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With Hotel Operations Apps Increasingly in Demand, Facility for Hotels Stands Above the Rest

TOPHOTELPROJECTS 11 August 2017
Travelers have long booked accommodations online, and many luxury hotels offer tech that lets guests use smart phones to operate thermostats, lighting, and televisions. These innovations are great, but the real difference-maker in hospitality tech is one most customers never actually see--hotel operation apps.These apps allow managers to simplify operations, improve efficiency, and modernize procedures. Too many hotels, unfortunately, still use outmoded tech, or, in extreme cases, pens, paper, and telephones.Hoteliers as a group are slow to adopt, and tech and hospitality have long made awkward bedfellows. The simple fact, however, is new hotel operations apps shouldn't be ignored.Here's what they do:-Free up resources and allow staff to deliver exceptional experiences to guests-Make it so staff members are not tethered to reception desks, instead using mobile devices such as tablets to keep in touch anywhere-Easily integrate with an existing PMS (Property Management System), allowing team members to access guest info on the go-Provide an easy-to-navigate dashboard with data and analyticsBut not all these apps are created equal, so it's important savvy hotel operators know the best choice.Facility for Hotels is a cut above other hospitality operation apps. Developed in a startup incubator, Facility saves time and paper, minimizing inventory loss and improving communication between departments, creating an overview of what's happening everywhere on a property.One 200-room hotel using Facility reports the following benefits:-200 man hours saved-15 percent less inventory loss-40% higher productivity-70% fewer phone calls-350 percent increase in reported maintenance issues-3000 less sheets of used paperUltimately, it's in guests' interest for hotels to invest in automation. As hotel operators know, tech will never replace individual service, but it can be a vital component for success.For more information about Facility for Hotels, visit www.facilityforhotels.com.

More Than Half the Hilton Portfolio to Be Digital Key Enabled by End of Year

Hilton 11 August 2017
Hilton today announced Digital Key will now be available at 362,000 hotel rooms across 2,000 hotels worldwide with the introduction of the exclusive technology at the Hampton Inn & Suites Washington DC-Navy Yard. The milestone demonstrates Hilton's continual ability to launch technology that improves the guest experience and do it on a global scale. Every new hotel that is opened worldwide, roughly one a day, is equipped with Digital Key technology.The award-winning Hilton Honors app is designed to make travel easier and put control back in members' hands so they get more out of their travel experience. From their smartphones, guests can book a room, check-in, choose their desired room from a digital floor plan set against Google Maps and request additional items to be in their room upon arrival. Hilton Honors members have widely adopted the app's technology features and continue to set new records for usage and engagement, including 30 million digital check-ins, 3 million room key downloads and more than 13.6 million doors opened. In the month of July, a door was unlocked with Digital Key every two seconds."We know our customers operate in a digital world and we are obsessive about embracing technology that helps remove the friction points from our guests' travel experiences. We've built a world of experiences at your fingertips with our app - you can check in, choose a room, set personal preferences and unlock your door using Digital Key," said Geraldine Calpin, chief marketing officer at Hilton. "We've more than tripled our rate of Digital Key hotel installs since 2016 and are on pace to exceed our goal of 2,500 hotels by the end of 2017, enabling us to scale across our 14 brands worldwide to deliver exceptional and consistent experience for guests everywhere."Digital Key is live worldwide in 185 markets today, and Hilton will continue to expand to new regions throughout the remainder of the year. By the beginning of 2018, Hilton has committed to have well over half of its portfolio of hotels across all 14 brands, equipped with Digital Key, creating a consistent technology experience for guests regardless of where they stay across the globe.Hilton is celebrating this milestone with guests on social media. Join in on the fun here. For more details and a list of current and upcoming properties with Digital Key, please visit HiltonHonors.com/DigitalKey.

HFTP and Naseba Announce HITEC Dubai 2017 Advisory Council

HFTP 11 August 2017
Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), the world's largest hospitality technology conference brand, will be coming to Dubai, UAE on November 14-15, 2017 at the Conrad Dubai. Produced in partnership by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), the only organization producing nonprofit hospitality events at an international level, and Naseba, HITEC Dubai is set to be the region's largest hospitality technology showcase hosting leading hospitality decision makers and technology vendors. HITEC Dubai is an extension of HFTP's tremendously successful HITEC, which just completed its 45th year.To plan the event's educational program, an advisory council of experts with over 200 years of combined industry experience has been formed. The council met on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at the Jumeirah offices in the Dubai Design District to discuss and design an agenda that is most relevant to the Middle East's challenges, needs and upcoming hospitality technology trends.The other members of the council are senior executives from leading local and global chains, and the solution providers segment:Chairman Marwan Al Ali, group CIO, Jumeirah GroupNigel Hattersley, senior director of IT MEA, Marriot InternationalRadi Karnib, senior director of IT MEA and Turkey, Hilton WorldwideIftikhar Hamdani, cluster general manager, Ramada Hotel & SuitesLaurent Voivenel, senior vice president of operations and development for MEA & India, Swiss-BelhotelMahmoud Kamal, CIO, Al Habtoor GroupMd Amirul Islam, HFTP Dubai Chapter president, Dubai Parks and ResortsMohamed Rizwan, IT director, JW MarriottYazan Sabelaish, director of IT, Four Seasons Hotels DubaiEmilio Dragas, CEO, m3connectNaveen Bharadwaj, production director, NasebaAngela Dowell, meetings and events manager, HFTPNicholas Watson, managing director, NasebaFrank Wolfe, CEO, HFTPKhushru Siganporia, director IT, Taj HotelsFraidy Pinto, area IT director of Middle East & Sub Saharan Africa, Carlson Rezidor Hotel GroupJai Govindani, CTO, Red Planet HotelsLijo Mathew Kankapadan, corporate director, Emaar Linda Griffin, group GM, Jumeirah GroupSamir Abi Frem, corporate vice president, Rotana Group Sanjay Nadkarni, director of research and innovation, Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management"The Middle East hospitality industry is one of the fastest growing in the world," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "Combining HFTP's 65 years of hospitality finance and technology education, regional expertise from an industry advisory council and Naseba deal facilitation will create the ultimate hospitality information exchange that the region has experienced thus far."Some of the most important topics identified include: bandwidth and HSI, power of data analytics and intelligence, intuitive technologies, sustainable technologies and the future of management systems. There were also deliberations on the use of robotics, ethical implications of AI, blockchain and the rising risk of cyber-attacks.Production Director of Naseba and HITEC Dubai, Naveen Bharadwaj noted: "Dubai is the regional leader of hospitality and an epitome of innovation. By bringing HITEC to Dubai and working with the expert advisory council, HFTP and Naseba aim to facilitate knowledge sharing, networking and deal flow amongst hoteliers and hospitality technology providers."HITEC Dubai will feature an expo floor for exhibitors to showcase their latest solutions; and a summit floor for panel discussions, tech talks and pre-scheduled one-to-one business meetings between pre-qualified hoteliers and cutting technology providers.In 2018, HFTP will bring back HITEC Amsterdam on April 11-13 in addition to the larger HITEC Houston on June 18-21. For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other international activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec/.For the latest news, follow HFTP/HITEC on HITEC Bytes, PineappleSearch, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube. For more information about HITEC Amsterdam, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org, +1 (512) 249-5333.About HITEC Dubai Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place.Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), producers of HITEC, will partner with Naseba, a business facilitation company, to bring the brand to Dubai. Making the event accessible to buyers from the lucrative Middle Eastern market, currently worth over USD 75 bn. The show will offer an education program and exhibits. In addition, HITEC Dubai will feature a summit with one-to-one business meetings that have become the hallmark of Naseba's platforms. Hoteliers attending the summit portion of HITEC Dubai will be pre-qualified to confirm their purchasing authority, budgets, timelines and solutions of interest. hitec.naseba.comAbout 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.

Introducing Business Analytics Transactional Extract and Voice Integration Workgroups at HTNG

HTNG 9 August 2017
The lack of consistency in exporting valuable data from property management systems, will be addressed by HTNG's Business Analytics Transactional Extract Workgroup. This group will develop a standard Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) target to enable analytics to be performed on transactional detail data versus aggregate summary data.Members will do this by defining and establishing a specification for extraction of raw transactional data based on common information needed for business analytics as well as defining the name spaces and format required for sharing the information with analytics platforms.The Voice Interaction Framework Workgroup identifies an inconsistency in how to deploy emerging voice control devices in the guest room. The Voice Interaction Framework Workgroup will reduce the guest's learning curve when they utilize voice commands within their room.Members of this group will develop a framework of use-cases and related voice commands and outline a process for educating guests. They will also identify gaps in the natural language processing platform that consumer device manufacturers have providing this service as part of a hotel stay experience.The kickoff teleconference for Business Analytics Transactional Extract will be held on August 10, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. CDT. The kickoff teleconference for Voice Interaction Framework will be held on August 8, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. CDT.To sign up, HTNG members can visit the Business Analytics Transactional Extract Workgroup or the Voice Interaction Framework Workgroup and log-in to join.For questions or for more information, please contact workgroups@htng.org.

