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Siegel Sez

May 29, 2020

Siegel Sez

Well, I am taking the plunge. In ten days, I am taking a trip - not that I need to take, but that I want to take. I booked my flight on Southwest Airlines to Tampa, I have rented a car from Alamo and will be staying at a Marriott Courtyard. Some think I am nuts for going and maybe I am. But those of us who want the travel industry to rebound need to stop hoping that others will lead the recovery but should actively take part in it. Am I nervous? Of course. I have been the king of isolation for the last two months even with Georgia now being open but the only place I venture to in public is the grocery store. I will take my gloves, my masks and when I get in the car and enter the hotel room, I will make sure that everything has been cleaned and is safe. Nervousness aside, I am looking forward to it. And yes, six feet of separation will absolutely be the rule. Let the journey begin.

I was probably inspired for this trip by the very interesting conversations I have had with hoteliers. When I asked a C-Level person from a luxury hotel chain (I prefer to keep these conversations nameless) about their closed hotels and when they might open, I have gotten interesting responses. The simple rule is a closed hotel is losing lots of money. If they can open a hotel and lose less money, then they will open. That’s the way of the world today, but it does make sense. It was great to see that they are opening quite a few of their closed hotels in June, a positive sign.

Yes, we live in a very different world today, with the travel industry holding many more questions than answers for the future. If you don’t receive Hospitality Upgrade in print or digitally I would strongly recommend you visit www.hospitalityupgrade.com/subscribe. It is going to be a great issue, but more importantly we focused on not just surviving, but what needs to be done to thrive and we are not only focusing on technology. I also suggest you read Definitely Doug which follows this opening as Doug Rice does another great job explaining how the hotel industry is going to have to change to be considered safe. I am not sure I agree with all he has included but then again, who can be sure. Great job Doug!

It is interesting to read the news from the technology vendors which also follows. I sense moving forward there are going to be a lot of interesting partnerships being formed. Here now is the latest technology happenings and Doug’s blog. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. If you have any thoughts you would like to share, good or bad, send me a note at rich@hospitalityupgrade.com.

Stay well!

Definitely Doug

Tech Innovations for COVID-19 (Part Three)
As the world and the hotel industry start to see the first green shoots of recovery from the COVID lockdowns, there is no shortage of new technologies emerging to try to address the new realities. As I sat down to write this week’s column, I found a list of more than 30 new or significantly modified products that had hit my radar I the past few weeks, all of them innovations somehow related to COVID.
That’s far too many for me to cover in one column, so this week I will focus on a just couple of areas. I’ll first highlight a few free offers for products I found interesting, because who doesn’t like free stuff?  For the balance of the column, I will revisit health-screening applications, which were just beginning to emerge at the time I first wrote about them three weeks ago. In the short time since, these have generated a lot of interest, discussion, and concern both in the broader media and in hotelier discussions.
First, the free offers. One of the questions I hear most frequently right now is “how can we predict the shape and timing of the recovery, or even know when it’s about to happen?” Every country, city, and hotel will be different, and there is no playbook.
As digital marketers well know, Google Trends is a long-established free tool that gives useful insights into travel interest, for example showing the relative search interest over time for  hotels in San Francisco (or any other market). But today, “interest” in travel may not be the same as “intent” to travel; I may be dreaming about a post-COVID vacation in Bali and even research the options; Google will see my search but has no idea if or when I’ll be likely to book.  Booking data, however, reflects intent – and there are some interesting new sources of booking data to look at.
Douglas Rice
Email: douglas.rice@hosptech.net
Twitter: @dougrice
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ricedouglas/


- React Mobile Receives $6 Million Investment Via Strategic Partnership with Brady Corp.
React Mobile, a robust, open, cost effective and flexible panic button safety platform, announces it has raised $6 million through a new strategic partnership with publicly traded Brady Corporation.

- Agilysys Fiscal 2020 Fourth Quarter Revenue Rises 8% Despite Impact From COVID-19
Agilysys, Inc., a global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, reported operating results for its fiscal 2020 fourth quarter and full year ended March 31, 2020.

