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    November 14โ€“15, 2017
    Conrad Dubai
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Global Hotel Groups Support HFTP's Hospitality Certification Programs

HFTP ยท8h
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) offers two certification programs that are globally recognized for setting industry standards for hospitality finance and technology professionals: Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE) and Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP). These certification programs have been named a requirement for information technology and accounting employees at Rosewood Hotel Group, Two Roads Hospitality and Accorhotels Group - which operate Fairmont branded hotels.Accorhotels Group recently followed suit with Rosewood and Two Roads Hospitality by not only having their employees become a member of HFTP, but also requiring their group to become CHAE certified. In 2016, Rosewood Hotel Group set the requirement for its information technology staff to become CHTP certified - this was the first group certification HFTP coordinated."Hospitality professionals recognize the importance of committing to continuing education in order to comply with evolving industry practices," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "Group certification allows organizations to match industry experience with essential hospitality knowledge. Hospitality certification helps professionals elevate their knowledge and career path, leading to higher salaries and increased job opportunities."HFTP offers the only designations for finance and technology professionals who are working in the hospitality industry. Both the CHAE and CHTP designations require professionals to sit for an initial competency exam, and complete continuing education credits for each renewal cycle. Qualification for the exams is based on level of education and experience in the industry; student programs are also available.For more information about HFTP's certification programs, contact HFTP Certification Manager Robin Bogdon at robin.bogdon@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org. For immediate information, visit the FAQ pages for both CHTP and CHAE certifications. For the latest news, follow HFTP on HFTP News, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website. Read industry updates on the suite of HFTP hospitality news sites: HITEC Bytes, Club Bytes, Finance Bytes and HFTP News.

Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas Announces Technical Ambassador Appointment: 'Pepper', The Humanoid Robot

Mandarin Oriental 20 November 2017
Hong Kong -- Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas is excited to announce the appointment of Pepper*, the humanoid robot, as hotel Technical Ambassador. The newest team member will primarily be based in the Sky Lobby located on the 23rd floor, greeting guests, and complementing hotel services through engaging and playful entertainment.More than a lobby fixture, Pepper is completely integrated into the hotel team, and acts as a colleague. Endearing and surprising, with large expressive eyes and lifelike movements and gestures, the four-foot (1.2-metre) tall Pepper can discern a guest's gender, approximate age and mood. Interacting in natural and intuitive ways, Pepper provides personalized communication by detecting facial, body and voice cues. It can provide answers to property-specific questions, give directions, tell stories, dance and even pose for a selfie. Pepper adds a whole new layer of exceptional and friendly service to the hotel's triple five star status. In a city dominated by the latest and greatest, Pepper is the newest attraction and enhancement in the Entertainment Capital of the World."I am delighted to welcome Pepper to the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas team. Luxury is all about choice. Pepper will provide our guests with the option to receive hotel assistance and information in an exciting and innovative way," said General Manager, Donald Bowman. "Not only can Pepper handle information requests, but will also serve as a source of entertainment that we hope will provide an enjoyable element of surprise for guests of all ages."Committed to exceeding guests' expectations through exceptional levels of hospitality, while maintaining its position as an innovative leader in the hotel industry, Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas consistently seeks new opportunities to enhance the guest experience. Pepper exemplifies this pledge, combining innovation with welcoming, personalized service.

HFTP Announces Global Industry Research Project by Forrester Group

HFTP 16 November 2017
The leaders of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) used its inaugural HITEC Dubai to announce an extensive global research project today that will provide guidance on the state of the industry; provide existing industry stakeholders with additional resources, and enrich the association's understanding of financial and technology trends that will shape the industry's future."HFTP has just celebrated its 65th anniversary as a not for profit association, and our leadership intends to offer this foundation and provide a platform for the industry to build upon," said Frank Wolfe, HFTP CEO. "HFTP is in a decisive position where it seeks to develop the resources and benefits that best serve the current and future industry. HFTP continues to hear from its stakeholders that as the steward of finance and technology in hospitality, there is an opportunity to optimize the resources being provided to the industry."The survey will measure the value that stakeholders are receiving from the industry today and seek feedback on areas of professional development, research and resources that are unfulfilled within the hospitality finance and technology arena. Currently in development, the survey will be distributed the first week of December industry wide."Participation from a large sample of HFTP's stakeholders in this survey is imperative to help the association draw a representative picture of industry professionals," said Wolfe. "HFTP, a nonprofit association, serves to provide resources that benefit the industry, and survey responses are going to guide the association to serve those needs."Upon the completion of the survey, a complete analysis of the data will be completed by Forrester's expert consultants. These will serve as guidance for the HFTP Global Board to make key strategic decisions for the association. Forrester is one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. Through proprietary research, data, custom consulting, exclusive executive peer groups, and events, the Forrester experience is about a singular and powerful purpose: to challenge the thinking of its clients to help them lead change in their organizations.Contact HFTP Executive Services Administrator Millicent Gustafson (Millicent.Gustafson@hftp.org) for more information. For the latest news, follow HFTP on HFTP News, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website. Read industry updates on the suite of HFTP hospitality news sites: HITEC Bytes, Club Bytes, Finance Bytes and HFTP News.

Marriott unveils IoT hotel room of the future

Marriott 15 November 2017
The IoT Guestroom Lab - powered by Marriott's Innovation Lab at the company's corporate headquarters - explores concepts that have the potential to elevate the guest experience, create more efficient hotel room design and construction, and contribute to Marriott's global sustainability efforts and goals. As the hospitality industry's "smart" hotel room, the Lab allows multiple responsive IoT systems, devices and applications to communicate with one another to serve guests and optimize hotel operations."We know that our guests expect to personalize almost everything in their lives, and their hotel experience should be no different," said Stephanie Linnartz, Global Chief Commercial Officer, Marriott International. "By teaming with best-in-class partners, we are leveraging mobile and voice-enabled technology to give our guests the ability to set up the room to best meets their needs - whether that is creating the ultimate relaxation environment or one that enables productivity for business travelers.""At Samsung, we aspire to make life easier and better for our consumers, whether they're at home or their home away from home," said James Stansberry, Senior Vice President and General Manager of ARTIK IoT, Samsung Electronics. "Partnering with Legrand and Marriott, we can offer users unprecedented levels of control and personalization, thanks to our end-to-end IoT services powered by the ARTIK platform and the SmartThings Cloud. From intuitive lighting to voice-activated room controls, we're delivering customizable, intelligent experiences that make our consumers' lives more convenient, productive and secure."Developing an intuitive system is critical as Marriott seeks to continuously innovate the global guest experience across its 30 brands. The technology inside the IoT Guestroom Lab allows, for instance, a user to ask a virtual assistant for a 6:30 AM wake-up alarm, to start a yoga routine on a full-length mirror, request additional housekeeping services and start the shower at the desired temperature stored in their customer profile - all by voice or app."We're proud to be innovating with industry leading partners to get closer to revolutionizing the guest experience, along with hotel operations and even hotel construction," said Karim Khalifa, Senior Vice President, Global Design, Marriott International. "Together with Samsung and Legrand, we are well on our way to creating the hotel room of the future.""At Legrand, we offer a suite of power, light and data solutions that bring power and connectivity to previously untapped locations. Legrand is partnering with Marriott to improve the guest experience in a cost effective and intuitive manner. This work further supports our Eliot Program in North America, Legrand's global IoT program that encompasses our ambition, drives our product innovation and fosters our partnership in the IoT space," said Ken Freeman, Senior Vice President of Demand Creation, Legrand. "Legrand's product portfolio can elevate a property by turning everyday features into lasting highlights. We are thrilled to collaborate with Marriott and Samsung to conceptualize and deliver on the future traveler's needs."Marriott is working towards a future where hotel owners would have a seamless, transparent and flexible end-to-end solution that requires minimal equipment, while customers would enjoy an integrated experience with access to their own data and information, as well as accessible voice and mobile-optimized controls. Such systems would also benefit hotel operations and improve personalized service by, for instance, allowing staff to provide services at a guest's desired time.Following the three-month-long IoT Guestroom Lab, Marriott, Samsung and Legrand will analyze feedback to continue innovating with IoT technology. Consumers will start to see elements of the technology in hotel rooms within the next five years.

Laurent A. Voivenel - SVP MEA & India For Swiss-Belhotel International - Speaks At HITEC Dubai On PMS In 2020 & Future Of Guest-Facing Technology

Swiss-Belhotel 14 November 2017
Dubai -- Laurent A. Voivenel, Senior Vice President, Operations and Development for the Middle East, Africa and India, Swiss-Belhotel International, participated today in a panel discussion on the future of PMS and guest-facing technology at the HITEC Dubai organised by Naseba and HFTP. Others on the panel - that was chaired by Jyoti Narang, Partner, WayfareVC - included Ingo Dignas, Co-Founder, CEO Xnprotel; Nigel Hattersley, Sr. Director Technology MEA, Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Samir Abi Frem, Corporate VP, Rotana Hotels & Resorts.Laurent drew the panellists' attention to the constraints faced by hotels in terms of budgets available for technology upgrades and installation. He stressed, "We all know investing in technology helps to reduce operation costs, increases efficiency and results in better business conversion and profitability. Yet, budget is the biggest constraint and challenge in technology upgrades. In our business technology is taken as a cost rather than an investment. Often hotel owners' and operators' technology priorities are not in sync, and in many cases at odds."According to industry reports, in the hospitality sector, IT spending in the Middle East is considerably lower than in regions like USA. Laurent said, "This is mainly due to large number of smaller, independent properties in the Middle East which do not enjoy massive tech budgets like big brands. Until recently PMS has been the single biggest technology investment by hotels. However, there are other technology priorities that hotels in the region need to address such as higher internet brand-width for faster speed, seamless integration of mobile technology and upgrades of in-room entertainment systems. Also, Data security is extremely critical, particularly compliance requirements for payment cards in the era of mobile."Integration has become more and more complex and dense with distribution costs increasing year on year. Laurent stressed, "Future PMS with cloud computing will accommodate easy integration with other software applications, even if these applications don't share the same provider. The all-in-one business solution is ideal for small hotels that integrates direct booking technology, channel management technology, and property management technology all into one system. The PMS, the central reservations system (CRS) or channel manager and the revenue management solution all need to seamlessly connect and share data -- preferably, in real-time. A roster of partners is the way forward for solving such issues as data security, network bandwidth and cloud computing."Most importantly, Laurent believes, "Technology 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. We need software that can keep up with the changes. Architecture and development practices that support frequent updates enable today's next generation system to stay with changing hospitality business practices."For further information visit http://www.swiss-belhotel.com

