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    HITEC DUBAI

    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

    December 5–6, 2018
    Dubai, UAE

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    April 10–11, 2019
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    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

    Minneapolis Convention Center

    June 17-20, 2019

Preparing Independent Restaurateurs for the Digital Age

EHL 18 July 2018
Independent restaurateurs face increasing pressure from large chain operators, many of whom are adopting technology rapidly as part of their global growth strategies. Meanwhile, independent operators may not yet realize the competition they face for their own survival.This latest research focuses on restaurateurs' challenges and behaviors toward training, as well as innovations in education from other industries, to enable the creation of Learning Communities. The concept is an innovative approach to train independent restaurateurs, taking into account the perennial issue of lack of time and money they face, as well as their most significant business challenges, topics of interest, current level of digitalization and preferred training format. The study included interviews with more than 50 independent restaurateurs, academics, experts and restaurant associations. A survey of more than 2,300 restaurant owners, managers, chefs and METRO customers was also completed across France, Italy and Spain as they were selected to represent the European countries for the study. These interviews and survey data were then analyzed to help create a Learning Community concept.Survey results indicated that the main challenges for independent restaurateurs included offering home delivery service, doing administrative paperwork and managing their staff. Their main topics of interest for training, however, centered on managing food, beverage and other supply costs, mastering cooking techniques and forecasting demand. This gap between challenges identified and topics of interest helped inform the Learning Community concept, which offers a solution that trains restaurateurs on what they want to learn while gradually introducing more critical topics and more peer to peer interaction."The Learning Community concept not only provides targeted and pioneering training concept on relevant technologies, but also tackles all primary challenges that independent restaurateurs face in their daily operations," stated Dr. Christine Demen Meier, Chair Holder, METRO Chair of Innovation. As demonstrated by the research team composed of Dr. Christine Demen Meier, Caroline Guigou and Isabelle Vetterli, this innovative educational solution also uses gamification elements to enhance the learning experience, keep participants engaged in the process, and help them develop the ability to comprehend digital content."The first study with the METRO Chair of Innovation showed us how restaurateurs use technologies and if not, what the reasons behind are. Restaurateurs often avoid new technologies due to a lack of time, knowledge and resources. With this follow-up study, we dived deeper to find solutions that start exactly at this point: What learning concepts and support can we give restaurateurs so that they can keep their finger on the pulse of the times and integrate learning into their everyday life with little use of resources?", says Frederic Schumacher, Director of Innovation at Hospitality Digital, a company of METRO AG. "We strive to help restaurateurs to integrate digital tools that simplify their work processes, so that they have more time for the essential."This was the last research carried out by the Metro Chair of Innovation, while the partnership between METRO and EHL will continue to evolve and grow. An announcement will be made soon with further details. For more information on the METRO Chair of Innovation and to download the research results, click here: https://innovationchair.com.

HFTP Announces Three New Global Chapters and Expands Student Chapter Networks

HFTP 18 July 2018
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is excited to announce that three new, local chapters have recently been chartered: HFTP Greater Louisville Chapter, HFTP New York University Student Chapter and HFTP Kansas State University Student Chapter. HFTP chapters provide a wide array of benefits to an association's membership -- not the least of which is the collaborative building of knowledge and camaraderie among local and like-minded industry professionals.HFTP's local chapters help industry professionals in the area expand their network, increase educational opportunities and build strong face-to-face connections with peers. Moreover, HFTP chapters give association members support, tools and resources to advance in their hospitality career."We are pleased to welcome these three new chapters to HFTP," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "HFTP is determined to efficiently serve its members across the globe, so we are excited to provide more expanded networks in additional local areas."HFTP currently has more than 76 local chapters providing opportunities for networking and education throughout the world. HFTP members can attend chapter meetings to connect with their local network of HFTP members and share solutions with professionals in the community. Chapters hold regular educational and social meetings, as well as participate in projects to benefit area charities.HFTP's Greater Louisville Chapter is currently is led by: Chapter President Joshua Bergen, CHAE, CHTP, controller at VENZA; Chapter Vice President Deuce Sapp, CIO at Al J. Schneider Company; Chapter Treasurer Ashley Barke, senior tax manager at MCM CPAs & Advisors; Chapter Secretary Paul West, hospitality technology consultant at Technical Solution Services.HFTP's New York University Student Chapter is currently is led by: Chapter President Hartanto Yuwo, CHIA, student at New York University; Chapter Vice President Harini Premnath, student at New York University; Chapter Treasurer Xinyi Zhu, student at New York University; Chapter Secretary Yixuan Li, student at New York University; Chapter Faculty Adviser Recep "Richie" Karaburun, clinical assistant professor at New York University.HFTP's Kansas State University Chapter is currently is led by: Chapter President Neda Shabani, student at Kansas State University; Chapter Vice President Prasanna Kansakar, student at Kansas State University; Chapter Treasurer Vahid Behzada, student at Kansas State University; Chapter Secretary Dalton Hahn, student at Kansas State University; Chapter Faculty Adviser Arslan Munir, Ph.D., assistant professor at Kansas State University.For more information about HFTP chapters, visit www.hftp.org. For more information about HFTP's new chapters, read this blog on HFTP Connect.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org.Follow HFTP on social media: Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.

World Tourism Day Places Focus on Innovation & Digital Transformation

UNWTO 17 July 2018
The importance of digital technologies in tourism, providing opportunities for innovation and preparing the sector for the future of work, is at the centre of World Tourism Day 2018, to be celebrated in Budapest, Hungary (27 September 2018).World Tourism Day, celebrated every 27 September around the world, is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on tourism's actual and potential contribution to sustainable development.This year's World Tourism Day (WTD) will help to put the opportunities provided to tourism, by technological advances including big data, artificial intelligence and digital platforms, on the map of sustainable development. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) sees digital advances and innovation as part of the solution to the challenge of marrying continued growth with a more sustainable and responsible tourism sector."Harnessing innovation and digital advances provides tourism with opportunities to improve inclusiveness, local community empowerment and efficient resource management, amongst other objectives within the wider sustainable development agenda", said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.The WTD official celebration will be held in Budapest, Hungary, a country enjoying steady growth of tourism backed by consistent policy support and a commitment to the digital future. Other celebrations will take place worldwide.The official celebration will also see the announcement of the semi-finalists of the 1st UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition, launched by UNWTO and Globalia to give visibility to startups with innovative ideas capable of revolutionizing the way we travel and enjoy tourism.Useful links:UNWTO World Tourism Day websiteWorld Tourism Day Trello Board1st UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition

OpenTravel Alliance and Industry Experts Present Powerful Use Cases for New Release 2.0 Object Model

OpenTravel Alliance 12 July 2018
The OpenTravel Alliance, the not-for-profit responsible for developing and maintaining interoperability for disparate systems in all verticals of the travel industry, hosted a Tech Talk workshop on the release of the 2.0 Object Model for attendees June 21 at the HITEC Houston 2018 trade show and conference in Houston.Tech Talk speakers included technical and business leaders from across the spectrum of travel verticals. Attendees represented developers, technology consultants and business executives seeking more advanced software tools to power their company and client APIs and distribution partnerships.OpenTravel's Tech Talk was co-located at HITEC Houston 2018 - a gathering of hospitality technology and financial experts, technology vendors and thought leaders - that is produced by HFTP (Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals). HFTP invites a variety of trade organizations and businesses to present new technology products and practices at Tech Talks for HITEC attendees.Presenting at the OpenTravel session about the 2.0 Object Model were:Sandy Angel, Director of Specifications, who provided an overview of 2.0 as a model used to design reusable information objects in libraries housed in a repository to share and reuse libraries of objects; also, the OpenTravel Model-Development Environment (OTM-DE) as a tool to speed development and produce JSON and XML schemas from the 2.0 object model.David Velasquez, SVP Technology and Distribution, LinksRez, and a member of OpenTravel, who shared his experience implementing the 2.0 Object Model and building business partnerships with increased speed to market.Matt Blackmon, Client Solutions Architect, Switchfly, and board member of OpenTravel, who shared compelling examples of how 2.0 facilitates innovation by rapid deployment of APIs with affiliates.Andrew Rubinacci, former SVP, InterContinental Hotels Group, who discussed the importance of standards in product development and marketing new hotel products.Buddy Altus, VP Innovation, Avis Budget Group and Vice Chairman of OpenTravel, who shared how standards like 2.0 enable and grow competitive advantage among business partners.Gene Quinn, Co-founder and former CEO, Tnooz and former Chairman, Phocuswright, moderated the session.For more information about OpenTravel's 2.0 Object Model, email info@opentravel.org or visit www.opentravel.org/join

