News Briefs


Hostaway Becomes First PMS to Launch ChatGPT AI Tool

hostaway logo

Hostaway has become the first vacation rental property management software (PMS) to launch a ChatGPT-powered artificial intelligence tool within its platform. 

From today, all PMS & channel manager clients will have the option to use AI within Hostaway to optimize their listings and increase bookings, without adding to their workloads.

As rising guest expectations increase the demands on short term and vacation rental operators, data-driven automation is critical to achieving efficiencies while maintaining the highest standards required of professional managers and hosts.

Hostaway’s new AI tool will transform listings to be more inviting and engaging. It will also match the tone of voice and professional style to each operators’ brand and audience — from formal to friendly and anything in between — creating brand consistency across listings. 

This new technology not only saves time but increases the visibility of listings in a way that some managers may struggle to achieve by themselves.

The launch of its first AI enhancement is just the latest improvement the Hostaway team has made to its award-winning platform in the past year. Last month, the company updated its Guest Portal, enabling property managers to upsell to guests before and during their stay, helping clients stay competitive, drive revenue and deliver best-in-class stays. 

In 2022, Hostaway launched a website builder, fully-customizable rental agreements, and centralized financial reporting as well as integrations with nine booking channels, including Homes & Villas by Marriott International, Hopper, and Amadeus. Hostaway now have more than 150 integration partners. 

Saber Kordestanchi, Co-Founder and COO at Hostaway said: “We are delighted to introduce this feature to our platform, easing the strain on our customers by giving them the tools they need to elevate their listing descriptions and increase bookings.

“We take pride in responding quickly to developments in technology and the wider travel industry. AI is going to transform the experience of property managers as well as guests and this is just the first of many enhancements we expect to make.”


Mews Partners with Saira Hospitality to Launch Five New Hospitality Schools and Develop an Online Training Solution

saira and mews logos

Mews has partnered with pop-up hospitality school pioneers Saira Hospitality to transform education in the hospitality industry and help with ongoing staffing shortages. 

“Our two companies are passionate about challenging the status quo and innovation, Mews with technology and Saira with people and education,” said Harsha L’Acqua, Founder and CEO at Saira Hospitality. “After just one discussion, it became clear that our graduates would benefit immensely from harnessing Mews’ tech platform to elevate hospitality training and service and ultimately re-inspire the industry.” 

There are two elements to the new partnership: first, five new hospitality schools will be created around the world, using Saira’s innovative curriculum and expertise in creating cutting-edge training program to create a skilled, dedicated workforce. The first school will open in London in June 2023 and will be followed by a pop-up in Amsterdam later in the year. 

Saira Hospitality specializes in sourcing undiscovered talent that may otherwise have been overlooked by the hospitality industry. Their global curriculum specializes in life skills development that equip students with essential hospitality skills including leadership, communication and emotional intelligence. After completing the program, graduates will then be employed at properties running on Mews. 

Secondly, work will begin on migrating the key parts of Saira’s curriculum online to the Mews University platform. This will offer Mews customers and the wider industry access to digital life skill sessions, aimed at upskilling global workforces and making Saira’s training more accessible. 

Saira Hospitality’s programs have a proven positive impact on team engagement and happiness, as well as significantly reducing staff turnover for hotels. The non-profit organization has been operating since 2015, partnering with the world’s leading hotel brands to support their talent search, whilst redefining how operators can connect and support local communities.  

“Hospitality isn’t just about business; it also has a key role to play in education and building local communities,” said Paul Mooney, Chief Customer Officer at Mews. “What’s so exciting about this partnership is that it can make a real difference to individuals while also helping our industry to create a new, enthused talent pool.” 

The Mews and Saira Hospitality partnership will last for an initial period of 18 months. To learn more about the collaboration and the direct impacts of Saira Hospitality’s program, watch the Power of People session from Mews Unfold 2023


SoundHound Voice AI Now Available on Oracle Cloud Marketplace

voice ai soundwaves

SoundHound for Restaurants voice AI technology is available for integration with Oracle MICROS Simphony Point-of-Sale for Restaurants. 

