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TrustYou Expands Market Presence In The Middle East

TrustYou GmbH 9m
The innovative Online Travel Agency (OTA) Almosafer, focused on Saudi travelers, tajawal, catering to the needs of travelers from the UAE, integrated TrustYou's Meta-Review API. They now display review data in the form of the TrustScore and badges as well as offer filter options in the Arab and English language. Thereby, they can provide a better user experience to travelers. Both companies are part of the renowned Al Tayyar Travel Group and have grown significantly in recent months."We know how important reviews and scores are to travelers when it comes to making a confident booking decision", says Muzzammil Ahussain, EVP Almosafer & tajawal. "For us, TrustYou's global review data, which is laid out for our Arab and English speaking market needs, is the best solution to add to the high-class travel services on our website. The filter options and badges help to create an even more personalized experience for our users to find the best possible options for their next trip."TrustYou's Meta-Reviews* are aggregated from more than 220 global sources, providing accurate and categorized review content for over 650,000 hotels and restaurants. With big data content, online travel companies can positively influence their visitor's booking decisions.Michael Menzel, SVP Strategic Partnerships at TrustYou adds: "We are extremely excited to begin the collaboration with these key industry players in the Middle East, since we believe in the importance of helping businesses succeed by properly listening to feedback. By receiving and showcasing review data businesses remain competitive and can benefit from the advantages of a user-centric approach."Find more information on TrustYou and the guest feedback platform on www.trustyou.com.*TrustYou Meta-Reviews only contain verified reviews and do not include reviews from TripAdvisor.
Article by Bob Rauch & Sarah Andersen

Why Are Guests Staying At Your Hotel?

RAR Hospitality 11m
We expect a continued growth in guests seeking a more genuine experience, yet ironically also see that this exploratory drive is underpinned by the need to share each and every moment on social media. Technology has created an environment that allows people to constantly watch others visit amazing places around the world, fueling globalization and inspiring them to book their own travels to align themselves with their network peers.So how do hotels make themselves stand out to the modern traveler?Deliver fun, seamless technology The answer is to create tech-friendly atmospheres equipped with gadgets and toys like tablets, voice assistants, automatic lighting, motorized equipment, or even roomservice robots. At Fairfield Inn & Suites San Diego North/San Marcos, a robot delivers sundries to guests and the reaction is often "wow."Connecting with these tech-savvy guests enhances loyalty because it improves the guest journey at every touchpoint through increased personalization and convenience. In addition, it helps hoteliers run their business more effectively and enhances staff productivity.Technology should now be looked at as a long-term revenue generating investment and is becoming readily available at cost-effective prices. It is an investment that keeps on giving by continuously placing hotels in a position to adapt to evolving guest demands, especially business travelers who need technology the most.Provide visually interesting spaces to gather Guests are inclined to share their favorite moments of a stay on social media. This isn't a new trend, nor is it going away anytime soon. So, to compete for continued guest loyalty and business, hotels must provide social-worthy spaces. When reimagining a space that is aligned with the hotel's concept, yet bold in design, hoteliers need to consider the guest journey. These spaces should grab the attention of guests from the moment they step foot in the hotel, making them excited about their stay and encouraging them to capture the moment.Discoverable moments should also be present throughout the hotel, eliciting surprised joy and storytelling. For example, when a guest turns down a corridor to the lobby elevators and sees a "live" succulent wall, it can instantly become a talking piece that they share on Snapchat. Or something as simple as brightly colored chairs and shade umbrellas by the pool could inspire an Instagram post.Creating social-media-ready spaces is an easy and cost-effective way for hotels to not only get free publicity, but also keep their guests coming back for more.Curate memorable momentsAs guests continue to seek out memories and photo-worthy moments over traditional souvenirs, be the hotel that offers those breathtaking, new adventures. Memorable moments are dependent on unique personalization and enable travelers to engage with their destination in an exciting way.Hotels need to not only make sure their guests feel like true guests, but cater to their preferences and travel goals by presenting unforgettable experiences. An easy way to do this is by sending guests a customized list of local events and activities. These guides can be offered through the hotel's mobile website or a dedicated native app, as long as they are user-friendly and relevant.If we look at why some hotels are full and others are not, it is not an easy analysis. Sure, location is paramount to success and brands add real value, but today's guests are looking for something beyond location and brand loyalty--they want an experience to write about, shoot photos at and talk about. Branded hotels and resorts need to be aware of the competition from short-term rentals, especially in the group segment. Some may argue that vacation rental companies like Airbnb serve a different customer, but we are both aiming to provide a unique space for people to stay together to create treasured memories. Alas, brands and locations alone do not offer memories.So in the battle for market share between private properties and traditional hotels, hotels need to promote the facilities that give them a competitive edge like on-site food services, swimming pools, fitness rooms and front-desk/concierge services. Most private rentals, especially those in suburban homes, lack these amenities. And while we must keep delivering on what it means to stay at a hotel--location, amenities, and service--we also need to give the modern guest what they want. By partnering with local tour operators to offer new, creative options for guests, hotels can provide event tickets, adventure tours, surfing lessons and wine or beer tours.Start now and see the results by summer!

