by
Rich Siegel
11.17.2023

Siegel Sez 11/17/2023

Siegel Sez 11/17/2023

Definitely Doug 11/17/23: The Hotel TV Dilemma

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

RESERVATIONS & DISTRIBUTION

GUEST FACING TECHNOLOGY

MARKETING

COMMUNICATIONS & INFRASTRUCTURE

SECURITY

HOSPITALITY EVENTS & ASSOCIATION NEWS

MARKET REPORTS

PIQUED OUR INTEREST

I am thankful to participate in so many industry events. Last week I was at the HSMAI Sales Leader Forum at the Long Beach Hilton in California. Attendees at this event were senior company sales leaders from the brands and management companies. This is a unique crowd for me. It was the fourth Annual  Sales Leader Forum and the growth from 2022 was amazing. Even though this wasn’t a technology event there were sessions on technology with speakers like Kristi White from Groups360 and Mike Schmitt from Clairvoyix. We thank Bob Gilbert and his team at HSMAI for inviting us, and a special thank you to Mike Schmitt for our unique travel arrangements. There will be more about this experience coming via video soon.

I don’t watch nearly as much TV as most, so many conversations I have with friends are about shows that I have never heard of. I bring this up because I am probably the exception, not the norm in Doug Rice’s column regarding the challenges hotels are facing with guestroom TVs. Guests want access to streaming sources, but it’s a bit complicated for hotels as they have to deal with both Apple and Android devices. Once again, Doug has opened our eyes to these challenges in his Definitely Doug column that follows. We thank him for including both the challenges and possible solutions. On my next hotel stay I might actually turn on the television!

Many of you have asked about the Executive Vendor Summit and we will be announcing the location very soon, but I can share the dates are March 27-29, 2024. If you are a technology vendor make plans to join us at this very unique event which brings together senior leaders to share the state of the industry, and networking with industry companies. If you have any questions regarding EVS 2024 please reach out to Kim at kim@hospitalityupgrade.com. All I can say now is it might not be that warm outside this year.

For those of you in the US, we hope you have a great holiday week for Thanksgiving. It’s always a bit different at the end of the year with many trying to close deals while others are finalizing budgets for the coming year. Maybe it’s just me, but this year seemed to fly by! Here now is Definitely Doug followed by the latest industry technology happenings. I’ll see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.

Rich rich@hospitalityupgrade.com

In case you missed the memo, people no longer watch television the way that they did ten years ago. Not at home, and not at hotels. Nielsen reported that streaming services cornered 34.8% of TV screen time in July 2022, when they overtook cable for the first time.

In case you missed the memo, people no longer watch television the way that they did ten years ago. Not at home, and not at hotels. Nielsen reported that streaming services cornered 34.8% of TV screen time in July 2022, when they overtook cable for the first time.  

The shift is hardly surprising. In 2013, cable TV was present in 90% of U.S. households, and most homes had about 189 channels (per Nielsen), but watched only an average of 17. As more and more prime content has moved to streaming channels, it made economic sense for viewers to ditch expensive cable bundles in favor of a-la-carte subscriptions to streaming services. While comparable current statistics are not readily available, the number of non-streaming channels watched is almost certainly going down; Gen Zs in 2021 preferred streaming services 77% of the time (vs. 40% for baby boomers).

Hotels have been slow to adapt. Part of the reason is that while the number of channels watched per household has been stable and likely declining, hotels must cater to many different guests who watch different subsets of channels.  Part of it has been the lack of simple solutions that can mimic the home environment, which has become well-integrated with mobile phones and streaming services.

Manufacturers of residential TVs and content control hardware such as Apple TV, Roku, Google TV, Amazon Fire, and others (including cable companies) have made it increasingly simple to mix and match content from so-called linear sources (cable, satellite, and roof antennas) with streaming sources – but mostly for the residential market.

The same products have proven difficult or impossible to adapt to hotels. One major issue is that Apple’s ecosystem is controlled and closed, while Android’s is open; the two don’t play together well. This matters little in residential environments, where most families need only one or the other. Hotels, on the other hand, need to support guests with both Apple and Android devices.

The Apple solutions can mostly support Android devices (with a few limitations), but the Android ones (which tend to be significantly less expensive) mostly cannot support Apple devices (at least, without the user having to purchase third-party apps).

Another major issue is that home solutions need only limited security: your personal information stays on your home network, except to authorize usage when you first log in to a streaming provider with whom you have an account.

Despite the undeniable shift of consumers towards streaming, most hotels support it poorly or not at all. Some hotels have added streaming for certain apps (such as Netflix and Hulu) into their in-room entertainment options, controlled by set-top (or set-back) boxes. This works, but (a) requires guests to enter their login and password, often using their remote-control arrow keys and an on-screen keyboard; (b) requires the set-top box to ensure that saved credentials are cleared when the guest checks out; and (c) offers a set of streaming services that may be both limited and slow to adapt over time. Streaming apps that the set-top box provider does not support cannot be accessed this way.

Guests usually have their streaming apps on their mobile devices but are challenged to connect them to hotel TVs. If you have several streaming services and want to browse them on a hotel guest entertainment solution that supports them all natively, then you still need to manually enter your credentials for each one, for each hotel stay – a high-friction process.

The more elegant option is to use the guest’s mobile device to authenticate each streaming app, but then to direct the streamed content to the TV rather than the mobile device. Technology from Apple and Google exists to do this, but only the Apple ecosystem can do it cleanly and safely.

An Apple TV device with mobile device management software can wipe out the user’s history (including login credentials for streaming services) when they check out.  Chromecast for Google TV is a technically similar solution for homes, but it is not offered in the hospitality market -- nor could it be without significant changes. It requires that the user log into their Google account, and it lacks the ability to clear their credentials (or be logged out) at checkout. This means the device would be left signed in for future occupants of the guest room to use (including the guest’s personal paid streaming subscriptions). This is not an issue in the residential market but is a non-starter for hotels.

For a time, the earlier generation of Chromecast devices (without Google TV) were seen as an interim solution for Android (and some Apple) guests in hotels, enabling content to be “cast” from the mobile device to the TV via the Chromecast device. The mobile device paired to a Chromecast device attached to the TV and then sent commands through the network to select and control content. The content is then delivered to the TV via the Wi-Fi network to the Chromecast device. Alternatively, the mobile device could send a real-time image of its display screen to the Chromecast device for display on the TV, via a wireless connection (known as mirroring). Some hotels have these older Chromecast devices, but they are no longer offered by Google.

