Looking Back at 2020: The Most Read Hotel Stories of the Year

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Looking Back at 2020: The Most Read Hotel Stories of the Year

By Anna Wolfe, Senior Editor - Restaurants - 12/22/2020

In their entirety, the most-read hotel stories are a how-to guide of sorts for hoteliers looking to make the right investments for the current times.  Operational efficiency, guest relations, contactless and future-proof technologies were among the common themes of 2020’s most read stories.  

Let's count them down.

10. 5.2M Guests Affected by New Marriott Data Breach

Back in March, Marriott International announced that approximately 5.2 million guests could be affected by a data breach. According to the company, a property system, used by hotels that are operated and franchised under Marriott's brands, was accessed by the compromised login credentials of two employees from a franchise property. For more details read the full story here.

9. Workforce Management as Hospitality Reopens: Health & Safety, Schedules, Automation & More 

The hospitality industry has been forced to pivot like no other time in history.  The good news is that there are many technologies available to help hotel and restaurant brands keep their staff members safe. Here is a small sample of the types of technologies currently available and examples of how some hotels and restaurants are using them to effectively manage their workforce. Read on!  

8. Tech Support for Hospitality 

HT launched a hub for hotel and restaurant assistance -- think free or reduced cost tools and services that were available in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. No longer active, this story and section was among the most visited in 2020.

7. IHG Data Breach Settlement Reached 

More than 3 years after a data breach involving malware was discovered at certain hotel restaurant and bar locations, HT readers were clicking on this follow up story about the settlement reached in a class-action lawsuit involving Inter-Continental Hotels Corp. and InterContinental Hotels Group Resources Inc. To read how it ended, click here

6. Hotel Food & Beverage Forecasting – There’s a Better Way 

F&B comprises a significant portion of total revenue, yet F&B forecasting remains a basic and imprecise process. As a result, hotels are missing out on opportunities to improve labor planning, save costs and drive incremental revenue.  Plus 3 key tips to improved FB forecasting. Learn more here 

5. Contactless Transactions Are Having Their Moment 

This article explores options for contactless payments, mobile capability, new opportunities for data collection and loyalty, and some of the major suppliers whose services are transforming guest experiences. This article is a must-read for hotel technologists! 

4. 7 Hotel Tech Trends Gaining Steam in 2020 

Habits are changing, and so is the customer experience at hotels. This article runs down 7 technologies that are being rapidly deployed at hotels. (Think AI, voice and IoT for starters.) Read on for this current list.  

3.  2020 Lodging Technology Study: The Acceleration of Innovation-Enabled Hospitality

The research for this study, now in its 10th year, was conducted by Hospitality Technology and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in fall of 2019 -- what seems light years before the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the research has valuable takeaways that are pertinent to today’s business environment  -- an evolving industry that necessitates flexible solutions that are purposeful, proactive and profitable. In May, HT released this companion article, Lodging Technology Study: What 10 Years of Data Tells Us About the Future. This article is a must-read for the times. What can the recent past teach us about our current, unprecedented crisis? Significantly, the decade of data produced by the study is bookended by major economic downturns: The initial annual study was conducted when the hospitality industry was emerging from the Great Recession and the 2020 study was published a few weeks prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. A review of a decade’s worth of data can help us ascertain specific trends that could become incredibly important in the near future. If you haven’t already, bookmark this article now.  

2. AWS Transforms the Guest Journey

No matter where the customer is at in his or her journey --  planning, en route, arrival, in-stay and post-stay -- this interactive infographic  from Amazon Web Services can help hoteliers identify possible solutions to transform the guest journey. Check it out here.

1. Hospitality’s New Normal Must Include Hi-Tech, Self-Service Tech

I think we can all agree on this:  The hospitality industry will never go back to the “old normal.” Case in point: The World Health Organization is now encouraging the use of contactless payments to help combat COVID-19, and their use among consumers is skyrocketing. Consequently, many forward-thinking hotels are hastening their switch to various contactless payment methods, such as mobile digital wallets or “tap and go” payment platforms. And hotels that invest in self-service technology now, will be in a far better position to thrive in a world that is more conscious of health, hygiene  and social distancing. Read the full article here