May 27, 2008

In this issue…

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

Guest Services

Back Office

Security

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Boomers and Gen X/Y more alike than different in business travel attitudes

Much has been written about the differences between the generations, but a recent Radisson on-line survey of 400 business travelers reveals many more similarities than differences when rating life on the road. For example, about half of all Boomer and Gen X/Y respondents think a comfortable bed is the most important hotel feature when traveling on business, and more than one third of both groups reported that the fastest way to get them stressed is by providing a slow or nonexistent hotel Internet connection.
Both groups have similar preferences for in-room amenities, voting “in-room spa” as their top dream amenity (Boomers 56 percent, Gen X/Y 58 percent) and “hot shower” as the best way to unwind at the hotel (Boomers 38 percent, Gen X/Y 33 percent). Neither generation is into self-denial, either; when asked to choose which amenity they felt they most deserved from “iPod/MP3 player dock, comfortable bed, free Internet, free breakfast, and in-room printer (particularly for boarding passes)” a third of each group chose “all of the above”.
By far their biggest complaint about unnecessary amenities was “expensive mini-bars” (Boomers 69 percent, Gen X/Y 62 percent), with equal agreement – though a lot less vehement – on the next least necessary, aromatherapy (Boomers 12 percent, Gen X/Y 13 percent).
Oddly enough the top “guilty pleasure” for both groups was “watching TV all night” (Boomers 23 percent, Gen X/Y 20 percent). The generations did differ in their second-worst bad habits, though. Boomers overall picked “eating junk food” (27 percent), which may explain their thoughts about mini-bar prices, but surprisingly for what’s been dubbed the “slacker” generation, Gen X/Y respondents were more concerned that people will believe they “don’t do enough business” (23 percent) while traveling.
And as final proof that generation gaps are often over-emphasized, half of Boomers and over a third of Gen X/Y looked up to one of their parents as the business person they try most to emulate.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Emerald Vacation Group picks SPI software for two vacation ownership projects
  • Ireland’s Kilronan Castle picks Visual One for PMS, POS, S&C and Spa
  • England’s Feversham Arms Hotel picks Visual One for PMS, POS and Spa
  • AltiusPAR moves to new offices in Dallas
  • InnQuest Software Canada to distribute OwnerRelations Technology vacation ownership software
  • ResortSuite SPA Version 4.9.30 validated under Visa (CISP) Payment Application Best Practices (PABP)
  • Red Roof Inns orders SoftBrands’ full systems/services suite for nearly 350 properties

Dubai-based Emerald Vacation Group has picked Systems Products International (SPI) software to manage vacation ownership sales/marketing, owner services, reservations and residential property management for its two projects: Emerald Court, Dubai and Turtle Cove Resort & Spa in the Maldives. (www.emeraldvacationgroup.com, www.exclusivedevelopermarketing.com, www.spiinc.com)
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Ireland’s 84-room Kilronan Castle, in Ballyfarnon on the shores of Lough Meelagh, has selected Agilysys’ Visual One suite, including PMS, POS, Sales and Catering and Spa Management. Kilronan’s sister hotel, Lough Rynn, has used the Visual One suite for several years.
England’s 23-room Feversham Arms Hotel in Helmsley, North Yorkshire has also picked the Visual One suite, including PMS, POS and Spa Management. The hotel includes a restaurant, meeting room, lounge, tennis courts and heated outdoor pool, and will open a spa this summer.
(www.kilronancastle.ie, www.fevershamarmshotel.com, www.agilysys.com)
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AltiusPAR has moved to new offices in Dallas in the wake of its continuing expansion, and is now based in the Elm Place building across from the American Airlines Center. (www.altiuspar.com)
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InnQuest Software Canada is now an approved supplier of OwnerRelations Technology’s communication and accounting software for condo hotels, fractional properties, and vacation rental companies, in partnership with its own property management software. (www.ownerrelations.com, www.innquestcanada.ca)
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Enablez announced that the SPA Version 4.9.30 of its ResortSuite hospitality management system has been validated under Visa Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP) Payment Application Best Practices (PABP). (www.resortsuite.com)
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Red Roof Inns has ordered SoftBrands’ full suite of hospitality systems and services for its nearly 350 properties in the USA. SoftBrands will supply central reservation, customer relationship management, business intelligence and property management solutions. (www.redroof.com, www.softbrands.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Sol Melia lists full 350-hotel inventory on Expedia and hotels.com
  • Loews Hotels extends Pegasus’ Commission Processing contract to all 18 hotels
  • InnPoints Worldwide migrates all 1,700 hotel clients to MyCRS central reservation system
  • Search engine Bezurk.com re-named Wego.com, adds new features
  • Amadeus launches Middle East Regional Hub in Dubai

