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News Briefs

  • 6/26/2024

    TAG Introduces ALBIE: A Brand New Booking Experience

    TAG logo

    The Anything Group (TAG), a premier full-service marketing agency specializing in hospitality solutions, proudly unveils ALBIE©, a groundbreaking booking experience, set to transform the hospitality sector. Designed to prioritize guest experience and hotel success, ALBIE© offers innovative features that streamline the booking process, enhance guest satisfaction, and maximize occupancy rates.

    Unparalleled Flexibility and Customization: Meet ALBIE©’s Cart System

    ALBIE© sets a new standard with its revolutionary Cart System. For the first time, guests can seamlessly book rooms and activities across multiple hotels and dates within the same group, all in a single transaction. This unique flexibility eliminates the hassle of navigating multiple booking platforms, saving guests valuable time and reducing frustration. By enhancing guest satisfaction and offering a broader range of booking options, ALBIE© enables hotels to maximize occupancy rates and boost direct revenue. Guests can customize their experience by reserving rooms, activities, or a combination of both, all in one streamlined process.

    Dynamic Stay Optimization and Enhanced Guest Experience

    ALBIE©’s Dynamic Stay Optimization takes the guesswork out of planning. The system automatically searches for available rooms within the same hotel on alternative dates or suggests other hotels within the group through its "flexible days” feature. For larger groups, ALBIE© prioritizes availability across all hotels within the chain. ALBIE© also includes a Group Recommendation feature, suggesting other hotels in the group that are close to the original search location to maximize sales opportunities. Additionally, ALBIE© offers a “Waitlist” feature, informing guests when their desired dates become available, ensuring they never miss out on their preferred stay.

  • 6/26/2024

    Mirai Presents Mirai Twin

    Mirai Twin

    Mirai EMEA CEO Javier Delgado Muerza unveiled ‘Mirai Twin’ at Phocuswright Europe during an insightful panel discussion on the Metaverse. Mirai Twin is set to transform how potential guests experience hotels in the booking process, offering an immersive, 3D digital twin of properties using real drone footage produced by Mirai teams.

    With Mirai Twin, guests can experience the entire hotel before they arrive, enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the property, tour the facilities, admire the views, enter rooms, and get a genuine feel of the hotel from the comfort of their own home. Mirai Twin also offers the convenience of instant booking because it fully integrates with the booking engine at both the pricing and availability levels.

    This cutting-edge technology creates a 3D digital twin of the hotel, providing a 100% immersive and native experience across all devices—desktop, mobile, and tablet – allowing customers to explore every angle of the hotel, enhancing their decision-making process.

    Javier Delgado Muerza, CEO at Mirai said: “Our relationship with the Internet is evolving, and the hotel industry must adapt to meet the needs and increasing expectations of digital natives for whom soon the metaverse will become the norm. The line between the digital and real worlds is disappearing, and the hospitality sector faces the challenge of integrating the latest technologies to cater to these new users. Mirai Twin represents meaningful innovation, blending cutting-edge technology with a hotel’s standards in a profitable manner. The use of drone-captured images makes this technology ideal for hotels where guests value room selection, pool proximity, and view. Guests can live their experience even before arriving at the destination, making the most of their hotel experience.”

    José Santas, Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Management Director at Hoteles Santos (owner of the Las Arenas property), praises Mirai Twin: “We are delighted with this tool as not only does it enhances the guest’s ability to imagine their trip, making their pre-stay more memorable, ”

    Not only is Mirai Twin already implemented in Las Arenas Valencia, but also Luxor (hotel) Benidorm and Luxor (villas) Benidorm have done so too and experienced many benefits for their direct bookings such as:

    • Immersive experience for a hotel’s customers: through a realistic and disruptive representation, Mirai Twinallows customers to visualise the hotel in an innovative way. This helps them to understand all the competitive advantages and services offered by the hotel.
    • Differentiation from other hotels in the destination: hotels using real 3D images will stand out from the competition in the destination. The immersive experience creates an innovative and engaging impression for travellers, which can influence their purchase decision.
    • Differentiation of the direct channel: By using Mirai Twin the direct channel is differentiated from other booking channels. Customers can explore the hotel more fully and directly, which increases the likelihood of direct bookings.
    • Continuous and dynamic navigation: Navigation without floor plan sequences allows users to move freely through the virtual hotel. This creates a more dynamic and engaging experience, which can increase visitor retention on your website.
    • Booking engine integration: Mirai Twin is fully integrated with the booking engine both at the pricing and availability level as well as at the content level by automatically integrating all your photos, videos and 360 material.
    • Upselling at reception: The 3D model allows the reception team to show the hotel directly to guests in an innovative way. This facilitates commercial actions such as upselling, where specific rooms can be promoted in a very visual and attractive way. It can also be used as an interactive map of the hotel where all services and points of interest can be located.
    • Multi-device navigation: same immersive experience on desktop, tablets and mobile phones. This guarantees a consistent and engaging exploration regardless of the device used.
    • Full Internationalisation: Mirai Twin is translated into all the languages of your website.
    • Traceability and analytics: tracking the usage of the 3D model through your Business Intelligence and GA4 provides valuable information on user interaction with the digital twin at traffic and sales level.

