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    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

    December 5–6, 2018
    Dubai, UAE

Why Airbnb believes machine learning needs 'thinking'

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration 24 April 2018
New technologies like machine learning are considered to be the next generation in travel pricing, but it doesn’t have to be a black box. Tom Bacon shares the insights he gleaned in Miami. Machine learning is necessary to create and maintain more personalised pricing in a complex, constantly changing marketplace. Revenue management (RM), which is already highly sophisticated, fundamentally based on millions of historic data points and designed to be responsive to market and competitive dynamics, becomes exponentially more complex when modified for ‘personalisation’.

Travel Tip: Hi-Tech Hotel Rooms

Peter Greenberg Worldwide 23 April 2018
Welcome to the brave new world of hi-tech hotel rooms. These are guest rooms driven by facial recognition, voice recognition and something called augmented reality. And it’s all changing the way you relate to your hotel guest room. And it’s much more than just using your smartphone to open your door or check in. It’s about in-room chatbots like Alexa and Echo that are using artificial intelligence to receive and respond to your questions. The Echo controls the TV and the thermostat and links directly to the hotel concierge. You’ll find them in suites at the Wynn in Las Vegas.

Rainmaker Expands Business Operations in the Middle East and Africa By Adding Hicham Diab to Dubai Office

The Rainmaker Group 23 April 2018
The Rainmaker Group (Rainmaker), a leading provider of cloud-based hospitality revenue and profit optimization software, today announced the expansion of its Middle East and Africa (MEA) operations by naming Hicham Diab as regional director of business development MEA. Rainmaker currently provides solutions and services to several international hotel organizations in the region, including Kerzner International and Movenpick Hotels & Resorts.Rainmaker's decision to add a regional director of business development will further enhance its service capabilities to both current and prospective customers. With an expanded local presence, new and existing clients will have easy access to the latest innovations in revenue optimization technology.Since Rainmaker's Dubai office opened in 2016, the Middle East has seen growth in the hospitality industry, and this trend is expected to continue. In terms of pipeline numbers for January, STR data indicates the region had 333 properties with more than 105,000 rooms under construction, representing a 22.4 percent increase year-over-year. Rainmaker's innovative solutions enable users to take full advantage of market growth by helping them maximize revenue and outpace the competition."We are excited to add Hicham to our team," said Patrick Andres, Rainmaker's managing director for the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. "His exceptional understanding of both the hospitality industry and revenue management, along with his extensive professional network, make him the perfect addition to our Dubai office. He will be a strong partner for the prestigious hotels and brands we are already working with, and he will help us expand our presence and value in the Middle East and Africa."Rainmaker's groundbreaking 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.About RainmakerRainmaker is the hotel revenue and profit optimization cloud. The company partners with hotels, resorts and casinos to help them outperform their revenue and profit objectives. Rainmaker's cloud-based solutions for transient and group pricing optimization, forecasting, and revenue-centric business intelligence are designed to help hoteliers streamline operations, enhance revenue optimization processes, improve lead performance, and drive guest bookings. Recognized as one of the top privately held companies in the United States, Rainmaker has been named to Inc. 5000's 'Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies' for the last seven years and to the Atlanta Business Chronicle's list of '100 Fastest Growing Companies in Atlanta'. Rainmaker serves hospitality customers throughout the world from its corporate headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga. and from offices in Las Vegas, Singapore and Dubai. To learn more about Rainmaker and its suite of hotel revenue and profit optimization solutions, visit www.LetItRain.com.About Kerzner International Holdings LimitedKerzner International Holdings Limited, through its subsidiaries, is a leading international developer and operator of destination resorts, ultra-luxury hotels and residences, and innovative entertainment and gaming experiences. Kerzner's flagship brand Atlantis, includes Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, a 1,500-room, water-themed resort on The Palm, overlooking the Arabian Sea and mainland Dubai; and Atlantis, Sanya Hainan in China, under development, as well as The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences in Dubai. For more information about Kerzner and its operating subsidiaries, visit www.kerzner.com.About Movenpick Hotels & ResortsMovenpick Hotels & Resorts, an international upscale hotel management company with more than 16,000 staff members, is represented in 23 countries with 83 hotels, resorts and Nile cruisers currently in operation. Approximately 20 properties are planned or under construction, including those in Chiang Mai (Thailand), Bali (Indonesia) and Nairobi (Kenya). Focusing on expanding within its core markets of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts specializes in business and conference hotels, as well as holiday resorts, all reflecting a sense of place and respect for their local communities. Of Swiss heritage and with headquarters in central Switzerland (Baar), Movenpick Hotels & Resorts is passionate about delivering premium service and culinary enjoyment with a personal touch. Committed to supporting sustainable environments, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts has become the greenest Globe-certified hotel company in the world. The hotel company is owned by Movenpick Holding (66.7%) and the Kingdom Group (33.3%). For more information, visit www.movenpick.com.For more information about Rainmaker or general inquiries, contact:Patrick AndresRainmaker Representative OfficeThe Fairmont Offices Dubai, Office 508, Level 5 Sheikh Zayed RoadDubai UAEPhone: +971 (0) 4311 6866Email: pandres@letitrain.comMedia Contact:Dana Glaze, The Rainmaker Group, 470-440-2041, dglaze@letitrain.com

