April 29, 2014

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Back Office

Inventory / Purchasing

Communications / Infrastructure

Security

APRIL 16 – 29, 2014

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • HT 2014 Hotel Visionary Awards go to Mandarin Oriental, La Quinta and Red Lion
  • Benchmark Hospitality releases “Top Ten Travel Trends for 2014″
  • HTNG releases 2014A Web Services specifications: five updated

Hospitality Technology (HT) magazine has awarded its 2014 Hotel Visionary Awards to Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, La Quinta Inns & Suites, and Red Lion Hotels. The awards are presented in two categories – infrastructure/back-office technology and customer-facing/in-room technology – and consideration is given to size, resources and individual market segment benchmarks.
Infrastructure/Back-Office
– La Quinta Inns & Suites, for its development of a Performance Management Platform integrated with its Project Lifecycle Methodology, using tools including Dell’s Foglight, HP’s Load Runner and Sitescope to monitor SLAs, business and customer needs.
Customer-Facing/In-Room Technology
– Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, for creating its global Technology Innovation Lab to evaluate guest-facing and guest-servicing platforms and systems.
– Red Lion Hotels,  for the complete rewrite of all its public-facing websites to improve brand identity and shift bookings from OTA channels to the Redlion.com channel.
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Benchmark Hospitality International has released the “Top Ten Travel Trends for 2014″ as reported by its database of over 20,000 professional travel agents.
Trend #1 – Strong Growth: eight out of ten travel agents are highly upbeat about industry growth through 2014 and beyond. Over half are projecting “strong growth.”
Trend #2 – Leisure Travel Leads: nearly 75 percent of growth in travel is leisure related, with half coming from the luxury segment. However, 25 percent of the agents felt that business and personal travel is further blurring.
Trend #3 – Direct Bookings: agents worry about customers increasingly bypassing them and booking directly.
Trend #4 – Hit the Beach, See the World: TAs see strong expenditures in domestic beach-related travel and to Europe.
Trend #5 – Boomers Lead Spending: nearly 60% of travel agent bookings last year were from Boomers, followed by Seniors and GenXers at about 15% each and Millennials at less than 9%
Trend #6 – Online Travel Reviews: these have a huge effect and over 80 percent of agents feel we’ve only seen the beginning. Over 50% of the agents use online reviews to help customers’ booking decisions.
Trend #7 – Most Important Features: Location is #1 for apparent reasons, but #2 is Free Internet, deemed more important for travelers than the number of stars or diamonds.
Trend #8 – Hotel Websites Sell: travel agents use an attractive, appealing and user-friendly website with a direct booking option for 34 percent of their bookings; GDS accounts for 38%. Agents use fax only 1% of the time.
Trend #9 – Mobile Changed Everything: well over half the agents felt a paradigm shift with mobile’s 24/7 accessibility, pop-up travel deals, immediate rate checks and way-finding. Mobile sites should be relevant, brief, readable and formatted for ease of use.
Trend #10 – Advice to the Hotel Industry: FAM trips are back, so keep your rooms and water glasses clean, replace worn carpet and never forget the importance of customer service. Agents understand the lure of “incidental revenue” but their customers hate being nickel & dimed. Your websites are beautiful, but your vital information must be just one click away. Always deliver value, and, again, travelers want Internet access to be FREE!
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HTNG has released its 2014A Web Services specifications; five have been updated.
– Point of Sale Version 3.0: now translates value between points and merchandise dollar value, lets guests use loyalty points and/or vouchers in lieu of or in conjunction with cash payments, enables loyalty balance inquiries from the POS (or other) systems and enables loyalty accounts to be associated with transactions for tracking.
– Product Distribution Rates Version 2.1, Product Distribution Seamless Shop/Book Version 3.0 and Product Distribution Statistics Version 2.0: these three are now standalone specifications, with improved scenarios, use cases and sample messages.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Rory Fagan joins Duetto as Director of Casino Sales

