolutely dizzying - and only likely to accelerate even more, causing disruptions and upheavals in every part of our lives. Perhaps more than ever before, tech driven advances are changing our economic structures, politics, and even society as a whole. Where is it all going? To bring this year's edition of The Hotel Yearbook to a fitting close, Carson Booth shares his thoughts on this fascinating - if not a little intimidating - question.

Crescent Hotels & Resorts to upgrade technology at Las Vegas hotel

Hotel Management 16 October 2018
Crescent Hotels & Resorts will partner with Broadband Hospitality to upgrade technology at Crescent’s SpringHill Suites Las Vegas Convention Center property. BBH is one of a select group of hotel technology providers that carry the Marriott Global Property Network Standards certification and, therefore, the company is qualified to guide hotels nationwide in achieving Marriott GPNS brand standards.

How Alibaba-Backed Shiji Is Expanding Its Tech Sales to Hotels Outside of China

skift Inc. 16 October 2018
Shiji, the hospitality tech giant of China, has been expanding its global push since February -- when it announced a $486 million investment from e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba Group.Shiji, which has 20 foreign subsidiaries, has in the past month acquired StayNTouch, a hotel tech services provider, and Concept Software Systems, a retail tech provider for golf, spa, and other activities. A few months ago, it bought out the remaining shareholders of SnapShot, an analytics dashboard.Shiji recently disclosed its backing of Kalibri Labs, a data-based hotel revenue consultancy. It has been rumored to have invested in Leonardo, a company that helps hotels manage their visual assets, such as photos of rooms.
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RevPAR And RevPAR Index Are Different And I'm Going To Explain Them Both In This Article

The Hotel Financial Coach 16 October 2018
Let's start with RevPARIt is the cornerstone of the hotel world and rightfully so. It is the product of occupancy and rate smashed together. The acronym stands for "revenue per available room." In a simple example: If my hotel was 60 percent occupied last night and my average rate was $100, my RevPAR would be $60 (100 x .6). The other way to calculate this would be to take the total rooms in my hotel--in this example it is 500--and divide that by the total room revenue last night. At 60 percent that means I had 300 rooms occupied and I will multiply that by $100 to get my room revenue (300 x 100 = $30,000). To calculate the RevPAR, I divide the room revenue by the rooms available. ($30,000/500 = $60). I can calculate the RevPAR for any period--week, month or year--the same way.One last thing I will say about calculating RevPAR is that it is a relatively new thing. I do not want to draw too much attention to my age here but when I went to hotel school RevPAR was not on the menu. It was only occupancy and average room rate.RevPAR index is a concept that was developed about 30 years ago as best I can tell. I remember being introduced to it at a budget review meeting and I thought it was pretty cool. In those days we would do a call around to find out what the other hotels in our city were doing each month for occupancy and rate. I am pretty sure some of the hotels fabricated their results and I think a few others thought the same.Somewhere around the mid 1990s a company started a business based on capturing and sharing the occupancy, rate and RevPAR for hotels. They sold a subscription and the hotel shared their results every day on the previous day's occupancy and rate. The company now gathers this information for your hotel and your competitors and then they share the information, so you can see how well you are doing vs. your competitors.Let's now look at how we calculate RevPAR index. The reasons why we want to calculate the index are important to know.The first reason is this calculation will allow you to see how well you are executing your sales and revenue management strategies relative to your competition. Given the current product you have, how well are you selling the hotel?The second reason is the index shows you what your variance is relative to your competitors and what the gap is worth. Let's say your index is 15 percent below the set. This means that with a potential investment in your product y ou could close or beat that gap and that translates into potential dollars of profit to justify your investment.The third reason is to continually be aware of how your hotel is positioned relative to its competitors, so you can see if your rate and occupancy strategies are working. Maybe you want to lead on rate because you feel in the long run this is the best game plan for your asset, the index will tell you the answer.Choosing a competitive set of hotels can be difficult and it needs to make sense. If you are in a busy city setting, this can be easier because there is a large available selection of hotels to choose from. If you are in a resort setting, look at hotels that are similar in product and service to yours. Once you choose your set, you are not going to want to change it unless there are very good reasons to do so--perhaps a new hotel in your market place.Having a positive index, which is an index above 100 percent, is where you wan t to be. The bigger, the better.In many HMAs (hotel management agreements) having and maintaining a positive index is an important test. In some HMAs the manager is required to maintain a positive index, or they can lose the contract to manage the hotel. This can be a costly problem for the management company because losing the flag means you just lost all the fees from that hotel. You might even find yourself in a situation where you have to make up the lost profit and pay it to the owner.Above is the chart that lays out the RevPAR index calculation. Think about the index like a dessert that your mom made. She is placing that pie on the kitchen table and you want to make sure you get your fair share. The chart shows you what your slice is really worth.Looking across the top of the chart:* We start with each hotel's Room Base, the number of rooms in each hotel.* We then multiply the number of rooms by the days in the month to get Total Rooms Available.* Next, we enter the actual Rooms Occupied for the month, followed next by the percentage of occupancy for this month for each hotel.* Following those are the potential and actual share based on occupancy. This is the first point where we see the individual performance of the properties in relative terms on only occupancy to their competitors.* This produces the net capture index.* The next step is to add the monthly average rate which produces the property room revenue in the column on the far right.* Once we have the room revenue we can calculate the individual hotel RevPAR.* Once you have the RevPAR, divide it by the overall RevPAR of the sample set to produce the RevPAR index.That's a lot of math but it's really a simple set of calculations.When I was growing up it was very important to get my fair slice of the pie at mom's dinner table, how about you?