5 benefits of modern accounting system for your hotel business

Hotelogix Blog 23 April 2018
Hotel accounting is one of the most important areas of a hotel’s management. Accounting in the hotel industry has moved on from the traditional methods of using spreadsheets to the modern hotel accounting software. As a hotelier, you need to adopt new technologies to effectively streamline this aspect of your business. Thus, to make the whole process error-free and to save time.

Insights from the Smart Travel Data Summit North America 2018

EyeforTravel 23 April 2018
It's a time for innovation, but not all the rules are clear. Disruptors abound in the industry taking advantage of technological developments, such as blockchain technology, which was a growing area of interest at the Summit. New privacy rules are taking effect, and data breaches can significantly damage even the foremost travel brands.EyeforTravel's Smart Travel Data Summit NorthAmerica, held in Miami on February 27th and 28th 2018, delved into data-driven insight through insights from top executives from Amazon, Expedia, Airbnb, Southwest Airlines, Hyatt, Wyndham Worldwide and Delta Airlines among others.To find out what they were talking about, click here to download the full Round-up report now."Every individual in this room is in a fantastic position," said Leo Langford, EyeforTravel global conference director. "Whether you are part of a nimble startup or you are a more established, traditional travel brand, it is a boom time to be in data."Companies with advanced analytics are five times more likely to make decisions before their industry peers, said Priti Dhanda, director of revenue management analytics for Hyatt Hotels Corp.Over the next five years, about USD800 billion in revenue is expected to shift to the 15% of companies that get personalization right, said Stuart Greif, a former Microsoft executive who now leads the travel and hospitality practice for Amperity, a Seattle software firm that is disrupting the industry with its "intelligent" customer data platform."You have everything that would make amazing customer 360-degree profiles. It's pulling all that data together," Greif said. The stakes are high as, according to Greif, 41% of customers dropped a brand last year due to poor personalization. "It is no longer just a nuisance. It is standing in the way of you and your customer and potentially losing them."The audience also agreed, with data-driven personalization thought to be the most important game-changer for the industry, chosen by 63% of the audience polled at the event, although this slightly lower than at the 2017 Smart Travel Data Summit North America.Will Coleman, partner of travel, transport and logistics for consulting firm McKinsey & Co. noted that travel brands have key leverage when it comes to personalization: "You as travel suppliers are better positioned to do this than any other industry. You operate hotels and airports where people spend hours of their lives. You interact and engage with customers via social media, and they interact with you more than in any other industry."Coleman said 57% of travelers feel brands should tailor their experience based on their past behaviors. "Increasingly we are seeing customers are expecting, and even demanding, this type of customization," he said.Meanwhile, technology is increasingly complex. Consider Apple's new iPhone X, which features facial recognition. "It does 600 billion calculations per second and it's the first mass-produced artificial intelligence chip," said Abhijit Pal, head of research for Expedia Inc.'s Global Partner Group. "Facial recognition is absolutely a game changer."This growing power is becoming married to more powerful data connections. Verizon just announced its 5G Network that can power 10 gigabits per second. That translates to downloading an entire high-definition movie in less than one second, Pal said.Expedia allocates USD1.3 billion a year for technology and content spend as it focuses on becoming a mobile-first company, since one-third of its bookings come from mobile. It's forays into technology currently encompass machine learning and artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and using voice technology with Amazon Echo: "Voice is becoming an important aspect of what we do. That will enable us to personalize. You want technology to know about your tastes. Alexa is going to offer that," said Pal.Machine learning and artificial intelligence are quickly becoming the backbone of many innovative travel platforms, including Airbnb."Airbnb is totally built in-house," said Theresa Johnson, product manager at Airbnb. Machine learning is critical to the success of the short-term rental platform. It's used at every step of the user experience, she said."Data scientists are people who take a lot of disparate information that you have scattered all over and organize it in a fashion that both humans and machines can understand," Johnson said. "Machine learning is people, not algorithms. Data is really the voice of our customers speaking to us at scale."Click here to download the full Round-up, which features insights from:ExpediaAirbnbHyattAmazonWyndhamHertzAllegiant AirGreyhound Lines Inc.Winding TreeAnd more ...!