    With a commitment to integrating cutting-edge technology seamlessly across desktop, mobile, and tablet platforms, and anticipating the growing importance of the metaverse, Mirai is well-prepared to expand Mirai Twin to other hotels globally, helping more properties increase their direct bookings and benefit from this transformative tool in the near future.

  • 6/26/2024

    Mews Survey Reveals 80% of Travelers Prefer Hotels with a Completely Automated Front Desk or Self-Service Technology

    mews logo

    The mad dash to take a summer vacation is underway, with three out of four travelers agreeing that Americans are prioritizing travel more in 2024. And when they travel, they are opting more for a highly digital, self-service experience when it comes to their hotel stays.

    A recent survey commissioned by Mews and conducted by OnePoll found that nearly 80% of travelers would be willing to stay at a hotel with a completely automated front desk or self-service kiosk, with more than 40% of them preferring to check in via a hotel’s website, app or digital kiosk.

    The poll of 2,000 – split evenly among travelers and hotel workers – also found that hotel workers anticipate guests to use technology more during their travels, with a fourth expecting them to check in more frequently via a hotel website, app or digital kiosk compared to previous years.

    Other key findings:

    • Travelers stated what a perfect hotel should include: in-room smart home devices. (43%), keyless room entry (34%), mobile room entry (27%), and digital ordering (24%)
    • A third (36%) admitted they have turned to AI for recommendations while booking travel.

    The study also found that nearly a third (29%) of employed Americans admitted they’ve worked remotely on vacation without telling their bosses:

    • 52% said they would use their vacations as a chance to work remotely.
    • Close to four in ten (39%) explained it was simply because they like what they do for work.
    • Others noted they would work on vacation to hit an important work deadline that overlapped with their vacation time (28%) or to save on their PTO (26%).
    • Four in five working Americans would be willing to work remotely from their hotel.
    • While working from the comfort of one’s hotel room is the top preference (69%), a quarter of respondents said they would prefer to work remotely from the hotel pool or spa, and nearly 25% chose a hotel bar or restaurant.

    On the other hand, those traveling for work admit business trips open the door to other opportunities. According to the survey results:

    • Nearly half (48%) of respondents have extended their work trips into vacations.
    • Hotel workers claimed guests traveling for work or blending work with vacations are the easiest to cater to (83% and 76%, respectively).
    • Hotel workers also anticipate guests will tip more (39%), extend their stay more frequently (38%), and use hotel amenities more (31%), and 79% said guests “always” or “often” ask for local recommendations.

    “Trends in hospitality are ever-changing but we’re seeing indicators that people are prioritizing travel again. While we’re seeing some softness in mid-market and select service hotels, the luxury sector seems resilient. Guests visiting luxury properties are spending more on bucket list trips and staying for longer,” said Richard Valtr, Founder of Mews. “We’re also seeing a continuous rise in people extending work trips for some added leisure time and blending work with vacations. The most forward-thinking hotels are tapping into this trend by embracing personalized guest experiences and offering a variety of amenities that appeal to differing guest needs. More and more hotels are adopting technology that creates seamless experiences for their guests, no matter the reason for their trip.”

    “Technology enables our teams to gather robust guest information before they
    arrive at one of our locations, which empowers our customer service teams to create unique 'excite and delight' opportunities for guests, resulting in powerful moments and lifelong memories for our guests,” commented Ryan Krukar, VP Sales & Marketing at Gravity Haus. “Identifying and understanding a guest's needs before they arrive at one of our locations and going above and beyond for guests is key in delivering authentic hospitality and provides additional value and comfort while simultaneously immersing a guest in the unique culture of the destination they are visiting.”

