February 2, 2010

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Engineering

Communications


TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Keeping data secure takes steady focus, attention to detail

A timely article by Andy Greenberg in Forbes magazine (http://bit.ly/cgcfA6) highlights a sudden rise in thefts of hotel guest-profile data last year. Mr. Greenberg’s article focuses on security research by Trustwave’s Nicholas Percoco that shows a spike in successful attacks on hospitality properties, which the latter describes as being “relatively unprotected sources of thousands or even millions of credit card account details.”
Hotels and resorts were victims in 38% of the audits and data breaches investigated by Trustwave last year, having been “practically nonexistent” in 2008. Most hotels didn’t even know that their guests’ data had been compromised; only 3% of the audits were commissioned by properties following successful attacks, the rest coming from frauds detected in the outside world that the hotels were unaware of. Mr. Percoco reports that on average hackers had access to their victims’ networks for 156 days before the intrusions were detected.
Financial services companies were the next most often attacked, accounting for 19% of breaches, but were far more likely to have commissioned a pre-breach audit; 13% of such firms had hired Trustwave to perform a penetration test on their network. Food and beverage companies came in third and were almost as unaware as hotels, accounting for 13% of breaches and just 4.5% of audits.
Hackers can and will look for vulnerabilities at every point of a typical network; in over 80% of the reported hospitality breaches data had been stolen from POS workstations, not the main database servers or Web site. The sad part is that precautions against these attacks aren’t that difficult to take, but they do take thoroughness and steady attention. Some attacks exploited well-known 10-year old software vulnerabilities for which patches had been issued long ago by the vendors but not applied by the properties, although they had fixed more recent and well-publicized weaknesses.
All of this highlights an urgent need for hotels to make sure that their systems are fully up to date with security patches, and that their operations are PCI-compliant. Neither of these steps will or can guarantee that the data won’t be compromised by a determined criminal, but failure to take them leaves any property open to charges of negligence in handling its customers’ information. The costs of notifying all potentially affected customers, not to mention the risk to its reputation, are high enough already even if a property is fully up to date with all known precautions.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Mark Peacock hired as CIO at Pegasus
  • Aaron Shepherd promoted from CIO to Pegasus Fellow
  • Steve Lapekas joins Pegasus as executive vice president of corporate business development
  • Ric Leutwyler promoted to COO at Pegasus
  • Connie Rheams hired as senior vice president of strategic sales at Pegasus
  • Mike Montemurro joins Pegasus as vice president of CRS product management
  • Joe Hyman named one of HSMAI’s “Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing”
  • Tina Gangel promoted to sales associate at ReServe Interactive
  • Ash O. Bell hired by The Rainmaker Group as vice president of multifamily sales
  • Scott Pickert joins sales team at OnTrack Performance Tools
  • Jeff Brazinsky named Director of Performance Management at PAS
  • Jim Vinson promoted to vice president of North America sales at Onity