Data analytics partnership offers new "holistic" insights for DMOs

PhocusWire 23 April 2018
Travel data co-op ADARA and travel market research firm Longwoods International are collaborating to give destination marketing organizations a deeper understanding of their visitors and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. ADARA gathers real-time data about more than 750 million monthly unique traveler profiles from more than 190 of the world’s top travel brands. The company’s measurement product, Impact, helps destination marketers understand flight and hotel bookings, revenue brought in by marketing campaigns and the effectiveness of websites.

AI analysis, part 4: Digital marketing

PhocusWire 23 April 2018
The ubiquity of artificial intelligence is evident in the fact that the abbreviation “AI” is now a common and recognizable term. A Google search for “AI” turns up more than 820 million results, with articles from sources as diverse as The Wall Street Journal, the Verge and Vanity Fair and topics such as AI for healthcare, astronomy and human resources. An article in Harvard Business Review calls AI “the most important general-purpose technology of our era…”

How to Influence Approval for A New Hotel Management System

Amadeus Hospitality Insight 23 April 2018
So, You’ve Decided That You Need A New Hotel Management System. Some time ago, you decided that your existing Hotel Management System probably needs an upgrade. Maybe reliability or security have been an issue. Perhaps you don’t have some functionality that you need for guest satisfaction or labor efficiency, or your system cost is too high. There are some steps to take to ensure that you get buy-in along your decision process and, crucially, can up your odds of winning approval and funding.

Hospitality Social Media News Issue - Facebook Chat Bots

Lodging Interactive Blog 22 April 2018
Typically when it comes to social media updates, Facebook is leading the charge with the most significant changes and the largest number of them. When our last newsletter ran, Facebook was busy tackling the privacy debacle they’re now in. At the end of the day, we firmly believe Facebook remains key to any hotel’s social media and engagememnt strategy. Here are the social media updates that have happened in the last two weeks and how they will affect those in the hospitality industry.

5 Reasons to Use Technology in Hotel Management

Hosp. Tech Matters - A Blog by Alice 20 April 2018
Whether we like it or not, technology plays a huge role in our lives. And it’s for that reason that technology has changed the landscape of the hospitality and tourism industry. Here are five reasons why you should be using technology in hotel management. People Want a Seamless Experience. Most airports allow you to either check in online or go to kiosks where passengers can do it themselves and print out baggage tags without needing staff help. In many restaurants, from high-end to fast food like McDonald’s, you can place your orders and pay via a tablet or kiosk. In cinemas, you can buy or collect tickets at a digital kiosk. The truth is, technology has developed so we don’t need to queue to talk to a person anymore.

Attracting the frictionless consumer

By Michael Schubach
For hoteliers, the rapid ascent of OTAs and sharing economy models threaten to dilute even the strongest brands. But the rapid technology evolution doesn't have to leave brand loyalty behind, writes Infor's Michael Schubach. One need only look at the immediacy and convenience of making an Amazon purchase to see why today's consumers are expecting that same personalized experience from all of their buying transactions. By embracing digital disruption, he says, hoteliers can lead the way, even in the age of Amazon.