Joint Venture of Alibaba Group and Marriott International Trials Facial Recognition Check-In Technology

Marriott 11 July 2018
"We are excited to partner with the joint venture yet again to offer an innovative and convenient check-in alternative for Chinese travelers. Marriott International has a track record of embracing cutting-edge technology to create memorable experiences for guests," highlighted Mr. Henry Lee, Chief Operations Officer and Managing Director of Marriott International Greater China and Board Member of the Joint Venture. "With technology, our hotel associates can work more efficiently to do what they do best - delivering personalized service to our guests." With Fliggy's expertise in facial recognition technology and the joint venture's hospitality insights, the pilot will kick off from July 2018 at two Marriott International properties in China - Hangzhou Marriott Hotel Qianjiangand Sanya Marriott Hotel Dadonghai Bay, with the goal of global rollout across Marriott International's properties in the future. This move is set to position Marriott International as a pioneer global hospitality company to offer this seamless check-in experience for Chinese travelers.The traditional hotel check-in process takes at least 3 minutes and even more during peak times with most of it spent on queuing. With the adoption of facial recognition technology, the check-in process can be completed in less than a minute. Chinese guests simply need to scan their IDs, take a photo and input contact details on a self-help machine. The intelligent device will then dispense room key cards after identities and booking information are verified.Through strategic findings from the joint venture, facial recognition check-in improves operational efficiencies. And according to market research results by consulting firm Ipsos[1], Chinese travelers have shown a strong interest in new technologies in hotels with over 60% showing their preference for facial recognition technology.Since the establishment of the joint venture in August 2017, Marriott International has benefited tremendously from the joint venture's comprehensive matrix of digital travel solutions and consultancy services, including digital platform consulting and management, customized marketing, business intelligence; and service innovation. The Marriott storefront on Fliggy (marriottcn.fliggy.com) is now managed by the joint venture given its digital platform consulting and management expertise, and it is also a Chinese booking gateway with multi-faceted offerings in one platform. Guests can now access to approximately 6,000 hotels from across Marriott International's global inventory of 30 brands and choose Li Yu certified hotels, presented in a Chinese traveler-friendly layout. As a firm that seeks to redefine the travel experience for Chinese travelers, the joint venture has also enabled a seamless booking experience by rolling out the Post Post Pay functionality at over 1,000 Marriott International hotels globally; in addition to enabling exclusive members-only rates through the storefront.Along with digital enhancements, Marriott International has also witnessed significant growth of over two million loyalty members as of June 2018. Enabled by the joint venture, members can now link their Marriott Rewards and Fliggy memberships through status matching, earn points and enjoy benefits from both programs."We are proud to have a hand in supporting Marriott International to redefine the experience of Chinese travelers with innovative services," highlighted Mr. David Chai, CEO of the joint venture. "These accomplishments thus far are testament to our solid expertise of providing effective solutions and services across the entire journey of a traveler; and we look forward to continuing reinventing and showcasing our expertise."Moving forward, the joint venture will continue its work on enhancing the storefront and linking the loyalty programs of Marriott International and those of the Alibaba ecosystem; allowing more Chinese consumers to enjoy personalized and VIP experiences.

Booking Holdings Agrees to Acquire HotelsCombined

Booking.com 10 July 2018
Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire hotel metasearch site, HotelsCombined. Based in Sydney, Australia with a strong presence in APAC and thousands of active affiliates worldwide, HotelsCombined will report into Booking Holdings' leading travel metasearch brand, KAYAK."HotelsCombined has built a strong brand with loyal consumers across APAC, and we believe the team will be a great addition to KAYAK to further expand our worldwide metasearch strategy," said Glenn Fogel, CEO of Booking Holdings."We've admired their execution for many years. I'm eager to work together to strengthen our capabilities and global network," said Steve Hafner, CEO of KAYAK.HotelsCombined was founded in 2005. The acquisition has been approved by HotelsCombined's board of directors and stockholders and is expected to close later this year, subject to regulatory approval and satisfaction of closing conditions."We've always been inspired by the entrepreneurial culture of Booking Holdings brands and are excited to be joining the family." said Hichame Assi, CEO of HotelsCombined "Operating under the KAYAK umbrella will strengthen our proposition to both customers and partners with greater scale, product breadth and innovation."About Booking HoldingsBooking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG) is the world leader in online travel and related services, provided to customers and partners in over 220 countries through six primary brands -Booking.com,KAYAK,priceline.com,agoda.com,Rentalcars.com and OpenTable. The mission of Booking Holdings is to help people experience the world. For more information, visit Bookingholdings.com.

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts launches Artificial Intelligence rooms in Greater China

IHG 9 July 2018
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), one of the world's leading hotel companies, announced that InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has collaborated with Baidu to introduce the next generation of intelligent hospitality. Smart Rooms, which are powered by artificial intelligence, are expected to improve and redefine customer hotel experience in China's hospitality industry. From now on, guests staying at InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun and InterContinental Guangzhou Exhibition Centre will be amongst the first to enjoy the AI Smart Rooms. A total of 100 AI powered Club InterContinental suites will be available at InterContinental hotels in gateway cities and key destinations across China within the year. Customised for InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, the AI solution is developed by Baidu's DuerOS Platform. It integrates AI technology with hotel operations, and this is supported by hardware upgrade and cloud service. Unlike traditional guest rooms, the newly launched AI Smart Room will fully embrace voice control technology to deliver a more natural human-computer interactive experience. For instance, guests will be able to freely switch settings between work and leisure modes, and enjoy a more convenient and seamless room service experience. This solution will also further fine-tune the current backstage management system, including customising information and resetting devices, making hotel management a simpler task.Lin Wang, Vice President of Marketing, IHG Greater China, commented: "IHG has always been at the forefront of innovation. We are thrilled to be pioneering in the hospitality industry, and exploring the various possibilities of future experience with our guests. Millennials are particularly sensitive to technology, often seeking new things to try. The AI Smart Room will undoubtedly be extremely attractive for them, paving the way for a new level of modernisation and consumer satisfaction. We will continue to make use of cutting-edge technology in hotel service and facilities in the future, and we hope this will further strengthen customer awareness and appreciation of smart technology. Meanwhile, we will provide more efficient operation and management services to our hotel owners."Jing Kun, General Manager of Smart Living Group, Baidu, commented: "With its well-rounded service functions, DuerOS continues to empower partners of various industries, and contributes to ecological data sharing. It is an honour to work with InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, a world renowned luxury hotel brand with over 70 years of history, and to jointly launch our solution for intelligent hospitality. This presents an exciting and dynamic change to future user experience."IHG and Baidu inked a strategic partnership on AI development last November. Since then, the hospitality industry has witnessed a new wave of exploration in this field. The application of AI has gone beyond smart homes and automatic driving, and now marks a new milestone in the hospitality industry. In the future, IHG and Baidu will continue the exploration and innovation in intelligent hospitality solutions, creating more smart options and experiences for guests.

