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The Ultimate Guide to Hotel Phones

by
Hotel Tech Report
1 month ago

Do you think a hotel room phone is a dead ringer for a regular home phone you’d find in your living room? Think again! Although the two types of phones might look alike, the features and uses are actually quite different. If you’re scoping out phone options for a new hotel, looking to upgrade your existing phones, or considering hotel phone alternatives, then this article is for you. We’ll explain how hotel phones are different from standard home phones, dive into their most important features, and introduce you to some of the top choices on the market today. And if you’re thinking out of the box, we’ll also share some alternatives to hotel phones that you may want to consider.

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Payments as a Growth Driver in Hospitality

by
Hotel Tech Report
1 month ago

Hotels and hotel chains that have been awaiting a post-pandemic travel boom are now facing an economic downturn that’s likely to constrain both business and consumer travel. As these businesses look for levers they can pull to increase revenue, reduce costs, and offer an outstanding customer experience, “payments processing” probably isn’t an obvious option.That’s probably because historically, payments providers have provided a commodity service that’s at worst viewed as an unavoidable cost center and at best treated as an afterthought. But this legacy model is now being replaced with a new way of thinking about payments, which is why we’ve partnered with Stripe to discuss how payments can catalyze growth for the hospitality industry.Modern providers need to do more than just process payments, because modern businesses have increasingly complex needs and consumer preferences are constantly changing. That’s why Stripe offers software to create optimized payments experiences, streamline revenue management, and facilitate a range of different business models from subscriptions to multi-sided marketplaces.These are the kinds of capabilities that hotels need to be thinking about as they’re exploring new ways to grow amidst our current economic climate. It takes a provider truly focused on technology to deliver what’s needed, and modern providers like Stripe are much more focused on building new payments technologies than traditional providers. For example, about 37% of Stripe employees are engineers, compared to only 11-12% of the teams at two major incumbents (according to LinkedIn employment data). By working with a tech company like Stripe, your business is able to build on flexible modern infrastructure–and ultimately execute faster.In this article we’ll explore the paradigm shift in hospitality from the legacy view of payments as a cost center to the modern view of payments as a revenue driver. We’ll cover the different ways that hotel businesses of all sizes can use payments innovation to their advantage using a modern provider like Stripe.

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Actabl Wants to Revolutionize the Way Hotel Operations Teams Leverage Data

by
Jordan Hollander
1 month ago

Commercial teams in the hotel industry have come a long way in leveraging data across departments like revenue management and marketing - but hotel operations for the most part still remain in the dark ages with hoteliers making decisions based on feel and conjecture.Remember when retail behemoth Target learned how to leverage website browsing data to predict pregnancy? The data that lead to this goldmine of an insight was somewhat surprising, “Many shoppers purchase soap and cotton balls, but when someone suddenly starts buying lots of scent-free soap and extra-big bags of cotton balls, in addition to hand sanitizers and washcloths, it signals they could be getting close to their delivery date.”  This insight gave Target a competitive advantage in the highly lucrative “new-mommy” category so imagine what kinds of competitive advantage could be unlocked at your property using similar techniques.Every hotel GM, operations manager and management company knows that there are a myriad of opportunities to generate more efficiencies (and profit) in their businesses but historically it’s been incredibly difficult for hotels to see true cause and effect in a brick and mortar environment.  The key barrier to making these connections is a lack of insight on the impacts between inputs and outputs.  In the Target example, the retailer’s ecommerce website analytics and sales data are fully integrated which made that insight possible - but the integration of inputs and outputs typically isn’t present in hospitality operations.For example, let’s say you want to run a test to see if sending a different sequence of upsell messages to guests yields a material change in total guest spend. Historically, hoteliers could see how those upsell messages directly converted but couldn’t see whether that guest was more likely to book a massage, for example, if they didn’t convert with that exact promotional campaign.  There are literally thousands of small experiments hoteliers can run to optimize their businesses. But, since inputs and outputs haven’t historically been in the same dataset it’s been challenging to justify outside the box experimentation.The secret sauce behind the success of tech giants like Google, Airbnb and Amazon are precisely in their ability to run consistent, rapid tests over extended periods of time to develop compounding gains (and a competitive advantage).  What if you could easily run dozens of small experiments in your brick and mortar hotel business that would compound over extended periods of time to drive dramatic improvements? The team behind Actabl believes that they can do exactly that by bringing data science into hotel operations.Actabl, launched on June 28th at HITEC 2022 in Orlando, is the brainchild of leading technology investment firm ASG and is a culmination of their vision for the future of hospitality.  ASG has strategically acquired several leading tech firms in the space and is now bringing them together to provide hoteliers with a completely new kind of operational tool that will enable rapid compounding experimentation.Actabl has some BHAGs (big hairy audacious goals) that they are aiming to accomplish that will unlock value for hotels. Actabl wants to: Combine insights and operations to create a feedback loop that will allow hotel operators to build a living playbook that serves as a new standard for operations. Empower hoteliers with actionable (or ‘Actabl’) data from across their tech stacks so that they no longer have to “shoot from the hip.” Allow hotel operations teams, for the first time ever, to set up optimization ‘experiments’ and measure the true impact of initiatives by controlling inputs and outputs under one roof. Launch a hotel operations data science renaissance like the ones that revolutionized revenue management in the 90s and digital marketing in the 2000s. Actabl’s vision is to bring digital attribution to brick and mortar hotel businesses.  For brands: Actabl will unlock opportunities for the big chains (who don’t control assets) like never before by bringing together operational data from franchisees into a single, actionable business intelligence dashboard. For independents: Small and medium sized operators will be able to run experiments like large enterprises and access data and benchmarks beyond the scope of their four walls.In this article, we’ll dive into the opportunities that are being unlocked as Actabl brings these historically distinct datasets under oneroof.

