This summer, the industry association known as HTNG (Hotel Technology Next Generation) turns fifteen years old. With its founding mission that states, “To foster, through collaboration and partnership, the development of next-generation solutions that will enable hoteliers and their technology vendors to do business globally in the 21st century,” the organization has excelled at providing the hotel industry just what that mantra promises. Now, HTNG is celebrating not only a decade and a half of serving the hotel industry, but a growing expansion throughout the entire hospitality vertical.
For fifteen years, through collaboration and partnership, HTNG has developed future-ready solutions to enable hoteliers and technology vendors to successfully do business globally in the 21st century and beyond. HTNG is recognized as the leading voice of the global hotel community. HTNG’s members participate in focused workgroups to bring to market open solution sets addressing specific business problems. Currently more than 400 corporate and individual members from across this spectrum, including world leading hospitality companies and technology vendors, are active HTNG participants.
Previously exerting a sole concentration on technology within hotels, HTNG’s evolving focus now shifts to align the entire hospitality industry. To underscore this, HTNG has changed its name from Hotel Technology Next Generation to Hospitality Technology Next Generation.
Hospitality encompasses much more than hotels
The term “hospitality” is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers.” Many businesses operate under the hospitality umbrella and share common technologies and solution sets with hotels, including restaurants, leisure and entertainment venues, active living facilities, gaming venues, cruise lines and healthcare facilities.
HTNG has developed a prestigious Board of Governors (http://www.htng.org/?page=BoardofGovernors), which sets the direction of the association. This leadership body supports HTNG’s success in hotels and attests that the organization’s problem-solving framework will be essential for business development and growth across industry segments.
“The need for our solutions, standards and best practices exist in these adjacent verticals,” said Michael Blake, CEO of HTNG. “Since we know how our trade association works with hotels and technology vendors, now we can jump-start other sectors that are facing these similar challenges.”
This rebranding signals a shift in strategy, accelerating solutions for these other industries and HTNG’s present members. Many hotels encompass a restaurant, golf course or another facility on their same grounds, making a tight integration of solution sets critical. HTNG’s framework will continue to help technology vendors that are looking to operate or are already operating in these adjacent spaces. Now, these companies will have a familiar, but faster platform and greater audience reach to develop both business and relationships.
What does the roadmap look like?
With other verticals already represented by members of HTNG, this expansion was a natural progression. Another factor was that some of these outside hotel players have already been using HTNG standards.
The first step will be to gain an accurate representation of the issues these verticals are facing. In order for this to happen, HTNG will add executives to the Board of Governors from these shoulder industries to identify high-level challenges. HTNG’s Board of Governors is the key direction-setting body for the organization. The Board now consists of 23 CIO-level IT executives from many world-leading hospitality groups. HTNG will leverage its Vendor Advisory Council, which has members familiar with and working in these other spaces. Then, HTNG will move to put into place the steps to help solve the issues that the board identified as top-of-mind.
“The overall emphasis is taking the great things we’ve done for the hotel business and applying them to the broader hospitality market,” Blake said. “Utilizing HTNG’s strategy and leadership structure in these new markets will better align us to continue advancing solutions in hospitality.”