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    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

    November 14–15, 2017
    Conrad Dubai
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Royal Caribbean eyes new technology, virtual and real

PhocusWire 15 November 2017
On the cruise of the future, check-in counters, guest services desks and in-room phones will be relics, replaced by facial recognition, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCCL) last week showcased the various ways that passengers on its three brands -- Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises -- will experience technological innovations going forward, some much sooner than others. Passengers on some Royal Caribbean cruises this year (the Oasis and the Allure of the Seas) will be able to check in, order drinks and reserve shore excursions and dinner reservations on their smartphones, using the cruise company's new app, which will debut this year on 13% of the line's ships, half of the fleet in 2018 and on 100% of its ships by 2019.
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HEBS Digital's 'Closing the Loop on the Travel Journey' Article Featured in The Hotel Yearbook 2018 - Technology

Max Starkov | The HeBS blog 15 November 2017
The Hotel Yearbook has just launched The Hotel Yearbook 2018 - Technology, an e-book offering technology insights from hospitality industry thought leaders, and HEBS Digital is proud to be featured in this respected publication. In 'Closing the Loop on the Travel Journey,' Max Starkov, President & CEO, and Margaret Mastrogiacomo, Vice President, Strategy at

Can You Be a Great Leader Without Technical Expertise?

harvardbusiness.org 15 November 2017
There is a broad assumption in society and in education that the skills you need to be a leader are more or less transferable. If you can inspire and motivate people in one arena, you should be able to apply those skills to do the same in another venue. But recent research is rightly challenging this notion. Studies suggest that the best leaders know a lot about the domain in which they are leading, and part of what makes them successful in a management role is technical competence. For example, hospitals managed by doctors perform better than those managed by people with other backgrounds. And there are many examples of people who ran one company effectively and had trouble transferring their skills to the new organization. Over the last year, I've been working with a group at the University of Texas thinking about what leadership education would look like for our students. There is broad consensus across many schools that

The hotel technology that is changing guest experience and how your property can use it

SiteMinder Blog 15 November 2017
There’s always so much discussion around what’s next in hotel service and technology. The focus on guest experience has intensified in reaction to the rising expectations of global travellers, with new technology and strategies being developed to meet this challenge. However, the future has quickly become the present. Industry-changing innovation is now upon us and the time has come for hotels to stop planning for them and start implementing them. Here are the key guest-facing technology features your hotel should be taking advantage of to optimise guest satisfaction.
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A Quick Guide to Important Meetings & Events KPIs

IDeaS Blog 15 November 2017
The discipline of revenue management continues to evolve and expand into more revenue-generating areas of a hotel. As hotels start to think about some of these key areas where revenue management can have a major impact — meetings & events (M&E) is often at the top of that list. Hotels have ADR, occupancy, RevPAR and even more profit-focused metrics like GOPPAR to evaluate the success of their guest room strategy. When building a strategy for M&E, here are the key performance indicators (KPIs) that can help your next great revenue management strategy take flight.

VIDEO: PhocusWire PundIT Show - Episode 4

PhocusWire 14 November 2017
Deep breath. After a day of pitches from startups, PhocusWire's PundIT Show returns to take the temperature of three delegates at The Phocuswright Conference. The fourth outing features Simon Lenoir (Rezdy), Nathan Bobbins (Travelport) and Fraser Ellacott (RentalCars Connect). This episode was recorded on Wednesday 8 November 2017.
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Why is travel tech so risky, according to investors?

PhocusWire 14 November 2017
During a roundtable discussion of investors at The Phocuswright Conference, Bob Kaufman, founder and CEO of ConnexPay, made a bold and interesting statement. Travel companies go in the same category as adult entertainment or gambling, because of fraud risks, Kaufman claims. And even though startup travel tech venture investments have been at their fourth-consecutive high this year, disruptive forces are threatening their reign at the top, and that gives investors cause to pause.
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Buying Considerations for Your Hospitality Revenue Management Solution, Part II

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 14 November 2017
As mentioned in a previous blog post, there are several key buying considerations when evaluating which next-generation revenue management solution is optimal for your property. A few key considerations include technology integration capabilities, channel management and optimization, customization to user and property needs, and group sales optimization.