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3 Strategies to Reduce Mail Related Check Fraud at Your Hotel

by
Haley Wolf
4 months ago

Mail-related check fraud has been rising since last August, according to the Evidence-Based Cybersecurity Research Group at Georgia State University, which has been tracking the trend. It warns that criminals have a pretty easy time when it comes to getting their hands on your checks. In KPMG's survey of senior risk executives, 67% say their companies have experienced external fraud in the past 12 months, and 38% expect the risk of fraud committed by external perpetrators to somewhat increase in the next year."Some of them simply go to your home mailbox and take the mail you left for the post office to pick up," said David Maimon, an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Georgia State University and Director of the Evidence-Based Cybersecurity Research Group."Others simply go to the blue boxes with the keys that they were able to steal from some of the mailmen out there, empty the boxes, and get the checks that some of us send. That's how easy it is."The cybersecurity group found an average of 1,325 stolen checks up for sale every week during October 2021. This was more than double what it saw in September when the average was 634 a week and triple the 409 average in August 2021. More recent numbers indicate an even greater rate of incidents.M3, the hospitality sectors #1 Reporting & Accounting Software is hearing from more and more customers that are experiencing check fraud that ranges from checks being replicated or physically altered somewhere between when the check is issued, mailed, received, or redirected.The company’s goal is to minimize the potential of hospitality companies becoming a victim of check fraud, as has recommended the steps below be taken in order to mitigate the risk of check fraud. Implement Positive Pay with Name Verification. Positive Pay is a banking feature designed to help business owners protect themselves against fraudulent checks being written on their account. Once you give your bank details for each check you write, the bank verifies that your information matches the information on checks presented to the bank before it processes the payment. If any items don’t match up, your bank flags them and sends them to you for review. You can then decide if you want to accept or decline the payment. Implement an ePay system, which incorporates ACH and Virtual Credit Card (VCC) technology. ePay systems provide added security against fraudulent activities; especially when checks are eliminated and is easy to set-up and easy to use. It also adds efficiencies to your reconciliation process. In addition, ePay improves overall employee accountability. Complete Your Bank Reconciliations DAILY. Merely checking for similar numbers on the general ledger and bank statements is not good enough and is not offering the most protection against fraud. If you are only reconciling weekly or monthly, the horse may be out of the barn by the time irregularities or fraud is identified. Daily bank reconciliation allows you to nip bank errors in the bud as early as possible, leads to fewer issues and fewer errors, avoids working with outdated information, and helps track daily cash flow providing you the insight you need into the cash flow and spending habits of the property or corporate entity. If you are not reconciling daily, your books may not always equal reality. We are living in a world where, unfortunately, fraud is common and increasing at an alarming rate. Be sure you protect yourself and your company. If you currently are lacking the tools to keep your accounts safe, seek out assistance from your software partners to build a fraud prevention strategy.

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Net Zero Emissions: A Guide to Smart Buildings & Operations

by
Hotel Tech Report
1 month ago

Curious about sustainability and how the hotel industry can reverse the trajectory of climate change and global warming? It’s no secret that the travel industry is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon emissions - think of all those trains, planes, cars and ships. While hotels aren’t necessarily the biggest contributors, travelers who stay in our hotels are which it’s why it’s important that we do our part to make emissions reductions through energy efficiency, recycling and other initiatives on property starting with the initial development of our buildings.Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “net zero targets” or the “Paris agreement” or maybe you’re new to the conversation about reducing emissions. As traveler preferences shift toward eco-friendly hotel options, and as the climate crisis becomes more urgent, hoteliers like you should start to investigate solutions for a more sustainable future for your property. Net zero is one framework for prioritizing and quantifying your environmental impact, and, in this article, we’ll explain how net zero is relevant and important for hotels around the world. By the end of the page, you’ll be able to begin formulating a plan for your own hotel to achieve net zero emissions.

