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With the news cycle laser-focused on the looming threat of a COVID-19 second wave happening in nearly every territory, it is up to each and every hotel to ensure we are all fully compliant with virus safety guidelines in order to restore group booking confidence. And the only way to ensure compliance with these safety guidelines is through contactless and compliance technologies to give guests a strong guarantee of proper sanitization as well as peace of mind.

A great deal has been written over the years about the viability of moving a hotel’s property-management system (PMS) to the cloud to take advantage of the latest technologies, but hoteliers need to realize that it’s not the only viable option. All platforms have advantages, including self-hosted, private cloud and on-premise solutions that leverage the latest mobile, contact free and web-based technologies. Independent operators can still enhance the digital guest experience, support personalized and mobile check-in, deploy contact free technologies, and secure hotel/guest data even if their PMS does not reside in the cloud. It should not be a question of “Cloud or On Premise?” but rather “Does the PMS solve your business objectives in both technology and service?”

Much has been written in the mainstream hospitality press about the challenges COVID-19 has presented to the industry. Hotels are in more pain than at any time in our memories. Because of the extensive media coverage, I won’t dwell on this topic further in what is primarily a technology column. But it’s the background for this week’s column, and so merits acknowledgement.

Are You All In?
Posted: 07/27/2020

Imagine everyone in your organization engaged, aligned, and performing to their potential. Imagine everyone playing “All In.”

Great organizations have synergy. Their culture allows them to play to a rhythm at a different tempo than the average organization. How do you get that at your organization?

Many front-line hospitality workers rely on tips for a significant part of their paychecks. If not for tips, many hotel associates who serve as waitstaff, bartenders, housekeepers, bell staff, concierges and pool attendants would soon be looking for other jobs. This is a regional issue: in most of Asia and Europe, staff get higher base pay, and tips are either not expected at all, or are truly discretionary. But in the U.S., Canada, Britain and other countries, tips are an important reality, and one that’s not likely to change anytime soon.



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A Beacon in the Dark

04/26/2016
by Terry Price, CPA, CHAE, CHTP

As a beacon of light guides a ship to safe waters, beacon technology guides the consumer to something they may need or want. This revolutionizing technology uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signal to communicate with a guest's phone when it is within 230 feet, or 70 meters, from one of the devices. The technology opens up the concept of proximity marketing and target marketing to only individuals that are near or in your facility.

If you think this sounds a bit “big brother,” do not get too concerned, yet. This technology currently only communicates to a phone if it has installed an app for that company. It is not an open communication that anyone can be targeted by. The most practical application is using it as part of the loyalty program app.

Will this enhance or hinder the guest experience? By signing up to the loyalty program and using the loyalty app, how much latitude do guests give the resort to store information about them and market to them at every corner? When they selected to opt in to receiving information about specials at the resort, as most jurisdictions require, did they also agree to let the resort track their every movement within the property? Was this covered in the terms of use policy that was so long and confusing that they did not actually read? Where does access to information end and privacy begin?

Beacon technology has opened a new world in the concept of guest service. The ability to let a loyal customer know of a special based on his or her location within your property capitalizes on the impulse buy. As with most adoption of new technology, the technology itself is not the problem. It is the human element. In this case, the customer’s expectation of privacy is going to be a major concern. No matter what the law may dictate, the customer is going to expect the ability to choose from a list of options to opt in to. The consumer already has to download the company app, turn on Bluetooth and turn on location services. Within that process, we need to inform the guest how this technology is going to be used and how it pertains to personal information. Are we ready for that? We need to be ready in order to guide our customers to use this technology and not be afraid to opt in.
 
About The Author
Terry Price, CPA, CHAE, CHTP
Principle Owner
HFT Consulting Group


Terry Price, CPA, CHAE, CHTP is a principle at HFT Consulting Group and is part of the DANNI Enterprise team. He can be reached at Terry@hftcgroup.com.

 
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