How hotels and airlines could apply RM to surprise and delight

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration 14 November 2017
Hilton is considering ways that revenue management techniques could be used to improve customer satisfaction, and there are opportunities for airlines too. Tom Bacon reports. Many service-focused organisations identify opportunities to ‘surprise and delight’ customers as a key vehicle for driving increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Revenue management and pricing in both hotels and airlines, however, sometimes seems to go in the opposite direction ie. ‘Surprise… by charging a new fee!’
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The best of hotel tech from the 2017 PhocusWright Conference

Triptease Blog 14 November 2017
Anticipation is always high leading up to the PhocusWright Conference. What new ideas are being pitched? Which startups are getting traction? Who will be the next disruptive influence on the travel industry? Below are a few of the best hospitality startups we came across at the event. These companies are driving the type of innovation that can really impact hotels.

The Digital Transformation of the Hotel Industry

Laurent DELPORTE 14 November 2017
I recently met with Julie Grégoire, General Manager of Sofitel, Pullman and M Gallery France, to discuss the ways in which the Accor Group was approaching digital technology What are your views on the role of digital technology in the hotel client experience? Where are you taking the digital experience and what are you hoping to establish? Digital technology in hotels has vastly transformed the way in which clients search for hotels, find them, and share their experience.
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VIDEO: English, Gerstner and Hafner - Next Big Thing

PhocusWire 14 November 2017
A petri dish of testosterone? Three of the leading lights of online travel of the past decade or so gaze into their crystal balls? Call it what you like - but it's fairly rare to have Paul English, Steve Hafner and Brad Gerstner on stage at the same time and have them not talk about their own products. Instead, this session at The Phocuswright Conference 2017 has the trio - English (now CEO of Lola), Hafner (CEO and, alongside English, co-founder of Kayak) and Gerstner (investor in Airbnb, Duetto and many others) - discuss what excites them about various new technologies that are emerging and might have some impact on the travel sector.

Ergonomics & Technology: Improving your hotel operations

Novility Insights 13 November 2017
Delve into this exciting piece on Ergonomics & Technology that has just been published in the Hotel Yearbook Special Edition - Technology 2018! Co-authored together with my colleague Inês de Castro Fernandes, Lead Ergonomics Specialist at Novility, we'll guide you through the importance of raising ergonomics awareness in raising hotel team health and productivity; and what's more? We'll expand on how this can best be faciliated with advanced technologies!
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Essential tips on how your hotel can upsell features and experiences

SiteMinder Blog 13 November 2017
With an increasing reliance on online travel agents (OTAs), the emergence of strong competition, and higher expectations from guests, a huge challenge for hotels is maintaining their profitability. One of the best ways to boost revenue and get more value for the business out of each customer is by employing upselling, and cross-selling, strategies. Upselling is the process of selling a more expensive version of the service or product your customer is buying, while cross-selling is the process of selling an additional, supplementary product or service to complement the product or service your customer is buying.
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Meet IDeaS New Chief Evangelist

IDeaS Blog 13 November 2017
Discover what this new role for IDeaS entails and how it impacts the industry It is important to listen and distill the information into themes that can be easily communicated. IDeaS is leading by investing in someone to think and elevate the conversation. Consumers want to be communicated to and engaged in an authentic, one-on-one The post Meet IDeaS New Chief Evangelist appeared first on IDeaS.
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Transparency: The Final Frontier (in PMS sales)

Mews Blog 13 November 2017
The decision to change property management systems for many hotels can be a daunting affair to say the least. Data migration, changes in operational processes and the inefficiency to re-train staff are just a few of the major concerns which hotels and hostels raise when switching to a new PMS. In fairness, these reluctancies are understandable, considering the implementation process which many PMS providers currently offer.
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Why a demo environment is key when switching PMS [Mewscast]

