• Next Event

    HITEC HOUSTON

    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

    June 18-21, 2018

  • Upcoming Event

    HITEC DUBAI

    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

    December 5–6, 2018
    Dubai, UAE

commercial

How to Increase Hotel Sales with Business Travelers

Pegasus ·2h
According to a recent Global Business Travel Association report, the number of business trips taken annually in the United States reaches at minimum a staggering 488 million. Attracting business travelers is a good way to increase sales and occupancy rates at your hotel. But appealing to these travelers can be a challenge. Here are 5 steps to help increase hotel sales with these travelers.
Article by Florian Montag

The Hunger Games: Hospitality Innovation

Hotelhero ·5h
We had a great diversity of opinions and positions represented:Richard Oram senior director of sales consulting hospitality systems (EMEA) at OracleAnders Johansson co-founder and CEO at Demand CalendarPete Simpson SVP Global Business Technology with Protel hotelsoftware GmbHFlorian Montag co-Founder and CEO at HotelheroDavid Turnbull (Moderator) co-founder and CCO at SnapShot GmbHA cry for open systems and industry standardsWe all know it too well, data in the hospitality space exists in silos. Even when the systems have existing integrations there is a lack of standardization. All providers input data in different formats, quality levels, and make it difficult for 3rd party systems to consolidate and analyse these data points.The first step to solve this is to push and reinforce industry standards. HTNG has done a good job in the past but has not been too active in updating these standards, in the last couple of years. Opentravel has just released their new modern OTA 2.0 standard. These initiatives are very important for the industry, but it is essential for the legacy vendors to adopt them and take on the challenge to renew their dated integration technology.This would be the first step to break down the silos, as it will facilitate integrations and improve the quality of transferred data. Breaking down these silos is important for comprehensive business intelligence and deliver actionable insights for the hotelier.What Operating System should I develop against?In Europe alone, there are over 300 different hotel operating systems and worldwide the largest hotel operating system has roughly 35'000 hotels. As a point of comparison, in the B2C space, there are 3-4 different operating systems giving you access to millions of users globally.This is a big problem for a lot of start-ups, as they underestimate the time and resources it costs to build integrations to get access to their target market. Not even considering the fact, that to be able to build an integration with one of the big players you will need to prove your track record.For a lot of these startups building these point-to-point integrations is highly inefficient. A point-to-multipoint approach would allow start-ups faster growth potential with fewer resources spent. In recent years, there has been a clear trend towards this model with new marketplaces or middleware emerging, which focus on enabling these point-to-multipoint integrations.It is essential for both start-ups and legacy systems to embrace this, as it will reduce the time and resources spent on building and maintaining integrations and free it up for product development.The marketplace - Get, try, like, buyThe aforementioned integration difficulties lead to a severe problem in today's hotel technology landscape.Most of the time it is the large vendors who decide which new system will make it in the market and not the actual users. They do this based on their own interest and judgment and not based on a detailed analysis of the product or market opportunity.The marketplace concept has the possibility to solve this pain point by facilitating integrations, pushing transparency and allowing flexibility for hoteliers.Test phases and monthly subscription models will allow hoteliers to test a variety of solutions and choose the one, which performs best.Rating systems or performance stats could be developed and allow hoteliers to decide who will make it or not.Advice for startups: Talk to the hoteliers and make sure that you understand their pain points and goals. Not every guest-facing problem is an actual industry problem.Do your industry research, analyse your potential competitors and find out if there is an actual demand.Understand who the end user in the hotel will be (GM, FO, RM, etc.). They do not have the same requirements and understanding of technology.Choose very carefully with whom you integrate, too much point-to-point integration will hinder your development.Join forces with like-minded start-ups to create economies of scale or increase your value proposition as a bundle.Advice for legacy systems: Innovation is not just a one-way street, make sure you embrace new technologies and stay relevant in the future (let's not have a Kodak or Nokia moment ;))Work together and push for a modern integration standard.If you don't have the time to manage all integration requests, work with third-party middleware's or marketplaces.It shouldn't be the vendor deciding which startup makes it, but the end-user.My take: It is great to see that tech start-ups are disrupting the industry and pushing legacy players to reinvent themselves. Providers need to be open, flexible and transparent. Locking your customers in with closed systems and long-term contracts should be a thing of the past.
commercial

Hilton Inn at Penn Named Winner of Intelity's 'ICEvoice Challenge'

Intelity ·5h
Why are hoteliers eager to add voice-command technology to guestrooms? Just ask the Hilton Inn at Penn, winner of Intelity's ICEvoiceChallenge. Earlier this month, Intelity asked its customers to state how they envision using the company's newest solution that enables guests to use voice commands for requesting services and controlling the in-room environment. The reply from the Hilton Inn at Penn was short, sweet and on point: "We currently use Intelity with our guestroom iPads and are looking to grow from that success." And grow they will. Within the next six weeks, the AAA four diamond hotel, located on the University of Pennsylvania campus, will receive ICEvoice FREE, forever.As the ICEvoice Challenge winner, the Hilton Inn at Penn will receive:Amazon Echo voice activated speakers for every guestroom, including integration to Intelity's trademarked, award-winning ICE HUB: Control Panel, at no charge.Development and implementation of unique phrases and commands the hotel desires.User training, integration coordination, installation, and configuration.24/7/365 technical support from Intelity's team of experts to ensure services work as planned."We are thrilled to be the Intelity ICEvoice Challenge winner," said Hilton Inn at Penn Director of Operations Wesley Clark. "We were always proud to be featuring Intelity iPads in every room; it's something not many hotels can boast about and we see it as an elevated service differentiator. It's so cool that now we will be adding a voice concierge to our rooms. It's going to bring that 'wow' factor to service delivery. ICEvoice won't replace the bedside tablets by any means; it will simply do things faster. Being able to speak a request vs. place one through the iPad will save our guests time and it will add personalization. We'd like to thank Intelity for making this opportunity possible. It shows us that Intelity really values our partnership - and we share that sentiment. We can't wait to be live with ICEvoice."Other ICEvoice Challenge submissions from customers said they would use Intelity's voice solution to: Greet the guest by name when a guest enters the room and provide them with the hotel's Wi-Fi password; Introduce itself to guests as their virtual butler when they first enter the room and detail the intricacies of the property; Order the hotel's car service for a specific time; and, Speak to international guests in their preferred language.Webinar Answers 'Voice' QuestionsIn addition to announcing the contest winner during its "Say Hello to ICEvoice" webinar yesterday, Intelity Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Gregg Hopkins showed participants why migrating to voice technology is so important to hotels today. According to statistics released by the Smart Audio Report:47.3 million U.S. adults have access to a smart speaker; 19.7% of U.S. adults use smart speakers of which 57.8% are male and 42.2% are femaleAmazon is leading the smart speaker market with 71.9% penetration, followed by Google at 18.4% and others at 9.7%Two thirds of U.S. voice-activated speaker owners said they are using them to entertain friends and family, with 60 percent using the devices to play music for guests, 30 percent asking it to answer a general question, and 28 percent asking it for weather updates.31 percent of smart speaker owners are asking their virtual assistants to control other devices in the home, with 61 percent controlling devices in the living room and 38 percent controlling devices in the kitchen."One in six adults in the United States own voice-activated smart speakers," Hopkins told webinar participants. "The adoption rate of such speakers over the last three years is now outpacing that of smartphones and tablets. People are replacing time spent with other devices to use smart speakers. Just over a third of Americans are ditching their smartphones to spend time with the speakers, while 30 percent are using the devices instead of watching television."What does this mean for hotels? Intelity Chief Technology Officer Chris Grey explained that voice technology is becoming widely popular because of its speed and convenience; voice search is much faster than web or mobile search, citing that humans speak 150 words per minute vs. typing 40 words in the same amount of time. Voice-enabled devices are responsible for 1 billion searches performed every month on devices like Amazon Echo, according to Smart Audio Report."Adding a voice concierge solution isn't as easy as just buying an Echo for every guestroom, plugging them in and hoping they work," Grey said. "It takes a lot of integration to funnel voice requests into the operating system to become a text ticket, then send it to Intelity's request manager so the right staff member fulfills the request and delivers it to the guest in a timely manner. This level of service is one of most exciting things to come along in last 5 or 10 years, but it doesn't happen by magic."It took Intelity 10 years to build a robust platform that makes voice requests possible," he said. "If a guest realizes while unpacking her suitcase that she forgot a toothbrush, she doesn't have to stop what she is doing to call the front desk and request a toothbrush be brought to the room - or leave the room and walk down to the gift shop to purchase a new one. The guest simply says 'Alexa, ask the hotel to bring me a toothbrush.' Within minutes, the toiletry arrives. In this case, voice technology is not just informational, it's interactive with the guest, making their experience more personalized than ever. Soon, integration between ICEvoice and our ICEbedside tablets will enable guests to say 'Alexa, ask the hotel restaurant what's on the menu.' And, Alexa will reply 'See the iPad in the room for a complete menu listing.' It's simple, as long as a hotel has the Intelity Interactive Customer Experience - or ICE - platform."For more information about Intelity's solutions for the hospitality industry, click here.
commercial

