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Rethinking the Current State of Hotel Technology

skift.com - Hotels - 22 September 2017
Hotel technology as it stands today is in need of a major transformation. The hospitality industry has seen rapid changes from a market, guest, staff and product perspective over the last few years, but the technology which the industry currently operates on has mostly stayed the same. As guest demands become more sophisticated, and as the market becomes increasingly crowded and competitive, it’s clear that the current approach to how hoteliers manage their operational technology is no longer enough.
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How Travel Managers Can Drive a Successful Hotel Booking Program

skift.com - Hotels - 20 September 2017
Business travelers increasingly want to book hotel properties themselves. Sometimes called hotel leakage, the phenomenon of travelers booking hotels out-of-policy is a long and growing problem for corporate travel managers and travel management companies. Unfortunately, shifting distribution strategies by hotel properties are only increasing the challenge for those responsible for keeping employees safe on the road and making sure companies get the highest return on corporate travel investment.
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Travel Agents Are Increasingly Using Global Distribution Systems to Book Hotels

skift.com - Hotels - 20 September 2017
While the role of global distribution system (GDS) companies is shifting in a dynamic marketplace, they remain useful for travel agents around the world. TravelClick and Phoenix Marketing International polled more than 900 travel agents using Sabre, Amadeus, and Travelport in 52 countries on their use of global distribution system platforms. Half of those surveyed said they are using a global distribution system more than they did two years ago, leading to an increase in the amount of hotel bookings placed on the platform.

Montage Resorts' New Luxury Brand Goes Urban and Local

skift.com - Hotels - 19 September 2017
Another year, another new luxury hotel brand. Montage Hotels & Resorts, an ultra-luxury hotel brand established in 2002, has given birth to Pendry Hotels. The newer brand, initially conceived in 2014, saw the opening of its first two properties earlier this year. In February, the Pendry San Diego, located in that city’s Gaslamp Quarter, opened for business. The following month, the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore made its debut in the gentrifying Fell’s Point neighborhood. Slated to open next are California properties in La Quinta in 2019 (which will share a site with other properties under the Montage International umbrella) and West Hollywood in 2020.
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7 Elements of Hotel Brands Built to Endure

skift.com - Hotels - 17 September 2017
For any brand, building something to last is a serious challenge. It is even harder in hospitality because the business has many moving parts: daily customer interaction and other variables such as talent, financing and real estate concerns. For a hotel to truly stand the test of time, it must have enduring appeal, a deep sense of its audience, a reluctance to cave to fleeting trends and integrity.
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Mandarin Oriental Receives Bids for Excelsior Hong Kong as Chinese Luxury Travel Evolves

skift.com - Hotels - 17 September 2017
Mandarin Oriental International Ltd. has received interest from potential buyers of the Excelsior hotel in Hong Kong in what would be a test of the resilience of demand for the city’s commercial real-estate assets that has sent prices soaring. There were at least five bids for the property valued at HK$30 billion ($3.8 billion), including a Chinese-backed consortium of Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. and Hysan Development Co., the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported on Saturday. Mandarin Oriental said Friday it had received offers while no decision had been taken on a sale. Sun Hung Kai and Hysan did not reply Sunday to emails seeking comment sent outside office hours.
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Hawaii Regulators Are Investigating Resort Fees

skift.com - Hotels - 15 September 2017
The Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection is investigating resort fees charged by hotel operators as part of a nationwide effort to curb hidden industry fees. Hawaii News Now reported Thursday that state and federal regulators are cracking down on hotels that charge resort fees without fully disclosing the charges to visitors.
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Motel 6 Hotels in Phoenix Gave Guest Information to Immigration Authorities

skift.com - Hotels - 14 September 2017
Motel 6’s parent company, G6 Hospitality LLC, said locations in the Phoenix-area have been voluntarily handing over guest information to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees. “This was implemented at the local level without the knowledge of senior management,” G6 spokeswoman Raiza Rehkoff wrote in an email. “When we became aware of it last week, it was discontinued.” ​She said the company is investigating the incidents. The Blackstone Group acquired Motel 6 in 2012 as part of a $1.9 billion deal. At least 20 undocumented people were arrested at two Motel 6 locations between February and August, according to the Phoenix New Times.
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SBE Wants to Become the Ultimate Lifestyle Hospitality Group