Hilton Launches Incubator to Fast-Track Guest Innovations

Hilton 14 November 2017
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) today announced the opening of its Innovation Gallery, a first-of-its-kind incubator and experiential showcase for cutting-edge product developments that will shape the future of Hilton hospitality.Open to invited guests including Hilton Team Members, hotel owners and technology partners, the 4,300-square-foot gallery brings together all elements of Hilton's innovation process. It is a physical space where conversations between thought leaders, design experts and hospitality professionals deliver new products and solutions for Hilton's guests.Located next to Hilton's global headquarters at Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, and designed by the LAB at Rockwell Group, the award-winning architecture firm's in-house design innovation studio, the gallery showcases a variety of technologies, design elements and dining concepts, ranging from noise-cancellation and sleep-inducing devices for guestrooms to more functional and sustainable materials. The products on display have been recently launched or are under testing, with many developed through Hilton's partnerships with companies in various industries, including IBM, LG, Amazon and Tesla."Innovation has been in Hilton's DNA since entrepreneur Conrad Hilton purchased his first hotel and pioneered the industry nearly a century ago," said Jon Witter, Hilton's Chief Customer Officer. "Today, we honor our legacy of innovation with the opening of the Hilton Innovation Gallery - a space for us to incubate, test, scale and showcase the products and processes we're creating to enhance our guests' experiences and redefine the future of hospitality."The Innovation Gallery ExperienceHilton has created an immersive experience in the gallery, which mirrors the guest's experience of a hotel by embedding custom architecture, experiential technologies and cutting-edge materials throughout. Upon entering the space, visitors will make their way through five experiences including:Product Showcase: A space for visitors to interact with physical and virtual products that Hilton is exploring for use in hotels. Examples of current installations include Nightingale, a noise-masking product; Somabar, a personal mixology solution; Meural, a customizable digital art display; and Pilot, a real-time translation solution.Food & Beverage Concept Studio: This show kitchen offers an opportunity to experience and showcase the latest restaurant concepts developed by Hilton's Food and Beverage team, along with technology to film and webcast.Virtual Reality (VR) Stage: A dedicated space for visitors to use virtual reality headsets to experience new Hilton concepts. At launch, visitors will be able to view model rooms from two of Hilton's newest brands, Tru by Hilton and Canopy by Hilton.Darkroom: A progressive model guestroom dedicated to showing cutting-edge material technologies that have the potential to yield better quality, sustainability, design interest and operational returns.Innovation Theater: The nucleus of the gallery serves as a gathering space to brainstorm, collaborate and intersect around innovative ideas. The design highlights the functionality and social aspects of a modern gathering space while leveraging immersive high-end presentation technology solutions for sound and lighting.Hilton designed the Innovation Gallery to showcase its culture of creativity and continuous drive to employ meaningful innovations that ease and enhance every aspect of the guest experience, from smartphone capabilities such as Digital Key to rooms enabling integrated entertainment. The space also showcases the company's focus on creating new hotel brands that match travelers' specific needs, such as Tru by Hilton for young-of-heart travelers seeking an energetic but relaxing environment and Canopy by Hilton, a modern boutique lifestyle brand.

Hospitality leaders arrive in Dubai for Middle East's first HITEC

naseba 13 November 2017
Dubai -- Hundreds of hospitality leaders and decision makers have converged in Dubai ahead of the debut Middle Eastern leg of Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference, HITEC, the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand, which takes place on November 14 - 15 at Conrad Dubai.HITEC Dubai is co-produced by Hospitality Finance and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and Naseba, and endorsed by Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the principal authority for the planning and marketing of tourism in DubaiHITEC Dubai will feature an expo floor with more than 40 technology providers showcasing the latest industry innovations. It also features a brand-new summit portion with meticulously crafted educational sessions, panel discussions, tech talks, workshops and networking sessions for senior hospitality executives to explore collaborations and partnerships.With an industry-leading agenda covering Smart rooms, loyalty by blockchain, PMS, sustainable technology, all-cloud hotels and Smart data analytics, the event's opening address will be delivered by Jumeirah Group CIO and HITEC Dubai Advisory Council chair, Marwan Al Ali.Further highlights on the agenda include Emilio Dragas, CEO, m3connect, who will deliver a Tech Talk session titled Bandwidth (5G) and its impact on the hotel market; and HFTP Hall of Fame member Fraser Hickox, Managing Director, Conceptual Group, who will present a session on technology project management.Other confirmed speakers include Dr. Sanjay Nadkarni Director, Research and Innovation, Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management; Laurent A. Voivenel, SVP - Operations & Development, for the Middle East, Africa and India, Swiss-Belhotel International; Bob Gilbert, CEO, HSMAI; and Nigel Hattersley, Sr. Director Technology MEA, Marriott.Laurent Voivenel, said, "HITEC is the largest hospitality technology show for hotels worldwide and it is exciting to see its debut in Dubai. As we operate in smart cities such as Dubai, our hotels need to be smart too and HITEC provides a great opportunity to learn about the latest technological developments and trends shaping our industry."Naveen Bharadwaj, Production Director of Naseba said: "From robotic butlers, to mobile phone key cards and cutting edge content systems, technology is transforming the Middle Eastern tourism and hospitality market at a break-neck pace. The debut of HITEC in the Middle East marks a new era in collaboration and best practice management, facilitated by a recognised and prestigious global brand. That is constantly at the forefront of technological development in the hospitality space."HITEC Dubai is supported by lead sponsor m3connect, gold sponsors, AVAYA, xnprotel, Acentic, Oracle Hospitality, and silver sponsor and official lounge partner, Lufthansa Industry Solutions, who will all be represented in the exhibitor hall. Other key exhibitors include market leaders such as IDS Next, a global IT major in hospitality technology domain, Otrum, Assa Abloy and many more.Frank Wolfe, CAE, CEO of HFTP said: "With the number of projects being built and under refurbishment, Dubai is one of the most attractive hospitality markets in the world. Leadership in the UAE are looking to foster innovation and HITEC DUBAI wants to be the bridge that connects hospitality and technology in the region. We'd like to thank our advisory council, sponsors, exhibitors, attendees and partners and I look forward to welcoming everyone to HITEC DUBAI."HITEC DUBAI's summit begins at 9:00 AM and takes place on the 4th floor of the Conrad Hotel. The expo will also be running concurrently from 10:30 AM and will be taking place on the 2nd floor.About HITEC DubaiHospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place.Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), producers of HITEC, will partner with Naseba, a business facilitation company, to bring the brand to Dubai. Making the event accessible to buyers from the lucrative Middle Eastern market.The show will offer an education program and exhibits. In addition, HITEC Dubai will feature a summit with one-to-one business meetings that have become the hallmark of Naseba's platforms. Hoteliers attending the summit portion of HITEC Dubai will be pre-qualified to confirm their purchasing authority, budgets, timelines and solutions of interest.hitec.naseba.comAbout HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com.For more information about HFTP, emailmembership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit. Follow HFTP/HITEC on HFTP Connect, Facebook (@HFTPGlobal; @HITECconference), LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube for the latest news. Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes and HFTP Finance Bytes.

The Hotel Yearbook launches its 5th annual look at hotel technology trends, featuring articles by 21 of the industry's thought leaders

