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Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “DIY Not the Answer with Hotel Technology”

For the first time, technology has become a real point of differentiation for hotel companies. As owners and asset managers become more involved and focus onDIY Hotel Tech technology and distribution, the pressure will grow for brand companies. It’s great the entire industry recognizes the problem, but the question becomes, how does it get solved? Or worse, what happens if it doesn’t?

After attending the summer season of hotel industry events, I was surprised to see a new found recognition from hotel brand companies that technology has become an urgent priority. It is refreshing to hear executives admitting that they have fallen behind the curve and are desperate for new solutions.

It wasn’t that long ago that technology and distribution were barely mentioned at these events, but now they are often the focus of general sessions at even the biggest investment conferences like NYU. And now we even have newer events like the Revenue Strategy Summit and the Hotel Data Conference where distribution is a main topic on the agenda.

It’s remarkable to see such a transformation, but that’s where my excitement stops. In the next breath, many of the same hotel brand leaders talk about a renewed commitment to building better technology. They want to compete with Expedia, Priceline, and Google by creating their own in-house platforms.

For more: http://bit.ly/1P4k8Lw

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Filed under Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Technology

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “The Present and Future of In-Room Tech”

“Hotels should focus on making room technology easy to understand, accessible and relevant. Do not focus the efforts only on creating ‘fun’technology such as mood lighting and such.Roundtable-Feature It’s important to pay attention to the devices used by guests and add tech features, which can assist in an improved hotel experience.”

From cathode-ray tubes to flat-screen televisions to smart screens. From dial-up Web access to Wi-Fi.

In-room technology in hotels has evolved over the years, and it will only continue to do so. But what are the changes hoteliers can expect next? And in an industry often accused of being behind the curve when it comes to technology, what do hoteliers need to keep top of mind to add to the guestroom experience?

Five leaders responded to these questions in this Hotel News Now virtual roundtable. This is what they had to say.

From where it stands today, where do you see in-room technology headed in the next few years?

Mehul Patel, chairman and CEO of NewcrestImage
“Technology, notably Bluetooth, will increasingly make rooms more ‘open’—both literally and virtually. For example, mobile technology will allow guests to unlock and enter their rooms. And after they are in their room, guests will open their room to the virtual world with customized entertainment content and room management. Because today’s travelers have their own mobile devices, it enables us as hoteliers to provide them with technology that makes their stay with us smarter and simpler—‘smarter’ thanks to Bluetooth and ‘simpler’ by facilitating their use of personalized content in movies, television and music.”
Joachim Högefjord, managing director, and Gül Heper, commercial manager at HTL Hotels
“We believe it’s most important to stay relevant to the guests and their needs. In-room technology is not about filling a hotel room with all possible gadgets; it is about enhancing the guest experience and especially simplifying the stay at the hotel.“We need to continue looking at existing behaviors and identify the right needs, what devices are the guests bringing with them and review how to incorporate this in the room in order to provide a better guest experience. One given area, where we already supply device independent solutions is in terms of in-room entertainment. Why equip the hotels with expensive hotel TV systems with on-demand movies when most guests today can and will be using their own devices to stream and mirror everything from movies to HBO and Netflix for free with their existing subscriptions?“Mobile access to the room is of course also an area that will continue to develop and be more and more standardized. Today there are few hotels and chains that are fully offering this to all guests independent of distribution channel. From the start we decided that this should be one of our standard features, and already in spring of 2014 we launched our own app with mobile key.“Of course there is a lot of talk about in-room control systems for lighting, heating, shades, entertainment controls, etc. They might grow in the future, but at the same time it is generally a learning curve to handle them, and with guests staying in general 1.5 days in a room, it might add more complexity to your stay than added value.”
Bashar Wali, president of Provenance Hotels
“In-room technology will focus on connectivity for the traveler’s personal phone, tablets and computer. Guest-provided media will stream to TVs, USB outlets will be within an arm’s length away from the bed and desk in every guestroom. Personal technology has surpassed in-room hotel technology to the point of no return. With annual upgrade cycles for consumer technology devices, hotels can no longer spend enough to catch up. Hoteliers, stop implementing technology of the day and just let travelers have power outlets, free, fast Wi-Fi and access to their own media.”
Anna Blount, market research manager of MMGY Global
“When asked which device they are most likely to watch television or cable movies on during a hotel stay, 86% of travelers chose the in-room television, while 13% chose their personal laptop, 6% their tablet and 4% their smartphone.“Similarly, 84% of travelers said they were most likely to watch pay-per-view movies on the in-room television during a hotel room stay, while 9% chose their personal laptop, 9% their tablet and 3% their smartphone. Although in-room television is still dominate, we expect usage of personal laptops and tablets to consume in-room entertainment to increase considerably over the next five years.”
Euan McGlashan, co-founder and managing partner of Valor Hospitality Partners
“Technology will soon control the entire guestroom, and that’s a good thing. A guest will be connected to every element of the in-room experience—for example, entry locks, television, music, lighting, temperature, roomservice and in-room deliveries or services—through simple switches, remote controls and hand-held devices, which are either theirs or provided by the hotel.”