Companies Attending the 2018 HTNG Asia-Pacific Conference

HTNG 9 July 2018
Companies in attendance include:5thGenWirelessACI HR Solutions LtdAlcatel-Lucent Enterprise*Amadeus*Angie HospitalityANTlabs*Belden*China Hospitality Technology Alliance (CHTA)CNN*Comanche InternationalComo Hotels & ResortsComtrendsCotell Intelligent Technology (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd.*dailypointE. Horner & Associates Pty LtdElectrosonic, Inc.Entertainment SolutionsExterity*FP ConsultingGelato.AI Limited*GuestTekGX2 TechnologyHall Booth Smith, P.C.Hilton WorldwideHospitality & Retail Systems (HRS)Hospitality Technology Network, LLCHospitality WiFi LLC*HSyndicate.orgHyatt Hotels CorporationIntelityInterContinental Hotels GroupJungMandarin Oriental Hotel GroupMarriott InternationalMelco Resorts & EntertainmentMGM Resorts International, ChinaMovenpick Hotels & ResortsMyCoolTV*NEC*NomadixPertlink LimitedPwCRed Planet HotelsRobogo*Ruckus Networks*SabreSalto Systems*Samsotech International*Samsung Electronics Co.ShijiSun-CreaTableSolution*The Conceptual GroupThe Emirates AcademyUbicompVDA Group SpA*Willard Solutions InternationalWinding TreeXn Protel Systems**Supporting sponsorConference registration is open to any full-time employee of a company who owns, manages or franchises a hotel. For all other industry participants, HTNG membership is required. Technology providers, consultants and others who are not HTNG members should check with HTNG's Membership Department to ensure eligibility.Registration and more information for the 2018 HTNG Asia-Pacific Conference can be found here.***

New Menus, Technology Fuel Rise in Restaurant Customer Satisfaction, ACSI Data Show

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) 4 July 2018
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Both full-service and fast food restaurants are revamping their menus and rolling out more mobile ordering options, to the delight of diners. Customer satisfaction with the Accommodation and Food Services sector overall rises 1.8 percent year over year to a score of 79.4 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index's (ACSI) 100-point scale. According to the ACSI Restaurant Report 2018, full-service restaurants jump 3.8 percent to an ACSI score of 81, while fast food establishments gain 1.3 percent to a score of 80."As the economy improves, consumers have more money to spend, and they're dining out more," said David VanAmburg, Managing Director at ACSI. "At the same time, restaurants are adapting their menus and technology in line with shifting consumer preferences, as millennial tastes for fresh food, mobile ordering, and automated kiosks take hold. The bottom line: Restaurants are working hard to please consumers, and the latest ACSI scores show that it's paying off."Full-service restaurants bounce back from 2017 slumpTexas Roadhouse takes over the lead with a score of 83, up 1 percent over last year. It edges out Cracker Barrel, which falls 4 percent to 81 to tie Darden's LongHorn Steakhouse for second place.LongHorn's score of 81 represents a leap of 5 percent, which takes the steakhouse from below average to among the top full-service restaurants. The restaurant's reduced menu options and larger steak sizes seem to have paid off in customer satisfaction.Third place goes to Olive Garden, which dips 1 percent to 80. Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, Red Robin, and TGI Fridays all tie at 79, below the industry average. Outback and Red Lobster lose 1 percent and 2 percent respectively, while TGI Fridays jumps 4 percent, a result fueled by a menu overhaul and a return to its roots as a bar.Red Robin has the biggest gain in the industry, soaring 8 percent to 79. Its focus on menu innovation, online ordering, and call center support helped fuel a 40 percent increase in off-premises sales in the first quarter year over year and resulted in major gains in customer satisfaction.Applebee's, Chili's and Ruby Tuesday tie at 78, with Denny's just a point behind in last place at 77.Full-service restaurants make big gains in both food quality (up 4 percent to 87) and food variety (up 4 percent to 86), both of which cater to changing consumer taste preferences for healthier options and customization. Order accuracy remains a strong point for the industry with a score of 89, a 2 percent rise over last year, and restaurant staff are said to be courteous and helpful, with a score of 87, also up 2 percent.Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, KFC: How fast food players faredChick-fil-A holds onto its lead atop all fast food restaurants, with an unchanged score of 87. This is well above the industry average and head and shoulders above the next major competitor, Panera Bread, which falls 1 percent to a score of 81.Subway and Arby's both fall 1 percent to scores of 80 and 79, respectively.Starbucks gains 1 percent to tie Dunkin' Donuts at an ACSI score of 78 after Dunkin' Donuts sheds 1 percent to lose its lead from last year.KFC slips 1 percent to a score of 77.Pizza purveyors get competitivePapa John's and Pizza Hut are in a dead heat among fast food pizza restaurants, tied at 80. While Papa John's dips 2 percent year over year, Pizza Hut surges 5 percent for the biggest ACSI gain in the industry--likely the result of a new rewards program, and investments in equipment, technology, and marketing.Domino's is closing in on the top two, rising 1 percent to 79, while Little Caesars, the fourth-largest pizza maker, trails with a score of 77, down 1 percent this year.Chipotle vs. Taco Bell: No contestChipotle Mexican Grill stands steady at 79, leveling off after a 6 percent plunge in 2016. While its financials continue to improve, the fast-casual chain's customer satisfaction hasn't bounced back as quickly from the company's food safety crisis.Taco Bell sits well below Chipotle at 74, after dropping 3 percent compared to last year. Its score also places it well below its fellow Yum! Brands chains, KFC and Pizza Hut.Which fast food burger joint leads in customer satisfaction?Overall, burger chains inhabit the lower end of the fast food industry. This year, Wendy's rises 1 percent to a 77 to overtake Burger King, which falls 1 percent to 76.Jack in the Box slips 1 percent to 74, while McDonald's remains in last place among burger chains and fast food restaurants overall, with a score of 69 for the third straight year.In general, customer satisfaction among burger chains has remained largely flat, at a level well below the industry average. As they invest in automated kiosks and mobile fast-pass lanes, it will be interesting to see if there's a resulting rise in customer satisfaction.The ACSI Restaurant Report 2018 is based on 22,522 customer surveys collected between June 19, 2017, and May 29, 2018. The full report is available for download here.

Blockchain: opportunity or hype?

EHL 2 July 2018
Now there are hopes that blockchain can be applied in diverse domains, including: medical records, luxury goods sales (to weed out counterfeits), as well as travel distribution.Blockchain networks have the advantage that they are decentralized and incorruptible, since transactions are managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks of data.Once recorded, data blocks cannot be modified retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires the approbation of the network participants.But how realistic is it to believe that blockchain in its present state of development can be used for travel booking purposes?In fact, some travel companies, including the giant tour operator TUI, Air New Zealand and Nordic Choice Hotels, have already signed on as partners of a new blockchain travel distribution startup called Winding Tree.Winding Tree is a B2B platformZug, Switzerland-based Winding Tree is the first company to specifically target travel distribution using blockchain technology.The company completed its ICO (initial coin offering) over a two-week period ending on 15 February, selling US$14'418'196 worth of Lif tokens which exceeded the company's initial goal of US$10'000'000 by about 44%.Lif tokens provide the functionality required by travel companies to send information about transactions over the Winding Tree platform.The token holder is thus able to send value, data, and/or execute a function on those transfers.The number of Lif tokens sold via the ICO has been fixed forever.Contrary to some initial anticipation, however, Winding Tree's goal, at least initially, is not to disintermediate the big B2C global travel distribution players like Expedia and Booking.com.Rather company has been positioned as a B2B platform, which allows for mainstream adoption and incentivises suppliers to list their inventory.As noted above, there are already suppliers and resellers committed to the platform.Blockchain-savvy users are now able to book directly through the blockchain.However, it is not expected that the average retail customer will do so, since most don't have sufficient understanding of the TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, a suite of communication protocols used to interconnect network devices on the internet) used to book their travel.TUI Air New Zealand explore uses of blockchainTUI, for instance, is currently using blockchain in its tour operator business to implement its "bed swap application", which aims to more efficiently allocate its hotel supply among its source markets in the UK, Germany and Nordic countries, notes Natascha Kreye, senior manager of corporate communications at TUI Group, who adds that, "It's an internal process to optimise yield across the group as well as to better learn how to use the technology. The plan is to use blockchain to generate smart contracts with hoteliers and improve the company's hotel inventory".It can, nevertheless, be noted that this is essentially an internal supply side use of blockchain - not a high-volume customer-facing one.Meanwhile, according to Air New Zealand chief digital officer Avi Golan, the airline is looking at a number of potential blockchain uses such as cargo and baggage tracking, retail, distribution and loyalty programme opportunities.Nordic Choice Hotels on boardIn what is being heralded as a hotel industry first, Nordic Choice Hotels has stated that they will "explore new ways of distributing inventory" using an open-source blockchain distribution platform developed by Winding Tree.Hobo, the chain's brand new hotel in the centre of Stockholm, is the first to take advantage of what Christian Lunden, director of future business for Nordic Choice Hotels, has termed "a totally new opportunity for our industry".With 30'000 rooms across Scandinavia, Nordic Choice has allowed Winding Tree to test usability on various levels: from the individual property to regionally and even across the entire hotel chain.The Scandinavian chain has been working with Winding Tree on a so-called 'testnet,' where teams gather qualitative data on transaction throughput and latency of the network.Given some doubts about the future scalability of blockchain platforms, it is argued that this will be vital in shaping core parts of the smart-contract before migrating to the 'mainnet', where transactions will have economic value.Hurdles still to be overcomeAs can be seen from the discussion above, the use of blockchain in travel, for the time being, looks to be essentially limited to internal and B2B transactions.In addition to integration challenges, the biggest problem facing blockchain currently is speed.Requiring proof of work to participate intentionally slows down the process, but replicating blocks across many distributed systems means that the top speed is only about seven transactions per second, according to Robert Cole, founder of RockCheetah, whereas traditional reservation systems can handle 250'000 transactions per second.There will be new forms of blockchain-related technologies emerging, according to him, which may challenge even current internet standards and cloud communication protocols.In a discussion I had with Winding Tree's CEO, Maksim Izmaylov, at the recent HOTCO conference in Budapest, held on 29-30 January, he admitted that more widespread use of blockchain in a high-transaction environment awaits further development of the technology.This article first appeared on the SSTH blog.