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What is an Energy Management System?

by
Hotel Tech Report
1 month ago

Searching for a solution to your higher energy costs? Or looking for ways to operate your hotel’s building systems more efficiently? An energy management system can offer a lot of value to hotels of all shapes and sizes - not only helping you decrease your utility costs, but also unlocking more productivity and higher guest satisfaction. Energy management systems can require significant upfront investment, so you’ll want to learn the ins and outs of this type of software before making a purchasing decision. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the basics of energy management systems, the benefits your hotel can realize by implementing one, and the top systems available on the market today.

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Three Surprising Ways IoT is Saving Hotels Money

by
Alec Massey
8 months ago

To say the hotel industry has been through a lot in the past 24 months is an understatement. While the projected 2022 occupancy rate of 61.7% is a significant improvement from 2020 and 2021 levels, it will remain below pre-pandemic levels that hovered in the mid-60s for the 7 year period spanning from 2014-2019.  However, average daily rates are expected to nearly equal pre-pandemic highs from 2019, after strong rebounds in 2021 and 2022, and as a result, . RevPAR is projected to reach 93% of 2019 levels in 2022.  The tumultuous 3 year period, despite the gradual and controlled recovery that is underway, has led hoteliers to prioritize cost saving initiatives to stabilize their bottom line.In addition, a slow return to work for hotel staff has also been a catalyst for operational changes in the industry, with greater priority placed on technology that enables improved efficiency and productivity. In late 2021, unemployment for the hotel sector reached 12.9% compared to the national rate of 4.6%. The strong job creation to start 2022, where the industry added approximately 150,000 jobs in January, demonstrates how the industry had to adapt to do more with less during the rebound that has been underway over the last 12 months.Less staff, coupled with steadily increasing numbers of guests during the recovery, has made it more difficult to deliver the same level of service, safety, and maintenance upkeep that hotels delivered pre-pandemic. With hoteliers needing to do more with less, recent investments in the Internet of Things (IoT), and geolocation platforms in particular, have shown to be an unexpected source of value. From sensors to trackers to rapid response buttons to smart cameras, IoT - and geolocation platforms in particular - are helping hotel staff feel safer, achieve greater productivity, and reduce waste in support of environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets - all resulting in cost savings to the hotel.

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Hotel Sustainability: 27 Statistics Illustrating the Growth of ESG in the Hotel Industry

by
Hotel Tech Report
1 month ago

Are you wondering if the industry’s focus on sustainable practices is just a passing trend or if the sustainable hotels movement is here to stay? Or are you looking for inspiration as you strive to make your hotel more diverse and inclusive? It’s not only travelers who are increasingly looking for more sustainable and ethical options where they can stay at hotels who focus on initiatives for a clean carbon footprint and minimal environmental impact like food waste reduction and reducing high impact guest experience touch points like daily room cleanings.Investors, hospitality management professionals and owners are recognizing that hotels that rate highly on the ESG scale are not only attractive investments, but they also provide the services and benefits that both guests and employees are looking for.Hotels are a large stakeholder within local environmental ecosystems and given the hospitality industry’s carbon intensive nature (i.e. flying on an airplane) hoteliers are sensitive to ensure that once guests arrive at their destination that they do everything they can to minimize impact. The good news is that there are tons of great options today like low-flow toilets, reusable refillable bottles, digital key cards, organic food, composting straws and energy-saving air conditioning.In this article, we’ll explain what exactly ESG means for hotels and run through 27 statistics that show ESG in the hotel industry is here to stay.

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What Is Managed WiFi? (+Benefits, Examples, Best Providers)

by
Hotel Tech Report
1 month ago

Do you wish your hotel had better internet? Do guests often mention WiFi problems in guest reviews? Or is managing your own WiFi connections just getting to be too much for your IT staff? Is your back office hotel management software too slow to efficiently get your work done? If any of these situations resonate with you, then your hotel might be well suited for managed WiFi. Managed WiFi is often cheaper, more reliable, and more secure than independent WiFi connections, but making the switch is a big decision. Making fast, reliable WiFi available to your guests can improve guest review scores and even result in a RevPAR boost, so WiFi shouldn’t be an afterthought. In this article, we’ll explain what managed WiFi is, what benefits managed WiFi can provide, and introduce you to the top managed WiFi providers. With a deeper understanding of the ins and outs of managed WiFi, you can make an informed decision for your property.