For more: http://bit.ly/1YzEVea

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Filed under Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Technology

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “The Present and Future of In-Room Tech”

“Hotels should focus on making room technology easy to understand, accessible and relevant. Do not focus the efforts only on creating ‘fun’technology such as mood lighting and such.Roundtable-Feature It’s important to pay attention to the devices used by guests and add tech features, which can assist in an improved hotel experience.”

From cathode-ray tubes to flat-screen televisions to smart screens. From dial-up Web access to Wi-Fi.

In-room technology in hotels has evolved over the years, and it will only continue to do so. But what are the changes hoteliers can expect next? And in an industry often accused of being behind the curve when it comes to technology, what do hoteliers need to keep top of mind to add to the guestroom experience?

Five leaders responded to these questions in this Hotel News Now virtual roundtable. This is what they had to say.

From where it stands today, where do you see in-room technology headed in the next few years?

Mehul Patel, chairman and CEO of NewcrestImage
“Technology, notably Bluetooth, will increasingly make rooms more ‘open’—both literally and virtually. For example, mobile technology will allow guests to unlock and enter their rooms. And after they are in their room, guests will open their room to the virtual world with customized entertainment content and room management. Because today’s travelers have their own mobile devices, it enables us as hoteliers to provide them with technology that makes their stay with us smarter and simpler—‘smarter’ thanks to Bluetooth and ‘simpler’ by facilitating their use of personalized content in movies, television and music.”
Joachim Högefjord, managing director, and Gül Heper, commercial manager at HTL Hotels
“We believe it’s most important to stay relevant to the guests and their needs. In-room technology is not about filling a hotel room with all possible gadgets; it is about enhancing the guest experience and especially simplifying the stay at the hotel.“We need to continue looking at existing behaviors and identify the right needs, what devices are the guests bringing with them and review how to incorporate this in the room in order to provide a better guest experience. One given area, where we already supply device independent solutions is in terms of in-room entertainment. Why equip the hotels with expensive hotel TV systems with on-demand movies when most guests today can and will be using their own devices to stream and mirror everything from movies to HBO and Netflix for free with their existing subscriptions?“Mobile access to the room is of course also an area that will continue to develop and be more and more standardized. Today there are few hotels and chains that are fully offering this to all guests independent of distribution channel. From the start we decided that this should be one of our standard features, and already in spring of 2014 we launched our own app with mobile key.“Of course there is a lot of talk about in-room control systems for lighting, heating, shades, entertainment controls, etc. They might grow in the future, but at the same time it is generally a learning curve to handle them, and with guests staying in general 1.5 days in a room, it might add more complexity to your stay than added value.”
Bashar Wali, president of Provenance Hotels
“In-room technology will focus on connectivity for the traveler’s personal phone, tablets and computer. Guest-provided media will stream to TVs, USB outlets will be within an arm’s length away from the bed and desk in every guestroom. Personal technology has surpassed in-room hotel technology to the point of no return. With annual upgrade cycles for consumer technology devices, hotels can no longer spend enough to catch up. Hoteliers, stop implementing technology of the day and just let travelers have power outlets, free, fast Wi-Fi and access to their own media.”
Anna Blount, market research manager of MMGY Global
“When asked which device they are most likely to watch television or cable movies on during a hotel stay, 86% of travelers chose the in-room television, while 13% chose their personal laptop, 6% their tablet and 4% their smartphone.“Similarly, 84% of travelers said they were most likely to watch pay-per-view movies on the in-room television during a hotel room stay, while 9% chose their personal laptop, 9% their tablet and 3% their smartphone. Although in-room television is still dominate, we expect usage of personal laptops and tablets to consume in-room entertainment to increase considerably over the next five years.”
Euan McGlashan, co-founder and managing partner of Valor Hospitality Partners
“Technology will soon control the entire guestroom, and that’s a good thing. A guest will be connected to every element of the in-room experience—for example, entry locks, television, music, lighting, temperature, roomservice and in-room deliveries or services—through simple switches, remote controls and hand-held devices, which are either theirs or provided by the hotel.”