Hotel Yearbook 9 November 2017
Released exclusively as an e-book, The Hotel Yearbook 2018 - Technology features contributions from two dozen opinion leaders around the world on the outlook for technological change and innovation in several key areas affecting the future success of the hotel business.LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND - 9 November 2017 - Wade & Co. SA, the Swiss-based publisher of The Hotel Yearbook, a family of annual compendiums of expert opinion and insights on the future of the hotel industry, announces the launch of The Hotel Yearbook 2018-Technology, its fifth Special Edition focused exclusively on the changing technology landscape in the world of hospitality.CLICK HERE to download now."The editorial concept of all of the editions within The Hotel Yearbook family is to bring together senior hotel industry executives, recognized experts and thought leaders from every part of the industry to write about trends and innovation in the global hotel business," said Woody Wade, co-publisher. "This latest edition on technology covers a very wide range of technology issues, from machine learning, cybersecurity, Blockchain technology to the new data protection laws we will be dealing with soon. Its wide range means that there is something in it for everyone concerned with integrating technology in their operations."Underscoring its focus on innovation, The Hotel Yearbook 2018 - Technology includes a special section featuring 16 hospitality start-ups, each making use of different tech approaches to provide creative solutions to hospitality challenges.Taking on the role of Guest Editor-in-Chief this year was Lyle Worthington, CIO at The Student Hotel in Amsterdam and immediate Past-President of HFTP Global. Henri Roelings, founder & CEO of Hsyndicate and co-publisher of The Hotel Yearbook, said: "Lyle's understanding of the industry's tech challenges gave him an edge in putting this issue together, and he was able to call on thought leaders and practitioners to contribute their thoughts to the edition.""2017 has been a pivotal year for hospitality technology," said Lyle. "This edition of Hotel Yearbook is a great snapshot of what has happened, how we've adapted, and what we need to be focusing on in the future. It was a privilege to serve as the Guest Editor of this edition and work with some of the great minds in our industry."The Hotel Yearbook 2018 - Technology is published with two partners, the professional association HFTP (Hospitality Finance and Technology Professionals) and Hsyndicate, a provider of online industry intelligence based in the Netherlands.Frank Wolfe, CEO of HFTP, said, "As part of its core purpose, HFTP actively supports collaborations among the industry's professionals so that ideas can build and innovations can continue. We understand that it is crucial to bring great minds together, and that is exactly what The Hotel Yearbook does. We are proud to partner with them again in 2018."Technological changes will affect almost everything in the hospitality space - and very quickly. That is why The Hotel Yearbook 2018 - Technology is a must read for managers or aspiring managers. The publication was launched on 9 November. Copies are available only online at www.hotel-yearbook.com.About The Hotel YearbookThe Hotel Yearbook is a family of publications that call upon a wide-ranging group of senior executives, analysts, consultants and opinion leaders from all over the world to ask, "What lies ahead for the global hotel industry?" In The Hotel Yearbook - whether it is the highly respected annual edition or any of the special editions focusing on such critically important themes as technology, talent development, or the digital world - our forward-looking contributors share with readers the key trends and developments that they believe could have an impact on the performance of the hotel industry in the future. Visit www.hotel-yearbook.com.About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com.

HFTP and Naseba Set Final Details for Inaugural HITEC Dubai Event

HFTP 9 November 2017
International association Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), in partnership with Naseba, are bringing the world's largest and oldest Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) brand to Dubai, UAE for the first time. HITEC Dubai will take place from November 14-15, 2017 at the Conrad Dubai in Dubai, UAE - serving as the third HITEC of 2017.HITEC Dubai is accessible to buyers from the lucrative Middle Eastern tourism and hospitality market, currently worth over $75 billion USD. Modeling the HITEC Amsterdam format, the show will offer an education program, exhibits as well as a summit with one-to-one business meetings between pre-qualified hoteliers and cutting-edge technology providers.Marwan Al Ali, group chief information officer at Jumeirah Group - one of the largest hospitality groups in the Middle East - is serving as the Advisory Council Chairman for the inaugural HITEC Dubai. The HITEC Dubai Advisory Council features senior executives from leading local and global chains; together these experts have over 200 years of combined industry experience. Focusing on technology solutions and top trends, the advisory council is responsible for planning the conference's educational program. Some topics on the program include: bandwidth and HIS; data analytics and intelligence; intuitive technologies; sustainable technologies; future of management systems; robotics; AI; blockchain; and cyber-attacks."We are very excited to have HITEC based here in Dubai for the first time," said Al Ali. "HITEC, over the last few decades, has developed a very strong reputation when it comes to hotel technology. HITEC plays an important role in connecting people across the industry, and bring[s] the latest trends [in hotel technology] to the audience who [is] attending HITEC."Attendees will have an additional resource to use while navigating the conference - the HITEC 2017 multi-event mobile app will serve as a comprehensive guide for information on education sessions and exhibits while also providing social feeds and in-app correspondence capabilities for exhibitors and attendees. Available for download from the iTunes Apple Store and Google Play, the app will feature all of the HITEC Dubai information attendees will need.In 2018, HFTP will bring back HITEC Amsterdam on April 11-13 in addition to the larger HITEC Houston on June 18-21. For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other international activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec. For more information about HITEC Dubai, visit www.hitec-dubai.com.About HITEC Dubai Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place.Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), producers of HITEC, will partner with Naseba, a business facilitation company, to bring the brand to Dubai. Making the event accessible to buyers from the lucrative Middle Eastern market, currently worth over USD 75 bn. The show will offer an education program and exhibits. In addition, HITEC Dubai will feature a summit with one-to-one business meetings that have become the hallmark of Naseba's platforms. Hoteliers attending the summit portion of HITEC Dubai will be pre-qualified to confirm their purchasing authority, budgets, timelines and solutions of interest. hitec.naseba.comAbout HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit. Follow HFTP/HITEC on HFTP Connect, Facebook (@HFTPGlobal; @HITECconference), LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube for the latest news. Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes and HFTP Finance Bytes.

The Phocuswright Conference Announces the Next Generation of Groundbreaking Travel Innovators

Phocuswright 9 November 2017
Travel industry research authority Phocuswright announced the winners of Summit and Launch, held Nov. 7 and 8, during The Phocuswright Conference currently underway in Hollywood, Fla. During Summit, 24 innovative startup and emerging companies and the winners of Battleground: The Americas, APAC and EMEA demonstrated groundbreaking applications and solutions set to change the travel industry. Launch featured nine established companies unveiling their travel innovations. "We created the Phocuswright Innovation Platform to identify and recognize the entrepreneurs and ideas who are shaping the future of the travel industry," said Michael Coletta, Phocuswright's manager, research and innovation. "We are proud to have once again brought to the stage a world-class group of startups and established companies who are leveraging the latest technology to create breakthrough value across all travel industry segments." Winners were determined by the Summit Dragons, a panel comprised of travel and technology experts. Winners represent the top innovation in two categories: Startup and Emerging. Additional awards include the Brand USA Award for Travel Marketing Innovation, the General Catalyst Award for Travel Innovation - which comes with a $100,000 convertible note, the OAG Award for AI Innovation, and People's Choice. AWARD FOR TRAVEL INNOVATION - EMERGING CATEGORY Winner: UpLift Runner-Up: Mezi AWARD FOR TRAVEL INNOVATION - STARTUP CATEGORY Winner: Redeam Runner-Up: conichi BRAND USA MARKETING INNOVATION AWARD Winner: Beach-Inspector.com THE GENERAL CATALYST AWARD FOR TRAVEL INNOVATION Winner: Redeam OAG AWARD FOR AI INNOVATION Winner: Mezi SUMMIT PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD FOR INNOVATION Winner: Redeam Runner-Up: TWIP and Wanup LAUNCH PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD FOR INNOVATION Winner: ixigo Runner-Up: Sift Science LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COMPANIES Free access to streaming and on-demand video of Phocuswright Conference sessions - Summit and Launch demonstrations, and Center Stage presentations - is available. On-demand content is available through March 31, 2018.

HFTP's 2017-2018 Global Executive Committee and Board of Directors Begin Term

HFTP 7 November 2017
The 2017-2018 Global Executive Committee and Board of Directors for Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) have officially begun their term. The association leaders represent a wide variety of segments within the hospitality industry, including: clubs, consulting, hotels, finance, technology and more. The HFTP Global Board volunteers its time and professional expertise to help guide and progress the association to the forefront of the industry as it carries out its strategic plan.The HFTP Global Board is the primary decision-making body of the association. Under its Board's vision, HFTP is able to expand its international reach and address the needs of the hospitality industry at large. The Board ensures the continuity of the association by planning for the future, establishing and reviewing major policies and programs that support the mission of the association, and by ensuring that the association is fiscally sound."The HFTP Global Board is focused on upcoming events including HITEC Dubai, Amsterdam and Houston, the new Club Summit and a new lineup of Prolinks webinars to further the education of our membership," said HFTP Global President Timothy G. Nauss, CHAE. "In my new role as president, I will be working with the executive committee to fill assignments for several key advisory councils for the association, as well as the establishment of the Young Professionals Council, which was recently approved by the board."Upcoming this year, HFTP will continue its international expansion of the world's largest Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) with its inaugural HITEC Dubai at the end of this month, and its second HITEC Amsterdam in April 2018. HFTP will produce its Club Summit in March 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana USA. The association recently announced its strategic partnership with industry ally Open Travel Alliance (OpenTravel), and will continue the corporate co-location. The association will continue to promote its newsworthy, resourceful web series: HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes and HFTP News - as well as its hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com."HFTP is filled with top hospitality industry leaders from around the world," said HFTP CEO Frank I. Wolfe. "Thanks to these passionate and proactive educators, HFTP was able to celebrate 65 years of success as an association this year. HFTP will continue to work hard, break barriers and create a better industry for hospitality professionals across the globe."HFTP 2017-2018 Global Executive Committee members:President: Timothy G. Nauss, CHAE, CFO, Macao Studio CityVice President: Scot Campbell, CHTP, CTO, North American Concerts - Live NationTreasurer: Michael Levie, CHTP, COO, citizenM HotelsSecretary: Mark Pate Sr., CHAE, CHTP, MBA, assistant controller and IT director, Highpointe Hotel CorporationImmediate Past President: Lyle Worthington, CHTP, CIO, The Student HotelExecutive Advisor: Jill Burnett, CHAE, CPA, controller, Medalist Golf ClubHFTP 2017-2018 Global Board of Directors:Director Stephanie Anderson, CHAE, CPA, CGMA, CFO, River Bend Golf & Country ClubDirector Cindy Braak, SVP finance business partner, Marriott InternationalDirector Cindy Estis Green, co-founder and CEO, Kalibri Labs, LLCDirector Md Amirul Islam, assistant manager of income audit, Marriott Autograph CollectionDirector Sherry Marek, co-founder and VP, Datavision TechnologiesDirector Martha Mazzitelli, CAM, CHAE+, CHTP+, CFO, Bay Colony Shared ServicesDirector Nick Price, CEO, NetSys Technology LimitedDirector Laurie Rozeski, CHAE, MBA, CFO, Wildcat Run Golf & Country ClubDirector Kaeko Shirasu-Bailey, CPA, assurance senior manager, RSM US LLPDirector Justin Taillon, MBA, PHD, professor and department head, Highline CollegeDirector Derek Wood, managing director, Derek Wood Associates LTDEx Officio Frank I. Wolfe, CEO, HFTPFor more information on HFTP leadership and leadership opportunities, contact HFTP Executive Services Administrator Millicent Gustafson at millicent.gustafson@hftp.org or +1 (512) 220-6449.Annual Convention 2018 is slated for October 24-26 at the new Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA. For more information about HFTP's Annual Convention and other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org. For the latest news, follow HFTP/HITEC on HITEC Bytes, PineappleSearch, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website. Read industry updates on the suite of HFTP hospitality news sites: HITEC Bytes, Club Bytes, Finance Bytes and HFTP News.

