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  • Next Event

    HITEC EUROPE 2019

    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

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

  • Upcoming Event

    HITEC MINNEAPOLIS

    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

    Minneapolis Convention Center

    June 17-20, 2019

  • Upcoming Event

    HITEC DUBAI

    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

    November 12 - 13, 2019
    Festival Arena
    Dubai, UAE

M&R Appoints Midwest Regional Revenue Management Director

M&R Hotel Management 9h
GREAT NECK, N.Y. - M&R Hotel Management, operator of 25 hotels in New York, Texas, Illinois, Missouri and Indiana, today announced the appointment of Bryan Davern, a 24-year hospitality industry veteran, as regional director, revenue management, for its Midwest portfolio.Davern, who has served in revenue management positions for hotels franchised by Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International and Radisson, among others, directs day-to-day revenue management strategy for M&R's nine managed hotels in Indiana, Missouri and Illinois.Before joining M&R, Davern was regional director of revenue for Packard Hospitality Management LLC. He served RDA Management as director of revenue and front office for the Sheraton Denver Tech Center in Greenwood Village, Colorado, and regional revenue manager for the Sheraton Denver West and the former Burnsley All Suite Hotel, both in Lakewood, Colorado.In addition, he served as assistant general manager of the Radisson Hotel Denver-Aurora in Aurora, Colorado. Early in his career, he was a front office manager and front office supervisor for a number of Colorado hotels.Davern trained and is certified in revenue management by numerous hotel brands and graduated from Interstate Hotels & Resorts' Director of Revenue Management University."Bryan Davern's revenue management expertise will help optimize the profitability of our Midwest portfolio and reward the hotel owner with the best return on investment possible," said Brian McSherry, M&R chief operating officer.M&R Hotel Management's Midwest portfolio includes the 60-room Fairfield Inn Indianapolis South, Indianapolis; the 99-room Hampton Inn Anderson, Anderson, Indiana; the 83-room Courtyard by Marriott Indianapolis South; the 96-room Hilton Garden Inn Joplin, 62-room Fairfield Inn Joplin and 89-room Hampton Inn Joplin, all in Joplin, Missouri; the 62-room Fairfield Inn St. Louis Collinsville, IL; 101-room Hampton Inn Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon, Illinois; and the 89-room Hampton Inn Marion, Marion, Illinois.Based in Great Neck, New York, M&R also operates seven hotels in Manhattan; seven in Queens; one in Nassau County, New York; and one in the Dallas suburb of Addison, Texas.M&R manages hotels under the brands of Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group, Choice Hotels International, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Best Western Hotels & Resorts. Hyatt Hotels Corp. has also certified M&R to manage selected brands.With more than a decade and a half of success to its credit, M&R also provides consulting services in hotel site and contractor selection, feasibility analysis, permitting, financing, franchising, human resources support, sales and marketing, revenue management, food and beverage management, brand management, account and risk management audits, e-commerce, design, accounting and engineering.M&R's business plan calls for the expansion of its portfolio nationwide through third-party management contracts.

Secutech 2019 To Pinpoint Real-World Business Applications Through Six 'Smart Solution Pavilions'

Messe Berlin GmbH 15 March 2019
Asia's security industry is once again beginning to shift its attention towards Taipei, as preparations continue ahead of the 22nd edition of Secutech. As anticipation continues to build, the fair's organisers have announced details of six pavilions that will allow buyers to easily locate high quality products as well as the most relevant OEM and ODM partners for their businesses.Speaking about the benefits that the pavilions will bring, Ms Regina Tsai, Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd, said: "Technologies such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, robotics and biometrics have applications across many different vertical markets. The six pavilions will encourage cross-sector partnerships and highlight real-world business applications of some of these technologies. The market for tailor made security solutions in verticals such as transportation and factory is also continuing to grow, so we are delighted that we will be welcoming established brands with strong R&D capabilities that can accommodate the market."The coming edition of the show will take place from 8 - 10 May 2019 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Centre. In 2018, the fair attracted 427 exhibitors to over 22,000 sqm of exhibition space. With similar numbers expected at the upcoming edition, the six pavilions will provide an ideal starting point for trade visitors to carry out their sourcing and networking. Best-in-class building, factory and mobility products will be on offer across the zones as well as pioneering cybersecurity and surveillance solutions. Details of the six pavilions are listed below:AI + Software PavilionAs artificial intelligence continues to offer greater accuracy and operational efficiencies, the global demand for video analytics and recognition technologies has grown. With this market in mind, the AI + Software Pavilion will host the latest related innovations from a variety of leading AI specialists, including AiUnion, eRay, Lips, SkyREC, and TDV. Among the technologies to be showcased are facial recognition systems, license plate recognition systems, behaviour and gesture recognition systems, speech recognition systems, big data analytics software and more.Cyber security PavilionA growing number of endpoint devices including security cameras and access control panels are being interconnected through the IoT. This has in turn created a need for adequate cybersecurity provisions to ensure network security. Cutting-edge solutions that achieve this goal will be housed at the Cybersecurity Pavilion, including the likes of cloud security, risk remediation solutions, and network & endpoint security systems.Smart Factory and Industrial Safety PavilionThe applications of machine vision systems in factory and industrial settings are growing. Not only can the systems secure site perimeters and ensure worker safety, but they can also reduce labour costs and improve productivity. The Smart Factory & Industrial Safety Pavilion will allow trade visitors to delve into the latest developments in this field, by connecting them with top-notch suppliers of workplace monitoring systems, personnel identification systems, access control systems, smart patrol systems and more.Smart Living Pavilion Utilising the IoT to establish smart communities is a growing concept across Asia. Subsystems in buildings and homes can now be interlinked and controlled from centralised hubs in order to create smart homes and buildings. An international line up of brands with expertise in this field, including the likes of Full Enterprise, Jinlong, Link Savvy, Silicon Labs, Sonas, TUTK, Uhikari Technology, and Umbo CV have confirmed their participation at the Smart Living Pavilion, to showcase a selection of facial recognition, voice command, and deep learning technologies for smart living, elderly care and the smart hotel sector.Smart Parking PavilionAMTK, D-Link, Nietzsche, Smartway and Smart Living will join other leading suppliers at the Smart Parking Pavilion with the latest number plate recognition systems, parking management systems and real-time street parking solutions. These products have been in increasing demand because of crowded urban environments placing a premium on parking spaces. Mixed-use buildings such as shopping complexes, commercial buildings and hospitals are also requiring increasingly sophisticated car park management systems.Smart Transportation Pavilion Cities around the world are adopting smart transportation systems to overcome traffic congestion, increase road safety, and improve public transportation efficiency. To accommodate this growing sector, a selection of innovative 'smart' solutions for road, railway, petrol stations, and fleet management will be available at the Smart Transportation Pavilion from brands such as Axiomtek, D-Link, Korenix, Lantech and TIBBO. Secutech will take place from 8 - 10 May 2019 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Centre. The fair is organised by Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd and is part of a global network of Safety Security and Fire trade fairs. For more details, please visit www.secutech.com. Alternatively, please call Ms. Kirstin Wu at +886 2 8729 1017, or send an email to kirstin.wu@newera.messefrankfurt.com.Safety and security are increasingly important basic needs and, therefore, stand for a growing global market. With thirteen trade fairs, congresses and forums around the world, Messe Frankfurt brings together demand and supply worldwide with progressive, connected products, applications and services focusing on commercial security and the protection of buildings, spaces and people. The Safety, Security & Fire business cluster offers access to the dynamic markets of the Arabian Peninsula, Asia, Europe and South America.

