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Siegel Sez

March 20, 2020

Siegel Sez

If you are worried about a recession coming, then don’t be. It is already here. I am not an economist, but I know for the economy to thrive money needs to be spent on non-essential things. Things like going out to dinner and taking vacations which has pretty much come to a grinding halt. We have all heard the comparisons to 9/11 and 2008. I don’t see any correlations to 9/11, but there are similarities to 2008 because today it is all about the economy crashing and when it will recover. The big variable is that today it is caused by a virus and simply put until we get our arms around the coronavirus (COVID-19), we won’t start the recovery. So, in trying to figure this out from my perspective can almost be called fun. Almost. I work with those who supply technology to hotels and those who are executives with their hotel companies. My simple question to them has been when will we bottom out and when will the recovery start? The most honest answers are no one can be sure. The most popular answer was after 60 days the recovery could start, which is where I am going to vote. Some said 45 days and others said 90 days or more. There are many opinions out there and everybody is guessing. I watch closely what is going on in China and what a relief to see that there are now no new cases of the coronavirus being reported, including in Wuhan the city where it all started.  It is important to remember that as dark as it might seem today there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Those who know me well, know I am forever the optimist. Everybody loves sharing negative news and that has to be addressed, but I always try to shoot for balance when possible. If the 60 days to get our arms around the coronavirus turns out to be right, can you imagine the pent-up demand come June? Will it be ok to go to concerts, ball games, out to eat and most importantly, on vacation? It will be summertime and everybody wants to travel in the summer. Yes, it will be tempered because of the economic hit everybody will take coming out of a down economy, but you know that people are going to want to travel. I might be alone in my thinking, but I think the recovery that the hotel industry will experience will be quicker than anyone can imagine. We are learning a lot from what other parts of the world have already experienced including the mistakes they have made. Yes, we all learn from our mistakes. Until I must react differently as things change, this is what I am going to believe will happen. I hope that I am right.

Where we are today can’t be dismissed. I have included two video links to watch that share recent happenings which affect our industry. The first is from Marriott International’s President and CEO Arne Sorenson who shot from the hip and didn’t pull any punches sharing what Marriott is doing to weather as a company and where we are as an industry. Watch it here. The second was the CEOs from many major hotel companies (@HiltonHotels, @BestWestern, @MarriottIntl, @IHG, @ChoiceHotels, @Hyatt, @WyndhamHotels, @WaltDisneyResorts, @MGMResorts), meeting at the White House with the President regarding the state of the industry today and sharing that help is needed quickly. It was interesting to watch but kind of left me empty at the end as to what is next. The link to the hotel executives meeting at the White House video is here. Hopefully it will be positive and help the hotel and overall travel industry survive the mess we are in. Fingers crossed.

Here now is the reason we are here, the latest happenings in the world of hotel technology and there have been some positive things to share. Doug Rice does a great job sharing his beliefs what the vendor community must do to survive this downturn the hotel industry is experiencing. If you made it through my write up and everything that follows, you want to end this exercise with something that I thought was hilarious. Check out this week’s you-know-what. I think everybody could use a laugh today. Any comments or thoughts on Siegel Sez, please email me at rich@hospitalityupgrade.com. Thanks, and stay as isolated as you can. This will soon pass!

Stay well, 

Definitely Doug

Thoughts on Dealing with COVID-19
Well, I had a topic all lined up for this week’s column. I had completed most of the research and sat down on Monday to start writing. But with all that is going on in the world, I decided to put that on the shelf for a cycle or two. No one is going to take the time to read anything right now that doesn’t talk about the novel Coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease. So, I started afresh and will diverge from my usual approach.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been in the hotel technology sector for 32 years, working closely for most of that time with many dozens of hotel CIOs, CMOs, COOs, CFOs, and CEOs, as well as with hundreds of top leaders from technology providers large and small. I was there through prior hotel industry downturns in 1991, 2001, and 2008, and had direct experience with regional disruptions due to SARS in 2003 and MERS in 2012.
If you want some good news, you’ll find some tidbits toward the end of the article, but Rich is the good-news guy. I’m going to be the realist for now and paint a picture of where what we’re likely to see over the next year or two. I will then try to help technology providers navigate their way through. And yes, there are some opportunities as well as the obvious threats.

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


- Serent Capital Invests in SHR
SHR, Sceptre Hospitality Resources, a pioneer of advanced hotel revenue generation technologies, has partnered with Serent Capital, a private equity firm with offices in Austin and San Francisco focused on investing in high-growth technology and services businesses.


