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Global Hotel Groups Support HFTP's Hospitality Certification Programs

HFTP ·8h
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) offers two certification programs that are globally recognized for setting industry standards for hospitality finance and technology professionals: Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE) and Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP). These certification programs have been named a requirement for information technology and accounting employees at Rosewood Hotel Group, Two Roads Hospitality and Accorhotels Group - which operate Fairmont branded hotels.Accorhotels Group recently followed suit with Rosewood and Two Roads Hospitality by not only having their employees become a member of HFTP, but also requiring their group to become CHAE certified. In 2016, Rosewood Hotel Group set the requirement for its information technology staff to become CHTP certified - this was the first group certification HFTP coordinated."Hospitality professionals recognize the importance of committing to continuing education in order to comply with evolving industry practices," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "Group certification allows organizations to match industry experience with essential hospitality knowledge. Hospitality certification helps professionals elevate their knowledge and career path, leading to higher salaries and increased job opportunities."HFTP offers the only designations for finance and technology professionals who are working in the hospitality industry. Both the CHAE and CHTP designations require professionals to sit for an initial competency exam, and complete continuing education credits for each renewal cycle. Qualification for the exams is based on level of education and experience in the industry; student programs are also available.For more information about HFTP's certification programs, contact HFTP Certification Manager Robin Bogdon at robin.bogdon@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org. For immediate information, visit the FAQ pages for both CHTP and CHAE certifications. For the latest news, follow HFTP on HFTP News, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website. Read industry updates on the suite of HFTP hospitality news sites: HITEC Bytes, Club Bytes, Finance Bytes and HFTP News.
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The New Age of Meetings and Events

Onyx CenterSource ·9h
In an age when travelers are used to being able to plan and book their travel with a quick search on their PC or a few taps on their phone, the world of meeting planning has remained largely a manual one.That is changing fast, however. With meeting and events bookings now representing a full third of the hotel market - or about $500 billion a year in business - a number of companies are recognizing the market potential and developing new technological solutions.From platforms that simplify and speed up the planning, booking, tracking and meeting management process to those that closely track payments and provide crucial data to help companies save money and make better-informed decisions, the list of startups is fast-growing.The less-promising news, however, is that recent surveys show meeting planners are still struggling to find effective technologies for their needs.According to one study, almost one of two meeting planners today says that event management technology is a primary pain point. And when it comes to venue selection, the biggest issues are a lack of transparency in pricing and poor responses to digital requests for proposals.Perhaps the biggest challenge, however, studies show, is that meeting planners are still struggling with how to use the new technologies to measure the overall return on investment post-event, and how to analyze and use that data to inform future event programming and design remains a challenge.Here at Onyx CenterSource, we've been studying this market and developing our own solutions to help alleviate pain points throughout the meetings and events lifecycle.To better understand what solutions are out there and where we see the market still lacking, download our latest article, "Meetings and Events: The New Frontier For Hospitality Tech Innovation."

NAVIS RezForce Lux Services Top-Rated By Forbes Travel Guide

NAVIS 20 November 2017
BEND, Ore. -- Demonstrating its continued commitment to being the number one reservation sales and marketing platform for hotels, resorts and vacation rentals, NAVIS today announced that its RezForce Lux call center services have received five perfect scores this year, according to Forbes Travel Guide."This is quite an accomplishment and a clear indication of NAVIS' dedication to providing superior reservations services for luxury hotels," said Tom Flournoy, Senior Vice President of Operations at Forbes Travel Guide.NAVIS is one of a few industry providers that invites the Forbes Travel Guide Quality Assessment team to test and score their reservations agents' performance on behalf of select luxury clients. As the originator of the Five-Star Rating System, Forbes Travel Guide has been the gold standard in the hospitality industry since 1958. Forbes Travel Guide's expert, incognito inspectors, evaluate agents on rigorous and objective standards, the same criteria used in the official Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating System, considered the most stringent in travel and hospitality.Based on the discerning requirements of Forbes Travel Guide, RezForce Lux has proved to be a high-performing call center service that exclusively supports the needs of luxury properties and their consumers. Its success includes:Focus on Five-Star service standards--NAVIS trains, measures, and coaches RezForce Lux agents to Forbes Travel Guide's Five-Star certification standards92.2% overall service level score in 2017, consistently better than Forbes Travel Guide's measured U.S. luxury property team average of 89.2%Agents are scored monthly; five of which were perfect scores in 2017Additionally, RezForce Lux has achieved a 99% service score based on criteria as an overflow and after-hours service. Jeremy Fain, the Director of Revenue at Ojai Valley Inn and Spa commented on his experience with RezForce Lux: "There's no other overflow/after-hours reservation service out there that does what NAVIS does for Four- and Five-Star resorts. We are extremely pleased with the NAVIS team's performance, professionalism and how they've represented our luxury resort."RezForce is part of the NAVIS Revenue Performance Platform designed to capture and convert more profitable direct bookings. Last year alone, RezForce booked $161 million for our clients, and captured reservation lead data our clients turned into an additional $34 million in direct bookings."This positive feedback is recognition of our team's exceptional service record and reflects the exacting standards of our RezForce call center services," said NAVIS CEO Kyle Buehner. "In today's competitive hospitality environment, it is more important than ever to effectively engage reservation inquiries and commit to outbound calling campaigns to capture more direct bookings. Having a high-performing extension of your onsite reservations team to accommodate the peaks and valleys in call volume is a proven way to dramatically impact revenue, reduce staffing costs, drive profitability and exceed guest service expectations."To learn why leading lodging providers and management companies trust NAVIS technology and services to help them increase their direct business, please visit TheNavisWay.com or call 866-712-3439.
Article by Robert Mandelbaum

