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Siegel Sez

April 10, 2008

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

At the conclusion of our first day program I was walking out of the meeting room with Charlie L’Esperance, the president of RTP who was attending his first Hospitality Upgrade Executive Vendor Summit. I asked Charlie what he thought. He looked at me and said that the people in this room love me. I looked at him with open eyes and told him that I didn’t think they loved me, I think they loved picking on me. The last session on Thursday included industry questions that the attendees had supplied for our audience response system. We ask questions, they respond and the answers are immediately displayed on the screen in the front of the room. Seeing them for the first time I was asking the questions that Sally Kelly of KPMG had plugged into the system earlier during the day. Industry trends, forecasts on the health of the industry past and present were very interesting since it was a room full of CEOs representing over 50 of the leading technology providers in the industry. No one was more shocked than me when a question popped up about the possibility of me ever getting married. The laughter in the room was unbelievable, but when I looked at Ron Tarro from SDD I knew who was leading this line of questioning.

Yes, it was a fun, thought provoking day and a day of industry issues that needed to be addressed. What a great experience for the attendees and for our Hospitality Upgrade staff. The W Hotel did a great job hosting our conference especially since it was only open six days when we arrived. Look for pictures on the http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com Web site (under Cool New Stuff) and in the upcoming HITEC issue of our magazine. Special thanks to Nelson Garrido, the CIO of Noble Investments, which owns the W, for coming by to make sure everything was OK. Nelson also arranged for unbelievable prizes at our Atlanta social event at the W the night before the conference began, with one of the prizes being a weekend in a villa at Calloway Gardens and included a round of golf. Congratulations to Jerri Peterson of IHG who won the weekend getaway. The one thing we could have done without happened at the start of the program on Thursday. A squirrel electrocuted himself in the Georgia Power substation down the street from the hotel and took out the power for a whole city block. An ominous sign? Actually it became a joke for much of the day. Kudos to Sally Kelly who started the session with candles on the tables and a flashlight on the speakers in the front of the room. Thankfully the power came back on 10 minutes into the delayed session.

Thanks to all who attended, we will have details on the event including some incriminating pictures in our next issue of Hospitality Upgrade. If you are not a subscriber to our magazine, I strongly encourage you to go to http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com and subscribe today. It is a free publication for those in the industry.

To all who have asked about the results of the Benchmark Study on Technology Spending, the results have been sent to the participants. We are now working on the second survey and if you didn’t participate in the first survey and want to be in our second, please e-mail Geneva at mailto:geneva@hospitalityupgrade.com and we will send the information to you. For the many of you who have inquired about obtaining a copy of the results, you will be contacted in the next 10 days. If you want a copy, please e-mail Geneva.

Here is the real reason we are here.  Jon Inge’s technology review of what has transpired in the last couple of weeks. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.


Technology NEWSSTAND

by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

- Survey emphasizes trend to travelers building their own packages
Tourists’ spending priorities for hotel rooms vs. airfares differ markedly between long and short-haul travel, according to an Expedia online survey of 14,000 customers from the United Kingdom and Europe.  On short-haul flights respondents said they preferred to use budget airlines such as Easyjet and Ryanair to reach their destination and then stay in four and five-star properties when they got there.  Interestingly, some 46 percent of British travelers opted for four and five-star hotels in the survey, double the number of French travelers.

Conversely, what Expedia terms “smart travelers” on long-haul travel prefer to upgrade or use the most comfortable airline they can find to make the trip more tolerable, but opt for budget accommodation once on the ground.

The survey also highlighted the rise of the “superbreak,” where tourists travel to mid-haul and long-haul destinations for shorter periods.  Expedia puts this down to the increased affordability of longer distance flights and “the desire to make the most of even a few days break by experiencing something new and different.”  Almost a third (31 percent) of respondents either have taken or are thinking about a short break to a mid-haul destination, most often “to experience a different culture.”

Emphasizing the growth of dynamic packaging on Web sites, the report suggests a decline in pre-packaged holidays where a flight and a week’s stay at a single resort are bought pre-bundled.  Following a rise last year in “extras” bookings it also predicts a greater emphasis this year on pre-booking airport transfers, car hire, city tours, theater and other attractions by travelers looking to maximize their time at a destination.  Some 21 percent of travelers already book a car at the same time as a hotel and flight, and almost a third (31 percent) book previously organized excursions.


- Ian Cole named 2008 CHTP of the Year
- Tamer Tamar promoted to managing director and VP of Expedia Distribution, EMEA
- Mark Gordon hired by Onity as president and general manager
- Bill Grant and Brad Schroer join Onity’s North American hospitality sales team
For more on People on the Move for 04/10/08


- Vienna International Hotels & Resorts orders Amadeus’ PMS for 44 hotels
- Best Western Lodge Hotel in Putney, south west London, installs Protel’s PMS
- Royal Lahaina Resort implements remote checkin using digital pens from ExpeData
- Westin Imagine Orlando installs OwnerRelations Technology’s Owner Experience Enterprise
- Paragon Casino Resort, Marksville, La. picks Agilysys’ LMS
- MSI’s CC Direct credit card module validated as PABP-compliant
For more on Property Management Systems for 04/10/08


- Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants adopts StarCite’s Small Meeting Solution
- Newmarket integrates MeetingBroker with Cvent’s Supplier Network
- Radisson SAS extends free Wi-Fi services to non-resident delegates attending meetings
For more on Sales & Catering for 04/10/08


- Capella picks InfoGenesis for food and beverage operations at two properties
Capella Hotels and Resorts has selected Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS for food and beverage operations at two properties, the Capella Castlemartyr in County Cork, Ireland and Schloss Velden in Velden, Austria.  The system will interface with each hotel’s property management system using HTNG-based protocols.  http://www.capellahotels.comhttp://www.agilysys.com


- Booking.com implements two-way interface with HBSi’s Demand Gateway
- Travelport to focus on Galileo’s Traversa, ViewTrip, drop Worldspan’s Trip Manager
- Nikki Beach picks SynXis for GDS, online travel site connectivity for 15 properties
- IBS Software Services acquires controlling interest in Hotel Booking Solutions, Inc.
- AirDepartment.com renamed iTravel Solutions
- BCD Travel renews, extends commission processing contract with Pegasus
For more on Reservations for 04/10/08


- Grand Hotel Sofia installs IDeaS V5i On-Demand revenue management system
- Tivoli Hotels & Resorts picks IDeaS’ V5i On-Demand for all 12 hotels
The Grand Hotel Sofia has chosen IDeaS V5i On-Demand revenue management system, IDeaS’ first installation in an independent hotel in Bulgaria.  The property has already implemented the BAR (best available rate) and group pricing modules. 

Portugal’s Tivoli Hotels & Resorts Group has selected IDeaS’ V5i On-Demand revenue management system for all 12 of its hotels, implemented on a multiproperty basis. 
http://www.grandhotelsofia.bg, http://www.tivolihotels.comhttp://www.ideas.com


- SDD appoints McLaren International as sales/support agent for JAZZ Fusion in Asia Pacific
- Teledex completes iPhone interoperability testing with Mitel’s 3300 IP Communications Platform
SDD has appointed McLaren International as its sales and implementation agent for the JAZZ Fusion TeleManager telecommunications management services in selected Asia Pacific countries.  McLaren has already made successful implementations of JAZZ Fusion services and software across the region.  http://www.mclarenint.com, http://www.jazz-fusion.net
Teledex has completed interoperability testing with Mitel’s 3300 IP Communications Platform (ICP), targeted at businesses from 10-65,000 users for its iPhone SIP LD4200 display phones and SIP ND2200 series non-display phones.  http://www.mitel.comhttp://www.teledex.com


- Real Hotels & Resorts to upgrade seven properties to Guest-Tek’s OneView Media platform
- The Window Channel announces library of high definition ambient and scenic videos
- Red Roof’s Next Generation Redesign guestroom to include Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and auto sensing jack packs
- Crystal Gateway Marriott and Hyatt Regency Coral Gables install VSi Automated Business Centers
- Hyatt Rosemont Hotel installs FlyteBoard real-time airline flight information display
For more on Guest Services for 04/10/08


- Heritage Hotels and Resorts and IHP Hotels install Aptech’s Profitvue and Webvue
Heritage Hotels and Resorts, Albuquerque, N.M., and IHP Hotels in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, have installed Aptech Computer Systems’ Profitvue back office financial accounting software and Webvue Internet data collection tools, hosted at Aptech’s data center.  Heritage operates six properties in New Mexico and Arizona.  IHP Hospitality Group operates five properties throughout Puerto Rico that carry Marriott, Cendant and other flags.  http://www.hhandr.com, http://www.ihphospitality.comhttp://www.aptech-inc.com


- Hilton reports energy savings of over 10 percent across its 80-plus properties in Europe in 2007
Hilton Hotels reported its “we care!” environmental sustainability initiative resulted in overall 2007 energy savings of more than 10 percent across its over 80 properties in Europe, and a five percent reduction in water consumption.  The program was established in January 2006 to encourage hotels to introduce initiatives and best practices focusing on genuine and measurable reductions in energy consumption and CO2 emissions, water consumption, waste generation and chemical usage.

Hilton has also managed to reduce its CO2 emissions per guest night by nearly 11 percent since the program started, avoiding a total of 10,200 tonnes of CO2 being emitted by its hotels, equivalent to removing 2,200 cars off the road.  It is aiming for a 2009 target of reducing energy consumption by 15 percent.  http://www.hilton.com


Two ladies are talking in heaven.

First woman: “Hi, my name is Wanda.”

Second woman: “Hi, I'm Kathy. How did you die?”

First woman: “I froze to death.”

Second woman: “How horrible!”

First woman: “It wasn't so bad. After I quit shaking from the cold, I began to get warm and sleepy, and finally died a peaceful death. What about you?”

Second woman: “I died of a massive heart attack. I suspected that my husband was cheating, so I came home early to catch him in the act. But instead, I found him all by himself in the den watching TV.”

First woman: “What happened?”

Second woman: “I was so sure there was another woman there somewhere that I started running all over the house looking. I ran up into the attic searching, and down into the basement. Then I went through every closet and checked under all the beds. I kept this up until I had looked everywhere, and finally I became so exhausted that I just keeled over with a heart attack and died.”

First woman: “Too bad you didn't look in the freezer – we'd both still be alive.”

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