- Team Duetto Wins Global All-Woman Virtual Hackathon
A group of five female tech engineers from Duetto recently won first place in the Women Hack the Crisis Global All-Women Virtual Hackathon event, with their Hotel Haven concept.


- Agilysys Announces Chief Financial Officer Transition
Agilysys, a leading global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, announced that Dave Wood, vice president of corporate strategy and investor relations, will become its chief financial officer on June 1, 2020.


- Agilysys Announces Hospitality Technology Solutions That Enable Safe and Enjoyable Guest Experiences
Agilysys, Inc., a leading global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, today announced that it is delivering a broad range of solutions designed to help their customers rapidly adapt to the COVID-19 “new normal” world. These solutions have already been implemented with customers and are delivering impressive returns on investment.

- Doing More with Less, How Hospitality Management Teams Take Advantage of Touchless Technologies Now
Properties are working with minimal staff to keep the doors open during today’s slow down; but what about tomorrow? Travel will quickly ramp up as CV-19 restrictions are lifted. Many operators are preparing for the restart now, implementing technologies, hotel software, and processes that will support social distancing guidelines and enable more efficient operations as staffing levels slowly return to meet higher occupancy demands.


- Cendyn And Derbysoft Collaborate to Provide Hoteliers with Advanced Metasearch Capabilities
Cendyn, a leading innovator in CRM, digital marketing, sales, and revenue strategy for the hospitality industry, announced a collaboration with DerbySoft, a distribution and digital marketing services platform focused across the hospitality sector.

- NextPax Travel Technology Announces Distribution Partnership with Trip.com Group
​NextPax,​ one of the most advanced channel management technology providers for hotels, resorts and vacation rentals worldwide and ​Trip.com​Group, the largest travel distribution channel in Asia have launched the first completely automated connection for vacation rentals. The jointly developed API-connection not only supports prices, availability and bookings, but all other content such as photos and descriptions.
nextpax.com   trip.com


- Duetto Launches Enterprise Rate Guidelines Feature for Hotels
Duetto, hospitality’s innovative software as a service provider of revenue strategy solutions, has introduced several new features to its GameChanger pricing application. Designed by and for hoteliers, the new add-ons have been specifically built to answer the needs of hoteliers trying to gear up for re-opening or a resumption of business after running on low occupancies in recent months.


- MCOMS HOTstream Mobile Solution Welcomes Guests with Contactless Experiences and Antimicrobial TV Remotes
MCOMS, acknowledging the recent COVID-19 challenges that have come to shape again the hospitality industry, has designed some innovative solutions to enable hoteliers to provide tailor made guest interactive services to mobile devices and communicate directly with their guests.

- Enseo Launches enseoCONNECT Mobile Remote
Enseo, one of the fastest growing technology service providers in the U.S., will demonstrate its newest product, the enseoCONNECT™ mobile remote at Hospitality Technology Next Generation’s TechOvation Award Ceremony on Thursday, May 21st.

- Canary Technologies Delivers Contactless Check-In When Hotels Need It Most
Canary Technologies–which provides solutions to some of the world’s largest hotel brands, management companies and ownership groups–has launched Contactless Check-In™, a solution that hoteliers can implement immediately to welcome guests while adhering to social-distancing guidelines.


- Lodging Interactive Launches HotelSiteXPRESS Affordable Website Design and Marketing
Lodging Interactive, a full-service digital marketing, social media engagement, and reputation management agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced the launch of its HotelSiteXPRESS website design and development service. HotelSiteXPRESS provides hotels with an affordable option for new website development, hosting, SEO, and management.

- Vizergy Launches New Website Projects a World Apart
Vizergy Digital Marketing announced the launch of two stunning new websites. The focus of both projects center on best practices in design, guest engagement, conversion and storytelling. In the ultra-competitive hotel wesbite design and development space it is critical that a website communicate a clear guest experience to capture the most shoppers at the highest possible ROI.

- Sojern Launches New Interactive COVID-19 Travel Insights Dashboard
Sojern, a leading provider of digital travel marketing solutions, today launched a new interactive dashboard providing real-time COVID-19 travel insights. These insights will empower Sojern’s customers, partners and industry leaders to forecast travel demand and make informed decisions about market recovery. Sojern will be providing free and unlimited access to the public via the Sojern website, a service the firm has only ever provided to customers and partners.