Hotel Revenue Leaders to Convene at HSMAI's ROC Americas in Minneapolis

HSMAI 12m
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is convening hotel revenue professionals for two days of education, collaboration, and innovation at its ROC Americas in Minneapolis, Minnesota. ROC 2019 will be held June 18-19 and is co-located with HITEC 2019. The event is the world's largest gathering of revenue professionals in the travel industry with more than 650 in attendance.With powerful educational and networking opportunities, ROC is the must-attend conference of 2019 for learning and engagement. It's where senior leaders in hotel revenue optimization, sales, marketing, and distribution connect and engage in meaningful, thought-provoking conversations about the most important strategic issues facing the business.ROC 2019 will prepare attendees to take the lead in revenue strategy. The educational sessions are focused on elevating leadership and business acumen, anticipating and responding to headwinds, aligning sales, marketing, and revenue optimization efforts, adapting to the ever-changing landscape of hospitality technology, and driving profit throughout the customer journey.Highlights include:Dynamic and insightful general sessions on the Future of Revenue Management and Building Your Leadership MusclesThe return of the Lightning Round: Insights Worth SharingRepeated breakout sessions in multiple tracks2 days of education, including partner pre-con and faculty education sessions that were standing room only in 2018Access to the HITEC exhibit hall and general sessions (for qualified ROC registrants), a $450 valuePresentation of the HSMAI Vanguard Award for Lifetime Achievement in Revenue Optimization and Revenue Optimization Professionals of the Year AwardsROC Americas 2019 will bring together senior leaders responsible for leading revenue optimization and pricing for brands, management companies, ownership groups, hotels, and resorts. The event also showcases partner companies serving the revenue management industry, including consultants, technology vendors, and companies providing products and services in revenue management, execution, and reporting.HSMAI thanks preferred partner IDeaS, a SAS Company; platinum partners Cendyn and Rainmaker; and silver partners Infor, Milestone, OTA Insight, Sabre, STR, Tambourine, and TravelClick, and all Bronze and Media partners.Additional networking and education opportunities include a roundtable for faculty members currently teaching revenue optimization, a headshot studio that will provide complimentary professional headshots, and the return of HSMAI Helps, a volunteer opportunity benefitting Minneapolis.Go to http://www.hsmairoc.org for more information and to register.

Santi Mandala Villa & Spa in Bali adopts Hotelogix to automate operations

eHotelier.com ·8h
Hotelogix, a leader in cloud-based Property Management Systems has announced that it has been selected as the preferred technology partner by Santi Mandala Villa & Spa in Bali. With Hotelogix cloud PMS in place, the management at this exotic property aims to automate its entire operations.
Article by Dr Lohyd Terrier

Virtual Reality in Education: Welcome to the New Age of Learning

EHL 25 April 2019
EXPERIENCE THROUGH TRAININGIntegrating new technologies in training is part of a broader movement to help learners gain experience. The goal is clear: challenge pedagogical techniques to develop a more experiential way of learning.Of course this idea has been around for some time. The so-called learning-by-doing approach could be seen as the forbearer of experiential learning. Knowledge can be acquired from books...but experience cannot. Learning the fundamentals is one thing, applying them to theoretical situations is another - applying them to real-life situations is harder still.According to Patrick Ogheard, Associate Dean of Practical Arts at Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne"The Swiss dual education system upholds the firm belief that theory and practice go hand in hand. This is particularly true in hospitality management. Our biggest pedagogical challenge is not only to leverage but also transmit the strong heritage hospitality is grounded in all while ensuring we keep up with the changing world. Teaching must evolve to reflect the what and the how that best serves our students, and bringing technology into the equation is no longer a fun addition, but a necessity."The goal of experiential learning is to help students apply knowledge, and to create an experience during the training session. Indeed, virtual reality tools enable students to come into contact with a more dynamic representation of reality than a traditional case study. Dynamic role play, or situational learning, could enhance teaching by requiring students to problem solve in an immersive environment. One in which the consequences of each action could be tested on trial-and-error basis.MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASEAny educator or trainer will tell you: it's hard to get students' attention...with distractions coming from cell phones, computers and other devices. Consequently, a war is being waged in classrooms around the world."The rules of the game have changed; students just aren't the same; the teachers of tomorrow can either fight technology...or use it to their advantage."These technologies have many advantages. They foster a great deal of curiosity so why not use them to get students' attention and get them involved in class? Explaining to a student what a production line looks like is one thing; being able to show him or her - via a virtual reality headset - is a whole different kettle of fish.Maintaining students' attention is related to another, more pedagogical, goal. Here, the immersive and experiential aspect of learning could enable learners to permanently encode information via new learning channels. Students think, see and test their ideas and knowledge immediately. The goal is to move closer to real-life work situations, which involve an emotional component that is often missing from traditional learning contexts.Moreover, these new tools enable learners to engage in highly-specific situations because they do not come with the same time and cost constraints. For instance, students could switch from one environment to the next (fundraising initiative, conflict with a customer, etc.) without having to get out their chair. The other important element is the fact that using new technologies reduces the risk linked to errors in a real-life situation. Obviously, the negative and positive consequences of virtual reality games, as realistic as they may be, are only virtual. Consequently, users can try and test new strategies in a risk-free environment.GAMIFICATION IN EDUCATION"Our students have grown up with video games where tasks, levels, challenges and immediate feedback are the rules. Those rules are completed with rewards, competition, rankings and interaction with other gamers. When they were children, they probably had the impression that school was much more boring than playing with their friends. Gamification is the best way to attract and retain our students' attention in a real or virtual classroom.The technologies that are available today offer a wide range of opportunities to motivate and to engage our students, and above all to help them become active learners. Gamification is also a challenge for the faculty members since it is not just about games. We have to know our students, their skills and we have to set the learning objectives as in a more traditional approach. The content has to be there, gamification and technology are just new ways to deliver it."Ana-Maria Nogareda, Director of Academic & Student Affairs at Ecole hoteliere de LausanneCUSTOM-DESIGNED TRAININGImmersion is a fantastic learning opportunity but another advantage of these tools is the fact that they can be personalized. The benefits of tailoring teaching to the individual learner are well-established; however, implementing bespoke solutions remains difficult.Professors are already pulled in many different directions. Personalization is often limited to a group-by-group basis. How can teachers tailor their course to individuals when there are 40 students in each class? New technologies could make this type of personalization possible while increasing class sizes on a massive scale.In addition, the progress of each student could be measured, enabling students to learn at their own pace. The avenues in terms of personalization are multiple: it could be possible to match teaching methods with learning styles even when class sizes are daunting. Performance tracking of this sort could allow educators to adapt teaching techniques and learning speeds on the fly.CHALLENGES AHEADNew technologies seem to offer a variety of advantages but it would be unwise to see them as a cure to all our woes and the problems they raise should be dealt with head on.The first is linked to the danger that immersion could significantly reduce interaction between individuals, particularly between students. Interacting with another human being is far more enriching than interacting with an avatar. Likewise, interactions with a screen will never durably replace real interactions. Student-teacher interaction must be maintained at all costs. A balance must be found between tech-delivered content and regular classroom teaching.The other limitation is related to the cost of these resources. Indeed, schools need substantial IT and WIFI infrastructure to support the simultaneous use of these bandwidth-hungry tools.Lastly, investing in these new technologies (even though costs are dropping fast) is financially onerous for training and education organizations."The Housekeeping Virtual Reality course started with the February 2019 intake. We have created a serious game where a team of 5 student's work together. Only one student wears the Oculus glasses, the others see what he/she is seeing on a screen. We have received excellent feedback from the students who appreciate the use of technology in the class. The whole student team is involved from the start of the experience and they can quickly see the benefits of working as a team to succeed in the game.For the future we need to introduce more gamification and experience-based learning into our curriculum. We are currently looking at augmented (AR) and mixed reality (MR) technology, as well as more VR possibilities. The next serious game will allow each student to participate "inside the game" either sharing the VR experience by all being in the same virtual environment or by using AR or MR so that all players can see the same objects.Holographic images may also play a part in our future education, bringing celebrities to life who can share their knowledge without physically being on site."Julia Aymonier, Chief Information Officer, EHL Group.Tomorrow's challenge may well be to train professors, teachers, trainers and other educators so they can become more tech-savvy...or to convince them of the usefulness of implementing such tools. While the future of education is bright, more scientific studies measuring the effectiveness of these new methods need to be conducted before a definitive conclusion can be drawn regarding the relevance of developing such solutions in teaching.
Article by Henri Roelings