HFTP Announces Keynotes for its 2017 Annual Convention

HFTP 9 August 2017
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) added three informative and motivating keynote speakers to the education program for its upcoming Annual Convention 2017, an event the association has produced since 1952. This year's HFTP Annual Convention is scheduled for October 25-27, 2017 at Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate in Championsgate, Florida USA."This year's event will offer a variety of essential education formats, continuing education, enhanced networking and vendor opportunities as HFTP celebrates its 65th year as an association," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "The dynamic event program, created by a selected expert advisory council, provides relevant industry information specific to current industry trends. Annual Convention is also traditionally an opportunity to honor the association's accomplishments and outstanding member volunteers."Wednesday, October 25. Selected opening keynote speaker Dennis Snow, professional speaker and author, will present a session from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. about "Performance Excellence - The Employee Factor." Based on his 20-years with Walt Disney World along with many years of consulting with organizations around the world, Snow will provide a "how-to" program for engaging employees in delivering outstanding customer service.Thursday, October 26. Selected Thursday keynote speaker Greg Land, global segment leader of travel related services at IBM, will present a session from 3:10 to 4:25 p.m. about "Cognitive Computing and the Digital Guest Experience." Land's presentation will reveal how cognitive computing can be used to personalize the digital guest experience.Friday, October 27. Selected closing keynote speaker Steve McClatchy, speaker and award-winning author of a New York Times best seller, will present a session from 8:00 to 9:45 a.m. titled "Decide to Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress and Lead by Example." McClatchy will teach the audience how to dive performance to increase work and life engagement, and re-gain critical planning and personal time.Online registration is open for Annual Convention 2017. Visit the Annual Convention page on the HFTP website for complete information about all conference events, including the program schedule, hotel and travel details and more. For more information about HFTP's Annual Convention and other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org. Annual Convention 2018 is slated for October 24-27 at the new Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA.For the latest news, follow HFTP/HITEC on HITEC Bytes, PineappleSearch, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube. For more information about HITEC Amsterdam, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org, +1 (512) 249-5333.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) 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.

Yapta Study of Corporate Airfare and Hotel Prices Suggests That Supplier Negotiations May Be a Waste of Time

Yapta, Inc. 7 August 2017
SEATTLE -- Yapta, the leading provider of airfare and hotel price tracking services, today published the findings from its fourth annual study examining the behavior of corporate airfare and hotel prices, revealing alarming data on the performance of negotiated travel rates against spot pricing.The study was based on the observation of over 5 million travel itineraries, equating to approximately $3.7 billion in spend by large and mid-sized corporations, and was conducted using FareIQ, Yapta's airfare price tracking solution, and RoomIQ, Yapta's hotel price tracking solution, over a 12-month period ending April 30, 2017."The results of this study revealed a number of interesting data points, but the insight on the performance of negotiated rates and fares, when compared to public rates and fares, is certainly intriguing," said James Filsinger, President and CEO of Yapta. "The findings bring into question why corporate travel managers endure the lengthy, time-consuming, and cumbersome RFP process when dynamic, publicly available pricing undermines those efforts."Yapta's data showed that hoteliers are offering public rates that are lower than negotiated rates on a statistically significant number of occasions. The data on the top four largest hotel chains - Marriott, Hilton, Starwood and Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) - reveals that they are making their public rates available nearly half as often as when a negotiated rate beats a public rate, coupled with similar savings opportunities. For companies tracking these prices the savings opportunity was significant, ranging from $96 to $170 per stay for lower negotiated rates, and $87 to $132 on lower public rates.Yapta's comparison of corporate negotiated fares to public fares on three of the largest carriers in the United States - American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines - also had telling results. The negotiated fares on American Airlines beat its public fares 10% of the time, while on United that occurred only 6% of the time, and on Delta just 2% of the time. In instances when a lower negotiated fare was originally booked, a publicly available fare becomes available on American Airlines 6% of the time, and 5% of the time on both Delta and United. It could be concluded that Delta's negotiated fares rarely beat out its public fares, and its public fares beat its negotiated fares nearly three-times as often.Other key findings from the study include:The top 10 most volatile hotel rates by brandKimpton and W Hotels are the most volatile brands, with Hyatt Regency, Westin and Le Meridien rounding out the top 10. This year's top 10 list has a much broader mix of chains, while past years have been dominated by Starwood and Hyatt.Hotel rate volatility by city and monthThe analysis revealed that for hotels booked in May, there is a significantly higher probability that a price drop will occur, and for the travel month of November, prices exhibit lesser volatility. The top three cities with the greatest hotel price volatility are London, San Francisco, and New York.The top 10 most price volatile airlinesVirgin Atlantic Airlines is the carrier with the highest level of price volatility, followed by Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airlines. For the first time since Yapta has produced its annual White Paper, neither British Airways, Lufthansa, nor American Airlines appear in the top 10.Airfare volatility by days-to-departureContrary to most thinking, Yapta found that, on average, air ticket prices drop the closer to the departure date. The data shows that 29% of airlines' price drops occur 21 days or more in advance, dropping to 16% in the 15-21 day advance purchase timeframe, followed by an increase to 27% 8-14 days prior to departure, then returning to 29% within one week of departure.The study also examined:Airfare volatility by origin and destinationAirfare volatility by industryThe most volatile city pairs by airlineThe top 10 most volatile hotel rates by brand and cityHow amenities, room type, bed type impact hotel ratesCompanies adopting FareIQ see an opportunity to save on more than 11 percent of all air travel itineraries, with an average identified savings of $260 per ticket. Any savings identified by FareIQ on behalf of its customers are over and above any airline imposed change fees and agency re-booking fees, ensuring customers see true value to their bottom line.RoomIQ dynamically monitors U.S. domestic and international hotel bookings, looking for rate reductions at the same hotel. Once a savings opportunity has been identified, RoomIQ then issues an alert in the local currency. Companies utilizing RoomIQ are seeing an opportunity to save on approximately 12 percent of all hotel bookings tracked - with an average savings of $109 per booking. Overall, RoomIQ has helped these companies lower their ADR by 4.7 percent.As the only company that provides total trip price assurance, Yapta has delivered more than $80 million in airfare and hotel savings to companies around the world. On average, companies see a combined savings of $369 per trip by tracking both airfare and hotel prices together with Yapta.For more information about Yapta's airfare and hotel price tracking technology or to download a copy of the latest whitepaper, please visit www.yapta.com.

2017 Call for HOSPA Career Investment Scholarship entrants 2017

HOSPA 2 August 2017
In total 10 HOSPA Career Investment Development Scholarships are available this year. Successful applicants will have the chance to learn from, and be recognised by, senior members of the hospitality industry at HOSPA's highly acclaimed annual HOSPACE 2017 Conference and Exhibition on 2 November at the newly refurbished Royal Lancaster Hotel, London.HOSPA is delighted that once again HIT Scotland (Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland) - whose mission is "assisting people to achieve their potential within Scottish hospitality" - is offering one HOSPA Career Development Scholarships of its own to Scotland's talented 30 year-olds and under, studying or working in hospitality finance, revenue management, marketing and IT.In addition to the HOSPA scholarship offered by HIT Scotland, HOSPA is very pleased to announce 'Career Investment Development Scholarship' opportunities for four upcoming young people, 30 years old and under on 28 October 2017, working in hospitality finance, revenue management, marketing and IT.Also, HOSPA is offering 'Future Career Investment Development Scholarships' for five aspiring final-year hospitality students, who have excelled in their current studies, and are planning to start their hospitality industry careers in Autumn 2017.Candidates for the two award categories must be nominated accordingly by senior members of the industry and course leaders. (See Notes to Editors for entry criteria)The 2017 HOSPA Scholarship Awards will afford the 10 lucky winners an unparalleled opportunity to be noticed and publicly recognised for their outstanding achievements in the work-place and the classroom. Their prizes will comprise a full day's attendance at HOSPACE 2017; places at HOSPA's Conference Gala Awards Dinner where their achievements will be recognised; and the chance to be individually featured in the Conference Edition of the monthly HOSPA journal, The Overview."We are greatly indebted to IDeaS for their sponsorship," said HOSPA Chief Executive Jane Pendlebury. "The HOSPA Career Development Scholarships provide a great career stepping-stone for networking with, and learning and gaining recognition from, current industry leaders in the key disciplines of hospitality finance, revenue management, marketing and IT."It is also an invaluable opportunity for successful candidates to learn from the conference sessions, and participate in our education workshops on future business best practice. In the evening at the Conference Awards Dinner, they will be able to meet and gain inspiration from the newly crowned Hospitality Finance, Revenue Management and IT Professionals of the Year 2017."The closing date for nominations is 16 October 2017. All candidates will be notified before 20 October 2017. The nomination forms for Career Investment Development Scholarships and Future Career Investment Development Scholarships can be downloaded from: http://www.hospace.net/delegates/scholarships/ . HOSPACE2017 details can be found on www.hospace.org

