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Siegel Sez

March 12, 2021

Siegel Sez

I feel for those in the hotel sales world. Obviously, many have been furloughed or lost their jobs, but thankfully more and more seem to be coming back. There is a great deal of optimism now as more people are getting vaccinated and herd immunity increases, but when will group business come back? I bring this up because the Hospitality Upgrade Executive Vendor Summit is on the calendar for June 9 -11 at the Loews Vanderbilt in Nashville, and what the salesperson had to go through would cause me to lose my mind. Things that were normal pre-COVID-19 does not work while booking a group now. Even though the impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry is hopefully coming to an end, at least here in the states, both the person representing the group and the person from the hotel have to be flexible and sometimes creative. I am thankful our new best friend Jana Miller was both flexible and creative. Yes, the EVS Nashville might be the first industry in-person event, but hopefully many more will follow and soon.
I wish I could share every conversation I’ve had over the past few weeks about how excited people are to be face-to-face again in three months. EVS is for the vendor community but it is amazing how many hoteliers also want to attend. Who knows, maybe we will be a bit creative this year. The optimism in the industry is running rampant. We will see a summer like never before and the leisure market this summer will be gangbusters. The business travel will kick in the second half of this year and then we will all eagerly await the convention business’ return which most are predicting to come in the second half of 2022. We have some distance to go until we get to experience the new/old/future normal but when I need to book travel and see hotels with high rates, I think, that is a good thing. Finally!
When it comes to future travel things are going to be different. Doug Rice in his Definitely Doug column will share SSI. What is SSI you might ask? It’s Self-Sovereign Identity which might become more commonplace sooner than expected. It is a long read but as we head into the future thanks to COVID, things will continue to change. We thank Doug for sharing.
There have been so many stories regarding the one-year anniversary of COVID-19. All I think of when I reflect are the kids in their teens and early 20s. Can you imagine the stories they will share 20 years from now about 2020? Here now is Doug’s column followed by the latest happenings in the hotel technology world. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Nashville, here we come!

Definitely Doug

The Next Wave

Sometimes we need to step back from the technology challenges of the day and understand the opportunities that today’s emerging technologies will create for tomorrow.

Much has been written in the past six months about health passports; they represent one key element for getting the travel industry back to normal. The number of actual and in-development products I have seen touching this space is easily in the dozens. Some come from large organizations, like the International Air Transport Association’s Travel Pass, the World Economic Forum and Commons Project’s CommonPass, the International Chamber of Commerce’s AOKpass, and IBM’s Digital Health Pass. Others have been put forth from younger companies, like United Solutions’ Siqi, and from COVID-era startups like Verifly.

Paper-based health passports also exist but can be easily forged; as a result, they have earned little international recognition. More robust options like the ones mentioned above provide a form of digital proof of vaccination, negative virus test results, and/or positive antibody test results. The holder is identified biometrically, and the health records are confirmed by a third party (such as a testing lab or pharmacy) using a cryptographic “signature” that can be verified by anyone from anywhere and that cannot be forged. A traveler can share this information with an airline, immigration service, hotel, or other service provider, who can independently verify that the “signature” is legitimate and applies to the person presenting it.

The potential use cases are many. Already in Israel, only “Green Pass” holders who have been fully inoculated can eat in restaurants, while others cannot. Health passports offer the promise of a return to low-friction travel much sooner for those who are at low risk of transmitting the virus, while protecting borders, flights, hotels, and other establishments from those more likely to infect others.

While the benefits for the travel industry are obvious, there is a much bigger story at play here that will persist long after COVID, and that is my topic for this week. The underlying technologies used by most digital health passports have far-reaching implications for the way consumers provide personal information to businesses and others, and for how businesses get, use, and retain customer information. It is particularly important for the travel industry because of the complex mesh of data privacy regulations, the ever-present threat of data breaches, and the need to have access to sensitive customer data, often for long periods of time.


Douglas Rice
Email: douglas.rice@hosptech.net
Twitter: @dougrice
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ricedouglas/
The Next Wave


- Nonius Opens a New Subsidiary in the Nordics
This strategic new subsidiary is based in Sweden to better serve all of its Nordics customers. Now they can count on a local service with a dedicated team to understand their needs and offer the best customized solutions for them.

- Enseo, a Latina, Woman-owned Tech Company, Celebrates Milestone of More than 50% Women on Senior Leadership Team
Enseo, one of the fastest growing technology service providers in the U.S., is excited to celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. Enseo recently added two leaders to the executive team: Kris Singleton as chief information officer and Lindsay Robertson as chief marketing officer, making Enseo’s exec team more than 50% women.


- PROVision Partners Welcomes Mims Wright as Senior Advisor
PROVision Partners, a leading global strategic growth, marketing, technology and commercial services advisory firm to the travel and hospitality industry, announces the appointment of Mims Wright as a Senior Advisor.

- INTEREL Names Scott Watts to Head Expanded Americas Presence
Watts will provide the company’s overall direction for INTEREL’s continued growth and expansion in the Americas.


- Aquitaine Hospitality Deepens Partnership with Infor for Management of its Hotels, Residences and Restaurants
Infor announced that Aquitaine Hospitality, a brand of the hotel group Aquitaine Promotion, is expanding its deployment of Infor HMS (Hospitality Management Solution), the business solution dedicated specifically to the tourism, hotel and restaurant industries.