Shifts In Revenue and Expenses Improve Hotel Food And Beverage Profits

CBRE Hotels 20 November 2017
To understand recent trends in lodging food and beverage sales, we analyzed the financial performance of hotel restaurants, lounges, room-service, and catering departments for the period 2010 through 2016. The information came from a same-store sample of 705 full-service, convention, all-suite, select-service and resort hotel operating statements taken from the firm's Trends in the Hotel Industry database. In 2016, the hotels in the sample averaged 365 rooms in size, 76.5 percent in occupancy, and an average daily rate of $201.99.Out of the RoomFrom 2010 to 2016, total food and beverage department revenue increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.5 percent. This is less than the 5.6 percent CAGR in rooms revenue, and 5.2 percent CAGR for total hotel operating revenue during the same period. With total revenue increasing at a greater pace, food and beverage revenue measured as a percent of total revenue has declined from 30.4 percent in 2010 to 29.2 percent in 2016. Being a same-store-sample, this reflects changes in existing operations. Given the recent proliferation of new limited and select-service properties, the decline in food and beverage revenue as a percent of total industry-wide revenue would be more dramatic.In 2016, six of the eight food and beverage revenue categories tracked by CBRE were greater than the nominal dollars achieved in 2010. The two sources of revenue that still lag are in-room dining and mini-bar. It is interesting to note that both of these sources of revenue are earned while the guest remains in their room. The decline in revenue from in-room sources is consistent with the emphasis hotel brands have placed on new food, beverage, workspace, and socializing concepts in the lobby area.On a percentage basis, the greatest increases in food and beverage revenue since 2010 have come from audio/visual rentals and service charges. Audio/visual services are frequently provided by a third-party vendor, and therefore less negotiable by hotel management. Service charges are frequently mandatory components of employee compensation, and therefore cannot be reduced or eliminated.Revenue from hotel restaurants and lounges (venues) has grown at a CAGR of 4.9 percent from 2010 to 2016. Beverage venue revenue (5.4 percent) has grown at a greater pace than food venue revenue (4.7 percent). The new self-service concepts have simultaneously reduced traditional restaurant sales, and reduced the average food check for per customer.During the early stages of the recovery, it was banquet revenue that led the growth in food and beverage revenue. At that time, hotels reached out to local sources for catering business that filled the event space left empty by the lag in group demand. Now, during the later years of the recovery, group demand has started to return, but has yet to fully recover. This apparently has thwarted the recent rate of growth in banquet revenue.Of the various four property types tracked by CBRE that offer restaurants, lounges, and catering, the greatest gains in food and beverage revenue have occurred at resort and convention hotels. Guests at these hotels are more captive to the events, services, and amenities occurring on-site. Therefore, these property-type categories have a greater likelihood of capturing in-house food and beverage patrons. Full-service and all-suite hotels, on the other hand, cater to more transient demand that has a higher propensity to leave the hotel to find a restaurant or lounge.Expenses and ProfitsLabor related costs represent the greatest share of direct operating expenses within the food and beverage department. In 2016, the combined cost of salaries, wages, bonuses and employee benefits accounted for 52 percent of total department expenses. From 2010 to 2016, total labor costs in the food and beverage department grew at a CAGR of 4.1 percent. Having grown just slightly less than the CAGR for department revenue, the food and beverage labor cost ratio has remained fairly constant the past seven years - roughly 44 percent. It can be assumed that hotel food and beverage department staffing requirements have been reduced considering the movement towards greater self-service options. Unfortunately, it appears that the recent surge in hospitality compensation rates has offset any labor efficiencies gained.The most significant expense savings have occurred in the cost of goods sold. From 2010 to 2016, the cost of food purchases has risen by a CAGR of 2.3 percent, while beverage purchases have grown at a CAGR of 2.8 percent. These growth rates are significantly less than the increases in revenue. Therefore, the hotel beverage cost ratio has declined from 20.7 percent in 2010 to 19.2 percent in 2016. An even more dramatic decline has occurred in the food cost ratio. This metric has dropped from 24.6 percent in 2010 to 22.5 percent. The savings in food cost are consistent with both the decline in prices for this commodity, as well as the shift in menu options at the new quick-service concepts.While food and beverage department revenue increased at a CAGR of 4.5 percent from 2010 to 2016, total department expenses grew by just 3.4 percent. With revenues growing at a greater pace than profits, the food and beverage profit margin has increased from 24.9 percent in 2010 to 29.5 percent in 2016. The net result of the relative changes in revenues and expense was a 7.5 percent CAGR in food and beverage department profits for the properties in our sample during the seven-year period.While food and beverage revenue as a percent of total revenue may be on the decline, a case can be made that more thought is being given to hotel food and beverage today than ever before. The major hotel companies are using the quality, ambiance, price-point, facility, and service levels of their food and beverage offerings to define their new brands. At existing properties, major changes are frequently being made to the food and beverage outlets during their renovations. As consumer habits change, hotel operators appear to have adapted, and brought more food and beverage dollars to the bottom-line.

