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  • Next Event

    HITEC DUBAI

    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

    December 5–6, 2018
    Dubai, UAE

  • Upcoming Event

    HITEC EUROPE 2019

    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

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

  • Upcoming Event

    HITEC MINNEAPOLIS

    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

    Minneapolis Convention Center

    June 17-20, 2019

eTravel World 2019 at ITB Berlin: Call for papers online

Messe Berlin GmbH 8h
At the eTravel World 2019, ITB Berlin will again be hosting a three-day seminar programme on the topic of digital trends in the travel industry. As in previous years, a certain number of sessions is open to candidates who can apply for them via the call for papers. Speakers have until 31 October 2018 to submit their ideas for fascinating topics. In the course of eTravel World, ITB Berlin is looking for case studies and examples of best practices relevant to digital marketing/eCommerce, sales, social media content, as well as innovative developments ranging from the digital transformation within SMEs to artificial intelligence and robotisation. Topicality and relevance will be among the main selection criteria.On ITB Wednesday, as part of at the event program of the new Technology, Tours & Activities (TTA) segment, a session under the same heading - the TTA Forum - will be held for the first time at the eTravel Lab in Hall 7.1b. This will take a look at apps and technologies for the online tour operator market and also examine the sensitive area of transaction costs and margins. With the number of reservations via mobile devices rising all the time, industry experts will be highlighting how traditional booking platforms can secure their share of the existing market.Applicants are also invited to suggest examples of best practices and topics for discussion at the Hospitality Tech Forum, which will take place at the eTravel Lab as well. Potential topics include the use of new technologies in the hotel room of the future, customer journey experiences, review and rating management strategies, and how digitalisation is affecting guests and employees.The eTravel World is part of the ITB Berlin Convention and has established itself as an important think tank for innovative ideas on mobile solutions, travel technology, social media and digital marketing. During the show specialists will be meeting up with decision-makers and executives, media professionals and bloggers, start-ups and new media specialists from 85 countries. Overall, ITB Berlin expects around 11,000 visitors to attend the eTravel World next year.Full details of the eTravel World's call for papers and a link to the application forms can be found at www.itb-berlin.com/etravel. Candidates have until 31 October 2018 to submit their ideas for topics.

Refreshed WTM Ministerial Summit to Tackle Innovation & Technology Investment

UNWTO 24 September 2018
Investment in innovation and smart management for tourism will form the major theme of the Ministerial Summit of this year's World Travel Market, to be held in London, UK (6 November 2018). The 2018 Summit, a joint initiative of World Travel Market and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), will debut a revamped formatThis year's World Travel Market (WTM) will introduce a disruptive new format to the long-running UNWTO/WTM Ministerial Summit. With the private sector crucial in setting the tourism agenda, private sector leaders will be involved for the first time via a panel on investment in tourism technology. This will be followed by a round table of both ministers and private sector to discuss a way forward for tourism that includes stronger public-private partnerships and an agenda for the sector's digital transformation.The 2018 Summit will be hosted by CNN's Richard Quest, anchor of Quest Means Business. Developing an innovation ecosystem, data-driven decision making, digital destination branding, and the role of government and policy in smart tourism management are among the topics to be addressed this year.The Summit reflects on a hyper-connected and informed world where tourists are one click away from their next destination and share their interests and emotions in real-time - and where technological advances have an exponential impact on management efficiency and sustainability. It will expand its practical impact with a focus on creating and exchanging innovative ideas and partnerships that can boost investments in tourism technology.The Summit will continue the conversation on 'Tourism and the Digital Transformation' that is set to dominate proceedings for this year's World Tourism Day official celebration on Thursday 27 September. The event, to be held in Budapest, Hungary, will feature sessions on the role of innovation and technology in tourism development. It 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 tourism startups with innovative and disruptive ideas.Useful links:UNWTO/WTC Ministerial Summit websiteWorld Travel Market websiteUNWTO World Tourism Day website

In Control with Mobile Booking Apps?

Hong Kong Poly 24 September 2018
Whether or not consumers believe they have control over events in their lives determines their likelihood of reusing hotel booking apps, find Professor Rob Law of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and co-authors in a recently published study. This belief is known as "locus of control" (LoC), the researchers explain, and consumers with an internal LoC are more likely to use hotel booking apps because they feel more positive about their ability to use technology and overcome any difficulties they may encounter. In contrast, consumers with an external LoC are likely to only use travel apps with user-friendly interfaces that also offer plenty of support when difficulties arise. Practitioners aiming to introduce or improve mobile booking apps will benefit from the useful recommendations the researchers offer for addressing the concerns of different user types.Smartphones are increasingly popular, with more people now owning them than personal computers. The researchers note that this increase in smartphone use has prompted many hoteliers and online travel agents to develop mobile apps to facilitate easier reservations. By 2015, almost half of all travel bookings in China were made through mobile apps, as they are highly convenient and offer consumers a "pleasant booking experience". China's huge outbound tourism market offers great promise for the further development of tourism-related apps, and "global tourism practitioners are adjusting their strategies" to secure their share of this market.Despite this market potential, however, the researchers note that little is known about "what drives consumers' intention to continue using mobile apps for making hotel reservations". They suggest that LoC may be useful in understanding individual differences in the intention to reuse mobile apps. The concept consists of three dimensions, the researchers explain: (a)internal control refers to belief that the outcomes of events are "determined by effort, ability and skill", (b) control by powerful others refers to the belief that outcomes rely on "external agents that can make things happen", and (c) chance control is the belief that outcomes are the result of "luck, fate and chance".While LoC is known to affect technology adoption, the cognitive mechanism by which it does so requires exploration. The researchers thus suggest that four cognitive factors are involved in the adoption of new technology. (a) The first factor, "performance expectancy" refers to the user's perception of how mobile booking apps can improve the experience of making hotel reservations. (b) The second, "effort expectancy" refers to the perception of how difficult it will be to use the app. (c) The third, "social influence" is the extent to which the user is influenced by the opinions and behaviour of others. (d) The fourth factor, "facilitating conditions", refers to whether users feel they "possess the necessary resources and support" to use the app to make a booking.The researchers designed an online survey with the aim of determining the extent to which the four factors and LoC actually do influence the use of mobile apps for making hotel bookings, clarify "the cognitive mechanism that connects LoC and intention to reuse" and determine the perceived risk of using mobile booking apps. Targeting Chinese participants over the age of 18 who had previously used a mobile app to make a hotel reservation, the survey measured app performance expectancy, social influence, reuse intention, perceived risk, app effort expectancy, facilitating conditions and LoC.Usable responses were collected from 466 participants over a 4-day period. The participants were evenly split between males and females, and they were generally quite young, with almost half aged 18-29 and a further 40% aged 30-39.As the researchers point out, "user experience is central to the success of technology products and services". Clearly, mobile apps for making hotel reservations must be pleasant and easy to use for consumers to use them regularly. Accordingly, the findings indicated that performance expectancy and, to a lesser extent, effort expectancy influenced the intention to reuse. In other words, participants who found mobile apps to be useful and superior to other booking methods and found them easy to use were most likely to use them in future. Facilitating conditions were also a significant factor, and the researchers note that users "tend to be highly demanding of supporting services", particularly in the early stages of technology adoption.These results suggest that app developers need to provide user-friendly interfaces and the booking process should be similar to that on the website to "reduce the effort and time required of users". As support services are also highly important, online consultation functions should be available to minimise the constraints encountered by users, and providing a "frequently asked questions" section is also important for supporting users through the booking process.Social influence also played a part, as participants who had friends who used booking apps and who encouraged them to do so too were more likely to use apps for future bookings. However, word of mouth did not seem to be as influential as ease of use and support services. Perhaps surprisingly, although perceived risk had a negative effect on intention to use, it was weaker than the effects of the other cognitive factors. Nevertheless, the researchers caution that the effect is "not negligible" and app developers "are obliged to optimize system security" to reassure users and reduce their risk.Next, the researchers examined how participants' LoC, in combination with the above cognitive factors, influenced their intention to reuse mobile apps. Participants with an internal LoC, believing they were in control of events, perceived mobile apps as easy to use and felt more able to overcome any difficulties. They were thus highly likely to use them for future bookings.However, participants who perceived events to be controlled more by chance were less likely to use mobile apps in the future. The researchers explain that these participants tended to focus on the negatives: they perceived apps as difficult to use and were more concerned about the risks. People with a chance LoC tend to be female, young and with a low level of education, so it is important for app developers to survey these groups to find out which aspects of app use they find most difficult and thus "minimise the adverse effects of effort expectancy".Those who believed in "control by powerful others" were only likely to reuse booking apps if they felt that plenty of support services were available to help them complete their bookings. For these users, the researchers suggest, it would be particularly helpful to provide online instant consultations, perhaps through "popular peer-to-peer platforms in China, such as WeChat", because they believe that outcomes depend more on other people than on themselves.The study has shown that understanding consumers' LoC can be helpful for developing targeted marketing strategies. This is a novel area of study in tourism research, despite LoC being a consistent predictor of attitudes, emotions and behaviour in other fields. Given that both dispositional and cognitive factors are known to strongly influence the adoption of technology, the study provides important information for tourism practitioners to understand how they can harness this knowledge to encourage consumers to use their mobile apps.Fong, Lawrence Hoc Nang, Lam, Long Wai and Law, Rob. (2017). How Locus of Control Shapes Intention to Reuse Mobile Apps for Making Hotel Reservations: Evidence from Chinese Customers. Tourism Management, 61, 331-342.

