April 6, 2008

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems


Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning


Guest Services

Back Office




  • Survey emphasizes trend to travelers building their own packages

Tourists’ spending priorities for hotel rooms vs. airfares differ markedly between long and short-haul travel, according to an Expedia online survey of 14,000 customers from the UK and Europe. On short-haul flights respondents said they preferred to use budget airlines such as Easyjet and Ryanair to reach their destination and then stay in four and five star properties when they got there. Interestingly, some 46% of British travelers opted for four and five star hotels in the survey, double the number of French travelers.
Conversely, what Expedia terms “smart travelers” on long-haul travel prefer to upgrade or use the most comfortable airline they can find to make the trip more tolerable, but opt for budget accommodation once on the ground.
The survey also highlighted the rise of the “superbreak,” where tourists travel to mid–haul and long-haul destinations for shorter periods. Expedia puts this down to the increased affordability of longer-distance flights and “the desire to make the most of even a few days break by experiencing something new and different”. Almost a third (31%) of respondents either have taken or are thinking about a short break to a mid-haul destination, most often “to experience a different culture.”
Emphasizing the growth of dynamic packaging on Web sites, the report suggests a decline in pre-packaged holidays where a flight and a week’s stay at a single resort are bought pre-bundled. Following a rise last year in “extras” bookings it also predicts a greater emphasis this year on pre-booking airport transfers, car hire, city tours, theatre and other attractions by travelers looking to maximize their time at a destination. Some 21% of travelers already book a car at the same time as a hotel and flight, and almost a third (31%) book previously organized excursions. **

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  • Ian Cole named 2008 CHTP of the Year
  • Tamer Tamar promoted to Managing Director and VP of Expedia Distribution, EMEA
  • Mark Gordon hired by Onity as President and General Manager
  • Bill Grant and Brad Schroer join Onity’s North American hospitality sales team

Ian Cole, vice president of strategic technology for Starwood Vacation Ownership, has been named the 2008 CHTP (Certified Hospitality Technology Professional) of the Year by HFTP, as the individual that scored the highest on the CHTP certification exam.
Tamer Tamar has been promoted to managing director and vice president of Expedia Distribution for the EMEA region following the departure of Karen Bohannon. Mr. Tamar has been with Expedia since 2004, when he started as business development manager for UK point of sale, later became director of car hire and was most recently director of corporate development. Before joining Expedia, he was a management consultant for AT Kearney.
Mark Gordon has been hired by Onity as President and General Manager, based at its headquarters in Duluth, Georgia. Mr. Gordon had previously served as Managing Director of security vendor Smiths Detection, and had earlier held a variety of sales, marketing and operations leadership roles with Amphenol RF, Thomas & Betts, and Square D Company.
Bill Grant and Brad Schroer have joined Onity’s North American hospitality sales team.
Mr. Grant will manage the eastern region field sales group. He was previously a sales team leader for a property management system vendor, and is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.
Mr. Brad Schroer takes over management of premier accounts, having most recently managed business development with kiosk manufacturer ProTech.

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  • Vienna International Hotels & Resorts orders Amadeus’ PMS for 44 hotels
  • Best Western Lodge Hotel in Putney, south west London, installs Protel’s PMS
  • Royal Lahaina Resort implements remote check-in using digital pens from ExpeData
  • Westin Imagine Orlando installs OwnerRelations Technology’s Owner Experience Enterprise
  • Paragon Casino Resort. Marksville, La. picks Agilysys’ LMS
  • MSI’s CC Direct credit card module validated as PABP-compliant

Vienna International Hotels & Resorts has ordered Amadeus’ multi-property PMS to manage the 44 hotels it plans to be managing by the end of 2010, up 60% from today’s total. The system will be centrally hosted to provide a consolidated view of property and guest data and to allow properties to cross-sell guests. (www.vi-hotels.com, www.amadeus.com)
The 60-room Best Western Lodge Hotel in Putney, south west London, has installed Protel’s PMS, implemented by Xn Hotels. (www.xnhotels.com)
Maui’s Royal Lahaina Resort has implemented remote check-in using digital pens from ExpeData instead of the more common tablet PCs. The pens incorporate miniature cameras that read the user’s pen strokes on paper forms pre-printed with faint patterns of microscopic dots, unique to each page of each form. On completion of the form the pens transmit the pen strokes via Bluetooth to the registration agent’s cell phone, which re-transmits them to an electronic image of the form in a PC at the front desk. The ExpeData software translates the handwritten words into data elements and updates the resort’s PMS, keeping an image of the guest’s signature; the data conversion can be verified by a front desk agent before it is transferred into the PMS. The resort is using the system to register guests in their rooms upon arrival, and has also used it to register them from the golf course and upon arrival at Maui’s airports. (www.royallahaina.net, www.expedata.net)
The Westin Imagine Orlando has installed OwnerRelations Technology’s Owner Experience Enterprise system, the third Intrawest condo hotel to do so. The Owner Experience Enterprise application interfaces with the Galaxy Hotel Reservation System, and allows condo owners to retrieve their personal financial statements, documents, messages and other information online. (www.intrawest.com, www.ownerrelations.com)
The 531-room Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, La. has selected Agilysys’ systems for PMS and inventory/purchasing control, following its 200-room expansion. Systems being implemented are Agilysys’ Lodging Management System PMS (with the ARTS activities reservations module, ResNet on-line booking engine and ShowGate ticketing module), Materials Management System for inventory and procurement and DataMagine document management system. (www.paragoncasinoresort.com, www.agilysys.com)
Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) has announced that the CC Direct credit card authorization and settlement module of its WinPM version 2.0 PMS has been validated as compliant with Visa’s Payment Application Best Practices (PABP). (www.msisolutions.com)