Free tnooz report: Unlocking the potential of group sales and catering - a hotelier's guide

Tnooz 16 October 2018
To fulfill the potential, group sales and catering teams need to be aware of the many moving parts. The various internal and external influences – such as demand and supply, customer preferences, operating costs, competitive landscape – have aligned with each other and now have a resonance in unison as well as isolation.

Startup Pitch - Hooch Black combines subscriber discounts with digital rewards

mycloud HOSPITALITY 16 October 2018
Consumer-facing subscription models in travel and other verticals existed before the internet. Paying a fee in order to access discounts is a relatively simple model for consumers to understand – the B2B economics are more tricky.

Group Booking Pace Slows in Tight Market for Meetings

mycloud HOSPITALITY 16 October 2018
New research from Cvent shows that group business is declining for U.S. hotels, and planners are booking room blocks closer to the date of their event than before. This is bad news for hotels, which rely on group bookings to boost business.
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What's Next For PMS Firms In Airbnb's Ecosystem? Is Their Future Assured?

16 October 2018
The news this week that Airbnb rival Wimdu is closing, despite $90million in funding, proves that Airbnb continues to dominate the home lodging & vacation rental industry.Yet with whispers of an IPO as early as 2019, they have been busy exploring additional revenue streams. Chief among them is their desire to move towards operating like a hotel.Their new Airbnb Friendly Buildings Program and tools for landlords mirror the relationship between hotel owner and brands. Their current partnership with Pillow, their official PMS(property management software/service) partner, is due to end in Fall 2018. No one knows yet if this relationship will continue, end or be scaled back but given the cross over withFriendly Buildings Program, it's likely it will either be scaled back significantly or even end the partnership. They will discover that it's easier and better to keep things inhouse thanoutsource them, especially if you have the capabilities.How does this affect the multitude of PMS firms in their Ecosystem?Airbnb have helped fuel an explosion of startup firms in their ecosystem. It's allowed smaller start-ups to operate with Airbnb's system/customer at the center, offering supportranging from cleaning, customer checking, property management to even revenue management, yield and pricing.Many PMS firms operate a end-to-end solution for host, covering all the topics as described above. Despite their relatively small size and localized market, many of these firms haveraised substantial amounts of funding. According to Sean O'Neill from Skift "vacation rental management is becoming professionalized, and the gold rush is on".GuestReady, based in Switzerland, has raised over $3million dollars and operates in the UK, France, UAE, Portugal, Malaysia and Hong Kong.Hostmaker, launched in 2012 by an ex Intercontinental Hotel Group executive, has raised over $24million and operates in 8 cities.Guesty, launched in 2014, has raised $25million in total.Evolve Vacation Rental raised $80 million in 2018 yet operates only in the US and the Caribbean. Total funding since 2011 tops $103 million.Despite the investment, these firms, while strong in their home city, are not able to quickly cover another city or territory without first deploying a team there, which takes time andresources to establish their brand in a city or location that is new to them.As Skift admits "the gold rush is on" and these firms have raised significant amounts of funding, not because of their innovative product offering (which could be argued is as farremoved from 'disruptive technology' as it could be) but because they all have grandiose plans to either become Airbnb's official PMS or number 1 in the market. Yet as describedabove, these firms are discovering that local success does not translate easily into worldwide success.Enter the Soft BrandsWithin the vacation rental sector, we're now witnessing another gold rush - the soft brands that have also raised significant levels of funding. Soft brands are well funded, buy or leasehousing stock in an area, refurbish them in line with their brand, similar interior design, and operate them as a hotel / vacation rental.Sonder, founded in 2012 with 2,200 units, recently raised $85 million take