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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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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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