News Briefs

  • 7/18/2023

    Tripadvisor Launches AI-Powered Travel Planning Product

    TripAdvisor AI screenshot

    Tripadvisor®, the world's largest travel guidance platform, announces a significant upgrade to Trips - its core trip planning product - with the introduction of a new AI-powered travel itinerary generator.

    This new feature (currently in public beta) creates personalized travel itineraries utilizing OpenAI’s generative AI technology. It leverages human insights from over a billion reviews and opinions of the more than eight million businesses listed on Tripadvisor, delivering reliable, trustworthy guidance from its community of real travelers.

    “Tripadvisor was built on travelers helping travelers,” said Tripadvisor’s President and CEO, Matt Goldberg. “By harnessing the power of generative AI, we can begin to fully unlock the potential of our platform’s unparalleled review and traveler intent data, allowing us to offer truly unique travel guidance to our members. This launch represents an important milestone in Tripadvisor’s strategy and is just one element of our plan to drive deeper engagement with travelers on our platform.”

    To create an itinerary using AI, travelers are prompted to enter their destination and travel dates, who they’re traveling with, and the types of activities they’re interested in. In just a few seconds, they’re presented with a personalized, day-by-day itinerary, which they can save, edit, and share with travel companions — the perfect way to kick-off the trip planning process.  

    As travelers progress through the trip planning process, they have opportunities to engage and interact with the breadth of Tripadvisor’s travel guidance content, from reviews and opinions, to experiences and photos from the community. Travelers can save all content they interact with to a Trip as they build their travel plans.

    "We know our community is passionate about trip planning, so we wanted to thoughtfully build something that would enhance that experience, not replace it,” added Sanjay Raman, Chief Product Officer at Tripadvisor. “Personalized results and recommendations from fellow travelers are two of the most important elements of the planning process and generative AI has helped us bring them together in a way we think will be really compelling for travelers. Over the coming months, we’ll continue to upgrade our Trips product – improving the personalization of AI-powered itineraries and expanding the suite of travel planning tools we offer.”

    During the beta phase, the AI feature will only be accessible to users in the United States via desktop and mobile web, with a focus primarily on experience, attraction, and dining recommendations. Tripadvisor plans to make the feature available in more markets and on native app platforms as the beta progresses. U.S. users can try the latest version of Trips here.

  • 6/21/2023

    Shiji and IPORT Partner to Transform Hotel Restaurant Operations with All-in-One Tablet and Payment Device Solution

    Shiji teaser logo

    Shiji, a global hospitality technology innovator, has partnered with IPORT, an award-winning manufacturer known for enhancing the usability of iPads and iPhones, to introduce an all-in-one software solution for hotel restaurants. This collaboration will provide hoteliers with a seamless combination of a tablet and payment device to maximize their F&B operations.

    The integrated iOS and payment device solution simplifies guest service for hotel restaurant servers, providing them with an effortless tool to cater to their guests' needs. As a certified Apple partner, Shiji and IPORT guarantee exceptional performance and reliability. Hoteliers can choose from multiple device options, including iPad Pro, iPad Mini, and iPhone, ensuring flexibility and compatibility with their operations.

    “IPORT products are built around modularity and flexibility that empower our hospitality customers to do more with the iOS platform. We are thrilled to partner with a leading iPad and iPhone cloud PMS and POS platform provider like Shiji,” said Chris Lawson, Head of Partnerships, IPORT. “We look forward to innovating with Shiji in disrupting legacy, monolithic providers who have limited the industry from harnessing the power of iOS and mobility. The future is bright, and the possibilities are endless with IPORT, iOS, and Shiji.”

    "The partnership with IPORT is a significant milestone for Shiji in our commitment to provide innovative technology solutions for the hospitality industry," said Ryan King, Senior Vice President of Shiji in the Americas. "By combining our expertise with IPORT’s hardware solutions, we empower hoteliers to streamline restaurant operations and deliver exceptional guest experiences. This collaboration represents another step forward in our dedication to driving success in the Americas, and globally."

    The tablet and payment device solution seamlessly integrates with multiple payment gateways, allowing hoteliers to choose the system that best suits their needs. By simplifying the payment process, it reduces operational complexities, minimizes errors, and saves valuable time and resources for hoteliers.

  • 6/24/2023

    Steak n Shake Adds New Way to Pay

    Steak n Shake exterior in Indy

    Steak n Shake will offer PopID Check In and PopPay on its self-ordering kiosks in select locations in the Orlando market, with plans to expand to more than 300 corporate locations. PopID Check In is an opt-in service that enables consumers to scan their face to automatically sign into their loyalty reward account and see their past orders, making the ordering process as convenient as possible. When a guest checks in with PopID, they also have the option to use PopPay to automatically complete their payment.

    “Our partnership with PopID is a key part of our effort to provide guests with a fast and seamless ordering experience," said Keith Correia, Chief Information Officer. "When using PopID Check In, a guest does not need to use their phone or take out their wallet as part of the ordering process. They will automatically be checked in for loyalty rewards, and they can choose to make an automated payment with PopPay. A guest can even see their past orders and quickly reorder their favorite menu items. Ordering at Steak n Shake has never been easier or more convenient.”

    In addition to enhancing the guest experience and improving order throughput, PopPay helps to reduce fraud and offers lower payment processing fees.

  • 7/18/2023

    AHLA Foundation Announces $500K Grant Award from NRFT Survivor Fund

    AHLA Foundation logo

    The AHLA Foundation announced $500,000 in inaugural No Room for Trafficking (NRFT) Survivor Fund grants to four community-based organizations that serve human trafficking survivors. 

