February 6, 2007

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Spa/Golf/Leisure

Guest Services

Back Office

Inventory / Purchasing


JANUARY 17 – FEBRUARY 6, 2007

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Top Ten Travel Trends to Watch in 2007

Yes, another Top Ten list, but this set of Travel Trends to Watch in 2007 from Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell has some interesting observations. Take a look:
1. Leisure travel will continue to outpace business travel, as business people try to use technology to avoid travel whenever appropriate, and to minimize growing travel and lodging costs;
2. Family travel will continue to grow faster than all other leisure travel, as a way to reunite parents, grandparents and children faced with the increasing dominance of work;
3. Most travel suppliers will try to raise fares and rates as demand grows, capacity becomes strained and operating costs escalate;
4. The Internet will continue to dominate travel headlines, but usage for planning will remain flat while usage for bookings will continue to grow, albeit at a significantly lower rate;
5. Comparison shopping and the corresponding “price transparency” will become more common as consumers discover the power of meta search engines such as kayak.com;
6. “Lifestyle” hotel brands such as NYLO, aloft, etc. will gain popularity with the next generation of travelers (the Millennials), as well as older travelers who wish to look, act and feel like them;
7. Inclusive package pricing will expand from resorts to commercial hotels to offer travelers good value for “just the basics” (a comfortable bed, a good working desk, breakfast, High Speed Internet access and reward points); (note the inclusion of HSIA as a “basic” – JI)
8. Use of spas will continue to grow to alleviate the mounting stress in consumers’ lives, fueling the next generation of spa development in commercial hotels;
9. Cruises will continue remarkable growth via new ships, an aging population and good marketing, becoming an even more formidable competitor of land-based hotels and resorts;
10. The .travel Internet domain will become popular as suppliers market their products and services in a more refined online environment, and consumers seek refuge (no doubt temporary – JI) from the contamination and frustration of the general .com domain.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Mark Jewart promoted to Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Megasys
  • Christopher Soder promoted to President, North American Travel for Priceline.com
  • Patrick Andrès hired as SynXis’ General Manager in Asia Pacific
  • Tim Harvey promoted to EVP – Global Distribution Services and CIO at Hilton
  • Tim Tiller promoted to President at Multi-Systems Inc.

Mark Jewart has been promoted to Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Megasys; he was formerly Director of Support and Professional Services. Mr. Jewart has been with Megasys for eight years; he had previously served 12 years in IT for Puritan/Churchill Chemical in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Christopher Soder has been promoted to President, North American Travel for Priceline.com. Joining Priceline in 2000, he was most recently Executive Vice President, Travel Services. In his new role Mr. Soder will be responsible for all of priceline.com’s U.S. travel services as well as domestic information technology and operations. He had earlier served as Western Region Vice President, Growth Markets, for AT&T.
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20-year industry veteran Patrick Andrès has been hired as SynXis’ General Manager in Asia Pacific, based in its Singapore office. Mr. Andrès most recently served as a member of the Information Technology team at the International Air Transport Association (IATA). He was previously Director of Business Development for Expedia Travel, and had earlier overseen the North-Asia region for Micros-Fidelio, based in Hong Kong.
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Tim Harvey has been promoted to Executive Vice President – Global Distribution Services and Chief Information Officer at Hilton Hotels Corp, overseeing the company’s distribution activities in addition to its technology programs. Mr. Harvey was previously Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer.
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Tim Tiller has been promoted to President at Multi-Systems Inc. (MSI). Rick Munson, the previous President, will retain his role as Chief Executive Officer and MSI Board Chairman. Mr. Tiller was most recently COO at MSI, having joined the company in 1998; he had earlier served in several roles at John Q. Hammons Hotels.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Capella Hotels and Resorts to install PAR Springer-Miller’s Host suite
  • Macdonald Hotels & Resorts implementing MICROS’ OPERA Enterprise systems for 78 sites
  • MICROS acquires RedSky IT
  • IBM launches Vertical Industry Program for casino hospitality market with Agilysys, Bally Technologies, InfoGenesis and Infinium
  • Jumeirah selects SoftBrands’ Epitome PMS, BI and Core CRS
  • NYLO picks SoftBrands’ centrally-hosted epitome.NET PMS for its loft-styled properties
  • McEniff Hotels orders SoftBrands’ PORTfolio PMS for three locations in Ireland
  • NORTHWIND announces new features for Maestro Enterprise PMS