HFTP Announces Advisory Council for its Second Annual HITEC Amsterdam in April 2018

HFTP 2 August 2017
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), the only organization producing nonprofit hospitality events at an international level, including the world's largest Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), is pleased to announce the advisory council for its second annual HITEC Amsterdam. The next HITEC Amsterdam will take place from April 11-13, 2018 at the RAI Convention Centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.The HITEC Amsterdam Advisory Council met in Amsterdam this month to plan the upcoming conference's educational program. Sessions planned by the pan-European group will address the issues of top concern to the hospitality technology field. HITEC Amsterdam is an extension of HFTP's tremendously successful HITEC, which just completed its 45th year."HFTP was overwhelmed by the success of its inaugural HITEC Amsterdam in March 2017, and is delighted to bring the event back in April 2018," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE. "The HITEC Amsterdam Advisory Council worked hard when they met last month to design an educational program that will radiate interest and knowledge-sharing amongst attendees."Planning for HITEC Amsterdam is in full swing with guidance from an advisory council representing six European countries. The council is chaired by Carson Booth, CHTP and vice-chaired by Derek Wood. The HITEC Amsterdam Advisory Council who are among Europe's finest hospitality technology group are:Carson Booth, CHTP, startup technology consultant, GermanyFergus Boyd, vice president of digital and IT at Yotel, LondonJames Byrne, owner at Eccleston Square Hotel, LondonMark Campbell, chief information officer at Dorchester Collection, LondonAlly Dombey, director at Revenue by Design, LondonGerhard Finster, owner at Arcadia Hotels Group, GermanyThierry Guiraudios, chief information officer at chez Louvre Hotels Group, FranceAlvaro Hidalgo, managing partner at First Logic Consulting, SpainTimo Kettern, director of IT at Lapithus Hotel Management, GermanyLodewijk Klootwijk, chief executive officer at European Golf Course Owners Association, The NetherlandsPhil Le Brun, vice president and segment chief information officer at McDonald's Corporation, LondonMichael Levie, CHTP, executive at citizenM, The NetherlandsIan Millar, CHTP, professor of IT at Ecole Hoteliere De Lausanne, SwitzerlandSophie Pommois, project director of global distribution at Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), SwitzerlandMichiel Roelfsema, deputy general manager at Hotel Okura Amsterdam, The NetherlandsHenri Roelings, founder and CEO at Hsyndicate, The NetherlandsBarry Thomas, CHTP, area director of information technology at Rosewood Hotel, LondonDerek Wood, managing director at Derek Wood Associates Ltd, EnglandLyle Worthington, CHTP, CIO at The Student Hotel, The NetherlandsIn traditional HITEC fashion, HITEC Amsterdam will include an exhibit hall, keynote presentations and over 16 educational sessions about trending hospitality technology topics including: blockchain, OTA's, sustainability, service bus, PMS, API, GDPR/DPO, development methodologies, meeting room technology, consumer journey and more.For the latest news, follow HFTP/HITEC on HITEC Bytes, PineappleSearch, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube. For more information about HITEC Amsterdam, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org, +1 (512) 249-5333.About HITEC HITEC is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education, and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place. The unparalleled event offers attendees essential education, access to top hospitality technology industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines. Combined with the intimate opportunities to connect with fellow professionals, HITEC has everything to enhance your career.Historically hosted annually in a different city throughout the United States, HFTP decided to break tradition in 2017 by hosting three HITEC events all taking place outside of U.S. borders- in Toronto, Amsterdam and Dubai. This will be the first time the global association's largest HITEC event - featuring thousands of hospitality professionals from around the world - will take place outside of the U.S. In 2017, HFTP is producing its larger HITEC Toronto as well as two additional, inaugural HITEC events: HITEC Amsterdam and HITEC Dubai. For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec. Download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website.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.

New Board Member Expands Direction of HTNG

HTNG 1 August 2017
Bill Martin, CIO of AEG, has been elected to HTNG's Board of Governors, strengthening the direction of the organization's hospitality expansion.HTNG recently announced their name change from Hotel Technology Next Generation to Hospitality Technology Next Generation to signal expansion into other hospitality verticals. Bill's addition to the Board will provide vast insight and jump-start HTNG's growth into large sport and entertainment venues.As the CIO of AEG, the world's leading sports and live entertainment company, Bill oversees technology strategy and execution for the company's business units: AEG Facilities, which is affiliated with or owns, manages or consults with more than 120 preeminent venues in the world including The O2 Arena, the Sprint Center and the Mercedes-Benz Arenas; AEG Presents, which is dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performances; AEG Real Estate, which develops world-class venues, as well as major sports and entertainment districts like STAPLES Center and L.A. LIVE; AEG Sports, which is the world's largest operator of sports franchises and high-profile sporting events; and AEG Global Partnerships, which oversees worldwide sales and servicing of sponsorships including naming rights, premium seating and other strategic partnerships. Prior to AEG, Bill was the long-running CIO at Royal Caribbean Cruises, where the IT team was regularly recognized for innovation excellence. Bill has been recognized as a "Top Ten Breakaway Leader" at the Global CIO Executive Summit, was a founding member of the Florida CIO Summit, is a governing body member of the Southern California CIO Summit and is on the editorial advisory board for InformationWeek.HTNG's Board of Governors is the key direction-setting body for the organization. With Bill's addition, the Board now consists of 23 CIO-level IT executives from many world-leading hospitality groups.

Tourico Holidays Develops & Launches Olympus X

Tourico Holidays 27 July 2017
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Tourico Holidays, one of the world's fastest growing wholesale travel brokerage companies, today announced that it has developed and launched Olympus X, a proprietary platform designed to help travel distribution clients improve inventory accuracy, identify hotel deals with the highest profit margins, and increase sales. The first-of-its-kind interactive dashboard also provides detailed monthly reports where clients can view all of their bookings, total room nights, cancellation ratios, average daily rates (ADR), year-over-year and month-over-month growth, the best hotel opportunities for boosting profits, and many other valuable data points.Olympus X also enables Tourico to view client inventory and bookings and offer its sales support. Using the platform, Tourico can help identify high-margin hotels and ExclusiveDeals, Tourico's selection of pre-purchased hotel room blocks, that a client may be missing from its inventory. The intuitive program maps out a client's sales region and ensures inventory from that area is current, while prioritizing the best hotel deal options. The platform enables Tourico sales managers to monitor client trends, recognize areas of opportunity, and help clients strengthen their margins."Olympus X is truly the first all-inclusive, interactive platform for travel distributors that not only allows them to capture real-time data that is critical to day-to-day operations, but it also identifies areas of potential improvement and growth," said Lev Koutamonov, the Vice President of Professional Services for Tourico Holidays. "Never has there been a singular platform that proactively updates and assists travel distributors with their business, and offers them the automated reporting that brings it all together."Several industry-wide problems led to the development of Tourico's professional services technology. Until now, Tourico sales managers did not have visibility into clients' systems regarding Tourico product, making it extremely difficult to identify how to improve sales and profits. Fragmentation of information and business tools was also a primary obstacle for clients, preventing them from improving their reaction time and efficiency."Between great company leadership, a team of highly qualified engineers, developers, and programmers, and working directly with clients on process improvement, we were able to create a solution to a longstanding industry issue," said Koutamonov. "We're looking forward to using the new platform to help all of our clients take their businesses to the next level."