Best Western Hotels & Resorts and IBM Watson Advertising Introduce AI-powered Ad to Help Consumers Personalize Vacation Planning

Best Western 29 June 2018
NEW YORK -- Vacations are meant to be enjoyable but planning activities and finding appropriate accommodations can be a stressful experience. IBM Watson Advertising (NYSE: IBM) and Best Western have teamed up to help take the sting out of summer travel with a new interactive AI-powered ad. Best Western's Watson Ad personalizes vacation planning by providing consumers with travel tips and tricks, recommendations for local accommodations, and special offers based on their travel preferences.Best Western is the first hospitality brand to launch a Watson Ads campaign. Watson Ads have launched in multiple industries including automotive, consumer healthcare, consumer packaged goods and entertainment.Vacation Planning Made Easier with Best Western's AI-Powered AdConsumers can start a conversation with Best Western's AI-powered ad by simply engaging the ad and providing information on their current or upcoming travel plans. Through a series of dialogue prompts, the consumer will be guided seamlessly through a conversation about their travel needs and the AI-powered ad will respond with tailored suggestions on how to make the most out of their vacation and how they can take advantage of Best Western's locations across North America."We're thrilled to partner with IBM Watson Advertising, as this cutting-edge AI-powered ad will allow us to drive more meaningful engagement with travelers, while showcasing all that today's Best Western has to offer," said Dorothy Dowling, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Best Western Hotels & Resorts. "As the first hospitality brand to launch a Watson Ads campaign, we look forward to continuing our position as a frontrunner in innovation."The AI-powered ad is driven by the consumer's questions and desire to learn more. For example, a consumer may engage the Watson Ad to share that they are "hitting the road to visit the mountains this weekend," and the ad would respond to ask for more information around activities that are planned such as hiking or sightseeing. If the consumer says, "We're going hiking," the ad could respond with tips on how to make the most of their hiking excursion by packing water, marking their parking spot, and fueling up for the hike with the hot breakfast served daily at Best Western. From there, the consumer can choose to book a room at a Best Western, take a virtual 360 tour of a Best Western hotel, learn more about the award-winning Best Western Rewards program, or learn more about the amenities available at Best Western locations.Best Western's virtual 360 tour is a unique feature in the AI-powered ad that helps further personalize the hospitality experience. Through the tool, consumers will be able to virtually visit different Best Western properties that are available at their upcoming destination and get an immersive feel to better understand what each property offers.Best Western's AI-Powered ads are available on weather.com and The Weather Channel app."Since launching Watson Ads in 2016, we have seen how AI-powered ads can help brands deepen engagement and increase brand awareness amongst consumers," said Carrie Seifer, Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, IBM Watson Content & IoT Platform. "We are thrilled to team up with Best Western, one of the world's most innovative companies, on an AI-powered ad campaign that will help personalize the vacation planning experience for consumers.Watson Ads is an industry-first AI-powered advertising creative that leverages machine learning and natural language processing to make sense of unstructured data sets and enables brands to have two-way conversations with consumers. These personalized experiences empower consumers to ask the questions that truly matter the most to them during their customer journey --creating meaningful connections with the brand that may ultimately impact purchase consideration and reveal new brand insights.IBM Watson AdvertisingIBM Watson Advertising (formerly The Weather Company's ad sales business) offers agencies and marketers an ecosystem of media, data, and AI technology solutions to help improve decision-making and reduce costs across key facets of the marketing lifecycle (from media planning through measurement). Watson Advertising is part of the IBM Watson Content and IoT Platform portfolio, which includes The Weather Company, Watson IoT Platform, and Watson Media. For more information, visit watsonadvertising.com.

Use Technology for More Sustainable Tourism Management - UNWTO

UNWTO 28 June 2018
As the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) held its 2nd World Conference on Smart Destinations in the Spanish city of Oviedo (25-27 June 2018), Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili emphasized how new technologies can and should enable a more universal approach to sustainable tourism."Technology helps us to better manage our social, cultural and environmental impacts. And if well managed, tourism can act as an agent of positive change for more sustainable lifestyles, destinations, and consumption and production patterns", said Mr. Pololikashvili opening the Conference.This year's event featured two days of seminars detailing destinations' routes towards effective digitalization. It shone a spotlight on how destinations can use technological advances like big data and geo-localization to spur sustainable management of tourism.The Conference provided concrete takeaways for participants and also fostered knowledge creation and exchange. It was preceded by the 1st Hackathon for Smart Destinations (23-24 June) and a research and development day (25 June), which brought startups and academics together to work on ways to bring smart, innovative and sustainable solutions to the sector. These events also highlighted that several forward-thinking governments, private sector entities, researchers and technology centers have already taken the lead in doing so.The 2nd World Conference on Smart Destinations was organized by UNWTO, the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and the Government of Asturias, with the collaboration of Minube.Useful links:Programme of the conferenceConference websiteInformation on the HackathonPhotosUNWTO YouTube Channel

Annual Elections Bring New Representatives to HTNG's Vendor Advisory Council

HTNG 28 June 2018
Six individuals have been chosen by HTNG's Vendor member community to represent their companies on the organization's Vendor Advisory Council (VAC).HTNG's Vendor Advisory Council facilitates communication and alignment between HTNG's most engaged vendors and the hospitality IT executives serving on the organization's Board of Governors. The Council is made up of fifteen representatives, each serving a three-year term. Starting this year, the VAC decided to add an additional seat dedicated to the growing HTNG Startup community.There were 18 candidates nominated for this year's five available positions in the general election and six candidates nominated for the single additional Startup seat. The new and re-elected members joining HTNG's Vendor Advisory Council are:Larry Birnbaum, VP Global Hospitality, Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS CompanyCarson Booth, CEO, Snapshot GmbHFlorian Gallini, Group CEO, INTERELVanessa Ogle, CEO, EnseoLuis Segredo, CEO, Data TravelDavid Berger, Founder and CEO, Volara *Startup SeatNow consisting of sixteen members, the HTNG Vendor Advisory Council will continue to ensure that HTNG can address the needs and concerns of members who are technology providers in the hospitality technology industry.For more information about HTNG's Vendor Advisory Council, please visit: https://www.htng.org/VendorAdvisoryCouncil

World Tourism Organization and Globalia announce the first and largest worldwide competition for tourism startups

