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Data security has come under greater scrutiny for all businesses in recent years, with larger fines and penalties being awarded for contemporary data breaches. This issue is only compounding as digital transactions take precedence over physical exchanges, and third-party partnerships become more important to maintain operations. Choosing the right partner and hosting environment for your property can be complicated, but the property-management system (PMS) selected will play a critical role in securing your confidential data.

Protecting your guests’ data is equally important as preserving their physical safety, but confusion still abounds regarding hoteliers’ level of responsibility for protecting guest data. It’s easy to understand why, with multiple ways to host and access the servers containing this data and the way this intersects with third parties.

There are two components of the puzzle: the booking engine used by hotels, and the actual PMS. Since guest data can be self-hosted by hotels, managed on-property by a third party, or handled entirely off site, it’s up to hoteliers to decide what works best for their property. Understanding how your hotel accesses and stores guest data is key to understanding their liability in relation to that data.

Long Distance

Hosting your hotel's online booking engine comes with an extensive investment into web server technology, as well as a great deal of local IT management requirements. For that reason, many hoteliers have chosen to work with third parties to host their booking engine off site. However, even if your hotel's data is out of sight, it is a hotel's responsibility to keep their data partners accountable.

Is the data center equipped with proper heating and ventilation? When was the last time the facilities were inspected? What data security handling certifications do they maintain? How forthcoming is the data center with this information? These are important factors all businesses should know about their data storage, and it is necessary to do your due diligence to be certain your guests’ data is in good hands.

To stay informed on the status of your property’s data storage, operators should become familiar with the management at work in their hosting facility. Request information on the hosting facility’s certifications for GDPR, PCA, SOC 2, and others. It will also be useful for learning who oversees rolling updates out to your hotel’s machines, as well as firewall rules, antivirus requirements and more.

Forming relationships with your network administrator is key because every partnership in this arena is unique. Depending on the agreement, data storage and security for hotels could be mostly automated, or hotels could be expected to manage several processes on their own. In some cases, hotels are expected to source out their own data center and manage it themselves — though this is not desirable without a proper IT infrastructure and team at the hotel property or corporate level. With such a range of service available, operators need to be certain they know who is doing what, from backing up information to the day-to-day management of database servers.

Party Line

No matter how a hotel stores its data, operators will always be liable for securing it on some level. This is particularly true for PCI compliance, as hotels still physically handle credit cards properly and store guests’ card data well locally. Partnerships of any kind also do not absolve hotel operators from managing their local network. This is important because hotels have many devices that share printing, internet connections, email, Bluetooth, and more. Operators must know where their partners’ liability ends and theirs begins.

For example, data services have tenants, like the housing market, and it pays to know if you have neighbors or not. Businesses have the option to invest in either a dedicated or open hosting environment, with benefits and drawbacks to both. Dedicated hosts allow for updates to roll out in coordination with operators’ decisions, keeping it autonomous and allowing for proper scheduling and preparation.

The other option, where multiple businesses share a single server host and single application instance, is a more hands-off proposition but it comes with its own surprises. Hotels using these hosts may have fewer concerns when it comes to managing their IT, upgrade scheduling, or shared data storage, but when an update is rolled out by the host it is done to every company on the shared server environment, whether your property is prepared for it or not. Surprise updates such as these can potentially impact operations, or other aspects of your business. 

In general, hosted environments, whether multi tenanted or dedicated, reduce some of the operational load of your IT team in various ways, dependent on the level of interaction coming from your data partner. A fully managed implementation could absolve hoteliers from overseeing updates, watching alerts for threat monitoring, and more. These systems also give operators the benefit of accessing their systems from anywhere, often through and ideally via browser-based user interfaces.

Every property’s needs are unique, but the PMS you choose needs to be able to support your hotel’s business goals. The hosting environment for your PMS and guests’ data should provide you with confidence through open and clear communication, vendor commitment and choice of options that best suit your specific independent needs. Once you understand your hotel’s liability burden, operators are free to focus on their mission of serving guests.

 
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CINCINNATI – Aug. 24, 2021 – Hydro Systems, a world leader in delivering chemical dispensing and dosing solutions, has released its Connected Total Eclipse Controller, an IoT-enabled version of Hydro’s most popular electronic controller designed for on-premise laundries with up to four washers. It leverages the Hydro Connect platform and a cellular gateway to provide greater visibility and cost savings through on-demand reporting. 

