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  • Next Event

    HITEC EUROPE 2019

    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

    April 10–11, 2019
    Palau de Congressos
    Palma, Mallorca - Spain

  • Upcoming Event

    HITEC MINNEAPOLIS

    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

    Minneapolis Convention Center

    June 17-20, 2019

Choice Hotels Goes All-In on AWS

Choice 14 January 2019
Today, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced that Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) is moving its infrastructure to AWS--going all-in on the world's leading cloud--to boost its technology leadership position in the hotel industry. Choice Hotels, which develops some of its own technology, will migrate over 1,000 applications to AWS, moving off legacy systems to help improve performance, scalability, and reliability. As Choice Hotels continues to expand its international footprint, the hospitality leader will be able to deploy new cloud-based systems globally in minutes for stronger regional performance, availability, and fault tolerance to help create more value for its franchisees and guests.AWS is already home to some of Choice Hotels' primary business applications, including its global reservation system (GRS) and distribution platform, property-management system, and data analytics platform. Choice Hotels has teamed with the Amazon ML Solutions Lab to identify uses for machine learning across its businesses, and guide its teams in the development of new machine learning-enabled features, products, and processes. By leveraging AWS machine learning and analytics services, Choice Hotels will be able to provide more personalized experiences for its customers, use trend analysis paired with data analytics to identify systems issues, and interpret and resolve those issues without human intervention."Choice Hotels is an established leader in innovation, and the migration of the company's infrastructure to AWS will help build upon Choice's legacy of technology innovations and industry firsts. Choice began working with AWS in 2014. Shortly after, we embarked on the largest IT project in the company's history to replace our central reservation system and distribution platform with a new cloud-based global solution - choiceEDGE, the industry's first new GRS from a hotel company in over 30 years. We have continued to expand our strategic relationship with AWS ever since," said Brian Kirkland, Chief Technology Officer at Choice Hotels. "We closely evaluated several public cloud providers and found that AWS was the best fit for our cloud-first approach, delivering the broadest and deepest portfolio of cloud services, and innovating at a faster pace than the rest of the industry. With AWS, we will also be able to leverage the industry's leading machine learning and analytics services to fuel real-time decision-making across our business and transform the way that we deliver our services to franchisees and customers.""As consumer behavior evolves, the hospitality industry is changing rapidly, and customers are pushing an unprecedented volume of room and service requests through digital channels, which is driving leaders to turn to the cloud to transform their customer engagement, service, and business models," said Mike Clayville, Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Sales at AWS. "Choice Hotels was the first hotel company to create their own cloud-based reservation system on AWS for more than 6,900 hotels worldwide, exceeding performance requirements and lowering costs. This gave the Choice Hotels leadership team the confidence to move forward with new initiatives, and go all-in on AWS. We are excited to expand our strategic relationship as we work with Choice to embed machine learning and analytics across their business."About Amazon Web ServicesFor over 12 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world's most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS offers over 165 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 60 Availability Zones (AZs) within 20 geographic regions, spanning the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Sweden, and the UK. AWS services are trusted by millions of active customers around the world--including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies--to power their infrastructure, make them more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit aws.amazon.com.About AmazonAmazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.

Hyatt Announces Participation in Google Assistant Pilot

Hyatt 9 January 2019
CHICAGO -- Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) today announced that Hyatt is collaborating with Google to pilot a new capability of the Google Assistant - Interpreter Mode. With this feature, users are able to receive translations for dozens of languages and conduct conversations in real time. At participating Hyatt hotels, Interpreter Mode will enable guests and colleagues that speak different languages to communicate via spoken and written translations of their own languages on a Google Home Hub."At Hyatt, we view technology as a way to scale care for our guests and colleagues and enhance the meaningful human connections that are fundamental to our industry," said Alex Zoghlin, global head of strategy, innovation and technology for Hyatt. "As international tourism continues to rise, implementing solutions like Interpreter Mode ensures the needs of today's global traveler base remain at the core of our innovation strategy. We are excited to collaborate with Google on a new technology that offers the potential to create widespread impact across the hospitality industry."At Hyatt, Interpreter Mode is being piloted at Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport's concierge desk to assist with fulfilling guest needs. To use this solution, hotel guests will identify their language on the Google Home Hub screen and hotel colleagues will activate Interpreter Mode to translate the conversation. In addition to assisting guests, this solution is being used to support colleague engagement efforts."Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport welcomes guests and colleagues from around the world, creating a diverse mix of backgrounds and languages," said General Manager Irby Morvant. "With the possibilities presented in Interpreter Mode, we strengthen our commitment to provide a seamless guest experience, and create a welcoming and inclusive environment for colleagues."The term "Hyatt" is used in this release for convenience to refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation and/or one or more of its affiliates.About Hyatt Hotels CorporationHyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 14 premier brands. As of September 30, 2018, the Company's portfolio included more than 750 properties in more than 55 countries across six continents. The Company's purpose to care for people so they can be their best informs its business decisions and growth strategy and is intended to attract and retain top colleagues, build relationships with guests and create value for shareholders. The Company's subsidiaries develop, own, operate, manage, franchise, license or provide services to hotels, resorts, branded residences, vacation ownership properties, and fitness and spa locations, including under the Park Hyatt, Miraval, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt, Andaz, Hyatt Centric, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Hyatt Ziva, Hyatt Zilara, Hyatt Residence Club and Exhale brand names. On November 30, 2018, the Company expanded its hotel and resort portfolio with the inclusion of the Alila, Destination, Joie de Vivre, Thompson Hotels and tommie brands. For more information, please visit www.hyatt.com

HITEC Europe 2019 Online Registration Open, Keynote Announced

HFTP 7 January 2019
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), producers of Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC), announced that attendee online registration for its third-annual HITEC Europe is now open. The event is the first of three HITEC events in 2019, which bring together thought leaders, practitioners and vendors to cover hospitality technology trends and practices. HITEC Europe will take place from 09-11 April 2019 at the Palau de Congressos in Palma, Mallorca, Spain."HITEC Europe in 2019 will be located in the premiere travel destination of Palma, Mallorca a locale with hundreds of hotels and headquarters to numerous hospitality companies," said Carl Weldon, HFTP COO - Europe. "Not only is the island a draw due to its large hospitality market, but the program for HITEC Europe will be a cannot miss event for industry professionals who are involved in the technology operations at hotels, resorts and more."A highlight to the program is the keynote presentation on Wednesday, 10 April by award-winning futurist Rohit Talwar. Talwar is an entrepreneur and specialist advisor on business transformation, disruptive strategies and radical innovation. Profiled as one the top 10 global future thinkers by the Independent newspaper, his controversial and inspiring keynote speeches enable teams to think differently, act fast and be first to the future."Rohit includes a good mixture in his presentation of technology, as well as management and business strategies to cope with the various disruptors that will be coming our way," said HITEC Europe Advisory Council Chair Derek Wood.HITEC Europe full registration attendees will have access to two full days of education, two full days of exhibits and access to the Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) pre-conference event and Welcome Reception. The full schedule of events is available on the HITEC Europe website.Education. Full registration attendees will have access to two days of educational training and best practices, carefully planned for the European hospitality market by the HITEC Europe Advisory Council, including the keynote presentation.Exhibits. Full Registration attendees, as well as those purchasing an exhibits only attendee pass will have access to two days of exhibits. Do not miss the only opportunity to see a number of new products and high-caliber existing products all in one location. The education program does not conflict with exhibit hours, but attendees will also have access to educational opportunities right on the show floor with the new Spotlight Presentations.View the current HITEC Europe floor plan to see which companies are exhibiting. Stands for the 2019 exhibition are still available for companies interested in participating.Entrepreneur 20X (E20X). This pre-conference event features ambitious, unfunded technology entrepreneurs presenting breakthrough business concepts to a room full of HITEC attendees as well as a panel of expert judges. All HITEC badges, including exhibits-only badges, will have the opportunity to watch some of the most innovative startups the hospitality technology industry has to offer compete in the European version of the globally recognized pitch competition.The application process for participating in the competition is now open through 08 February 2019.In addition to the opening of HITEC Europe registration, the HITEC Europe website offers information on travel and hotel reservations.Following HITEC Europe, HFTP will host the larger HITEC Minneapolis on 17-20 June 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. Registration for HITEC Minneapolis is open as well. For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other international activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.