These devices worked somewhat like Apple TV, although they handled only streaming content and mirroring (whereas Apple TV solutions could integrate content linear content sources as well). Setup was a bit more challenging, because the device usually required the user to switch the TV source, which most traditional hotel TV remotes could not accommodate (or if they could, it could easily lead to guest confusion, for example if a TV was left on the Chromecast source and the next guest wanted to watch a linear channel). The setup process on the Android phone was also cumbersome, having been designed for a home environment where you do it once and forget it. Few guests were willing to go through this for a short stay in a hotel.

For these and other reasons, Chromecast never really performed to expectation in hotels. Vendors who offered the choice of on-screen logins to streaming services (through a set-top box) and Chromecast found that a large majority of guests chose the on-screen login. While hardly frictionless, it was simpler and less problem-prone than Chromecast.

Google quietly discontinued marketing the original Chromecast devices about a year ago, transitioning to Chromecast with Google TV. This functions more like Apple TV, but as noted above is not suitable for hotels. Then this past summer, Google lost a huge patent infringement lawsuit over Chromecast, and was ordered by a jury to pay $338.7 million to TouchStream Technologies (Mark Munger wrote a great overview of this case last week; highly recommended reading if you have Chromecast in your hotels). While the unanimous jury verdict is being appealed and may well end up with a settlement, the legality of anything using Chromecast technology will be up in the air until appeals are exhausted or a settlement is reached.

Do We Need 100 Linear Channels?

Cable and satellite services provide bundled packages of linear TV channels to hotels, and these represent a major budget line item for most hotels. For more and more guests, however, there are only a few linear channels that they watch in hotels, typically with live broadcasts such as sports and news (in the US, the top linear channels in hotels are ESPN, Fox News, and CNN). Many but not all of these and other popular channels are also available for streaming (with or without a subscription, depending on the content).

Hotels may be unable to cut the linear TV cord today, but it would not surprise me if they can do so within the next year or two, as options for streaming news and sports increase. The cable and satellite companies understand this; many are offering incentives to lock in longer-term contracts and preserve revenue that they know is not sustainable under the evolving viewing habits of guests. Hotels that are thinking of signing such contracts should remember similar tactics from suppliers in the Wi-Fi space in the early 2000s and in pay-per-view TV a few years later. What might have seemed like a great deal at the time proved extraordinarily costly when the industry changed.

So How Can Hotels Support Streaming?

A reasonable objective is to replicate the home experience as closely (and as simply) as possible in hotels.

Today, this is possible using the iOS ecosystem, using Apple TV-based systems such as those offered by Roomnet and Monscierge (Roomnet’s platform sits behind some other commercial solutions as well).  While these solutions are not as cheap as some of the less-capable alternatives, they are starting to be able to offer linear channels natively, based on partnership agreements with content suppliers (rather than obtaining them via cable or satellite). This could relieve hotels of the substantial cost of paying for linear channels that guests rarely watch, substituting a-la-carte pricing for the ones they do. These products can also provide other cost savings and ancillary revenues through hotel services they may offer, such as a guest directory, food and beverage ordering, and other capabilities. In most cases, guest devices can be supported whether they are iOS or Android.

The return on investment for an Apple-based solutions will vary substantially depending on whether you can dump your linear channel package (meaning the solution can support the channels you need directly), how much the channels you really need would cost, and what ancillary revenues or cost savings you could achieve through the hotel-specific functionalities. But it is worth evaluating, if only so you will know when it is time to cut the cord on linear channels. That time is likely to arrive quite soon.

Android-based solutions from third parties, such as DIRECTV’s Advanced Entertainment Platform and DISH Business’s EVOLVE M1, have started to mature as well. While useful, the industry needs solutions from companies who, unlike DIRECTV and DISH, do not sell linear channels, since a major objective for hotels is the ability to get out of those expensive contracts that deliver lots of channels that guests rarely watch. I am aware of other efforts toward such independent solutions, but most are still in stealth mode or early stage (one, Telev8, did have a prototype product at HITEC in 2022). The experts I spoke with (including some with the companies involved) think these solutions still need to evolve. Many are also at risk from the unsettled IP litigation around Chromecast.

It is also entirely possible that Google will add the features needed to use Chromecast for Google TV in hospitality. This is not a minor ask; it will require mobile device management to clear credentials at check-out, eliminating the need for the guest to have (and log into) a Google account in favor of authenticating on their mobile device; provision of a default channel for hotel advertising; and curation of apps that the hotel wants to offer (as opposed to the entire Google Play store). However, I am not holding my breath that Google will do this, especially while the IP litigation is still ongoing. Once that is settled and the licensing options are clear, someone will solve this problem. But for now, it is a significant risk especially to early-stage companies that are typically the innovators.

Conclusion

The current environment for guest-room entertainment content is unsettled. Guest viewing habits have changed but the technology available to hotels has not yet caught up. There are available solutions based on Apple TV, but many hotels see them as too costly. Android platforms are considerably less expensive but have yet to evolve to support hotels’ needs. The Apple platforms may be cost-effective for more hotels if they can jettison their expensive linear content contracts, but that would require that more channels be available through the Apple platforms.

There is, however, a lot of innovation going on in both the Apple and Android spaces, and the options in a year or two may be quite different than today – especially if the cloud from the Chromecast litigation gets lifted. Stay tuned!

Mews Now Powers Over 5,000 Customers in Continued Market Expansion

Mews, an industry-leading hospitality cloud, has surpassed 5,000 customers using its property management system as it continues its impressive growth around the world. www.mews.com

Twin Peaks Lodge Leverages Maestro PMS’ Self-Service Kiosks to Elevate the Guest Experience

Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs, located in Ouray, Colo., is using technology to simplify operations at a time when its team needs it most. Despite being founded in the 1800s, the hotel’s ownership team had a modern vision and turned to Maestro PMS to improve their digital operations and capabilities.www.maestropms.com

RealTime Reservation Accelerates PMS Connectivity with Hapi Integration Platform

Hapi, the hospitality industry’s leading platform for fast and cost-effective connectivity between technology systems, has announced a new integration with RealTime Reservation, a single reservation platform for ancillary revenue. Through the integration, RealTime Reservation can ingest data from the industry’s leading Property Management Systems by writing to a single Hapi API. www.hapicloud.io

Langham Hospitality Group Selects Amadeus to Lead and Accelerate its Global Digital Media Strategy

As the world experiences a surge in travel this year, hotel occupancies in certain markets have exceeded those seen in 2019. It is critical for hoteliers to have the tools in place to remain competitive and attract as many bookings as possible. This is why Hong Kong based Langham Hospitality Group, with more than 30 properties spread across four continents, has selected Amadeus’ digital media solution to increase brand awareness and bookings at its properties. www.amadeus-hospitality.com

