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Hotel Industry Offers Jobs To Robots | tourism-review.com

tourism-review.com 9 October 2017
Thinking of hotel run by robots is creepy? What sounds like a fantasy movie is reality in Japan. Instead of human employees, a local hotel is in the hands of robots. Even though this is an extreme example, innovative robot technologies are used in various areas of the hotel industry. So where exactly can one encounter such innovations?

Singapore Hotels gear up for seamless experience - todayonline.com

todayonline.com 5 October 2017
Imagine landing at the airport and getting checked into your hotel room as you clear immigration control. Your luggage will automatically be sent to your room and be waiting for you. Welcome to the Singapore of the future -- if the recommendations of the Hotel Innovation Committee are successfully implemented. Set up in February last year to drive the local hospitality industry to adopt innovative technologies, the Hotel Innovation Committee seeks to raise productivity and relieve the manpower crunch in the sector. It is led by the Singapore Hotel Association (SHA), the apex body for hotels in Singapore, and comprises local hoteliers, international experts, solution providers and academics.As the Republic gears up for another record-breaking year in terms of international visitors, seamless check-in and automated luggage transfer are among several strategies being explored to ensure Singapore remains competitive with other destinations in creating memorable travel experiences.

If hotel alarm clocks tick you off, you're not alone | washingtonpost.com

5 October 2017
Mention alarm clocks to a frequent hotel guest and you'll probably get an earful. Those ever-present digital clock radios frequently evoke feelings of confusion, frustration and even rage.Why? Just check into any hotel and try to do anything with the timepiece next to your bed, like set it. Or try to turn the radio off that housekeeping left on. What does this button do?Then again, you could just wait until 3 a.m., when the alarm, set by a previous guest (who managed to figure out how to set it, thanks to a PhD in rocket science), starts buzzing. Good luck trying to get back to sleep after that.

Hotels try to shut out noise from guestrooms | usatoday.com

usatoday.com 4 October 2017
Hotels are trying to lull guests to sleep by proactively minimizing the noise they can hear in their rooms.From double insulating walls to adding thicker headboards to installing quieter air conditioning units to providing white noise machines, hotels are trying to provide a more calming sleep environment.

In the near future, your hotel room will know exactly how you like to sleep | marketwatch.com

marketwatch.com 2 October 2017
Soon, you will be able to step into your hotel room and the thermostat will automatically adjust to the temperature you like. Netflix and Hulu accounts on the TV will be programmed to play your favorite shows, and your preferred beer will be chilling in the refrigerator.

Trivago Bought An AI Startup That Eased Peoples' Fears About Giving Up Data | fastcompany.com

fastcompany.com 29 September 2017
All types of online services are scrambling to meet the AI-driven personalization standard set by Amazon and Netflix. Fast-growing international hotel search engine Trivago is taking that path by acquiring machine-learning startup Tripl, which analyzes users' social media profiles to recommend itineraries and link to offers from third parties like hotels or tour operators.

Crypto is Targeting Hospitality Giants - cointelegraph.com

cointelegraph.com 28 September 2017
There has been a lot of activity in the cryptosphere regarding hotels and accomodation, with progress towards the creation of a new landscape of bookings and payments. Some commentators have suggested that hospitality could become crypto's killer app. The $500 bln hospitality industry is an enticing prize for the many crypto projects looking to disrupt this space. Among them a European Blockchain project endorsed by the former President of Bulgaria. It has an enticing customer value proposition for travelers and hoteliers ahead of its token pre-sale this week. Lockchain.co is aiming to decentralize the hospitality industry, completely cutting out the middleman by enabling customers and property owners to rely on the inherent benefits of Blockchain technology.

The Tragedy Of The Buffet Commons: Reducing Food Waste At Hotels | forbes.com

Forbes.com 21 September 2017
There is nothing as universal as the quiet excitement travelers feel when hearing the classic closing line to any cheery hotel check-in: "And don't forget--breakfast will be served until 10."Breakfast buffets are one of the most important factors that contribute to a guest's decision to book a room at a particular hotel. Major hotel chains seeking to remain competitive nearly universally offer them, partially out of fear that their absence is more notable than their presence. As a result, guests have grown accustomed to daily smorgasbords that include colorful platters of fruit, sizzling waffle irons and the wafting aroma of freshly crisped bacon.

Oracle Hospitality Stumbled in Micros Integration But Says It Has Recovered - skift.com

skift Inc. 11 September 2017
Three years ago, business software maker Oracle acquired Micros, a hotel and restaurant technology company, for $5.3 billion in cash.Micros was the market leader. More hotels used Micros's software to check in and check out guests than any other company's reservation management software. For more than two decades its servers hummed under the front desks and in the back offices at tens of thousands of properties worldwide.One of the knocks against Micros' hotel software was that it was antiquated. One hotelier called it "a DOS pig with lipstick," referring to the 1980s Microsoft disk operating system for computers.