Marriott Provides Update on Starwood Database Security Incident

Marriott 4 January 2019
Working closely with its internal and external forensics and analytics investigation team, Marriott determined that the total number of guest records involved in this incident is less than the initial disclosure. Also, the number of payment cards and passport numbers involved is a relatively small percentage of the overall total records involved."We want to provide our customers and partners with updates based on our ongoing work to address this incident as we try to understand as much as we possibly can about what happened," said Arne Sorenson, Marriott's President and Chief Executive Officer. "As we near the end of the cyber forensics and data analytics work, we will continue to work hard to address our customers' concerns and meet the standard of excellence our customers deserve and expect from Marriott."Marriott is updating its press release of November 30, 2018, which announced that the company determined on November 19, 2018 that there was unauthorized access to a Starwood guest reservations database. In that release, the company said that it believed the incident involved information about up to approximately 500 million guests who made a reservation at a Starwood property* on or before September 10, 2018, although at that point the company had not completed the analytics work to identify duplicative information.Update on the Number of Guests InvolvedMarriott now believes that the number of potentially involved guests is lower than the 500 million the company had originally estimated. Marriott has identified approximately 383 million records as the upper limit for the total number of guest records that were involved in the incident. This does not, however, mean that information about 383 million unique guests was involved, as in many instances, there appear to be multiple records for the same guest. The company has concluded with a fair degree of certainty that information for fewer than 383 million unique guests was involved, although the company is not able to quantify that lower number because of the nature of the data in the database.Passport Information UpdateMarriott now believes that approximately 5.25 million unencrypted passport numbers were included in the information accessed by an unauthorized third party. The information accessed also includes approximately 20.3 million encrypted passport numbers. There is no evidence that the unauthorized third party accessed the master encryption key needed to decrypt the encrypted passport numbers.Marriott is putting in place a mechanism to enable its designated call center representatives to refer guests to the appropriate resources to enable a look up of individual passport numbers to see if they were included in this set of unencrypted passport numbers. Marriott will update its designated website for this incident (https://info.starwoodhotels.com) when it has this capability in place. The website lists phone numbers to reach the company's dedicated call center and includes information about the process to be followed if guests believe that they have experienced fraud as a result of their passport numbers being involved in this incident.Payment Card Information UpdateMarriott now believes that approximately 8.6 million encrypted payment cards were involved in the incident. Of that number, approximately 354,000 payment cards were unexpired as of September 2018. There is no evidence that the unauthorized third party accessed either of the components needed to decrypt the encrypted payment card numbers.While the payment card field in the data involved was encrypted, Marriott is undertaking additional analysis to see if payment card data was inadvertently entered into other fields and was therefore not encrypted. Marriott believes that there may be a small number (fewer than 2,000) of 15-digit and 16-digit numbers in other fields in the data involved that might be unencrypted payment card numbers. The company is continuing to analyze these numbers to better understand if they are payment card numbers and, if they are payment card numbers, the process it will put in place to assist guests. Further updates will be made to the dedicated website: https://info.starwoodhotels.com.Guests who have questions related to their payment cards should visit https://info.starwoodhotels.com for more information, including toll-free phone numbers to reach the company's dedicated call center.Starwood Reservations Database DiscontinuedThe company has completed the phase out of the operation of the Starwood reservations database, effective the end of 2018. With the completion of the reservation systems conversion undertaken as part of the company's post-merger integration work, all reservations are now running through the Marriott system.Guest SupportMarriott continues to offer the following services to help guests monitor and protect their information:Dedicated Website and Call CenterMarriott has established a dedicated website (https://info.starwoodhotels.com) and call center to answer questions guests may have about this incident. The frequently asked questions on https://info.starwoodhotels.com have been updated and may be further supplemented from time to time. The call center is open seven days a week and is available in multiple languages.Free Web MonitoringGuests from countries and regions listed on the site have the opportunity to enroll in web monitoring services free of charge for one year. Please visit https://info.starwoodhotels.com and click on Free Identity Monitoring to learn more.* Starwood brands include: W Hotels, St. Regis, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Element Hotels, Aloft Hotels, The Luxury Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts, Four Points by Sheraton and Design Hotels. Starwood branded timeshare properties (Sheraton Vacation Club, Westin Vacation Club, The Luxury Collection Residence Club, St. Regis Residence Club, and Vistana) are also included.Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,700 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 129 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.

AETHOS Consulting Group Shares 2019 Insights for Human Capital in Hospitality: Challenges in Finding Labor and Artificial Intelligence Among Trends in the US

AETHOS Consulting Group 3 January 2019
1. Challenges to Finding Labor for Hospitality ServicesLabor Skilled to Meet Current Travel Trends: AETHOS New York Managing Director Keith Kefgen weighs in that although lifestyle and wellness hotels have become all the rage, as every major chain is now involved, the real issue is the lack of experienced talent. "We have a plethora of mandates that demand previous 'lifestyle' and 'opening' experience. The fact is, there are not enough experienced people to fill all these roles. What happens? Companies take risks on under-qualified people, who get in over their heads.Look at the turnover rates at the well-known lifestyle companies: Schrager, Kimpton, Standard, Proper and the like - It is a veritable turnstile. More will have to be done to educate and train young managers in this arena.""And today, travelers are expecting hotels to be sensitive to wellness issues, (allergies, spas, yoga, healthy food, workouts) and so forth. Companies that can be at the forefront in the wellness arena will have a real competitive edge."Issues Restricting Labor: Due to immigration policies in North America, "finding labor will be a significant issue impacting hotels and restaurants, particularly in the United States," says Matt Peterson, Managing Director of AETHOS' office in Los Angeles. "Additionally, and with the rising costs of minimum wage and labor as a whole, now it is more important than ever to retain talent. The obvious response is to increase compensation, but it is just as important to train, mentor and provide career progression for employees."2. Use of Artificial Intelligence in the Hotel Hiring and Experience OfferingsDavid Mansbach, also Managing Director in New York, is also quick to discuss AI and its impact for human capital in hospitality." AI is the buzzword for 2019. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning is still so new; we have not yet even entered into the first inning. But for the foreseeable future, the hospitality industry should continue to embrace human interaction with the customer.""As for 'Blockchain,' get familiar with this if you are at all involved in strategy decisions." Adds Mansbach, "Blockchain technology is evolving rapidly and will change many areas of the hospitality industry including human resources, cyber-security, healthcare and the securitization of customer information."3. Revenue Management SkillsMansbach also emphasizes revenue management as a key skill set for owners and operators in all facets of hospitality moving forward. "Revenue Management Strategies are critical. Hotel owners and operators should seek the top 1% of organizations that lead in revenue management strategy and philosophy. Owners truly recognize the significance of investing in human capital and technology to win."Andrew Hazelton, Managing Director of AETHOS's office in Philadelphia sees a blending of sales and revenue management skills necessary for the next generation of "Chief Commercial Officer." "Within the hotel industry the lines of sales, marketing and revenue management will continue to blur and hotel organizations will move to a model where such functions merge together under a single point of leadership - ultimately making their businesses more efficient and effective. This is truly helpful as organizations drive toward more personalized services to meet the wants and needs of customers."4.Experiences and TechnologyIn addition to the lodging sector, AETHOS observes momentum in the restaurant and food service disciplines as well as the cruise sector. Andrew Hazelton notes, "Competition at sea will continue to be tight as demand for cruising will increase much like it did this past year. But North American-based companies such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival are not only focusing each other's customers, they are also keen to pursue those of Marriott and Hilton. With a robust pipeline of new ships to come on line these next few years, the cruise industry will continue its mantra of 'going big' in 2019, while striving to focus on 'customer experience' across all segments/types."Hazelton continues, "As for the restaurant industry, specifically the quick service restaurant segment (QSR), this sector will continue to focus time, energy and money into technology, marketing and loyalty programs. Over the last few years, companies such as Starbucks have led the push for further leveraging mobile technology and developing a 'true' loyalty program. Others will have to continue to follow."About AETHOS Consulting GroupAETHOS Consulting Group is a global advisory firm serving the hospitality industry. The firm enhances value for its partner organizations via access, know-how and fresh thinking. Core competencies include executive search, compensation consulting, business strategy and psychometric assessments. The firm is designed as a single partnership operating from ten locations in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. www.aethoscg.com.

Four Seasons Resort Orlando Offers New In-room Wine By The Glass System

Four Seasons 21 December 2018
Guests at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort enjoy premium in-room design features, such as an in-mirror television in the bathroom vanity, and an iPad for ease of making requests at the tap of a button. Now, guests in select room categories have the convenience of dispensing a glass of wine on demand at the touch of a button, through Plum, the Resort's new on-demand wine system. Guests no longer have to wait for room service to arrive and uncork the bottle before enjoying a glass.Plum is the first wine appliance that enables consumers to have a premium wine-by-the-glass experience. Plum houses two standard wine bottles and preserves each bottle for up to 90 days. The Resort offers Plum in its 68 signature suites, including the Royal Suite, Presidential Suite, Grand Suite and all Park View Suites, as well as Park View guest rooms and select accessible guest rooms.Four Seasons Resort Orlando is offering a 2016 Lyric by Etude pinot noir, and a 2016 Stag's Leap Napa Valley chardonnay, in the Plum units. The wines, available at USD 8 per 2.5 ounce glass or USD 15 for a 5 ounce pour, were selected by the Resort's team of sommeliers for their flavour profiles and general popularity. Guests can use Plum's interactive touchscreen to read more about the wine and even see photos of the vineyard. When dispensed, Plum is automatically charged to the guest's hotel folio."Plum is truly great for guests who are wine lovers, but perhaps don't wish to order an entire bottle," says Cory Saffran, Director of Food and Beverage at Four Seasons Resort Orlando. "Perhaps they wish to enjoy a glass on their guest room terrace before going to dinner. The convenience and ease of Plum are two reasons why guests love it."From a Resort operations standpoint, Plum is a time saver, as room service attendants are spending less time delivering and uncorking wine for guests. It's also ideal for personalising service. If a guest is known to love a specialty wine such as Opus One, for example, the team can arrange for Opus One to be in the Plum unit, so the guest's favourite bottle is chilled and ready when they check in to the room.For the Resort, which is Central Florida's only Five Diamond Award rated property, offering Plum is another testament to the many adult-oriented offerings the property boasts. From gourmet dining at the award-wining Capa steakhouse, named to the Wine Enthusiast list of 100 Best Wine Restaurants in the US, to an incredible Spa with six couples' suites, and a lakeside adult-only pool that is a true oasis, the Resort is ensuring "ways to keep adults happy" are front and centre.