DISH Upgrades Hotel Entertainment Experience for Guests

DISH Business announced the launch of EVOLVE M1, a cutting-edge Google Certified Android Set-Back-Box (SBB) purpose-built for commercial deployments. Leveraging a user-centric feature set and far more powerful hardware, the EVOLVE M1 provides the best in-room entertainment experience available. This new SBB seamlessly integrates with the existing suite of DISH Business entertainment solutions. info.dishbusiness.com/hotels

Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino Select IRIS' Digital Ordering App to Elevate the Guest Experience

IRIS, a global market leader in digital F&B ordering, guest directory and concierge solutions for hotels and restaurants, has been chosen by Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino to provide a digital F&B ordering and guest directory platform for their guests to reflect their commitment to delivering exceptional guest experiences. www.iris.net

UrVenue Announces Integration with Book4Time

UrVenue, pioneer of the hospitality industry’s first Property Experience Management System (PXMS) and a Skift IDEA Awards 2023 finalist, has teamed up with Book4Time, a cloud-based spa, wellness, and leisure-activity management software company, to incorporate spa experiences into UrVenue’s UV Enterprise platform. urvenue.com

InnSpire and Techlive Expand Partnership with the Addition of Airtime Cloud-based Digital Streaming Service

InnSpire, the leading provider of a comprehensive technology suite that helps drive a seamless, world-class guest experience for some of the world’s most iconic hotels and brands, today announced the expansion of its 5-year strategic partnership with Techlive International, a global provider of comprehensive content portfolio and global TV services to the hotel and healthcare sectors. www.innspire.com

The Best Just Got Bigger: PPDS Launches New 'Sized Up' 32" Philips Tableaux ePaper Display Including Latest E Ink Spectra™ 6 Technology for Hospitality Environments

Size matters: New 'power free' Philips display delivers previously unachievable colour performance, using enhanced colour algorithms to provide a true print quality replacement for any paper sign used inside a hotel (including general communications, reception, bars, restaurants, cafes and more). www.ppds.com

Nonius Selected as Preferred Technology Provider by Grupo Brisas

Grupo Brisas, a prestigious hotel group in Mexico, has selected Nonius, in partnership with Telmex, as the preferred technology provider. Our cutting-edge Nonius App and Cast solutions have been installed in their nearly 3,000 guestrooms. www.noniussoftware.com

dailypoint™ Receives Oracle Hospitality Integrations Platform (OHIP) Certification

dailypointTM, Europe's leading Data Management and CRM platform for the Hospitality Industry, and a member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), announced dailypoint is available on the Oracle Cloud Marketplace and can be fully integrated with the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Oracle Cloud Marketplace is a centralized repository of enterprise applications offered by Oracle and Oracle partners. www.dailypoint.com

Introducing Nonius Voice Cloud-Native Solution

Dive into the article as Nonius unveils the 4th generation of its revered phone systems, a journey that began back in 2009. With a keen eye on current trends and emerging needs, this new release is a testament to our unwavering commitment to innovation, catering to hotels’ evolving requirements. As part of this release, we’re also thrilled to spotlight our esteemed partners for SIP Trunk and Numbering, further augmenting our comprehensive offering.noniussolutions.com

Sandos Hotels & Resorts Selects VENZA for PCI Compliance

VENZA, a leading provider of data protection and regulatory compliance solutions for the hospitality industry, today announced that Sandos Hotels & Resorts has selected it for comprehensive support regarding PCI DSS compliance. With this service, Sandos will receive elite PCI assessment and compliance monitoring assistance from VENZA’s expert Security Team. www.VENZAgroup.com

Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa Adopts VingCard Door Lock Technology for Enhanced Security and Solution Reliability

ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions, a leading provider of advanced security technology for the hospitality industry, has announced the successful implementation of its VingCard Signature RFID door locks by Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa in the UK. www.assaabloyglobalsolutions.com

HFTP Announces Sponsors for Inaugural Digital Horizons 360 Symposium with Fourteen IP as Leading Sponsor

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is pleased to announce a selection of authoritative organizations as sponsors for its new European event: Digital Horizons 360 Symposium (DH360), with Fourteen IP as its exclusive Level I sponsor. This invitation-only symposium will span two-days, February 20-21, at the Palau de Congressos de Palma in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. www.hftp.org

IDeaS Announced as Platinum Sponsor for 2024 Global Revenue Forum

IDeaS, a SAS company, the world’s leading provider of hospitality revenue management software and services, announced today its participation in the 2024 Global Revenue Forum as a platinum sponsor. As part of the sponsorship, Joe Pettigrew, chief commercial officer for hotel asset management at Starwood Capital Group, will be joined by Klaus Kohlmayr, chief evangelist and chief development officer at IDeaS, for an address to kick off the conference.ideas.com

AHLA Foundation Receives Grant From Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to Advance Opportunity Youth Into Hospitality Industry

AHLA Foundation, the charitable arm of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), has received a $605,000 grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to support its Empowering Youth Program (EYP) over two years. www.ahlafoundation.org     www.hiltonfoundation.org

Hotels Poised for Strong Holiday Season Fueled by Business Travel Uptick

According to a survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and conducted by Morning Consult, 68% of Americans whose jobs involve travel said they were likely to travel overnight for business during the last three months of 2023, up from 59% in 2022. Hotels are the top lodging choice for 81% of business travelers surveyed. www.ahlafoundation.org

IDeaS Releases 2024 Hotel Technology Predictions

IDeaS, a SAS, company, a world leading provider of hotel revenue management software and services, released Future Forecast: Six Hotel Technology Predictions for 2024. Gathering information from some of the top minds in the industry, IDeaS releases six bold hotel technology predictions that it believes will shape the year to come. ideas.com

I am thankful to participate in so many industry events. Last week I was at the HSMAI Sales Leader Forum at the Long Beach Hilton in California. Attendees at this event were senior company sales leaders from the brands and management companies. This is a unique crowd for me. It was the fourth Annual  Sales Leader Forum and the growth from 2022 was amazing. Even though this wasn’t a technology event there were sessions on technology with speakers like Kristi White from Groups360 and Mike Schmitt from Clairvoyix. We thank Bob Gilbert and his team at HSMAI for inviting us, and a special thank you to Mike Schmitt for our unique travel arrangements. There will be more about this experience coming via video soon.

I don’t watch nearly as much TV as most, so many conversations I have with friends are about shows that I have never heard of. I bring this up because I am probably the exception, not the norm in Doug Rice’s column regarding the challenges hotels are facing with guestroom TVs. Guests want access to streaming sources, but it’s a bit complicated for hotels as they have to deal with both Apple and Android devices. Once again, Doug has opened our eyes to these challenges in his Definitely Doug column that follows. We thank him for including both the challenges and possible solutions. On my next hotel stay I might actually turn on the television!