Stop the Insanity!

nSight | Humanizing Travel Intelligence 20 April 2018
We’ve all heard the definition of insanity before – doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Yet that’s what’s happening with business intelligence in hotels today. While competing for transient business continues to be difficult and complex, most hotels rely on the same information to price and market. So, other than “uncontrollables” like the economy or market room supply, why should a hotel expect to gain a new advantage over their Comp Set? Consider TravelClicks’ 360 Suite (Rate, Agency, Demand). It’s been essentially the same for many years now.

Hands Free Voice-Enabled Calling in Hotels Available on Volara-Powered Amazon Alexa Devices

Volara 20 April 2018
Scottsdale, Arizona -- Volara, the voice hub for the hospitality industry, today announces the launch of live hands free voice-enabled calling available on all Volara-powered Amazon Alexa devices.Volara launched this solution at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Arizona where guests can now call any phone just by speaking the phone number:"Alexa, call 646-582-6938"Or be instantly connected to hotel staff just by saying:"Alexa, call the concierge.""Alexa, call the front desk.""Alexa, call in-room dining.""Alexa, call housekeeping.""Today, in collaboration with Amazon, we took the first step toward removing the antiquated landline telephone from the hotel bedside table," noted David Berger, CEO of Volara. "By adding Alexa live communication features to our suite of automated voice solutions for hotels, we're furthering our goal of ensuring hotel guests get what they want, when they want it and without having to lift a finger.""I've experienced many innovations over the course of my career in the hotel industry, and with any technology, improving the guest experience is always at the heart of it," said Jack Miller, Regional Vice President and General Manager of the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. "The ease of using the voice-activated Amazon Alexa by Volara offers an efficient and convenient hands-free communication for our guests. Whether its providing concierge recommendations, adjusting room temperature controls or playing their favorite music, Alexa is highly-customized for Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and brings another level of technology our guests have come to expect at our AAA Five Diamond resort."

Hotel Pricing Strategies - The Friday 5

Net Affinity | Conversion Optimisation for Savvy Hoteliers 20 April 2018
This week we're looking at pricing strategies and how the best revenue managers maximise room revenue. These articles cover supply and demand,� how� competition� affects rates and how psychological pricing tricks can increase conversion. Check them out! 1. Yield Management Strategies: The Right Hotel Room Pricing Yield management can be defined as� selling a product or service to the The post Hotel Pricing Strategies - The Friday 5 appeared first on Net Affinity Blog.

What to Expect at HITEC Houston 2018: Elite Education, Exhibits, E20X and More

HFTP Connect 20 April 2018
HOUSTON: A booming cosmopolitan city that is home to more than 2 million Texans, NASA’s famous Johnson Space Center, and — in just two short months — the world’s largest hospitality exhibition HITEC®. In late June, scores of hospitality technology and finance professionals will travel to Texas’ most populous city for first-rate industry education, networking, and an unparalleled expo showcasing the latest in products and services from around the globe. This stellar event hosted by HFTP will take place June 18-21, 2018 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

ReviewPro Implements Seamless Integration with protel to Enrich Guest Profiles

ReviewPro 20 April 2018
The API integration means that common clients can now automatically pass relevant guest details from their PMS system to ReviewPro so they can create and distribute customized in-stay or post-stay guest satisfaction surveys. Once the feedback is collected by ReviewPro, it is then synchronized to enrich the guest profile in protel. This makes it easier for hoteliers to both segment guest data and to drill down on analytics, creating opportunities for better informed operational decisions and more targeted marketing campaigns.RJ Friedlander, CEO of ReviewPro commented, "This integration offers a fantastic opportunity for our common clients to take guest experience management to the next level. The possibility to analyze guest feedback based on data such as room number or type provides hotels with an unprecedented level of detail to prioritize improvements, increase guest satisfaction, and boost hotel revenue.""From our perspective, ReviewPro is a company that is truly in-sync with what we are working hard to achieve here at protel. With this commitment to our continued partnership, a fully integrated, efficient and vendor-neutral technology solution for all clients has moved one important step closer. The in-depth nature of the ReviewPro tool plus our combined dedication to on-going development ensures that we continuously deliver excellence. This collaboration not only immediately empowers our clients to drive their businesses and revenue today but also serves to expand the capabilities of our system, going forward" said Jeremy Armes, VP Marketing, protel.ABOUT PROTEL protel offers technology and service solutions specifically and exclusively for the hospitality industry. The consistent focus on the needs of a single industry makes us one of the most experienced and successful providers of advanced property management systems (PMS). Whatever the requirements, whether installed on-site, web-based in the Cloud, or as a hybrid solution, our flexible and scalable software solutions cover the full industry spectrum, from small independent hotels to multinational hotel chains.Founded in 1994, protel hotelsoftware GmbH operates under the leadership of managing partners Ingo Dignas and Manfred Osthues. With headquarters located in Dortmund, Germany, branch offices in Berlin, Vienna, Austria, and Atlanta, USA, plus a dense network of partner companies working in close cooperation, protel enjoys a worldwide presence. In over 93 countries, hotels and hotel management schools around the world attest to protel's high- level expertise and reliability, a third of them using protel Cloud Solutions.Further information: www.protel.net