Alibaba A.I. Labs Launches Hospitality Robot

Alibaba Group 21 September 2018
The robotics industry is revolutionizing the world, and Alibaba A.I. Labs is raising the stakes in this cutting-edge industry with the announcement of launching service robots for the hospitality sector starting in October. The news was made at The Computing Conference 2018, which is scheduled for four days till September 22 in Hangzhou, China, the site of Alibaba's headquarters.Alibaba A.I. Labs is the department leading consumer AI product development at Alibaba.Hotels have until now depended entirely on human labor. But the labs' service robot -- from delivering meals to taking laundry to guests -- demonstrates what guests can expect at hotels in the future. Guests talk to the robot via voice command, touch and hand gesture, and its responses are driven by AliGenie, the software that powers Alibaba A.I. Labs' smart speaker, Tmall Genie."We are excited by this tremendous development that is helping us bridge the gap between guest needs and the response time that they expect. Alibaba A.I. Labs' robot is the next step in the evolution towards smart hotels. In addition, it is solving pain points in the hotel sector, such as enhancing service efficiency, with our leading AI technologies," says Lijuan Chen, General Manager of Alibaba A.I. Labs. "The robot will be the ultimate assistant for hotel guests who want everything quickly and conveniently at their fingertips."The technology that drives the Labs' service robot is state-of-the-art, combining aluminum casing with multi-sensor data functionality and parallel computing for lightning quick responses. It also includes a semantic map, autonomous navigation system to identify obstacles, communication systems to control elevators, and identity verification via facial-recognition technology.The robot's height is less than one meter, while its walking speed reaches one meter per second. After a trial at a hotel, Alibaba A.I. Labs will assess its suitability for other areas, including hospitals, restaurants and office services.According to the International Federation of Robotics, the global market for service robots are on the rise. The market is expected to grow from 20% to 25% from 2018 to 2020, while the sales forecast 2018-2020 indicates a cumulative volume of around 27 billion U.S. dollars for the professional service segment.Following the unveiling of the robot, Alibaba A.I. Labs also announced Tmall Genie Auto, the latest initiative in smart mobility and expanding the Tmall Genie ecosystem.Tmall Genie is the most popular smart speaker in China, with over 5 million units sold since its launch in 2017. It ranks number three in total shipments in the global smart-speaker market.For the latest announcements and talks from The Computing Conference 2018, please refer to the Alizila page: https://www.alizila.com/the-computing-conference-2018-media-resourcesAbout Alibaba A.I. LabsAlibaba A.I. Labs is dedicated to exploring the next-generation human-and-computer interaction and turning novel user experience into reality. The in-house R&D department focuses on the development of innovative AI applications across Alibaba's commerce ecosystem and provides AI solutions to Alibaba's clients and partners. With a world-class research team, Alibaba A.I. Labs focuses on both theoretical research and product commercialization in various areas, including speech recognition, natural language processing, voice print identification, deep learning, and computer vision. The Labs also focuses on developing AI products for consumers, including Tmall Genie, the first voice-controlled smart home assistant developed by the Labs.

HFTP and Naseba Announce HITEC Dubai 2018 Advisory Council

HFTP 20 September 2018
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and Naseba are bringing back HITEC Dubai this year from December 5-6 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE. A regional extension to the world's largest hospitality technology conference brand, HITEC Dubai 2018 will feature 30+ speakers, 600+ hospitality stakeholders and 60+ solution and service providers. The show will give Middle East buyers - currently worth over USD 75 billion - access to global top solution providers in hospitality market through a top-notch education program planned by the expert HITEC Dubai 2018 Advisory Council, as well as an exhibition showcasing the latest in hospitality technology, and a summit with one-to-one business meetings.To plan HITEC DUBAI's educational program, an advisory council of experts with years of experience has been formed. The council's role is to discuss and design an agenda that is most relevant to the Middle East's challenges, needs and upcoming hospitality technology trends.The 2018 HITEC Dubai Advisory Council includes:Laurent Voivenel, SVP of Operations and Development for Middle East, Africa & India, Swiss Belhotel InternationalNeil Menezes, VP of IT, Dubai HoldingSanjay Nadkarni, Director Research and Innovations, Emirates Academy of Hospitality ManagementFerghal Purcell, COO, Hospitality Management Holding (HMH)Ajay Rathi, Group Senior IT Director, Meraas HoldingReda bin Abdoun, IT Director, Dur HospitalityNaveen Bharadwaj, Production Director, NasebaAtul Gupta, Regional Director of IT, Wyndham Hotels and ResortsSamir Hamadeh, General Manager, Alpha Destination ManagementMohamed Amirul Islam, President, HFTP Dubai ChapterMahmoud Kamal, Group CIO, Al Habtoor HospitalityNicholas Watson, Chief Digital Officer, NasebaFrank Wolfe, CAE, CEO, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP)HITEC Dubai's Advisory Council Chairperson Laurent A. Voivenel, senior vice president of operations and development for the Middle East, Africa and India for Swiss-Belhotel International, said, "HITEC, co-produced by HFTP and Naseba, is the world's largest hospitality technology show for hotels and we are delighted to participate in it. We operate in smart cities such as Dubai - hence our hotels need to be smart too. HITEC Dubai offers the perfect platform to know about the latest developments in hospitality technology based on the rapid innovations in the field and the specific needs of the Middle East region, especially Dubai, in order to keep up with the expectations of international travelers."In addition, HFTP has several other HITEC events coming up in 2019. HITEC Europe is April 9-11, 2019 at Palau de Congressos in Palma, Mallorca, Spain. HITEC Minneapolis is June 17-20, 2019 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. 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 HITEC Dubai Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place.Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), producers of HITEC, will partner with Naseba, a business facilitation company, to bring the brand to Dubai. Making the event accessible to buyers from the lucrative Middle Eastern market, currently worth over USD 75 bn.The show will offer an education program and exhibits. In addition, HITEC Dubai will feature a summit with one-to-one business meetings that have become the hallmark of Naseba's platforms. Hoteliers attending the summit portion of HITEC Dubai will be pre-qualified to confirm their purchasing authority, budgets, timelines and solutions of interest.hitec.naseba.comAbout HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is 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 Naseba Naseba offers global business facilitation services. The company creates growth opportunities by bringing together people, partners and ideas. It helps clients raise capital, enter new markets, secure partners, close sales and educate workforces. Naseba's goal is to create opportunity and add economic value at every stage of its client's journey. It does this through three key areas: investor services, commercial services and leadership services. Since inception in 2002, Naseba has facilitated deals totalling billions of dollars for its clients. The company has connected over 100,000 global executives through more than 1,000 proprietary business platforms and is an expert in growth markets.

Booking.com Opens Nominations for Technology Playmaker Awards 2019 to Celebrate and Recognize Inspiring Women in Technology

Booking.com 17 September 2018
AMSTERDAM -- Today, Booking.com, one of the world's largest travel e-commerce companies launched the Technology Playmaker Awards 2019. Introduced by Booking.com in 2017, the awards aim to recognize and celebrate women who are pushing the boundaries of innovation in technology and inspiring future generations of female technology leaders to do the same. This year, the awards are open to nominations from any country, to spotlight the diversity of talent in the global technology sector and encourage more girls and women worldwide to enter and succeed in the field. Nominations can be submitted at http://techplaymakerawards.com, in any language, before December 22nd, 2018.Following the success of the inaugural awards, the Booking.com Technology Playmaker Awards 2019 are now open for global entries at http://www.techplaymakerawards.comWinners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London, UK, on March 13th, 2019As part of Booking.com's commitment to drive awareness of gender diversity in the global technology sector, the awards shine a light on women making an impact with technology and inspiring futurefemale tech leadersOver one in two (52%) women working in technology or students interested in the field say a lack of visible role models or mentors across the global tech sector is a major barrier to entry, according to new Booking.com research.Winners will be selected in seven distinct award categories, each of which celebrates a different aspect of achievement in technology: Role Model, Young Technologist, Business Leader, Digital Leader, Employer Award, Community Impact Award and Tech Innovator. The awards are open to women at all levels in any technology or IT-related field who are disrupting or transforming business, industry or communities using technology. The Employer Award recognizes an organization that has made significant progress in achieving gender diversity and inclusion in IT and technology.The overall Booking.com Technology Playmaker of the Year 2019 will be chosen from among the individual category winners, and will be the person who our judging panel of industry leaders, politicians and academics consider to have made the most impactful change in the global technology sector. In identifying and championing remarkable examples of leadership, courage, ingenuity, tenacity and innovation in technology, the awards aim to empower the next generation of women to consider a career in tech and advance dialogue on the need for greater diversity. Each category winner will receive a monetary prize of EUR5,000 to help advance business and professional goals, with the overall winner collecting a EUR10,000 award."Encouraging more women to join and flourish in the tech sector is essential if innovation is to reflect and nurture the diverse communities that surround us. Creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce takes collaborative effort from companies, both inside and outside their own walls, as well as individuals whose example carries immense power to positively shape the collective destiny of this sector," says Gillian Tans, Booking.com CEO."We need to create an environment in which more girls and women are encouraged to enter the field, and given more opportunities to advance, thrive and succeed. While there is more work to be done, great strides are being made thanks to the kind of businesses, communities and individuals we seek to unearth and recognize through the Booking.com Technology Playmaker Awards."New global research from Booking.com sheds light into the key barriers for women to enter in the tech sector. Over one in two (52%) women working in tech or students interested in the field say a lack of visible role models or mentors across the global tech sector is a major barrier to entry for women. Another half (50%) say they are held back because the opportunities for women to advance in technology are not made clear. These are the gender diversity challenges that Booking.com seeks to unearth and help address through this awards program and other related initiatives.The 2018 Booking.com Technology Playmaker of the Year, Hadeel Ayoub, CEO and founder of BrightSign, was honored for developing a smart "sign-to-speech" glove that helps individuals with speech disabilities communicate more easily by converting sign language to computerized voice.For the 2019 awards, she will join the judging panel alongside a range of tech leaders and champions from business, academia and politics."I truly believe in the power of bringing women together to network and celebrate one another in order to make the technology sector more diverse and gender-inclusive. I was delighted to be recognized by Booking.com at the 2018 Technology Playmaker Awards, bringing further attention to BrightSign and helping my team and I continue to follow our passion to help people with non-verbal disabilities," says Hadeel. "I'm very much looking forward to working with the other judges, hearing the stories of women doing great things with technology around the world and identifying the 2019 Playmakers."The Technology Playmaker Awards 2018 attracted entries from inspirational female tech entrepreneurs and innovators across Europe, highlighting their achievements across technology fields such as ecommerce, fintech, green energy, education tech, blockchain and consumer tech.The Booking.com Technology Playmaker Awards 2019 will gather together luminaries, leaders and supporters of women in technology from around the world in London, UK, on March 13, 2019. Nominations for the awards will close on December 22, 2018Along with this initiative, Booking.com will also be partnering with the Web Summit in Lisbon on November 5-8, 2018 for a Women in Tech mentorship program.Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among 6,898 respondents (from the UK, USA, France, Brazil, The Netherlands, Germany, China, Australia, India and Spain). Respondents completed an online survey from August 2nd to September 6th, 2018.About Booking.comEstablished in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com B.V. has grown from a small Dutch start-up to one of the largest travel e-commerce companies in the world. Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), Booking.com now employs more than 17,000 employees in 198 offices in 70 countries worldwide.With a mission to empower people to experience the world, Booking.com invests in digital technology that helps take the friction out of travel. At Booking.com, we connect travellers with the world's largest selection of incredible places to stay, including everything from apartments, vacation homes, and family-run B&Bs to 5-star luxury resorts, tree houses and even igloos. The Booking.com website and mobile apps are available in 43 languages, offer over 28.9 million total reported listings, including more than 5.6 million listings of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay, and cover more than 140,000 destinations in 231 countries and territories worldwide.Each day, more than 1.5 million room nights are reserved on our platform. So, whether traveling for business or leisure, customers can instantly book their ideal place to stay quickly and easily with Booking.com, without booking fees and backed up by our promise to price match. Via our customer experience team, customers can reach Booking.com 24/7 for assistance and support in 43 languages, any time of the day or night.