Many of you have asked about the Executive Vendor Summit and we will be announcing the location very soon, but I can share the dates are March 27-29, 2024. If you are a technology vendor make plans to join us at this very unique event which brings together senior leaders to share the state of the industry, and networking with industry companies. If you have any questions regarding EVS 2024 please reach out to Kim at kim@hospitalityupgrade.com. All I can say now is it might not be that warm outside this year.

For those of you in the US, we hope you have a great holiday week for Thanksgiving. It’s always a bit different at the end of the year with many trying to close deals while others are finalizing budgets for the coming year. Maybe it’s just me, but this year seemed to fly by! Here now is Definitely Doug followed by the latest industry technology happenings. I’ll see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.

Rich rich@hospitalityupgrade.com

Definitely Doug 11/17/23: The Hotel TV Dilemma

In case you missed the memo, people no longer watch television the way that they did ten years ago. Not at home, and not at hotels. Nielsen reported that streaming services cornered 34.8% of TV screen time in July 2022, when they overtook cable for the first time.

The shift is hardly surprising. In 2013, cable TV was present in 90% of U.S. households, and most homes had about 189 channels (per Nielsen), but watched only an average of 17. As more and more prime content has moved to streaming channels, it made economic sense for viewers to ditch expensive cable bundles in favor of a-la-carte subscriptions to streaming services. While comparable current statistics are not readily available, the number of non-streaming channels watched is almost certainly going down; Gen Zs in 2021 preferred streaming services 77% of the time (vs. 40% for baby boomers).

Hotels have been slow to adapt. Part of the reason is that while the number of channels watched per household has been stable and likely declining, hotels must cater to many different guests who watch different subsets of channels.  Part of it has been the lack of simple solutions that can mimic the home environment, which has become well-integrated with mobile phones and streaming services.

Manufacturers of residential TVs and content control hardware such as Apple TV, Roku, Google TV, Amazon Fire, and others (including cable companies) have made it increasingly simple to mix and match content from so-called linear sources (cable, satellite, and roof antennas) with streaming sources – but mostly for the residential market.

The same products have proven difficult or impossible to adapt to hotels. One major issue is that Apple’s ecosystem is controlled and closed, while Android’s is open; the two don’t play together well. This matters little in residential environments, where most families need only one or the other. Hotels, on the other hand, need to support guests with both Apple and Android devices.

The Apple solutions can mostly support Android devices (with a few limitations), but the Android ones (which tend to be significantly less expensive) mostly cannot support Apple devices (at least, without the user having to purchase third-party apps).

In case you missed the memo, people no longer watch television the way that they did ten years ago. Not at home, and not at hotels. Nielsen reported that streaming services cornered 34.8% of TV screen time in July 2022, when they overtook cable for the first time.  

The shift is hardly surprising. In 2013, cable TV was present in 90% of U.S. households, and most homes had about 189 channels (per Nielsen), but watched only an average of 17. As more and more prime content has moved to streaming channels, it made economic sense for viewers to ditch expensive cable bundles in favor of a-la-carte subscriptions to streaming services. While comparable current statistics are not readily available, the number of non-streaming channels watched is almost certainly going down; Gen Zs in 2021 preferred streaming services 77% of the time (vs. 40% for baby boomers).

Hotels have been slow to adapt. Part of the reason is that while the number of channels watched per household has been stable and likely declining, hotels must cater to many different guests who watch different subsets of channels.  Part of it has been the lack of simple solutions that can mimic the home environment, which has become well-integrated with mobile phones and streaming services.

Manufacturers of residential TVs and content control hardware such as Apple TV, Roku, Google TV, Amazon Fire, and others (including cable companies) have made it increasingly simple to mix and match content from so-called linear sources (cable, satellite, and roof antennas) with streaming sources – but mostly for the residential market.

The same products have proven difficult or impossible to adapt to hotels. One major issue is that Apple’s ecosystem is controlled and closed, while Android’s is open; the two don’t play together well. This matters little in residential environments, where most families need only one or the other. Hotels, on the other hand, need to support guests with both Apple and Android devices.

The Apple solutions can mostly support Android devices (with a few limitations), but the Android ones (which tend to be significantly less expensive) mostly cannot support Apple devices (at least, without the user having to purchase third-party apps).

Another major issue is that home solutions need only limited security: your personal information stays on your home network, except to authorize usage when you first log in to a streaming provider with whom you have an account.

Despite the undeniable shift of consumers towards streaming, most hotels support it poorly or not at all. Some hotels have added streaming for certain apps (such as Netflix and Hulu) into their in-room entertainment options, controlled by set-top (or set-back) boxes. This works, but (a) requires guests to enter their login and password, often using their remote-control arrow keys and an on-screen keyboard; (b) requires the set-top box to ensure that saved credentials are cleared when the guest checks out; and (c) offers a set of streaming services that may be both limited and slow to adapt over time. Streaming apps that the set-top box provider does not support cannot be accessed this way.

Guests usually have their streaming apps on their mobile devices but are challenged to connect them to hotel TVs. If you have several streaming services and want to browse them on a hotel guest entertainment solution that supports them all natively, then you still need to manually enter your credentials for each one, for each hotel stay – a high-friction process.

The more elegant option is to use the guest’s mobile device to authenticate each streaming app, but then to direct the streamed content to the TV rather than the mobile device. Technology from Apple and Google exists to do this, but only the Apple ecosystem can do it cleanly and safely.

An Apple TV device with mobile device management software can wipe out the user’s history (including login credentials for streaming services) when they check out.  Chromecast for Google TV is a technically similar solution for homes, but it is not offered in the hospitality market -- nor could it be without significant changes. It requires that the user log into their Google account, and it lacks the ability to clear their credentials (or be logged out) at checkout. This means the device would be left signed in for future occupants of the guest room to use (including the guest’s personal paid streaming subscriptions). This is not an issue in the residential market but is a non-starter for hotels.

For a time, the earlier generation of Chromecast devices (without Google TV) were seen as an interim solution for Android (and some Apple) guests in hotels, enabling content to be “cast” from the mobile device to the TV via the Chromecast device. The mobile device paired to a Chromecast device attached to the TV and then sent commands through the network to select and control content. The content is then delivered to the TV via the Wi-Fi network to the Chromecast device. Alternatively, the mobile device could send a real-time image of its display screen to the Chromecast device for display on the TV, via a wireless connection (known as mirroring). Some hotels have these older Chromecast devices, but they are no longer offered by Google.

