March 11, 2014

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

Guest Services

Back Office

Engineering

Communications / Infrastructure

FEBRUARY 19 – MARCH 11, 2014

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Guest satisfaction varies by country – and by the amount of staff interaction

A reminder of the importance of guest satisfaction, and a caution of how different cultures have different expectations, comes from a recent study published by Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research. Based on two years of data for nearly 200,000 guests from eight nations, the study found cultural differences in four areas:
– While price and location are the top decision factors, residents of some countries give considerable weight to specific services;
– People in different countries do consider different factors in their determination of satisfaction;
– The effect of certain procedures on guests’ satisfaction differs by country; and
– Residents of some countries express lower levels of satisfaction in general than those in other countries.
In other words, it’s not enough to plan for a particular guest satisfaction initiative; its impact and the results you get may depend more than you think on the guests’ nationality.
The study confirmed that guest satisfaction has a direct impact on a hotel’s financial performance. As little as a single point increase in a hotel’s 100-point Global Review Index™ (GRI) leads up to a 0.89% increase in price (ADR), a 0.54% increase in occupancy and a 1.42% increase in Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR).
One surprising area of cultural difference was in guests’ tolerance of delays in check-in. “Everybody knows” that guests hate to wait in line, confirmed by the study’s report that when tolerance thresholds are exceeded guest satisfaction scores can drop by an astonishing 50 points. However, that threshold can vary significantly by nationality; American travelers reported getting impatient after just a three minute wait in line, and Canadians after just four minutes. The French, Germans and Italians are a little more patient at 15 minutes, followed by the stiff upper lip British at 17, but the champions of patience are apparently the Japanese, who reportedly are OK with waiting up to 30 minutes. (At least at hotels; those who’ve experienced the crush on the Tokyo subway may disagree with this figure.) All this is great input for vendors working to let guests by-pass the front desk completely and go straight to their room, or at least to check themselves in online pre-arrival to minimize the time spent picking up their key.
On the other hand, is maximum self-service really the answer? According to the J.D. Power 2013 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, the number of interactions guests have with hotel staff may itself have an impact on satisfaction. Guests who interact with four or more staff types, excluding the check-in staff, gave an average of 856 points, 79 points higher than the industry average. Conversely, satisfaction dropped to 53 points below the industry average when guests have no interaction with staff beyond check in.
Guest self-service apps are clearly here to stay, but perhaps people who need people really are happier.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Richard Corso promoted to CEO at InnLink
  • Kristin Intress joins WorldHotels as CEO
  • Robert Arnold selected as one of HSMAI’s “Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing”
  • Bob McCarthy joins board of HandHeld Hospitality

Richard Corso has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer at InnLink Central Reservation Services. Mr. Corso joined InnLink in 2011 as CFO, and had previously served as CEO of the Caribbean resort chain Royal Resorts. Kristin Intress will continue to serve as President & Chairman of the Board for InnLink, but has also joined Worldhotels as CEO.
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Robert Arnold has been selected as one of the “Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing” by the HSMAI. Mr. Arnold is Vizergy’s Vice President of Sales, and has more than ten years of experience in the hotel industry and twelve years’ experience in e-commerce and Internet marketing gained in senior executive positions with TravelCLICK and TIG Global.
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Bob McCarthy has joined the board of HandHeld Hospitality, a mobile technology vendor for hotels. Mr. McCarthy was formerly COO of Marriott International until his retirement in February.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • MGM deploying Cenium in 3rd property
  • NH Hotel Group implementing Indra’s TMS across all 400 hotels
  • Ivory Grand Hotel Apartment, Dubai deploys Prologic First’s complete WISH hospitality suite
  • Hallmark Hotels implements protel’s MPE, ePOS from Xn Hotel Systems across eight hotels
  • NORTHWIND enhances Diamond Plus Service, Management Strategies and Web Connection Services