Central Hotels to Go Paperless in Rooms with Crave Interactive

Crave Interactive ·6h
Dubai, UAE. In keeping with its paperless initiative to protect the environment, Central Hotels has entered into an agreement with Crave Interactive to install digital Guest Room Tablet directories across its hotels. Crave Interactive is a world leading developer of cloud-based digital guest service solutions for hotels and was recently named as 2018's top-rated guest room tablet provider in the Hotel Tech Report Awards.Making the announcement, Mr. Ahmad Al Abdulla, Chairman of Central Hotels, stated, "In the age of smartphones and smart technology, guests increasingly expect their hotel rooms to be smart too. Hence all our upcoming hotels will be made smarter and more environment friendly with Crave Interactive. It is an easy-to-use handheld device that will not only support our green objectives but will also boost operational efficiency."In addition to serving as a digital guest service directory, Crave Interactive will be useful in providing a wide range of services such as wake-up calls, restaurant reservations, dining menus, housekeeping requests, guest notifications, and guest feedbacks.Mr. Ammar Kanaan, General Manager of Central Hotels, added, "We are proud to exceed the expectations of our guests with innovative conservation initiatives. Protecting the environment is vital for us and a significant component of our corporate strategy. Crave is a world-class product and looks great in rooms. It is easy to update and very helpful, hence we expect both our guests and staff to love it. Additionally, this move has considerable cost-benefits and will help in driving increased ancillary revenue.""We are delighted to add Central Hotels to growing list of international clients", declared Tim Butterworth, Chief Commercial Officer at Crave Interactive "we are seeing an increasing trend towards replacing paper with smart modern digital solutions such as the Crave range of in-room tablets. With 93% positive TripAdvisor comment there is no doubt that guests appreciate the improved services that our tablets provide"See First Central's Go Paperless drive at: www.firstcentraldubai.com/paperlessAbout Central HotelsCentral Hotels has very quickly established itself as a reputed hotel management group in the UAE with its flagship property First Central Hotel Suites located in Barsha Heights (TECOM) near Sheikh Zayed Road. Featuring 524 apartments equipped with top-notch facilities, it offers travellers the best of Arabian hospitality in the heart of Dubai. Building up on this amazing success, the brand is now poised to expand its footprint in the GCC targeting Saudi Arabia and the UAE as the primary markets for growth.For more information about Central Hotels visit www.central-hotels.comFor media contact:Hina BakhtManaging DirectorEVOPS Marketing & PRMob: 00971 50 6975146Tel: 00971 4 566 7355Hina.bakht@evops-pr.comwww.evops-pr.comHina BakhtEVOPS Marketing & PR971 50 6975146email us here
commercial

Hotels Catch Up to OTA Best Practices with TrustYou's Review Marketing Solutions

TrustYou ·6h
The NH Hotel Group integrated the TrustYou Marketing module, in the form of Meta-Review and Rich Snippets features, with the end goal of increasing visibility and traffic for all their branded hotels, across the Americas, Europe, and Africa. By making use of OTA booking best practices, the hotel group saw results in a short period of time. The TrustYou Meta-Review enables a quick overview of summarized and verified guest reviews and is displayed on the hotel's website, in order to immediately influence a traveler's booking decision. This also translates into a TrustScore, on a 5-point scale, meant to provide visual information about a hotel's overall online reputation. The rich snippets allow the merger of review content and scores into the extra information that a hotel exposes on Google. The integration of both TrustYou marketing widgets is now easier than ever and for NH Hotels, this determined an increased online visibility and an uplift in organic website traffic.NH Hotel Group continues to use the TrustYou Review Marketing module, in order to encourage organic traffic and direct bookings. Stephan Keschelis, VP of E-Commerce and Digital Transformation at NH Hotel Group reinforced the impressive outcome of the collaboration, by saying: "Displaying TrustScores and Meta-Reviews on our website and thereby enabling Rich Snippets has shown incredible results. We observed an immediate 10% increase in organic revenue coming from an improved conversion rate as well as an increase in traffic. In part, we were able to migrate paid to organic traffic helping us to free marketing budget for other performance campaigns. On the other hand, now www.nh-hotels.com is positioned in Google as the site that is considering more reviews than any other website, which helps us generate incremental traffic."Michael Menzel, Chief Revenue Officer of TrustYou adds: "At TrustYou, we are very familiar with the constant struggle that hoteliers are facing in order to get direct bookings. OTAs have been a preferred channel for booking, due to this specific factor: they offer valuable information, on the spot - including guest reviews. As the industry's top-rated guest feedback platform, there is no reason why our clients and partners wouldn't take full advantage of what we offer: a Meta-Review and TrustScore widget, easily integrated on any hotel website and the rich snippets feature, which together, are proven to dictate higher traffic and keep consumers on the website, until a final booking decision is made. NH Hotels is a great example of making good use of the online reputation and turning it into actual revenue."To get even more insights into NH Hotel Group's experience with the TrustYou guest feedback platform, a case study is available for free download.Find more information on TrustYou and the guest feedback platform on www.trustyou.com.
commercial

EyeforTravel Europe is 6 weeks away and what a show it's going to be!

EyeforTravel ·6h
"It was my first time to TDS and I have to say it really exceeded my expectations in terms of quality and variety of presentations, networking options..2 days well spent!""We started big business partnerships with two individual organisations as a direct consequence of sponsoring the EyeforTravel Summit in London this year" Hjalti, CEO, Bokun With speakers from Airbnb, Hilton and Booking.com covering the macro questions we all want answered, Hostel World, Edwardian Hotels, Rail Europe discussing next steps of AI, to Hotels.com and Hotel Tonight discussing loyalty and NH Hotels, Expedia talking about the partnerships you need this is the event to be at.Whether your interest is smart hotel rooms, open source APIs or firming up your ancillary strategy, this is the one event which unites practical people in the industry who are building new travel architecture that revolutionizes the industry and creates profit. Want in?With a bigger and better agenda, it's now three days and boasts big hitting keynotes, three topic specific tracks, a hackathon, a start-up village and dedicated workshops for B2C brands to attend!Click here to see what they are covering in the 2018 agendaIf you are looking to get face to face with over 450 of Europe's leading travel brands comprising heads of mobile innovation, technology, marketing and innovation from Europe's biggest transport, hospitality and travel brands looking to meet for one goal ... identify the strategies, partnerships, innovations and business models that will make their companies thrive in the future. Then there's options for you.Ways you can bring your brand to the event is through sponsorship opportunities, they have limited booths available and currently have a final discounted ticket price for you to attend. So, what are you waiting for? Need help making a decision you can request the attendee list here.A mixture of active debate, insightful presentations and 1-2-1 networking will be at the heart of this year's conference. Get your hands on one of their discounted passes today!For more details contact Leo Langford leo@eyefortravel.comEyeforTravel is a community where the world's top online travel brands - from hotels to airlines, online travel agents, cruise, car hire firms and more - come to meet to drive forward growth and innovation in the industry. We aim to provide you with industry focused news, events, reports, updates and information. EyeforTravel Limited is a registered company. The Company Registration number is 06286442. It is also registered in England & Wales. Registered office is 7-9 Fashion Street, London E1 6PX, United Kingdom.
Article by Magnus Friberg