These devices worked somewhat like Apple TV, although they handled only streaming content and mirroring (whereas Apple TV solutions could integrate content linear content sources as well). Setup was a bit more challenging, because the device usually required the user to switch the TV source, which most traditional hotel TV remotes could not accommodate (or if they could, it could easily lead to guest confusion, for example if a TV was left on the Chromecast source and the next guest wanted to watch a linear channel). The setup process on the Android phone was also cumbersome, having been designed for a home environment where you do it once and forget it. Few guests were willing to go through this for a short stay in a hotel.

For these and other reasons, Chromecast never really performed to expectation in hotels. Vendors who offered the choice of on-screen logins to streaming services (through a set-top box) and Chromecast found that a large majority of guests chose the on-screen login. While hardly frictionless, it was simpler and less problem-prone than Chromecast.

Google quietly discontinued marketing the original Chromecast devices about a year ago, transitioning to Chromecast with Google TV. This functions more like Apple TV, but as noted above is not suitable for hotels. Then this past summer, Google lost a huge patent infringement lawsuit over Chromecast, and was ordered by a jury to pay $338.7 million to TouchStream Technologies (Mark Munger wrote a great overview of this case last week; highly recommended reading if you have Chromecast in your hotels). While the unanimous jury verdict is being appealed and may well end up with a settlement, the legality of anything using Chromecast technology will be up in the air until appeals are exhausted or a settlement is reached.

Do We Need 100 Linear Channels?

Cable and satellite services provide bundled packages of linear TV channels to hotels, and these represent a major budget line item for most hotels. For more and more guests, however, there are only a few linear channels that they watch in hotels, typically with live broadcasts such as sports and news (in the US, the top linear channels in hotels are ESPN, Fox News, and CNN). Many but not all of these and other popular channels are also available for streaming (with or without a subscription, depending on the content).

Hotels may be unable to cut the linear TV cord today, but it would not surprise me if they can do so within the next year or two, as options for streaming news and sports increase. The cable and satellite companies understand this; many are offering incentives to lock in longer-term contracts and preserve revenue that they know is not sustainable under the evolving viewing habits of guests. Hotels that are thinking of signing such contracts should remember similar tactics from suppliers in the Wi-Fi space in the early 2000s and in pay-per-view TV a few years later. What might have seemed like a great deal at the time proved extraordinarily costly when the industry changed.

So How Can Hotels Support Streaming?

A reasonable objective is to replicate the home experience as closely (and as simply) as possible in hotels.

Today, this is possible using the iOS ecosystem, using Apple TV-based systems such as those offered by Roomnet and Monscierge (Roomnet’s platform sits behind some other commercial solutions as well).  While these solutions are not as cheap as some of the less-capable alternatives, they are starting to be able to offer linear channels natively, based on partnership agreements with content suppliers (rather than obtaining them via cable or satellite). This could relieve hotels of the substantial cost of paying for linear channels that guests rarely watch, substituting a-la-carte pricing for the ones they do. These products can also provide other cost savings and ancillary revenues through hotel services they may offer, such as a guest directory, food and beverage ordering, and other capabilities. In most cases, guest devices can be supported whether they are iOS or Android.

The return on investment for an Apple-based solutions will vary substantially depending on whether you can dump your linear channel package (meaning the solution can support the channels you need directly), how much the channels you really need would cost, and what ancillary revenues or cost savings you could achieve through the hotel-specific functionalities. But it is worth evaluating, if only so you will know when it is time to cut the cord on linear channels. That time is likely to arrive quite soon.

Android-based solutions from third parties, such as DIRECTV’s Advanced Entertainment Platform and DISH Business’s EVOLVE M1, have started to mature as well. While useful, the industry needs solutions from companies who, unlike DIRECTV and DISH, do not sell linear channels, since a major objective for hotels is the ability to get out of those expensive contracts that deliver lots of channels that guests rarely watch. I am aware of other efforts toward such independent solutions, but most are still in stealth mode or early stage (one, Telev8, did have a prototype product at HITEC in 2022). The experts I spoke with (including some with the companies involved) think these solutions still need to evolve. Many are also at risk from the unsettled IP litigation around Chromecast.

It is also entirely possible that Google will add the features needed to use Chromecast for Google TV in hospitality. This is not a minor ask; it will require mobile device management to clear credentials at check-out, eliminating the need for the guest to have (and log into) a Google account in favor of authenticating on their mobile device; provision of a default channel for hotel advertising; and curation of apps that the hotel wants to offer (as opposed to the entire Google Play store). However, I am not holding my breath that Google will do this, especially while the IP litigation is still ongoing. Once that is settled and the licensing options are clear, someone will solve this problem. But for now, it is a significant risk especially to early-stage companies that are typically the innovators.

Conclusion

The current environment for guest-room entertainment content is unsettled. Guest viewing habits have changed but the technology available to hotels has not yet caught up. There are available solutions based on Apple TV, but many hotels see them as too costly. Android platforms are considerably less expensive but have yet to evolve to support hotels’ needs. The Apple platforms may be cost-effective for more hotels if they can jettison their expensive linear content contracts, but that would require that more channels be available through the Apple platforms.

There is, however, a lot of innovation going on in both the Apple and Android spaces, and the options in a year or two may be quite different than today – especially if the cloud from the Chromecast litigation gets lifted. Stay tuned!

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

Mews Now Powers Over 5,000 Customers in Continued Market Expansion

Mews, an industry-leading hospitality cloud, has surpassed 5,000 customers using its property management system as it continues its impressive growth around the world. www.mews.com

Twin Peaks Lodge Leverages Maestro PMS’ Self-Service Kiosks to Elevate the Guest Experience

Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs, located in Ouray, Colo., is using technology to simplify operations at a time when its team needs it most. Despite being founded in the 1800s, the hotel’s ownership team had a modern vision and turned to Maestro PMS to improve their digital operations and capabilities.www.maestropms.com

RESERVATIONS & DISTRIBUTION

RealTime Reservation Accelerates PMS Connectivity with Hapi Integration Platform

Hapi, the hospitality industry’s leading platform for fast and cost-effective connectivity between technology systems, has announced a new integration with RealTime Reservation, a single reservation platform for ancillary revenue. Through the integration, RealTime Reservation can ingest data from the industry’s leading Property Management Systems by writing to a single Hapi API. www.hapicloud.io

Langham Hospitality Group Selects Amadeus to Lead and Accelerate its Global Digital Media Strategy

As the world experiences a surge in travel this year, hotel occupancies in certain markets have exceeded those seen in 2019. It is critical for hoteliers to have the tools in place to remain competitive and attract as many bookings as possible. This is why Hong Kong based Langham Hospitality Group, with more than 30 properties spread across four continents, has selected Amadeus’ digital media solution to increase brand awareness and bookings at its properties. www.amadeus-hospitality.com

