simonepuorto.com · 12 Mar
The most controversial news of the week went almost entirely unnoticed, covered under a plethora of COVID-19 articles: Donald Trump issued an order to block the sale of the cloud-based suite of hotel management solutions, StayNTouch, to Chinese Goliath, Shiji, on the ground of "national security."
simonepuorto.com · 29 Jan
Whenever I have some free time, I like helping out the "new blood" of the industry so, whenever students ask me to help them with their thesis, I am more than happy to do so. Yesterday, I had a long chat with Monica Gutierrez a bright student at the Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences, working on a dissertation on the future of hotel marketing and the impact that AI will have in the industry over the next years. The following is the transcription of our chat.
simonepuorto.com · 7 Jan
Last month, I flew to Prague to meet a few clients, and, before leaving, I stepped by HotelTime Solutions offices to say hi. While I was desperately looking for a vegetarian-friendly restaurant (with not much luck, I should add), Jan Hejny, CEO, and co-Founder of the company joined me in this heroic quest. The following is the transcription of the long chat we had on cloud systems, IT, GDPR, and data breach.
simonepuorto.com · 4 Dec
Hospitality is an ancient business, but a nuanced, almost oxymoronic one as well: the term derives from the Latin roots hospes/hostis, meaning (ironically enough) both guest, stranger, and enemy. In the French acceptation of the term, un hôtel is a building that provides care, rather than accommodation, and here is why semantically distant concepts such as HOSpital, HOSpitality, and HOStility, sound so phonetically similar.
simonepuorto.com · 18 Nov
Over the last couple of days, you may have received an email from Booking.com, stating that, starting from 2 December, you'll "gain access to a larger audience as your Genius rates will be offered to the most frequent travelers across other companies within the Booking Holdings family."
simonepuorto.com · 18 Sep
THE DEAL: With over two months of back-and-forth negotiation, we all conjectured there was most to the Expedia/Marriott deal than what we were shown. Officialized in April 2019, the deal positioned Expedia more as a partner, and less as a mere distribution channel for the largest hotel group in the world. Much speculation has been made on what % of commission Marriott was able to squeeze out of the deal, with (unconfirmed) rumors talking of single-digit numbers. Amongst the other many benefits of the deal, moreover, Expedia agreed not to demand inventory-parity to the group, that, in fact, continued to offer special conditions to its Bonvoy members.
simonepuorto.com · 31 Jul
Between November 2017 and January 2018, Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus suffered a major security breach, allowing hackers to steal credit cards data from over 40,000 customers. According to the company, "a malicious script was injected into the payment page code to sniff out credit card info". Unfortunately, I was amongst the affected customers, and it took me a few months and a lot of paperwork to finally get back the money fraudulently spent on my card. I had my first card twenty years ago and, except for the abovementioned incident, I concluded around 5,000 uneventful purchases. In my life as a credit card user, therefore, fraud only had an incidence of 0.02%. The odds of being struck by lightning are twice as much and, as I don't make a fuss about the lack of more severe regulations on electric discharge, I try not to panic about events for which the occurrence is statistically irrelevant.
simonepuorto.com · 22 Jul
A few days ago, during a casual conversation on the state of AI in our industry, a friend told me: "You know what? Now that chatbots are no longer sexy, they are finally becoming useful". It is a rather bold statement but, at a closer look, it also happens to be quite accurate. Over the last year, in fact, concepts such as the Gartner's cycle, the tech adoption lifecycle or the dot-com crash analogy have been heavily quoted in articles and studies on chatbot technology. And, usually, when such (overused) concepts start popping up in blogs and publications, we're past the hype. Way past it.