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  • Consumers still want to do their spending from home
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    Consumers still want to do their spending from home

    Comments that include blatant advertisements or links to products or company websites will be removed to avoid instances of spam. Also, comments that include profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, solicitations or advertising, or other similarly inappropriate or offensive comments or material will be removed from the site. You are fully responsible for the content you post. The opinions expressed in comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hotel News Now or its parent company, STR and its affiliated companies. Please report any violations to our editorial staff. Read further. More

  • California hotel invests in temperature-reading tech
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    California hotel invests in temperature-reading tech

    16 DECEMBER 2020 11:14 AM To keep guests and employees safe, Hotel Amarano Burbank-Hollywood implemented thermal imaging technology that reads body temperatures as guests and employees enter the hotel. BURBANK, California—Hotel Amarano Burbank-Hollywood’s focus on guest and staff safety, which has become more important throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to some technology investments for the hotel, according to GM Tom Whelan. The hotel implemented a non-invasive thermal imaging technology in October that reads body temperature and detects fevers, Whelan said. The thermal imaging and fever detection… Read further. More

  • How hotel tech leaders are dealing with crisis
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    How hotel tech leaders are dealing with crisis

    While the pandemic has created a historically bad environment for hotels, it has spurred a level of interest in tech innovation not seen in a long time, sources said. REPORT FROM THE U.S.—If there’s been a silver lining for the hotel industry in the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders in technology roles say it’s spurred needed changes. Speaking during the “IT leadership” panel during the online HT-Next 2020 conference, Choice Hotels International’s Chief Technology Officer Brian Kirkland said he saw a marked shift in his company’s—and its franchisees’—appetite for change during the global pandemic. “Even our leadership’s appetite for change evolved overnight,” […] More

  • Touchless tech moving into more areas of hotels
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    Touchless tech moving into more areas of hotels

    REPORT FROM THE U.S.—Touchless technology features will continue to be important to guests, and as a result, additional enhancements and trends could emerge in both guestrooms and public spaces, hoteliers and designers said. Shawn Jervis, GM of Yotel Washington, D.C., said in an email interview that today’s traveler is even more connected to technology than they might have been pre-pandemic. “Regardless of your industry background, we all relied on some form of tech to get us through our daily lives,” he said. “Our 2021 travelers will now expect that same level of connectivity in everything from their hotel say to […] More

  • Hoteliers, industry experts predict 2021 trends
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    Hoteliers, industry experts predict 2021 trends

    From loyalty programs to tech to business travel, hotel industry experts discuss which trends and strategies will be more crucial than ever in the new year. REPORT FROM THE U.S.—As 2021 quickly approaches, hoteliers and industry experts are beginning to predict which of 2020’s trends will stick around as well as new opportunities that could emerge. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic threw the entire hotel industry into chaos, forcing properties to either rethink their strategies for 2020 or completely overhaul their operations, writes Hotel News Now contributor Heidi Banak in a 25 November article. Banak, coordinator and research analyst […] More

  • Ghost kitchens help to maximize hotel F&B space
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    Ghost kitchens help to maximize hotel F&B space

    REPORT FROM THE U.S.—Some hotels have invested in ghost kitchens, principally or exclusively for the preparation of to-go and delivery meals, to meet the needs of guests, a transformation hastened by social distancing and low rooms demand, sources said. Davidson Hotels & Resorts calls these facilities virtual kitchens, and they are a big focus right now for the company’s restaurant division, said Greg Griffie, SVP of food and beverage. A virtual kitchen for Davidson is a little different from a ghost kitchen, he said. “We define a ghost kitchen as a third-party lease opportunity where maybe an upstart chef is looking […] More

  • What hoteliers need to know about data privacy
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    What hoteliers need to know about data privacy

    A legal expert shared tips on how to deal with data privacy issues heading into 2021 during the recent HT-Next Conference. PHILADELPHIA—With both the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation rules and the California Consumer Privacy Act in place, it’s increasingly important for hoteliers to make sure they’re handling data properly and transparently, according to a legal expert who deals in data privacy. Speaking during the recent HT-Next online conference, Odia Kagan, partner and chair of GDPR compliance and international privacy at the law firm Fox Rothschild, offered hoteliers advice on how to handle these data privacy regulations. Be clearIt’s […] More

  • Hotel tech investments should have long-term value
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    Hotel tech investments should have long-term value

    Hotel technology supervisors must avoid the temptation to spend money on short-term survival initiatives and instead try their best to future-proof their properties. LONDON—Hoteliers in charge of technological improvements cannot implement considerations that merely will allow survival during COVID-19 but must be conscious of the tech that is best for the long term, according to sources. Speaking at the recent hybrid conference HOSPACE, Jane Pendlebury, CEO of conference host HOSPA, said technology must be used to improve the guest experience. “Retail consumers are getting frustrated with the experience they are getting, and hospitality needs to take note of what that […] More

  • How Wyndham’s IT pivoted during the pandemic
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    How Wyndham’s IT pivoted during the pandemic

    The coronavirus pandemic has forced changes at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, both internal and guest-facing, and those changes have been enabled by better use of technology. REPORT FROM THE U.S.—The crisis the hotel industry is facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Wyndham Hotels & Resorts to rethink how it uses technology, according to Scott Strickland, the company’s EVP and chief information officer. Speaking during the “Three key lessons to inspire innovation in a time of crisis” session of the online HT Next 2020 conference, Strickland said corporate layoffs forced his organization to be more entrepreneurial and rethink operations. […] More