2017 HOSPA Inspirational Leader Professionals of the Year Awards for Hospitality Finance, Revenue Management and IT, named and honoured by HOSPA at its HOSPACE2017 Gala Awards Dinner

HOSPA 3 November 2017
The winners were:2017 HOSPA Inspirational Leader Professional of the Year for Hospitality Finance, sponsored by BDO: Cesco Righetti, Director of Finance, The Bulgari Hotel, London2017 HOSPA Inspirational Leader Professional of the Year for Hospitality Revenue Management, sponsored by IDeaS: Anael Peu, Director of Revenue Management, Kew Green Hotels2017 HOSPA Inspirational Leader Professional of the Year for Hospitality IT, sponsored by Opendoor by Keystep Solutions: Barry Thomas, Area Director of Information Technology, Rosewood London.Presentations of engraved crystal trophies were made to each of the award recipients at the Royal Lancaster London by the Chairs of the HOSPA Finance, Revenue Management and IT committees - David Nicolson, Ally Northfield and David Derbyshire respectively. They were assisted by the sponsors of each award: Stuart Collins, Partner, BDO London; Warren Mandelbaum, Sales Director EMEA, IDeaS; and Andrew Evans, Chief Executive, Opendoor by Keystep Solutions. Also taking part in the ceremony were guest speaker: former England and Harlequins rugby union captain Nick Easter; and the host of HOSPACE2017: Pride of Britain Chief Executive Peter Hancock.Pictured: Pictured last night (2 November) at the Royal Lancaster London, the 2017 HOSPA winners (from left to right): Anael Peu, Director of Revenue Management, Kew Green Hotels; Cesco Righetti, Director of Finance, The Bulgari Hotel, London; and Barry Thomas, Area Director of Information Technology, Rosewood London.The three winners were nominated by HOSPA Fellows and Members, and then put forward to a special HOSPA selection committee. The recipients had to have: an exemplary track record; be willing to train and lead their staff; be totally dedicated to the hospitality industry, with the intention of remaining in the profession; demonstrate strong attention to detail; keep abreast of current codes of practice; and command respect within the hospitality sector and wider business community.Commenting on the awards, HOSPA Chief Executive Jane Pendlebury said: "Huge congratulations to our three inspirational winners and our commiserations to the seven excellent finalists who made the final decision such a hard choice. They have all demonstrated exceptional leadership ability and professionalism in, and dedication to, their chosen fields of hospitality expertise."Comments made by nominators of this year's deserving recipients included the following: For HOSPA2017 Finance winner Cesco Righetti: "He is extremely approachable and helpful. He has considerable depth of experience and a particularly strong commercial sense. It is evident that Cesco is very committed to the financial and operational success of the hotel."For 2017 HOSPA Revenue Management winner Ana e l Peu: "Anael is an inspirational leader of people. He has implemented new ways of working and driven record breaking revenue performance in our hotels. Anael created the Kew Green Revenue Academy to ensure new talent is identified and has a pathway to develop. Four new Revenue Executives are in role, who will become Revenue Managers of the future. He has created our 'Commercial Hub' structure, bringing all our commercial disciplines together - improving efficiencies and significantly increasing revenue for the business. He has created an analytics team which provides the business with the best trend data to make meaningful decisions."For 2017 HOSPA IT winner Barry Thomas: "Barry regularly volunteers to assist with many hotel technology communities of interest. He has proved to be objective and open-minded in his approach to reviewing technology. He is well regarded and deserves to be recognized for his efforts."Apart from the winners, the 2017 HOSPA finalists in each of the three categories were as follows:Finalists for the 2017 HOSPA Inspirational Leader Professional of the Year for Hospitality Finance: Mahindra Powar, Financial Controller, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park LondonFinalists for the 2017 HOSPA Inspirational Leader Professional of the Year for Hospitality Revenue Management: Jesper Johansen, Area Director of Revenue Management (DORM), Middle Scale Market, InterContinental Hotels Group; Natalie Grose, Director of Revenue, Jumeirah London Cluster, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts; and Neetu Ganesh, Director of Revenue, Redefine|BDL HotelsFinalists for the 2017 HOSPA Inspirational Leader Professional of the Year for Hospitality IT: Ian Cowieson, IT Director, Malmaison & Hotel du Vin; Rob Paterson, Commercial Director, Village Hotels; and Shane Doyle, Group IT Manager, Jurys Inn Group.

Winners of HOSPA's '2017 Hospitality Career Investment Development Scholarships', sponsored by IDeaS, announced and recognised at HOSPACE2017

HOSPA 3 November 2017
Pictured: 2017 HOSPA Hospitality Career Investment Development Scholarship recipients pictured on stage at HOSPACE2017 with Warren Mandelbaum, Sales Director EMEA, IDeaS (extreme left), and Jane Scott, HOSPA Professional Development Programmes Coordinator (extreme right). From left to right: Sukhman Singh, studying for a BSc (Hons) in International Hospitality Management, Oxford School of Hospitality, Oxford Brookes University; Sofia Vallasciani, a BA (Hons) Hotel Management undergraduate at The Edge Hotel School, University of Essex/Wivenhoe House, Colchester; Sarah Waddington-Azambuja, a BA (Hons) International Hospitality Management undergraduate at Brighton University; and Rhodric Allen, studying for a Bachelor of Business degree in Administration in Hospitality Management at Glion Institute of Higher Education, London.At the event, Pat Jones, Manager - Accounts, Hospitality & Real Estate, Old Course Hotel St Andrews Golf Resort & Spa, St Andrews, Scotland, won a special HIT Scotland/HOSPA Scholarship - open to applicants from all levels and sectors of Scotland's hospitality industry, offering learning experiences for career development.Pictured: Special HIT Scotland/HOSPA Scholarship winner Pat Jones, Manager - Accounts, Hospitality & Real Estate, Old Course Hotel St Andrews Golf Resort & Spa, St Andrews, Scotland, pictured on stage at HOSPACE2017 with Warren Mandelbaum, Sales Director EMEA, IDeaS (extreme left), and Jane Scott, HOSPA Professional Development Programmes Coordinator (extreme right).The 2017 HOSPA Career Investment Development Scholarship winners and their nominators were:Sofia Vallasciani, a BA (Hons) Hotel Management undergraduate at The Edge Hotel School, University of Essex/Wivenhoe House, Colchester. She was nominated by Andrew Boer, Principal of the Edge Hotel SchoolSukhman Singh, studying for a BSc (Hons) in International Hospitality Management, Oxford School of Hospitality, Oxford Brookes University. He was nominated by Dr Kate Ringham, Programme Lead for Postgraduate Hospitality, Oxford School of Hospitality, Oxford Brookes UniversitySarah Waddington-Azambuja, a BA (Hons) International Hospitality Management undergraduate at Brighton University. She was nominated by Helen Atkinson, Principal Lecturer, School of Sport and Service Management, University of BrightonRhodric Allen, studying for a Bachelor of Business degree in Administration in Hospitality Management at Glion Institute of Higher Education, London. He was nominated by Yaneal Patel, Lecturer and Subject Leader at Glion Institute of Higher Education.The 2017 HOSPA Career Investment Development Scholarship winners - all under 30 years of age - won the opportunity to learn from, be noticed and publicly recognised at Thursday's prestigious annual HOSPACE2017 Conference and Exhibition. That evening, they also attended the HOSPA Gala Awards Dinner; and will be profiled in the Association's monthly magazine The Overview. The winner of the special HIT Scotland/HOSPA Scholarship, Pat Jones, also received the same HOSPACE2017 and The Overview reward as the other HOSPA scholars.Commenting on the scholarship winners, HOSPA Chief Executive Jane Pendlebury said: "We were delighted to honour at HOSPACE2017 our third ever winner of our special joint HOSPA/HIT Scotland Career Investment Development Scholarship - Pat Jones. HIT Scotland does such an excellent job in assisting people to achieve their potential within Scottish hospitality, and we look forward very much to welcoming more HIT scholars from north of the border in future years."Huge congratulations go to all our 2017 HOSPA Scholarship winners. I am sure that HOSPACE2017 will have proved extremely beneficial to Pat, as indeed it will have been for the four, talented university and hotel school students who could well pursue future careers in hospitality finance, revenue management and IT."Head of Professional Development Debra Adams added: "HOSPACE2017 will have given all our scholarship winners an invaluable platform for enhancing learning and networking with top industry experts and leaders, whilst gaining recognition from the hospitality profession at large. The awards underpin HOSPA's commitment to the future of the industry through the ongoing provision of professional development."