Pegasus Solutions has made several senior-level promotions and appointments.
– Mark Peacock has been hired as chief information officer (CIO), coming to Pegasus with 20+ years of experience optimizing company investments in IT, most recently in the IT Effectiveness practice at Archstone Consulting.
– Former CIO Aaron Shepherd will assume the role of Pegasus Fellow, focusing on the strategic evolution of Pegasus’ RezView NG CRS while working closely with top management on strategic growth and continued industry innovation.
– Steve Lapekas joins as executive vice president of corporate business development.
– Ric Leutwyler has been promoted to chief operating officer (COO), expanding his current role as chief marketing officer (CMO). He will also continue to serve as president of Utell Hotels & Resorts, Pegasus’ hotel marketing, sales and representation service.
– Connie Rheams has been appointed to senior vice president of strategic sales. She previously served with AltiusPAR as general manager with responsibility for U.S. operations and global sales, account management, marketing and business development. She also was president of TRUST International, and served for 14 years with American Airlines and Sabre in various management positions.
– Mike Montemurro has been hired as vice president of CRS product management, joining from TravelCLICK where he was responsible for product strategy development and implementation of CRS and distribution.
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Joe Hyman, President and CEO of hotel Internet marketing vendor VIZERGY, was named one of the “Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing” by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI).
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Tina Gangel has been promoted to sales associate at ReServe Interactive. Ms. Gangel was formerly ReServe’s Contract Administrator; she joined the company two years ago after 15 years of experience with Nortel Networks in customer service, project management and software performance.
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Ash O. Bell has been hired by The Rainmaker Group as vice president of multifamily sales. Mr. Bell had previously held executive sales positions with MRI and RealPage.
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Scott Pickert has joined the sales team at labor management vendor OnTrack Performance Tools. In his 20-plus years in the hospitality industry, Mr. Pickert has gained extensive knowledge of hotel operations, including managing seven full-service, luxury hotels and helping him return several distressed properties to financial and operational stability. He remains executive vice president of Leisure Sports Inc., where he helped develop the fitness resort concept and Renaissance ClubSport brand which was purchased by Marriott International.
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Jeff Brazinsky has been named Director of Performance Management at back office systems vendor PAS. Mr. Brazinsky brings over 20 years of industry knowledge, with over 12 years at Marriott in capacities from Night Auditor to Assistant Controller and at the corporate level. He has also worked in the public sector in consolidated financial reporting administration and support using Infor’s Performance Management tools.
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Jim Vinson has been promoted to vice president of North America sales at Onity from his current position as VP of commercial sales in the North American region. Mr. Vinson has over 30 years experience in the access control market; prior to joining Onity, his roles included serving as president of Northern Computers, president of SECURITYINC, and vice president of USA Sales for Simons Voss.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Playa Grande Resort, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, deploys SPI’s Orange PMS
  • Canyon Plaza Resort implements MSI’s WinPM
  • Headland Hotel, Newquay, England picks Xn Hotel Systems’ protel PMS and dotPOS Point of Sale
  • Hippocrates Health Institute (HHI), Florida, selects ResortSuite’s PMS and SPA modules
  • Ocean House chooses ResortSuite’s PMS, SPA, CATERING, F&B, WEB, RETAIL and CLUB modules
  • Caesars Palace launching iPhone app to allow check in through text messaging
  • Amadeus develops PMS interface to TTI Technologies’ Scan2PMS Passport and ID Scanning system

Solmar Hotels & Resorts’ 260-unit Playa Grande Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, has deployed SPI’s Orange Property Management System software, along with two other resorts within the group, Solmar Resort and Quinto Del Sol. (www.playagranderesort.com, www.spisoftware.com)
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Canyon Plaza Resort has implemented MSI’s (Multi-Systems, Inc.’s) WinPM PMS and Web Booking Engine. The 232 room is located on the border of Grand Canyon National Park. (www.grandcanyonplaza.com, www.msisolutions.com)
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The Headland Hotel in Newquay, England has selected Xn Hotel Systems’ protel PMS and dotPOS Point of Sale for its 96 bedrooms and 39 cottages. (www.headlandhotel.co.uk, www.xnhotels.com).
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The 65-room Hippocrates Health Institute (HHI), near Palm Beach, Florida, has selected ResortSuite’s PMS and SPA modules.
The Ocean House has chosen ResortSuite’s PMS, SPA, CATERING, F&B, WEB, RETAIL and CLUB modules. The 136-year-old hotel is due to re-open in June 2010 after an extensive renovation.
(www.hippocratesinst.org, www.oceanhouseri.com, www.resortsuite.com)
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Harrah’s Caesars Palace is launching a new iPhone app this month to allow guests who book online at the Caesars Palace website to check in through text messaging. Guests will receive a text message with a confirmation number the day before arrival, allowing them to bypass lines and receive their key after presenting identification. (www.harrahs.com)
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Amadeus has developed an interface to TTI Technologies’ Scan2PMS Passport and ID Scanning system, enabling check-in staff to capture guest information from a driver’s license or passport directly into the Amadeus PMS. (www.amadeus.com, www.ttitel.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Pegasus reports December 2009 GDS and ADS net bookings higher than 2007 and 2008
  • Atlantica extends contract with Pegasus Solutions for private label voice services
  • InfoWorld names Pegasus ’ RezView NG one of top 100 IT projects of 2009
  • Sol Meliá launches mobile services based on Mobile Travel Technologies (MTT) technology
  • Wyndham to list its 7,000+ hotel inventory with GTA
  • Priceline launches version 2.0 of iPhone hotel negotiator app, including Hotel Radar function
  • Kennedy Training Network launches private reservations webinar training series
  • Best Western unveils iPhone application
  • RIHGA Royal signs with Private Label Company (PLC), implements Trust’s yourVoyager portal
  • Travelocity announces Deals Toolkit to help consumers find deals based on preferences and flexibility
  • Netbiscuits implements mobile portal for hotel.info
  • Blue Lagoon Cruises picks TRAVELCLICK services for four cruise ships in Fiji islands
  • Genares achieves PCI-DSS certification for GenaRater CRS