IHG Pilots New Lighting Technology To Help Guests Sleep Better

IHG 15 March 2019
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), one of the world's leading hotel companies, has partnered with Healthe by Lighting Science, a global leader in innovative LED lighting solutions, to pilot the use of state-of-the-art circadian lighting to help guests sleep better while travelling.Crowne Plaza Atlanta Airport will be the first IHG property to install the JOURNI Mobile Task Light in guest rooms. Designed using Healthe's patented GoodDay and GoodNight spectrum technologies, JOURNI allows access to the alertness and focus-enhancing spectrum during the day, and then easily change to the warm, sleep-enhancing spectrum at night. This versatile, dual-spectrum luminaire can help you to effortlessly bring energy-efficient, circadian lighting right to your hotel room. Ultimately, JOURNI also helps to regulate the body's circadian rhythm or 24-hour internal body clock which effects important biological functions such as sleep, hormone levels, body temperature and metabolism.Committed to investing and leading the way in the latest innovations and technologies to help guests sleep better, IHG already has programs in place across its brands based including:Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts Sleep Advantage Programme offers guests 100% cotton bed linen for unbelievable softness and This Works aromatherapy line that contain pure essential oils that help guests recover from the day's stress and to sleep more soundlyEVEN Hotels lighting profiles allows guests to change the colour of the lighting in their rooms to blue, red, green or yellow to either energise or relaxThe Holiday Inn Pillow Menu gives guests the option to choose between a varied range of pillows, from firmness to type and even fillingBrian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Global Guest Experience Shared Services, IHG, commented: "At IHG, we want to make sure our guests are getting the best night's sleep possible across our 5,600 hotels and portfolio of more than 15 brands. We are continually testing ways we can enhance the guest experience, loyalty and ultimately, owner value. Our circadian lighting technology pilot is the latest example of the work we are doing to innovate the guest experience. We're excited to be the first hotel company to pilot Healthe's JOURNI product and are already working on what's coming next."

HSMAI ROC & DOC - Updated program

HSMAI Europe 14 March 2019
ROC 'n Roll, Collaborate and Interact with thought-leadersWelcome to Europe's number one place for the latest trends and news in Revenue Optimization, Digital Marketing and Distribution for the travel and hospitality industry at Melia Palma Bay and Palau de Congressos de Palma, co-located with HITEC Europe 2019- and you are very welcome to attendYou'll want to ROC 'n Roll all day long when you meet our many speakers and delegates. We have a great venue and we will raise the energy level with the best speakers, great music and food.Press here to see our updated programDid you know?HSMAI will be in Palma de Mallorca hosting several events from April 9th to April 11th. Have a look by pressing here.Do you need accommodation?The HSMAI activities takes place next door to Hotel Melia Palma Bay. We have reserved many rooms there and also at other Melia Hotels.The rates for all hotels are 159 euro per night including breakfast and vat. For double rooms (2 persons) the rates are 174 euro. Press here to secure your room already today!A big thank you to our dear Partners

Net Lag Is Real: Over Forty Percent Of Millennials Say Researching A Vacation Is Overwhelming

Hotels.com 13 March 2019
- Are we there yet?: North American travelers are spending an average of eight hours researching their vacations despite being bored after just 40 minutes- First world problems: Forty-two percent of millennial travelers consider vacation research to be one of their biggest stresses in life- Work n' scroll: Forty-one percent of travelers are being less productive at work while researching vacations- Hotels.com comes to the rescue with their 2019 award-winning Loved by Guests--hotels most loved based on customer reviews--to help eliminate excessive vacation researchDALLAS -- New research from Hotels.com reveals that North American millennial travelers are experiencing net lag, a.k.a. scroll fatigue from never-ending research when booking a vacation. Whether it's a long trek through the Himalayas or a relaxing stay in a hotel treehouse, the struggle to book the perfect trip is real. Luckily, to help ease some of the stress, Hotels.com has announced the winners of the 2019 Loved by Guests awards--hotels rewarded based on their guest reviews.With more than one in eight travelers spending 15+ hours researching before they book, it's no wonder 42% of millennial travelers describe the process as one of their biggest stresses. Thirty-three percent have even booked the wrong vacation or dates because the research became just too much.All it takes is 40 minutes for the scroll fatigue to set in, the same time it takes to watch most, if not an entire episode of your favorite show. The man hours required have resulted in more than half (51%) going on vacation to somewhere they've been to before to avoid the research. Forty percent believe they pay more than they need in order to avoid the research, and over a third (38%) would even consider passing the task on to a friend, with the average person happy to pay $134 to take it off their plate.Productivity levels at work are also taking a hit. Four in ten (46%) have admitted to secretly scrolling in the office, with 30% saying they get less work done during the hunt for a vacation. This isn't very surprising when 22% of millennials look through more than 11 vacation options before making a decision.Yet it's other traveler reviews that 91% rely on to seal the deal, being voted the most important tool to transition from looking to booking. To help everyone get over their scrolling woes, Hotels.com has unveiled its 2019 Loved by Guests awards, featuring over 59,000 winners globally and more than 22,000 winners in North America across 12 categories. Newly added pet-friendly, homes & apartments and sustainable categories have been introduced this year.Top 5 U.S. and Canadian cities winning Loved by Guests Most Wanted Awards:Houston - 13 hotelsNew York - 12 hotelsChicago - 11 hotelsQuebec - 10 hotelsSavannah - 10 hotelsAdam Jay, President of Hotels.com, said, "Hotels.com can end the tedious vacation hunt with our Loved by Guests award-winning hotels. When you're researching your vacation, these properties can give you a great starting point, and help ease the endless scroll. These hotels have been reviewed by people in the know--the guests themselves--and we've analyzed over 25 million reviews to find you the best hotels around."To view the full list of 2019 Loved by Guest winners, please see here: https://www.hotels.com/hotel-deals/loved-by-guests-2019Notes to Editors*The Net Lag survey was conducted by One Poll in February 2019. 7,800 respondents across 26 countries.

New Proprietary Match Score Offers Unbiased, Side-by-Side Property Selection

Oakwood 12 March 2019
LOS ANGELES - Oakwood, wholly owned by Mapletree Investments ("Mapletree"), announced today it is launching the next generation of its industry-leading epic accommodations management solution, with several significant updates and enhancements. Epic sources housing options from a database of more than 3,100 providers offering 21,000 housing options. The epic platform serves up furnished and serviced apartments in an unbiased way, based solely on guests' needs and how those align with properties' characteristics, including location and price, regardless of who owns or operates them.Notably, the enterprise-level competitive bid platform now offers users a proprietary Match Score to help find accommodations among epic's vast global inventory of furnished and serviced apartments, and to match traveling guests with the best available apartment to meet their individual needs and preferences. Epic users now have a side-by-side view of properties, individually given a score based on criteria they choose and prioritize. Customers can easily compare options based on amenities, property features and location. A dashboard displays market-specific pricing data, adjusted for global currency exchange rates.The enhanced epic platform features:A new, intuitive user interface and personalized dashboard for relocation and travel managersOn-demand reportingMulti-currency, consolidated invoicing24/7 client and guest service with closed-loop issue resolution and trackingFirst launched in 2009, epic processes nearly 400,000 transactions every year, offering clients cost savings of approximately $22 million annually over the last three years."The epic platform uses a proprietary algorithm to match traveler requests with housing that best meets their criteria, while simultaneously streamlining booking, more efficiently managing budgets and reducing the pressure on staffing," explained Shree Khare, vice president, information technology, Oakwood. "These new, client-driven improvements deliver even more value with a comprehensive set of tools that can be tailored to the needs of the organization and its employees.""Both leisure and business travelers have more choices today than ever before, and they want to design their own experiences," said Rebecca Tann, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Oakwood. "Epic delivers the best choices for the traveler, sourcing an average of six different options per request and ensuring that customers get the best possible accommodations, while the competitive bid environment also ensures that they get the best value in the industry."In keeping with the focus of leveraging technology to make the entire travel experience easier, once a guest books on the epic platform - regardless of whether they book into a property that is owned or managed by Oakwood or one that is part of the global accommodations network - they will be provided access to a fully automated experience in managing every aspect of their stay, via the Oakwood mobile app.