Highgate Receives Expedia Group's 2018 EPIC Chairman Award

Highgate Hotels, L.P. 19 December 2018
Earlier this month, real estate investment and hospitality management company Highgate received the prestigious 2018 EPIC Chairman Award, Expedia Group's highest global partner award. Highgate's Chief Revenue Officer Ankur Randev proudly accepted the award on behalf of Highgate from Expedia Group's Barry Diller, chairman and senior executive, Mark Okerstrom, president and chief executive officer and Melissa Maher, senior vice president, marketing and innovation. "Highgate's three decades of industry experience have all led to our position as a leader and pioneer in the hospitality space and what we are most proud of is our reputation as trusted partner," said Highgate Chief Revenue Officer Ankur Randev. "We are constantly striving to innovate and it is with partners such as Expedia Group that we are truly able to make a mark in the industry. We look forward to what 2019 will bring and are truly honored to receive the 2018 EPIC Chairman Award." In order to be nominated for this honor, the partner must exude 'EPIC' qualities of engagement, partnership, innovation and collaboration. Expedia has found that partners who demonstrate all of these qualities produce high volumes of revenue, treat their customers with respect and of equal value to those who book with them directly and push Expedia to explore different and innovative ways of partnering together. This award further establishes Highgate as a leader in the industry and is a perfect benchmark for the great things to come from the brand in 2019.

More Ways to Chat: Four Seasons Expands Award-Winning Chat Service with the Addition of New Channels for Superior Access

Four Seasons 19 December 2018
TORONTO -- With chat apps trending and conversational commerce on the rise, Four Seasons Chat has exchanged over 3.5 million messages, allowing guests to connect with real people on property in real time, for any need, creating more opportunities to personalize the travel experience."The guest experience is our top priority, whether on property or when engaging with our brand digitally," said An innovator in the luxury hospitality mobile space, Four Seasons launched its award-winning multi-channel messaging platform in 2017 without the use of chatbots. The service is 100% powered by humans and translates 100+ languages in real time, allowing for response times averaging 90 seconds or less. Guests can use Four Seasons Chat for any inquiry or service, big or small, including requests for restaurant recommendations and reservations, ordering room service, making or altering golf or spa reservations, obtaining advice on the best nearby shopping, notifying the property of a late arrival or early checkout, ordering drinks poolside, and even ordering a private jet.About Four Seasons ChatSince launching Four Seasons Chat in October 2017, guests can send and receive instant messages with property teams before, throughout and after their stay via multiple channels. In addition to WhatsApp, guests can use the Four Seasons App, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, KakaoTalk, LINE, Apple Business Chat and SMS, with Web chat on fourseasons.com in pilot phase (with roll-out across the portfolio in 2019), offering a choice of nine channels. Four Seasons Chat is currently available in 106 Four Seasons hotels and resorts and the Four Seasons Private Jet.About Four Seasons Hotels and ResortsFounded in 1960, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continual innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. Currently operating 112 hotels and resorts, and 39 residential properties in major city centres and resort destinations in 47 countries, and with more than 50 projects under planning or development, Four Seasons consistently ranks among the world's best hotels and most prestigious brands in reader polls, traveller reviews and industry awards. For more information and reservations, visit @FourSeasonsPR on Twitter.

Park MGM's New Ideation Studio Introduces First-of-Its-Kind Convention Experience with Cisco Webex Teams

MGM 19 December 2018
The way people meet continues to evolve, and Park MGM and Cisco are ready to provide that next-level meeting experience in the new 7,000-square-foot Ideation Studio, the most recent member of elite meetings association IACC. Working with Cisco Systems, Park MGM is the world's first hotel to offer groups Cisco Webex Boards and Cisco Webex Teams, providing teams a combined real and virtual meeting space for collaborating, video calling, whiteboarding and sharing notes, files and presentations.Meeting planners, presenters and attendees will appreciate Ideation Studio's "smart" conference space's ability to recognize each person's device as they enter their designated room, regardless of the type of device, make or model. No wires and no passcodes required in this secure meeting space. The intuitive system also has the ability to capture the team's valueable meeting notes and make them and all meeting materials easily accessible long after the meeting ends, dramatically improving the meeting experience. If someone needs to join remotely, the experience is just as simple and powerful.Beyond the technology, elements within the Ideation Studio are based on behavioral science and how people interact with the environment. Chair and table height, lighting, flooring and room configurations were selected to enhance engagement and the flow of ideas. With four distinct layouts and 10 rooms for groups of six up to 24, the variety of options provide the right solution for that next strategic planning session.The technologically advanced system, along with the science-based configurations and room features, are key reasons the Ideation Studio became the newest member of IACC, an elite group of 300 conferencing venues in 26 countries that strive to represent the top 1% of meeting spaces worldwide. IACC member venues are part of a global community of companies delivering innovative and exceptional meeting experiences.Mark Cooper, IACC's CEO, said, "The designs of Park MGM's Ideation Studio have taken into consideration many of the trends and preferences from meeting planners that IACC has identified through its research. The Park MGM leadership team has poured so much dedication and passion into developing a haven for small meetings and we look forward to bringing our own events to these inspiring meeting spaces in the future."The Ideation Studio opening marks the completion of The Meeting Center at Park MGM, offering a fresh perspective that inspires interaction and connection. Easily accessible from all guest rooms and the resort lobby, the 77,000-square-foot conference area features an expansive ballroom, 29 meeting rooms, a 4,345-square-foot private outdoor terrace, and the Madison Meeting Center - also IACC certified and Las Vegas' first executive meeting center including a Daily Meeting Package (DMP). In addition to the meeting space, Park Theater, the centerpiece of Park MGM's entertainment experience, doubles as a signature event space able to accommodate up to 5,200 guests within 30,000 square feet.With a combination of modern, non-traditional spaces and flexible design, Park MGM's new meeting offerings fill an unmet need in Las Vegas. For more information or to book the new space, email Meetings@ParkMGM.com or call 800.311.5999.Ideation Studio Fast Facts:Amenities & FeaturesAll-In-One Collaboration BoardEach room comes standard with at least one state-of-the-art Cisco Webex Board allowing for full HD video teleconferencing, audio conferencing and collaboration annotative capabilitiesAdvantage: Wireless presentations, no need to connect cables to host or participate in meetingBuilt-In Whiteboard Wall SurfacesAdvantage: No more flip chartsDevice AgnosticAdvantages:Compatibility issues via devices are a thing of the pastAs attendees enter one of the Ideation Studio environments, the system will recognize their device - no codes, sign ins, wires or tutorial requiredSecure Connections to Virtual Meeting SpacesAdvantage: Continuous, secure workflow during and after meetingsAudio/Video Conferencing at Touch of a ButtonAdvantage: Easy-to-use technologyWall-mounted speakers for presentations and background musicAdvantage: Standard feature; all technology, including lighting, can be controlled from a wall-mounted touchscreenMeeting Spaces & CapacitiesColab - 1Capacity: 24 people2-55-inch Cisco Webex BoardsMedia Lounges - 2Capacity: 16 people1-70-inch Cisco Webex BoardConference Studios - 3Capacity: 11-17 people1-70-inch Cisco Webex BoardTeam Studios - 4SS Capacity: 8-12 peopleSS 1-70-inch Cisco Webex Board, 2-55-inch Cisco Webex BoardsAbout Park MGMPark MGM and NoMad Las Vegas are the newest luxury destinations on the Las Vegas Strip, offering an intimate resort experience on a grand scale. A partnership between MGM Resorts International and New York-based Sydell Group, Park MGM features 2,700 guest rooms and suites; and the Las Vegas extension of Sydell's NoMad features 293 well-appointed guest rooms and suites. The resort's remarkable culinary program features NoMad Restaurant and NoMad Bar from Will Guidara and Daniel Humm; Hogsalt Hospitality's renowned Bavette's Steakhouse; and the December 2018 debuts of L.A. legend Roy Choi's Korean BBQ concept, Best Friend; and the 40,000-square-foot vibrant Italian marketplace, Eataly, among other dining and cocktail experiences. Park Theater, the resort's entertainment destination, is a 5,200-seat venue home to special engagements by Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Britney Spears and other top entertainers. Park MGM will also become home to a unique nightlife concept from LA-based Houston Hospitality, On The Record. Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas are located in the heart of The Strip, next to the entertainment and dining neighborhood created by The Park and the 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena. Park MGM is owned by MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM). For more information and reservations, visit ParkMGM.com, call toll-free at 888-529-4828 or follow on Facebook or Twitter.About CiscoCisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide technology leader that has been making the Internet work since 1984. Our people, products, and partners help society securely connect and seize tomorrow's digital opportunity today. Discover more at newsroom.cisco.com and follow us on Twitter at @Cisco.Cisco, the Cisco logo, Cisco Systems, and Cisco IOS are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. This document is Cisco Public Information.Availability disclaimer: Many of the products and features described herein remain in varying stages of development and will be offered on a when-and-if-available basis. These products and features are subject to change at the sole discretion of Cisco, and Cisco will have no liability for delay in the delivery or failure to deliver any of the products or features set forth in this document.