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  • Booking.com implements two-way interface with HBSi’s Demand Gateway
  • Travelport to focus on Galileo’s Traversa, ViewTrip, drop Worldspan’s Trip Manager
  • Nikki Beach picks SynXis for GDS, online travel site connectivity for 15 properties
  • IBS Software Services acquires controlling interest in Hotel Booking Solutions, Inc.
  • AirDepartment.com renamed iTravel Solutions
  • BCD Travel renews, extends commission processing contract with Pegasus

Priceline’s Booking.com European online reservations service has implemented a two-way interface with Hotel Booking Solutions Incorporated (HBSi), to allow hotels to upload rates and availability and receive reservations using HBSi’s Demand Gateway. (www.hotelbookingsolutions.com, www.booking.com)
Travelport GDS plans to discontinue Worldspan’s Trip Manager corporate booking tool as it integrates technology from the merged Galileo and Worldspan companies, focusing on Galileo’s Traversa corporate booking tool and ViewTrip electronic itinerary. Travelport will keep Worldspan’s tools for airline pricing, refunds and exchanges and will build new point-of-sale software for agents and, possibly, travelers. Traversa is already in use with IBM. (www.travelport.com)
Nikki Beach has picked SynXis’ RedX distribution management system for GDS and online travel site connectivity for its planned 15 properties worldwide, starting with the Nikki Beach Resort Turks & Caicos. Nikki Beach will also use SynXis’ private label call center services and the RedX Voice Agent channel, and RedX’s two—way Property Connect interface with its PMS. (www.nikkibeachhotels.com, www.synxis.com)
IBS Software Services has acquired the controlling interest in Hotel Booking Solutions, Inc, (HBSi), adding a hospitality extension to its existing travel, cruise and hospitality businesses allowing it to leverage HBSi as an alternate messaging option across the larger travel industry. (www.ibsplc.com)
Dynamic packaging vendor AirDepartment.com has been renamed iTravel Solutions. (www.itravelsolutions.com)
UK-based BCD Travel has renewed its contract with Pegasus Solutions for commission processing in the US, EMEA and ASPAC regions, extending its coverage to include more than 90 countries. (www.bcdtravel.co.uk, www.pegs.com)

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  • Grand Hotel Sofia installs IDeaS V5i On-Demand revenue management system
  • Tivoli Hotels & Resorts picks IDeaS’ V5i On-Demand for all 12 hotels

The Grand Hotel Sofia has chosen IDeaS V5i On-Demand revenue management system, IDeaS’ first installation in an independent hotel in Bulgaria. The property has already implemented the BAR (Best Available Rate) and Group Pricing modules.
Portugal’s Tivoli Hotels & Resorts Group has selected IDeaS’ V5i On-Demand revenue management system for all 12 of its hotels, implemented on a multi-property basis.
(www.grandhotelsofia.bg, www.tivolihotels.com, www.ideas.com)

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  • Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants adopts StarCite’s Small Meeting Solution
  • Newmarket integrates MeetingBroker with Cvent’s Supplier Network
  • Radisson SAS extends free WiFi services to non-resident delegates attending meetings

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has adopted StarCite’s Small Meeting Solution. Combined with Pegasus Solutions’ UltraDirect distribution technology, this allows Kimpton to offer corporate meeting planners real-time online access to its inventory of guest rooms, meeting spaces and associated meeting services for meetings of 50 people or less. (www.kimptonhotels.com, www.pegs.com, www2.starcite.com)
Newmarket International has integrated its MeetingBroker web-based lead management software with Cvent’s Supplier Network, a site selection and request for proposal (RFP) tool for meeting and event planners which lists over 50,000 venues. RFPs sent through the Cvent Supplier Network will be distributed immediately to MeetingBroker-enabled venues electronically. Suppliers can respond using MeetingBroker and begin two-way communications with the prospect. (www.cvent.com, www.newmarketinc.com)
Radisson SAS has extended its free WiFi services to non-resident delegates attending meetings at its properties. Business travelers will receive a day pass at reception to allow them to get connected. (www.radissonsas.com)