Optimizing the Guest Experience at Every Touchpoint

Zaplox AB ·6h
For most people, travel, whether in the form of a vacation, business or a mix of business and pleasure, is an opportunity to escape from ordinary. Today's demanding guest doesn't just expect easy check-in, clean rooms, and a picturesque property -- they don't want to pick and choose the elements of their stay which stand out. Instead, guests, today expect a seamless, personalized experience from start to finish, from before they step foot on in the lobby to after they leave. Guests want to know their needs are understood and taken care of, so they can lose themselves in their vacation or log a successful business trip without the stress that can so often be associated with travel and accommodations.Fortunately, technology, especially mobile, has come a long way in giving hoteliers more opportunities to optimize the guest stay - driving new standards of personalized experiences and resetting the competitive bar at the same time. To improve guest satisfaction, you need to make sure each touchpoint leads to a great visit, and that the journey as a whole delivers on guests' expectations.Pre-ArrivalThe mobile evolution is impossible to ignore, for business owners and hoteliers alike, as guests continue to demonstrate a preference for hotels which optimize their mobile functionality for pre-arrival communications, check-in and more.Further to that, 83% of guests want hotel service promotions (including restaurant, spa, etc.) on their mobile devices (SmithMicro). This desire comes as no surprise, with a mobile device being one of the most important accessories for travelers today. After all, almost every one of your guests is likely carrying a smartphone or tablet, and time spent on mobile apps is only increasing. People expect to remain connected anywhere, at any time -- and if some of the primary touchpoints of their stay can be conceptualized within their favorite device? Even better.With the right technology in place, hotels can offer the complete mobile experience to their guests before they even arrive with pre-arrival messages, curated upgrade offers and reservation overviews available right from their smartphone.Day of Arrival and On-PropertyThe shift to a more mobile experience can, in many ways, be attributed to the desire for daily task simplification. Guests today want more from each experience, but never at the cost of their time or convenience. Simplification of tasks is noted as the most important factor in the mobile travel experience (65%) while having a more personalized stay is important to mobile users and younger travelers (Adobe).Investing in the mobile experience presents hoteliers with a unique opportunity to simplify primary touchpoints of the guest experience (embracing a low-touch, convenience-driven model) while also offering increased personalization (high-touch). Guests get the best of both worlds -- quick, easy check-in when they're in a rush, and personalized offers and communications when they want something more unique. In fact, according to hotels.com, 67% of travelers are "more likely" to choose a hotel that allows guests to check in and open doors with a smartphone than a hotel that doesn't. When a hotel is optimized for a complete mobile experience, they can offer their guests frictionless, mobile check-in and check-out and mobile keyless entry to rooms, which further streamlines the arrival process for each guest. This freedom from check-in and other arrival duties empower your staff to connect with each guest in a more personal way, with those more arduous registration tasks and long lines out of the way.Furthermore, reports show that guests are more likely to engage with (and invest in) hotel upsell opportunities and upgrades without the presumed pressure of hotel staff interaction. Guests feel empowered to 'choose their experience' when given the opportunity to make purchases or upgrades through their mobile device. According to hotelexecutive.com, there's an 18% increase in room service orders when made via mobile and guests typically spend 20% more when ordering via mobile (Business Insider). This is a major revenue opportunity for your hotel powered by the inclusion of mobile for upselling, upgrades, promotions, concierge and room services.Post StayThe guest experience should not end as soon as they step foot off your property -- after all, the world of online reviews and feedback can make or break a hotel's success in the modern age. According to JD Power, 46% of guests wrote a review in the past six months. With the right technology in place, hoteliers can extend their guest courtship efforts beyond the confines of each guest's visit with personalized post-stay communications, surveys and relevant offers to drive loyalty and direct bookings.No matter how big or small your hotel business is--at the end of the day, we're all just human beings interacting with other human beings. Each touchpoint of a guest's journey is an opportunity to connect with them and transform their stay with you from being viewed as an accommodation, to an experience. By investing in every step of a guest's journey with your hotel with mobile technology and a holistic, personalized approach, you can ensure that each guest will continuously invest back in your hotel.
Article by Jos Schaap

Shifting Your Hotel Staff from Task-Oriented to Guest-Oriented [Guide]

StayNTouch Inc. ·6h
In the world of hospitality, there exists a crucial difference between simply servicing a guest's demands and providing truly outstanding guest service. Hotels that are able to focus on the latter will reap the rewards with increased guest loyalty and, in turn, an undeniable ROI in their business model. Why? Because great hospitality is about great service, and at the root of that understanding exists the realization that hotels need to be guest-oriented rather than task-oriented. So, the question becomes, how can hoteliers empower their staff to shift their customer service model to one which is personalized, attentive and responsive in nature, rather than reactive and task-focused? How can hotel owners free up their staff to provide their best service and connect with guests on a deeper level?Believe it or not, the answer lies in your hotel PMS system.Much of the frustration experienced by hotel staff as it relates to daily operational duties, can be correlated to limited technology or software that fails to enhance or streamline their day to day duties. This often starts with the PMS system, and whether it is intuitive, user-friendly, full-featured, mobile-centric and comprehensive. After all, technology should enhance operations and productivity, not act as a burden or limitation to your team. You can't expect your staff to step up their game if you don't provide them with the tools to do so. With the right mobile-centric PMS technology in place, your staff can experience the freedom to excel at their jobs with anytime/anywhere access to improved communications, real-time property updates and vital guest information at a glance.To download the free guide, Shifting Your Hotel Staff from Task-Oriented to Guest-Oriented, CLICK HERE or go to http://www.stayntouch.com/resources/shifting-your-hotel-staff-to-staff-oriented/?utm_source=Hsyndicate_HSMAI_HospitalityNet.
commercial

Rainmaker closes record-breaking Q1 with largest sales quarter in company history

The Rainmaker Group ·6h
"We're proud to kick off 2018 with such a strong sales quarter," says Mike Cowles, Chief Commercial Officer at Rainmaker. "Sustaining last year's momentum with such a great start to the new year will allow us to continue to focus on product innovation and market expansion both domestically and internationally."Sales : Rainmaker had a very successful first quarter with a 39% sales growth YOY.Customers: Record sales numbers brought an array of new customers and implementations in Q1, including Two Roads Hospitality's Hotel Revival, a new, 107-room Joie de Vivre property in Baltimore, MD who went live with revintel, Rainmaker's hotel Business Intelligence (BI) solution. This implementation marks 58 total properties live on revintel from Two Roads Hospitality's portfolio. Also in the Midwest, Hotel Boulderado implemented guestrev, Rainmaker's flagship product and core solution to their Revenue Management System (RMS), at their 160-room property in Boulder, CO.People: Rainmaker appointed Hicham Diab to drive business development efforts in the Middle East and Africa. Based out of Rainmaker's Dubai office, Hicham is tasked with supporting and expanding the Rainmaker's growing customer base in the region. Another addition outside of the U.S. is Celeste Loh, Senior Business Consultant, who will play a critical role in supporting strategic accounts in Asia-Pacific. Celeste will be based out of Rainmaker's international headquarters in Singapore. And finally, Sunny Zhao has joined the Science and Value Engineering team as a Data Analyst in our worldwide headquarters in Alpharetta, GA, a northern suburb of Atlanta.Awards: In March, Rainmaker was acknowledged by the city of Alpharetta, GA for being recognized as a local "Business of Excellence" for the fifth consecutive year.Events : Rainmaker's annual user conference, OPTIMIZE, was held March 7-9 in Miami, Fl. The event was held at two of Rainmaker's customers' properties, Eden Roc and Fontainebleau, both in Miami Beach. Also in March, Rainmaker's team participated in Singapore's RevMan Roundtable and the Tribal Casino & Hotel Development Conference in California.Open Positions: Rainmaker is looking to expand their growing team and has several open positions including a Technical Implementation Consultant, multiple Sales Development Representatives, and multiple Senior Developers. Rainmaker was voted one of the top 10 places to work in Hotel Tech in 2018 by Hotel Tech Report. To learn more about these open positions and join a fantastic team, visit Rainmaker's careers page.

Hilton Honors App Controls and SHOWTIME Streaming are Latest Wave of Innovations Coming to Connected Room

Hilton ·12h
MCLEAN, Va. -- The list of benefits Hilton guests can get from the Hilton Honors app to personalize their stays just got longer. The app will now be able to turn guests' mobile phones into an in-room remote for television entertainment, lighting, and temperature control as part of Hilton's rollout of its Connected Room technology at hotels across the U.S. this year.Hilton guests will also receive the instant benefit of SHOWTIME streaming offered through Connected Room, the first ever collaboration of its type between a major hotel company and a premium entertainment provider. Hilton guests in Connected Room equipped hotels will enjoy unprecedented complimentary access to a vast library of award-winning SHOWTIME service completely on demand, without requiring credentials or a subscription, via a new application specially developed for Connected Room. Guests will be able to stream entire seasons of SHOWTIME original series including HOMELAND, THE CHI, BILLIONS, RAY DONOVAN, and many more, as well as box-office hits, comedy specials, documentaries and hard-hitting sports.Hilton unveiled Connected Room in December as a first-of-its-kind, high-tech hotel room that allows guests to control all aspects of their stay from one central device. Today's announcement means that as Hilton expands the Connected Room technology and adds related features to more hotels across the country, guests will soon be able to use the Hilton Honors app to enjoy the available perks. Connected Room continues to expand across multiple Hilton brands and markets throughout the U.S., with several thousand rooms set to be outfitted with the technology this year."Connected Room has set a new standard for the industry by giving our guests a travel experience where their room can be customized to their preferences, and also offers complimentary on demand access to SHOWTIME service," said Jon Witter, Chief Customer Officer at Hilton. "The availability of in-app controls is the next step in allowing guests to manage all aspects of their stay from the palm of their hands."Guests who prefer not to use the app will still be able to enjoy benefits of Connected Room because Hilton has simplified the television remote and built room controls into the TV.The award-winning Hilton Honors app has already been making guests' lives easier by enabling them to control and personalize various aspects of their stay. Hilton Honors members have been using the app to check in, select their room, and open the door with Digital Key -- a Smartphone feature now available in more than 3,000 Hilton hotels and used to open more than 22 million room doors to date. Hilton Honors membership and the app are both free and available to all Hilton guests.Hilton's launch of Connected Room and the integrated technology continues a 100-year history of innovating in the hotel industry. In addition to introducing the first airport hotel and central reservations system, Hilton was the first to provide in-room TVs and has also been a food and beverage pioneer, inventing such iconic staples as the pina colada. Operating within a culture of creativity, Hilton continues to deliver on its commitment to provide exceptional experiences -- every hotel, every guest, every time.About HiltonHilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 5,300 properties with more than 856,000 rooms, in 105 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world's most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences - every hotel, every guest, every time. The company's portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with money, an exclusive member discount that can't be found anywhere else, and free standard Wi-Fi.