Torrens University Australia and ARMA launch online qualification in revenue management

ARMA - Australian Revenue Management Association 17 December 2018
Torrens University Australia has announced that it is collaborating with the Australian Revenue Management Association (ARMA) to develop a formal qualification in revenue management.Student intakes will begin in February 2019 for the brand new Graduate Certificate in Revenue Management, which will be offered online to a global market and is aimed at industry professionals of all experience levels eager to develop their skills in the important industry sector. Students will graduate with a qualification at a level above undergraduate, with the ability to credit subjects towards a Master's degree.Torrens University General Manager - Hospitality, Jerome Casteigt, said:Torrens University Australia is Australia's fastest growing university. Our main objective at Torrens is to design and teach courses that will take graduates further in the modern workplace, arming them with industry-recognised skills with a global edge. Our connections with industry are crucial to our success and we are proud to be collaborating with ARMA to develop a qualification that will be highly valuable to hospitality professionals. The industry is growing at a rapid pace, and expertise in revenue management demands highly qualified and specialised individuals who can make a difference."Two of our key brands at Torrens - Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School and William Blue College of Hospitality Management - have over 30 years of combined hospitality education experience ranging from diplomas to postgraduate qualifications and specialisations such as this new Graduate Certificate in Revenue Management. This new program has been designed in a flexible way, to accommodate the busy schedule of working professionals looking to upskill while they are working."We're looking forward to working with ARMA to offer this course to a new generation of hospitality professionals, equipping them with skills that will ensure success in the industry," he said.ARMA's Founding Director, Melissa Kalan said, "we are delighted to be working with Torrens University Australia to offer this innovative product. This collaboration between Academia and industry specialists has led to the development of a robust, relevant and adaptive program that reflects current developments in this discipline.""Revenue managers play a vital role in improving the bottom-line in any industry which offers a product with a limited lifespan - in particular, the accommodation, cruise and airline industries. The development of a formal qualification for the accommodation industry fills a much-needed gap, highlighting the importance of RM as a critical commercial business function and provides a standard of professional training rather than a reliance on informal training," she said."Specialists in this field can now have their skills formally recognised upon completion of the Graduate Certificate. It will also assist both employers and candidates from a recruitment perspective and offers industry an avenue to meet a training obligation by investing in staff through education, which ultimately benefits their profits," she said.For Australia-based students, others eligible and for employers of staff undertaking the course, the federal government's FEE HELP program will be available to subsidise study costs.For more information, prospective students and employers should contact Torrens University Australia www.torrens.edu.auAbout Torrens UniversityTorrens University Australia (Torrens) offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Business, Education, Hospitality, Design and Health for study on-campus or online (or a hybrid of both). The University has more than 10,000 students studying through campuses located in Adelaide, Sydney, Leura, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland. Torrens is part of the global network of higher education institutions, Laureate International Universities, which has more than one million students studying at 60 institutions in 20 countries.www.torrens.edu.au

Hospitality Upgrade Selects HFTP as New Partner for the 2019 Executive Vendor Summit

HFTP 17 December 2018
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) has been selected by Hospitality Upgrade to partner for the 15th Annual Executive Vendor Summit founded by Hospitality Upgrade. The annual summit is an invitation-only, two-day conference that offers a rare combination of networking, educational programming and immersive social events for C-level executives from the world's finest hospitality technology suppliers. HFTP is a founding sponsor of the event, and this year is joining its long-time allied partner Hospitality Upgrade to plan and host the event. The 2019 event will be held at the Sonesta Bee Cave Austin on Feb. 26 -March 1, 2019."The Executive Vendor Summit is the world's only hospitality technology supplier invitational event and Hospitality Upgrade has done a phenomenal job by both supplying stellar education and by facilitating a number of hospitality technology companies' mergers, acquisitions and, most importantly, partnerships," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE. "It is such a unique experience for the attendees because they have a chance to learn about the latest happenings in the industry sitting in the same room with their competitors. By combining our organizations' reputations and skill sets, our goal is to provide our supporters a stellar experience."Past attendees include all the major property management companies, including Oracle, Agilysys, Infor, Maestro PMS, ResortSuite and Springer-Miller Systems, among others. Many partnerships have originated directly out of the event. Attendance at the Executive Vendor Summit helps attendees establish critical relationships with peers and focus on the industry's successes, challenges and opportunities. The event offers attendees interactive, high-quality educational sessions along with networking activities designed to encourage teamwork and discussion among participants. Attendees must hold the title of president or similar C-level executive position or hospitality division segment head at a technology company actively involved in the hospitality industry. Attendance is also limited in size to allow participants an optimal learning and networking experience.In addition to its traditional hotel/resort C-level panel discussion, this year's event will offer participants a chance to hear renowned business executives discuss best practices and will expand with a more global audience. It will feature extremely unique social activities germane with a Texas flair."HFTP and the annual HITEC events have an enormous reach to the many technology providers in the hotel world," said Richard Siegel, president and publisher of Hospitality Upgrade. "This year we are pooling our strengths and resources to grow and produce the best Executive Vendor Summit so far and increase our international presence."HFTP and Hospitality Upgrade are long-time allied partners working together to develop hospitality technology information and resources. Hospitality Upgrade is the exclusive technology magazine for HFTP and sponsor of HFTP events such as HITEC and the HFTP Annual Convention. HFTP is a sponsor of Hospitality Upgrade events such as its CIO Summit and the Executive Vendor Summit since its inception.Executives who would like to request an invitation to attend may contact anne@hospitalityupgrade.com. While this is not a "selling" conference, there are limited sponsorship opportunities available to companies who would like to network with this esteemed group of individuals.

World Tourism Organization Partners with Unidigital to Support Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Americas

UNWTO 14 December 2018
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) provided its support at the inauguration in Argentina of the first specialized hub for tourism in the Americas: Unidigital, with which a collaboration agreement was signed to promote innovation in tourism.Unidigital is the result of the collaboration between the public and private sectors to promote innovation in tourism. It will offer services, products and training in digital transformation in order to allow the most disruptive entrepreneurs in tourism in the Americas to develop their projects. The Hub was presented as part of the UNWTO Tourism Tech Adventure Forum, held on 11-13 December 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina."Today is a historic day because we have brought together many tourism authorities of the Americas to inaugurate this place, which is open to any entrepreneur, and where together we will do very interesting things and achieve excellent results," said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. He added: "We are committed to helping them find investors and give them the opportunity to internationalize not only in the Americas, but also beyond the continent."The Minister of Tourism of Argentina and Chair of the UNWTO Executive Council, Gustavo Santos, stressed that "innovation and tourism are allies in generating life opportunities for our people and creating employment". He added: "This reaffirms our commitment and responsibility towards this sector, which will lead human development in the years to come."Unidigital founder and CEO Felipe Duran thanked the authorities for their presence and said: "I am excited for Buenos Aires to be the gateway to the Americas, a place where art, technology and tourism come together; with our projects we are going to get involved in people's tourism."The Unidigital Hub opened in the context of the UNWTO Tourism Adventure Tech Forum, the tourism and technology forum organized by the UNWTO and the Ministry of Tourism of Argentina. The winner of the UNWTO Data Challenge 2018 was also announced at the event, Diego Turconi. This project is organized in collaboration with the ieXL of IE University, whose objective is to demonstrate the ability to generate data-driven solutions.The regional Startup Competition was won by Eduardo Zenteno del Toro, with his Nenemi project, a platform that seeks to bring Asian travellers to Mexico with potential for expansion in the Americas. He will now have the opportunity to avail Unidigital's services valued at up to 100,000 dollars.Participating in the UNWTO Tourism Tech Adventure Forum are leaders in innovation, top-level startups and key actors in the global innovation and digital transformation ecosystem.It is an unprecedented platform for entrepreneurship and tourism innovation, with the aim of creating synergies between the different actors, exchanging success stories and fostering a venture capital investment culture. Likewise, this space provides solutions to challenges related to digital transformation as a source of employment generation, competitiveness and sustainable development.In this same context, a seminar aimed at ministers of the Americas and Argentine national ministers was held on how to build successful digitalization strategies. A workshop for startups was also held, addressing the subject of motivation for tourism investors and entrepreneurship.Useful links:Forum websiteUNWTO Data Challenge websitePhotos of the event (coming soon)UNWTO Innovation, Technology and Sustainability Department