Rory Fagan has joined Duetto as Director of Casino Sales. Mr. Fagan joins Duetto after six years leading sales efforts for SAS in the hospitality and gaming market. Previously, he had held sales management positions with travel industry companies such as PROS, Hertz, United Airlines and Sabre Hospitality Solutions.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Accor announces worldwide implementation of digital approach to welcoming guests, speeding check-in/out
  • GrandStay Hospitality names MSI’s CloudPM its preferred cloud GMS for new construction
  • Casa Ybel Resort selects Agilysys’ Visual One
  • Academy Hotel picks Skyware Hospitality Solutions’ PMS online booking engine
  • L’Hotel Palermo, Buenos Aires implements B4Checkin’s online booking engine
  • Singita implements Springer-Miller’s SMS|Host at 12 safari camps and lodges
  • Infor announces CloudSuite Hospitality, running on Amazon Web Services

Accor has announced the worldwide implementation of a digital approach to welcome guests into its hotels, to be deployed across all Accor brands and adapted to each brand’s service offering. The program consists of:
– Two days before their hotel stay, guests are invited to prepare their check-in online if they have booked directly with Accor or if they are loyalty card or subscription card holders.
– On the arrival day, guests receive a welcome message by SMS, confirming that their room and key are ready and offering information to simplify their trip (transport services to the hotel, car park access codes, etc.).
– When guests arrive in the hotel, their key has been prepared and is handed over immediately.
– On the departure day, guests can simply hand in their key to check-out and indicate that their room has been vacated. The invoice is sent to them by email.
This new system will be offered to all loyalty card or subscription card holders and to customers booking directly through Accor via: accorhotels.com, the brand websites, mobile applications, or by phone directly with the hotel, etc. It was tested in approximately twenty properties in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands, is now deployed in 60 hotels in 13 countries, and is planned to be in 1,000 hotels, or close to 30% of the network, by the end of 2014. (www.accor.com)
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GrandStay Hospitality has named Multi-Systems, Inc.’s (MSI’s) CloudPM as its preferred cloud guest management system for new construction hotels. The GrandStay Chisago in Minnesota was the first to deploy MSI CloudPM. GrandStay currently uses MSI’s NiteVision system. (www.grandstayhospitality.com, www.msisolutions.com)
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The 114-suite Casa Ybel Resort on Sanibel Island, Fla., has selected Agilysys’ Visual One, including its timeshare module to help manage the resort’s condominium units.  (www.casaybelresort.com, www.agilysys.com)
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The 200-room Academy Hotel, next to the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, has selected Skyware Hospitality Solutions’ Property Management System (PMS) as its preferred online booking engine. (www.theacademyhotel.com, www.skywaresystems.com)
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The 24-room L’Hotel Palermo in Buenos Aires has implemented B4Checkin’s online booking engine. (lhotelpalermo.com, www.b4checkin.com)
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Singita has implemented PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ SMS|Host Hospitality Management System at its 12 safari camps and lodges in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania. Singita also deployed the SMS|Enterprise and SMS|Multi-property management modules, allowing guests to book a comprehensive multi-property itinerary. (www.singita.com, www.partech.com/hotel/?)
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Infor has formally announced CloudSuite Hospitality, available on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The suite includes access to industry specific analytics, Infor ION and Infor’s middleware and social collaboration engine Ming.le. (www.infor.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Travel Tripper announces content integration features for RezTrip
  • Travel Tripper  releases geographic pricing capability for RezTrip
  • La Cantera Hill Country Resort signs with Travel Outlook’s Premium Reservations Call Center
  • The Embassy Row Hotel, Washington, DC, signs with Travel Outlook’s Premium Reservations Call Center

Travel Tripper has announced content integration features for its RezTrip CRS, allowing hotels to include hotel details, maps, and photos directly in the booking engine. At any time users can refer back to this information through a header that provides the information in a slide-down format. Content is input directly into the CRS and can be customized through APIs provided by RezTrip.
Travel Tripper has released a new geographic pricing capability for its RezTrip CRS. Hotels will be able to offer different prices in various geographic segments with a high degree of granularity, by continent, country, state and city with the ability to define exceptions at every level. For example a hotel in New York City can extend a special offer to people booking from California and Europe but prevent the offer from being seen or booked from San Francisco, France and Germany. The Best Available Rate or any collection of rate plans and room types can be priced lower or higher for guests booking from within a 50-mile radius of the hotel, in order to attract valuable drive-in business. The hotel can further limit the visibility of this offer from noon to midnight time only to people booking from their mobile phones on weekdays, for same day check-ins and staying up to 2 nights.
(www.traveltripper.com)
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The 508-room La Cantera Hill Country Resort, by Destination Hotels & Resorts in San Antonio, Texas, has signed with Travel Outlook’s Premium Reservations Call Center for overflow voice reservations call services.
The Embassy Row Hotel, by Destination Hotels & Resorts, in Washington, DC has signed with Travel Outlook’s Premium Reservations Call Center.
(www.resortlacantera.com, www.embassyrowhotel.com, www.traveloutlook.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • KAYAK offers TrustYou’s reputation overview to hotel partners
  • Cendyn launches Cendyn/ONE integrated marketing software and services platform
  • Brand Karma receives I-COM’s Data Creativity Award for Emerging Marketing Regions