Fifteen questions to zero in on the "room of the future"

By Xavier Etcheberrigaray
Technology is necessary and useful, says Xavier Etcheberrigaray, but it's not the only component to building the future. Here he describes fifteen perspectives he and his colleagues thought about when tasked with the job of imagining the room of the future.
commercial

Harbour Hotels completes the first implementation of its new Point of Sale system from Xn protel

Xn protel 26 April 2018
Global hospitality management software company Xn protel Systems has announced today that the stunning, super-yacht style, Southampton Harbour Hotel in the UK has successfully piloted its Point of Sale system, xnPOS. The implementation included both traditional terminals and mobile devices across the hotel's extensive F&B operation, giving staff the right tools to deliver service wherever it is needed. The xnPOS implementation also included interfaces to the Oracle Hospitality OPERA property management system and Procure Wizard's enterprise stock and procurement solution.The new Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa, in Southampton, UK, is an AA 5 star rated hotel, which has transformed Ocean Village with its striking super-yacht inspired design. It features stunning contemporary interiors and its unique design reflects Southampton's thriving marine culture and offers a gateway to the beautiful Solent. Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa is part of the Harbour Hotels Group portfolio of hotels.xnPOS provides comprehensive functionality and scalability that meets the needs of hotel F&B, table service restaurants and hospitality foodservice operations. The product is already proven in a wide spectrum of F&B operations in some 50 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. The pedigree and range of international customers endorses the system's flexibility, functionality, language capability and simplicity of use.Stuart Bateman, Commercial Director, Harbour Hotels Group said: "The system has settled in very well and it does everything our previous system did, and more. Reporting capability, in particular, is vastly improved. The hardware provided is proving robust and reliable."Stuart continues, "What makes the absolute difference is the great service and support we have received from the Xn protel team. Their flexibility and response time is what we need to support our growing business and we look forward to installing xnPOS across the group over a period of time."Alan O'Riordan, Managing Director UK & Europe, Xn protel Systems comments: "The Southampton Harbour Hotel is an amazing hotel and it has been a pleasure working with the team there."About Harbour HotelsFirmly established as one of the UK's most exciting luxury hotel groups, Harbour Hotels now spans 13 coastal, country and city locations across the UK, with further expansion into 2019.Each hotel is located in a premium setting, with renowned dining and luxurious facilities. From sensational views, to stepping out into the heart of a city, the group offers an exceptional variety of locations and experiences.

Hotels need to do better at reaching guests finds report

EyeforTravel 26 April 2018
As part of EyeforTravel and SAP's new Driving Intelligent, Interconnected Mobile Engagement Throughout the Travel Journey report, an industry survey asked whether mobile messaging services were effective at driving satisfaction amongst customers. While 72% of hospitality and accommodation brands said that their messaging services were effective, a much higher 90% of respondents from other travel industry verticals reported success through messaging.But why is this? The report points out that one potential explanation is that hospitality brands are utilizing the most personalized and effective elements of messaging channels to a lesser degree than other verticals. This is leading to them not getting the maximum utility out of their messaging services and not building up the same relationship with their customers than other companies surveyed.The research finds that although hotel brands are good at pushing booking confirmations and welcome/check-in messages to travelers, they fall behind when it comes to more complex and data-reliant messages. Hospitality brands are using push notification at half the rate of the rest of the sample (35.3% versus 16.7%), despite 31% of accommodation companies having an app, and are way behind for upsell notifications, with just 32.3% of messaging-capable hospitality brands sending personalized upsell messages versus 51.2% for the remaining respondents. They therefore have less ability to become useful to the consumer and implant themselves with travelers as a trusted source of local information.Hospitality brands low deployment of push-notifications is illustrative of this mismatch, as push notifications were found by the survey to be by far the most effective form of in-app advertising. Push notifications were chosen as the most effective form by 44% of respondents, followed by display banners at 25%, videos at 15%, native display at 14% and interstitial at 3%. Therefore, without these capabilities, hotels cannot communicateHospitality and accommodation companies therefore need to build up their technological capabilities in order to reach out to consumers wherever they are with relevant and targeted messages."Brands need to be present where the customer is present, rather than forcing people to pick the channels or means or tools that the brands want them to use," says Rohit Tripathi, general manager and head of products, SAP Digital Interconnect. "Today, if your customer is residing in social channels such as Facebook Messenger or WeChat, then build bridges into these mediums."Amro Khoudeir, global director of digital & distribution, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, notes that they have deployed several tools to better cater to guests on mobile: "Before arrival we send our guests an invitation to check-in. The guest provides us with all their details and they get their barcode on the day of arrival, scan and receive a key and to go straight to their room. Post-booking, there's an opportunity to start identifying guests who come in to the hotel through geolocation or beacons. We do some geolocation marketing and social marketing and are expanding this to more hotels in 2018."Get ahead of the competition now and download this completely free mobile market report to access:A major industry survey of all travel verticals uncovering their mobile strategies and technology deployments.Analysis of how consumers are using the mobile channel.Projections for mobile's growth across travel.Where you should be investing to reach the mobile consumer.How you can ensure mobile-focused communications are effective.An overview of how you should be measuring and overseeing an m-commerce operation.
  • HITEC Amsterdam 2018
  • HITEC Dubai 2017
  • OpenTravel Advisory Forum Amsterdam 2018
  • HITEC Dubai 2017
  • HITEC Amsterdam 2017
  • HITEC Toronto 2017
  • HITEC Amsterdam 2017: E20X
  • HITEC New Orleans 2016
  • HITEC Amsterdam 2017
  • HITEC Toronto 2017 - Day 2
commercial

dormakaba Arrives at HD Expo With A Full Suite of Property Entrance and Opening Systems and Electronic Locks

dormakaba 25 April 2018
dormakaba, one of the top three companies in the global market for access and security solutions, and the provider of Saflok and Ilco electronic locks, will be at HD Expo booth 3669. dormakaba will present its full suite of property entrance, opening solutions, access control systems, and electronic locks. dormakaba also partnered with Hilton and Hospitality Design in booth 1883 to debut its Quantum Pixel RFID mobile access door lock for a luxury guest room prototype called The Box. For more information on dormakaba hotel entrance, interior glass solutions, movable wall, access control systems, and electronic lock systems, click here.HD Expo takes place in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay May 2 - 4, 2018."Hotel architects and designers are the starting place for property development, and sliding doors are often an initial guest's entry point. dormakaba comes to HD Expo 2018 with an extensive portfolio of attractive, advanced access systems," said Stephen Pollack, dormakaba vice president. "Our opening solutions, entrance systems, and electronic locks provide hotel designers with the latest and most striking entry technology for their projects."dormakaba is a total solution provider for the hospitality industry. Its extensive product portfolio gives architects, developers and property managers creative and operational freedom with versatile technology design solutions. These systems address the functional needs of any hotel type by controlling and monitoring access at every entry point. dormakaba's guest-centric solutions merge security with convenience to create a safer more welcoming environment that enhances the overall guest experience.About dormakaba dormakaba is one of the top three companies in the global market for access and security solutions. With strong brands such as Dorma and Kaba in its portfolio, it is a single source for products, solutions, and services related to doors and secure access to buildings and rooms. With approximately 16,000 employees and numerous cooperation partners, the company is active in over 130 countries. dormakaba is headquartered in Rumlang (Zurich/Switzerland) and generates an annual turnover of over CHF 2 billion.SIX Swiss Exchange: DOKA (formerly: KABN / KABNE) Further information at https://www.dormakaba.com/us-en/solutions/products/lodging-systems/lodging-systems-290050
commercial

