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Just in case you hadn’t noticed, the hospitality industry has a major labor issue. Occupancy is roughly back to pre-pandemic levels, but a lot of the workers have not come back – and they don’t plan to. In the U.S. alone, the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show employment in the accommodation sector is still 19% below its February 2020 level, or almost 400,000 jobs short. Many of my past blog topics have explored areas where technology can reduce the workload at hotels, and the feedback is that it often helps.

Think back to a time you went to see the doctor because of an issue. Do you recall the first thing the doctor did? Instead of going straight into surgery, they would first gather all the information about your case and then send you to get some tests done. 

If you are a hotel IT executive and your company operates identical technology portfolios at every hotel, then you can stop reading right now: this column is not for you. But this only describes independent hotels and a few brands that own and manage all their hotels within a limited geographic footprint. Omni, Loews, and some of the gaming hotel companies come to mind in North America. There are others elsewhere in the world, but it is unlikely that they account in total for more than a few percent of all non-independent hotels worldwide.

I first wrote about digital tipping two years ago, when the pandemic had led many consumers to prefer contactless interactions. The idea was just emerging then, and the products still had rough edges. Two years later, digital tipping is clearly emerging as a trend, with at least 10 to 12 companies in the field having gained some early traction. However, it is still far from a mature application, and many hotels are struggling with whether and how to implement it. Friction for guests, tipped staff, and hotel accounting staff is lessening, but it is still not as easy as it needs to be.

Independent, multi-property boutique chains have grown tremendously in the past few years, as travelers seek out unique, immersive stay experiences. These growing brands offer travelers the best of both worlds, delivering a distinct brand image and unique service philosophy of an independent property, coupled with the consistency and professionalism associated with larger chains.



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Articles tagged as: Hotels

Is your hotel’s data protected? What if your hotel lost access to its data overnight? A situation like this would be more than an inconvenience, it would threaten your hotel’s operations and negatively impact your business in a myriad of ways. Loss of access to data could be the result of an on-premises system crash, which will be inconvenient, but which can be brought back into operation reasonably quickly with the help of your PMS and IT teams. The more serious threat to hoteliers is ransomware attacks, and unfortunately, thanks to their rising prevalence, should be a real concern to hoteliers.

A Flurry of Hotel Tech Company Mergers and Acquisitions Marks the End of 2021
Posted: 12/01/2021 by Fran Worrall, Hospitality Upgrade Editor

Since early 2020, the hospitality sector has witnessed a sea change. The worldwide disruption triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic forced almost every technology company in the industry to review their portfolios, reassess their strategies and redirect resources into areas with the greatest growth potential. Some businesses became targets for opportunistic deals, while others struggled to operate in ‘new normal’ mode.

Black Friday has surged in popularity over the past decade, and it has become the most important day for hotels to capture online bookings. Many travelers wait specifically for Black Friday to book their travel for the year, and most hotels cannot afford to miss out on this huge share of the business. Of course, creating an enticing sale offer is the first step to beating the competition and guaranteeing conversions. From discounted rates to special inclusions, there are many ways that hoteliers can tempt potential guests and encourage them to book a stay. 

Finding ways to justify the cost of new technology can be a challenge in today’s current environment, but many hoteliers are relying on it throughout the pandemic to improve operations, interact with guests, train workers, and increase revenue. With 2022 in sight, the rest of the industry is taking stock of the most valuable technology innovations that were successfully put-to-use this year. One big hurdle remains: the hotel property-management system.

The Single Best Summary of HITEC 2021
Posted: 11/02/2021 by Lyle Worthington

It felt so good to be back in the real world. I suppose that is the single best summary of HITEC 2021 I can come up with. There are quite a few recaps out there on the education and vendors – so I want to focus first on the human side of HITEC. After two years of virtual meetings, video chats, and home offices, we were once again able to walk a convention floor, shake hands, hug, and celebrate in person. Despite the need to wear masks and the extra-wide spacing between chairs and booths, it felt like a normal HITEC: a large convention floor, big vendor events, and a full education program. Certainly, there were fewer people this year, but at some of the events and in some of the sessions you couldn’t tell. Many of the education sessions were standing room only - even the Monday morning sessions. 

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