November 1, 2011
OCTOBER 12 – NOVEMBER 1, 2011
TOP O’ THE NEWS
- Uniquely identifying hotels for more efficient electronic transactions
- Cornell researches hospitality system integration, releases staff planning simulator
You’d think it would be easy to identify a hotel clearly. After all, it’s a pretty substantial building that isn’t going anywhere, although it’s true that a large hotel occupying a full city block and with a main door on each side could theoretically have four addresses, all equally accurate.
In the electronic world, though, it gets more complicated. With tens of thousands of hotel Internet sites in existence, some persisting long after the property has changed names or even been demolished, search engines can easily become confused and display incorrect or obsolete data. Further, renaming or rebranding a hotel means notifying every electronic trading partner individually, a tedious and lengthy process during which revenue-generating transactions can fail, be routed to the wrong hotel, be lost in processing or require manual handling.
Fortunately, the growing spirit of cooperation within the hospitality technology industry is coming to the rescue. Building on recent work done by HEDNA, three associations — HEDNA, HFTP and HTNG –are forming a joint governing body to implement a central register of unique global identifiers for hotels. This should significantly improve the accuracy and efficiency of transactions between hotels and their trading partners, and allow any changes to be propagated to all interested parties at once. The register is expected to be operated by one or more third-party companies under contract. The effort also has the support of the OpenTravel Alliance, the Convention Industry Council (CIC) and the HSMAI.
Focusing first on identifiers for hotels and lodging establishments, the register may later be extended to cover event venues, distribution channels and processing partners. Unique Global Identifiers will also likely be required for a major HTNG project on hospitality-industry credit-card security, to support the secure passing of credit card information from the original booking source to the correct hotel.
Moving on to cooperation within a single property, The Cornell Center for Hospitality Research has released a study analyzing hotel properties’ IT networks to try to understand why they don’t do a better job of integrating IT systems for maximum efficiency. The study (“Network Exploitation Capability: Mapping the Electronic Maturity of Hospitality Enterprises”) coins the term Network Exploitation Capacity to qualify the approach a network takes for revenue optimization, demand generation and multi-channel distribution management. A comparative scale allows managers to measure where their property stands in its ability to take advantage of the potential of networked information technologies.
The Center also released its free Service Simulator tool that allows hoteliers to simulate the effect of changes to their property’s service staff on efficiency and customer service. Managers can specify their service standards or rules, staffing levels and estimated rate of customer arrival to see how queues form and determine whether guests will be turned away under some circumstances.
- Erynn Torrenga joins FCS as National Accounts Director North America
- Scott Housley appointed General Manager for Philips Hotel TV
- Bob Gilbert receives the Miguel Aleman Valdes Excellency in Tourism Award
- Eleven Wireless forms Hospitality Industry Advisory Board
Erynn Torrenga has been appointed National Accounts Director North America at FCS Computer Systems. Ms. Torrenga was most recently Vice President of Field Sales for Intelity and had previously spent 14 years with Metropolis Technologies, culminating as Vice President of Business Development.
Scott Housley has been appointed General Manager for Philips Hotel TV at Royal Philips Electronics in The Netherlands, replacing Mark Poldervaart. Mr. Housley brings considerable international experience from a number of multinational consumer durable companies and a variety of Philips businesses; he has served the past 5 years as Senior Director within the Consumer TV division of Philips.
Robert A. Gilbert, President and CEO of the HSMAI, has been presented with the Miguel Aleman Valdes Excellency in Tourism Award by the Miguel Aleman Foundation in Mexico. The foundation annually recognizes an individual for their critical contributions in the development and enhancement of the tourism industry in Mexico.
Eleven Wireless has formed a Hospitality Industry Advisory Board to guide its leadership and Board on new product and go-to-market initiatives. Hospitality Advisory Board members are:
- Dan Meub, former CEO and Board Member at Eleven.
- Don Semmler, a Board Member at Eleven, Principal at James Hospitality, LLC and with 32 years experience with Marriott International.
- Larry Dustin, a Seattle-based advisor with over 40 years of experience in the hospitality and travel industry in a wide array of senior leadership and management positions.
- Robert Rippee, CEO and Managing Partner of FORMO, a faculty member for the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, and with over 20 years of experience in sales and marketing of luxury brands.