GUEST FACING TECHNOLOGY

DISH Upgrades Hotel Entertainment Experience for Guests

DISH Business announced the launch of EVOLVE M1, a cutting-edge Google Certified Android Set-Back-Box (SBB) purpose-built for commercial deployments. Leveraging a user-centric feature set and far more powerful hardware, the EVOLVE M1 provides the best in-room entertainment experience available. This new SBB seamlessly integrates with the existing suite of DISH Business entertainment solutions. info.dishbusiness.com/hotels

Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino Select IRIS' Digital Ordering App to Elevate the Guest Experience

IRIS, a global market leader in digital F&B ordering, guest directory and concierge solutions for hotels and restaurants, has been chosen by Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino to provide a digital F&B ordering and guest directory platform for their guests to reflect their commitment to delivering exceptional guest experiences. www.iris.net

UrVenue Announces Integration with Book4Time

UrVenue, pioneer of the hospitality industry’s first Property Experience Management System (PXMS) and a Skift IDEA Awards 2023 finalist, has teamed up with Book4Time, a cloud-based spa, wellness, and leisure-activity management software company, to incorporate spa experiences into UrVenue’s UV Enterprise platform. urvenue.com

InnSpire and Techlive Expand Partnership with the Addition of Airtime Cloud-based Digital Streaming Service

InnSpire, the leading provider of a comprehensive technology suite that helps drive a seamless, world-class guest experience for some of the world’s most iconic hotels and brands, today announced the expansion of its 5-year strategic partnership with Techlive International, a global provider of comprehensive content portfolio and global TV services to the hotel and healthcare sectors. www.innspire.com

The Best Just Got Bigger: PPDS Launches New 'Sized Up' 32" Philips Tableaux ePaper Display Including Latest E Ink Spectra™ 6 Technology for Hospitality Environments

Size matters: New 'power free' Philips display delivers previously unachievable colour performance, using enhanced colour algorithms to provide a true print quality replacement for any paper sign used inside a hotel (including general communications, reception, bars, restaurants, cafes and more). www.ppds.com

Nonius Selected as Preferred Technology Provider by Grupo Brisas

Grupo Brisas, a prestigious hotel group in Mexico, has selected Nonius, in partnership with Telmex, as the preferred technology provider. Our cutting-edge Nonius App and Cast solutions have been installed in their nearly 3,000 guestrooms. www.noniussoftware.com

MARKETING

dailypoint™ Receives Oracle Hospitality Integrations Platform (OHIP) Certification

dailypointTM, Europe's leading Data Management and CRM platform for the Hospitality Industry, and a member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), announced dailypoint is available on the Oracle Cloud Marketplace and can be fully integrated with the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Oracle Cloud Marketplace is a centralized repository of enterprise applications offered by Oracle and Oracle partners. www.dailypoint.com

COMMUNICATIONS & INFRASTRUCTURE

Introducing Nonius Voice Cloud-Native Solution

Dive into the article as Nonius unveils the 4th generation of its revered phone systems, a journey that began back in 2009. With a keen eye on current trends and emerging needs, this new release is a testament to our unwavering commitment to innovation, catering to hotels’ evolving requirements. As part of this release, we’re also thrilled to spotlight our esteemed partners for SIP Trunk and Numbering, further augmenting our comprehensive offering.noniussolutions.com

SECURITY

Sandos Hotels & Resorts Selects VENZA for PCI Compliance

VENZA, a leading provider of data protection and regulatory compliance solutions for the hospitality industry, today announced that Sandos Hotels & Resorts has selected it for comprehensive support regarding PCI DSS compliance. With this service, Sandos will receive elite PCI assessment and compliance monitoring assistance from VENZA’s expert Security Team. www.VENZAgroup.com

Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa Adopts VingCard Door Lock Technology for Enhanced Security and Solution Reliability

ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions, a leading provider of advanced security technology for the hospitality industry, has announced the successful implementation of its VingCard Signature RFID door locks by Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa in the UK. www.assaabloyglobalsolutions.com

HOSPITALITY EVENTS & ASSOCIATION NEWS

HFTP Announces Sponsors for Inaugural Digital Horizons 360 Symposium with Fourteen IP as Leading Sponsor

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is pleased to announce a selection of authoritative organizations as sponsors for its new European event: Digital Horizons 360 Symposium (DH360), with Fourteen IP as its exclusive Level I sponsor. This invitation-only symposium will span two-days, February 20-21, at the Palau de Congressos de Palma in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. www.hftp.org

IDeaS Announced as Platinum Sponsor for 2024 Global Revenue Forum

IDeaS, a SAS company, the world’s leading provider of hospitality revenue management software and services, announced today its participation in the 2024 Global Revenue Forum as a platinum sponsor. As part of the sponsorship, Joe Pettigrew, chief commercial officer for hotel asset management at Starwood Capital Group, will be joined by Klaus Kohlmayr, chief evangelist and chief development officer at IDeaS, for an address to kick off the conference.ideas.com

AHLA Foundation Receives Grant From Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to Advance Opportunity Youth Into Hospitality Industry

AHLA Foundation, the charitable arm of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), has received a $605,000 grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to support its Empowering Youth Program (EYP) over two years. www.ahlafoundation.org     www.hiltonfoundation.org

MARKET REPORTS

Hotels Poised for Strong Holiday Season Fueled by Business Travel Uptick

According to a survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and conducted by Morning Consult, 68% of Americans whose jobs involve travel said they were likely to travel overnight for business during the last three months of 2023, up from 59% in 2022. Hotels are the top lodging choice for 81% of business travelers surveyed. www.ahlafoundation.org

IDeaS Releases 2024 Hotel Technology Predictions

IDeaS, a SAS, company, a world leading provider of hotel revenue management software and services, released Future Forecast: Six Hotel Technology Predictions for 2024. Gathering information from some of the top minds in the industry, IDeaS releases six bold hotel technology predictions that it believes will shape the year to come. ideas.com

I am thankful to participate in so many industry events. Last week I was at the HSMAI Sales Leader Forum at the Long Beach Hilton in California. Attendees at this event were senior company sales leaders from the brands and management companies. This is a unique crowd for me. It was the fourth Annual  Sales Leader Forum and the growth from 2022 was amazing. Even though this wasn’t a technology event there were sessions on technology with speakers like Kristi White from Groups360 and Mike Schmitt from Clairvoyix. We thank Bob Gilbert and his team at HSMAI for inviting us, and a special thank you to Mike Schmitt for our unique travel arrangements. There will be more about this experience coming via video soon.

