Category Archives: Technology & Equipment

Marriott revises number of guests affected by Starwood hack

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Marriott is providing an update on the number of guests whose passport numbers and payment card numbers were involved in the Starwood reservations database security incident announced by the company on November 30, 2018. Working closely with its internal and external forensics and analytics investigation team, Marriott determined that the total number of guest records involved in this incident is less than the initial disclosure. Also, the number of payment cards and passport numbers involved is a relatively small percentage of the overall total records involved. “We want to provide our customers and partners with updates based on our ongoing work to address this incident as we try to understand as much as we possibly can about what happened,” said Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “As we near the end of the cyber forensics and data analytics work, we will continue to work hard to address our customers’ concerns and meet the standard of excellence our customers deserve and expect from Marriott.” Marriott is updating its press release of November 30, 2018, which announced that the company determined on November 19, 2018 that there was unauthorized access to a Starwood guest reservations database. In that release, the company said that it believed the incident involved information about up to approximately 500 million guests who made a reservation at a Starwood property* on or before September 10, 2018, although at that point the company had not completed the analytics work to identify duplicative information. Update on the Number of Guests Involved Marriott now believes that the number of potentially involved guests is lower than the 500 million the company had originally estimated. Marriott has identified approximately 383 million …

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Hyatt to test new translation feature, collaborates with Google

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Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced that Hyatt is collaborating with Google to pilot a new capability of the Google Assistant – Interpreter Mode. With this feature, users are able to receive translations for dozens of languages and conduct conversations in real time. At participating Hyatt hotels, Interpreter Mode will enable guests and colleagues that speak different languages to communicate via spoken and written translations of their own languages on a Google Home Hub. “At Hyatt, we view technology as a way to scale care for our guests and colleagues and enhance the meaningful human connections that are fundamental to our industry,” said Alex Zoghlin, global head of strategy, innovation and technology for Hyatt. “As international tourism continues to rise, implementing solutions like Interpreter Mode ensures the needs of today’s global traveler base remain at the core of our innovation strategy. We are excited to collaborate with Google on a new technology that offers the potential to create widespread impact across the hospitality industry.” At Hyatt, Interpreter Mode is being piloted at Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport’s concierge desk to assist with fulfilling guest needs. To use this solution, hotel guests will identify their language on the Google Home Hub screen and hotel colleagues will activate Interpreter Mode to translate the conversation. In addition to assisting guests, this solution is being used to support colleague engagement efforts. “Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport welcomes guests and colleagues from around the world, creating a diverse mix of backgrounds and languages,” said General Manager Irby Morvant. “With the possibilities presented in Interpreter Mode, we strengthen our commitment to provide a seamless guest experience, and create a welcoming and inclusive environment for colleagues.”

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OYO launches in-application support platform OYO Assist

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In a bid to ensure a hassle-free booking experience and stay for its guests, OYO, India’s fastest growing chain of hotels, homes and living spaces, has introduced OYO Assist, an in-application support platform, with self-serve flows that offers features ranging from booking modification to enquiry on OYO hotel policies to claims for refunds on bookings, all at the touch of a button. OYO Assist is first-of-its-kind consumer product in hospitality industry providing end-to-end automated resolution to customer. An addition to the OYO customer application, OYO Assist will give customers a seamless and customized stay by transforming the hotel’s digital ecosystem into a personal hotel assistant with the ability to fulfil requests for services, and answer queries on hotel policies, cancellation, and modify bookings, thus providing transparency in access to issues raised, support issues registered and more. This latest inclusion to the mobile app is in line with OYO’s pioneering use of technology in budget hotel operations, enabling users across properties to have a personalised experience. Commenting on the development, Mr. Anil Goel, Chief Technology Officer, OYO, said, “Technology has been the biggest driver for OYO in creating value for our customers as well as India’s hospitality industry at large. Customer centricity has always been a key focus area for us. With OYO Assist on our mobile app for customers, we are putting guests in the captain’s chair. The technology we offer our guests is smart, instinctive, and creates a more connective and convenient experience during their stay. With this, we can now resolve concerns faster and improve overall guest experience at every touch point!” Through innovation in technology, OYO has established its leadership in the budget hospitality segment. OYO believes …

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Alibaba Group unveils its first ‘future hotel’ in Hangzhou, China

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Alibaba Group has opened its first “future hotel,” known as Flyzoo Hotel, in Hangzhou, China. The hotel’s operation relies on smart interactive technologies, particularly facial recognition. A 1-meter high robot serves as a receptionist, remembering guests by using facial recognition technology. The hotel also uploads guest details to the country’s national public security system via a machine located in the lobby. FlyZoo still employs humans—to run housekeeping.