HTNG Produces Fiber vs. Copper Cost Comparison Calculator

HTNG 14 September 2018
HTNG's Fiber to the Room Workgroup develops a comparison matrix to evaluate the key architectural differences between a legacy copper and fiber optic deployment.The hospitality industry may not understand the component and architectural differences between a legacy copper deployment and fiber optic deployment. As a result, hotel owners and consultants cannot appropriately compare the cost of ownership between each technology architecture. Without proper cost comparisons, often times hotel construction or renovations may suffer lost technology capabilities, and potentially salable guestroom space.Created by the HTNG Fiber to the Room Workgroup, this calculator can now compare a legacy copper deployment against a modern fiber infrastructure such as Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON). The comparison matrix additionally allows hotel owners to view the total cost of ownership and other less tangible benefits against competing technology categories. To use this calculator, an intermediate understanding of network infrastructure is required.The instructions in the calculator will guide users through evaluations of hotel details, equipment details, fiber networks, and copper networks, along with providing other considerations.HTNG's Fiber to the Room Workgroup was composed of over 50 leading hospitality technology companies. The group was led by Chairs Christopher Rivas, marketing manager, in-building networks of Corning Optical Communications and Greg Dawes, global technical director of Willard Solutions International."Working with industry experts and professionals from HTNG was a pleasure as we were able to piece together a calculator for hotel technologists," said Co-chair Christopher Rivas. "It's really great to be able to share these cost comparisons that really show the value of fiber for today's hotel network.""The main question I have been asked over the past few years is how a fiber to the room network compares to an all copper network in a hotel," said Co-chair Greg Dawes. "What a privilege it has been to work with so many hospitality network experts to develop a tool that can be used to answer this question."The Fiber vs. Copper Cost Comparison Calculator can be downloaded here.For questions or for more information, please contact workgroups@htng.org.

Louvre Hotels Group designs the hospitality of tomorrow by opening its first SmartHotel

Louvre Hotels Group 14 September 2018
The fifth largest hotel group in the world just opened a new kind of hotel, subtly integrating new technologies into a customer path that has been entirely rethought. The establishment will see the light of day in the heart of Shanghai.Louvre Hotels group is convinced; the hotels of tomorrow should be connected, ecological, safe and a source of well-being by promoting human interaction and experience. A SmartHotel is a place where new technologies are placed at the service of exchange, reinforcing the availability of equipment and promoting interaction with other travellers. The Jing An Shanghai Campanile hotel has been selected to incarnate the group's first SmartHotel prototype. The Campanile brand boasts all the advantages to favour this new, open, technological and ecological positioning.A NEW KIND OF HOSPITALITYFrom the outside garden to the lounge via the terrace and the restaurant, technology is suggested gently, almost invisibly, to meet each customer's needs by promoting human interaction. Right from arrival, customers can enjoy an automated check-in office, a key on their mobile phone, and even a welcome robot, from which they can get in touch with hotel personnel whenever they wish.At the restaurant, technology consists of a simple QR code which the customer scans to place an order, and pay or share the bill. If they so desire, they can also customize their cappuccino thanks to a foam printer which reproduces the image or design of their choice. In order to promote creativity and favour exchange, the establishment is designed around an open auditorium in the lobby with a gigantic interactive screen. In this space customers can work together and also enjoy evening films or communal videogames. The experience continues when customers get in the lift; it works by recognizing their face and so access to the floors is totally secure.Once in their room, nothing is left to chance in this made-to-measure experience. The new personal assistant is a robot that takes care of all their needs and arrangements in the room, the brightness of the lights on video and audio devices, and the quality of the air thanks to purifying technology.TECHNOLOGY IS ALSO AT THE SERVICE OF HOTEL PERSONNELThe Smart-Hotel is conceived to make the customer experience more fluid, and also that of the hotel personnel. The welcome, management and maintenance teams all enjoy a global application to centralize everything they do. A light bulb needs changing, a room has been cleaned, a meal prepared - everything shows up on the same application to make communication that much simpler and tasks so much more fluid.

EHL's new Institute of Business Creativity (IBC)

EHL 11 September 2018
Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne launches the Institute of Business Creativity, hosting the METRO Hospitality Lab for the development of novel training solutions in the hospitality industry.Launched in June 2018, the Institute of Business Creativity aims to build bridges between the business world and academia, and to produce relevant, highly impactful, practice-based research and solutions. Under the leadership of professors Marc Stierand, Institute Director, and Ian Millar, Institute Manager, this new structure will contribute to EHL's objective; to provide innovative educational models and to drive growth in the hospitality industry."I am very excited to have the opportunity to apply the research I have conducted on creativity over the past years. The Institute will allow us to leverage the unique industry knowledge of our key partners and our combined understanding of Hospitality technology, creativity and team management will truly give us the means to explore new ideas in a pragmatic and constructive manner", said Marc Stierand The Institute offers a wide spectrum of services, including dedicated research labs in partnership with international firms from the hospitality industry and beyond, tailor-made executive workshops and case studies to support business development and innovation. The Institute also provides an environment for developing and testing new concepts with the EHL community.Prominent experts from the hospitality industry and leading academic institutions from around the world have joined the Institute to contribute their expertise and collaborate on research projects. The Institute of Business Creativity will include several dedicated research labs, sponsored by international companies who will benefit from EHL's awarded research and faculty to develop innovative, leading-edge solutions to transform their industry.The METRO Hospitality Lab, sponsored by METRO AG and initiated by the two co-founders of Hospitality Digital GmbH (a Metro company) Kay Schwabedal (CEO) and Frederic Schumacher (Director Innovations), is the first research project within the Institute of Business Creativity. This lab will focus on the HoReCa industry (Hotels, Restaurants, Catering) and will be dedicated to the exploration and design of new HoReCa education and training solutions."This is a new and fascinating step in the growing relationship between EHL and METRO. We are all extremely enthusiastic to bring our respective strengths to the table and work towards a common goal", said Ian Millar about the new collaboration.The research will focus on the relationship between the digitalization of operational training and human interactions. The Master-Apprentice approach will be examined to determine how and where human interaction, such as mentor coaching or expert training, is combined most effectively with technological solutions."Our objective is nothing less than to make a significant contribution to the digitalisation of the HoReCa industry. We are convinced that this way there are considerable opportunities for small and mediumsized companies in particular to become even more successful", said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG. "EHL and METRO, we both share the same passion: Through our collaboration, we are combining our industry and technology knowledge to support together the digital transformation of our HoReCa customers. I am convinced that our customers will benefit even more from our strategic alliance in the future."METRO's goal is to help their clients -small and medium-sized businesses in the hospitality and food retail industries - succeed in their ventures. Based on previous studies by EHL, this success is closely correlated to enhanced training methods. Results from the research will be presented in 2019, allowing all industry professionals to benefit from the findings.