    “Anticipating guests’ needs is a crucial component to providing exceptional customer service throughout their stay,” said Andrew Gauthier, General Manager at The Incline Lodge. “By tracking individual attributes and preferences of new and returning guests, we can provide a truly curated experience for every guest that comes through our door. Technology also enables us to provide an easy and efficient contactless and self check-in process, so our staff can spend more of their time interacting with guests.”


    Survey methodology:

    This random double-opt-in survey of 1,000 American travelers and 1,000 American hotel workers was commissioned by Mews Systems, Inc. between January 30 and February 8, 2024. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

  • 6/25/2024

    HITEC 2024 NEWS: HCN to Debut its ‘AI Concierge’ on In-Room Tablets at HITEC Charlotte

    AIme from HCN

    At HITEC, Hotel Communication Network (HCN) will reveal a new AI-powered in-room tablet that will radically change the way hotel guests request services, communicate their needs, place F&B orders from local restaurants and more via voice commands in multiple languages. AiMe, an AI Concierge, will be on display June 25 to 27 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Booth #3836.

    AiMe uses natural language processing to respond to guests’ unstructured requests and creates actionable tasks that can be relayed from the tablet to the hotel’s service system and then to staff.

                AiMe:                “Hello Mr. Stevens. I’m AiMe. How can I be of service?”

                Mr. Stevens:     “I’d like to order lunch.”

    An ordering screen appears.

               AiMe:                “May I verbally take your order or would you like to see the menu?”

               Mr. Stevens:     “Yes, please take my order. I’ll have . . .”'

    The meal is delivered to the room or a location specified by the guest.


    “Leveraging technology to order room service and fulfill service requests is nothing new; hoteliers have been partnering with suppliers for decades to streamline two-way guest communications,” said Neil Schubert, HCN Product Officer and former Advisory Board member of Hotel Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). “But most of the existing communication solutions on the market have their shortcomings. That’s why we developed AiMe.

    “Rather than sending a text message blindly through the hotel app, a guest needing clean washcloths can now walk over to the in-room tablet and simply ask AiMe for whatever he or she wants in whatever language they prefer,” Schubert said. “No more going through the front desk or hotel operator and waiting for the request to be re-entered into the correct system to get to the right department. The data is sent from the tablet to the hotel’s service system and then to the housekeeper or floor supervisor – depending on who is equipped with a mobile device. AiMe can create and close work orders, summon the bell captain, remind guests of important meeting or event times, activate room controls and much more.”

    At HITEC, HCN will discuss how AiMe can or will:

    • Interpret the tone of a guest message and identify key words spoken so if a hotel guest is frustrated, for example, the request can be escalated to a hotel manager.
    • Provide granular information to pinpoint the exact location of a housekeeper in distress when integrated with panic button platforms.
    • Update room status. By accessing a tablet’s back-office mode (which is integrated with the hotel’s PMS), housekeepers or room supervisors can speak or type updates rather than using room phones with dial codes.
    • Replace in-room electronics, including inconvenient and time-consuming TV applications, costly voice solutions, outdated alarm clocks, and rarely used bedside phones.
    • Personalize experiences and drive loyalty by providing added conveniences, like speaking natural language commands to the AI Concierge or touching icons on the tablet to control room temperature, lights, do not disturb status, make up room and more.
    • Broaden adoption of brand apps. With only 20% of travelers having downloaded the brand app, brands can promote use of their brand app using a device that reaches 100% of hotel guests.  Operators can replace loss-leaders like room services with a digital ordering platform that brings food and beverage to guests from local restaurants. Better yet, it’s all managed by the AI-powered tablet provider.
    • Eliminate room clutter from printed compendiums and QR code table tents and inconveniently placed and easily damaged stickers promoting marketing messages and digital tipping.

    Tablets are Trending!

    The communication platform making the most traction today is the interactive guestroom tablet. HCN’s Navigator 2.0 is a rich, modern approach to guest engagement and revenue enhancement. The cloud-based platform is built on the latest technology stack leapfrogging traditional guest-facing solutions.

    Features of the AI-Powered Navigator 2.0 tablet platform include:

    • An elegant look and feel with a Netflix-inspired user interface that appeals to the masses.

    • Compelling content in any language the hotel chooses to draw people in to click around, discover on-premises services and amenities, and spend more money on site.

    • Hotel staff can now easily and immediately update content to the guest room devices. No need to rely on a service provider to deliver costly content management resources.

