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Adria Levtchenko

Insuring that workers are safe on the job is an issue that is increasingly in the spotlight. While it applies to the entire hotel staff, it is especially relevant to those who often work in isolation, with housekeepers being a prime example. The industry is responding with new programs that include devices which staff can activate to signal an emergency alert when in distress, i.e. personal safety devices (PSDs). A safer workplace also contributes to employee confidence and satisfaction, augments health and wellness, and aids in reducing worker compensation exposures. This article explores the role of technology in achieving these goals. READ MORE

Nancy Snyder

As technology continues to permeate households across North America, consumers are looking for hospitality settings to mirror these conveniences for a premium guest experience. However, in addition to remaining attractive to discerning guests, hospitality executives will find a compelling business benefit to incorporating tech upgrades into hospitality spaces: hotel properties that incorporate Internet of Things technology and high-quality, tech-forward tools experience significant reductions in energy consumption, saving resources, money and time to increase net profits. Nancy Snyder, Sales Manager at Legrand, explores ways hotel decision makers can incorporate IoT to enhance the guest experience and, ultimately, improve the bottom line. READ MORE

Adria Levtchenko

New and, sometimes, complex technologies are impacting almost every area of hotel operations and management, from the C-suite to frontline staff to guests. Their adept use can improve operational efficiencies, enhance the guest experience and boost the bottom line. However, there is a lot to choose from with new concepts and technology solutions appearing, it seems, daily. The successful implementation of these new technologies relies on a smart approach to their identification, assessment and purchase. READ MORE

Adria Levtchenko

Hospitality organizations increasingly rely on data-driven technologies and systems to inform and guide most any level of operations, management or strategy. One of the key challenges in this trend is to make data in all of its forms as accessible and useful as possible for the frontline staff that works with guests directly on a daily basis. Pursued carefully, we can improve efficiencies and profitability, motivate employees and, overall, also make technology adoption easier instead of more difficult. READ MORE

Tema Frank

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is shaking up the hospitality business, and it is no longer just for big chains. It can help any size company serve customers better, increase operational efficiency, and cut costs. Learn about some of the leading edge ways AI is being used by hotels like the Hilton, the Wynn and the Four Seasons, as well as less expensive AI-based tools that can help even independents be better run and more profitable. READ MORE

Mark Ricketts

Powerful new digital technologies continue to revolutionize the world of hospitality, including how we train and manage our staff and how we interact with and serve guests. During implementation, we must use care in how we secure, access and interpret the information lode available to us. Our greatest challenge is to employ these new technologies in ways that enhance, rather than diminish, the human touch and judgment that are at the core of what we do in hospitality. READ MORE

Adria Levtchenko

Today's hospitality organizations rely on advanced technologies in a wide range of back-office operations, as well as areas directly impacting guest services. And much more is to come. Implementing these technologies successfully demands a careful approach to assessing needs, whereby all stakeholders embrace the new systems; acquisition; and implementation, including a thoughtful approach to staff training. In this way, we can achieve the objectives of making our jobs easier as we acquire new powers, communicate better within our organizations and with strategic partners and serve guests in new ways. READ MORE

Benjamin Jost

The importance of technology in the hospitality industry grows every year, and with each new year brings new options for hoteliers to consider. From creating better experiences for guests, to collecting and tracking meaningful data points, when implemented correctly, technology can make an impact. This article examines the due diligence and critical steps hoteliers should take when evaluating new technology. Additionally, this article outlines the key elements of an effective and revenue-driven hotel technology stack, that includes focusing on marketing and operational aspects to create optimal success for hoteliers. READ MORE

David Ashen

With the rise of technologic innovations throughout the hospitality industry, brands are incorporating new systems that not only affect the way hotels operate, but also the guest experience. David Ashen, partner and founder of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, looks at how the industry is responding with programs like mobile check-in, app-driven food service, robotics and other systems, along with their influences on the guest experience. READ MORE

Justin Effron

The combination of increasing customization and advancing technology is bringing the world together. What used to take ten or more separate devices is now all in one smartphone. Platform-based services like Uber, Netflix, and Airbnb are revolutionizing business as we know it. Just about every industry has jumped on board this trend towards tech-based simplicity except one. The hotel industry has been slow to adapt, preferring instead to stick with separate systems for their various departments—if using systems at all. Thanks to the increasing awareness of hospitality platforms however, all that's about to change. At long last, the hotel industry is getting its long-awaited wake-up call. Just don't go back to sleep, before making room for a platform in your upcoming budget. READ MORE