RateGain Announces "Lightning Refresh" feature on their Hospitality Rate Shopper Solution

RateGain 25 April 2018
London, UK, 25 April, 2018: RateGain Technologies, a leader in hospitality and travel technology solutions, today announced the launch of a key feature, 'Lightning Refresh' to its premier rate shopper solution, Optima, that would allow hotels to refresh and receive the real-time competitor rates at the click of a button. The availability of the most updated rates, which would get reflected in the user's rate calendar in less than 30 seconds, would serve as a key input for hoteliers while developing an effective pricing strategy.With the growing competition and a hyper-dynamic market, hotels need to change their prices multiple times in a day to stay ahead of their competition. This necessitates the need for having a minute-by-minute market pulse and competitive intelligence. Using this advanced feature would not only help hotels adopt dynamic pricing but will also transform them from batch-based data processing to real-time data acquisition and actionable insights, resulting in a measurable impact on hotel's bottom line.According to Dr. Anand Medepalli, RateGain's Chief Product Officer, early feedback on this feature has been overwhelmingly positive and users feel on the top of their data needs. "We are very proud at the launch of the 'Lightning Refresh' functionality on our rate shopping tool, Optima, enabling our hotel partners to refresh rates from the OTAs in a matter of seconds. In this ever dynamic world, access to up to data could mean the difference between winning and losing," continued Dr. Medepalli.RateGain launched Optima in October 2016, as a solution to provide comprehensive rate-intelligence to hotels by tracking more than 500+ OTAs, meta-search sites, GDS, brand sites & mobile apps and more than 900,000+ rooms type data. In a very short time, Optima has established itself as a market leader, helping hotels across the globe leverage the power of price intelligence and maintain rate parity across all channels.For further details, please contact:RateGain:Enzo Aita, Global Head - Hospitality Marketing| enzo.aita@rategain.comAditi Bhandari, Senior Manager Marketing| aditi.bhandari@rategain.com------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Forward-Looking StatementsCertain statements in this release are forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the statements containing the words 'planned', 'expects', 'believes',' strategy', 'opportunity', 'anticipates', 'hopes' or other similar words. The risks and uncertainties relating to these statements include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding impact of pending regulatory proceedings, fluctuations in earnings, our ability to manage growth, intense competition in IT services, data services and consulting services including those factors which may affect our cost advantage, wage increases in India, customer acceptances of our services, products and fee structures, our ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals, our ability to integrate acquired assets in a cost-effective and timely manner, time and cost overruns on fixed-price, fixed-timeframe contracts, client concentration, restrictions on immigration, our ability to manage our international operations, reduced demand for technology in our key focus areas, disruptions in telecommunication networks, our ability to successfully complete and integrate potential acquisitions, the success of our brand development efforts, liability for damages on our service contracts, the success of the companies /entities in which we have made strategic investments.
commercial

A Hotelier's guide to GDPR compliance

Hotelogix Blog 25 April 2018
The General Data Protection Regulations has caused quite a stir in the hospitality industry of late. With the deadline for implementation, 25th of May 2018, drawing closer, we thought it would be a good idea to run you through the specifics. Understanding why? Living in a data-driven age, where we have access to ample information on various subjects, from the closing stock price of a particular company to scores of the latest game and other tabloid gossip. However, all this information may include individuals names, addresses, bank details and passport information.

Participate in HFTP's Entrepreneur 20X at HITEC Houston

HFTP 25 April 2018
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), producers of Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), is currently accepting applications for participants, judges and mentors for Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) at HITEC Houston. Those interested can apply via the HITEC website - startups can apply here, and volunteers can apply here. E20X Houston will take place on Monday, June 18 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Gorge R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.E20X participants will be selected from the field of applicants and pitch their business concepts to a panel of expert judges and HITEC attendees and exhibitors. Participants will have access to a team of mentors before the competition, who will inspire and educate the startups by lending them insights, expertise and guidance. The E20X judge's panel will determine the grand prize, "E20X Judge's Choice Award," winner while the audience will determine the crowd favorite, "E20X People's Choice Award," winner. Selected startups will also receive a kiosk in the HITEC Houston exhibit hall.E20X mentor opportunities are available to industry professionals who would like to volunteer and share their knowledge with participants the day of the competition. Day-of mentors will meet face-to-face with participants in a series of pre-booked meetups hours before the E20X competition takes place sharing their experience, answering questions and making invaluable connections."Being an entrepreneur, running your own business, can be challenging in the sense that you are solely making decisions without the guidance of feedback," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "HFTP's Entrepreneur 20X event gives startups the opportunity to showcase their products, services and ideas in front of a global network of industry peers including investors, c-level experts and a judges panel that is guaranteed to serve as a steppingstone on your path to success."HFTP remaining events for 2018 include HITEC Houston - HFTP's largest event of the year - from June 18-21 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas USA. HFTP Annual Convention will October 24-26 at the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA. HITEC Dubai will take place December 5-6 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE. For more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.About HITECHospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC) is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education, and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place. The unparalleled event offers attendees essential education, access to top hospitality technology industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines. Combined with the intimate opportunities to connect with fellow professionals, HITEC has everything to enhance your career.Historically hosted annually in a different city throughout the United States, HFTP decided to break tradition in 2017 by hosting three HITEC events all taking place outside of U.S. borders- in Toronto, Amsterdam and Dubai. This was the first time the global association's largest HITEC event - featuring thousands of hospitality professionals from around the world -took place outside of the United States. For more information about HITEC, visit www.hitec.org. Follow HITEC on social media: Facebook (@HITECconference); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Find updates on the HFTP News page, and exhibitor news on the HITEC Bytes site. HITEC event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org. Follow HFTP on social media: Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.
commercial

Travel brands are missing out on a huge revenue opportunity

EyeforTravel 25 April 2018
Creating a mobile messaging service is effective, so why aren't more brands doing it asks EyeforTravel and SAP's new Driving Intelligent, Interconnected Mobile Engagement Throughout the Travel Journey report? The research, which is free to download now, finds that 83% of travel brands that have automated messaging services find that they are effective at increasing customer satisfaction. However, just 41% of brands surveyed report that they currently have these services, although a further 20% report that they are also developing the capability to do so.Delving deeper into the deployment of possible mobile messaging routes, a similar story emerges of a lack of communication routes between brands and travelers. Just under a third of brands reported that they had developed an app, 29% could reach customers with mobile messaging or push notifications and just under a quarter can send SMS texts. This leaves the majority of travel brands bereft of ways in which to communicate directly to travelers' smartphones, aside from through email, but even in this field, only 40.4% of respondents said they use mobile-optimised email. This mismatch leaves a huge gap that is increasingly vital for travel brands to exploit. The research notes that not only do travel consumers increasingly resort to mobile as they research their trip and as they journey, but also they are actively interested in being reached. 87% of US travelers said that they find travel notifications useful, with trip status updates the most popular but also discounts and pricing widely sought after.Therefore, travel brands are missing out on better performance in two ways says the research: Firstly, they are largely unable to cross- and upsell the consumer travel products, as well as less able to accommodate last-minute mobile bookings, hitting revenue directly. Secondly, they are missing out on a key means to drive loyalty with the consumer, as smart mobile messaging allows a relationship to be built.This latter point can be done through a number of ways, such as making the customer's journey more convenient, sending personalized messages, responding appropriately in moments of crisis, and creating an easier means to gather feedback and encourage reviews."Only the travel brand knows if you made a change to your flight or PNR, so in terms of loyalty why should a travel brand acquiesce that relationship to Google?" says Michael Bayle, head of mobile at Amadeus. "It should be them bringing these things to the attention of the traveler. The more current and actionable data, such as a flight cancellation, Google can't act upon. The travel brand can make a positive change to get a result and take advantage of that disruptive management."However, to make the most out of mobile, it isn't enough to simply deploy an app or an SMS service. Travel brands need to create an overarching mobile strategy. "For the traveler, there are no mobile stages. Mobile is everything and everything is mobile. We interact in making our purchase decisions seamlessly on our tablet and phones, and sometimes on our computers, so it is no longer fair to call out mobile as a separate category. It is no longer a case of 'do you have a mobile strategy?' Instead it's 'What are you doing to embed that deeper into the consumer lifecycle or purchase journey?' says Rohit Tripathi, general manager and head of products, SAP Digital Interconnect.Tripathi also notes that this needs to be contextual and appropriate to the consumer's situation. "If it's a general update or information about an upcoming promotion that is not immediately relevant, then email is the best way to reach out, or social media. If it is something critical that needs to be acted on, such as a change of travel plans, an unexpected disruption or threat, then SMS is clearly the way to go. You can safely rely on SMS to be available globally whether or not the person has a data plan," he explains."When our customers reach out using SAP Intelligent Notification 365's unique multi-channel API they can do so across communication channels either on-device, social media or on a brand app. Therefore, they can maintain two-way transactional or marketing engagement that matches the customer's needs through an autonomous system that enables and escalates message routing across all mobile channels."Get ahead of the competition now and download this completely free mobile market report to access:A major industry survey of all travel verticals uncovering their mobile strategies and technology deployments.Analysis of how consumers are using the mobile channel.Projections for mobile's growth across travel.Where you should be investing to reach the mobile consumer.How you can ensure mobile-focused communications are effective.An overview of how you should be measuring and overseeing an m-commerce operation.
Article by Jeff Zabin