ReviewPro Implements Seamless Integration with protel to Enrich Guest Profiles

ReviewPro Blog 20 April 2018
Integration enables common clients to gain deeper insight and enhance the guest experience. Guest Intelligence experts ReviewPro have announced their integration with protel hotelsoftware GmbH. Building on their existing partnership, the companies’ full integration allows a seamless connection for common clients, enabling a two-way flow of guest data and providing deeper insights into the guest experience.

ALICE to Showcase Their PMS Integrated Products and Speak About the Future of Connected Hotel Operations at Maestro User Conference

ALICE 20 April 2018
ALICE, the hospitality industry's leading operations platform, will be showcasing its complete suite of hotel management and guest engagement products at the Maestro User Conference, April 23-26. Click here to schedule a meeting with our team.ALICE integrates directly with Maestro PMS (as well as most other Property Management Systems). The integration between ALICE and Maestro gives hotels a holistic view to the guest journey -- from booking to post-stay. By combining the booking and billing information collected by Maestro and guest preference and request history recorded by ALICE, hoteliers have actionable data to improve guest service.At the conference, ALICE's Co-Founder and President, Alex Shashou, will be giving a presentation on the "Future of Connected Hotel Guest Experience Management." The presentation, on Thursday, April 26 from 10:40 am-12:00 pm, will dive deep into how hotels can learn from connected industries to better their own guest experience and compete in today's digital service age."We are thrilled to be speaking and exhibiting ALICE at the Maestro User Conference," says ALICE's Senior Sales Executive Leigh Sansone. "We understand that Maestro users place a high value on increasing their business productivity, so we are excited to show them how easy ALICE integrates with Maestro PMS to improve their hotel's operations and guest satisfaction."ALICE joins all staff departments onto a single operations platform to streamline staff operations and enhance the guest experience. ALICE's suite of products include concierge task management software, housekeeping and maintenance software, and a guest app and text messaging solution. ALICE partners with independent and managed hotels, hotel groups, residential condominiums, serviced apartments, vacation rental companies, and concierge companies, and recently acquired concierge technology provider GoConcierge to augment its technology and customer service offering.Maestro and ALICE integrations work seamlessly with your reservation information. If you're looking to improve your hotel's operations and streamline staff communication to increase guest satisfaction, stop by the ALICE table and see a live presentation of our technology. Alternatively, hoteliers interested can book a meeting in advance, for a personalized demo of ALICE.