- Ken Greger, CEO and Managing Director of executive search firm Greger/Peterson Associates.
- Boyne Resorts picks Springer-Miller for Michigan, Montana resorts
- YOTEL New York implements MICROS’ OPERA and myfidelio.net
- Ariane’s Polish distributor awarded “best technology solution” at Polish WorldHotel Trade Fair
Boyne Resorts has selected PAR Springer-Miller System’s SMS|Host Hospitality Management System for its Michigan and Montana resorts. Already in use at Boyne Resorts’ Sugarloaf and Sunday River Resort properties, SMS|Host and SMS|Multi-Property Management will be implemented for the Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, Cottages at Crooked Tree and Lakeside Cottages in the Bay Harbor area properties, followed by Big Sky Resort in 2012. Modules to be implemented include SMS|Owner Fulfillment module for the rental program, SMS|Membership Management, SMS|Work Order Management and integration with various third-party systems. (www.boyneresorts.com, www.springermiller.com)
The 669-room YOTEL New York has implemented MICROS Systems’ OPERA Enterprise Solution and myfidelio.net CRS. The hotel opened in June. (www.yotel.com, www.micros.com)
Ariane Systems’ Polish distributor VISIONTIME has received the award for the best technology solution at the fourth WorldHotel International Hotel Facilities Equipment Trade Fair in Warsaw, Poland, for its Virtual Reception product. Based on Ariane’s Allegro Web-Mobile-Kiosk Check-in/out technology, Virtual Reception allows guests to check in and out from their personal computer, laptop, web-enabled mobile device or the hotel lobby kiosk. (www.visiontime.pl, www.ariane.com)
- Appnostic announces SocialBooker booking app integrated with Facebook
- RCI enhances online searching and booking
- DogWonderful.com launches site for booking pet-friendly hotels
- TOP INTERNATIONAL completes migration of 100+ properties to Pegasus’ RezView NG
- Pegasus acquires Internet marketing services provider Open Hospitality
- Dolphin Dynamics announces new white label web publishing system
- Valet Interactive introduces VoiceTraker call tracking application
Appnostic announced its SocialBooker hotel reservations booking app, integrated with Facebook and covering the complete transaction from room availability through payment transaction. Including Friend recommendations, Wall posts, ‘Like’ button integration and Facebook’s newsfeed technology to distribute special offers, promotions and packages, its look and feel can be customized to complement a hotel’s existing branding and CRS connectivity. New York’s Roger Smith Hotel has implemented a white-label version of SocialBooker. (www.appnostic.com)
Wyndham Worldwide’s RCI vacation exchange division has released enhancements to its online searching and booking process. Members can now search for resorts that meet their specific preferences and are similar to the resorts they have searched for or booked in the past, and more than 200 additional descriptive elements have been added for each affiliated resort including information on the property, amenities, activities, accessibility, dining options, floor plans, bedding configurations, furnishings, room information and images, experiential descriptions, Google Map locations and weather data. Members can now also send their favorite exchange choices to friends by e-mail or share them on Facebook. (www.RCI.com)
DogWonderful.com has launched a new online source for researching and booking pet-friendly hotels, as well as for purchasing associated airline tickets, car rentals and vacation packages. Ten percent of the commissions and fees paid to the website from travel bookings will be donated to dog-related charities such as RedRover and NEADS. (www.dogwonderful.com)
TOP INTERNATIONAL Hotels has completed the migration of over 100 European properties to Pegasus Solutions’ RezView NG central reservations system, branded as TOPREZ NG for both its TOP International Hotels and TOP City&Country Line brands.
Pegasus has acquired Internet marketing services provider Open Hospitality, allowing Pegasus to offer website design, online marketing and booking applications, search engine optimization (SEO), mobile website development and social media services. David Millili, CEO of Open Hospitality, will continue to lead the division from its New York offices.