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Hyatt announces new planning tool for meetings and events

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Hyatt Hotels has announced the Hyatt Planner Portal, a comprehensive tool for meeting planners designed to enhance the overall planning experience at Hyatt. With this solution, meeting planners can work in one tool throughout the planning process to manage meeting details, including contracts, attendee information and costs throughout planning stages. Additionally, the Hyatt Planner Portal will contain information on current, upcoming and past meetings and events, giving planners the ability to review details, access event history and generate reports whenever needed. “At Hyatt, our purpose – we care for people so they can be their best – provides a lens for how we look at the challenges our customers face and the Hyatt Planner Portal is one way we are bringing this culture of care to life for meeting planners,” said Steve Enselein, SVP of Events at Hyatt. “Created with feedback directly from meeting planners, this solution aims to alleviate pain points planners face and it captures information in one place so they can spend more time focusing on what is most important for their attendees.” As part of the Hyatt Planner Portal, Hyatt is releasing a new proprietary technology tool to help planners facilitate attendee room reservations. Once the room block is confirmed, meeting planners will receive a custom reservation link on Hyatt.com with their group name, event dates and selected hotel to share with attendees. As attendees confirm their stay, they will automatically be added to rooming lists in the Hyatt Planner Portal for planners to view. Planners will also be able to get a full view of attendees with the option to generate reports in the portal about guest arrivals, cancellations and departures. The Hyatt Planner Portal …

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IDS Next Business Solutions to conduct a hospitality technology event in Nepal

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IDS Next, a leading global Hotel ERP Solution provider, in partnership with Pioneer Software, Kathmandu, Nepal is hosting the event “HotelXperts” on hospitality technology in Nepal. HotelXperts event will happen on 22nd March at Hotel Yak & Yeti, Kathmandu and 24th March at Athithi Resort and Spa, Pokhara. The event will also be joined by three leading hospitality technology solution providers – KePSLA, Maximojo and EasyRewardz. These companies offer reputation management, online distribution management and loyalty management respectively. Over 250 hoteliers are expected to attend the event where the critical topic of increasing revenue through guest engagement will be discussed by IDS and all other partners. Speaking about this event, Binu Mathews, CEO of IDS Next said, “HotelXperts is one of a kind event that we are hosting for the first time in Nepal to enable hoteliers make aware of new technologies in the hospitality industry and help them maximize their revenues by maximizing guest engagement. We are sure that this will be an event a hotelier do not want to miss” Bhaskar Bhattarai, Managing Director of Pioneer Software Ltd., speaking about this event said, “We are very glad to be partnered with IDS Next and be a part of this event. Through the HotelXperts event, hoteliers in Nepal will be able to hugely benefit from the insights and information that is going to be shared on hospitality technology and therefore increase revenue.”

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Radisson Rewards is Radisson Hotel Group’s refreshed loyalty program

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The newly rebranded Radisson Hotel Group introduces a refreshed loyalty program, Radisson Rewards, replacing Club Carlson SM. Radisson Rewards will align with the hotel group’s new corporate identity and will make it easier for members to associate their benefits with all brands and initiatives. The updated program comes with some exciting enhancements including making status more accessible for members. All current members account numbers and point balances remain the same. “Embedding the Radisson name into the heart of our program, will help us instantly boost the global brand awareness of our loyalty program. Radisson is a name that’s instantly recognizable, respected and stands for award-winning, innovative hospitality,” said Eric De Neef, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Commercial Officer, Radisson Hotel Group. “Our refreshed program will serve as a powerful driver of our commercial and brand awareness strategy, and build a stronger relationship with our members. The Radisson affiliation across the entire global brand portfolio and all markets, will ensure that our members worldwide can easily associate their rewards with the hotels where they earned their valuable points.” With more than 1,100 hotels in operation worldwide, members of the Radisson Rewards program enjoy member only rates, access to exclusive benefits including room upgrades, early check-in/ late check-out, and points towards free nights across these Radisson Hotel Group hotels: Radisson Collection™, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Radisson RED®, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson and Country Inn & Suites® by Radisson.