Phocuswright Battleground: 16 of Travel's Most Innovative Companies Compete in One-Day Event

Phocuswright 25 July 2017
Phocuswright Innovation PlatformBattleground: The AmericasSeptember 12, 2017The Plug and Play CenterSunnyvale, CASunnyvale, CA -- Phocuswright has created a stand-alone Battleground event. Debuting September 12 at the Plug and Play Tech Center, the world's largest startup accelerator, 16 finalists will compete for a chance to take the stage at the annual Phocuswright Conference in November.Battleground will feature the most innovative early-stage travel startups from North, Central and South America. This one-day event is dedicated to bringing promising travel innovators into the limelight to demonstrate fresh ideas in front of potential investors and partners.Attendees will have an unprecedented chance to see the industry's youngest innovators live for an entry fee of just $199."We will showcase for our first-time attendees the next market-changing innovations, fresh ideas, new partners and investment opportunities," said Simon Lehmann, Phocuswright President. "With this expansion we give more members of our industry a chance to see the future on stage and get excited about the amazing possibilities for the future of the travel industry."The event will feature a keynote from Sam Shank, CEO & Co-Founder of HotelTonight, a panel conversation state of innovation and investment in travel, and a Phocuswright research presentation of insights from the upcoming The State of Startups 2005-2017 report series.During the Battleground, participants have six minutes each to demonstrate their innovations to a panel of sometimes ruthless and uncensored judges. The top two companies will move on to present at Summit during The Phocuswright Conference among 1,800 of the most influential leaders in travel.Plug and Play Tech Center in Silicon Valley is a venture fund, innovation platform, startup accelerator, and corporate innovation consultancy.For those interested in applying, applications close on July 31 - and this year, there is no fee to apply or demonstrate. Eligible applicants will be part of a startup company 4 years or younger, based in North America, Central America or South America, have $2M or less in funding and pass a rigorous Phocuswright screening.Attendee registration is also open.

HFTP and OpenTravel - Announce Newest Partnership in Systems Standards Horizon

HFTP 25 July 2017
The nonprofit groups, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) and Open Travel Alliance (OpenTravel) have announced a partnership to accelerate the support of travel industry distribution standards, as well as the creation and adoption of hospitality technology standards across the entire spectrum of the global consumer travel experience. Of top priority to both organizations are mobile standards for use within the industry, which are first on the work list.To facilitate the intended projects, OpenTravel will co-locate its corporate office with HFTP Global headquarters in Austin, Texas, USA, starting in August 2017. The move will enable the organizations to combine resources to help develop standards that ease communications between disparate technology systems, enabling stakeholders to conduct business more efficiently.More than 25 years ago, HFTP was given a mandate by its members to lead in establishing information processing practices and standards explains Frank Wolfe, CEO for HFTP. He said, "HFTP represents stakeholders from the cruise line to the casino, fairway to foodservice, the motel to the midway, and the resort to recreation, across the globe. OpenTravel also represents every one of these verticals, and by partnering on this objective, both of our organizations will better serve our stakeholders."Individually, the two organizations represent stakeholders that do not fully overlap; but combined, there are no other groups that encompass this broad horizontal reach. OpenTravel represents the enterprise and HFTP represents individual professionals, together they represent the full consumer experience."OpenTravel's 1.0 XML Messaging Standards are paramount among the travel standards and our new 2.0 Object Model will positively impact the consumer experience for years to come," said Mike Tinkey, CEO for OpenTravel. "OpenTravel continues to enable the future for the connected consumer end to end with their business and leisure travel across all aspects of travel including, but not limited to, airlines, lodging of all types, cruise lines, car rental firms, railways, ground transportation, leisure suppliers, solutions providers, service providers, travel agencies, tour operators, technology companies and distributors, and events of all types. HFTP's resources will allow us to accelerate standards awareness, adoption and utilization."Both HFTP and OpenTravel are in the process of planning upcoming events in Orlando, Florida USA. Visit the organizations' respective websites for the latest updates at www.opentravel.org and www.hftp.org.About OpenTravelOpenTravel is a global not-for-profit trade association founded in 1999 by travel companies across all travel verticals, with a primary focus on the creation of electronic message structures to facilitate communication between disparate systems in the travel industry. OpenTravel is the source of the most adopted cross industry technology standards that enable business and leisure solutions driven by the travel industry. For more information on OpenTravel membership, please email: info@opentravel.org.About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) 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.

Here's Why You Should Not Miss the Skift Global Forum in NYC

Hospitality Net 21 July 2017
The Skift Global Forum in NYC is one of the most anticipated events of the year for travel and hospitality professionals and time is running out for those who want to plan a business trip to attend.With a stellar roster of speakers, the conference promises to bring great value to the attendees. Personalities like Stephen Kaufer (CEO TripAdvisor), Edward H. Bastian (CEO Delta Airlines), Dara Khosrowshahi (CEO Expedia), Glenn Fogel (CEO The Priceline Group), and Richard D. Fain (CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.) among several others will take the stage to deliver what the audience expects to be the "TED Talks of travel.""Take a day or two out, come, sit back, and listen, and we will promise you the best creative brainfood for the year," wrote Skift's CEO and Founder Rafat Ali in an article introducing the Skift Global Forum 2016. You can expect this promise to hold for the fourth edition of the conference in 2017 too.The speakers are the main reason for you to plan a trip to New York City this September. The early bird tickets already sold out, and the organizers expect more than 1000 travel professionals from across all industry sectors to attend the Skift Global Forum 2017. The venue chosen for the event is the Frederick P. Rose Hall at the Jazz at Lincoln Center performing arts complex.The conference is just three months away, and a full access ticket costs $ 3495. Thanks to a partnership between Skift, HospitalityNet, Travel Daily USA, Travel+SocialGood, Priority Pass, and Wanderful you now have a chance to attend the forum for free if you enter this giveaway. If you are lucky you will win a round-trip flight to New York City, a two-night stay at The Empire Hotel, a Skift Global Forum Priority Pass Standard Membership ticket, and four airport lounge visits.Hsyndicate.org CEO and Founder Henri Roelings encourages you to enter the giveaway for a chance to meet in person: "Make sure to grab your chance to win the ultimate Skift Global Forum package... and maybe we will meet in NYC in September 26-27."ENTER TO WINThe Skift Global Forum is "designed to inspire travel professionals about the business and creative potential of the world's largest industry," according to its organizers. More than a conference, it is an event where you can meet like-minded professionals, learn about the latest industry trends and forecasts, and even form new partnerships.

Travel Industry Must Overcome Economic and Political Disruption to Harness Future Growth

Amadeus 21 July 2017
New report from A.T. Kearney, 'What if? Imagining the future of the travel industry', identifies trends of personalization and seamless travel as key drivers of success in the next five to seven yearsReport also outlines four different world scenarios of the future, and warns that the emergence of protectionism and populism could hinder future commercial opportunities across the industryThe travel industry must be better prepared for economic and political disruption if it is to make the most of future economic growth, a new report from A.T. Kearney outlines today. Whilst the sharing economy, virtual reality and the Internet of Things are all improving the traveler experience, international geo-political, social and economic developments are disrupting and polarizing the world as we know it, limiting the industry's potential for future prosperity unless companies act now the report says.Against this backdrop, A.T. Kearney highlights two key trends that are changing the travel industry landscape, and driving future success:Personalized travel experiences versus mass market. Technology enables the aggregation of consumer data and the use of Artificial Intelligence to learn about traveler behavior. In addition, it may help to meet individual needs, instead of a more traditional one-size-fits-all approach.Seamless travel versus fragmentation. Truly seamless travel will require governmental cooperation and data sharing between businesses: from airports and airlines to destination services such as hotels, restaurants, and ground transportation.Based on these two key trends, Amadeus and A.T. Kearney have identified four future-looking world scenarios that travel companies need to prepare for today, if they are to maximize future growth and success tomorrow:The Picasso scenario is built on a fragmented world marked by the rise of populism and by heightened security concerns. This has the effect of making more travel destinations off-limits. Even so, most parts of the world enjoy economic growth. Companies invest in innovation to reach more customers through mobile channels, and this interaction enables businesses to provide more sophisticated personalized offers.The Dali scenario assumes that both social attitudes and economic prosperity create a more favorable environment towards sharing data. This brings about more relaxed privacy laws and lighter regulation, which allows for greater personalization of travel. Living in the Dali scenario, travel becomes faster, cheaper, and safer. People benefit from less security controls at borders and have real-time information about unexpected events such as flight delays.In the Bosch scenario, business costs rise across the industry as companies struggle to comply with a mosaic of different legal, tax, labor and data protection laws. We are confronting a fragmented world based on protectionism and distrust. Facing Bosch's political environment, travelers seek comfort in trusted brands and book directly with well-known travel providers.The Warhol scenario is characterized by seamless and not personalized travel that considers the implications of strong economic growth in Asia, giving rise to a large middle class with more disposable income for travel and leisure. Travelers would rather go for low cost, mass-market travel instead of having personalized options even in a world free of barriers."Technology has never held more promise for the travel industry," says Alex Luzarraga, Vice President Corporate Strategy of Amadeus IT Group. "But the status quo is being turned on its head. There is widespread mistrust and populism. Things we used to take for granted, such as the right to travel across Europe without passports, for example, may be less likely in the future. It is important to evaluate and understand, in partnership with A.T. Kearney, those issues that will continue to confront and disrupt the industry in the coming five to seven years, so we can as an industry be better prepared to deal with those issues, and also stimulate economic growth and success as a result.""The report is based on the perspectives of a broad range of stakeholders from across the travel and technology worlds. It illustrates a broad view of the future, which allows companies to uncover their organizational blind spots. Moreover, the study tests existing plans against industry outlooks, and helps us understand 'no regret' moves and imperatives in company strategy. This paper will provide an interesting perspective to the businesses that wish to prosper in the travel industry in the coming years," says Yelena Ageyeva-Furman, Principal, London, at A.T. Kearney.Commissioned by Amadeus, the study was based on a series of industry workshops and interviews from across the technology and travel industries. To learn more about the research and to download the What if? Imagining the future of the travel industry report, please click here.A.T. KearneyA.T. Kearney is a leading global management consulting firm with offices in more than 40 countries. Since 1926, we have been trusted advisors to the world's foremost organizations. A.T. Kearney is a partner-owned firm, committed to helping clients achieve immediate impact and growing advantage on their most mission-critical issues. For more information, visit www.atkearney.com.