Introducing the Hospitality Net World Panel initiative

Hospitality Net 25 April 2019
The World Panel Thought-Leadership Platform will be a series of forums, each bringing together groups of experts to share their views on topics of relevance to the global hospitality industry.The idea is this: Champions - we refer to them simply as 'Champs' - get the ball rolling on a specific subject or theme with their personal viewpoint. They then invite our stable of experts from industry, hospitality-related associations, and academia to share their opinions.The champs will moderate and lead the discussions. The experts' comments will be grouped together and easily digestible. The various experts will also be encouraged to share their views via their own social media pages on Facebook and LinkedIn.Let's take the inaugural panel on digital marketing in hospitality as an example of how this works in practice. In an item called 'Is Airbnb Hotelier's Friend or Foe?', Max Starkov, an adjunct professor at NYU Tisch's Center for Hospitality and founder of HEBS Digital, examines the role of Airbnb in the hotel distribution mix following the acquisition of HotelTonight. Experts from LogIQ, Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne, Reknown, Kalibri Labs and others then provide their takes on the topic.Hospitality Net is well known as a news publisher and aggregator of content. This initiative, which has been in development for several months, will represent a shift in direction as we will, in effect, be creating platforms where we will bring together different opinions on specific topics.The potential for this initiative is enormous. We will we exploring broad areas such as digital marketing or sustainability, but we can also quickly set up 'Sprint' panels on time-sensitive issues. Take for example, a major data security breach at a hotel group such as the one experienced by Starwood and the Marriott group not so long ago. We could quickly create a panel to discuss the topic to provide some industry context to the news reports.Consequently, we believe this initiative will be truly new and innovative as we begin to generate authentic content.Consequently, this initiative is truly new and innovative and will generate authentic, industry-specific content.Given the flexibility of the panel structure, we will be able to create panels to support particular events. For instance, one of our partners may be running a forum on human resources. We could create a panel to explore HR issues in line with the event, perhaps highlighting some of the speakers who will be taking part in the forum itself.Panels could be private or shared with particular target audiences. The partner organization would also be able to embed the panel content on its own website via an application programming interface or API.We can also envisage panels on specific areas of the hotel industry, whether it be housekeeping or F&B. There could be a panel exclusively for hotel GMs or a tech panel for hotel IT directors and CIOs. The possibilities are endless.As this initiative evolves, we would appreciate your feedback and suggestions. On our side, we anticipate the panels will be supported through advertising and sponsorships. Our partners who are members of Hsyndicate would be welcome to submit their views as well.So, stay tuned for further developments. We believe this is an exciting initiative which could bring all sorts of benefits for the hospitality sector as we explore topics of interest to the industry.During April 2019 we softlaunched the panel with these viewpoints:Are brands becoming relevant again?Is Airbnb Hotelier's Friend or Foe?Any questions about HospitalityNet World Panel can be sent to panel@hospitalitynet.org.
Article by Ryan King