  • What to know about changing emergency calling laws
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    What to know about changing emergency calling laws

    As the compliance date approaches for Ray Baum’s Act, which requires emergency calls from multi-unit buildings like hotels to provide a room number and not just an address to dispatchers, Marriott International’s Lasse Norgaard-Larsen said hoteliers and vendors alike should be prepared. REPORT FROM THE U.S.—New federal regulations on phone systems go into effect in early 2021 that require any new or significantly upgraded PBX systems to provide more specific location information to emergency responders, and Marriott International’s lead for IT in the Americas said hoteliers should understand what they’re in for. Ray Baum’s Act passed in 2018, but goes […] More

  • Hotel Wi-Fi: Balancing security with convenience
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    Hotel Wi-Fi: Balancing security with convenience

    REPORT FROM THE U.S.—Finding the right balance between making hotels’ Wi-Fi networks more secure against guests’ desire for easy-to-use Wi-Fi has been an ongoing struggle for hoteliers, and it’s recently come into the spotlight again. After hotel companies had been marketing their properties for months as a refreshing change in scenery to people working remotely during the pandemic, the FBI recently put out a warning to the general public about the privacy risks of using hotels’ Wi-Fi networks. It warned of hackers spoofing hotels’ official networks to trick guests into using the wrong networks or taking advantage of a general lack of […] More

  • How upgraded tech can enable housekeeping efficiencies
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    How upgraded tech can enable housekeeping efficiencies

    An increase in safety and sanitation measures has motivated hoteliers to streamline housekeeping efficiencies through updated property management systems, apps and SMS messaging. REPORT FROM THE U.S.—As hotel companies began to roll out more rigorous safety and sanitation measures, some hoteliers realized the need for upgrades in technology to help housekeeping crews maintain daily requirements and limit in-person contact with guests. Jeff Parker facilitates a workgroup at HTNG that includes hoteliers who have identified key pain points their staffs are facing in the COVID-19 environment will likely face in the future. He said the biggest hurdle, for staff or guests, […] More

  • Recent trends in hotel F&B that could be long-lasting
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    Recent trends in hotel F&B that could be long-lasting

    REPORT FROM THE U.S.—Hospitality experts said some of the shifts in food-and-beverage operations and offerings that cropped up at the onset of COVID-19 may last well beyond the pandemic. Greenwood Hospitality, which manages a variety of brands, has developed and revised its F&B policies in regard to sanitation after soliciting recommendations from each brand, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the CDC, Ecolab and the National Restaurant Association, said Bill Kohl, principal at the firm. Changes included offering disposable flatware, disinfectant wipes at the dining table, use of QR codes and other menus that give guests a choice, social distancing […] More

  • How hotels are reworking outdoor spaces to meet demand
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    How hotels are reworking outdoor spaces to meet demand

    To accommodate guests’ increased desire for outdoor spaces, hoteliers are investing in extra seating options for individuals and groups as well as boosting internet connectivity for a seamless indoor-outdoor transition. REPORT FROM THE U.S.—Hoteliers are taking advantage of trends to reimagine and invest in safe and effective outdoor spaces. Suzie Hall, founder and president of design firm The Cornerstone Collective, said hoteliers should be focusing on solutions and options for maximizing outdoor seating and services during the off-season months, especially in markets with weather turning colder. “Many owners and operators have been really focusing on social and physical distancing options… […] More

  • Verified clean tech necessary to bring groups back
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    Verified clean tech necessary to bring groups back

    To help put confidence back in the hands of group travelers, hoteliers must invest in and deploy new technologies to ensure cleanliness. Staycations and drive-to market getaways have become the going trends to help revitalize leisure travel for a summer season where we are still battling COVID-19. But most hotels don’t build and grow rate from fully independent travelers alone, nor can they keep their ledgers in the black without midweek occupancy during off-peak periods. We all need to make groups travel again. But the question is how can the industry do its part to encourage that? To answer this, […] More

  • Tech can help eliminate, reduce hotel touchpoints
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    Tech can help eliminate, reduce hotel touchpoints

    The “touchless experience,” more essential than ever in this pandemic era, can be enhanced with existing or under-development technology. Our previous article on “The touchless experience” established an inventory and understanding of all the physical touchpoints associated with a hotel guest’s stay through the arrival, the stay itself and the departure. With this insight, we can now identify and prioritize those touchpoints that can be eliminated, or at least lessened, using existing or to-be-developed technologies. Today’s installment will illuminate various technological solutions for the first half of the guest experience: pre-arrival, arrival, check-in, to/from the room and room… Read further. More

  • Guests’ use of personal devices grows during pandemic
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    Guests’ use of personal devices grows during pandemic

    REPORT FROM THE U.S.—Guests had been increasingly using their own personal devices during their hotel stays before the pandemic began, and now that use has further grown as they look to avoid contact with others where possible. As more guests use their own computers, phones and tablets for work, entertainment and communication, they further accelerate changes hoteliers are making to their properties, both operationally and physically. Personal devices have made everything convenient, which is why the usage was already on the rise, said Travis Johnson, hotel manager of TradeWinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach, Florida. Now guests are using […] More

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