⚠ We would appreciate if you would disable your ad blocker when visiting our site! ⚠

Siegel Sez

May 08, 2020

Siegel Sez

I took my first trip in nearly two months this week. It wasn’t a business or fun trip, it was a trip I had to take from Atlanta to Las Vegas. I must give Delta credit. The company stressed before each flight how thoroughly they had cleaned the plane, but even after sharing that they gave everyone a Purell wipe when they boarded. Honestly, I was less worried about the flight than I was about the airport experience. I have done a rather good job for the last six weeks keeping isolated except for the occasional trip to the grocery store. For my journey through the airport I had gloves and a mask on but no matter how hard I tried, sometimes the six feet of separation was difficult. It still amazes me to see anybody out in public not wearing a mask, but there are plenty that still will not. Anyway, both flights had about 30 people on them and it was strange being in first class which holds 20 people and only five were up there. I wish upgrades were always that simple. I drove the Las Vegas strip on my way back to the airport for my return trip to Atlanta. The only way to describe that experience is eerie. The Atlanta airport was quiet, but nothing compared to the Las Vegas airport. There was not much activity at all. I was just thankful that both flights had so few passengers. Now that I am in Atlanta it is back to isolation for me.
Isn’t it interesting how there is always some trending technology for the hotel industry? Remember the cloud? Mobile? Today it is all about contactless solutions, along with being clean and sanitized. Doug Rice in his column here does a great job explaining how technology, including some far-out technology, will be coming into play. I recommend you take a couple of minutes to read it.
We are putting together our summer issue of Hospitality Upgrade and we have gotten so much feedback from hoteliers and vendors for this issue. We will be sharing stories about how companies are dealing with COVID-19 and helping in the industry’s recovery efforts. The focus on so many technology vendors and what they are doing for their customers makes it a very interesting read. We thank them for their support. If you are a vendor and would like to participate, please email Anne Boon at anne@hospitalityupgrade.com. Everyone is being challenged, both hotels and the technology vendors. This has inspired me to lead the charge which has gained a great deal of momentum including the participation from AHLA to use its influence on the powers that be. I have learned a great deal and it is fantastic to see so many come together. Thank you, HFTP, for allowing me to lead one of its extremely popular weekly HFTP Hangouts where more than 100 vendors gathered to share their thoughts. Hopefully we can do it again soon. A big thank you also to HTNG for its support.  It is amazing what progress can be made when people come together.
Lastly, we are all aware of the challenges created by COVID-19 that never seem to end. It is now May and many hospitality students are about to graduate college. Take a moment at the end of this Siegel Sez and watch the short video. It made me smile and I hope it does for you also. Youth and untapped energy is such a pleasure to experience. For one moment it put my current industry worries aside and reminded me, we will all get through this. I can’t wait!
Speaking of videos, a thank you to Ron Strecker the CFO at AJS Hotels in Louisville which has turned out to be a very popular video that we did together. Enlightening and fun and I learned a lot. To watch the HU High Five video, please click here. Now over to Definitely Doug and the latest tech news.  
Stay safe!