I don’t watch nearly as much TV as most, so many conversations I have with friends are about shows that I have never heard of. I bring this up because I am probably the exception, not the norm in Doug Rice’s column regarding the challenges hotels are facing with guestroom TVs. Guests want access to streaming sources, but it’s a bit complicated for hotels as they have to deal with both Apple and Android devices. Once again, Doug has opened our eyes to these challenges in his Definitely Doug column that follows. We thank him for including both the challenges and possible solutions. On my next hotel stay I might actually turn on the television!

Many of you have asked about the Executive Vendor Summit and we will be announcing the location very soon, but I can share the dates are March 27-29, 2024. If you are a technology vendor make plans to join us at this very unique event which brings together senior leaders to share the state of the industry, and networking with industry companies. If you have any questions regarding EVS 2024 please reach out to Kim at kim@hospitalityupgrade.com. All I can say now is it might not be that warm outside this year.

For those of you in the US, we hope you have a great holiday week for Thanksgiving. It’s always a bit different at the end of the year with many trying to close deals while others are finalizing budgets for the coming year. Maybe it’s just me, but this year seemed to fly by! Here now is Definitely Doug followed by the latest industry technology happenings. I’ll see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.

Rich rich@hospitalityupgrade.com

Siegel Sez 11/17/2023

I am thankful to participate in so many industry events. Last week I was at the HSMAI Sales Leader Forum at the Long Beach Hilton in California. Attendees at this event were senior company sales leaders from the brands and management companies. This is a unique crowd for me. It was the fourth Annual  Sales Leader Forum and the growth from 2022 was amazing. Even though this wasn’t a technology event there were sessions on technology with speakers like Kristi White from Groups360 and Mike Schmitt from Clairvoyix. We thank Bob Gilbert and his team at HSMAI for inviting us, and a special thank you to Mike Schmitt for our unique travel arrangements. There will be more about this experience coming via video soon.

I don’t watch nearly as much TV as most, so many conversations I have with friends are about shows that I have never heard of. I bring this up because I am probably the exception, not the norm in Doug Rice’s column regarding the challenges hotels are facing with guestroom TVs. Guests want access to streaming sources, but it’s a bit complicated for hotels as they have to deal with both Apple and Android devices. Once again, Doug has opened our eyes to these challenges in his Definitely Doug column that follows. We thank him for including both the challenges and possible solutions. On my next hotel stay I might actually turn on the television!

Many of you have asked about the Executive Vendor Summit and we will be announcing the location very soon, but I can share the dates are March 27-29, 2024. If you are a technology vendor make plans to join us at this very unique event which brings together senior leaders to share the state of the industry, and networking with industry companies. If you have any questions regarding EVS 2024 please reach out to Kim at kim@hospitalityupgrade.com. All I can say now is it might not be that warm outside this year.

For those of you in the US, we hope you have a great holiday week for Thanksgiving. It’s always a bit different at the end of the year with many trying to close deals while others are finalizing budgets for the coming year. Maybe it’s just me, but this year seemed to fly by! Here now is Definitely Doug followed by the latest industry technology happenings. I’ll see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.

Rich rich@hospitalityupgrade.com

Definitely Doug 11/17/23: The Hotel TV Dilemma

In case you missed the memo, people no longer watch television the way that they did ten years ago. Not at home, and not at hotels. Nielsen reported that streaming services cornered 34.8% of TV screen time in July 2022, when they overtook cable for the first time.

The shift is hardly surprising. In 2013, cable TV was present in 90% of U.S. households, and most homes had about 189 channels (per Nielsen), but watched only an average of 17. As more and more prime content has moved to streaming channels, it made economic sense for viewers to ditch expensive cable bundles in favor of a-la-carte subscriptions to streaming services. While comparable current statistics are not readily available, the number of non-streaming channels watched is almost certainly going down; Gen Zs in 2021 preferred streaming services 77% of the time (vs. 40% for baby boomers).

Hotels have been slow to adapt. Part of the reason is that while the number of channels watched per household has been stable and likely declining, hotels must cater to many different guests who watch different subsets of channels.  Part of it has been the lack of simple solutions that can mimic the home environment, which has become well-integrated with mobile phones and streaming services.

Manufacturers of residential TVs and content control hardware such as Apple TV, Roku, Google TV, Amazon Fire, and others (including cable companies) have made it increasingly simple to mix and match content from so-called linear sources (cable, satellite, and roof antennas) with streaming sources – but mostly for the residential market.

The same products have proven difficult or impossible to adapt to hotels. One major issue is that Apple’s ecosystem is controlled and closed, while Android’s is open; the two don’t play together well. This matters little in residential environments, where most families need only one or the other. Hotels, on the other hand, need to support guests with both Apple and Android devices.

The Apple solutions can mostly support Android devices (with a few limitations), but the Android ones (which tend to be significantly less expensive) mostly cannot support Apple devices (at least, without the user having to purchase third-party apps).

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

Mews Now Powers Over 5,000 Customers in Continued Market Expansion

Mews, an industry-leading hospitality cloud, has surpassed 5,000 customers using its property management system as it continues its impressive growth around the world. www.mews.com

Twin Peaks Lodge Leverages Maestro PMS’ Self-Service Kiosks to Elevate the Guest Experience

Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs, located in Ouray, Colo., is using technology to simplify operations at a time when its team needs it most. Despite being founded in the 1800s, the hotel’s ownership team had a modern vision and turned to Maestro PMS to improve their digital operations and capabilities.www.maestropms.com

RESERVATIONS & DISTRIBUTION

RealTime Reservation Accelerates PMS Connectivity with Hapi Integration Platform

Hapi, the hospitality industry’s leading platform for fast and cost-effective connectivity between technology systems, has announced a new integration with RealTime Reservation, a single reservation platform for ancillary revenue. Through the integration, RealTime Reservation can ingest data from the industry’s leading Property Management Systems by writing to a single Hapi API. www.hapicloud.io

Langham Hospitality Group Selects Amadeus to Lead and Accelerate its Global Digital Media Strategy

As the world experiences a surge in travel this year, hotel occupancies in certain markets have exceeded those seen in 2019. It is critical for hoteliers to have the tools in place to remain competitive and attract as many bookings as possible. This is why Hong Kong based Langham Hospitality Group, with more than 30 properties spread across four continents, has selected Amadeus’ digital media solution to increase brand awareness and bookings at its properties. www.amadeus-hospitality.com