(www.topinternational.com, www.openhospitality.com, www.pegs.com)
Dolphin Dynamics announced a new white label web publishing system developed in partnership with Telerik, which has supplied its Sitefinity web publishing system to more than 8,000 companies. Travel companies can apply their own look and feel to Dolphin’s booking websites templates, as well as integrate pre-built website ‘widgets’ such as blogs, email newsletters, enquiry forms, newsfeeds and surveys. (www.dolphind.com)
Valet Interactive has introduced VoiceTraker, a call tracking application that allows hotels and resorts to track and manage phone interactions and maximize revenue for both online and offline marketing campaigns. (www.ValetInteractive.com)
- Libra OnDemand acquired by Newmarket
- Valet Interactive launches High-Octane Plan web marketing service
- Lodging Interactive wins two Magellan Awards and a W3 Silver Award
- Starwood launches own online review function
- Pegasus acquires Open Hospitality
- Milestone releases version 2.0 of eBuzz Connect Group Dashboard
- VIZERGY updates Local Search service
- HeBS Digital receives seven Silver W3 Awards and three Travel Weekly Magellan Awards
- Estrel complex, Berlin to use TS&C dailypoint system and consultancy services
- east Hotel, Hamburg implementing TS&C dailypoint SMART (E)MAIL system
Libra OnDemand has been acquired by Newmarket International. It will continue to operate as a division of Newmarket under its current name and led by its current President, Gregg Hopkins. (www.libraondemand.com, www.newmarketinc.com)
Worldwide Revenue Solutions’ Valet Interactive division has launched its High-Octane Plan web marketing service, offering Valet’s web applications with pricing model requiring no upfront investment. Hotels receive a custom website including custom forms, RFP handling, guest feedback, special offers, social media integration and review widgets, as well as advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO), professional copywriting, local search campaign optimization, on-going site maintenance with content updates, a custom-built mobile website, reporting and detailed ROI tracking. (www.ValetInteractive.com)
Lodging Interactive has won two Travel Weekly Magellan Awards for its work on the Wyndham Garden Hotel New York Time Square South, as well as a W3 Silver Award for design excellence from the International Academy of The Visual Arts. (www.lodginginteractive.com)
Starwood Hotels and Resorts has launched its own online review function, allowing guests of Sheraton, Westin, W and other Starwood-brand hotels to comment on recent hotel stays directly on Starwood websites. Reviews can be shared by any reader via social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter; Starwood will use them to rate each hotel from “1″ (worst) to “5″ (best), using categories including “Overall,” “Room Comfort,” “Staff Met My Needs,” “Room Cleanliness” and “SPG Recognition.” Guests will be able to filter content by “Star Rating,” “Purpose of Travel,” “Frequency of Travel,” “SPG Level,” “Above/Met Expectations” and “Below Expectations.” Guest reviews will only be published after a writer’s stay has been validated with a reservation confirmation number. (www.starwoodhotels.com)
Pegasus Solutions has acquired Internet marketing services provider Open Hospitality, allowing Pegasus to offer website design, online marketing and booking applications, search engine optimization (SEO), mobile website development and social media services. David Millili, CEO of Open Hospitality, will continue to lead the division from its New York offices. (www.openhospitality.com, www.pegs.com)
Milestone Internet Marketing has released version 2.0 of its eBuzz Connect Group Dashboard. Enhancements include:
- an expanded view of overall brand/group performance in social media and online review channels,
- overall group performance tracked against top competing brands/groups,
- individual hotel performance tacking based on the brand’s own criteria,
- tracking of hotels’ goals, performances, and activities on social media and reviews channels
- marketing and sales insights at the group level – identify top keywords, channels, referrers, etc.
- enhanced group reporting for brands and management companies including usage statistics.
VIZERGY has updated its Local Search service on both desktops and mobile devices, to ensure property listings are accurate, consistent, optimized and distributed across its network of 100+ local search platforms. (www.vizergy.com)
HeBS Digital has received seven Silver W³ Awards from the International Academy of the Visual Arts (IAVA) for its websites, mobile websites and digital marketing campaigns.
HeBS Digital has received three Travel Weekly Magellan Awards, two Gold for its work with Shell Vacations Hospitality and the Valencia Group, and a Silver for the Silver Legacy Resort Casino’s ‘You’re the Star’ Interactive Sweepstakes.