Definitely Doug

In my last column, I introduced some technologies that could help hotels deal with the new realities of travel in the COVID-19 era. I’ll continue that theme this week, with the same caveats as last time – some of these are still in development or even prototype form, and I haven’t been able to look at many of them as closely as I would like. But they may still be useful in terms of exposure to new ideas to help jump-start your own thinking.
Three main themes dominate post-COVID technologies for hotels. The first is the operational task of sanitizing of everything in sight, and its related marketing task of convincing guests that you did that well. The second is monitoring the health of staff and guests, reacting to symptomatic individuals, and tracking potential incidents of exposure. The third is eliminating points of contact with potential infection sources (primarily humans and surfaces). A fourth category, important but smaller and perhaps shorter-lived, is technology to help hotels manage the process of shutting down and reopening.
One sad reality is that while the need is real, many hotels have little or no money to spend. Yet the demand for new materials, equipment, and technology to adapt to COVID are very real. There are some great technologies out there, well proven in health care, to automate the disinfection of guest rooms and public spaces. But many hotels are not prepared to spend the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for top-end systems. Even those with ready access to cash are asking questions like “how much am I willing to spend on something that may be useful only for 12-18 months?” and “is there anything cheaper that would be good enough?”
Many hotels are first looking at changes in operational procedures, staffing, furnishings and altered product offerings to reduce risks without significant capital expense. These may include less frequent or opt-in housekeeping, boxed meals rather than buffets or table service, and the like. While not necessarily cost-free, such changes have the advantage that the associated costs can be quickly eliminated when they are no longer needed.
Many of the COVID technologies and alternative operational processes carry associated labor costs as well; you can’t check the temperatures of guests entering the building without an associate working the device, and comprehensive disinfection of guest rooms takes more staff time as well as equipment and cleaning solutions. So, the technology cost is just a part of the total ROI picture. Fortunately, COVID has created opportunities for labor cost reduction as well; many hotels have suspended daily guest-room cleaning; removed minibars; closed public spaces like gyms, executive lounges and business centers; and made other changes that may help to offset some of the COVID-related costs.
This week I will highlight some free and lower-cost technologies that should be on your radar. This isn’t to say that some of the bigger-ticket items may not have a place in some hotels (and I’ll cover some of them in the future). It’s just that these are ones you can evaluate without giving your financial controller a heart attack. As before, I welcome others who have (or are planning) similar offerings to contact me so I can consider including them in future articles.

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


- David Chestler Joins PROVision Partners
PROVision Partners International is pleased to announce David Chestler as senior managing director of distribution and technology. Nicknamed “The Revenue Catalyst,” the 30-year industry veteran is well-known for being a deeply engaged leader of sales strategy, sales operations and people management process.


- How to Leverage Technology to Protect Guests, Reduce Expenses, Optimize Revenue, and Take a Deep Breath
Travel is impacted globally by current health concerns. Occupancy is down, but in time, our industry will recover. For now, there are important things hoteliers can do to address the public’s concern over hygiene and personal contact, and many of them include technology. This period of lower demand is also an ideal time to look at your business and handle projects that may be on the back burner.


- SiteMinder Releases World Hotel Index for Hoteliers to Foresee the Return of Guests
SiteMinder, a global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition platform, has for the first time released its proprietary data on the momentum of hotel bookings around the world. Sourced from the bookings of SiteMinder’s 35,000 customers, through more than 400 booking channels globally, the SiteMinder World Hotel Index provides never-before-seen insight into when guests are likely to return to hotels after the COVID-19 pandemic.

- SHR Steps Up with Free Revenue Tools During COVID-19 Recovery
SHR, Sceptre Hospitality Resources, a pioneer of advanced hotel revenue generation technologies, announced several offerings specifically designed to help hotels during their recovery efforts from the negative impacts of COVID-19.


IDeaS Awards 2020 Cornell Revenue Management Scholarships
IDeaS awards six new scholarships to advance the careers of hotel revenue leaders from around the world


- INTELITY and JOINGO Partner to Drive Contactless Engagement for Casino-Resorts
INTELITY®, the provider of the travel industry’s most comprehensive guest engagement and staff management platform, announced today a new partnership with JOINGO, a leading-edge mobile technology provider for the gaming industry. The integration streamlines and connects every part of the casino-resort experience, empowering properties to future-proof their business by limiting physical contact while still engaging visitors as both a guest and player.

Deliver in-room excellence with Uniguest’s New Guest Room Entertainment Solution
Uniguest, a leading hospitality engagement technology provider, has added an interactive Guest Room Entertainment solution to its product line’s extensive content functionality. The solution delivers high-quality media content across IP networks through one platform, allowing hotels to publish content once and synchronize it right to guest rooms or on screens throughout the property.


- Commingle:Engage Offers Hotel Business Recovery Marketing Services
Commingle:Engage, the hospitality industry’s premier provider of full-service social media marketing and guest reputation management services today, announced the launch of its hotel business recovery marketing services aimed to assist hotels with their re-opening and recovery stages.

- As Recovery Appears, Clairvoyix to Drive Business to Hotels, Resorts
After previously announcing its Rapid Recovery Response – R3© solution, Clairvoyix, a leader in enterprise class, hospitality-specific marketing automation, announces it is prepared to address the demand for property level direct marketing, a critical part to properties’  reemergence as safe, clean and desirable hotels.