HFTP Celebrates 65 Years of Success at Annual Convention 2017

HFTP 2 November 2017
More than 580 Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) members and hospitality industry professionals came together from around the globe to celebrate HFTP's 65 years as an association at Annual Convention last week. This year's Annual Convention was held from October 25-27, 2017 at the Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate in Championsgate, Florida USA."Thank you to HFTP members, chapters, stakeholders and staff for 65 years of success," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "HFTP is proud to have provided hospitality finance and technology processionals opportunities to excel in their careers for nearly seven decades. We look forward to continued success in the years to come."The event's education schedule offered attendees the opportunity to choose from a variety of session formats, and trending industry topics including: Employee Relations 101; Accounting Changes; Club Management; Performance Excellence; Ransomware; Bitcoins; Firewalls; GHACP; and more. In traditional HFTP fashion, Annual Convention featured three keynote speakers, attendee networking, exhibits, a business meeting and silent auction benefiting a local charity during the HFTP Annual Tribute to Success black-tie evening.As part of its ongoing social responsibility efforts, HFTP held its third HFTP Helps which featured a silent auction fundraiser as well as a putting green benefiting Camp Boggy Creek, a free, safe and medically-sound camp environment that enriches the lives of children with serious illnesses and their families. HFTP Helps also partnered with OneBlood, and conducted a blood drive to assist with the recovery efforts of the hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria as well as the recent Las Vegas, Nevada USA tragedy. HFTP Helps 2017 raised $9,500, and 100 percent of the proceeds were donated directly to Camp Boggy Creek.Annual Convention also represents a time for HFTP to recognize outstanding achievement from individuals and HFTP chapters that embody the success of the association. Below were this year's industry-leading award recipients that were selected by a council of industry colleagues and peers.2017 CHTP of the Year: Clint DeMill, CHTP, associate director of administration at The University of Utah Guest House and Conference Center2017 CHAE of the Year: Guus Martinus Heijmans, CHAE, accounting/HR manager at Residence Inn by Marriott Los Angeles LAX/Century Boulevard2017 Paragon Award: Mary Gerdts, founder and CEO at POST Integrations Inc. and EboCom, LLC.2017 Technology Hall of Fame: Greg Dawes, solutions architect/technical director at VT Group; Monika Nerger, CIO at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group2017 Award of Merit: Keith Gruen, CEO at ysura; Hiroo Ichii, advisor at NEC Solution Innovators, Ltd; Dr. Ravi Mehrota, president, founder and chief scientist at IDeaS Revenue Solutions2017 President's Award: Carson Booth, CHTP, startup technology consultant and chairman of the HITEC Amsterdam Advisory Council2017 HFTP Chapters of the Year: HFTP Southern Alberta Chapter (Tier A: 1-35 members); HFTP Florida Manasota Chapter (Tier B: 36-70 members); HFTP Mid-Florida Chapter (Tier C: 71+ members)2017 HFTP Student Chapter of the Year: HFTP San Jose State University Student ChapterThe association's new 2017-2018 HFTP Global Board leaders were installed during the event's HFTP Annual Tribute to Success evening, and Timothy G. Nauss, CHAE assumed his role as the new HFTP Global President. The 2017-2018 HFTP Global Board officially started their term today.Annual Convention 2018 is slated for October 24-26 at the new Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA. For more information about HFTP's Annual Convention and other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org. For the latest news, follow HFTP/HITEC on HITEC Bytes, PineappleSearch, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website. Read industry updates on the suite of HFTP hospitality news sites: HITEC Bytes, Club Bytes, Finance Bytes and HFTP News.

Kalibri Labs' Research Reveals Consumer Shift In Favor Of Brand.Com VS OTAs With The Launch Of Book Direct Campaigns

Kalibri Labs 31 October 2017
Kalibri Labs announced today that the results of a new study reveal a consumer shift in favor of Brand.com versus online travel agencies (OTAs) compared to historic growth trends, during the recent promotional campaigns to attract new loyalty members with incentives to book direct. The study also revealed increased revenue for hotels during the campaign period examined in the study."This shift in consumer behavior is positive news for hotel brands across the country, supporting the efforts to increase use of the hotel industry's direct channels over the past couple of years," said Cindy Estis Green, CEO & co-founder of Kalibri Labs who conducted the analysis. "The results demonstrate that customer affinity to Brand.com is increasing, and there is an accelerated growth in loyalty membership and revenue."The news is the result of a series of Book Direct initiatives in 2016 from ten hotel brands with customer loyalty membership programs, which enabled new and existing members to qualify for discounts on future and current travel. The program was designed to create incentives for travelers to book through a hotel's direct channels instead of a third-party intermediary. The Kalibri Labs study sample of 12,000 hotels and 52 million transactions over an eight-month period confirmed that channel shift occurred with more rapid growth in Brand.com and slowed growth in the OTA channel during the period the campaigns were running. Kalibri Labs maintains the only database in the hotel industry with actual detailed guest stay records along with cost of acquisition data to accurately assess the results of these campaigns.The analysis demonstrated net positive outcomes in revenue for over 80% of the hotels in the sample resulting from the loyalty membership campaign.Details of the four primary takeaways from the study include:1. Consumer Behavior Drove Channel Shift in Favor of Brand.com There was clear evidence of faster growth in Brand.com retail bookings when compared to the OTA channel. This was true of both revenue and room nights when compared to the prior year before the direct booking campaigns were launched.2. Net ADR of Brand.com Loyalty Rates Were Higher than Net ADR of OTA Rates When comparing average rates net of direct transaction costs, such as channel fees, commissions and loyalty costs, the Brand.com rates that loyalty members booked were 8.6% higher than the net average rates of OTA transactions. As the rates are based on actual transactions, this includes all discounts related to the campaigns.3. Results Reflected Net Positive Revenue Outcomes When actual 2016 results were compared to projected outcomes based on a statistical regression model, the results pointed to a net positive revenue outcome. While the model recognized potential rate trade down in 14-17% of Brand.com room nights, the median Net Revenue benefit for 80% of the hotels in the sample was between +$9,000-$33,000, per hotel when considering all discounts, trade downs, loyalty and commissions costs for the subset of the business that was targeted by these campaigns (retail transient).4. Loyalty is a Powerful Driver of Demand and Growth is Strong The growth in loyalty contribution by participating hotel chains from 2015 to 2016 was consistent with reports of 30-40% growth in membership over the previous year; four to six out of every ten room stays were driven by loyalty members for the upper midscale, upscale and upper upscale member groups. Hotel chains reported record numbers of campaign-related new members that came with similar recurrence patterns as their standard new member population.The study also highlights the opportunity for hotel brands to continue to optimize the loyalty and affinity programs to ensure they secure a deep list of members and recurring guests, and so that the consumer benefits from a superior stay experience that closely aligns with their preferences.The study examined stays from May-December of 2016 when most hotel chains had Book Direct campaigns in the marketplace. There were two components to the analysis. The first was a purely transactional view looking at performance, cost and potential trade-down. The second looked at the longer-term upside or "lifetime value" of incremental loyalty members and how many recurring guests would need to be added for hotels to compensate for any upfront costs.

