News Briefs


Marriott International Joins the Internet Watch Foundation; Deploys Cisco Technology to Combat Online Child Sexual Abuse Material

marriott hotel laptop

Marriott International announced today it has joined forces with UK-based nonprofit Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to combat online child exploitation by using technology solutions to restrict guest network access to websites with child sexual abuse materials (CSAM) in its hotels. The collaboration will be the first of its kind for the hotel industry and marks the next step in Marriott's commitment to address a critical human rights issue for the industry. Marriott recently marked a significant milestone in its anti-trafficking efforts, training one million associates at Marriott hotels to recognize and respond to signs of human trafficking.

In January 2023, Marriott established a new Global Property Network Standard to have hotels block access to websites with CSAM from the hotels' guest network. As part of this initiative with the IWF, Marriott is working with Cisco to implement its security technology to block access to CSAM-containing webpages on the IWF's blocked URL list.


"Marriott is proud to be the first hospitality company to join the IWF and is utilizing Cisco's security technology to restrict access to exploitative materials through hotel networks. As a leader in the hospitality industry and a company that believes in putting people first, Marriott has committed to fighting human trafficking and other pressing human rights issues," said Anthony Capuano, Chief Executive Officer for Marriott International. "This initiative builds on our anti-trafficking efforts and survivor empowerment work, honors our core values and upholds Marriott's commitment to human rights."

According to the IWF, Marriott's membership provides access to the IWF's list of CSAM-containing webpages to better enable filtering and blocking. Each webpage is manually assessed by the IWF analysts to confirm the presence of criminal content. Once the CSAM is removed from the webpage, the IWF will also remove the webpage from the list, ensuring the list is up-to-date and webpages are not unnecessarily blocked.

"In 2022 the IWF identified and removed more than 255,000 webpages containing child sexual abuse imagery. This equates to millions of individual images and videos of children being exploited. It is through valuable partnerships with organizations like Marriott International that we can make the internet safer for both children and adults and we welcome them as a new Member. By using our URL list to protect their networks and people from risks online, Marriott will help to reduce the suffering of survivors who are essentially revictimized when images of their abuse are viewed and shared online," said Susie Hargreaves OBE, Chief Executive of the IWF.

Cisco's Umbrella security solution will provide Marriott with efficient management of guest internet access, cloud-delivered web filtering, integrated SafeSearch browsing, and block lists, and the configuration used by Marriott will prevent collection of guest data.

"Cisco has a deep commitment to leverage our unique strengths and success as a company to improve people's lives, everywhere. We know we can harness the power of technology to help address the challenges our society faces, and we are honored to support Marriott on this important work," said Tom Gillis, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Security Business Group, Cisco.

Marriott conducted a pilot in November 2022 at six properties in the U.S. and will begin to deploy the technology throughout U.S. and Canadian hotels this month. A global rollout to other regions is expected through 2024.

To learn more about Marriott's commitment to advancing human rights visit Welcome All and Advance Human Rights I Marriott International Serve360.


Tripadvisor Announces Appointment of Sanjay Raman to Chief Product Officer and Kristen Dalton to Chief Operating Officer

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Tripadvisor announced the appointment of two veteran technology and business leaders to key roles within its Tripadvisor Core business: Sanjay Raman to Chief Product Officer and Kristen Dalton to Chief Operating Officer.

As the Chief Product Officer for the Tripadvisor Core business, Sanjay Raman will drive innovation, development and iterative improvements within Tripadvisor's suite of products and services focused on serving travelers, diners and partners, including accommodation providers, restaurants and advertisers. Raman joined Tripadvisor in January 2023 after having served in key product roles, most recently at Airbnb and Houzz.  While at Greylock, he worked with and led investments in several early-stage consumer marketplaces. Raman started his product career at Google where he led teams on the Google Video and Google Apps products.

Kristen Dalton was appointed in January 2023 to serve as the Chief Operating Officer for the Tripadvisor Core business, responsible for strategy development and operational planning and execution. Dalton, who joined Tripadvisor in 2019, previously served as the Vice President of Financial Planning & Analysis and served as the interim leader of the Tripadvisor B2C organization. Dalton's previous experience includes strategy and finance leadership roles at Vistaprint, Chubb, and AXA Equitable. She started her career at Ernst & Young.

"Placing the traveler and our partners at the heart of everything we do, is a key component of our strategy. I'm excited to announce the appointments of these two executives, whose deep leadership experience building consumer internet businesses and scaling digital media and marketplace products will help us deliver on our strategy," said Matt Goldberg, CEO, Tripadvisor Group. "With the addition of a product visionary like Sanjay and a strategic operator like Kristen, we believe we are well positioned to execute on our strategic vision for Tripadvisor."