UNWTO 26 June 2018
This pioneering initiative for the tourism sector reaches out to 164 countries to find startups aiming to transform tourism.Whether tech-based or non-technological, early-stage or more mature, any startup with innovative ideas capable of revolutionizing the way we travel and enjoy tourism is welcome to participate.The tourism sector has taken a giant step into the future. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in partnership with Globalia, the leading tourism group in Spain and Latin America, announced the launch of the 1st UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition. It is the world's first and largest initiative devoted to identifying new companies that will lead the transformation of the tourism sector. In order to find the best projects, the call for competitors will be launched in 164 countries.The objective of the programme is to select the best solutions and the most disruptive projects. The search will focus on finding pioneering proposals for implementation of emerging and disruptive technologies, as well as on startups based on new business models, such as the circular economy. In this regard, one of the pillars of this competition is to give visibility to projects that are committed to enhancing sustainability in tourism.The startup search process is as ambitious as it is complex: identifying the best projects in all corners of the planet. For this, UNWTO and Globalia have enlisted the innovation consultancy firm Barrabes.biz, which boasts more than 20 years' experience in the creation, connection and activation of entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems.To broaden the scope of the competition and to facilitate the registration of interested startups, the programme will be implemented through the digital platform YouNoodle, a leading Silicon Valley company in the startup evaluation space at the global level."Innovation and tourism investment are not ends in themselves; they are means to develop better tourism products, to improve the governance of tourism and to make the most of the proven sustainability of tourism, by creating jobs and generating opportunities," said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.For his part, Globalia CEO Javier Hidalgo confirmed his company's support for this new initiative emphasizing that "as a global tourism group, we want to offer the winners the opportunity to work with us and transform the sector together". Who can participate?To participate in this global competition, startups must present business models that are related to at least one of four main areas:The future of travelThe tourism experienceEnvironmental impactCommunity developmentThose interested in participating can find more information and submit their applications through the programme's website at www.tourismstartups.org. Applications are open from 26 June to 3 September 2018. The projects will be evaluated according to five criteria: uniqueness and viability of the solution, potential impact, business model, scalability and team profile. A jury will evaluate the entries and select the best projects as semi-finalists to be announced in September 2018.The winners of this competition will have the opportunity to be part of the leading companies in the tourism sector.Globalia is the number one tourism group in Ibero-America, with a turnover of over 3.57 billion euros in 2016. With a presence in more than 20 countries and 15,000 employees, Globalia Holding provides services to all sectors of the world of tourism. It comprises a number of independent companies that are leaders in their markets, including Air Europa (airline), Halcon Viajes (travel agencies), Travelplan (tour operator), Be Live (hotel chain) and Groundforce (airport handling).Related links:WebsiteVideo

Live from HEDNA Lisbon: Top experts share practical advice for hoteliers

HEDNA 22 June 2018
On marketing to millennials - and anyone else online The most vivid keynote of the week came from Steve Bartlett, the founder of social media consultancy Social Change. Beyond the prototypical inspirational founder story, Steve offered some very specific advice for brands defined success selling to consumers online.While this wasn't a marketing conference, the reality of distribution is the digital channels (such as Instagram) are increasingly becoming bookable. This means those that sell online have to understand these emerging distribution channels. His advice:Become a publisher. well this advice has been standing for quite some time, successful brands these days know how to create content that resonates with their target audience, says Bartlett: "Branz they're winning set up internal teams as publishers, especially as Instagram shifts to bookings."Facebook: Brands should encourage content the facilitates meaningful conversations on this platform.YouTube: Consider frequency, as daily videos ranked higher Windows that are one-off. Episodic content also performs well.Fertile ground: Bartlett mentioned both podcasts and LinkedIn as still "thriving with opportunities."On brands outside of hospitality doing retail rightRetailing and merchandising continue to be hot topics in hospitality. Looking to expand additional revenues, many hotels are looking for interesting ways to deliver more than just a room.Kate Ancketill, of consultancy GDPR Creative Intelligence, offered a bevy of examples when attempting to answer the question "how to engage with tomorrow's customer?" Here are some standouts that audible enthusiasm from the crowd:The Museum of Ice Cream: this attraction was built with Instagram in mind. Offering only 30 minutes to explore, the space is full of interactive, memorable experiences -- such as a giant pool of sprinkles. The attraction ended up garnering so much attention on social media, that it has now gone on tour.Delta and Tinder's dating wall. Emerging from the insight that profiles with travel pictures were seen as more appealing, Tinder partnered with Delta to create a static dating wall that allow people to take more "sophisticated" pictures.Alibaba's "New Retail" experience. The new food retail experience, called Nema, offers seven paths to purchase for different needs and use cases. This targeted approach to satisfying specific consumer needs with targeted products within the one operation allows for maximum profitability. The brand's consumer group has different needs depending on the time of day and individual situation.Emphasizing how these experiential campaigns made a viral impact, the takeaway was to brainstorm ways that hotels could leverage their physical assets for a viral effect.Audience Poll, June 5th, 2018On developing and maintaining a fruitful client/vendor relationshipDuring the "Hotelier's View" panel, a group of hoteliers share their thoughts on how Hotels and their partner vendors can work better together.One of the key points was addressing account management and account servicing. Sarah Fults, of MGM Resorts, made an important distinction between the definition of vendor versus partner. The choice of word informs the approach, as vendors might not have as much skin in the game as partners. Fults prefers to use partners, to emphasize that this is a mutual beneficial relationship.However, many hoteliers, including some in the audience, felt that how their accounts for managed was a critical piece of satisfaction with any technology provider. From educating new hires to understanding the implications of new features, customer success was very important to hoteliers.On pain points in payments Payments continue to be a point of vigorous discussion, as the landscape's complexity only seems to increase with time. When struggling to implement the variety of payments that consumers expect, there are a variety of things that create headaches for hotels.As part of the standalone payments track, Mike Carlo, of ZanderPay, brought together a group of payment processors to share some of the hidden costs of payments for hotels."The biggest 'hidden' cost for the hotel industry is the lack of efficient payment processing for any cross-border guest. Whether it be cross-border fees charged by the card schemes or lack of transparency in FX conversions, hotels can pay 1 - 5% more than they should for any cross-border guests."On iterating new business models in an uncertain age If there's one thing that all businesses share today, it's that the digital transformation has required evolving business models. This applies to the hospitality industry, as well as the vendors that serve it.It's all about "how to thrive when disruption has become the norm," said Benjamin Devisme from Colossal Factory and Fernando Vives from NH Hotel Group. The quote that got the most reaction was that brands must"Believe in your model more than you believe in god."This applies to both business models and algorithmic models. The point is you have to put the full weight behind whatever model you choose to build around.Therefore, key criteria for successful models. Models must be:Rationable: It's a blend of French and English but the point is that models must be rational and reasonable given current business circumstances. Irrational business models don't work, especially in an uncertain environment.Shareable: If the model is not easy to share, it's likely not easy to understand. This complexity reduces the chance of success as the model is communicated throughout the value chain.Challengeable: Your brand's team needs to be able to prod and push, and make sure but the model stands on its own. It should be resilient but also pliable whenever needed.These observations are just one view into the many threads throughout the Lisbon event.In the weeks and months ahead, we will be publishing an ongoing series that explores the themes, trends, and conversations of the conference. A refresher for those who were there, and a look inside for those who weren't. Either way, the journey continues as we expand our scope towards understanding today's constantly evolving distribution landscape.Keep an eye out here on the HEDNA blog, as well as our LinkedIn page, for an ongoing series of articles around HEDNA Lisbon. Subscribe to our newsletter at https://www.hedna.org/members/blogs.aspAbout Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA)HEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from the most influential companies in the hospitality industry. Founded in 1991, HEDNA's mission is to be the leading global forum for advancing hospitality distribution through collaboration and knowledge sharing. Its vision calls for HEDNA to be known for creating an environment that fosters strategic collaboration toward business development in the global hospitality industry. For more, visit www.HEDNA.org.

HVS Hotel Cost Estimating Guide

HVS 22 June 2018
HVS Design and Jonathan Nehmer + Associates (JN+A) are proud to announce the completion of the 2018 Hotel Cost Estimating Guide. The Guide is a comprehensive listing of capital expenditure construction and FF&E costs for hotel renovations in the USA.