- STAY Builds for Growth with Infor
Infor announced that luxury serviced apartments provider STAY has deployed Infor HMS property management system for its 169 apartment properties in Camden, London. The application will help deliver customer service excellence and provide a platform for new processes including flexible, contactless check-in.

- Luxury Resort Operator Ocean Hotels Group in Barbados Switches to Cloud-Based Maestro PMS Mid Pandemic
In-demand contactless and mobile tools, exceptional online training, and 24/7/365 support are giving the versatile property-management-system provider glowing reviews.


- New SHR-Mews Integration Will Power Optimal Channel Strategies
In a continued effort to provide hoteliers with the technology interfaces they desire, SHR, Sceptre Hospitality Resources, a pioneer of advanced hotel revenue generation technologies, will fully integrate its Central Reservations System, Windsurfer CRS, with Mews, a leading cloud-based Property Management System (PMS).

- Viceroy Hotels & Resorts to Optimize Voice Channel Revenue
Travel Outlook Premium Hotel Call Center is expanding its alliance with Viceroy Hotels & Resorts, which offers personalized management of incoming voice calls for all 13 properties in the current Viceroy portfolio.


- Stoney Creek Hospitality Partners with IDeaS for Automated Efficiency Across 14-Property Portfolio
IDeaS, a SAS company, a world leading provider of hotel revenue management software and services, announced it will implement IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (RMS) at Stoney Creek Hospitality’s 14-property portfolio across five Midwestern states.


- PREM Group Chooses Cutting-edge Solutions to Enhance its Guests' Experience in Amsterdam
- Virdee Becomes ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions Certified Partner to Advance Industry’s End-to-End Contactless Check-In Abilities
- Courtyard by Marriott St. George Adopts Advanced IoT Door Lock Technology and Contactless Mobile Access by ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions
- Innovative Swisscom’s Cloud IPTV solution powered by MCOMS at The Riffelalp Resort 2222m
- Porter, a New Contact-Free Food Ordering Technology, Launches in 10 U.S. Hotels
- Best Western Plus Goulburn Adopts Latest in Guest Content Streaming Technology with BeyondTV

For more information on Guest Facing Technology for 3/12/2021


- Zoox Smart Data Continues Rapid Americas Expansion with Key Hospitality and Travel Client Wins
- Lodging Interactive Helps 2 & 3 Star Properties Thrive Online with Affordable Website Solutions
- Zoox Smart Data Partners with Leading Hospitality Wi-Fi Network Providers to Enable Seamless Access to Guest Preference Profile Technology
- Agilysys Announces Powerful New Guest Loyalty & Promotions Solution as Part of - Agilysys Engage

For more information on Marketing for 3/12/2021


- Asset World Corporation and Hyatt Sign Framework Agreement to Develop Over 1,000 New Rooms
Asset World Corporation (AWC), Thailand’s leading integrated lifestyle real estate group and Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H), today announced their affiliates have signed a Framework Agreement for the development and management of new hotels under various Hyatt brands in locations across Thailand.


- Agilysys & CITCON Announce Partnership Providing Integrated Hospitality Payment Acceptance
Agilysys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGYS), a leading global provider of next-generation cloud-native SaaS and on-premise hospitality software solutions and services, and CITCON, the leading mobile payment platform, today announced a new partnership to increase market presence for both companies by enabling global hospitality providers to provide travelers access to mobile wallet solutions from around the world.
www.agilysys.com     www.citcon-inc.com


- Promoting Excellence: VENZA Launches the InfoSec Invitational Competition
VENZA further cements its position as the industry’s go-to data protection awareness champion. How? They are hosting a global information security-focused quiz game-style competition.


- HFTP Global Board Addresses the International Association’s Program Initiatives as It Ramps Up in 2021
Ready to partake in the forward momentum of the recovering hospitality industry, the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) Global Board of Directors has outlined multiple initiatives it will undertake to support its professional members and stakeholders.


- U.S. Meetings and Events Data Trending Up for February
Knowland, a leader in AI-powered data for hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, conference centers and other meeting venues, released its ongoing monthly meetings and events data for February. The numbers reveal that February U.S. group meetings volume increased 109.7 percent over the previous month.


- After Similar Moves for Shopping and Flights, Google Makes Hotel Listings Free
- We Tried Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott’s Work-from-Hotel Programs — These are the Pros and Cons
- New Standard Established in Singapore for Verification of COVID-19 Test Results Across Borders
- First-Ever Space Hotel Slated to be Operational by 2027

For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 3/12/2021


And now for you-know-what.…

A man stumbles up to the only other patron in a bar and asks if he could buy him a drink.
"Why of course," comes the reply.
The first man then asks: "Where are you from?"
"I'm from Ireland," replies the second man.
The first man responds: "You don't say, I'm from Ireland too! Let's have another round to Ireland."
"Of Course," replies the second man.
Curious, the first man then asks: "Where in Ireland are you from?"
"Dublin," comes the reply.
"I can't believe it," says the first man.
"I'm from Dublin too! Let's have another drink to Dublin."
"Of course," replies the second man.
Curiosity again strikes and the first man asks:
"What school did you go to?"
"Saint Mary's," replies the second man.
"I graduated in '62."
"This is unbelievable!" the first man says.
"I went to Saint Mary's and I graduated in '62, too!"
About that time in comes one of the regulars and sits down at the bar.
"What's been going on?" he asks the bartender.

"Nothing much," replies the bartender. "Just the O'Malley twins….drunk again."


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