Hospitality Executives Tackle Technology and Distribution Challenges at HSMAI's Curate

HSMAI 11 September 2018
"Curate is a unique opportunity for leaders in the hotel industry--there is no other body of delegates like it," said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI. "Thought leaders in hospitality sales, marketing, and revenue optimization engage face to face with peers from other companies and collaborate across disciplines on industry solutions. This cross-pollination of ideas is valuable not only for attendees, but for the industry at large."The Curate program in Baltimore was the second event of its kind in HSMAI's Americas Region, on the heels of a successful inaugural Curate held earlier this year at Terranea Resort in California. The main program in Baltimore began with a recap of takeaways from the inaugural spring event, where attendees identified innovation, data analytics, and talent development as priority issues for the hospitality industry.This time around in Baltimore, Curate attendees identified distribution costs and technology platform challenges as major pain points at their companies. Attendees discussed each issue in depth and proposed solutions in guided collective brainstorming sessions.The educational program continued with a keynote presentation by Sam McCleery, vice president of open innovation, and Perry Williams, chief of staff to the chief innovation officer, both at Under Armour. The presentation challenged attendees to think differently and consider partnerships across industries as a potential path to innovation. The speakers also gave insight into using customer feedback and data to drive innovation.Later in the day, Amy Cropper, global talent acquisition leader at Amazon, shared additional insights into fostering a culture of innovation. She also highlighted the importance of experimentation, decentralized decision making, and determining in advance whether an innovation-related decision is reversible.Informal networking was also prevalent throughout the event. The evening prior to the main program, attendees mingled at a welcome reception at Sagamore Spirit distillery, which was co-hosted by Visit Baltimore.Prior to the first Curate, attendees took part in a survey that identified priority issues to focus on during in-person discussions and shed light on commonalities and differences in perspectives of the three disciplines of hospitality sales, marketing, and revenue optimization.In attendance were a total of 70 delegates from major hotel brands and companies, including Accor, Best Western, Booking.com, Expedia, Hilton, IHG, and Marriott, as well as leading educational institutions. HSMAI has 59 organizational member companies, including six hospitality universities.Curate is a keystone benefit of HSMAI organizational membership. HSMAI introduced its organizational membership category for 2018. For organizational membership, the company is the HSMAI member, and multiple corporate employees have access to a wide range of unique member benefits. There are several levels of membership for companies, based on their company size. To learn more about Curate and organizational member and to view a list of member companies, visit https://www.hsmai.org/organizationalmembership. 2019 Curate events will take place March 25-26, at the Thompson Hotel in Nashville, and Sept 4-5, at The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida.

Marriott International to Provide Personal Alert Devices for Housekeepers and Other Hotel Associates Across the US and Canada

Marriott 6 September 2018
As part of its ongoing focus on safety, Marriott International [NASDAQ: MAR] today announced it is ramping up the deployment of alert devices for housekeepers and other on-property associates allowing them to discretely summon help if they feel harassed in any way, need quick support or spot a guest in distress.Further signaling its ongoing commitment to safety, the company will be making associate alert devices a new standard across its portfolio of more than 5,000 managed and franchised hotels in the United States and Canada and is exploring similar technology solutions to meet the needs of its global hotel portfolio and workforce. The associate alert technology rollout is projected to continue through 2020 as the company and its franchise partners fine-tune and tailor installations at individual sites ranging from high rise city properties to sprawling resorts to suburban hotels.After more than a year of field testing and modifying solutions based on input from housekeepers and safety and security experts, Marriott International and its franchise partners are expanding and accelerating the rollout of associate alert technology, including devices that can pinpoint the location of the alert issuer, which has proven effective in scenarios where rapid response is critical and in hotel settings which can be more than a million square feet in size.The move sets a high bar within the industry and was applauded by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), which today convened leaders from multiple member hotel companies committed to protecting employees as well as the millions of guests who stay in hotels each day."No one should ever be fearful doing their job, least of all associates on-property who are so vital to the success of our company and our industry," said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International. "The safety of everyone at our properties is always a top priority as is deterring and combatting harassment of any kind. I'm deeply proud to say our entire industry is unified around these important goals."At testing locations to date, many housekeepers have expressed relief and described heightened peace of mind, not because they've had to use the device, but because they know they can if trouble arises."I've spoken with housekeepers who describe the feeling of walking into a guest room and not knowing what's on the other side of the door," said Erika Alexander, Chief Lodging Services Officer, The Americas, for Marriott International and a former Marriott Hotel General Manager. "Realizing they now have a device right at their fingertips is automatically empowering and it reminds them they're not alone. I hear the relief and confidence in their voices, I see it in their faces. Not only does it make them feel better, it makes their families feel better about the work environment they're in. That's why we're doing this."Marriott housekeepers echo this sentiment. "It's a big relief for the whole family. First of all, for me being on the floor late and for my husband and kids. We don't have to worry about mommy, she's never going to be in danger. She's working in a safe environment," shared Latifa E., a Marriott Housekeeper."Everybody is happy in the hotel about this change, because everybody feels more safe," said Carlos C., a Marriott Housekeeping Aid.The associate alert device puts another tool in the hands of Marriott's tens of thousands of associates and complements the company's regular safety and security training and protocols. Together, these tools collectively foster a safer environment in which associates are better able to care for each other and hotel guests."The real magic happens when it all comes together, and everybody does their part to create a safe work environment and guest experience," emphasized Alexander. "Putting people first is never going to change as a Marriott core value, but what that looks like and what tools and resources are available to us will evolve over time. In this phase, we're dialing up on safety and security."NOTE TO EDITORS: B-roll package includes:Housekeepers at work with the alert deviceClose-ups of housekeeper activating device and summoning helpSecurity action shots, including hotel security officer arriving on-scene to assist housekeeperTeam training session with head of hotel security giving product demoHousekeeper, security expert & executive soundbites

TUI welcomes its first ever robotic humanoid employee

TUI 6 September 2018
Pepper will be part of TUI Nordic's Data and Machine Learning TeamRobot Assistant has job description and personal goals - just as every TUI employeeThe humanoid robot commonly known as "Pepper" is the latest employee to be hired by TUI Nordic. Pepper, named Pepper 2E, will work as a Robot Assistant and be a part of TUI's new Data Analytics and Machine Learning team. TUI is the first travel company in the world to incorporate robotics in this way."Automation, AI and Robotics are important elements of TUI's future. We already have some of the best specialists in this field and I am excited to see how Pepper 2E will contribute to our team. And most importantly, I hope he sparks curiosity and engagement with all of our TUI Nordic colleagues", says Alexander Huber, Managing Director of TUI Nordic.Pepper 2E started August 14th and will primarily be based in TUI's Stockholm office. The humanoid robot has a detailed job description as well as set "personal" goals he will be evaluated on, just as any regular TUI employee. The main responsibility of the Robot Assistant is to inspire innovation, curiosity and technological pioneering. Furthermore, the Robot Assistant will help visitors as well as colleagues and external customers with everyday questions and problems.Elke Eller, HR Director of TUI Group and Member of the Board says: "As TUI Group, we are shaping the future of travel in many areas. Employees like Pepper 2E can support our teams. At the same time they give us an impression of what the work of the future might look like. The "hiring" of Pepper 2E stands for curiosity about the future and openness for new technologies. These are important prerequisites for the success of the digital transformation of TUI. Valkommen, Pepper!"As a true TUI employee, Pepper 2E will go through the usual steps of onboarding. He has a manager to report to and is member of a team that will incorporate him in their day-to-day tasks. He will spend the first few months hovering around the office getting to know the company and his new human colleagues.ABOUT PEPPERPepper is a semi-humanoid robot manufactured by SoftBank RoboticsPepper understands and speaks in numerous languages and can understand human emotions.Pepper's touch screen increases his capacity to interact and enables him to enhance communication by providing visual information.With entirely programmable platforms, Pepper offers manifold usage possibilities to enrich the experience.

HFTP and HTNG Sign Partnership Agreement to Strengthen Resources for the Hospitality Industry

HFTP 6 September 2018
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) announced during Hospitality Upgrade's Annual CIO Summit that they established a partnership geared toward strengthening the progression of the technology in the hospitality industry. The agreement is based on both organizations' desire to use each group's complementary strengths and resources to advance technology in the hospitality and travel industries."For years, HFTP and HTNG have worked in parallel in support of the hospitality technology industry," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "Each organization has made great progress toward bringing the community together to establish education, standards, best practices and resources. Recognizing that working closer together would better serve the industry, the leadership of HTNG and HFTP has formed this partnership."The two organizations are member-based nonprofits which draw from their volunteers' extensive knowledge bases to develop and present educational opportunities, industry standards, best practices and other resources. Through this agreement, HFTP and HTNG will cross-promote the programs of each organization to maximize the benefits and impacts of these efforts."HTNG and HFTP have played important roles in advancing technology in the hospitality and travel industry. With similar, but complementary missions, this partnership will bring the organizations closer together and codify the informal cooperation that has existed since HTNG's founding 16 years ago," said Mike Blake, CEO of HTNG.The partnership establishes a corresponding presence within each organization's events and activities. The groups will promote each other's events on online calendar listings and news sites; as well as support each group's programs, including HFTP certifications and the HTNG Workgroups. Also, both HFTP and HTNG will invite leadership representatives from the other organization to participate in events, programs and advisory councils.One of the first things the two organizations have agreed to do is to resurrect the Hospitality Technology Strategic Initiatives Council, co-founded by HFTP and HTNG in 2009. The council was composed of senior-level, industry leaders and related hospitality/travel associations to discuss pressing industry needs as they relate to hospitality technology. The council will work to identify industry initiatives and will determine the best possible home for these initiatives to reduce duplication efforts.

HTNG Insight Summit Agenda Announced

HTNG 5 September 2018
There are many great sessions and workgroup meetings to look forward to at the upcoming HTNG Insight Summit! Make sure you're joining your peers on 25-26 September at the Plug 'N Play Headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA for this not-to-miss event.HTNG Insight Summits focus on accelerating discussions and solutions in current HTNG workgroups by providing an opportunity for participants to meet face-to-face. HTNG members come together to discuss current issues, acquire knowledge on recent trends and benefit from networking opportunities.General Sessions:California Privacy ActCBRS, New Waves for a Modernized InfrastructureDriving Business Analytics with a Great BATE UpdateEngaging the Frontline Through Communication PlatformsFuture Infrastructure Requirements for HotelsInternational QR Payment TrendsIs WPA3 the Charm for Protecting Wi-Fi Access?Planning Your Next Fiber Optic DeploymentPlug 'N Play with the Latest Batch of StartupsSD-WAN, a Solution to Enhance Hospitality Innovation and Guest ExperienceSecurity is Not ObscurityStart Planning for 5G NowThe Future of Hospitality Wi-FiVoice Stories from Those Driving a Quality Guest ExperienceOn-site workgroup meetings will include: AI for Hospitality, Business Analytics Transactional Extract, Blockchain, CBRS for Hospitality, Fiber to the Room, Frictionless Check-In, Improving the Guest Wi-Fi Experience, IoT, NFC Contactless Payments, Staff Alert Technology and Voice Interaction Framework.