KAYAK is now offering TrustYou’s high level reputation overview to its hotel partners as part of their hotel listings. (www.trustyou.com)
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Cendyn announced the launch of its new company, Cendyn/ONE, offering an integrated marketing software and services platform providing a single view of guest history, value, behavior, desire, intent and engagement. The cloud-based platform allows marketers to capture, store and analyze a hotel or brand’s data to make it actionable. (www.cendynONE.com.)
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Brand Karma has received I-COM’s Data Creativity Award for Emerging Marketing Regions, based on its work with Starwood Asia-Pacific in using social media analytics to target ads on Facebook. (www.brand-karma.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • PowerYourRoom integrates PriceYourRoom with SiteMinder
  • Petit Palace Hotels signs consulting contract with IDeaS
  • 365nights integrates with eRevMax’s RateTiger
  • Absolute Hotel Services Group selects eRevMax’s RateTiger 
  • Duetto unveils GameChanger application for casino hotels

PowerYourRoom has integrated its PriceYourRoom pricing recommendation application with SiteMinder’s RDX Channel Manager. (www.poweryourroom.com, www.siteminder.com)
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Petit Palace Hotels has signed a consulting contract with IDeaS Revenue Solutions. The initial engagement will look at existing processes and assess the current revenue management approach; recommendations will be fed into an ongoing process to establish the best possible environment for IDeaS RMS readiness, which is planned to be implemented portfolio-wide in 2014. Petit Palace Hotels operates 33 hotels in Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia, Sevilla, Málaga and Salamanca; five properties have been using IDeaS RMS since 2013. (www.petitpalace.com, www.ideas.com)
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French hotel price negotiation site Barteo, recently rebranded as 365nights, has integrated with eRevMax’s RateTiger for online distribution services. 365 nights allows potential guests to negotiate the price of a room directly with the hotel in real time, before making an actual booking. Barteo currently serves over 500 properties, mainly in France.
Absolute Hotel Services Group has selected eRevMax’s RateTiger as its preferred price intelligence application for its hotels and resorts in Thailand, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Middle East, which oerate under the U Hotels & Resorts, Eastin Hotels & Residences and Eastin Easy brands.
(www.365nights.com, www.absolutehotelservices.com, www.erevmax.com)
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Duetto has unveiled its GameChanger web-based application for casino hotels, to help them select and retain their most profitable customers assessed by each individual customer segment, room type, offer or discount. Already in use at a number of high profile casino hotel properties, GameChanger dynamically determines the total value of each casino hotel guest by prospective gaming and non-gaming revenue potential. It also captures web shopping data, lost business regrets and denials based on dates searched and prices quoted to gain insights on customer behavior and enable real time responses and A/B scenario testing. (www.duettocasino.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Knowland Group announces new data verification feature
  • Resorts World Sentosa adopts Passkey’s GroupMAX
  • Windsor Property Management picks Newmarket’s Delphi for properties in Vietnam

The Knowland Group has announced a new data verification feature for customers, based on its research teams of over 400 analysts. When users flag a particular piece of data within Knowland’s Readers or Insight, they will now receive a confirmation email once the research and validation is complete. Updates made as a result of the validation request will immediately be made available to all users. (www.knowland.com)
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Resorts World Sentosa has adopted Passkey’s GroupMAX solution, the largest single implementation of the system in Asia to date. (www.rwsentosa.com, www.passkey.com)
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Windsor Property Management has selected Newmarket International’s Delphi system for its properties in Vietnam, which include 4 hotels, 2 properties, 7 restaurants, and 3 leisure destinations. (wmcvietnam.com/en/, www.newmarketinc.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Atlanta Airport Marriott installs Clear Sky’s BEVERAGE
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The Atlanta Airport Marriott has installed Clear Sky Software’s BEVERAGE inventory management software. (www.marriott.com, www.clearskysoftware.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Fairmont San Francisco’s concierge using Google Glass
  • Guest-tek pairs OneView media application with LG Electronics’ Pro:Centric IPTV platform
  • FRHI Hotels & Resorts approves Cetis as supplier of guestroom telephones
  • Eleven Wireless launches per-minute billing option for ElevenGC for the Mac
  • FCS signs Valued Business Partnership with Equinox Arabia
  • JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts launches CUR8 mobile app for guests to share videos