Pegasus Solutions’ Pegasus View report for December 2009 reported that both GDS and ADS net bookings were higher than 2007 and 2008 levels. December GDS booking volumes (predominantly representing business travel) increased +15.35% over 2007 and +6.28% over 2008; ADS booking volumes (mostly leisure travel) were up +22.49% over 2007 and +17.18% over 2008. However, a major increase in bargain-hunting and online shopping through the ADS left 2009 net revenue for the channel -21.92% below 2008 year-end.
Atlantica Hotels International has extended its five-year relationship with Pegasus Solutions for private label voice services through 2012 for its 70+ hotels throughout Brazil. Atlanica is the exclusive Brazilian partner for Choice Hotels International, Carlson Hotels Worldwide and Starwood.
InfoWorld magazine has named Pegasus Solutions’ RezView NG next generation CRS as one of the top 100 IT projects of 2009, the only hospitality system to make the annual list of 100 IT organizations that have “integrated technologies in innovative ways in pursuit of concrete business goals,” according to the magazine.
(www.atlanticahotels.com.br, www.pegs.com)
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Sol Meliá has launched mobile services based on Mobile Travel Technologies (MTT) technology and with full booking capability. All services are available in Spanish and English. Sol Meliá customers can locate Sol Meliá hotels in their vicinity, book a room after checking hotel facilities and images, then locate the hotel via a link to Google maps. Sol Meliá mas Rewards Programme members can also access their points summary. (www.solmelia.com)
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Wyndham Hotel Group has agreed to list its 7,000+ hotel inventory with GTA (Gullivers Travel Associates) in over 130 countries. (www.gta-travel.com, www.wyndhamworldwide.com)
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Priceline has launched version 2.0 of its iPhone hotel negotiator app, including a Hotel Radar function that uses the electronic compass in the iPhone 3GS search for available hotels in the direction the user points her phone. When the app detects an individual hotel, it displays a price, star level and distance. Hotel Radar also works with older iPhones and iPod touches by letting travelers swipe a finger across the screen to rotate headings. Once hotels are located, they can be booked online or by calling priceline.com’s hotel booking number. (www.priceline.com)
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Kennedy Training Network (KTN) has launched a training package including private reservations webinar series delivered directly to hotel or call center reservations sales teams. Instead of being generic, multi-brand sessions, the webinars are presented privately by a KTN trainer directly to the hotel’s reservations team. The program is based on KTN’s Hotel Reservations SAILS Training program that focuses on “conversational” (vs. “transactional”) reservations selling skills. (www.kennedytrainingnetwork.com)
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Best Western International has unveiled an iPhone application titled ‘Best Western to Go.’ Features include Search and Book, Program (an itinerary of attractions and restaurants), Personalize (favorite locations in specific destinations) and Socialize (share experiences with family and friends). Best Western plans multiple upgrades to its iPhone application in 2010, as well as applications for other mobile platforms including Blackberry and Android. (www.bestwestern.com)
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RIHGA Royal Hotels has signed with the Private Label Company (PLC), implementing Trust International’s yourVoyager portal. Trust adapted yourVoyager to RIHGA Royal’s needs with features such as a reporting dashboard, landing page key performance indicators (KPIs) and internal notice board. (www.rihga.com, www.trustinternational.com)
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Travelocity announced a Deals Toolkit that helps consumers find travel deals based on their preferences and flexibility. Three options include a tool that returns the best deals based on a customer’s preferences for price, date range, theme, destination and travel product, a tool showing the best deals on a map, and a customer desktop tool that can be set to monitor trips from their departure city to a favorite destination and notify them when new deals are found. Users also have the ability to share relevant deals with their social networks via Facebook and Twitter. (www.travelocity.com)
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Netbiscuits has implemented a mobile portal for hotel.info’s online hotel reservation services. Users can use the phone portal to find information on hotel facilities and services, view photos, make a reservation and find the hotel using a map. (www.hotel.de , www.netbiscuits.com)
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Blue Lagoon Cruises has selected TRAVELCLICK’s online marketing services (including iHotelier CRS and Digital Agency services) for its four cruise ships in the Fiji islands. (www.bluelagooncruises.com, www.travelclick.net)
8** Genares Worldwide Reservations Services has achieved certification of compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) for its GenaRater CRS. (www.genares.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Lanyon announces Engagement & Project Sourcing system for mid to long term corporate stays
  • Luxe Worldwide Hotels selects VFM Leonardo to deliver images for 200+ member hotels
  • Small Luxury Hotels of the World chooses VFM Leonardo to manage and distribute photos for 500+ hotels
  • Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts adopts VFM Leonardo’s for 90+properties
  • Fairmont announces interactive Web site to include guest and staff user-generated content
  • Lodging Interactive rolls out Link2Brand marketing tool
  • Seminole Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos implements SAS’ Enterprise Miner software
  • Milestone Internet Marketing wins three silver awards in HSMAI’s 2009 Adrian Awards
  • TRAVELCLICK receives seven awards in the HSMAI’s Adrian Awards