“The Connected Total Eclipse Controller expands the capability of our cost-effective, secure and easy-to-use laundry dispensing systems. This gives managers real-time access to operational data to help them run the site more efficiently,” said John Goetz, Global Product Manager, Hydro Systems. 

The Connected Total Eclipse Controller can be added to most Hydro laundry dispensers, including the LM-200 peristaltic pumps or EvoClean, and it delivers critical site data with real-time or historical reporting on productivity, chemical usage, costs and alarms through Hydro Connect. Automating reporting simplifies processes and helps managers avoid alarm conditions like incomplete or stopped loads that drive up rewash rates.  

The controller can be purchased new with a dispenser or easily retrofitted to any existing installation with Hydro Systems’ laundry equipment. Simply swap out the existing controllers and add a cellular gateway. Formulas and setups can be programmed at the controller or with the Formula Editor software and on-board USB flash drive. With the addition of Hydro’s real-time service plan, users can remotely change configurations for dosage, load weight and more from any place with an internet connection to reduce the frequency of expensive site visits.  

“What’s great about this new controller is that it’s very scalable. If site managers do not want to purchase a gateway or real-time service package, they can still access historical reporting through a manual upload into Hydro Connect using the USB drive,” added Goetz. “If needs change in the future, this connected solution can address these demands.” 

For more information about the Connected Total Eclipse Controller, visit http://www.hydrosystemsco.com/product/total-eclipse.

 
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With most hotel spas having undergone a hiatus during the Covid pandemic, they’re experiencing a surge of demand now the hospitality industry is fully reopened.

Maximising spa bookings in a busy period is key if hotels are to make the most of demand – especially if an array of treatments, services and wellness products are on offer.

To do this, many hotels are seeking to exploit new technology to help streamline processes and provide guests with access to the relevant information during their stay.

A standout example of a hotel using technology to significantly boost bookings – and therefore its revenue – is the Mondorf Parc Hôtel in Luxembourg which has seen an increase in spa and treatment bookings. More than 95% of all revenue generated through its tablet installation has come from spa and treatment bookings.

The hotel uses technology provided by SuitePad, Europe’s leading provider of digital guest communication solutions for hotels. Implemented in each guest room alongside their informative content, the tablets also offer an open communication channel to the front desk for guests while reducing the need for staff to make telephone calls.

This technology provides guests with a readily accessible platform through which the hotel can display key information about the spa, its availability and the range of treatments and amenities on offer. It allows guests to make bookings in a relaxed, stress-free manner, without the need for conversations or discussions, giving them time and space to enjoy their stay. This approach underlines the relaxing environment of a spa hotel focused on wellness.

Alongside top line information, the tablets also enable guests to dig deeper into the specifics of the hotel’s services. Not only does this encourage spa bookings, but it also enhances hotel efficiency thanks to staff having to handle fewer guest enquiries directly – with information digitally displayed.

Their use has facilitated a responsive, high-quality service, allowing for effective communication between guests and hotel staff. The tablets saw a significant reduction in paper use and printing costs – something that aligns with the hotel’s eco-friendly ethos. 

The hotel further enhances its environmental contribution by using SuitePad’s Green Option. This feature allows customers to forgo room cleaning, which not only greatly reduces the amount of water, chemicals, and energy used in the room cleaning process, but also saves on utility and staffing costs. This is especially important as many guests at wellness hotels also like to promote the wellness of the environment as well as themselves.

Patrick Le Meur, Director of Mondorf Parc Hôtel, commented: “We originally intended to install SuitePad devices at the hotel to increase sustainability and reduce the hotel’s impact on the environment. Once we had the installation, we realised there was so much more we could do with the tablets, such as facilitating the real-time, instant booking of spa and wellness treatments, offering important information, and communicating with guests in an effective way.”

SuitePad consistently demonstrates how digital hotel technology is not limited to younger generations and its benefits are accessible to all. Quite often the older demographic of guests adopts the use of the tablets very well – with many hotels suggesting they often prefer this mode of communication and distribution of information to more traditional forms.

Patrick continued: “Our one concern was that more senior guests would not take to using the SuitePads, but it’s been quite the opposite. Our senior guests really enjoy using the tablets as it’s much more convenient and modern than traditional in-room collateral.”

The current boom the world of tourism is experiencing in wellness resorts has opened the door for the more curative hotels wanting to upsell the spa facilities they have to offer. A comprehensive digital solution offers an excellent way to increase guest engagement, and subsequently, hotel revenue.