"I join this company with a passion for innovation and a dedication to ensuring the travelers and partners we serve always have a positive experience when using our travel tools, engaging with our community and leveraging our numerous services to ensure we live up to our potential as the most trusted, most important travel guidance platform in the world," said Sanjay Raman, Chief Product Officer, Tripadvisor. "I'm excited about the opportunity to help Tripadvisor reinforce its leadership in our sector."

"Tripadvisor is such an important brand to travelers around the world, and we have an incredible legacy as a company. Our work has an impact on how people experience the world and the businesses that make meaningful travel possible," said Kristen Dalton, Chief Operating Officer, Tripadvisor. "We are bringing together the best people and strategy to deliver on our next chapter of growth. I am incredibly proud to partner with our leadership team to deliver on our brand promise and provide value to our partners."


Caribe Royale Orlando Resort Debuts New Mobile App

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Caribe Royale Orlando Resort, a AAA Four Diamond all-suite meetings resort in Orlando, announces the debut of Caribe Royale Orlando Digital Guest Experience, its first-ever mobile app.  

The app, which soft-launched in January, connects Caribe Royale Orlando’s guests to a wealth of property information and services, all conveniently centralized on their mobile devices. Through the app, guests can begin the check-in process prior to their arrival, communicate directly with the Front Desk via chat within the app, and access the shuttle schedule for visits to the Walt Disney World® Theme Parks and Disney Springs®. Guests are also able to view menus from the hotel’s restaurants and seamlessly book reservations for The Venetian Chop House through a direct link. 

“We designed the Caribe Royale Orlando Digital Guest Experience app to further inspire guests to embody our motto of ‘Live Royale,’” says Amaury Piedra, Managing Director of Caribe Royale Orlando Resort. “Each in-app feature, from access to Walt Disney World tickets and shuttle schedules to our Quick Connect with Staff Chat option, provides our guests with the power to customize their stay in real time, whether they’re on property, or off-site enjoying the nearby theme parks.”  

Additional in-app features include MyStay, which allows guests to request housekeeping and in-room amenities, set up “Do Not Disturb” hours, request valet services and more. The Things to Do feature provides travelers with a list of Disney shopping, attractions, and entertainment, and Chat is an in-app chat function that puts guests directly in touch with front office staff. The app also benefits meetings attendees, allowing them greater simplicity in organizing their stay so they can focus more fully on business.  

The Caribe Royale Orlando Digital Guest Experience app is the most recent addition the resort has made to its robust list of on-site amenities and enhanced offerings. In 2021, Caribe Royale Orlando completed an extensive $140 million property renovation, inclusive of its 1,337 guestroom suites (120 of which are two-bedroom villas), public areas, dining outlets, and a significant expansion to meetings and event spaces.  

“The launch of our proprietary app was a natural next step in our reimagination,” Piedra continues. “We’re looking forward to communicating with our loyal guests through this platform and eventually launching even more perks for our mobile app users, including exclusive offers and a loyalty program.”  

The Caribe Royale Orlando Digital Guest Experience app was developed in partnership with Runtriz, the leading provider of contactless mobile guest engagement solutions for the hospitality industry. Runtriz is part of Radius Networks, which powers the Flybuy Platform.  

“Communication, efficiency, and convenience all impact where guests decide to stay,” says Alonso Vargas, SVP of Product at Radius Networks. “Caribe Royale Orlando is now able to offer a cutting-edge mobile solution that provides a high level of service, all powered by their guests’ personal devices.” 

The Caribe Royale Orlando Digital Guest Experience app is available to download on iOS and Android platforms via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. For guests staying at Caribe Royale Orlando’s neighboring property, Buena Vista Suites®, a similar app called Buena Vista Suites® Digital Guest Experience is also available for download. 


Stayntouch Expands Partnership with Lightspeed with Direct Integration to Lightspeed Restaurant

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Stayntouch, a provider of cloud hotel management solutions and guest-centric technology, announced an expansion of their partnership with Lightspeed, a comprehensive commerce platform. Stayntouch PMS now directly integrates with Lightspeed’s new flagship hospitality platform, Lightspeed Restaurant. 