    • A Bluetooth pairable speaker base with high-quality sound, USB A&C charging points, and stunning HD graphics. The speaker base also serves as a voice assistant, enabling guests to request services and amenities, report problems, plus control the room environment by voice command.

    “We hope everyone stops by HCN Booth 3836 at HITEC to see AiMe in action,” Schubert said. “This AI-powered tablet is making it possible to achieve a 100% reach to hotel guests and drive better customer engagement.”

  • 6/26/2024

    Curator Hotel & Resort Collection Partners with eTIP


    Curator Hotel & Resort Collection (“Curator”) is announcing a  new partnership with eTip, one of the hospitality industry’s leading digital tipping and financial benefits  platform. This new collaboration will help participating Curator members drive operational efficiency,  foster customer loyalty, and engage property team members with digital financial benefits.  

    “At Curator, we focus on optimizing operations and driving revenue growth for our member hotels. We  are excited to provide our member hotels with eTip as a new digital tipping solution under our preferred  program,” said Brent Hayhurst, Vice President of Program Development for Curator Hotel & Resort  Collection. “This collaboration will further promote the growing adoption of digital tipping operations  across our member properties. With eTip, operators can expect to streamline the gratuity process, foster  a more rewarding work environment for the team, and ultimately elevate the level of service our guests  receive, ensuring their satisfaction and loyalty. Operators can also rely on a white-labeled, app-less,  seamless guest experience, offering a fully compliant and secure way to track and deliver tips to their  team members.” 

    eTip is a top digital tipping and financial benefits platform for service businesses like hotels, restaurants,  gaming, and more. The company’s mission is to support the services economy by offering a complete  platform that digitizes cash-based tasks, consolidates tipping processes, and provides workers with  financial wellness resources like emergency savings, credit building, and on-demand payout of tips to  achieve long-term financial goals. eTip leverages technology and innovation to financially empower  those who rely on tips, providing a modern tipping service to support the livelihoods of hardworking  individuals and businesses. 

    “We're thrilled to partner with a truly value-driven organization like Curator which takes great pride in  providing its members with access to the most innovative and robust hospitality offerings with a focus  on compliance and security, " said Robert Petteruti, eTip's Co-Founder. “What truly appeals to us about  Curator is the organization's commitment to creating value across the many (and often dizzying)  hospitality vendor categories. Every Curator property boasts its own personality and ethos. We fully  embrace the exciting challenge of helping these unique properties implement our platform in a way  that works for each of their hardworking teams as well as their hotel guests—all while supporting Curator's mission of championing "fierce independence" and excellence in the hospitality market.”  

  • 6/26/2024

    Survey Finds Only 19% of Hotel Professionals Think Hotel Tech is Doing a Good Job

    Futuristic Concept: Data Center Chief Technology Officer Holding Laptop, Standing In Warehouse, Information Digitalization Lines Streaming Through Servers. SAAS, Cloud Storage, Online Service; Shutterstock ID 2200880615

    The Hospitality Women’s Innovation Council (WIC), a working group of hotel brand executives, managers and innovators, found that only one in five hotel professionals believe the current tech stack is sufficient to help hoteliers achieve efficiencies and cost savings and take care of guests adequately. Meanwhile, 91 percent of survey respondents indicated that better collaboration among technology companies around integrations should be improved, and 86 percent said better integration processes would encourage them to invest more in technology.

    The survey was conducted online between May 25 and June 15, 2024 and posed the following questions:

    • How well do you think the current hotel technology stack – PMS, CRS, RMS, housekeeping, maintenance, etc. – serves hoteliers and their guests?
    • Which technologies or solutions are most effective for improving your daily duties as a hotelier or hotel professional?
    • How well do you think different technology providers integrate/collaborate with one another?
    • How important is it that integrations are made more accessible and seamless?
    • How do you believe technology solutions should evolve within hospitality in the future?
    • If integrations were easier, how would this impact your decision to purchase or adopt new technology in the future?

    Georgine Muntz, co-chair of the Hospitality Women’s Innovation Council and CEO of hospitality solutions provider Visual Matrix said, “Industry professionals have confirmed that more than any other factor, collaboration is the key to driving better business results for hoteliers – collaboration among technology providers and between the providers and the hoteliers they serve.” She concluded, “When we created the Council close to a year ago, we began with the assumption that women leaders in hospitality can help improve the ways industry professionals collaborate for common ends, and encourage better standardized integrations. Now that assumption has been fully validated. We look forward to sharing the Council’s recommendations on better integration, collaboration and advancing innovation, in the weeks ahead.”

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