their total funding to $135 million.Lyric, founded in 2014 and appealing to a creative mindset, has already raised $20 million.Sweet Inn, founded in 2014, has raised $22 million and operates 360 apartments, mainly across Israel, Italy and France.Sonder has raised $85million in 2018, which in total adds up to $135million funding to date.Even Airbnb have entered the soft brands market with the launch of Airbnb Plus. They now offer some 2,000 properties worldwide that have been individually checked and guaranteed consistent, certain level of quality.The FutureHotels are the real success story, historically, of soft brands. With changing consumer/traveler habits, the new plethora of soft brands entering the vacation rentalsector are guaranteed success if they continue to invest in building and maintaining a strong, consistent brand.So where does that leave the PMS only firms as listed above. Their future is not so secure. Few of them have any unique competitive advantage that can be easily scaled upworldwide. Indeed, while successful at a local level, many of them are no different from a mom and dad estate agency.For many PMS firms, acquisition by Airbnb is the ultimate prize. However, given Airbnb's history of acquiring only specific niche business that add real value (i.e. $200 million toacquire Luxury Retreats), it's a struggle to see if any of them are an attractive acquisition target.It's easy to predict that, like Wimdu which failed to innovate and differentiate themselves from Airbnb, we will soon see a casualty of PMS ecosystem firms closing.
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Pan Pacific Hotels Group Expands Feedback Management Efforts To Improve The F&B Experience With TrustYou Restaurants

TrustYou GmbH 16 October 2018
Munich/Singapore, 16 October 2018 - Singapore-based Pan Pacific Hotels Group, which manages Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts and PARKROYAL Hotels & Resorts decided to expand its feedback management efforts beyond hotel reviews and collaborates with TrustYou for their portfolio of restaurants. The group now integrates TrustYou Restaurants to manage all reviews that are submitted based on the experience guests had in one of their many restaurants across the globe. TrustYou's feedback platform helps to collect, analyze and manage reviews through easy-to-use dashboards to improve the online reputation across the web and increase bookings.Pan Pacific Hotels Group operates more than 40 hotels, resorts, and serviced suites across 24 cities in Asia, Oceania, Europe and North America and worked with TrustYou for almost two years to conveniently manage and collect all guest feedback within one solution. "We have seen significant improvements in our operations, scores, and online reputation for our hotels since using TrustYou. With our signature culinary concepts, Hai Tien Lo Chinese Restaurant and Keyaki Japanese Restaurant, and international all-day dining outlets, we offer a quality F&B experience that is equally important to the guest experience, so we decided that we need to give our restaurant reviews the same attention. TrustYou Restaurants meets the expectations we have to manage reviews from all restaurant-related sources", says Golden Whitehead, Vice-President, Food & Beverage, Pan Pacific Hotels Group.Reviews and ratings from previous dining guests immensely influence other people's decisions whether to visit a restaurant or not. Studies show that an improvement of 0.5 star on a scale from 1-5 can lead to a booked restaurant at peak times. TrustYou's solution offers features such as replying and analyzing reviews, which help to actively improve client satisfaction. In addition, Pan Pacific will utilize the Survey features to collect reviews after the visit, increase their number of reviews, and further positively impact their online reputation."Reviews impact hospitality businesses on many levels and provide opportunities to owners and managers to influence the experience they offer to guests. With TrustYou Restaurants, Pan Pacific Hotels Group can deep dive into how their restaurants and staff are performing and rely on semantic analysis of ten different categories that show the success of their F&B offer. We are excited to be the chosen partner for hotel and restaurant feedback management", explains Alex Tan, VP Sales & Operations at TrustYou.For more information, visit TrustYou during ITB Asia at booth B35 or contact us at www.trustyou.com.
Article by Martin Soler