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

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

Virtual Reality In Tourism Becoming More Real | tourism-review.com

tourism-review.com 20 November 2017
Virtual reality has a place in the tourism industry; stakeholders around the world are realizing this fact and integrating it into their customers' purchasing experience. In this way, the Australian Tourism Office is offering a 360deg video via its YouTube channel allowing people to take a virtual tour of the country and New Caledonia has set up a web-based virtual game.As far as travel agencies are concerned, since 2016, Cub Med has been offering the possibility of watching 360deg videos of its destinations and "Pret a Partir" is even testing virtual reality headsets at the moment.
Article by Xundong Ding

Diving deep into data intelligence to drive guest loyalty & hotel revenue

Cendyntm 20 November 2017
Why is hospitality such a data rich industry? The hospitality industry caters to millions of people daily. It is a data rich field capturing massive volumes of information, all generated from different systems like bookings, POS, PMS and loyalty. It's now possible to add public social media data, online review data, and other sources of guest information like service requests and post-stay feedback to the mix.Where are hotels focusing development in response? Hotels are trying to flow all data from different systems into a centralized location for future analysis and usage. They then develop a system to use the data to create a comprehensive guest profile, which can be referenced to create a unique customer journey and guest experience. That's where Cendyn comes into the picture with our hotel CRM solution. With customer data all gathered in a central place, it makes it easier to see the big picture. Hotels can then make better informed decisions when it comes to marketing and customer service.What is the biggest challenge in working with data and hotel systems? Most hotels use disparate platforms for daily operations like POS, PMS, email marketing and analytics, online reputation management, and others. They are powerful, but do not connect and share data with one another on their own. This makes it difficult to aggregate the data to gain insights and act either on a single guest or the guest database.What are the benefits of centralizing hotel systems to best use guest data?In an increasingly competitive industry, personalized actions will make the difference between an ordinary stay and one that is truly exceptional. A centralized CRM will house all data streams interlinked and create a global guest profile, which can be used to create a unique customer journey and guest experience. At Cendyn, we like to call it a "single point of truth." Hotels need to get familiar with their guests to deliver personalized, high-touch experiences that today's customers expect. They need to think about the relevance of their communications and service to each guest to increase guest satisfaction and loyalty.How can hotels use data intelligence to drive loyalty and revenue? By keeping guest information in a global CRM profile, hotels can personalize the customer experience and always stay one step ahead. Keeping an eye on preferences and the way people use the hotel, such as early morning alarm calls, favorite beverages, and gym use, gives hotels the opportunity to adjust services accordingly. Knowing when the guests are likely to travel and offering them a special deal or an especially warm welcome breeds loyalty. Over time, as you build a relationship with each guest, your profiles will keep growing and expanding, offering a 360-degree view to enable a truly personalized guest experience that drives loyalty and revenue.How can hotels harness aggregated guest data analytics? Once hotels combine data collected from guests in CRM, they can use analytics to segment according to booking trends, behavior and other factors to reveal their likelihood to respond to promotions and emerging travel trends. It is important for hoteliers to understand guest preferences (locations, activities, and room types), purchase behavior (frequency, length of stay, time of year) and profit potential to increase brand loyalty. Focusing on the wrong guests reduces profitability across the enterprise. For example, if a hotel targeted guests who would likely take advantage of spa services, golf and restaurants, rather than guests who only generate room nights, they could significantly increase revenues and profitability.Considering the future of hotels, where do you see data driving development next? Technology in the hospitality industry is getting more sophisticated every year. What's next? Using machine learning to predict future trends for customer behavior and revenue patterns, as well as how to handle large volumes of data for more intelligent processing.
Article by Dean Minett

