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News for hotel and lodging professionals | June 20, 2012

HITEC: The World's Largest Hospitality Technology Show
Part 1 of this Special Report explores how Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals (HFTP) will bring the brightest minds and hottest technology to one place -- and celebrate its 40th birthday. You won't want to miss what HITEC has in store for this year! HITEC is scheduled for June 25-28 in Baltimore at the Baltimore Convention Center. Check out the Events schedule for more information.

HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education and the world's largest hospitality technology exposition. Sessions are led by industry peers and experts, and the expo showcases the latest industry products and services from more than 300 companies. Combined with intimate opportunities to connect with fellow professionals, HITEC has everything to enhance your career.

Part 2 of this Special Report will hit your inbox post-show on Tuesday, July 10.

If you don't receive the AH&LA SmartBrief on a daily basis, we urge you to sign up for our timely e-newsletter. The AH&LA delivers the industry news you need to know directly to your inbox -- for FREE.
  Innovation & Trends 
  • Hotels are replenishing staff due to industry rebound
    Continued revenue improvements throughout the hotel industry are prompting hotels to drop labor-related cost-cutting methods and ramp up hiring efforts, this feature says. "The improvement's gotten to the point where hotel managers can no longer operate with a limited staff, and they have to staff up," said Robert Mandelbaum, a director at PKF Hospitality Research. "Business is getting better, and we need to give them service, especially in the 4- and 5-star hotels," said Joe McInerney, president and CEO of AH&LA. (6/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Business travelers prefer midpriced hotels, poll shows
    A survey conducted by Travel Leaders Corporate has found that midpriced hotel chains such as Courtyard by Marriott, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn and Holiday Inn were among the top lodging choices among business travelers during the first quarter of 2012. "This is reflective of a continuing trend among U.S. corporations, including our clientele, to manage hotel expenses by staying at midpriced properties," said David Holyoke, president of Travel Leaders Corporate. The survey also found that the average cost of hotels per night has risen $3.15 in 2012. TravelPulse (6/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Latin America is drawing more hotel investors, survey finds
    The Latin America Hotel Investor Sentiment Survey that has been released by Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels found that hotel investors have a positive outlook on the Latin American market. The majority of investors are targeting gateway cities in Brazil and Mexico for acquisitions, while secondary markets are seeing interest for development, the survey found. "With a population of nearly 600 million, we expect the region's hotel investment market to transform itself over the next decade," said Clay Dickinson, executive vice president for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels in Latin America. TravelPulse (6/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Report shows travel-growth disparity between Europe, U.S.
    Travel from Europe to the U.S. grew 5.6% in 2011 compared with the previous year, while travel from the U.S. to Europe rose about 3% from 2010, the most recent Trans-Atlantic Report shows. Tour operators in the U.S. confirmed the findings, saying that the negative economic news in Europe is discouraging Americans from traveling there. "Europe is not in the best of spotlights. Even with a big advertising or promotional campaign, you cannot undo bad news. ... It's not necessarily comforting to say there's some instability," said Nico Zenner, president of Brendan Vacations. Travel Weekly (6/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Experts: Hotels' marketing efforts should focus on women
    Marketing experts and hotel managers are highlighting the opportunities in female-centered hotel marketing campaigns, as women around the world are shown to be in a unique position to influence travel trends, this feature says. "We find that women are making the spending decisions for family vacations, girlfriend getaways and other personal travel, so it's critical four our brand to reach this audience across several platforms," said Bonnie Campagnuolo, a director at Hilton Hotels & Resorts. (6/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
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  Connectivity & Technology 
  • Column: Tablet integration could boost a hotel's appeal
    Hoteliers can capitalize on the growing consumer trend toward tablet computers by integrating the device with their property's services, writes Larry Mogelonsky, president of LMA Communications. "Rather than having your concierge show someone a paper brochure for an amenity or activity, why not present it to them on a tablet? It will impress your guests and allow you to show them a variety of material without interruption, introducing and enticing them to use more of your services," Mogelonsky writes. Hotel Interactive (6/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Column: How to ensure privacy of client data
    Hoteliers can prevent breaches in client privacy and lawsuits that could follow by enforcing an effective privacy policy, labor attorney Lawrence Sorohan writes. "An effective policy should warn that violation could lead to discipline up to and including discharge. It should also be designed to teach an employee as well. That is, it should clearly spell out what type of conduct is prohibited," Sorohan writes. 4Hoteliers (6/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Venture fund offers support for hospitality technology firms
    Thayer Lodging Group and Quest Hospitality Ventures have partnered to create an investment fund for startup technology firms in hospitality, travel and tourism. "We love companies that have big visions and big ideas, with strong management teams and some sort of defendable intellectual property. We're looking for companies that are solving real problems in very innovative ways," said Christopher Hemmeter, a director of Thayer Ventures. The Washington Post/Capital Business (6/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Hotels recognize social media as key to guest engagement
    Social media provide an exceptional opportunity to gather guest feedback, which can be used to improve the guest experience and boost loyalty, hoteliers said during the recent New York University International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference. "We see a direct correlation between experience and guest loyalty; between satisfaction and the likelihood our hotels are recommended to others," said David Kong, CEO of Best Western International. (6/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Device usage during vacations is booming, study finds
    A study by Michigan State University has found that more travelers are using their devices and going online while on vacation. The study shows that wireless use during vacations is higher, at 40%, than at home, at 25%. "Travelers are using their laptops and phones more often, and not just to plan vacations. Since Wi-Fi is available at most destinations, tourists are checking local weather forecasts, transportation schedules, restaurant recommendations, fishing reports, safe bicycling routes and much more," said Christine Vogt, a professor at the university. WDIV-TV (Detroit) (6/8), TravelPulse (6/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Poll: Which in-room technology is most important to you?
    Look for the results of this poll in Part 2 of the AH&LA HITEC post-show report on Tuesday, July 10.
Internet connectivity -- wireless or wired
TV offerings, such as cable or pay-per-view
Eco-conscious options, such as sensored thermostats or CFL light bulbs
The basics -- coffee maker and microwave

  • Poll: Should hotels offer free Wi-Fi?
    Look for the results of this poll in Part 2 of the AH&LA HITEC post-show report on Tuesday, July 10.
Both wired and wireless connections should be available for free
They should offer the capability, but charging for it is acceptable
Hotels should not be obligated to offer any free Internet connections, wired or Wi-Fi


Product announcements appearing in SmartBrief are paid advertisements and do not reflect actual AH&LA endorsements. The news reported in SmartBrief does not necessarily reflect the official position of AH&LA.
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