Self-Service Sells: The Rise of Self-Service in the Hotel Industry

StayNTouch Inc. 25 April 2019
The hospitality sector is no exception - and while the industry is often chastised for its reluctant adoption of much-needed technological updates, guest service is one segment that just can't be neglected. Why? Because the entire industry is built upon the consistent provision of an exceptional guest experience. Remaining attentive to growing customer expectations can, undoubtedly, make or break a hotel's brand. From artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) to connected devices, native apps, automation, and self-service, hotelier's have more opportunity than ever before to revamp and empower their customer service strategy. However, the question becomes, what will the future of customer service look like for the hospitality industry? What should hoteliers focus on when cultivating a network of platforms and processes that enable them to take their guest offering to the next level?When faced with this question, there is no shortage of specific platforms and solutions that come to mind. However, there is one trend that seems to demand the most attention - and offer the most staying power. Self-service, whether provided through apps, mobile devices or kiosks, is a movement spanning across industries and touch-points to remain at the forefront of the customer service evolution. Experts predict that by 2020, 85% of all customer service interactions will be handled without the need for a human agent.The Widespread Demand for Self-ServiceRecently, 73% of 526 shoppers surveyed by IoT and mobile device management firm SOTI said they prefer retail self-service technologies, such as self-checkout, over engaging with store associates. Not only that, but 70% of consumers expect a self-service option for handling commercial questions and complaints. Even further, self-service kiosks are considered one of the top 10 hotel innovations over the last 16 years.While the concept of self-service may, at a glance, seem to contradict the everyday luxuries associated with the hospitality experience (having staff dote on each guest), the guest-driven demand is not at all unfounded. While many guests appreciate a high-touch experience when they travel, many guests also demonstrated a vested preference for convenient, frictionless experiences. In many instances, having complete autonomy over your user experience and the way you interact with a brand is, in fact, perceived as a luxury. Regardless of the traveler profile (Gen X, Millennials, etc.) common travel grievances are simply less tolerated - from front desk lines to manual check-in, concierge wait times and more, guests often crave more control and convenience within their stay. Some guests may simply crave more control throughout each touch-point, some may desire a more private experience, and some guests may merely want to avoid unnecessary delay. Whatever the motivation, self-service technology represents an integral opportunity for hoteliers to cater to individual guest needs with ease. In fact, this demand has become somewhat commonplace across the travel industry as a whole. When asked which specific self-service options they wish were made more readily available by airports and airlines, 63% of travelers cited TSA PreCheck, 54% said automatic flight check-in and 43% said automated border-control technology.The Bigger Picture of Self-ServiceIt's important to recognize that self-service not only offers an experience founded in convenience but lends itself to an improved workflow across service-providers. When time-consuming operational tasks and processes are automated with the help of technology and self-service solutions, staff are empowered to allocate their efforts and attention to guests in a more meaningful manner.With this in mind, self-service shouldn't be seen as a step towards the dehumanization of hospitality, but rather a way to make those human touch-points more personalized and intentional. After all, AI-powered chatbots or self-service kiosks don't engage in banter or back and forth, but the hotel staff who are freed from the confines of front desk lines and operational hang-ups absolutely can. With newfound freedom, hotel staff can readily engage with guests in a memorable way - with the additional support of data-backed insights from guest-centric platforms.However, it's equally important to realize that self-service only works when it works. Moreover, by that, we mean that guest satisfaction with self-service technology (and their corresponding confidence while using it) can only be maximized if the platform is user-friendly and consistent. Quite simply, people don't want to deal with technology that is ineffective or inefficient - it's counter-intuitive. If guests attempt to use a kiosk or self-service app and encounter problems, they are unlikely to be satisfied with that experience or continue to engage with that service option. And in an economy in which customer loyalty is so hard to come by, it's integral for hotels to invest in technology that makes a good impression on guests, each and every time. A recent study revealed that 52% of respondents switched brands recently because of poor service. With this in mind, hoteliers are dedicating more time to the process of vetting prospective new platforms, to ensure they invest in the right technology partnerships to empower (and grow with) their property.Accessibility is EverythingConvenience and streamlined operations aside, the self-service movement also brings with it exciting revenue potential. When it comes to selling goods or services, regardless of industry, a big part of the puzzle is figuring out how to sell to the right customer, at the right time and through the right channel. The hospitality industry is no exception, as guests continue to expect more personalized suggestions, up-sells, and promotions throughout their stay. Unlike human agents, self-service platforms never forget to upsell - and they often have access to a wealth of guest-specific data that makes the process of targeting an upsell offer in a relevant way easy and automatic. With built-in, data-driven upsell prompts, guests have more purchase opportunities, without the pressure of human interaction.Simply put, self-service makes the path to purchase that much more accessible. Let's consider a popular example - rather than just relying on consumers to seek out products they need via Amazon; the website curates purchase suggestions based on past purchase behavior. Users will also receive targeted email marketing campaigns to their inbox, or reminders that they might need to reorder a common purchase soon. Those consumers who have an Amazon Echo can even order and reorder goods using a simple voice command. The path to purchase is entirely convenient and hassle-free, which is often empowering to consumers and in the case of hospitality, guests demonstrate a similar expectation. By making each touch-point accessible, convenient and within their control, guests are empowered to interact with your property on their terms. Happy guests tend to spend more money and tend to be more loyal.The self-service economy is here, and it's here to stay. From mobile apps to self-service kiosks and more, guests are firmly in the driver's seat of the customer service evolution across the hospitality industry. The only question that remains is this: Are you positioned to capitalize on the self-service movement, or are you at risk of being left behind?

A Review of Today's Hotels of the Future

Hotel F&B 25 April 2019
These days, technology is transforming the customer experience at an alarming rate. Many hoteliers wonder what the future hotel will look like. Flyzoo Hotel, regarded as Alibaba Group’s first future hotel, was opened in mid-December 2018. Numerous news and media outlets applauded its futuristic design and artificial intelligence (AI) applications within the hotel.