NH Digital Transformation Day 2017, face time with the Executive Committee

NH Hoteles 19 July 2017
The Group is offering a unique opportunity launching a global call to digitalisation or technology-based companies with solutions ready to be implemented into the hospitality industryThe aim of the initiative is to identify solutions that contribute to improving the guest experience, driving revenue growth or enhancing the Group's productivityThe companies selected will be given the chance to exclusively present their products or services to the chief decision-makers at one of the world's largest hospitality groupsThe initiative is part of the Group's strategy for accelerating its digital evolution, having profoundly transformed its systems and infrastructure in recent yearsNH Hotel Group has launched NH Digital Transformation Day, an original initiative under which any company with a digital or technology proposals with solutions applicable to the hospitality industry will be offered the chance to showcase, without filters, their product or service credentials before the multinational's highest executive management.To this end, the Company has issued a global call to which enterprises whose solutions are ready for implementation and applicable to the hotel sector can respond. The Company is particularly interested in the following areas of application: improving the guest experience, driving revenue growth or boosting the Group's productivity.Of all the proposals received, a maximum of 25 companies will be selected and given the chance to make their pitches in 15 minutes to the Company's highest decision-making body. NH's Executive Committee is made up of senior executives with expertise in a range of areas such as resource management, hotel operations, finance, revenue management, sales and marketing, among others.From today, and until 4 August, any technology or digital company, regardless of its size, whether it is a start-up or a major multinational, can send NH Hotel Group its proposal, describing its solution and the associated benefits and costs.The initiative is part of the NH Hotel Group's strategy for accelerating its transformation, a process that is giving the Company a unique and cross-cutting vision of the business, generating process efficiencies along its entire value chain, making the most of the economies of scale to be unlocked at a company of its size and improving the guest experience. "We have overhauled our systems and currently boast a 100% integrated digital platform that is enabling us to adopt and adapt any technological development of importance to our business far more efficiently and speedily than before" said Rufino Perez, Chief Operating Officer & Executive Managing Director of Resources NH Hotel Group.The challenge which is currently facing NH Hotel Group is to be able to make smart and nimble choices when selecting and implementing the solutions that will enable it to reinforce its sector leadership. The vertiginous speed at which digital formats and technological innovation are advancing has prompted the Company to create NH Digital Transformation Day, an event at which its top executives and finest technology experts will have the chance to assess the most innovative solutions of interest to the Company directly with their creators, without intermediaries.By launching this debut edition of this initiative, the Group hopes to deliver two goals: on the one hand, to learn about new products and services of interest to the Company; on the other, to send the message to the international technology community that once again NH Hotel Group is open to innovative projects and solutions with the potential to positively impact the business and its guest relations.From 15 July until 4 August, interested companies can send in their proposals, in English or in Spanish, to the following dedicated e-mail address: digitaltransformationday@nh-hotels.com(link sends e-mail)TERMS AND CONDITIONSTo be eligible to have the opportunity to present your product or service:Prepare a one page description* of your product or service, explaining in detail the benefits and costsSend the document written in English or Spanish before August 4th 2017 to: digitaltransformationday@nh-hotels.com(link sends e-mail)No matter your company's size if you a have a promising and developed project. Keep in mind that this initiative is not an incubator for projects or ideas. The technological / digital solution must be already developed, applicable to the hospitality industry and ready to implementProducts / services not implemented in hotel competitors will be positively valued25 companies will be selected and will be able to make their presentation face to face for 15 minutes to the Executive Committee of NH Hotel Group in October 2017* The application will be limited to a single page document written in English or Spanish with Times New Roman Font (minimum size 11 points and single spacing) with an extension of no more than 4,000 characters (with spaces). Links to vides or photos of the solutions will be accepted as complementary documentation, although such links must be included on the application page, not as the object of the application. The page must describe the solution, its benefits for the company and implementation costs. Applications that do not meet these conditions will not be attended. Participation in this process is not a contract in any case, nor a commitment to purchase by NH Hotel Group.

HSMAI Washington DC Announces State of the Industry Program

HSMAI 18 July 2017
The annual State of the Industry program, sponsored by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International's Washington, D.C., chapter to help area hospitality sales, marketing and revenue-management professionals prepare their plans and budgets for 2018, will be held Aug. 17 in McLean, Virginia.The program will feature Mark Carrier, president of B.F. Saul Company, Bethesda, Maryland; Veronica Andrews, director of active data, STR, Hendersonville, Tennessee; Elliott Ferguson, president & CEO, Destination DC, Washington; Barry Biggar, president & CEO, Visit Fairfax, Virginia; and John Hach, senior industry analyst, TravelClick, New York.The Aug. 17 event will be hosted by The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean, Virginia, and cosponsored by TravelClick. Registration and a networking reception will begin at 4 p.m. There is no charge for HSMAI members and a $60 fee for nonmembers. Click HERE to register."Our panelists will present the facts, figures and insights that hospitality professionals need to prepare plans and budgets for 2018," said Jennifer Hill, HSMAI Washington DC Chapter chair and Highgate regional director, revenue & distribution. "The State of the Industry is our most popular program of the year and my personal favorite. I encourage all area hospitality executives to join us for this valuable event."About HSMAI Washington DC ChapterHSMAI Washington DC Chapter is an affiliate of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, an individual membership organization based in McLean, Virginia, composed of more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. HSMAI is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners and is the industry's leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing and optimize revenue through programs including the Adrian Awards and Revenue Optimization Conference. Click here to join HSMAI. For more information, go to www.hsmaidc.org.