M&R Appoints Regional Revenue Management Director for New York

M&R Hotel Management 12 March 2019
GREAT NECK, N.Y. - M&R Hotel Management, operator of 25 hotels in New York, Texas, Illinois, Missouri and Indiana, today announced the appointment of Brian Athas as regional director, revenue management, responsible for contributing to, implementing and assessing the effectiveness of M&R's revenue management strategy in the greater New York area.He previously was revenue strategy director for TMI Hospitality, Fargo, North Dakota, where he implemented revenue management strategies for the management company's 40-plus hotels representing four major brands.Prior to that, he was area director of revenue management for Waterford Hotel Group, Waterford, Connecticut, where he oversaw revenue management for hotels in Connecticut and Arkansas.Athas earned a bachelor of science degree in hospitality and tourism management at Isenberg School of Management of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He was certified as a hotel revenue manager by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association."Brian Athas brings considerable insight to our revenue management mission, which is one of our key competitive advantages," said Brian McSherry, M&R chief operating officer. "Effective revenue management improves each hotel's profitability and enables us to deliver a higher return on investment to our clients, the property owners."

HFTP Sells Out Exhibition for Upcoming HITEC Europe 2019 in Palma, Mallorca, Spain

HFTP 12 March 2019
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), an international nonprofit association and producers of the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), has sold all exhibit spaces for the upcoming HITEC Europe 2019. A floor plan with a list of participating companies is available on the HITEC Europe website. HITEC Europe will take place from April 9-11 at the Palau de Congressos in Palma, Mallorca, Spain.For companies who were not able to reserve a booth in time, a waiting list for booth space is available with placement given on a first-come, first-served basis. HFTP also offers exhibitor supporter packages for non-exhibiting companies, which grants access to many of the same perks HITEC exhibitors receive - the next best thing to having a booth. Exhibitor supporters receive two full conference registrations, recognition in the HITEC mobile app, as well as recognition at the conference."HITEC Europe in 2019 will be located in the premiere travel destination of Palma, Mallorca a locale with hundreds of hotels and headquarters to numerous hospitality companies," said Carl Weldon, HFTP COO - Europe. "Not only is the island a draw due to its large hospitality market, but the program for HITEC Europe will be a cannot miss event for industry professionals who are involved in the technology operations at hotels, resorts and more."HITEC Europe 2019 brings together thought leaders, practitioners and vendors to cover hospitality technology trends and practices. A highlight to the program is the keynote presentation on Wednesday, April 10 by award-winning futurist Rohit Talwar. Talwar is an entrepreneur and specialist advisor on business transformation, disruptive strategies and radical innovation. Profiled as one the top 10 global future thinkers by the Independent newspaper, his controversial and inspiring keynote speeches enable teams to think differently, act fast and be first to the future.For exhibiting companies, sponsorship opportunities are available for companies to stand out and have their organization name seen by the thousand plus attendees before and after the show. See which opportunities are available and download the marketing kit by visiting the event website.For more information about supporter packages, contact HFTP Sales and Accounts Manager Matt Chambers at matt.chambers@hftp.org or +1 (512) 220-6443.HITEC Europe will be the first of three HITEC events in 2019. The larger HITEC Minneapolis will take place June 17-20 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. HITEC Dubai will take place in November 12-13 at The Festival Arena by Intercontinental at Dubai Festival City in Dubai, UAE.

Stick to your strategy and put your foot down! What we learned at the Direct Booking Summit

Triptease 8 March 2019
Last week we hosted our biggest-ever Direct Booking Summit in Singapore. Our seventh event since the series began back in 2016, this summit had it all: A stunning venue in The Fullerton Hotel, two days of killer content, and the most engaged audience of hoteliers we've ever had. Check out our roundup of day one to get a feel for what we spoke about, or keep reading to discover our three key learnings from the two-day event.Be prepared to put the work inTwo of our highest-rated sessions centered on the importance of developing, testing and continuously improving a long-term direct booking strategy.Chantelle Veness of The Lancemore Group in Australia took the audience through the process of setting up full-circle customer relationship management (CRM) for guests. "We had two goals for our CRM strategy," Chantelle shared."The first was to increase profit by increasing the number of stays, encouraging longer stays and upselling to guests. The second was to increase our direct bookings and minimize our OTA fees."Divulging that The Lancemore Group did not have a CRM system - "we did all this in-house!" - Chantelle stressed the importance of continuous testing and communication with any third parties you might employ. "If you've got an agency that you're not meeting monthly - start meeting them monthly," she instructed. "Otherwise, you're just giving money and free rein to somebody who knows nothing about your customer."What was clear from Chantelle's talk is that the kind of customer analysis necessary for successful CRM is not quick or easy. You have to be prepared to put the time and effort in to make it worthwhile. "Complete customer analysis can be really boring, but once it's done it's worth its weight in gold," Chantelle shared.Not only does The Lancemore Group know its customer better as a result, it's also seeing return on its direct booking goals. Direct room nights have increased 11% in six months year-on-year, and organic and direct revenue has increased by almost 26%.On day two, our audience was captivated by Aida Merdovic's story of developing a completely holistic direct booking strategy for Hamilton Island. "There's no magic bullet for direct bookings," Aida suggested. "There are just lots of smaller initiatives you can take that build to bigger success."Aida's talk encompassed distribution, rate parity, the customer path to purchase, user-generated content, booking engine optimization and more. What stood out to us was the belief that a successful direct booking strategy needs to involve every single area of the organization, from revenue to marketing to distribution and beyond.One standout from Aida's workshop was the idea that there is room for hotels to capitalize on their contracts with trade by taking advantage of operational costs. "We discovered that we could waive fees for guests booking directly with us," Aida revealed. "This 1.5% effective discount had a significant shift on channel preference among our guests.""We realized that we didn't need to offer 20% discounts to win guests over. Marginal differences here and there have a big impact."Acquisition and conversion: Better togetherAnother message that stood out from talks on both days was the importance of working on your acquisition strategy in tandem with your conversion strategy. Blessy Townes of The Discovery Leisure Company, Inc put it best with her succinct summary: "You cannot have the acquisition strategy of a Ferrari with the engagement strategy of a Kia."Triptease's own Alasdair Snow echoed the sentiment in his session on acquisition and conversion. Al took the audience through Triptease's approach to optimizing a hotel's entire direct booking performance."The Guest Intelligence platform leverages data science to identify and target guests based on their value," Al shared. "We attract and convert only the most valuable guests so that you can compete with OTAs.""A shared understanding of customer value works across the entire path to purchase. Attracting and converting work in tandem, feeding into each other and increasing the performance of both."Know when to put your foot downBy far the biggest cheer of the conference was drawn by Ayudh Nakaprasit, owner of Eastiny Pattaya in Thailand. Speaking on our 'Managing OTAs' panel, Ayudh laid his cards on the table when it came to his approach to OTAs."I'm happy to oblige with OTA requests, but I would like them to reciprocate the courtesy with me. All I ask for is rate parity. P-A-R-I-T-Y!" he joked."I constantly seek transparency. I conduct test bookings, call them up, ask them on the spot to work out why I'm being undercut. Most of the time it's a 'system error'..." he shared, drawing empathetic nods from the audience.Ultimately, Ayudh suggests, "Dealing with bad tactics is a matter of speaking up and putting your foot down."By Lily McIlwain - Lily is Head of Content at Triptease. When she's not investigating the industry or spreading the word that #DirectIsBest, she enjoys music, cycling, and obscure radio quiz shows.

