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Five Leading Hotel Executives Share How Technology and Data Are Used in Hotels

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Local Measure, the leading customer intelligence platform for hospitality and tourism, released "Technology and the Guest Experience: Views from Five Luxury Hoteliers," a new eBook that brings together interviews from senior level executives at luxury hotels discussing how technology has impacted the guest experience and where the guest experience is moving to in future. The ebook includes exclusive interviews with Christian Clerc, President, Worldwide Hotel Operations, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts; Ana Brant, Director, Global Guest Experience & Innovation, Dorchester Collection; Radha Arora, President, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts; Ian Wilson, Senior Vice President of Non-Gaming Operations, Marina Bay Sands; and Laurent Delporte, luxury hotel expert and industry consultant.
Categories: Vocational

A Free Guide to Selecting the Best PMS for Your Hotel this Budget Season

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Hotel Tech Report has released the free 2019 Guide to Selecting a New Property Management System to help hoteliers save time and make better decisions this budget season. With more than 400 PMS vendors globally it is extremely difficult for hoteliers to know which vendor best suited for their needs.
Categories: Vocational

Revinate Joins SiteMinder Exchange

October 16, 2018 - 7:36pm
OCTOBER 16, 2018 - Revinate, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company that helps hotels transform guest data into revenue, today announces it has partnered with the global hotel industry's leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, as the latest hotel application to connect into SiteMinder Exchange. The connection will make Revinate Marketing accessible to the multitude of leading property management systems (PMSs) integrated into SiteMinder Exchange, a powerfully-simple solution launched this year to solve the connectivity problem for hotel PMSs and hotel applications everywhere.
Categories: Vocational

Vizergy Digital Marketing Named 10 Fastest Growing Google Solution Provider of 2018

October 16, 2018 - 5:39pm
Vizergy, the hospitality industry's leading provider of digital marketing software and services, has been named one of the 10 Fastest Growing Google Solution Providers of 2018, according to Silicon Valley Review. This recognition not only reaffirms Vizergy's success in strategic vision and product development but also solidifies its market position as the best technology platform for the hospitality industry. The announcement of this prestigious award follows CIO Review naming Vizergy one of the 20 Most Promising Web Development & Marketing Platforms in 2017.
Categories: Vocational

“The Reach Of Otas Can Be Addictive”

October 16, 2018 - 4:55pm
The arrival of E-commerce has transformed the way hotels sell rooms and online sales have become a crucial part of the business. With the industry being dynamic and trends continue to change every year, in this interview Franco Sterl talks about E-commerce trends, the threat of OTAs and the direct booking landscape.You have been in the business for the past ten years. What is the biggest change you have seen? The biggest change in the last years is related to technology and automation. Unfortunately, the hotel industry has always been quite slow in adapting new technologies and being at the forefront of innovations. This is now changing. More and more hotels and chains are counting on new systems, technologies and innovative concepts to enhance the digital guest experience and to let travelers interact in modern ways with their brand. Nowadays, it is not only about offering a good in-house experience, it is about offering a great and unique experience throughout all stages of travel, including the booking process! How do you picture the future of independent hotels in the online environment?All great innovations and new technologies require a substantial investment of time, money, knowledge and manpower. From my perspective, these are the biggest pain points of individual hotels when it comes to digital innovations and solutions. I am sure that more and more solutions will be tailored to the specific needs of individual hotels. The potential is huge!Which are the most important E-commerce trends for 2018 that hotels should be aware of? In my opinion, there are two important trends to be aware of: Personalization and "Mobile is key". Modern travelers expect a personalized experience and want to feel unique. To fulfil this need, hotels must rely on digital solutions, on solid/high-quality data warehousing and on well-trained staff. A well-balanced combination of these elements is the key to success for hoteliers. Hoteliers have to offer guests a seamless and unique mobile experience. This may sound old-fashioned, but reality shows that a lot of hotels don't even have a dedicated mobile version of their website. Everyone in the industry needs to understand the growing importance of mobile device usage.You are now 100 days in your position. How are you planning to expand WorldHotels' digital marketing capabilities? When I started, my first priority was to build up a strong E-Commerce team with a global setup to serve our hotels with knowledge, guidance and local expertise. The consultants now work closely with our hotels to get the maximum out of their websites and booking engines. We recently finalized our brand-new E-Commerce solution for hotels, which focusses mainly on the following areas: Web Audits, Consultation, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Conversion Rate Optimization and modern tracking tools to convert traffic into bookers. What do you expect the OTA and the direct booking landscape to look like in 2020? I am sure that the landscape will look more balanced. OTAs will still play an important role in the digital distribution world, but the share of direct bookings will recover. The latest developments and studies have proven that the fight against increasing dependencies on third party distribution suppliers is yielding positive results. Hotels need to keep focusing on their own strengths and channels. This is the only way to escape this vicious circle.
Categories: Vocational