For more: http://bit.ly/1YzEVea

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Filed under Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Technology

Hospitality Industry Conference Update: “Petra Hospitality Update: CH&LA Southern CA Conference”

Join Petra Risk Solutions at CH&LA’s

Southern California Hotel & Lodging Conference

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at 8:00am – 5:00pm

This one-day event includes educational sessions, a trade show, and networking is free to all hotel staff. Each year over 500 hoteliers attend and take advantage of all that is offered at this very special event. 

Petra Risk Solutions’ very own Brad Durbin, Jennifer Lisanti and Todd Seiders will be presenting at the education sessions

click here to learn more..

Petra is proud to partner with CH&LA and the endorsed broker for:

Insurance    *    Employee Benefits    *    Education

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Filed under Conferences, Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Social Media, Technology, Theft

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “Are You Ready For EMV Card Adoption?”

Current standard-issue American credit cards store personal information in a magnetic stripe on the back of the card. EMV cards, however, store information on a secure computer emv cardschip,which generates a one-time-use security code for every transaction, making counterfeiting virtually impossible, according to the EMV Migration Forum, a consortium of industry players that support EMV chip implementation across the United States. 

Credit card security is a topic top of mind for any business that processes consumer payment data, and this October the stakes for U.S. businesses—including hotels—to comply with the latest wave of payment security will get higher.

It’s all part of a continuing wave for the United States to widely adopt EMV chip credit cards, which reduce counterfeiting and card fraud, but which require hardware and software upgrades on the part of the party processing the payment.

Beginning in October, new compliance language will shift the burden of liability for some types of fraudulent credit card transactions away from banks and ultimately on to merchants. Hoteliers who know these new liability burdens and are actively implementing technology upgrades to read these new cards will come out ahead, legal and technology sources said.

Knowing the reasons behind the change and the implications of noncompliance will help hoteliers make a seamless transition, sources said.

For more: http://bit.ly/1NavP2i

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Filed under Crime, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Technology

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “How to Use Reviews to Size Up the Competition”

One of my panelists (he who cannot be named) brought up an interesting tactic to help hoteliers size up the competition and see how they’re delivering on the guest experience.hotel website Have you ever thought about really digging into TripAdvisor’s “star” reviewers’ reviews? That’s a mouthful. But it’s an interesting way to look at what your hotel might be missing the mark on.

As our readers might know, Hotel News Now is deep in the throes of the beast that is the Hotel Data Conference. Leading up to the event, which kicked off last night, we pulled the data, assigned stories and called our panelists. (Shameless self-promotion: Hear me moderate the panel titled “Online, offline: Keeping your reputation intact”).

While this is only my second time moderating a panel, I have to say I’m really excited about this one. Why, you ask? Well, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with each one of my panelists via phone about how the discussion will go. Let’s just say we’re all on the same page when it comes to giving you some concrete examples of how your hotel can better manage its reputation.

I don’t want to spoil all the fun, but I wanted to give you all a preview of what to expect during the panel, which will take place right before lunch on Thursday, 6 August. OK, enough of the self-promotion. Hopefully I’ve already wooed you.

For more: http://bit.ly/1T3M9kT

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Hospitality Industry Conference Update: “2015 CTSSA Fraud Conference”

The 2015 California Tourism Safety and Security Conference is being held Thursday, September 17, 2015 at the beautiful Island Hotel in Newport Beach, California.  This half day conference is centered around fraud4d30d4d05aa65b796643a506d93fc01a and forgery detection and prevention at your business. With subject matter experts instructing in hands-on, nuts and bolts training format, you will see first hand how criminals forge fraudulent credit cards, wash checks, and take advantage of your unsuspecting business.

Together with several California law enforcement, security, and tourism industry organizations, the Association plans and hosts the nation’s largest training conference dedicated to issues of safety & security for visitors and visitor venues.   The annual conference features timely new training topics each year, presented by experienced practitioners and subject matter experts.   Content and logistics are planned and coordinated by a committee of CTSSA volunteers, chaired by Dave Wiggins.

The event includes a full day of training, plus the Tech Expo which showcases emerging tools & technologies, as well as a keynote address, and hosted luncheon and cocktail reception.   The conference has been praised for its timely and relevant “nuts-n-bolts” training content, as well as its valuable networking opportunities.  The conference has been held at various locations throughout California.  Participants come from all across the United States.  Participation is by pre-registration, and is open only to qualified working professionals.

For more: http://bit.ly/1Mt3G6e

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Filed under Conferences, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Theft