HITEC Houston Makes History as HFTP's Highest Attended Event in 65+ Years

HFTP 22 June 2018
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is pleased to announce that HITEC Houston broke barriers this week as the highest attended event in the association's history with over 6,650 attendees. Produced yearly by HFTP, Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) showcases the industry's latest innovations, and provides a top-notch education program for attendees. HITEC Houston took place from June 18-21, 2018 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas USA.HITEC Houston featured over 120 speakers, including futurist Mike Walsh and data security expert Theresa Payton as the keynote speakers. The daily education sessions addressed trending topics including: data security, IT initiatives, sustainability and CSR, AI, leadership development, blockchain, millennials reshaping the industry and more. The Houston exhibit floor featured 397 exhibitors showcasing the latest in hospitality technology products and services. An impressive 47 registered press members were in attendance covering the event."Thank you to everyone who helped make HITEC Houston a huge success," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "HITEC Houston was not only the highest attended HITEC conference to date, but it was also the highest attended overall conference in HFTP's 65-year history. HFTP looks forward to continuing to serve the hospitality technology community in years to come. See you next year in Minneapolis!"The Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) Houston innovation competition for hospitality startups featured 16 startups, an expert panel of six judges and 16 industry mentors who coached the entrepreneurs before their four-minute pitch. Reply.ai won the E20X Judge's Award grand prize of $5,000 USD, and Beekeeper was chosen by conference attendees - via the HFTP Multi-event app - as the E20X People's Choice Award winner. The HITEC Houston Opening Party, presented by Samsung and HFTP, featured multi-platinum rapper Flo Rida and took place at the famous House of Blues Houston.Three hospitality technology industry leaders were recognized and awarded at HITEC Houston: 2018 HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame recipients Tammy Farley and Jing Zhu; and 2018 CHTP of the Year recipient Sean Van Dyke, CHTP. HFTP also hosted its annual HITEC Helps social responsibility project during HITEC Houston, and raised funds for local nonprofit Compudopt - who provides technology access and education to underserved youth.Attendees with access to the HFTP Multi-event app can use it to refer back to the attendee list and exhibitors to follow-up on the event. HITEC Minneapolis is June 17-20 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. In addition, HFTP has several other coming events. The HFTP Annual Convention is October 24-26 at the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA. HITEC Dubai will take place December 5-6 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE. And HITEC Europe is April 10-11 at Palau de Congressos in Palma (Mallorca) Spain. For more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org.Follow HFTP on social media: Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.About HITECHospitality 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 North America, HFTP expanded HITEC in 2017 with two additional events outside: one in Europe and the other in Dubai. For more information about HITEC, visit www.hitec.org.Follow HITEC on social media: Facebook (@HITECconference); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Find updates on the HFTP News page, and exhibitor news on the HITEC Bytes site. HITEC event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.###

New Women in Technology Luncheon Announced for HITEC 2019 Minneapolis

HFTP 22 June 2018
As HITEC Houston wraps up its biggest week, plans for next year's North American event in Minneapolis are already in the works. New to the program is a Women in Technology networking luncheon designed to connect professionals and honor industry accomplishments. HITEC (Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference), produced by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology event and is dedicated to recognizing those guiding the forward path of hospitality technology. The inaugural luncheon will be June 17, 2019 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, and will feature an accomplished business leader speaker. Following the initial luncheon will be additional regional programs throughout 2019."A primary reason that HITEC attendees return year after year is the opportunity to meet with fellow industry professionals to share their ideas and learn from each other," said Frank Wolfe, HFTP CEO. "The addition of the luncheon offers a dedicated opportunity to celebrate the successes of the professional women who have focused their careers to hospitality technology. Hopefully the program will continue in successive years and will be a place to follow the evolution and progress of the industry and the women's careers."HITEC Minneapolis is June 17-20 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. In addition, HFTP has several other coming events. The HFTP Annual Convention is October 24-26 at the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA. HITEC Dubai will take place December 5-6 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE. And HITEC Europe is April 10-11 at Palau de Congressos in Palma (Mallorca) Spain. For more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org.Follow HFTP on social media: Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.About HITECHospitality 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 North America, HFTP expanded HITEC in 2017 with two additional events outside: one in Europe and the other in Dubai. For more information about HITEC, visit www.hitec.org.Follow HITEC on social media: Facebook (@HITECconference); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Find updates on the HFTP News page, and exhibitor news on the HITEC Bytes site. HITEC event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.

BLLA Conference touts boutique hotels' faster technology adoption at annual investment conference

BLLA 19 June 2018
Conference panelists from companies such as tech giant LG Electronics, video-content provider Enseo and cloud-based hotel-technology company KEYPR also all touted the boutique hotel operators' ability to connect more closely to their guests than larger lodging providers in order to better gauge which technologies to either add or avoid. Carolyn Kremins, president of Skift, moderated the panel.Panelist Mike Kosla, vice president of hospitality at LG Electronics, cited hotels' adoption rates of flat-panel televisions of a prime example of boutique hotels staying ahead of larger chain operators when it came to adopting technologies sought after by guests. "Between 2003 and 2006, we were all putting thin-panel TVs in [boutique] hotels, while [chain] hotels were still using the boxes," said Kosla. "The first properties to use that technology were the boutiques. It was fun to watch."One advantage boutique hotels have over larger companies when it comes to new technology adoption is the fewer number of decision-makers, said the panelists."The larger brands have these huge organizations that are silos," said Enseo CEO Vanessa Ogle, adding that larger companies often have different people deciding amenities related to video content, guest messaging and staff safety. "Boutique hotels can pick a platform that will do more than one service. This is a unique opportunity for boutique hotels to jump ahead of their competitors at a fraction of the price.""Boutiques can be more nimble," added panelist Robert Stevenson, CEO at KEYPR. "They can discover what needs to be done, and you don't have to solve it over 50 hotels at the same time." Video-content delivery, keyless room-entry features and revenue-management systems were among the subjects the panelists addressed when talking about how boutique hotels can better serve their guests by using new technologies.Stevenson talked about how San Francisco's Hotel Via addressed the challenge of serving the crush of guests that typically check in just prior to Giants baseball games at nearby AT&T Park by adding keyless entry systems. "By [having guests] bypassing the front desk, staff can save a ton of time. It was a massive win," said Stevenson. "Then the question becomes, 'how can take that staff time we saved and repurpose it?'"As for video content, Kosla stressed the importance of staying up to date on both hardware and software. "What drives me nuts is when we delivery beautiful high-definition televisions, and there's not beautiful high-definition content," he said. "Get a great content provider.""We worked with a small boutique hotel called Hotel Park City. Instead of doing a big network upgrade, we talked to them, and they used our new entertainment solution," added Ogle. "We added Netflix in each room and personalized WiFi for each guest. They saw [average room rates] go up, saw a change in their asset value, and saved about $4 million in renovations."For the back of the house, the boutique hotels' need to maximize room revenue via algorithm-based automated pricing systems becomes all the more vital because of the smaller number of rooms, said panelist Connie Rheams, vice president of hospitality at digital-workplace application maker Beekeeper. "I come from the airline industry, and airlines would never imagine that a person could determine the price of a particular seat," said Rheams. "For corner rooms with extra windows, you should get a system that allow you to differentiate your product."Additionally, boutique hotels have an opportunity to customize guest services by using technology to collect more detailed data about their guests, said panelist Tammy Farley, president of Rainmaker, which builds cloud-based revenue-management systems. "Don't underestimate the power you have by being able to own the customer and use that data," Farley told the conference audience.The subjects of both capital improvements, particularly on the technological front, and revenue management is particularly topical as U.S. hotels continue to achieve record-high occupancy levels and hotel owners look to best capitalize on higher demand. Last year, U.S. hotels boosted capital expenditures by 3.8% to a record $6.85 billion, or about $1,400 per available room, said Bjorn Hanson, clinical professor at NYU School of Professional Studies' Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, in a report published last October.In addition to items such as new lobby designs and restaurant concepts, Hanson said hotels were spending more on items such as high-speed Internet capacity, technology related to supporting social media, larger flat-screen TVs and improved audio-visual equipment for meeting rooms. Capital-expenditures at U.S. hotels has more than doubled since 2010, Hanson said.As a result, boutique hotels would be well-advised to designate an on-staff technology expert to track new technologies, said Rheams. "Having these big investments in legacy systems and trying to bolt on solutions is very difficult," added Rheams. "You have to have someone in your organization who's up to date on trends and is constantly evaluating software vendors.First-time conference attendee Brett Jones, an associate with San Francisco-based David Baker architects, agreed with the panelists who said that boutique hotels' additional nimbleness would outweigh the impact of limited resources when it came to finding and implementing new technologies. "By having a smaller organization, it's going to be easier to stay one step ahead," Jones said.The BLLA, which was founded in 2009, also announced at the conference that it was changing its name to the Boutique & Lifestyle Leaders Association from the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association to reflect the expanding influence of its members' design and service philosophy. The trade group, whose annual New York investment conference attracted more than 350 attendees, also said that its Stay Boutique conference will be renamed Stay Boutique Live and will next be held in the Los Angeles area next February.###