Ryanair, Accor Hotels, Uber, Virgin Atlantic, Google...Travel's most powerful stakeholders prepare to present a comprehensive roadmap for digital transformation at EyeforTravel's Digital Strategy Summit

EyeforTravel 28 February 2019
With digitalisation of the travel industry expected to raise profitability by $300 billion (World Economic Forum, 2017), the Digital Strategy Summit invites attendees to implement lasting changes that will help them get a slice of that pie.New technologies present innumerable challenges for travel brands. From reworking your distribution strategy and reducing acquisition costs to budget for innovation, constructing a customer-centric business structure that facilitates data optimisation, to using Virtual Reality and voice technology to increase customer engagement - the Digital Strategy Summit confronts all of your technology-related challenges head on.With 90% of speakers being VP-level and above, this truly is the most senior event on the market to approach the challenge of digital transformation from such a holistic and comprehensive standpoint.Just some of the fifty industry heavyweights already confirmed to speak at the event include:Steven Taylor, Chief Brand Officer, Accor HotelsSusan Hooper, Non-Executive Director, UberJoss Croft, Chief Executive Officer, UKinboundDave Ashton, Chief Operating Officer, Loco2Fernando Vives, Chief Commercial Officer, NH Hotel GroupLuis Monteiro, Executive Board Member - Digital, Product, Marketing & CRM, Pestana Hotel GroupBecky Power, Sr Director of Travel, GoogleEyeforTravel's Head of Innovation, who is also directing this ground-breaking event, says, "Response to this event has been incredible. With so much enthusiasm from attendees and loads of industry leaders agreeing to take part, I'm sure the event will host some revolutionary discussions and trigger significant progress for the European travel industry."The agenda revolves around five key themes:Budget for innovation, boost bookings and cut acquisition costs: Gone are the days of burdensome acquisition costs: assume a holistic approach to your web presence, developing sound marketing, social media and dynamic packaging solutions that drive people to your site and inspire sales.Enhance your offering by enabling company-wide digital reform: Leverage the digital eco-system and embrace company-wide reform to drive innovation and remain relevant in the face of shifting consumer trends

Business Travel Trends for 2019

WORLDHOTELS 28 February 2019
Frankfurt - The corporate business industry is an important component of the tourism industry and the economic development in destinations. This year, a general climate of economic stability, more direct flight options and a robust international meetings sector will bring tremendous growth to the industry and generate millions in revenue. Driven by emerging technologies and shifting habits,corporate travel is experiencing a fundamental change in the way the traveler is served. Here are some forecasts and predictions, provided by WorldHotels, that will shape the business travel sector this year.PersonalizationCorporate travel is mainly about complying with company policies. But a new mindset is emerging when it comes to traveling for business: Standard traveling processes are not enough anymore; a personalized approach is expected. Travel companies must put people, not policies, first. Not only on private holidays but also on business trips, brands need to offer personalized services. Data, business intelligence and analytics will help to improve the customer experience this year and need to be applied at every step of the customer journey. It starts with recognizing corporate travelers automatically when they dial in from a known number. Using past traveler behavior makes it possible to offer truly unique travel products and services. A personalized trip affords the corporate traveler a stress-free travel experience that's perfectly suited to his preferences. Travel managers and human resource leaders will also benefit because personalized travel experiences will increase employee value proposition and help with recruiting and retaining effortsBusiness or leisure? Both.As workforces fill up with millennials and Generation Z workers, business travel expectations and habits are changing. The newer generations are interested in blending business and leisure travel. The lines between work and life are increasingly blurry and the so-called bleisure trips are on the rise and are likely to continue growing in popularity. Improved travel policies will give the possibility to combine business with leisure this year. This trend will come with the benefits of increased satisfaction and a reduction in stress for travelers.ExperiencesAlong with the growing focus on bleisure travel, there is a spotlight on experiences this year. Not only leisure but also corporate travelers want to soak up local culture. Experiential travel is the buzzword; today's travelers appreciate a local experience instead of sitting in a meeting room all day. Staying active, exploring the area and making the most of their time instead of rushing their stay and leaving as soon as possible is the business travelers' motto of 2019.Business traveler well-beingTraveling for work causes stress and can put a strain on people's lives. In 2019, health and productivity of employees on the road will have top priority. Today's corporate travelers need more flexibility and personalization when they travel. Hotels often don't let people check in until late afternoon, which makes it impossible to freshen up and prepare for a meeting. Sometimes travelers even have to head back home at night, because the company did not book an overnight stay. That is why more hotels will start offering day-rates for corporate travelers. Whereas in the past the focus was only on costs, now it is also on traveler satisfaction.RobotsIn the past years, the travel and hospitality industries have been introducing robotic technologies. Today's travelers demand convenient and fast self-service opportunities. In the hospitality industry, robots greet guests, offer check-in and check-out, perform room services, show guests around, provide information and deliver luggage. Robots can work 24/7/365 without holidays and breaks, they don't demand salary. However, they cannot adapt to unanticipated situations and cannot replace human sympathy and emotions. The hotel industry is a people's industry; however, robots will take over more tasks this year.Self-BookingCorporate travelers have started to demand a sense of autonomy; they would like to choose their own flights and accommodation in accordance with their preferences. With mobile booking and accommodation such as Airbnb, corporate travelers can plan their own trips hassle-free. 2019 will see an increase in demand for flexibility. Millennials will account for nearly half of travel spend in the next years and will emerge as a pre-eminent force in travel consumption. Corporate travel policies need to accommodate their travel needs and attitudes and expand self-booking options.Artificial Intelligence (AI)Artificial intelligence can identify the personal touches that draw potential guests to a hotel and tailor experiences to them. With the ability to streamline processes, optimize and personalize experiences, AI will create a more guest-centric hospitality this year. AI will be used more frequently for customer support. More and more companies will use chatbots to interact with customers and deliver responses. AI draws conclusions based on behavior and feedback and the more it works the smarter it will become. It helps to analyze preferences and requirements of corporate travelers and then provides personalized recommendations. This year will bring a lot more innovation in the field of AI. Artificial intelligence is a greater trend towards meeting employee expectations, not just business demands. It is one of the key technologies this year to increase user adoption and delight.The Internet of Things (IoT)Now is not the time to discount the IoT as old news. In fact, it's not yet done changing how businesses run. This year a range of new technologies to improve efficiencies, to minimize disruption and to meet increasing traveler expectations will be introduced by airlines, hotels and travel sellers. Big data, process automation and the internet of things will improve the guest experience. The Internet of things offers wide opportunities and allows smart devices to communicative through the internet. More and more hotels will use it to control light, air-conditioning and heating systems to the guests' preferences, even to control coffee machines. The Internet of things technology is also capable to issue warnings on the necessity of replacements. It can facilitate check-in process by sending electronic keys to smart devices. IoT solutions will roll out fast in the hospitality industry this year, making it smarter every day.

ITB creates a new platform for Virtual and Augmented Reality

Messe Berlin GmbH 27 February 2019
First ITB Virtual Reality Lab at the World's Leading Travel Trade Show - In Hall 10.2 experts highlight the prospects for VR and AR in tourism and offer an insight into the latest technologies and projects - Visitors can explore ITB Berlin with Pokemon GOBerlin, 27 February 2019 - Virtual Reality instead of a travel brochure: with Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) visitors can get an almost lifelike impression of local surroundings before they actually go on holiday. With VR goggles they can take a virtual tour of a hotel room, enjoy 360-degree views walking around New York, or go on a computer-animated tour of a cruise ship. From 6 to 8 March at the new ITB Virtual Reality Lab in Hall 10.2 (Stand 108), for the first time ITB Berlin will be highlighting the importance of VR and AR for boosting tourism sales. Experts will offer an insight into the latest technologies and projects, and a daily VR raffle will give trade visitors a chance to win a set of Oculus VR goggles.Smart tourism experiences as a marketing instrument for boosting salesOn Wednesday, 6 March, from 11 to 11.30 a.m. Robert Eysoldt, creative consultant at Zerooverhead Consulting, will give an introduction providing examples of destination VR, and look ahead to the three-day programme of the ITB Virtual Reality Lab In Hall 10.2. Afterwards at 11.30 a.m., project manager Dr. Mandy Tom Dieck and founder/director Dr. Timothy Jung of the Creative AR & VR Hub at Manchester Metropolitan University will discuss the opportunities and challenges presented by VR and AR. At 1.30 p.m. Adrian Kalcic of Jump will talk about how tour operators can benefit from VR and how it can be put it to effective use. At 2 p.m. in his lecture on the 'walk-in movie', Frank Govaere, VFX supervisor, UFA GmbH, will present the development of Volumetric Video as the technology behind VR and AR.On Thursday, 7 March at 10.30 a.m., Michael Faber of Tourismuszukunft will have information on VR trends in the travel industry. Afterwards at 11 a.m., Prof. Dr. Cornelia Zanger, chair of the Marketing and Commercial Business Studies at TU Chemnitz, and David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin, will discuss 'Digitalisation at trade fairs and events with a special focus on AR and VR'. At 11.30 a.m. in her lecture on 'Augmented Reality Games meet Tourism', Anne Beuttenmuller, head of Marketing EMEA, Niantic Inc., will show how Ingress Agents and Pokemon GO Trainer can be used to travel the world with AR games, and how the tourism industry can learn from this. At 2 p.m. Johannes Berdin, CEO, Urban Timetravel S.A, Urban Time Travel, and Guy Breden, project manager of VR-Timetravel Luxembourg, will illustrate how the city of Luxembourg has integrated VR and AR in its Smart City concept. At 2.30 p.m. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Wunsch, consultant and former founder and president/rector of Berlin hdpk, Congruens GmbH, will talk about 'Immersion - delving into a virtual environment'. Wunsch will explain the non-technological side of immersion and why our brains want to be entertained.Events on Friday, 8 March will kick off at 11.30 with a lecture by Sebastian Plesch, research associate of Hochschule fur Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin. Plesch will provide an overview of the latest developments in VR/AR and interaction technology as well as its possible uses in the tourism industry. At 2.30 p.m., taking Beethoven VR as an example of tourism promotion in Germany, Thomas Bedenk, director of Immersive Media at Agentur fur Digitale Transformation Exozet, will talk about VR destination marketing. Concluding the event at 2.30 p.m. Andreas Weigel, CEO of digitnetmedia, will present a case study on Virtual Reality in the cruise industry. Programme details can be found online at http://www.itb-berlin.com/ITBBerlin/DestinationsSegments/VirtualReality/.Trade visitors and the public play PokemonNiantic, the New York-based company and inventor of the smartphone game Pokemon Go, has activated a Pokemon In game especially for ITB Berlin. Visitors to the World's Leading Travel Trade Show can chase the little monsters live on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds and find out how virtual content can be integrated into the real world. Many of the PokeStops will sport an ITB Berlin design. As of 6 March users will get a chance to win a 50 per cent discount code for up to two tickets to ITB Berlin on Sunday 10 March.