Hotel Technology Success Means Connecting Solutions and Integrating Data

Starfleet Research 25 April 2018
Note: The following article is adapted from the groundbreaking study "Built for the Cloud: A Blueprint for Hotel Technology Success" (now available for complimentary access):"Data is the new oil" has become a common refrain -- one that resonates strongly in the context of hotel performance improvement.To compete efficiently and effectively in today's environment, hoteliers need to get their data houses in order. The problem is that relevant data typically resides in many different silos. In the pursuit of advancing their technology capabilities, hotels have tended to proliferate standalone platforms, function-specific modules and guest-facing apps.The end result oftentimes is an ungovernable mass of data spaghetti.This creates an assortment of problems. One problem is the inability to create a 360-degree view across the business or a unified view of guest relationships in totality. Another problem relates to data drift, which is the idea that a copy made of the data will become stale almost immediately. The nature of hotel data is such that it needs to be continuously synchronized to keep from becoming outdated.This speaks to the need for a next-generation cloud property management system. The system needs to balance agility and decentralization with governance and centralization of data assets. Simply put, hoteliers need access to a single version of the truth. That means stitching together all of the data silos through the creation of a cloud-based centralized data repository.No longer a pipe dream, the grand movement to unify the disparate and fragmented technologies and data silos across an enterprise has become an achievable goal with the advent of a next-generation platform built natively for the cloud.At last, hoteliers can connect and seamlessly share data in the cloud across all parts of the property or properties and across all of the various hospitality solutions. PMS interface connections make it possible to manage virtually all crucial functions, from inbound reservation delivery from the central reservations system (CSR) or channel manager to the revenue management solution to the point of sale (POS) system to the guest response platform to the CRM and guest loyalty applications.With a next-generation platform, a hotel can increase vascularity across all functions and operations. That means flowing all relevant guest data streams into the centralized repository where the data then becomes readily accessible on an anytime, anywhere basis. The ability to combine all hotel data in a single place in the cloud -- by either physically migrating the data or by virtually connecting it to legacy systems through APIs, is a critical development in the annuls of hospitality technology and performance improvement.Hoteliers are acutely aware of the need for technology connectivity, integration and openness, even if they haven't yet made the transition to a next-generation platform built natively for the cloud. According to recent research conducted by Starfleet Research, 91 percent of hoteliers "agree" or "strongly agree" that technology platform interoperability is a key success factor for hotel performance improvement. That means deploying a cloud platform that is as open as possible with bi-directional APIs.Cloud connectivity eliminates disparate solutions and fractioned data, making the system as a whole smarter. Cloud connectivity also opens the door to new innovations, such as real-time optimized pricing, which can have a direct material impact on RevPAR. Finally, cloud connectivity sets the stage for future capabilities that may not yet be available or even imagined or invented.One thing is sure: A platform built natively for the cloud gives hotels a distinct and formidable competitive advantage over those that lack the same level of technology connectivity and data integration.This is also true with respect to OTAs, which have no visibility whatsoever into guest transaction activity or behavior inside a hotel property. An OTA cannot capture, analyze and act upon hotel guest data. It cannot glean insights into which spa treatments a guest prefers, for example, or how much money that same guest spends in the hotel restaurants. It cannot launch a campaign with specific promotional offers based on a knowledge and understanding of guest preferences.Only a hotel has the ability to capture interaction and transaction data at every touch point and create a unified view of guest behavior. Only a hotel can leverage that data to deliver a high level of customized experiences. Done right, those experiences should translate into increased guest satisfaction and loyalty.Note: This article is adapted from "Built for the Cloud: A Blueprint for Hotel Technology Success" (now available for complimentary access; click here to learn more).
commercial

Frasers Hospitality Partners with Duetto to Bring Revenue Strategy to Serviced Residences

Duetto 25 April 2018
Singapore -- Frasers Hospitality, which operates nearly 150 serviced-residence and luxury boutique hotels across Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East, has partnered with Duetto to adopt its Revenue Strategy approach and cloud-based technology.Frasers is implementing Duetto's Open Pricing application, GameChanger, across its global portfolio, and the two companies are working together to innovate new features and strategies for room rates in the extended-stay segment of hospitality."Serviced residences are one of the most exciting -- yet underserved -- verticals in the hotel industry today, and Frasers is leading the way in developing not only this segment, but also new strategies for it," said Patrick Bosworth, Co-Founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Duetto, hospitality's only Revenue Strategy Platform. "The brand is a natural fit as a design partner for further extended-stay capabilities within our flagship GameChanger app. We're looking forward to continuing this partnership for a long time."Frasers' diverse portfolio includes three serviced-residence offerings, two lifestyle hotel brands and two upscale-boutique concepts. The company was drawn to GameChanger for its ability to yield rates and manage digital distribution for traditional short stays and contracted extended stays, for many types of customer segments, said Joanne Ang, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Marketing and Sales for Frasers Hospitality."Having expanded from two properties to more than 150 properties over 80 cities, we now not only have a global footprint but also serve segments as diverse as luxury serviced residences and boutique lifestyle hotels," Ang said. "This requires us to have a Revenue Strategy solution that is capable of handling increasing complexity as we continue to scale."Our enhanced capabilities will help us in pricing inventory, forecasting demand and improving distribution," she continued. "This will enable us to make data-driven decisions to ensure we are achieving the best mix of business."Across all its brands, Frasers has approximately 23,600 rooms in more than 80 cities worldwide.About Frasers HospitalityFrasers Hospitality, a member of Frasers Property Group, celebrates 20 years of offering memorable experiences to guests through its Gold-Standard serviced, hotel residences and boutique lifestyle hotels across North Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East.Growing from two properties in Singapore to more than 150 properties in over 80 cities, Frasers Hospitality is now one of the world's largest and fastest-growing providers of serviced residences. Conceived with the lifestyle preferences of today's discerning business and leisure travellers in mind, the global hospitality operator has three Gold-Standard serviced residences offerings - Fraser Suites, Fraser Place and Fraser Residence, a modern and eco-lifestyle brand, Modena by Fraser, and a design-led hotel residence brand, Capri by Fraser. In addition, it operates two brands of upscale boutique lifestyle hotels in the key cities of UK, Malmaison and Hotel du Vin.With a remarkable list of accolades and awards as recognition of its success, Frasers Hospitality remains committed to anticipating and exceeding the evolving needs of executive travellers with continuous innovation and intuitive service, creating a second home for guests where staff feel like family and residents feel like community.Frasers Hospitality marks its 20th anniversary this year with a host of activities across properties and online platforms to thank guests, employees and partners for their loyal support. Join the celebrations at www.frasershospitality20.com.

How AI is rewriting content creation for travel

PhocusWire 25 April 2018
A few weeks ago we reported on Travel + Leisure’s changes to its A-List platform: a controversial move designed to monetize one of the publication’s most marketable products. This week we have a different tale, but one that comes from the same luxury travel ratings world.
commercial

Australia's iconic G'Day Rail selects Hotelogix as its technology partner

Hotelogix 24 April 2018
Hotelogix, a leading cloud-based Property Management System provider has announced that it has been selected as the preferred technology partner by G'Day Rail, Australia's iconic tourist train. The management at G'Day Rail decided to adopt Hotelogix's PMS to effectively manage their daily operations, and to improve guest experience.With immaculately restored carriages, G'Day Rail covers 7 exotic destinations spanning over a stretch of 3500 kilometers. This train is Australia's only fleet of newly restored 1960's carriages. This vintage train offers a wide-range of scrumptious food and various on-board performances by critically acclaimed artists.Speaking on this, Aditya Sanghi, Co-founder & CEO at Hotelogix said, "The power of cloud that provides anytime, anywhere access will be fully utilized along with the flexibility that our solution offers to accommodate unique packaging needs of G'Day Rail. We are happy to see the fitment of our PMS for something as unique as G'Day Rail, which is a moving hotel."According to Rodney Clancy, Director at G'Day Rail, the management was looking for a PMS with connectivity to housekeeping and accounting application. They also wanted the PMS to help them with inventory and rate distribution on OTAs."Our research on the alternative products narrowed it down, based on our specific requirements and this analysis found Hotelogix to fit the best for us. They have offered all their skilled staff to aid and ease the PMS implementation process. My goal is to launch G'Day Rail touring hotel to the world market with a professionalism only found with the best PMS like Hotelogix," Rodney added.About HotelogixHotelogix provides a robust cloud-based Hotel PMS that helps hotels to automate and manage their end-to-end operations with ease. It also assists hotels to increase their online presence and improve online reputation to generate more bookings. The PMS is hosted on Amazon Web Service, and thus offers the much-needed stability and security to hoteliers.
commercial