Washington Court Selects KEYPR as Exclusive Guest Experience Technology Partner

KEYPR 20 April 2018
KEYPR, the technology company whose enterprise cloud platform is the leader in guest experience and hospitality management, announced today that its system has been fully deployed at the iconic Washington Court Hotel located in the heart of Washington, D.C."We pride ourselves in maintaining the highest service standard, and are committed to delivering a boutique hotel experience with all the modern amenities," said Washington Court's Operations Manager, Greg Askew. "The KEYPR platform is already helping us streamline operations, allowing our team to stay two steps ahead of our guests' evolving needs."Guests staying at Washington Court now have access to a custom mobile app, digital key, and in-room tablets while staff can manage requests and internal operations via KEYPR's robust Guest Experience Management System (GEMS). Entirely customizable to each guest's needs, KEYPR's platform makes it easy to seamlessly request hotel services like dry cleaning pick-up, valet, and in-room dining. KEYPR's in-room tablets also offer digital concierge services such as booking restaurant reservations at Washington Court's own Bistro 525 and local tours around the Capitol. Additionally, guests can take advantage of rich content integrations with the Wall Street Journal, iHeart Radio, and more."We are thrilled to launch at the Washington Court Hotel, our first hotel in Capitol Hill's Historic District," said KEYPR Co-Founder and SVP Sabir Jaffer. "The hotel is prominently-located, with each room enjoying views of either the Capitol Building, city skyline, or the hotel's glass atrium. We love working with unique properties and giving them a technology solution that bolsters the hotel's charm and elevates all they have to offer guests."

How to optimise your most profitable channel and book more guests direct: A step-by-step guide for hoteliers

SiteMinder Blog 20 April 2018
Understanding the breakdown of where your hotel bookings are coming from and how much revenue you’re driving from them is vital for your business. Without this analysis you can’t expect to develop successful revenue strategy. Ideally you’ll find you have a healthy proportion of bookings coming in direct through your hotel website and online booking engine.
Article by Pierre Boettner

Enhancing Your Hotel Operations Using Insights

hospitalityPulse, Inc. 19 April 2018
But what makes an experience exceptional in the first place?In the age of hyper-personalization, it's worth taking a more fundamental look at how these experiences are composed, and what we in the hotel industry can do to help create them. We need to go beyond the bold new design scheme sprawling across the hotel lobby, creative new room styles, disruptive marketing schemes, or even the promoting of world-class chefs. We need to focus on the fact that personalized experiences are just that - hyper-personal. For some guests, it will be the aforementioned items, the glitz, and glamour of the hotel they stay in - while for others it may be as simple as being left alone, while having access to services when and where they want them.The focus on CRM over the last 20 years, retaining and augmenting personal information and preferences was supposed to help achieve that. However, if after over two decades, countless hours, and large sums of money, we still aren't seeing the desired outcomes, maybe it is time to re-evaluate that strategy too. For starters, repeat guests are increasingly less common, and the loyalty-free guest has become a frequently mentioned artifact. We talk about hyper-personalization, but what we are actually doing is trying to standardize to an individual guest. Repeating the same experience every time hardly makes them memorable and I would even argue that trying to predict guests' desires based on CRM data goes very much against what we are trying to achieve. Personalizing experience goes well beyond a guest profile, and much of it is right there at our fingertips. We should therefore start by focusing on what we already have, and what we can directly influence, and improve on, right now!In many cases, guests are already letting us know what is important to them. They booked a specific type of room, telling us what is critically important to them - the bed type, the view, a balcony. They may also have made additional requests for a high floor, a connecting room, or the proximity to an elevator, should one of the guests have difficulty walking. In other cases, we know little about the guest and their desires, but we do have information available to us. We know what room they booked, we know how far in advance they did so, how long they are staying with us, whether they are traveling with