Mews Blog 13 November 2017
In this episode of Mewscast, Richard, Matt and Greg discuss the on-boarding process for hotels when switching to a new PMS and the importance of a demo

OTA Stock Plunges Attributed to Direct-Booking Efforts

Duetto Research Blog 13 November 2017
Seven trending hotel news stories that will have an impact on your hotel Revenue Strategy. 1. HOTELS' DIRECT-BOOKING EFFORTS ARE KILLING OTAS The major online travel agency holding companies have been taking a beating of late on their bottom lines and in the stock market. The reason, according to this Reuters story, is increased pressure The post OTA Stock Plunges Attributed to Direct-Booking Efforts appeared first on Duetto.

Spotlight on... Direct Booking Strategies

Triptease Blog 13 November 2017
How do the industry's most successful hoteliers achieve their goals? Download the report for guidance on OTAs, live chat, metasearch, loyalty and
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Travelers will embrace personalization and AI for a better travel experience

PhocusWire 13 November 2017
Google claims that the "friction in travel" makes it ideal for new technology and artificial intelligence-led services to come in and make improvements. Together with Phocuswright, Google conducted research into today’s traveler, and discovered that one of the biggest upticks in travel searches from recent years involved impulse, immediate, or otherwise “last-minute” travel.
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The Best Hotel Technologies For Learning About Your Guests

Handy Travel Blog 13 November 2017
Guest service technologies are changing incredibly quickly. Every week we’re hearing announcements about new products designed to improve the delivery of guest services and improvements to the ones we already use. Most of these products and improvements are based on the use of smart technologies that are able to learn from their interactions with people and improve their service, and we’re quickly reaching the tipping point where the usefulness of these products becomes great enough, and the cost low enough, for widespread use.
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Accor axes independent hotel web strategy

PhocusWire 10 November 2017
It lasted less than two and a half years - Accor's ambitious attempt to create a marketplace for independent hotels is officially at an end. The hotel chain confirmed this week that it is curtailing the project due to "mixed" results. The selling of non-Accor hotel properties on its website will finish at the end of this year, an official says.
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Artificial Intelligence Puts The 'AI' In Personalization

Adobe Digital Marketing 10 November 2017
Once upon an unfortunate time not too long ago, it was commonplace for brands to shoot out canned emails. "Personalization" showed up in the form of a simple [insert customer name here]. Personalization no longer fits within the gap of two brackets — it is the practice of truly knowing consumers in order to provide experiences that are well-aligned with their individual preferences and needs.

Google rolls out new hotel search service

PhocusWire 10 November 2017
Google is tightening its grip on the hotel search marketplace with the roll-out of a new platform this week. Users in an unspecified five countries will have access to the service. The U.S. is not included in the list of the initial markets to see the platform. The change comes after a decision made earlier this year to "completely rewrite our hotel stack", says Oliver Heckmann, vice president of shopping and travel at Google. The change will include a ramping up of the platform's capability in terms of speed but it will also feature a new user interface. Google is also planning on moving its Hotel Ads service into AdWords, with a full launch anticipated in early-2018.

VIDEO: GDSs survive but full content agreements will not

PhocusWire 9 November 2017
British Airways has got it right, but Lufthansa has not - that's the view emerging over the latest changes in airline distribution. In an interview this week at The Phocuswright Conference, one senior figure from the world of corporate travel says the introduction of a surcharge on all global distribution system bookings by the pair is wrong, but highlights how collaboration can help eradicate the issue.

Blockchain: No longer just an industry buzzword

PhocusWire 9 November 2017
Blockchain is a concept that’s been talked about by the travel industry for the past few years, not least by a number of startups. But some industry figures will evangelise about it, whilst others (such as Steve Hafner, CEO of Kayak) dismiss it entirely. Most are somewhere in the middle - claiming they know what it does, or that they think they should know what it does. While Blockchain has been successfully deployed in other industries – such as the banking industry – its concept remains foreign to travel technology.

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