Deloitte Global Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions 2019

Deloitte Development LLP 14 December 2018
Smart speakers, already a rapidly growing market in English-speaking countries, are poised to invade the non-English-speaking world in 2019 and beyond - setting the stage, in the long term, for making computing accessible to all.Deloitte Global forecasts smart speakers will be worth US$7 billion in 2019, becoming the fastest-growing connected device category. This is according to Deloitte's 18th edition of Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions.Smart speakers are continuing to fly off shelves, selling 164 million units at an average selling price of US$43 per unit. Total industry revenues will be up 63 percent, compared to $4.3 billion in 2018. However, the industry will have to overcome looming obstacles to reach its full growth potential. Speech recognition technologies continue to improve, but wider language support will need to be developed for the technology to be inclusive and experience global adoption.The democratization of AIDeloitte also predicts that in 2019 companies will further accelerate usage of cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) software and services. Among companies using AI, 70 percent will obtain AI capabilities through cloud-based enterprise software, 65 percent will create AI applications using cloud-based development services, and by 2020, the penetration rate of enterprise software with AI built in, and cloud-based AI development services will reach an estimated 87 and 83 percent respectively."So far, AI's initial benefits have been predominantly accrued by 'tech giants' with extensive financial resources, strong IT infrastructure, and highly-specialized human capital," says Paul Sallomi, Deloitte Global Technology, Media & Telecommunications industry leader. "However, the cloud will power increased efficiencies and better returns on investment, and we expect these benefits to rapidly extend beyond AI's pioneers to the wider enterprise."The new network arrivesFifth-generation (5G) wireless networks are expected to arrive in scale, providing faster connections for consumers and enterprises, and opening revenue opportunities for telecommunication companies.Wireless operators have been pouring resources into 5G network development--in fact, 72 operators are currently testing this offering - and Deloitte forecasts that in 2019, 25 wireless operators will launch 5G service, a figure that will likely double by 2020. In total, over one million 5G handsets are expected to be sold in 2019, and that number should expand to 15-20 million units by 2020. A further million 5G pucks/modems are also predicted to sell in 2019."Wide-scale adoption of 5G devices will take time, but we believe 2019 will be the starting point for sweeping change for the wireless industry," says Craig Wigginton, Deloitte Global Telecommunications sector leader. "5G can provide hundredfold increases in traffic capacity and network efficiency over 4G, and this has transformative potential on the future of connectivity worldwide."Additional topics from Deloitte's 2019 TMT Predictions include:China's connectivity nurtures new digital business models: Deloitte predicts China will have world-leading telecommunications networks in 2019 and most likely in the medium term. Its communications infrastructure will provide a foundation for at least three significant new industries, each of which could generate tens of billions of dollars in revenue annually by 2023.Betting on sports broadcasting - Deloitte predicts that 60 percent of North American men ages 18-34 who watch sports on TV will also bet on sports. As a result, about 40 percent of all US-based TV watching by men 25-34 years old will be driven by sports betting.3D printing breaks through - Sales of enterprise 3D printers, materials, and services from large public companies will surpass $2.7 billion in 2019 and top $3 billion in 2020, growing 12.5 percent annually each year. The list of possible 3D-printable materials has more than doubled in the last five years, which (along with other improvements) has led to a rebound in the industry's growth potential.eSports continue to surge - The North American eSports market will expand by 35 percent powered by advertising, broadcast licensing, and franchise sales. North American eSports franchise leagues will expand into specific cities, following the professional sports model.Radio remains relevant - Deloitte predicts that over 85 percent of the adult population will listen to radio at least weekly in the developed world (the same proportion as in 2018), although reach will vary in the developing world. Combined, nearly 3 billion people worldwide will listen to radio weekly. In the US, Deloitte expects that more than 90 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds will listen to radio at least weekly in 2019, and will likely spend more time listening to radio than watching traditional TV by 2025.Evaluating quantum computing - Quantum computing will emerge as one of the largest new technology revenue opportunities over the next decade, but are unlikely to replace classical computers. The future quantum computing market is expected to be comparable to that the supercomputer market - around $50 billion per year by the 2030s.China expands technological prowess - Revenues for Chinese-manufactured semiconductors will grow by 25 percent to $120 billion, solidifying China as a globally-significant player in manufacturing and AI development. China will also have world-leading telecommunications in 2019, expanding possibilities for enterprise capabilities and interpersonal communication."2019 will be defined by how new technologies steadily reshape how we live and work," says Mark Casey, Deloitte Global Telecommunications, Media & Entertainment sector leader. "From smart speakers to 5G networks, and everywhere in between, accessibility to advanced technologies is quickly improving. As the barriers continue to fall, the potential for greater connectivity and further innovation will increase exponentially."Now in its 18th year, Deloitte Global's annual TMT Predictions provide an outlook on key trends in the technology, media, and telecommunications industry sectors worldwide. Visit Deloitte.com/predictions to learn more and connect with us on Twitter: @DeloitteTMT and #DeloittePredicts.

Crowne Plaza And The School Of Life To Offer An Emotionally Intelligent Hotel Experience

IHG 14 December 2018
New hotel team training programme 'Dare to Connect' aims to enhance guest experience at Crowne PlazaTraining modules created by emotional intelligence experts The School of Life to roll out across Crowne Plaza hotels in 2019Leading business travel hotel brand, Crowne Plaza has launched a new training programme to help hotel team members become more attuned to guests' needs through a heightened awareness of the skills of emotional intelligence. The training programme called "Dare to Connect" has been developed using bespoke 'Life Skills' modules, created by emotional intelligence experts at The School of Life and will help to upskill Crowne Plaza team members who work across the brand's 98 hotels in Europe.The training, run by Heads of Departments at each hotel, will focus on developing six core emotional intelligence skills: vulnerability, self-belief, connection, anticipation, authenticity, and perseverance. Those who participate in the training will learn ways to alleviate guests' anxiety by responding to, and anticipating the particular emotional needs people can experience when they are travelling for work.By applying these skills to their day to day roles, team members will be better able to recognise cues in guests' behaviour and make natural and authentic connections with guests without following a script.A trial run of the training programme across four Crowne Plaza properties in the UK - Leeds, Manchester City Centre, Newcastle Stephenson Quarter, and Dublin Blanchardstown - has delivered promising initial results. Compared with previous years, the overall service scores grew by at least four percentage points, and overall experience scores grew by up to five per cent. Furthermore, the hotels saw an influx of positive guest reviews.Mike Greenup, Vice President, Marketing for Crowne Plaza said: "While we understand that business travellers appreciate efficient and functional service, we've seen how applying an added layer of empathy to our guest interactions, greatly improves the stay experience. The School of Life is really helping us achieve this by equipping our team members with the tools to give them confidence to deliver this deeper, more emotional level of service."Sarah Stein, Head of Content at The School of Life said: "Emotionally intelligent connections between hotel team members and travellers helps create a positive feedback loop. Customers want to return to a brand not only because the products or services are good, but because they feel, in a more significant way, that they are understood and belong there. Guests are far more likely to continue using a service and to praise it if they feel this connection."In addition to the modules provided for the 'Dare to Connect' emotional intelligence training, The School of Life will provide Crowne Plaza hotels with tangible service enablers to support better guest connections. These include:* Destination postcards - To be given to guests as a gift at check in, to encourage moments of connection both with Crowne Plaza colleagues and with friends and family back home* Better Meetings tool - A box of questions, games and activities designed to help guests have more engaging and productive meetingsThe 'Dare to Connect' training programme will roll-out across Crowne Plaza hotels in Europe from 2019 onwards.

Record exhibitor numbers at the eTravel World

Messe Berlin GmbH 14 December 2018
Fully booked, bigger and with even more international exhibitors, the eTravel World now occupies three halls - Over 250 Travel Tech exhibitors are expected to attend - Payment solutions are a key topic - New segment at ITB Berlin: the marketplace for Technology, Tours & Activities (TTA)Demand by exhibitors for the Travel Technology segment is high. Despite the display area growing by around 20 per cent the eTravel World is already sold out and has a long waiting list. In the Travel Technology halls (5.1, 8.1 and 10.1) alone, where the focus is on distribution systems, travel agency / tour operator software and hospitality technologies, over 170 exhibitors are expected to attend. In order to satisfy the space requirements of this fast-growing segment at ITB Berlin the eTravel World now occupies three halls. From 6 to 9 March 2019 over 80 exhibitors from 20 countries will be presenting their innovations in the usual halls (6.1 and 7.1c) as well as in Hall 7.1b. Established companies and ambitious startups will be showcasing their latest products and ideas for the entire tourism industry, including booking systems, smart data specialists, payment systems and hotel apps. Experts will also be highlighting the latest developments in the world of apps, mobile websites, social media and blogging.Rapid exhibitor growth has led to a rise in international numbers and an increase in startups in particular. As well as regular exhibitors from France and Spain such as the startup platform Paris Welcome Lab and the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX), Israel and Ireland will also be represented at the eTravel World with national stands for startups. With more than a dozen first-time exhibitors, including BookingSuite, Travelor, Loopon, Ratehawk, Atomize and Gastromatic, the Hospitality Tech segment also reports strong growth. The number of tech companies offering payment systems and solutions which will be exhibiting at the show has also risen. In addition to the major players Wirecard and Concardis, big-name market leaders including Paypal, Six Payment Solutions and eCommpay will also be taking part."The growing interest shown by new exhibitors clearly reflects the dynamic situation in this market. Moreover, with their steady stream of new developments, established web and travel technology players are bringing more and more new solutions to ITB Berlin. At the same time a lot of startups are entering niche markets and can look forward to new business", said David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin.Experts provide a fresh impetus at the eTravel Lab and on the eTravel StageTwo of the major factors contributing to the eTravel World's success are the innovative sessions on the eTravel Stage in Hall 6.1 and the workshops at the eTravel Lab, now in Hall 7.1b. Keynote speeches by representatives of market leaders such as the Lufthansa Innovation Hub and Tripadvisor as well as lectures on AI and voice control will be providing new information on the key industry that is the travel technology market.On 6 March 2019, the Wednesday of the fair, one of the key topics will be payment systems. The market leaders Amazon Pay and Wirecard will be discussing this topic at numerous eTravel Lab sessions with the audience. Afterwards, the Technology, Tours & Activities (TTA) Forum will be celebrating its debut. Lectures and workshops will have updates on the latest developments in In-Destination Services, a new segment at ITB Berlin.On the afternoon of Thursday, 7 March 2019, the Hospitality Tech Forum in cooperation with the Hospitality Industry Club will be hosting a number of new panels on customer relationship management systems (CRM), revenue management, guest communications and best case studies on upselling. Events will also include lectures on digitalisation and technology in the hotel industry, with a focus on AI, distribution and payment systems.On Friday, 8 March on the eTravel Stage, the eTravel Start-Up Day will be offering startups from around the world a platform and examining numerous perspectives on the future of the travel industry. Pitch 'n Panel is a new event format where industry specialists will be hosting investor panels and discussion rounds along with brief pitches from startups. Topics for discussion will be hospitality, aviation, mobility, travel bookings and services. Moreover, startups will be invited to present their products which have won competitions both at home and abroad. Co-organised with the Hospitality Industry Club, another new event, the Hotel Camp, will be taking place in Hall 7.1b on 9 March, the Saturday of ITB Berlin.For more information on the eTravel World please visit www.itb-berlin.com/etravel.

