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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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Buzzword of the Week: Mobile Check-In

06/24/2015

Comments on this year's HITEC:
 
The big get bigger!  There have been several mergers this last year, and a couple more rumored.  That makes for fewer companies for hotels to choose products and services from.  While many hotel companies and brands strive for standardization, several of them hope to differentiate themselves.  It is important that many new companies, with different ways of doing things, continue to enter our industry.

It appears that many companies are trying to become everything to everybody.  Where once there was just a PMS company, now they have include CRM and messaging and service request tracking and on and on.  In some respects this is good, cuts down on integration issues and costs.  In other respects, we may be losing differentiators that more strategically align with specific types of hotels.

At HITEC last year the theme seemed to be BYOD/BYOC with the TV and STB players.  That theme carried over to this year in that many vendors have solved that issue.  This year seemed to center around door locks and mobility.  It seems that most everyone is talking about using mobile phones to enter guestrooms.  This is still in early stages and many facets of this, not the least of which include operational challenges at the hotel during the check-in process, have to be figured out.  One might assume that by next year’s HITEC, this technology will be easier to employ.

Springing off of the door locks and mobility are continuing conversations around hotel mobile apps.  It seems like most every hotel brand has an app, and many individual hotels have apps as well.  One could say that our industry has over saturated consumers with hotel apps that do very little by way of value or service to our guests.  As hoteliers, and suppliers too, we need to search for better, more relevant, value-enhancing apps from which more hotel services can be launched.  Maybe vendors touted the guest life cycle but showed very little unique and sticky applications within that framework.

It seemed that there were more exhibitors than previous years; the show seemed much bigger.  HFTP is an organization made up of hoteliers and vendors.  I believe that hoteliers that are HFTP members have an obligation to attend HITEC, participate in both the educational and social events, and walk the show floor meeting with as many exhibitors as possible.  Yes, they are trying to sell something, and some are more pushy than others, but there is a lot to be learned by meeting with as many vendors as possible.

About The Author
Dan Phillips
Owner
Dare to Imagine


Dan Phillips is the owner of the consulting firm, Dare to Imagine (www.dare2i.com). He started behind the front desk of a Holiday Inn in 1987 and has been consulting to hotel companies since 1991. Dare to Imagine enlists hotel experts with decades of C-level experience at many of the major hotel companies in the world. He can be reached at dphillips@dare2i.com or by phone at 678-852-5913.

 
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