children, as a couple, a group, or by themselves. We know the weekdays, and the season they are at our hotel, and we may even have collected information about their stay purpose. All this information that we have on every single reservation is, more often than not, completely ignored.And when things don't go as they were intended to, we limit ourselves to reacting to guest feedback. By then, it is too late to act, and the guest is not only lost but leaves a permanent mark that will influence future bookers.In the past, hoteliers had a personal relationship with their guests. A [good] GM would go through arrival lists daily, and make sure that the high-value guests would have a perfect stay. If things didn't go to plan, the GM would ensure that some compensatory action was taken - perhaps a dinner on the house, or an upgrade to a suite from the second night. They would call and influence the guest into submission if needed. These times are long gone, we don't personally know our guests anymore, but we still try to create that same experience. The problem is, we do that using the tools of the past. Tools that in today's consumer-driven environment are just no longer up to par.Instead of seeing our business go elsewhere, we should and can use modern technology to not only create that same experience for those guests we know, but we can scale it to encompass virtually every guest arriving at our hotel. For this, it is necessary to have direct insight into every aspect of the operation, starting with our primary product, the rooms we sell.Delivering superior guest service lies in the hotelier's ability to instantly understand when something did not entirely go the way the guest had imagined it. And where something does go wrong, empower staff to act accordingly. Someone didn't get the exact attributes they wanted? Have your GM give them a call to express understanding for their disappointment, and see what can be done to make things whole. Don't believe it? I invite you to scan through TripAdvisor's best reviews and see how many of these started with a problem that was quickly addressed and corrected. Aside from the fact that a disappointment is something we should strive to avoid - when things happen, and they do, these events are also great opportunities for engagement. For this, we need to become constantly aware of what happens while the guest is at our hotel - and most importantly, what the first impression is we made on the guest.Gaining deep understanding of what happens to every guest at check-in, the level of fulfillment of the guests' desires, how long their check-in took, who checked them in and when, is critical. All this important information is hidden away in your PMS where the data is organized around guest profiles and reservations. But which profiles and reservations should you be looking at? I know hoteliers who spend several hours every day working to better understand what happened the previous day, week, or month. That is good in practice, but too late to action on.Insights, hospitalityPulse's operations BI tool, gives you that level of information in real-time! A guest, maybe even a VIP guest, was downgraded or didn't receive the expected bed type - call him or her. Schmooze them into submission and win them over. The fact that they aren't part of your loyalty program, that they weren't categorized as VIPs, or that they even booked your hotel on a discount site, will likely lead to an even greater and lasting impression. And because we are famously in a human relationship business, it makes a personal call all the more valuable.There is no need to dream of, and wait for the ultimate tool that helps us understand who our guests are, and that accurately predicts what they don't know themselves they will want. Amazon, Google, and Netflix are quite open about there being too many unknown variables that are needed to reduce the human experience into mathematical algorithms. Why we still believe that we can do better than them with much less access to information, is a mystery for another time. But we can, and must focus on what we already know, and then begin thinking in terms of the feasible today, rather than the imaginable of tomorrow. If we don't, we will find ourselves losing more business to those that relentlessly pursue the possible, and provide guests with a superior experience on their sites and their apps.With hospitalityPulse's insights BI platform, you can immediately improve your hotel's operation. You not only enhance the guest experience - but you also hone in on additional revenue potential. And once we get the experience right, we can gain more of our guests' loyalty, be it in the form of repeat business, the recommendations to their friends, or those to the world on social media!