The Estrel convention, entertainment and 1,000-room hotel complex in Berlin will use TS&C’s dailypoint CRM system and consultancy services for marketing management. Dailypoint adjusts all guest profiles, enhances them with relevant data and divides the profiles into ten guest segments. All communication actions are run through the integrated campaign management, which covers six channels such as e-mail, regular mail, Facebook or smart phone messaging.
The east Hotel in Hamburg, a member of Design Hotels, is implementing the dailypoint SMART (E)MAIL system, a light version of dailypoint to distribute HTML booking confirmations and automatic individual pre- and post-stay messages. Pre-defined rules and automated data matching with the hotel’s Guest Management System (GMS) allow for the dispatch of mailings tailored to the respective guest profile.
(www.estrel.com, www.east-hotel.de, www.TS-and-C.com)
- protel integrates with SiteMinder’s pmsXchange
- Royal Plaza on Scotts, Singapore, implementing IDeaS
- Your Hotel Worldwide rolling out RateTiger-based Unlimited Distribution platform to 90+ hotels
- Brook Hotels implements RateTiger’s RTSuite Channel manager for 12 locations
protel has launched two-integration with SiteMinder’s pmsXchange system to offer online distribution to online booking systems for its SPE (Single Property Edition) GMS, MPE (Multiple Property Edition) CRS and ‘bookatonce’ and ‘protel Air’ SaaS applications. (www.siteminder.com, www.protel-hotel-software.com)
The 511-room Royal Plaza on Scotts, Singapore, is implementing IDeaS Revenue Solutions. (www.royalplaza.com.sg , www.ideas.com )
Your Hotel Worldwide has started the roll out of its Unlimited Distribution sales and booking management platform for its 90+ member hotels in Germany, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Using a white label version of RateTiger, Unlimited Distribution consolidates a booking engine, content management, central reservation system, rate shopping, digital marketing, online reputation management and channel management into a centrally managed platform. All properties are expected to be using Unlimited Distribution by year end.
Brook Hotels has implemented RateTiger’s RTSuite Channel manager for 12 of its 21 UK locations, typically processing multiple updates on an average of 10 websites per property. The team can now focus more on rate strategy to optimize bookings.
(www.yourhotelsworldwide.com, www.brook-hotels.com, www.ratetiger.com)
- Newmarket acquires MTech and Libra OnDemand
- PSAV named “Best AV Presentation Provider” in Southern California
- Cabarrus County CVB signs with Meetingmax for online housing booking
- Fredericksburg Inn & Suites picks Knowland Group’s Target Net
- Natchez Grand Hotel, Natchez Convention Center pick Knowland Group’s Target Net
- Knowland Group in top 100 of Deloitte Technology Fast 500 for second year
- Passkey completes acquisition of Velvet Software
Newmarket International has acquired both MTech and Libra OnDemand, two companies that have increasingly collaborated with each other. Both will operate as divisions of Newmarket under their current names and with their current Presidents, Luis Segredo and Gregg Hopkins. While there are clear benefits to Newmarket from tighter integration between its Delphi and Daylight products, MTech’s HotSOS work order/workflow management system and Libra’s comprehensive CRM application, it’ll be interesting to see how Newmarket approaches their markets outside the Sales & Catering arena. (www.m-tech.com, www.libraondemand.com, www.newmarketinc.com)
PSAV Presentation Services has been named “Best Audiovisual Presentation Provider” in Southern California for the third consecutive year by readers of California Meetings + Events magazine. (www.psav.com)
Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau has contracted with Meetingmax Systems for online housing reservation services, and will use the system to track the economic impact of large-scale events in the county. Cabarrus County hosts more than 300 motorsports events annually at venues including the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the zMAX Dragway. (visitcabarrus.com, meetingmaxsystems.com)
The Fredericksburg Inn & Suites has selected The Knowland Group’s Target Net sales automation system. The 103-room property includes over 3,700 sq. ft. of meeting space.
The Natchez Grand Hotel and the Natchez Convention Center have contracted with The Knowland Group for its Target Net sales automation system. The 119-room Natchez Grand Hotel has 5,000 sq. ft. of meeting and ballroom space; the Natchez Convention Center offers over 32,000 sq. ft. of meeting and exhibit space.
The Knowland Group has been ranked in the top 100 fastest growing companies in North America in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 for the second consecutive year. Knowland also ranked 27th out of 195 companies in the software industry, and third on the Greater Philadelphia 50 list.
