Editorial Board   Guest Author

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.

Please visit http://www. for more information.

Mr. Wolfe can be contacted at +1 512-249-5333 or frank.wolfe@hftp.com

Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.