Egencia Launches Breakthrough Platform Updates That Unlock Previously Untapped Business Travel Value

Egencia 20 February 2019
Bellevue, Wash. - Egencia, business travel from Expedia Group, announces at the Business Travel Show the addition of three groundbreaking, customer-centric features on its global business travel platform, designed to enhance customer experiences, business value and employee care.Egencia launches Hotel Conversations, an industry-first feature that enables seamless, two-way communication between business travelers and their hotel at the touch of a finger. Business travelers now have the flexibility to ask questions, confirm details, and share updated travel plans at any step of their journey through the Egencia app. For instance, a business traveler can now easily request a late check-in in real time when a flight is delayed or even specify pillow type to make their stay more comfortable. Hoteliers can also proactively contact their guests, sending a warm welcome message or offer additional services such as treatments ahead of arrival, enabling them to enhance the customer experience before they have stepped into the lobby."Egencia Hotel Conversations will revolutionize the way hoteliers and business travelers interact with each other from the moment a booking is made, says Michael Gulmann, Chief Product Officer at Egencia. "We've seen conversations double over the last few months[1] clearly indicating that this was a previously untapped value proposition in business travel."Advancing travel programs for both the business and the business traveler is Egencia Air and Hotel packages - another industry first made possible by the unique capabilities of Expedia Group and its relationship with hoteliers. By selecting a packaged air and hotel deal, companies benefit from a lower overall trip cost while business travelers unlock access to more top-rated hotels that may otherwise be out of policy. Once business travelers book their flight, they will see recommended special rate hotels available to book immediately or within 10 days.With duty of care front of mind for all companies, travel managers already rely on Egencia Traveler Tracker to instantly see where their employees are in the world and support travelers during unforeseen situations. Now the latest update includes the option to search a larger geographic area through region search. With this new feature, travel managers can simply draw a circle or square over the online map to see if any of their employees are in an area showing a deep freeze or cold wave for example.For more information, please visit Egencia.com.[1] Data time period: October - December 2018

MJH Bringing New Look, New Technology to Fairfield Inn by Marriott Charlotte Northlake

Meyer Jabara 20 February 2019
Equipped with Marriott's brand standard Guest Room Entertainment (GRE) solution from SONIFI, management of the Fairfield Inn by Marriott Charlotte Northlake are engaging with guests via an interactive TV experience. With new flat panel TVs in every room, guests are experiencing easy-to-use menus, an Interactive Programming Guide, HDTV quality picture and sound, In Theater Movies and Internet TV with apps. Also offered is Free-to-Guest programming from the DIRECTV and guest WiFi via Ethernet technology also from SONIFI. Meyer Jabara Hotels selected GuestTek to replace the hotel's outdated PBX with the cloud-based OneView Voice iACT system and new guestroom phones, and they upgraded existing door locks to the Quantum RFID with Marriott Mobile key from dormakaba."The Fairfield Inn Charlotte Northlake is a corporate hotel catering to the growing needs of the Metrolina Business Park," said General Manager Julie Andrews. "Many large corporations are relocating their headquarters here, and this recent renovation is enabling us to attract new business and compete more effectively. While we're good-looking on the outside, our technology is even better on the inside; we've really improved the guest-stay experience. As a corporate hotel, people need the Internet to work - and work fast. With these technology upgrades, we are giving business travelers a connected and efficient work environment that they can also enjoy when they want to relax. Travelers staying at this hotel have more options than ever before, including healthy breakfast options and a fantastic fitness room and swimming pool."'The Play to Stay' Meyer Jabara Hotels bought the Fairfield Inn by Marriott Charlotte Northlake in July 2018. This is the seventh Marriott branded hotel in the MJH portfolio and the company's second owned and operated Fairfield Inn. Meyer Jabara Hotels also operates the Fairfield Inn by Marriott Myrtle Beach North in South Carolina."We are delighted that the Fairfield Inn by Marriott is being so well received by locals and visitors to Charlotte Northlake," said Justin Jabara, MJH VP of Business Development and Acquisitions. "It had been seven years since this property had a face lift. We worked closely with general contractor ES Development & Management Corp. and Elements Management on the exterior upgrades; they did a great job. The renovation was crucial to compete more aesthetically in the neighborhood. The Fairfield Inn by Marriott Charlotte Northlake isn't just another limited-service brand in the market; it's quickly becoming the place to stay for corporate travelers - especially those transitioning before relocation."Even more exciting than the exterior updates is the technology investment we made at this hotel," Jabara said. "Marriott selected the industry's best-in-class technology leaders to offer solutions that meets each hotel's needs and exceeds their guests' demands. These systems are scalable and easily upgradable to expand as guest usage evolves. We are eager to see what the future has in store for this property."Located at 9230 Harris Corners Parkway, the Fairfield Inn by Marriott Charlotte Northlake features 93 guestrooms with FREE hot breakfast daily and a Marketplace that offers a selection of wine and beer (with some beers originating from the local Old Mecklenburg Brewery in Charlotte) that guests can enjoy in the lobby/lounge area. The property is close to the Metrolina Expo, Charlotte Convention Center, Concord Mills Outlet Mall, Bank of America Stadium Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Motor Speedway, as well as just a short walk to great bars and restaurants.About Meyer Jabara HotelsWith headquarters in Danbury, Conn., Meyer Jabara Hotels is an award-winning hospitality company owning, operating or leasing hotels and restaurants in 10 states throughout the eastern portion of the United States. The company was formed in 1977 as Motel Hotel Associates through the partnership of William Meyer, a specialist in real property law, and Richard Jabara, a second-generation hotelier. Their portfolio of hotels includes Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Hyatt Place brands, as well as several independent hotels. The company culture, referred to as "The Journey," is considered by Meyer Jabara Hotels to be their strongest competitive advantage because it challenges and encourages each team to create special relationships, or heart connections, with the key stakeholders: business partners, associates and customers. For more information on Meyer Jabara Hotels, visit www.meyerjabarahotels.com.