CEO of iVvy Lauren Hall Talks Groups and Event Technology and Making the RFP a Thing of the Past | By Lauren Hall

October 16, 2018 - 4:54pm
The events and meeting segment of the hospitality industry has come a long way in the last few years. With the rapid progression and disruption of mobile and consumer-centric technology changing the way in which hotels approach their business, the rise of group booking technology appears to be the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place. And if there is anyone who knows a thing (or many) about the long-awaited revolution of the events booking process, it's Lauren Hall, the CEO of iVvy. Hall began her journey into entrepreneurship with a background in programming, accounting, marketing and business management with expertise spanning manufacturing, retail, advertising and technology across multiple industries. With accolades such as 'Innovator of the Year 2016', 'Silver Stevie Awards for Entrepreneur of the Year Globally 2016' attached to her name, it's no surprise that she has become a widely respected voice of innovation and technological reform amongst hospitality leaders and technology vendors alike. Hall co-founded iVvy in 2009 with the intention to finally empower a process that, despite offering a wealth of revenue opportunity for hotels, had been largely neglected and restricted within broken, manual legacy systems. After identifying the problem, Hall and her co-founder James Greig had a clear vision for the solution. A solution which allowed hotels and event planners alike to ditch the spreadsheets and manual processes, for something efficient and concurrent with industry demand. "When I started iVvy, I did not have a background in events or in IT. However, what I had was an awful experience trying to book an events space, a process that took six weeks, only to be later told it wasn't available." Making RFPs a Thing of the Past Through iVvy, Hall has created the world's only fully integrated platform to help manage, search, compare, book and pay for your events in real time, from anywhere, on any device.
Categories: Vocational

Creating Smart Cities for Innovative Tourism Experiences

October 16, 2018 - 4:53pm
The UNWTO Conference on City Breaks: Creating Innovative Tourism Experiences (15-16 October 2018) concluded today in Valladolid, Spain, with a call for cities to become smart tourism destinations, where tourism governance and the digital economy mesh together to offer travellers diverse and authentic experiences.
Categories: Vocational

Oaks Hotels & Resorts Joins Global Hotel Alliance

October 16, 2018 - 4:05pm
Global Hotel Alliance ("GHA"), the world's largest alliance of independent hotel brands and operator of the award-winning, multi-brand loyalty programme, DISCOVERY, today announced that Oaks Hotels & Resorts ("Oaks") has joined its portfolio of independent hotel brands, adding a collection of over fifty hotels, resorts and furnished serviced apartments in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Qatar and the UAE, with Beirut to be launched soon, to GHA's collaborative network of 33 independent brands and over 550 hotels.
Categories: Vocational

Volara Adds Accuracy Engine To Better Interpret Hotel Guest Requests Of Alexa

October 16, 2018 - 4:05pm
Volara - the voice hub for the hotel industry - has developed a patent-pending technology that will help Amazon's Alexa excel in the complex hotel environment. As hotel guests bring their own colloquialisms, accents, and verbally convey their intents to hotels in a myriad of ways, Volara's new Accuracy Engine enables Alexa to satisfy their commands appropriately and with greater precision. Volara's Accuracy Engine leverages robust data sets, contextual awareness, AI and Machine Learning to sharply reduce errors and increase guest satisfaction.
Categories: Vocational

RateGain and Hotelogix join hands to help hotels with real-time distribution

October 16, 2018 - 4:00pm
Noida, 16/October/2018: RateGain, a leader in providing cloud-based distribution solutions and Hotelogix, a globally trusted cloud-based Property Management System provider have announced a technology partnership to help hotels across the world distribute inventory in real-time.
Categories: Vocational