MGM is deploying Cenium’s full hospitality enterprise suite at its Chengdu China property, the third Cenium implementation for MGM’s worldwide luxury properties. The Chengdu property is scheduled for go live in March. MGM’s first Cenium-equipped property is in Sanya, China, and went live in 2011; it includes 576 rooms, 10 restaurants, 2 retail locations, a 43,000 sq. ft. conference center and a full service luxury spa, all running on Cenium’s ERP suite. (www.mgmresorts.com, www.cenium.com)
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Spain’s NH Hotel Group is implementing Indra’s Travel Management Suite across its complete portfolio of close to 400 hotels in Europe, the Americas and Africa, running all front office, back office and CRS functions on a single platform. All key systems will be migrated to the SAP-based TMS Suite, including PMS, CRS, Loyalty, Business Intelligence, Sales & Catering, Spa, Website and CRM, as well as finance, sales, management control, procurement, asset management, invoicing and HR modules. The roll out began in January 2014. Indra is also developing NH’s new website on the TMSforWeb web platform, based on SDL Tridion’s CMS, with a strong focus on improving the experience of returning hotel guests and attracting new ones. A new loyalty program, NH Hotel Group Rewards, is also being launched in cooperation with Indra. (www.nh-hotels.com, www.indracompany.com)
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The 220-unit Ivory Grand Hotel Apartment in Dubai has deployed Prologic First’s complete WISH hospitality suite. (ivorygrand.com/hotel-apartment.asp, www.prologicfirst.com)
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The UK’s Hallmark Hotels is implementing protel’s Multi-Property Edition (MPE) from Xn Hotel Systems with integrated Conference & Banqueting, as well as Xn’s enterprise POS, across its eight hotels in Bournemouth, Manchester, Derby, Carlisle, Hull, Gloucester and Croydon. (www.hallmarkhotels.co.uk, www.xnhotels.com)
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NORTHWIND-Maestro PMS announced it has enhanced its Diamond Plus Service, Management Strategies, and Web Connection Services to include direct access to its E-Learning Library from the Maestro menu, new tutorials, guides, etc. and added capabilities to its Management Services. (www.maestropms.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Tourico Holidays enhances data-caching technology to achieve 97% sync rate with top hotel brands
  • Monte Carlo Sharm El Sheikh resort selects Busy Rooms’s dynamic packaging for rooms and flights
  • Trust International  certified by TripAdvisor as TripConnect Premium Partner
  • Lucerne Hotel in New York City contracts for Pegasus Connect+
  • Sorell Hotels Group assigns all 17 hotels to Pegasus Connect+, RVNG

Wholesale travel brokerage Tourico Holidays announced that enhancements to its data-caching technology have allowed it to achieve a 97% sync rate with top hotel brands, including Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Choice Hotels. The enhancements mitigate industry-wide challenges with pricing latency and data accuracy, allowing Tourico to exceed its previous 92% connectivity rate. (www.touricoholidays.com)
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The Monte Carlo Sharm El Sheikh resort has selected Busy Rooms’s dynamic packaging to let guests seamlessly book flights together with accommodation on one Web site. Guests will also be able to add airport transfers, local attractions and/or room upgrades. Busy Rooms now supports more than 50 hotels & resorts in Egypt. (www.busy-rooms.com)
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Trust International  has been certified by TripAdvisor as a TripConnect Premium Partner, helping hotels bid for TripAdvisor meta search traffic, participate in automated review collection and track return on investment for their campaigns. (www.trustinternational.com, www.tripadvisor.com)
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The 201-room Lucerne Hotel in New York City has contracted for Pegasus Connect+ services.
Switzerland’s Sorell Hotels Group has assigned all 17 hotels to Pegasus Connect+. The full Sorell portfolio will now use Pegasus’ RVNG central reservations system.
(www.thelucernehotel.com, www.sorellhotels.com/en/home.asp?, www.pegs.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • dana hotel and spa implements Flip.to
  • Irish Hotels Federation to show TrustYou’s hotel TrustScores on IrelandHotels.com website
  • Check In Canada to rank hotels based on TrustYou’s TrustScore
  • FindMyCarrots partners with TrustYou to provide semantic analysis for hotel queries in India
  • Saybrook Point Inn & Spa hires GCommerce for new website presence and digital strategy
  • AM:PM Hotels celebrates third anniversary, announces development of database for hotel closures
  • CVBs of Tucson, Scottsdale and Flagstaff implement nSight