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MakeMyTrip and OYO announce partnership

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MakeMyTrip and OYO has announced their partnership whereby OYO chain of hotels across India, Malaysia and Nepal will be listed and available for booking on MakeMyTrip across its popular OTA brands MakeMyTrip and Goibibo. The partnership will add momentum to India’s rapidly growing travel sector by bringing together OYO’s large base of economy, mid-segment and vacation rentals assets and India’s largest online travel customer-base served by MakeMyTrip, Goibibo & RedBus. Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO – OYO, said, “With OYO, we’ve created a brand that resonates quality for both our customers and hotel partners. Being a full stack hospitality tech company, we have built capabilities to run quality-ensured accommodations across different formats and placing them in the hands of travellers who are constantly on the lookout for unique experiences. We are excited to extend our offerings of beautiful living spaces to them through MakeMyTrip and GoIbibo.” Rajesh Magow, Co-founder & CEO India, MakeMyTrip Ltd. said, “We are committed to bring the best of travel experience to our customers, it’s why we offer them a variety of options across price segments, particularly in the fragmented economy and mid-segment hotels, where there is a greater need to build assurance around stay experience. With OYO’s evolution as a full-scale hospitality company, we are excited to offer their award-winning chain of hotels in the value economy and mid-market category through MakeMyTrip and Goibibo platforms. Maninder Gulati, Chief Strategy Officer, OYO, said, “We are thrilled to bring OYO hotels to millions of travellers who book on MakeMyTrip and GoIbibo. Our mission is to ensure the quality problem is solved in India’s hospitality market by creating beautiful living spaces and offering varied experiences to travellers and …

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Banyan Tree Samui now offers a portier smartphone along with the room keys at check in

Portier smartphones at Banyan Tree Samui

Banyan Tree Samui is now offering its guests a Portier smartphone along with the room keys at check in. An initiative that got underway on December 16, the mobile phone allows the guests to make free and unrestricted international telephone calls and surf 4G Internet. It also offers its guests the access to a host of resort features including restaurant menus, daily activities, and tips for sightseeing around the island of Koh Samui. The Portier smartphone is user-friendly and delivers all of its features in English, Russian, Chinese, German or French. Banyan Tree Samui strongly feels that the innovation will offer its guests a great level of security and comfort. Remko Kroesen, General Manager, Banyan Tree Samui said, “I am delighted to see exciting evolutions at Banyan Tree Samui. The devices will allow the guests to remain connected with family and dear ones at any point of time. We always aim at enhancing the stay experiences of our guests with ultimate comfort and security.” Kroesen says the most popular feature of the smartphone at the resort is the “Villa Host” function. Each guest is assigned a Villa Host – a personal butler-cum-concierge – who will contact them ahead of arrival to take requests and lay the groundwork for their vacation. Banyan Tree Samui has about 10 Villa Hosts on call at any point of time– that’s one per eight or nine villas when fully occupied. The Villa Host assists the guests to run through the Portier’s features when they checks in. It is a very easy-to-operate device allowing the guests to make calls and click pictures and share with dear ones. The guests can also call the “Villa Host,” for …

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New Shangri-La mobile app to offer triple points for Golden Circle members

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Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has launched the new and enhanced Shangri-La mobile app and is introducing an exclusive loyalty programme offer from Golden Circle. The bonus points promotion, valid from January 22 through April 30, invites travellers to “Unlock the World of Shangri-La” at over 100 hotels and resorts across the Shangri-La, Kerry Hotels, Hotel Jen and Traders Hotels brands. Fast and intuitive to use, the new Shangri-La App is available for iPhone and Android platforms. It can be downloaded from www.Shangri-La.com/App, iTunes and Google Play, as well as via QR code at any of the group’s hotels worldwide. Based on consumer research, the key functionalities include: Fast and Easy Booking; Mobile Check-in/Check-out; Manage Golden Circle Account; and Redeem Rewards. The Shangri-La App invites guests to join the Golden Circle programme and instantly take advantage of member benefits and promotions. By downloading the App, members can earn: • Triple GC Award Points for each booking made via the Shangri-La App and Mobile Check-In/Check-Out is used • Double GC Award Points for each Golden Circle booking made via the Shangri-La App • 100 GC Award Points for download and sign-in to the new Shangri-La App (once per device) With an intuitive interface, the Shangri-La App’s key functionalities are enhanced by offering: • Best available rates and promotions • Special corporate rates • Hotel search by name or destination • Key information and content about each hotel • Destination information with live maps and local information • Click-to-call a Shangri-La hotel’s local reservation agent

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