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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. 

The forces driving local search rankings are constantly changing. But recent studies suggest that in 2019, four key factors make up the local search algorithm. 
 
The most significant factor is Google My Business (GMB). If you’re not on it, get on it now.

The robotic revolution in the hospitality industry might seem to have taken a step back. This January, the famously quirky Henn-Na Hotel in Japan fired half of its 243 robot staff. The robotic workforce reportedly irritated guests and frequently broke down.



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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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