How Virtual Reality Could Transform Guest Expectations

Minett Consulting 20 November 2017
Try before you buy is an old concept, and it's been applied to any number of things commercially. Cars, homes, electronics and vitamins -- just about every corner of the retail industry has offered no-risk money back arrangements with consumers. People want to know what they're getting into before they invest. It's also a powerful statement of confidence on the seller's (or manufacturer's) part. It says: You're going to be happy you own this. You're not going to want your money back.Until now, industries that are based in experiences rather than commodities were beyond the pale of "try before you buy" (unless you include Rekall in Total Recall). How are people going to try a surfing vacation before you go? How are you going to try a first class cabin on a train? Multi-media content (images and video) has brought us closer, but there's still nothing like being there, like actually standing in the space and seeing its dimensions first hand.Virtual reality has been around awhile, but early iterations made it something of a joke. The graphics were terrible, and the headsets were gigantic.Now that 360 cameras have become sophisticated and widely available (think about those latest holiday snaps your friends are posting to Facebook), VR technology can vividly put you in real places. You can stand on the veranda of that vacation villa you're thinking about renting. You can cruise down the streets of a faraway city at night in a Ferrari. You don't control the accelerator, but it's easy to let yourself be immersed in the details. Why? Because it's real detail. It's actual imagery. Most people who have tried the newer headsets -- such as the Samsung unit that makes use of a Galaxy phone -- are shocked by how detailed and immersive the experience actually is. Big electronics firms (examples) are running, not walking, into the VR space.Travel is one of the industries most obviously touched by the development of this technology. Effectively, VR means that "try before you buy" is indeed available in our industry -- at least to an unprecedented degree. If you're not sure about which type of room to book at a given hotel, you can be dropped into a 360 degree image or led on a VR walking tour. You don't have to rely on two-dimensional web site imagery, which rarely gives you an accurate spatial perception and definitely doesn't provide as much detail.Travel giant Thomas Cook is among the early adopters. In 2015 they worked with Visualise, a British VR production firm, to produce a series of immersive travel experiences for viewing at Thomas Cook locations around the world. The campaign featured professional filming in diverse locations, including Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Singapore and New York City. A separate campaign for Thomas Cook Airlines gives the public an immersive experience on Thomas Cook flights to different locations, along with contests and promotional opportunities hidden within the VR content.There's little doubt that virtual reality and travel are going to mix even more in 2017 and beyond, which means there are tremendous opportunities -- along with fresh new pitfalls.As VR headsets and 360 degree content become more and more common, the big hotels are going to produce more content to pull people in. You'll be able to put on your headset and be immersed in that upper-floor suite, for example. And the next logical step will be seamless booking functionality.The problem of expectationsWhat does all of this mean for hotels? Among other things, it means that when a guest shows up, the difference between real and virtual worlds had better not be stark. While VR promotional content has tremendous potential, it sets the bar higher for hotels. Through this kind of promotion, it becomes even more important to deliver on promises, both in terms of amenities and service. Otherwise, people will feel distinctly misled and the online reputations of such hotels will suffer.(As discussed in a previous post, incongruous photographs have the same impact.)Some hoteliers will choose to steer clear of VR content for these very reasons. It's also true that VR content is still relatively expensive to produce, and the pictures themselves will grow old like any video or jpeg image. New content will have to be created.But what if it becomes cheaper to create and distribute VR content? What if "try before you buy" becomes the rule, not the exception, in the hospitality industry? Using such content to promote your hotel could feasibly become as widespread, or indeed as necessary, as using an OTA.In the end, VR will be productive tool for hoteliers who use it to set up the right expectations. And they'll strive to meet or exceed those expectations through strong fundamentals, attention to detail, positive interactions between guests and staff. But we need to ensure we are not too focused on the virtual experience because when you come right down to it, real hospitality experiences will always be what counts.

