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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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Post-HITEC 2018 Takeaways – The Data Challenge and Innovation



I think this has been my favorite HITEC in a while.  Don’t get me wrong – HITEC is always a great experience, and I think there is plenty to walk away with every year.  Some things you always get from HITEC – plenty of networking, a full show floor and great educational sessions.  This year, there were a couple of things that stuck with me more than others. 
 
DATA

The first of those is data.  We live in the age of data and honestly, we have for a while.  While watching the pitches for Entrepreneur 20X, I heard the judges ask a lot about the ability to get data from the system.  Some of the vendors were, surprisingly, behind the curve.  I would have expected a few of them to be more prepared about the types of data they can extract and how that data might be able to be used. 
 
I started wondering – do we really have the ability to use data the way we need to?  I think in many cases we are still too far away for the average hotel or management company to effectively use all of the data available to them.  Here’s why:
  • Brands have the advantage.  This is a sheer scale issue.  Brands today have more resources than any average hotel or management company maybe ever will.  The smart ones are already leveraging that today.
  • Too many disparate flows of data. The challenge for the average hotel is getting all of its data from disparate sources into the single engine built to help them drive their business.  
  • Focusing on limited data streams and metrics. Because of the lack of resources (people and products) we decide to only focus on a select few metrics (financial, sales, etc.) and often fail to consider other potentially valuable metrics such as website and booking behaviors, customer travel patterns or current trends.
  • The lack of vendors and affordable products to bridge the gap. One of the biggest problems with data is the sheer amount necessary to come to valuable conclusions. Simply put, the size of the sample has to be large enough to give true predictive information. Most products that do data analysis are simply not viable for organizations that aren’t the size and scale of major brands.  While there are companies that can provide you with plenty of data analysis, there are usually three major challenges:
  1. It is so focused as to only be use in very specific scenarios.
  2. It is so broad that it can’t be reasonably applied to the organization.
  3. The pool of data contains too much information from areas that aren’t relevant.
I suppose the next question is – so what is the solution? 
The truth of the matter is that I am not sure I can provide that. I have plenty of opinions and some of them might even be good ideas!  I think if there is a way that the smart people can solve the issue the aggregation of data and the relevance of data, that might be the first step. As with any “new” solution, once the maturity level is reached, it should become viable for a larger market.
 
INNOVATION

The second HITEC thing that stuck with me this year was innovation.  It is hard not to be inspired by Entrepreneur 20X competition.  The forward thinking about ideas to engage our guests, inspire our teams and yes, even solve our problems (whether we know they exist or not!) should excite us to push forward and to think about things in different ways.  I am a linear person and the thought that these teams and their ideas can make me think outside my box is refreshing. 
 
Here is the thing about innovation – it takes time to become a solution that works.  Check out my HITEC blog for HFTP that discusses the technology hype life cycle here - http://blog.hftp.org/for-everything-there-is-a-season/.  From an innovation perspective, I want to leave you with the following thought from the blog post: 
 
“Here is where I think a great opportunity lies. Not necessarily to do all of those things that we don’t do during the expectation phase (we should get better at it), but to let the expectation phase sweep us away just a little bit. I think the expectation phase is our opportunity to challenge our way of doing business. It is our white space, our time to not just think about what we have to get done or what we have to accomplish, but to innovate.”        
About The Author
James Lingle




For more than 20 years, James Lingle has been a part of technology in the hospitality space. He can be reached at james@jameslingle.com.  Lingle is also a member of the DANNI Team.

 
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