Food for thought: The real future of direct bookings

Soler & Associates 16 October 2018
The 50th edition in a bit under 24 month. Thanks for holding up this long :-). This one is about Direct Bookings, not planned that way but that's just the way things turned out after going through the recent news. Hope you enjoy it. Best, Martin. PS: If you're executive level, don't forget to sign-up for Tell Trends.Food for thought.The obsession of Direct BookingsDirect revenue has unfortunately become a way to get attention in the hotel marketing world. The problem with such buzzwords being used and abused is that in the long run it is like conspiracy theories, all one needs to do it say the words and suddenly it isn't credible anymore. Yet there is inherent value retaining control and a fair share of direct bookings. The most recent debate of should hotel obsess about direct or not is really splitting hairs. Hoteliers should obsess about having a healthy distribution mix. That means a fair share of direct, OTAs and other channels. Too much direct is as risky as too much OTAs. It may look better short term as one believes one makes more profit, but long term one will soon notice how demand just doesn't match or become too expensive. To the defence of those campaigning for more direct, there is more often a lack than an abundance of direct revenue.TO OBSESS or NOT TO OBSESSBrand-jacking on Google is about to growGoogle recently changed their trademark policy and it's not good news. In short, anyone who is somewhat affiliated with selling a hotel's rooms is now allowed to advertise on the hotel's name. And for those who know, protecting one's brand is the single most efficient way to ensure direct revenue. This concept that one needs to pay to protect one's brand is one pretty much created by Google and which has become a tremendous cash cow. Imagine having to pay to keep your front door from being taxed by third parties, that's pretty much what you're doing. But until now there have been some safety measures one could take to ensure things didn't go out of control. It seems even that party is soon over.NEW GOOGLE TRADEMARK POLICYThe long game for Direct RevenueWe can grow direct revenue. We can even guarantee that direct revenue will work on the long run, but it wont be through hacks and quick fix solutions. Despite the apparent "huge success" of direct booking solutions and increasing costs of advertising. Having looked at the numbers for hundreds of hotels, direct revenue in the independent hotel space is declining. The long game isn't a battle for price parity, suing OTAs for last room clauses etc. The long game educating guests and travelers to always check direct before booking. It's one that every branded or independent hotel can get with. One where we need to create a "Got Milk?" campaign for the entire industry and work on for years. Retail industry failed at doing just that and so Amazon and other major players are taking up the slack. If the hotel industry actually sat down and built a concerted global campaign in some years, direct would retain it's market share.HAS DIRECT BOOKING REACHED PEAK?Tell Trends, more insightsTell Trends will ship shortly. It's going to have much more insights than this newsletter from more experts who don't just have opinions, they have expertise in their domains. They can see where the industry is going and what is coming next. It's a paid news magazine that will be delivered online and off-line. If you're looking to see what is really happening in the hotel marketing and tech industry, it might be for you.SIGN UP FOR EARLY ACCESS
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Nor1 Strengthens Singapore Presence, Welcomes Hospitality Industry Veteran Sandra Tye as Regional Director, Business Development, APAC

