October 30, 2006

In this issue…

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Engineering

Security

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • TripAdvisor’s annual travel trends survey reports some surprising figures

Social networking site TripAdvisor released the results of its annual travel trends survey of nearly 4,000 travelers, globally. Some of the reported trends are both fascinating and surprising, and it would be interesting to see the breakdown of the respondents’ demographics to clarify some of the more unexpected ones. For example:
– Forty-three percent of travelers said they are likely to go hiking, up from 24 percent one year ago, and 39 percent plan on adventure activities (such as parasailing and whitewater rafting), up from 29 percent last year. Really? Maybe the planes-full of business folk I see count their treks through the concrete canyons of New York and Chicago as hikes. They can certainly turn into adventures if you take a wrong turn.
– 24 percent won’t leave home without disinfectant/cleaning supplies, shower shoes, their own pillow, their own sheets/pillowcase, or their own towels, with travelers from the U.S. more than twice as germophobic as those from the U.K.
– Maybe giving rise to the above figures, 28 percent of travelers said their worst experience in a hotel room was a dirty bathroom, and 75 percent of travelers think that a clean restroom is what makes an airport great.
– Twenty percent reported that they’d taken items from a hotel, such as towels, bathrobes, decorative pieces, glassware or flatware, but only 4 percent of travelers said they’re likely to do something illegal that they wouldn’t normally do at home. So apparently 16% think it’s not illegal to steal from the hotel.
– Sixty-four percent of travelers have bought or brought an additional piece of luggage to pack items they acquired on vacation for the return trip home. You never know when you might want to pack a few extra towels, I guess.
– More seriously, 61% considered the threat of terrorism an important factor when choosing a vacation destination, up from 52 percent last year, and 25% (and 29% of Americans) consider the cost of fuel important when choosing where to go. But despite that concern, 81% of travelers plan to drive this year for leisure trips, versus 71% a year ago.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Global Hotel Alliance selects MICROS for distribution and other technology services
  • Travel Plaza Hotel in Market Harborough, England, installs Oasis’ Linux-based PMS
  • Hastings Hotels orders Visual One for its six properties in Northern Ireland

Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), a new Geneva-based initiative by Kempinski in Europe, Omni in North America, Pan Pacific in the Pacific Rim and Rydges in Australia and New Zealand, has selected MICROS Systems to provide distribution and other technology services for its members’ 194 properties. GHA’s initial goals are to offer connectivity to MICROS’ Property Management Systems and/or Central Systems, followed by global customer care/loyalty programs and sales force automation. (www.globalhotelalliance.com, www.micros.com).
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The 32 room Travel Plaza Hotel in Market Harborough, England, has installed Oasis’ Linux-based PMS. The sale for Hong Kong-based Oasis was made through it’s UK distributor, Sensible Information Technology. (www.makeitsensible.com, www.oasis2000.com)
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Hastings Hotels has ordered Visual One’s PMS and Sales & Catering systems for its six properties in Northern Ireland, together with Visual One’s Central Reservations system. (www.hastingshotels.com, www.v1s.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Major brands’ Internet bookings up 20% over 2005, surpass GDS volume for first time
  • Hutchison Priceline signs pan-regional agreement with Amadeus
  • SynXis adds direct connection from HotelReservations.travel to RedX
  • Berjaya Hotels & Resorts signs for Pelican’s CRS for 12 sites in Malaysia
  • Hyatt signs with OpenJaw Technologies for multi-lingual xRez Internet booking engine

Major brands’ Internet reservations volume surpassed that from GDSs in the second quarter, the first time this has happened according to TravelCLICK’s eTRAK results. The Internet contributed 37.3% of 23 major brands’ Central Reservation Office bookings, a 19.9% increase over a year earlier. Since GDS bookings were up 4% over the first quarter to 36.4% of bookings, the Internet growth appears to be at the expense of voice reservations, which were down 1.2 percent over the same time last year. Own-brand Websites grew to 79.3% of their centrally-booked Internet reservations, at the expense of third-party merchant and opaque websites, which appear to be increasingly used for rate shopping prior to travelers booking direct on hotel websites.
TravelCLICK predicted that:
– The decline in voice reservations will continue as consumers book through the Web or seek help from travel agents, becoming more dramatic as call-in business for group meetings and conventions shifts online.
– Nevertheless, the voice channel will become more profitable as call times decrease and conversion rates grow as consumers research destinations and make buying decisions online before calling to confirm.
– GDS volume will continue to grow, but at a slower rate for at least the next 24 months as this channel represents primarily steady corporate and business travel.
(www.travelclick.net)
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Hutchison Priceline has signed a pan-regional agreement with Amadeus for access to air, hotel and hotel multimedia content, covering Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and other countries in Hutchinson’s expansion plans. (hotel.priceline.com.hk, www.amadeus.com)
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SynXis has added a direct connection from multi-lingual European site HotelReservations.travel to its RedX distribution management system, linking it to third party travel sites and custom-built booking engines. (www.synxis.com)
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Berjaya Hotels & Resorts has contracted for Pelican System’s Central Reservation System for its 12 hotels and resorts in Malaysia, including online booking from Berjaya’s own Web site. (www.berjayahotels-resorts.com, www.pelicansystem.com)
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Hyatt Hotels and Resorts has signed with OpenJaw Technologies for its multi-lingual xRez Internet booking engine, with the goal of allowing travelers to book in up to 17 languages including Chinese, Japanese and multiple European languages. The XML/OTA-based booking engine is designed to detect content changes in the Hyatt CRS and perform automatic language updates by connecting to Translations.com’s Global Link service.
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Lodging Interactive using different XML site map technologies for different search engines
  • Webloyalty ranked twelfth in Deloitte’s 2006 Technology Fast 500
  • TravelCLICK signs exclusive agreement for VFM Interactive’s Viz-it content manager
  • Blue Square Studios wins two “Standard of Excellence” awards in tenth annual WebAward Competition