Caribbean Bookings Are Up, One Year After Two Massive Hurricanes Rolled Through The Region

October 16, 2018 - 3:58pm
Virtuoso reports growth in winter bookings in the Caribbean. With 70 percent of the islands unaffected by last year's busy hurricane season, and 90 percent of room inventory open in impacted regions, the islands are coming back. For a closer look at the Caribbean, Virtuoso gathered industry leaders at Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas, nearly one year after Hurricanes Irma and Maria became the first consecutive Category 5 storms to hit the region in a decade, to discuss the rebound and reasons to visit now. HOLIDAY AND WINTER SEASON TRAVELCaribbean business for January/February 2019 is 21 percent higher than January/February 2018. For festive season (December 22 - January 3), network bookings are up eight percent year over year. It's important to note that while some islands were still recovering in late 2017, travelers flocked to other destinations. Some holiday availability still exists on islands that book 6-12 months in advance, but travelers should not wait to book as hotels are pacing well. Virtuoso reports particularly strong interest in the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, and Turks & Caicos. Some of the hardest-hit islands, including the British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands and St. Martin, average a 29 percent decrease in air bookings for the 2018 holiday period. As resorts reopen, air bookings will follow. ISLAND UPDATESAnguilla Tiago Sarmento, general manager of Belmond Cap Juluca, said by Q1 of 2018, most of the island had recovered. More than 70 percent of Anguilla's villas and 95 percent of restaurants have reopened. Three of the five luxury hotels, including Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla, are welcoming guests. Belmond Cap Juluca, which was closed for a $121 million renovation before the storm, is scheduled to reopen December 15. Puerto RicoThe island was hit by both hurricanes, but 132 lodging options with more than 10,000 rooms are now open, including the Hotel El Convento in Old San Juan and the historic Condado Vanderbilt Hotel. Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve and The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico will reopen in October. Most attractions, including El Yunque National Forest, are fully operational. St. MartinSeventy-five percent of the island is up and running, according to Andrea Filippi, vice president of global sales for Belmond, whose property, Belmond La Samanna, will wrap a $25 million renovation in time for winter travel season. While the island's airport was hit, impacting arrivals to St. Martin and feeder islands, 50 percent of flights have resumed out of its "luxury tent" terminal. The first phase of the airport's rebuild will be completed in November, with 69 percent of flights predicted to be back by high season. St. BarthsAt the start of 2018, 70 percent of the island was open for guests, according to Martein van Wagenberg, managing director of Le Guanahani. Many buildings are concrete, so did not sustain as much damage as other regions. Beach hotels, including Eden Rock - St Barths, Oetker Collection and Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France, were the hardest hit and will open by the end of 2018. Le Guanahani, due to its location between the beach and lagoon, suffered the most damage and will reopen in late 2019. To reach the island, Virtuoso advisors recommend connecting through San Juan or boat access from Anguilla or St. Martin. British Virgin Islands Deputy Director of Tourism Rhodni Skelton shared that the destination suffered a 90 percent loss in tourism over the past year as it was directly hit by both hurricanes. With visitors contributing 60 percent of the islands' income, sailing partners quickly returned. Of the more than 60 resort islands, a few are beginning to open. Richard Branson's Necker Island is welcoming guests starting October 14; Rosewood Little Dix Bay is predicted to come back by the end of 2019.
Categories: Vocational

Hotel Budget Season: Design Your Most Profitable Channel Mix Strategy in 2019

October 16, 2018 - 3:28pm
Travel customers have an unprecedented number of options to shop and book hotels, with new competitors constantly jumping into the distribution channel pool. Determining what inventory to sell through which channels has become a critical component in operating a profitable hotel. The industry is seeing online travel agencies (OTAs) with market values higher than many hotel brands and commissions rising at twice the rate of revenue growth.1 Despite these intimidating numbers, intermediary distribution channels should not be looked upon with enmity, but rather as key players in your unique channel mix strategy - designed to bring you greater success and profitability in 2019.
Categories: Vocational