- VENZA Awarded Customer Service Manager of the Year in 2020 Stevie Awards
- Nomadix Appoints New Vice President of Business Development
- SHR Shows Further Commitment to Expanding Its European Presence for Its Advanced Hotel Revenue Generation Technologies
- UgoVirtual Taps Carson Booth as Member of Its Advisory Board
- Hilton Welcomes New Executive Committee Members


For more information on People On The Move for 3/20/2020


- Vasa Park Resort Selects Agilysys PMS Solutions to Streamline Operations and Improve the Guest Journey
Agilysys, Inc., a leading global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, announced that Vasa Park Resort in Bellevue, Washington has selected Agilysys’ rGuest Stay Property Management System (PMS), rGuest Book reservations and rGuest Pay payment processing to help streamline daily operations, improve the guest journey and increase efficiency from booking to check-out.

- Maestro PMS’s Integration with Inntopia Booking Engine Lets Users Provide a Total Stay and Play Experience to Their Guests
Maestro PMS, a preferred hotel software for independent hotels, resorts, conference centers and multi-property groups announced its partner integration with Inntopia. Inntopia enables resorts to connect their lodging, skiing, golf, and other software systems into a one-stop shopping platform with automated email marketing and powerful business intelligence.


-NextPax Named Vrbo® Elite Software Partner, Recognized for Delivering Next-Generation Connectivity to Optimize Performance
NextPax, the most advanced channel management technology provider for hotels, resorts and vacation rentals worldwide, announced it has become a Vrbo® Elite Software Partner, the highest designation available for vacation rental software companies that integrate with Vrbo.

-SiteMinder Launches ‘Insights’ to Lead Hotels into Intelligence, The New Era of Distribution
SiteMinder, a leading guest acquisition platform for the global hotel industry, has unveiled ‘Insights’, a set of smart monitoring and reporting capabilities that usher hotels into the Intelligence era—the new era of distribution.


- Colcord Hotel Adapts to the Latest in Guest Connectivity and Convenience Using Advanced Wi-Fi and BeyondTV With Virtual Assistant Technology by HIS
Hotel Internet Services (HIS), a full-service provider of internet services and solutions for the hospitality industry, has announced the successful implementation of its BeyondTV comprehensive entertainment platform equipped with advanced voice control and virtual assistant abilities at the Colcord Hotel.


- CustomerCount® Adds Extra Level of Protection to SMS Distribution of Surveys
Did you know that marketing to cell phones (SMS/MMS) is the hottest area of TCPA civil litigation? According to Contact Center Compliance, the same serial plaintiffs and litigators bring approximately one-third of TCPA lawsuits.


- Upstalsboom Turns to Know Housekeeping to Automate their Housekeeping Operations
Knowcross, a preferred service quality management platform of the finest hotels, is happy to announce that the Upstalsboom Wellness Resort Suedstrand, Wyk on Foehr, has decided to implement the KNOW Housekeeping software solution from Knowcross, in order to automate their housekeeping department and make it more streamlined.

- ReviewPro, a Shiji Group Brand, Launches Innovative Guest Experience Automation™
The launch campaign will enable widespread adoption of AI and automation by offering free service in 2020 for the first 500 qualifying hotels, up to a value of 1.2 million euros.


- Instawork, the Largest Flexible Hospitality Staffing Platform in the U.S., Announces Partnership with Staffmate
Instawork, the largest flexible staffing app for gig workers and hospitality businesses, and StaffMate Online, the first web-based staff scheduling software for events-based businesses announced today a strategic partnership during StaffMate’s presentation at the 2020 Catersource|TSE Conference.


- Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, Boston Selects ASSA ABLOY to Provide Latest in Security Technology and Customized Door Lock Design
ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions has announced the implementation of custom-designed VingCard Essence door locks alongside VingCard Signature RFID locks at the Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, Boston.


- HSMAI ROC Americas in San Antonio Announces New 2020 Dates
- HFTP and HSMAI Announce New Date for HITEC and ROC San Antonio
- Leading Hotel Industry CEOs Host Press Call Following Meeting with Vice President Pence & White House COVID-19 Taskforce to Address Catastrophic Economic Impact
- AAHOA Reschedules 2020 Convention & Trade Show

- COVID-19: Industry Leaders Speak Out on the Future of the Meeting Business


For more information on Hospitality Events and Association News for 3/20/2020


- Coronavirus and Economic Uncertainty: Technology Strategies Hoteliers Should Evaluate to Weather the Storm
- Texas Medical Center Hotel Employs Germ-Killing Robots to Fight Coronavirus
- Why Massive Global Events Are a Catalyst for Change
- Hospitality Financial Leadership: What to Do in a Financial Crisis


For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 3/20/2020


And now for you-know-what.… 

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