Chicago’s 216-room dana hotel and spa has implemented Flip.to’s brand advocacy platform. (www.danahotelandspa.com, www.flip.to)
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The Irish Hotels Federation plans to show TrustYou’s hotel TrustScores on its IrelandHotels.com website, which represents almost 1,000 hotels and guesthouses across Ireland.
Check In Canada, the booking site for The Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association in concert with other Canadian hotel associations, now ranks hotels based on TrustYou’s TrustScore, as well as providing detailed semantic review summaries of pros and cons based on reviews across the web.
FindMyCarrots (FmC) has partnered with TrustYou to provide semantic analysis for hotel queries in India. FmC has crawled close to a million web pages and created a catalogue of more than 10,000 places of interest in India.
((IrelandHotels.com, www.checkincanada.com, www.findmycarrots.com, www.trustyou.com)
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Saybrook Point Inn & Spa has engaged GCommerce to create a new website presence and digital strategy. (www.saybrook.com, www.GCommerceSolutions.com)
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AM:PM Hotels, a UK hotel data and market intelligence business, is celebrating its third anniversary by announcing product development plans for 2014, including the addition of a new database for hotel closures, spanning over a century. (www.ampmhotels.com)
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The Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) of Tucson, Scottsdale and Flagstaff are implementing nSight’s business intelligence service to analyze who is searching and booking the destinations from travel websites worldwide. (www.visittucson.org, www.experiencescottsdale.com, www.flagstaffarizona.org, www.nsightfortravel.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Derag Livinghotels signs with SiteMinder for distribution management at 14 properties
  • Jumbo Tours Spain signs with SiteMinder
  • Silver Legacy Resort Casino picks Rainmaker Group’s GuestREV 
  • World Independent Hotel Promotion (WIHP) partners with eRevMax 
  • Inn on Biltmore Estate implement IDeaS’ RMS
  • IDeaS wins Best in Class Technology Award in Revenue Management at Hospitality Technology Europe Conference

Derag Livinghotels has signed with SiteMinder for distribution management at its 14 properties in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and München.
Online travel agency Jumbo Tours Spain has signed with SiteMinder, allowing it to access dynamic room availability and rate supply directly from thousands of hotels that are clients of SiteMinder’s Room Distribution Exchange. Based in Majorca, Spain and with 27 offices worldwide, Jumbo Tours Spain caters to over 2.7 million clients a year in 50 destinations.
(www.jumbotours.com, www.deraghotels.de/en/, www.siteminder.com)
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Silver Legacy Resort Casino has chosen the Rainmaker Group’s GuestREV revenue management system. The 1,700 resort in Reno, NV, is a joint venture partnership between Eldorado Resorts LLC and MGM Resorts International, and includes an 87,300 square-foot casino, six dining venues and 50,000 square feet of meeting space. (www.silverlegacyreno.com, www.letitrain.com)
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World Independent Hotel Promotion (WIHP) has partnered with eRevMax to offer meta-search management capabilities, allowing hotel customers of eRevMax’s RateTiger and Connect services to push real time rate and availability data to Google Hotel Finder, TripAdvisor, Trivago, Kayak and WeGo. WIHP will also provide hotels with a managed service to execute the Bid Management process from a digital marketing perspective based upon a monthly or daily advertising budget. (www.erevmax.com)
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The 210-room Inn on Biltmore Estate has implemented IDeaS Revenue Solutions’ Revenue Management System (RMS).
IDeaS has been recognized by the HSMAI at the Hospitality Technology Europe Conference as winner of the Best in Class Technology Award in Revenue Management.
(www.biltmore.com, www.ideas.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Beijing International Hotel selects Newmarket’s Delphi
  • Genares releases “SalesConnect”  CRM tool for its BT Advantage program
  • Hyatt deploys Social Tables to all North American hotels
  • Social Tables launches Social Tables On-Site, allowing editable function space diagrams on hotel websites
  • South by Southwest (SXSW) contracts with Meetingmax Systems
  • Social Tables adds support for the metric system
  • Sonesta Collection picks EMI’s SpeedRFP for its brand and 51 properties
  • ACTIVE Network Business Solutions merges into Lanyon
  • Lansdowne Resort installs Noventri Reader Boards, Door Cards and Flight Board
  • Noventri certifies Digital Readerboards and Digital Door Cards for The Knowland Group’s Target Net system