HSMAI Successfully Launches ROC Middle East In Dubai

HSMAI 7 December 2018
On December 4, for the first time in the association's history, the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) hosted its renowned Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC) in Dubai. This was ROC's fifth global event of the year, other ROC locations include The United States, The Netherlands, Singapore, and Brazil. ROC's hugely successful launch at Madinat Jumeirah brought together Revenue Management, Distribution, Sales and Marketing executives in the hotel industry with a programme compiled of education, collaboration and innovation. Each year, ROC delivers the most compelling and comprehensive revenue management event for the hotel industry."The Middle East is one of the most rapidly expanding markets for hospitality--we're pleased to bring timely insights into revenue optimization to the region's hotel professionals," said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI.The inaugural event attracted 200 hotel commercial executives, travel technology and key partners in the hospitality industry, with professionals travelling from throughout the middle east as well as internationally to attend. The one-day general session strategy conference featured an opening keynote presentation on global consumer trends by Lorraine Sileo, SVP, research and business operations, of PhocusWright, Inc. Additional programming throughout the day included panels on pricing strategy, digital marketing, key revenue management topics, and did not miss on covering MICE and the value proposition of hotel restaurants and bars.HSMAI ROC Middle East also featured an impressive partner showcase; Gold Partners included Almosafer, Cendyn and Duetto; Silver Partner included Illusions, iWTX, Jumeirah and Tajawal; amongst another 19 Bronze and support partners."HSMAI is delighted that ROC has been so well received by both our regional and international attendees, and we are excited to showcase an even more compelling line up of speakers and discussions next year. HSMAI is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners, and we are the industry's leading advocates for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. We look forward to further engaging with the regional hospitality community and expanding our network of hotel professionals and partners to provide them with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue in the Middle East', said Mona Faraj, managing director of the HSMAI Middle East Chapter.To learn more about HSMAI and becoming a member please visit the HSMAI Middle East website

Nytec Presents the World's Largest Deployed IoT-based Guest Experience Platform at HITEC Dubai 2018

naseba Communications Fz.L.L.C 6 December 2018
The goal for Nytec was to enhance the overall Carnival cruise experience and profitability by developing a portfolio of attractive and desirable accessories that will hold the cruise Medallion, while serving as a form of personal expression for each passenger both on ship and post cruise.When looked at in numbers, it is absolutely remarkable. Vincent said, "It was an extensive platform where we touched every part of the customer journey and operations making it a frictionless experience for guests. We installed over 7000 sensors on the ship, designed and engineered the hotel room door access with Assa Abloy, and the Medallion a wearable that enables secure transitions and personalized experiences for each guest. Added to that were 700,000 feet of cables, 1000 readers and 3000 touch displays."Talking about basic improvements, Vincent said, "A great example of how we transformed not only the guest experience, but operations too are photos. Before we got involved, Carnival printed every picture on the ship. Now it's tied to each guest, visible on 82" touch displays, and the guest can access and purchase these well beyond the vacation. This transformed not only how guest access their photos but the operations too. There is no more printing required so there is no need to have paper or colour printers and ink on the ship which has reduced considerable weight."Endorsed by Dubai Tourism and co-produced by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and Naseba, HITEC Dubai brought together top industry experts to present ground-breaking regional and international case studies, thought provoking panel discussions and game-changing technology demonstrations. The two-day expo was held at the Madinat Jumeirah Dubai from 5-6 December with an aim to facilitate knowledge sharing, networking and deal flow amongst hoteliers and hospitality technology providers.For more information or to register for HITEC Dubai 2018 visit www.hitec-dubai.com/Call Amir Abdin on +971 44 55 7920 or Rouf Hyder Beigh +971 44 55 79 32About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is a global non-profit hospitality association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, that uniquely understands the industry's problems. HFTP has members and stakeholders across the globe. HFTP assists its members in finding solutions to industry problems more efficiently than any organization via its expert networks, research, conferences such as HITEC and certification programs. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segment of the hospitality industry.About NASEBANaseba offers global business facilitation services. The company creates growth opportunities by bringing together people, partners and ideas. It helps clients raise capital, enter new markets, secure partners, close sales and educate workforces. Naseba's goal is to create opportunity and add economic value at every stage of its client's journey. It does this through three key areas: investor services, commercial services and leadership services. Since inception in 2002, Naseba has facilitated deals totalling billions of dollars for its clients. The company has connected over 100,000 global executives through more than 1,000 proprietary business platforms and is an expert in growth markets.

HITEC Dubai 2018 Connects World's Leading Hospitality Technology Providers with Hoteliers from the Middle East

naseba Communications Fz.L.L.C 6 December 2018
Frank Wolfe CAE, CEO of HFTP, said, "The continued growth of HITEC Dubai is testament to the massive opportunity that exists for hospitality technology providers in the Middle East. Our core aim is to gather hospitality and technology leaders to share their success stories and tackle common challenges."This year's edition showcased the latest trends and innovations emerging at the local, regional and global level. For the first time in Dubai, HFTP's expanding Entrepreneur20X (E20X) competition was introduced to give a unique opportunity for startups to present their breakthrough business concepts to the industry. Taking centre-stage at the show was Promobot, an intelligent humanoid robot. The show conference featured many extraordinary presentations such as Expo 2020 Hotel of the Future by Emaar and the World's Largest IoT Deployment in Hospitality by Nytec.HITEC Dubai's Advisory Council Chairperson Laurent A. Voivenel, Senior Vice President, Operations and Development for the Middle East, Africa and India for Swiss-Belhotel International, said, "HITEC Dubai was a great success. The expo brought together hospitality and technology professionals to discuss the potential of emerging technologies in the Middle East geared at enhancing guest experiences and operational efficiency. It was very interesting to see and explore the latest innovations shaping our industry and opening new opportunities for growth."For more information or to register for HITEC Dubai 2018 visit www.hitec-dubai.comCall Amir Abdin on +971 44 55 7920 or Rouf Hyder Beigh +971 44 55 79 32About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is a global non-profit hospitality association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, that uniquely understands the industry's problems. HFTP has members and stakeholders across the globe. HFTP assists its members in finding solutions to industry problems more efficiently than any organization via its expert networks, research, conferences such as HITEC and certification programs. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segment of the hospitality industry.About NasebaNaseba offers global business facilitation services. The company creates growth opportunities by bringing together people, partners and ideas. It helps clients raise capital, enter new markets, secure partners, close sales and educate workforces. Naseba's goal is to create opportunity and add economic value at every stage of its client's journey. It does this through three key areas: investor services, commercial services and leadership services. Since inception in 2002, Naseba has facilitated deals totalling billions of dollars for its clients. The company has connected over 100,000 global executives through more than 1,000 proprietary business platforms and is an expert in growth markets.About Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism)With the ultimate vision of positioning Dubai as the world's leading tourism destination and commercial hub, Dubai Tourism's mission is to increase the awareness of Dubai among global audiences and to attract tourists and inward investment into the emirate. Dubai Tourism is the principal authority for the planning, supervision, development and marketing of Dubai's tourism sector. It markets and promotes the Emirate's commerce sector, and is responsible for the licensing and classification of all tourism services, including hotels, tour operators and travel agents. Brands and departments within the Dubai Tourism portfolio include Dubai Business Events, Dubai Calendar, and Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment.

Hospitality Experts Come Together to Discuss the Future of the Industry Driven by Technology at HITEC Dubai 2018

Swiss-Belhotel 5 December 2018
Kicking off the proceedings today at the HITEC Dubai's global stage was a session on Futuristic Talk moderated by Nicholas Watson, CDO of Naseba. Participating on the panel was HITEC Dubai's Advisory Council Chairperson Laurent A. Voivenel, Senior Vice President, Operations and Development for the Middle East, Africa and India for Swiss-Belhotel International; Mahmoud Kamal, CIO, Habtoor Hospitality; Ajay Rathi, Group Sr. Director IT, MERAAS; and Lyle Worthington, Group CIO The Student Hotel.Nicholas stated, "The future of the hospitality industry in the Middle East, like the rest of the world, is being shaped by unparalleled advances in technology. Hotels are compelled to rethink the hotel design, guest services, experiences and concepts in keeping with the travellers' expectations. Emerging technologies like virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, blockchain, are all taking the first steps and it is interesting to hear from the experts in the industry on how they are embracing these innovations."Commenting on the future of hospitality, Laurent stressed, "Innovations in hotel technologies are, no doubt, opening up new opportunities for optimizing guest experiences and enhancing operational excellence. However, the future of hospitality lies in having the right mix of technology and human touch. It is important to understand the existing ecosystem and adapt the best practices to boost efficiency and competitiveness as well as guest satisfaction. What is required is a structured approach to tap the great potential of technology. Like everything else, it is a two-way process and needs to have a conversation engaging customers to offer a personalized experience that makes travellers' lives easier, simpler & more convenient."Speaking about automation, Mahmoud Kamal, CIO, Habtoor Hospitality, said, "Technology continues to transform the hospitality industry revolutionizing every aspect of the business. Having an integrated network of systems will enable hotels to build and foster the necessary connections for guests in order to cater to their requests and predict their needs. Currently, there is a great deal of work under way related to in-room automation to help bring the smart home concept of integrated and connected solutions into the hotel room."For more information or to register for HITEC Dubai 2018 visit https://www.hitec-dubai.com/Call Amir Abdin on +971 44 55 7920 or Rouf Hyder Beigh +971 44 55 79 32About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is a global non-profit hospitality association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, that uniquely understands the industry's problems. HFTP has members and stakeholders across the globe. HFTP assists its members in finding solutions to industry problems more efficiently than any organization via its expert networks, research, conferences such as HITEC and certification programs. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segment of the hospitality industry.About NASEBANaseba offers global business facilitation services. The company creates growth opportunities by bringing together people, partners and ideas. It helps clients raise capital, enter new markets, secure partners, close sales and educate workforces. Naseba's goal is to create opportunity and add economic value at every stage of its client's journey. It does this through three key areas: investor services, commercial services and leadership services. Since inception in 2002, Naseba has facilitated deals totalling billions of dollars for its clients. The company has connected over 100,000 global executives through more than 1,000 proprietary business platforms and is an expert in growth markets.About Swiss-Belhotel InternationalSwiss-Belhotel International currently manages a portfolio of more than 150* hotels, resorts and projects located in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Australia, New Zealand, Bulgaria, Georgia, Italy and Tanzania. Awarded Indonesia's Leading Global Hotel Chain for six consecutive years, Swiss-Belhotel International is one of the world's fastest-growing international hotel and hospitality management groups. The Group provides comprehensive and highly professional development and management services in all aspects of hotel, resort and serviced residences. Offices are located in Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, China, Europe, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam. www.swiss-belhotel.com*Numbers may fluctuate