How Hotspot 2.0 Streamlines Guest Wi-Fi Access

Eleven Blog 25 April 2019
As the Wi-Fi industry continues to evolve and grow at a rapid pace, it is more important than ever for brands to think about Wi-Fi connectivity with a strategic focus on user experience and security. Hotspot 2.0 technology enables simple, seamless, and secure connectivity, while equipping enterprises with the right network infrastructure for the future.
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Runtriz and LugLess Team Up to Eliminate Baggage Burden for Hotel Guests

runtriztm 25 April 2019
LugLess will be offered in the Runtriz guest engagement platform so that hotel brand partners will be able to seamlessly offer guests the ability to ship suitcases, golf clubs, skis and more directly to and from their property. This integration will make it easy for hotels to put the LugLess service in the palm of guests' hands via their mobile website or app."We are thrilled to offer this timely and innovative service to our hotel partners that are looking for new service offerings to expand their guest loyalty programs and overall hotel guest experience through the Runtriz platform," said David Millili, CEO of Runtriz.By using technology to leverage existing logistics networks, LugLess has built the first luggage shipping platform that is easy and affordable for everyone. With shipping rates starting at $15, travelers now have a real alternative to the ever-increasing checked baggage fees, which for US-based airlines totaled nearly $5 billion in 2018"It's very exciting for LugLess to partner with Runtriz's hotel guest experience platform that adds value to hotel properties, their guests, and ultimately the entire travel experience," said Aaron Kirley, President of LugLess. "We are looking forward to alleviating one major pain point for travelers: their baggage."This initial US partnership program will set the stage for LugLess and Runtriz to expand globally to more than 2000 properties in 120 countries that leverage Runtriz's platform by alleviating the burden of baggage along the journey from home to airport to hotel and back again, ultimately providing guests a better hotel and travel experience.

Southwest's Q1 Cancellations Don't Deter Corporate Demand Growth

Hotel F&B Observer 25 April 2019
Southwest Airlines reported "robust" corporate travel demand during the first quarter, despite headwinds: more than 10,000 flight cancellations related to the Boeing 737 Max 8 grounding, maintenance issues during a March spat with its mechanics' union and winter weather.

Blockchain: The current reality

By Lyle Worthington
Has any technology concept been as hyped as Blockchain? (Well, yes, but probably not this year.) What is Blockchain, how does it work, why will it be such a good thing - and can it possibly live up to all this hype? More to the point: How, and when, will we start seeing Blockchain in the hotel industry? Lyle Worthington shares his thoughts on this fascinating technological solution.

SkyTouch, Cendyn connect for guest engagement

Hotel Management 25 April 2019
SkyTouch Technology has teamed up with Cendyn to allow properties to use Guestfolio CRM or eInsight CRM in the Cendyn customer-relationship-management suite and the SkyTouch hotel-operations platform together. The two-way data connection helps hoteliers further personalize the complete guest experience, gain key insights, use tools that build lasting brand loyalty and encourage increased conversions from online travel agencies to direct bookings.
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How Technology is Simplifying & Personalizing Travel

Hospitality Times 25 April 2019
Technology and travel go hand in hand. Millions of people who love travel use technology in their quest to explore exotic locales or visit well-travelled tourist destinations. The technology that makes travel easier and more enjoyable isn’t a new plane, train, ship, or car, rather its well-crafted apps that run on smartphones. Using such apps, tourists or visitors get the best deals at hotels and find the most affordable air or train tickets; however even these relatively new apps pale in comparison to others that promise a more enriching travel experience.