(www.fredericksburg-inn.com, ww.natchezgrandhotel.com, www.knowlandgroup.com)
Passkey International has completed its acquisition of UK-based Velvet Software, a provider of conference, event and accommodation technologies for organizations, conference destinations and individuals in the UK. Velvet’s client base includes over 40 UK Convention and Visitors Bureaus. The company will continue to operate from Velvet’s existing UK facilities, but under the name Passkey International UK Limited. (www.passkey.com)
- Galaxy Macau implements MICROS’ Simphony POS system across 50+ F&B outlets in three hotels
The 2,200-room Galaxy Macau has implemented MICROS Systems’ Simphony enterprise POS system across more than 50 food & beverage outlets managed by the resort’s 3 hotel operators – Galaxy Hotel, Hotel Okura Macau and Banyan Tree Macau. Each company manages its own operations; Galaxy Macau has access to property-based and consolidated reporting. (www.galaxymacau.com, www.micros.com)
- MTech acquired by Newmarket
- Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain launches runtriz-based mobile guest services platform
- Holiday Inn Portland Airport installs FlyteBoard display
- Choice names Bulk TV a Qualified Vendor of free-to-guest TV services
- Bartech celebrates 20th anniversary
- Hoteles Charleston Colombia implement Intelity’s ICE Touch on iPad at three properties
- OpenWays announces “Mobile Key 4 ALL” offering for independent properties
- DAPage Notifications integrates MTech’s HotSOS with Kenwood digital two-way radio
- TravelShark re-brands eat.shop guides as “rather” guides
- La Quinta upgrades guestroom technology
- Sofitel installing Quadriga’s Sensiq in multiple properties across Europe and Africa
- Gogobot launches iPhone app
- Joie de Vivre Hotels chooses LodgeNet Envision as brand standard
MTech has been acquired by Newmarket International. It will continue to operate as a division of Newmarket under its current name and led by its current President, Luis Segredo. (www.m-tech.com, www.newmarketinc.com)
The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain has launched its “MyWestinBeaverCreek” mobile guest services platform from runtriz. Services offered include spa, dining and other activity bookings, email and text messages with any of the property’s departments. (www.westinriverfrontbeavercreek.com, www.runtriz.com)
The Holiday Inn Portland Airport has installed Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard airport flight information display. (www.hiportlandairport.com, www.flytesystems.com)
Choice Hotels International has chosen Bulk TV & Internet as a Qualified Vendor of free-to-guest television services to franchise hotel owners of the company’s 11 brands. Franchisees can choose from HD channels available from DIRECTV, a la carte programming and 24/7 technical support. (www.choicehotels.com, www.bulktv.com)
Bartech is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month, having introduced its first open-display automatic minibar concept in October 1991. Bartech’s first client was the Hilton Basel in Switzerland; its automatic minibars are currently installed in 53 countries and in properties ranging from a 17-room hotel in Japan to the 6,500-room CityCenter Las Vegas complex. (www.bartech.com)
The Hoteles Charleston Colombia is implementing Intelity’s ICE Touch on iPad at its three properties – the Hotel Charleston Bogotá, Charleston Casa Medina and Charleston Santa Teresa Cartagena – this December. The hotels are Intelity’s first South American clients. (www.hotelescharleston.com, www.intelitycorp.com)
OpenWays announced its “Mobile Key 4 ALL” offering, intended to simplify OpenWays deployment by independent properties and to be released in November. Under this offering, OpenWays will host the property’s code-generating server directly, and will provide an enrollment Web site where guests can register to receive key codes on their phones after arriving at the property, functions that would normally be hosted by the headquarters of a hotel chain. Guests will also be able to scan and upload ID details such as passport or driver’s license data required in some countries at registration, to enable them to by-pass the front desk on arrival. (www.openways.com)
DAPage is using its cloud-based Notifications technology to integrate MTech’s HotSOS with Kenwood digital two-way radio systems and Motorola’s MOTOTRBO radios, the first time HotSOS has been available on Kenwood devices. (www.dapage.net www.m-tech.com)