Beijing International Hotel has selected Newmarket International’s Delphi and related applications. The property has almost one thousand guest rooms and 30 function rooms. Modules being implemented include Delphi, MeetingBroker, eProposal and Delphi Diagrams. (www.bih.com.cn/en/index.html, www.newmarketinc.com)
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Genares has released a “SalesConnect” web-based CRM tool to work with corporate accounts and their RFPs for all members of their BT Advantage program. A BT Advantage-specific website has a SalesConnect log-in for member hotels; in addition, a BT Hotel Collection website will soon showcase all of the hotels within the program and also serve as a booking channel. (btadvantage.net)
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Hyatt Hotels has deployed Social Tables’ diagramming and attendee management software to its 100+ North American hotels.
Social Tables has launched Social Tables On-Site, allowing hotels to embed an editable diagram of their function space onto their website. The product serves as an interactive capacity chart and includes customizable floor plans with preconfigured room sets and real-time 3D rendering capability. It also acts as a lead generation tool for facilities that use it; a built-in lead capture feature helps sales and marketing teams qualify and prioritize prospects.
Social Tables has added support for the metric system to its products.
(www.hyatt.com, www.socialtables.com)
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The South by Southwest (SXSW) festival has contracted with Meetingmax Systems for online accommodation bookings for SXSW’s events and conferences. Customizable features for SXSW will include special billing and refund options and the ability to provide unique options to guests based on their role at the event. (www.sxsw.com, meetingmax.cc)
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The Sonesta Collection has selected Elite Meetings International’s (EMI’s) SpeedRFP cloud-based request-for-proposal system for its brand and for 51 of its top properties for groups throughout the U.S. and internationally. (www.Sonesta.com, www.EliteMeetings.com)
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ACTIVE Network Business Solutions has merged into Lanyon. The Business Solutions suite includes ACTIVE Conference for large flagship conferences, ACTIVE RegOnline for attendee management, ACTIVE StarCite for Strategic Meetings Management and event expense management, and the ACTIVE Marketplace to connect events with suppliers. (www.ACTIVEevents.com, www.lanyon.com)
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Lansdowne Resort, Leesburg, VA, has installed Noventri Reader Boards and Door Cards to pull and display meeting and conference room information automatically, as well as Noventri Flight Board to display flight departures. Lansdowne is currently working with Noventri to upgrade their meeting room A/V systems, to add a digital reader-board projector system in the ballroom and to add Noventri Commander for updating logos and meeting room information from a tablet or smartphone.
Noventri has certified its Digital Readerboards and Digital Door Cards for The Knowland Group’s Target Net system, allowing Noventri to link directly to Target Net for dynamic data share.
(www.lansdowneresort.com, www.knowland.com, www.noventri.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • HTNG “Most Innovative Hospitality Technology Awards” go to InnSpire, Interel and iRiS
  • MICROS adds iRiS’ guest service apps to hosted MICROS Commerce Platform
  • Hotel Hotel in Canberra is first Australian property to install Intelity ICE
  • Kempinski’s Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi is first Middle East hotel to deploy 802.11ac wireless network
  • Red Lion Hotels’ Anaheim property installs RTT Mobile Interpretation’s ELSA for multi-lingual guest communications
  • Hotel WiFi Test publishes first report ranking the Top 100 Hotels and the Top 10 Hotel Chains by WiFi service

Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) winners of its 2013 “Most Innovative Hospitality Technology Awards” all come from the guest services arena.
Overall winner was InnSpire for its Guest Media Streaming product, which lets guests wirelessly stream their movies, photos and music to the TV in their hotel room.  The InnSpire box supports iOS, Miracast and DLNA. Guests click on the Stream icon on the guestroom TV to activate the function, and can then wirelessly connect their devices, choose their content and stream.
First Runner-Up was Interel’s Augmented Reality Room Control App, which depicts the guest’s actual room on their personal tablets or phones using an augmented reality concept.  Virtualized replicas of the physical control devices appear on the application; guests can interact with the devices in the same way as they would in the actual room.
Second Runner-Up went to iRiS Software System’s Web Valet, a guest-facing multilingual app which lets guests interact with hotel services and facilities including in-room dining, shopping for products both internally and externally and booking spa treatments.
(www.htng.org/innovation-award)
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MICROS Systems has added iRiS Software System’s guest service applications to its hosted MICROS Commerce Platform (MCP), which provides for the integration of content across a single site. iRiS’ applications (iRiS Valet, iRiS F&B, iRiS Lobby, iRiS Mobile Concierge and iRiS Spa) will now be part of the MCP community. (www.iris.net, www.micros.com)
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The new 99-room Hotel Hotel in Canberra is the first Australian property to install Intelity ICE, implemented by McLaren Technologies. The hotel is also installing Newmarket’s HotSOS. (www.hotel-hotel.com.au, www.mclarenint.com, www.intelitycorp.com, www.newmarketinc.com)
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Kempinski’s Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi has become the first hotel in the Middle East to deploy an 802.11ac wireless network, providing gigabit guest Wi-Fi across the property. Emirates Palace deployed an Aruba 7220 series Mobility Controller and over 1000 Aruba AP-225 wireless access points, along with Aruba’s AirWave Network Management platform. The property plans to offer IPTV, online gaming for children, Internet music streaming and smart device-controlled operation of in-room entertainment over the network. (www.kempinski.com/en/abudhabi/emirates-palace/welcome/?, www.arubanetworks.com)
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Red Lion Hotels’ Anaheim property (close to Disneyland and with a significant international guest mix) has installed RTT Mobile Interpretation’s ELSA (Enabling Language Service Anywhere), which uses cell phone technology to connect directly with interpreters for real time communications in 180 languages. (anaheim.redlion.com, www.rttmobile.com)
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Hotel WiFi Test has published its first report ranking the Top 100 Hotels and the Top 10 Hotel Chains by their WiFi service. The results are based on data collected from October 10, 2013 to February 10, 2014. Andaz Hotels by Hyatt took the top spot among the chains, followed by Le Meridien, Radisson Blue, Sheraton’s Four Points flag, Scandic, Sheraton itself, Crowne Plaza, Marriott’s full-service brand, Hyatt and Marriot’s Residence Inn. The Emblem Hotel in Prague, Czech Republic demonstrated the best individual hotel test results, mostly well above 100 Mbps and with free WiFi. Two hotels from the United States took the next two spots: TradeWinds Island Grand in St. Pete Beach, Florida and the DoubleTree by Hilton in Chicago, Illinois. (www.hotelwifitest.com/top-hotels/2014/feb/)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Shift4 certifies DOLLARS ON THE NET to Moneris Solutions for EMV transaction processing
  • Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi installs Prologic First’s WebPROL’IFIC
  • Ramada Abu Dhabi installs Prologic First’s PayTRAX & Fixed Assets Management
  • Newmarket announces availability of German language for REX
  • Accor posting internship, entry-level job opportunities on HOSCO’s online recruitment network
  • Worldhotels offers Optii Solutions’ housekeeping software to all members at discounted prices