Lanyon has announced its Engagement & Project Sourcing system for sourcing mid to long term corporate stays through a competitive bidding and negotiation process. Features include:
– Rate and amenity side-by-side evaluation of hotel and corporate apartment offers
– Display of a corporation’s existing preferred transient providers and rates to support negotiations
– Integration of rich media content
– Ensuring agreed rates and terms are loaded in the GDS correctly and can actually be booked
– An internal ratings system to capture the performance of specific properties.
(www.lanyon.com)
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Luxe Worldwide Hotels has selected VFM Leonardo to deliver images for its 200+ member hotels to the VNetwork, and named VFM Leonardo its exclusive distributor of rich media and provider of online visual merchandising tools.
Small Luxury Hotels of the World has chosen VFM Leonardo’s VScape Digital Asset Management System to manage and distribute photos for over 500 hotels, and named it as SLH’s exclusive provider of rich media distribution services.
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has adopted the Premium edition of VFM Leonardo’s VBrochure Online Merchandising System to provide its 90+properties with photos and rich media on thousands of electronic channels and websites in the VNetwork.
(www.luxehotels.com, www.slh.com, www.moevenpick-hotels.com, www.vfmleonardo.com)
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Fairmont Hotels & Resorts announced EverybodysAnOriginal.com, a new interactive Web site that melds many kinds of user-generated content with materials created and contributed from staff across its portfolio. The site invites consumers to upload photos, videos and commentary about Fairmont hotels and their holiday experiences, and encourages individual Fairmont properties to contribute media and information, and to respond to and interact with guest users. (www.fairmont.com)
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Lodging Interactive has rolled out its Link2Brand marketing tool for franchised and branded hotels, which converts long brand system website URL links into short, customized, property specific links. These can be used to promote hotel specials and packages as well as to market federal government Per Diem and Preferred Hotel rates to employees. (www.lodginginteractive.com)
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Seminole Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos has implemented SAS’ Enterprise Miner software to help its targeted marketing efforts. Miami-based Qualex Consulting Services, a SAS Gold Partner, installed and configured the system. (www.seminolehardrock.com, www.sas.com)
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Milestone Internet Marketing has won three silver awards in the HSMAI’s 2009 Adrian Awards competition. The awards were for eBuzz Connect, Milestone’s Social Media and Online Reputation Management System, in the Web Applications category, and for the www.nickhotel.com and www.historicinnsofannapolis.com sites in the hotel website design and internet marketing strategies category. (www.milestoneinternet.com)
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TRAVELCLICK has received seven awards from the HSMAI’s Adrian Awards, a Gold for its Villa Magna in the website design, usability and performance category and six Bronze Web Marketing awards for the Albert Hotel, Hotel Rey Juan Carlos I, Hotel Monteleone, Jet Luxury Resorts, Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers, Radisson Blu Centrum Hotel and Warsaw (integrated campaign for GDS and Travel Agents). (www.travelclick.net)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Tradyso adopts RateTiger for bi-directional access for its 1,000 CRS hotels
  • TRAVELCLICK launches Hotelligence360 multi-channel reservation, rate, and marketing intelligence application
  • REVPAR GURU identifies four revenue management strategies crucial to hotels’ recovery in 2010