Effective revenue management strategies for hotels

SiteMinder Blog 20 November 2017
Regardless of the type of hotel or the number of rooms that a given property has, an effective hotel revenue management strategy is necessary to success. At any given time, a hotel operator is going to be looking for ways to increase hotel revenue while also offering competitive hotel room rates. In order to do this, a property manager must develop hotel revenue management strategies that can be uniquely applied to their specific situation.

All you need to know about hotel door locks

Mews Blog 17 November 2017
Locks and keys are undergoing a rare historic shift from mechanical to electronic, after having evolved little for millennia. The foundations for the current change were laid in 1975 when Tor Sørnes patented the first electronic keycard lock and opened a new market for programmable locks and the potential for a range of authentication methods. Half a century later, it seems we are only now starting to glimpse the potential for electronic lock technology.

SGS Hospitality Experience (HX) Helps Maximize The Hotel Guest Experience

SGS 17 November 2017
Hospitality Experience (HX) is a comprehensive property audit solution that aims to maximize the guest experience within the hotel industry.HX is comprised of four modules of certification audits, covering: risk, sustainability, corporate social responsibility and quality of service experience:Risk: the risk module evaluates buildings, food and water safety, as well as cyber security, business continuity and overall property securitySustainability: HX's sustainability module focuses on waste and energy management to deliver cost-saving optionsCorporate Social Responsibility (CSR): this module proves commitment to CSR and risk reduction, as well as compliance and transparency to guestsQuality of service experience (QX): the final module provides an in-depth review of a property's service with a series of mystery guest auditsHX offers three levels of certification:HX Platinum: achieved with a score of 95% or higherHX Gold: achieved with a score of 85% to 94%HX Silver: achieved with a score of 65% to 84%These certifications can be used to display a property's commitment to the four important areas outlined above, ensuring an optimal level of guest experience and satisfaction.As the rates of international travel and online property reviews continue to grow, hotel brands are expected to provide exceptional service and guest experience consistently. The HX module can offer a guideline and benchmark for doing just that. It can also help:Increase brand reputationIdentify potential cost savingsProvide operational guidance and supportEnsure regulatory conformityOffer market intelligenceProvide peace of mind to managers and guestsSGS Global Head of Travel & Hospitality, Peter Hvidberg said: "Today, a minor incident can be magnified with a single online review, increasing the demand and pressure for experience excellence and commitment for all hotel brands. Therefore, it is more important than ever to ensure that your property is doing all that it can to achieve the highest level of satisfaction. HX has been designed specifically for the hospitality industry to meet a variety of needs and provide solutions to many of the issues presented today."To find out more, contact: hospitality.global@sgs.com or visit website.

VIDEO: Media on what excites them about travel tech

PhocusWire 17 November 2017
Journalists spend hours thinking and talking (and often tweeting) about the industry that they cover... obviously. PhocusWire thought it would be fun to get a group of fellow colleagues together from its sister brands at The Phocuswright Conference to discuss the industry, some of the issues that are worth following (and some that aren't), and lots more.
  • HFTP Annual Convention 2017
  • HITEC New Orleans 2016: E20X
  • HITEC Toronto 2017
  • HITEC Toronto 2017: Opening Party
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  • HITEC Toronto 2017: E20X
  • HITEC Amsterdam 2017
  • HITEC Amsterdam 2017: E20X
  • HITEC Toronto 2017: Opening Party

Why the Entire C-Suite Needs to Use the Same Metrics for Cyber Risk

harvardbusiness.org 17 November 2017
When it comes to cybersecurity, the chains of communication that exist within an organization, if they exist at all, are often a mess. Multiple conversations about cyber risks are happening across a multitude of divisions in isolation. At the same time, members of the C-suite are measuring their potential impact using different metrics - financial, regulatory, technical, operational - leading to conflicting assessments. CEOs must address these disconnects by creating a culture that promotes open communication and transparency about vulnerabilities and collaboration to address the exposures. Organizations of all sizes across all sectors are experiencing an exponential increase in their exposure to cyber risk. The number of endpoints that need protecting is exploding as consumers demand more digital interactions and smart devices. (Gartner estimates there will be more than 20 billion connected devices by 2020.) Adversari

Is your property's technology ready for the guest service convergence?