Art Ovation Hotel Elevates its Gallery Experience with Intelity

Intelity 24 April 2018
Something extraordinary is happening in Sarasota, Fla. This month the Art Ovation Hotel Autograph Collection opened its doors at 1255 North Palm Avenue as an active host, facilitator, patron and partner of the arts. To enhance the hotel's art gallery experience, the property equipped each of its 162 guestrooms with portable ICEbedside tablets from Intelity. Guests can click on the Ovation Arts icon in the hotel's mobile app, powered by Intelity, to see objects on display throughout the property, and they are encouraged to take the in-room iPads with them as they tour the gallery. Uploaded videos provide details on each work and its artist, and guests can purchase pieces directly through the mobile app."Using Intelity tablets, our guests are engaging more closely with local artists and learning about their artistic expressions on display throughout our hotel," said Front Office Manager Egemen Alici. "Together with the Ringling College of Art and Design, we are presenting an evolving array of unique, immersive, artistic experiences supported by exceptional hospitality in a dynamic, art-centric environment. Intelity is helping us bring these art experiences to life through the mobile app they created. Guests can view videos of the displays on their tablets prior to seeing them face-to-face, or they can tour our exhibitions with tablets in hand - and even buy art on the spot using the Ovation mobile app."At Art Ovation Hotel, guests are invited to interact and be part of the rotating art exhibitions that include live performances, tours, classes, talks and workshops. All artists are local, and most originated from Ringling College. Works are donated to the hotel and exhibited throughout the property. Eighty percent of art sold goes to the artists and 20 percent is given to the Ringling College Fund. Artists visit the property daily; some perform while others draw in front of guests to get them more engaged.Mercury MessagingSoon hotel staff will begin using Intelity's new Mercury Messaging Portal. Part of the ICE platform, Mercury will enable guests to place requests with hotel staff via the messaging channel they choose, whether it be SMS text, or social media. Whether the guest is at home, in route to the hotel, or touring the art exhibit, staff will have the messaging tools they need to reply to guest requests instantly and deliver on requests efficiently."The Art Ovation Hotel offers something imaginative, inspiring and extraordinary," said Gregg Hopkins, Intelity Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. "It presents an evolving array of unique, immersive, artistic experiences supported by inspired technology in a dynamic, art-centric environment. What's really cool for guests is that they can preview all art on display first from their guestrooms by using our convenient iPads. They can also use them to request roomservice, set wake-up calls, request valet service, make dining reservations, facilitate check out and much more. But even before they step foot into the hotel, guests can use Intelity's ICEweb to get a more complete, personalized look at the property. No matter how visitors prefer to interact with Art Ovation Hotel, Intelity is powering the engagement process every step of the way."We are thrilled that Art Ovation Hotel is a new Intelity customer," he said. "We look forward to expanding our relationship and bringing the hotel's dynamic art environment to life with our ICE solutions."For more information about Intelity's solutions for the hospitality industry, click here.
commercial

ProfitSword Experiences Unprecedented Growth in First Quarter of 2018

ProfitSword 24 April 2018
ProfitSword, a leading developer of business intelligence and data integration software for the hotel industry, announces the addition of 126 properties from six hotel management companies to its current roster of hospitality customers during the first quarter of 2018. These numbers represent a 74 percent increase in growth rate over the prior year's sales pace, positioning ProfitSword as a leading provider in hospitality data management, as it continues to experience strong company growth in the hotel sector."Data integration is continuously evolving and has become a top priority for efficient hotel management. Hoteliers continue to adopt new technology systems and solutions that require the use of effective data management and integration tools to get the most out of their data," says Colin Findley, VP of business development at ProfitSword. "We develop and deliver exceptional data management and finance management solutions to all of our clients, and strive to ensure that the most effective management tools are available to streamline their hotel operations."Providing the hospitality industry with a comprehensive suite of software applications dedicated to efficient and effective data management and integration, ProfitSword's platform consists of ProfitSage, ProfitWizard, ProfitPace and ProfitPlan. These cost-effective tools are specifically designed to help business professionals better manage their data for faster and more well-informed decision making, as well as detailed reporting.A solution developed to effectively manage sales data, ProfitPace allows businesses to efficiently monitor sales team efforts to ensure that the company is on track to achieve individual and company sales goals. It also allows for the comparison of sales pace to forecast, budget, prior years and same time last year trends. ProfitSage provides hoteliers with a user-friendly tool that integrates with standard business operation platforms for data collection and management. Using ProfitPlan, hoteliers can incorporate stylized report templates to produce several types of reports required to manage daily tasks and information. ProfitSword's data analysis tool, ProfitWizard, combines business intelligence, decision support, performance management and ad-hoc reporting for efficient analysis of data."We ended 2017 strong with revenue growth nearly 20 percent over 2016. However, with such a successful Q1 in 2018 and a pipeline that is expanding daily, we are excited to see where the rest of the year takes us," adds Findley. "We continue to grow our market share in the hospitality industry around the globe due to our innovative software systems aimed at making data, operational and financial management easier and more efficient for everyone involved."For more information on ProfitSword's portfolio of business intelligence optimization tools, please visit www.profitsword.com.
commercial

Groups360 Finds Hoteliers and Planners Are Both Exploring Technology Solutions

Groups360 24 April 2018
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Following the free trial period of its GroupSync application, Groups360 has uncovered industry-specific needs based on technology use, suggesting that the industry is looking for a better way to source and book meetings with more information up front."It's a time of change in the meetings industry. When we opened our doors for a sneak peek of our technology solution, we expected our users to skew toward meeting planners. Instead, we found hoteliers made nearly half of trial users," said Groups360 CEO Kemp Gallineau. "To us, this shows all parties in the industry are looking for technology solutions in this increasingly complex marketplace that can help drive efficiencies. With better information and more qualified leads, we may be able to cut costs across the board."Of those who accessed the software during the trial period, 100 percent of users went through the sourcing process, utilizing GroupSync smart search tool to find available properties, but only 20 percent went on to generating RFPs. With so many users spending their time on market screening, it became clear that sourcing remains a significant challenge in the current marketplace."Among meeting planners, the vast majority of their time and activity was centered on sourcing markets and venues, indicating to us that the choice of destination or particular brand location wasn't an automatic decision," said Gallineau. "While many planners currently choose the same property or brand for every meeting, this may be because the hotel brand only shows properties where they're looking to fill vacancies, or perhaps an intermediary has a relationship that adds bias and determines the properties they recommend, especially in light of commission changes. With an unbiased tool, our trial period users were able to see the reality of the pool of available properties that meet their event needs."During the free trial period, 50% of users spent most of their time reviewing market information--including anticipated future rates and average group occupancy--as well as 39% viewing hotel property detail and incentive pages, reinforcing the current lack of information for both meeting planners and hoteliers to make the best decision when it comes to sourcing and booking.To learn more about Groups360 or to take advantage of the GroupSync suite of tools, visit www.groups360.com.
Article by Alan Young