Emaar Hospitality Group Presents Industry-First Projects Including 'Expo 2020 Hotel of the Future' at HITEC Dubai 2018

Emaar Hospitality Group 5 December 2018
What will the hotel of the future be like in Dubai? Speaking at the HITEC conference, Olivier Harnisch, CEO of Emaar Hospitality Group, said, "Emaar Hospitality Group has paved the way for creating an innovative hospitality landscape in Dubai, offering a range of experiences, from luxury to contemporary midscale. We aim to be the most innovative hospitality company and are excited to meld the best of technology with the warmth of human touch. The future of our industry is being defined by the all-encompassing digital transformation. Over the past year we have introduced a series of digital innovations that cover all the touch points focused on enhancing the guest experience. Continuing our journey, we look forward to showing the best that technology and human ingenuity has to offer at Expo 2020."Frank Wolfe CAE, CEO of HFTP, said, "Expo 2020 is driving growth in Dubai as the emirate aims to complete 160,000 hotel rooms in time to welcome an additional five million visitors during the event. In preparation of the expected 25 million visitors the city has made unprecedented investments in its infrastructure and hospitality sector to cater for the influx of travellers. The hotel industry is going through a period of unparalleled changes. As in other parts of the world, technology is playing a crucial role in the future of hospitality industry while propelling Dubai's transition to a knowledge-based economy by 2021. It is exciting to see at HITEC Dubai how Emaar Hospitality Group's is leading the way with industry-first digital transformation initiatives aimed at enhancing the guest experience and operational excellence."HITEC Dubai 2018, the Middle East's largest hospitality technology exhibition and conference, is endorsed by Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM). Co-produced by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and Naseba, this year's expo, which is taking place at the Madinat Jumeirah Dubai from 5-6 December, is showcasing innovative solutions from the world's leading hospitality technology providers.For more information or to register for HITEC Dubai 2018 visit https://www.hitec-dubai.com/Call Amir Abdin on +971 44 55 7920 or Rouf Hyder Beigh +971 44 55 79 32About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is a global non-profit hospitality association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, that uniquely understands the industry's problems. HFTP has members and stakeholders across the globe. HFTP assists its members in finding solutions to industry problems more efficiently than any organization via its expert networks, research, conferences such as HITEC and certification programs. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segment of the hospitality industry.About NASEBANaseba offers global business facilitation services. The company creates growth opportunities by bringing together people, partners and ideas. It helps clients raise capital, enter new markets, secure partners, close sales and educate workforces. Naseba's goal is to create opportunity and add economic value at every stage of its client's journey. It does this through three key areas: investor services, commercial services and leadership services. Since inception in 2002, Naseba has facilitated deals totalling billions of dollars for its clients. The company has connected over 100,000 global executives through more than 1,000 proprietary business platforms and is an expert in growth markets.About Emaar Hospitality GroupEmaar Hospitality Group LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emaar Properties PJSC, the Dubai-based global property developer, and manages Emaar's hospitality and leisure projects globally.Defining its competency in managing mixed-use property developments, Emaar Hospitality Group owns and manages a diversified portfolio of assets including hotels, serviced residences, golf clubs, polo club, marina and lifestyle dining restaurants. Emaar Hospitality Group has defined its credentials in the hotel industry with its distinctive hotel brands - Address Hotels + Resorts and Vida Hotels and Resorts.Address Hotels + Resorts has brought a fresh identity to the global hospitality and service sector by setting new benchmarks with its gracious hospitality and exceptional service standards. Address offers a more personal and engaging experience to guests in a premium lifestyle environment, enriching the lives of its guests with luxury, style and elegance. Address Hotels + Resorts is set to operate hotels and serviced residences in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Bahrain, Maldives and other key markets in the region as well as in the UAE.An upscale lifestyle hotel and residences brand, Vida Hotels and Resorts is for the new generation of business executives, entrepreneurs and leisure travellers. Positioned as a lively and vibrant hub where inspiring minds can create, connect and come alive, Vida hotels are a stimulating environment where style meets convenience and interactivity. Vida Hotels and Resorts has two properties in Dubai and is set to operate hotels and serviced residences in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and other key markets in the region as well as in the UAE. Underlining its strength and contribution to shaping the hospitality sector of the nation, Emaar Hospitality Group has been awarded as the Official Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai and will provide authentic experiences with a strong local flavour at various locations across the Expo 2020 site, including VIP clubs and lounges, as well as in its hotels and restaurants in Dubai.

Marriott Announces Starwood Guest Reservation Database Security Incident

Marriott 30 November 2018
On September 8, 2018, Marriott received an alert from an internal security tool regarding an attempt to access the Starwood guest reservation database in the United States. Marriott quickly engaged leading security experts to help determine what occurred. Marriott learned during the investigation that there had been unauthorized access to the Starwood network since 2014. The company recently discovered that an unauthorized party had copied and encrypted information, and took steps towards removing it. On November 19, 2018, Marriott was able to decrypt the information and determined that the contents were from the Starwood guest reservation database.The company has not finished identifying duplicate information in the database, but believes it contains information on up to approximately 500 million guests who made a reservation at a Starwood property. For approximately 327 million of these guests, the information includes some combination of name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences. For some, the information also includes payment card numbers and payment card expiration dates, but the payment card numbers were encrypted using Advanced Encryption Standard encryption (AES-128). There are two components needed to decrypt the payment card numbers, and at this point, Marriott has not been able to rule out the possibility that both were taken. For the remaining guests, the information was limited to name and sometimes other data such as mailing address, email address, or other information.Marriott reported this incident to law enforcement and continues to support their investigation. The company has already begun notifying regulatory authorities.We deeply regret this incident happened, said Arne Sorenson, Marriotts President and Chief Executive Officer. We fell short of what our guests deserve and what we expect of ourselves. We are doing everything we can to support our guests, and using lessons learned to be better moving forward.Today, Marriott is reaffirming our commitment to our guests around the world. We are working hard to ensure our guests have answers to questions about their personal information, with a dedicated website and call center. We will also continue to support the efforts of law enforcement and to work with leading security experts to improve. Finally, we are devoting the resources necessary to phase out Starwood systems and accelerate the ongoing security enhancements to our network, Mr. Sorenson continued.Guest SupportMarriott has taken the following steps to help guests monitor and protect their information:Dedicated Website and Call CenterWe have established a dedicated website (info.starwoodhotels.com) and call center to answer questions you may have about this incident. The frequently-asked questions on info.starwoodhotels.com may be supplemented from time to time. The call center is open seven days a week and is available in multiple languages. Call volume may be high, and we appreciate your patience.Email NotificationMarriott will begin sending emails on a rolling basis starting today, November 30, 2018, to affected guests whose email addresses are in the Starwood guest reservation database.Free WebWatcher EnrollmentMarriott is providing guests the opportunity to enroll in WebWatcher free of charge for one year. WebWatcher monitors internet sites where personal information is shared and generates an alert to the consumer if evidence of the consumers personal information is found. Due to regulatory and other reasons, WebWatcher or similar products are not available in all countries. Guests from the United States who activate WebWatcher will also be provided fraud consultation services and reimbursement coverage for free. To activate WebWatcher, go to info.starwoodhotels.com and click on your country, if listed, for enrollment.Marriott is furnishing a Form 8-K with the SEC attaching a copy of this press release and presenting certain other information with respect to the incident.* Starwood brands include: W Hotels, St. Regis, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Element Hotels, Aloft Hotels, The Luxury Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Le Mridien Hotels & Resorts, Four Points by Sheraton and Design Hotels. Starwood branded timeshare properties are also included.