Spanish-based Tradyso has adopted RateTiger’s channel management system for bi-directional access for its 1,000 CRS hotels to several hundred travel sales channels worldwide. (www.tradyso.com, www.ratetiger.com)
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TRAVELCLICK has launched its Hotelligence360 integrated, multi-channel reservation, rate, and marketing intelligence application. It includes an interactive, personalized dashboard with an alert system to send key issues to the user’s dashboard, email, or mobile device. Hotelligence360 will help hoteliers filter and examine specific information to compare their hotel’s performance to a variety of competitors and analyze booking trends. (www.travelclick.net)
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REVPAR GURU has identified four revenue management strategies it claims are crucial to hotels’ recovery in 2010, with demand for hotel rooms forecast to increase only slightly more than 1 percent and occupancy to essentially remain unchanged this year. These are:
– New Systems, the rise of comprehensive rate optimization systems that coordinate sales across multiple channels and use complex sets of information to optimize pricing in real time.
– Multi-Channel Management, placing more emphasis on managing inventory effectively across the rapidly-increasing number of channels, largely through the use of comprehensive revenue management systems.
– Transparency and Trust, helping consumers understand the rationale behind rate changes to increase their confidence and lead to higher booking rates.
– RevPAR Resurgence, after last year’s focus on salvaging occupancy; hotels will do all they can to bolster their RevPAR figures, from improving or updating their revenue management systems to offering new ancillary services. (revparguru.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Destination Hotels & Resorts creates range of “green practices” to group and meetings business
  • Destination Toledo Convention and Visitors Bureau selects Passkey

Destination Hotels & Resorts has created a range of “green practice” approaches to group and meetings business to reduce waste, conserve water, better manage energy output and more. Basic principles of waste reduction, water conservation and sustainable food and beverage practices will be supplemented with various more aggressive measures to suit levels of meeting planner interest. Some of the key principles include:
* Recycling stations and bins available in all meeting rooms.
* White boards instead of flip charts.
* Post-consumer recycled content paper for flip charts.
* Leftover conference supplies such as pens and paper donated or reused.
* Condiments offered in service vessels instead of individual packages.
* Local and in-season regional ingredients from sustainable suppliers and partners in menus.
* Bottled water sourced from within 750 miles of the hotel’s location.
* Digital thermostats in meeting rooms.
* Organic food and beverage options as well as sustainable meat, fish, pork and chicken.
* Bio-based instead of plastic flatware and recyclable/biodegradable plates and cups.
* Alternative-fueled airport shuttles, free parking for hybrid vehicles and access to purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs or Green tags).
(www.destinationhotels.com)
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Destination Toledo Convention and Visitors Bureau (Destination Toledo) has selected Passkey’s GroupMax hotel booking system to enhance the housing experience for its meeting planners and attendees, as well as to drive more customers and revenue to local hotels and businesses. Each event will have a customized hotel website where attendees can book their hotels online, and planners will be able to track event performance in real time via Passkey’s Live Dashboards. Planners can also integrate an event’s registration system directly to hotel reservations. (www.dotoledo.org/gtcvb/, www.passkey.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Lecere unveils GUI for its FIRMS (Fully-Integrated Restaurant Management Software) system