How Alibaba-Backed Shiji Is Expanding Its Tech Sales to Hotels Outside of China

October 16, 2018 - 12:13pm
Shiji, the hospitality tech giant of China, has been expanding its global push since February — when it announced a $486 million investment from e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba Group.
Categories: Vocational

Study reveals trends in the global incentive travel industry

October 16, 2018 - 12:11pm
Three associations, all with a focus on incentive travel, come together to release a pan-industry study of the global incentive travel sector.
Categories: Vocational

What's Trending for BTN's Corporate Travel 100

October 16, 2018 - 12:08pm
BTN's annual list of the biggest corporate travel spenders in the U.S., isn't just a "top 100" list. It's a microcosm for exploring trends and innovation in the managed travel industry. These companies not only spend major dollars on travel but they also often are the companies that signal shifts in deal-making strategies, traction with new technologies and even current moods in travel management priorities. For example, are companies doubling down on cost-optimization or are they focused on traveler experience and productivity?
Categories: Vocational

RevPAR And RevPAR Index Are Different And I’m Going To Explain Them Both In This Article | David Lund

October 16, 2018 - 12:03pm
RevPAR it is the cornerstone of the hotel world and rightfully so. It is the product of occupancy and rate smashed together. The acronym stands for "revenue per available room." In a simple example: If my hotel was 60 percent occupied last night and my average rate was $100, my RevPAR would be $60 (100 x .6). The other way to calculate this would be to take the total rooms in my hotel—in this example it is 500—and divide that by the total room revenue last night. At 60 percent that means I had 300 rooms occupied and I will multiply that by $100 to get my room revenue (300 x 100 = $30,000). To calculate the RevPAR, I divide the room revenue by the rooms available. ($30,000/500 = $60). I can calculate the RevPAR for any period—week, month or year—the same way.One last thing I will say about calculating RevPAR is that it is a relatively new thing. I do not want to draw too much attention to my age here but when I went to hotel school RevPAR was not on the menu. It was only occupancy and average room rate.RevPAR index is a concept that was developed about 30 years ago as best I can tell. I remember being introduced to it at a budget review meeting and I thought it was pretty cool. In those days we would do a call around to find out what the other hotels in our city were doing each month for occupancy and rate. I am pretty sure some of the hotels fabricated their results and I think a few others thought the same.Somewhere around the mid 1990s a company started a business based on capturing and sharing the occupancy, rate and RevPAR for hotels. They sold a subscription and the hotel shared their results every day on the previous day's occupancy and rate. The company now gathers this information for your hotel and your competitors and then they share the information, so you can see how well you are doing vs. your competitors.
Categories: Vocational

What’s Next For PMS Firms In Airbnb’s Ecosystem? Is Their Future Assured? | David Ryan

October 16, 2018 - 11:03am
The news this week that Airbnb rival Wimdu is closing, despite $90million in funding, proves that Airbnb continues to dominate the home lodging & vacation rental industry.
Categories: Vocational

125 Years of Excellence and a Bright Future

October 16, 2018 - 10:42am
In the company of high officials of the Swiss Confederation and the Canton of Vaud, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne celebrated its 125th anniversary on the night of October 15th.
Categories: Vocational

Pan Pacific Hotels Group Expands Feedback Management Efforts To Improve The F&B Experience With TrustYou Restaurants

October 16, 2018 - 10:33am
Munich/Singapore, 16 October 2018 - Singapore-based Pan Pacific Hotels Group, which manages Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts and PARKROYAL Hotels & Resorts decided to expand its feedback management efforts beyond hotel reviews and collaborates with TrustYou for their portfolio of restaurants. The group now integrates TrustYou Restaurants to manage all reviews that are submitted based on the experience guests had in one of their many restaurants across the globe. TrustYou's feedback platform helps to collect, analyze and manage reviews through easy-to-use dashboards to improve the online reputation across the web and increase bookings.
Categories: Vocational

Food for thought: The real future of direct bookings | By Martin Soler

October 16, 2018 - 10:25am
The 50th edition in a bit under 24 month. Thanks for holding up this long :-). This one is about Direct Bookings, not planned that way but that's just the way things turned out after going through the recent news. Hope you enjoy it. Best, Martin. PS: If you're executive level, don't forget to sign-up for Tell Trends.
Categories: Vocational