skift.com - Hotels - 14 September 2017
Los Angeles-based SBE got its start with the opening of a nightclub, Hyde, and in the 14 years since, the company has come to encompass not only nightclubs but restaurants, hotels, and residences whose brands include Umami Burger, SLS Hotels, and Katsuya. Last year, SBE dramatically grew its hotel portfolio with the $82-million acquisition of the long-struggling Morgans Hotel Group.
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India Hotel Brand Oyo Rooms Attracts a $10 Million Strategic Investment From China Lodging Group

skift.com - Hotels - 14 September 2017
China Lodging Group, which owns 3,541 hotels in China, has revealed it made a $10 million strategic investment in Oyo Rooms, a fast-growing marketplace for branded hotels in India. The move follows last week’s $250 million funding round, led by SoftBank. Taken altogether, Oyo Rooms has raised total funding of $446 million. The investments highlight a funding arms race in a highly competitive space in India that finds aggregators branding and setting standards for previously unbranded and independent budget hotels.

Interview: Bunkhouse's Liz Lambert on Going Local With Hospitality Outsiders

skift.com - Hotels - 13 September 2017
When canvasing interesting hoteliers and hospitality figures for who they look up to in the industry, one name is a recurring fixture: Liz Lambert, the chief operating officer of the Bunkhouse Group. Raised in West Texas and educated in Austin, Lambert pivoted an early career in law at the District Attorney’s office in Manhattan into a varied and vivid career in hospitality. She has launched extremely thoughtful boutique properties along the entire range of price points, from the Austin Motel to the Hotel San Jose and the higher-end, discrete rock and roll hideout, the Hotel Saint Cecila.
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Interview: Designing for Millennials and the Future of Hotels

skift.com - Hotels - 12 September 2017
Toronto- and New York City-based designers George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg have designed properties for some of the biggest names in hospitality for nearly 40 years. Their clients and brands include Ian Schrager, the Four Seasons, Park Hyatt, and the St. Regis, among them. But their newest hotel project isn’t being marketed as a luxury product. Instead, it’s the 612-room Moxy Times Square, Marriott’s answer to guests who want a hotel that doesn’t forsake style for a lower price point. The property is scheduled to open later this month.
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Dubai Hotel Owner Sues Viceroy Alleging Mismanagement and Fraud

skift.com - Hotels - 8 September 2017
The owner of a $1 billion luxury hotel in Dubai claims the management company it fired just three months after opening is still scaring off visitors. Described as a fusion of California cool and Dubai spectacle, the beachfront resort with views of the Arabian Sea offers 477 rooms and suites, plus 10 restaurants and nightlife spots.

Hotel Impossible Host Explains Why It Pays to Book Direct

skift.com - Hotels - 7 September 2017
You’d think a guy like Anthony Melchiorri, host of Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible,” would settle for nothing less than luxury hotels when he travels. But Melchiorri, entering his seventh season as the fixer of failing hotels, says he’d just as soon stay in a roadside motel if it’s got good reviews online. “Those are mom and pops that are working their butts off,” Melchiorri said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. “They live in the back of the hotel, they get up in the morning, they put out fresh flowers, they make you breakfast … I can’t wait to meet that owner. I can’t wait to have their breakfast. I can’t wait to sleep in that bed.”

Rosewood's New Ad Campaign Tries to Make Luxury Guests Its Stars

skift.com - Hotels - 5 September 2017
A woman luxuriating in her hotel room after a hectic day of shopping. A group of fashionistas lounging, as fashionistas do, on a grand stairway in the Hôtel de Crillon. A gaggle of hipster musicians jamming in a hotel room. These are just a few of the scenes depicted in a new advertising campaign being rolled out by Rosewood Hotel Group this month.

Most Hotel Apps Still Need a Radical Overhaul

skift.com - Hotels - 31 August 2017
Most of the hotel apps out there aren’t worth downloading onto your smartphones. At least that’s what researchers from business intelligence firm L2 Inc. found when they conducted a recent survey of 311 hotel brand apps. While hotel apps are abundant, very few are considered useful or essential. “L2 research found that the majority of hotel apps don’t crack the list of the top travel apps in the iTunes App Store, nor have they even been updated in 2017,” said Michael Silverman, senior client strategist at L2 Inc. “Only 14 percent of apps reviewed ranked in the top 1,500 apps in their native categories in the past year.”