Crowdvilla makes history by acquiring shared holiday properties and brings blockchain to Bali

Crowdvilla 18 June 2018
Singapore -- Crowdvilla, the blockchain-based startup that enables its community of users to own and share holiday homes, has in-principle acquired a collection of holiday properties, which include boutique hotels and luxurious villas in Bali, Indonesia.Crowdvilla is revitalizing the sharing economy through its decentralized real estate platform, allowing users to book serviced holiday homes that are co-owned by Crowdvilla community members.The collection of shared holiday properties, spread across Gianyar, Seminyak and Legian in Bali is the first in history to be acquired by a blockchain-based startup and sold using digital tokens."We're thrilled to make history as the first non-profit, blockchain-based startup to bring shared holiday homes to its community of users using our CRV and CROWD tokens model," says Darvin Kurniawan, Co-Founder and CEO of Crowdvilla.One of the acquired beachfront villas on the shores of Bali spans 4,100 square meters and comes with its own pool, a spacious garden, and a master bedroom with an ocean view. It has four other bedrooms, a two-bedroom guest house, and can sleep 14 people comfortably.This newly acquired property will be a part of Crowdvilla's initial alpha launch, targeted for three months after the token sale in late June 2018, and will be available at the promotional price of 1 CROWD Token per night.Following the launch, Crowdvilla expects to beat the market rate for a nights stay in a luxurious Bali hotel and lower its cost of acquired holiday homes. As Crowdvilla is a a non-profit organisation, users would only need to cover operating costs when staying in their properties, a fee that would be much less than the cost of booking a 5-star hotel in Bali.Crowdvilla will continue to acquire or rent holiday properties in getaway tourist destinations and cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta, Phuket, Tokyo, and Hong Kong to build up its holiday home portfolio. Crowdvilla will then work to attain properties in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States."The acquisition of properties in Bali, and a few in Tokyo, are the first of many to come. Each day, we're striving to meet the holiday needs of our users in a growing space where booking holiday homes is easier and comes with greater benefits," said Kurniawan.Crowdvilla is expected to raise up to US$50 million from its July 2018 token sale. The rate without a bonus is 1 ETH to 4,000 CRV, plus 4,000 CROWD. This will provide Crowdvilla with the funding needed to acquire further real estate assets that will continue building its holiday homes portfolio.

HFTP Responds, Makes Changes to HITEC Europe 2019

HFTP 17 June 2018
From the conference perspective, HITEC Europe's education program has received superior feedback each year. To accommodate for an overall modification of the event, there will be adjustments across all elements. This includes a reworking of the conference schedule to allow exclusive education hours and exclusive exhibit stand hours. As education is a key element to an event like HITEC Europe, the program planners will also provide access where possible to exhibitors and their staff, a frequent request made by exhibitors. Also, to provide the high-level networking and education opportunities for CIO/CFO delegates, invitation-only sessions during the conference and a private networking dinner will be incorporated into the schedule for this group.To build on the event, making it a hub of hospitality education and innovation, HFTP will continue to host co-located partner events at the Palau de Congressos, including HSMAI Region Europe and Entrepreneur 20X, a start-up pitch competition."One thing that was very clear from our evaluations, is that attendees want to make sure that HFTP continues to maintain the superior level of education offered and that we do not change our philosophy to a for-profit, 'pay to play' model," said Frank Wolfe, HFTP CEO. "As a not-for-profit organization, HITEC Europe has a dedicated group of industry experts who donate their time to both create and vet the education quality and HITEC Europe will continue that system."From the exhibition perspective, HFTP will make several logistical changes. These include requiring a higher service level from those who service stands, more food and beverage inside the exhibition, an easier registration processes and allowing exhibitors increased access to their stands for private appointments. Exhibition stand selection for HITEC Europe 2019 will be held in the same order as it occurred during the Amsterdam selection process.From a location prospective, evaluations indicated that attendees wanted the event to move around Europe. After consulting with HFTP partners, HSMAI, it was decided to locate the events at Palau de Congressos in Palma (Mallorca) Spain, the two year old center managed by Melia Hotels and located in one of the most beautiful resort areas in Europe. https://www.melia.com/es/palau-de-congressos/home.htmlhttps://www.melia.com/es/palau-de-congressos/home.htmlFor more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.For more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org.Follow HFTP on social media: Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.About HITECHospitality 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 North America, HFTP expanded HITEC in 2017 with two additional events outside: one in Europe and the other in Dubai. For more information about HITEC, visit www.hitec.org.Follow HITEC on social media: Facebook (@HITECconference); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Find updates on the HFTP News page, and exhibitor news on the HITEC Bytes site. HITEC event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.

HFTP Announces Entrepreneur 20X Sponsorship Agreement with Amadeus at HITEC Houston

HFTP 15 June 2018
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), producers of Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), is pleased to announce its Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) sponsorship agreement with Amadeus for HITEC Houston. The successful E20X pitch competition, featuring hospitality technology startups, will take place at HITEC Houston in the afternoon on June 18, 2018. HITEC Houston will take place from June 18-21, 2018 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas USA.HFTP's Entrepreneur 20X program is a pitch competition that provides hospitality technology start-ups a career-boosting opportunity with exposure to top industry mentors, investors, leaders and executives. The startups compete for a cash prize, two separate awards and much more in this thrilling competition series. HITEC Houston attendees may visit startups following the competition in the HITEC Houston exhibit hall at the Innovation Lab."HFTP is excited for our partnership with Amadeus for this year's Entrepreneur 20X at HITEC Houston," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "Entrepreneurship plays an important role in fueling evolution to industries, and Amadeus supports this innovative spirit in the hospitality technology market by providing hospitality solutions for every stage of the consumer journey.""We are thrilled to support the competitors at E20X and see the newest ideas that can help shape the future of hospitality," said Hazem Hussein, Hospitality Division CEO at Amadeus. "Through our Amadeus Ventures Program, we have assisted over 1,200 early stage startups. By creating these mutually beneficial relationships, we bring innovate solutions to the industry."Amadeus develops open, cloud-native technology solutions for global hospitality organizations. From search and booking to check-in and departure, Amadeus's offerings help consumers improve efficiency, deliver exceptional experiences and exceed brand promise. Amadeus works with leading referral and reseller partners, technology companies, channel and lead generation organizations, as well as hospitality and academic institutions with one goal: to put customer needs first.For more information about E20X, email e20x@hftp.org. In addition to HITEC Houston, HFTP has several other events upcoming in 2018. HFTP Annual Convention will October 24-26 at the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA. HITEC Dubai will take place December 5-6 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE. For more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.About AmadeusAmadeus is a leading provider of advanced technology solutions for the global travel industry. Customer groups include travel providers (e.g. airlines, hotels, rail and ferry operators, etc.), travel sellers (travel agencies and websites), and travel buyers (corporations and travel management companies). The Amadeus group employs around 15,000 people worldwide and does business in more than 190 countries. The company has central sites in Spain (corporate headquarters), France (development) and Germany (operations), and offices in 70 countries around the world. The group operates a transaction-based business model. Amadeus is listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange under the symbol "AMS.MC" and is a component of the IBEX 35 index. Learn more here.About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org. Follow HFTP on social media: Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.About HITECHospitality 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 expanded HITEC in 2017 with two additional events outside the annual North American event: one in Europe and the other in Dubai. For more information about HITEC, visit www.hitec.org. Follow HITEC on social media: Facebook (@HITECconference); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Find updates on the HFTP News page, and exhibitor news on the HITEC Bytes site. HITEC event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.###