Lightspeed delivers a flexible, mobile POS that can streamline restaurant operations for hotels, and deliver an enhanced mobile dining experience for guests. Lightspeed gives Stayntouch customers the ability to manage multiple hotel restaurant locations from anywhere with an internet connection while offering the flexibility to customize everything from restaurant floor plans to menu management. Lightspeed also offers Stayntouch customers the ability to deliver an enhanced and personalized guest dining experience with contactless payments, charge-to-room functionality, and seamless ordering and billing from restaurant table, to bar, to room service. The direct integration between Stayntouch PMS and Lightspeed Restaurant delivers several benefits including:

  • Centralized sales data, understand the total revenue generated from all sales with full revenue postings from Lightspeed to Stayntouch
  • Streamlined hotel restaurant operations, with fully customizable floor plans and menus, mobile flexibility to manage restaurants from anywhere with an internet connection, and an easy-to-use and easy-to-learn POS user interface. 
  • Easy multi-property restaurant management, with customizable menu templates for new properties and shared data across locations. 
  • A streamlined and personalized dining experience, allowing guests to order from their room, a tableside terminal, or from a friendly server aided by a smart tablet. 
  • A frictionless and unified guest payment experience that can track charges from restaurant to bar to room service and delivers both contactless and terminal-based payments. 

Reid Webster, the VP of Partnerships for Stayntouch, said: “We are very excited to expand our partnership with Lightspeed by integrating with Lightspeed Restaurant. One of our main goals as a company is to leverage flexible integrations and mobile accessibility to simplify operations for hotels and enable them to deliver a smoother guest experience. Lightspeed mirrors this approach by giving our customers the ability to enhance dining operations across multiple properties while delivering a mobile-first dining experience for guests.” 


Peter Dougherty, GM of Hospitality at Lightspeed replied, “Both Lightspeed and Stayntouch seek to transform and enhance the guest experience into something that is more personalized, frictionless, and in tune with how guests prefer to order, dine, and pay. Because of this strong overlap in business philosophy, it was only natural to expand our partnership with Stayntouch.” 


Nomadix Partners with Wide Computer Systems to Deliver Technical Innovation to the Middle East Hospitality Market

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Nomadix® Inc​., a technology provider in the hospitality and multi-tenant industries, announced a partnership with Wide Computer Systems, one of the Middle East’s solution and service providers for hospitality. This partnership will bring significant benefits to both existing and new customers, combining Nomadix's high-quality product portfolio with Wide Computer Systems’ expertise in customer support, quality management and hotel operations.

The Middle East is one of the fastest and strongest developing markets in the world. Wide Computer Systems will capitalize on the increasing regional demand for technologies to enhance global digital experiences, as well as employee safety by offering Nomadix Alerts – a 2-in-1 staff safety and productivity solution and Angie Voice Assistants – the multilingual digital concierge for hospitality.

“Wide Computer Systems is one of the most experienced and reputable solution and service providers in the Middle East. Kamal and his team have a proven track-record of delivering outstanding results, having served more than 500 customers over the past 24 years,” said Hauke Lenthe, managing director, EMEA and APAC at Nomadix.

Lenthe continued “We’re honored to partner with them to continue to expand further in the region, and we believe the Wide Computer Systems team complements both of our efforts for implementing secure, reliable and quality technology that creates better, more connected experiences.”

“Development and growth are strong across the region, and we have seen continuous demand for new cutting-edge technologies,” said Kamal Bhatia, managing director of Wide Computer Systems.

Bhatia continued “Nomadix has a well-established history in the Middle East, and we are very excited to partner with them to offer their world-class solutions across the region. Through our partnership we will introduce new and innovative solutions to our customers from one trusted, expert provider.”


Kempinski Hotels Selects Sabre Technology to Upgrade Customer Booking Experience


 Sabre Corporation, a software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, has announced an enhanced agreement with Kempinski Hotels, the Europe’s oldest luxury hotel company, to enable the luxury hotel chain to upgrade its customer booking experience.

Kempinski Hotels, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2022, launched a contemporary new website, powered by Sabre’s state-of-the-art SynXis Custom Booking Engine. Through this innovative solution, Kempinski Hotels has been able to create its own bespoke user design and experience, with features including soft date availability search, upsell capability, and the ability to engage and convert shoppers to bookers using modern ecommerce features such as price comparison and alternate availability.

“We hugely appreciate our ongoing strategic collaboration with Sabre, who we have been working with for over five years,” said Riko van Santen, Chief Information Officer, Kempinski Hotels. “Sabre’s advanced technology solutions continue to support our business goals as we enter into our 126th year, by allowing us to streamline operations and improve the guest booking experience.”

Additionally, through the use of Sabre’s Data Warehouse solution, Kempinski is able to connect its CRS directly with its Guest Intelligence System, thereby enabling the best-in-class technology solutions to work seamlessly together and allowing Kempinski to build its own internal reports based on the data received.

“Today’s guests expect a seamless experience across devices and touchpoints,” said Frank Trampert, senior vice president, global managing director – commercial, Sabre Hospitality. “By utilizing Sabre’s technology-leading hospitality solutions, Kempinski Hotels is able to differentiate itself through a more modern booking experience, allowing it to increase conversions and enhance its offering to guests through greater personalization.”