Defining the Future - Dispatch from Amsterdam

IDeaS Blog 19 April 2018
Atypical for a conference focused on data and analytics, there was a lot of talk of family and culture last week during the HSMAI Europe Revenue Optimization Conference. Of course, data is critical, and analytics are what make (most of) us get out of bed in the morning. Revenue managers need hard facts, stats, tables and graphs to be happy, but it was refreshing to take some time out to hear (and think) about what is often more important—what makes passionate, engaged leaders who help change the world of hospitality and beyond.
Article by Jos Schaap

Evaluating the Hype Behind Mobile Keyless Entry for Hotels

StayNTouch Inc. 19 April 2018
With the ongoing evolution of technology and consumer preferences, we frequently bear witness to a trend of forced adaptation amongst businesses, both large and small. Across industries, business owners can often recognize the tides of change rapidly approaching their service offering. Hoping not to be left behind, they fervently work to prepare for those impending upsets by adopting responsive, small-scale changes to ride the wave of the bigger vision and more innovative players. Adapt and evolve is the key to survival in a competitive consumer market, after all. The only problem is, in today's marketplace -- with the hospitality industry being no exception -- guests are as smart as they are selective. They know better than to bite at small change, when the more innovative brands are willing to go all in, and offer their guest a more complete, improved experience. They don't just want a piece of the cake - they want the whole cake baked to their exact preferences each and every time. Let's use this understanding to take a closer look at the mobile evolution. Across the hospitality industry, we're seeing the rapid implementation of mobile functionality solutions based on guests' demonstrated preference for mobile engagement and convenience. Within this trend, hotels are investing in apps, improved mobile booking technology, mobile keys, mobile kiosks/concierge and more. Mobile keys have captured the interest of hoteliers and guests across the industry. There are a number of reasons for this, including the environmentally friendly and sustainable nature of an app-generated key in place of a plastic keycard, increased security and front desk by-pass. In fact, a study released in March shows that 73% of guests want to bypass the front desk, and 63% would prefer a mobile key solution. However, it's important to realize that capitalizing on the true power (and ROI) of mobile extends far beyond just installing a mobile key solution, and stopping there. Without the underpinnings of a strong, versatile and mobile PMS, just having a mobile key solution may only fix a small portion of the guest engagement challenge that hoteliers face today. Basically, it might just be a piece of the cake, while your guests are left still hungry for more. Rather, hoteliers need to adopt a holistic approach to mobile and the way in which it can (positively) impact every fact of a hotel's operations. This approach should focus on an intuitive PMS system, seamless mobile check-in/out technology and guest self-service stations, as well as mobile keys. A genuinely intuitive hotel PMS system should effectively enhance the daily workings of your front desk operations, rate management, group management, reservations, housekeeping's and financials, all at a glance. While an upgraded PMS may not be immediately recognizable to a guest, you can trust that they will quickly appreciate the service advantage it provides. Why? Because an empowered, mobile staff removes barriers and services guests where they are, 24/7. By freeing your staff from the limitations of a task-oriented service model, you are enabling them to connect with guests in a valuable way and provide enhanced, personalized service. They can interact with the hotel property and guests in an interactive, responsive way while also increasing revenue opportunity with upsell prompts from the PMS. These upgrade and package prompts can even be built-in to the guest self-service stations, ensuring each guest is in complete control of their experience. With this functionality in place, you can cater to those guests who prefer a low-touch, efficiency-based service model as well as those who prefer a more personalized experience. Further, your mobile check-in/out solution is just as critical (if not more so) than your mobile key. The check-in and check-out process represents each guests' first and last impression of your hotel, after all. A comprehensive and foolproof mobile check-out solution should not only work seamlessly each and every time, but it should empower the guest with choice of service, provide a sense of exclusive connection, differentiate your hotel, offer upgrades and monetize late check-in/out. When it comes to mobile, it's about the whole picture -- not just part of it. Ensure you are setting your hotel up for long-term success with a complete, multi-faceted mobile solution in place. With this approach, you can not only weather the tide of change, but you can continuously get ahead of it to offer a truly innovative experience for your guests.

How Do You Inspire Your Guests to Spend More? Deliver the Right Offer at the Right Time

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 19 April 2018
Data is transforming the hospitality sector. Forward-thinking hoteliers are making the most of historic guest interactions along with real-time and future data sets. They’re unlocking the hidden power of all that rich data with a revenue management system (RMS) that allows them to analyze it in multiple ways to create offers that increase guest spend. Let’s take a closer look at how you can use your data to present tailored offers to guests during those micro moments when they are most likely to convert.

HITEC Amsterdam 2018: Why I Will Definitely Be Back

HFTP Connect 19 April 2018
This has been my first HITEC conference, and it has been one of the most informative three days I have had since I entered the world of hospitality a couple of years ago. While I prepared for the conference, I read up on the latest technological innovations, and on startups trying to overthrow OTAs. I read about revenue management and machine learning. Stepping off the plane in Amsterdam, I was confident I had done my homework and was ready to keep up with all the technical conversations I was going to have.

Hotel Supply and Demand: How to Maximise Room Revenue

Net Affinity | Conversion Optimisation for Savvy Hoteliers 19 April 2018
The law of supply and demand is one of the most basic, and also one of the most important, microeconomic principles. The relationship between supply and demand determines how the price for a good or service is decided on. An increase in demand without a change in supply will increase the price and conversely a decrease in demand without a change in supply will decrease the price.

Change Management: 5 Steps to Rolling Out a New Casino Pricing Strategy

Duetto Research Blog 19 April 2018
Did your new total-resort Revenue Strategy lead you on a hunt for a revenue management system? Or did rolling out new technology spur thinking around a more innovative pricing strategy? You could say it’s a chicken-and-egg deal. Either way, changing the technology behind how you price the rooms and amenities at your casino only gets you halfway; true profitability comes when you start thinking about valuing your amenities and rewarding your players in more modern ways. Just as your new technology takes some time to deploy, your new Revenue Strategy also needs to be rolled out thoughtfully throughout the organization.

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