AI, biometrics and blockchain set to dominate discussion at ITB Asia 2018

Messe Berlin GmbH 3 September 2018
Microsoft, Egencia, Travelport, SITA, Fliggy, Tencent and more leading tech companies to discuss digitising the travel industryC-Suite Executives share insights on artificial intelligence (AI), biometrics, blockchain and latest travel technologies at Travel & Tech Conference TrackNew MICE Tech Showcase to unveil innovations to solve complex issues in MICE industryKey industry partners include Asian Development Bank, Innovel Travel Tech, Skift and TroovoITB Asia, 'Asia's Leading Travel Trade Show', will focus on the interdependence of travel and technology this year, under the overarching conference theme of "Travel Reimagined". Key leaders in travel and tech will provide profound insights on the major trends provoking disruption across the travel industry whilst analysing how companies are innovating to stay ahead. Hosted at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Marina Bay Sands, the conference will take place from 17 - 19 October 2018.Impressive growth in the travel industry has been a result of travel tech start-ups launching and the speed of innovation in travel technology. According to 'The State of Travel Start-ups 2017', there were 1,497 digital startups around the globe which attracted nearly $62 billion in funding, almost double from the previous year.[1]Technology in travel is thus growing fast and rapidly changing the way in which we travel. Taking 8% of global travel tech share, China has accounted for over a quarter of funding to the travel tech industry since 2013.[2] In light of this, ITB Asia will be hosting a series of talks on travel technologies which will take place at the Travel & Tech Hub, allowing delegates to immerse in the game-changing technology that is progressing travel, meetings and business.Speakers from leading tech firms will demonstrate how emerging and innovative tech can offer meaningful connections between travel brands and customers for true ROI. At ITB Asia 2018, delegates will gain insights into what the future holds for the leisure, the MICE and corporate travel sectors and the industry's biggest challenges that can effectively be resolved through new tech.Top technology and travel companies across the globe, including Booking.com, Egencia, Fliggy, Hotelbeds Group, KAYAK, Microsoft, Sabre, SITA, Skyscanner, Tencent, Travelport and Tujia will be joining the show with senior representatives, from Vice President to C-Level, on the stage talking about which technologies will truly transform travel. The show's agenda will be dominated by discussions from AI to virtual reality (VR), biometrics, blockchain and robotics utilising case study examples and practical application in travel management, business travel, hotel operations, travel photography, and dining experience etc.Launching the new MICE Tech Showcase, the conference will feature innovations that will help solve today's complex issues in the MICE industry.This year, ITB Asia is proud to join hands with Asian Development Bank with the Mekong Innovative Start-up Tourism (MIST), Innovel Travel Tech, Skift and Troovo as the representative. Skift will be hosting a session at the Knowledge Theatre on 'Post Experience Economy: Innovators At The Edge of Travel'. This new term, the 'Post Experience Economy' will look at the travel economy where everyone is already marketing experiences and smart innovators are thinking about the post-experience economy.As a partner at the MICE & Corporate Hub, Troovo, a leading Robotic Process Automation solutions provider, will join ITB Asia to tackle the positive impact of virtualisation and robotics for the travel industry. Exploring the endless possibilities of the virtual world and utilising them to expand the possibilities of the actual world, Troovo provides solutions on virtual payments, automating workflow and simplifying data process in corporations. As a strong believer in automation to enable greater productivity and higher profitability, Troovo's Co-Founder and CEO, Kurt Knackstedt, will host a one-hour session on 18 October to discuss how we can take away the laborious task of data entry and grunt work of processing travel and payment transactions. Sharing further insights, he will draw on his experience which spans over 20 years and 4 continents, across technology, travel, procurement, leadership and marketing roles at multinationals, start-ups and his own consulting business.Kurt Knackstedt, Chief Executive Officer of Troovo commented, "Troovo is excited to be a part of ITB Asia, as the Asian region is rapidly pushing ahead with new technologies and strategies for travel. As a technology company also driving a new direction for the industry, it's key for us at Troovo to help shape and lead the discussion about why travel needs to continue to embrace disruption and new ideas to keep our industry fresh and forward-thinking. We're looking forward to some amazing conversations in October in Singapore!"ITB Asia's strategic partnership with Asian Development Bank and Innovel Travel Tech will reach out to the young, tech-savvy companies around the world that are innovating with breakthrough technologies. Both will be hosting a session on travel start-ups in the dedicated conference track at the Travel and Tech Hub.Rom Hendler, Founder & CEO, Innovel noted, "TravelTech is the new black of the tech industry. Travel is one of the biggest industries in the world, and it is ready for innovation and disruption. Innovel bridges between the innovative start-up community and the traditional international travel industry, focusing on one of the hottest tech markets in the world, Israel. There is no better place than ITB Asia to showcase this innovation to the key players of the travel industry in the region."Jason Lusk, Project Director of Mekong Innovative Start-ups in Tourism (MIST), Asian Development Bank said, "The MIST start-up accelerator is thrilled to join this year's ITB Asia programme. Our innovative start-ups are equipping Asia's travel industry to serve travellers better and more sustainably. What better place to show them off them than at Asia's largest travel trade show?"For more information on ITB Asia 2018, visit www.itb-asia.com.About ITB Asia 2018ITB Asia 2018 will take place at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, from 17 - 19 October 2018. It is organised by Messe Berlin (Singapore) Pte Ltd and supported by the Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau. The annual three-day B2B trade show and convention will feature hundreds of exhibiting companies from the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East, covering not only the leisure market, but also corporate and MICE travel. Exhibitors from every sector of the industry, including destinations, airlines and airports, hotels and resorts, theme parks and attractions, inbound tour operators, inbound DMCs, cruise lines, spas, venues, other meeting facilities and travel technology companies are all expected to attend.Now in its eleventh year, ITB Asia is the premier meeting place for the travel trade industry for forging new partnerships and strengthening existing business relationships with the most important players in the region. Whilst celebrating a decade of ITB Asia, last year, its huge success saw 940 exhibitors, 951 quality buyers, 6,140 minutes of conference, more than 11,000 attendees and 22,000 business appointments.

Welcome to HSMAI Europe's Digital Expert LAB, an eLearning program, available now

HSMAI Europe 31 August 2018
Currently working in a management role within hotel distribution and/or marketing? Taught by leading industry figureheads, HSMAI Europe's Digital Expert LAB courses will help upskill and develop your digital knowledge, enabling you to draw out new digital insights and make strategy driven decisions that benefit your company.A big investmentHSMAI Region Europe has taken a big investment for the program and the new website (www.hsmai.eu) and has also over a lengthy period been working with a passionate group of industry experts amongst our members, on our latest educational initiative: The Digital Expert LAB. Together we successfully created a series of videos in which hoteliers and technology providers share their experience, ideas and tips - all centered around a topic relating to "digital".HSMAI Region Europe's aim is to provide the industry with a source of information on Digital Distribution and Marketing, that will help to decrease the gap between inhouse knowledge and the fast changing developments in the digital world around us.Free for HSMAI membersFollowing the many positive reactions on the LAB initiative from our Advisory Board members given prior access to it, HSMAI Region Europe now decided to offer the content to its corporate members for free. We encourage you to learn, stay curious and share with each other internally. Maybe let the HSMAI members in your management team use it to prepare your business and marketing plan? We are sure that it will create great discussions.Why should you complete HSMAI Europe's Digital Expert LAB?Inspiration - Digital is big business, and it's only going to get bigger! We need the right skills to maximise all of the opportunities that digital offers todayTogether - HSMAI Region Europe wants to help bridge the gap between rapid digital developments and a need for in-house digital knowledgeLearn, Share & Create - Industry leaders and experts share their experience and provide hands-on advice to help you to identify and create new digital opportunitiesThank you!A special thank you to two of our Advisory Boards for their guidance; the HSMAI Region Europe Distribution Advisory Board and HSMAI Region Europe Marketing Advisory Board."We all know how to greet the guest warmly, provide a great experience and serve wonderful food. Unfortunately, for the modern Hotelier this is not enough. HSMAI Europe's Digital Expert LAB teaches how to professionally run, sell and market your hotel in the age of iPhones, Netflix and Uber"Nils Korsvoll, VP Distribution, Eberry by Nordic Choice Hotels"HSMAI Europe's Digital Expert LAB is a unique initiative that provides a one stop shop for our industry to access a wealth of knowledge, delivered by industry experts and thought leaders, with a multi-channel, customer focused and commercially minded approach"Suzie Thompson, VP - Marketing, Distribution & Revenue Management, Red Carnation HotelsA big thank you to our members and partners for their contributions:- AccorHotels- Avvio- Cendyn- eHotelier- Google- Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts- Sokos Hotels- TripAdvisor- 80 DaysTake advantage of your HSMAI Region Europe membership and download the Digital Expert LAB today: https://hsmai.eu/digital-expert-lab/eHotelier.com are hosting our courses.Not an HSMAI corporate member yet? Become a member today! https://hsmai.eu/about/

Here are the finalists for the HSMAI and Customer Alliance Guest Experience Award UK