SoundHound for Restaurants’ Smart Ordering voice AI integrates with Oracle MICROS Simphony POS to help any restaurant to accept voice orders from customers over the phone, via menu kiosk, or at the drive-thru, and transmit them directly to the platform. SoundHound’s voice technology intelligently learns a restaurant’s menu and can answer questions, accept modifications, and even upsell – helping restaurant staff maximize the number of orders they can process with greater speed and efficiency.

Even during peak hours, Smart Ordering empowers restaurants to never miss an order, and is able to deal with many customers simultaneously, helping to avoid frustration and order abandonment. The voice technology can also answer questions about restaurant location, business hours, and other FAQs, allowing employees to focus on making food and serving customers. 

Importantly, SoundHound’s advanced conversational AI allows restaurant customers to speak naturally when placing an order – just as if they were speaking to a human. It is capable of capturing selections accurately and in real-time, making it a reliable and cost-effective way for restaurants to deal with the increased demand for takeout amid recent labor shortages. 

Oracle Cloud Marketplace is a one-stop shop for Oracle customers seeking business applications offering unique business solutions, including ones that extend Oracle Cloud Applications.

SoundHound’s voice AI is the result of nearly two decades of innovation, including providing voice AI solutions to a range of world-class brands, including Hyundai, Pandora, Snap, VIZIO, LG and Mercedes-Benz. Through SoundHound, each of these companies offer voice technology that is built from the ground up and optimized for human speech. 


Nemacolin Turns to Hapi for Salesforce CRM Deployment

aerial shot of the Nemacolin

Nemacolin, an award-winning, luxury destination resort nestled within 2,200-acres in the Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania, has partnered with Hapi and Salesforce to roll out high-touch, personalized service across its entire campus, which includes lodging, restaurants and activities.

In addition to two championship golf courses and a casino, Nemacolin features a salon, shops, an award-winning spa and a holistic healing center. Dining options include four high-end restaurants and six casual dining options, as well as seven bars and lounges. Accommodations include two luxury hotels, a Tudor-style lodge, two-bedroom townhouses and high-end private homes.

During the COVID lockdown, Nemacolin was forced to transition from mainly group business to placing a high emphasis on leisure travel and the leisure guest experience. As such, leadership today is focused on personalized guest experiences that will drive customer service scores and repeat leisure business.

To ‘wow’ guests with personalized touches throughout their stay, Nemacolin has turned to Salesforce for their Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Analytics products. Together, these tools will provide a central, unified view of each guest and a platform for staff members across the property to access and action guest profile details.

“Historically, our strategy was to get people to book rooms, and if they want to do something else while on property, we expected them to call us back,” says Dan Swanson, Director of Revenue Strategy at Nemacolin. “Now, we've started to implement a high-touch experience by looking beyond bookings and really understanding our guests – who they are, what their preferences are, what they’ve spent money on, and what their satisfaction scores are. Now we can proactively help them make those appointments.”

While Salesforce is widely recognized as a leader in Customer Relationship Management across many industries, leadership at Nemacolin wanted a partner with deep hospitality expertise to help setup and deploy the Salesforce ecosystem, including integrating the multitude of operating systems across the property and ensuring normalized data was flowing properly. They turned to Hapi Guest, the only solution to securely integrate hotel data into Salesforce Cloud environments in real time.

“Hospitality is a finicky business that takes a while to learn. Hapi understands it, and that's the experience we were looking to take advantage of,” Swanson says. “The plug and play nature of what Hapi brings from an interface perspective is exciting, meaning if we need to unplug any of our systems, we can plug a new one in the next day.”

Hapi Guest will help extract and organize all the data that is collected by different sources across the expansive Nemacolin property. Data will be normalized to ensure a single guest profile and then sent to the Salesforce ecosystem via a single feed.