How technology is helping restaurants connect with guests - JLL Real Views

JLLH 18 July 2017
From touch-screen tables to chatbots taking orders, food retailers are experimenting with technology to attract customers.Domino's is trialing delivery by drone in Australia, while restaurant chains including Itsu, Bill's and the Cheesecake Factory are letting customers pay via their mobile phones.Such innovations enhance the dining experience while boosting convenience for guests and delivering a wealth of insight on customers' habits that help brands further refine their offerings."Technology is a game-changer, both as an enabler and a disruptor," says Adam Griffin, Director of Foodservice Consulting at JLL. "Well-conceived and executed technology is generally enhancing operational efficiency, and consumer engagement."Digital evolution, real-world changesNowhere has technology had a more profound impact on the food retail industry than in the development of on-demand delivery apps."Around the world, the biggest technology trend in food has been in building that connection between restaurants and guests," says Griffin. "Apps like Deliveroo and UberEats have been able to connect the desire for restaurant-quality food with the capability to deliver it."For restaurants, the change is significant: On-demand delivery apps significantly increase the amount of food orders but restaurants don't need the manpower nor space to cater for more guests."This is an inspired business model - businesses may pay 20 percent of profits to an on-demand delivery app, but they increase their customers by 30 percent without needing to pay for the real estate for those customers," Griffin says.Yet the growing popularity of food-to-go apps comes with challenges, especially for shopping centres which usually lease spaces to restaurants based on turnover. Because the additional turnover afforded by on-demand delivery doesn't go through the physical space, restaurants don't pay more on their lease, but the shopping centres must deal with the additional load of the turnover - for example, the extra waste generated, or the traffic of couriers coming to pick up orders.It will fall to restaurants to adapt, Griffin believes. "Restaurateurs absolutely must redesign their spaces to accommodate the rising use of on-demand delivery apps," he says.For example, a restaurant could designate a service entrance and make a couple of new hires especially for packaging food-to-go. For shopping centers, a service bay would allow couriers to park their motorbikes. Major on-demand delivery companies might even invest in their own branded service area."There's a lot of growing up around technology in food retail that needs to happen," Griffin says.The power of getting personalOther food retailers are making use of technology to fine-tune how they attract guests. In London, Maxwell's Bar invested in making itself a location in Pokemon Go, increasing revenues by 26 percent. Paris's Wall Street Bar plays to its finance-centric demographic by updating the price of drinks every 100 seconds.For shopping centres, fast, consistent Wi-Fi is the backbone of modernizing retail spaces. "Constant connectivity allows retailers to build digital connections with guests - in other words a relationship," Griffin says.Not only does solid Wi-Fi boost convenience for customers, connecting to customers' smartphones as soon as they enter the mall delivers a wealth of insight to improve offerings - from understanding where shoppers may bottleneck, to streamlining visitors to food and beverage outlets.For example, shopping centres might design an app that lets visitors virtually join queues at their restaurants, or push personalised discounts to their smartphones to direct the flow of diners. Specific restaurants could, like Restaurant Tang in Stockholm, have apps that let customers see meals before ordering them.The risks of high-tech improvementsTechnology can increase retailers' potential - but as Griffin notes, it also increases their potential to fail.Hyper-personalization of offers that turns out to be inaccurate can be irritating, and even deter guests from logging into networks or using apps. As well, making too much available - such as information about menu items - could end up drowning guests in unnecessary detail."The biggest risk is that technology makes a promise, but the physical world prevents the promise being kept," Griffin says. A guest may be happy to wait 45 minutes, but not when an arrival time of 15 minutes has been promised.Food's future technologyYet tech has a key role to play in the future of food retail. From self-ordering to automated serving to 3D printed food, fast-food restaurants are a good barometer of where technology can take food retail. Wendy's and Panera are rolling self-service kiosks where customers can order and pay - with zero human interaction.Self-service kiosks are now in use at every one of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. locations - and even the deep-frying of its French fries is controlled entirely by automaton."The innovations that seem fun or unique now - like ordering from iPad, robotics, drone delivery - will become the dividing line between two types of restaurants: those that are more experiential, and lower-end restaurants whose service is fully automated," says Griffin.Rising labor wages mean that for fast-service restaurants to stay cheap, automated processes that replace human staff are likely to be adopted. Higher-end restaurants will therefore evolve to focus more sharply on an experience: from highly trained waiter service to sleek apps and virtual reality technology, all designed to enhance the on- and offline richness of a meal."The thing about technology is that it is inherently unpredictable but there's no doubt that in 10 or even five years' time, the physical and digital worlds will be much more intertwined than they are now," Griffin says. "And food is as susceptible to advances in technology, and the structural change it brings as any other industry."Download Report

Accenture Interactive, Marriott International and 1776 Launch the Travel Experience Incubator

Marriott 18 July 2017
Accenture Interactive, Marriott International, and 1776 , a leading global incubator and network for startups, today announced the launch of the Travel Experience Incubator, a new program designed to discover and foster startups working on innovative technologies and solutions to improve the travel experience. The incubator will bring together the hospitality industry expertise of one of the world's most innovative companies, Marriott International, and its official Travel Experience Incubator partner, Accenture Interactive, along with participating startups, to co-create unique and inventive new experiences for travelers.Startups are invited to immediately apply to The Travel Experience Incubator Challenge. Selected startups will be invited to participate in The Travel Experience Incubator, a three-month, travel industry focused program with opportunities for paid piloting and investment at the program's conclusion. The incubator will kick off in September 2017 at 1776's Crystal City Campus in Arlington, Virginia.The selected participants will receive a dedicated curriculum, drawing on the hospitality expertise of Marriott leadership, Accenture experts and the 1776 global mentor network. Through the program, startups will develop, validate, and test travel solutions using data and technology, with the goal to increase customer connectedness and enhance travel experiences.Marriott will draw on its deep experience in the hospitality business, supporting the incubator with its data-rich knowledge of customers as well as mentors from its executive team to coach the startups. Accenture will provide resources focused on human-centered design and digital technologies, as well as proprietary tools to help accelerate and scale real-time solutions. Startups will also will have access to Accenture's deep industry expertise in hospitality to lend additional mentorship and insight throughout the program. Accenture has proven experience working with the startup community through Accenture Ventures, which partners with and invests in growth-stage companies that create innovative enterprise technologies using an open innovation approach."Now, more than ever, people want their travel to be tailored, hyper-personalized and connected," said Julie Sweet, Accenture's Chief Executive Officer - North America. "As the official Travel Experience Incubator partner with Marriott, we are uniquely positioned to collaborate and scale innovation across the startup community to create new experiences for travelers.""We see The Travel Experience Incubator as a terrific opportunity to fuel promising startups focused on game-changing innovation for the lodging industry. We look forward to collaborating with these independent visionaries to reveal new business opportunities and enhanced guest experiences," said Stephanie Linnartz, Global Chief Commercial Officer, Marriott International. "Continuously innovating the guest experience from design to technology is a centerpiece of Marriott's culture and competitive advantage.""We've seen the success that is possible when startups and corporations work together to find better technological solutions, and the Travel Experience Incubator is an exciting opportunity to accomplish that in an established and global industry," said Evan Burfield, co-founder and CEO at 1776. "Large, forward-thinking companies, like Accenture and Marriott, are engaging successfully with startups, looking at startups as discovery arms and co-collaborators for innovation."More information about the Travel Experience Incubator Challenge, including the related application, is available on the 1776 website, click here.About Accenture InteractiveAccenture Interactive, part of Accenture Digital, helps the world's leading brands transform their customer experiences across the entire customer journey. Through our connected offerings in design, marketing, content and commerce, we create new ways to win in today's experience-led economy. Accenture Interactive was ranked the world's largest digital agency in the latest Ad Age Agency Report. To learn more follow us @accentureACTIVE and visit www.accentureinteractive.com.About AccentureAccenture (NYSE: ACN) is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions - underpinned by the world's largest delivery network - Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 411,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.About 17761776 is a public benefit corporation that empowers startup ecosystems around the world to solve complex challenges. To accomplish this, the company leverages its digital startup network, UNION; physical campuses in Washington, D.C., New York City, San Francisco and Dubai; a global startup pitch competition, Challenge Cup; and deep staff expertise in regulatory issues. 1776 accelerates connections and outcomes among startups, corporations, and public institutions. For more information, please visit www.1776.vc and follow @1776 on Twitterand @1776vc on Instagram.

New HEDNA White Paper Tackles Key Payment Challenges

HEDNA 10 July 2017
HEDNA (the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) today released its newest white paper - Payment Trends and Future Best Practices in the Hotel Sector - a work product of HEDNA's Global Hospitality Payment Working Group, co-chaired by Mike Carlo (Onyx CenterSource) and Pascal Burg (Edgar, Dunn & Company).The white paper is based on the findings of the payment working group, representing more than 50 hotel, technology and payment companies' input over the past 18 months. Its objective was to gain a better understanding of the current situation related to payments in the hospitality sector, access available solutions that would address the key challenges, and recommend future best practices in three key areas: guest-centric payments; B2B payments; and commissions.Payment processing for the hotel industry has become increasingly complex with the advance of technology and rising demand from customers in today's digital world. HEDNA's Global Hospitality Payment Working Group was formed to help provide clarity on options, design and best practices for the entire stream of payment processing in the hotel industry."The primary intent for the Working Group and the payment trends and future best practices white paper is to review the payment process and infrastructure existing today, compare and learn from other industries and to identify a vision of where hotels can and should be in the near term," explains Carlo, co-chair of the working group.Among the key findings:Payment strategies will become guest-centric and move away from legacy property-based payment offerings.Conventional wisdoms need to be revisited. Prepaid does not necessarily equal discounted (e.g. first class plane tickets).Payment processing for cross border guests can move from a cost-center to a profit center with consideration of FX conversion and Alternate Forms of Payment.Payments from third parties and brands will be far more efficient with an industry recommended integrated payment manager technology solution.Commission payments will function increasingly efficiently and transparently over the coming years.HEDNA's Payment Trends and Future Best Practices in the Hotel Sector white paper and all HEDNA-produced publications can be found on HEDNA's website in the 'What We Do' section here. For the next step in the industry's effort to create Future Best Practices, please join the HEDNA Open Payment Alliance and the Third-Party Commission working groups.