Capella Hotels and Resorts is installing PAR Springer-Miller’s SMS|Host PMS, beginning with the Capella Castlemartyr Hotel and Golf Club in County Cork, Ireland and Schloss Velden in Velden, Austria, both due to open this summer. Capella is a subsidiary of Horst Schulze’s West Paces Hotel Group, and focuses on luxury properties with under 100 rooms. The two properties will also install SMS|Enterprise for central reservations and data collection, SMS|POS Retail for spa, golf and transportation, SMS|Membership Management for golf and spa memberships, SMS|Activities for outside guest services, and SMS|Spa/Resort Scheduling for bookings at the spa, dining and transportation. In addition, Capella Castlemartyr will use SMS|Multi-Property Management to manage the resort’s individually owned Mews residences separately the main hotel. (www.capellahotels.com, www.springermiller.com)
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Macdonald Hotels & Resorts is implementing MICROS’ OPERA Enterprise Solution including OPERA Reservation System (ORS), Customer Information System (OCIS), Web Services (OWS) and myfidelio.net for its 68 hotels and six resorts in the UK and four resorts in Spain. These central systems will be hosted at the MICROS-Fidelio data-center in Frankfurt, Germany. MacDonalds’ property management systems, a combination of OPERA PMS and Fidelio V6, are implemented and managed at site level.
MICROS Systems has acquired the Hospitality-Travel and Retail subsidiaries of RedSky IT. RedSky has an extensive installed base of the well-known ImagInn PMS, but it’s more modern Web-based Entirety PMS didn’t find the hoped-for market acceptance despite some interesting design features. RedSky IT’s Retail customers include the 4 largest grocers in the United Kingdom.
(www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk, www.redskyit.com, www.micros.com)
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IBM has announced a System i Vertical Industry Program (VIP) for the casino hospitality market segment. The VIP offers a “casino-in-a-box” solution that offers applications from Agilysys (PMS), Bally Technologies (casino management), InfoGenesis (POS) and Infor’s Infinium (accounting, HR) as an integrated suite on the System i platform. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) is also a contributor to the VIP, and its College of Business will begin teaching a System i-based curriculum this Fall. The VIP initiative is bolstered by a recent ITG study reporting that it costs 51 to 57 percent less to run lodging and casino management applications on System i compared to Windows-based servers over a three-year period.
**
Jumeirah has contracted with SoftBrands for its Core Central Reservation System, Epitome Business Intelligence and Epitome Property Management System at its properties in Dubai and around the world. Implementation will use regional multi-property Epitome PMS systems and centralized Core and BI modules. The Dubai-based group’s properties include the Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, as well as Jumeirah Carlton Tower and Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel in London, and the Essex House in New York.
Atlanta-based NYLO Hotels has selected SoftBrands’ epitome.NET PMS in a centrally-hosted implementation for its loft-styled properties. The systems will include lobby kiosks that will allow guests to view their folios and print boarding passes.
McEniff Hotels has chosen SoftBrands’ PORTfolio PMS for three locations in Ireland, the Sligo Southern, Great Northern and Dublin Skylon, replacing their current property management systems.
(www.jumeirah.com, www.nylohotels.com, www.bmceniffhotels.com, www.softbrands.com)
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NORTHWIND announced several new features to be rolled out for its Maestro Enterprise PMS this year. The enhancements include:
* Resort-wide mag-stripe Guest ID card;
* New XML-based 2-Way GDS interface, integrated with Maestro Yield;
* Signature capture for remote check-ins;
* Gift card management and accounting;
* Text messaging for property maintenance and guest communication.
* Online dining, spa and other activity reservations;
* Online group booking and group block management;
* Online condo ownership booking and account management;
(www.maestropms.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Farecast planning to expand prediction service to hotel rates
  • Woodlands Resort & Inn, Summerville, SC, picks TravelClick’s iHotelier CRS
  • Colonial Williamsburg selects TravelCLICK’s iHotelier CRS
  • China’s Gloria International Hotels contracts with FastBooking for Internet Booking Engine
  • Travelport considering spinning off Orbitz in an initial public offering
  • Choice Hotels Ireland picks SoftBrands PORTfolio CRS and PORTfolio WBE
  • Peninsula Hotels implements Nirvana Technology’s Internet-based gift certificate program
  • Lycos’ Pangora launches travel price and product search tool

