Editorial Board

Mr. Wolfe

Frank I. Wolfe

CEO, Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals

Frank I. Wolfe, CAE is CEO of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), which produces the largest hospitality technology conference in the world – HITEC (Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference). Every other year at HITEC, HFTP reveals an updated version of GUESTROOM 20X, a hands-on exhibit that displays new and futuristic technologies for the hotel guestroom. Mr. Wolfe, along with an Advisory Council comprised of industry experts, search the globe looking for technologies that could improve the guest’s experience at a hotel. The 2010 version took lead with travelers’ increased use of personal electronic devices and the Internet as a central resource for entertainment and information. Some technologies featured include a cell phone application that unlocks the guestroom door with a unique audible signal, integrated environmental room controls via touch screens that include Internet access; a canopy bed with an all-in-one multi-media experience; a bathroom mirror that broadcasts the day’s weather, news and health data; and much more. Mr. Wolfe joined HFTP in 1991 and has been at the helm since 1994. At that time, he was one of the youngest association CEOs in North America. In 2000, Mr. Wolfe was honored by Lodging Magazine by being included in the “75 Profiles in Leadership” edition, a who’s who of 75 individuals who have made major contributions to the hospitality industry. In 2002, Mr. Wolfe received the HFTP Paragon Award for his significant and lasting contributions to HFTP and the hospitality industry. In 2010 he was recognized as a "Technology Trailblazer" by Hotel Business Magazine. In June 2011, Mr. Wolfe was inducted into the International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame for his leadership with various hospitality technology projects, as well as assisting in educating the industry, over the past 20 years. Mr. Wolfe frequently speaks on hospitality finance, technology, social media, travel issues, and meetings industry topics to varied audiences and has presented in more than 20 countries. He has appeared on several television network interviews and programs including CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, TVAsia, and Bloomberg TV. Mr. Wolfe is also a frequent author and has been published in publications throughout the world. Mr. Wolfe currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Finance Committee of the Texas Society of Association Executives, and the Dean’s Advisory Board at the Conrad Hilton College at the University of Houston. He has been an instructor for the Academy of Assn. Management on topics including education, association law, finance and technology.

Mr. Wolfe can be contacted at 512-249-5333 or frank.wolfe@hftp.com

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.