The HITEC Europe Innovations Digest

Hospitality Net 25 April 2019
Maastricht, The Netherlands - At the beginning of this month, Hospitality Net was present at HITEC Europe 2019 in Mallorca. The team visited various exhibitors to talk about their new and innovative products which were on display at the show. Here's a recap of what they have been talking about:A 360o solution for the telecommunications infrastructure in hotels. From design to network management.NETHITS is a global provider of advanced ICT solutions. Moreover, NETHITS has more than 13 years of experience as an agent at the telecommunications market, as a Broadband and Internet Service provider and also as a technology integrator specialized in hospitality.Our commitment to improve the customer experience and provide operational and economic efficiency to our hotel partners is based on a single platform that combines hardware and software intelligence (GPON, HOTSPOT, IPTV, VoIP, IPKEEPER), support services (Call Center, Bandwidth Management, Network Monitor and Management) and know-how at your disposal (Integration with Strategic Partners, Security Policies, Management and Support Tools, Integration with PMS and other customer systems).Increasing Guest Engagement and Streamlining Staff Management through Hospitality TechnologyINTELITY is the provider of a complete end-to-end enterprise guest engagement and staff management platform in hospitality. INTELITY is on a mission to provide its customers with the most direct and advanced connection to their guests, while also supporting back-of-house operations and business intelligence.INTELITY's platform is a multi-point solution to the common pain points experienced by hospitality industry workforces and offers the most comprehensive collection of certified, discrete integrations with PMS, POS, room controls, locks, spa management, loyalty programs, and ticketing systems. The platform is comprised of three key areas - INTELITY Guest, INTELITY Staff, and INTELITY Connect - providing management teams with the tools to better track and manage guest and staff activity through a single platform.Visit INTELITY's profile on Hospitality Net.Infor Completes Acquisition of ReServe InteractiveInfor announced the completed acquisition of Efficient Frontiers, Inc. dba ReServe Interactive. Headquartered in Livermore, Calif., ReServe Interactive is a leading provider of cloud-based sales and catering, restaurant reservations, and floor management software that serves the restaurant, sports and entertainment, event center, golf and country club, and hotel markets in the U.S. and Canada. ReServe Interactive's highly scalable, dynamic, and intuitive sales and catering solution will enable Infor to offer more functionality through Infor CloudSuite Hospitality, and increase Infor's presence in non-hotel hospitality venues such as entertainment centers, stadiums, wineries and conference and convention centers.Visit Infor's profile on Hospitality Net.Bonomi offers guest engangement through AI MessagingBy providing AI messaging assistants, Bonomi opens up a new direct channel for hotels to connect with their guests along the entire journey. Practical, intuitive, fun to use and easy to retrieve from their favourite messaging app, guests can turn to the hotel's own assistant for questions, booking, check-in, service orders, housekeeping requests or live chat with reception.Integrated in the hotel's website or PPC campaigns the assistant will increase direct bookings & build an opt-in database of subscribers for future marketing messages. Offering personalized guest alerts & recommendations will boost both guest satisfaction and ancillary revenues. With direct integrations to your Channel Manager / PMS / Service Optimization software, you can fully automate booking, check-in or service order processes, and thanks to our custom AI engine, your assistant will answer frequent questions automatically, reducing frontdesk workload.Interactive, self-service dashboardsDatavision offers a new self-service dashboards which transform data into stunning graphic visuals and share them with colleagues on any device. Collaborate and share dashboards with your colleagues. Datavision has provides self service report building since the company began over 24 years ago.Datavision since creating an integrated database with data from virtually every system on property or in the cloud. Datavision integrates information from all your key systems (PMS, POS, Spa, Golf, Labor, Sales & Catering, Google Analytics, Comment cards, GL etc.) and delivers actionable business intelligence.Visit Datavision's profile on Hospitality Net.Keystep Launches into EuropeKeystep Solutions are a market leader and innovator in the electronic door locking l sector. Opendoor replaces traditional electronic door locking systems that can expensive to maintain; magnetic strips wear out, cards need replacing, and replacement locks are costly. Opendoor offers greater functionality at a fraction of the cost by introducing a lock that offers both RFID and Mobile access in one. With a Bluetooth board fitted as standard you are future proofing your investment. All the locks come with a 3 year warranty and are CE marked and pass all the EU fire regulations.Having successfully delivered Opendoor to many leading hotel brands in the UK, including Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Red Carnation and Elite Hotels, to name a few, Keystep are now expanding their reach into Europe. The launch was kick started by exhibiting at HITEC 2019 in Mallorca. Andrew Evans, Chief Executive Officer comments "We are very excited to launch our solution to mainland Europe. HITEC was a perfect platform and we've had some really great meetings with hoteliers not just in Europe, but also further afield. We look forward to following up on those discussions to see how we can help them resolve their guest access requirements".hotelkit - hotel operations & communication softwareBy a hotelier for hoteliershotelkit is an award-winning global software designed to simplify and enhance hotel operations and internal communication by connecting employees together on a single platform. The idea was born when hotelier, Marius Donhauser, took over the 4 star boutique hotel in Salzburg in 2011. Today the software is used by 40.000 employees across more than 800 hotels of all categories, sizes & types worldwide. Among them are the Le Meridien, moxy Hotels, Intercontinental Vienna, Hard Rock Hotels, prizeotel, Kempinski and many more.hotelkit is the central hub of communication and contains all important information about SOPs for every department of a hotel. It helps to document knowledge in a more transparent and sustainable way and to process daily tasks, checklists and repairs more efficiently. Employees can use hotelkit via PC, tablet and smartphone any time. For hotel chains or groups, the multi-property solution hotelkit Connect is offered.Quore adds award-winning, Housekeeping module to its Hotel Management platformQuore's award-winning housekeeping solution, Cleanings Plus, empowers your team to manage everything from room notices and cleaning projects to work orders. A centralized view of all issues by room means housekeepers can address all room needs at once without having to run all over your property to track down the information they need. The Cleanings Plus feature takes the guesswork out of identifying rooms that need to be cleaned, speeding up the process and ultimately saving the property time and money.Using real-time, cloud-based technology, Cleanings Plus automatically signals rooms that are ready to be cleaned through staff mobile devices, tracks cleaning performance in detail and notifies supervisors when room cleanings are complete, reducing delays for spotless, guest-ready rooms. Digital breakouts and push notification alerts increase team efficiency, and a management overview provides live insights into daily department operations--so your team stays connected at every level, from anywhere.Visit Quore's profile on Hospitality Net.VENZA's suite of resources protect data and demonstrate commitment to privacy, from corporate to on-premis, tech stack to cultureSince 2008, VENZA has helped hotel groups. We focus on taking measures to secure data and preserve confidentiality. As the industry's guide in an evermore treacherous journey toward data protection, our organization strives to provide up-to-date expertise and tools to achieve, assess, track and document progress. For example, during VENZA's central involvement in HTNG's GDPR for Hospitality work group, close attention was given to the unique needs that hotel groups have with regards to privacy regulations (i.e. GDPR, CCPA). As a result, VENZA launched a program that includes access to a privacy management system with multiple functionalities to facilitate compliance (e.g. Data Registration, Data Subject Request Management, Incident & Breach Management, 3rd Party Management). The system is equipped with templates for hotel systems and processings. These templates, along with the always-welcome assistance of VENZA's on-staff Privacy Engineers, ensure maximum meaningful application of the system.In another example of innovative change, our organization now delivers a full suite of the tools and resources (e.g. DR Back Up, RMM, Mail Protection/Archiving) to ensure that your network is properly monitored and managed. However, VENZA knows that central to all intelligent IT initiatives in hospitality today is a commitment to security. Therefore, our logging, monitoring and incident response program focuses on keeping data secure while satisfying standards (ICO27001) and compliance requirements (PCI DSS, GDPR).Visit VENZA's profile on Hospitality Net."Sertifi is already looking forward to next year."Sertifi showcased their closing technology, including eSignatures, ePayments, and eAuthorizations, which enhances security, guest and employee convenience, and speed. With more and more international organizations like Hyatt and Hilton using Sertifi, they're elated to eliminate inefficient and wasteful paper-based processes and help more hospitality organizations around the globe reach their fullest potential.Visit Sertifi's profile on Hospitality Net.Entrepreneur 20XCONGRATULATIONS to HOTELWAY for winning the E20X Judge's Choice Award!CONGRATULATIONS to Oaky for winning the E20X People's Choice Award!THANK YOU to all the other start ups for participating!