What does technology mean for the future of business travel? - information-age.com

information-age.com 6 July 2017
Business travel is often thought of as solely a necessity for getting from one meeting to another, yet it drives the success of every business in the world.A recent report from the World Travel and Tourism Council and Travelport revealed that business travel accounts for $1.3 trillion of global travel spending annually, and is set to rise at 3.7% per annum over the next ten years. One key reason for this impressive growth has been the industry's adoption of pioneering technology.

Future Traveller Tribes 2030, Understanding Tomorrow's Traveller - An Amadeus Report

Amadeus 6 July 2017
For several decades now, the notion of differentiation between groups of consumers on the basis that they have different characteristics that make them suitable for different products, services and marketing messages has been a well-accepted part of marketing practice. Such groups, which can be referred to as 'segments' or 'tribes', can be differentiated on features such as geographical location, product needs, demographics, product consumption occasions, and others.In recent years, much has been written in the marketing trade press about the latest 'segment of one'. This refers to the idea that modern consumers increasingly demand the kind of personalization in delivery of products and services that successfully treats each consumer as an individual. We believe that considering types of customers is still a valid exercise, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.Back in 2006, Amadeus looked ahead to the world of 2020 and developed Traveller Tribes 2020, a report in which 4 travel groups were designed. Those types of tourist were built largely from functional building blocks such as demographics, nationality and travel behaviour (business versus leisure). Over the past ten years we have seen considerable evolution in societies and technologies, and an increasing awareness of complexity. We occupy multiple roles in our lives, each carrying different responsibilities and requiring different forms of support from brands. Fast-forwarding now to 2015 and the fast-evolving world of technology around us, we believe a new approach is needed.We are now looking at the year 2030 and we have tried to anticipate the types of travellers who will be relevant 15 years from now and we have built our new tribes on the basis of more fundamental and relevant building blocks: we have taken a "psychographic" approach, forming new sets of travellers on the basis of their broadly similar outlooks on, expectations of and objectives for their travel. The traveller tribes are placed within the demographic, consumer and technological contexts that will shape the travel landscape up to 2030.Find in this travel research report the features, behaviours, values and needs of the 6 travel groups that will travel in 2030: Simplicity Searchers, Reward Hunters, Social Capital Seekers, Cultural Purists, Ethical Travellers and Obligation Meeters.

RG Hotels Boosts Revenue At Magnuson Hotels' Memphis Property By 400% In 6 Months

RG Hotels 3 July 2017
Miami, FL -- Since mid-January 2017, RG HOTELS, the industry-leading hotel management company, has boosted revenue at the Magnuson Grand Memphis Airport Hotel, one of the 1000 Magnuson Hotels properties around the world, by 400%. RG HOTELS was chosen to manage the hotel because of the company's dedication to revamping hotels' revenue and profitability, two key performance-related factors that has made Magnuson Hotels one of the largest hotel groups in the world.Like in the case of the Magnuson Grand Memphis Airport Hotel, many hotel managers miss valuable opportunities in their day-to-day operations, which eventually results in millions of dollars of lost revenue. Using RG HOTELS' more than nine years combined experience in boosting bookings, optimizing operational processes and increasing revenue for their hundreds of hotel clients worldwide, the company is able to correct these small mistakes (including eliminating costly human error!), update the property's management processes to better suit the preferences of today's travelers and automate and integrate all internal solutions using algorithmic technology; as a result, RG HOTELS' clients go from significant deficits of money every month, to making huge profits - even upwards of 400% improvements on previous all-time best metrics."Because of our recent alliance with our new global partners (Louvre Hotels Group and Jin Jiang hotels), our company has become even more focused on providing the best possible stay to guests, while maintaining optimal profitability across all of our 1,000 hotels across three continents," said Thomas Magnuson, CEO of Magnuson Hotels. "With this property, we needed a hotel management company with a very innovative approach and that was focused specifically on driving revenue. RG HOTELS has definitely come through on their promises, with an overall boost of more than 400% in the property's revenue in six months.""We are very proud to be working with one of the largest hotel groups in the world, as they are well-known for commitment to providing guests with the best possible stay and, as such, they have strong brand awareness with consumers both domestically and internationally," said Jean Francois Mourier, CEO of RG HOTELS. "We know that both Magnuson Hotels' executives and the Memphis property's management team are very pleased with the results that the hotel has experienced to date and, eventually, RG HOTELS looks forward to working with Magnuson's other properties all around the world."To find out more about the impressive results that RG HOTELS' innovative hotel management practices and technology have achieved for the Magnuson Grand Memphis Airport Hotel or to arrange an interview, please contact Jennifer Nagy at jenn@jlnpr.com or +1.786.420.1160.About Magnuson HotelsSince its launch thirteen years ago, Magnuson Hotels has become America's fastest growing hotel brand and a top 15 global chain, marketing over 1,000 hotels across six countries and three continents. Magnuson Hotels' newly formed distribution partnership with Chinese operator Jin Jiang Hotels and Europe's Louvre Hotels is the world's largest hotel alliance, forming a consortium of over 8,000 hotels and 800,000 rooms worldwide, equal to the size of a top 2 global hotel chain. For more information, visit magnusonworldwide.com or email info@magnusonhotels.com.About the Magnuson Grand Memphis Airport Hotel The Magnuson Grand Memphis Airport is conveniently located two miles from the airport, eight miles to downtown Memphis and minutes from other local attractions. Graceland Mansion, Memphis Zoo, and the Historic Beale Street District are all near the Magnuson Grand. Along with a great location, the pet-friendly Magnuson Grand offers spacious rooms and amenities that offer comfort and convenience at an affordable price. All 240 newly redecorated rooms provide guests with the comforts of home. Standard amenities in all rooms include free high-speed internet access, free local calls, in-room microwaves and mini fridges. For more information, visit the hotel's website.

Louvre Hotels Group is the 1st hotel group to enable its clients to open their 1- to 5-star rooms with their smartphones

Louvre Hotels Group 3 July 2017
It is the very first group in the industry to offer this service for all its hotels regardless of brand, from budget to 5-star hotels.This exclusive innovation meets new consumer demand for a more seamless stay and a new kind of experience. After booking online-anywhere, anytime-clients can now skip check-in and go straight to their room, open the door with their smartphone and take full advantage of their stay until check-out. This system is the latest move in Louvre Hotels Group's continuing drive to digitalise its guest experience."Digitalisation is a way for us to focus on our core profession: hospitality. As a hotel company, we have to rethink the entire client experience value chain. This innovation enables us to reduce the "disturbance zones" related to the arrival and departure stages. As for our employees, they can devote more time welcoming clients and making their stay in one of our hotels even more agreeable." Pierre-Frederic Roulot, CEO Louvre Hotels Group.This innovation integrates three strong trends:Clients want simplified booking and payment processesSeamless check-in and check-out service is a key criteria for client satisfactionNew generations are looking for a human experience with hotel staff as opposed to strictly administrative exchanges.After a positive test phase in two Premiere Classe and Golden Tulip brand hotels, the measure will be extended to some thirty hotels of all different brands, before being gradually rolled out across the Group's entire network."By offering this high-end service, even in budget hotels, Louvre Hotels Group participates in renewing hotel standards and providing a concrete response to changes in consumer modes generated by a native digital population and by codes established by tourism industry newcomers." Francoise Houdebine, VP Marketing Louvre Hotels Group.To take advantage of this service, clients must select this option when booking online. They then download the HotelForYou application and are ready for their 100% digital experience. By improving its HotelForYou services-the hotel industry's first mobile app- Louvre Hotels Group positions itself once more as a pioneer in terms of digital innovation.