HSMAI Europe 31 August 2018
HSMAI Region Europe, in cooperation with the german based company Customer Alliance, will hand out national awards on the upcoming HSMAI Day UK in London on Friday 14th September, and the HSMAI Days to come in other countries this autumn.The awards are based on customer satisfaction data and reviews from different portals, such as TripAdvisor, booking.com, Hotels.com, Google, Facebook and more, divided into three categories; Hotels, Restaurants and Attractions. Customer Alliance has sourced an overview of the UK hospitality market that is as complete as possible.The winners will be announced at the HSMAI Day on September 14th at the Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel in London.Here are the finalists in the United Kingdom:HotelsCitadines Trafalgar Square LondonFraser Suites Edinburgh, ScotlandFraser Suites Glasgow, ScotlandPark Plaza London Park RoyalPark Plaza Westminster Bridge LondonPlaza on the River, LondonRadisson Blu Hotel, EdinburghSt Martins Lane HotelThe Cavendish LondonThe Principal YorkRestaurantsAdam's RestaurantCafe CittaCherry Trees Coffee HouseMaison Bleue Modern French Restaurant - Bury St EdmundsOn The Hill RestaurantPaul Ainsworth at Number 6SalamanderThe Black Swan at OldsteadThe Clink CymruThe Old Stamp House RestaurantAttractions and experiencesCamera Obscura & World of IllusionsCavern ClubChurchill War RoomsHawk Conservancy TrustKelvingrove Art Gallery and MuseumNational Museum of ScotlandNational Railway Museum YorkRoyal Yacht BritanniaThe Minack TheatreThe Roman BathCriteriaCustomer Alliance utilised a range of criteria to evaluate the candidates and determine the shortlist of 10 candidates in each category. This included assessing not only the quantity or average score of the reviews over the past 12 months but also the responses to guest feedback by management alongside an internal, proprietary semantic analysis to understand the feedback left by guests at almost 200,000 hotels, restaurants and attractions across the United Kingdom.Customer Alliance has sourced an overview of the UK hospitality market that is as complete as possible, the same applies for the countries where we host the HSMAI Day; Germany, Holland, Norway, Spain and Sweden, to begin with (please see dates and program below).The Awards will be handed out annually, reflecting the past year, so the candidates cannot rely on great performances from previous years.See the program for the HSMAI Day UK on September 14th here.Please contact Project Manager Linda M. Ramberg for more information.Email: lmr@hsmai.eu, Mobile: +47 928 03 694The HSMAI Day and national award to be presented in several European cities:The HSMAI Day UK, London, Friday September 14thThe HSMAI Day Norway, Oslo, Monday September 24thThe HSMAI Day Holland, Amsterdam, Thursday October 4thThe HSMAI Day Sweden, Stockholm, Thursday October 11thThe HSMAI Day Germany, Berlin, Tuesday October 16thThe HSMAI Day Spain, Madrid, Tuesday October 23rdAbout HSMAI Region EuropeHSMAI - Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) - is a global organization founded in the US in 1927. HSMAI Region Europe is the European arm of the organization.The mission is committed to growing business for the hotel, event and travel industry and their partners, and is the industry's leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable revenue growth on a local, national and European level. The association provides practical tools, insights, and cutting edge expertise to enable knowledge sharing and enhance professional development as well as fuel sales, inspire marketing, transform businesses digitally and optimise revenue.Our Service PledgeWe pledge to provide transparent and neutral environmentsWe pledge to drive personal and professional growthWe pledge to be your industry point of referenceWe pledge to provide you with cutting edge tools to grow your businessWe pledge to go above and beyond to engage youAbout Customer Alliance- By collecting, distributing and analyzing guest reviews, Customer Alliance helps independent and chain hotels take control of their reputation and increase revenue.Customer Alliance was founded in 2009 in Berlin, thousands of independent and chain hotels worldwide work with Customer Alliance's 90+ employees to manage and improve their online reputations and increase revenue. Within one industry-leading solution hotels collect, distribute, and analyze their guest reviews from across the web, giving them a competitive insight into their hotel's performance. Hotels can now better understand their guests and boost their revenue.For more information, please contact:Ingunn HofsethPresident & CEO, HSMAI Region EuropeEmail: ih@hsmai.noWeb: www.hsmai.euTorsten SabelCo-founder and COO, Customer AllianceEmail: ts@customer-alliance.comWeb: www.customer-alliance.com/en"Delivering first class service to all guests is the goal of any hospitality establishment, and we're excited to be able to recognise the best of the best with the HSMAI & Customer Alliance Guest Experience Award. Too often the great service that hoteliers, tour operators, and other hospitality companies deliver goes unnoticed or is taken for granted. It's a fantastic opportunity to give recognition where it's due and we feel that there is no better partner to achieve this with than HSMAI," stated co-founder and Chief Operation Office of Customer Alliance, Torsten Sabel, adding "We're excited to announce the national winner in the UK in September, at the HSMAI Day UK at the Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel.""By restricting the survey to the previous twelve months, this can be done annually, reflecting the past year. That means that candidates cannot rely on great performances from years gone by, which could potentially inflate or deflate the lifetime average score," Torsten Sabel explains.

Why Asia leads the race in smart hotel technology

JLLH 30 August 2018
Robots butlers, keyless entry and virtual reality-enhanced room bookings: Hotel guests are increasingly being greeted by these once futuristic tech features around the world. But hotels in Asia have been upping the ante, with a younger hospitality industry - and many guests in their 20s and 30s - quickly taking to new innovations.In Japan, for instance, self-parking slippers and furniture are able to return to their designated spots after use. A blockchain reward system introduced by Malaysian hospitality firm Hatten Group allows members to collect tokens in exchange for hotel packages and stays. Meanwhile, Andaz Singapore and Hotel New Otani in Tokyo have introduced chatbots for guests as a handy way of providing recommendations and answer any queries."In some respects, it is easier to trial and grow these concepts within Asia as new-build hotels can incorporate these products and concepts into the design at a very early stage," says Andrew Langston, Executive Vice President, JLL Hotels and Hospitality Asia Pacific. "Moreover, Millennials grew up with technology and they're very comfortable with adopting new innovations."Opportunities and expectationsAsian tech companies are quick to recognise the opportunities in the hospitality industry. Alibaba has developed facial recognition check-in for two Marriott hotels in China, which could be rolled out globally after trials. Hong Kong-based Tink Labs' createdHandy Japan, a concierge-service smartphone that is being used in around 80 countries; Softbank has recently jumped on board to support the initiate as Tokyo prepares for a tourist boom in anticipation of the Olympic Games in 2020.It's not just tech companies trying to inject their products. Hotel chains are hungry for more innovation to speed up efficiency and improve customer experience. Langston points out that technology is helping the service industry to meet its resourcing requirements.South Asia's largest hotel chain Oyo acquired an Internet of Things firm, AblePlus, to use its technology and Artificial Intelligence in better managing its hotels and assets. Meanwhile chatbots on hotel sites are helping to overcome difficulties in finding service staff willing to do repetitive tasks and greater restrictions on foreign labour.Efficiency aside, hotels also turn to technology as a way of managing costs in a capital intensive industry, especially for the budget mid-scale segments where room rates are more competitive."Ultimately technology is increasingly expected in hotels rather than being a nice-to-have feature nowadays, especially for the travellers in Asia and from Asia. If hotel companies do not adapt, they will be left behind," Langston says.Evolving with changeAs technology becomes a core - and critical - part of hotels, the industry is planning ahead. Progressive Asian cities like Singapore have unveiled a Smart Technology Hotel Road Map to help the industry advance. "It makes sense for governments to support and drive such initiatives. I think we will see similar trends from growing technology hubs in countries such as India and China," says Langston."These are great initiatives. Taking a proactive approach will be the only way to remain abreast with technological advancements. This could similarly accelerate the speed of adoption of technology within the hospitality industry in developing countries such as Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia, and Myanmar where the governments see tourism as an excellent vehicle to grow revenues."However, heaping new tech into a hotel business isn't a guaranteed path to greater success. Langston cautions against hotel brands and operators rushing headlong into technology. It would serve them better to define their identity and branding - whether are they "high touch, low tech or high-tech, low-touch" and learn to tread a fine line as they determine who the hotel and its technology - or lack of - are catering for, he advises.

New segment at ITB Berlin 2019: Technology, Tours & Activities

Messe Berlin GmbH 30 August 2018
Technology, Tours & Activities (TTA) is one of the tourism industry's fastest-growing segments. According to Phocuswright, the international travel research institute, tours and activities make up around ten per cent of the global travel market - more than rail travel, car hire and cruises combined.The brand new Technology, Tours & Activities segment is the first of its kind in Europe and gathers the tourism industry's most important groups at ITB Berlin who all share the same goal: promoting and selling in-destination services. Both major players and small startups will be showcasing their innovative products in this new exhibition and meeting area in the Adventure Travel Hall (4.1). The TTA marketplace is the place to head for providers of tours, tour guides, technology and apps, as well as re-sellers, intermediaries and destinations. Exhibitors and trade visitors will also be able to establish new contacts and exchange experiences at networking events in Halls 4.1 and 7.1b. Over the three days reserved for trade visitors, workshops and conference sessions in Hall 4.1 and at the eTravel World will provide first-hand information on Technology, Tours & Activities.At the eTravel World, on the afternoon of Wednesday, 6 March 2019 all eyes will be on the TTA Forum, which features panel discussions, workshops and an extra networking event at the eTravel Lab in hall 7.1b. On Thursday, 7 March at the Business Day, the focus will be on products at the TTA marketplace in Hall 4.1. On Friday, 8 March 2019, a TTA Special for startups will take place at the Startup Day at the eTravel World in hall 6.1.Commenting, David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin, said: "We look forward to being the first to provide the TTA segment with a new international forum at ITB Berlin 2019 and to helping to shape the tourism industry's third-largest market. Nowadays, simply offering customers bus and city tours is no longer enough. Being able to book tours, attractions and local activities online has become more important than ever. ITB Berlin now makes it possible to meet with all the relevant international players in a single place."Full details can be found at www.itb-berlin.com/tta.