Spanish chain Sol Melia has agreed to list its full 350-hotel inventory, in 30 countries, on Expedia and hotels.com sites worldwide. (www.solmelia.com, www.expedia.com))
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Loews Hotels has extended its Commission Processing contract with Pegasus Solutions from two properties to all 18 hotels in its portfolio. (www.loewshotels.com, www.pegs.com)
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InnPoints Worldwide has migrated all 1,700 hotel clients to its MyCRS central reservation system. (www.innpoints.com)
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Travel search engine Bezurk.com has re-branded itself as Wego.com and added new features to its Web site, including Travel Research to search selected travel editorial websites, Airfare and Hotel prices inclusive of taxes, fuel surcharges, airport fees, etc, specific Business/First class fare searching, and flight schedules showing all direct scheduled flights plus the 50 best connecting flights. (www.wego.com)
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Amadeus has launched a Middle East Regional Hub in Dubai to support the growth and operations of local Amadeus Commercial Organizations (ACOs), including Amadeus Airline Business Group, Market Management, e-Commerce, Travel Office Products and Solutions, Business Development, Amadeus Multinational Customer Group and the Amadeus Gulf Sales and Operations Office in Dubai. Amadeus’ market share in the region has increased from 25.8 percent in 2005 to 34.4 percent in 2007, with bookings up 29 percent in 2007 compared with 2006. (www.amadeus.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Expedia signs three year contract with VRX Studios
  • Larkspur completes implementation of ProfitSage BI at 23 hotels and six restaurants
  • Eton Collection implementing FastBooking’s Internet booking tools at seven hotels
  • VIZERGY partners with priceline.com

Expedia has signed a three year contract with VRX Studios for 360-degree virtual hotel tours, still images and interactive maps to use on its Web sites worldwide, including Expedia and hotels.com. (www.vrxstudios.com, www.expedia.com)
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Larkspur Hotels & Restaurants has completed its implementation of ProfitSword’s ProfitSage Business Intelligence at its 23 hotels and six restaurants. (www.larkspurhotels.com, www.profitsword.com)
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The Eton Collection is implementing FastBooking’s Internet booking engine, Checker competitive intelligence and Updater channel management tools at its seven boutique hotels in England and Scotland. (www.theetoncollection.com, www.fastbooking.org)
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VIZERGY, formerly SECURE-RES, has partnered with priceline.com to allow clients of VIZERGY’s Global Distribution System to offer their inventory through priceline.com’s merchant and opaque hotel services, and as part of priceline.com’s vacation packages service. (www.vizergy.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Leonardo Hotels switches to SynXis for GDS and IDS connectivity
  • Association of Starwood Franchisees & Owners – North America designates EZYield.com as an Associate Member

Leonardo Hotels has switched to SynXis’ RedX Distribution Management System for GDS and IDS connectivity for its hotels in Berlin, Munich, Zurich and Frankfurt in 2007, and for its planned expansion to 30 hotels by the end of 2008. Leonardo is also using RedX Property Connect to interface with its existing Optima property management systems, managed by Silverbyte. (www.leonardo-hotels.com, www.synxis.com)
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The Association of Starwood Franchisees & Owners – North America (ASFONA) has designated EZYield.com as an Associate Member and appointed EZYield.com’s Co-founder and President Ed St. Onge as an Honorary Board Member. ASFONA works with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in the development of brand policies, standards, technology and other issues impacting its members businesses. (www.asfona.com, www.ezyield.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • EMCVenues announces “eVite for Sites” lead generation product, guarantees at least 35 qualified site visits
  • Broadmoor chooses Passkey as its preferred booking engine

EMCVenues has announced its “eVite for Sites” lead generation product with a 90-day guarantee of delivering at least 35 qualified site visits to a conference center, hotel or resort. eVite for Sites uses EMCVenues US and global planner database, which includes segments for Corporate, Association and Government planners, to customize an individualized lead generation program for each client. (www.emcvenues.com)
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The Broadmoor has chosen Passkey as the preferred booking engine for its own group business and that of its Broadmoor Connection partner properties. The Broadmoor includes 700 guestrooms and almost 100,000 square feet of meeting space; the Broadmoor Connection alliance includes the Cheyenne Mountain Resort, Hilton DoubleTree World Arena, and the Crowne Plaza Colorado Springs Hotel. (www.broadmoor.com, www.passkey.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Flight Time TV releases flight information monitoring system for hotel Guest TV networks
  • Flyte Systems to provide real-time flight information on Four Winds Interactive’s digital signage
  • Belamar Hotel installs FlyteBoard flight information screen and FlytePass printing station
  • RovAir Wireless offers wireless mobile broadband data cards on ‘day pass’ basis
  • MTech’s HotSOS awarded Microsoft Gold Partner Program certification
  • Elfiq Networks launches new Quality of Service (QoS) technology
  • Sheraton partners with Microsoft for products, services at “Link @ Sheraton” lobby lounges
  • Loews signs multiyear deal with LodgeNet for HDTV and broadband Internet at 18 properties
  • Brandstand introduces Brandstand Alarm Clock with iPod dock and daily alarm reset
  • Trump Entertainment Resorts contracts with Wayport for high-speed Internet access at three properties in Atlantic City