RLHC Updates Rewards App and Adds In-Room Apple TV Experience

Red Lion 29 June 2017
New features powered by the Monscierge hospitality platformSPOKANE, Wash. -- RLHC (Red Lion Hotels Corporation) (NYSE:RLH) today is launching a series of new technology initiatives aimed at enhancing the guest experience throughout hotels within its brands, including a new in-room Apple TV experience and updated Hello Rewards app with new check-in/check-out and digital room key features. These new experiences are powered by the Monscierge Connect platform integrated with the hotel's property management system."These are our next steps in the ongoing evolution of developing emerging technology to reduce friction for our guests," said RLHC CEO Greg Mount. "Streamlining guest interactions and improving daily operational efficiencies that translate into fewer overall guest inconveniences remain our focus at RLHC."Apple TV In-Room ExperienceRLHC is beginning deployment of Apple TV throughout hotels within its Hotel RL brand. The Apple TVs will deliver a seamless in-room television experience via a number of different RLHC apps, incorporating aspects of the properties' local free-to-guest TV offering DirectTV, device management and iTunes user security. The app will also feature content from the Hotel RL Living Stage, which highlights local talent and artists performing live onsite across the Hotel RL brand.With Apple TV, RLHC connects the in-room experience to the complete guest journey offered to its guests. That journey begins pre-arrival with SMS messaging between the hotel and guest, then prompts the user to download the Hello Rewards application. Once the guests have arrived onsite, this enhanced journey continues with self-serve check-in options, digital mobile keys, communication and requests from guests to staff, and additional onsite touch-points such as digital signage displaying local recommendations and travel information."Exceeding the expectations of our guests through technology innovation is central to the RLHC mission," said RLHC Chief Information Officer John Edwards. "The new Hotel RL in-room experience on Apple TV will provide our guests with a rich, engaging and personal experience, putting them in control of their stay. The app is also tailored to deliver exclusive content and conveniences that will make our guests' stay even more unique."Updated Hello Rewards AppRLHC's Hello Rewards App for iOS now gives guests the ability to conveniently check in and check out right from their iPhone, as well as manage their loyalty membership account and redeem rewards. RLHC is also introducing digital keys for the first time in the Hello Rewards app, allowing guests to completely bypass the registration desk and use their iPhone to unlock their door. The digital key feature will be available throughout Hotel RL properties."We are constantly looking at ways to service guests with tailored experiences," said Edwards. "We understand that sometimes guests don't prefer engaging with people during travel, so we created a way for people to arrive, check in, proceed directly to their room, and even check out. We want to accommodate them in every way that we can, and our updated Hello Rewards app with new check-in and check-out features, plus digital room keys, deliver on that promise."Apple Watch Valet & iPad Self-Service KiosksTwo frictionless hospitality solutions that RLHC and Monscierge are also rolling out include arming valet staff with Apple Watch and introducing self-service iPad kiosks for lobby areas. Using the Monscierge Connect Staff app, valet staff can manage and action car retrieval requests from their hotel-issued Apple Watch without physically being present at the hotel's valet stand. It's equally convenient for the guest, reducing the potential waiting period for the car return.New self-service iPad kiosks will be available for guests at the Hotel RL brand to use for quick and convenient check-in, especially if there are lines at registration. Guests can also contact customer support from the iPad if they have questions, need assistance, or want to submit a room upgrade request."I see many hotel mobile strategies that haven't yet realized the scope of possibilities at play. It's bigger than just having an app and being able to text a guest - RLHC not only understands this mindset but is defining best practices for brands and owners to transform experiences with technology throughout the entire guest journey. It's changing the relationships with their guests, throughout their entire trip," says Marcus Robinson, CEO, Monscierge.To learn more about RLHC and these new technology initiatives, please visit RLHCo.com.About MonsciergeMonscierge is a global software company specializing in innovative hospitality solutions for properties, owners, and brands. The Monscierge product line, Connect, enhances communication and the relationship between hotel guest and staff through mobile, tablet, large-format touch-screen devices, and a central web-based platform that manages property content. With installations in over 60 countries and multilingual capabilities, Monscierge is dedicated to improving guest experiences and hotel staff efficiency throughout all hospitality service tiers. Monscierge is proud to be an Apple mobility partner. www.monscierge.com

Paymentwall opens $524 billion market for the travel industry

28 June 2017
HITEC Conference, Toronto, Canada -- Paymentwall announced today that every hotel, booking engine, cruise, car and boat rental business owner from United States and Canada will now be able to get instant access to untapped markets in Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America."We solved a major problem that most travellers face every day: If you don't have a credit or debit card, how do you book a hotel or international trip?" says Pelin Dede, Paymentwall's Head of Travel. "We've discovered that more than 40 percent of people worldwide don't have credit or debit cards, creating $524 billion untapped market for the travel industry".Paymentwall's research shows that only 45 percent of people worldwide prefer to use credit cards to complete online purchases, with almost 55 percent catering to alternative payment methods, such as ewallets, cash, bank transfers, prepaid cards and mobile payments.Paymentwall makes it possible for travellers to use over 150 local payment methods, such as Sofort in Germany, iDeal in Netherlands, Qiwi in Russia, Mercadopago in Brazil, or Alipay in China, making it the most global payment provider for the travel industry.Paymentwall surpasses current offerings on the market with a full suite of included features, including dispute resolution, PCI DSS certification, 24/7 customer support & fraud prevention teams, machine learning algorithms, in-depth analytics, customizable checkout and localization services.

Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC)

HSMAI 28 June 2017
Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, ON, CanadaFor fourteen years, HSMAI's Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC) has been the place where hotel revenue leaders unite for education, collaboration, and innovation. Annually, this conference delivers the most compelling and comprehensive revenue management event for the hotel industry, and convenes more than 600 key stakeholders to address the most critical trends affecting revenue management in hotels today. With powerful educational and networking opportunities, this is the can't-miss conference of the year for learning and engagement.It's where senior leaders in hotel revenue management connect and engage in meaningful, thought-provoking conversations about the most important strategic issues facing the business today.Hear what industry leaders have to say about the conference:QUICK LINKSWhat's Not to Miss in 2017RegistrationScheduleEducationPre-ROC OpportunitiesHousingSponsorshipIn 2017, the program will focus on helping you adapt to and manage the rapid changes happening around you, and stay relevant in turbulent times. At the end of the day, you'll walk away with specific, practical recommendations to sharpen your action plan and thought-provoking, challenging ideas to guide your strategy for tomorrow - all aimed at navigating the forces influencing and impacting revenue management.The conference is organized by HSMAI's Revenue Management Advisory Board.What's Not to Miss in 2017ROC will be in Canada for the first timeFor those non-Canadians attending, now is the time to get your passport and make sure it does not expire within 6 months of your travel dates.Tuesday is filled with opportunities to learn and network9 afternoon workshops to choose from (included in your ROC registration)Give-back volunteer opportunity to benefit our host city while giving you the chance to connect with other attendees (included in your ROC registration)1-hour research presentation session on emerging issues in RM and Marketing, followed by a reception (included in your ROC registration)CRME Review Course & Exam (separate fee required)CHDM Review Course & Exam (separate fee required)Twelve breakout session organized in 3 tracksThree options will be offered during each block of breakout sessions and will be organized into Data & Analytics, Leadership & Influence, and Environmental Factors tracks.Access to HITEC exhibit hall...and general sessionsFor qualified ROC registrants, HITEC will provide one complimentary, non-transferable registration which entitles the recipient to three days of the exposition, access to exhibitor tutorials, TechTalks, and the HITEC keynote sessions. Comp registrations are only available to qualified hotel buyers and cannot be used by suppliers or vendors, consultants, nor personnel, dealers, distributors, subsidiaries, investors, partners/associates or family members of exhibiting companies.AwardsThe awards ceremony will shine the spotlight on the incredible talent and accomplishments of revenue management leaders. We will honor the Vanguard Award honoree for lifetime achievement in revenue management, the Revenue Management Professionals of the Year, and the Certified Revenue Management Executives (CRMEs) in attendance.Opportunity to Engage Online Before, During, and After ROCThe new conference app will be a place to stay in touch with fellow conference attendees through the year and take part in discussions around conference topics. More information will be available on this within three weeks of ROC.Toronto!For the first time, ROC will be in Toronto - an international center of business, finance, arts, and culture widely recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.HOUSINGAs part of HSMAI's partnership with HITEC, all ROC attendees may book rooms via the HITEC Housing Bureau. The deadline for reservations is May 26, 2017.See the HITEC Hotel & Travel page for complete details.CONFIDENTIALITY & ANTITRUST GUIDELINESThe Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International is committed to sponsoring face-to-face meetings and events where all participants can comfortably engage with their peers while protecting the confidentiality of their employers and abiding by antitrust rules. Specific details are outlined in HSMAI's Confidentiality & Antitrust Guidelines for all Meetings and Events (PDF).

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