Farecast is planning to expand its airfare prediction service into new travel categories such as hotels during 2007. It currently offers predictions on the potential rise or fall in airfares from 75 airports in the U.S. (www.farecast.com)
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The Woodlands Resort & Inn in Summerville, SC has picked TravelClick’s iHotelier CRS for website bookings and GDS connectivity.
Colonial Williamsburg has selected TravelCLICK’s iHotelier CRS for website reservations and GDS connectivity at its five official properties in Williamsburg, VA. Colonial Williamsburg also uses TravelCLICK’s RateVIEW application to review rates and occupancy levels of competitors and implement rate and inventory strategies across electronic channels.
(www.woodlandsinn.com, www.colonialwilliamsburg.com, www.travelclick.net)
**
China’s Gloria International Hotels has contracted with FastBooking for its Internet Booking Engine for 16 hotels and resorts. The FastBooking IBE offers real-time availability and immediate reservation and confirmation in 24 languages. (www.gloriahotels.com, www.fastbooking.com)
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Travelport is considering spinning off Orbitz in an initial public offering, less than six months after the Blackstone Group bought the complete Travelport division from Cendant. (www.travelport.com)
**
Choice Hotels Ireland has selected SoftBrands PORTfolio CRS and PORTfolio WBE to streamline its central reservations capability and provide enhanced executive management information. Choice currently operates 18 hotels in Ireland, with two more opening soon. (www.choicehotels.ie, www.softbrands.com)
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Peninsula Hotels has implemented Nirvana Technology’s Internet-based gift certificate program, allowing the Web-site ordering of gift certificates for any property in any currency. Nirvana will act as the merchant of record, securing the online transactions, accounting for all credit card certificate payments each week and transferring funds via wire transfer to foreign properties and via the ACH network for domestic properties. (www.peninsula.com, www.nirvana-technology.com)
**
Lycos’ Pangora has launched a travel price and product search tool, starting with flights and with hotels and package breaks to follow. The service has been launched on LYCOS’ shopping channel with retail partners including Opodo, Nofrills, Wegolo, Air Berlin, MyTravel and Skytours. (www.pangora.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • TIG Global receives nine Adrian Awards for Web marketing from HSMAI

TIG Global has received nine Adrian Awards for Web marketing from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), three for Web site design and six for integrated Web marketing programs on behalf of its clients. This year’s competition attracted more than 1,202 entries from over 36 countries. (www.TIGglobal.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • ResortQuest chooses EZ Yield.com for distribution channel management
  • HLC Hotels selects AnyRate Software for rate shopping reports and tools for 21 properties
  • Opus Hospitality Advisors to use Intercrew Systems revenue management
  • Accor Asia Pacific has implemented the EzRMS Internet Product Suite at five hotels
  • 10-room Chandlers Hotel implements SensibleRez online reservations

ResortQuest has chosen EZ Yield.com for distribution channel management of its vacation rental properties. (www.resortquest.com, www.ezyield.com)
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HLC Hotels has selected AnyRate Software for competitive rate shopping reports and tools for its 21 properties. (www.hlchotels.com, www.any-rate.com)
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Opus Hospitality Advisors has signed with Intercrew Systems (ICS) for its revenue management application. Located in Scottsdale, AZ Opus primarily manages Marriott and IHG branded hotels in California, New Mexico, Idaho, Colorado and Utah. (www.opushospitality.com, www.intercrewsystems.com)
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Accor Asia Pacific has implemented the EzRMS Internet Product Suite at five hotels in Singapore, Bangkok and Manila. (www.accorhotels-asia.com, www.easyrms.com)
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The 10-room Chandlers Hotel, Weymouth, England has implemented Sensible IT’s SensibleRez online reservations application. Rate and room availability are monitored remotely; new reservations are delivered via email. (www.makeitsensible.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Inverness Hotel and Conference Center picks Passkey

The 302-room Inverness Hotel and Conference Center has picked Passkey for online group reservations. The Center includes 60,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, a golf course and 4,500 square foot spa. (www.invernesshotel.com, www.passkey.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Posera Software and Squirrel Systems to merge
  • Island View Casino, Gulfport, Mississippi, installs Capton’s RFID-based pour control system
  • J.D.’s Restaurants completes fourth installation of HSI Profit Series POS

Canadian POS venders Posera Software and Squirrel Systems are merging. Benefits anticipated include an enhanced distribution channel combining Posera’s strength in the international market place with Squirrel’s in North America, and a single 24/7 help desk for the companies’ combined customer base. Posera claims over 20,000 customers in 15 countries, Squirrel a further 10,000. (www.posera.com, www.squirrelsystems.com)
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The newly-christened Island View Casino in Gulfport, Mississippi, has installed Capton’s RFID-based pour control system. The casino re-opened after a post-Hurricane Katrina rebuild on the site of the former Grand Casino Gulfport. (www.islandviewcasino.com, www.captoninc.com)
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J.D.’s Restaurants, Charlotte, NC, has completed its fourth installation of Hospitality Solutions International (HSI) Profit Series POS system. (www.hsi-solutions.com)
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SPA/GOLF/LEISURE

  • Capella Hotels and Resorts installing Springer-Miller’s Spa, Membership Management and Retail POS