Mark Ricketts

In this article, we will discuss some approaches to meeting this challenge of being "technicians with a heart." The goal is to make good use of these new approaches to operating a hotel, while making sure we provide guests with the meaningful experiences they undeniably crave, as we do ourselves. One is tempted to call them our phantom guests. With today's technologies, a guest can make a reservation, sign in and, perhaps, check out without talking to or being seen by someone at the front desk. Timed right, a guest may not even interact with maintenance or housekeeping. READ MORE

Paul Lachance

Hotel executives are starting to catch on to digital technology as they strive for better customer experiences across the board. With powerhouses like Hilton and Marriott leading the charge, competitive hotel brands are raising the standard for guest experiences in the digital age. A recent study by Hospitality Technology found 57 percent of hotels plan to spend more on technology across the board in 2017 than they did in 2016. And while improving customer engagement and enhancing payment and data security stood out as the top priorities for many hospitality industry decision-makers, it appears far fewer are considering a critical investment: Enterprise Asset Management (EAM). READ MORE

Matt Naeger

Travel industry marketers are setting their sites on the customer, following in the steps of other industries such as retail and using digital platforms to strategically target and message across the customer journey. The advances in customer experience we see today are the result of platform and technology availability. Knowing customers like to be treated as individuals is not a new concept in customer service. Not long ago personalized treatment was reserved for face-to-face conversations and luxury experiences. Digital has evolved, but the concept remains the same. READ MORE

Benjamin Jost

An API (Application Program Interface), is simply a set of rules and protocols that establish how applications should interact with each other. Said differently, APIs are the pipes that connect applications across the internet, allowing secure passage of data between companies. Customers don't see APIs, but APIs are the means by which data is shared. Using an example to crystalize this concept, many hotel websites will incorporate Google Maps into each of the pages dedicated to their properties. This is one basic use of an API. Another common use of APIs has to do with social media. Companies like Hootsuite, which connect various social accounts for organizations, use APIs in order to foster those connections. READ MORE

Mark Heymann

Mobile technology has pervaded virtually every aspect of our lives, and travel is no exception. As people turn to their mobile devices for assistance with an increasing number of daily activities, the hotel industry has responded with apps designed to streamline processes from checking in to accessing one's room. Starwood Hotels & Resorts pioneered mobile room keys with its SPG Keyless product in 2014 and since then several other major brands have followed suit. There are also apps today that enable SMS two-way communications between guests and hotel staff, facilitating a wide range of interactions, including late check-out requests, room service orders, and restaurant recommendations. READ MORE

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Coming up in November 2020...

Hotel Design: Home Away From Home

With the rise of the sharing economy and the peer-to-peer marketplace for lodging options, hoteliers are re-thinking the look, feel and appeal of their locations. There is an emphasis on re-creating a feeling of homeyness - a comfortable, cozy and inviting space that feels like home. 'This is accomplished through the careful selection of furniture design, paint colors, lighting design, artwork, bathroom fixtures and textile accessories. In addition, some hotels are providing their guests with upscale amenities, such as a book and movie library, home-style kitchenettes, a coffee machine with locally-sourced beans and tea, or even a batch of fresh-baked cookies. Similarly, there is a growing design trend based on the concept of place-making. Travelers are searching for experiences that are unique and authentic to the locale in which they find themselves, and so hotel designers are integrating a sense of place into their work. This is partially achieved by incorporating traditional artisanal crafts and other local artwork into hotel rooms and communal spaces. Another design trend includes the creation of full-service, co-working environments within the hotel. Guests don't like to stay alone in their room when they need to work, so now they can go downstairs to the lobby-or up to the roof-to work among others. These areas encourage guests - and non-guests alike - to stay as long as they like and to partake of hotel amenities. Finally, recognizing the importance of the Wellness Movement, some designers are exploring how room design can increase the likelihood of deep and restorative sleep. Creating dark and quiet spaces, blocking excessive light, providing guests with a selection of different kinds of pillows, and the ability to control room temperature, are a few of the best practices in this area. These are some of the architecture and design topics that will be covered in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.