Moritz von Petersdorff-Campen, founder and managing director of SuitePad, commented on the success of the Mondorf Parc Hôtel, saying: “It’s fantastic to see the impact the new SuitePads have had at the Mondorf Parc. The uptake of technology across the generations really highlights its ability to enhance everyone’s guest experience. The tablets have really come into their own. The hotel is able to use SuitePad’s technology to increase spa and wellness bookings at a time where self-care has never been more important.”

To find out more about SuitePad and its product offering, please visit the website.

 
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TORONTO, ON (August 2021) – Realstar Hospitality today announced that three Days Inn by Wyndham locations in Canada received Priceline Agoda's 2021 Customer Review Award. This recognition is given to hotels with a customer review above 8.0 (with the overall maximum score of 10) that consistently deliver excellent service, safety and cleanliness measures, and excellent value, with great pricing and high availability via the Agoda Platform.

"It's a great honour for our hotels to receive the Customer Review Award and be recognized for their exceptional achievements," said Irwin Prince, president & COO, Realstar Hospitality. "An accolade like this is further validation that hard work and commitment to hospitality excellence translates into positive review scores."

2021 Priceline Agoda's 2021 Customer Review Award Recipients: 

  • Days Inn by Wyndham Golden, British Columbia (8.6 score)
  • Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Collingwood, Ontario (8.9 score)
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Kingston, Ontario (8.8 score)

With the unprecedented challenges the tourism industry continues to face, winning this award not only speaks about the exceptional service but is also a testament to the diligence, passion and dedication these hotels have for providing guests with an experience they truly value. 

Priceline and Agoda customers take pride in their accommodation choices and share their views through informative and verified reviews on a stay's key elements, including cleanliness, service, amenities, location, and value for money. Their ratings and reviews guide fellow travellers in booking accommodations. 

All Days Inn locations across Canada are committed to the health and safety of guests and team members. To learn more, please visit daysinn.ca

 
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Toronto (August 19, 2021) – Atlific Hotels proudly announces that its managed property, Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary Downtown/Beltline District, is launching an on-site artists in residence program. Set to coincide with Alberta’s Month of the Artist the Artist Inn Residence Inn (AIRI) program will invite two artists to live full-time in the hotel’s suites while having a dedicated space to work on and create their art for up to 6 months. AIRI is now accepting applications through September 30, 2021. The first two artists will be selected by October 15, 2021.

“Here at Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary Downtown we believe that arts and culture are the lifeblood of a vibrant and thriving city, and a vital ingredient in what makes the Beltline District a fantastic place to stay” said Tim Ostrem, Area Director, Atlific Hotels & General Manager at the Residence Inn Calgary Downtown. “It is our goal to be the premier arts, culture and entertainment hotel in Calgary, and this is one of the ways in which we are proud to support and nurture the local arts community and better the lives of Calgarians and travellers alike.”

The AIRI program will invite two artists, one visual and one performance artist, to live full-time in the hotel’s guest suites for up to 6 months. During their time as resident artist, those selected will have access to all guest amenities; including daily complimentary breakfast, housekeeping, and a 24-hour fitness facility. The visual artist will receive dedicated gallery and workspace while the performing artist will receive access to rehearsal and performance space. As well, both will have their biographies featured in the hotel lobby to increase exposure. As the program is intended to enhance the hotel experience for anyone finding themselves within the space, the artists will be encouraged to create performances, workshops or artwork for display in the hotel's public spaces. In turn, the artists will be rewarded with a stipend.

Interested candidates can submit an application directly via https://www.residenceinncalgarybeltlinedistrict.com. Submissions for the first residency beginning in November are due by September 30th while the first two artists will be selected by October 15th. Submissions are open to Canadian residents and the application process will seek to uncover the artist’s biography, project overview and a description of planned activities during the residency.

Built on the site of Calgary’s historic Alberta Boot Company, Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary Downtown/Beltline District pays homage to the city’s cowboy roots. Ideally located in the vibrant Beltline District, the hotel allows guests to make the most of their stay with proximity to top attractions, including the Calgary Tower and the Scotiabank Saddledome. Walk to local downtown spots or hop on the CTrain, just one block away, and explore nearby restaurants and shops. Offering a full kitchen in each suite, complimentary breakfast and grocery delivery, free Wi-Fi and a 24-hour, two-story fitness centre, a stay at the property makes each day in Calgary feel effortless. For more information and to book a stay, please visit the hotel website.

 

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