Capella Hotels and Resorts is installing PAR Springer-Miller’s SMS|Spa/Resort Scheduling for bookings at the spa, dining and transportation, SMS|Membership Management for golf and spa memberships, SMS|POS Retail for spa, golf and transportation, and SMS|Activities for outside guest services at its Capella Castlemartyr Hotel and Golf Club in County Cork, Ireland and Schloss Velden in Velden, Austria, properties, both due to open this summer. Both will also use the SMS|Host PMS and SMS|Enterprise for central reservations and data collection. (www.capellahotels.com, www.springermiller.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Pan Pacific Seattle has implemented GoConcierge
  • Internet access vendor SolutionInc adds Web content control from Fast Data Technology
  • Elfiq announces series of link load balancers
  • Vertical Systems Inc. (VSi) releases FreshStart software to reset guest-access PCs
  • iBAHN’s new NextConnect uses Tut technology for quality HSIA over existing Cat 3 wiring
  • Tangerine Global adds high-definition television programming from NFL Network
  • Wayport announces new vertical market strategy, reports record connection numbers
  • Radisson extends complimentary high-speed Internet access to Latin America

The 160-room Pan Pacific Seattle has implemented GoConcierge’s Web-based task tracking system. In addition to reservations and other tasks, Pan Pacific concierges use the system to track packages and lost and found items, and the PBX operators use it for guest requests for taxi service. GoConcierge is also used at a station in the condo tower of the mixed-use building to track condo resident profile information. (http://seattle.panpacific.com, www.goconcierge.net/home)
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Internet access vendor SolutionInc Technologies Limited has added Web content control from Fast Data Technology to its range services. (www.solutioninc.com, www.fastdatatech.com)
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Elfiq has announced a series of link load balancers that let hotels combine multiple broadband circuits – T-1s, DSLs, Fiber, wireless, cable modems – under a single IP scheme. This allows the hotel to use less expensive broadband to increase the speed of its network and to scale its oncoming data connection to meet the needs of its guests and meeting room customers most efficiently. (www.elfiq.com)
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Vertical Systems Inc. (VSi) has released its FreshStart software to reset guest-access PCs to a clean status after each use. When a user logs out the computer’s system is rebuilt with a new Windows operating system, factory settings and applications, permanently erasing the previous user’s files, personal data and usage history and any viruses, spyware or user-loaded non-standard programs. (www.ver-sys.com)
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iBAHN announced NextConnect, an Ethernet system using Tut Systems technology that leverages existing Cat 3 wiring to provide quality high-speed Internet access suitable for bandwidth-intensive guest applications. NextConnect uses TUT T2 hardware fitted over existing phone jacks, upgrading them to a managed Ethernet switch when used in conjunction with iBAHN service. Power is supplied to the Ethernet switch via the original telephone wires, eliminating the need for an external power supply. iBAHN NextConnect supports quad-play — the convergence of video, voice, data and wireless applications over the Internet – and offers a multiport feature supporting the addition of up to four Ethernet ports in each guestroom. (www.ibahn.com)
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Tangerine Global has added high-definition television (HDTV) programming from the NFL Network to its service offerings. The service was launched in Miami’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel in time for Super Bowl XLI. (www.tangerineglobal.com)
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Wayport has announced a vertical market strategy encompassing retail, healthcare, hospitality, managed services and others. It also reported record connection numbers and venue counts, including more than 30 million paid customer connections made on its network with 14 million in 2006 alone. Wayport now serves more than 13,000 locations worldwide, and added more than 2,000 locations in 2006. (www.wayport.net)
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Radisson Hotels & Resorts announced that complimentary high-speed Internet access has been expanded into Latin America and is now available in all guestrooms in the Americas region. Internet access is offered either hard-wired or wireless depending on the individual property; approximately half of the hotels offer wireless connectivity throughout their property. (www.radisson.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Aptech’s Execuvue, Targetvue and Profitvue now used by over 2,500 properties
  • NCR Corp announces RFID-based Asset Visibility asset management application
  • Classic Residence by Hyatt selects TimeManagement Corp’s TMx

Aptech Computer Systems announced that its Execuvue, Targetvue and Profitvue applications are now used by over 2,500 properties. (www.aptech-inc.com)
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NCR Corp announced its Asset Visibility asset management application using radio frequency identification (RFID) or other automatic identification and data collection (AIDC) technologies. The software can be used as a standalone application or be integrated with systems such as enterprise resource planning and fixed asset tracking systems, maintenance and tool crib, warehouse management or manufacturing and quality control systems. (www.ncr.com)
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Classic Residence by Hyatt has selected TimeManagement Corp’s TMx for labor management at its 18 senior living communities. Self Service Kiosks allow staff members to validate hours, view schedules, review assigned tasks and stations and print out upcoming schedules, and feature biometric identification. (www.hyattclassic.com, www.timemgmt.com)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • Mandarin Oriental New York installing Moreton Bay Technology’s Check EAM

The Mandarin Oriental New York is installing Moreton Bay Technology’s Check EAM application. This follows Mandarin Oriental’s standardization on the system for all its sites in Asia and Europe. (www.mbtcheck.com)
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