Do Comp Sets Matter? Report from fifth annual Revenue Strategy Summit - hotelbusiness.com

HotelBusiness.com 1 September 2017
At the fifth annual Revenue Strategy Summit, held here at the Renaissance DC Downtown hotel this week, Kalibri Labs CEO and co-founder Cindy Estis Green posed a question: How much do comp sets matter anymore? "I've had quite a few owners come to me and say, 'It's just not working anymore to look at some of our traditional RevPAR metrics because comp sets don't even make sense anymore,'" she said, adding that the merger between Marriott International Inc. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. complicated matters--many traditional comp sets had to be changed to make them legal comp sets, and as a result, hotels were added to comp sets that didn't necessarily make sense. "It got me thinking about what needed to be looked at in terms of some of these metrics," she explained. "Beyond net revenue, do comp sets make sense anymore? In this age of big data, can we do something a little more effective and customized for an individual hotel?"

Retail & hospitality struggle with payment card data security standards - zdnet.com

zdnet.com 31 August 2017
Enterprises are complying with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) more, but the number of organizations in compliance is still low enough to leave the door open for cyberattacks, according to Verizon.

Introducing AURA, the room service robot | cnn.com

cnn.com 17 August 2017
What's your favorite hotel perk: Is it the swanky gym, the fluffy pillows, the opulent spa? Or maybe it's the simple but luxurious treat that is room service. After all, once you've ordered an indulgent breakfast in bed, it's hard to go back to making it yourself.One hotel in Singapore is taking room service to a new level thanks to AURA, the room service robot.AURA works in the M Social Hotel in Singapore -- a lifestyle hotel designed with the business-traveling millennial in mind.Meet a robot who delivers room serviceFrancesca Street, CNN * Published 15th August 2017 (CNN) - What's your favorite hotel perk: Is it the swanky gym, the fluffy pillows, the opulent spa? Or maybe it's the simple but luxurious treat that is room service. After all, once you've ordered an indulgent breakfast in bed, it's hard to go back to making it yourself.

8 #Hoteltech Trends Disrupting Hospitality and Tourism | eventmanagerblog.com

15 August 2017
Room service? There's an app for that. Consumer demands are changing and hoteltech is responding. Here we look at 8 hoteltech trends currently disrupting hospitality and tourism.For many years, the process of booking into a hotel and accessing its benefits during a stay has remained largely unchanged. Although room and resource booking have been largely electronic for some time, some booking applications are little more than a simple electronic diary. However, things are on the move. Keyless entry systems are being linked to booking systems and many of these features are becoming accessible by way of an API (Application Programming Interface), giving access to external agents. This type of access allows event planners to manage room blocks in full with event management & ticketing software.

Special Report: What GDPR changes mean and how to stay compliant | travelweekly.co.uk

travelweekly.co.uk 7 August 2017
The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in May 2018, drastically changing the rules about how businesses hold and use customer data. We've teamed up with Abta and Travlaw to put together a guide on what the changes mean and the action businesses need to take now to make sure they are compliant. Amie Keeley reports

'Frustrating' hotel room key cards could disappear within five years | telegraph.co.uk

telegraph.co.uk 1 August 2017
"Frustrating" hotel room keys which need to be swiped several times are on the verge of extinction as they are being replaced by new smartphone technology.Hotel chains including Hilton and Louvre are introducing new bluetooth systems which let guests unlock their room doors by simply pressing a button on their mobile phone.According to experts smartphone "keys" will be found as standard in hotels within five years, as big chains are replacing outdated key cards with the new hassle-free technology.

Mandatory resort fees are on the rise - again | hicagotribune.com

chicagotribune.com 31 July 2017
Tamara Myers thought that her hotel bill at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino would come to $415. At least that's what Otel.com, the website through which she booked the room, promised her. But the site glossed over a small detail: a mandatory daily "resort fee" payable at checkout, which added $306 to the folio. Gotcha. "I did my due diligence," insists Myers, who lives in Indianapolis and works for the military. She'd made the reservation for her 88-year-old mother, who was caring for her brother in Las Vegas. "The fee was listed nowhere on Otel.com."Mandatory resort fees, tacked onto a hotel bill after an initial price quote - and sometimes even later, as with Myers - are on the rise again. A total of 1,026 domestic hotels charged a resort fee for the first half of 2017, a 14 percent increase from just six months ago, according to new research from Resortfeechecker.com, a site that allows travelers to look up resort fees at hotels worldwide. The average resort fee, which covers everything from "free" WiFi to access to exercise facilities, now stands at almost $21, a jump of 8.7 percent from last December.

Hackers Target Hotel Wi-Fi | whnt.com

WHNT.com 31 July 2017
A group of hackers known as "DarkHotel" have perfected the act of targeting high profile guests (CEOs, senior vice presidents, sales and marketing directors) staying in well-known hotels. The hackers gain access to the target's computer by creating a pop-up disguised as a well-known application, such as Adobe, claiming there is a new update that must be installed. The unsuspecting victim will then accept the download, and in turn gives the hackers access to steal information from their computers and use it to compromise the company the victim works for. To perfectly execute the attack, these sophisticated attackers will lurk on the hotel's network for days leading up to the target's check-in, upload their malware before the guest arrives, and delete it days after their departure to clear any trace of the attack.