Finding a Cloud-Based PMS Solution That Will Take Your Hotel Business to the Next Level

mycloud HOSPITALITY 25 April 2019
Cloud technologies date back to the 1950s and we only learned about them during the 90s when “cloud computing” was introduced. Ever since the start of the 2000s, cloud solutions have been adopted commercially with constant growth. When it comes to the hospitality industry, cloud-based hotel PMS solutions are the manifestation of the cloud.

Helicopter ride-sharing pioneers Ascent Flights flying high

Web In Travel (WIT) 25 April 2019
Ride-sharing has gone up to the skies with newcomers Ascent Flights joining the fray with a pioneering concept – helicopter ride-sharing.

Is Your Restaurant Paying Too Much in Transaction Fees? Eight Questions to Ask Yourself

Modern Restaurant Management 25 April 2019
Settling on a payment solution for your restaurant is an unavoidable decision, yet it’s one that business owners often rush through without realizing that small contractual details can result in thousands of dollars lost or saved in the long run.

JetBlue Technology Ventures adds airport partner to spur travel innovation

PhocusWire 25 April 2019
Vantage Airport Group joins Air New Zealand as the second partner in JetBlue Technology Ventures' international innovation program.
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IDeaS Announces 2019 Cornell Revenue Management Scholarship Recipients

IDeaS 25 April 2019
IDeaS Revenue Solutions today announced the 2019 IDeaS Cornell Management Scholarship recipients. As the leading provider of revenue management software and advisory services, IDeaS works in partnership with the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration within the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. The scholarships present hospitality professionals with the opportunity to earn online certificates developed by senior Cornell faculty leaders.Currently celebrating its tenth year, the scholarship program fosters professional development in the field of revenue management around the world, with this year's recipients representing six countries and six different hotel organizations.Winners of the 2019 IDeaS Cornell Scholarship include:Certificate in Hotel Revenue ManagementEric Marichal, revenue manager, Witham Family Hotels, United States of AmericaJana Vystupova, revenue optimization manager, Bohemian Hostels & Hotels, Czech RepublicCertificate in Advanced Hospitality Revenue Management: Pricing and Demand StrategiesKevine Otieno, inventory manager/assistant revenue manager, Aloft Abu Dhabi, United Arab EmiratesJunius De Silva, director of revenue, The Sebel Melbourne Docklands & Residencies, AustraliaCertificate in Data Analytics 360Blanca Maria Torres, revenue analyst, Casa Andina Hotels, PeruRenata Makarova, head of revenue management, Halldis Spa, ItalyJunius De Silva, director of revenue, The Sebel Melbourne Docklands and Residencies, said: "Winning this IDeaS-sponsored, prestigious scholarship through Cornell University will further amplify my efforts in curating a revenue culture within our hotels as we shift from traditional revenue management toward strategic revenue management. This scholarship will enable me to create awareness, share knowledge and inspire the future revenue leaders of our industry."Jana Vystupova, revenue optimization manager, Bohemian Hostels & Hotels, said: "I'm excited to study at the renowned Cornell University. Having learned revenue management mostly on the job so far, this IDeaS scholarship provides a fantastic opportunity for me to deepen, structure and enhance my knowledge to be on top of my game. In this complex and critical field, the competitive advantage comes from a combination of analyst skills, knowledge and strategic use of data and tools."Dr. Ravi Mehrotra, president, founder & chief scientist, IDeaS, said: "A key part of IDeaS' mission to drive the future of revenue management is ensuring the brightest minds are given opportunities to lead. Our ongoing relationship with the hospitality program at Cornell University bridges business and academia to recognize and promote the next generation of hotel revenue leaders, worldwide."For more information on the program or to apply for future scholarships, visit http://ideas.com/about/scholarship/.About the School of Hotel AdministrationThe School of Hotel Administration, at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, is shaping the global knowledge base for hospitality management through leadership in education, research, and industry advancement. The school provides management instruction in the full range of hospitality disciplines, educating the next generation of leaders in the world's largest industry. Founded in 1922 as the nation's first collegiate course of study in hospitality management, the School of Hotel Administration is recognized as the world leader in its field. For more information, visit sha.cornell.edu.

Trend Digest: Why back-of-house tech shouldn't be back-of-mind

mycloud HOSPITALITY 25 April 2019
Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, chatbots and self check-in — guest-facing technology comes in multiple forms and has seemingly endless capabilities that are discussed practically daily. But the uses for tech don’t necessarily begin or end with your guests themselves. Back-of-house technologies are often no less vital to attracting and engaging with guests than their customer-facing counterparts, but can easily be overlooked.

Getaround acquires fellow car-share service Drivy for $300M

PhocusWire 25 April 2019
European car-sharing brand Drivy has been snapped up by its U.S. counterpart Getaround in a $300 million deal.

How Digital Internal Communications Align Casino Operations

Beekeeper Blog 25 April 2019
Casinos are a unique segment of the hospitality world. They’re a combination of several industries rolled into one, including entertainment, dining, retail, and hotels. The diversity of offerings is what makes casinos a go-to travel destination. But the segmentation can also create a disjointed environment that can negatively impact employees and operations. A digital internal communications solution will align your workforce, refine operations, and create consistency.