TravelShark has re-branded the eat.shop guides it acquired last month as “rather” guides, and announced the release of eight new rather books covering Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Paris, Portland and San Francisco. The guides offer photos and curated reviews of dining and shopping venues in major cities. (www.travelshark.com)
La Quinta Inns & Suites has upgraded its guestroom technology by installing over 50,000 Samsung 32″ flat panel TVs and a new platform with 37 free-to-guest channels (30 in high definition), the Showtime television network and a fully interactive program guide. (www.LQ.com)
Sofitel is installing Quadriga’s Sensiq in multiple properties across Europe and Africa, including a customized guest communications portal. (www.sofitel.com, www.quadriga.com)
Gogobot has launched an iPhone app to help users explore nearby areas, restaurants, bars, activities, hotels and itineraries. Users select their current location, take a picture, transform the photos into geo-tagged digital postcards, and share them with friends via Facebook or Twitter. Each postcard is added automatically to the user’s Gogobot Guide on the site; users can search for travel recommendations from their friends via Twitter and Facebook and look at the top recommendations (e.g. London restaurants) from the entire Gogobot community. (www.gogobot.com)
Joie de Vivre Hotels has chosen LodgeNet Interactive’s Envision interactive HDTV platform as a brand standard for its 30+ hotels and resorts in California and the Southwest United States. Envision has been installed in two hotels in Southern California – the Custom Hotel LAX and the Shorebreak Hotel – with The Saguaro in Scottsdale, AZ scheduled for this month. Services offered to guests include eCompendium interactive access to hotel and local information, in-room dining, Flyte Tracker real-time information on flight arrivals and departures, and, in properties with LG Pro:Centric televisions, an Interactive Program Guide. (www.jdvhotels.com, www.lodgenet.com)
- Sundance Resort selects Yellow Dog Software’s back office inventory
- Zaxby’s deploys MICROS Systems’ myinventory at 150 locations
Sundance Resort has selected Yellow Dog Software’s back office inventory application to manage the retail operations for its Mountain Outfitters Store, General Store, and Deli. The property went live with the complete inventory system in July 2011. (www.yellowdogsoftware.com)
Zaxby’s has deployed MICROS Systems’ myinventory at 150 locations, integrated with their MICROS POS systems. This tally includes all corporate and 60+ franchisee locations. Zaxby’s operates 535 casual restaurants across the Southern United States. (www.zaxbys.com, www.micros.com)
- MTech upgrades HotSOS for scheduled preventive tasks in rooms vacant for pre-set period
MTech has upgraded its HotSOS application to provide for scheduled preventive tasks in rooms that have been vacant for a specified number of days, such as running faucets to protect against Legionellosis. (www.m-tech.com)
- Cotell International announces Fuego range of hotel telephones
- BelAir Networks releases compact LTE+3G+Wi-Fi Metrocell with integrated wireless backhaul for outdoor deployment
Cotell International announced a new range of hotel telephones, the “Fuego” Series, which combine a modern style with durable construction. The desk-mounted phones feature a metal stand for strength and rigidity, solid acrylic and PVC custom-design faceplates, and a hi-gloss scratch-resistant paint finish customizable to match the décor of the hotel room. (www.cotell-international.com)
BelAir Networks has announced the general availability of its compact LTE+3G+Wi-Fi Metrocell with integrated wireless backhaul for outdoor deployment, claimed to be the industry’s first. The BelAir2100 LTE/3G/Wi-Fi Metrocell supports multiple licensed bands, carrier Wi-Fi access and several integrated wireless and wireline backhaul options in a small base station. (www.belairnetworks.com)
- Holiday Inn Manchester-MediaCityUK installs VingCard Signature, Vision
- OpenWays launches Mobile Master Key
The new 218-room Holiday Inn Manchester-MediaCityUK has installed VingCard’s Signature locks and VISION software platform, interfaced with the hotel’s property management and point-of-sale systems. (www.holidayinn.com, www.vingcardelsafe.com)
OpenWays has launched Mobile Master Key, allowing housekeeping, engineering, maintenance and staff with security responsibilities to use a mobile phone as a master for properties with suitably-equipped door locks. Advantages include being able to neutralize a lost or stolen master key simply with the push of a button, without having to walk to each lock. (www.openways.com)