The Fairmont San Francisco’s concierge, Tom Wolfe, has started using Google Glass to help provide services to the hotel’s guests. Initial uses include storing telephone numbers, making calls, checking the weather forecast, verifing directional information and, with permission, taking pictures. (www.fairmont.com/SanFrancisco)
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Guest-tek has paired its OneView media application with LG Electronics’ Pro:Centric Internet-Protocol Television (IPTV) platform for North American hotel customers, using LG’s LP870H and LT777H hospitality TVs. The new HTML5 Pro:Centric platform supports embedded applications, a web browser, HTTP live streaming and the sharing of guest content from personal devices with Guest-tek’s “myAway TV” application. The first property to adopt this combination will be the new 1,175-room Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC, due to open in May. (www.LGSolutions.com, www.guest-tek.com)
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FRHI Hotels & Resorts has approved Cetis as a supplier of Teledex, TeleMatrix, and Scitec guestroom telephones for its Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel properties. Cetis phones are available to FRHI properties globally via the BirchStreet eProcurement system. (frhi.com, )
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Eleven Wireless has launched a per-minute billing option for its ElevenGC for the Mac guest computing service, allowing guests to continue sessions indefinitely and pay only for the minutes they need. Billing options now include free, for-charge and hybrid combinations, e.g., initial time block free then paid per minute billing. (www.elevenwireless.com/)
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FCS has signed a Valued Business Partnership with Equinox Arabia to distribute FCS’ suite of hospitality technology products. Based in Jeddah, Equinox is a hotel data solutions firm offering an array of products including IPTV systems, room management solutions, Internet connectivity products and digital signage to hotels throughout the Arabian Peninsula. (www.fcscs.com)
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JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts has launched its CUR8 mobile app to allow guests to share digital videos on their personal social media networks.  Guests can use CUR8 to create digital souvenirs through a combination of their own personal videos and photos and selections from a bank of JW Marriott property images; the can also set their videos to music and add text featuring personalized messages.  Created by Los Angeles-based advertising agency, Team One, CUR8 is currently available for Apple devices. (www.marriott.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • FCS Computer Systems releases e-Housekeeping v2

FCS Computer Systems has released v2 of its e-Housekeeping applications. Enhancements include a “Panic Button” to allow staff to trigger alerts via SMS, ad-hoc messaging, direct call, job dispatch and alarm sounds from their mobile device in the event of an emergency situation. (www.fcscs.com)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • TMI Hospitality picks ReactorNet’s EPRO spend management

TMI Hospitality has selected ReactorNet’s EPRO spend management software to manage purchasing across its 200+ properties across the USA. EPRO is a procure-to-pay platform allowing buyers to collaborate directly with suppliers to control spend management and maximize purchasing power. (www.tmihospitality.com, www.reactornet.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center installs RoamBoost

The Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center has installed RoamingAround’s RoamBoost Cellular Signal Enhancement. As part of this Distributive Antenna System (DAS), RoamingAround installed 16 antennas to cover 80,000 square feet across the hotel’s public areas and meeting space. (techcenter.hyatt.com, www.roamingaround.com)
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SECURITY

  • Alion Beach Hotel installs VingCard Allure RFID door locks, VISIONLINE wireless network and Elsafe safes

The 100-guestroom Alion Beach Hotel, Cyprus, has installed VingCard’s Allure RFID door locks, VISIONLINE wireless network and Elsafe guestroom safes. The Allure locks are controlled from a panel placed on the wall adjacent to the guestroom door. An interactive touch panel in each guestroom lets guests post notifications such as “Do Not Disturb” and “Make Up Room”, visible to hotel staff on the control panel. (www.alion.com, www.vingcardelsafe.com)
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