By Joey Yanire
Hotel guests want a personalized guest experience. When guests feel welcome, they value their stay, become loyal clients, and generate additional revenue. As dormakaba's Joey Yanire explains, most properties have the ability to provide a personalized experience if they simply unify the data at their fingertips and put it to work. "Guest service convergence" is the process of unifying data from emerging and existing technologies into actionable insights that enable hoteliers to provide guests with a memorable, highly personal property experience. How prepared is your property for tomorrow's guest service convergence?

Get Digital To Avoid Having A Kodak Moment

Duetto Research Blog 17 November 2017
Hoteliers need to close the gap between what the customer wants and what they actually deliver, otherwise they'll end up facing a Kodak moment, says Rik Vera, Co-Founder of Nexxworks. Discussing 'extreme customer centricity' at the third Revenue Strategy Forum in London, Vera talked about the impact of the new normal - the digitisation of The post Get Digital To Avoid Having A Kodak Moment appeared first on Duetto.

mycloud Hospitality Platform and Vertical Booking USA Combine to Offer Ultimate Package to Hoteliers

Prologic First 17 November 2017
mycloud hospitality platform has taken the next step in achieving its mission of providing a smart and integrated yet simple-to-use hospitality solution as a service to hotels. The innovative platform from tech experts Prologic First has integrated with Vertical Booking USA to offer the ultimate bookings and management solution to the hospitality sector.mycloud delivers a hospitality platform that enables establishments to lower their costs, improve the efficiency of their operations and achieve higher levels of guest satisfaction. The PMS has been designed to meet the challenges faced by today's hospitality sector and can be live in just four hours. It is suitable for businesses of all sizes, from small and medium independent hotels and guesthouses to motels, large hotel chains and boutique resorts.Vertical Booking USA is a hotel channel management system that delivers vertical booking capabilities to the hospitality sector through its Vertical Booking Synchro Channel Manager. The system allows hoteliers to manage electronic distribution on channels automatically, with rates and availability synchronized via one central panel.The combination of the the cloud-based, enterprise-level mycloud solution with the Vertical Booking Synchro Channel Manager means that hoteliers can benefit from the complete package. From individual and group bookings/reservation management to processing guests checking in and out, establishments now have greater control and enhanced efficiency at their fingertips, in one easy-to-use system. The mycloud hospitality platform also delivers operational efficiency through its POS system for food/beverage/spa/gift shop sales, as well as allowing management staff to track relevant business statistics in real time.mycloud Vice President Deepak Chauhan comments:"By integrating mycloud with Vertical Booking USA, we are providing an outstanding management tool for the hospitality sector. Whether hotels want to manage their availability and bookings - including bookings made by travel agents - or review their guest history and feedback, they can now do it all through one simple system. There's even a channel manager to automate distribution to OTAs, the option to use accounts receivable services and manage housekeeping, and an interface library with more than 175 different options. The system is incredibly comprehensive while remaining easy to use and swift to install."Hospitality businesses can also benefit from mycloud's unique 'social listening' function. The system keeps hoteliers updated with the latest mentions of their establishment on multiple channels, including travel review websites and social media channels. The resulting data is collated into a single view timeline of social sentiment as an incredibly useful management tool. Thus the integrated mycloud and Vertical Booking USA system covers the entire hotel experience, from booking and staying right the way through to guests leaving reviews online after their visit.mycloud and Vertical Booking USA's integrated system is available to hospitality businesses in the UK, USA, UAE, Philippines, Thailand, India and Singapore.

What Hotel Messaging Can Learn From A Weather Chatbot -- Newsletter 55

Hosp. Tech Matters - A Blog by Alice 16 November 2017
It’s been quite the few weeks leading into Thanksgiving. From our webinar last week on APIs, our plans for GoConcierge and the ALICE product… to HX: The Hotel Experience 2017 where ALICE finally beat robots to a tech prize!... to the DC Expedia show, where we were at this week, I am as ready for the holidays as you are.

Find out how Don Cesar got a 20:1 return on ad spend (ROAS)

Milestone Insights 16 November 2017
The Don Cesar is a Florida based Independent Luxury hotel that recently enlisted Milestone to revamp their website and to implement an omnichannel digital marketing strategy including paid marketing, local search, and social media marketing.