The lowest hotel rate tough to find, but OTAs a good bet - travelweekly.com

travelweekly.com 20 July 2017
Where's the lowest hotel rate? Online shoppers may have to do a lot of research to find it, a Piper Jaffray study indicates. And when they do find it, OTAs and travel search sites will have the lowest rate more often than hotel supplier sites. Piper Jaffray surveyed 1,000 U.S. customers who reserved rooms at 86 chain hotels in the world's largest 25 cities. It found that OTAs and travel search sites had the lowest price 21% of the time, while hotel supplier websites had it 13% of the time. In about two-thirds of the cases, room pricing was the same across distribution channels.

HITEC Puts Spotlight on Startups to Watch - hotelbusiness.com

HotelBusiness.com 12 July 2017
"In order for the industry to thrive, we need innovation and entrepreneurship. As a nonprofit association, HFTP has a mandate to make the industry better for everyone. We believe that these issues are so important that we even helped start an investment fund, Wayfare VC LLC, which only invests in companies in our verticals. As far as we can tell, this has never been done by any nonprofit in any industry," said Wolfe. "Our latest projects are in the areas of data privacy, block chain, standards--or lack thereof. HFTP is currently in discussions to start a hospitality accelerator that will be global. If it comes to fruition, it will likely encompass all hospitality areas from sleeping accommodations, private clubs, foodservice, casinos, cruise lines and even transportation."

A.I. and Voice Search -- 2018's Top Travel Trends | forbes.com

Forbes.com 1 June 2017
At the recent MarketHub Americas 2017 conference, Sam Turner, sales director at Hotelbeds Group, spoke about the growing role technology - and particularly data - will play in the future of travel. I caught up with him following the conference about the travel industry's biggest challenges in 2018 and beyond.

Hotels add plugs, ports for device-laden guests - usatoday.com

usatoday.com 25 May 2017
Stephen Delaney travels with a laptop, an iPad, two cellphones and a backup power pack to keep all his devices charged.When he walks into a hotel guestroom, he scours for the power outlets and USB ports."I hate when a hotel room does not have conveniently placed plugs," says the Franklin, Tenn., USA TODAY Road Warrior and health care IT consultant. "Unfortunately, there are many hotels that have not yet added plugs on top of desks, nightstands, etc."

Drink Up, Business Travelers. The Minibar Is on the Way Out | nytimes.com

nytimes.com 24 May 2017
Do you think of hotel rooms as having spacious, old-school desks, the kind that invite long hours of working? And bureaus with a half-dozen drawers? Minibars, too? Well, perhaps you haven't stayed at a hotel lately.Ben Schlappig, a 26-year-old travel blogger and consultant, has spent more nights in hotels than many people will in a lifetime. So he knows firsthand about the changing design of guest rooms, and he is not completely happy about it.

Entrepreneur 20X: Wi-Fi, Upselling and Digitalizing Daily Operations

HFTP Connect 29 March 2017
On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, HFTP’s hospitality start-up pitch competition Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) took place in Europe for the first time at HITEC Amsterdam. Each participant had four minutes to pitch their business concept, followed by four minutes for the expert judges panel to ask questions. I did notice that most of the start-ups were evolving around one (or more, in some cases) of three main hotelier-focused goals.

Time to Come in from the Cold

HFTP Connect 28 March 2017
The weather may be cool this coming week, but there will be lots of hot new products and warm-welcome networking opportunities at HITEC Amsterdam (#HITECams).

The Times They Are A-Changin'

HFTP Connect 27 March 2017
Written By: Fee Naaijkens. HITEC Amsterdam kicks off tomorrow on 28 March with its pre- conference events, and I am thrilled to be attending the event as a guest blogger this year. Amsterdam is going to be teeming with hospitality professionals from all over the world this week. But for a popular destination like “Mokum” (the locals’ nickname for their city), dealing with so many out-of-towners is a piece of cake. With the increasing number of hotel guests visiting the Dutch capital every year, running a hotel here should be all smooth sailing from now on, right? Not quite. There is something brewing that is about to shake up the hotel landscape across all of Europe.

Swiss Hotel Chain Movenpick Uses Cloud To Avoid 'Cemetery Of Brands' | forbes.com

Forbes.com 24 March 2017
Movenpick is hoping to escape what its CEO Olivier Chavy called the "cemetery of brands" during a presentation at Oracle Industry Connect here this morning. Profit margins in the hotel industry are between 1% and 2%, and are being squeezed by a combination of macroeconomic and industry-specific factors, such as a changing distributor landscape, tighter management agreements, and higher capital requirements for borrowing. But according to Chavy, hotel operators are under greater threat from organizations like Uber and Facebook, which can leverage platforms to create experiences. He noted that Uber is the world's largest taxi company yet owns no taxis; Airbnb is the world's largest hotel company yet owns no real estate. And he sounded a note of alarm, claiming that many in the hotel industry are evolving too slowly to survive. "In the hospitality industry, we are in the age of stone," he said.

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