Connecting the dots to improve your hotel operations

By Samantha Noll and Ines de Castro Fernandes
In a hotel, providing service to guests can be a physically strenuous job. There's a lot of bending over, stretching, lifting, picking things up, carrying things, rushing around... any of which, with just a little bad luck, could cause an injury, not to mention lower back pain and a host of other maladies. Novility's Samantha Noll and Ines de Castro Fernandes explain how some of this can be mitigated, through ergonomics.

Airlines bring baggage handling mishaps down as tracking tech kicks in

PhocusWire 25 April 2019
Airlines and airports are seeing decreases in mishandled baggage as they increase the use of tracking technology across the journey.

Set up your hotel's Key Business Indicators (KBIs) to manage costs

mycloud HOSPITALITY 24 April 2019
When you have a team that manages the financial wellbeing of your hotel across the dimensions of all the complex and different departments, you have a developed an amazing power tool. One key crossover point is to have those department leaders and assistants know their key business indicator and apply it to their zero-based expenses and labor. The KBI power tool combines their costs with a measurable, trackable and meaningful volume number. Read on to find out how you can create and use these in your hotel.
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RMS Wins Tender to Become Exclusive Property Management System for The Ascott Limited

RMS North America 24 April 2019
RMS today announced it has won a highly competitive tender to become the sole Property Management System (PMS) for The Ascott Limited (Ascott), one of the leading international lodging owner-operators.The pilot commenced in early 2018 with three select Ascott properties in Singapore, China and France - Ascott Orchard Singapore, Ascott Raffles City Chengdu and Citadines Bastille Marais Paris. The global rollout commenced in March 2019 across 30 countries.This included RMS' Property Management, Central Reservations, Distribution and built-in Channel Manager technology to support online bookings, maintain channel management and operate a front office system in a single application. The rollout is expected to be completed in May 2020.With the Open API architecture design of RMS, Ascott is able to fast track many digitalization initiatives to drive better operational efficiency and achieve improved customer satisfaction. The news was announced today by RMS Founder and Managing Director, Peter Buttigieg, who welcomed the Ascott partnership as a major step forward for the business."We are very excited to be working with Ascott - they are a great company with big plans, and we look forward to growing with them," Mr. Buttigieg said. "Our global partnership with Ascott will also enable us to accelerate the development of our technology, something that will benefit all our users," he said.The Ascott Limited is a leading international lodging owner-operator with more than 58,000 operating units in key cities of the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as close to 42,000 units which are under development, making a total of more than 100,000 units in over 660 properties.The company's serviced residence and hotel brands include Ascott, Citadines, Citadines Connect, Somerset, Quest, The Crest Collection, lyf, Preference, Vertu, Harris, Fox, Yello and POP!. Ascott's portfolio spans more than 170 cities across over 30 countries.Mr. Alfred Ong, Ascott's Head for Global Operations, said: "Moving into Cloud is one of our digital initiatives to support Ascott's fast-growing business. Ascott achieved record growth last year, crossing 100,000 units globally. We expect to continue with this strong growth momentum to achieve our target of 160,000 units worldwide by 2023. As we expand, we need systems that are scalable and RMS' solution meets this requirement."It's one of several recent successes for RMS, most notably becoming the first hospitality technology company to achieve US Government FedRAMP security certification, a stringent security assessment, enabling it to win a major contract with the US Federal Government."RMS is the only PMS approved for use by US Government agencies, giving us a significant first-mover advantage in the huge North American market," Mr. Buttigieg said.About The Ascott Limited:The Ascott Limited is a Singapore company that has grown to be one of the leading international lodging owner-operators. It has more than 58,000 operating units in key cities of the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as about 42,000 units which are under development, making a total of over 100,000 units in over 660 properties. The company's serviced residence and hotel brands include Ascott, Citadines, Citadines Connect, Somerset, Quest, The Crest Collection, lyf, Preference, Vertu, Harris, Fox, Yello and POP!. Ascott's portfolio spans more than 170 cities across over 30 countries.Ascott, a wholly owned subsidiary of CapitaLand Limited, pioneered Asia Pacific's first international-class serviced residence with the opening of The Ascott Singapore in 1984. Today, the company boasts over 30 years of industry track record and award-winning brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.Ascott's achievements have been recognized internationally. Recent awards include DestinAsian Readers' Choice Awards 2019 for 'Best Serviced Residence Brand'; World Travel Awards 2018 for 'Leading Serviced Apartment Brand' in Asia, Europe and the Middle East; TTG China Travel Awards 2018 for 'Best Serviced Residence Operator in China'; Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Awards 2018 for 'Best Serviced Residence Brand'; Business Traveller UK Awards 2018 for 'Best Serviced Apartment Company' and Business Traveller China Awards 2018 for 'Best Luxury Serviced Residence Brand'. For a full list of awards, please visit https://www.the-ascott.com/ascottlimited/awards.html.

Mallorca, Spain Was Exemplary Host for International Conference, HITEC Europe 2019

Hotel F&B 24 April 2019
Hundreds of hospitality professionals from all across Europe and beyond convened in the beautiful Spanish island city of Palma, Mallorca, Spain for HITEC Europe 2019. Produced by HFTP, HITEC Europe 2019 was an overwhelming success. It was held April 9–11, 2019 at the Palau de Congressos. Attendees enjoyed focused education from more than 30 industry expert speakers including an award-winning global futurist, and they had access to more than 60 leading industry solution-providers in the HITEC exhibition hall.

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