HTNG Publishes Framework and Guidance for Hotels Implementing Voice Technologies

HTNG 17 August 2018
CHICAGO - HTNG's Voice Interaction Framework Workgroup announces the publication of a first of its kind white paper that offers guidance and best practices for the implementation of voice technologies in hotels.The rapid growth of interest in voice-based hotel guest engagement makes this release particularly timely and valuable to HTNG members and the broader community of hoteliers.Key industry players from hotelier and technology vendor communities met bi-weekly over the course of 12 months to identify and vet suggested guidelines for the implementation and operations of voice-based technologies, along with use cases and management features to be employed by hoteliers. The workgroup aims to give hoteliers a jumpstart in how they are thinking about the implications of voice technologies on their properties, saving them the time and effort associated with developing a unique voice interaction framework for their portfolio.This framework ultimately gives hoteliers and technology vendors a common language to discuss the implementation and management of voice-based technologies in hotels and ensure that hotel guests and staff have a positive experience with the rapidly evolving voice medium.HTNG's Voice Interaction Framework was led by Chairs David Berger, CEO of Volara and John Swain, director of product management at Evolve Controls."Adoption of voice based technologies in hotels has been rapid and varied," said David Berger. "These frameworks and guidelines - which result from months of collaboration between both hoteliers and hotel technology professionals in the HTNG Voice Standards Working Group - aim to ensure the adoption of minimum viable practices for the management of guest-facing experiences using voice-based technologies, while allowing for ample opportunity for creative differentiation."John Swain added, "This white paper serves as a great primer for any hotelier looking to implement voice-activated controls to enhance the experience of their guests."The Frameworks and Guidelines for Implementing Voice-based Solutions in Hotels document is available for download here.For questions or for more information, please contact workgroups@htng.org.

HSMAI ROC Recap: Grabbing Revenue by the Horns in Houston

HSMAI 15 August 2018
HSMAI's ROC drew corporate revenue management executives from 110 unique hotel companies and 48 hotel properties. The two-day conference featured inspiring and engaging general sessions led by industry thought leaders, interactive breakout sessions, and countless opportunities to connect face to face with 42 product and service providers at the partner showcase.ROC officially kicked off with an opening general session emceed by Dr. Kelly McGuire, SVP of revenue management for MGM Resorts International. Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist for the Economic Outlook Group, shared his geopolitical and economic forecast for the coming year. He cited tariffs imposed recently by the United States, increased cyberattacks, and the high likelihood of a recession in the near future as some of the biggest concerns for the travel industry. Baumohl urged hoteliers to be proactive about pricing, and to have game plans in place for plausible unfavorable scenarios such as company-wide technical disruptions and a decreased number of international travelers to the United States.The opening general session also featured a "Think Like an Owner" panel, in which asset managers and owner representatives shared their perspectives on how revenue management professionals can increase their "asset management acumen." One takeaway was that revenue managers increase the likelihood of successful relationships with owners, GMs, and colleagues in other departments if they are proactive/act like leaders, communicate clearly and concisely, understand the business mix, and have a good handle on digital marketing.Another highlight of ROC was the two-part interactive session, "No Bull: The Great Debate," in which presenters debated two timely questions for the hospitality industry: "With advances in AI and machine learning, what is the future for humans in revenue management?" and "Do loyalty programs still have a place with today's consumers, or is loyalty is dead, requiring us to find another way forward?" Live polling and candid comments from audience members made for engaging discussions of both subjects.Throughout the conference, a host of breakout sessions had interactive elements, such as polling and rapid-fire brainstorming sessions. Sessions delved into key issues for hotels and revenue optimization leaders, including personalizing paid advertising, leveraging social media, harnessing metrics and analytics, and maximizing non-room revenue opportunities. Recurring messages throughout the breakouts included the following: be willing to stop doing things if they no longer bring the same value; and, be intentional about communications across revenue, marketing, and sales, departments so that teams can work together, not in silos.On the first day of the conference, which offered special workshops and deep-dive sessions, 53 individuals earned certifications after attending review courses in Houston--37 earned the CRME (Certified Revenue Management Executive) certification and 16 earned the CHDM (Certified Hospitality Digital Marketer) certification. More than 100 attendees were treated to Research in Action presentations--a lightning round-style series in which faculty from leading universities shared their research studies. A broad range of pertinent presentations touched upon reporting biases in TripAdvisor reviews, how hotels can best compete with Airbnb, revenue optimization in the food service industry, rate parity prohibition, and non-room revenue sources.For the third year in a row HSMAI's ROC Americas drew more 600 attendees."We're pleased that hospitality professionals continue to get value out of this annual event," said Bob Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI. "We're constantly looking for new ways to enhance the ROC experience and prioritize offering relevant content on trending issues so that attendees can be proactive and strategic as they incorporate new technologies and ideas back at their businesses."In addition to plentiful education and networking opportunities, the conference showcased a record 42 partner companies serving the revenue management industry, including consultants, technology vendors, and companies providing products and services in revenue management, execution, and reporting.As usual, meeting with and exchanging ideas among attendees was a big benefit for attendees at ROC, since the conference is a rare chance for revenue management professionals to meet others who work in similar roles and who face similar challenges. The event was also an opportunity for attendees to give back to the host community. HSMAI Helps enlisted attendees to assemble 550 hygiene kits that were donated to a local Houston shelter.ROC Americas also provided a forum for the presentation of awards to legendary and emerging leaders in the field of hospitality revenue management. HSMAI's highest honor for revenue management--the Vanguard Award for Lifetime Achievement in Revenue Management--was bestowed upon Robert (Bob) G. Cross, chairman of Revenue Analytics. HSMAI and its co-presenter, Rainmaker, named Cassandra Bond and Derek Brewster 2018 Revenue Management Professionals of the Year.The day ended on a high note with an entertaining game of "Revenue Feud," inspired by television game show Family Feud.

Melia To Be One Of The First Participants Worldwide To Adopt WhatsApp Business For Larger Companies

Melia 14 August 2018
Melia Hotels International, the leading hotel company in Spain, is a global market-leader in the digitalization of the hotel industry with a strong focus on innovation to drive enhancements to the customer experience. The company has now added WhatsApp to its technological ecosystem after becoming one of the first participants worldwide to start using the WhatsApp Business solution for larger business, which allows companies to improve the digital customer relationship model.In this first stage, after consent from users, Melia Hotels International will use the WhatsApp Business solution to send useful information to customers such as their booking confirmation number, hotel location or contact telephone number. The company expects this to be a lever for improving customer experiences and their relationship with the brand. "Nowadays, customers want to connect quickly and easily with businesses in the same way they chat with friends and family. Our customer experience strategy requires us to be present in all the channels where they expect to find us, and WhatsApp is definitely one of them. This solution also allows us to get closer to customers and drive innovation in the industry, two of the fundamental values of our company," says Gabriel Escarrer, Vice President and CEO of Melia Hotels International.WhatsApp is a simple, reliable and private way to talk with anyone in the world. More than 1,5 billion people in over 180 countries use WhatsApp to stay in touch with friends, family and businesses anytime, anywhere. WhatsApp Business helps companies and customers to connect quickly and easily, providing a new opportunity to better manage conversations with customers.

Distinguished Keynotes to Speak at Upcoming HTNG European Conference

HTNG 8 August 2018
World-famous rock climber, Catherine Destivelle, and Portuguese National Radio Host, Carla Rocha, will be keynote speakers at the 2018 HTNG European Conference held on 22-24 October at the Penha Longa Resort just outside of Lisbon.Catherine Destivelle is recognized and admired as the most adventurous and exciting female climber in the world today. Her daring accomplishments as a solo climber in scaling the most difficult and dangerous peaks without the use of safety ropes, support or back-up is legendary. Her passion and desire to conquer the most challenging mountain faces in the world satisfies her emotions and her thirst for adrenaline, keeping her at the forefront of climbing and ahead of her time.Destivelle's inspirational presentations challenge and inspire the audience to re-focus their goals to achieve success by sharing her own visions and startling achievements. Destivelle's mountain exploits require meticulous planning, perfect physical and psychological preparation, and complete determination when it really counts. Destivelle shares this extensive experience with all of the audiences she encounters.Carla Rocha is the host of the morning show of the well-known Portuguese National Radio Station, Renascenca. In addition to radio, Rocha is also a communication trainer helping executives to transform the way they communicate with their teams and partners. She coordinates the "Athlete Speakers" program, developed by the Portuguese Olympic Committee. In this program, she trains and guides Olympic athletes, helping them to impact audiences with their presentations.Rocha has interviewed hundreds of individuals and has an extensive background speaking on topics including: change management, innovation, journalism/media, leadership and motivation and women. Rocha is the author of the book "Speak less, communicate more - 10 strategies to become a great communicator." In addition to her book, Rocha has several papers published in books and magazines that specialize in different areas.In addition to inspirational keynotes Destivelle and Rocha, a number of industry experts will join the speaker line-up to discuss trending hospitality technology topics at the 2018 HTNG European Conference.Conference 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 on the 2018 HTNG European Conference can be found here.