GUEST FACING TECHNOLOGY

DISH Upgrades Hotel Entertainment Experience for Guests

DISH Business announced the launch of EVOLVE M1, a cutting-edge Google Certified Android Set-Back-Box (SBB) purpose-built for commercial deployments. Leveraging a user-centric feature set and far more powerful hardware, the EVOLVE M1 provides the best in-room entertainment experience available. This new SBB seamlessly integrates with the existing suite of DISH Business entertainment solutions. info.dishbusiness.com/hotels

Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino Select IRIS' Digital Ordering App to Elevate the Guest Experience

IRIS, a global market leader in digital F&B ordering, guest directory and concierge solutions for hotels and restaurants, has been chosen by Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino to provide a digital F&B ordering and guest directory platform for their guests to reflect their commitment to delivering exceptional guest experiences. www.iris.net

UrVenue Announces Integration with Book4Time

UrVenue, pioneer of the hospitality industry’s first Property Experience Management System (PXMS) and a Skift IDEA Awards 2023 finalist, has teamed up with Book4Time, a cloud-based spa, wellness, and leisure-activity management software company, to incorporate spa experiences into UrVenue’s UV Enterprise platform. urvenue.com

InnSpire and Techlive Expand Partnership with the Addition of Airtime Cloud-based Digital Streaming Service

InnSpire, the leading provider of a comprehensive technology suite that helps drive a seamless, world-class guest experience for some of the world’s most iconic hotels and brands, today announced the expansion of its 5-year strategic partnership with Techlive International, a global provider of comprehensive content portfolio and global TV services to the hotel and healthcare sectors. www.innspire.com

The Best Just Got Bigger: PPDS Launches New 'Sized Up' 32" Philips Tableaux ePaper Display Including Latest E Ink Spectra™ 6 Technology for Hospitality Environments

Size matters: New 'power free' Philips display delivers previously unachievable colour performance, using enhanced colour algorithms to provide a true print quality replacement for any paper sign used inside a hotel (including general communications, reception, bars, restaurants, cafes and more). www.ppds.com

Nonius Selected as Preferred Technology Provider by Grupo Brisas

Grupo Brisas, a prestigious hotel group in Mexico, has selected Nonius, in partnership with Telmex, as the preferred technology provider. Our cutting-edge Nonius App and Cast solutions have been installed in their nearly 3,000 guestrooms. www.noniussoftware.com

MARKETING

dailypoint™ Receives Oracle Hospitality Integrations Platform (OHIP) Certification

dailypointTM, Europe's leading Data Management and CRM platform for the Hospitality Industry, and a member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), announced dailypoint is available on the Oracle Cloud Marketplace and can be fully integrated with the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Oracle Cloud Marketplace is a centralized repository of enterprise applications offered by Oracle and Oracle partners. www.dailypoint.com

COMMUNICATIONS & INFRASTRUCTURE

Introducing Nonius Voice Cloud-Native Solution

Dive into the article as Nonius unveils the 4th generation of its revered phone systems, a journey that began back in 2009. With a keen eye on current trends and emerging needs, this new release is a testament to our unwavering commitment to innovation, catering to hotels’ evolving requirements. As part of this release, we’re also thrilled to spotlight our esteemed partners for SIP Trunk and Numbering, further augmenting our comprehensive offering.noniussolutions.com

SECURITY

Sandos Hotels & Resorts Selects VENZA for PCI Compliance

VENZA, a leading provider of data protection and regulatory compliance solutions for the hospitality industry, today announced that Sandos Hotels & Resorts has selected it for comprehensive support regarding PCI DSS compliance. With this service, Sandos will receive elite PCI assessment and compliance monitoring assistance from VENZA’s expert Security Team. www.VENZAgroup.com

Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa Adopts VingCard Door Lock Technology for Enhanced Security and Solution Reliability

ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions, a leading provider of advanced security technology for the hospitality industry, has announced the successful implementation of its VingCard Signature RFID door locks by Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa in the UK. www.assaabloyglobalsolutions.com

HOSPITALITY EVENTS & ASSOCIATION NEWS

HFTP Announces Sponsors for Inaugural Digital Horizons 360 Symposium with Fourteen IP as Leading Sponsor

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is pleased to announce a selection of authoritative organizations as sponsors for its new European event: Digital Horizons 360 Symposium (DH360), with Fourteen IP as its exclusive Level I sponsor. This invitation-only symposium will span two-days, February 20-21, at the Palau de Congressos de Palma in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. www.hftp.org

IDeaS Announced as Platinum Sponsor for 2024 Global Revenue Forum

IDeaS, a SAS company, the world’s leading provider of hospitality revenue management software and services, announced today its participation in the 2024 Global Revenue Forum as a platinum sponsor. As part of the sponsorship, Joe Pettigrew, chief commercial officer for hotel asset management at Starwood Capital Group, will be joined by Klaus Kohlmayr, chief evangelist and chief development officer at IDeaS, for an address to kick off the conference.ideas.com

AHLA Foundation Receives Grant From Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to Advance Opportunity Youth Into Hospitality Industry

AHLA Foundation, the charitable arm of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), has received a $605,000 grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to support its Empowering Youth Program (EYP) over two years. www.ahlafoundation.org     www.hiltonfoundation.org

MARKET REPORTS

Hotels Poised for Strong Holiday Season Fueled by Business Travel Uptick

According to a survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and conducted by Morning Consult, 68% of Americans whose jobs involve travel said they were likely to travel overnight for business during the last three months of 2023, up from 59% in 2022. Hotels are the top lodging choice for 81% of business travelers surveyed. www.ahlafoundation.org

IDeaS Releases 2024 Hotel Technology Predictions

IDeaS, a SAS, company, a world leading provider of hotel revenue management software and services, released Future Forecast: Six Hotel Technology Predictions for 2024. Gathering information from some of the top minds in the industry, IDeaS releases six bold hotel technology predictions that it believes will shape the year to come. ideas.com

And now for you-know-what...

Discover Return On Experience

Three ecosystems — Hospitality & Leisure, Food & Beverage, and Inventory & Procurement — operate independently and together depending on your needs.

DOWNLOAD

Let's Get Digital

7 Questions to Ask Before You Invest in a Hotel Mobile App

DOWNLOAD

Let's Get Digital

With high rates of mobile device users and high expectations to digitally connect, what should your hotel app do? Besides providing a great digital guest experience, your hotel mobile app should be a reflection of your property and should give your guest the digital access they need to experience your property to the fullest.

DOWNLOAD

Return on Experience solutions delight guests, retain staff & grow margins

Agilysys’ Cloud platform, solely engineered for hospitality, delivers Return On Experience (ROE) across every hospitality touchpoint. That means more repeat stays, greater spend, stronger reviews, a more empowered staff and a healthier bottom line.

DOWNLOAD