What Hotels of Tomorrow Can Learn from the Airbnb's of Today

Puzzle Partner Ltd. 24 April 2018
This competitive landscape stretches between hotels brands as well as between hotels and non-traditional accommodation models, such as Airbnb. With both service models existing within the same industry and catering to similar guest demographics, there is a wealth of experiential knowledge to be shared/gained as they strive to evolve and improve their respective offering(s). Our industry first welcomed the inclusion of Airbnb in San Francisco, California in August of 2008. The online marketplace and hospitality service for people to lease or rent short-term lodging including holiday cottages, apartments, homestays, hostel beds (and more) has surged in popularity over the last few years. Capitalizing on the modern travelers' desire for a more unique experience, affordability and sense of adventure, Airbnb soon grew into a $30 billion business. As of this year, the company has recorded 300 million check-ins by guests across 4.5 million rental listings. By comparison, the world's biggest hotel company, Marriott International, has 1.15 million rooms.We also must pay tribute to the growing appreciation for start-ups and entrepreneurial ventures, a dynamic which is supported by the open market in which Airbnb thrives. This style of marketplace allows for lower accommodation prices (as compared to some local rates at hotels) which are generally dictated by the natural ebb and flow of supply vs. demand. Since Airbnb is not directly responsible for any physical real estate, this is entirely possible and gives the hosts' complete control of their offering price and guests a plethora of choice. There's also something to be said about the unique ecosystem that Airbnb provides, as guests experience direct communication with the homeowner before, during and after their stay. This relationship allows for a more personalized experience -- within a metropolitan city it might give the guest a sense of home, and in a more exotic location, it might give the guest a taste of local culture. These factors all play a role in capturing the interest of a wide range of travelers, from millennials to families, bleisure guests and more -- a realization that may have acted as a rude awakening for some hotels. After all, it would be difficult for most hotel chains to rival the affordability, unique style and personalized ecosystem offered by Airbnb accommodations. And yet, as the company celebrates a decade of operation, we're realizing that they likely have just as much to learn from the hospitality industry, as we have to learn from them.While a primary argument for the widespread popularity of Airbnb is likely, it's unique accommodation experience, this element of the business model can prove to be a detriment as well. Where guests are seeking a more boutique, relationship-based and adventurous experience, they still crave a predictable service offering. In other words, they want to know exactly what they're getting when they book their stay. While the company screens their host applicants and offers user-generated reviews, guests might find themselves wary of newer properties that may not have adequate pictures or reviews for the vetting process. Where hotels deliver a standardized service structure applied to every room/location, Airbnb accommodation quality relies entirely on the host. Within this (more unregulated) model, some hosts may go above and beyond, while some might cut corners while using the platform as supplemental income. Guest complaints could include host to guest communication breakdowns, non-adjustable thermostats, undesirable bathroom amenities, location-related safety concerns and more. There is also the issue of hosts with higher cancellation trends, or who discriminate against specific guests (for seemingly unjust reasons).This is where the trouble lies, leaving Airbnb to take notes from the hospitality industry as they roll out a new program, Airbnb Plus. The new program entices hosts to apply for better promotion and higher rates but also demands they meet a 100-point checklist of hospitality quality (as verified with an in-person inspection by an Airbnb contractor). Airbnb Plus launched with 2,000 listings in 13 cities (Toronto included) but aims to hit 75,000 listings by year's end.After all, there's something to be said about knowing exactly what to expect when it comes to your travel accommodations. Hotels have traditionally excelled in this regard, but are striving to catch up in the realm of guest personalization and property differentiation. Expanding the traditional hotel framework to include different lodging formats (including communal spaces for the more seasoned, authentic traveler), unique amenities, more genuine hotel to guest communication, self-service technology, and mobile optimization will prove to be imperative in the success of the modern hotel.As we work to envision what the hotels of the future will look like, we would be daft not to learn from the Airbnb model. By understanding the ways in which Airbnb excels (and suffers), hoteliers can better conceptualize the ideal balance between the boutique travel experience, and one which is still entirely controlled and guaranteed.
Article by Sherif Mamdouh

AI and Voice Recognition Explored at HITEC Amsterdam

EHL 24 April 2018
I have had the pleasure of a front row seat at a very special panel discussion. The hospitality industry's top tech executives got together at HITEC Amsterdam today to discuss artificial intelligence (AI) and voice recognition. The challenge: to make sense of all of the changes happening in information technology and articulate value-adding solutions for the hospitality industry. How do we turn a land of confusion into a land of opportunity? The panelists had a few secrets to share.The panelists:Jorge Carmona, co-founder, VeovoxGwendolyn Graman, global proposition lead conversational commerce, CapgeminiKees Jacobs, digital proposition lead, CapgeminiHampus Ljunggren, head of strategy, Travel AppealFrank Reeves, co-founder and CEO, AvvioThe Moderator:Ian Millar, senior lecturer, Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne (EHL)Each panelist, through his own experience and colorful storytelling, perfectly exemplified the tremendous potential for an enhanced overall customer journey through technological innovation.Exploring future usages of these promising, yet still untapped, technologies is something that entices a growing number of companies. The required investment (time, training, expenditure) remains however, a major roadblock in the quick adoption of the many tools, products and services being developed.Communication is changing, expectations are changing too, and immediacy has become expected of anyone under the age of 35. If you have a question, you want an answer NOW. If you need room service to bring a toothbrush up to your room, an unanswered call by reception will kill your customer satisfaction.From a conversational point of view, chat bots offer the possibility to cater to this (slightly capricious) expectation that everything must be delivered at the very moment we have an enquiry. Voice recognition is said to greatly enhance the in-room experience. But let's put all the technical stuff to the side for a moment...One of the most interesting ideas, on which all the panelists seemed to agree, was that you can have all the tech in the world, but if you don't reach your customer at an emotional level, you won't make a difference. This statement takes on a whole new dimension when it is made by people who make a living from interacting with emotionless machines."Rational drivers are still too predominant. Emotional drivers need to be further explored and leveraged," said panelist Kees Jacobs of Capgemini. Only then will innovations such as voice recognition make an impact. And when it happens, it will definitely be disruptive.Who cares if we can control our room with our voice, you ask? Well... humans are lazy (yes, you too). Convenience and ease of use have been the root of much of the world's innovation -- ever since that one guy got tired of pulling on raw meat with his teeth, and decided to smash a rock and use its cutting edge (see what I did there?) to cut through those annoying nerves.It's not only about using voice commands for single actions, such as "switch on TV." Yes, you could probably spend fewer calories just pressing the little red button on the remote. Where it gets interesting is when several actions can be initiated by a single voice command. Imagine the command: "computer, I will go and cook now." The oven turns on, the kitchen lights turn on and your favorite cooking music starts playing on the speaker located in the kitchen.Frank Reeves, whose company Avvio uses AI to offer a unique booking journey, agreed and explained that when it comes to booking engines, they all "serve up same experience to everyone." AI effectively allows a company to individually and proactively engage the user, personalize the experience and incorporate said emotional triggers. This is done, he says, by building up users' digital footprints.Overdependence on OTAs can be upset by using AI to directly reach customers with that missing emotional element. It often equates to basically having an online brochure that offers the same experience to a 21-year-old American spring-breaker and a 76-year-old Turkish grandmother. Why cross-sell car rental services to someone who doesn't have a driver's license, for instance? Good use of technology allows you to make the journey more relevant, more engaging. Show your customers you know them and you've thought of how to make their experience unique.Jorge Carmona's voice recognition company Veovox also recognizes the emotional implications of a seamless voice command experience. Preliminary feedback has shown a tenfold decrease in customer complaints. This is not only good for the sake of increasing customer satisfaction. Getting back to the psychology of it all, we can see that bad voice recognition increases frustration. Frustration raises anxiety, and anxiety is a big deterrent when it comes to spending. So bye-bye to cross-selling and up-selling. Gwendolyn Graman of Capgemini echoed this strong customer-centricity as well. "Focus on the customer. IoT and conversational interfaces must be used to better understand the customer's wishes and offer concrete assistance," she said.It turns out AI and machine learning isn't only good to "stalk" your customers. It's also good for "self-stalking." Hampus Ljunggren, head of strategy for Travel Appeal explained how he uses big data to help hotels adapt to risks and opportunities almost in real-time by "scrapping all available public data relevant to the hotel and its surroundings, identifying patterns and making them actionable through daily recommendations to the hotels." This can help with things such as pricing, cultural specificities of certain guests, or any other touchpoint where a potential improvement has been identified."Voice is also an interesting way to identify someone. Recognizing the speaker offers the possibility of tailoring the answers given by the voice recognition device.None of the panelists seemed too worried about data privacy issues and agreed that people have become used to sharing their personal information, especially younger generations. In fact, millennials expect to have their personal data used to improve their experience. The underlying tacit agreement is therefore, "I give you my personal info, and you make my life easier."AI could create a far better, overall human experience. As a hotelier, if you know what flight your guest is arriving on, send him a WhatsApp message asking if he would like an early check-in (we all hate those 15:00 check-ins!) or if he would rather book a massage while he waits for his room to become available.Exceeding the customer's expectation is when you really start tapping into the emotional side of things. And it's a win-win: you gain legitimacy for cross-selling or up-selling, and the customer is proactively provided with solutions to problems he didn't even know had a solution.Sherif Mamdouh is the external communications manager at Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne (EHL) and an official guest blogger for HITEC Amsterdam 2018, which took place 11-13 April 2018 at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Request Information

Thank you for your request, we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Close
Please enter your contact details below and we will get back to you with the requested information as soon as possible.
An error occured, please check your input and try again.


CancelSubmit

Newletter

Thank you for subscribing. Your email address has been added to our mailing list.
Close
To subscribe to the HITEC Bytes Newsletter please enter your email address below.
An error occured, please check your input and try again.
CancelSubscribe