Software start-up Lecere has unveiled the GUI for its Lecere FIRMS (Fully-Integrated Restaurant Management Software) system, developed in collaboration with Portland’s Spot Color Studio. (www.lecere.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills implements Runtriz-based GoSLSHotel smart-phone application
  • TTI Technologies offers range of Business Center package options
  • KoolConnect Technologies installs Intrigue interactive video system in four international hotels
  • Intelity to launch version of Interactive Customer Experience (ICE) software for Apple iPad
  • Intelity releases ICE Mobile version for Apple’s iPhone
  • MTech appoints Dubai-based InfoScape Technologies its distributor for MENA region
  • iBAHN reports Internet use by both business and leisure guests increased over 50% in 2009
  • Hyatt Regency Greenville implements guest service iPhone application using GBCblue’s GORION
  • Aloft Abu Dhabi Hotel first in UAE to install TeleAdapt’s MediaHub HD with stereo Bluetooth wireless music streaming
  • Bacara Resort & Spa expands use of GoConcierge to many departments
  • Country Inns & Suites By Carlson and Park Inn Hotels designate InnFlux as a preferred HSIA vendor
  • Phi lWeb and ISM Communications acquire 65% stake in Acentic

The SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills has implemented GoSLSHotel, a customized version of Runtriz’ smart-phone application which allows guests to set a wake-up call, order room service, request luggage pick-up, purchase show tickets, make dinner reservations and more. The hotel will loan a device to guests who don’t have one. The hotel also incorporated a survey module into the application to give management real-time feedback and the opportunity to respond immediately to an incident. The device also assists hearing-impaired guests, who can directly message an in-room dining order or book appointments for hotel services even while they are not on property. (www.slshotels.com, www.runtriz.com)
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TTI Technologies has announced a series of Business Center package options for different property’s needs, including:
– Bronze Access for properties looking to maintain their current hardware with added software features for guest privacy and security.
– Silver Unlimited Free Access for properties wishing to give guests unlimited free Internet access. Access codes can be generated to deter guests from using a workstation for extended periods of time.
– Gold Semi-Free Access for properties wishing to give guests limited free Internet access but charge for extensive usage.
– Platinum Paid Access, TTI’s traditional Business Center model provided on a revenue share basis with no out-of-pocket expense.
(www.ttitel.com)
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KoolConnect Technologies has announced that its Intrigue interactive video system has been installed in the Andaz Wall Street, the Dana, the Aloft Abu Dhabi and the Banyan Tree Acapulco. (www.koolconnect.com)
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Intelity announced its intention to launch a version of its touch screen virtual-concierge Interactive Customer Experience (ICE) software for Apple’s new iPad tablet, due to be released in April.
Intelity has released ICE Mobile, a version of its Interactive Customer Experience (ICE) guest service/concierge application for Apple’s iPhone. Launch properties include New York City’s Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, the Westin Boston and the Annapolis Marriot.
(www.intelityice.com)
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MTech has appointed Dubai-based InfoScape Technologies LLC as its sales, marketing, installation and local technical support distributor for its HotSOS and REX products hotels in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. (www.InfoScapeme.com, www.m-tech.com)
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iBAHN has reported that Internet use by both business and leisure guests at leading hotels using its network increased more than 50% in 2009, as measured by number of data packets per guest session. Its data shows that the amount of data increased by 50% per guest session, and that guests are also spending 60% more time on the Internet. These figures support an iBAHN-commissioned study of frequent business travelers conducted last year by Ypartnership that reported more than two-thirds of frequent business travelers having downloaded music onto their computers (67%) while nearly 60% have downloaded video, and more than one-half have downloaded news (54%) or entertainment (52%) onto their computers. The implication for hoteliers is that the “free to guest” access model for all locations of the hotel at all times to all guests is economically unrealistic given guests’ differing bandwidth needs. (www.ibahn.com)