Houston Hotels Bear Brunt of Hurricane Harvey and Already Weak Oil Markets

skift.com - Hotels - 29 August 2017
Houston’s hotel market, already the worst-performing in the U.S., is poised to take a further beating from Hurricane Harvey as the natural disaster creates chaos in a city that’s been reeling from low oil prices for the past three years. Some area hotels are offering discounts to alleviate the temporary housing emergency, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Friday suspended the state and local hotel and motel occupancy tax for relief-effort personnel and storm victims. The suspension will last 14 days, according to the governor’s website.

Hyatt Buys Yet Another Wellness Brand, Exhale

skift.com - Hotels - 29 August 2017
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts has made yet another acquisition in the wellness space, part of an effort by the company to invest in what CEO Mark Hoplamazian has called “adjacent spaces.” This time, the company Hyatt has purchased for an undisclosed amount is Exhale. The company, founded in 2002, has 25 locations throughout the United States and the Caribbean, which offer boutique fitness classes and/or spa services.

Interview: New Choice Hotels CEO Is Ready to Dominate His Sectors

skift.com - Hotels - 29 August 2017
CEO succession is a hot topic in the travel industry. For proof of that, you need only look at this weekend’s surprise announcement that Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is leaving the online travel agency company to become the CEO of Uber. In the hospitality industry, however, the succession of Pat Pacious to become the new CEO of Choice Hotels, wasn’t a surprise at all. Pacious, who’s had a more than 20-year history with the hotel company, has been the No. 1 pick to replace current CEO Steve Joyce for at least the past three to four years.

Are Hotel-Fee Initiatives Inspired by What the Airlines Have Accomplished?

skift.com - Hotels - 28 August 2017
Are hotels becoming more like the airlines when it comes to how they’re pricing their rooms, especially by imposing stricter cancellation policies and other fees? It depends whom you ask but one thing is clear: Hotels are definitely becoming a lot more sophisticated about how they’re charging guests, and about pricing their product.

Historic Hotels Need to Flaunt Their Best Attributes

skift.com - Hotels - 27 August 2017
When writing about travel and hospitality, a lot of time is spent dissecting the shiny and new. Much time is spent looking at concept brands, analyzing bleeding edge tech or shifting cultural trends, plus vetting the startups that are trying to redefine how we move from one place to the other. But lately, I have been thinking about other hidden differentiators that hotels aren’t always playing up, as well: The timeless things under the hood, and the latent differentiators that can stand out to a certain audience.

Airbnb's Road to an IPO and 4 Other Hospitality Trends This Week

skift.com - Hotels - 27 August 2017
This week in hospitality news, when we weren't thinking about surge pricing before the solar eclipse, we were digging into Airbnb's ongoing prep for an initial public offering. -Sarah
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How Ineffective Hotel Audits Are Causing Companies to Overspend

skift.com - Hotels - 23 August 2017
Companies invest a lot of time, money, and resources into their preferred hotel program, so it’s important to get it right. While successful negotiations are an important part of the process, having an effective audit in place to ensure rates are available also plays a major role in maximizing a company’s hotel spend. However, the value of rate audits for hotel programs is often overlooked.
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Paris Hotel Guest Numbers at a 10-Year High

skift.com - Hotels - 23 August 2017
The Paris region registered 16.4 million hotel guests during the first half of the year, a 10-year high following a plunge in tourism after the 2015 terror attacks in the French capital. The Regional Tourism Committee said the number of foreign visitors increased by 14.9 percent compared to the same period last year, boosted by a rise in Japanese, Chinese and American tourists.
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Trump's Mar-a-Lago Resort Is Losing Events as Organizers Balk at Controversy

skift.com - Hotels - 21 August 2017
A Florida-based zoo and conservation society announced Sunday that it would not hold its annual gala at President Trump’s Florida resort. The decision by the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society is the latest by a charity to move fundraisers from the Mar-a-Lago resort since Trump made comments about white nationalists last week. The Cleveland Clinic, the American Cancer Society and the American Friends of Magen David Adom said last week they decided not to hold fundraisers at the Palm Beach, Florida-based resort.
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Hyatt and Expedia Formally Sign New Deal

skift.com - Hotels - 18 August 2017
Hyatt confirmed it formally signed a new contract with Expedia, definitively putting to rest any doubts about whether the two companies would renew their distribution agreement. A spokesperson for the Chicago-based hotel company issued the following statement Friday:

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