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As the world and the hotel industry start to see the first green shoots of recovery from the COVID lockdowns, there is no shortage of new technologies emerging to try to address the new realities. As I sat down to write this week’s column, I found a list of more than 30 new or significantly modified products that had hit my radar I the past few weeks, all of them innovations somehow related to COVID.

The availability of NFC contactless payment (Restaurant POS, Front Desk, Kiosk), and NFC contactless access control (guest room doors, parking garages, elevators, meeting rooms, gyms, spas, front doors etc.) in hotels to reduce the need to touch shared surfaces that allow the transmission of coronavirus is both an urgent need, and an intelligent response, to one of the most significant issues that the hospitality industry has ever faced: coronavirus transmission and COVID-19 . Importantly also, NFC contactless, if widely implemented, would demonstrate that the hospitality industry has the well-being of its guests and employees front of mind once hotels start to emerge from lock-down. 

As millions across America practice social distancing, hotels and Convention and Visitor Bureaus (CVBs) are faced with the overall challenge of supporting their community and planning for the post-COVID-19 rebound. In addition to working directly with meeting planners, CVBs often report and forecast tourism for the entire community. CVBs play an integral role in the education and knowledge of upcoming events and trends in their community.

Shine is that light within you. It motivates us and it brightens our path. When we are down, afraid or experiencing unknown territory, it is what you say to yourself (your beliefs and thoughts) that determines if your light will stay bright or fade. 

Amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) announced last Wednesday during a press conference to industry media that the organization will consolidate its three major annual events to one location over a four-day period in October, and will call it, “The Best of HFTP.” 



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

01/23/2014
by Katherine Darsie

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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