“Hapi Guest is enabling hotels like Nemacolin to use Salesforce to create traveler personalization at scale, reinventing guest journeys across all channels,” says Luis Segredo, CEO of Hapi. “We’re proud of this partnership with one of the world’s most unique luxury resorts and look forward to helping them access and action their guest data.”


hihotels Announces Partnership with Hopper Travel App

hihotels logo

hihotels by Hospitality International, a recognized leader in franchising of conversion and new build hotels for economy lodging, is pleased to announce a partnership with Hopper, the world’s fastest-growing travel app.

With this new partnership, Hopper will have a direct connection with hihotels’ five distinct brands – Scottish Inns, Red Carpet Inn, Master Hosts Inns, Downtowner Inns and Passport Inn. These brands will benefit from Hopper’s proprietary suite of fintech products that drive conversion, repeat purchases and profitability. Featuring an award-winning booking experience, Hopper will also help hihotels expand its growing online presence and retain its customer base.

“This strategic alliance with Hopper is yet another way of providing more revenue opportunities and increased exposure for our franchisees,” said hihotels Director of Operations Gary Gobin. “Hopper, previously known for its flights business, has rapidly expanded into hotels, homes and rental cars in recent years -- with hotels currently comprising more than half of the company's travel bookings. We like how they are strongly focused on social media marketing, which will improve exposure of our hotels to younger generations who prefer to spend money on experience, rather than higher-priced accommodations.”

“At Hopper we strive to provide the best accommodation offerings in the same place that users are booking the rest of their travel,” said Lexi Caron, Head of Hotel Marketplace at Hopper. “This partnership brings new direct inventory to the Hopper app, which has been downloaded over 100 million times to date, and helps us deliver on our promise to offer customers the best price, selection and inventory available.”


REPORT: Women Growing Among Hospitality Leadership

AHLA Foundation Logo

Representation of women within hospitality leadership continues to increase, with women gaining some ground at the CEO and president levels, according to a new report commissioned by the AHLA Foundation and conducted by Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management.

The AHLA Foundation is a philanthropic organization that aims to inspire, support, and advance the hospitality workforce. The 2023 “Women in Hospitality” research report focuses on evaluating the state of women’s representation in leadership in the hotel industry.

The findings indicate that in 2022 the hospitality industry made steady, incremental progress toward women’s advancement to executive leadership roles, while underscoring areas of opportunity to further diversify representation across industry fields.

Key findings include:

  • Women now hold one in four of all chief-level positions at hotel companies, although mostly in human resources and sales/marketing roles.
  • At the director level, women now occupy an equal number of positions as men. Women have experienced gains in leadership positions in hospitality investment and development since 2019, going from one woman for every 10 men to one woman for every 7.9 men.
  • Women held 24% of the podium spots at hotel investment conferences, up from 16% in 2017.
    • On the main stage, 37% of prime speaking spots in 2022 went to women – up from 22% just a year earlier in 2021.

This is the sixth annual benchmark report commissioned by the AHLA Foundation. Researchers under the direction of Phillip Jolly, PhD, assistant professor of hospitality management at Penn State, reviewed publicly available data spanning more than 6,000 individuals from 701 companies and more than 7,000 hotel investment conference attendees.

“We want to see equity for women at the leadership level and across the hotel industry, and this progress is encouraging,” said AHLA Foundation President Anna Blue. “Representation is only the first step. We see growing efforts by our members to prioritize intersectional leadership, inclusion, and belonging for women in the industry.”

“Although we must continue to increase representation of women leaders in hospitality, it’s encouraging that the hotel industry is steadfastly working together to address longstanding inequities. This report shows that change is possible,” said Donna Quadri, PhD, Marvin Ashner director of the Penn State University School of Hospitality Management.

Click here to view the full report.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association and the AHLA Foundation are part of the Women in Hospitality Leadership Alliance.