HTNG Launches the Travel Information Sharing and Analysis Center

HTNG 29 November 2018
Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) forms the Travel Information Sharing and Analysis Center (Travel ISAC), the global travel industry's new platform for security messaging, collaboration and partnerships.Building on HTNG's long history of security communication, awareness and standards building, the Travel ISAC signifies an evolution of HTNG's Chief Information Security Officers' (CISO) Forum.The Travel ISAC will further bring together the $8 trillion travel industry to collectively defend customers, staff and assets against the constantly evolving threat landscape. This expansion includes participants from many travel industry segments, including leisure and business travel, non-airline transit such as car rentals and rail, venues, time shares and vacation rentals, cruise lines, casinos, destination management organizations and much more."HTNG recognizes the need to 'secure the journey,' across all travel related segments, by protecting guests, staff and corporate assets," said Patrick Dunphy, CIO of HTNG. "The Travel ISAC will now make that objective achievable."Michael Blake, CEO of HTNG adds, "We've seen our CISO Forum pave the way for secure communication between hotels, and it's very exciting to now advance as the Travel ISAC to grow and strengthen our relationship with other travel verticals."By engaging senior security leaders and analyst resources, the the Travel ISAC will fulfill its mission by:Sharing relevant and critical information security issues as quickly as they happen in a trusted, confidential mannerCoordinating response to achieve best-in-class capabilitiesDeveloping industry specific security best practices, architectures and other materials that mature industry security postureEngaging law enforcement and other governmental agenciesFor more information, please visit the Travel ISAC Webpage or contact Patrick Dunphy at patrick@htng.org.

HITEC Dubai 2018 Announces Entrepreneur 20X Competition for Startups

HFTP 28 November 2018
HITEC Dubai 2018, the Middle East's largest hospitality technology exhibition and conference, has opened a unique opportunity for startups to present their breakthrough business concepts at the show by participating in HFTP's expanding Entrepreneur20X (E20X) competition. The E20X start-up competition at HITEC Dubai will be held on Wednesday, December 5 from 11:50 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. and is open to all attendees.Competitors will receive fabulous exposure and validation from top companies by presenting their ideas to a room full of HITEC attendees, as well as a panel of expert judges including hospitality CIOs, angel investors, serial entrepreneurs and industry insiders. The winner, determined by the judges' panel, will be rewarded the opportunity to pitch at either the HITEC Europe or HITEC Minneapolis E20X competitions in 2019. This includes an exhibition kiosk in the E20X Innovation Lab, two full conference registrations at the corresponding conference, and extensive media coverage via HFTP's BYTES and Pineapplesearch hospitality industry news distribution networks.Frank Wolfe CAE, CEO of HFTP, said, "The E20X competition has been designed to celebrate innovation and entrepreneurship while giving businesses the opportunity to become part of a global network at HITEC Dubai. We are eager to encourage and incentivize such experiments even if it is a work in progress and can be improved by others in the know. We believe it is critical to value innovation and disruption as we move towards the future driven by technology. And startups are at the forefront of this transformation."To qualify for E20X competition, the startup must be less than three years old, have at least a demo version of the product / service, should not have raised more than $100K of investments and have a hospitality solution.HITEC Dubai Advisory Council chairperson Laurent A. Voivenel, senior vice president of Operations and Development for the Middle East, Africa and India for Swiss-Belhotel International, said, "HITEC Dubai is a great platform and vehicle for startups to get the much-needed exposure and recognition by leading players in the industry. Large companies have the resources and the brand reputation, but it is the startups that are fostering major disruptions in our industry due to their innovative ideas and thinking. We are very excited to see those ideas emerge at HITEC Dubai which could possibly become the next big thing."HITEC Dubai will be inaugurated by Dubai Tourism and will give Middle East buyers, currently worth over USD 75 billion, access to the worlds leading technology solution providers and experts in the hospitality sector. Co-produced by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and Naseba, the two-day trade show will be held at the Madinat Jumeirah Dubai.

Robots and Humans to Work Together at HITEC Dubai 2018

naseba Communications Fz.L.L.C 28 November 2018
For the first time, a robot will initiate the proceedings at HITEC Dubai 2018, the Middle Easts largest hospitality technology exhibition and conference taking place at the Madinat Jumeirah Dubai on 5th and 6th December 2018. Taking centre-stage at the show will be a Promobot, an intelligent humanoid robot.Frank Wolfe CAE, CEO of HFTP, said, Hospitality robots are clearly at a tipping point. They're now cost-effective to build, are attaining cultural acceptance, and use sophisticated technology to safely live and work among us. We are delighted to have a robot leading the conference at HITEC Dubai.Mr. Amro Kamel, the group owner stated, We took the lead in understanding the need of introducing the essence of Robotic Technology in the region. Today we are the largest distributor of PROMOBOT, TECHMETICS, LEA and are delighted to showcase our latest products at the HITEC Dubai.A report released by McKinsey & Company recently suggested that by 2030, as many as 800 million workers globally could be replaced by robots. Even if automation adoption is slower than anticipated, as many as 400 million people could still be affected. However, according to World Economic Forum (WEF), robots in workplace could create double the jobs they destroy. It said about 133 million jobs could be created worldwide with the help of rapid technological advances in the workplace over the next decade, compared with 75 million that could be displaced.HITEC Dubai's Advisory Council Chairperson Laurent A. Voivenel, Senior Vice President, Operations and Development for the Middle East, Africa and India for Swiss-Belhotel International, said, Over the last decade technology has led to drastic transformation in the hospitality sector globally as well as regionally which has boosted competitiveness and efficiency in our industry while creating new opportunities. Theres no denying that robots are becoming common helpers in hospitality, showing up in hotels and restaurants around the world from Japans all-robot hotel to other parts of the globe. It a growing trend and extremely useful in certain areas and we are excited to see the new developments in the field at HITEC.HITEC Dubai will be inaugurated by Dubai Tourism and will give Middle East buyers, currently worth over USD 75 billion, access to the worlds leading technology solution providers and experts in the hospitality sector. The two-day trade show is co-produced by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and Naseba.About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is a global non-profit hospitality association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, that uniquely understands the industrys problems. HFTP has members and stakeholders across the globe. HFTP assists its members in finding solutions to industry problems more efficiently than any organization via its expert networks, research, conferences such as HITEC and certification programs. HFTP also owns the worlds only hospitality specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segment of the hospitality industry.About NASEBANaseba offers global business facilitation services. The company creates growth opportunities by bringing together people, partners and ideas. It helps clients raise capital, enter new markets, secure partners, close sales and educate workforces. Nasebas goal is to create opportunity and add economic value at every stage of its clients journey. It does this through three key areas: investor services, commercial services and leadership services. Since inception in 2002, Naseba has facilitated deals totalling billions of dollars for its clients. The company has connected over 100,000 global executives through more than 1,000 proprietary business platforms and is an expert in growth markets.About Dubais Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism)With the ultimate vision of positioning Dubai as the worlds leading tourism destination and commercial hub, Dubai Tourisms mission is to increase the awareness of Dubai among global audiences and to attract tourists and inward investment into the emirate. Dubai Tourism is the principal authority for the planning, supervision, development and marketing of Dubai's tourism sector. It markets and promotes the Emirates commerce sector, and is responsible for the licensing and classification of all tourism services, including hotels, tour operators and travel agents. Brands and departments within the Dubai Tourism portfolio include Dubai Business Events, Dubai Calendar, and Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment.

Why revenue strategy is the answer to today's hotel challenges

Kalibri Labs 27 November 2018
Kalibri Labs CEO & Co-founder, Cindy Estis Green, explains why the industry has reached a point where it needs to manage costs of acquisition in a similar way as it manages labor costs. Operating in the digital world calls for a move to Revenue Strategy which is very different than the traditional approach taken in the analog world because it integrates all of the revenue generation disciplines and has a focus on profit contribution.

STR, TE lower U.S. hotel growth projections in final forecast of 2018

STR 15 November 2018
STR and Tourism Economics' final U.S. hotel forecast revision of this year projects a lower level of performance growth for 2018 and 2019. "Our last forecast update in August had RevPAR growth at 3.2% and 2.6% for 2018 and 2019, respectively," said Amanda Hite, STR's president and CEO. "We knew the third quarter of this year would be tough because of comparisons with the post-hurricane demand period of 2017, but demand still came in lower than expected. Regardless, industry performance is still growing. There are issues such as rising labor costs, but the macroeconomic environment remains favorable overall, and the industry's record-breaking run should continue through at least 2019 even with softening in overall growth."2018For the total year, the U.S. hotel industry is projected to report a 0.4% increase in occupancy to 66.2%, a 2.6% rise in average daily rate (ADR) to US$129.99 and a 3.0% lift in revenue per available room (RevPAR) to US$86.00. RevPAR has grown at least 3.0% for each year since 2010. The Luxury, Economy and Independent chain scale segments are likely to match for the largest increase in occupancy (+0.7%). Luxury is expected to post the highest growth rates in ADR (+3.5%) and RevPAR (+4.2%). While all segments should report RevPAR increases for 2018, the lowest rate of RevPAR growth is projected in the Upper Midscale segment (+1.7%). Twenty-three of the Top 25 Markets are projected to report RevPAR growth for the year. While most markets are projected in the 0% to +5.0% range, five are expected to see growth in the range of +5% and +10%: Chicago, Illinois; Miami/Hialeah, Florida;Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota-Wisconsin; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-New Jersey; and San Francisco/San Mateo, California. The two markets expected to show a decrease in RevPAR, each between -5% and 0%, are Houston, Texas, and Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia. 2019For 2019, STR and Tourism Economics project the U.S. hotel industry to report a 0.1% increase in occupancy to 66.2%, a 2.3% lift in ADR to US$133.04 and a 2.4% rise in RevPAR to US$88.07.The highest overall rate of RevPAR growth (+2.3%) is expected in the Luxury, Midscale and Independent segments, while the lowest (+1.9%) is projected among Upscale and Upper Midscale chains. Different from 2018, Minneapolis is the lone Top 25 Market projected to report a negative RevPAR percent change for the year--this is due largely to the difficult-to-match comparison with the Super Bowl year. The remaining 24 markets are expected to post growth between 0% and 5%.

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