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A groundbreaking new report by the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C. explores sustainability in the hospitality industry and examines ways in which hotels are incorporating eco-friendly best practices into both operations and construction. The study includes insights from leading hotel owners, developers and investors.

Every hotel owner wants to know how he can increase the traffic to the website, and at the same time, boost direct bookings. The key to accomplish both the objectives is to design a site that is accessible even to disabled people. It will not only improve the usability for all types of visitors, but it will also improve your market penetration. Designing ADA website is also very imperative to prevent legitimate complications. In addition to this, an ADA feature will aid in improving the website performance in search engines.

The underappreciated city of Minneapolis served as host for the 2019 edition of HITEC (produced by HFTP) which wrapped up its most recent four-day run on June 20, 2019. In the days and weeks leading up to the event, meeting solicitations and party invites filled my inbox at a growth rate any VC or entrepreneur would envy. As a first-timer to this international hospitality technology behemoth, it became apparent that HITEC actually begins a few weeks prior to when that first request or invitation lands in your over-stuffed inbox.

Time is limited. Once it’s gone, you can’t gain it back. Similarly, once a room goes unsold for a night, it will go unsold forever. There’s no way to recover that loss, because there’s no way to go back in time.
 
Many hotels fight this limitation by trying to sell as many rooms as possible. If all the rooms are completely booked, time no longer becomes a factor. But most don’t have the luxury of being at-capacity every single night. That’s why last-minute booking apps are growing in popularity in the industry, where hotels can make the most of each day. These apps specifically target guests who don’t plan far in advance, seeking accommodations from one week to one minute later.
 
There are several different ways your hotel can benefit from using last-minute booking apps in your business strategy.

IoT is Coming, Jon Snow…
Posted: 05/21/2019

Hospitality is prime for the coming advent of the various devices that make up the Internet of Things. Estimates show the industry now represents 17.5 million rooms worldwide and savvy guests are demanding more personalization and an overall improved guest experience along their connected travel journey and belief is that IoT can bring this to reality. 



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IT Items to be included in remodeling projects

12/08/2016

First, there should be a clear definition of the project. This includes time of completion, exact type of materials used, labor/contractor costs and the overall budget. Hotel operations and construction companies/crews must work closely together to insure a smooth project. If the hotel is open and operating during construction, hours of work may be limited. There should be well defined guest and contractor areas.

Some hotels (usually through ownership) have the availability of construction, energy and technology experts to assist in planning rehab projects, but, many hotels do not. Franchises have the availability of brand expertise which is helpful, especially when conforming to brand standards.

The following is a partial list of high-tech items that may be part of a rehab project, along with comments on installation.

Improved energy efficiency- The three areas that a hotel can improve its consumption are heating/cooling, hot water and lighting. Some rehab projects include installing more accurate thermostats and lighting controls that dim or shut off lights when not in use. An energy management system can also be installed during a rehab project.

Self-check-in systems- Kiosks in the lobby area are becoming more common and usually don’t require a rehab project for installation, but if the lobby area is being remodeled, a provision for installation should be made. Usually all that is required is power and a network connection. A more advanced approach is to have tablet computers in the guest rooms. This may require special network connections(wireless) for security reasons.

Re-wiring– During any rehab project is a good time for network rewiring, especially if the walls are being stripped to the studs. A project may include additional wiring runs for a IP telephone system, or more access points for wireless applications. It may be necessary to upgrade existing wiring to achieve greater speed, both for the guest and admin networks. A few hotels have gone to the extent to install fiber optic cable to obtain blazing connection speed. However, many guests’ devices are unable to operate at such speeds.

Additional runs on the admin network are always helpful for the staff, and these should not be overlooked in the planning phase of the project. Also, unsightly wiring can be corrected if sheetrock has been removed.

In-room control panels- In-room control panels are best installed during rehab as they require additional wiring. Some have the ability to control the temperature, lighting and several other functions. Some hotel general managers are concerned with security breaches on wireless models of these devices.

Smart TVs in guestrooms- There has been an increased demand for internet connected TVs in the guestrooms. If a rehab project calls for TV replacement, it makes sense to install an internet-ready TV. This may require additional access points on the guest network or even hard wire connections. Retro fitting existing TVs with an adapter will require the same wiring requirements. These TVs provide the guest with hotel information, messaging, internet, games, movies and local services.

Tablet-based systems- Systems that are placed in guestrooms for ordering room service, check in and out, listening to the radio, and many other functions may require additional wireless access points on a separate network to operate. This requires additional wiring and equipment that is much more easily installed during a rehab project.

Smartphones as guestroom keys- This technology, being led by Starwood and Hilton, enables a guest to use his or her smartphone as a room key. The phone requires an app and for now, a preferred guest membership. “Keys” are sent to guests over the internet and are encrypted. Starwood has done thorough penetration testing to identify any security concerns. Conclusions reached so far found that while venerable to hacking, the technology is at least as secure as using a physical card.

Each guestroom door will have to be retrofitted with the hardware required to accept smartphone input.

One area that is often overlooked during remodeling are the hotel’s high tech equipment rooms. These contain telephone equipment, servers, routers, switched hubs, and many other pieces of technology equipment. Some rooms are poorly lit, lack proper labeling on equipment and wiring, and do not have adequate cooling and security.

In addition, there may be obsolete equipment still on the floors or hanging on the walls.

During rehab is an excellent time to address these issues without significant, major expense. Cooling issues can be addressed with floor units while lighting problems can be addressed with new fixtures. Labeling can be accomplished in stages while security can be enhanced with better locks and security cameras. All unused equipment should be removed.

About The Author
Geoff Griswold
Field Engineer & General Manager
Omni Group


Geoff Griswold is a field Manager and general manager of the Omni Group, an IT services company specializing in the hospitality industry. He can be reached at geoff@atlantaomnigroup.com or at (678) 464-2427.

 
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