Corendon Boeing 747 Has 'Landed' in Hotel Garden

Corendon International Travel B.V. 13 February 2019
AMSTERDAM - After a five-day mega transport from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Badhoevedorp, the Corendon Boeing 747 has arrived in the garden of the Corendon Village Hotel this morning. There the plane will be converted into a 5D-experience about the 747 and the history of aviation later this year. De Boeing began its last journey from Schiphol Airport on Tuesday night. The dismantled aircraft was placed on a trailer of specialised transport company Mammoet to cover the 12.5 kilometers to the hotel. During that, the aircraft had to cross 17 ditches, highway A9 and one provincial road. The A9 was successfully crossed in the night from Friday to Saturday. In the night from Saturday to Sunday, the transport crossed the Schipholweg after which it was parked backwards into the hotel garden, requiring 57 movements. The spectacular transport attracted worldwide attention and was covered by national en international media.HeavyweightThe Boeing 747 is the former KLM aircraft 'City of Bangkok' that will be given a new final destination in the hotel garden after 30 years of reliable service. The plane is 64 meters wide, 71 meters long and weighs 160 tons. To keep it safe and steady, the aircraft has been lifted on 1.5 meters high steel bases, totalling 15 tons of steel. These are built on heavy concrete slabs, strong enough to carry the enormous weight.5D experienceDe Boeing will be converted into a 5D experience later this year. Visitors will be able to walk on, over or under the plane and visit places that are normally not accessible to the public. They can visit the cargo area where the luggage is loaded, learn about the fuelling of the plane, take a look in the kitchen of the business class and the cockpit on the upper deck. They can even do a wing walk over the thirty-meter-long wings. Visitors also make a journey through the history of aviation. That begins with the ancient human desire to fly and leads them from the first serious flight attempts around 1900 to the development of the Boeing 747. The highlight of the trip is the 5D experience, in which they can experience flying in all its facets. The garden where the Boeing is placed is partly an ecozone, open to hotel guests, and can be used as a festival site.Fitting and measuringCorendon founder Atilay Uslu had booked a room in the hotel. Exactly on the spot where - if everything went well - the nose of the Boeing would be placed in front of the window. "When I opened the curtains this morning, I saw her in full glory. I realized that after months of preparation we really succeeded in getting the plane to its final place with a lot of fitting and measuring. That kind of takes your breath away," he says.Corendon has expressed its thanks for the cooperation of the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, government agencies, various companies and its own employees, without whom the stunt could never have been successful.Iconic planeThe transport of the aircraft this weekend coincided with the celebration of the first test flight of the Boeing 747 on February 9th, 1969, exactly fifty years ago. The 747 is an iconic plane and was the largest aircraft in the world until 2007. It could transport 2.5 times more passengers than other conventional types. It was also the first wide body aircraft, with two aisles. Characteristic is also the upper deck, where the cockpit is located. KLM introduced the first Boeing 747 in its fleet in 1971. The 'City of Bangkok', which was added to the fleet in 1989, was then baptized by nine Thai monks. After almost thirty years of loyal service, the repainted aircraft now decorates the Corendon hotel garden.The transport in figuresThe last five-day trip of the Boeing was an impressive operation. The plane first had to be transported 8 kilometers over the Schiphol airport area and then another 4.5 kilometers through the fields. Heavy transport specialist Mammoet transported the 160-tons aircraft on a trailer that weighed even more: over 200 tons. The trailer divided the weight of the Boeing over 192 wheels. To make sure the trailer would not sink into the marshy land, a special road was constructed of approximately 2.100 metal road plates weighing 1.500 kilos each. Special bridges were built over the 17 ditches. The trailer was traveling at a speed of 5 kilometers per hour and was controlled remotely by people from Mammoet, who walked beside it. It was powered by two so-called power packs, each with a capacity of 390kW, generating more than 1000 hp. A total of 18 turns had to be taken during transport, of which the first 7 were on the airport.

Jeremie Dardard appointed Global Head of Revenue Management

Magnuson 13 February 2019
Dardard is a French ex-pat who has enjoyed over a decade of revenue management experience across the hospitality industry. Dardard held London based positions for Millennium Hotels and Resorts prior to joining Magnuson Worldwide.Dardard will be responsible for spearheading revenue management strategies across the business as well as focusing on Magnuson's international expansion and distribution growth.Originally from France, Dardard now resides in the UK and is a graduate of Aix-Marseille University.

Adnan Malik Appointed Global Lead Revenue Manager at Magnuson Worldwide

Magnuson 13 February 2019
Malik has over a decade of hospitality experience across leading hotel operators in the UK. Prior to joining Magnuson Worldwide Malik managed revenue management strategies for the Dorsett Shepherds Bush and Dorsett City.Malik will be responsible for championing revenue processes for the business and coordinating training initiatives for the global brand. Malik will use his experience across leading hotel operators to bring best practice as standard to the chain.Malik resides in North London and is a graduate of St Mary's Academy.

PolyU Study advises Hotels to Look Ahead Accurately basing on Publicly Available Data

Hong Kong Poly 12 February 2019
Given that tourism is a global industry consuming a diversity of goods and services, the prediction of future trends needs to take account of the wider economic context, according to Professor Brian King and Dr Stephen Pratt of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a co-author. In a recently published study, the researchers use publicly available data to improve predictions about hotel occupancy rates in different classes of Hong Kong hotels. Their method can be adopted by individual hotels that have insufficient resources to collect expensive data, or for employing consultants, to predict demand. The researchers maintain that this has important implications for the hotel sector, both in Hong Kong and elsewhere.Occupancy forecasting is more than just a way of predicting demand - it can also determine profitability. Indeed, the researchers warn that inaccurate forecasting of hotel occupancy rates can lead to costly decisions. If a hotel is predicted to have strong bookings three months ahead, the "relevant departments may start to deploy additional resources accordingly. For instance, the bookings department may stop taking lower-yield reservations and additional staff may be employed to cope with the extra demand. Yet if the prediction turns out to be over-optimistic, "a wastage of resources is likely to ensue, leading to loss of revenue". In the opposite case, a shortage of resources and staff may occur when demand exceeds what has been predicted.Both scenarios can be damaging for a hotel's reputation. Even a hotel that is "internally proficient and offers friendly effective staff and efficient systems and procedures" will suffer a drop in occupancy rates if the external economic environment is "soft", argue the researchers.Nevertheless, while it is agreed that hotels should base their budgets on forward-looking occupancy rates, this is in practice challenging, according to the researchers, because the industry is "highly competitive and vulnerable to volatile political and economic conditions, locally and internationally". Other factors, such as the development of online technologies and the growth of Internet travel agencies, have also changed the way hospitality organisations "distribute and price their products" and made it more difficult to predict demand.Yet tourism operators can benefit from "informative longer and shorter term economic insights" when predicting future trends, the researchers argue. Many international hotel chains have the comfort of sufficient resources for the deployment of "intelligent systems" and for investments in "the development of accurate forecasts to address the volatile and difficult prediction of hotel occupancies". Other well-resourced hotels recruit "in-market expertise" to improve their predictions of demand. Nevertheless, smaller and independent hotels can rarely afford to invest in such resources, although their need for accurate predictions is just as great.The Internet, however, offers access to potentially useful information that could be used to improve the accuracy of forecasting for even the most resource constrained of hotels. The researchers looked at easily accessible online data that is available from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The OECD, established in 1957, comprises 34 member states and a further 25 non-member states, including China, that participate as committee observers. Its purpose, the researchers note, is to "gather economic statistics from members" that are used to provide comprehensive information about the global economy.The OECD produces various quantitative indicators of specific aspects of the global economy, three of which were used by the researchers. First, the composite leading indicator (CLI) combines various economic variables, such as GDP, that indicate a country's economic situation and provide "early signals of turning points in economic activity". The researchers predicted that the CLI for tourist origin countries would predict hotel occupancy rates in the destination country.The business survey index (BSI) collects qualitative information from business executives and managers that is reflective of "confidence within the business community about prevailing economic conditions". The researchers argue that the BSI reflects the "motives of business travellers and conference delegates", which affect the volume of business in the accommodation sector.The consumer confidence index (CCI), in contrast, reflects consumer sentiment based on the economic climate and household finances. The information is collected through a monthly survey of 19 member and non-member countries. The researchers predicted that more positive feelings towards the local economy expressed through the CCI would be associated with increased hotel occupancies in the destination.To test their predictions, the researchers used quarterly data on hotel occupancy rates in Hong Kong from the first quarter of 1972 up to the final quarter of 2010. They initially applied a method of "smoothing" the data to reduce the effects of seasonal fluctuations, so that they could identify the real peaks and troughs that reflected upturns and downturns in demand.In the next step, they assessed the abilities of the three OECD indicators to predict peaks and troughs in the Hong Kong hotel occupancy data, categorised according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board's classification of hotels as "high tariff A, high tariff B and medium tariff hotels".First, they demonstrated that the three OECD indices are leading indicators of hotel occupancy rates by showing that changes in the indices occurred before changes in demand. Then, they determined the correlations between each OECD indicator and the peaks and troughs in demand for each hotel type, finding that the CCI is the best predictor of overall Hong Kong hotel occupancy rates. However, the CLI provides better predictions for tariff B hotels.The researchers suggest that their method could be used by hoteliers to supplement their revenue management systems and to formulate their own "predictive systems". Although they used expensive statistical software to perform their analyses, they explain that hoteliers could easily download the relevant OECD data for their own source markets and conduct analyses in Excel, which are used by most businesses. Rather than deploying generic data on hotel categories, individual hotels could take their own occupancy data and apply the OECD indicators to predict their future occupancy rates.This approach, the researchers argue, "offers the prospect of optimal hotel resource utilization and improved management". Indeed, the use of publicly available data, such as the OECD indicators, makes it possible to plan for and target distinct markets at different times, rather than simply relying on historical occupancy rates.The researchers use Hong Kong as an example to demonstrate their method of forecasting demand because it is a "leading international tourism destination" and has a "diverse and substantial accommodation sector". However, the method could be applied as readily in other markets. And although they used data from the OECD, the researchers note that other sources are available, such as the World Tourism Barometer which is produced by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and outputs from the Australian government's Tourism Forecasting Reference Panel. There is, they explain, "growing interest at both national and international levels in improving the accuracy of predictions through multiple inputs". The greater availability of such data, and the use of relevant methods to exploit them, means that policymakers and hoteliers will be better equipped to predict future demand.Tang, Candy Mei Fung, King, Brian and Pratt, Stephen. (2017). Predicting Hotel Occupancies with Public Data: An Application of OECD Indices as Leading Indicators. Tourism Economics, 23(5), 1096-1113.