HITEC Houston Tuesday General Session Announced: "Technology and the Power of the C-Suite"

HFTP 14 June 2018
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) added a new general session - "Technology and the Power of the C-Suite" - to the HITEC Houston education program. The session features C-level hospitality executives from brands, ownership groups and technology companies who will debate the future of emerging technology trends, funding for IT development and the nature of competition in a digital marketplace. The general session will take place from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Immediately before the session, Tammy Farley and Jing Zhu will be inducted into the HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame - HFTP's highest level of recognition in the area of technology.The session will be moderated by HFTP Global Treasurer Michael Levie, CHTP, COO at citizenM, and include the following c-level hospitality executives:Cindy Estis Green, co-founder and CEO, Kalibri Labs, LLCBarry Goldstein, EVP and chief commercial officer, WyndhamAsh Kapur, SVP, hotel asset management and chief revenue officer, Starwood Capital Group"From guest experience to business infrastructure, will hoteliers move outside of their core businesses to transform traditional brand models? Or, will third parties in the travel sector evolve to dominate the booking and stay experience for hotel guests?" asks HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "This new general session will explore the gap in the valuation multiples of public companies in travel, and discuss limits of loyalty, power of data, new economics in customer acquisition and how technology investments may play a role in establishing the winners in a dynamic new environment."In addition to HITEC Houston, HFTP has several other events upcoming in 2018. HFTP Annual Convention will October 24-26 at the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA. HITEC Dubai will take place December 5-6 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE. For more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org.Follow HFTP on social media: Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.About HITECHospitality 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 North America, HFTP expanded HITEC in 2017 with two additional events outside: one in Europe and the other in Dubai. For more information about HITEC, visit www.hitec.org.Follow HITEC on social media: Facebook (@HITECconference); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Find updates on the HFTP News page, and exhibitor news on the HITEC Bytes site. HITEC event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.###

dailypoint by TS&C GmbH Announces Review Collection Partnership with TripAdvisor

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH 13 June 2018
Munich -- dailypoint today announced that they are partnering with TripAdvisor to offer their customer base an easy and powerful solution to collect guest feedback. The partnership involves a technology integration enabling hotel clients to automatically request reviews from guests following their stay."One of the most important things for a hotel brand's customer acquisition is a good listing on TripAdvisor" says Dr Michael Toedt, founder and CEO of dailypoint. He highlights the importance of hotels maintaining a good Social Media Marketing strategy, if they want to do well and become profitable in our modern world. The performance of listings on review platforms is mainly influenced by the average review rating, but also by variables like the recency of guest feedback and the volume of reviews. With the new partnership, dailypoint hotel clients can leverage TripAdvisor review and feedback collection tools integrated in the quality management app of dailypoint.The dailypoint cloud data management platform creates a single rich guest profile using the most current AI and machine learning algorithms and patented data cleansing processes. To benefit from this new knowledge, dailypoint offers 16 apps from BI to campaign management, from operations to quality management, from CRM to loyalty. "On average, our clients can replace 5 different unconnected systems and bring everything together on the dailypoint cloud system" explains Michael Toedt, one of the major USPs of the company.Key benefits of the integration include: Easier collection of guest reviewsHigher feedback volume helps to improve visibility and guest acquisitionDeep analytics reporting functionalities

HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame 2018 Inductees Announced

HFTP 11 June 2018
The International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame is HFTP's highest level of recognition in the area of technology. Since 1989, 44 individuals have received this award as a reflection of their contributions to the hospitality industry. Farley and Zhu were nominated and selected by their peers for representing the best in innovation and application, and for being leaders in their profession.Tammy Farley, co-founder and president of The Rainmaker Group, was selected for influencing the evolution of revenue optimization to meet the needs of today's global hospitality market. Since co-founding Rainmaker in 1998, she has been credited for her leading role in securing the company's impressive growth. Her natural abilities in entrepreneurship have proven vital in identifying opportunities that have helped Rainmaker to enhance and expand its industry leading portfolio of hospitality and gaming technology solutions. Over the past two decades, Farley has maintained her dedication to ensuring that more and more properties have the ability to leverage the latest advancements in revenue management technology."I am so very honored to be inducted into this prestigious group of hospitality professionals," says Farley. "Advancing the way hospitality revenue managers utilize technology has been both my personal objective as well as Rainmaker's corporate mission for over 20 years and it means a great deal to have our efforts recognized."Jing Zhu, founder and chairperson of the China Hospitality Technology Alliance (CHTA), was selected for establishing the Chinese hospitality technology network. CHTA aims to build industry innovation best practices and future platforms through talents in China and worldwide, and to connect ecosystems with leading-edge technologies to make travel and hospitality a better and fun space. Zhu is also CEO of 3D Networks a hospitality technology business where her emphasis on leading-edge hospitality technologies has resulted in a significant transformation for the business. She has more than 18 years of extensive experience in the IT/Telco industry."I am so honored and very humbled to receive such a significant award," said Zhu. "CHTA with a mission will continue striving for connecting East and West from innovation and technology perspectives."HITEC Houston will take place from June 18-21 at the George R. Brown Convention Centre in Houston, Texas USA. Also this year is HITEC Dubai, which will take place from December 5-7 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE in partnership with Naseba. For more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org. Follow HFTP on social media: Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.About HITECHospitality 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 North America, HFTP expanded HITEC in 2017 with two additional events outside: one in Europe and the other in Dubai. For more information about HITEC, visit www.hitec.org. Follow HITEC on social media: Facebook (@HITECconference); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Find updates on the HFTP News page, and exhibitor news on the HITEC Bytes site. HITEC event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.###

Pair Up for Profit

The Rainmaker Group 8 June 2018
While both marketing and revenue management are vital to a hotel's success, they typically operate with different perspectives and different tools to achieve similar goals. The question becomes, how much more powerful could the sum be, if these two groups practiced their disciplines in concert?With increasing levels of competition, more and more properties are vying for the same share of travel spending. Establishing a synergy between marketing and revenue management is the strongest weapon hotels have - allowing them to deftly capture new guests, retain existing customers and maximize spend from every stay.Both marketing and revenue management have the same end goal of driving revenue - but in most cases today they are totally misaligned. By knocking down departmental walls and silos, revenue management and marketing teams can compound their value and significantly enhance the hotel's revenue opportunities, particularly by partnering together to drive direct bookings from the hotel's most valuable guests.These may seem like opposing responsibilities, but when RM and marketing work in unison, there are natural synergies. Revenue management knows where holes in demand are, and marketing knows the consumer preferences to target the right customers to fill those holes. Together the departments can move the hotel away from out-of-sync demand generation and towards proactively targeting the right type of guest using the best channel.Now more than ever it is critical that hoteliers to embrace processes that enhance and magnify business analytics in order to maximize revenue. One of the simplest and most productive ways to do this is by opening up dialogue between the revenue management and marketing departments. By doing so, hoteliers can compound the value of each department and increase the overall profitability of the enterprise. A combined team can also drive business to the hotel's own direct-booking website, its most profitable channel. Direct business has many benefits to a hotel, as hotels can better control and manage the guest experience, drive additional spend in other outlets on property, and reduce third party commissions. Perhaps most importantly, though, hotels own all the customer data when guests book direct. This results in a robust guest database that could stimulate recurring revenue for years to come.Together with Tambourine and hotel revenue and marketing experts, we've created an eBook, The Hotel Power Couple, offering deeper insights on ways to align revenue management and marketing to unlock profitability. Featuring sections like The Big Eight: Revenue Management Has It, Marketing Needs It, and What Marketers Need to Share with Revenue Managers, download the eBook today to drive revenue together by creating a powerful, cross-functional revenue optimization team. Click here to download the eBook!

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