Flight Time TV (FTTV) has released its flight information monitoring system, which collects flight departure information directly from airports for display as one channel of a hotels Guest TV network, as well as on stand-alone wall screens in the lobby or integrated into HTML based messaging boards. (www.flighttimetv.com)
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Flyte Systems has partnered with Four Winds Interactive to provide real-time airline flight information as part of Four Winds Interactive’s interactive digital signage platform. Four Winds is currently rolling out the Flyte product at the Renaissance Denver Airport and the Hyatt Regency Convention Center.
The Belamar hotel in Manhattan Beach, California has installed Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard real-time airline flight information screen and FlytePass boarding pass printing station.
(www.fourwindsinteractive.com, www.belamarhotel.com, www.flytesystems.com)
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RovAir Wireless is offering wireless mobile broadband data cards (also referred to as Aircards, wireless cards and EVDO cards) on a 24-hour ‘day pass’ basis. Cards can be booked via RovAir’s online reservation system and delivered to the user’s home, office or hotel. After use the cards can be mailed back in provided packaging. The cards are also available for hotels to offer to guests on a daily basis. (http://rovair.com)
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MTech’s Hotel Service Optimization System (HotSOS, pronounced “hot sauce”) has been awarded Microsoft Gold Partner Program certification, the highest available to independent software vendors. (www.m-tech.com)
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Elfiq Networks has launched new Quality of Service (QoS) technology to let hospitality organizations allocate bandwidth on a per-link basis for each traffic type based on its level of importance. Critical traffic will be promoted and have reserved bandwidth allocated while less significant traffic will be demoted and its total available bandwidth limited. (www.elfiq.com)
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Sheraton Hotels & Resorts has partnered with Microsoft to implement products and services at its “Link @ Sheraton” lobby lounges, which will be renamed “The Link @ Sheraton experienced with Microsoft.” Originally launched as the “Yahoo! Link @ Sheraton” in January 2006 in a joint venture with Yahoo!, the lobby lounges offer free Wi-Fi and Internet-enabled computer stations to allow guests to email, search the Web, review local attractions and print boarding passes. Currently 66 Sheraton properties feature The Link, which will be rolled out to over 300 properties worldwide by year end. (www.microsoft.com, www.starwoodhotels.com)
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Loews Hotels has signed a multiyear deal with LodgeNet Interactive to deliver HDTV and broadband Internet connectivity to its 18 U.S. and Canadian properties. The Lodgenet HDTV platform has been selected as Loews preferred system, and includes HD movies, TV on demand and the DirecTV Sports package as well as the option of HD and regular free-to-guest network programming. (www.lodgenet.com)
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Brandstand Products has introduced it’s Brandstand Alarm Clock with an iPod dock and a daily alarm reset to prevent alarms from sounding at unexpected times. (www.brandstandproducts.com)
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Trump Entertainment Resorts has contracted with Wayport for high-speed Internet access in guest rooms, meeting rooms and common areas at three Trump hotel and casino properties in Atlantic City, N.J., the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Trump Marina Hotel Casino and Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. (www.trumpcasinos.com, www.wayport.net)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Troon Golf using UniFocus STAFFScope to launch a employee engagement initiative
  • Kimpton launches hiring Web site to provide job candidates with a social media perspective

Troon Golf is using UniFocus STAFFScope to launch a company-wide employee engagement initiative at all its 190 golf facilities. Troon will use STAFFScope’s Web-based survey to define a baseline on staff concerns, creativity and suggestions before rolling out the initiative chain-wide. (www.troongolf.com, www.unifocus.com)
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Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has launched a hiring Web site titled ‘KIMPTON!’ (I Am Kimpton) to provide job candidates with a social media perspective on Kimpton as an employer and to connect Kimpton employees with one another. The site features employee-generated video stories, employee profiles, interview tips, listings for hotel jobs and restaurant jobs and more, in a format designed for the Web generation. (www.imkimpton.com)
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SECURITY

  • Elsafe announces Xtra On-Wall Safe for hotels with limited guestroom space
  • NFC Forum names VingCard Signature RFID/NFC “Best NFC Service of the Year 2008”

Elsafe has announced its Xtra On-Wall Safe for hotels with limited guestroom space, for mounting on walls or in closets. The Xtra On-Wall Safe features anti-tamper labyrinths for protection against manipulation, a hydraulic door closer, external battery change and a solid one-piece construction. (www.elsafe.com)
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The NFC Forum has named VingCard’s Signature RFID/NFC “Best NFC Service of the Year 2008” in the Commercial Track Category. Near Field Communication (NFC) is a standards-based, short-range wireless connectivity technology that enables two-way interactions between electronic devices. VingCard developed the application for the NFC enabled phone to operate with Signature RFID electronic locks as part of a joint collaboration with NXP (founded by Philips), VODAFONE and THE HUMAN CHAIN. Travelers must register as NFC members on the participating hotel chain’s Website. Upon booking, the system sends a Short Message System (SMS) text to the traveler’s NFC cell phone with the hotel room information, an encrypted room key, and the hotel’s GPS coordinates. Upon arrival, the guest can then by-pass the front desk, go directly to the assigned guestroom and use the cell phone to open the door for the duration of the stay. Check out can be accomplished either through the NFC-enabled TV in the guestroom or through the reception NFC-enabled kiosk. (www.nfc-forum.org, www.vingcard.com)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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