HITEC Minneapolis Online Registration and Housing Bureau Open; Opening Keynote Session Announced

HFTP 7 February 2019
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), producers of the world's largest Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), has announced that attendee registration for its HITEC Minneapolis is now available online, as well as hotel reservations. Annually, HITEC highlights the industry's tech trends and current approach to integrating technology into the hospitality sphere. To set the tone on the first day, award-winning futurist Chris Riddell will present the Opening Keynote, "Beyond Tomorrow -- The Human Revolution." HITEC Minneapolis will be the second, and largest, HITEC event of 2019 and is from June 17-20 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA."Annually HITEC provides industry professionals a comprehensive viewpoint on hospitality technology and global business trends, with multiple inputs that offer an extensive understanding on the direction the industry is moving," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "The education program, exhibition and networking opportunities all deliver an attendee the prospects to find the solutions they are looking for."The Opening Keynote will be presented in the afternoon on June 17, 2019 by Chris Riddell. He is an award winning global futurist and industry recognized inspirational keynote speaker on emerging trends in our hyper connected world. Riddell is a global pattern hunter, discovering and identifying how humans are changing and adapting to high speed change, unlocking insights for businesses and leaders in today's highly disrupted digital world.HITEC Minneapolis has scheduled a full education program planned by the HITEC Minneapolis Advisory Council, a group of industry practitioners and experts. The council is co-chaired by Shannon Knox, vice president of IT Field Services and Strategic Sourcing at Hilton and Justin Taillon, Ph.D., professor and department head at Highline College. The exhibit hall hosts over 350 companies displaying a range of products and services to support the hospitality technology industry.In addition to HITEC Minneapolis, in 2019 HFTP will bring back its two, regional conferences: HITEC Europe and HITEC Dubai. HITEC Europe will take place from April 9-11 at the Palau de Congressos Centre in Palma, Mallorca, Spain. HITEC Dubai will take place in the fall. For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other international activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec.

2019 Hospitality Trends to Watch: Four Hilton Leaders Take a Look Back, and Forward

Hilton 6 February 2019
Welcome to 2019 in hospitality.Here, four Hilton officials who are experts in their respective fields of hospitality give a nod to what pleased them most last year and look ahead for 2019. And since travel and fantasy make a good pairing, these trend spotters even dream a bit about what they'd most like to see if the sky were the limit.Sit down at the (virtual) roundtable with our fitness guru Melissa Walker, who is Senior Director of Global Wellness at Hilton; culinary expert Jonathan Wilson, the Vice President, Customer Experience & Innovation, Food & Beverage, Wellness for Hilton; tech guru Josh Weiss, a Vice President of Brand and Guest Technology at Hilton; and meetings and events specialist Frank Passanante, the Senior Vice President for Hilton Worldwide Sales - Americas.Q: In your area of focus, what surprised or pleased you most about hospitality trends in 2018?Melissa Walker, wellness: I was most pleased to see that there's a recognition that well-being should be inclusive and that there should be authentic ways to share it in all settings. At Hilton, I think this was most apparent when our Five Feet to Fitness in-room wellness concept was installed at select hotels under various Hilton brands, such as Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites, Embassy Suites and DoubleTree properties.Jonathan Wilson, food and beverage: What pleased me most was the genuine and credible effort that chefs, restaurants, and hotels made in terms of responsibility -not only typical sustainability but also being much more conscious about supporting all things local, addressing waste and being creative about providing the kind of experiences guests care about.Josh Weiss, innovation and tech: I was pleased to see the continued evolution of us listening to the underlying needs of our guests and hotel owners, and then interpreting and applying that appropriately to hospitality to provide even better service. At Hilton, we're working hard to understand the underlying experience our guests want, and developing the in-room experience in ways that bring it to life in a scalable, secure, relevant way, such as through our evolving Connected Room technology.Frank Passanante, meetings and events: 2018 highlighted a growing desire to incorporate sustainability and social impact initiatives into meetings and events around the world. From our pledge to double our social impact projects and reduce our environmental impact by one third by 2030, to our elimination of all plastic straws from our hotels by summer 2019, attendees have requested and hotels have delivered. Meetings and events are no longer just a place to exchange business cards and do business deals; attendees are looking to develop a greater connection with other attendees and the communities that they affect.Q: What can we expect in 2019 for your respective areas of focus in the hospitality industry?Melissa Walker, wellness: In 2019, I expect that integrating end-to-end wellness for our guests will create a total 360-degree wellness travel experience that ensures they simply feel better on the road. This means that in addition to spas and fitness center space, we'll see more aspects of the travel experience focus increasingly on wellness, including meetings and events, food and beverage, sleep, family fitness, outdoor and digital fitness, mindfulness and relaxation, and even healthy design principles.Jonathan Wilson, food and beverage: As the popularity of pop-up concepts grows and gains presence more broadly, we may see very specialized, localized pop-up offerings that "spice up" room service. We'll also likely see a greater selection of incredibly stylized and authentic alcohol-free crafted beverages served in vibrant bar and lounge settings. In addition, as part of the hotel lobby experience, I expect to see Culinary Counters curated with special guest chefs creating live, sharable plated offerings in ways that show off and test new ideas, concepts and partners all at once.Josh Weiss, innovation and tech: At Hilton, we'll continue to see the thoughtful integration of outstanding technology and the best human service from our Team Members. This will include new types of tools and insights that help Team Members and hotel leaders take great care of guests, anticipate their needs, and drive guest loyalty.Frank Passanante, meetings and events: Long gone are the days where meetings and events attendees are satisfied with a one-size-fits-all meeting experience. Attendees crave unique, rewarding and impactful experiences. To this end, we foresee health & wellness, sustainability and space & design as the key trends that will shape the business in 2019.Q: Imagine the sky is the limit - what would your dream travel development be for 2019?Melissa Walker, wellness: To create an innovative, tech-driven wellness ecosystem on the Hilton Honors app that provides wellness opportunities and information to our guests on a property-by-property basis. Upon check-in, this wellness portal would highlight all the well-being options available to guests, such as property-specific spa appointment availability, walking/running routes, and in-room recreation.Jonathan Wilson, food and beverage: My dream would be to build such meaningful relationships with guests and visitors from our communities that our restaurant chefs would know their preferences and could create the perfect, individualized meal for each person - without the guest having to look at or be limited by a menu.Josh Weiss, innovation and tech: I'd love a hotel room that totally transforms based on what the guest wants to do at a particular time. Lighting, window coverings, sound and white noise, video displays and even scent and water temperature and intensity could change over the course of a day and night to help guests adjust their circadian rhythms, especially after they've crossed time zones.Q: What are you most excited for in 2019?Frank Passanante, meetings and events: As 2018 has ended, and we are now in 2019 -- Hilton's 100th year -- I am proud to see how far we have come and excited to see how far we go in the Meetings & Events space in the next 100 years, continuing to grow the more than 1 million meetings each year at Hilton.

