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    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

    December 5–6, 2018
    Dubai, UAE

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    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

    April 10–11, 2019
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    Minneapolis Convention Center

    June 17-20, 2019

Article by Spencer Nguyen

Local Services, a trend or big business for hotels?

University of Houston 3 July 2018
I think the answer lies within a new trend in the hotel industry. Earlier this year, Accor Hotels have brought to life in a pilot program currently in development in France. "Accor Local" is a multi-share economy app that blends a variety of hospitality services, into one easy to use downloadable app. Services such as dry cleaning, florist, and spa specialists are among the hundreds of services delivered by the app. Sebastien Bazin, CEO of Accor Hotels stated that: "It's clear that with this desire to enter into the "local services", AccorHotels wants to change the way people interact with their hotels. The hotel, according to Accor, is no longer just for travelers or guests, but for everyone and anyone who has the ability to interact with them and to use them." Implications for this trend could very well mean that hotel brands will change from a lodging service to a multi service industry. This could mean more jobs in the hotel industry and a higher retention rate for current hotel operators.I currently work at a privately-owned hotel in the heart of downtown Houston. We are a full-service brand and provide a plethora of spa and yoga services. Typically, the business that comes from the spa department, are travelers and guests of the hotel. What if hotels started to follow suit? Produce a downloadable mobile app, brand it in a similar way Accor Hotels have created their own share economy app? I believe that this could be a way for hotels increase profits as well as give their specialist employees (fitness instructors, spa specialists, etc.) an extra way to gain business. Further implications could suggest that revolutionizing the way hotels engage with the local community, could bring a new network of local business opportunities. Hotels could be seen as a service provider as well as become dual hatted as a network of local services, that could be utilized by travelers and locals alike, bringing growth to small business. By embracing share economy apps, hotels can use this to their advantage to increase brand awareness and provide the local community with alternative options for local services.Works citedKnowledge, H. W. (2018, February 27). The Airbnb Effect: Cheaper Rooms For Travelers, Less Revenue For Hotels. Retrieved July 2, 2018, from this link Ting, D. (2017, February 23). Accor CEO: We Want to Transform the Way Everyone Uses Hotels. Retrieved July 2, 2018, from this link
Article by Tucker Johnson

What will the future hold?

University of Houston 12 March 2018
I read an incredibly interesting paper by Bain and Co. a few weeks ago titled "Labor 2030: The Collision of Demographics, Automation and Inequality", and it really got me thinking. Here is a snippet:"The Bain Macro Trends Group has analyzed a range of technologies at or near commercialization, including humanoid service robots, collaborative robots (cobots), drones, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. These technologies will transform primarily the service sector of most advanced economies and some emerging economies."What really got me thinking was the idea of cobots (robots that work alongside humans). I recently spoke with a colleague who told me that his class was having a discussion on robots in restaurants. He said that they all concluded that they will always need people to provide services and robots would never be able to replace waiters and waitresses. While I agree that they may never be able to completely replace people, I think it would be reasonable that eventually robots could help enough to cut current staffing levels by 90 percent. Payment, ordering, and food running could easily be automated - this would free up more of the server's time, allowing them to take more tables.Based on Bain's analysis the automation of beverages and kitchens is a foregone conclusion:"Today, a set of robotic arms can fully staff a bar and mix drinks to spec on a cruise ship full of thirsty guests. Within a few years, we expect continued cost reductions will make a strong business case for the automation of many tasks in restaurant kitchens and bars. Already, high-dexterity service robotics are being experimentally deployed in settings ranging from food preparation to assisting in hospitals and nursing homes."I'm looking to hotels and wondering, "What will the future hold?" I spoke with a GM today of a Full Service Hilton. He told me that about 10 percent of their guests check-in on their phone and use their phone as their room key. They never come by the front desk. Their hotel utilizes Kipsu to communicate with guests via text message; many guests have no face-to-face human interaction. All these changes are more efficient for the guest, but will have a lasting impact on the industry and career opportunities.I know where I'm focused right now: technology, robots, and AI. Housekeeping Robots are already here. Room Service Robots are already here. More robots are surely coming. A 2013 Study by the University of Oxford predicts the probabilities of Restaurant Cooks becoming automated at 96 percent, Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks at 94 percent, and Waiters and Waitresses at 94 percent. The good news: Lodging Managers' chance of automation is less than one percent.I try to always have an eye towards the future of hotels, as well as the future of education. I can't picture an industry that will not be changed by rapid advancements in technology and I want to make sure that I am in a position to succeed in this changing environment. The best boss I ever had used to use the phrase: "Don't skate to where the puck is; skate to where it is going to be." This idea of looking to the future, and critically thinking, in order to be successful is something I have always tried to follow.Right now if I was starting my career, especially in the service industry, I would make sure that I had a solid understanding of technology, what it can accomplish, and where it is headed. If I didn't have an exceptional understanding of basic computer programs (Word, Excel, Outlook), I would make that a priority. I would then google "hotel technology" each week and select the news results. Reading these results will keep you informed and allow you to stay up-to-date. Like it or not, automation is coming. Now is the time to put yourself on a trajectory to take advantage of it as it becomes more and more commonplace in the future. It's time to "skate to where the puck is going to be."
Article by Qian Long

Service of Silence in hospitality industry

University of Houston 3 July 2017
Sometimes rather than to satisfy guest needs, we realized a better choice is to create guest demand. We prepared a poster with a slogan "Escape from the digital world. Embrace the inner peace." We also created some activities, like surfing summer camp and watching open-air films, to help guests experience disconnection from the noisy world. These activities not only brought high guest satisfaction, but also increased our revenue.This experience reminds me of a new concept called "digital detox", which is focused on silence in hospitality industry. Dr. Franz Linser, founder of Linser Hospitality, said in 2016 Global Wellness Summit: "wellness programming at hotels/retreats today can sometimes feel like nothing more than an "operational line-item", while future destinations will need to put a deeper, more comprehensive focus on the true "art of living" and that will include a much more powerful focus on silence and nature."There are many industry pioneers that have already applied service of silence to their resorts, restaurants, gyms, salons and even airports. A wellness monastery named Eremito in Italy, without Wi-Fi or phone signal, offers services of meditation, yoga, hiking, reading, etc. Its brand is "peace, contemplation and re-finding oneself". Other examples of applying service of silence can be found in airports like London City, Bristol, Barcelona, Warsaw and Helsinki, where the announcements are only made at boarding gates (except in true emergencies).The service of silence is not anti-technology, but will embrace new technologies to create a silent experience for customers. We can identify the future trend of this unique service in hospitality industry. As the world will become noisier and more digitally connected, the service of silence in hospitality industry will have the opportunity to became a popular project for guests to escape from noise temporarily.

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