Eight Travel Predictions for 2018, as Revealed by Booking.com

Booking.com 25 October 2017
1. New tech frontiersImmersive experiences will reach the next level in 2018, with travellers looking to technology to help better understand a destination or accommodation before they book. Artificial intelligence and digital technology are helping consumers turn the corner when it comes to smart destination intuition, reshaping the way we research, book and experience travel. Almost a third (29%) of global travellers say they are comfortable letting a computer plan an upcoming trip based on data from their previous travel history and half (50%) don't mind if they deal with a real person or computer, so long as any questions are answered. Over six in 10 (64%) of travellers say they would like to 'try before they buy' with a virtual reality preview, while 50% find that personalised suggestions for destinations and things to do encourages them to book a trip. Taking all the hard work and stress out of decision making, in 2018 technology will continue to guide us seamlessly to find the best stays and experiences for us.2. From dream to reality2018 is the year to dream big as 45% of travellers have a travel bucket list in mind and the majority of those (82%) will aim to tick one or more destinations off their list in the coming year. The yearning for experiences over material possessions continues and drives our desire for more incredible and memorable trips. With dwindling patience, instantaneous appetites and empowered by technology, travellers in 2018 will seize the moment like never before.Most likely to feature on a bucket list is seeing one of the wonders of the world, as almost half of travellers (47%) will look to tick this off in 2018. Over a third (35%) yearn to tantalise their taste buds by trying a local delicacy, 34% want to head to an island paradise and 34% are thrill seekers wanting to visit a world famous theme park. Adrenalin junkies should consider Orlando, USA, The Gold Coast in Australia and Dubai, United Arab Emirates the top destinations endorsed by Booking.com travellers for theme parks[i]. The other top travel activities to complete in 2018 look set to be experiencing a unique cultural event (28%), learning a new skill (27%), going on an epic road or rail journey (25%) and visiting a remote or challenging location (25%).3. Retro rebootAs well as new experiences, travellers will be revisiting their favourite childhood memories as part of their trips in 2018. Blending the future with the past, next year's travellers will be inspired to return to previously loved destinations and explore them in a whole new way. A third of travellers (34%) will consider a holiday they experienced as a child for 2018.These popularity of these vintage vacations stems from the feelings of nostalgia and happiness the destinations evoke. Travellers say that former family holidays recall the fondest memories, even more so than childhood sweethearts or family pets. Millennials look set to be even more sentimental with 44% of 18 to 34 year olds keen to hark back to favourite family destinations. With 60% of travellers in 2018 intending to post on social media each day, we can expect to see these nostalgic places brought back to the future and captured for social posterity.4. Pop culture pilgrimageWith the world at our finger tips, we rely on many sources to inspire us to travel to new destinations. Tapping into our passions is one way of helping to identify the locations most suited to us - from culture and entertainment, to food and history. In 2018, television shows, films, sport and social media in particular look set to have an increasingly significant sway over booking decisions, as travellers turn to pop culture for their travel inspiration. Reading blogs or watching YouTuber recommendations will spark ideas for four in ten (39%) travellers and on screen locations from television, film or music videos will win over 36% of travellers in the coming year. More than a fifth (22%) of travellers will be tempted by travelling for a major sporting event, with 43% of those considering a summer of football in Russia.The top television programme locations travellers most want to visit in 2018 are Croatia, Spain and Iceland inspired by Game of Thrones (29%), London as seen in Sherlock and the Crown (21% and 13%), New York and Manhattan from Billions (13%) and Los Angeles viewed in Entourage (10%).5. Walk your way to wellness The trend for wellness getaways isn't slowing down for 2018, with almost double the amount of people planning to take health and wellbeing trips in 2018 compared to 2017 (from one in 10 in 2017 to nearly one in five in 2018). Trips enjoying particular prominence will be those that involve travelling on two feet. A brilliant way to take in the local landscape, walking will be the ultimate way to explore next year, with 56% of travellers saying they want to do walking or hiking trips in 2018. A new generation of walkers will lace up their boots.Other health and wellness inspired activities high on the travel agenda in 2018 include visiting a spa or receiving beauty treatments (33%), cycling (24%), water sport activities (22%), taking a full body detox holiday (17%), going on a yoga retreat (16%), running (16%) and undertaking meditation/mindfulness (15%). Embracing such experiences is popular with travellers, with 59% saying they prioritise experiences over material items when on holiday. Partaking in a health and wellness trip may also be good for the mind, as over half (55%) say that going on holiday is a moment for them to reflect and make better lifestyle choices - something which can be easily facilitated through a health and wellness trip.6. Economic intuitionEvery year, travellers are becoming savvier, especially when it comes to getting the most for their money. With significant numbers basing their travelling decisions on finance-related matters, 2018 will see travellers looking to be even more economically intuitive. Nearly half (47%) will take currency exchange rates into consideration when planning their travels for the year, and almost the same amount (48%) will think about the economic climate of a destination before making the decision to travel. Good news for the retail industry, a third of travellers (30%) also plan to make more purchases from airport duty free shops in 2018 and one in four (26%) will even go on holiday specifically to buy goods such as fashion items because they are cheaper than in their home country.More confident to follow their own intuition, travellers are less obliged to follow the herd, with over half (57%) wanting to do more independent travel in 2018, placing growing value on personalised endeavours, looking for the best deals and putting together their own packages - all with the help of apps and technology. Almost half of travellers (44%) will use travel apps more in 2018, with technology continuously developing to make travel stress free in 2018. This includes geo-location technology directing you to your accommodation, all within one click from your app, or planning activities while on holiday in just a few simple taps of your smart phone, as over two in five (41%) expect to do in 2018.7. The great mate escape2018 is gearing up to be all about the group get-away. When asked who their 2018 travelling companions were likely to be, the segment with the biggest increase when compared to 2017, was travelling with a group of friends, increasing from 21% to 25%With 2018 shaping up to be all about the experience, it's not just about the destination but also the people that matter to create memories. Mate's escapes are the ultimate social time away from our everyday pressures, reducing stress and building connections with your friends. With the world only a click away it's never been easier to find the perfect place to stay and explore with a large group of friends looking for adventure across every corner of the globe.Friend based getaways also have financial advantages as four in 10 (42%) said that joint holidays with friends will allow them to stay in accommodation they wouldn't be able to afford on their own.8. Live like a local, not with oneIn 2018, rental homes are going to be particularly popular - not just for travellers looking to stay in one, but also home owners who are thinking of inviting others to stay in their own abode. One in three travellers (33%) say they'd prefer to stay in a holiday rental (a holiday home or apartment) over a hotel and one in five (21%) would consider listing their home on a travel accommodation site.When it comes to playing the role of a host, travellers reveal that it isn't about having them there all the time. Travellers are keen to have a local experience and will look to hosts for their expertise, as a quarter of travellers say it will be important that their host has strong local knowledge about local food and places to visit (25%), but travellers will want the flexibility to interact with hosts on their own terms. In 2018, it will be important for travellers that their host is available but not too over-bearing (30%) and one in 10 (12%) want a host who they don't have to speak to at all.Pepijn Rijvers, Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com comments: "As technology continues to advance, it's also advancing and enhancing the way we travel. It empowers us to plan the perfect holiday and makes it easier to explore further and with more confidence, flexibility and options than ever before.At Booking.com, we build and design everything we do around our customers, responding to their wants and needs when it comes to researching, booking and enjoying travel. As expectations evolve and new trends rise to the fore, we're excited to see how emerging technology can continue to help and guide people to get the best experience for them in 2018."Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who have taken a trip in the last 12 months/plan to take a trip in the next 12 months. In total 18,509 respondents were surveyed (1,000+ from the UK, US, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, India, Singapore and Russia and 500+ each from Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand and Taiwan). Respondents completed an online survey in August 2017

HITEC Amsterdam 2018 Online Registration and Housing Bureau Open Now

HFTP 25 October 2017
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), producers of Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC), announced that attendee online registration for its second HITEC Amsterdam is now open. Also available on the HITEC Amsterdam website is information on travel and hotel reservations. HITEC Amsterdam will take place from 11-13 April 2018 at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands."2018 will be the second time HFTP brings HITEC to Europe," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "Amsterdam is a thriving technology and IT hub, and is a top choice for international professionals as the city features a large tech scene as well as numerous innovative companies."HITEC Amsterdam 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 as well as the networking reception. The full schedule of events is available on the HITEC Amsterdam website.Education. Full registration attendees will have access to two full days of education, carefully planned by the HITEC Amsterdam Advisory Council, starting Wednesday morning, 11 April 2018 and finishing off with a closing keynote on Friday afternoon, 13 April 2018 immediately following the exhibit hall closing.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. Attendees will also have access to education opportunities right on the show floor.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 including hospitality CIOs, angel investors, serial entrepreneurs and industry insiders. 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 Amsterdam version of the globally recognized pitch competition.Networking. Attendees will have opportunities for networking with peers and leading industry experts from around the world throughout the conference and during the networking reception.In addition to HITEC Amsterdam, HFTP will host the larger HITEC Houston on June 18-21, 2017 in Houston, Texas USA. For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other international activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec.About HITEC Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC) is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education, and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place. The unparalleled event offers attendees essential education, access to top hospitality technology industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines. Combined with the intimate opportunities to connect with fellow professionals, HITEC has everything to enhance your career.Historically hosted annually in a different city throughout the United States, HFTP decided to break tradition in 2017 by hosting three HITEC events all taking place outside of U.S. borders- in Toronto, Amsterdam and Dubai. This was be the first time the global association's largest HITEC event - featuring thousands of hospitality professionals from around the world -took place outside of the United States. About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit. Follow HFTP/HITEC on HFTP Connect, Facebook (@HFTPGlobal; @HITECconference), LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube for the latest news. Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes and HFTP Finance Bytes.

Hyatt Works to Recover from Second Data Breach in Two Years

TOPHOTELPROJECTS 24 October 2017
In fact, one of the largest hotel brands on the planet -- Hyatt -- has experienced a credit card data breach at its hotels for the second time in as many years, after the company revealed last week that there had been a breach of its payment systems that exposed customer data from 41 hotels in 11 different countries throughout the globe. While Hyatt is said to have discovered the breach in July, it took the company three months to inform its customers. The related data belongs to customers who used credit cards at any of the effected hotels between March 18 and July 2. Based on a subsequent investigation into this breach, Hyatt has determined that the culprit was malicious software code from a third party that was injected into certain hotel information technology systems. The company has posted a list of affected hotels by the countries in which they are located in here.The country that has the most effected hotels is China -- where 18 hotels were breached -- with breaches also occurring at hotels located in the United States -- three hotels in Hawaii were found to be at risk -- and South Korea and Saudi Arabia, as well as in seven other nations. Chuck Floyd, global president of operations for Hyatt Hotels, issued a statement saying, "I want to assure you that there is no indication that information beyond that gained from payment cards -- cardholder name, card number, expiration date and internal verification code -- was involved, and as a result of implemented measures designed to prevent this from happening in the future, guests can feel confident using payment cards at Hyatt hotels worldwide."Hyatt is far from the only major hotel company to have suffered a cybersecurity issue as of late. In fact, the third party hotel reservations provider Sabre also weathered a recent data breach that effected multiple hotels, including Trump Hotels, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, and the Red Lion Hotels Corp.Also, InterContinental Hotel Group has announced two breaches of its own this year, while HEI Hotels and Resorts suffered a credit card data breach similar to the one that has plagued Hyatt, which it revealed to the public in August of 2016.Let's take a look at some projects currently underway by Hyatt Hotels:Hyatt Regency Oregon Convention CenterThe Hyatt Regency branded hotel will include 600 guest rooms and 32,000 sq ft of ballroom and meeting room space [READ MORE...]Andaz Am Belvedere ViennaThe Andaz Am Belvedere Vienna will be located next to the Belvedere Palace and opposite Vienna's Schweizergarten [READ MORE...]Grand Hyatt Hotel BogotaLocated along Calle 26, the hotel will be a short distance from Simon Bolivar Park, National University, the La Gran Estacion luxury retail mall, and numerous companies and government ministries [READ MORE...]More information on Hyatt Hotels can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider in the exchange of cutting-edge information of hotel construction in the international hospitality industry.