HFTP Announces Global Industry Research Project by Forrester Group

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

The Elizabeth Hotel, A New Property in Fort Collins, Gets Ready to Make its Debut with a New Website

Max Starkov | The HeBS blog 16 November 2017
The Elizabeth Hotel, set to open in fall 2017 in Downtown Fort Collins, CO, needed a one-of-a-kind website to reflect their highly anticipated Old Town property. The hotel partnered with the HEBS Digital team to create a fully responsive website, featuring industry-leading technology to drive direct bookings and showcase The Elizabeth Hotel’s thoughtful amenities and vibrant spaces.

Sojern acquires Adphorus to grow Facebook reach

PhocusWire 16 November 2017
Digital marketing company Sojern announced today it has acquired Adphorus, a Facebook and Instagram Marketing Partner (FMP) specializing in ad solutions for the travel industry. The deal will allow Sojern – whose high-profile clients include Hyatt, Fairmont and Singapore Airlines – to grow its opportunities on Facebook.

Aptech's PVNG Web-Based Enterprise Accounting Goes Live at 2 Hotel Companies

Aptech 16 November 2017
PITTSBURGH - Aptech Computer Systems announced Milestone Hospitality Management and Bellstar Hotels & Resorts implemented the PVNG enterprise accounting system. PVNG is Aptech's next generation enterprise accounting hotel software solution that is deployed in the cloud. Aptech is the leading provider of hospitality enterprise accounting, budgeting and forecasting, and business intelligence hotel software systems. Click here for more on Aptech's products and services."Milestone selected PVNG because Aptech is a hospitality-focused company," said Brendon Ratley, corporate controller for Milestone Hospitality Management. "Aptech understands hospitality accounting and designed PVNG's financials to conform to the hotel industry uniform system of accounts. Every other system we reviewed required a report generator to convert their system's reports. Aptech hosts our system and PVNG interfaces with our payroll and property management systems." Milestone will finalize its four-property implementation in 4Q 2017.PVNG is a totally new financial system with an easy to navigate architecture. Drawing on Aptech's vast experience and thousands of existing hospitality users, Aptech had the perfect blueprint for the next generation application."Bellstar Hotels & Resorts operates six resorts and a home office in Alberta, Canada. The home office will use PVNG for enterprise general ledger, accounts payables and financials. Our property GMs and department heads will use PVNG to review expenses and financial statements," said Leslie Ducommun, Bellstar's corporate controller. "We went live November 1st, 2017. PVNG allows us to enter our budgets and forecasts in the system and compare those numbers with the current period. PVNG also lets us download results from the Resort PMS." Ducommun noted that Stagewest Hospitality is a shareholder of Bellstar. "Stagewest installed PVNG over a year ago and it has worked well for them."Cam Troutman, Aptech vice president, said, "We built PVNG from the ground up for the web based on Aptech's 45+ years of hotel accounting knowledge. We used the most current technology platform incorporating AP, GL, Statistics, Financials, and a Bank Reconciliation, all with easy to use, familiar browser navigation." The PVNG system easily handles single or multi-property accounting, and is deployed as a hosted service, streamlining common daily accounting procedures and offering highly flexible reporting.Aptech Computer Systems is both an IBM and Prophix Business Partner offering Execuvue web-enabled Business Intelligence, Targetvue Budgeting and Forecasting, and PVNG Enterprise Accounting systems that are 100% hospitality specific. Aptech is the only company that provides a complete suite of financial management and analysis solutions for the hotel industry. About Aptech Computer Systems, Inc.Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the only provider of a fully integrated enterprise accounting, business intelligence and planning ecosystem to the hospitality industry. All of its clients are companies like yours, which own or manage hotels. Its solutions help customers at both the corporate and property levels understand their financial and operational data for faster goal achievement.The company is renowned for introducing business intelligence into the hotel industry, and offers a solid resource of hospitality professionals. Aptech is an IBM Software Value Plus partner and Premier Solution Provider, as well as a Prophix Premier Business Partner.Incorporated in 1970, Aptech's state-of-the-art back office, true business intelligence and enterprise planning solutions are 100% hotel specific. Solutions include PVNG, Execuvue, and Targetvue. Clients comprise over 3,500 properties - including large chains, multiple-property management companies and single-site hotels. Execuvue is registered to Aptech Computer Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are owned by their respective holders. For more information please visit www.aptech-inc.com.