2019 Travel and Hospitality Industry Outlook

Deloitte Development LLP 1 February 2019
A strong economy, rising global consumer purchasing power, and digital innovation have all fueled record growth in the travel and hospitality industry. But there are still several challenges that could throw the industry off course in 2019. What are the biggest trends likely to shape hospitality, airlines, cruises, and ground transportation in the year ahead?Key US travel and hospitality industry trends for 20192019 marks a decade since the US travel industry emerged from the depths of economic recession. And what a decade it's been. Over the past 10 years, the surge of recovery collided with an economic turning point in global emerging markets--fueling a historic burst in travel demand felt by segments across the travel industry.But growth wasn't limited to traditional players. It's also been a remarkable decade for travel tech. Digital innovation helped form a lattice for entirely new segments to not only enter the market--but thrive. Some private accommodation and ride-hailing brands just finding their legs in 2009 already sit side by side with the titans of travel.It's easy to lose perspective on just how much technology has shaped the travel and hospitality industry in such a relatively short time. In 2009, the first hotel and airline apps were just hitting the market. Instagram and iPads didn't exist. Most travelers scoured newspapers and magazines for vacation rentals. Taxis were hailed by hand, and small luxury hotels were among the only businesses that could attempt to create a personalized experience for every guest.To learn more about technology's role and other trends likely to impact the travel and hospitality industry in 2019, download our full report.

Hilton's High-Tech Connected Room Brings Personalized In-Room Streaming to Guests with Netflix

Hilton 24 January 2019
In a Hilton Connected Room, guests can feel at home while away, with the ability to control the temperature, lights, TV and more from their mobile device or the TV remote.The collaboration enables guests staying in Connected Rooms to seamlessly access their Netflix account by logging in either by entering their credentials with the remote control or the keyboard on the Hilton Honors app.The process is simple: Guests who prefer to use the Hilton Honors app can download it onto their mobile device if they haven't already, then add Netflix and other streaming media providers and TV channels to their list of "favorites" for easy access. Guests who prefer the TV remote can press the remote's "Netflix" button, which powers on the TV and goes directly to the Netflix login screen."We know our guests want to feel connected while traveling, just as they do at home, so we're giving them seamless access to their favorite Netflix shows, films and specials while on the road," said Noelle Eder, executive vice president and chief information and digital officer for Hilton. "Inspired by 100 years of innovation, we continue to find new ways to meet the constantly evolving needs of our guests."Bill Holmes, head of business development for Netflix, said, "This partnership extends our commitment to enabling our members to watch their favorite Netflix series, movies and specials wherever and whenever they want, and we're thrilled to be bringing our service to Hilton guests all over the world."Guests without a Netflix account will be able to sign up on the spot in their room and start watching immediately, while current Netflix members can start watching exactly where they left off before checking in. The Connected Room platform ensures a guest's login information stays secure and clears automatically upon checkout, unless they choose to clear it sooner through the TV.The Netflix offering is just one of several recent enhancements to Hilton's Connected Room technology, which continues to expand as it rolls out to more hotels.Hilton currently has more than 1,800 Connected Rooms, and plans to roll out the technology to tens of thousands of rooms in hundreds more hotels across the U.S. in 2019 as well as the first non-U.S. locations. In the future, travelers can continue to expect more content and features from the evolving Connected Room platform.

Applications Now Open for Positions on the HFTP Global Board and Executive Committee

HFTP 22 January 2019
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is calling hospitality professionals who are innovative, strategic thinkers to join the association's top leadership. The application process to participate is open for director positions on the HFTP Global Board and the secretary on the HFTP Global Executive Committee. These two bodies represent the highest volunteer positions at the association, advising on the strategic direction of HFTP. The deadline to submit an application is April 1, 2019.The HFTP Board of Directors and Executive Committee meet several times a year in person or virtually to discuss the association's immediate and long-term endeavors. Directors and executive committee members provide valuable input drawing from their expertise as hospitality professionals, offering a perspective of current industry trends and concerns; as well as professional skills.Requirements for HFTP Global directors include any HFTP Principal, Agent, Allied or Education member in good standing is eligible for nomination to the Board of Directors. Any HFTP Principal, Agent, or Education member in good standing that holds one of the HFTP designations -- CHAE or CHTP -- shall be eligible for nomination to an officer position. Allied members are not eligible for nomination to an officer position.Directors serve on the board for three years, with new directors selected annually. Annually a secretary is selected for the HFTP Global Executive Committee.To apply for a director position, visit the HFTP website under the Get Involved tab. To apply for the secretary position, please contact Millicent Gustafson for more information. If you have any questions about the process, contact Millicent Gustafson, HFTP Executive Services Administrator at millicent.gustafson@hftp.org.

Choice Hotels Launches Online Group Management Platform Tool for Seamless Planning Experience

Choice 22 January 2019
ROCKVILLE, Md. -- Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) is making planning and booking group travel at its hotels easier than ever with the launch of the Group Management Platform, an online reservation solution.Through a new portal on ChoiceHotels.com, guests can seamlessly make reservations for groups, review details at a glance, select various payment options, confirm reservations, send customized emails inviting guests to book, and make room modifications at any time. The Group Management Platform is available to members of the award-wining Choice Privileges loyalty program who are looking to book 10 rooms or more.Through a new portal on ChoiceHotels.com, guests can seamlessly make reservations for groups, review details at a glance, select various payment options, confirm reservations, send customized emails inviting guests to book, and make room modifications at any time. The Group Management Platform is available to members of the award-wining Choice Privileges loyalty program who are looking to book 10 rooms or more."Choice is dedicated to streamlining the booking process across all channels. When we received feedback from guests about group planning and booking, we listened and innovated with proprietary technology to meet their travel needs," said Chad Fletcher, vice president of global sales, Choice Hotels. "The new Group Management Platform provides a seamless and centralized solution for group travel planners, giving them the ability to reserve, manage and plan group reservations with ease."When a room block is booked online, Choice Privileges members now receive an email confirmation with a custom link to the Group Management Platform on ChoiceHotels.com where they can:Easily Manage Group Reservations - Provides a quick overview of room confirmations, room availability for each night of the event, estimated price totals and room hold policies, along with the exact date the remaining rooms will be released back into inventory.Invite Guests to Book - Sends customized email invitations for guests to book and confirm their reservations within minutes.Modify Reservations in Real Time - Allows organizer to modify their booking details at any time, day or night.The Group Management Platform simplifies what has traditionally been a complicated process for travel planners coordinating accommodations for events, such as weddings, sports tournaments, family outings, business meetings, and more. It also allows Choice Privileges members to earn rewards, including bonus points, airline miles, or credits for premium coffee and shared rides through the Your Extras program, in addition to exclusive member rates when booking direct through ChoiceHotels.com. Along with the Group Management Platform, travel agents will now be able to book commission-eligible groups on ChoiceHotels.com.Throughout its 80-year history, Choice Hotels has set the standard in hospitality, pioneering countless technological innovations. The company recently launched a virtual payment option on ChoiceHotels.com to create a seamless booking experience for corporate travelers, and enabled Book on Google - making it possible for travelers to seamlessly search, select, and reserve hotel rooms at Choice hotels in a few clicks.

Choice Hotels Goes All-In on AWS

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

Hyatt Announces Participation in Google Assistant Pilot

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

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