    The 2023 NRFT Survivor Fund grant recipients will provide and promote resources to build survivors’ stability and self-sufficiency – from childcare and housing to transportation, career training, and employment opportunities. The 2023 grantees are: 

    The NRFT Survivor Fund is a first for the hospitality sector. It launched last year, expanding upon the hotel and lodging industry’s efforts to support trafficking survivors. Since its launch, the fund has grown to $3.4 million. As part of its continued commitment to combatting this issue, AHLA Foundation is matching NRFT Survivor Fund contributions up to $5 million dollars (with an overall goal of $10 million in total contributions by the end of 2023).  

    “The No Room for Trafficking Survivor Fund shows unprecedented alignment by the industry in the fight against trafficking and provides crucial support to survivors on their path forward,” said Anna Blue, President of the AHLA Foundation. “By investing in organizations leading on the front lines of survivor support, the collective impact of the industry can help break the trafficking cycle and make a positive difference in the lives of survivors.” 

    The NRFT Advisory Council, which includes executive leaders from across the hotel and lodging industry, announced the grants as part of the NRFT Summit at the Park Hyatt in Washington, D.C. The event highlighted the hotel industry’s critical efforts in the fight against human trafficking and featured a keynote address from United States Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Cindy Dyer.  

  • 7/18/2023

    Hyatt Selects Sabre to Enhance Central Reservation System Capabilities, Making the Search and Booking Process Faster for Guests

    Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced a new technology agreement between affiliates of Hyatt and Sabre Corporation, a provider of software and technology that powers the global travel industry. Under this agreement, Sabre’s SynXis Central Reservation System will become the main Central Reservation System (CRS) for Hyatt hotels beginning in 2024. This integration will enhance Hyatt’s reservation capabilities, streamline its operations, and deliver a seamless and efficient experience for guests, including a faster search and booking process. The agreement comes on the heels of Hyatt’s announcement of Hyatt PrO to optimize its revenue management system. These innovations are done with the aim of enhancing Hyatt’s commercial technology stack, informed by listening to owners and operators.

    “All of our business decisions are driven by our purpose – we care for people so they can be their best – and that begins with empathy and listening,” said Eben Hewitt, chief information officer, Hyatt. “As part of our transformative growth journey, we heard directly from owners and franchise management companies that we had an opportunity to create a more efficient and streamlined Central Reservation System, and after a very thorough evaluation, we decided that Sabre would be the perfect provider for Hyatt’s global portfolio to make the search and booking process even better for guests.”

    By leveraging the SynXis Central Reservation System, Hyatt’s new system will be designed to make the guest search and booking process even smoother and increase visibility for property availability through:

    • Flexible calendar search – Guests searching for availability will have a more intuitive and efficient calendar view, including key dates when special promotions are available, as well as when World of Hyatt members can redeem their points for the highest value.
    • Enhanced rooms and rates view – Hotels will be able to quickly synchronize reservation modifications, enabling guests and colleagues to access newly available rooms in real-time. Hotels will also be able to share dynamic packages allowing guests to individually customize aspects of their stay.
    • Efficient booking – The platform is designed to simplify the booking process by unlocking the best rates for our guests through advance purchase rates and streamlining the processing for hotel colleagues.

    “I am thrilled to announce that Sabre's reservation system has been selected by Hyatt to advance its technology strategy, enhance its reservation capabilities, and improve its guests' experience," said Scott Wilson, president of Sabre Hospitality Solutions. "At Sabre, we are committed to enabling our customers in achieving their goals by delivering the technology that forms the foundation of their operations and future innovation. This collaboration represents our dedication to empowering the hospitality industry and elevating the guest experience."

    “Our collaboration with Sabre will also simplify operations for on- and off-property colleagues that will result in enhanced experiences for our guests, World of Hyatt members and customers,” said Jessica White, senior vice president, global property & guest services, Hyatt. “Adopting Sabre as our new Central Reservation System will increase the distribution breadth and reach of our brands and personalized direct booking experiences across our global portfolio.”

    This announcement builds on Hyatt’s commitment to simplify hotel systems while creating property-level flexibility with best-in-class applications like Hyatt PrO, which is a global collaboration with IDeaS. With Hyatt PrO, on-property and above property Hyatt colleagues will benefit from best-in-class modularity and flexibility, increased automation, organizational growth empowered by innovation, and the ability to drive deeper collaboration across commercial teams.

    Hyatt's unique vision for innovative capabilities aims to create a differentiating value proposition for Hyatt owners and operators and deliver customization in areas that drive competitive advantage. With the aim to continue these efforts, Hyatt is also exploring ways to further enhance property management system options.

    The term “Hyatt” is used in this release for convenience to refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation and/or one or more of its affiliates.

  • 7/18/2023

    RHG Hospitality Partners with Canary Technologies to Provide Digital Tipping

    Canary Technologies logo

    Real Hospitality Group just announced that is partnering with Canary Technologies, a hospitality guest management system.  The partnership will allow RHG to now offer digital tipping, in addition to many other employee benefits across the Group’s entire hotel portfolio.

    Hotel guests can now express their gratitude to hotel staff by scanning QR codes strategically distributed around RHG's properties. Canary digital tipping works with all currencies and lets hotel guests offer tips to individuals or whole departments without the need to carry cash or download an app to their mobile device. Tips are immediately available to associates and using this platform can result in up to a five-times increase in the tips generated for our team members.

    Real Hospitality Group is one of the fastest growing hotel management companies in the United States. RHG is currently #12 on the list of the top 100 U.S. hotel management companies. RHG manages just under 15,000 hotel rooms across its portfolio of 100+ hotel properties in 21 states.

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