Maximize Ancillary Revenue With Advanced Revenue Management

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 16 November 2017
The competition for guest revenue is more challenging than ever. OTAs and direct bookings are often neck-in-neck with each other during the guest’s booking process. The revenue competition comes to a halt, however, the second the guest walks through your hotel’s doors. Once they’re on your property, there are endless possibilities to upsell and upgrade to your guests.

How the Interplay of Technology & Traveller is Changing the Industry

trivago Blog 16 November 2017
We’re charging full speed into the era in which technology and human existence are inextricably intertwined, each informing the future of the other. Evolving traveller expectations are fueling technology innovation, just as breakthroughs in technology bring about changes in consumer behavior, which technology then rushes in to cater to. “I think I am as concerned as I am excited,” admitted Johannes Thomas, trivago’s Managing Director and Chief Revenue Officer, during his executive interview at the recent Phocuswright Conference 2017 — held this year in Miami, Florida — with Phocuswright’s Director of Research, Maggie Rauch.

Boosting innovation in the HoReCa business

By Olaf Koch
There are historically valid reasons why so few technology-based innovations were adopted by the hospitality business, writes Olaf Koch, CEO of Metro AG. But these reasons no longer hold water, and that is why his company goes to such lengths to help hospitality innovators develop their ideas and bring them to market.

Rainmaker Ends Q3 2017 with High-Growth Momentum

The Rainmaker Group 16 November 2017
ALPHARETTA, GA -- The Rainmaker Group (Rainmaker), a leading provider of cloud-based hospitality revenue and profit optimization software, today announced that it ended the third quarter of 2017 with record-setting performance and growth, advancing its position as a global technology leader.Since July 1, Rainmaker has expanded its reach in both the number of customers and the number of properties using its groundbreaking solution suite, which include guestrev, grouprev, revcaster, and revintel. Year-over-year, the company has seen a nearly 30 percent increase in hospitality property deployments; additionally, in this same period, the company realized 30 percent growth in its customer base.Las Vegas-based Station Casinos is among the customers that recently selected Rainmaker solutions. In Q3, the company chose revcaster for 11 of its properties, totaling more than 4,800 rooms. Station Casinos had already purchased the guestrev and grouprev solutions and wanted to expand its use of the Rainmaker suite. The solutions will help the company optimize revenue, secure the most profitable guests, and streamline operations."As the hospitality industry becomes increasingly competitive, it's critical that properties invest in technology that drives revenue and profitability," said John Brown, executive director of revenue management at Station Casinos. "We reviewed a number of revenue management and profit optimization solutions and determined that the Rainmaker suite was the ideal fit for us, with all the features and functionality we needed. These solutions will give us the tools we need to maximize revenue, make more informed business decisions, and gain an edge on the competition."Rainmaker's revenue and profit optimization product suite includes:guestrev, an intuitive and easy-to-use revenue management solution that analyzes total guest value across a hotel or casino property to forecast and price rooms;grouprev, an innovative group pricing solution that streamlines the process of responding to group RFPs by analyzing historical data, future demand, and price sensitivity to recommend the best pricing for group business;revcaster, a powerful rate shopping tool that gives hoteliers access to real-time actionable market data, so that rates can be set against the competitive landscape; andrevintel, an intuitive business intelligence solution that improves day-to-day revenue management by mining various data sets and providing deep insights at a granular level."Our revenue and profit optimization platform continues to deliver exceptional results," said Tammy Farley, president of The Rainmaker Group. "In fact, performance in Q3 has exceeded our expectations. This is due to our deep commitment to solution innovation and to the dedicated employees who partner with our customers to ensure their success. This is an exciting time to be in the hospitality industry, and we look forward to ending the year with record-setting growth."

Blockchain and airlines: how transformational is the technology?

PhocusWire 16 November 2017
There’s an interesting conundrum present in the airline industry called a “flight data problem.” Put simply, there’s no one true source of flight data, and the data that exists isn’t available to all parties. Blockchain technology, which is touted as a “transformational” technology in the travel tech world, is posing as the potential solution to this ongoing flight data problem.

How To Future Proof the Hospitality Experience

Are Morch - Hotel Blogger & Social Media Manager 16 November 2017
Hotels are scrambling to anticipate travelers' future needs, and while no one has a crystal ball, some changes already taking effect can help us get a glimpse of what's to come. Some of the patterns The post How To Future Proof the Hospitality Experience appeared first on Are Morch, Hotel Blogger and Social Media Consultant.

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