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People today expect to be connected always and everywhere; sometimes it’s hard to believe that there was a world before smartphones and Wi-Fi. In the time since Wi-Fi became ubiquitous in hotels, apartments, and public spaces, it has fueled the evolution of connectivity in a lot of ways. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the most basic needs start at the bottom, and you can’t get to the next level without a strong foundation. 

By now, everyone is aware that hotel giant Marriott International announced on Friday a massive data breach that goes back more than four years and may have affected up to 500 million customers worldwide. 

After two years of preparation, the FlyZoo Hotel — a futuristic property that uses interactive technologies to do everything from greet guests to deliver room service — is ready for business. 

Mobile technology is fast becoming central to the entire travel experience. Consumers are increasingly using their smartphones to research trips, book accommodation, check in at the airport, and access their hotel room. But one of the next big roles mobile has to play in the travel process is mobile payment. The idea of an entirely cashless society might still seem some way off, but mobile payment is gaining popularity. As it becomes more widely used, its fast and frictionless nature will bring benefits before, during and after a trip. 

Digital marketing, also known as internet marketing, plays a significant role to boost hotel website traffic and online bookings. Recently, many big announcements were made in the digital industry, for example when Facebook introduced a new video format for marketers, or when Google announced a board core algorithm. If you are a new hotelier and want to stay ahead in the industry, then you should know what’s going on in the hotel digital marketing industry. 
 



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DIRECTV Drops The Weather Channel: What This Means to the Hotel Industry

01/23/2014

With the announcement on January 15, 2014, and the news of DIRECTV dropping The Weather Channel because of a disagreement on a market-based carriage deal, our Publisher Rich Siegel sought the opportunity to explore how this would affect the hospitality industry. Rich went straight to the source and interviewed the EVP/CIO of The Weather Channel, Bryson Koehler.

“The intersection of weather and travel is tremendous,” said Koehler. “In the dispute over a penny, DIRECTV has decided to drop us from their lineup. We are simply trying to ensure that there is the right communication and education out there about the impact this has for all DIRECTV users.”

For many travelers, The Weather Channel’s “Local on the 8s” is looked upon as the simplest way to get constant weather updates for the viewer’s current ZIP code location. The feature gives live weather updates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. According to The Weather Channel, with the channel being dropped from DIRECTV, viewers will no longer have this up-to-the-minute information, but will now have pre-recorded, less specific weather content.

Another issue in the hotel industry that stems from the channel drop deals directly with the hotel staff. For hotels that use DIRECTV, printed materials must be updated to no longer include The Weather Channel name or logo, or they will risk trademark infringement. This includes all printed material, as well as the on-screen channel guides. While this seems to be a small interruption to hotel staff, it may actually be a much larger annoyance. If these changes are not made, hotel guests may contact the front desk with calls inquiring why the channel seems to have disappeared. 

“Our message is that The Weather Channel is an incredibly important part of the fabric of the American infrastructure for safety and weather information, and we encourage everyone on DIRECTV to cancel their subscription and move to any other provider,” said Koehler. “We want to keep people safe. If you can’t get the information, you can’t be safe.”

Koehler made it aware that The Weather Channel and DIRECTV are currently not in negotiation. Because The Weather Channel is so strongly trusted and followed, he asks that The Weather Channel viewers take action to ensure DIRECTV brings back the channel. With numerous opinions on the situation, how do you think the disagreement will play out?

Click here for the video of Rich Siegel's interview from The Weather Channel.

About The Author
Katherine Darsie
Assistant Editor
Hospitality Upgrade


Katherine Darsie is an assistant editor at Hospitality Upgrade.

 
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