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  • Capella picks InfoGenesis for food and beverage operations at two properties

Capella Hotels and Resorts has selected Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS for food and beverage operations at two properties, the Capella Castlemartyr in County Cork, Ireland and Schloss Velden in Velden, Austria. The system will interface with each hotel’s property management system using HTNG-based protocols. (www.capellahotels.com, www.agilysys.com)

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  • Real Hotels & Resorts to upgrade seven properties to Guest-Tek’s OneView Media platform
  • The Window Channel announces library of High Definition ambient and scenic videos
  • Red Roof’s Next Generation Redesign guestroom to include WiFi, flat-screen TVs and auto sensing jack packs
  • Crystal Gateway Marriott and Hyatt Regency Coral Gables install VSi Automated Business Centers
  • Hyatt Rosemont Hotel installs FlyteBoard real-time airline flight information display

Real Hotels & Resorts will upgrade to Guest-Tek’s OneView Media platform with video-on-demand in seven properties in Central America; the properties currently use Guest-Tek’s high speed internet access. Headquartered in San Salvador, El Salvador, Real Hotels & Resorts has 27 hotels open or under development in the United States, Central and South America and the Caribbean. (www.realhotelsandresorts.com, www.guest-tek.com)
The Window Channel announced its library of High Definition programming of ambient and scenic video footage, each at least five minutes long, photographed from a single fixed position and including the ambient audio recorded in 5.1 surround sound. Hotel operators can choose from the existing library (which covers footage varying from sunrise over Haleakala crater on Maui to sitting in a crowd at an outdoor café along the Champs-Elysées in Paris) or contract for custom content. (www.thewindowchannel.com.
Red Roof has unveiled its Next Generation Redesign guestroom prototype, which includes wireless Internet access and flat-screen TVs with auto sensing remote jack packs. The first NextGen property is under construction in Beaumont, TX. (www.redroof.com)
The 697-room Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA, and the 242-room Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, FL, have installed VSi Automated Business Centers. (www.marriott.com, www.coralgables.hyatt.com, www.ver-sys.com)
The Hyatt Rosemont Hotel, Rosemont, Illinois, has installed Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard real-time airline flight information display. (www.rosemont.hyatt.com, www.flytesystems.com)

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  • Heritage Hotels and Resorts and IHP Hotels install Aptech’s Profitvue and Webvue

Heritage Hotels and Resorts, Albuquerque, NM, and IHP Hotels in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, have installed Aptech Computer Systems’ Profitvue back office financial accounting software and Webvue Internet data collection tools, hosted at Aptech’s data center. Heritage operates six properties in New Mexico and Arizona. IHP Hospitality Group operates five properties throughout Puerto Rico that carry Marriott, Cendant and other flags. (www.hhandr.com, www.ihphospitality.com, www.aptech-inc.com)

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  • Hilton reports energy savings of over 10 per cent across its 80+ properties in Europe in 2007

Hilton Hotels reported its “we care!” environmental sustainability initiative resulted in overall 2007 energy savings of over 10 per cent across its 80+ properties in Europe, and a five per cent reduction in water consumption. The program was established in January 2006 to encourage hotels to introduce initiatives and best practices focusing on genuine and measurable reductions in energy consumption and CO2 emissions, water consumption, waste generation and chemical usage.
Hilton has also managed to reduce its CO2 emissions per guest night by nearly 11 per cent since the program started, avoiding a total of 10,200 tonnes of CO2 being emitted by its hotels, equivalent to removing 2,200 cars off the road. It is aiming for a 2009 target of reducing energy consumption by 15 per cent. (www.hilton.com)

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  • SDD appoints McLaren International as sales/support agent for JAZZ Fusion in Asia Pacific
  • Teledex completes iPhone interoperability testing with Mitel’s 3300 IP Communications Platform

SDD has appointed McLaren International as its sales and implementation agent for the JAZZ Fusion TeleManager telecommunications management services in selected Asia Pacific countries. McLaren has already made successful implementations of JAZZ Fusion services and software across the region. (www.mclarenint.com, www.jazz-fusion.net)
Teledex has completed interoperability testing with Mitel’s 3300 IP Communications Platform (ICP), targeted at businesses from 10-65,000 users for its iPhone SIP LD4200 display phones and SIP ND2200 series non-display phones. (www.mitel.com, www.teledex.com)

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