Nor1 16 October 2018
"I am very excited to be working with Nor1 to provide hotels and resorts intelligent upsell solutions that optimize the amount of revenue they can realize from every single guest transaction," said Sandra Tye, Regional Director, Business Development, APAC.Tye added, "I am eager to help hotels dramatically increase RevPAR, ADR, and guest satisfaction by utilizing Nor1's intelligent upgrade, upsell, and merchandising platform. One crucial, deciding factor for my joining Nor1 was the realization of how many upgrade and upsell opportunities are being overlooked by all of the other approaches I've seen or experienced. Nor1's suite of products can maximize total revenue and enhance the guest's journey at the same time. Nor1 is truly the leader in this space.""We are very pleased and excited to welcome Sandra to the Nor1 Team," said Jason G. Bryant, Nor1's Founder and CEO. "We are confident that her knowledge, reputation and experience in the APAC region will be a great asset to Nor1 in expanding adoption of our upgrade, upsell, and merchandising platform.About Nor1, Inc. Nor1 is the leader in hospitality upgrade, up-sell, and merchandising technology.Headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices across the world, Nor1 provides data-driven pricing and merchandising products that maximize incremental revenues for Hilton, IHG, Radisson Hotel Group, Accor, Wyndham, and other global hotels and resorts.Nor1's real-time pricing and merchandising intelligence engine, PRiME, powers eStandby Upgrade, eXpress Upgrade, CheckIn Merchandising, eReach, and eDirect to recommend the most relevant upgrade to the right guest at the right time for the most optimal price.Our investors include, Concur Technologies, Goldman Sachs, and Accel Partners.For more information, please visit www.nor1.com.

AI and why the lucky ones get to play musical chairs

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration 16 October 2018
The artificial intelligence genie is out the bottle but it needs to learn kindness and sensitivity, but travel reps may not be the best people to learn from!

Revinate joins SiteMinder Exchange

SiteMinder Blog 16 October 2018
Revinate, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company that helps hotels transform guest data into revenue, today announces it has partnered with the global hotel industry’s leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, as the latest hotel application to connect into SiteMinder Exchange. The connection will make Revinate Marketing accessible to the multitude of leading property management systems (PMSs) integrated into SiteMinder Exchange, a powerfully-simple solution launched this year to solve the connectivity problem for hotel PMSs and hotel applications everywhere.

How Alibaba-Backed Shiji Is Expanding Its Tech Sales to Hotels Outside of China

mycloud HOSPITALITY 16 October 2018
Beijing-based Shiji serves more than 47,000 hotels outside of China. This is the first time it has spoken candidly with independent English-language media about its acquisition strategy. This year its subsidiaries have won deals with MGM Resorts, Radisson, and other major brands. Reading between the lines, it has big plans in the works.

Moscow and Malaysia airports add SITA's bag drop self-service

Tnooz 16 October 2018
SITA has announced the installation of new Scan&Fly self-service baggage drop systems at Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport and at Moscow Domededovo Airport with S7 Airlines. These new installations follow a general push for self-service to support the seamless journey initiatives of the air travel industry.

United Makes Top-Tier Elite Status Harder to Earn

mycloud HOSPITALITY 16 October 2018
Changes to United's MileagePlus program will make it harder for ultra-frequent flyers to stay loyal to the airline.

Common mistakes of startups entering travel

PhocusWire 16 October 2018
Startups angling to break into travel can't win without knowledge of the so-called travel funnel.

Personal data, privacy and identity

By Alvaro Hidalgo
The collection of personal data is inherent to the hotel industry; it is what allows us to tailor guest experiences, market our hotels effectively, and foster long-term loyalty. The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force soon, and it has the potential of turning all of this, and more, on its head. Alvaro Hidalgo walks us through the enormous challenges, and even posits a solution.

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