HSMAI and Asia's Leading Hoteliers Collaborate to Create New 'Revenue Ready' Portal

HSMAI 24 October 2017
The result of 18 months of hard work from the HSMAI Asia Pacific Revenue Advisory Board, which includes many of the heads of revenue for global and local hotel chains in Asia Pacific, the Certificate in Revenue Management (Hospitality) course is an initiative that fills a vital industry training gap."The Revenue Director role is evolving quickly and they are taking on extra responsibilities such as digital marketing, meeting space and food & beverage but until now there hasn't been a cost-effective training option," says Jackie Douglas, President HSMAI Asia Pacific."This course was developed by hoteliers for hoteliers, who have been struggling to fill positions in their fastgrowing revenue management teams with properly trained employees."The comprehensive 10-course program combines a series of practical exercise and fast-track learning chapters that examines all key aspects of revenue management from forecasting, distribution, pricing, market segmentation, to data analysis, business intelligence and marketing.One of the course creators, Puneet Mahindroo, Senior Director of Hotel Marketing & Revenue Management, APAC, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, and Chair of the HSMAI Asia Pacific Revenue Advisory Board, urged his industry colleagues to get behind the project."All Revenue Directors should use this program to fill their revenue staffing pipeline by enrolling sales, reservations, front desk staff to discover who has the talent and skills for revenue management." Ms. Douglas says Revenue Management offers excellent career opportunities and is becoming increasingly diverse."The role Revenue Managers play within a hotel is evolving rapidly into areas such as strategy management and because demand for their analytical skills will only increase, it was vital we addressed this imbalance through the new training program," says Douglas."Collaboration has been central to this project. Twelve hotel leaders of revenue volunteered to create the curriculum while we also received valuable financial support from our partners to hire educators to transform it into a great online learning experience."The program was mostly funded by our Platinum Education Partner Marina Bay Sands, with contributions from IDeaS, SiteMinder and LodgIQ. Priced from USD50 per course, or USD350 in total the course is now available through HSMAI's recently launched online training portal - https://hsmaiacademy.org/HSMAI has made strides in the past three years, ever since it received funding support from Marina Bay Sands, Asia's leading integrated resort destination. Among other achievements, the association has produced 24 events in Singapore and Thailand last year, from just four in Singapore in 2014. It now aims to produce 28 events this year, and expand to Malaysia in 2018.In 2015, it also launched the first HSMAI Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC) in Asia Pacific, now an annual regional conference based in Singapore. In that same year, it also launched the first Digital Marketing Conference in Asia Pacific which now encompasses the multiple disciplines of Revenue, Digital and Distribution.In Singapore, during ITB Asia, HSMAI will hold three training events and an Executive Roundtable:"Revenue Ready" training workshop on Revenue Strategy on 26th October"Revenue Ready" training workshop on Accommodation Distribution on 26th OctoberDigital Marketing Training Workshop for hoteliers on 26th OctoberChief Revenue Officers Executive Roundtable on 25th October (invitation-only)In 2018, HSMAI will continue to work with hoteliers to ensure the industry works together to raise the professionalism of the hospitality industry with a focus on the commercial disciplines of sales, marketing & revenue management.

Rate comparison tools an essential in hotel industry, says Magnuson Worldwide

Magnuson 24 October 2017
Hotels with ambitious plans to grow their revenue and attract new customers should be investing in a leading rate comparison tool, according to a premium hotel network brand. Magnuson Worldwide, an experienced firm that's helped hundreds of hotels achieve their potential, is urging independent hotel owners to consider making a rate comparison tool part of their core process to take on large chains.For boutique hoteliers, finding the resources and manpower to continually compete against chains can be a challenge. Magnuson Worldwide has pointed out that utilizing leading industry tools could be just what independents need. Through assessing the rates of rivals, a rate comparison procedure can ensure that rooms are always attractively priced for potential customers, taking local and national events into consideration. Rate tracking can not only keep rooms filled but gives hotels a chance to take advantage of opportunities when rates could be increased, maximizing revenue potential.James Manion, Director of Brand Services of Magnuson Worldwide, said, "Growing hotels really need to look at whether they're setting the most attractive rates while increasing earning potential. But trawling through different sites manually is time consuming and ineffective. This is an area that can truly benefit from some technology investment. Automatically keeping hotel rates set at an appealing, profitable level, it's one less task for hotels employees to manage. With the right rates being set across a hotel at any given time, hotels can see their profits soar and develop a loyal customer base."Rate setting is just one of the areas that Magnuson Worldwide help the businesses within their network. Deploying high quality, global technology across its partners, the innovative hotel network can boast helping its members increase revenues by 25% on average. Through effective rate setting, coupled with other principal technology designed to streamline process and daily operations, Magnuson Worldwide helps to unleash potential and meet ambitions within the highly competitive hospitality industry.

HITEC Dubai, Officially Endorsed by DTCM, Aims to Facilitate Tourism Vision 2020

HFTP 23 October 2017
To help realize this vision, HITEC, the world's largest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand is debuting in the Middle East, with Dubai as the host city.HITEC Dubai, co-produced by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and Naseba, will feature an expo floor with over 40 technology providers showcasing the latest innovations; and a summit for hospitality decision makers and technology providers to conduct business.HITEC Dubai's Advisory Council has meticulously crafted an educational session with panel discussions, tech talks and workshops that allow hoteliers to discuss solutions that will transform their operations. Smart rooms, loyalty by blockchain, PMS, sustainable technology, all cloud hotels and smart data analytics are just some of the many topics being covered as part of the agenda.HITEC Dubai's Advisory Council Chairman and Jumeirah Group CIO, Marwan Al Ali, noted "technology enhances guest experience, reduces costs and increases profitability - all of these are paramount to the region leading up to mega events like Expo 2020 and beyond. I invite all key hospitality stakeholders to make the best use of HITEC's debut to the Middle East."Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the principal authority for the planning and marketing of tourism in Dubai, is responsible for helping to realize Tourism Vision 2020 and has also officially endorsed HITEC Dubai."Technology has become the central nervous system of all leading economic drivers in the region including the hospitality industry," said Naveen Bharadwaj, production director at Naseba. "We are pleased to receive the endorsement of DTCM for HITEC Dubai, an impact-driven technology show for knowledge sharing, product show-casing and deal-flow within the hospitality industry.""Several Middle Eastern stakeholders have attended HITEC in North America over the years and we are very glad to follow their requests and bring HITEC to Dubai for the benefit of the wider industry," said Frank Wolfe, CEO at HFTP. "DTCM's endorsement underlines the government's commitment to industry-wide adoption of technology and innovation."For more information, contact Sharath Ravi on +971 44 55 79 13 or email at sharathr@naseba.com.About HITEC Dubai Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place.Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), producers of HITEC, will partner with Naseba, a business facilitation company, to bring the brand to Dubai. Making the event accessible to buyers from the lucrative Middle Eastern market, currently worth over USD 75 bn. The show will offer an education program and exhibits. In addition, HITEC Dubai will feature a summit with one-to-one business meetings that have become the hallmark of Naseba's platforms. Hoteliers attending the summit portion of HITEC Dubai will be pre-qualified to confirm their purchasing authority, budgets, timelines and solutions of interest. hitec.naseba.comAbout HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit. Follow HFTP/HITEC on HFTP Connect, Facebook (@HFTPGlobal; @HITECconference), LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube for the latest news. Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes and HFTP Finance Bytes.

trivago creates a stand-alone sales subsidiary to accelerate hotel direct business

trivago 18 October 2017
Dusseldorf, Germany -- trivago, a leading global hotel metasearch, announces the foundation of trivago Hotel Relations GmbH, a new wholly-owned subsidiary that will foster strong direct relationships with independent hotels. The company will focus on empowering hoteliers around the world to be more competitive online and to drive more direct bookings through their hotel websites."With this step we are accelerating our ability to scale an exceptionally skilled international salesforce and build stronger ties with hoteliers. It enables us to work even closer with hoteliers and better support them in making their direct marketing successful." Johannes Thomas, Managing Director and Chief Revenue Officer at trivago N.V., said. He explained: "We've seen significant success in our hotel direct business over the past two years. At the same time, we learned that scaling a sales organization requires a different culture, operating mode, and set of talents compared to a technology organization. We believe that being a dedicated company provides it with the necessary freedom to determine its own identity."The different requirements of a tech organization and those of a sales organization inspired the decision to set up a dedicated sales subsidiary that can create its own identity, culture, and employer branding: Instead of recruiting engineers, the new company aims to recruit the top sales talents from around the globe.trivago Hotel Relations GmbH, based in Dusseldorf, Germany, will be the entity responsible for trivago's relationships with over 310,000 hoteliers around the world. The company starts with over 160 employees from 21 countries and aims to grow its team in 2018. This is intended to accelerate trivago's efforts in providing travelers with more choices and the option to book direct.Read the full story here: http://hotelmanager-blog.trivago.com/en-us/trivago-hotel-relations/About trivago Hotel Relations GmbH trivago Hotel Relations GmbH was founded in 2017 and is a wholly-owned sales subsidiary of trivago N.V. It aims at empowering hoteliers to compete online and drive more direct bookings on their own websites - via the trivago Hotel Manager. As of July 31, 2017, there are already over 310,000 hoteliers across the globe using the metasearch marketing platform, which operates in ten languages across 21 localized platforms.

In the Travel App Landscape, Airline and Hotel Brands Are Nowhere to be Seen

Phocuswright 18 October 2017
For more on the study's results, here's Maggie Rauch, director, research, Phocuswright: Click here to view the videoNew research from Phocuswright and Apptopia, The Travel App Landscape: A Study of the Top 100 Travel Apps, delves deeply into the world of travel apps to show who's on top, who's not, what's trending, and where it's all headed.And join us November 7-9 in Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood, Florida the travel industry event of the year, The Phocuswright Conference, where you will hear from so many of the innovators and leaders in the travel app landscape. Register through October 20 to save $200.