Here is how you can distribute your hotel inventory efficiently to sell more

Hotelogix 6 August 2018
For a hotel, a well-structured inventory distribution strategy is the key to sell more rooms. Not only that, it also helps the hotel increase its online visibility. However, what should a hotel do to ensure this? Should the hotel only work with OTAs, or it should look for other options?Let's take a look at some of the recent trends in hotel distribution and how a hotel should go about it.Blockchain technology for hotel distributionA recent Nasdaq article has referred to Blockchain as the "future of hotel distribution" as it has the potential to enable a secure "commission-less" distribution. And to make this happen, there has to be a decentralized platform to connect guests directly with hotels. The good news here is that, a couple of Blockchain solution providers are working to come up with the much-needed decentralized platform.For example - Concierge.io leverages NEO blockchain as the mainstay of its commission-free hotel booking platform. Currently, only hotels in Vietnam are listed on this platform. But, Concierge.io aims to list around 10,000 hotels, globally. (Source)However, we need to wait and see how soon and how efficiently this latest technology will revolutionize the whole process of hotel distribution, to help hotels acquire commission-free booking.OTAs still play a major role Yes, this is right. Given their huge market share, OTAs are very important for hotel inventory distribution. Merely listing out your property on OTA platforms does not involve any cost. So, it is a good idea to get connected with all the OTAs in your target geographies. Though, only top performing OTAs will give you maximum booking, this exercise will help you boost your online visibility. Enhanced online exposure increases the chances of your brand being found by more guests.However, make sure that you have a cloud Hotel PMS that comes with a channel manager connect, to help you update rates and rooms across all the OTAs in real-time. Because, without this, you are bound to update all the OTAs manually which is a time-consuming task. Plus, this leads to overbooking and double booking.Concentrate on your brand website When integrated with a web booking engine, your hotel's brand website becomes a potential source of direct booking. And who does not like getting more direct booking that helps save on OTA commission! That's why, your brand website is the most obvious and most cost-effective inventory distribution channel.Your hotel website should have all the necessary information about your property. The booking engine should be easy-to-use for guests. Help them make the reservation by keying in minimal personal information. If you are targeting foreign tourists, make sure that you have the 'multi-language' and 'multi-currency' features in your website. If possible, incorporate a virtual tour feature and allow your potential guests to take a tour of your property, even before they make their decision of booking with you.Don't forget to ensure that your hotel website is mobile responsive, as an increasing number of travellers are accessing hotel websites on their smartphones to make reservation. And most importantly, promote positive guest reviews on your website to influence the booking decision of potential bookers.Drive booking via Facebook When Facebook is considered as one of the most important social media platforms that connects millions of travellers, you can not afford to just sit idle. It is a place where today's travellers are sharing their hotel experience and photos, etc. And that is why, your hotel's brand must have a strong presence on Facebook.Entice your potential guests with exclusivity - "We still have availability for the upcoming holiday session. Book now and avail 10% on F&B bills". Moreover, to establish trust and to emerge as a hotel brand that cares for its guests, do respond to guest reviews on your Facebook page. In fact, be more proactive in responding to the bad ones. Additionally, you can leverage your FB page to do much more, like - providing travel advice related your area, listing out local events, etc. Most importantly, make it easier for your guests to book instantly with you by incorporating a clear 'Book Now' button.Work with metasearch engines This is another area of hotel distribution that has the full potential to help hotels generate direct booking. Metasearch engines help travellers search individual hotels through OTAs for rates and availabilities. They also throw up your hotel's rates as mentioned in your website and that's how a traveller finds your brand. If you work with metasearch engines with the right strategy, you can reduce your OTA dependency, for sure. Plus, with a metasearch engine's 'pay per click' policy, you can save more on your distribution cost, too. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and list out your property on metasearch engines by promoting your real-time availability, rates, amenities and services.Be available on last-minute hotel room booking appsDo you know that up to 80% of last-minute hotel bookings are now made on mobile devices? (Source). That's why it is highly advisable to feature your hotel's inventory and rates (special rates in this case) on some of the popular last-minute booking apps. The increase in hotel booking via mobile is being driven by today's travellers' impulses, their decision to make last-minute reservations. Your unsold rooms are perishable items. You stand to lose the booking value/revenue if one room remains unsold today. Instead of losing the entire room revenue, why not sell the room via last-minute apps? You still get some revenue even after the discount you provide, and your guests get a good deal. And once they come to your property, serve them efficiently, make them happy and win over their loyalty.The internet has impacted the hotel distribution landscape in many ways. With the rise in the number of OTAs, metasearch engines and other distribution channels, as a hotelier, you need to be proactive so as to keep yourself abreast and make the most of them.If you like the article, please give us your feedback.Ensure effective hotel distribution with Hotelogix. Try Hotelogix, Now!

Sweet Inn's New Property Management System (PMS) Nets the Highest Yields in Competitive Short-Term Vacation Rentals Market

Sweet Inn 3 August 2018
Tel Aviv, Israel & London, UK -- Sweet Inn, the data and technology-driven hospitality start-up that offers more than 500 stylish vacation apartments in 10 major European cities, has become one of the first independent companies to develop a complete PMS (Property Management System) in-house to ac commodate its rapid growth in the European market.The development of proprietary technology to manage properties is an unusual move in the hospitality sector, where companies rely on third-party software to handle the systems that sit behind the running of the business. The investment has paid off, with the company reporting the highest yields to date in the vacation rentals market.The year-long project was undertaken by Sweet Inn's team of 50 developers and gives the hospitality start-up a significant edge over competitors by immediately increasing its yields - now widely considered as the highest in the industry* - and offering exceptional levels of guest services thanks to the bespoke technology.Traditionally, hotel property management systems are used to manage front-office capabilities such as; bookings, guest check-in and out, room assignment, room rates and billing. However, hoteliers are increasingly challenged with providing a pers onalized guest experience while operating effectively in an extremely competitive market. The Sweet Inn PMS resolves this issue completely for the start-up and the results are already visible."Sweet Inn's PMS is the secret sauce for differentiation in the hospitality business," says Rachel Benhanoch, Sweet Inn's VP of Product. "The system brings us to a whole new level of efficiency in caring for our guests that are spread throughout 10 cities and located in hundreds of properties. It allows us to introduce unique capabilities such as a suite of home automation features that contribute to cost saving and energy optimization; features that aren't available through a generic PMS. The combination of our hospitality expertise and the system's capabilities has substantially increased our property yield."The Sweet Inn PMS has been developed to cover the entire customer journey and the day-to-day management of operations. This includes:Early enquiryBooking and reservation managementCheck-in, in-stay care and services, check-outLocal teams day-to-day operationPricingThe next additions to the PMS will include a retention and loyalty program, automated cleaning and maintenance operations and the day-to-day operations of local teams.The development of a tailored, in-house PMS stems from Sweet Inn's need to optimize its processes to fit its unique operational structure that sets it apart from its rivals. Its proprietary PMS removes unnecessary 'noise' associated with generic PMS that attempt to accommodate as many possible needs of various businesses rather than drilling down into the exact needs of individual companies. Sweet Inn's technology achieves high efficiency by championing a lean and accurate operation of exact scenarios, property types, business personas and financial processes that are at the core of Sweet Inn's brand.Benhanoch conclud es: "Every action and transaction is 'fed back' into the system so our Business Intelligence team generates actionable insights that allow us to optimize our operation and provide our guests best-in-class hospitality experience."*SOURCE - Based on data taken from Fornova

Hospitality Upgrade Announces Recipient of the John Cahill Student Seat for the 2018 CIO Summit

Hospitality Upgrade 1 August 2018
Hospitality Upgrade Publisher and President Rich Siegel today announced the next recipient of the John Cahill student seat will be Juan Jesus Trevino, a student of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston. The upcoming CIO Summit will be held Sept. 5-7, 2018, in Seattle."With a stellar academic background and good hospitality and IT work experience, we believe Juan has a bright future and solid potential in hospitality technology ahead of him," said Dr. Agnes DeFranco.After graduating from a magnet high school with advancement placement, Trevino decided to attend his local community college for one semester to finish all the required core classes. He obtained his associates degree in one semester at South Texas College with a perfect 4.0 GPA before transferring to the University of Houston. With only one semester's work at UH, and wanting to know about the many facets of the hospitality industry, he joined the HFTP Cougar Chapter and the Texas Restaurant Association Cougar Chapter at the Hilton College, and the Undergraduate Real Estate Scholars association at the business college. In the summer of 2016 and 2017, Trevino contributed in a major network upgrade at Arenas Del Mar, an 80-room resort hotel in Tampico, Mexico. This project involved rewiring and installation of new devices throughout the property.Mr. Trevino is studying hotel and restaurant management with plans to graduate in May of 2020.The creation of the John Cahill Honorary Seat was a special addition to the annual CIO Summit. Each year one student is awarded an exclusive invitation to attend the CIO Summit in Mr. Cahill's honor. Hospitality Upgrade first announced this special addition at the John Cahill Memorial Reception at HITEC 2016 in New Orleans. "When the CIO Summit was in its early stages, John was committed to being there and to help make it a success," said Rich Siegel. "John attended our very first CIO Summit in 2002 and he encouraged others to join us. He was a true advocate for the industry and hotel technology."The John Cahill Honorary Seat is awarded to one distinguished student from a selected university or four-year college with a hotel program. This student is recommended by his or her professors as an individual with great potential in the hotel technology industry. The selected student will be given an exclusive opportunity to network and learn beside our industry's best and brightest technology leaders for the duration of the CIO Summit.John Cahill was a hotel technology professional, industry leader, mentor, father and friend. Over the course of his career, Cahill was the CIO for three hotel companies - ITT Sheraton, InterContinental Hotels and The Denihan Hospitality Group. Cahill's list of industry contributions is extensive, including co-editing the inaugural CHTP exam in 1995. Cahill was inducted into the HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame in 1993, and was an HFTP Global Past President (2001-2002). Above all, Cahill was a mentor. Hospitality Upgrade's Rich Siegel wished to see his memory live on by presenting one student each year with an exclusive opportunity to attend an otherwise closed-door, invitation-only CIO Summit, allowing the student to sit in John's seat for the two-day event. "It's something we know John would have loved," Siegel said.The previous recipients of this award include inaugural recipient Spencer Rung, a 2016 graduate of the Penn State School of Hospitality Management; and the 2017 recipient, Andrew Trupia, a graduate of the University of Nevada - Las Vegas who is currently working at the Beverly Hills Hotel.The CIO SummitHospitality Upgrade produces the annual CIO Summit - a unique, invitation-only event for chief information officers from hotel brands, management companies, cruise lines, gaming and independent hotels. This year's CIO Summit will be hosted in Seattle on Sept. 5-7, 2018.For more information about The CIO Summit, please visit www.hospitalityupgrade.com/CIOSummit.

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