- Vizergy Launches New Brand Website for Hard Rock International: Focusing on Customer Engagement while Elevating the Hard Rock Experience
Hard Rock has partnered with Vizergy Digital Marketing to launch an innovative new website site that seeks to keep customers engaged with the brand and create awareness with creative functionality and a world class user experience.


- SalesAndCatering.com Working Closely with Clients to Prepare for a New Future in Hospitality
Operators plan how to power up properties - and the industry - for the travel restart. Where to re-tool, reevaluate, and re-shape processes and systems.


- ProfitSword Joins Special Edition of In Clear Focus Podcast to Provide Insight on How COVID-19 is Transforming the Business Intelligence Landscape
ProfitSword, the leading developer of business intelligence and data integration software for the hospitality and senior living industries, has announced its taking part in a special edition of the "In Clear Focus" Podcast with the goal of providing industry professionals with the latest expert insight over how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected business intelligence operations.


- Lodging Interactive Launches Touchless Digital Menu System for Restaurants and Hotels
The system is meant to replace traditional printed menus and eliminates concerns in potentially passing germs between in-house dining guests handling the same menus.


- Shift4 Payments Launches SkyTab Takeout, a Free Online Ordering Solution for Restaurants
Shift4 Payments, a leader in integrated payment processing, has announced the launch of SkyTab Takeout, a standalone online ordering solution that offers a turnkey setup process for restaurants. The solution is being offered free of charge, with no setup fees, order fees or monthly fees.


- PurpleCloud Donates Free Covid Response (CR) Task Platform to Provide Hotels with Enhanced Cleaning and Safety Protocols
PurpleCloud CR is pre-loaded with expert materials to help hospitality teams jumpstart housekeeping programs, which will be especially useful as hotels ramp up occupancy or reopen in the future.


- IDeaS Increases Investment in Education and Releases Revenue Management Online Learning to the Public
Maintaining an active role in empowering the industries it serves, IDeaS, a revenue science pioneer, announced it has made its Revenue Management Foundations courses available to the global revenue management community, free of charge. Additionally, it has added the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality, University of Nevada, Las Vegas to its growing list of prestigious academic partner.


- AHLA Releases Industry-Wide Hotel Cleaning Standards through “Safe Stay” Initiative
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) introduced Safe Stay, an industry-wide, enhanced standard of health and safety protocols designed to prepare America’s hotels to safely welcome back guests and employees as the economy reopens. Safe Stay represents the top priority for the industry, the health and safety of guests and employees.

- Press Briefing: EIG, Leading Business Groups Push to Modify the Paycheck Protection Program
The Economic Innovation Group (EIG), along with leading associations and organizations representing industries and small businesses deeply affected by COVID-19, released a letter to House and Senate leadership last week calling for Congress to swiftly implement structural improvements to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The letter followed recommended improvements to the PPP outlined earlier this month by EIG.

 - AHLA Launches “Safe Stay” for Enhanced Industry-Wide Hotel Cleaning Standards
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) launched “Safe Stay,” an initiative focused on enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols to meet the new health and safety challenges and expectations presented by COVID-19. Safe Stay will seek to change hotel industry norms, behaviors and standards to ensure both hotel guests and employees are confident in the cleanliness and safety of hotels once travel resumes.


- Kalibri Labs Exclusive New Data Provider to Newmark Knight Frank
- Web Traffic Shows Early Signs of Positive Trend Across All Regions / Sarah McCay Tams
- U.S. Hotels Zapped into Profit Shock from COVID-19
- STR: U.S. Hotel Profits Fell 101.7% in March
- Global Hotel Profit Rocked by COVID-19


For more information on Market Reports for 5/8/2020


- Utilizing Technology to Adhere to New Restaurant and Bar Guidelines
- Meet Pepper and Whiz: Japan Debuts Robots at Hotels to Look After Coronavirus Patients
- After Coronavirus: Your Next Hotel Stay May Look Like This
- The Technology That Can Make Events Possible in a Pandemic


For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 5/8/2020


And for the you-know-what.…   


want to read more articles like this?

want to read more articles like this?

Sign up to receive our twice-a-month Watercooler and Siegel Sez Newsletters and never miss another article or news story.