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The Hyatt Regency Greenville has implemented a guest service iPhone application using GBCblue’s GORION mobile e-commerce platform, extending the reach of its GBCblue-based online guest-services portal to guests’ mobile phones. The hotel reports that 80 percent of the guests who visit the portal use their handhelds to get there. The GORION app allows guests to view photo-enhanced F&B menus and place orders on-site or in advance of their stays, order amenities such as towels, linens and soaps and learn more about local attractions. Guests can also use the portal to make room reservations from their iPhones and iPod Touches. (www.hyattroomservice.com, www.gbcblue.com)
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The 408-room Aloft Abu Dhabi Hotel is the first in the UAE to install TeleAdapt’s MediaHub HD with stereo Bluetooth for wireless music streaming. The hotel’s guestroom entertainment centre integrates the MediaHub HD connectivity panel with a 42′ LG HDTV and KoolConnect HDVOD & Interactive system; the panel’s audio and video connection points allow guests to connect their digital camera, laptop, iPod or game console to the TV. The MediaHub HD also converts the LG HDTV into a wireless stereo by way of a Stereo Bluetooth pairing point for the guest. (www.alofthotels.com, www.teleadapt.com)
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The Bacara Resort & Spa has expanded its use of GoConcierge from the concierge staff to its restaurant managers, reservations department, executive managers, front desk and communications teams. (www.bacararesort.com, www.goconcierge.net )
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Country Inns & Suites By Carlson and Park Inn Hotels have designated InnFlux of Chicago as a preferred vendor for High Speed Internet Access (HSIA) for their nearly 500 properties. InnFlux will also offer corresponding services such as tech support for non-InnFlux HSIA systems, back office network support, meeting Internet authentication and billing, Guest and Lobby PCs, ISP load balancing and aggregation and guest printing. (www.countryinns.com, www.parkinn.com, www.innflux.com )
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Phi lWeb Corp. and ISM Communications Corp. have acquired a 65% stake in digital interactive TV (iTV) systems provider Acentic. The acquisition will allow Acentic to extend its digital TV and high speed internet access (HSIA) services throughout the European market, expand to the Asia-Pacific region and strengthen its gaming offerings. (www.acentic.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City installs 18-panel solar electricity system

The 56-suite Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City, UT has installed an 18-panel solar electricity system, adding another layer to its green initiatives. The inn’s owners invested in a large infrastructure for the panels to allow the system to be expanded later at a much lower cost per panel. The Inn is placing a strong emphasis on green initiatives and reducing power consumption. In addition to aggressive recycling programs and other conservation efforts, it purchases 100 percent of its electricity as wind power and maintains carbon neutrality by offsetting its remaining carbon footprint with carbon offsets from Clean Air-Cool Planet. (www.treasuremountaininn.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS

  • ABI Research sees hotel IP phone market expanding to over $2 billion by end of 2014

Industry analyst ABI Research forecasts that hotel systems based on IP telephone networks will increasingly enable a range of new customer services and expand worldwide sales of such systems from $869 million in 2008 to over $2 billion by the end of 2014. These systems are expected to penetrate mid-range hotels eventually, but initial adoption is seen as being driven mainly by top-tier properties charging $300 or more a night. Service differentiators foreseen by ABI has being made possible by IP guest phones include tracking room service order deliveries and staff productivity, taking bookings for in-house restaurants, and poolside retail item purchasing from cordless phones. (www.abiresearch.com)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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