Compelling Topics at Upcoming HTNG European Conference

HTNG 12 October 2017
HTNG announces session information and speakers for next month's 2017 European Conference on 7-9 November in Prague.The first two days of the conference will be filled with general sessions and concurrent breakout sessions. On the third day, the agenda will conclude with hoteliers-only sessions. HTNG conferences deliver programs that keep attendees up-to-date on emerging technology issues and trends in hospitality. This conference will provide knowledge, collaboration, networking and business development opportunities to a wide range of industry professionals.Keynote Speaker: Ben Ryan, Coach, Fiji Rugby SevensAttaining Optimal Performance Through People and Technology: Ben Ryan has been hailed as a national hero after leading the Fiji Rugby 7s team to the country's first Olympic championship. He pioneered use of GPS technology in team sports, but was challenged when he went to the Fiji programme and had no technology to work with. This session will explain how using the proper tools in coaching teams can be the difference between success and failure. Ben will share with the audience his stories and experiences to illustrate how to use innovation successfully rather than simply innovating for the sake of it.Session Topics:The AI Age: How Will Machine Learning and Intelligence Impact Travel and Hospitality? In this age of AI, computing power has caught up with our vision and is now becoming reality. Kanishka Agiwal, IBM Corporation, will give the audience a glimpse into the new future and how it will affect our industry.All Systems Go: Hotel Systems Dashboards: Graeme Powell, Veridicum, will teach valuable insights of dashboards that could be integrated into a product roadmap today.Are You Ready for GDPR? Charles-Albert Helleputte, Mayer-Brown Europe, will provide a high-level overview of the new regulation and the later session GDPR: Discussion and Drill Down will answer questions and dig deeper into the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).Blockchain and Hospitality: This session will cover the basics of blockchain technology at a strategic level, with guidance on key variations and the applications where they make sense.Blockchain Use Cases Deep Dive: In this session, speakers will explore blockchain use cases being addressed by Winding Tree (distribution) and Currency Alliance (loyalty).Enhancing the Guest Experience with Central Authentication: Chris Headings, Sunray, will explain how to deploy centralized authentication to hotels, while maintaining security best practices and leveraging the infrastructure already owned.How to Get Started with Blockchain: This session is targeted at front-line leaders of development organizations to provide tips and tricks for key decisions to make, what resources are available and common pitfalls.How Virtual and Augmented Reality Will Change Loyalty & Engagement for Hospitality: Chris Ruff, Glympse, will discuss how hotel brands can use AR and VR technologies to increase brand loyalty and why it's important to implement them to differentiate themselves.Innovation Through Accelerators: This session will discuss the trend of innovation, how it is considered a key factor of future success and how companies struggle with agility, risk taking and the frequent failures that are inevitable.IT Leadership Panel: Top-level hotel IT executives will share how they see technology evolving in hotels in the coming years.Know Thy Enemy: Utilizing Machine Learning for Adaptive Security: Dobias van Ingen, Aruba Networks, will teach the audience how continuous evaluation of threats against your hotel, brand and company through machine learning can keep your guests, staff and data safe.Additional Conference Speakers:Denis Baranov, DataArtFloor Bleeker, Movenpick Hotels & ResortsMarco Correia, Belmond HotelsCharles Ehredt, Currency AllianceTed Horner, E. Horner & Associates Pty LtdYves Lacheret, AccorHotelsJens Lapinski, TechstarsBrian Lewis, OpenJaw Technologies LtdDouglas Rice, Hospitality Technology Network, LLCAndrew Sanders, DataArtFinn Schulz, Schulz ConsultingJakub Vysoky, Winding TreeFor a full agenda and up-to-date list of speakers, please visit the HTNG European Conference page.Conference registration is open to any full-time employee of a company who owns, manages or franchises a hotel or hospitality company. For all other industry participants, HTNG membership is required.

Modern hospitality: Striking the right balance between high-tech and human

JLLH 5 October 2017
From iPad ordering to robot concierges, technology is automating many aspects of dining and hotel experiences - and freeing up staff to provide more personalized service.At some Aloft hotels, a robot butler known as Botlr delivers room service and towels to guests, leaving staff to deal with more complex queries. In CitizenM hotels, guests bypass front desk queues at self check-in kiosks with hotel ambassadors to answer any questions, while at the Andaz West Hollywood, personal greeters take guests through an iPad check-in over a coffee or glass of wine."Technology has substantially improved both the behind-the-scenes management and the guest experience in the hospitality industry," says Marko Vucinic, Senior Vice President and Acting Head of Hotels and Hospitality Group at JLL Middle East and North Africa. Online booking sites have transformed the way people find and book meals and accommodation, while apps such as Deliveroo are eliminating the need for restaurant staff to answer delivery calls. "Self-service technology is on the rise, as digital systems streamline processes from pre-payment to checking in and even dining experiences with new iPad menus."Meanwhile, loyalty apps and sophisticated customer relationship management systems allow hoteliers and restaurateurs to track guest preferences and personalize their benefits accordingly. For example, the Starbucks app learns its users' habits, then pushes unique offers to their phones, smartwatches or drive-thru windows."Technology has become very good at making services more efficient, providing more information for guests, and reducing costs," says Alexis Marcoux-Varvatsoulis, Consultant at JLL Foodservice Consulting. "But can it provide hospitality? I'm not sure it can."Hospitality is personalTraditional vanguards of hospitality have been the savvy waiter or concierge who could decode customers' wishes or make on-point recommendations using well-honed interpersonal skills. For brands whose key offering revolves around high-quality hospitality, this human factor and skill set will always be crucial. But where efficiency and speed are key to a brand's offering, technology can successfully replace human labor and cut costs without alienating guests, notes Marcoux-Varvatsoulis.Take fast-food chains, often the early adopters of industry technology. By year-end, burger chain Wendy's will have 1,000 restaurants with self-order kiosks, while McDonald's kiosks additionally allow diners to customize their burgers. In the mid-2020s, many fast-food restaurants could be fully automated, from the point of ordering to the burger-flipping.From the hotels' perspective, "budget to midscale hotel brands tend more to use technology as a replacement for human labor because there isn't a significant need for that additional level of customer service - which is what guests are paying for with higher-end brands," Vucinic says.In contrast, guests at many budget and mid-range brands are looking for convenience - and automated technology therefore helps create an experience which meets their needs.Getting the right mixYet as hoteliers look to boost spending on technology to provide their customers with increasingly personalized service, the impact of human connection can't be overstated. The number of interactions guests have with hotel staff directly impacts how they rate customer service, while 68 percent of diners agree that automation in restaurants takes away from their dining experience."Some hoteliers want to have technology features because that's what people increasingly expect, but they need to maintain a human factor as that's what guests are paying for," Vucinic says. "Hoteliers need to figure out the right balance for their particular product and decide which functions can be automated."Often, that entails the straightforward processes such as checking in and paying, where guests are not only unlikely to require a social connection, but would prefer to avoid waiting in line to do it.For some of the hotel groups and brands such as CitizenM and Aloft, an affordable, tech-centric experience is part of the brand offering, targeted towards Millennial customers who often prefer self-service and technology such as keyless entry via smartphone app.Conversely, at the Four Seasons, whose luxury brand is predicated on sky-high levels of customer service, the hotel app offers features in addition to what its human team can provide, such as GPS directions that users can show cab drivers in the local language and a facility to request housekeeping even if the privacy light is on - as well as direct access to the concierge for in-person assistance when required."The key objective of technology features is to add value to the overall experience brands are trying to deliver, not replace the human interaction," Vucinic says.At the Hilton McLean, Connie is a robot concierge that can answer routine questions and point the way to various hotel facilities - but rather than replacing any member of staff, Connie is intended to free up its human colleagues to focus on helping guests with more complicated queries."Using technology in hospitality should be all about improving the experience for guests," Marcoux-Varvatsoulis concludes. "Efficiency can go a long way to creating a good guest experience, but thoughtful, personal customer service is what turns a good experience into a memorable one."

Table Top Exhibit Space Sold Out for HFTP Annual Convention 2017

HFTP 3 October 2017
HFTP is pleased to announce table top exhibit space for the 2017 HFTP Annual Convention is sold out, with 30 organizations participating. HFTP has changed the event's vendor interaction to allow attendees to meet with vendors in a new table top format at the Annual Convention, scheduled for October 25-27, 2017 at Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate in Championsgate, Florida USA. Online registration is open for Annual Convention 2017."For 65 years at the HFTP Annual Convention, the association has provided an opportunity for hospitality finance, and later technology, professionals to learn and explore the tools available to help us be successful in our professions," said Frank Wolfe, HFTP CEO. "The table top exhibits complement that goal, presenting to attendees products and services dedicated to the hospitality industry. The full house only serves to present a good representation of what is on offer."The exhibits will be open during the Welcome Reception on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., as well as the following Thursday morning beverage breaks and luncheon - providing exhibitors with ample time to network with attendees. Visit the Annual Convention page on the HFTP website for complete information about all conference events, including the program schedule, hotel and travel details and more.Annual Convention also offers multiple sponsorship and advertising opportunities for companies to participate in the event even after exhibit space is sold out. The available branding packages will allow companies to increase impressions and engagement among attendees before and after Annual Convention. For more information about branding packages or sponsorship opportunities, please contact HFTP Director of Exhibits Paula Lerash, CEM at paula.lerash@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org.Annual Convention 2018 is slated for October 24-27 at the new Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA. For more information about HFTP's Annual Convention and other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org. For the latest news, follow HFTP/HITEC on HITEC Bytes, PineappleSearch, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website. Read industry updates on the suite of HFTP hospitality news sites: HITEC Bytes, Club Bytes, Finance Bytes and HFTP News.

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