Shift4 has certified its Universal Transaction Gateway (UTG)/DOLLARS ON THE NET to Moneris Solutions, Canada’s largest debit and credit card processor, for EMV transaction processing. Shift4’s UTG software controls the chip card reader, so any merchant using an approved device and whose point-of-sale system was certified for debit with Shift4 after June 2009 does not need to certify with Moneris or obtain EMV approval. Systems certified prior to June 2009 will need minor modifications made to their code. The certification is currently available using the Ingenico iPP320 PIN pad device. (www.moneris.com, www.shift4.com)
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The Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi hotel, near Indira Gandhi International Airport, has installed Prologic First’s WebPROL’IFIC for back office management.
The 235-room Ramada Abu Dhabi has installed Prologic First’s PayTRAX & Fixed Assets Management software.
(www.radissonblu.com, www.ramada.com, www.prologicfirst.com)
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Newmarket International has announced the availability of the German language for its REX room expeditor software on supervisor and room attendant mobile apps.  (www.newmarketinc.com)
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Accor is now posting internship and entry-level job opportunities available at Accor properties on Geneva-based HOSCO’s online recruitment network for students and graduates in the hospitality industry. (www.accor.com, www.hosco.com)
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Worldhotels is now offering Optii Solutions’ housekeeping optimization software to its 500+ members at discounted prices. (www.worldhotels.com, www.optiisolutions.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • Carrier Enterprise releases FS-TA1 Founten temperature and alarm sensor

Carrier Enterprise has released its FS-TA1 Founten temperature and alarm sensor, an accessory that adds wireless remote sensing and alarm notification to its Founten FS-STAT-32AC and FS-STAT-32ACH models. The device can be used as either an external temperature probe for monitoring and control, or as an alarm notification generator. The external temperature probe can operate at a distance of up to 500 ft. from a thermostat, and can also detect temperatures within enclosed refrigerator, freezer and walk-in units. (www.carrierenterprise.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Guest-tek acquires TelNet
  • COMO Hotels and Resorts’ new Metropolitan to open with RoamingAround’s RoamBoost
  • PhoneSuite introduces Series2 V.IP telephone system

Guest-tek has acquired TelNet, following its partnership with TelNet last October when Guest-tek added TelNet’s OneView Voice iACT cloud-based PBX to its range. (www.guest-tek.com)
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COMO Hotels and Resorts will open its first U.S. property in Miami next month, the 74-room Metropolitan, equipped with RoamingAround’s RoamBoost Cellular Signal Enhancement and RoamBoost First Responder. (www.comohotels.com, www.RoamingAround.com)
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PhoneSuite has introduced its Series2 V.IP telephone system for hotel use. The Series2 platform allows hotels to use the Voiceware’s features and functionality with existing analog phones, wiring, trunks and infrastructure. (www.PhoneSuite.com )
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