Internet marketer Lodging Interactive announced its use of different XML site map technologies for different search engines. In addition to standard HTML site maps, Lodging Interactive also creates an XML site map for Google, a text site map for Yahoo and an ROR site map for other major search engines such as MSN and Ask. (www.lodginginteractive.com)
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Online marketer Webloyalty was twelfth in Deloitte’s 2006 Technology Fast 500 ranking of the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications and life sciences companies in North America, based on percentage revenue growth from 2001-2005. Webloyalty was also ranked by Deloitte as the fastest growing technology company in Connecticut for the second consecutive year. (www.webloyalty.com)
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TravelCLICK has signed an exclusive agreement to market VFM Interactive’s Viz-it rich media content management application in conjunction with its own iStay booking engine, which already uses VFM’s Premium Video and Photovideo Tours products. Viz-it’s management and distribution functions offer media management and distribution, allowing properties to control media distribution through the GDS, Pegasus Online Distribution Database, search engines and more than 20,000 travel sites, selectively controlling where specific media appears across the Internet. (www.vfmii.com, www.travelclick.net)
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Blue Square Studios won two “Standard of Excellence” awards in the Hotel & Lodging category at the tenth annual WebAward Competition for Web site development: for the Kahala Hotel & Resort and for Mii amo, a destination spa at Enchantment. The firm also received a “Standard of Excellence” award in the Restaurant category for The Inn at Dos Brisas. (www.miiamo.com, www.kahalahotel.com, www.bluesqstudios.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Hyatt Hotels, Elite Island Resorts sign with HBSI

Hyatt Hotels Corp has signed with Hotel Booking Solutions Inc. to link various sales distribution channels directly to Hyatt’s central reservation system, allowing designated tour operators and wholesaler partners real-time access to Hyatt inventory with Hyatt controlling rates and room availability. The first three channels to launch with Hyatt will be Quickbook.com, Tourico, and OneTravel.
Elite Island Resorts is deploying Hotel Booking Solutions Inc.’s Demand Management technologies and services at its collection of beachfront properties in Antigua, Tortola, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, and Palm Island (The Grenadines).
(www.hyatt.com, www.eliteislandresorts.com, www.hotelbookingsolutions.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Hastings Hotels orders Visual One’s Sales & Catering and PMS systems for six properties
  • Sabre Travel Network adds Worktopia’s direct meeting space booking engine
  • Golden Tulip launches Meeting & Events online booking Web site

Hastings Hotels has ordered Visual One’s Sales & Catering and PMS systems for its six properties in Northern Ireland, together with Visual One’s Central Reservations system. (www.hastingshotels.com, www.v1s.com)
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Sabre Travel Network is adding Worktopia’s direct meeting space booking engine to MySabre, claiming to be the first GDS-based site offering live booking of meeting space in hotels and conference centers. (www.worktopia.com, www.sabre.com)
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Golden Tulip Hospitality has launched its Meeting & Events online booking Web site, which includes a search engine of over 150 professional venues on various meeting criteria such as size, amount of delegates and location. (www.goldentulip.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Vintage Hotels implements InfoGenesis’ POS at three hotels
  • Princess Cruises upgrading to MICROS’ 9700
  • Don Pablo’s completes POS upgrade to MICROS RES 4.0 at 96 locations

Vintage Hotels has implemented InfoGenesis’ POS systems at its three hotels in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. The operation offers a combined total of 374 guest rooms, over 30,000 square feet of meeting space, three restaurants and two spas. (www.vintage-hotels.com/niagara-on-the-lake/, www.infogenesis.com)
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Carnival’s Princess Cruises is upgrading to MICROS’ 9700 Hospitality and Retail Management System (HMS) from the 8700 system. Four ships have already deployed 9700 systems, with two more to be added by year end.
Don Pablo’s has completed its POS upgrade to MICROS RES 4.0, running on over 550 MICROS Workstation 4 terminals, plus MICROS Enterprise Management. The upgrade included all 96 corporate locations.
(www.princesscruises.com, www.donpablos.com, www.micros.com)

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GUEST SERVICES

  • iBAHN launches Global Command Center

iBAHN has launched its Global Command Center (GCC), offering greater proactive quality monitoring of hotel broadband services. The GCC can monitor over 100,000 pieces of equipment to detect faulty performance before it becomes noticeable to the guest, and protects properties on the iBAHN network against viruses, malicious attacks and spam. (www.ibahn.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • Mintek Mobile Data Solutions listed in Software Magazine’s top 500 global software and services providers

Mintek Mobile Data Solutions is listed among Software Magazine’s top 500 global software and services providers, based on 2005 revenues. (www.mintek.com)
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SECURITY

  • VingCard adds Near Field Communications (NFC) to Signature RFID lock

VingCard has added Near Field Communications (NFC) functionality to its Signature RFID lock, allowing guests with NFC-compliant cell phones to use them open their guestroom doors, in addition to using RFID key cards. Through a joint collaboration with NXP (formerly Philips semiconductors), hotels equipped with VingCard RFID locks will be able to offer remote check-in. Guests will receive booking confirmation number, room number and an encrypted room key access code through SMS (Short Message System), prior to the arrival at the hotel, and they will avoid long lines at check-in going straight to the room. Guest will open the room with their NFC-cell phone. (www.vingcard.com)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
    9301 236th Street SW
    Edmonds, WA 98020

    office: 206-546-0966
    fax: 206-337-1355
    cell: 206-355-3111

    jon@joninge.com