- With Clairvoyix, Hotels Can Direct Market to Their Meeting Planners and They Will NOT Have a Payment Due Until 2021  
Clairvoyix, the leader in enterprise class, hospitality-specific marketing automation, announces their latest program designed to give hotels and resorts who are ready to market to groups some much needed financial relief. The Clairvoyix Rapid Recovery Response – R3© solution is being extended to address the problem of marketing to meeting planners that may not want to book until the fourth quarter of 2020 or even into 2021.

- Knowland Launches Free Interactive COVID-19 Hotel Recovery Dashboard
Knowland, a leader in group hospitality analytics for hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, conference centers and other meeting venues, announced today a free interactive dashboard providing actionable insights on COVID-19 hotel recovery. These insights will enable hoteliers to see their position in the rebound compared to local and/or national markets and make informed decisions to accelerate recovery.


- ProfitSword Wins Prestigious American Business Award for Next Generation ProfitAbility Business Intelligence Solution
ProfitSword, a leading developer of business intelligence and data integration software for the hospitality industry, has been awarded the Bronze "Stevie Award" during the 18th Annual American Business Awards for its recently launched ProfitAbility business performance dashboarding and reporting platform.

- ProfitSword Publishes Best Practice Guide on How Hoteliers can Overcome Market Uncertainty and Safeguard Revenue
ProfitSword, one of hospitality's premier developers of business intelligence and data integration software, has published a detailed guide demonstrating how hoteliers can leverage the latest business intelligence strategies and their organization's performance data to safeguard hotel operations and revenue during times of economic hardship.


- As You Re-Open Your Hotels, Clear Sky Software’s Housekeeping Inventory System Can Help
Without a good housekeeping inventory system, you risk running out of cleaning products you need or ordering too much of what you don’t need. Don’t let the mismanagement of housekeeping inventory add to the losses you’ve already experienced.


- VENZA Launches Vendor Security Assessments 
- Onity DirectKey Technology Enables Contactless Check-in at Hotel Properties
- React Mobile Vying for HTNG’s 2020 TechOvation Award
- RFID Hotel and LAS Hospitality Supply Address Updated Hotel Environment Standards with Introduction of Antimicrobial Key Card Technology
- ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions Enhances Commitment to Sustainability and Transparency by Publishing Third-Party Certified Environmental Product Declarations (EPD)


For more information on Security for 5/29/2020


- HITEC North America, HFTP Annual Conference and Club Forum Consolidate to Become “The Best of HFTP”
Amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) announced last Wednesday during a press conference to industry media that the organization will consolidate its three major annual events to one location over a four-day period in October, and will call it, “The Best of HFTP.”


- Signs of a Hotel Rally Emerge as COVID-19 Persists
The vertiginous drop in global hotel revenue and profit performance depicted in March data, continued its free fall in April, marked by dramatic year-over-year decreases across the operating spectrum, according to data from HotStats. The growing chasm in YOY comparison suggests that month-to-month performance measurement may be more reliable in tracking a rebound during the COVID-19 era, signs of which are slowly emerging out of China and suggestive that other global pockets are a month out from an eventual upswing.

- Kalibri Labs Releases Special Report - In a COVID-19 World: Extended Stay Hotels Have the Advantage
Kalibri Labs has released a Special Report evaluating U.S. hotel performance using unique length of stay and rate category metrics for March 2020, the first month of the COVID-19 pandemic, with comparisons to Full Year 2019.


- McKinsey Survey: US Consumer Sentiment During the Coronavirus Crisis
- Your Quarantine Experience, Reviewed Like a Hotel
- Hotels vs. Airbnb: Has Covid-19 Disrupted the Disrupter?
- 7 Classic Cocktails Invented in Hotels--And How to Make Them at Home


For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 5/29/2020


And now for you-know-what.… 
My wife asked why I spoke so softly in the house.
I said I was afraid Mark Zuckerberg was listening!
She laughed.
I laughed.
Alexa laughed. Siri laughed.

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